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Experts guide to buying a quality Mattress

Posted on June 8, 2016

You spend over 200,000 hours or up to one third of the total time in bed in your entire lifetime - this is far more than the time spent on other household items including sofa, chairs, etc. So a mattress is crucial and is a long term investment in your health, happiness and wellbeing. This makes laudably important that you take proper time and effort in conducting appropriate research before buying a mattress. It not only ensures that you get long term health benefits and extreme comfort but also avail a great product for your money too.

In order to help you with the ins-and-outs of mattresses, we have come up with a comprehensive buying guide that will help you in buying the right mattresses online for yourself and your family. Before you purchase mattresses online, we insist you to go through this buying guide to make a more informed and wise purchase decision.

In this buying guide, you will get acquainted with:

  • Various sizes of mattresses available in the Australian market
  • Steps to buying the right mattress
  • Different types of mattresses, their uses and limitations
  • Extra features to consider while buying a mattress

Designed to provide support and comfort to the back, mattresses are one of the most essential items in the household.

Select the right size

While buying mattress for your bedroom or living space, you should make sure that it matches with the size of bed or furniture (for which it has to be used). You can refer to the standard Australian mattress sizing which is as follows:

  • Single mattress: 92cm x 188cm
  • Single extra-long mattress: 92cm x 203cm
  • King single mattress: 107cm x 203cm
  • Double mattress: 138cm x 188cm
  • Queen mattress: 153cm x 203cm
  • King mattress: 183cm x 203cm

Based on your requirements, you can select any one of these mattresses. Couples usually select the queen size mattress and extra-long single mattress is the preferable choice of singles (off course the tall ones).

Types of mattresses:

Innerspring Mattress:

An innerspring mattress is one of the most commonly sought about mattresses by most of the people. It consists of a steel coil support system and is available in a variety of spring systems like units with individually wrapped pocketed coils and sprigs connected into a single unit. The designs, spring shapes, number of coils and coil gauge may vary in these mattresses. If you look online, you will find out innerspring mattresses for sale at different prices and this variation occurs due to the material that goes into making the mattress. The innerspring bed is covered by upholstery material or padding. These coverings may include fiber, foams, and sometimes additional layers of smaller steel springs. The greater number of coils are considered better than the lesser ones because they provide more points of support and greater distribution of weight. Thus, a spring mattress having greater number of coils is more supportive and contours the sleeper in a better way. Spring or coil mattress is also great for the ones who are overweight as it offers a firmer support making it easier for them to get out of bed.

Key Components of coil/spring mattresses

While you go for purchasing a spring/coil mattress, you have your own wish list prepared in terms of comfort and feel. So, if you are looking to buy good mattress, here are some key components that need to be evaluated to make the right buying decision:

  • Mattress coils and springs provide better support to the back: Yes! Whenever you look out for a mattress on sale, one of the most common types you come across are coil and spring mattresses. The wire in the spring comes in different thickness. The higher gauge number indicate higher quality mattress, whereas lower concentration of steel coils denote stiffer, thicker wire and a firmer base. This does not clearly imply that higher thickness is the best pick, you should use your own judgment and expert’s advice to decide which mattress is best suited to provide better support to you and help reduce the lower back pain.
  • Look for mattress padding for the extra comfort: The padding of mattress is another important factor that indicates the quality of mattress. Padding is usually made of soft and comfortable materials like puffed-up polyester, polyurethane foam or cotton batting. If you go for extensive mattress padding, it might be expensive but provides highest level of comfort to you, so it is worth that extra cost!
  • Reach out to the details of middle padding: Middle padding is one of the components that are often missed into the product descriptions while you purchase mattress online or try to find one at physical stores. But, if you can’t find this detail in description, you can always ask the store or seller for this important detail. But, what is middle padding and why should you even care for that? Middle padding is placed just below the top layer and in most of the cases it is made of foam. If you look at the cross section of the mattress, firmer foam don’t spring back quickly while the softer foam feels more comfortable and almost moist to the touch. The next layer of padding is usually made up of cotton batting. The thickness of this layer might vary across different mattresses and even within one mattress. As a result, the coil mattress for sale may feel firmer in some areas, such as decreased firmness at the corners of mattress.
  • Insulation Mattress Padding: This padding typically lies over the coil spring so that they cannot be felt when someone relaxes on the mattress. It also prevents the spring from damaging the top layers of mattress.
  • Mattress Foundations: The box spring is also known as mattress foundation and adds another level of support to the mattress. They usually consist of metal or wooden frame with springs. Springs are added to it to impart a softer feel, as a plain metal or wooden frame might make the mattress feel harder. If you are purchasing a mattress with wood foundation, make sure that the wood is straight and has no cracks. Purchasing a mattress and foundation as a set helps preserve the mattress and enhances its life.
  • Mattress quilting and ticking: Ticking is usually made up of cotton polyester blend or polyester and is a part of the outer layer of mattress. The quilting attaches this tickling to the top layers of padding. While buying a mattress in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne or any other part of Victoria, you should also inspect the quality of stitching - they should look consistent and unbroken. If you are planning to buy a mattress in Sydney, you will get various kinds and styles of ticking - picking the one that is comfortable to you is up to your choice.

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Pocket Spring Mattress

Nowadays, a slightly different version of spring mattress is available in the market, which is the pocket spring mattress for sale. Pocket spring mattresses usually have up to 3000 springs sewn into individual fabric pockets. They can also be customized to have different firmness on two sides. They come with added benefits like:

  • Quite cool and comfortable
  • Light weight
  • Do not need to be turned

Water Beds

Imagine enjoying a good night’s sleep relaxing yourself on a pool of water without putting any effort to keep floating on the water. Waterbeds, floatation mattresses, or water mattresses are mattresses that are filled with water. They use water chamber as the support system and are usually available in two types namely soft sided and hard sided. A soft sided waterbed consists of water chamber inside a frame of rigid foam covered with a fabric casing which imparts the mattress a soft and comfortable feel. A hard-sided waterbed consists of a rectangular wooden frame with a water chamber inside. Usually both these types of beds rest on the top of a platform. The water chamber can be “Waveless” (in which interconnected water chambers or fiber batting limit the movement of water) or “Freeflow” (in which the water freely flows within the mattress and nothing obstructs its flow). In most of the regions across Victoria, you will find water beds available in standard Australia sizes.

Water beds can usually be heated. The temperature of these mattresses is controlled with a thermostat and set according to the personal preferences. Most people commonly set this temperature at about 30°C or 86°F. Depending on bedding, insulation, use, temperature, and other factors, electricity usage may differ, considerably.

So, what else makes these water beds great? According to medical studies, waterbeds work on the principle of equal distribution of body weight on a measured volume of water. This phenomenon is useful in a number of ailments including:

  • Arthritis: When the weight of patient is evenly distributed on the mattress, patient feels less pressure on the major joins that are affected by arthritis.
  • Backache: During winters, heat from the waterbeds aids in proper circulation and thus reduces back pain and enhances the healing process. Moreover, it evenly distributes the body weight which aids in a comfortable and less painful sleep.
  • Insomnia: Water beds are also preferred for the insomniac patients as this kind of mattress moulds to the sleeper’s body shape supporting the back evenly. With no pressure points a person can sleep in one position more peacefully and for much longer periods. The therapeutic warmth adds up to the comfort. You can use it as a warm waterbed on chilly winter’s night and turn down the heater to keep your sleep cool during summers.
  • Bedsores: Use of water beds can also prevent the formation of decubitus ulcer. Patients who are already suffering from bedsores or ulcers can also expect quick recovery by switching to water mattress. As per researches, the healing can be 3X faster than the use of other kinds of mattresses.

Here are some more benefits that you can avail with waterbeds:

  • Water mattresses improve blood circulation by allowing muscles to relax and alleviate stiffness of the back and joints
  • Even support, low pressure points and comfortable sleeping temperature provide relief in most medical conditions
  • A healthy sleeper moves about 40 to 60 times in a night. Water mattress exerts less pressure on body leading into less turning and tossing
  • Wipe over mattress and washable covers are beneficial for those suffering from allergies or asthma
  • Water easily moulds to the shape of your body without creating any pressure points. It gives comfort and support to the entire body irrespective of its shape and size
  • You can set the temperature of the bed and make it more comfortable for a good night’s sleep. It ensures that you sleep off quickly and peacefully with far less turning in bed
  • Dust mites are known for causing and aiding allergies. Your dead skin permeates spring, foam or latex mattress and provides food to these dust mites. With vinyl water mattress, you can wade off these worries by washing it at regular intervals. It is resistant to dust mites so that asthma and allergy sufferers can sleep peacefully
  • Floating mattresses are usually constructed with soft PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or other similar materials. This makes it easier to repair these mattresses with practically any vinyl repair kit
  • It is recommended by many physiotherapists, chiropractors, and osteopaths who have fine working knowledge of floating mattresses

Owing to their medical and therapeutic benefits, these type of mattresses are widely being used in hospitals throughout Australia. You can buy water mattresses online availing great discounts and offers.

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Foam Mattress:

As an alternative to the conventional mattresses, some kinds of mattresses are constructed mostly or entirely with Australian latex foam or memory foam. Memory mattresses or latex foam mattresses can be purchased in different densities. Some of the foam mattresses are made up of multiple layers which are adhered together while some have foam core in the center. Latex foam or memory foam mattresses come in various degrees of firmness. This gives the buyers greater selection for comfort and back support. Based on your personal preference, you can select between foam mattress and other types of mattresses. The foam may be latex foam, polyurethane foam or visco elastic foam which is also known as memory foam mattress. It may also contain gel or other materials. Foam mattresses can be manufactured with foams of varying densities and shapes and thereby also differ in feel, comfort and energy consumption.

These kind of mattresses work extremely well for the ones who are suffering from some type of muscle pain or chronic fatigue or who face hard time getting comfortable.

Memory Foam Mattress

Out of the various types of foam mattresses, memory foam mattress is the most sought about one. Most of the memory foam mattresses are made up of multiple layers of foam, with the memory foam (2 - 8 inches thick) glued on the top of support foam (middle layer) and a high density foam at the base (lowermost layer). It offers benefits like:

  • True Body Fit: Memory foam mattresses can easily mould into the shape of your body thus allowing the surface to evenly distribute your body weight. Once the pressure is removed, it returns to its original position.
  • Temperature Controlled Support: Your body temperature affects how well you sleep. Memory Foam Mattresses accept this logic and are made using a temperature sensitive material. It allows the mattress to adjust to your body weight as well as heat - as the temperature of your body increases, the mattress becomes softer. Moreover, it also retains heat, providing an added warmth and comfort during cold months. Opposite to the case, if you are warm blooded, memory foam mattresses with cooling feature are also available for you.
  • Allergy Friendly: Memory foam mattresses are made up of a polyurethane foam makeup, which is generally made up of fibers that inhibit the allergy-causing dust mites from collecting in the mattress. Unlike contemporary mattresses, the denser the mattress’s foam composition, the higher prevention from accumulation of allergens.
  • Pain Relief Comfort: The memory foam bedding relieves pain, soreness and body aches. It also helps your body to recover more quickly from injuries. It is achieved due to memory foam’s ability to displace the pressure from pain points on your body. Generally, pain areas in your body have higher temperature as compared to the rest of the body. Memory foam is capable of detecting these differences and moulds accordingly by reducing or adding pressure to the area.
  • Motion Transfer Resistance: Memory foam is also good absorber of surface movement which helps reduce the disturbances when a partner moves around in bed.

While the sleep preferences and requirements vary from person to person, memory foam mattresses are one of the smart options for healthy sleep. With their ability to be moulded as per your body and natural pain support properties, memory foam mattresses are worth your consideration.

*PS: While buying memory foam, you should ensure that it is of high density. As, higher density helps in even distribution of body weight and acts as a great support.

Foam mattress act like sponges, which means they absorb liquid. So, to ensure its protection, you should always use a waterproof mattress protector while setting up your memory foam mattress. It will also help to keep you sleeping cool during hot weather.

Latex Mattress

Latex Mattress is another variety of foam mattress available in Australia and is composed of latex foam in the upholstery layer, as the support system, or both. Latex is usually made from natural petroleum based materials or plants or man-made synthetic latex. Blends made of synthetic and natural latex are also quite common. While shopping for a new latex mattress in Australia, ensure that you thoroughly understand exactly what kind of product you are buying - the product being sold as natural latex can mean a blend with 20% (or higher percentage) of synthetic latex. Latex mattresses are also available in standard Australian mattress sizes.

Latex mattress comes with its own benefits like:

  • High Durability: 100% natural latex mattress receives high customer satisfaction. These type of mattresses are highly durable and can easily last for 15 or more years. These mattresses also offers benefits similar to memory foam mattress like natural contouring and low-pressure support without heat retention, slow response or chemical odours. Apart from being durable, latex is also bio-degradable.
  • Comfort: Pain prevention and pain reduction are the most common benefits of sleeping on latex mattresses. Latex mattresses are believed to relieve the pressure points and also reduce or prevent pain (including lower back pain). Since latex is a resilient matter, it supports the user’s spine by exerting excess pressure on the shoulders and hips. It also contours enough to provide proper alignment.
  • Great for allergy patients: Latex mattress is also great for allergy sufferers as it provides anti-microbial and hypoallergenic qualities.

With these commendable benefits, latex foam mattresses also accompany certain drawbacks like: firmness, compression, high price, heat retention, and heaviness. You can find latex mattress in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and all other major cities across Australia.

Gel Mattress:

Considered as an extended and technologically advanced type of memory foam mattress, gel mattress is made up with a unique support layer which provides a softer yet durable feel. In recent trends, the gel memory foam beds have become quite common in Melbourne. These mattresses contain gel in the upholstery layers, product’s support layer, or both. The scientifically treated gel can be added to the foam using different types of technology. With its open cell structure and gel effect, the mattress moulds to your body shape without getting too hot or cold. Gel mattress is ideal for anyone looking for medium or medium soft, medium firm, and comfortable mattress. You can go for a choice of solid gel mattress or a combination of gel, foam and spring layers. This mattress offers benefits like comfort and heat dissipation features. In some products, you can also find layers of ActiGel. They are one that gives the best deal value in long run and are one of the prime selling mattresses after latex mattress in Sydney, Canberra and other major Australian cities.

Gel mattresses also offer benefits like:

  • Balanced support: The gel mattress provides a firm yet comfortable surface to sleep. You don’t sink too deeply into this mattress, but still it fits ably well to your body. Reverse of the conventional mattresses in which you sink down into the topmost layer, Gel Mattresses are rather firm and set to place. Gel memory foam mattress is designed with extra support to the body parts which require the maximum pressure, so you enjoy just the right amount of contact over your body.
  • Enhanced air circulation: In gel memory foam mattress, the gel beads are infused into the memory foam. It creates an open cell structure that facilitates the movement of air. As a result, instead of retaining the heat, the mattress dissipates the heat on the top, pillow, or topper. This helps to keep you cool and enjoy a comfortable temperature all night.
  • Pressure Relief: If you are a side sleeper, most of the times you must have faced the issue with pressure on shoulders and hips while you sleep. This pressure on the points cases tossing and turning multiple times in night and snatch away a peaceful and continuous sleep. In gel memory foam, your body is gently cradled on a cool layer, so the painful and irritating pressure points are removed and relieved. This makes it different from the conventional mattresses and helps you enjoy good nights’ sleep - everyday!
  • Suitable spinal positioning: During the sleep sessions, the spinal cord is encouraged to align in the most natural manner. Memory gel mattress helps in relieving the pressure from shoulders and hips and keeps your spine in natural position. It also relieves all your stress and fatigue. As a result, you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning instead of feeling harassed by pain points after the night’s sleep.
  • Eliminates the “sleep hot” problem: One of the most common drawbacks of memory foam is ‘sleep hot’ condition. The inception of gel foam mattress was also meant to address this persistent complaint of ‘sleeping hot’ condition. Unlike conventional memory foam, memory gel foam does not retain the heat that your body gives off while you sleep. This keeps you cool and comfortable all night long.

Air Mattress or airbeds

Apparent from the name, air mattresses or airbeds use an adjustable air chamber as the support system. Usually, you get two types of air mattresses - one for camping purposes (portable air mattress), the other for residential use. These two are different in make and use. Camping air mattress only has an air chamber that can be filled up with air as and when required. Whereas, residential air mattresses are covered with an upholstery or padding material, which can range from varieties of fiber and foams. Air mattresses allow you to adjust the firmness and control each side on the bed separately to meet the specific needs of couples. They are usually designed to look like conventional beds and are quite economical.

Hybrid Mattress

When a steel coil mattress is combined with one or more types of foam, such as latex foam, memory (or visco foam), polyurethane foam, or memory gel foam or other materials; it belongs to the category of hybrid mattress. If you are opting to choose hybrid foam, you can also consider bespoke options. The bespoke or tailored option also helps people who are looking for a specific mattress that can help them in relieving special medical conditions - like back pain due to spinal disc injury, etc.

Pillow Top Mattress

If you are looking for an extra soft and luxurious mattress, pillow top mattress is the one for you! In this type of mattress, an additional upholstery layer is sewn on the top of mattress. This layer is made from a variety of foam or fiber materials. Utmost luxury lies in this kind of mattress making it one of the most costly picks.

How to buy high quality mattress online?

Before buying a mattress online, it is recommended to try sleeping on it. Most of the people try different mattresses at various hotels, friends’/ relatives’ house, etc. When they buy the best mattress, they buy the same model/make. If you cannot make the purchase in a similar manner, you should ensure to check the following main factors that comprise a mattress:

  • Support: The core of the mattress provides support to the sleeper’s body. A good quality mattress should always have a comfortable and relaxing core to provide enough support and allow for natural curves of the spine.
  • Comfort: The padding on the top of the mattress should provide comfort (usually a thick padding is called a “pillow top”). The final selection entirely depends on your choice and requirements (some people prefer thick padding and some prefer thin according to their personal choice and health condition).

In general, mattresses with comfortable core and thicker padding are considered to be of high quality and are thus more expensive. However, this does not imply that it is mandatory to buy such mattresses online. While it important that a mattress should provide an acceptable level of support to the spine, comfort level, medical condition and personal preference are the prime considerations when selecting a mattress.

Paying the extra attention

While you are acquainted with the prime features that you should look for while buying a comfortable mattress for yourself, here are few more considerations that are quite uncommon and are often missed out by buyers.

  • Check the return policy: It is possible that you realize that a particular mattress is not fit for you after sleeping on it for about a week. While buying a mattress in Melbourne, always ask the supplier for the applicable return policy.
  • Choose the ones that come with a warranty: Most of the well branded mattresses come with a warranty. Ask your supplier if you can get some added or extended warranty (apart from the one that you get from the manufacturer’s end). This will ensure that you get the right mattress and the seller can vow for its quality.
  • Take your time: It is important that you spend some quality time in researching about various kinds of mattresses. Some brands also offer a comfort guarantee, so it always pays to go with those brands and stay assured of the promised comfort.
  • Consult your doctor: If you have spine related issues or any particular health condition, consult your doctor before buying a mattress. Don’t forget that doctors are not sleep experts but they might share some good advice from the perspective of your medical condition and symptoms.
  • Firm mattresses aren’t always better for the back: This is a common myth following which most of the people tend to buy firm mattresses. But, let us add some interesting knowledge to your consideration that firm mattresses aren’t always good for your back. Most of the researches show that medium firm mattress is better than the extremely firm ones. Moreover, don’t forget that there is a stark difference between firm feel and firm support. You should look for medium firm support with a soft feel.
  • Match the right pillow: Only mattress does not contribute towards a good night’s sleep. Matching the right pillow with mattress is also crucial. Light-weight people should avoid buying pillows that are too thick as their weight is not enough to compress the foam and touch the underlying mattress. On the other hand, heavier people should go for the thicker pillows that can provide extra cushion between them and the coils.
  • Prefer quality and value over price: Mattress can directly impact your health, so you should shop for the best value and quality mattress rather than losing your choice out for the cheaper mattress options. Mattresses with thicker padding and more coils tend to be of higher quality and are thus more expensive. Though, a higher price range doesn’t signify that the mattress is more supportive or comfortable. It is always a good idea to compare the prices after finding the right mattress (as per your needs).
  • Beware of the advertising gimmicks: If the seller claims that a mattress is “medically approved” or “orthopedic”, be skeptical about getting more details about the mattress. Even today, there are not too many controlled clinical trials or extensive medical research on the topic of mattress and back pain. So, it is up to you to determine whether you should go for some extra features of cheap mattress or not.
  • Ask for reviews: If one of your colleagues or friends is using a mattress that you are about to purchase, ask for an honest review from them before making the final decision. You can also check online reviews about mattress manufacturers in Australia and their products.
  • Try to give the mattress a test run before you buy it: If your friends or relatives have an existing model that you are about to purchase, try to visit them as inspect the cheap mattress by lying over it. Make sure that the mattress has enough space and is comfortable for you. You can also avail the benefits if easy and hassle-free returns if you are dissatisfied with the quality of mattress that you bought online.
  • Purchase branded mattresses to ensure high standards: While it might not be true always, but high value and esteemed manufacturers of mattresses in Australia ensure the quality of their products. Buying mattress in Melbourne from online stores that can replace or return the mattress if you are not satisfied with the quality or comfort after sleeping is the right choice. Simply don’t go for the cheapest mattress.
  • Always ask questions: Request for written product information, ask questions and examine each mattress thoroughly to become a more proficient customer.

Taking care of your mattress

As stated above, buying a mattress is a long term investment. So, it is incredibly important to take care of your mattress to ensure its durability and longevity. You should be well aware of the tips and tricks and the little efforts that can enhance the life of your mattress:

  • To help preserve the quality of a new mattress, it should be repositioned every six months. This ensures that the mattress is evenly worn. This also includes rotating 180 degrees and flipping the mattress lengthwise on a regular basis. The Better Sleep Council advises against putting a mattress on a box spring/foundation that is not made to go with the mattress, as this may decrease the life of the new mattress.
  • If you are suffering from any allergies or asthma, it is advisable to seal your mattress in allergen protective covers. Also, if such problems are faced by most of the members of your family, you should not invest in cheap mattress.
  • You can keep your mattress clean by using baking soda. It will absorb all the bad odour and moisture and leave your mattress smelling and looking fresh.

After gaining the in-depth details about various kinds of mattresses available in Australia, it is apparent that you are ready for making a more informed and better purchase of mattress. Buying a mattress online is not a havoc’s task, what you actually need is time and patience to evaluate what works best for you! You can browse the comprehensive range of mattresses that we present across Australia including Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and other area of Victoria. If you need any help, we are an email away from you. You can contact our team and share your queries. Our experts will help you out in taking the right buying decision.

Till then sleep tight and right in your mattress! Good night and sleep well!

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