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Best mattresses 2022: Which? Best Buys and expert buying advice

Choose the best mattress for you with our top recommendations and buying tips
Lisa Galliers

Use our expert mattress buying advice and trusted Best Buy recommendations to choose the best mattress for your home. 

Whether you want a pocket-sprung or memory foam mattress, our rigorous, independent lab tests have found big differences between the worst and best mattresses of each type. Make the wrong choice and you risk being lumbered with a needlessly expensive mattress that's uncomfortable and unsupportive, or one that starts out well, but sags before the eight to 10 years a mattress should last. 

 Although mattresses can be expensive, some of our Best Buys start at less than £150 – so a good night's sleep might cost less than you expect. Read on to find out which mattresses were a dream in our testing, and which ones turned out to be a nightmare you'd want to avoid. 

To see all the mattresses we've tested go to our mattress reviews.

Best mattresses for 2022

Here's our pick of the top Best Buy mattresses, including the cheapest mattress we've seen that sailed through our tough testing.

Join Which? to get access to all our Best Buys and mattress reviews. We've tested hundreds of mattresses from brands including Emma, Eve and Silentnight, but only the very best make a Best Buy

Best mattress overall

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
    • Durability
    • Stability

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Compare all our best mattresses or take a look out our top pick recommendations, below.

Best cheap mattress

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
    • Durability
    • Stability

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See our best cheap mattress recommendations.

Best memory foam mattress

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
    • Durability
    • Stability

    Test score

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See our best memory foam mattress recommendations.

Best pocket-sprung mattress

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
    • Durability
    • Stability

    Test score

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See our best pocket-sprung mattress recommendations.

Best boxed mattress

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
    • Durability
    • Stability

    Test score

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See our best boxed mattress recommendations.

Video: how to buy the best mattress

Whether you need to replace an old mattress, or need a brand-new one, watch our video to help you pick the perfect mattress for your sleeping position, body shape and bedroom.

Mattress types: pocket-sprung, memory foam or boxed?

There are four main mattress types to choose from: pocket-sprung, latex, coil and memory foam. Mattresses can be bought in store, or delivered as a bed-in-a-box or rolled up. Mattresses of all types have impressed in our tough tests, so the type you choose really comes down to personal preference and how much you want to spend.

Most mattress manufacturers make more than one type, and the manufacturing process and cost will be different for each.

Pocket-sprung mattresses

The insides of a pocket-sprung mattress

If you want a traditional mattress with a natural filling, such as wool, you'll want pocket-sprung.

  • Pros Each spring is enclosed in its own fabric 'pocket' and reacts to pressure from your body independently.
  • Cons Can be expensive, some sag significantly over time, don't mould to your shape in the same way as memory foam, generally not as warm as memory foam mattresses.

Mattresses with spring systems are usually padded with synthetic polymers, but some contain natural fibres such as horsehair or wool. These layers can affect firmness and breathability, both of which we test in every mattress. But more layers aren’t always better – the support from the springs is more important.

With springs, it's quality rather than quantity that's important. We've tested mattresses with densities ranging from 440 to 1,085 springs, and found wide variation in the level of support offered.

Our expert tests have uncovered great pocket sprung mattresses at a range of prices. Go to our best pocket-sprung mattresses guide to see which ones we recommend.

Memory foam mattresses

The insides of a memory-foam 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 also tends to make the mattress feel warmer.

  • Pros Moulds to your body shape, more durable.
  • Cons Can be expensive, can restrict movement (memory effect), can feel warmer to lie on, can increase body temperature.

You'll find everything you need to know about this increasingly popular type of mattress in our guide to the best memory foam mattresses.

Continuous coil and open coil spring mattresses 

The insides of an open-coil 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.

  • Pros Cheaper than other types of bed mattress.
  • Cons If you share a bed, you're more likely to be disturbed because the springs move as one unit, the coils wear out more quickly than pocket springs.

When we surveyed Which? members to find out more about mattresses, those who own an open coil mattress are less likely to say it helps them to get a good night's sleep than those who own other types. 

You can find out more with our open coil mattress reviews.

Latex mattresses 

Latex is a less common type of mattress that has a core made up of layers of springy latex.

  • Pros Manufacturers claim that they're more resilient and better able to keep their shape.
  • Cons Tend to be expensive, some people are allergic to latex.

Dunlopillo specialises in latex mattresses, although the Dunlopillo mattresses we've reviewed don't come cheap.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses

These are mattresses that you buy online and they come vacuum-packed into a box delivered direct to your door. 

By cutting out the retailer and selling direct from manufacturer to consumer, many brands claim you’re getting a higher-quality mattress for less. 

Most online-only mattresses come with a sleep trial. Some start at 40 nights, some a year. During this time, you can try the mattress at home and send it back if you don’t like it. In most cases, the manufacturer will collect the unwanted mattress from your home free of charge before recycling it or donating it to charity. 

Bed-in-a-box mattresses can be available in all types – foam, or memory foam, but also hybrid mattresses (combining foam and springs).

See our guide to the best bed-in-a-box mattress.

Rolled-up mattresses

These mattresses come rolled-up and vacuum-packed in a bag, so you can take them home with you. Alternatively, they can be delivered to your home and easily taken to the room you need without having to try to drag a large mattress up your stairs or around tight corners.

However, like bed-in-a-box mattresses, they sometimes need to be aired or left for a fair few hours to regain shape. 

Best mattress features to look for

One-sided mattress

As the name suggests, only one side of a one-sided mattress is designed to be slept on. Mattresses can be extremely heavy – the heaviest we've seen weighs more than 50kg – so you might be relieved that you don't need to flip it. 

You'll probably still need to rotate it from head to toe, though, so it's a good idea to check the ease-of-use rating in our mattress reviews. 

Natural fillings

Many pocket-sprung mattresses contain layers of synthetic fillings, such as foam. If you're keen to avoid these, look out for mattresses that are specifically claimed to be made using only natural materials. 

Look carefully at the claims, though, some might only have a token layer of natural materials. 

Mattress firmness

Contrary to popular belief, our tests have shown that a mattress doesn’t have to be hard to be good for you. Firmness comes down to personal preference, as long as it does a good job of supporting your body.

Firmness is subjective, and manufacturers describe the firmness of their mattresses in a range of ways. That's why we don't use terms such as soft and firm in our reviews. Instead, we test mattress firmness on a scale of one to 10, where one is the firmest and 10 the softest, so you can easily compare the firmness of different mattresses.

Uncomfortable mattress

We also measure how supportive each mattress is for a range of different body sizes and sleeping positions, so whether you prefer to sleep on your front, side or back, we've got you covered.

Medical-sounding terms, such as ‘orthopedic’ and ‘posturepedic’, don't necessarily mean a mattress is better for you either. There are no restrictions on the term 'orthopedic mattress', so any mattress can use that description. The body support rating we give in our mattress reviews shows how well each mattress keeps your spine in its natural position.

How much does a good mattress cost?

A new mattress can cost anywhere between £100 and several thousand. How much you pay will depend on what type of mattress you want. A basic open coil mattress can start at less than £100, while a handmade, hand-stitched pocket-sprung mattress crafted from natural materials such as horse hair, coconut fibre or wool can cost well over £1,000. Whatever your budget, our expert tests have uncovered a selection of Best Buys for you, with some costing less than £300.

Factors such as brand, size and the types of material used can all have a significant impact on cost. But our mattress tests have found that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a mattress that will support your spine and that will last for years. 

Limited mattress budget? See our list of the best cheap mattresses and our pick of this month's best deals.

Mattress size guide

More than three in four Which? members sleep on either a king-size or a double mattress, and that’s been the case for several years. 

No matter how much you like the idea of stretching out on a huge new emperor mattress, you need to consider how the bed will look in your bedroom. A huge bed in a small bedroom can look out of place, as can a small bed in a huge room.

A ratio of around 1:3 between bed and bedroom is sometimes said to look best, but depending on the size of your bedroom that can be difficult in practice. Following this advice would mean, for instance, that for a king-size bed (1.5 x 2 metres) you'd need a 6 x 8-metre bedroom. At the very least, you should aim for a space of 30 inches between the sides and bottom of the bed, and the nearest wall or piece of furniture.

UK mattress sizes

Double bed in a bedroom

Adult mattresses come in 10 different sizes. This should make it easier to buy a mattress that's just right for you, but it also increases the risk of buying a mattress only to find it doesn’t quite fit your bed frame or bed sheets.

If you buy the mattress and base separately or are going to keep your old base, measure carefully to make sure they’re a good fit.

The table below shows the full range and dimensions of adult mattresses available to buy in the UK:

NameSize (metric)Size (Imperial)
Small single mattress75cm x 190cm2ft 6in x 6ft 3in
Single mattress90cm x 190cm3ft x 6ft 3in
Euro single mattress90cm x 200cm3ft x 6ft 6in
Small double mattress120cm x 190cm4ft x 6ft 3in
Double mattress135cm x 190cm4ft 6in x 6ft 3in
Euro double mattress140cm x 200cm4ft 9in x 6ft 6in
King-size mattress150cm x 200cm5ft x 6ft 6in

Single mattress sizes

Single bed sizes

Small single mattresses

Also known as a narrow single mattress, this is the smallest adult bed you can buy. It measures 75cm x 190cm (approximately 2ft 6in x 6ft 3in). So while it’s the same length as a standard single – and therefore long enough for most adults – it’s 15cm narrower.

Small single mattresses are often used for children, but they’re also a good option for a box room or study that you want to use as a small guest bedroom.

Standard single mattresses

Unless you’re a lot taller or broader than average, the single mattress is the right size for a single adult.

It’s 90cm x 190cm (approximately 3ft x 6ft 3in), so there should be enough space to roll into a different sleeping position during the night.

Euro single mattresses

If you’re looking for a single mattress but find that your feet tend to dangle over the edge of the bed, you might want to consider a European single mattress.

It’s 90cm  x 200cm (approximately 3ft x 6ft 6in), making it 10cm longer than a standard single.

Double mattress sizes

Double mattress sizes

Small double mattress (queen-size)

A queen-size mattress is the same length as a standard double, but it’s 15cm narrower, hence why it’s also known as a small double mattress. It measures 120cm x 190cm (approximately 4ft x 6ft 3in). Two adults will find a small double mattress pretty snug, but it could be just the thing for a small bedroom or if you sleep alone but like to stretch out.

Standard double mattress

Double mattresses measure 135cm x 190cm (approximately 4ft 6in x 6ft 3in), are the second-most popular mattress size. They tend to look well proportioned in most bedrooms, and this is the mattress size we use to test.

They’re generally long and wide enough to accommodate two average-sized adults, but there might not be much wiggle room. Ideally, you and your partner should both be able to lie on your back with your hands behind your head without your elbows touching each other or the edge of the bed.

Euro double mattress

If a double mattress feels a tad too cosy, but your bedroom isn’t quite big enough for a king, you could consider a European double mattress. They measure 140cm x 200cm (approximately 4ft 9in x 6ft 6in).

But they’re less widely available than standard doubles, so you might need to shop around. International manufacturers, such as Ikea, tend to stock them, but they’re less common at high street retailers.

King-size mattresses

King bed sizes

King-size mattress

Nearly half of Which? members own a king-size mattress, making it the most popular size. This size is widely available and, while a king size can be a fair bit more expensive than a double, it will provide a lot more sleeping space. A king-size mattress is 150 x 200cm (approximately 5ft 3in x 6ft 6in).

Euro king-size mattress

As with the European versions of the single and doubles, the Euro king-size mattress is a fraction bigger than a standard king size. It’s 160cm x 200cm (approximately 6ft x 6ft 6in).

The length is the same, but it’s 10cm wider, giving you a touch more space to roll over and switch sleeping positions during the night.

Super-king mattress

A super-king mattress is the size of two standard single mattresses side by side. In fact, some super-king mattresses are literally just that, with a growing number of couples opting for two different singles that zip together to form a super king. This means each person can get the firmness that suits them.

A super-king mattress measures 180cm x 200cm (approximately 6ft x 6ft 6in).

Bed in proportion

Emperor mattress size

An emperor mattress is the biggest you can get and is basically an enormous square. Measuring 200 x 200cm (approximately 6ft 6in x 6ft 6in), it’s easily big enough for two larger-than-average adults.

Not many brands make mattresses this big, so you might need to shop around and be prepared to spend significantly more.

Ikea mattress sizes

Confused by Ikea mattress sizes? You’re not alone, as Ikea sells both double mattresses and Euro double mattresses.

If you bought a bed from Ikea some time ago, you might have a European double, so before you buy a new mattress, it’s worth checking what size Ikea bed you have. The mattresses are sometimes listed separately on the Ikea website, so try searching by mattress name and then check you’ve chosen the correct size mattress for your bed.

On some mattress pages on the Ikea website, there’s a ‘choose size’ box, so make sure to select the correct size here before buying. All the Ikea mattresses we test are standard UK double mattress size (135cm x 190cm), but the thickness can vary.

See our Ikea mattress reviews.

Buying a mattress online

Buying a mattress online might be cheaper and more convenient, but unless you’re buying a bed-in-a-box mattress, it’s always best to try before you buy if you possibly can. A good shop shouldn't mind you doing this.

When trying out a mattress in store, wear comfortable clothing and remove your outdoor gear. Lie on a mattress for at least 10 minutes, in positions you normally sleep in.

If you can't get to the shops, however, here are our top tips for buying online:

  • Research your mattress before you buy When you buy online, you’re protected by consumer law. But do your research first: read our reviews and opt for a model that best fits your sleeping style.
  • Use trial night offers on mattresses Find out whether your chosen mattress has a trial period, how long this lasts and how you return it once the trial is up. Look for any hidden costs involved, and whether you have to return the mattress back in the original packaging or not.
  • Check the guarantee/warranty on your mattress Make sure you know what your rights are if there's a problem with your mattress. Most guarantees for mattresses won't cover gradual wear and tear, which leads to loss of support. You should also check whether there’s anything in particular, such as removing labels or using a base other than a recommended one, that would invalidate the guarantee. 
  • Know your rights when buying a mattress If you change your mind, you’re entitled to a 14-day cooling-off period from the date you receive goods. This means you can cancel your order at any time from the moment you place your order up to 14 days from the date it arrives, and the seller is obliged to refund you. Find out your rights to returns and refunds

How we test mattresses

No one else tests mattresses like us. And we’re totally independent, so you can have complete confidence in our results.

If you tend to sleep on your back, a good mattress will keep your spine in the same shape as when you’re standing. So, we measure the shape of a person's body at 36 different points when standing, and then again when lying on their back on the mattresses, to see how well they compare.

If you’re a side-sleeper, your spine should be parallel to the mattress, so we use a laser to measure the angle of a person's spine relative to the bed. 

A front-sleeper? We measure the spine a third time to assess how supportive each mattress is for people who prefer to lie on their front.

After simulating several years of use by rolling a heavy barrel over the mattress thousands of times, we then repeat the body-support tests to see whether the mattress becomes less supportive over time.

To find out more about the lengths we go to testing mattresses, see how we test mattresses.