Mattresses buying guide

The correct mattress with the right divan base or bedstead can mean the difference between sweet dreams or sleep deprivation. A good quality mattress promotes deeper, more refreshing sleep by giving you better support. This guide will help you make an informed choice to get the right mattress for you and your partner.

Take a look at our range of mattresses here - and remember we can even dispose of your old mattress too.

3 easy steps to choosing your mattress

Don’t compromise

A good mattress can last up to 10 years, so it’s a
serious investment. But you should buy the best you can
afford: when you think that every £100 you spend on a mattress represents just 2.7p a night over 10 years, it’s a small price
to pay. John Lewis mattresses are made exclusively for us by leading UK manufacturers so they all offer exceptional quality 
and remarkable value.

Watch a video showing how pocket spring mattresses are made.

Try before you buy

If you’re buying a bedstead or divan separately we recommend you talk to one of our selling assistants in one of our shops. It’s important you test the mattress on your chosen bedstead or divan so you can be sure they achieve your desired comfort level. And it’s only by trying a few different mattresses that you can fully appreciate the difference between levels of support and different types of mattress.

Match mattress to divan base

Our mattresses and divan bases are designed to complement each other. The right mattress and divan base combination will promote the correct posture and provide support where you need it most. If you already have a bedstead in good condition you may only need a mattress. However, if you have a divan, a new mattress alone won’t give you the full benefit. It’s advisable to replace both.

Divans act as bases for mattresses and either have springs which allow the mattress to adapt to the body's contours, or a solid top which provides firmer support. A divan base is useful if you are tight for space in your bedroom as they often have drawers for storage - or you prefer a more neutral look.

View our buying guide to beds

Different types of mattresses

One of the biggest causes of sleepless nights is fluctuations
in body temperature, so we offer some mattresses with 100% natural fillings to keep you comfortable all year round.

Mattress design and technology has never been more innovative. We offer a wide range at prices to suit every pocket.

Open spring mattress

  • The most commonly-used springing system in the world for budget-priced mattresses
  • Border rod or wire gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape
  • Sides are machine stitched rather than hand-stitched.

Pocket spring mattress

  • Recommended if there's a size difference between you and your partner, as it minimises the risk of you rolling towards each other during the night
  • More luxurious, with individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets.
  • Springs work independently to respond to individual body weight.
  • Stitched sides for strong, stable edges - hand stitching is a sign of craftsmanship and quality.

Watch a video showing how pocket spring mattresses are made.

Revolution® pocket spring mattress

  • Our most advanced pocket spring mattress, with a highly effective ‘spring within a spring’ system.
  • Responsive outer spring works with a second inner spring to provide extra support where it is needed most.
  • Some have hand stitched sides to secure the outer springs to the border - hand stitching is a sign of craftsmanship and quality.

Visco-elastic mattress (memory foam)

  • The mattress moulds and re-moulds to your body’s contours as your body heat softens it
  • Provides support and enables natural movement during sleep
  • Helps to maintain correct posture and align spine horizontally when lying on your side
  • Hypo-allergenic with anti-microbial properties.

John Lewis mattress collections

Basics: Good quality for the lowest price
Essentials: Open spring, ideal for children and suitable for occasional or everyday use.
Ortho support: Our firmest mattresses, perfect if you prefer a harder sleeping surface.
Memory: Hypo-allergenic, these mould to your contours and support good posture.
Natural: Hand made using 100% natural fillings with pocket springs, these mattresses are available in medium or firm tension, so you can choose your ideal comfort.

We also offer mattresses from SealySilentnight, Tempur and

Mattress toppers and protectors

To get the best out of your chosen mattress and maximise its life, we recommend you buy one of our mattress protectors. These are also available in anti-allergy or waterproof styles, and are machine-washable.

Mattress toppers add a luxurious extra layer to your mattress. They provide extra support and comfort and will generally provide a cosier feel to your bed. Available in all UK standard sizes with a choice of materials: goose feather and down, siliconised polyester or quilted cotton-rich fibres.

Please note though, that a topper isn't a substitute for an unsuitable or worn-out mattress.

Looking after your mattress


After delivery the mattress should be aired for 4 hours to freshen and remove any aroma from storage. The mattress should be aired on a weekly basis by turning back the bedlinen for a few hours. A mattress protector or an under blanket below the sheet is recommended.

Sprung mattresses:

With the majority of sprung mattresses it's important to turn your mattress regularly to maximise its life. Body weight compresses a mattress, leading to dips and ultimately an uneven sleeping surface. Consider a one-sided 'no-turn' mattress if turning a heavy mattress could be difficult.


Avoid using a plastic sheet on or under the mattress as 
this prevents air circulation and can cause condensation. We do sell breathable waterproof mattress protectors.

Memory foam mattresses:

These mattresses do not need turning and in some cases only have one sleeping surface so cannot be turned, but the mattress should still be rotated lengthways occasionally (once a month) to maximise its life.

Over time these mattresses may feel as if they are gradually getting softer, as cells within the foam open more fully and the surface reacts more quickly. However, the important pressure relieving properties remain the same and eventually the whole mattress will react evenly.

Measuring up

All John Lewis beds are available in UK standard sizes. The dimensions of a bedstead are greater than a divan base equivalent, but the mattress size required remains the same. The mattresses we sell are sized as shown, and our bed linen is made to fit those sizes.

Note: some retailers may supply beds in non-standard UK sizes, so be sure to check that the mattress size - and even the bed linen - is compatible.

Made to order mattresses

Bespoke options can be made to order, direct from the supplier - please ask in our shops. The supplier will deliver within 4-6 weeks. Refund conditions apply; please see the Returns section of our website for details (this does not affect your statutory rights).

Mattress name Mattress size (cm)
Small single W75 x L190
Single W90 x L190
Small double W120 x L190
Double W135 x L190
Kingsize W150 x L200
Super kingsize W180 x L200
Super kingsize zipped and linked W180 x L200

Mattress tension

We offer mattresses in a range of tensions to suit your needs. Most of the mattresses we sell online are available with the specified tensions only, however some of our ranges can be tailored to you if you prefer a particularly soft or firm bed. Please contact your nearest shop for further details.

Posture and springs – video guides

Find out more about how a good mattress supports correct posture, and discover the unique spring systems present in our
Natural Collection mattresses, which will help give you a great night's sleep.