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Mattresses to avoid buying in the sales

Don't wake up on the wrong side of the bed – give these low-scoring mattresses a miss.

mattress with an angry emoji
Last updated: 08 June 2021

Need to know

  • We tested over 35 popular mattresses from Sleeping Duck, Sealy, Ikea, Emma, A.H.Beard, Tempur and more
  • Experts assess key factors like comfort (as new and after eight years use), stability, sagging over time and more. 
  • Become a CHOICE member to see full reviews and compare products

We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it's vital to find the right mattress for the best night's sleep. But be careful – buy a bad bed and it could turn into a nightmare. 

Choosing a mattress instore or online can be confusing and downright stressful, with so many types, builds, firmnesses, features and amazing 'new technology' claims being touted. It's enough to warrant a serious lie-down!

Luckily, to help you pick, CHOICE has been testing popular mattresses for years – and no, it's not just some lucky staff member sleeping on them all day (we wish). 

How we test mattresses

No, we don't test mattresses by taking naps on the job. Watch how our lab partners assess key factors like comfort, stabilisation and more.

Instead, our lab partners in Europe scientifically test the most imporant factors including comfort for both male and female body types, stabilisation, sagging over time, sweat resistance and more. 

So you don't lose any sleep over your selection, we've highlighted the mattresses that rated lowest in our tests below. Of course, our experts also uncovered some very good mattresses, too, including some impressive surprises priced well under $1000. Join CHOICE to see our full test reviews

1. Ikea Hokkåsen

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 61%
  • Male comfort score: 30%
  • Female comfort score: 41%
  • Price: $599

You snooze, you lose if you land on this double Ikea pocket spring mattress, which ranked lowest in our whole test. Its initial comfort scores will make most sleepers recoil in horror and it also registered a sorry 56% in our sagging test (which simulates eight years of use). 

And if you live in hotter climates, there's all the more reason to avoid it. The Hokkåsen received the lowest sweat-repellency score in our test, with a whiffy 32%, which means it's more likely to absorb fluids such as sweat and associated smells (shudder).

On a positive note, Ikea do offer a 365-day trial period if you're still keen to try it. Read our full Ikea Hokkåsen review.

Woman lying on her side on a mattress with a red line running down the length of her back

Lab lie-down: Our comfort tests use lasers to monitor spinal alignment.

2. SleepMaker Alaska

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 63%
  • Male comfort score: 38%
  • Female comfort score: 50%
  • Price: $1699

This queen retail mattress is another reminder that paying more money doesn't automatically guarantee a better sleep. Our tests found much cheaper ones that rated a lot better. 

Again, comfort was the key concern here, with our lab testing revealing disappointing ratings for both males and females. And if you or your partner toss and turn at night, expect some turbulence – it scored an ordinary 58% in our stabilisation test, which measures the amount of movement in the mattress.

Our experts also found its advertised firmness didn't match its actual firmness – it was soft, not firm as promised. On the flipside, the Alaska did score well with 80% for sagging over time and scored a perfect 100% for sweat-repellency score, so that's good news. Read our full SleepMaker Alaska review.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE