Fed up of sleeping badly? It might be time you invested in a new mattress. Your mattress can have a profound effect on your quality of sleep. A good mattress can reduce your pressure points, helping you to sleep more soundly without your brain receiving signals from your nerves to roll over.

If you’ve never made a serious mattress buying decision before, it’s likely that you don’t know much about what to look for. If you’ll admit to being a beginner to all things mattress, and don’t know the difference between spring, memory foam and hybrid, this post is for you.

Before you even start searching for a mattress, it’s important to know the following:

  • Your safety is important

Not many of us put safety at the top of our list when buying a mattress, but it’s time we did. It’s worth looking for memory foam mattresses without fiberglass, for example, as these pose much less of a fire hazard. Equally, though, some mattresses use flame retardants like formaldehyde and benzene, which come with their own health effects, including fertility problems and cancer.

  • There is more than one mattress type

There are three types of mattress you’re most likely to stumble across in your search: spring, memory foam and hybrid. Spring mattresses contain tiny pocketed coil springs that bounce back when you lift your weight off them. Memory foam mattresses consist of multiple layers of foam, starting firmest at the bottom and lightest at the top. Hybrid mattresses contain a combination of spring and foam.

Neither of these mattress types are better than the other, but you may personally prefer one more than the rest. It’s a good idea to test out the different mattresses at your local bed store if you’re unsure how each of them feels.

  • Firmness is a thing

When it comes to firmness, not all mattresses are created equally. You might assume that a mattress that’s soft is best – surely a softer mattress would create that weightless, anti-gravity feeling that we’re all looking for? But for some people, a mattress with too much sink is a problem, especially memory foam mattresses. If you’re a heavier person, you will need a firmer mattress, so you don’t end up sinking so low into it that you hit the harder supporting base layers. Here’s a mattress firmness guide that you might find useful.

  • You won’t necessarily like what everyone else does

Mattress reviews are some of the most subjective on the internet. Keep this in mind before you check out the reviews for a mattress you’re interested in. Obviously, if there are more bad reviews than good for a product, chances are, there’s something wrong with it. But remember that we’re all very different when it comes to sleep. Some people would rather a harder bed, others, something softer. Some people are generally more sensitive, and may have their own reasons for not liking a mattress that don’t apply to you. Don’t let one person’s opinion put you off.