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

Memory foam, pocket sprung, latex, open coil, continuous coil...not sure what the best type of mattress is for you? We look at the pros and cons of the main types of mattress below.

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.


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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 Illustration

Pocket sprung mattress

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.

Pocket sprung mattresses don't mould to your shape in the same way that memory foam mattresses do, but that doesn't necessarily mean they offer less support. They also don't tend to be as warm as memory foam mattresses.

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

Memory foam mattress illustration

Memory foam mattress

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). 

This makes the shape of the mattress change to fit the shape of your body, and it also tends to make the mattress feel warmer.

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.

Continuous coil mattress illustration

Continuous coil mattress

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's sleep in our full mattress brand review.

Latex mattress

A less common type of mattress, they feature a core made up of layers of springy latex, which manufacturers claim makes them more resilient and able to better keep their shape. Dunlopillo specialises in latex mattresses.

Mattress toppers

These add a layer of extra padding to your existing bed mattress, and can be made of memory foam or other materials. 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.

Discover which are the best mattress topper brands according to our survey of over 1,000 mattress topper owners.

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