How are mattresses tested?

Buying a new mattress is not an easy task. A mattress is a longtime investment and therefore it is very important that it is comfortable and right for your body. But you should also take into account that your body needs time to get used to a brand new mattress. So, how do you find out that whether you have chosen the perfect mattress?

This is precisely why we have summarized our Top5  best mattress picks in order to give you more in-depth  information about certain brand and/ or type of mattresses. In the end we hope  we will  help you make the right decision and choose the mattress that corresponds to your needs.

We base our ranking on the following:

  • The brands website, to compare prices and product features
  • The customer reviews¬†, to know the reality behind the commercial and marketing promises
  • The¬†physical mattress tests: This includes both mechanical mattress tests and subjective mattress tests.

Fortunately, you do not have to try out all the mattresses yourself to find the best mattress. Mattresses are regularly tested by mattress specialists and institutes that test them in a wide number of criteria to come out with the best mattress. To help you better understand how the ranking of the best mattresses was made, we decided to reveal behind the scenes of these tests.  and the criteria that we evaluate for each mattress.


Mechanical Mattress Test

Mattresses are generally tested during the development of a mattress. However, consumer bodies such as Which? and Good House Keeping  also test and review various mattresses, in order to give consumers an unbiased and independent review. They usually make use of special machines to test their mattresses, as these give the most accurate results. In these tests, we evaluate mattresses based on certain mattress criteria. This includes:

  • Durability
  • Motion tra
  • Spine Alignment
  • Zoning test


This refers to the state of the mattress over time, therefore the smaller the change, the better the material. In this test, we simulate the normal usage of the mattress during 8 years and we see how it performs over time. For this, the pressure is exerted on the mattress by rolling a large weight over the mattress several times. The norm says that the mattress should be rolled 30.000 times, however, since the main differences in hardness can be noticed between 100 and 15.000 cycles, we usually shorten the process (4-5 years of use).The best mattress would be the one that maintains the same characteristics and provides the same support as brand new as well as after several years of use.

In our test, The Emma mattress was the most durable:  Read the Full Review

Motion Isolation

To test the motion isolation of the mattress, we look at the point elasticity. The aim of the test is to check the ability of the mattress to compress in a small area without affecting the area beside it. In other words, we want to check if you are going to wake up or not during the night when your partner moves during the night. The test is performed by an indenter like the picture below that applies force to the mattress in 2 specific points according to the norm.

A mattress would have better point elasticity properties when it has a higher value from the middle section of the intender. It would mean that the mattress can compress more for the body parts that sink in deeper without affecting the support provided to the rest of the body.




Mattress test with test subjects

Depending on the type of test, mattresses are also tested on test subjects. Usually this test uses both  a heavier and a lighter person. It can measure things such as comfort, body contouring, support and spinal alignment. You can determine how far a person sinks into a mattress and whether he receives the correct amount of support. A mattress should also contour to the body. This means, for example, that the spine remains in a straight line when in a side sleeping position.
You can find the results of the mattress tests on Which?’s.

Go to review page

About Emily

Emily studied journalism and is extremely passionate about good sleep and has extensive knowledge of the mattress industry. She knows exactly what to look out for when buying a new mattress and knows what constitutes good customer service.