Mattresses: Choosing the best type of mattress Find the perfect bed mattress

The most important factor in choosing a bed mattress is comfort - and contrary to popular belief, a mattress doesn’t have to be hard to be good for you. As long as it has a good supporting structure, the amount of padding on top is down to personal preference.

We look at the main types of mattress below, but you won’t always find a simple distinction between them in the shops, as mattresses are increasingly made from a mix of materials.

Once you've decided which type of mattress to buy, Which? members can log in to read our independent mattress reviews and mattress brand reviews. If you're not already a member, discover the benefits of getting full access to all our reviews, with a trial subscription to Which? for just £1.

How to buy a mattress video buying guide

To get started, take a look at our mattress video guide to help you choose which type is best for you.


Please enable JavaScript to access this content.

There are four main mattress types to choose from. Most mattress manufacturers make more than one type - our mattress brands review reveals the verdict of hundreds of consumers on their mattresses to guide you to which brands of mattress give the best satisfaction. The guide also shows which types of mattress each brand sells and how much you can expect to pay.

Pocket sprung mattress

In these mattresses, the springs are sewn into individual fabric pockets. Pocket sprung mattresses are the most popular type of mattress among Which? members. More than half of the members we surveyed about their mattress had bought a pocket sprung one.

Read our mattress reviews to find out which are the best pocket sprung mattresses.

Memory foam mattress/memory mattress

Memory foam mattresses, also known as memory mattresses, are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material (memory foam).

Everything you need to know about this increasingly popular type of mattress can be found in our memory foam mattress guide, or you can read our mattress reviews - which include several memory foam mattresses - to find the right model for you.

For many of us, the right mattress is essential for a good night's sleep

For many of us, the right mattress is essential for a good night's sleep

Continuous coil mattress/open coil

These are one of the cheaper types of bed mattress. Continuous coil mattresses are made from a single looped wire, and open-coil mattresses are made of single springs fixed together by one wire. Because the springs move as one unit, you are more likely to be disturbed by your partner moving around in the night. The coils in these mattresses wear out more quickly than pocket springs, so you’re likely to end up rolling together eventually.

Which? members who own an open coil mattress are less likely to say that their mattress helps them to get a good night's sleep than those who own other types of mattress.

Find out which are the best and worst mattresses for a great night sleep in our full mattress brand review.

Foam mattress or latex mattress

Foam or latex mattresses tend to be durable and breathable, so can be a good option if you’re allergic to house dust mites.

Mattress ‘toppers’

These add a layer of memory foam or extra padding to your existing bed mattress. But they can be as expensive as buying a new mattress in some cases, and won’t provide more support if your old mattress is already sagging.

More on this...