Between the sheets

You spend at least a third of your life sleeping, so isn’t it worth doing it in comfort? To ensure the best night’s sleep possible, choose your bedding with care. 

The perfect sleep starts with the ideal mattress. But, with so many different types of mattress on the market, how do you choose the right one for you?

The most important factor is comfort. David O’Driscoll of Brand Source Home Gallery recommends taking your time to find one that suits your individual needs.

“When testing out each mattress don’t just jump on and jump off. Give yourself at least 10 minutes. Allow your body to relax, take your shoes off. Give the mattress a chance to contour to your shape,” David says.

While budget is always a consideration, particularly in these tough economic times, David believes it is important not to be swayed too much by price.

“Don’t budget too much. You’ll be spending a quarter to a third of your day on this mattress. You need to be just as happy with this purchase 10 years down the road as you are the first night you sleep on it.”

He says that knowing how you sleep is also an essential aspect to consider.

“When choosing a mattress, you must know whether you are a side sleeper or a back or stomach sleeper,” David says. “People say the firmer the mattress, the better it is for your back. That’s not the case if you are a side sleeper. In this case you need a softly-sprung mattress, such as a plush or pillow-top comfort level. You may also choose a memory foam mattress in both cases, of which some also have different comfort levels. The general rule of thumb is to opt for a firm mattress, unless you’re a side sleeper.”

David suggests considering a pillow-top mattress for the best comfort level available.

A pillow-top mattress is a traditional coil-sprung mattress with a two to three inch cushioning layer on top, which is typically made from fibre, foam or down feathers. As well as adding an extra layer of comfort, a pillow-top mattress can also help absorb movement, leading to a more restful night’s sleep.

“People consider this the most decadent of all mattresses,” David says. “But stay away from it if you regularly sleep on your back or stomach.”

Open coil mattresses are the most commonly used springing system. As with most sprung mattresses, the tension, or firmness of the mattress can be altered and an extra row of springs may be added at key points across the mattress to provide additional support.

However, because the springs are joined together and move as one unit, you are more likely to be disturbed by your partner moving around in the night. In addition, the coils in these mattresses wear out more quickly than other mattress types, so you’re likely to end up rolling together eventually.

Pocket sprung mattresses are step up from open coil. The system is pocket sprung, which differ in that the springs are not joined together. Rather, each spring is contained within its own fabric pocket and are nested together to form a honeycomb effect. The main advantage of pocket sprung is that they minimise roll-together if two people are sharing a mattress.

Lastly, memory foam mattresses are particularly good at relieving pressure on painful joints as they are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive material, known as memory foam. While this mattress may feel cool when you first lay down on it, as it reacts to body heat, it moulds to your shape. Memory foam can reduce air circulation, which makes the mattress feel warmer.

However, Serta’s iComfort series, available from Brand Source Home Gallery, has brought out new memory foam mattresses, which tackle this issue by infusing the memory foam with a cooling gel.



Stephen Clarke