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How do I choose the best mattress?

Chances are you’ve seen an ad on social media for a mattress-in-a-box. This new way of buying a mattress promises a great night’s sleep with unprecedented convenience and flexibility, and for a decent price too! More companies are entering this market, each claiming to have the best mattress - but what’s the difference between them? In this guide we break down just what your money buys you, and give you a crash course in foam technology without the sales pitch!

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Comparison
  3. Types of Foam
  4. Conclusion

Introduction

Mattresses-in-a-box have changed the mattress market over the last 24 months. This guide will help you navigate the differences between each of the most popular mattresses sold in this category. All the companies mentioned in this guide will deliver a vacuum-packed mattress to your door, and offer collection and refunds if you are unsatisfied. Returned mattresses are typically donated to a local charity - some companies have a nominated charity, others let the customer choose their own.

In the table below is a breakdown of each layer of the mattress you receive when ordering online through these companies. We have attempted to strip away the marketing terms used and show only the type of materials used in each part of the mattress. This table was compiled using information obtained from the manufacturer’s website, or by speaking with a representative from the company if the website was unclear.

Use this information to select the type of mattress construction you believe suits you, and check out the reviews for the brands you find appealing.

Comparison

Ecosa

Ecosa
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 18cm
Layer 2Gel Memory Foam, 5cm
Layer 3Natural Latex Foam (Dunlop), 2cm
Top CoverDouble Knitted Polyester
Total Thickness25cm
Trial Period (Nights)100
Warranty15 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$799 / $1099

Ergoflex

Ergoflex
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 9cm
Layer 2Polyurethane Foam, 5cm
Layer 3Visco-Elastic Memory Foam, 9cm
Top CoverTencel
Total Thickness23cm
Trial Period (Nights)30
Warranty10 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$1199 / $1799

Koala

Koala
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 20cm
Layer 2Polyurethane Foam, 5cm
Top CoverCotton/Polyester Blend
Total Thickness25cm
Trial Period (Nights)120
Warranty10 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$750 / $1050

Lazybed

Lazybed
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 17.5cm
Layer 2Polyurethane Foam, 7.5cm
Top CoverDouble Knitted Polyester/Bamboo Blend
Total Thickness25cm
Trial Period (Nights)125
Warranty10 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$750 / $950

Onebed

Onebed
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 18cm
Layer 2Visco-Elastic Memory Foam, 4cm
Layer 3Natural Latex Foam (Dunlop), 4cm
Top CoverPlush Woven Fabric
Total Thickness26cm
Trial Period (Nights)125
Warranty15 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$750 / $1050

Sleep Republic

Sleep Republic
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)Pocket Springs, 20cm
Layer 2Natural Latex Foam, 3cm
Layer 3Gel Memory Foam, 3cm
Layer 4Quilting Foam, 4cm
Top CoverKnitted Cashmere
Total Thickness30cm
Trial Period (Nights)100
Warranty12 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$599 / $1199

Sleeping Duck

Sleeping Duck
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)Pocket Springs, 20cm
Layer 2HD* Polyurethane Foam, 6cm
Layer 3Hyper-Adaptive™ Foam, 4cm
Top CoverBamboo Fabric
Total Thickness30cm
Trial Period (Nights)100
Warranty10 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$799 / $1349

Sommuto

Sommuto
Layer 1 (Bottom Layer)HD* Polyurethane Foam, 15cm
Layer 2Gel Memory Foam, 5cm
Layer 3Polyurethane Foam, 5cm
Top CoverStretch Knit
Total Thickness25cm
Trial Period (Nights)100
Warranty10 Years
Price** (Single / Queen)$699 / $949

*HD = High Density
**Prices correct as of June 2019

Your Crash Course in Foam!

  • Polyurethane foam is found in some form in almost every foam mattress. It’s also used in car seats and sponges, or even for soundproofing. It is made from products derived from crude oil, and the process varies depending on the purpose. Polyurethane foam intended for mattresses is made with an “open-cell” design.
  • Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that is sensitive to pressure and heat, with a slow response time. Also known as “Visco-elastic memory foam”, this is the foam famously developed by NASA in the 1960s. It is possible to manufacture memory foam from natural (plant-based) materials, but this is not common.
  • Gel memory foam is usually created by fusing gel beads into visco-elastic memory foam during the manufacturing process, although some brands may use a larger pocket or layer of gel within a mattress or pillow. It feels softer, and is often marketed as being cooler to sleep on than standard visco-elastic memory foam, however this cooling benefit only lasts for roughly the first 30 minutes of each night’s sleep.
  • Latex foam is more durable than other foams and can be either synthetic, made from petroleum-based oils and other additives, or natural, made from rubber tree sap (although even these contain some additives). Natural latex foam is made using one of two manufacturing processes, Dunlop and Talalay. Latex made using the Dunlop method is denser, while the newer Talalay process adds synthetic materials to create a softer-feeling mattress.

All of these foams can be manufactured to be firmer or softer than other foams, or even one of the same type. For example, a regular polyurethane foam can be manufactured to be as soft as memory foam, but without the slow response to pressure. Latex foams can also be manufactured to accommodate varying degrees of firmness.

Conclusion

Most of these beds come with a warranty of at least 10 years. During this time you would spend around 30,000 hours on your mattress, so you want to be sure you’re getting a product you’re happy with. Whether you prefer pocket springs or foam, make sure you research before you commit to a purchase. You can find all our mattress reviews here. If you have a specific question about a product, you can ask it on that product’s page, and a representative from the company will get in touch with you.

We hope this guide will help you navigate through the jargon and frequently conflicting information found online. Remember, every manufacturer will claim their mattress in the best, but the person who knows the most about how you like to sleep is you!