How to Choose a Mattress

So we reached out to our readers over at our Instagram to find out what buying guides you would like us to cover. A good number of you wanted to find out how to buy a mattress. We get it—with so many different types out there, it’s no wonder things can get confusing.

Choosing the right type of mattress


Image courtesy of Overstock

Made from a blend of polyurethane foam and different chemicals, foam mattresses come in all sorts of grades and density. One of the most popular (and expensive!) types is memory foam, which has superior conforming properties i.e. they conform to your body shape and stay that way, thus reducing pressure on the body. Memory foam is thus recommended for people who have back and joint pains.

Foam mattresses also reduce motion transfer, with memory foam the best at it. If you or your sleeping partner is a light sleeper, memory foam is a good choice since it has fantastic motion absorption properties so any tossing or turning won’t be felt as much.

The main downside to foam mattresses is that they tend to retain heat. Memory foam is particularly notorious for this. But it’s not a big problem if you sleep in an air-conditioning environment. If choosing memory foam, opt for ones that have an open cell structure, which comes with internal pockets to improve ventilation and dispel heat.

The other drawback to foam mattresses is that they can sag over time because of a lack of structural support. Rotate them every few months to allow the material to regain its shape.

Latex Foam (Natural, Synthetic or Blended)

Image courtesy of Heveya by European Bedding

Latex foam, when compared with memory foam, is firmer and offers more bounce. It is also much cooler to sleep on a mattress made from latex foam, as compared with memory foam.

100% natural latex is harvested from natural rubber tree sap and then processed to create foam layers with no fillers. These are hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people who suffer from allergies. Because of their high cost (and their less plush look), they aren’t as commonly sold in mattress companies in Singapore. Some companies market their latex mattress as natural even if fillers are included in the natural latex, so it’s best to ask questions.

Blended latex mattresses are a mix of natural and synthetic latex. The percentages do differ from brand to brand, although most comprise a higher percentage of synthetic latex.

Synthetic latex is a more economical option, and they are engineered from a bunch of petrochemicals to feel like natural latex. You do enjoy similar advantages as natural latex, although in terms of comfort level, it is stiffer.

Individual Pocket Spring (or Pocket Coil)

Image courtesy of Sleep Tech Magazine

Pocket spring mattresses are made up of metal springs, individually wrapped inside fabric “pockets”. These are placed near the top of the mattress, with foam (memory foam or latex foam) over them to offer support and comfort. The more coils there are, the more support it gives, but it’s also important to pay attention to the foam composition when it comes to comfort.

Because each spring is not connected, motion transfer is also reduced, although not as much as memory foam. This can also mean that some parts of a pocket spring mattress can age faster than others, depending on where you sleep. Rotating your bed regularly can help to mitigate this problem.

Innerspring Coil or Open Coil

Image courtesy of Mattress Advisor

One of the cheaper options out there, these mattresses are traditional types with inner coils that are interconnected. The technology is somewhat outdated and superseded by pocket springs. Still, it’s an option to consider if budget is a concern.

Innerspring mattresses offer a firm support, but they have limited contouring capabilities. They are also particularly bouncy (and squeaky) and are the worst when it comes to motion transfer—definitely not ideal for restless sleepers.


Image courtesy of Too Kind Studio

Hybrid mattresses are multi-layered, comprising different layers and materials to suit different needs. A large number of beds offered in Singapore are actually hybrids.

They are typically a combination of memory foam and latex, with an innerspring or pocket spring system. The idea behind hybrids is that they offer a bit more support than with a purely memory foam or latex foam bed.

Some come with a pillow top, which offers extra cushioning, while others can have a gel layer or cooling technology added for better temperature management.

Where to buy: mattress retailers

There are big name, well-established mattress brands in Singapore like Four Stars, Sealy, King Koil, Tempur, Simmons, Slumberland, Seahorse, Silent Night, Sleepy Night and Dunlopillo, just to name a few. Here’s a general overview of their mattress range, based on available information on their official sites:

Mattress brandCheapest option Price for queen-sized mattressTop of the range Price for queen-sized mattressSealySealy PosturePremier Sealy Singles: 2 comfort layers (quilt foam and hard foam)$1,299Sealy Posturepedic Exquisite Princess: Gel-infused layer and 5 comfort layers including a memory foam layer$10,400TempurTempur Original 15: Tempur Material, a memory foam type developed by Tempur$2,799Tempur Sensation Breeze 27: Extra firm support, traditional spring mattress with “Breeze technology” for cooler sleep$8,999SimmonsBeautysleep Discovery: Pocket coil$1,572Beautyrest Ultimate Grandeur: Pocketed coil, fused latex and memory foam, pillow top layer, mist foam for temperature regulation, negative ion$10,335SilentnightSilentnight Classic Ultimate Comfort: Pillow top, innerspring$909Silentnight Allure: Pillow top, individual pocketed springs$1,909SleepNightSleepNight Spinal Posture: Individual pocket springs, pillow top$1,120SleepNight Windsor: Double pillow top, fabric with temperature regulation, natural latex, memory foam, PlasSpring Coil (a type of connected thermoplastic spring)$5,606DunlopilloEston Honeycomb: Individual pocket spring, latex, pillow top$2,399TW Aires Talasilver Wave: Natural latex, gel layer with cooling technology, contour support layer$7,599

Then there are smaller “online-only” retailers like Origin, Haylee, Baton, Woosa, and Noa that are known for their “mattress-in-a-box”—mattresses that are delivered to your home in a box.

The downside to them is that you can’t test them out first in a physical store. The upside? They offer a trial period (between 30 days to 100 days) where you can test them out for free and return them for a full refund if you find them unsuitable later on.

These are what they offer:

Brand + Mattress nameFeaturesPrice rangeWoosa (The Original Mattress)Latex foam + memory foam$1,199 for single to $1,699 for kingNoa (The Noa)Latex + cooling memory foam + pocket springs$449 for single to $849 for kingBaton (Baton Sleep Mattress)High-density foam + pocket springs$450 for single to $780 for kingOrigin (Origin Hybrid Mattress)Latex + cooling gel memory foam + pocket springs$399 for single to $829 for kingHaylee (The Haylee Mattress)Perforated vent foam + cool gel memory foam + mattress base foam$499 for single to $879 for king

Testing out your mattress and firmness levels

Design: Provolk Architects

Try out the mattress by lying down for a good 5 to 15 mins if you are buying them from physical stores. Don’t be paiseh! If you are getting the mattress with your partner, make sure to test it out with him or her, as you both have different preferences.

Don’t choose a mattress firmness that is too different from your existing one to allow your body to adjust properly to a new comfort level. When it comes to firmness, most people prefer those in the medium firm or medium range for a good balance of comfort and support.

Softer beds offer more contour and pressure relief, ideal if you sleep on the side. They are also more suited if you weigh on the lighter side. Those on the heavier side can find it difficult to get up on a bed that is too soft.

Beds that are firmer are more suited for back or stomach sleepers and for people on the heavier side as there is no sinking feel. However, firmer beds may not feel too luxurious or comfortable.

Mattress dimensions

Design: Arche Interior

When buying mattresses, do pay attention to mattress dimensions since they will need to fit your space or your bed. Mattress sizes in Singapore differ from ones in Europe, which are also common here. Then there is IKEA, which has their own set of rules.

In general, these are the common sizes for mattresses in Singapore:

Single: 91cm x 190cm
Super Single: 107cm x 190cm
Queen: 152cm x 190cm
King: 182cm x 190cm

European mattress sizing are as follows:

Single: 90cm x 200cm
Double: 140cm x 200cm
Queen: 160cm x 200cm
King: 180cm x 200cm

If you are getting a mattress from IKEA, here are the dimensions to keep in mind:

80cm x 200cm

90cm x 190cm

90cm x 200cm

140cm x 200cm

150cm x 190cm

150cm x 200cm

180 x 200cm


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