The Different Types of Mattress 

Choosing a mattress shouldn’t be a difficult decision, right? However, with so many different types, sizes, thicknesses and materials with varying levels of firmness, it can be tricky to know which is the best choice for you. Your decision process will involve the following elements:

  • Whether you suffer from a bad back
  • If you are a light sleeper
  • If you used to find your mattress comfortable
  • The position you sleep in
  • Whether it is just for you or you and a partner
  • Your budget

While there isn’t a one-size fits all solution, there are options that are more suited to some more than others. We take a look at some of the most popular mattresses available and the pros and cons of each to help you ascertain which is the best option for you when choosing a mattress to help you get the best sleep possible.

Memory Foam

Why Choose Memory Foam?

Memory foam mattresses mould to your body and allows you to spread your weight evenly over the surface. It offers you comfort and means that your bones and joints are protected. This type of mattress is great for those who suffer from aches and pains and for back sufferers, aligns your spine. It also helps to regulate your body temperature while you sleep. The polyurethane foam protecting the mattress means that mites can’t penetrate the surface and so you can be sure that it is hypoallergenic and not likely to cause you any respiratory problems.

Why not?

Memory foam mattresses do not offer the greatest support because of the fact that they conform to your body. There isn’t the firm support that you will get with a pocket sprung alternative. For those of you that are wrigglers, they will certainly not last as long as you toss and turn in the night. While they do help to regulate body temperature, it can mean that they keep you warmer. This leads to an excessive amount of sweat in the night. When you first open a memory foam mattress there is often that new ‘factory’ smell however this does dissipate after a few days. How you sleep, and if you tend to move around a lot, should be an important consideration when choosing a mattress.

Pocket Sprung

Why Choose Pocket Sprung?

Firm and supportive, allows you to move around without disturbing yours or your partners sleep. When selecting this type of mattress, make sure it is definitely pocket sprung and not a continuous spring as this is a whole different story. They offer very good value for money and are easy to care for. With a pocket sprung mattress you also get the benefits of ventilation and can turn it every so often.

Why not?

If you don’t like a firm mattress then this may not be the choice for you. They can sag after a while as the springs can lose their spring. The life span of a pocket sprung mattress tends to be around 10 years with a memory foam option slightly longer. This shouldn’t make much of a difference as it is highly recommended to change your mattress every ten years.


Why Choose a Hybrid Mattress?

A hybrid mattress provides the benefits of both a memory foam and a pocket sprung option combined. You get all of the bells and whistles of both types of beds. You get the ventilation of the mattress along with the firmness and support while the top layer of memory foam contours to your body offering you maximum comfort. For those who like the springy feel of a pocket sprung option, you still get that bounce rather than the sinking feeling while still getting the comfort of the memory foam level. If you suffer from aches and pains but prefer a slightly less firm option than a fully pocket sprung bed then this is the perfect solution.

Why not?

It is difficult to find a reason why not. Just make sure when choosing a hybrid that it is a true hybrid and not just a label that is given to something trying to be that. Take time to investigate the number of springs (2,000 is the recommended number) and make sure that the memory foam layer is of a substantial thickness.

Gel Cooling Mattress

Why Choose a Gel Mattress?

Gel mattresses offer good climate regulation and for those who struggle to keep cool at night, or in particularly warm weather, can help to keep you cool. This works because the gel layer absorbs the heat and then redistributes it. The gel is actually infused into the memory foam. It also helps to support the pressure points of your body and offer you greater comfort and support while you sleep. In addition to this it is hypoallergenic. Choosing a mattress in summer may lead you to opt for a cool mattress however, it is important to choose 0ne that is going to suit you all year round.

Why not?

While gel mattresses can often be expensive this is not always the case. When they are used in a combination with other materials to create the perfect hybrid mattress, you get the best of everything at the most affordable price.


Why Choose a Waterbed?

While not everyone’s cup of tea, a waterbed mattress has many advantages. For those who want to relax at the end of a long day, the feeling on floating on water can make you feel like you have had a full body massage. They are very comfortable for some and can relieve back pain. They can also be heated which is great news in winter and because they are made of a vinyl material, there are no chances of dust mite or other allergens causing you any problems.

Why not?

A waterbed has one key flaw and that is the fact that it contains water. If it punctures, your bedroom is going to get very wet. They are also quite difficult to find sheets to fit and can emit a strange odour over time. They also offer poor support for joints.

Air Bed

Why Choose an Air Bed?

Usually used as a temporary solution for camping or guests, the air bed does have its place. There are more sophisticated, expensive versions that you can use as a full-time mattress that do contain pocket springs etc. With an airbed, for a start, you can control the firmness by how much air you inflate it with. This makes them ideal for all types of sleepers regardless of whether you sleep on your back, front, side or star-shaped. They are easy to top off which means no sagging. Air beds are also very low maintenance and can be simply wiped off.

Why not?

Unlike pocket sprung and foam mattresses, air beds don’t offer the support that you require, especially if you suffer from a bad back or poor joint mobility. It provides a more passive support which is less resistant and doesn’t adapt as well to sleeping positions. Let’s not also forget how long they take to inflate and what happens if an earring, a pin or something else sharp punctures the surface.


Why Choose a Latex Mattress?

Not as popular as other mainstream choices but very popular with those that know their mattresses. Like memory foam, the latex surface conforms to your body offering you that comfortable sleeping position that you prefer. If you want to change positions in the night that is not a problem. Latex mattresses are highly durable and last a long time.

Why not?


When choosing a mattress, latex may not be high on your list of preferences because they are not as well known or widely available as their counterparts. A latex mattress can prove a bit spongy for some people and they may not like the feel of it. The expense can also put people off and some people do have adverse reactions to latex. They can also be very heavy so if you want to move or turn your mattress, you may struggle to lift it.

Let us Help

Fear not. When it comes to choosing a mattress, you are not alone and here, at Somerset Beds, we are here to help make your decision easier. Our experts can advise you and explain the different types of mattress available and, unlike online options, you can actually test the mattress out. What’s more, we have lots of options in store ready to take away today including our MLily range. Just pop into our Weston, Swindon or Brislington stores to discover more.

  • Firmness Guide

    1 Medium Soft
    2 Medium
    3 Medium Firm
    4 Firm
    5 Extra Firm