I used an online tool to find a mattress, and the result was quite a shock

Silentnight's new Sleepunique tool found me a mattress that I love. But is this genius, or just a happy accident?

Woman sat on bed underneath Sleepunique logo
(Image credit: Silentnight)

One of the biggest challenge of reviewing sleep products for T3 is that everyone's body is different. So when you're trying to answer a question like 'What's the best mattress (opens in new tab)?', you first have to ask yourself 'Best for whom?'.

For example, those with bigger bodies will need more support than average, hence our guide to the best mattress for heavy people (opens in new tab). The best mattress for side sleepers (opens in new tab) will not necessarily be same as the best mattress for stomach sleepers (opens in new tab). If you're an athlete, you'll want a mattress designed for fast recovery, such as the Zoma Hybrid (opens in new tab). I could go on, but you get the idea.

You'd think, then, someone would create a tool where you type in your specific requirements, and find out which mattress is right for you. Well, now Silentnight has, with Sleepunique (opens in new tab).

Created in partnership with scientists from the University of Lancashire, they describe Sleepunique as "an intelligent algorithm that takes your body measurements and sleeping habits to recommend your perfect mattress." While Sleepunique only focuses on Silentnight mattresses (opens in new tab), and not other brands, we thought it was still worth taking a look at.

Silentnight generously agreed that if I took the tool for a spin, they'd deliver the mattress it chose for me to test out in person. So I gave it a try... and the results were quite unexpected.

Sleepunique: How it works

Silentnight Sleepunique interface asking how many people will sleep on the mattress

(Image credit: Silentnight)

You don't need to download anything to use Sleepunique: just go to the Silentnight website (opens in new tab) and answer some multiple choice questions.

The first is how many people will be sleeping on the mattress: one or two? (I chose one.) Next, you're asked to pick a size. (I chose a Single.)

This is followed by three questions about your body measurements. First, you're asked to place yourself within three broad weight ranges: I selected 67-91kg. If you prefer imperial measurements, there's a handy button near the top to switch these measurements to stone.

Silentnight Sleepunique interface asking for your weight

(Image credit: Silentnight)

Second comes height: you choose between either taller or shorter than 1.7m / 5.5 feet (I selected taller). And third comes waist size: above or below size-12 dress / 34-inch trouser (I selected below).

After that, you're asked for your sleeping position: side sleeper, back sleeper, front sleeper or 'not sure' (I picked side sleeper). And finally, you're asked for your sleep goal: undisturbed night's sleep, cooler sleep, fewer aches and pains, or healthier sleep. (I chose the third).

The next page summarises all the details you've inputted, and gives you the chance to correct any, before you're given the results.

Silentnight Sleepunique interface showing recommending mattress fillings

(Image credit: Silentnight)

First, you're told your comfort rating, which for me was "Soft firmness: A little softer than a medium for sleepers who need a little extra give." Second, your comfort filling, which for me was either memory foam, latex or geltex.

Finally, you get to view your recommended products, in both mattresses and divans. For me, these were the Silentnight Geltex Pocket 3000 Mattress, Silentnight Memory Pocket 2000 Mattress, and the Silentnight Geltex Pocket 2000 Mattress.

Sleepunique: My interface experience

I found the Sleepunique tool very simple to use. To get super-picky, there were a couple of small grammatical errors in the interface, and I'd have liked 'combination sleeper' to be among the choices for sleeping position. But otherwise, I loved the bright graphics, big buttons, and the speed at which the task could be completed. I tested it on phone, tablet and laptop, and it worked equally well on each.

As for the results, though, I was concerned. 'Soft firmness' didn't sound right, because at that point, I believed that for me, the firmer the better. Still, I needed to follow the experiment through, so I picked the first recommendation on my list, the Silentnight Geltex Pocket 3000 Mattress, and awaited its delivery with interest.

Sleepunique: My mattress experience

The Silentnight Geltex Pocket 3000 Mattress arrived, I lay down on it, and my worst fears seemed to be realised. The softness of the top layer just seemed wrong. It was clearly a well-constructed, high-end mattress, but as a lover of firmness, not one that felt right for me.

However, a job's a job, so I had to sleep on it anyway. Eventually, I started to notice something. Despite the softness of the top layer, I wasn't actually sinking into the Geltex Pocket 3000. The generous number of springs beneath the geltex layer were keeping me very well supported indeed. In other words, this isn't a soft mattress per se; simply a soft-topped mattress, with an underlying solidity. And this turned out to be quite a revelation.

Hand pressing down on Silentnight Geltex Pocket 3000 mattress

(Image credit: Tom May)

Once I'd got my head around this different approach, I started to enjoy the Geltex Pocket 3000 mattress immensely. You can read the full details of how it's constructed, its pricing and more in my Silentnight Geltex Pocket 3000 mattress review (opens in new tab). But the main thing to know is that ultimately, I've come to love this mattress.

Was this because of the tool, though, or just a happy coincidence? It's difficult to say. After all, it's pretty expensive, so you'd expect it to be good. The fact remains, though, it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to get one, had I not been pointed towards it by the Sleepunique quiz. So ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Sleepunique review: Should I use it?

Should you give Silentnight's Sleepunique tool a try? I'd say, why not? It's totally free, you don't have to download anything, and it might give you some fresh ideas about what to buy.

At the same time, I wouldn't take its results too seriously. After all, it only has Silentnight products to choose from, and there aren't exactly an endless supply of them. Plus, the recommendations you receive may be more 'the closest fit to your needs' than 'the perfect fit'.

That wouldn't be an issue if, like some brands, Silentnight offered a free trial with full refunds. But while you do get a generous 365-night free trial (opens in new tab) with every Silentnight mattress, your only option if you don't like it is a different product; not your money back.

In short, Sleepunique is a great way to get ideas for Silentnight products that may suit you. Don't treat it as gospel, though: make sure to check out reviews online, including those on T3, to get a fuller picture. But at the same time, keep your mind open, because as my experience shows, the mattress you fall in love with could be the one you're not expecting.

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.