“People often ask for orthopaedic mattresses, but all that means is a hard one,” says Gill. “Very few people actually need a hard mattress unless they have crushed a disc. For most other people, they will simply be uncomfortable, particularly for lighter women, creating shoulder pain and pins and needles sensations.”
Indeed, your body weight will largely dictate the sort of tension you require – the softer ones are better for an eight-stone woman, a firmer mattress will benefit a 16-stone rugby player type. Of course, many suppliers sell combination mattresses with different tensions on either side, catering for couples with greatly varying weights.
Others sell two mattresses zipped together, a technique much improved on the old days, making it now almost impossible to tell that there is a divide. “We say if couples feel the zip, we’ll give them their money back,” says Gill.
With spring mattresses, the firmness is largely dictated by the number of springs. High-quality mattresses such as Vi-Spring, such as the superb double model, will often have soft cotton and lamb’s wool to enhance the springs; the very best will have horsehair filling, which breathes well and acts like more tiny springs.
Vi-Spring offer a comfort promise – try the mattress for up to 90 days, and if need be, they will replace it with a softer or harder one. Tempur, a manufacturer of memory foam mattresses using material developed at NASA to relieve g-force pressures during space launches, offers a 60-night free trial.