More of us buy a mattress online than in store. But are you getting a good night's sleep?

More people than ever are turning to the web for their mattress buying needs, but you should still take time over your purchase. Find out how

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Mattress shopping used to mean spending hours testing out rows of beds in a furniture shop, but research by the National Bed Federation (NBF) has found that more people now buy their mattresses online than in store.

According to the survey, undertaken as part of the NBF's latest consumer research report, 51% of purchases were made online, compared to 47% in store. Drilling down into the details, older people are just as comfortable buying their mattresses online as their younger counterparts, with little difference among the age groups when it came to buying online or in store.

The most popular mattress size is the standard double, although purchases of luxurious king-sized models are on the rise. Pocket springs are still the most popular mattress core, and more people are favouring memory foam above any other comfort layer. The average price paid for a new mattress was £505.70, proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good quality model.

How to shop for a mattress online

Although online shopping makes ordering a mattress quicker and more convenient, the right mattress can make a huge difference to the quality of your sleep, so make sure you're happy with your choice before you click 'buy'.

NBF marketing manager Simon Williams says: 'The best way to ensure a bed is right for you is to physically try it out, but buying online is perfectly fine as long as you do your research and are careful where you shop. This is particularly the case when hunting for a bargain.'

There are certain things you need to look out for when you're shopping around online, according to Simon. 'It's easy to research a mattress you like, and then look around to find a better price, but how do you know the product you're buying is as described? Unfortunately, there are online traders out there who aren't always honest about what they're selling.

'Look for the NBF "Big Tick", as every NBF Approved Member manufacturer has to undergo rigorous independent auditing to comply with our code of practice. This is to certify they have robust procedures in place to ensure they are meeting with regulatory requirements for flammability, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions.'

Before you go ahead with a purchase, think about the following:

  • Will the mattress fit comfortably on your bed?
  • Do you want a traditional mattress, or one with memory foam?
  • Is the mattress suited to how you sleep - whether that's on your stomach, your back or your side?
  • Do you prefer a soft or firm mattress?
  • Do you need a mattress topper, such as memory foam, goose feathers or latex?
  • Is the mattress for a toddler - and if so, have you considered their extra needs?
  • Do you need a mattress protector?
  • Is your mattress suitable for any allergies?