Your Guide to Mattress Settlement

Your Guide to Mattress Settlement

Here at SlumberSlumber, your sleep is our most important priority.

We want you to be informed about your sleep choices, so decided to put together this guide on mattress settlement.

What is Mattress Settlement?

Mattress settlement is generally a cause for unnecessary concern.

It usually starts to show within the first few weeks of use as the mattress fillings ‘mould’ to fit the user’s shape. The areas of most pressure, such as your shoulders and hips show the greatest signs of settlement. It may appear that this area is wearing quicker than the rest of the mattress but constant turning, rotating of the mattress will help this equal out in time1.

What causes Mattress Settlement?

There are many reasons that mattresses may show signs of settlement;

  • The user’s weight
  • Type of mattress fillings
  • Mattress firmness
  • Two-sided or single sided mattress
  • Larger sized mattresses such as a King or Super are more susceptible, as there is a wider area in the mattress that doesn’t get used.
  • All mattresses with multiple layers can be susceptible to mattress settlement.

Although these impressions can be quite noticeable, they are not necessarily a sign that the mattress support has failed. If a mattress has collapsed or sagged there will be a clear lack of support when you lie on it, almost a sensation that you can feel right through to the bottom of the mattress or the bed frame2.

Ways you can minimise Mattress Settlement

Silent Night suggests these three ways to minimise mattress settlement;

  1. Give your mattress a daily airing by leaving the covers off after you get up.
  2. Turn your mattress regularly (unless your mattress is ‘no turn’, which will be stated on the label).
  3. Rotate your mattress top to tail every so often so that natural settlement from body pressure is evenly distributed3 .

All about that base

Most mattresses are used in combination with a bed base such as divans and bedsteads. Remember to make sure that the mattress and base you choose are suitable together, especially if you are buying them separately. An old base can reduce the lifespan and overall quality of a new mattress. It can also affect the support and comfort a new mattress can offer.

  • Divan Bases
    Sprung edge divans are the most luxurious option and feature a complete open coil or pocket spring
    unit mounted on a frame which acts like a giant  shock absorber, increasing the mattress’s durability.
  • Slatted Bases
    Slatted bases are mostly used with bedsteads. They are either rigid (with no give) or flexible. Wear and tear on a mattress will be greater the wider the gaps between the slats. Most manufacturers will give you their own recommendations for slat spacing to suit their brand of mattress so check these before buying as they do vary.
  • Bedsteads
    Bedsteads come in a vast array of styles from traditional classics to more modern designs and are available in wood, metal, plastics, upholstered or any combination of these. Your choice will largely be an aesthetic one but bear in mind mattress support and the effect it could have on your mattress.

Follow the care instructions!

Read the manufacturer’s care guide on how to look after your mattress. This comes with the delivery of your mattress and will tell you how to expertly care for it.

Remember not all mattresses are alike. Even if you are familiar with your brand their care guides may have changed.

Settlement and indentations are going to occur in all mattresses.

There often is a misconception that a mattress should look and feel as good as new even after months or years of use but this simply isn’t the case. Similar to a good pair of leather shoes, a new mattress will ‘relax’ and take on the shape of the user. People are not the same size and shape, body-shaped impressions will occur.

At SlumberSlumber we recommend the use of mattress toppers to allow this settlement to happen slowly over time. The mattress topper will provide an extra layer in between you and the mattress, slowing down the indentation4.

If you need more advice on choosing the right mattress and base for you please refer to our Bed Buying Guide.

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Sleep like a queen or king

Sleep like a queen or king

In life, we often find ourselves opening up our homes to house guests.

May it be those that we love deeply, good friends or those that are welcomed in because they just need a place to stay. Whatever your reason for finding yourself with house guests, making them feel welcomed should be a fundamental principle of any home.

A guest bed should be one that demonstrates both comfort and support. What is more welcoming than a bed that throws out an invitation from the moment you set eyes on it.

Most guests that come into your home are taking a break from the ordinary of their everyday life – so no doubt they are looking for a place to relax and embrace the freedom of being away from the normal. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to show off and lavish your guests with the effort that they deserve.

Guest Beds

Guest beds are a practical solution with so many options, inflatable, folding, pull out and of course a good old trust worthy divan. Whatever type of guest bed, they are all designed with one purpose in mind, to take up as little space as possible when it is not in use.

Alas, choosing your guest bed is an important decision with many factors that you have to take in to account. What type of bed are you interested in? What is your price range? How often do you have guests?

There are many different choices to make to ensure that your guest is able to get the best night’s sleep possible.


If you are looking for a proper mattress as opposed to an inflatable bed, shop for the best value not the lowest price. The better the construction, the better the support and comfort offered and the longer the bed will last. This is key for both normal mattresses and for folding guest beds. The quality that is available for folding beds is simply stunning and definitely worth investing in.


Another thing to be aware of when choosing the perfect bed for your beloved house guests is if they have allergies. There are mattresses specifically designed with anti-allergy properties. If you have pets make sure their hair is kept away from the guest’s room or bedding. This is something worth giving thought to, you never know who may pop in for an overnight stay.

If you have opted for a very comfortable inflatable bed, you can also purchase specific anti-allergy bedding for your guests.

Special touches

Ensuring that your guests have the most pleasant stay does not just stop at how comfortable their mattress is, it is all about the full package. Headboards provide a nice homely touch to any guest bed, not only is it a practical way to keep your pillows under control, but very pleasing to the eye. Even now, some inflatable beds are available with a headboard!

To conclude, do not compromise on quality when it comes to providing the best comfort for your guests. Ensure that a visit to your home is one worth telling their friends about.

Bed Buying Guide

Bed Buying Guide

The Ultimate Bed Buying Guide from Slumber Slumber

Time to find the bed of your dreams?

Buying a bed can be a daunting experience so here at SlumberSlumber we have put together this handy bed buying guide to help you get the bed that’s right for you. A good night’s sleep is essential to living well, but more often than not, we’re unaware that our old beds might be causing all kinds of issues. When a bed is no longer providing proper support and comfort our quality of sleep will suffer.

Do you need a new bed?

The 10 year test!

Tests by the Furniture Industry Research Association reveal that the quality of a bed can deteriorate by as much as 70% over 10 years. So, how old is your bed?

Is your bed big enough?

Can you lie side by side, with your arms behind your head without touching each other? If not, your bed probably isn’t big enough. If the bed is for two people, then make sure you shop together. You both need to be happy with the choice otherwise you’ll have to live with the decision for years to come!

How to choose a New Bed

  1. What type and price?
    Shop for the best value and not the lowest price. The better the construction of the bed, the greater the support and comfort.
  2. Size really does matter
    Most people who share a bed will have been woken by their partner in the night at some point. If you up size your bed then you’re less likely to bother one another.
  3. Buy base and mattress together
    Try to make sure you test mattresses on a similar type of base. The two are engineered to work together, so a change of base will affect the feel and performance of the mattress.
Top Tip – Don’t just switch the mattress!

An old base can reduce the useful life of a new mattress as well as affecting the support and comfort a new mattress can offer. An old base can also invalidate any warranties or guarantees that come with the new mattress.

When shopping for a new bed:

  • Make time and be comfortable
    Enjoy the process and relax. Lie on the bed for quite a long time – at least 10 minutes – though feel free to make it longer.
  • Mattress rating
    To help you understand the mattress types available we’ve given each a rating, either 1 (soft) 2 (medium) or 3 (firm). Try them out to find which is best for you, and then test different mattresses within your preferred rating. There’s no universal standard for comfort that bed manufacturers stick to, so our rating system will help you to easily compare between brands and styles.

Types of Mattress

Even though mattresses may look pretty similar, don’t be fooled the differences within them are vast. Working your way through all the options can be pretty daunting, so feel free to ask our Bed Experts any questions that you might have, that’s what we are here for.

Ticking, quilting and tufting

Mattresses always have a cover designed to be tough and tear resistant, this is called ticking. Better quality mattresses use cloths that are woven or knitted in high-end viscose or cotton yarns, but cheaper cloths in polyester or polypropylene are often printed too. Various special qualities can also be applied to ticking with options including anti-dust or anti-allergy characteristics built in.

With or without springs?

There are basically two main types of mattress – those with and those without springs.

There are three main types of spring interior mattresses:

  • Open coil or open sprung
    These are the most common type, with springs arranged in rows and connected to one another, top and bottom, by a spiral helical wire.  They come in a choice of tensions, starting from a very firm 12.5 gauge wire.
    Price: Budget to mid range.
  • Continuous spring
    The continuous spring unit is made from a single length of wire ‘knitted’ into a series of interwoven springs that run up and down the bed. Generally speaking the gauge of wires used is softer than the open coil, giving a higher spring count and a more responsive feel.
    Price: Mid range
  • Pocket spring
    Pocket springs are smaller, softer springs housed in individual fabric pockets, allowing them to work independently, fitting to the sleepers body shape. This means each partner has their own support system, so when one partner moves in the night, the other is less likely to be disturbed. Spring counts typically vary from 600-800 up to 2,500 but can go higher offering a range of tensions and comfort ratings.
    Price: Higher end

Non sprung mattresses

The most popular non sprung mattresses are made from foam. Most of these are made from layers of different densities of foam. By varying their density and depth, it’s possible to achieve different levels of comfort and support. They are particularly suitable for use with slatted bases and adjustable beds and come in three main types.

  • Latex options have anti-microbial properties that offer benefits to many allergy sufferers and their natural elasticity helps the mattress shape recover quickly, giving very good individual support.
  • Visco elastic or memory foam slowly responds to body temperature and weight, taking the shape of the sleeper and ensuring good pressure relieving properties.
  • Polyurethane foam mattresses are widely used and extremely versatile with prices matching quality and foam density.

Top Tip – Turn, turn, turn

Mattress fillings in sprung mattresses will settle over the first few months of use making your mattress unique to your body shape. This may be more obvious in more expensive mattresses with more fillings. Turning your mattress regularly will help even out any settlement. Find out more about mattress settlement here.

Mattress Fillings

Fillings are used inside interior sprung mattresses to create different comfort options. The type of filling chosen can affect resilience, durability, flexibility, the ability to absorb body moisture and price.

The purpose of various fillings:

  • Cotton: Creates a soft feel is able to absorb moisture
  • Wool: Naturally resilient, breathable, fire retardant and luxurious
  • Foams: Used for their soft cushioning effect
  • Polyester: Has good recovery properties
  • Hair: Highly resilient, often described as “nature’s spring”.
  • Coir: Made from coconut fibre and used next to the spring to stop the spring being felt
  • Silk, cashmere, mohair: To add an additional sense of luxury

All about that base

The majority of mattresses were never intended to be used on their own. Most have been designed to work in combination with a bed base to ensure maximum comfort. These bases come in a range of styles and functions – scan through the list below and see the various options available.


The divan is the UK’s most popular option. It’s an upholstered box, fitted with castors or legs. Deep divans often come with the added bonus of useful storage drawers. There are four main types of divan:

  1. Sprung edge: Probably the most luxurious option, they provide even support across the whole mattress and act like a giant shock absorber increasing the mattress’s durability.
  2. Solid or platform top: Made using a rigid, non sprung top panel. This means the general feel of the bed tends to be quite firm.
  3. Firm edge: These feature a small number of larger, heavy duty springs within a rigid, wooden sided frame.
  4. Flexible slatted: The use of laminated soft woods mounted in a frame helps give a level of springiness to a bed that can be adjusted to suit individual preferences.

Divan Storage

Built-in storage under a bed doesn’t necessarily mean a compromise on quality or comfort. If you’re running out of space in your house, under bed storage could be a really good solution. And options are available for nearly all our Divans:

  • Drawers: In one or both sides and, or the foot end
  • Sliding doors: Can give access to the beds on one or both sides and, or the foot end
  • Hinged: Ottoman style divans have a shallow platform top, hinged to the rest of the base, which, when lifted, gives access to almost all of the under-bed area


Bedsteads are back in style! And there is a massive range to choose from with options available in wood, metal, plastics, upholstered or any combination of these.

The most common systems use rigid or flexible wooden slats to support the mattress, though other variations that use wire or mesh are available. Many bedsteads are imported or even antique, so be warned, they may not conform to current UK standard sizes. Take care to ensure a mattress and bedstead are the same size!

 Adjustable bases

Adjustable beds are a solution to the changing ways we’re using our bedrooms and beds. Adjustable beds also offer solutions to a range of medical problems or aid those with mobility issues.

They are available as single or doubles with individually adjustable halves. They can feature flexible laminated slats or fully sprung upholstered sections. Plus – and this is the fun bit – they can have up to five or more individually adjusting sections – for neck, head, upper body, legs and feet. Mattresses tend to be specially made for adjustable beds, so the base and mattress should really be bought together.

Bunk beds

Bunk beds and cabin beds are a great, fun, space-saving option. Some bunk beds can be split to create two single beds which can be useful over time. Cabin beds often contain a desk, drawers and cupboard, which can make the smallest room in the house suddenly useful again.

Guest beds

There’s never enough space when friends or family come to stay! Guest beds are a practical solution with inflatable, folding and pull out options available. Whatever the type of guest bed, all are designed with one purpose in mind, to take up as little space as possible when not in use!

Pillows and Toppers

Bed buying shouldn’t end with a bedstead and mattress – the things you put on-top of your bed can be just as important in helping you to get a good nights sleep as the bed itself! Here’s some extra advice on getting the finishing touches right.


Pillows are often the cause of a lot of sleep, neck and back related problems.

A good pillow will hold your head in alignment with your shoulders and spine, the same stance as if you were standing upright with good posture. The thickness and number of pillows you need all depends on the position you like to sleep in. For example, you’ll need a thicker pillow (or two thinner ones) if you sleep on your side than if you sleep on your back.

There is a massive selection of pillows available, from goosedown and duckdown to feather, fibre filled, and foam. You’ll also be able to find pillows in various shapes and sizes, including ones which are pre-shaped to support the head and neck. The choice is subjective – whatever works for you is going to be a winner!

Overlays and toppers

Overlays and toppers soften the feel of a mattress by adding extra layers of cushioning and protection. Generally non-sprung, they can be made up of anything from polyester fibre to feathers.

Have we answered all your questions?

We hope we have covered everything in our bed buying guide but understand you may have more questions. Buying a bed is a big investment and not one to be taken lightly. Refer to our Sleep Clinic for more information on beds, buying a bed and how we can help you with common sleep problems.

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