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Mattress Buying Advice for Women

In this guide, we look at factors that may be particularly helpful for women when buying a mattress. This includes how to choose:

  • the ideal firmness for your body type
  • the best mattress for back pain
  • the right mattress to help regulate your temperature

Women and men differ when it comes to their sleeping experiences. The National Sleep Federation reports that, in general, women are more likely to have trouble falling and staying asleep compared with men.

Factors unique to women may affect quality of sleep, too. This can include needing more sleep during pregnancy, suffering from back pain after having children and feeling too hot during the menopause.

We've created this guide to help support these additional needs. We hope this will help you choose a mattress that's perfect for you - and enjoy a good night's sleep.

Woman asleep in bed
Enjoy a better night's sleep with the right mattress

Choose the right mattress firmness for you

To choose the right level of firmness for you, you first need to decide whether you prefer a mattress that you can "sink" in to or one that's firmer.

If you love softer mattresses with lots of "give", we recommend choosing a soft or soft-to-medium mattress. If you want firm, sturdy support, choose a firm or extra firm mattress.

The ideal mattress firmness differs from person to person. Some people like a firm mattress, and some prefer a softer feel. Many people prefer something in-between.

Here at Mattress Online, we use a mattress firmness rating scale to help you to choose the right mattress for you. This is based on manufacturer ratings, as well as our decades of experience and independent testing.

  1. Soft
    Best if you love a plush, soft feel that you can "sink" in to.
  2. Soft-medium
    Soft with a little more support.
  3. Medium
    An ideal balance of comfort and support - not too soft, not too firm.
  4. Medium-firm
    Extra support and a slightly firmer feel, with less "give".
  5. Firm
    Firm and supportive.
  6. Extra firm
    Our firmest support rating, ideal if you like a very solid, sturdy feel.
Mattress firmness grades, from soft to extra firm
Choose the right firmness rating for you

Consider your body type

It's important to think about your body type when you choose your mattress. Your weight and height (as well as how curvy you are) all play a part in determining what mattress firmness is likely to suit you best.

Our customers often report that their mattress feels firmer than expected if they're light, and a little softer than expected if they're larger. Additionally, people with bigger hips or shoulders may find slightly softer mattresses more comfortable.

Lighter frame

If you have a lighter frame, you may find a soft or medium mattress the most comfortable. A firm or an extra firm mattress may feel too hard if you are light.

We recommend:

Larger than average frame

If you have a larger frame, you may find that a firmer mattress supports you best. You may not get the support you need from a softer mattress.

We recommend:

Somewhere in the middle

If you have an average frame, most mattresses will be suitable for you. However, you may find a medium or a medium-firm mattress most comfortable.

Wider hips and shoulders

If you have wider hips or shoulders and you like to sleep on your side, we recommend medium or medium-soft mattresses.

Firmer mattresses tend to offer little "give", so they'll be more likely to curve your spine downwards and cause pressure point build-up. Very soft mattresses may offer too much "give", and provide very little support for your spine.

Memory foam and latex mattresses are also excellent options if you are curvy and like to sleep on your side, since they provide gentle support and comfort for your hips and shoulders.

Choose a mattress to reduce back pain

Whilst there isn't one type of mattress to relieve back pain, you may find that an orthopaedic mattress or a pocket sprung mattress offers the best support for your back.

Back pain is a common issue for many people. For women, back pain - particularly lower back pain - can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.

Read on to find out what types of mattress may help with back pain.

Orthopaedic mattresses

Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to provide better support for your back and ensure healthy spinal alignment as you sleep.

Pocket sprung mattresses

Pocket sprung mattresses offer total body support. Because each spring reacts individually to the pressure applied to it, this means that you get maximum support where you need it most.

Need more help and information? Visit our guide on back problems. We also recommend that you discuss your back pain with your doctor.

Choose a temperature-regulating mattress

Choose a mattress that can help keep you warm if you often feel cold - or cooler if you usually get too hot - for a better night's sleep.

As seasons change it can be difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. Additionally, for women, factors such as the menopause may contribute to body temperature fluctuations.

Mattresses can include a wide range of materials that can help to regulate your temperature. Read on to find out how to choose the best mattress for temperature control.

If you feel cold at night

If you get too cold at night, you might find a memory foam mattress offers a little extra warmth. This may be helpful if you often feel too cold in bed.

Remember to choose a duvet that's thick and warm, too. We have a wide range of 10.5 tog and 13.5 tog duvets to choose from.

Still feeling chilly? Add a little extra warmth with an electric blanket!

If you switch between feeling hot and cold

If you switch between feeling hot and cold at night, we recommend mattresses made from natural materials. Natural fillings such as cotton, wool and bamboo are breathable and wick away moisture, helping you to regulate your body temperature.

Try layering lighter duvets or blankets on top of eachother, so you can remove each one as you to need to throughout the night.

Rest Assured British Wool Medium Mattress
The Rest Assured British Wool Medium Mattress - a breathable, natural mattress

If you feel too hot

If you get too hot when you sleep, a gel foam mattress can help you to feel cooler. This is because they're made from gel beads, which help to disperse heat build-up for a more comfortable night's sleep.

You might also want to try a lightweight 4.5 tog duvet. Opt for cooling pillows and be sure to choose breathable bedding, such as cotton duvet covers.

We hope this advice page helps you to enjoy a more comfortable night's sleep. If you have any questions or would like any further help, please don't hesitate to get in touch - we'll be very happy to help!

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