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Mattress guide

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Before you buy a mattress, consider the points listed below:

  • If you have a pressure sore or are at risk of getting one, it is advisable to discuss your needs with a healthcare professional, there might be posture or positioning advice that would improve your comfort
  • Have you considered if you need a new mattress or an overlay to improve the comfort of your existing mattress. If your existing mattress is sagging or uneven this will not be improved by an overlay
  • Ensure a new mattress or overlay fits the size of your bed
  • Mattresses may be sprung foam or air-filled and overlays are foam, fleece, fibre or air-filled. Whatever the content of the mattress they can be soft or firm. ‘Orthopaedic’ mattresses have no advantages, they are just firmer than standard. Softer mattresses may be more comfortable but may make moving around difficult; mattresses with firmer edges enable you to sit more safely on the side of the bed
  • If you are considering buying a profiling (electric) bed, sprung mattresses are generally not recommended due to spring damage
  • Check the mattress or mattress overlay does not alter the height of your bed as this might affect your transfers in and out of bed or the height for safety of bed safety rails
  • If the mattress needs a protective cover, check that the cover fabric does not make you overheat, 2-way stretch breathable fabric is more comfortable than a stiff vinyl wipe clean surface
  • If mattress turning is difficult there are mattresses available now that do not need to be moved or turned
  • Check that the mattress complies with fire retardant standards, has instructions for care, and has the correct weight limit for the user
  • Check the total price including V.A.T. and ask if you are VAT exempt due to a disability
  • Check if delivery is included in the cost and if there is a warranty
  • Ensure you check prices with more than one company and lie on the mattress for at least 15 minutes to test the comfort and ease of movement in the bed
  • Mattress prices vary depending on the level of pressure relief