Mattress Buying Guide

Whether you buy from us, and we hope you do, the information included in this comprehensive mattress buying guide will hopefully help you to make an informed decision on your next high quality, luxury mattress purchase. We simply recommend that you take account of some important considerations when making your selection, and that you select the best supportive mattress to fit your needs and preferences.

Time for a New Mattress?

A comfortable and well supporting mattress can make the difference between a quality night’s sleep, and a restless and disturbed night’s sleep, which leaves you feeling tired and fatigued. Whilst it depends on the quality of the mattress, your specific sleeping pattern and its usage, on average we would recommend changing your mattress every seven to eight years. Even if your current mattress looks in reasonable condition, over time the important supportive and comfort qualities the mattresses springs and fillings originally offered, will undoubtedly deteriorate.

We have noted below, a few factors and tell-tale signs which can help indicate when the time is right for a change:

Is your current mattress over seven years old;

Does your mattress show signs of deterioration, with excessive sags or lumps visible;

Do you wake up with stiff joints or aches, caused by a lack of mattress support;

Do you feel you are getting a restless and uncomfortable nights sleep;

Do you or your partner, constantly feel the other’s movements in bed;

Have you had a better night sleep in another bed;

Have the supportive requirements you need from a mattress changed, for instance sharing with a partner, or sleeping pattern and weight changes;

Once you’ve made your decision to purchase a new mattress, there are a number of factors that you should consider before making your purchase, and these extend far beyond simply identifying what size mattress you require. Here at Alexandra Designs we pride ourselves on the quality of the mattresses we provide across all of our ranges, and we believe they are amongst some of the best quality and value mattresses, available in the market place. Please review our Range page for further details.

Mattress Use

How you plan to use the mattress will greatly influence the mattress you should purchase. If you are purchasing the mattress for yourself, your partner or another person, the mattress selection needs to be tailored to the requirements of the individual. Consideration of that person’s weight, support requirements and comfort preferences, need to be made.

If the mattress is being used for occasional use, for instance in a spare bedroom, you may not be able to tailor your selection to an individual’s requirements, and you may therefore wish to consider selecting the medium option for support and comfort level. It’s worth considering when the mattress is for occasional use in a spare room, is it worth the same level of investment that you would make for your own bed?

Mattress Budget

Whilst we would not advocate simply purchasing the most expensive mattress, it is worth remembering that a mattress should be seen as a valuable and significant investment. As consumers we often seem happy to spend thousands of pounds on sofa’s, due to the amount of time we spend on them. However, if you consider that you may spend 3 to 4 hours a day sat on the sofa, which represents around 15% of your daily time, in comparison if you sleep for the recommended 8 hours each day, that equates to a considerable 33% of your daily time spent lay on your mattress.

When considering that a high quality mattress, which if suitably looked after, can retain it’s supportive and comfort quality for between seven to eight years, that works out to be a lot of use. During an eight year period, the average person, based on the recommended eight hours sleep period, will effectively spend 23,360 hours on their mattress. So, a mattress that may at first appear expensive, broken down to a daily assessment, can quickly be justified as a wise investment. For example, a £1,000 spent on a mattress, over an eight year period works out to:

£125 a year,
£10.42 a month,
£2.40 a week,
£0.34p a day.

Always remember though, the best mattress for you is not always the most expensive mattress.

At the heart of any quality mattress, there must be quality spring units and this is a requirement that we can proudly say all of our mattresses meet. All of the springs we use, be they in our spunbond pockets or in our Calico pockets, are made purposely from Vanadium steel, which in comparison to many manufacturers who simply use steel springs, is a significant plus point when it comes to quality. Vanadium is used by top end manufacturers to provide their highest quality springs, since its characteristics guarantee that the spring units are both strong and durable. Please refer to our separate Springs page for more information on the pocket spring, and hand crafted Calico pocket spring units, we use within our mattresses.

Spring Tension

Gentle, medium or firm support; which option do you go for? This can often be a difficult decision, and whilst partly this comes down to your personal preference, we would suggest that your weight is equally a significant factor to consider. With all our mattresses, you can choose the tension of the pocket springs from gentle, medium and firm springs, and customise the level of support to suit your specific requirements:

Gentle: Typically a gentle tension mattress will give a significant amount of hug, and the user will experience sinking into the mattress.

Medium: Middle of the road and quite often the most popular. This will provide some sinking, but with less hugging than a soft mattress.

Firm: The springs provide minimal to no sinking or hugging, and often provides the feeling of sleeping on top of the mattress.

Dual Zone

For that extra level of customisation, all of our Tatton and Prestbury mattresses, in sizes king and super king, come with the option of being manufactured with differing spring tensions within each half of the mattress. This is referred to as dual zone construction, and provides a more bespoke and tailored option for couples. Our dual zone tensions are available in the following combinations; gentle and medium, or medium and firm only. When selecting dual zone tension within your mattress, please ensure you take note of the below graphic, to determine the perspective we use when identifying the left and right side of the mattress. For your ease of reference, this graphic will also appear within the individual mattress pages, on the image carousel.

Sleep Position

Another important factor in determining the support that suits you, can be the position you sleep in. People that sleep on their side usually need a Gentle to Medium range mattress, which allows more compression where the side of the body creates a more intensified load on a smaller area. Stomach sleepers generally opt for Medium range support, and back sleepers generally fall into the Medium to Firm range. If you sleep in multiple positions, try to find a balanced level of support that covers all needs.

Your Weight

As mentioned above, we believe your weight is probably the most important factor, as a larger person will generally need a firmer mattress tension, which provides much more deep, compression support. Going for a softer mattress may result in the spring sinking too much under the increased weight and pressure, removing the supportive ability the spring units can provide. As a guide we would suggest the following weight and spring tension combinations:

Don’t mistake Gentle for Comfort

This is a very important point to remember. The idea of sleeping on a ‘soft’ mattress can be appealing to people, as it brings with it the thought of comfort. However, for most people a mattress with a Gentle tension spring, can actually be too soft. This will undoubtedly result in the mattress not providing adequate support, leading to a poor night’s sleep, potential discomfort during the night and aches when you wake up. Mattresses in our Gentle range are often best suited for those below 10 stone, or side sleepers, whilst most other sleeping styles may find them uncomfortable over time.

Support and Firmness Perception

Firstly, support and firmness are two very different things, but are quite often misinterpreted as meaning one and the same attributes. Considered independently, support comes from the spring tension, whilst firmness, or as it is sometimes referred comfort, comes from the upholstery layers. We offer all our mattresses with excellent quality spring units, in order that each individual mattress can be tailored to provide the ideal support to meet a persons requirements.

Our eleven unique mattress specifications provide the levels of firmness or comfort, through the layering of the carefully selected infill materials. Comfort within the upholstery of a mattress can be a subjective opinion, and what you consider firm or soft, may be considerably different to another person’s perspective. As a general rule or guide with our mattresses, the higher up the ranges you go, the greater percentage of natural materials have been used, and the more luxurious the upholstery layers become.

All of our Tatton range mattresses contain between 60% and 75% natural materials within their upholstery layers, and are covered with 100% natural Damask ticking, to create a supreme level of comfort. Our Prestbury range mattresses go that step further and are in a class of their own when it comes to luxurious comfort, with all upholstery layers being sourced from 100% natural products.

Please refer to our separate Natural Materials page for more information on the natural products used within our mattresses, and the beneficial qualities they provide.

Zip and Link

All of our mattresses, in sizes king and super-king, come with the option of being manufactured in two individual halves, which are then zipped together to create the full mattress. Please refer to our separate Zip and Link page for more information on this option, and the practical benefits it offers.

You may only buy a mattress a handful of times throughout your life, and buying a poor quality mattress could have a detrimental impact on both a healthy lifestyle, as well as on your general well-being. When you consider just some of the following health issues that the wrong mattress could result in, it just reinforces the importance of making the right decision and buying a high quality mattress:

Poor Sleep: It’s not just the number of hours sleep you get, but the quality of sleep you have during the night. A poor mattress leads to a poor nights sleep, and you may find yourself waking regularly, becoming restless, or struggling to get off to sleep.

Drowsiness: As can be expected from a poor night’s sleep, drowsiness can occur the following day which can negatively impact your productivity, along with your general feeling of happiness and well-being.

Back Pain: A low quality mattress, that doesn’t provide the required level of support you need, can often result in you sleeping in an unnatural position. This can result in straining, or twisting of your back, due to the posture you sleep in.

Joint Soreness: Selecting a mattress that is too firm for you, could add additional strain to your joints, and again result in an unnatural sleeping position.

Other: As result of the above, your general health could equally be affected in the form of; a weakened immune system, due to sleep deprivation and a general feeling of being run down; obesity, as a result of reduced energy levels and a reduced active lifestyle and premature aging, caused by your body not getting the amount of replenishing sleep it needs.

We hope the above provides you with the guidance and confidence you need to help make your decision, and any future mattress purchase. If there are any further queries we can try to help with, please contact us via, and we will endeavor to provide any additional advice we can.