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Does the Mattress You Buy Really Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep? And How do You Choose It?


Yes, your mattress really does affect how well you sleep. Take a look the 2011 study published by Research Triangle International. The study tested several interesting hypotheses, and the findings were very revealing…

Over a period of 4 years, 128 healthy people (no sleep problems to note) tested 7 mattresses of varying firmness from the same manufacturer and were asked to sleep on each mattress for up to 1 month, with each participant testing all mattresses over the course of the study. The participants were monitored each night for movement (an indicator of sleep quality) and also asked to write in a diary each day and note their own level of sleep quality and daytime functioning.

The main hypotheses tested whether the firmness of a mattress affected sleep quality and daytime function. Another extremely interesting hypothesis was tested that asked the question of whether:

“…individuals would be able to rely on conventional shopping procedures to select one mattress from among several under showroom circumstances that would lead to optimal rest.”


Results in Summary

  • Self-reported sleep quality, restedness, and daytime energy was significantly improved on the bed with the least overnight motion
  • Self-reported number of nighttime awakenings and minutes awake overnight were significantly reduced on the best motion bed
  • Well-restedness and daytime energy were both significantly improved in the best sleep quality
  • Morning pain severity and daytime sleepiness were both significantly reduced in the best sleep quality bed

So, yes, your mattress really does affect your sleep quality and daytime function. We’re sure this isn’t new or shocking news to you, but is it something you really give the attention to that it deserves? We’ll say it again and try not to sound too grandiose: your mattress affects both your sleeping time and your awake time. Well, what other time is there? A mattress is an integral part of our lives!

But, we hear you ask, which is the best mattress?

“Individuals differ as to the degree of mattress firmness that is associated with their best sleep”


Very low and very high levels of firmness tended to be associated with relatively worse sleep, greater morning pain, and poorer daytime function.”

The above statement has rung true with us throughout our 10+ years of designing and manufacturing mattresses. What people think they want, and what they actually want, are often a long way apart. People might think that they want an ultra-firm mattress, or a mattress so soft it absorbs you like a sponge, but more often than not, what they really want a mattress that sits somewhere in the medium range of firmness. And it’s only after spending a few months sleeping on their new plank of wood/cloud imposter that this conclusions starts to rear up.

And to quote the result of that very interesting question about whether people can select the best mattress from a typical showroom visit:

“Results indicate that standard showroom testing does not lead individuals to select the bed that will provide their best sleep as measured by either self-reported sleep quality or actigraphic measurement over an extended period of time”


“People are essentially left to chance when trying to select a mattress using the generally recommended “test drive” on the showroom floor”

Want to Make the Best Decision? Sleep on It!

Basically, creating the perfect mattress is a science; a science that some of us dedicate our lives and careers to, and for buyers to have to rely on 10-15 minutes in a showroom to select a mattress from a huge range of options–something that they will use for 8 hours per day and will affect every minute of their daily lives–just doesn’t cut it. An extended period of testing is essential. 100 night free trial anyone?

Hopefully, we’ve cleared a few things up about selecting the right mattress. Gone are the days of trawling round showrooms and allowing yourself just a few minutes to make what is, with no exaggeration, a life-choice.