The hard work of lying down on the job
Despite the obvious assumption, we don't test mattresses by taking naps on the job.
Instead, we test two major elements:
- How firm they are.
- How that firmness changes over time.
We also look at:
- how much moisture is retained by each mattress
- whether the out-of-the-box smell improves
- how much (if any) damage is sustained over time.
CHOICE tests spring, foam, latex and hybrid mattresses from traditional bricks and mortar retailers, and online-only bed-in-a-box manufacturers. We do this in conjunction with independent labs in Europe.
We also ask our members how satisfied they are with their mattress brand. See our mattress brand satisfaction survey results.
How we choose what we test
Our priority is to test what you'll see in the shops. This means that sometimes we might not cover that one brand with one model that's sold 100 samples in Australia.
Instead, we focus on the big brand models that sell thousands and that you'll most likely see in your local retailer.
How do we know what's in retailers? We check current market figures to see what's selling well.
We also include models that you've requested; if a lot of members want it, we're going to test it.
- Retailer mattresses: We selected 22 models from major brands such as Sealy, SleepMaker and A.H. Beard based on feedback from member surveys. We also selected one exclusive model from third-party retailers such as Snooze, Forty Winks and Ikea, so you can consider alternatives to the big names.
- Bed-in-a-box mattresses: We bought ten bed-in-a-box mattresses from popular manufacturers, and compared them to a traditional store-bought innerspring mattress. Though mostly made of memory foam and latex, you can find some innerspring bed in a box brands.
- Our decision to focus on firm models was also directed by member feedback from our CHOICE Community forum.
When we know what you want, our buyers go out and use member funds to buy the products from a variety of bricks and mortar, and online, retailers.
This means we get what you'd get, so we can be sure the results are what you'd find.
Opinions on mattresses are subjective. What one person might consider comfortable, another might find punishing.
That's why manufacturers make mattresses with varying degrees of firmness. A good mattress will retain its properties over a lifetime, not getting any less or more firm over eight years of use.
Our mattress test primarily addresses firmness. We aim to identify if the mattress will change in firmness over time, or whether you can rely on it to deliver the same standard of comfort that convinced you to buy it in the first place.
- We bought retailer mattresses from Domayne, Fantastic Furniture, Forty Winks, Freedom, Harvey Norman, Ikea and Snooze.
- We bought bed-in-a-box brands direct from the manufacturer, aside from Kipset and Wonderrest, which are sold by Forty Winks and Clarke Rubber respectively.
- Both options were tested under the same conditions, using the same methodology in partnership with independent labs in Europe.
- We conducted body support tests with people chosen to comply with the 5th percentile female (1.55m/54kg) and the 95th percentile male (1.91m/104kg). This range of heights and weights covers 90% of the general population.
Our tests cover:
After testing, we open up each model to note spring types, spring count, the number of layers and types of material used.
Each product profile includes a cross section that breaks down the contents of each mattress.
The overall score is made up of:
- Comfort, unused – male and female average (30%)
- Comfort, after eight years – male and female average (25%)
- Stabilisation (15%)
- Sagging (10%)
- Sweat repellent (10%)
- Usage wear/damage (5%)
- Smell, new and after a fortnight average (5%)
We also note the advertised firmness, then test the mattress to see if these claims stack up.
Ready to buy?
See our latest spring, foam, latex and hybrid and mattress reviews, from traditional retailers and bed-in-a-box manufacturers.
Think about becoming a CHOICE member if you aren't already. For a small price you can get peace of mind with access to hundreds of test results from rigorous testing that simply isn't done anywhere else.