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Best mattresses 2023: 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 we expect a mattress to last. 

Although mattresses can be expensive, some of our Best Buys start at less than £200 – 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 we uncovered as a nightmare you'd want to avoid. 

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

Best mattresses for 2023

Here's our pick of the top Best Buy mattresses, including the cheapest mattresses 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, Ikea and Silentnight, but only the very best are Best Buys

Best mattress overall

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
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    • Stability
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Use our mattresses reviews to find the right Best Buy for you.

Best cheap mattress

    • best buy
    • great value
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See our best cheap mattress recommendations.

Best memory foam mattress

See our best memory foam mattress recommendations.

Best pocket sprung mattress

    • best buy
    • great value
    • Body support overall
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    • Stability
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See our best pocket sprung mattress recommendations.

Best boxed mattress

    • best buy
    • Body support overall
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See our best boxed mattress recommendations.

Video: how to buy the best mattress

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: memory foam/foam, pocket sprung, open coil springs, and latex. You'll also find hybrid mattresses made from a combination of foam and springs.

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

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.

Pocket sprung mattresses

The insides of a pocket-sprung mattress

If you want a traditional mattress with a natural filling, such as wool, go for pocket sprung.

  • Pros Each spring is enclosed in its own fabric 'pocket' and reacts to pressure from your body independently, can be cooler to sleep on
  • Cons Can be expensive, some sag significantly over time, don't mould to your shape in the same way as memory foam can, 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 matters. 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, durable, can be pressure relieving
  • 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

These mattress are fairly basic. Continuous coil mattresses are usually made from a single, looped wire, while 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 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 and go up to as long as 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

rolled mattress

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. This will tell you if a mattress is difficult to move. 

Natural mattresses

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 such as wool, coconut coir or cotton. 

Look carefully at the claims, though, and our reviews, as 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 rely on 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.

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. There are no restrictions on the term 'orthopedic mattress', so any mattress manufacturer can use that description. The body support rating we give in our reviews shows how well each mattress keeps your spine in its natural position.

How much does a good mattress cost?

Uncomfortable mattress

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 £200.

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 mattress deals.

Mattress size guide

Double bed in a bedroom

More than three quarters of mattress-owning 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

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 mattress sizes

Small single mattresses

  • Small single mattresses measure 75cm x 190cm (approximately 2ft 6in x 6ft 3in).
  • Also known as a narrow single mattress, this is the smallest adult bed you can buy. 
  • 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

  • Standard single mattresses measure 90cm x 190cm (approximately 3ft x 6ft 3in)
  • Unless you’re a lot taller or broader than average, this is the right size for a single adult.
  • This should be enough space for the average adult to roll into a different sleeping position during the night.

Euro single mattresses

  • European single mattresses measure 90cm  x 200cm (approximately 3ft x 6ft 6in), making them 10cm longer than a standard single.
  • 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.

Double mattress sizes

Double mattress sizes

Small double mattress (queen-size)

  • Small double or queen-size mattresses measure 120cm x 190cm (approximately 4ft x 6ft 3in)
  • This is the same length as a standard double but 15cm narrower, which is why it’s also known as a small double mattress.
  • 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), and are the second most popular mattress size.
  • They tend to look well proportioned in most bedrooms, and this is the mattress size we use in our tests.
  • 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

  • European double mattresses measure 140cm x 200cm (approximately 4ft 9in x 6ft 6in).
  • You might consider this size mattress if a standard double feels a tad too cosy, but your bedroom isn’t quite big enough for a king.
  • 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-size mattress sizes

King-size mattress

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

Euro king-size mattress

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

  • Super-king mattresses measure 180cm x 200cm (approximately 6ft x 6ft 6in).
  • 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.

Emperor-size mattresses

  • Emperor-size mattresses measuring 200cm x 200cm (approximately 6ft 6in x 6ft 6in).
  • An emperor mattress is the biggest you can get, easily big enough for two larger-than-average adults and basically an enormous square.
  • 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 you 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.

Where to buy a mattress

Bed in proportion

Where you choose to buy your mattress will depend on whether you want to try before you buy. We've listed some options below, but before you head to the shops (or online) check out the best mattress shops in our latest customer survey.

If you'd like to try a selection of mattresses in store before you buy:

  • Bensons for Beds stocks mattresses from a small single to a super-king, and in a variety of styles from pocket sprung to orthopedic. Stores sell mattresses from well-known brands and Bensons for Beds' own range, with double mattresses starting at less than £160. 
  • Dreams sells a huge selection of mattresses in all sizes, including its own range and brands such as Tempur and Silentnight. Double mattresses start at less than £200.
  • Ikea only stocks its own branded mattresses on its website and in stores. You can expect to find the standard sizes as well as European sizes in some ranges. Read more about these above.  
  • John Lewis stocks its own John Lewis-branded mattresses, plus popular brands such as Emma and Simba. John Lewis's Anyday double mattresses are available for less than £200. 
  • Tempur has a number of stores around the country with a range of mattresses available. Tempur-branded mattresses are also available in bed and department stores. Double mattresses start at more than £1,000.

If you're happy to try out your choice of mattress at home:

  • Argos stocks a wide range of mattresses on its website including brands such as Tempur and Simba, plus its own collection. Double mattresses start at £110. Be aware that Argos will only take returns if the mattress is part of the Comfort Night guarantee scheme.
  • Emma mattresses are available on the company's website, where sizes run from single to super-king, plus European sizes. You will receive a 200-night trial to ensure your new Emma mattress is right for you. 
  • Simba has a dedicated website where it showcases its range of mattresses. Simba's collection is available in single to super-king, plus it also stocks European sizes. 
  • MattressOnline stocks an extensive range of mattresses brands, including Emma and Tempur. Before you buy, check that your mattress is returnable as part of a sleep trial, as not all of them are automatically included. 

To find out more about mattress returns, see how to return a mattress.

Buying a mattress online

Buying a mattress online might be cheaper and more convenient, but unless you’re buying a bed-in-a-box or a rolled up 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 and trying turning over.

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 can lead 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 more about your rights to returns and refunds

Read our guide to the best mattress shops.

How we test mattresses

No one else tests mattresses like we do. 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