At Cuckooland, we’re never asleep on the job. In fact, your sleep is our job! And our job is making sure your nap is peaceful, relaxed and super comfy which means our little bedroom gnomes are constantly on the lookout for beds that’ll fit any budget – whilst still being fit for a King or Queen.
Take a tour through our bedroom slumber-land, and you’ll fall into a gorgeous, pillow-lined rabbit hole with traditional, modern and pro-storage designs. But this isn’t the end of your purchase – far from it. You’ll be needing a mattress to round it off, giving you the golden ticket to a sound night’s sleep…
There’s much more than meets the eye to a mattress selection and getting a good nights sleep should be the first consideration. Look closer, and you’ll find almost as much character and variety as the beds themselves:
Mattress size guide
First and foremost, you need to find a good fit for your bed frame. It has to rest on your slats or divan perfectly – not only for practical merit but for the visual cohesion it’ll have with your build and bed covers. There’s no use in skipping over mattress sizes; those legs, arms and back muscles deserve a stable landing zone!
There are six sizes to choose from, built to match their corresponding beds:
1ft8 UK Cot. 56cm x 118cm / 1’8” x 3’9”: Very young children (between 6-18 months) may be too small for a bed, but their cot needs a mattress too! Look for soft, breathable designs for growing tots’ bones.
3ft UK Single. 120cm x 190cm / 3’ x 6’3”: The regular choice for kids and adolescents, made to match a Single bed.
4ft UK Small Double. 120cm x 190cm / 4’ x 6’3”: With a slightly extended width, these small double mattresses are ideal for guest rooms with limited space.
4ft6 UK Double. 135cm x 190cm / 4’6” x 6’3”: For regular use, adults tend to prefer the full UK Double. It’s also a popular choice for couples who like to be fairly close to each other at night.
5ft UK King size. 150cm x 200cm / 5’ x 6’6”: For a more spacious setup, a King-size pick lends heaps of room, letting you dress it in all manner of throws, blankets and pillows. One for those who love the freedom of a lazy Sunday in the sheets!
6ft UK Superking size. 180cm x 200cm / 6’ x 6’6”: The ultimate Big Don of the bedding world – Superking mattresses are, frankly, an awesome choice, since you and your loved one will avoid rolling onto each other when the lights go out (unless you want to, of course…). And if you have kids, there’s room for the whole family – in fact, your likely to find them hidden in one of the corners!
Every size is relative to UK bed dimensions, as outlined in our Ultimate Bed Guide. Many online stores – like ours – have suggestions for the right mattress, in terms of height, width and appropriate style, so be sure to stay alert for any pointers. Speaking of which…
Mattress types and advantages
Think that all mattresses are the same? Think again: there’s an artistry to comfort, and there are several ways to design a mattress, all of which add their unique stamp to the overall feel. Various textures, body types and sleep habits are catered for within the full range of mattress builds.
They support you differently, whether you want a soft, squidgy layer or a more rigid sleep surface, each react uniquely to your night-time movements. Here, we’re getting deep into mattress styles, and their relevant perks for your sleep:
The plushest – and most trendy mattress subset at the moment, we daresay – is a memory foam mattress. It resists any pressure marks on single areas, meaning you don’t indent the material in one or several places (as you might with another kind of base).
There’s a removable cover on top, right above two layers of foam, both of which bend and flex to your posture. With this mattress, you can find the absolute, 100% perfect groove for your body. Plus – it never creaks!
It has anti-allergen qualities stemming from the foam’s polyurethane template. The close-knit network of fibres prevents dust, pollen and irritants from seeping into the mattress. You’ll also feel warmer, as the same abilities tend to conserve your body heat.
For a memory-style alternative that’s a little bit friendlier on the purse strings, reflex foam mattresses are massively underrated. It has some of the same qualities, yet offers a medium level of firmness. It’s better for those shopping on a budget, or who prefer a slightly firmer base to accommodate their orthopaedic concerns.
In a modern spring mattress, each metal implement is sown into its own pillar of fabric, making for a tight, bouncy base. Cotton surrounds the fillings, adding to the softness and support. And that second trait is what makes the pocket sprung mattress stand out – it gives you a straight-backed sleep experience like no other.
As opposed to a memory foam build, you’ll be cooler, especially in the summer. If you’re prone to a bad back and strange, twisty shoulder positions, then the pocket sprung mould is just what you need to (literally) straighten it out.
The most common type of mattress, thanks to their affordability and low-frills construction, open coil models have a system of springs connected to one another. But whereas a pocket sprung mattress might have upwards of 1000 springs, these bases typically have a few hundred.
As a result, they are incredibly light, helpful for turning over when you’re cleaning the bed frame. However, greater care is needed around open coil mattresses; force can be applied to one area without it springing back to a level surface. What’s more, they’re sensitive to the movements of someone else; co-sleepers may feel their partner shifting.
Many people assume latex is synthetic. Actually, it’s extracted from tree sap, and mixed with other natural ingredients to make a kind of foam, which forms a pliant base on the bed unit. Latex, like memory foam, tends to cushion your pressure points, especially if it’s layered between cotton and wool binding.
Latex mattresses strike a happy balance between support and comfort, meaning they often come with a price tag. But if you’re torn between memory foam and pocket sprung designs, it could be worthwhile…
Speaking of happy balances, some wise guy has fused the best bits of pocket sprung and memory foam together. A hybrid mattress does just that – melding the sensation of super-soft, yielding material with the straighter and more ‘classic’ impression of a spring design. The coils give greater support than the foam core of a memory model while moulding to your body for a snuggly night’s sleep.
Do I need a mattress cover?
At this stage, you’ve found the mattress type of your dreams – literally – and might be moving swiftly to checkout to give your bedroom a treat. But hold that thought, there’s one wrinkle we may have to iron out: that of the mattress cover, which are generally always sold separately to your main bed and mattress investment.
In essence, the benefits of a cover can be split down the middle, occupying a middle ground between conditioning and comfort. You’ll use them to prolong the cleanliness of your mattress and to add one more spine-friendly layer to the bed base.
It’s no secret that we can get a little hot and sweaty in the night, and that we naturally shed some skin when tossing and turning in bed. So instead of staining the main mattress material, let a cover carry the burden, as it can be removed and cleaned in a jiffy. Then, simply attach it to your mattress with elastic handles at each corner.
However, due care is paid to the manufacturing standard of mattress covers; they aren’t just a safeguard for stains and spills. Designs encompass the latex, air foam and memory foam builds we’ve outlined above. In practice, they can soften or reinforce the texture of your mattress, should you desire a slight tweak now and then.
Taking care of your mattress – the do’s and don’ts
Sleep equates to looking after our bodies when you get down to it. And that attention should cross happily into your mattress maintenance – if you want your mattress to be on its best behaviour, a little TLC is in order.
So, here are some dos and don’ts for the upkeep of your next purchase:
Do – Flip the mattress every couple of months. Quarterly should do it. Both sides of the mattress should share the burden of wear and tear. Oh, and you might as well rotate it too, for the same effect.
Don’t – Get it wet. Heavy liquid will seep throughout the bulk of the mattress and could result in staining. If your little ones are prone to bed wetting, consider a waterproof mattress cover.
Do – Air your bed frame out, on occasion. If you’re taking a break for the weekend or going on a trip abroad, it’s advisable to take the mattress off, wipe the frame free of dust, and let any stifling particles escape. Vacuum the top surface with the hoover nozzle to get a full, rounded airing procedure.
Don’t – Encourage jumping! It almost goes without saying, but kids are fond of tumbling and bouncing on their bed. Pocket sprung and open coil mattresses, in particular, are at risk of damage from this.
Do – Clean with non-chemical methods. Bleach and specialised cleaning fluid is a strict ‘no no’. Should you stain it, wipe with a cloth and mild cleaning detergent, or (in the case of cotton) cold water. Other treatments will degrade the fibres in the mattress lining.
Don’t – Bend the mattress when moving it between rooms. In the event of a switchover – perhaps when entering a new home, or swapping mattresses from main to guest bed – refrain from curling the item through a doorframe. That’s a heap of pressure to place on the middle springs.
Do – Check your mattress warranty. There will usually be a pointer for how many bed slats/how far apart your slats should be, in relation to the longevity of the mattress design.
Don’t – Perch on the edge. Again, it’s another debilitating issue for the evenness of your support provisions. More stress in one area leads to sagging and a decreased uniformity.
An introduction to mattress brands
We’re almost at the end of our slumber-riffic journey. Perhaps we should take a glance at our favourite suppliers, showing you who’s behind the next best bed accessory.
Voted the UK’s no.1 furniture wholesaler four years running, Julian Bowen has a leading, enviable position in the bed market, delivering traditional and themed bed frames for a variety of ages. They have ‘premier’ mattresses for adults, as well as a great range of cot and toddler bed bases.
A family-run company, the Birlea brand has its HQ in Castle Donnington, right in the centre of our wonderful country! It may explain their growth as a British bedroom staple; they vacuum-pack their mattresses for convenient transport, and specialise in memory foam, reflex foam and pocket sprung builds.
Centred solely on the route to a great sleep, the Bed Guru has one of the largest stores of mattress options in the industry. We’re fond of their King-size bases, made to go with our Vox four-poster beds or any other grand room statement.
Waking up to those sleep possibilities…
There’s not much more we can tell you, really, about the basics of mattress buying. Hopefully, you have a stronger grasp of what to search for, how it’ll complement your sleep routine, and the importance of regular upkeep.
You can, of course, give us a ring on +44 (0) 1305 231231 or email for more FREE advice – we’d love to know all about your ideas, concepts and ruminations before your splash out on this all important purchase.