Tips on Buying a New Bed

Tips on Buying a New Bed

Feeling tired and sluggish all the time? Tiredness is a common problem, especially with the hectic and stressful lives many of us lead, but surprisingly few of us have a decent mattress which could help us get a proper night’s sleep. The foundation of good sleep is a comfortable bed with the right mattress – get it right and you think more sharply, feel fitter and are ultimately happier.

Ah, but do I really need a new mattress?

Bad Mattress

They may seem pretty robust, but beds don’t last forever. How it looks is not really the point; is it giving you the support and comfort you need for a good night’s sleep?

The lifespan of a mattress can be affected by a number of factors such as the quality, and also how well you have looked after it (many mattresses need regular turning and vacuuming to keep them in tip top condition). Don’t forget we are all different, and this will also affect how long your mattress will last – do you spend a fair amount of time in bed reading or watching TV? Are there two of you? As you age, and also if you gain or lose weight, your needs will change.

As a general rule you should replace your mattress every seven or eight years, and if you are waking up with stiffness and/or aches and pains you certainly need to think about it!

Sleeping woman image


Ok, I think I do need a new bed – how easy is it?

Buying a new bed is relatively easy once you have the right information. There is no such thing as the perfect type of bed for a particular condition or situation (such as one ideal bed for a back pain sufferer), but a good retailer with a wide selection and well-trained staff can guide you in the right direction. 

What size?

Consider the size of bed; if there are two of you, you should be able to lie side by side, with your arms behind your head and your elbows out, without touching. Your bed should also be longer than the tallest partner, and anyone over 6 foot should think about a bed longer than standard (many manufacturers will make special sizes).
The bed’s height is also a factor – some of the more contemporary styles are quite low, while those with storage drawers may be much higher. Make sure you don’t need a ladder just to get into bed!
As well as thinking about mattress size, be aware of the type of bed base. The two are designed to work together and a change of base can affect the feel and performance of a mattress. It is often a false economy to change only the mattress and keep your original base, especially with divan sets.  The old base could reduce the useful life of the new mattress as well as the support and comfort it can offer. Manufacturers’ warranties or guarantees could also be invalidated.

Right, I’m in the shop, what next?

When buying a mattress you really have to lie on it to properly try it out. Not just a quick 30 second lie either; we spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it is important not to rush this. Wear comfortable clothes, and remove your coat and shoes before you lie on the bed. Lie there for at least 10 minutes and lie on your side as well as your back. If you tend to always lie a certain way it is a good idea to adopt this position. If there are two of you, you both need to do this to make sure you are both happy.

Sprung or foam?

Spring or foam?

In this country in particular we are more used to spring interior mattresses, and these are probably the most commonly purchased mattresses, but recent years have seen an increase in sales of foam mattresses which can have remarkable benefits, especially for those with back problems or stiffness.
If you are nervous about trying a foam mattress it is worth noting that spring interior mattresses were developed in the 19th century using the best technology at the time, and they do the job very well. However, it could be argued that the best technology available today is quite different, and foam in its many different forms can provide superior support and comfort. Some of the manufacturers of this type of mattress are so confident about their product they offer free trial periods, so it is worth asking about this.

Spring interior mattresses:
Spring Mattress Brands
The springs inside a spring interior mattress provide the core support. Changing the spring construction, i.e. the thickness (gauge) of the wire, the number of coils, the height and quantity of each spring alters the tension, feel and weight distribution properties of the mattress.
Spring interior mattresses can be ‘zoned’, so in a double mattress you can have different tensions on each side of the mattress, or around the edge of the mattress if extra rigidity is important.

A wide variety of mattress fillings are used to create different properties and comfort options. Fillings are chosen for their resilience, durability, flexibility and ability to absorb body moisture. In cheaper mattresses fillings usually come in compact pads; in better quality models layers of loose fillings in greater volumes are used.
Most traditional mattresses need regular turning, but there are now a number of NO-TURN mattresses. These are worth thinking about with some of the more expensive mattresses; they are full of wonderful fillings, and so the larger sizes can be very heavy!

The main spring interior brands on display in TR Hayes are Harrison, Hypnos and Vispring but there are many others in all price ranges.

Foam mattresses:
There are now a number of brands available, offering different types of foam. Visco elastic/memory foam is one of the main types and this will respond to your individual shape and pressure, it has good pressure relieving properties, and is available in a variety of qualities and densities.
A key concern with memory foam mattresses is feeling hot, but most now have cooling properties so this should not really be an issue with a good quality foam mattress. Not all foam mattresses feel the same and brands differ greatly, so don’t dismiss a foam mattress if you have only tried one.
Foam mattresses tend not to need turning, so this can be worth considering as well.

The main foam brands on display in TR Hayes are Tempur and Mammoth.

If you have invested in a good quality mattress it is worth looking after it

Using a mattress protector is recommended, and if you have a bedframe rather than a divan base, an Under Mattress (Harrison make a good one) can further prolong the life of your mattress. The softness of your mattress can be tweaked by using a mattress topper. This will add a layer of softness to enhance the comfort of your mattress.

Mattress toppers and protectors


Hopefully this has helped arm you with enough basic information to come and investigate the beds on display at TR Hayes. There are a large number to try and an experienced sales team on hand to explain in more detail all the differences and options available.
Although it is always recommended that you try out beds and mattresses in person, we have a wide selection online to browse through, click here to go to our BEDS section.
Or, please contact us if you would like more information. 
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