How to Choose the Best Mattress

Last Updated May 06, 2022

Shopping for the perfect mattress can be a headache and a half; how do you know which is the right one to choose? Is memory foam best? Or is a hybrid the right choice? What about latex? Not to mention how firm or soft you want the mattress, how much you’re willing to spend, your sleeping position, body type and all the rest… as you can see, choosing the perfect mattress is somewhat of a science. And, because a mattress plays such an important role in your life (due to the fact sleep impacts your health, mood, productivity and more), it’s vital you find the right mattress When shopping for a new mattress, there can be lots of technical terms going on and you might find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of information and choices available to you. That’s why we’ve put together this buying guide to help you choose the best mattress.

Follow our advice and you’ll be well on your way to the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had. 

Mattress Types

The first thing to consider when choosing the best mattress is the type of mattress. There are four mattress types that are most common, including: memory foam, hybrid, and innerspring. Do you want something mattress that is springy and bouncy? Or do you prefer something that gently hugs your body? Knowing the type of mattress you want is an essential starting point and will save you a lot of time when choosing the best mattress. 

Memory Foam

Possibly one of the most popular types of mattresses, memory foam mattresses are made up of all-foam and feature one or more layers of memory foam. Memory foam is designed to respond uniquely to your body’s weight, shape and temperature to provide a serious “hugging” feel. Memory foam mattresses are incredibly supportive and offer a cradling sleep surface that moves in ways that are designed to relieve pressure points. This for many people results in a deeper sleep, while waking up with less aches and pains. It is also an excellent mattress for motion isolation, which is especially good for couples. 

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are a mix of layers comprised of both foam and spring. Hybrid mattresses are very versatile and work for most kinds of sleepers and sleeping positions. Many hybrid mattresses on the market feature pocket coils that are designed to support pressure points along the spine while at the same time offering a bouncy feeling, which makes it easier for restless sleepers to change positions during the night. The foam layers on top of the springs act as a comfort layer. 

Latex

Latex mattresses are naturally elastic, which is why they’re popular for people who enjoy a responsive and bouncy mattress. While it doesn’t have the same pressure-relieving properties of memory foam, latex mattresses do help align the spine and alleviate pressure points. The perforated holes in a latex mattress also make it ideal for airflow, ensuring a cool night’s sleep.

Innerspring

The innerspring mattress is probably the most basic and affordable mattress on the market – and the most traditional. This mattress type features a main layer of springs that are intertwined to keep its form, plus a thin layer of foam on either side of the springs for comfort. Innerspring mattresses do not offer much support, as well as little to no motion isolation. 

Sleeping Positions

When choosing the best mattress, you also need to consider your most dominant sleeping position. Are you a front sleeper? A back sleeper? Do you prefer to sleep on your side? Or maybe you cycle through all positions throughout the night? Some mattresses are better catered to certain sleeping positions than others, so if you’re not sure if your most dominant sleeping position, it’s worth spending a few nights figuring it out so you can choose a mattress that best suits your sleeping position. 

Back Sleepers

If you’re a back sleeper, you’ll find most of the pressure rests on your lower back. As a result, if your mattress is too soft, it’s likely your torso will sink in deeper than your upper back and lower body. This can create a U-shape strain and will cause a lot of aches and pains come morning time. Meanwhile, if a mattress is too firm, you won’t have any relief on the small curve in the lower back. As such, back sleepers often find a medium-firm mattress to offer the most comfortable sleep.

Stomach Sleepers

Similar to back sleepers, stomach sleepers experience most of their pressure on the lower back. That’s why like back sleepers, stomach sleepers typically have a most restful sleep on a medium-firm to firm mattress.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers will feel pressure on the shoulders and hips, so it’s important the mattress accommodates this. A mattress that’s too soft will allow the shoulders and hips to sink in lower than the rest of the spine, while a mattress that’s too hard will make those pressure points much more obvious and uncomfortable. That’s why side sleepers do best with a medium to medium-firm mattress. 

Combination Sleepers

If you’re a combination sleeper you will find yourself cycling through more than one position throughout the night. As such, most combo sleepers choose a mattress based on the position they spend the most time in. If you don’t have a dominant position, a medium-firm mattress will offer the best support across all sleeping positions. In addition, you’ll want to look for a mattress that’s responsive to movement to make it easier to move into different sleeping positions. 

Special Features

Special features are something most modern mattresses come with in order to set themselves apart in a busy market. While some mattresses offer the same special features, others offer ones that are a bit more unique. Let’s have a look at some of the special features out there. 

Cooling Technology

If you sleep hot, you might like the idea of a mattress that comes equipped with cooling features that help regulate mattress temperature. Some materials that help with cooling include cooling gel, springs, organic wool, bamboo charcoal, organic cotton and latex. 

Dual Coil Systems

There are several hybrid mattresses on the market which feature a dual coil system, combining a layer of individually-wrapped pocket coils with a layer of micro-coils. The pocket coils provide a strong, durable foundation and good pressure relief. Meanwhile, micro-coils provide advanced comfort and enhanced responsiveness. The result? A very, very supportive and breathable mattress. 

Support Zones

Your body is unique, and different parts of it need different levels of comfort and support. The best mattresses on the market use support zones that provide individual support to each area of the body based on its needs.

Customisable Firmness

A great feature of some of the best mattresses is the ability to customise the firmness. For example, the standard Ecosa mattress comes as a medium-firm mattress. However, you can swap layers or flip the mattress once you unbox it to find the perfect firmness level for you. 

Body Types

Did you know your weight influences the type of mattress that’s best suited to you? People who are lighter in weight – like 60kg and under – don’t sink very far into a mattress. As such, to get the most comfort and support, lighter profile sleepers will most benefit from a softer mattress, whether that be a softer foam mattress or a hybrid. 

People between 60kg – 105kg have a few more options and can choose a mattress based on what feels best and based on their sleeping position. 

Heavier set sleepers over 105kg are best suited to firmer mattresses. This is because heavier sleepers will sink further into a mattress, especially at the heaviest parts of the body. This can throw off spinal alignment. That’s why these sleepers generally find a firm mattress the most supportive. 

People over 230 pounds will sink further into a mattress, especially near heavier parts of the body, which can risk throwing off spinal alignment. These sleepers usually have better results with mattresses that are a bit firmer to help avoid that risk.

Firmness LevelBest ForRecommended Brand 
Medium SoftSleepers under 60kg; side sleepers under 105kg Noa mattress 
MediumBack and side sleepers between 60kg–105kg Emma Original mattress
Medium FirmSleepers between 60kg–105k; side sleepers over 105kgEcosa mattress 
FirmSide sleepers over 105kg; back and stomach sleepers over 60kgSleeping Duck mattress

Size & Price

In Australia, most mattresses come in five standard sizes: single, king single, double, queen, and king. Some brands offer things like a long king single, or super king. Below are the most common dimensions per size. Note, however, sizes might vary slightly by brand.

  • Single Mattress – 92 x 188 cm
  • King Single Mattress – 107 x 203 cm
  • Double Mattress – 138 x 188 cm
  • Queen Mattress – 153 x 203 cm
  • King Mattress – 183 x 203 cm

Price is also an important consideration. Have a budget in mind before you start shopping around to avoid disappointment. Generally speaking, innerspring mattresses are the cheapest option, followed by foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses are typically the most expensive option. 

Mattress TypeQueen Size Price Range (AUD)Brand Examples
Innerspring$199 – $4,499Bonnell Spring Firm Mattress ($199) Quasar Innerspring Mattress ($369)
Memory Foam$699 – $4,799Koala ($1,050)Ecosa ($1,099)Emma ($1,099) 
Latex$749 – $2,695Onebed ($1,099)Peacelily ($1,299)
Hybrid$399 – $12,999Eva ($900)Noa ($1,099)Sleeping Duck ($1,649)
Best budget

Ecosa

Best budget

Ecosa is one of the most well-known and popular Australian mattress in a box products. As far as a budget mattress goes ($1,099 for queen), it comes with a range of incredible features, such as extra sizes (like long single and super king), and you can also fully customise the firmness level to suit your body and needs. It’s excellent value for money and overall a highly well-regarded and generally loved mattress-in-a-box bed.

Read more about the Ecosa mattress here.

Best average

Peacelily

Best average

The Peacelily mattress is all-latex mattress that’s medium on one side and firm on the other. It’s made of 100% natural and organic materials. If you’re transitioning from a memory foam or an innerspring mattress, the Peacelily mattress will feel quite different — almost like you are floating on top of it. However, the Peacelily mattress is dense, supportive and distinctively buoyant. It’s also a great option for people who tend to sleep hot. And, with the queen mattress coming in at $1,299, it’s an excellent option for sleepers who want to pay a bit extra for the right mattress without breaking the bank.

Best luxury

Sleeping Duck

Best luxury

The Sleeping Duck Mattress is one of the most well-known and universally loved mattresses in Australia. While coming at $1,649 (queen), the extra dollars you spend are well worth it thanks to this mattress’s incredible level of customisation. Featuring a customisable, modular foam layer that can be adjusted in 12 separate areas (6 on each side of the bed), the Sleeping Duck mattress goes above and beyond in its customisation capabilities. Ideal for front, side, back or combo sleepers, there’s not much not to love about the Sleeping Duck.

Read more about the Sleeping Duck mattress here.

Other Questions to Consider

1. Do you sleep with a partner?

If you share a mattress with a partner, you want your mattress to have a few extra features to make sure it’s a restful sleep for both of you. Below are some of the most important features: 

  • Excellent motion isolation
  • Good edge support
  • Responsive individually-wrapped pocket springs
  • Temperature regulating capabilities

2. What’s the trial period (if any?)

It can take up to a month to know if a mattress is right for you, so it’s important you choose a mattress that offers a good trial period (minimum a month – ideally 100 nights). Many brands also offer free returns and full refunds if you decide the mattress isn’t right for you.

3. Should you buy an online mattress? 

Online mattresses have surged in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. There are actually several major benefits to buying a mattress online versus going in-store. Here are some of the key benefits of buying the best mattress online: 

  • It’s cheaper– Typically, buying a mattress online is cheaper because it cuts out the middleman and any storage costs incurred by the brand.
  • Free shipping & trial period – Most online mattresses are shipped for free and some even offer same day delivery – bonus! And, because you don’t get to try the mattress in-store before you, you’ll also get a good at-home trial period. 
  • Free returns & refunds – If you don’t love your new mattress, you can return it for free and get your money back – no questions asked!

In Conclusion

Phew, that’s a lot to get through but we hope it’s helped you get on the right track to choosing the best mattress for you and your needs! The best mattress truly is a personal decision, and the most important thing is finding the right fit – after all, sleep is vital to our health and an important part of that recipe is a good mattress! Check out our full reviews of some of the best mattresses in Australia here. 

Ally Burnie Head Dreamer Ally Burnie
Journalist, presenter and host based in Sydney with a passion for cooking, outdoor adventures, hiking, humanitarianism, and travel.

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