Frequently Asked Questions

  • A1: For a long time, it was believed that a hard bed was good for a bad back. Nowadays it’s generally accepted that this is not necessarily the case – and could in fact cause more damage. A supportive and comfortable mattress is the best option – it doesn’t matter what type of construction it is. Any reference to beds being orthopaedic – or similar medical sounding terms – does not automatically mean that the bed has been professionally assessed or recommended – it is a term loosely used by manufacturers to refer to extra firm models in their range.

  • A2: Almost all beds will, in time, attract house dust mites, whose droppings are highly allergenic. Regular cleaning, airing and the use of protective covers will reduce the effect. Some manufacturers are now using anti-dust mite treated fabrics for tickings. Always check details of construction and materials if you suffer from any other allergies. Manufacturers will be able to supply you with details.

  • A3: Mattresses don’t create the heat and people can get hot on beds of all constructions – and remember that age, health and medications can all affect your body’s heat control mechanisms.

    But foam is a good insulator and the higher the density (i.e. the better the quality) the greater the potential heat retention. Manufacturers are coming up with various novel solutions for climate control – from the cellular construction or the composition of the foam itself to aid breathability; to specially constructed ventilation layers; special springs to enhance air circulation; to warm sides and cool sides; to covers with the sort of technology you see in high performance clothing: fast drying and capable of allowing moisture to evaporate quickly.

  • A4: Chances are they are not as similar as they seem at first glance. They might both claim to be predominantly of the same construction – but further investigation will probably reveal different material qualities; densities; amounts; etc . If you want to comparative shop you will need quite a lot of detail to make sure you are comparing like for like.

  • A5: Prices for beds range from well under £100 to several thousands. As a general rule you get what you pay for and our advice is to spend as much as you can reasonably afford. After all, what other household item gets used every day for between six and eight hours at a time.

    Remember that every £100 you spend on a new bed, actually presents an investment of just 2.7p a night (assuming a lifespan of seven years). A bargain bed is no bargain if you don’t sleep well in it.

  • A6: Many retailers will offer to dispose of your old bed and take it away when they deliver your new one. More and more are sending these old mattresses off to specialist mattress recyclers which is good news but it’s worth digging a bit deeper to find out just how that recycling works. Some of it may just be crushed up and going back into landfill. Some old mattresses or old components and fillings are making their way back into production without proper processing. So look for NBF Approved Members to ensure that the product you’re buying is safe, clean and honest.

  • A7: It’s a matter of personal preference. With tufted mattresses, better quality tufts are well protected by wool or felt pompoms but some more sensitive people may be more aware of them than others. A good mattress protector can help. Otherwise, choose a quilted style instead.

  • A8: Not only are they likely to feel different – rigid slats will give a bed a firmer feel – but they will affect the durability of the mattress – rigid slats have no give and work against the mattress, leaving it to do all the work; sprung slats work with the mattress and will prolong its life and improve comfort levels.

  • A9: There could be several reasons for this. You may not have bought the same size mattress as base. There are so many different sizes on the market these days, it is important to check actual dimensions, in the same scale (metric or imperial) to be sure of a size match. Don’t go by names alone – one shop’s king size may not be exactly the same as another’s!

    If you buy a mattress to fit inside a bedstead, it is important that you establish the internal dimensions of the bedstead so that your mattress isn’t so tight that you can’t fit your bedsheets. Similarly, you don’t want too large a gap that results in your mattress sliding around.

    Another reason your mattress may not be the same size as the divan base might be because of the construction. In transit or storage, mattress springs can sometimes nestle into each other temporarily reducing with the length or width. During use, the mattress should recover its original dimension. The effect is likely to be more pronounced if the spring unit does not have a perimeter frame or the mattress is not fully hand side stitched – ideally a mattress should have one or the other feature to ensure it keeps its shape.