Best mattress 2021: these are our top 10 tried and tested mattresses

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)

With warm nights well on the way, a comfortable and cooling mattress is more important than ever for a good night's sleep. Because we love our sleep, investing in the best mattress (your) money can buy is crucial – after all, logging those eight hours a night is one of the top things you can do for your wellbeing. But while you can't put a price on your health, you very much can on a mattress – and with so much choice out there, often with a hefty price tag, it can be hard to find the right one for you.

Still, for every problem there's a solution – and our handy guide to the best mattresses you can buy right now is here to help. Whether you're looking for a foam mattress, pocket-sprung mattress or hybrid mattress, all of our picks have been personally reviewed by the Real Homes team, so we can honestly say they're good.

Our mattress reviewers have put the likes of Emma, OTTY and Simba mattresses through their paces – not just over one or two nights, but for several weeks. We've reviewed them based on comfort, support and quality, plus what they're like to unbox. And because choosing a mattress is a very personal decision, we've also taken into account other customer reviews so you can really hone in on the most suitable option for your bedtime.

So sit back and let us walk you through our top 10 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.

What is the best mattress to buy?

If you want to buy the best mattress right now then we highly recommend you buy the Emma mattress.  It offers excellent value, especially for something with such good crowd appeal – it's a medium–firm people pleaser which is complete with memory foam (the second of three incredible layers of foam) and zoned support to keep even the most fidgety of sleepers truly content.

Want to keep looking? No worries: keep scrolling to hear more about the Emma mattress, and some other fab alternatives.

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Best mattress UK 2021, ranked

Emma mattress insideReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Emma mattress)

1. Emma Original 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, which is easy to see why...

Who will the Emma suit?
The Emma mattress is the best pick for those who tend to move lots in their sleep.

What is the Emma like to sleep on?
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. 

Special features?
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.

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. 

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.

Brook + Wilde UltimaReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Brook + Wilde)

2. Brook + Wilde Ultima Mattress

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

Size: Double–super-king
Depth: 30cm
Type: Nano and pocket springs + premium memory foam
Comfort grade: Soft, medium or firm
Reasons to buy
+Mega comfortable +Excellent quality+10 year guarantee+100 night comfort trial+Arrives in a box+Designed & manufactured in the UK
Reasons to avoid
-Really heavy-Not available in a single-Big price tag (but worth it!)

Launched at the end of last year (2020), this mattress from Brook + Wilde is our runner-up for the best mattress and for good reasons too. Like the Emma, it provides impressive support and is of a very decent thickness indeed. It's just much pricier, especially at full price...

Who will the Brook + Wilde Ultima Mattress suit?
All sleepers. 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.

What is the Brook + Wilde Ultima Mattress like to sleep on?
It's really dreamy. The Ultima provided plenty of support no matter where you lay or sat on the bed. And our weight was evenly distributed (especially on our sides) which was a welcomed relief from any aches or pains endured throughout the day.

There's also no complaints in terms of temperature regulation as neither of us woke due to being too hot or cold

Special features?
It's made to order which is amazing in its own right BUT if you and your partner have different comfort preferences, they can make a bespoke mattress which has different comfort feels. To our knowledge no other mattress brand offers this.

There's 10 wonderful layers to the Ultima Mattress which combines breathable memory foam, open-cell structure memory foam, a twin blanket of 2000 nano-springs and a twin layer of 4000 large pocket springs to create a breathable, supportive sleep zone.

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 (even in Covid times) and the after sales team will call you after a few days to see how you're getting on with your new mattress.

Simba Hybrid DuvetReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Simba)

3. Simba Hybrid Pro mattress

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.

Who will the Simba Hybrid Pro mattress suit?
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.

What's the Simba Hybrid Pro mattress like to sleep on?
Lovely. 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.

Special features?
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. 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.

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. 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.

Cotswold Company Dursley mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Cotswold Company)

4. The Cotswold Company Dursley Mattress (Firm)

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.

Who will the Cotswold Company Dursley mattress suit?
Back sleepers because of the firm tension, along with fidgets and sustainability advocates.

What's the Cotswold Company Dursley mattress like to sleep on?
Admititably, 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 wrestles 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.

Special features?
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.

nectar mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Nectar / Amazon)

5. Nectar Mattress

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

A trustworthy memory foam mattress that won't lose its firmness even after a whole year's use.

Who will the Nectar mattress suit?
The Nectar mattress will be loved by anyone looking for a completely risk-free experience and decent memory foam mattress at a fair price.

What's the Nectar Mattress like to sleep on?
Thanks to its memory 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.

Special features?
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 special offers on the Nectar website, 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.

Rem-Fit 400 mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Rem-Fit)

6. Rem-Fit 400 Hybrid Mattress

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.

Who will the Rem-Fit 400 mattress suit? 
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.

What is the Rem-Fit 400 mattress like to sleep on?
Really lovely, after the first few nights. 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 encourage 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).

Special features?
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).

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

(Image credit: OTT)

7. Otty Original Hybrid Mattress

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

Who will the Otty Hybrid mattress suit?
Cool customers on a budget seeking a non-sweaty night’s sleep + space-hogging couples. 

What is the Otty Hybrid mattress like to sleep on?
This is one of the cheapest ‘branded’ bed-in-a-box hybrid mattresses out 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.

Special features?
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. 

Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Silentnight)

8. Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress

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.

Who will the Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress suit?
All sleepers, including children 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.

What is the Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress like to sleep on?
First impressions 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.  

Special features?
Not only are the fibres of this mattress made from recycled plastic bottles but 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. 

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.

Eve Premium Hybrid mattressReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Eve Sleep)

9. Eve Premium Hybrid mattress

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.

Who will the eve Premium Hybrid suit?
It's perfect for those who like/need firm support – great if you have a bad back or achy hips.

What's the eve Premium Hybrid mattress like to sleep on?
This is the deepest mattress 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.

Special features?
It has a top cover which can be zipped off for washing. It's even antibacterial and antimicrobial, which is reassuring. 

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.

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

Ikea morgedal mattress

(Image credit: Ikea)

10. Ikea Morgedal Mattress

Best budget mattress: a basic mattress from a trusted brand

Size: Standard single–king and 140 x 200cm / 160 x 200cm
Depth: 18cm
Type: Foam
Comfort grade: Medium
Reasons to buy
+Cover can be taken off to clean+Relieves pressure on your shoulders and hips+Medium firmness+Has handles so you can easily move the mattress
Reasons to avoid
-No cool features, pretty basic

A brand we all love and trust, Ikea's Morgedal mattress won't disappoint, and for good reasons too.

Who will the IKEA MORGEDAL suit?
The Ikea Morgedal Mattress will suit anyone who suffers from aches and pains around the top of their body, or those who are looking for a basic mattress from a trusted brand. We think this is the best you can buy if you're looking for something easy and affordable.

What's the IKEA MORGEDAL like to sleep on?
As the mattress is delivered rolled up, they say you should ideally leave it for a few days to return to its suitable flatness, but in a whole, it's a comfortable mattress which makes you fairly immune to the movements of your partner.

Special features?
Not a special feature as such, but the cover of the mattress can be taken off and washed in the washing machine.

Foam, foam and more foam.

What do you get for your money?
There's a 90-day trial period and it has a 25 year guarantee.

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. 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...