Mattress guide – practical tips for making a purchase decision

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A mattress must be as optimal as possible to suit individual needs – this is the only way to promote deep and restful sleep. But what exactly is important when it comes to the sleeping pad? What properties does the mattress have to have so that healthy sleep is really possible? In this mattress guide you will learn how to find the right mattress for your needs.

The mattress types at a glance

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Regardless of whether it is a cold foam mattress, innerspring or latex – every type of mattress has its own specific properties, which are available for both children’s and adult mattresses. To make the decision easier, we have compared a total of six models according to their properties:

Cold foam mattress

– the foam is made from crude oil

– highly elastic

– breathable

– point elastic

– permeable to air

– durable

– cheaper than latex


– Consists of steel springs, wool, cotton and other materials

– durable

– good thermoregulation

– good moisture regulation

– little point elasticity

– cheap

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Pocket spring core

– Structure similar to the spring core, but the springs are individually packed, hence the name

– higher point elasticity than spring core

– more expensive than innerspring

Natural mattresses

– Filling made from different materials such as straw, wool or horsehair

– Horsehair mattresses are particularly expensive, but have the highest elasticity. They can absorb a lot of moisture

– Straw mattresses are extremely hard

– Natural mattresses filled with husk, are adaptable, similar to sand, but make it difficult to turn around because they do not offer any suspension



– Available in synthetic and natural latex

– heavy

– dimensionally stable

– antiseptic

– prevents dust mites and bacteria

– high point elasticity


– Consist of thin layers of cotton and are additionally padded with fibers in Europe for more elasticity

– Models with latex, horsehair, sheep’s wool or coconut fiber core are hard

– A soft mattress must be rolled up every day to prevent hardening

– poor moisture regulation

Pay attention to the density of the mattresses

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Particularly with cold foam mattresses, it should be noted that the density of the mattress exceeds the Volume weight, RG for short. When buying, models should come with 45 to 55 kg per cubic meter to be favoured. Ideally, the mattresses are offered with adapted body zones for men and women, which take into account the different weight distribution among the sexes. In addition to the volume weight and the optimized zone distribution, you should also pay attention to the height of the mattress. It should be at least 14 centimeters. Basically, the higher the mattress, the greater the sleeping comfort. Many suppliers sell their mattresses in different heights. Including the German specialist in orthopedics, Ottobock, which offers a point-elastic product under the matrazzo® online brand and in a factory outlet in Duderstadt, Lower Saxony Cold foam mattress with a volume weight of 50 kg in the two heights of around 18 and 22 centimeters.

Selection of mattress firmness

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Whether a rather hard mattress or a softer alternative is ideal for back-friendly sleeping depends on several factors. Among other things, body weight and sleeping habits affect the demands on the mattress. For example, the sleeping pad for a man who weighs 100 kilograms and prefers to lie on his side must have different properties than a mattress for a young person who weighs less than 50 kilograms and likes to sleep on their stomach. When purchasing a new mattress, the decisive factor in this context is the degree of hardness. The following list provides information about the common division of the degree of hardness into five levels. However, the data are for guidance only:

H1: Up to 60 kg body weight – > Lying feeling soft

H2: 60-80 kg body weight – > Medium-hard lying sensation

H3: 80-100 kg body weight – > Hard feeling when lying down

H4: from 100 kg body weight – > Lying feeling very hard

H5: from 130 kg body weight – > Lying feeling ultra hard

Since, in addition to body weight, body size plays a role in the selection of the ideal degree of hardness, both data must always be included. Of the Body mass index (BMI), which is calculated from these two parameters, can therefore be helpful in determining the appropriate degree of hardness. The integrated graphics of the aforementioned mattress online retailer matrazzo® provides information about the respective Mattress firmness, which fits the corresponding BMI and assigns this value to the three hardness zones “soft”, “medium” and “hard”:

How the Calculate BMI you can find out, for example, on the website of the University of Hohenheim.

If the wrong mattress firmness was chosen, it suffers Spine: While a soft mattress causes it to sag, the spine is curved if the surface is too hard. If the degree of hardness corresponds optimally to personal needs, the spine runs in a straight line from the bottom to the head.

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Important: try it out!

Regardless of whether you buy your mattress in brick-and-mortar stores or online: If you have the model that turns out to be the best mattress when you compare it, you should definitely try it out. This is the only way to determine whether the pad is the right hardness and optimally relieves your spine. With regard to the degree of firmness, you can use the rule of thumb that the mattress should be harder if you are heavier, and softer alternatives are usually the better choice for lighter people. Note that the hardness specifications are not standardized. Therefore, there can be differences between mattress retailers. Therefore, never rely on the information, but only consider it as an aid.

What else you can do for a good night’s sleep, we have explained in our article “Healthy sleep in winter”.