Best mattress 2021: 13 of the top memory foam, pocket sprung and hybrid options

See our best mattress reviews to find the perfect night's sleep with top brands including Emma, Simba and eve sleep

Emma mattress
(Image credit: Emma mattress)

We're in the midst of sale season here in the UK, from Black Friday to the Christmas and January discount bonanza – and if it's a sleep upgrade you're after, you probably want to know the best mattress to buy (that suits your budget). We simply can't overstate the importance of the right mattress, especially as winter draws in and we spend more time in bed. A great night's sleep boosts energy, improves focus and, with the help of the right mattress, can even alleviate aches and paints. So it's safe to say we're big believers in investing in the best your money can buy.

So before you get stuck into the sales, take a moment to scroll through our guide to the best mattresses on the market to see what's worth the hype. We've done the hard work and research to bring you our very favourite buys, from foam and hybrid to pocket-sprung mattresses. All of our picks have been reviewed by at least one of the Real Homes team, so we can assure you this: they're good.

You'll find big name brands like Emma, OTTY and Simba here, and we've put them through their paces over not just a couple of nights, but several weeks. Our reviews take into account comfort, support and quality, as well as what they're like to unbox – and we've checked out other customer reviews, too, so every little detail is covered.

Ready to get started? Let us walk you through our top 14 best mattress UK buys, which we've thoroughly enjoyed testing for you. If you like what you see, don't forget that many mattress now come with a trial so you can try before you buy, so to speak – which means that you could have up to one entire year until you commit to anything more long-term.

Prefer to hang onto your mattress a little longer? No worries: you may want to read our best mattress topper guide so you can upgrade your mattress, for less.

Best mattress UK 2021

Emma mattress insideReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Emma mattress)

This is the best mattress you can buy – a real crowd pleaser

Size: Single–super-king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Zoned support+Perfect temperature control+Good motion transfer
Reasons to avoid
-None that we can think of!

The Emma mattress is the best mattress you can buy. It's one of our top sellers and well suited to those who tend to move lots in their sleep.

There's pretty much nothing we don’t like about this mattress. It’s easy to switch positions, and comfortable in whichever position you favour for that matter. We’d rate it towards the firmer end of medium, but it’s certainly not rock solid. The mattress is evenly supportive across the entire surface, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. 

Three layers of foam. The top layer is an elastic foam called Airgocell, which brings you pressure relief. The memory foam layer is next and, like all memory foam, keeps you comfortable in any position. The base is made from Cold Foam that supports the above layers, as well as you. 

The breathable, removable top cover can be washed at 60 degrees, which is going to bust dirt better than the standard 40 degrees. Handles make it easier to manoeuvre.

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night sleep trial, no questions asked, 10-year warranty and free delivery, usually within one to three working days.

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – read the full Emma Original mattress review

Brook + Wilde elite mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Brook + Wilde)

Best mattress runner-up: a really lovely mattress which can be made to your specifications

Size: Single–super-king
Depth: 28cm
Type: Mini pocket springs + memory foam hybrid
Comfort grade: Soft, medium or firm
Reasons to buy
+Choice of firmness+Mega comfortable +Excellent quality+10 year guarantee+100 night comfort trial+Arrives in a box+Designed & manufactured in the UK
Reasons to avoid
-No EU size options-Big price tag (but worth it!)

This is Brook + Wilde's mid-range mattress, but nothing about it is average in our eyes. Though you do need to fork out a fair bit to buy, the comfort is amazing and we would definitely recommend it to anyone with the budget.

All sleepers can find a mattress they want in this range. You can choose your preference of comfort feel (tensions): Soft, Medium, Firm, or Extra Firm. Our reviewer is a side sleeper and found the Medium tension spot on. The only people who won't like it are those with bed frames from certain well known European furniture companies – it only comes in UK sizes.

There are eight wonderful layers to the Elite Mattress which combines a breathable memory foam protector, open-cell structure memory foam layer for temperature regulation, a layer of 2,500 mini pocket springs and a further 1,000 larger pocket springs in another layer to give a bit more push back. These are separated by the wave tech layer mentioned before and the whole thing sits on a support base and anti-slip layer to keep your mattress firmly in place.

You certainly get what you pay for and the Elite's eight layers of comfort offer a luxurious flumpiness that is a dream to sleep on. No overheating, no tossing and turning and an instant give from the memory foam layer which is missing in some competitors.

There is a unique layer of foam with 'wave technology' which offers added depth near the head and shoulders to improve spine alignment. Hips and legs are also gently cradled with just the right amount of sinkage for full lumbar support.

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night comfort trial, 10-year guarantee and free delivery. The delivery guys will help you to carry it up the stairs and the after sales team will call you after a few days to see how you're getting on with your new mattress.

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – Read our full Brook + Wilde Elite mattress review

Simba Hybrid DuvetReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Simba)

Best hybrid mattress made from recyclable, natural materials

Size: Single - super king
Depth: 28cm
Type: springs, foam, memory foam and wool
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Good (lack of) motion transfer+Very cool nights sleep+10 year guarantee+Made in UK
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy (in the box)-Smell lingers for a few days

The Simba Hybrid Pro is at the premium end of mattress prices when compared to the others in this guide but our reviewer loved it (and still does) so it is one which we can highly recommend. Being of a medium tension, this mattress is best suited to side or front sleepers since they can sink in (a little) for unrivalled comfort.

After the first week or so our reviewer and her partner were fully adjusted to sleeping on the mattress. There was also very little motion transfer and there was a good balance between sinking into the mattress so your shoulders aren't too squished (when sleeping on the side), to equally being very well supported.

Not only is it a hybrid mattress with springs and foam but it is also naturally temperature regulating which is good news for hot sleepers. Our reviewer isn't a hot sleeper and this mattress was tested during the winter months, but it is worth noting that at no point did she wake up during the night overheating which can tend to happen when the heating is on.

One of the layers in the mattress is a wool layer (more on this later) which sets this mattress apart from the others in this guide. Vegans might want to consider the Simba Hybrid Luxe if they want all the layers (and more) but no wool – the Luxe features bamboo wool instead and an extra layer of springs. 

There's an incredible seven layers built-in to this mattress which all work together to give you a dreamy nights sleep. A point of difference with this mattress when compared to the Simba hybrid mattress is that it has a hypoallergenic cover which is super-soft, comfy and breathable, but is not removable, although there is a zip underneath (again the Luxe can be removed and washed). It also has a natural wool layer which is naturally temperature regulating and two wonderful layers of up to 5,000 25mm, individual conical pocket titanium alloy Aerocoil™ springs for better body weight distribution.

To make up the total number of layers here is also an open-cell foam layer, high definition foam with edge support and a zoned support base.

What do you get for your money?
Every Simba mattress comes with a ten year guarantee, free delivery to most addresses in the UK and free returns if you decide the mattress isn't quite right for you during the 200 night trial.

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – read our full Simba Hybrid Pro mattress review

nectar mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Nectar / Amazon)

Best foam mattress for bad backs with cooling tech (it comes with a super long trial, too)

Size: Single–super-king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Memory foam
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Medium firm for firmness+Good motion transfer+Good breathability+365 night trial+Forever guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-No handles-Too hard for some side sleepers

This trustworthy and affordable foam mattress won't lose its firmness even after a whole year's use. And with a 365-night trial you can certainly put that to the test. 

Thanks to its foam filling, the Nectar Mattress will make your joints feel cushioned from night one. With regards to motion transfer, the Nectar is as good as any memory foam, and if sliding into your other half during the night is a massive bug-bear, this is the best find for you. On the firmness front, the Nectar is rated 5.5–7.5 on the website, which the company claims is 'just right'. It's also not too firm – nobody wants a mattress that is too firm, trust us.

It has an Adaptive Cooling Cover designed to draw away heat from your body and circulate fresh air every time you move. Also, look out for Nectar special offers such as free pillows or £100 off – they seem to be pretty much ongoing.

There’s nothing especially unusual about the Nectar’s construction but, as mentioned, it is reassuringly heavy, which is always a sign of quality. It features a decent layer of proper memory foam which is nicely aerated, and then pressure relieving foam that deals with contouring to your curvy bits. Finally the seven-zone base foam provides more contoured support plus depth. 

What do you get for your money?
The Nectar comes with an unprecedented 365-night trial period. And, if that’s not enough for you, it also comes with a Forever Guarantee so it's a good choice if you are more risk-adverse.

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – read our full Nectar mattress review

Brook + Wilde UltimaReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Brook + Wilde)

5. Brook + Wilde Ultima Mattress

Best mattress for a truly luxury sleep experience

Size: UK standard sizes; double, king, super king
Depth: 30cm
Type: Hybrid mattress: ten layers of memory foam, springs and cooling mattress cover
Comfort grade: Soft, medium, firm
Reasons to buy
+Extremely comfortable +Supportive for all sleep positions +Good choice of firmness +100 night comfort trial +10-year guarantee +Made in the UK
Reasons to avoid
-Very heavy -At 30cm deep, might be too high for some -Not available in single size

The Brook + Wilde Ultima is a true all-rounder: comfortable, supportive and even cooling, we couldn’t fault it. We loved it just as much as the Elite – but we've placed it just below that mattress as this one is quite a bit pricier.

With ten layers, this mattress give plenty of support to back, side and front sleepers alike, and help to relieve aches and pains. Also good for people with fidgety partners, and those who get too warm in bed.

Our reviewer tried a medium and would say it’s pretty much exactly that, offering the perfect flat surface with a bit of give to support for her back. She often suffers from lower back pain, but the day after sleeping on the Ultima, she woke up with no pain whatsoever. She also noticed next-to-no motion transfer, despite the fact that her partner came to bed later than her.

We tested this mattress through June and part of July, which featured heatwaves. Our reviewer was impressed at how cool the mattress kept her even in 20-degree heat – so impressive, in fact, that she slept all the way through the night. It has a removeable and machine-washable thermic cover to reduce body temperature by two degrees. Combined with the mattress's dynamic airflow design, it really is made to keep you cool as you sleep.

There's a huge 10 layers in this hybrid mattress, consisting of premium memory foam and 6,000 nano and pocket springs – plus that aforementioned thermic cover.

What do you get for your money?
Free premium delivery, a 100-night comfort trial and a 10-year guarantee.

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars

Rem-Fit 400 mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Rem-Fit)

Best mattress with edge-to-edge support: it's a good option for a combined weight of up to 40 stone

Size: Small single - super King
Depth: 25cm
Type: Memory foam + pocket spring
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Mega supportive+Great motion transfer+Advanced temperature regulation+Designed and made in the UK
Reasons to avoid
-Slight lingering plastic smell, but it does go within a few days

The Rem-Fit 400 is a hybrid mattress which is both comfortable and supportive. This mattress would be a treat for all sleepers, whether you're a fan of memory foam or not. It will comfortably withstand a combined weigh of 40 stone, too, so if you're closer to 20 stone your sleep position will be fully supported – even tight up to the edge of the bed.

Although our reviewer was initially unsure, according to the Ts & Cs at Rem-Fit they recommend that you sleep on your new mattress for a minimum of 30 nights to allow enough time for your body to fully adjust, which gives some comforting encouragement to pursue (it's worth it, honest).

Our reviewer tested it throughout the summer months when there were some temperature highs and lows. The mattress didn't cause any over heating. And even if there was some restlessness, you wouldn't know it because the motion transfer is great – you wouldn't even know your companion is there (unless they steal the bed sheets from you).

The first layer of the mattress (out of five) is the Re-AX breathable cover which encases the 25cm-deep Hybrid. It's removable and machine washable, too, which will make caring for the mattress nice and easy.

For a hybrid, there's nothing too out of the ordinary with this mattress. But it does use a combination of cool open-cell memory foam and 2000 premium pocket springs, plus foam encapsulated the side walls with edge-to-edge support for a very supportive base to lie on at the end of each day.

What do you get for your money?
A 100 night sleep trial with no quibbles if you're not completely satisfied; 15 year full replacement guarantee at no extra cost and free next day delivery (when you order before 1pm).

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – read our full Rem-Fit 400 Hybrid mattress review

Mattress under £1,000 by OttyReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: OTT)

Best hybrid mattress for value

Size: Single–emperor
Depth: 25cm
Type: Hybrid Foam/Spring
Comfort grade: Medium to Firm
Reasons to buy
+Quality springs give decent support+The whole surface is equally comfy+Good motion transfer+Medium to firm for firmness
Reasons to avoid
-Firm may be too firm for some side sleepers

The Otty Original Hybrid is a super comfortable sleep that our tester loved, and it's one which is very reasonably priced for what you get. 

This is one of the cheapest ‘branded’ bed-in-a-box hybrid mattresses out there, but never is this fact reflected in the quality feel or sleep experience. More robust than many memory foams, the lengthy springs provide just the right levels of bounce and support – it’s not too soft, nor too hard. That would be perfect then. Except there is a small amount of motion transfer but certainly not as much as you’d get from a full-on pocket sprung and nothing to really blot its copy book. The best in a box for memory foam lovers, we think and perfect for space hogging couple.

The cooling technology inside this beast is the stuff of legends – no exaggeration. Night sweats = a distant memory. The cover is removable and washable – hzar!

As you might predict, a layer of Cool Blue Gel memory foam keeps you cool (and it works), and a layer of reflex foam brings support. The 14cm tall pocket springs are where this mattress stands out from the other hybrid mattresses, who tend to go for short or conical springs. Then there’s the requisite solid foam base that protects it from your bed base and generally prevents sinking. 

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night trial, 10-year guarantee and free delivery. 

Real Homes Rated 5/5 stars – read our full Otty Hybrid mattress review

Emma Hybrid mattress in a boho style bedroomReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Emma)

8. Emma Original Hybrid mattress

The best mattress for side sleepers – and surprisingly good for aches and pains

Size: Single, double, king, super king
Depth: 25cm
Type: Memory foam, pocket springs
Firmness: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+200-night trial+Noticeable springiness+Suits all sleep positions+10-year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-'New foam' odour lingers-Limited sizes

It's not every day we say that a mattress suits every kind of sleeper, but the Emma Original Hybrid mattress lives up to this bold claim. You'll especially love it if you're a side sleeper – though it's also extremely comfortable for front and back sleepers, too.

As a hybrid, the Original Hybrid has a combination of memory foam and springs, but the former isn't overwhelming: in fact, it has the pleasant feel of a traditional pocket-sprung mattress, perfect for anyone who's undecided on a foam mattress. It's pretty firm, which we found helped with aches and pains and supported key pressure points. This is thanks to a new-generation aerated foam, called Airgocell that also aids cooling and breathability – something missing in regular memory foams.

The Original Hybrid didn't quite live up to the Emma Original on motion transfer, thanks probably to the latter's all-foam construction. However, this is only really an issue if you and your partner are at very different bodyweights – or night-time schedules.

Alongside the top-secret Airgocell formula, this mattress also comprises of memory foam, which moulds to your body's contour; 'cold foam', which helps stabilise the springs below; the aforementioned springs, which offer targeted support; and a base foam later, which stabilises and adds height.

What do you get for your money?
An impressive 200-night sleep trial, plus a 10-year guarantee.

Real Homes Rated 4.5/5 stars

Simba Hybrid Luxe mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Simba)

9. Simba Hybrid Luxe mattress

Best vegan mattress – and made with plenty of sustainable materials

Size: Single to super king
Depth: 31cm
Type: Foam, Aerocoil springs
Firmness: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Supremely comfortable+Next to no motion transfer+Serious effort on sustainability+Breathable+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Not as cool as we hoped-Might be too firm for some-Deep – might be high for certain beds

Simba touts the Hybrid Luxe as their most advanced mattress so far, so it has a lot to live up to – which it does, in spades. While it doesn't quite beat the Simba Hybrid Pro in our eyes because we think there isn't quite enough in it to justify the price for us, it's a great choice for anyone who's building a vegan home – and it has great sustainability credentials.

This mattress is perfect for side, front and back sleepers alike. We found the firmer mattress super supportive, thanks to the spring layers – but it's still supremely comfortable thanks to foam and bamboo layers.

The removable (and therefore washable) top layer instantly relieves pressure on joints as you sink in the mattress. It's most comfortable for side and back sleepers, though most front sleepers will probably love it too – it's just that the top layer might not be quite yielding enough for some. We couldn't feel any motion transfer, and the mattress is virtually silent, too.

It's temperature regulation where the Simba Hybrid Luxe falls slightly short – or at least against the expectations we had from the marketing. While it boasts amazing regulating properties, we did find we woke up a little warm and uncomfortable when testing in warmer weather. It's breathable, though, so any claminess quickly dissipates. 

The Simba Hybrid Luxe is packed with sustainable materials. Instead of wool, Simba's used fast-growing bamboo; the memory foam is free from TCPP and other chemicals such as phosphates, parabens, biocides and organic pollutants, which are bad news for the planet. That means very little chemical smell, too. It is certainly one of the most sustainable sleep surfaces around – you just have to be willing to pay for that.

The Simba Hybrid Luxe boasts 10 layers, all of which are free of animal products. It uses bamboo for the surface and to replace a traditional wool layer, meaning it's antibacterial, breathable, moisture wicking and fast-drying. Three Simba Pure foam layers add depth. You'll also find three layer of supportive springs, including a double later of Aerocoil springs, to ensure even higher comfort levels.

What do you get for your money?
A risk-free 200-night trial, plus a ten-year guarantee.

Real Homes Rated 4.5/5 stars.

OTTY Sleep Pure mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: OTTY Sleep)

10. OTTY Pure Bamboo and Charcoal Mattress

Best mattress for combatting hot, restless nights

Size: Single, double, king, super king, small double, EU double, EU king, emperor
Depth: 25cm
Type: Foam hybrid, 64% spring to 36% foam
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Pressure relief+Even support across the back+No movement transfer+Stays cool on hot nights+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Limited edge support-Cover needs to be dry cleaned

Do you struggle with hot sleepless nights, in summer and beyond? Then the OTTY Pure Bamboo and Charcoal mattress might be for you. This mattress stays cool even on sweaty summer nights, so it's a top pick for hot sleepers. 

The OTTY Pure is a very breathable mattress. It had no trouble keeping our reviewer warm through April this year, but it also helped her sleep quite comfortably through the June heatwave. That's all thanks to the charcoal, which claims to regulate temperature, and the airflow system, which keeps the mattress fresh.

At 25cm, the OTTY Pure mattress has the same depth as the OTTY Original – that is to say, pretty thick. It has a removable cover for an added layer of protection, but note that it is dry clean only.

It's also great if you want a mattress that's a little on the firmer side, but with a supportive and squishy top layer. Our reviewer had been experiencing a lot of lower back pain prior to testing – enough to make getting out of bed or sitting at her desk difficult – but she noticed that the pain lessened when she started sleeping on the OTTY Pure. She said: When I'm away from home, I genuinely miss the support it gives.' She found the mattress to be supportive as a side sleeper, and it was also very comfortable when lying flat.

Up to 2,000 encapsulated pocket springs, as well as two memory foam layers, compared to the Hybrid's one.

What do you get for your money?
A 100-night trial and a 10-year guarantee.

Real Homes Rated 4.5/5 stars

Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)

Best mattress made from recycled materials: it's made from 100% recyclable plastic bottles

Size: Single–King
Depth: 24cm
Type: Pocket Sprung/Mirapocket
Comfort grade: Medium-firm
Reasons to buy
+Impressive eco credentials+Cool and comfortable+5-year guarantee+Made in UK
Reasons to avoid
-Not terribly heavy so slides down on a divan base-No super king option

If you're looking for a mattress which uses recycled mattress then the Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress is IT. All sleepers, including children will appreciate this mattress thanks to the handy cooling layers. It's a good choice for the environmentally concerned, too, since it contains eco fibres made from recyclable plastic bottles.

It also includes magic cooling properties which Silentnight refer to as 3D breathable fabric technology. This allows the air under your body to circulate, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. 

First impressions at bedtime were not great BUT the longer our reviewer lay, the comfier they felt and were both went off to sleep unusually quickly and slept right through. If you're sleeping next to a partner who thrashes around somewhat during the night then you won't be too disturbed on this mattress.

The firmness of medium/firm is perfectly pitched, and you really wouldn't want it any firmer. And weight was distributed as expected with the surface evenly tensioned and you can use the full width of the mattress to sleep comfortably on.  

Along with the cooling layer is a single layer of 1000 mini pocket springs that provide balanced but responsive movement.

What do you get for your money?
A full manufacturer’s guarantee against defects for five years, plus a 60-night comfort exchange guarantee.

Real Homes Rated 4.5/5 stars – read our full Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid mattress review

Cotswold Company Dursley mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Cotswold Company)

Best natural mattress which has been handcrafted in Devon from the finest materials

Size: Double–super-king
Depth: 27cm
Type: Pocket-sprung
Comfort grade: Firm
Reasons to buy
+Tension is true to word+No motion transfer+Beautifully handcrafted+Made in the UK+8 year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't arrive in a box-Smells after unwrapping-Not available as a single-No trial period

If you're looking for a handcrafted, natural mattress then your search can end here. The Cotswold Company Dursley is a firm mattress which made for a good comparison against it's memory foam rivals, and also a good alternative for you to consider.

It is best for back sleepers because of the firm tension, along with fidgets and sustainability advocates. Admittedly, our reviewer is a side sleeper who found the mattress to be true to tension. A couple of pillows to prop up the head and a cotton quilted mattress protector really helped to soften the feel of the mattress. Yet when rolling onto the back during the night, any aches and pains were soon stretched out and it felt like lying on a cloud thanks to the pillow-top surface.

The tension is consistent across the mattress which meant that you could barely feel any movement from a restless partner. And being made from natural materials would mean that in any month of the year the mattress, and your body, will be able to breath and be naturally kept cool.

Each mattress is handcrafted so each mattress is unique. There's some beautiful detailing such as the hand stitching which you can see everywhere across the mattress; the edges for support, the handles for easy turning and the hand tied pure wool tufts (our reviewers favourite).

There are five layers to The Dursley which are all made from natural materials. This includes a wonderful combination of British wool from Dartmoor, 100 per cent pure Egyptian cotton and 1200 Comfort Intelligence pocket springs.

What do you get for your money?
An eight year guarantee plus the option of free delivery.

It's worth noting that there's no trial period with these mattresses so if you aren't happy with your new mattress you are unable to return it due to hygiene reasons.

Real Homes Rated 4.5/5 stars – read our full Cotswold Company Dursley mattress review

Eve Premium Hybrid mattressReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Eve Sleep)

Best premium mattress: a high-end mattress offering firm support

Size: Double - super king
Depth: 28cm
Type: springs, foam and memory foam
Comfort grade: Firm
Reasons to buy
+Next generation pressure relief+Low-risk 100-night trial +Easy to clean with antibacterial properties built-in+Decent thickness+Seriously impressive support
Reasons to avoid
-Lingering chemical smell-No single or EU size options

A premium mattress, the eve Premium Hybrid mattress is one to consider if you're looking for next generation, firm pressure relief. It's perfect for those who like/need firm support – great if you have a bad back or achy hips.

This is one of the deepest mattresses in our guide, which was the very first thing we noticed about it and is good for hoisting yourself out of bed every morning. The mattress is FIRM so this may take a bit of adjusting if you've moved on from a softer mattress.

For motion transfer you barely notice your sleeping companion is there. And for sinkage into the mattress you can except the same level of support across the entire surface.

There are no less than four layers of foam, including the new Floatfoam layer, before you hit springs. There are 1,500 of these individually wrapped, and more importantly, targeted to all those pressure points. There's a non-slip case at the bottom, too, to keep it all neatly in place. And, it has a top cover which can be zipped off for washing. It's even antibacterial and antimicrobial, which is reassuring. 

What do you get for your money?
A 10 year guarantee; free returns after 100 days and excellent, speedy delivery.

Real Homes Rated 4/5 stars – read our full eve Premium Hybrid mattress review

How to choose the best mattress

Buying a new mattress really is an investment. They can often set you back a few hundred pounds, sometimes even exceeding the thousand-pound mark, and should last you a good number of years. We spend a lot of time in bed so choosing the best mattress for you is so important. Here's what to look out for:

  • Work out your sleep position: side sleepers tend to need softer mattresses (think memory foam or hybrid) than back or front sleepers, or they suffer from achy joints;
  • Are you heavy or light? Heavier people tend to find firmer mattresses comfortable; lighter people need a softer mattress they can sink into a little;
  • What's your preference? If you're light but love a hard mattress, go with it, no matter what we say;
  • Fidgety? Fidgety partner? 'Good motion transfer' is the phrase you're looking for in a mattress – most of those below have that (memory foam or hybrid mattresses usually more so than trad sprung mattresses);
  • Back pain sufferers? Look at memory foam or a hybrid (which is foam over springs); 
  • Allergy sufferer? Consider latex as a filling (although memory foam/hybrids will be good for you too, as will one of the money-saving best mattress protectors
  • Sweaty sleeper? Find a mattress made of breathable materials: most of those below have this type of filling;
  • Budget: not everyone can splash out, which is why we've included a range of mattresses to suit all spends; PLUS our clever widget works out the best prices every day.

Considering a new mattress? If you haven't replaced yours for seven years (or more), or if you’re at the point where you are waking up in the morning feeling feeling achy or uncomfortable, now is the time for an upgrade. Follow our comprehensive guide to how to choose a mattress for a better, more restful night's sleep as you seek new ways on how to fall asleep fast during these longer nights.

Free mattress trials

We'd never advise anyone to buy a mattress without trying it first. Back in the day, that meant hitting the shops and lying on mattresses in-store but honestly, the days of buying a mattress in-store are far behind us. Now, you can safely shop online and take advantage of the free trial with no quibble returns. As the majority of the mattresses we've reviewed come with super handy 100-night/more sleep trials and/or one year to 10 year warranties, you're sure to find an option that has you covered.

Best mattress for your sleep position

Are you a back sleeper, a side sleeper or stomach sleeper? Purchase your next mattress to suit how you sleep, and you'll be pain and ache free in no time. 

Side sleepers can experience achy joints, especially around the hips and shoulders. Opting for a softer mattress you can sink into is the way to go, with medium-soft the most recommended comfort grade. Other than our overall list topper, the Emma mattress, we rate the Simba Hybrid for side sleepers (it has cured our ed-in-chief Lucy's chronic neck and back pain) and the Casper Hybrid; we also really like the Rest Assured Richborough mattress. 

Front sleepers might experience sore pressure points in the ribcage, knees, and elbows, as well as what’s alarmingly called 'general spinal discomfort'. You will find a firm mattress that supports you but has give for these sensitive points most comfortable. Our all-round best bet is the Sealy Activ GelTex, a medium mattress with a winning spring and latex construction. We also like the Silentnight Risborough Mira Pocket.

Back sleepers need to go for a middle ground for maximum comfort: not too soft, not too firm. Our favourite for back sleepers is the Eve mattress; it's also a good buy for side sleepers who prefer a slightly firmer sleep surface.

You also need to consider how things like your pillow impacts on your sleeping position and mattress choice, too. Use our guide to how to choose a pillow for your sleep position to get that right.

Get the right level of mattress firmness

One of the most important things to think about when purchasing a new mattress is getting the right firmness for you. Often it is down to personal preference and whether you prefer a soft or firm feel; you just need to be confident that you have the correct support for the way that you like to sleep. Your weight plays a part, too: heavier people will find a harder mattress more comfortable than lighter people, who will usually fare better on a softer mattress. Here's a rough guide to what should suit you:

  • Soft medium: Ideal mattresses for side sleepers, as they let your shoulders and hips sink into the mattress while supporting the rest of your body;
  • Medium: If you sleep on your side but prefer the feel of a firmer mattress, choose medium support;
  • Medium firm: If you change position from your side to your back this is the best option;
  • Firm: If you prefer to sleep on your back or sleep on your stomach, choose a firm mattress, which will give you just the right amount of support;
  • Extra firm: Sometimes called an orthopaedic mattress, extra firm mattresses offer a very firm level of support. 

How to do a quick mattress comfort test

If you are testing out a range of mattresses in-store, you can check if it might suit you by lying down and sliding a hand beneath the small of your back. If your hand slides in easily, the mattress is too hard; if you can't slide your hand in at all, it’s too soft.

Bear in mind, though, that the base you'll be putting the mattress on will affect how the mattress feels at home. For example, a sprung divan will make a mattress feel softer than a solid divan or slatted base. 

Is that rushed showroom test not assuring you that your new mattress is right for you? Or perhaps you're buying a new mattress online? This is where those 100-day, no quibble return policies come into their own – so double check what your retailer is offering when making a decision.

Best mattress material

There's a mind-boggling array of material used in the best mattresses but it's important to state that no one particular type is better than another; it's much more about what you'll find comfortable. Here's a quick rundown of the mattress types available:

Memory foam moulds to your body's shape, and gives plenty of support, making it perfect for side sleepers or anyone with back pain. Newer memory foam mattresses have breathability built in – so look for this as a feature when buying. It's also good for allergy sufferers. Our top choices are the Tempur Sensation Elite and the  Eve mattresses.

Hybrid mattresses/sprung memory foam mattresses are constructed with a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer, so you'll get the responsiveness of springs plus memory foam support. Good for allergy and back pain sufferers. Our favourites are the Simba Hybrid and the Otty Hybrid.

Latex is durable and breathable; it tends to be on the firmer side, and is ideal for allergy sufferers thanks to its anti-microbial properties. It’s also a very durable material and can be expected to support you soundly for years. For a good combination of latex and pocket springs, we like the Rest Assured Richborough mattress; we also like the Naturalex GELTECH mattress if you often find yourself getting hot and sticky in the night.

Pocket sprung mattresses, made from individual springs in pockets of fabric, provide lots of support, whether you prefer a soft or firm sleep surface. They can also come with different levels of support on either side of a double for partners who prefer different levels of firmness. Our favourite is the Rest Assured Richborough Pocket Latex.

Open sprung mattresses are cheaper and lightweight, but less supportive and responsive; choose them for guest rooms.

Natural mattresses such as The Cotswold Company Dursley should not include foam; rather, look for only natural fillings such as cotton, hemp, and flax, and it should provide an alternative to the chemical fire retardants that are used in other mattresses. A mattress that calls itself natural needn't be low-tech: advances in pocket spring technology mean that the days of squeaky, massive springs are over; new models use thousands of micro-springs that rotate as your body moves, so you should, at least in theory, be as comfortable sleeping on your natural mattress as on a foam or hybrid mattress.  

Pick the right mattress size

This will often be determined by the bed that you already have. However, if you are starting from scratch and looking to get a new bed and mattress then a good place to start is with the right size. 

If you are sharing a bed with a partner a double is usually sufficient, but if you are someone who requires more space or is often disturbed in the night, then it may be wise to go up a size. Ideally, your mattress should also be wide enough to allow two of you to lie side by side with your hands behind heads, without your elbows touching. Our guide to how to buy the best beds is useful in helping you to choose the right option for both your home and your lifestyle. 

As for mattress length, it should be 10cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. So, if you're a strapping 6 footer, you'll be looking at a king size mattress as a minimum. 

The mattresses in our list range from 18cm to 30cm in depth. See how high your bed is and check the overall height of your bed isn't going to be an issue (especially if your bedroom is in a loft with sloping ceilings).

Below are the most common UK standard mattress dimensions:

  • Single: 90cm x 190cm
  • Small double (often called a queen): 120cm x 190cm
  • Double: 135cm x 190cm
  • King: 150cm x 200cm
  • Super king: 180cm x 200cm

Look at the mattress's additional features

It's useful to consider whether the mattress you're purchasing has any added features such as:

  • A cover that zips off for easy cleaning; 
  • Handles for turning; 
  • Allergy UK approval;
  • Temperature regulation – see our pick of the best mattress cooling pads for more. 

Buying a mattress in a box

Mattress in a box? Yes, it's a thing. Where once, we'd decide whether a mattress was right for us by spending just a few minutes on it in a shop (fully clothed, obviously), now you can have yours posted out to you.

Why not? It makes sense. Why spend (or, we think, waste) your time trying mattresses in an overheated store when you can order a mattress in a box, have it delivered within days, then use the 100 day free trial that most of the best boxed mattress companies will give you to decide if it's the right mattress for you? And if it isn't, you can get either an exchange or, in many cases, a full refund with no hassle returns policies. 

Made from innovative materials that can be rolled into a surprisingly small box (think fridge-sized), these mattresses can be easily hauled upstairs and simply unfurl to regain their shape after just a few hours. 

Our top choice of all the mattresses in a box is the Otty Hybrid, which offers superb levels of comfort for all sleep positions, but particularly side sleepers. 

Right up there too are the Casper, the Simba Hybrid mattress and the Casper Hybrid. Also in our top 10 mattresses in a box is the Emma Original.

Will your mattress need turning?

Gone are the days when you had to turn a mattress every few weeks – undoing all that good work your mattress has done on your back in the process. Many newer mattresses don’t need turning, so do check when you buy.  Many come with zoned support so if you turn you actually negate all of that and will feel slightly wonky around the hips and shoulders. 

If your new mattress does need turning, take note of whether it has handles or not, which will make manoeuvring it much easier.

Can I use an electric blanket with a memory foam mattress?

Wondering whether you can use an electric blanket with your lovely new memory foam mattress? You've done all your mattress research, perhaps even read one of our mattress reviews. The issue is: you love your best electric blanket, too, and might want to use it on cold nights, but you've heard memory foam and electric blankets are a no-go. True? 

The good news is that most memory foam mattress manufacturers say that their mattresses are fine to use with electric blankets. However, there are a few simple rules you can follow to ensure that you're not reducing the beneficial effects of your memory mattress.

Memory foam mattresses are so comfortable because the foam reacts with your body heat: this is how the moulding process they're renowned for works. Moreover, some mattresses have complex layers of foam, so that you keep comfortable without overheating. One of the concerns about using an electric blanket with a memory foam mattress is that the mattress will become too warm and won't be as comfortable as a result. 

To make sure this doesn't happen, Nectar advise always 'prepping' your mattress by placing a sheet between it and the electric blanket. It's a good idea to do this anyway, for the sake of your own comfort and safety: sleeping on an electric blanket without a sheet as a barrier may lead to overheating and even injuries.

The other tip is to always warm up your electric blanket gradually, rather than cranking up the heat to the highest setting straightaway. You may well find that you're comfortable with a low setting, and the mattress is then much less likely to get too warm. 

Finally, always use a timer with your electric blanket. Experts recommend that, to keep your memory foam mattress in the best condition, they shouldn't be exposed to heat for more than half and hour at a time. Again, setting a timer is also essential for your safety. 

How much does a new mattress cost?

Seems like an obvious thing to consider but with so many wonderful, incredible mattresses out there which all promise to deliver something similar (a decent night's sleep) it can be easy to get swept away with the dreams of the best, BEST mattress out there. They can be mega money or, like the OTTY mattress, needn't cost a lot for a supportive yet comfortable night's sleep.

It's definitely worth keeping a look out for any mattress sales, discount codes and deals so you can save a bit of money. Bookmark our cheap mattress sales page for the top offers and some Real Homes exclusives.

How to clean a mattress

Cleaning a mattress has been something of a trend already in 2021 with over 10 million TikTok hashtags being used for it. Thankfully, Mattress Online have come to rescue us from bad odours, spills and stains by revealing how to safely clean your mattress in just five steps for less than £5. You'll find most of the products used in your cupboards already, though, so you don't even need to leave the house for a sleep zone refresh.

1. Remove and wash your bedding
Put your sheets, pillows and duvet on a hot wash, Mattes Online recommend washing over 60°C as this will help kill any germs and dust mites. Tumble-dry your bedding on a high heat if you can, too.

2. Vacuum your mattress and bed
Carefully vacuum your mattress and bed in small sections, paying particular attention to seams, corners and crevices where dust can build up. And remember to vacuum underneath your bed and down the sides if your bed is pushed up against a wall.

3. Deodorise your mattress with baking soda 
Lightly sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over your mattress absorb moisture and keep your mattress smelling clean and fresh. Let it sit for at least an hour then vacuum thoroughly to remove it.

4. Spot clean any mattress stains with detergent 
Use a mild detergent and warm water to spot-clean your mattress with a clean cloth.  Air your mattress thoroughly to ensure it's properly dry before you put the bedding back on. 

5. Flip your mattress and repeat 
If your mattress is double-sided you'll need to clean the other side by repeating steps one to four. However, if your mattress is single-sided, simply vacuum the underside to keep it dust-free.

When to replace your mattress

The Sleep Council says that after seven years your current mattress may not be offering adequate support. This will depend on the quality of the mattress in the first place and how much use it has had, but if your mattress is nearing that age it is time to check if you need a replacement.

If the mattress doesn't spring back to its original shape when you get off; has lumps and bumps; is dirty beyond cleaning; or is in any way uncomfortable it is time for a new one. 

Top tip: if you're wondering when the best time to buy a mattress is, early spring and summer is when we tend to see the latest releases, but what's even more certain is that online is where you'll find the best prices. To make life even easier for you, we keep this page up to date all year long so that it feeds the best prices available, for the best mattresses out there on the web right now. 

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Linda Clayton
Linda Clayton

Linda is a freelance journalist who has specialised in homes and interiors for the past 19 years, beginning on a trade rag for the Daily Mail Group and now writing full-time for the likes of Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, and of course Real Homes. Linda is our resident mattress reviewer. She spends at least a week on every mattress she tests for us, as does her ever-patient husband. In reviewing mattresses for us for more than a year, she has become something of a very opinionated expert. She lives in Devon with her cabinetmaker husband, two daughters and many pets, and is locked in an on-going battle to drag their red brick Victorian home out of 1970s swirly-carpet hell...