You will often see beds and mattresses on websites that have been given the Which? Seal of approval. As a much trusted institution, a lot of value is placed on their reports. But what do they actually do?
The following gives you an in site into some of things a Which? Tester will put a mattress through.
When selecting which mattresses to test, Which? consult manufacturers, market intelligence reports and industry experts, then check availability on the high street and online. Tested mattresses include top sellers from the most popular brands, those with innovative features, interesting products from lesser-known brands and widely available Best Buys from previous tests.
Which? testers don’t just lie down on the job
To test the durability or a mattress, Which? roll a barrel weighing 127kg (20 stone) over each mattress 60,000 times – equivalent to 10 years’ normal use – and check for significant rips in the material or permanent damage to the springs. If a mattress compresses by more than 15mm, they rate it as poor.
The tester lies on a liquid silver pressure-measuring mat on top of a mattress to see whether any areas of the mattress put too much pressure on different parts of the body.
Everybody sweats during a night’s sleep. The tester lies on a mattress for an hour in a chamber at 23°C until he is sweating heavily. The relative humidity is then measured between him and the mattress. A similar test is conducted to see whether the mattress gets uncomfortably hot. They also measure the contact area between a tester’s back and the surface of the mattress. If you sweat a lot, don’t choose a mattress with a large contact area.
Read the full Which? mattress report of October 2013 and you might be surprised to see that the most expensive mattress, a Tempur product received the lowest test score.