Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our daily lives. But despite the fact we spend an average of 1 third of our lives asleep, we tend to overlook the basic building blocks of a good night's sleep like the best pillow, bedding and, of course, mattress. As parents, a lot of aspects of our sleep schedule can feel out of our control, but by choosing the right mattress we can at least ensure we have the right foundation.


Best mattresses at a glance

  • Best firm memory foam option: Emma Luxe Cooling Mattress, from £929
  • Best soft mattress for side sleepers: Tempur Cloud Mattress Elite, from £1,479
  • Best for light sleepers: HiGrid Premium Hybrid, from £899
  • Best for finding a comfortable sleeping position: Brook + Wilde Suprema Mattress, from £1,499
  • Best for restless sleepers: Silent Night Just Bliss Gel Hybrid Mattress, from £469

The best mattress for you will depend on a range of factors including your preferred sleeping position, your ideal firmness and material preference. With such a crowded market, cutting through the noise to find your perfect mattress can be a daunting task, especially given how expensive they can get. That’s why we’ve tested out a range of mattresses from some of the biggest brands in sleep in order to recommend the best ones for a range of sleep preferences.

We’ve also reached out to a sleep expert to get an insight into sleep best practices and other ways you can steal back those precious minutes in bed amidst the chaos of family life. You can find those tips at the end of this artcle.

We’ve tested a range of mattress types to try and find the best options for a range of sleep preferences. Each of the mattresses in our list will work for a different sleeper, coming in a range of sizes, materials and depths to suit you.

Best mattresses for parents in 2024

1. Emma Luxe Cooling Mattress, from £929

- Best firm memory foam option

Emma Luxe Cooling Mattress

Firmness: Medium | Material: Memory Foam | Old Mattress Removal Service: Yes (Optional) | Trial: Yes, 200 nights | Warranty: 10-years | Washable Cover: No

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Emma is one of the biggest brands in sleep for a reason. The Luxe Cooling Mattress is a fantastic option for those looking for a foam mattress that's a bit firmer. Thanks to its layered construction, the mattress provides uniform support for your whole body regardless of your preferred sleeping position.

As our tester, Laura, noted, "It's extremely comfortable - a lot more comfortable than my old mattress - and I slept well on it."

The mattress arrives vacuum packed in a box for ease of delivery – though it is worth noting that the box is quite heavy. Once unpacked, the mattress expands to its final size after a few hours. During testing, we were impressed with the premium feel of the mattress, particularly the way that the memory foam returns to its original shape and doesn't hold any indentations even after a month of use.

As the name suggests, the Cooling mattress employs what Emma calls "Thermosync foam technology", designed to absorb and dissipate the heat away from your body keeping you cool throughout the night. During testing, Laura did still notice some overheating, despite this technology, however it was less noticeable than with her previous mattress.

It is on the more expensive side of the market, however the impressive build quality and smart design helped Laura to get comfortable and fall asleep more quickly. Emma regularly holds impressive sales on its mattresses, so it's worth keeping an eye out for a good deal.

Pros: Extremely comfortable, very supportive
Cons: 'New' smell takes a long time to dissipate, expensive, plastic used in packaging

Available from: Emma

2. Tempur Cloud Mattress Elite, from £1,479

- Best soft mattress for side-sleepers

Tempur Cloud Mattress

Firmness: Soft | Material: Memory Foam | Old Mattress Removal Service: No | Trial: Yes, 100 nights | Warranty: 10-years | Washable Cover: Yes

If you're a side sleeper who likes to feel as though they're sleeping on a cloud then the appropriately named Cloud Mattress from Tempur could be your perfect match. Featuring a super-soft memory foam topper above a firmer foam base, it's definitely an acquired taste, and it takes a few weeks to get fully used to, but if you prefer a mattress that feels extremely soft then there aren't many better options on the market.

"I feel more supported overall as I move, and the initial feel of sinking into a soft topper is really nice after a long day," said Gemma, who tested the mattress. "It takes some getting used to after a more traditional firm mattress, and I think it's really about personal preference and the way you sleep as to whether you'll like it."

Due to the firmness, side-sleepers will find this mattress supportive across the length of their bodies, though back-sleepers and front-sleepers are perhaps best looking at one of the other options on this list. "The memory foam is very good at popping back into shape after you move but it's not instant, especially if you have been in the same position for a long time and are warm when you move," Gemma added. "You have to just take a beat to let it get back into shape."

The mattress is delivered using minimal packaging, which was taken away by the delivery drivers during our testing. The drivers will also take it to any room in your home, which is handy as it's quite heavy and the softness means it's quite difficult to move. It does have that 'new' smell out of the plastic, but the smell disappeared within a few hours.

"It's more comfortable for me as a side sleeper, my previous mattress is a firmer memory foam which had developed dips over time, particularly after I was pregnant," Gemma continued. "The grooved, quilted cover is also interesting, as it provides a bit of a massage effect."

Pros: Ideal support for side-sleepers, great for a luxury, soft feel
Cons: Expensive, not ideal for front or back-sleepers, difficult to move

Available from: Tempur

3. HiGrid Premium Hybrid, from £899

- Best for light sleepers

HiGrid Premium Hybrid mattress

Firmness: Soft | Material: Hybrid | Old Mattress Removal Service: No | Trial: Yes, 200 nights | Warranty: 10-years | Washable Cover: Yes

As its name suggests, the real selling point for the Premium Hybrid from HiGrid is the combination of their SmartGrid technology and pocket coils. That grid structure is more than just marketing speak too, it is a huge part of why the Premium Hybrid is so good at regulating your body temperature, something our tester Emily noticed.

"This has been a huge test for my partner who suffers from Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and he has noticed such a change in his sleep," said Emily. "Since using this mattress, he's remained relatively cool throughout the night and finds he sweats a lot less."

The Premium Hybrid is also great if you're prone to waking up when your partner moves around in the bed. "It’s astonishing how you can’t feel the other person move around on the mattress which makes it so much easier to rest comfortably without being disturbed," Emily added. "Neither me nor my partner moves at all when the other person moves in the bed or sits down and you don't really feel any vibrations or movement on the fabric."

It also provides fantastic support across the length of your body, though it does take a few nights to properly settle in. Emily noted that, "the distribution of comfort and support is clear across each part of the mattress — it doesn't matter where you're sleeping, it still offers the same sleep experience."

Overall, the Premium Hybrid was very impressive during testing providing a noticeable improvement in sleep quality. "I'm waking up less, sleeping deeper, feel less aches/pains throughout the night, not overheating, not noticing when my partner gets into the bed/moves and overall just feel more comfortable and supported," Emily said.

Pros: Great cooling, unable to feel your partner moving in the bed
Cons: Lots of plastic packaging used, difficult to move

Available from: HiGrid

4. Brook + Wild Sleep Suprema Mattress, from £1,499

- Best for finding a comfortable sleeping position

Brook + Wilde Suprema mattress

Firmness: Soft, Medium, Firm | Material: Hybrid | Old Mattress Removal Service: Yes, for a fee | Trial: Yes, 200 nights | Warranty: 10-years | Washable Cover: Yes

If you find yourself tossing and turning to find a comfortable sleeping position at night then this Suprema Mattress from Brook and Wilde Sleep is a great option for you. The mattress is supportive across the length of your body, providing ideal comfort for those who don't have just one sleeping position.

As tester Ruairidh noted, "My sleep quality and the amount of time I spend asleep has improved – I don't struggle to find a comfortable position, whereas previously it would take me some time to get comfortable enough to drift off."

The hybrid mattress combines multiple layers of foam and pocket-springs to provide a unique sleeping experience and is available in soft, medium and firm variants that are each made to order.

"With this new mattress I'm comfortable almost immediately, and falling asleep much faster than before. I also don't wake up in the night nearly as much as I did before," Ruairidh continued. "The only issue I have now is building up the willpower to get out of bed first thing in the morning. It's so comfortable, it's hard to leave."

Pros: Supportive, packaging removed by delivery team
Cons: Expensive

Available from: Brook + Wilde

5. Silentnight Just Bliss Gel Hybrid Mattress, from £469

- Best for restless sleepers

Silent night just bliss mattress

Firmness: Medium | Material: Hybrid | Old Mattress Removal Service: No | Trial: Yes, 365 nights | Warranty: 10-years | Washable Cover: No

The Just Bliss Gel Hybrid mattress is a great example of why Silentnight is considered such a noteworthy sleep brand in the UK. The mattress, which combines a layer of pocket-springs with a unique gel-infused layer, is great if you or your partner are restless sleepers.

"The mattress is a great mix of supportive while still being soft enough to allow a feeling of 'sinking in' (in a good way) and getting really comfortable," noted tester Doris. "Both my partner and I usually like soft mattresses but are really happy with this one as the gel elements add a special touch to it."

Silentnight claims that the gel layer, "soothes minor aches and pains," something that Doris also noted during testing. "I was very sceptical about the 'gel-infused' part of this mattress at first," she said, "but it's actually impressive. I really noticed a difference when I was achy or sore after a workout."

Pros: Reasonably priced, gel layer is great
Cons: Outer seam uncomfortable

Available from: Silentnight

How we tested mattresses

In order to test the mattresses we featured in our list, we worked with a team of testers from across the MadeForMums team. They carried out the testing process from their own homes across a 1 month period, filling out 3 surveys at the beginning, middle and end of the testing process. 

The initial survey was to guage first impressions of the mattress after a few nights sleep as well as to gather feedback on the unboxing process. With this survey, testers paid particular attention to the packaging used to transport the mattress as well as the immediate comparison to their previous mattress. 

The second and third surveys were designed to gather feedback on the testers overall experience, focusing on the quality of sleep over the testing period. We also focused on if the mattresses retained their shape during the testing period as well as if they regulated temperature well. 

Testers looked at value for money, focusing on their sleep experiences when compared to their price as well as the build quality and longevity of the pillows. We also gathered numerical ratings regarding the testers sleep quality (out of 10) at the start and end of the testing process to help us to see if there was any improvement in sleep quality across the testing period.

How to get a better night's sleep

As per the NHS, “a healthy adult usually needs around 7 to 9 hours of sleep,” with factors like age and health sometimes affecting how much sleep we need. As any parent will know, getting 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep can be near-impossible, but we can at least focus on making the most out of the sleep we do get.

What makes a better night’s sleep will depend a lot on your personal circumstances and preferences. Do you have a partner? Do you both like the same type of mattress? Maybe your partner prefers a thin duvet and a warm room and you prefer it ice cold. Even if you’re a solo sleeper, the night can be a constant battle against distraction and the elements.

A good nights sleep isn’t just about how long you sleep for. Your natural sleep cycle – that is the time your body fluctuates between being awake and in REM or deep sleep – is just as important. I’ve been tracking my sleep for the past 4 months and I’ve noticed that when I am woken up midway through REM sleep I feel significantly more groggy. Understanding your own sleep cycle can help you maximise your REM sleep, ensuring you wake up feeling a bit more refreshed. A sleep tracking app or device can help with this.

The NHS generally spotlights three factors for creating the optimal sleep environment: keeping it dark, quiet and cool. Parents might not always be afforded control over the first two: earplugs and eye masks aren’t always an option, especially if you have young children, and even turning out all the lights may not be possible.

But a combination of a good quality mattress and a duvet with the correct tog rating can help keep you cool, helping your body to reach the optimal temperature. You can also use a tower fan to cool down your room to your ideal temperature, though this will depend on your child’s sleep circumstances. Refer to our safe sleep rules for newborns and babies under 6 months if you have any questions regarding best practice if your child is in the room with you. Many tower fans include sleep modes or timers to help with their use at night. We tested 5 of the best tower fans to see which one’s provide the best experience.

If you can’t control your room temperature and you and your partner prefer different temperatures, you can try out the Scandi method of using 2 duvets on one bed. While this may seem excessive, this method allows each of your to pick the ideal duvet for you.

Of course, the most important tool in your quality sleep toolkit will be your mattress. A mattress that's worn out, low quality, or the wrong firmness for your needs won’t provide the support you need to comfortably fall asleep and, in some cases, will actively prevent you falling asleep. And that’s not considering the neck and back pain you might experience when you wake up. Understanding the type of mattress you prefer is the first step to picking out the right option. If you prefer a firmer mattress, a spring or combination/hybrid option might work best for you. Those who like a softer mattress will want to look at memory foam options.

Pic credit: Product websites


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