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How much should you spend on a new mattress?

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Everyone’s situation is different, but as your mattress affects your sleep quality, you should spend as much as you can reasonably afford when buying a new one. Remember, spending £1,000 on a mattress costs only 40 pence per night over seven years. That’s even less than the price of a pint of milk or a loaf of bread.

A healthy amount of sleep is vital for our health and well-being, so investing in a comfortable mattress should be a priority. But knowing how much to spend on a new mattress can be tricky, especially as most of us will only replace our mattress a handful of times throughout our lifetime.

Everyone’s situation is different, but as your mattress affects your sleep quality and whether you wake up tired and achy or refreshed and rejuvenated, you should spend as much as you can reasonably afford when buying a new one.

An older lady in a mattress store sitting on a bed

What influences the cost of a new mattress?

Various factors influence the cost of a new mattress.

Mattress sizes

Mattresses are typically priced according to size, with larger sizes commanding higher prices.

Some manufacturers offer a free mattress upgrade, such as a 5’0” king-size for the price of the 4’6” double, where you can purchase a larger-sized mattress at no extra cost. However, reviewing the terms and conditions is crucial to avoid hidden costs. Also, be mindful that when upgrading to a bigger mattress, you may need to factor in additional costs, such as larger bedding, a new bed base and a headboard.

Some companies offer a bespoke service, where they can manufacture mattresses in custom sizes, such as extra width or length. However, these mattresses typically cost more than standard sizes.

Though larger mattresses tend to be more expensive, it’s important to balance the cost against other factors, such as sleep quality. Partner disturbance is one of the main contributors to poor quality sleep. So, if you share a bed with someone, there should be sufficient space for each person without disturbing one another.

Material quality and quantity

Mattresses are constructed with different layers for comfort and support. Basic models will often contain synthetic materials like polyester and foam. The layers within these mattresses tend to be relatively thin and provide a modest level of cushioning.

In contrast, higher-quality mattresses may contain large amounts of loose natural fillings, such as cotton, wool, and horsehair. These luxurious fillings tend to feel soft and sumptuous, providing generous amounts of cushioning. Natural fillings are fully breathable and more resilient than synthetic materials. So, although you pay more initially for a higher-quality mattress, they are typically longer-lasting.

Quality of construction

Basic models are often mass-produced inexpensively by machine, whereas higher-quality models are usually made by hand.

Branding  

With thousands of mattresses available, shoppers often face a daunting task when trying to choose the right one. Branding plays a crucial role with each manufacturer striving to establish a unique identity and differentiate their products.

Many shoppers often turn to established brands that they know and trust. These brands often command higher prices because of the perceived value associated with the brand name.

Sales promotions

The timing of your mattress purchase can affect how much you spend. Although sales promotions occur frequently, certain periods are more beneficial for buying. The summer and winter sales are often a good time to purchase a new mattress. Some retailers may even offer further discounts at certain times during the sales. There are also some good deals during seasonal events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Buying in-store or online

Your choice between buying in-store or online can also affect how much you spend on a new mattress.

Shopping for a mattress online is usually cheaper than buying in a physical store because online retailers have lower operating costs. On the other hand, Physical stores have to cover costs like rent, electricity, and labour, which can drive up prices.

However, there are exceptions. Some stores with multiple locations can use their size to negotiate better deals with suppliers. They might then pass these savings on to customers.

How much do mattresses cost?

Mattress prices can vary considerably, starting from under £100 and going up to several thousand pounds. Here’s what to expect for your money.

Mattresses under £500

When shopping for a new mattress under £500, expect something fairly basic in terms of quality, comfort, and support. These mattresses are often considered cheap and may be suitable for short-term or temporary use, a guest room, or children.

These budget-friendly models typically contain synthetic materials like polyester, polyurethane, or fibre pads.

Open coil springs are widely used in mattresses costing under £500. The coils are typically arranged in rows and connected together to form the spring unit. While coil springs are an affordable option, they tend to feel bouncier and are less effective at isolating movement. As a result, sleeping partners may disturb one another when they move in bed.

Mattresses between £500 and £999

In the price range of £500 to £999 for mattresses, expect a noticeable step in quality compared to basic models. These mattresses often contain better quality materials, including more responsive memory foam, latex, or some natural materials like wool and cotton.

These materials provide a reasonable amount of cushioning for more effective pressure relief.

Sprung mattresses in this price range typically contain pocket springs. These springs conform to body shape, ensuring the spine is aligned and correctly supported. Each spring works independently, which means that if you or your partner move in bed, you are less likely to feel each other’s movements. Pocket spring models in this price range typically contain between 1,000 and 1,500 individual springs.

Alternatively, hybrid models combine foam with springs for those who prefer the feel of a sprung mattress with the cushioning and pressure-relieving benefits of foam.

Mattresses between £1,000 and £1,999

If you’re spending more than £1,000 on a mattress, expect a higher level of quality and comfort. These mattresses typically contain generous amounts of premium materials, such as memory foam, natural latex, horsehair, cashmere and silk, for a more luxurious feel.

Higher-quality pocket spring mattresses are often made by hand and to higher standards of workmanship. In higher-quality mattresses, hand-side stitching is a technique often used to strengthen the perimeter to help the mattress maintain its shape and provide edge-to-edge support.

Mattresses above £2,000

Mattresses priced above £2,000 offer exceptional comfort, support, and durability. They feature premium materials and multiple layers of pocket springs for superior comfort. These mattresses typically contain more than 2,000 springs, ensuring the body is correctly supported.

How long do mattresses last?

The average lifespan of a mattress is between seven and ten years. However, when well-maintained, higher-quality mattresses can often exceed this range, sometimes lasting more than twenty years and occasionally being handed down through generations. 

How to save money on a new mattress

A mattress is a significant investment, but fortunately, there are some effective ways to save money when buying a new one. 

  • Compare prices from different retailers and online stores for the best value, not just the lowest price.
  • Take advantage of seasonal events like sales, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
  • Don’t hesitate to haggle or ask for discounts, as some retailers may be willing to negotiate. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
  • Read customer reviews online to help you make an informed decision.
  • Consider purchasing clearance models. While these mattresses may not be in perfect condition, they are often discounted. They may offer quality and comfort at an attractive price.

Many stores offer interest-free credit options, allowing you to spread the cost of a new mattress over several manageable monthly payments. This flexibility may allow you to invest more in a new mattress but read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure there are no hidden fees or special clauses.

Other costs to consider when purchasing a new mattress

It’s usually a good idea to replace the bed base at the same time as the mattress. The bed base provides the underlying support and affects how your mattress feels and performs.

Pairing a new mattress with an old base may seem like a cost-effective solution, but it could affect your warranty, and you may end up replacing your new mattress sooner than expected. If the base is sagging, the new mattress will conform to its shape and put the body out of natural alignment. The base may also have out-of-place springs or components that could damage the mattress.

Headboards are an optional extra, usually sold separately from the bed. Headboards are not absolutely necessary, but they create a stunning focal point in the bedroom and allow you to sit up comfortably in bed. 

You will also need to consider whether to purchase new bedding. Pillows should typically be replaced every two to four years to keep your sleeping environment fresh and hygienic. It’s also advisable to use a good-quality mattress protector with your bed to keep your mattress in good condition.

Should you buy a mattress topper instead of a new mattress?

Mattress toppers can make a relatively new mattress feel more comfortable. However, a mattress topper won’t magically revive an old, unsupportive mattress. When placed on an old mattress, the topper will quickly conform to the old mattress’s shape, dipping in the same areas.

Therefore, a topper is unlikely to provide a cost-effective solution if your mattress is past its best

Final thoughts

Investing in a good night’s sleep is essential because we spend a third of our lives in bed. Yet many people are more willing to invest in a new car or a luxurious holiday than a new mattress.

Spending £1,000 on a mattress costs only 40 pence per night over seven years. That’s even less than the price of a pint of milk or a loaf of bread.

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About the author

About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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