How to Choose a Single Mattress


The most important factor in choosing a single mattress, or any mattress for that matter, is comfort. If a mattress is too hard, your shoulders and hips cannot sink into it, so you end up sleeping with your spine bent and stressed. If a mattress is overly soft, your shoulders and hips sink into it too far, so you end up sleeping in a hammock position, which again creates stress on your joints, muscles and spine.

Whether you choose an open coil, continuous coil, pocket sprung or foam mattress, it must provide sufficient support for your joints and spine. The amount of padding, be it manmade polymers or natural fibres such as horsehair or wool, is largely a matter of personal preference.

Open coil and continuous coil mattresses tend to be among the cheaper types of mattress. The principal difference between them is that open coil mattresses consist of single springs, whereas continuous coil mattresses consist of springs made from a single looped wire.

If you’re looking for a double mattress, the springs in a continuous coil mattress move as a single unit and wear out more quickly than other types of mattress. As a result, couples sharing a bed are more likely to disturb each other during the night and end up rolling together.

Pocket sprung mattresses, on the other hand, consist of single springs, each enclosed in its own pocket of fabric. Each spring supports weight individually, so pocket sprung mattresses are a better choice for couples sharing a bed.

Some mattress suppliers will sell a double mattress with different levels of firmness on either side to accommodate couples of different sizes. Mattress specifications often include the number, or density, of springs in the mattress. A mattress typically consists of between 450 and 1,100 springs, but it’s the quality of construction of the springs that is important rather than the absolute number.

The most sophisticated and most expensive types of mattress tend to be foam or latex models. So-called memory foam mattresses, for example, react to your body temperature by moulding themselves to the shape of your body.

This reduces the stress on your spine and joints and reduces the flow of air around your body, making the mattress feel warmer. The uniform support provided by memory foam should be a significant contributor to a decent night’s sleep.