When choosing a new mattress, which should be the best for you, there are numerous criteria to consider. Consumers are often very unsettled by a large number of different mattresses on offer in varying degrees of hardness. Which mattress is ideal and which degree of hardness should be chosen? When choosing the right mattress, in addition to age and body weight, sleeping habits and personal preferences must also be taken into account to answer the question of which mattress is the right one for me. In our mattress test, you will find the best daybed mattresses.
Choosing a new mattress is not easy for most people. Whether the choice falls on the popular cold foam mattress, the classic spring mattress, or a modern Visco foam mattress depends on different criteria. Allergy sufferers usually prefer a latex mattress, as it is known for its good hygiene properties. A clear list of the individual species with advantages and disadvantages makes it easier for consumers to choose.
Cold Foam Mattress – Suitable For Whom?
Today, the cold foam mattress is one of the preferred mattress types in addition to the spring mattress. As the name suggests, the mattress core is made of polyurethane-based cold foam. Foaming is usually carried out in a special foaming form using the release agent CO2 or by contact with water.
At very low temperatures, the material hardens, so no gases are produced and cold foam is considered harmless to health. Several layers of foam of varying density and expansion form the sheathing of the core. Air ducts and chambers are incorporated into these layers, which ensure better air circulation and thus a pleasant sleeping climate. For the production of the mattress cover are usually natural materials such as sheep’s wool or horsehair. Especially for allergy sufferers, cold foam mattresses are highly recommended, as the cover can usually be removed and washed.
This significantly minimizes the risk of mite infestation. The cold foam mattress is also ideal for people with restless sleep and frequently changing sleeping positions. The mattresses are available in different degrees of hardness.
- High durability with good care
- Hygienic sleeping climate thanks to the open-pored structure of the cold foam
- Low dead weight and easy handling
- No reclining recesses thanks to excellent suspension behaviour
- Good thermal insulation and storage of body heat
- No disturbing noises due to the frequent position changes
- Not suitable for people who sweat profusely at night.
- Increased fire risk due to easy flammability (use of fire-retardant covers is recommended)
The spring mattress is the classic among the mattress types. Popular model variants are the Bonell spring core mattress, the pocket spring mattress, and the barrel pocket spring mattress. These differ in the structure of the mattress core, the number and shape of the springs as well as the lying properties. The mattress core of a structure of connected metal or steel springs padded by a layer of foam.
In addition, a protective layer of fleece or felt protects the foam from possible damage. As a rule, the mattress cover is made of several fabrics (horsehair, cotton, polyester, or virgin wool) surrounded by a layer of cotton. In contrast to a pocket spring mattress, the spiral springs of a Bonell spring mattress have a waisted shape. Spring mattresses are particularly ideal for abdominal and back sleepers.
While the simple spring mattresses should only be used for use in conjunction with a fixed slatted frame, there are also more exclusive models with different lying zones, which can also be easily recommended for adjustable slatted frames. Since they are available in different degrees of hardness, both people with low and higher body weight will find the right mattress.
- High support or spring force for orthopedically correct posture
- Pleasant sleeping climate thanks to good breathability, no risk of mould formation
- Low thermal insulation, therefore ideal for people who sweat profusely during sleep.
- High stability and long service life
- Good value for money
- Lack of point elasticity with simple spring mattresses
- Cow formation after a long service life with reduction of lying comfort
- Mite infestation possible, unsuitable for allergy sufferers – the cover can usually not be removed and washed
A pocket spring mattress offers a higher point elasticity than a Bonell spring mattress and resonates significantly less when moving. The springs processed in the mattress core have a cylindrical shape and were each surrounded individually by a pocket during production.
These fabric pockets are connected but due to the insulation, each spring looks individual when pressed. Depending on the manufacturer and price range, the springs vary in number and thickness. The special processing of the mattress core ensures optimal support of the spine and prevents unpleasant noises, which can be caused by movements of the sleeping person in simple spring mattresses. It is well suited for people with higher body weight.
The barrel pocket spring mattress is a high-quality form of pocket spring mattress. The springs, which are also used in cloth bags, are reminiscent of a bulbous barrel in their design, which is why this type of mattress received its unusual name. This special shape of the springs gives the mattress a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to the individual areas of the body of the sleeping person.
- Good point elasticity and optimal support of the spine
- High lying comfort
- Promotion of a healthy posture thanks to optimal support
- No disturbing noises during restless sleep
- Suitable for both a rigid and an adjustable slatted frame
- Pleasant sleeping climate thanks to good air regulation
- High dead weight makes handling difficult
- Unsuitable for allergy sufferers, as mite infestation is possible
Visco mattresses are often also found under the name Viscoelastic mattresses. Visco foam is a memory-effect material specially developed by NASA for space travel, which was originally used to provide astronauts with the highest possible pressure relief during launch. It has a high room density, is permanently elastic and reacts relatively sluggishly.
After a pressure relief, the material slowly and with a delay returns to its original shape. The mattress consists of a viscous foam pad that rests on a cold foam core. A sign of good quality is the fine pore of the material used. The height of the support is also decisive for the optimal effect of the memory effect. This type of mattress is particularly suitable for people who often suffer from back pain due to its excellent adaptation to body shapes and its good support.
The room temperature in the bedroom should be at least 18 °C so that the temperature-dependent properties of the thermoelastic Visco mattress come into their own.
- Adaptability and good point elasticity
- Optimum pressure relief
- Ideal for back problems thanks to an ideal body position and good heat storage capacity
- Even with restless sleepers, there is no disturbing noise
- Well suited for allergy sufferers
- Not suitable for people with limited freedom of movement due to delayed regression
- Unsuitable for heavily sweating people
In the production of a latex mattress, the latex material is poured into a special mold and then heated. This process is also known as vulcanization. Natural rubber, synthetic material or a mixture of both components are used.
In this process, numerous air bubbles are enclosed in the material and, in conjunction with the air ducts, promote ideal air circulation and optimal thermal insulation. This mattress is characterized by good point elasticity, high sleep resistance, and pleasant lying comfort. Due to the material used, a latex mattress has a very high room density and thus also a very high dead weight.
This mattress is well suited for allergy sufferers as well as people who often suffer from tension. This type of mattress is also recommended for people who prefer a soft sleep feeling.
- Optimal sleeping climate through air ducts and microscopic air bubbles
- Robust durability with good care
- Optimal support properties, therefore ideal for people with a higher body weight
- High point elasticity thanks to excellent adaptation to body shape
- Ideal for allergy sufferers, as they are not susceptible to mite infestation
- Very high dead weight and difficult handling
- Depending on the type of manufacture, slight odour development in new mattresses
- This is what the rubber milk from which the latex mattress is made looks like
- This is what the rubber milk from which the latex mattress is made looks like
The mattress manufacturers offer their products in different degrees of hardness. These are standards for the hardness of the mattress and can be used as indications of how soft or firm the respective mattress is. When choosing the optimal degree of hardness, it is essential to pay attention to the respective needs of the person.
Manufacturers achieve these degrees of hardness through the different material compositions in the mattress core. Unfortunately, however, there are no standard specifications for the degrees of hardness, so the degrees of hardness can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer – despite the same specification as H2 or H3. This inconsistent classification causes irritation for most consumers, so this information should be viewed with caution.
The gradations also vary somewhat, often 2 to 3 degrees of hardness are mentioned, but some producers also use 4 or 5 gradations for subdivision (from H1 for soft to H5 to very firm). The most common variants that are offered in the trade are mattresses with the hardness grades H2 and H3. The following information may be regarded as rough guidelines:
- H1 up to 60 kg
- H2 up to 90 kg
- H3 from 85 to 120 kg
- H4 more than 120 kg
In addition to the degree of hardness, mattress manufacturers often also mention a recommendation regarding body weight, which in some cases may differ significantly from the above information. Age also plays a major role in the selection of the degree of hardness. As a rough guide, older people should choose a firmer mattress than younger people.
This guideline value is also recommended by orthopaedists, but a softer degree of hardness should be chosen for diseases of the spine (scoliosis, etc.). For safety in these cases, the attending physician should always be consulted.
Often there are cheap mattresses in DIY stores and discounters, which in individual cases cost far less than 100 euros. However, these supposed bargains should be viewed with caution, as the low price is usually associated with poorer quality. When choosing a new mattress, buyers should pay attention to the information on the density (RG).
This is the definition of the foam weight in kilograms per cubic meter. A high density means that the mattress has significantly better stability and high longevity. We recommend buying a mattress with a density of <40 RG, which convince with robustness and pleasant comfort. The premium models from 50 RG are much more expensive, but a good mattress with a density of 40 RG does not have to be expensive and is also available in stores under 1,000 euros.
- Density: This information is an important quality criterion when buying mattresses for cold foam, latex or viscous mattresses. The higher the density, the higher the quality of the mattress. Standard models usually have a density of 30 to 40 RG and convince with stability, robust durability and good lying comfort.
- Compression hardness: This term defines the strength of foams. It refers to the force per square metre required to compress the foam (by 40%). The structure of the cell walls at the molecular level has a great influence on compression hardness. A higher compression hardness automatically withstands even a greater load.
- Mattress thickness: The thicker the mattress, the higher the lying comfort. This rule of thumb should be especially important to people with a higher body weight. Mattresses from a thickness of 16 cm are recommended, as they avoid the occurrence of compressions. These can occur when the filling of the mattress cannot give in enough to the pressure of the sleeping person.
- Sleeping position: The preferred sleeping position should also be taken into account when choosing the new mattress. Back sleepers need a good relief of the spine, for abdominal sleepers, hard mattresses are less suitable and for side sleepers the support of an anatomically correct posture as well as a relief of the spine is important.
- Degree of hardness: The older the firmer and the younger the softer – this guiding principle, often expressed by orthopaedists, can be regarded as a rough guideline when selecting the degree of hardness. The decision also depends on other criteria such as body weight, preferred sleeping position and existing diseases.
- Washable cover: This decision criterion is an important point when deciding on a particular mattress, especially for allergy sufferers. If the mattress cover can be removed and washed, better hygiene is ensured than with non-removable covers. Washing effectively prevents mite infestation and thus allergic reactions of the affected person.
- Alone or as a couple: Often the question arises here whether a continuous mattress should be bought for the double bed. If the respective bodyweight is in the same degree of hardness range, a large mattress can be chosen. However, if there are significant weight differences and thus also different degrees of hardness recommendations, two individual mattresses should be purchased.