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Mattress Types Explained

There are a number of different options when choosing a mattress and it can be a little confusing when looking to buy a new one. We have broken the different types of mattress into sections below and explained each one individually.

Standard UK Bed Sizes

2'6" x 6'3" (75cm x 190cm) = Small Single (ideal for children)

3' x 6'3" (90cm x 190cm) = Standard Single

4' x 6'3" (120cm x 190cm) = Small Double or Three Quarter (¾)

4'6" x 6'3" (135cm x 190cm) = Standard Double

5' x 6'6" (150cm x 200cm) = King Size

6' x 6'6" (160cm x 200cm) = Super King


Pocket Sprung Mattresses

Pocket sprung mattresses are the best type of spring system as the springs mould and follow the contours of your body shape giving maximum support. Pocket springs are individual springs in there own fabric covers (socks) that work independently thus moulding to your body shape whilst creating no disturbance for your partner.

Multisprung Mattresses

Multisprung mattresses are also known as the 'no roll together' mattress consisting of a small light spring which runs vertically up and down (north to south) the mattress distributing body weight evenly. This ensures that the mattress gives you and your partner the support you need. Having the springs vertically means that you only use your zone so the spring on your partner's side are not affected, thus giving you no roll together.

Bonnell / Traditional

The Bonnell/Traditional system consists of an hour glass shape spring that runs across the mattress (east to west). The springs are available in different heights, number of turns and different gauges (gauge means the amount of metal used to make the spring firmer or softer). This means these springs are very versatile and can be used in mattresses and bases helping to create different comfort levels. 12½ gauge.

Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses fall into two categories - all foam or foam & spring systems combined. The choices for all foam mattresses are visco elastic memory foam, latex and high resilience foam. These are explained below.

Visco Elastic Mattresses (memory foam)

Visco elastic (memory foam) mattresses were developed in conjunction with the NASA space programme where the scientists were trying to help astronauts handle the G-forces involved in the take off period of the flight. This led to the development of open celled breathable foam that took the pressure and stress off the body. Ten years later the product became widely used in hospitals.

Memory foam significantly reduces tossing and turning. Normal fillings in a bed can sometimes cause pressure that slows blood flow, leading to circulatory problems affecting your sleeping pattern. This is known as wakeful sleep and upon waking you can still feel tired. Visco elastic (memory foam) can make a difference.

How does it work? When lying in bed, the foam fits around the body contours, unlike normal foam, which flattens under weight. Memory foam maintains a constant temperature and does not create hot spots.

Visco elastic (memory foam) distributes body weight and pressure over its surface. In addition to providing neck and back support, it responds to your every movement whilst still giving excellent support and helps uninterrupted sleep. Research has shown that due to discomfort caused by pressure points, an average person changes sleeping position over 85 times a night. Because the visco elastic (memory foam) mattress distributes body weight evenly, it relieves pressure and reduces tossing and turning by up to 80%.

Visco elastic has been proven to help those with head and neck pain by correctly supporting the body. Neck muscles remain relaxed helping to prevent stiffness and headaches. Visco elastic (memory foam) can help prevent Fibrositis in the shoulder muscles and swollen calves and feet by prevent circulatory problems from pressure.

Visco elastic (memory foam) is hypo allergenic and repels dust mites making the mattress suitable for people with allergies and respiratory problems. The mattresses require no special care, except rotating occasionally and are suitable for use on any sprung, solid or slatted base that is in good condition. Visco elastic (memory foam) is available in different density.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses provide a pure, natural night sleep support system that responds to your body's shape and weight to give comfort and relief to pressure points for full anatomical support from head to toe. Latex is hypo-allergenic, anti-mircobial and dust mite resistant, therefore a natural choice for allergy sufferers. It also has a breathable construction which means it will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

High Resilient Foam Mattresses

High resilient foam mattresses are a variety of polyurethane foam, produced using a blend of polymer or graft polyols. The cell structure is less uniformed (more random) than conventional foams. The different cell structure helps add support and resilience or bounce and can create a firmer feel than visco elastic (memory foam). It is often used under visco elastic (memory foam) to create a firmer feel. High resilient foam is a good all-round versatile and affordable choice.