Interiors Inspiring homes since 1825
Bristol 0117 9292288
Cirencester 01285 657751

Buyers Guide How to Buy a Mattress

Overwhelmed by mattress buying? Here's a handy guide to get you through the process.

March 21st, 2019 How to Buy a Mattress image

Everything you need to think about before you purchase a new mattress

Choosing and purchasing the mattress that is right for you might seem overwhelming. It needn’t be and trying them out is all part of the fun. Before you try them out think about:

  • The type of mattress you prefer. Whether you want a firm, medium or soft, also consider your partner’s preference too.
  • Budget – try to buy the best you can afford in your budget.
  • Your sleep patterns and how you prefer to sleep. Do you sleep on your back, side or front? This could affect the bed you choose, so make sure to ask a bed expert in our showroom which bed is best for you.

Different Types of mattresses


Harrison inside a bed. Pocket Sprung Mattress.

Pocket sprung mattresses are the most popular of all the mattresses.

This is because they are super comfy and support your body well. Beds have come a long way with modern, high-tech spring technology. High density (HD) springs are individually pocketed and ‘springs-within-springs’ support your posture and enhance your sleeping experience. The more springs a mattress has, the more supported you are and this is how you get a range of firmness in mattresses.

Memory Foam mattresses mould to the shape of your body when you lie down. 

It holds that shape as you sleep. They respond to heat and movement and as you lie, hug your body. These mattresses also support your pressure points and encourage natural blood flow.

Some suppliers have created hybrid mattresses with memory foam, springs and other material fillings.

These mattresses will give you the ultimate comfort of spongy memory foam but also the support your body needs from the pocket springs.

Octaspring Hybrid mattress.


How soft or how firm your mattress is based partly on your preference but also on your posture and weight. If you weigh less, you will need a firmer mattress to support your body. It is essential to come into the showroom to test them out and see which your body requires.

  • If you get a mattress that is too soft your spine bows and there ends up being too much pressure on your hips and lower back.
  • If the bed is too hard, your spine will bow upwards and there will be too much pressure on your shoulders and knees.
  • When the mattress is just right your spine will be in alignment and the heavier parts of your body will be supported like your knees, hips and shoulders.

Harrison Spinks mattress firmness guide.

Mattress Materials


Most mattress manufacturers use natural materials in their sprung mattresses to pad out the space between you and the springs. The manufactures we supply only use the best for their mattress padding, for example:

  • Cotton and Egyptian cotton – This is cool, comfort soft and absorbent, perfect for keeping dry and warm.
  • Wool – Sheep’s wool is soft and springy. It’s naturally supportive, warm and dry. It is also naturally fire-retardant and anti-bacterial.
  • Silk – Silk is luxurious and strong. It is also a natural moisture absorbent which helps the bed stay cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter.
  • Cashmere – Cashmere is softer and stronger than wool, meaning it is resilient and durable as well as being soft and luxurious.
  • Hemp – Hemp is strong, soft and absorbent. It also helps to regulate the mattress temperature, so it keeps you cool and dry.
  • Mohair – This is softer and smoother than wool and is often used for the top layer of fillings.
  • Flax – These are the fibres that are used to make linen. Flax is strong, lightweight, breathable and sustainable material.
  • Horsehair – This is for sumptuous layering and only used in high-end mattresses. It’s a durable, resilient and supportive fibre.
  • White curled hair – This supportive, resilient fibre extracts humidity and encourages a micro-climate around the body.
  • Rubber – Rubber is used for latex mattresses. They are cheaper than memory foam and the natural elasticity means that it returns to its original shape after use. It is also dust mite resistant and anti-microbial.


Usually, when you think of synthetic you think of sweaty polyester. But modern technology has produced so much more. Memory foam mattresses can wick away moisture and control your temperature just as well as natural materials.

There are many different types of stuffing that are used in mattresses.

Physical needs

Your physical needs will affect your mattress choice completely. We stock several brands that make bespoke beds that cater for all your needs. Think about…

  • Do you prefer to sleep on your front, side or back? Some mattresses can accommodate your preferred sleeping position.
  • Mattresses can support those with mobility issues to make it easier getting in and out of bed. The brand Hypnos has beds made especially for people with back problems.
  • Measure yours and your sleeping partner’s height to work out your preferred mattress size. Also, consider the size of the bed for the room it is going into. If you need a special size or shape, we have partnerships with several brands that make bespoke beds for these precise and specific needs.
  • If your partner has a completely different sleeping style or sleeping needs to you, you can purchase a zip-link mattress which has two separate mattresses zipped together so we can cater for your two individual needs.
  • Allergies – If you suffer from allergies, look for beds with hypoallergenic labels, dust-mite resistant mattresses and anti-microbial, so you can sleep in comfort and ease.
  • The modern mattresses that we supply can easily regulate your temperature. The materials wick away moisture to keep your body cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter. Some even conduct heat away from your body.
  • No turn mattresses – Mattresses need to be flipped especially when you first get them, so they mould to how you sleep but don’t sag. However, we supply mattresses that don’t need flipping or need flipping a lot less for your convenience.
  • Zonal – Zonal mattresses have pocket springs coiled at different pressures to support specific areas of the body with the support they particularly need. Most just have zonal edges, where the edges are firmer, so you don’t roll off. Other mattresses can go up to five different zones that support your hips and shoulders where necessary.


Set yourself a budget before you go out shopping and consider the cost of mattresses and bed frames as they are usually sold separately. Check out deals on offer as you may find discounts if bought together.

Come and test

Look at different types of bed brands. Although the best way to choose a mattress is to test them out and figure out what feels best for your body. Don’t be afraid to test out different types of mattresses in the showroom and spend at least 10 minutes on it. This is the most important step, you cannot know if you like a mattress if you do not test it.

Product Inspiration

Related Buyer Guides

blog feed image

When Should I Buy a New Mattress?

March 21st, 2019
blog feed image

How to Buy Bedding

March 21st, 2019
blog feed image

Duvets, Pillows & Mattress Protectors Buyers Guide

March 21st, 2019

Gardiner and Sons Co Ltd registered address Gardiner Haskins, 1 Straight Street, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0FQ, registered in England.
Company registration number: 00039402 VAT no. GB302974367

Our site uses cookies to give you the best experience. Find out how to manage your cookies or click accept and continue using our site.