How Much Should You *Really* Spend on a Mattress?

How Much Should You *Really* Spend on a Mattress?

Mattresses are one of those things that you need to buy once every 5-10 years. For some people this may be their first time buying a new mattress.

It’s difficult to know how much you should really spend, however you need to keep in mind that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, which is a big part of our lives!

It’s important not to buy the cheapest mattress; otherwise, you can end up with health issues, you may experience the lack of good quality sleep. 

You may even end up with chronic back pain due to a poor quality mattress that resulted from going for the cheapest option.

In this guide we’ll help you answer “How Much Should You *Really* Spend On A Mattress?” and we’ll cover whether it’s really worth it to buy an expensive mattress or not.

How Much Should You Spend On A Mattress?

In general, for around £300 – £500 you can get a very good mattress that will last for about five years or more (with proper care and turning).

However, if you’re paying over £500, then you can expect a higher quality mattress. For example, more expensive mattresses have higher number of pocket springs and deeper mattress fillings. This makes them more comfortable and will support your body. 

Here is a breakdown of each price range, and what you can expect:

  • £200 – £300 is a budget mattress, which may be too thin and have only one or two layers inside. Usually it has a layer of open coil springs, which are interconnected.
  • £300 – £700 will put you in the mid-range of mattresses. It usually has a layer of memory foam and springs. There should be full size pocket springs inside, however their count will be around 800-1000.
  • £700 – £1,500 mattresses will have a higher count of pocket springs inside (over 1000). Plus there will be natural fibres, which offer excellent quality, features, and longevity for the mattress.
  • £1,500 – £2,000+ will get you a hand-crafted natural fibre mattress that will be a fantastic choice for a long-lasting mattress that will provide great sleep to you for many years.

It’s important to shop around and do your research to ensure you’re not paying the price of a high-quality mattress for low-quality features.

What are is the Best Affordable Mattress?

Below are four great mattress options manufactured by major brands, no matter what your budget is. 

  1. Simply Bensons Mattress Collection is made in the UK by Bensons for Beds. They are available in: medium, firm or extra firm and have up to 800 pocket springs. Their price ranges between £200 – £370 for a double size (depending on model). 
  2. Silentnight Melrose 1200 Pocket Eco Mattress has a very high customer rating of 4.8/5 stars from 455 customers. It is 28cm deep and has “medium” comfort grade. There are 1050 pocket springs (in the double size) and a layer of EcoComfort fibre. It’s priced at £649 for a double size (or £449 when on sale).
  3. Nectar Memory Foam mattress – comes with the longest UK mattress trial 365 days and forever warranty. It has three layers of premium memory foam and is 25cm deep. It’s priced at £465 when on sale (reg. price is £749) for a double size.
  4. Tempur One Mattress – made by the luxury brand Tempur, is 20cm deep and comes as “soft”, “medium” or “firm”. The mattress is designed to help you sleep better, longer and deeper. It’s priced at £1,299 for a double size.
why are tempur mattresses so expensive

Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

Good quality mattresses can be expensive because they are designed to last for a long time (around 7 years), and are made using high-quality materials. In addition, they have enhanced features and materials that provide support and comfort for the many hours you’ll be sleeping on them.

You can still find inexpensive mattresses on the market, but they are most likely made of poor quality materials, provide limited support for your body, and won’t last very long.

Below are some factors that effect the price of a mattress:

1. Materials Used:

The expense of a mattress can also be determined by how much actual material goes into them. For example, many cheap mattresses are thin and may only have a bunch of cheap springs and thin material covering them. In contrast, the more expensive and quality mattresses are larger and thicker to provide for the additional supportive materials in them.

2. Number of Springs:

If you’re planning on buying a pocket spring mattress, pay attention to the number of springs there are inside. The more springs there are, the better body support and comfort you’ll feel. They also help isolate motion transfer between sleeping partners. 

Keep in mind that if you read that a mattress has “up to 1,500 pocket springs” for example, this usually refers to the king size. If you’re buying a small double or double size mattress, then the number will be lower. 

3. Where is the Mattress Made:

Most mattress brands and retailers (such as Silentnight, Bensons for Beds, Dreams, Emma Sleep, etc.) manufacture their mattresses in the UK. They follow strict UK Safety and Fire Regulation standards. 

4. How Long is the Warranty?

In the UK you’ll find mattresses with 1 year, 5 year or 10 year warranties. The more expensive and high quality the product is, the longer the warranty. The warranty covers certain faults and damages, that arise from normal use of the mattress. In some cases the company will offer a replacement, refund or repair if certain conditions are met. 

Other factors that effect the price of a mattress include: it’s size (single, small double, double, king or super king), shipping and delivery costs, if the company offers a trial or exchange period, etc.

If you’re curious why different retailers offer the same basic mattresses at wildly different prices, then we’ll explain mattress retail pricing below.

Shopping tip: If you’re not just ready to replace your old mattress, then another option would be to get a topper. For example, the Simba Hybrid Mattress topper is 6.5cm deep and offers premium support and extra cushioning.

Mattress Retail Pricing Explained

You’ve probably noticed that there is a vast range in pricing between large manufacturers, small independents, and even online-only retailers when comparing two almost identical mattresses. The difference in the price is usually due to retail and advertising costs that are added up. 

Outside of the raw material costs, pricing can be influenced by:

  • Advertising and marketing costs for the company
  • Transportation and logistical costs to get materials and deliver them to the store or you.
  • Retail space to display and sell mattresses
  • Mark up on mattresses to make a profit
average cost of mattress at retail store

If you’re comparing two mattresses that have what appears to be the exact same materials and features, but the big name brand is significantly more expensive, then you may not be getting any additional benefits by paying more; you’re simply paying for the added costs the name brand paid, and they’re passing it on to you.

One significant factor to consider is that if the price for the cheaper mattress seems too good to be true and beats all other similar mattresses that you’re reviewing for a significant amount, then it’s possible you’re looking at a fake mattress or the details being provided are inaccurate.

Make sure that you research any independent or online mattresses retailers to ensure there is nothing fishy going on with extremely cheap mattresses.

What Materials Go Into a Mattress?

The materials that go into mattresses can often indicate the quality and what general features you’re going to get from it, as well as a price expectation.

  • Polyester mattresses are on the low end with low prices but are not fantastic choices for your primary bed if you can afford more.
  • Foam and memory foam mattresses are entry-level to mid-range mattress options that stay on the affordable side while providing reasonable comfort and support. They should be the minimum choice when looking for your primary mattress that you intend to use nightly.
  • Natural Fibre mattresses (wool, cashmere, coir, cotton, mohair, latex) can be mass-produced or handcrafted and are at the high end of mattresses with a huge range of features and a higher price to match. They are often the most comfortable, longest-lasting, and offer superior comfort and support. Check out Flaxby’s natural mattress collection by Dreams, which are made using wool, cotton, mohair and other natural materials.

When reviewing mattresses and prices, manufacturers understand that people want natural fibre mattresses and may provide a thin layer so they can increase the price.

However, it’s important to check how much of the mattress is made of each material to determine if the price is appropriate for the amount you’re getting.

Is an Expensive Mattress Worth It?

Price alone isn’t the most critical factor for a mattress, but you should be spending as much as you’re comfortable with to get the features of a high-quality mattress.

The higher quality of mattress you can get will mean a longer-lasting, more comfortable, and more supportive it is. Your sleep is one of the most important factors in your overall health, so a poor quality mattress that doesn’t allow you to get the best quality sleep will negatively affect your life for as long as you have the mattress.

If you do go for a cheaper mattress, you’ll notice how quickly it deteriorates, and you’ll need to choose between a problematic mattress or replacing the mattress sooner than if you had just gotten a more expensive option in the first place.

Make sure you check out our top 10 UK mattress list. There you’ll find mattresses made from premium materials, that come with a home trial, free shipping and returns.  

Disclosure: Prices mentioned above are accurate as of April 17, 2023.