The right bed is really about the right mattress but that’s where the complications begin. A mattress has the potential either to encourage sleep or rob people of sleep. Although estimates suggest it’s normal to move as much as 20 times in a night, if someone is tossing and turning almost continuously, or waking up sore or stiff, the mattress needs a re-think.
The most important aspect is that the spine is in alignment, supporting the body and cradling it along the curves. Next, consider what’s inside the mattress. While memory foam was heralded when it launched to the market, most now believe that natural materials such as wool and horsehair are breathable and help to regulate the temperature.
Choosing the perfect mattress is a matter of individual taste; there’s no one size fits all.
'We’re built differently, have different sleep positions and different comfort preferences,' says Alistair Hughes, co-founder of Savoir Beds. 'To really determine the mattress that’s right for you, I’d always recommend going into to a showroom and using the “rest test” to narrow down your choices [for those who baulk at this idea, it’s worth noting that some showrooms have sheer curtains around the beds to provide a degree of privacy].
'As you lie down on the mattresses, pay attention to three of the mattress’s most important features: comfort, support and space. If you sleep with a partner, bring that person with you to test out the mattresses. After all, you will need to reconcile what you like best with what your partner likes best.'
If budgets are tight, there is always the option to invest in a mattress topper which can improve the experience. 'A mattress topper can help to create greater comfort all year round, and as with mattresses that are made from natural fibers, consider the same when choosing a mattress topper so you are not compromising on your sleep health or the environment,' says Mark Tremlett of Naturalmat.