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Would you sleep over at John Lewis to test a mattress?

High street giant announces plans to let customers test mattresses by spending the night in an on-site apartment

Get your pyjamas pressed and your favourite bedtime story ready. John Lewis is planning on giving shoppers the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience by letting them sleep-test mattresses overnight in a fully furnished in-store apartment.

The apartment, being called The Residence, will be launched at John Lewis branches in London’s Oxford Street, Liverpool and Cambridge later this year. It’s not clear whether customers will have to pay for the opportunity, but the initiative means they will be able to get a full night’s sleep on a mattress of their choice, before committing to buy.

We always recommend trying out a mattress, so this could be a useful way of getting a more realistic idea of whether the mattress is right for you. However, the recently launched bed-in-a-box mattresses, which come with up to a 100-night trial, could be an even better alternative.

We’ve been testing mattresses for more than 45 years, and each one we review is put through 10 years’ worth of simulated use, so you can trust that we only recommend the very best. Take a look at our in-depth mattress reviews to find the right one for the best price.

How to pick a good mattress?

With so many different types of mattress to choose from, it can be tricky knowing which one to go for. Here’s what you need to consider when shopping in store:

  • Try before you buy Lie on the mattress in the shop and simulate your sleep positions for at least 10 minutes. If you share a bed with someone, then shop together. Sit on the edge of the mattress, too. It should feel firm under you. If it’s sagging, that’s a red flag.
  • Make sure your mattress fits your bed base It sounds simple, but if you’re not buying the bed base and mattress at the same time, it might just slip your mind. Not only might a new double mattress not be the same size as your current one, the feel of the mattress will also be affected the bed base underneath it, so keep that in mind.
  • Memory-foam mattresses If you’re in the market for a memory-foam mattress then settle in a position on the bed for a few minutes, before rolling over and trying a different position. If it’s hard to move, you might find that particular mattress could limit your movements.
  • Don’t be led by price You don’t need to spend a fortune to find a comfortable mattress that will serve you well for years. We’ve found Best Buys for less than £250, so shop around and don’t assume cheap won’t keep.

For all our top tips, check out our video and extensive guide on how to buy the best mattress.

Where’s the best place to buy a mattress?

Earlier this year we surveyed more than 3,700 Which? members to find out where they bought their mattresses from and what they thought of the overall service they received.

John Lewis was the most popular destination for mattress shoppers, with 16% of members buying from there. But how did they rate their experience at the soon-to-be sleepover hosts? From the quality of advice given by sales assistants and the range of mattresses available in store, to how simple the delivery process was, our survey asked all the need-to-know questions.

Check out the full table of results on the best mattress retailers so you can be sure you’re buying the best.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses

Mattresses in a box

If the thought of awkwardly lying down to ‘test’ a mattress in the middle of a busy department store is the stuff of nightmares, fear not. Mattresses in a box are an increasingly popular alternative to trawling through bedroom departments.

These mattresses can be bought online and delivered directly to your home in an easy-to-handle vacuum-packed box. Most importantly, they come with a sleep trial period, meaning you can put the mattress through its paces before deciding whether it’s the right one for you.

We know that paying out hundreds of pounds for a mattress you haven’t seen, let alone sat down on, can be daunting. So to help you make the right choice, we’ve put boxed mattresses from brands such as Casper, Eve and Leesa through our tough lab tests and picked out the top five boxed mattresses to buy in 2017.

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