Electric blanket

What is the best mattress? A nuanced answer!

2 May, 2024
Jürgen Swinnen

It is a seemingly simple question. Yet when you visit bed stores or sleep departments, you get different answers. That’s because the people who assist and advise you have gained experience over time, attended manufacturers’ product trainings and helped a lot of customers.

Based on these elements, among others, they formed an opinion. That colors an opinion. And that’s a good thing, too. In the meantime, let this blog be an inspiration for good conversation!

Picture, JS, 2024

How to choose the right mattress?

I think it is important that you ask this question sincerely to yourself. And if you sleep together with a partner, that you talk about this too. What is a good mattress for you and by extension for you? Before you go to a store, think about this already.

All roads lead to good sleep?

In creating this blog, I talked to quite a few people who advise mattresses on a daily basis in a bedding store or guide retailers in selecting their assortment. A large group immediately indicated that the choices depend heavily on the person and personal preferences. Consider:

Another group advises more based on the technical aspects of mattresses and looks for objective ways to guide you in your choice. Frequently, the more advanced mattresses then refer to ergonomic properties or the mechanical theory of motion with respect to our bodies.

Custom mattress

Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about consultants who work with measurement systems. These systems are among others. developed by spin-offs at universities or by punishing engineers. Manufacturers then deploy them, with proper training and consultant support, to analyze your ergonomic lying posture.

It results in an ergonomic mattress or sleep system customized for you. Even if this path is followed, your personal wishes will be addressed. Only they are much less central to the first line of advice.

how to test mattress

All of these counseling methods have advantages and disadvantages. But of course, they don’t make it easy for you as a consumer to choose or to still see the forest for the trees. Consumers also need clarity, and all kinds of tests conveniently play into that.

Every country, meanwhile, has its own consumer organization that tries to provide objective insights into the tangle of choosing a mattress. A lot of people therefore no longer even actively search and are guided by these outcomes.

Is that wisdom? I don’t think so, the “best in test” lists can be useful, but still lead to dissatisfied sleepers despite all efforts.

What works for you?

What do you think is important about a good mattress? What makes you relaxed? During my conversation with Alex ter Horst, I notice that he knows how to put into words what I myself call personal wishes. The ultimate goal is to wake up relaxed after a good night’s sleep. And that includes lying during the night without restlessness and undisturbed.

So, instead of diving straight into the solution, think for a moment before looking for the best cold foam mattress, the best memory foam mattress or the best pocket spring mattresses in your country.

Listening to your body is a special task. Geert Kuneman can also attest to this when I talk to him. He always advises people to consciously lie on their sides. Pressure on the shoulder is always a good indicator. When the mattress is too hard and too soft, you feel more pressure.

What should you pay attention to when buying a mattress?

How do you know if you still have a good mattress?

A lot of campaigns by industry associations have since pointed out the limited lifespan of most mattresses. It is often assumed that you can sleep on a mattress for 10 years. That number is not an exact science, rather a consensus.

There are many variables that impact the lifespan of a mattress. Moisture control and ventilation play an important role when it comes to longevity. Regularly turning and flipping the mattress, when allowed, is really a plus. Like whether or not to use a mattress protector and appropriate duvets. So it should be clear that some mattresses really won’t reach the intended lifespan of 10 years.

Realize that price and quality matter. This is not a plea to buy expensive mattresses. However, materials used in mattresses such as foam, latex, gel, pocket springs, down, wool and other hair, not only differ among themselves, but can also be different within the same type. A layer of 5 cm or 10 cm is a world of difference in comfort. And a density of 25 kg/m3 is totally different from 65 kg/m3 when we talk about durability.

choosing the best mattress

What kind of mattress is best?

The mattress that gives you the most relaxed feeling when you wake up. That’s your favorite mattress, that’s what you’re looking for. So take a moment to think about what relaxes you when you look at your current mattress. Include this information in your decision-making process. Be careful not to choose the familiar because that’s what you’re used to. That’s a trap. So the question is not, “what is familiar?” but rather, “what do you like better?”.

Name the elements that disturb your or your sleep. Consider allergies, harshness, movement of your partner, heat, etc. Do not underestimate the importance of your bed textiles, duvet and pillow in this regard.

Look at your bed base, is your base still in good condition? Then match your mattress choice to your bed base. Do you also need a new bed base? Then choose both at the same time.

Keep in mind your budget. You’ll find mattresses in all price ranges. Therein lies a danger if you want to compare. Apples and pears remember? Just be honest with yourself. It is better to change mattresses regularly if you want to spend less today.

And if you have the money and think your sleep is worth something, invest wisely. Price is an emotion in addition to a rock-hard value. Someone who buys a 50,000 euro mattress will not necessarily sleep better than someone who buys a 500 euro mattress. Although the first mattress will really contain the very best and most unique materials in the world.

Picture, JS, 2024 Innova Bedding

And what about sleeping position?

I come across them often, the claims: best mattress for back sleepers, best mattress for side sleepers … And again and again, I sincerely wonder what they are worth. We often know very well what sleep position we adopt to fall asleep.

During sleep, we move and assume all sleep positions. Mostly unnoticed, because we just sleep through it. A good mattress provides relaxation throughout the night, not just for a specific lying position. All tests notwithstanding, too bad about the research money, but it says nothing.


Think, look at your bed base, use common sense, count your money, get good advice and try out quietly. The best mattress exists! Which one that is you decide! Not just a test, not just a consumer organization, not just an advisor, not just the price … The mattress that lets you relax and enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep is your ideal mattress.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

During sleep, we move and assume all kinds of sleeping positions. Usually unnoticed, because we just sleep through it. In general, sleeping on your side is easier and on your stomach the hardest on your body.

Do you have chronic back pain? Then you sleep better on a medium or soft mattress. It is a myth that a hard mattress is better for your back.

A mattress should be replaced in a timely manner. On average, do about 6 to 8 years with a mattress before it needs replacement. A worn mattress can lead to back pain.