The best mattress in August 2019: how to choose between memory foam, pocket springs, latex and more

Here's our pick of the very best mattresses for all budgets – plus pro tips on how to choose the right mattress for you

The best mattress: quick links

Lots of people will be looking to buy the best mattress they can this bank holiday. It's a great time to do it, with summer sales slashing prices like there's no tomorrow. But choosing the best mattress isn't always easy. After all, there’s a lot to consider: what type of mattress do you need? Which materials are best? Are there any good mattress brands to look out for? And how much do you need to spend to guarantee a good night’s sleep?  

We spend around a third of our lives asleep, so it’s important to buy the best mattress you can for your body shape, sleeping style and budget. In this guide, we’ll help you do exactly that. We’ll walk you through the different types of mattress - memory foam, pocket sprung, latex and hybrid mattresses - explaining the pros and cons of each. And we’ll show you the best mattresses you can buy in each category, at a variety of different prices. (An early tip? Also buy one of the best mattress protectors or mattress toppers to extend the life of your new mattress.) 

The good news is that we’ll also show you the cheapest prices for each of our favourite mattresses below. We spend a lot of time testing new models - and even longer looking for the best cheap mattress deals, so if you’re looking for a bargain you’re in the right place. 

What is the best mattress?

We think the Emma Original (pictured above) is the best mattress you buy right now. It's outrageously comfortable, extremely supportive and it’s highly durable too – so it’ll last. Plus, right now you can get 35% off everything at Emma using the code: SUMMER35 at checkout, making it exceptionally good value for money. 

Prefer a hybrid mattress instead? Try the excellent Simba Hybrid mattress, second in our list. The right mattress for you will, of course, depend on your personal preferences and budget – but we've got something for everyone below. 

Which type of mattress is best?

One of the hardest decisions can be which type of mattress to choose. Here’s a quick run through of the main options:

  • Memory foam mattress: made from mouldable material that responds to your temperature and weight, and adapts to your body as you sleep. Great support and comfort. Can be more expensive.
  • Pocket sprung: supports you with thousands of small springs inside their own fabric pockets. They adapt to your body shape, and isolate movement so you won’t feel your partner tossing and turning. 
  • Latex: breathable, springy material that’s exceptionally durable and resilient. Can be expensive. 
  • Hybrid: offers a combined support system, often with a pocket-sprung base and memory foam top layer. They’re responsive, supportive and popular with people who want the best of both worlds.
  • Continuous and coil: made from a single looped wire, or from single springs fixed with one wire. These are cheaper and less likely to give a good night’s sleep.
  • Bed in a box: this refers to a delivery method, in which mattresses are compressed, rolled or folded into a box for easy home delivery. They’re usually foam, or a memory foam and spring combination. 

How to choose the best mattress for you

Never buy a mattress you haven’t tried. A quick showroom test doesn't really cut it – but many online retailers offer free, no-quibble, 100-night trials, which make it possible to test at your leisure and guarantee you're going to get a good night's sleep. 

Before buying a mattress, make sure it’s the right size. Your mattress – like your bed – should be 10cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it. It should also be wide enough for you and your partner to put your hands under your head without your elbows touching (or without touching the edge of the mattress if you’re not sharing). 

Next, do the hand test: lying down on your back, push your hand under the small of your back. If you can’t, the mattress is too soft; if the gap is very large, it’s too hard. And if you have a partner, make sure they try it, too: what feels fine on your own may be like a bouncy castle with someone else on board. Lastly, also check whether a mattress needs turning. Many don’t these days, but if you’re considering one that does, make sure it has handles.

The best mattresses you can buy right now

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1. Emma Original mattress

The best mattress you can buy right now – and there's a huge 35% discount

Specifications
Best for: All sleepers
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: Memory foam
Comfort: medium
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £429, Double: £649, King: £699, Super king: £799
Reasons to buy
+Exceptionally comfy and loads of awards+Handles for rotating+Removable and machine washable cover
Reasons to avoid
-Was more expensive than others (but it's now cheaper!)

The Emma Original mattress is superb. From a distance, it has a lot in common with many of the other mattresses in this guide: it comes in a box, has a human name, 100-day no-quibble trial, 10-year guarantee, multiple layers including foam, and a promotional photo shot in a contemporary apartment. But don’t be fooled. This mattress is exceptional. 

It’s comfortable, supportive in all the right places – and with a full five stars in our review, it’s the highest-scoring mattresses we've ever tested. Comprising three layers of foam (25mm of Airgocell foam on top to relieve pressure and aid ventilation; 20mm of memory foam for pressure relief and support; and a firm 195mm foam foundation), it's been designed to suit all types of sleeper. Certainly, we loved it. And so did hundreds of user reviewers. 

The mattress also boasts some nice extras, such as a machine-washable cover and handles for rotating (you don’t have to turn it). Its price is typical for this increasingly cut-throat market sector, but thanks to a huge 35% discount, the Emma Original mattress has undercut the competition to become the best mattress you can buy right now. It's outrageous value for money. Throw in its incredible review results and there are some very compelling reasons to choose the Emma Original this autumn. Plus, the 100-day, love-it-or-return-it trial helps take the pain out of decision-making.

Get 35% off EVERYTHING at Emma with code: SUMMER35
This huge deal cuts over a third off the price of everything at Emma – not just the mattress, but the excellent Emma pillow, mattress protector and bedding too. Don't miss it – Emma's summer sale is ending soon. Deal ends: 1 Sept, 2019View Deal

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2. Simba Hybrid mattress

The best hybrid mattress you can buy for a good night's sleep

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: Small single - emperor
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: pocket springs, memory foam
Comfort: all
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £449, Double: £649, King: £749, Super king: £849
Reasons to buy
+Very comfortable+Extremely supportive+100-day trial
Reasons to avoid
-No handles to rotate mattress

The Simba Hybrid claims to be the most advanced mattress in the world. Consisting of five layers (including a unique layer of up to 2,500 conical pocket springs, foam, responsive memory foam, a “Simbatex” cooling layer to reduce overheating, and a hypoallergenic outer cover), it promises to deliver a great night’s sleep, regardless of your body type or sleeping style, thanks to Simba's patented conical pocket springs. They pivot in their pockets to adapt to your body shape while you sleep, giving you full body support. It’s particularly good for side sleepers; but the springs also reduce motion transfer between sleepers, so you won’t notice your partner tossing and turning.  

Unlike other mattresses, this bed-in-a-box isn’t labelled by firmness: the manufacturer calls it “perfect” and says it suits every kind of firmness fan. (We found it to be medium, for the record.) Thousands of online reviewers have testified that this is one of the best mattresses you can buy, with the only real quibble being the lack of handles for rotating the mattress. As with the Emma Original, the makers are so confident you'll love it, there’s a 100-day no-quibble trial: if you don’t like it, you can return it within that time for a full refund. If you're looking for a hybrid mattress, the Simba mattress is the best you can buy. 

Simba Hybrid: save up to 20% and get a FREE mattress protector | at Simba
Simba is running a variety of great bundle deals. The biggest savings (up to 33%) come via its top-tier bundle. But if you only want the mattress, choose the Hybrid Essential bundle – which gives you up to 20% off the Simba Hybrid and a free mattress protector worth up to £75. Deal ends: 11:59pm, 28 August 2019View Deal

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3. Nectar Memory Foam mattress

Stupidly comfortable, currently 20% off AND they chuck in a free pair of Nectar pillows

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: foam/memory foam
Comfort: medium/firm
Trial: 365 nights
Guarantee: Forever
RRP: Single: £499, Double: £699, King: £799, Super king: £899
Reasons to buy
+365-day trial and a 'forever' warranty+Super supportive+Excellent pillows available
Reasons to avoid
-Too firm for some-Questionable cooling tech

A whopping 365-night trial and lifetime warranty differentiates the Nectar memory foam mattress from the numerous other bed-in-a-box brands. Its pricing and sizing are broadly in line with the more 'established' challenger mattress brands (Emma, Simba, Eve, Casper and so on), but Nectar gives you an entire year to decide whether it’s right for you – that's impressive. The company is also climate neutral: all emissions are offset by various global schemes, including an Amazon forest protection programme.

Delivery works like a dream. Amazingly, even the enormous Nectar Super King model comes packaged in a very manageable box, and it’s light enough for one person to wrestle into position. Admittedly, it smells a bit at first – most of these memory foam mattresses do – but it soon settles down.

Comfortable from the minute Nectar comes out of its minimal packaging, it offers a medium-to-firm support level that suits any type of bed and all kinds of sleepers. There's a bit of give in the top layer, which neatly moulds around the body, while a complicated supporting base layer adds the required firmness for a peaceful sleep. We're not sure how well the adaptive cooling cover top layer works (it's supposed to draw heat away from the body) but we can say the matching pillows – which use similar memory foam tech – are totally dreamy.

Nectar is a great mattress, and extremely comfortable at that, while the 365-day money-back trial proves just how confident this company is that it’s created one of the best mattresses you can buy. Most mattress-in-a-box brands offer only a mere 100 nights. We recommend buying straight from Nectar, which promises “the best available price” at all times. 

Best mattress: Sealy 1400 Nostromo

4. Sealy 1400 Nostromo

The best mattress with pocket springs – plus it's great for the allergy afflicted

Specifications
Best for: Side and back sleepers; allergies
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 30cm
Turn: No
Filling: pocket spring/latex
Comfort: medium
Guarantee: 5 years
RRP: Single: £920.40, Double: £1,216.80, King, £1,372.80, Super king: £1653.60
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic support and comfort+Great for allergy sufferers+Cool even in summer+Very durable
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for heavier people

The Sealy Nostromo – also known as the Pocket Teramo 1400 – is an outstanding pocket sprung mattress. It has seven zones with 1,400 pocket springs, tencel fibres, a latex comfort layer and a luxurious 29cm depth. It’s also more durable than most, and it’s both hypoallergenic and pleasantly cool, even in hot weather. 

Suitable for all sleepers – back and side sleepers in particular – this mattress works well with most body types, although if you’re a taller or heavier-than-average back sleeper you might prefer the Eve Original mattress below, which gives exceptional back support. Which? magazine made it a best buy, Allergy UK has given it their seal of approval and there’s a five-year warranty for peace of mind. Amazon tends to sell it with a decent discount on the RRP too (although right now Mattress Online has slashed the price in half) so it’s worth buying online rather than in a shop. 

Best mattress: Eve Original


5. Eve Original mattress

A great-value memory foam mattress with exceptional support

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers; back sleepers; light sleepers
Sizes: Single - emperor
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: foam/memory foam
Comfort: medium/firm
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £349, Double: £599, King: £699
Reasons to buy
+Particularly good for back and stomach sleepers+For any kind of bed or floor
Reasons to avoid
-A bit hard for some-Honks a bit at first

The Eve Original, like its fellow 'named-after-a-person-and-arrives-in-a-box' rivals, positions itself as Mattress 2.0: rather than make a whole bunch of different mattresses, its mission is to make a single one that’s ideal for everybody. The result is a superb all-round mattress that scores particularly highly when it comes to support, with outstanding spinal support for back sleepers especially. 

Inside, the cove is polyester, with four centimetres of memory foam underneath, and a 3cm cooling layer below that. The final layer is made from poly foam that’s strong enough to do yoga on, and that means it’s suitable for slatted or sprung beds, divans or hard floors. While the mattress is marketed as for everybody, it’s on the firmer side of medium. We’ve read reviews of aches and pains disappearing though, and the company will collect it for free if you don’t like it after your 100-night trial.

best mattress: REM-Fit 500 Ortho

(Image credit: REM-Fit)

6. REM-Fit 500 Ortho mattress

The best mattress for back and joint pain

Specifications
Best for: back and joint pain; couples
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 25cm
Flip: No
Filling: pocket spring/foam
Comfort: firm
Guarantee: 15 years
RRP: Single: £649, Double: £799, King, £849, Super king: £949
Reasons to buy
+ Orthopaedic support + Comfortable cushioning + Good temperature regulation 
Reasons to avoid
- May be too firm for some 

The REM-Fit 500 Ortho Mattress is a premium orthopaedic mattress aimed at people who wake up with back and joint pain. It’s a hybrid mattress – it combines 2,000 orthopaedic pocket springs with five layers of cushioning, supportive foam. And it’s firm: we rated it an 8 out of 10 for firmness (with 10 being the firmest). That makes it one of the firmer mattresses in this guide, and it did take us a few nights to get used to, but once we did, we were blown away by how comfortable it is. 

The REM-Fit 500 Ortho is very, very supportive. A Mediflex foam layer moulds to the shape of your body and correctly aligns your spine, while the orthopedic springs provide provide upper and lower back support. There’s also just the right amount of luxury memory foam to cushion pressure points like your shoulders, hips and knees. 

You won’t get too hot sleeping on the REM-Fit 500 Ortho, either. We found that the cool gel-infused memory foam layer worked well, even during a heatwave. It isn't the cheapest, but if you suffer from aches and pains at night, we think the REM-Fit 500 Ortho is one of the best mattresses you can choose. It’s also a great option for couples – thanks to its low motion transfer, and great edge support (so you can snuggle right up to the edges without them buckling). If you’re not sure whether a firm mattress is right for you, give the 100-night trial a go.

Best mattress: Tweak Nrem

7. Tweak Nrem mattress

The best mattress for people with back and neck pain

Specifications
Best for: Chronic pain
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: Responsive foam, pocket springs
Comfort: Customisable
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £595, Double: £895, King: £995
Reasons to buy
+You can tailor the firmness+Reactive foam is superb +Minimal movement transference
Reasons to avoid
-May have to experiment to find the right setup

The Tweak Nrem is a hybrid mattress with a unique USP: it’s customisable, letting you tailor the firmness in different areas to target specific pressure points. Designed primarily for people with chronic pain, it’s divided into five zones – each with an interchangeable foam insert ranging between soft, medium and firm – that you can rearrange whenever you like. 

The best bit? For double sizes and larger, you don’t have to compromise with your partner on the firmness of your mattress: you get five inserts each. Disturbance from restless parters is also a thing of the past because movement transference is virtually zero. Oh, and speaking of foam, it isn’t any old foam: the Nrem inserts are made from reactive foam, which responds faster to movement than memory foam, remoulding immediately to provide exceptional comfort and support. If you suffer from back or neck pain, or have different comfort preferences to your partner, we think this is the best mattress you can buy. 

Best mattress: Casper

8. The Casper Mattress

Side sleepers particularly love this medium-to-soft memory foam mattress

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 24cm
Turn: No
Filling: memory foam
Comfort: medium/soft
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £400, Double: £600, King: £700, Super king: £800
Reasons to buy
+Many delighted customers+100-night trial
Reasons to avoid
-Larger sizes can be expensive-No handles to rotate mattress

With celebrity backers, nearly 1,000 delighted Amazon reviews and several shelves full of awards, the Casper mattress changed the world of mattresses when it burst onto the scene. The majority of customers are delighted with its coolness, comfort and delivery in an impossibly small box. 

It’s billed as a medium-to-soft mattress that uses four distinct layers of support, and while there’s memory foam in there, it isn’t as simple as a sprung mattress with a thin layer of foam on top or an overly soft foam and latex combination: it’s soft as well as supportive, and it’s proven popular with people who have dodgy backs. Larger sizes can be expensive, and again there are no handles, but when you consider how many hours you’ll spend in bed (not to mention the potential joy of having less back pain) this mattress is not a lot of money for what you get. As with other bed-in-a-box options, the no-quibble trial period should guarantee you won't end up unhappy. 

The top layer does strike us as slightly softer than the Simba. Whether that's better or worse is subjective, but some literally 'heavier' sleepers may find they 'sink through' the soft top layer and are then supported almost entirely by the firmer lower layer. The good news is, you've got 100 days to decide if you prefer that sensation or not. 

Want a Casper mattress but want to spend less? Try the Casper Essential mattress: it has a streamlined design making it around £200 cheaper – and it's very, very good. We're testing one now. Review to follow shortly... 

best mattress: Otty Hybrid

9. Otty Hybrid mattress

The best-value hybrid mattress you can buy

Specifications
Sizes: Single - emperor; EU sizes
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: springs, memory foam, reflex foam
Comfort: medium-firm
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £374.99, Double: £549.99, King: £649.99, Super king: £749.99
Reasons to buy
+Feels like a luxury mattress+Brilliant price+Loads of awards+Minimal motion transfer 
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too firm for some

The Otty mattress is a fantastic hybrid mattress, combining 2,000 pocket springs with three layers of foam for maximum comfort and pressure relief. At 140mm, the Otty’s pocket springs are its headline feature – they’re easily more generous in length than those in the Simba Hybrid (20mm). The other headline feature is its price: the Otty is cheaper than the Simba, too, with a double and king-sized Otty mattress coming in at £499.99 and £599.99 respectively, versus £649 and £749 for the Simba. In fact, if you take seasonal mattress deals out of the equation, the Otty is significantly cheaper than most other bed-in-a-box mattresses in the UK. 

We’ve been reviewing this mattress for a few weeks now and we’re impressed (a full review will be coming shortly). It feels like a luxury mattress, with its body-moulding reflex and memory foam layers, and supportive springs. It isn’t just us who like it either. Among the Otty’s slew of awards is a coveted Which? Best Buy – plus it’s the only boxed mattress company so far to be awarded with a prestigious NBF (National Bed Federation) Award. The Otty is slightly on the firmer side of medium thanks to those pocket springs, so if you’d prefer a softer pocket-sprung mattress we’d recommend the Sealy Nostromo, at number four in this best mattress guide. But if medium to medium-firm is what you like – and you want a touch of luxury for a budget price – we think the Otty is the best-value pocket sprung mattress right now.   

Best mattress: Silentnight Eco Comfort Pocket 1200

10. Silentnight Eco Comfort Pocket 1200

A cheaper pocket sprung mattress and an excellent all-rounder

Specifications
Best for: Most sleepers
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 29cm
Turn: Yes
Filling: Pocket springs
Comfort: medium/firm
Trial: 60 nights
Guarantee: 5 years
RRP: Single: £369, Double: £489, King: £569
Reasons to buy
+Different comfort zones+Very supportive
Reasons to avoid
-Requires turning-On the firm side of medium

Silentnight’s Eco Comfort Pocket 1200 is a cheaper pocket sprung mattress than the Sealy 1400 Nostromo above, with a clever solution to the problem of firmness. Rather than deliver the same firmness across the whole mattress, it’s designed with different zones to ensure that the lumbar area of your back gets more support than your shoulders. 

That makes it particularly good for anyone whose back needs something firm but who’d rather not wake up with pins and needles everywhere else, and it also means your partner’s movements won’t impact your side of the bed. 

There are 1,200 pocket springs and a hypo-allergenic cover, and the 29cm depth is pretty luxurious for a mattress in this price range. There’s a five-year warranty but remember to turn it frequently: pocket sprung mattresses need regular turning to keep their shape.

Best mattress: Leesa

11. Leesa Mattress

A luxury mattress for ethical shoppers

Specifications
Best for: Ethical purchasing
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 25cm
Turn: No
Filling: Foam, memory Foam
Comfort: medium
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
RRP: Single: £450, Double: £650, King: £750, Super king: £850
Reasons to buy
+Good value+Socially conscious company+Very supportive
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for heavy people-Lacking in frills

If you're struggling to sleep at night both because of your social conscience and a lack of comfort, Leesa may be your dream mattress. That's because for every ten mattresses sold, it donates one to homeless shelters and women’s refuges. 

You won’t be sacrificing comfort for charity, though: the Leesa was designed to address the shortcomings of existing memory foam mattresses and uses three different kinds of foam to provide sufficient airflow and bounce. Consequently they're very popular and have good customer reviews plus awards from Which? magazine and the Good Housekeeping Institute for its comfort and quality. 

If you share with a partner their movements won’t bounce you out of bed, and the mattress does feel like something costing a lot more money. And yes, yet again there’s a 10-year warranty and a 100-night, no-quibble returns policy. 

Best mattress: Dormeo Memory Plus

12. Dormeo Memory Plus

One of the best budget mattresses you can buy – with 60% off now

Specifications
Best for: Allergies
Sizes: Single - super king
Depth: 17cm
Turn: No
Filling: foam/memory foam
Comfort: medium
Trial: 60 nights
Guarantee: 20 years
RRP: Single: £479, Double: £629, King: £779.99
Reasons to buy
+Extremely cheap – great value+Supportive and durable
Reasons to avoid
-Quite thin-No handles to rotate

The Dormeo Memory Plus is an excellent memory foam mattress that’s consistently priced unbelievably cheaply. It medium-firm on the comfort levels, combining 3cm of memory foam with breathable Ecocell 3D foam to provide great support, and its anti-allergenic too, with extra anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-dust mite protection infused into the cover.

At 17cm, the Dormeo Memory Plus is thinner than many mattresses, so it might not be ideal for heavier people or slatted bases, but it consistently receives excellent user reviews (averaging 4.7/5 on the Dormeo website). Like all memory foam mattresses it’s important to rotate this one frequently to avoid semi-permanent dips from appearing, but if you look after it properly there’s a decent warranty to really guarantee the peace of mind that leads to a good night’s sleep.

Best mattress: IKEA Morgedal

13. IKEA Morgedal

The best cheap mattress for budget-conscious buyers

Specifications
Best for: Small budgets
Sizes: Single - king
Depth: 18cm
Turn: Yes
Filling: memory foam
Comfort: medium
Trial: 90 nights
Guarantee: 25 years
RRP: Single: £125, Double: £165, King: £195
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-It's basic-Quite thin

Ikea is well known for its odd-sized beds, but in addition to European sizes, the Ikea Morgedal memory foam mattress comes in UK single, double and king size too. It’s a thick foam mattress in a polyester wrapping, and it’s best suited to a slatted bed base or mattress base. Don’t jump on it straight away: it’s delivered rolled up and needs three to four days to return to suitable flatness. 

Don’t expect lots of high-tech layers or cutting edge tech: Ikea’s mattress is exactly what you’d expect from a big lump of foam, comfortable and fairly immune to the movements of your partner. The foam can get a little damp if you tend to sweat a lot; if you do, a thick mattress protector is a good idea.

There's a 90-day trial period, and it's won a gong from Which?, so it's something of a bargain, despite its distinct lack of bells, whistles and 'challenger brand' credentials. If you're on a tight budget, this is the best mattress you can buy.