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Top five small UK hotel chains with the best beds

Sleep easy with our guide to the boutique brands with the comfiest beds

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It doesn’t matter how friendly the receptionist is or how many miniature soaps you find  in the bathroom, it’s the bed that can make or break a hotel stay – however short.

A night away from home should leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. But throw a lumpy mattress or a scratchy duvet into the mix, and you’re likely to wake up tired and irritable the next morning.

When you stay in a hotel, at the very least you expect crisp white sheets, plump pillows and a mattress which (to give it the Goldilocks treatment) is not too soft or too hard but just right.

To save you from sleepless nights, we surveyed the general public for their opinions on eight popular small hotel chains in the UK to find out which had the best beds.

Discover which hotels were rated highest for comfort, based on 423 guest experiences.

  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

Warner leisure table

Warner leisure

*****   69% £103
Given that its USP is relaxation, a good night’s sleep is essential – and Warner Leisure has definitely hit the mark with its more mature clientele. The adult-only chain, located in quaint country and coastal settings, topped the table for comfiest beds. It was one of only two brands to clinch the full five stars for the quality of its mattresses, pillows and duvets. Comfort you can rely upon.
  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

Malmaison table


***** Y 75% £82
Not only was Malmaison the best performing small chain overall, but it also achieved a coveted five-star rating for bed comfort. Most of its properties have been converted from historic buildings – including a prison, a postal sorting office, a church and a brothel. And it seems the same innovation has gone into its beds, with bespoke mattresses topped with luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets and fluffy feather pillows. Zzzz…
  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

q hotels table

Q Hotels*

****   68% £91
With 26 four-star hotels across the UK, Q Hotels didn’t disappoint when it came to bed comfort. In fact, the overall quality of its bedrooms was awarded five stars by guests.  The small chain, which also owns De Vere Hotels, was also one of the cheaper options – with guests telling us they paid £91 a night, on average.
  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

Hotel du vin table

Hotel Du Vin*

****   64% £111
Billing itself as a luxury boutique chain, Hotel Du Vin performed well for bed comfort – with guests awarding it four stars. The brand name derives from co-founder Gerard Basset, a master sommelier, who has influenced the specially selected wine lists at its candlelit French bistros. And with beds this comfy, where better to sleep off the effects of all that rouge.
  Bed comfort WRP Customer score Average price paid

Apex hotels table


**** Y 71% £116
With only 10 properties, Apex Hotels is one of the smaller chains in our survey. However, these stylish city centre hotels – the majority of which are in London and Edinburgh - performed well with an overall customer score of 71%. Guests were only too happy to slide into one of their sleek, modern beds – rating them four out of five for comfort.
Table notes: Bed comfort Including quality of mattress, pillow and duvet. Average price paid Amount paid for a one-night stay, including all room types, by survey respondents. Customer score Combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending to friend or family. Members of the public were surveyed in August 2017, based on 423 experiences. WRP Which? Recommended Provider

Not found the right hotel for you? Browse the complete results of our best and worst hotel chains.

Five things to consider for your next hotel booking

1. Star ratings aren’t created equal

The UK and Europe have a different rating system, while booking sites such as Tripadvisor and Expedia have their own rules altogether. See what you're getting for your money with our guide to hotel star ratings.

2. How to find cheap hotel rooms

Hotels often drop their prices if rooms are still empty at the last minute. If you have free cancellation and this happens within the permitted window (usually up to 48 hours before check-in) you’ll be able to cancel and re-book at the new price without any nasty penalty fees. Get more money-saving tips with ways to save on your hotel booking.

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Premier Inn is a member favourite, but which chain was rated best for value? Read top five best value UK hotel chains to find out.

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5. Beware of letting scams

When using Airbnb, always communicate through the website’s official mailing system to avoid falling victim to fraudsters. For more advice visit how to spot scams on Airbnb and other letting sites.