46,500+ reviews

Summer Sale Now On | Up to 25% off all furniture

Up to 20% Off & Free Delivery on Garden Furniture

0% Interest Free Credit AvailableFind out more

Over 75 Years of Experience | 14 Nationwide Stores


Finding Your Perfect Mattress

Sleep impacts every aspect of your life, so it’s super important to find a mattress that helps you feel well rested. Which mattress you should choose is mostly down to personal preference, but our mattress buying guide should give you all of the information you need to make your decision.

How often should you change your mattress?

How often you should replace your mattress will depend on a few factors, such as the quality and construction of the mattress itself, and how much use you get out of it.

Expert opinions vary – some say your mattress should be replaced every 6-8 years, while others insist a mattress can perform well for ten years. That’s why it’s useful to recognise the signs that tell you it’s time for a change.

How do you know when a mattress is worn out?

As discussed, mattresses usually last somewhere between 6 and 10 years, but it’s important that you know how to tell when yours needs replacing. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’re losing out on quality sleep. You might not even realise how badly you’ve been sleeping until you spend the night on a new mattress.

So, if any of these signs sound familiar then we’d recommend you start shopping.

Signs in the mattress:

  • Sagging
  • Lumps
  • Warped edges
  • Rips
  • Creaking

  • Sore joints
  • Back pain
  • Numbness or stiffness
  • New or increased allergies
  • Tossing and turning at night
  • How do I choose the right mattress?

    The prospect of choosing the right mattress might seem daunting, given the number of options on the market these days, but there are some key areas to consider that will help narrow down your choices.

    If you have no clue what you like, why not pop into one of our stores for some advice? Our specially trained sales advisors will guide you in the right direction while you test out our quality mattresses for yourself.

    If you’d like to do some research first, you should begin by looking into:

  • Mattress types
  • Mattress tensions
  • Mattress feels
  • Which type of mattress is best?

    There are multiple types of mattress, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We’ve put together some brief descriptions of the main ones to get you started.

    What is an open coil mattress?

    An open coil mattress features a simple construction of springs inside. These springs are connected, which is fine for single sleepers, but may cause disruption to partners if one of you tends to toss and turn a lot. Open coil mattresses do tend to be a cheaper option, so might be a good choice for your spare bedroom.

    What is a pocket sprung mattress?

    A pocket sprung mattress has springs which are sewn into their own pockets. This allows the springs to work independently of one another and reduce the impact of movement that’s felt throughout the mattress. A good choice for couples, but perhaps not for those with joint pains who required more targeted support.

    What is a memory foam mattress?

    A memory foam mattress replaces the traditional spring interior with layers of foam, which is designed to mould itself to fit the unique shape of your body. Some people find that foam makes them overheat, while others love the unique cushioning feel of it. Foam mattresses work best when they’re warm, so may not be suitable for bedrooms kept on the cooler side..

    What is a hybrid mattress?

    A hybrid mattress incorporates a combination of fillings, for example a spring base topped with foam and finished with a cooling gel layer. These mattresses allow you to get the best of both worlds and more, so if you haven’t found your perfect match in a spring or foam mattress then a hybrid could be the one you’ve been waiting for.

    Should I sleep on a hard or soft mattress?

    Mattress tensions generally range from soft to firm, but there may be exceptions such as very soft or very firm. Although it’s not commonly known, tension is less about the feel of the mattress itself, but more about the strength required to support your bodyweight correctly.

    Here are some rough guidelines to help you decide:

    Soft mattress tension

    Recommended for people up to 10 stone..

    Medium Mattress tension

    Recommended for people up to 16 stone.

    Firm mattress tension

    Recommended for people 16 stone and above.

    Extra firm mattress tension

    Recommended for people 20 stone and above.

    What's the most comfortable type of mattress?

    Not to be confused with mattress tension, when it comes to the feel or “comfort level” of a mattress you’ll usually find a rating between 1-10 or soft to firm. The question is – which one is most comfortable for you?

    This is perhaps one of the most important decisions when buying a mattress. Most people assume a soft mattress will be most comfortable, but a mattress that’s too soft can fail to provide the support you need.

    One way to determine the ideal softness of your mattress is to consider your usual sleeping position. Whether you sleep on your side, back or front, there are particular pressure points to be mindful of.

    This is only a guide, and we recommend testing out our mattresses in-store to get a real feel for what you like.

    Side sleeper

    If you generally sleep on your side, a soft mattress is best as it will be gentler on your hips and shoulders, particularly if you suffer from joint pain.

    Front sleeper

    A front sleeper would benefit from a firm mattress, so the hips are supported and the body doesn’t sink in so far as to cause incorrect spinal alignment.

    Back sleeper

    Someone who prefers to sleep on their back should look for a medium firm mattress, which offers enough give to be comfortable, but still supports the spine properly.

    Mattress sizes

    Chances are you’ll already know which mattress size you require, but some retailers do produce custom bed frames that will only fit their own specific mattresses.

    Depending on the brand or type of mattress, you’ll probably find a little variation in height. A standard mattress height is 20-27cm, but speciality mattresses may be outside of these parameters, such as children’s bunk bed mattresses.

    The following dimensions are the standard width and length for mattress sizes in the UK.


    A single mattress measures 3ft – approximately 90cm wide and 190cm long)


    A small double mattress measures 4ft – approximately 120cm wide and 190cm long)


    A double mattress measures 4ft6 – approximately 135cm wide and 190cm long)


    A king size mattress measures 5ft – approximately 150cm wide and 200cm long)


    A super king mattress measures 6ft – approximately 180cm wide and 200cm long)


    If you’re looking for something that doesn’t fit any of these measurements, we also offer the following specialty mattress sizes…

    Most of the Tempur range is available in:

  • Small single mattress size (75cm wide by 200cm long
  • Long single mattress size (90cm wide and 200cm long

  • Some of our children’s mattresses are available in:

  • High bed mattress size (90cm wide, 191cm long, 15cm high)
  • Day bed or trundle mattress size (76cm wide, 183cm long, 15cm high)
  • Mattress brands

    Perhaps you’ve heard great things about a certain mattress brand, or you’ve bought from the same brand for years and have never been let down. Either way, this is another good method of focusing your options.

    We’re proud to stock a number of world-leading mattress brands here at Barker and Stonehouse. These are just a few of them…

    How to care for your mattress?

    Some mattresses come with a helpful care guide, such as the Essential Harmony Mattress. If yours doesn’t, here are some tips...


    Certain mattresses need to be turned or rotated regularly, whereas others are designed to avoid this. Make sure you know this information before you purchase, and keep up with any recommended actions to ensure you get the most out of your mattress.


    Some mattresses come with handy removable covers, like the Tempur range, which can be washed at 60 degrees. For others, your best bet is to purchase a high-quality mattress protector which provides an additional layer of protection and helps keep your mattress clean and fresh


    One of the best ways to freshen up a mattress is with baking soda, which is known for its ability to absorb odours. Simply sprinkle all over your mattress and leave for a few hours before vacuuming. Regular vacuuming also helps to rid your mattress of dust mites, which can cause allergies. Stain remover can be used sparingly when required, but do be careful with memory foam mattresses as these hold onto moisture

    How much do I spend on a mattress?

    A good mattress is something worth investing in. And, if your mattress lasts 8 years or more, the cost is next to nothing per night!

    Should the initial down payment concern you, why not buy your new mattress on finance? Our handy credit options allow you to pay monthly, rather than in one go. With payment plans available from 6 months up to 48 months, it’s a smart way to spread the cost and make your mattress more affordable. Plus, if you qualify for 0% finance, there’s no interest to pay.

    Do mattresses come with guarantees?

    Before purchasing, you should check if your new mattress comes with a guarantee. If so, decide whether it meets your requirements. The length of guarantee can vary from mattress to mattress – ours range from 2 years to 30 years.

    How to dispose of a mattress

    Unfortunately, mattresses that are disposed of incorrectly are a large contributor to landfill. If you’re unsure what to do with your old mattress, you can book a collection with our recycling partner Speedy Clear, who will take care of it for you.

    What's next?

    We hope this mattress buying guide has been helpful, but if you’re still undecided then don’t hesitate to visit us in store or give us a call on 0333 010 2352 for advice.

    Alternatively, consider a mattress that comes with a trial period. Brands such as Tempur often promote free trials throughout the year, during which you can test a mattress to see if it suits you. If not, you can simply return it.