Mattress Buying Guide

How long should a mattress last before replacing it?

The biggest factors that will determine your mattress's lifespan are what type of mattress you have and the quality of the mattress materials. Experts suggest that you should replace your mattress every 7-10 years, but your mattress may not last that long. Here are some signs to look for that can suggest that it’s time to look for a new mattress.

  • Back pain-if you’re waking up with back pain two or three times a week, it could be a sign that your mattress is no longer supporting your body properly. While this could be a result of your body changing, it could also be a sign that your mattress needs to be replaced.
  • Stains or tears-the next time you change your linens, take a close look at your mattress. Are there tears in the fabric, stains, or unpleasant odors? All of these could mean you need to change your mattress.
  • Allergies-if your allergies have started acting up every time you wake up, it could mean that your mattress has become the home of allergens like dust mites that can interfere with your getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Motion transfer- if you can feel your partner move in the night, it may mean that your mattress’s ability to prevent motion transfer has decreased and you need a new one. Of course, even when brand new, mattresses vary in their ability to prevent motion transfer. A softer mattress, like memory foam, tends to have less motion transfer than an pocketspring mattress.
  • Difficulty getting comfortable-If you have trouble getting comfortable in your bed or if you toss and turn a lot in your sleep, you mattress may be the cause. Over time, your mattress might become lumpy or have depressions where the heaviest part of your body lies when you’re asleep.

If you’ve experienced any of these signs, or if your mattress is 7 years old or older, you probably need a new one, but how do you pick the right mattress? Purchasing a new mattress can be a sizable investment, but it can allow you to sleep more soundly and will likely improve your overall health. Since mattresses aren’t cheap, you need to make sure you choose your new one carefully, because you’ll likely be sleeping on it for several years.

What size mattress Size do I need?

The first decision you need to make is what size mattress you want, and there are many to choose from:

  • Small single-75cm x 190cm-these mattresses are great for children and fit into tight spaces.
  • Single-90cm x 190cm-slightly wider than the small single, this size is good for older children or to be used as a guest room mattress.
  • Small double-120cm x 190cm-this one is slightly smaller than a standard double and is suitable for two adults in a smaller bedroom.
  • Standard double-135cm x 190cm-a standard double can comfortably sleep two average adults.
  • King -150cm x 200cm-wider and slightly longer than the standard double, the king size mattress sleeps two but is roomier than the double. This size is good for couples who disturb each other in the night, or for folks who find children or dogs with them in their beds.
  • Super king-180cm x 200cm-this mattress is particularly suited for taller or heavier sleepers, and they work well in a larger bedroom.

Next, what type of mattress do you need? Most consumers these days choose a pocket spring design or a memory foam mattress, but what are the pros and cons of each?

What Types of Mattresses are there?

Memory Foam

The main reason for the popularity of memory foam mattresses is that they conform to the contours of your body, reducing pressure on your spine, which means you’ll get the best rest possible. Even so, memory foam is not for everyone. Here are some pros and cons of memory foam mattresses:


  • They respond to heat and pressure to reduce pressure point problems. This means that your spine, neck, and hips are realigned, evenly distributing body weight and effectively correcting a poor sleeping posture.
  • Long term use has shown to reduce chronic back and neck pain
  • Memory foam can have an effect on chronic respiratory problems by easing your breathing during sleep.
  • Memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, which makes them great for people with allergies or respiratory problems.
  • Memory foam is quiet with no squeaks or creaks, and there’s almost no motion transfer from one sleeper to another. If you or your partner toss and turn a lot, this can become very important.
  • Memory foam mattresses don’t require turning or flipping, and they don’t sag. A high quality memory foam mattress will usually come with a warranty period of 10 years or more.


  • Memory foam mattresses can be hotter that normal because they conform to your body and the dense foam absorbs your body’s heat.
  • Memory foam is quite heavy, but since you won’t be turning or flipping you memory foam mattress, this may not be a bother.
  • In hot climates, memory foam can be softer and in colder climates, it can be harder than expected.
  • Memory foam mattresses, especially when new, can give off an odour if they haven’t been aired properly.
  • The price of a good memory foam mattress may be significantly higher than a similar pocket spring mattress.

Pocket Spring

Pocket spring mattresses have been around for a long time, and they offer certain advantages over memory foam mattresses. However, they also have some disadvantages, so let’s take a look at both the pros and cons.


  • Pocket spring mattresses are generally more affordable than memory foam mattresses of similar quality
  • Every comfort type can be found in pocket spring mattresses.
  • Pocket spring mattresses are more responsive and have a bouncier feel than memory foam, so they’re well suited to those who prefer a more traditional feel.
  • Innerspring mattresses have been the industry standard for over 100 years, and pocket springs are the most modern version of spring supported mattresses. That doesn’t specifically make them better, but the technology has been tried and tested for decades.
  • Pocket spring mattresses can have a longer lifespan when compared to other types of mattresses.
  • They’re good for hot sleepers, as the coil structure offers ample airflow.



  • Some models require flipping or rotating the mattress to extend its lifespan
  • Cleaning a pocket spring mattress can be difficult and you can’t remove the cover
  • Pocket spring mattresses offer little protection from motion transfer, so if your you or your partner toss and turn, they may not be a good choice.
  • A pocket spring mattress doesn’t conform to your body as well as memory foam

Hybrid Mattresses

In recent years, hybrid mattresses have been developed and are now very popular. The German manufacturer Emma offers three types of hybrid mattresses, each designed for a different consumer:

  • Smart Hybrid-this one is designed for added support with two types of foam for pressure relief
  • Helix Hybrid-with increased airflow through the mattress, this one is well suited for people who experience restlessness or sleep hot.
  • Diamond Hybrid- these are best for people who want deeper longer sleep, as the technology here includes a graphite coating to reduce excess heat.

While hybrid mattresses combine the pocket spring and foam mattress types, they offer some advantage and disadvantages.


  • A hybrid mattress combines the best features of pocket spring and foam mattresses, offering the support of pocket springs and the body conforming comfort of memory foam.
  • Because they offer more support, they’re great for heavier or people of a larger build.
  • Because of the pocket springs, they give better edge support than memory foam.
  • The springs, combined with a layer of cooling polyfoam, offer more breathability, so they’re well suited to hot sleepers.
  • The foam layer helps with motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other.


  • The main drawback to hybrid mattresses is the price tag. They can be sharply more expensive than other types.
  • Hybrid mattresses can be significantly heavier than other mattresses.
  • “Hybrid” is a generic term and can mean something different from one store to another, so you’ll have to shop around to see if the combination of springs and foam is right for you.


What is Mattress Tension?

The next factor to consider when shopping for a mattress is the tension or firmness level. This decision is highly subjective, and heavily dependent on your sleeping position as well as your weight.

Here are suggestions for the best firmness levels based on your sleeping position and weight. You’ll notice that some firmness levels overlap others:


 Firmness level     Best Suited For
Extra Soft or Soft  Side sleepers under 60kg
Medium Soft  Side sleepers under 100 kg pounds
Medium  Sleepers between 60 and 100 kg
Medium Firm Side sleepers over 100 kg 
Firm  Side sleepers over 100kg and back and stomach sleepers over 60 kg
Extra Firm  Back and stomach sleepers over 100 kg


What Mattress is Good for a Bad Back?

Many suffer from chronic back pain and often their mattresses can be partially to blame. If your mattress sags, it can aggravate a bad back. The best way to combat this is to choose a mattress that offers enough comfort to alleviate your chronic pain. If you can’t find a mattress that suits you however, you may need to select an orthopaedic mattress.

Should you Turn a Mattress Over?

While most mattresses have one good side, some others have two good sides and are designed to be turned of flipped. By turning these mattresses regularly, you can increase the time they’ll remain comfortable. Some of these mattresses have warm and cool sides, so by turning them when the seasons change, you can help to regulate your body temperature while sleeping.

What can I do with my old mattress?

Most mattress companies will offer to take away your old mattress and will recycle them. They may charge a nominal fee for this service, but you’ll find it to be well worth it.

Carters Bed City

When choosing your new mattress, we hope you’ll come see us at Carters Bed City. We carry a wide range of mattresses from top brands:

Harrison Spinks

Has over 100 years’ experience in bed making. Combining traditional craftsmanship with the most innovative spring technology, a Harrison bed is a tailored sleeping experience that is second to none. 


The award-winning makers of handcrafted beds, have been making bespoke beds for over 100 years. These luxury mattresses and designer beds can be found in the finest houses, yachts, palaces, and hotels and throughout the land.


is a leading innovator including the latest advances in Gel and visco-elastic technologies, all designed to combine sublime levels of comfort, industry leading pressure relief and sleep surface temperature regulation.


The perfect night’s rest is key to your well-being. At Komfi, we focus on the science and development of new technologies, such as ViscoGel, to provide the best possible sleep experience.


Combines the best qualities in form and function, and this reflects why Relyon maintains its renowned status as the best beds in the world.


Team makes mattresses that are not only different but made with love, passion & care right here in Britain. We truly believe that whoever you are and however you sleep, you’ll sleep better on a Sealy.


For some, sleep is something that just happens. At Somnus it happens by design. Something that we improve and perfect through our pioneering innovation. It’s the difference made by our Sensa Intelligent spring systems and home-grown sustainable natural fillings. Not to mention the handmade British craftsmanship that makes every bed unique.


They have bespoke beds combine technical expertise with the finest natural ingredients. Vi-Spring beds combine technical prowess with a bespoke approach worthy of the finest tailoring. They are the product of a ceaseless quest for the ultimate in quality coupled with lasting respect for traditional workmanship.

Here at Carters Furniture, we pride ourselves on the vast selection of furniture we offer, along with our outstanding customer service. Our highly trained staff can provide you with the right advice and information so that you can make the most of every furniture purchase. Because of the special relationships we have with our suppliers, we are able to source furniture from all over the globe, as well as products that are manufactured locally, and we can offer the lowest prices on all of the products we sell. In fact, we have a low price guarantee that states that we will match or beat any competitors price on identical products. We have 2 large showrooms full of the most stylish, practical, and high quality furniture and bedding, and our stores are open seven days a week to serve you.

If you’d like more information about the products and services we offer, visit our website or call us at 01562 540862  (Carters Furniture Store) or 01562 66396  (Carters Bed City). Even better, stop by either of our locations to see for yourself. We look forward to serving you!