Everyone knows that getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our well-being and health. Meanwhile, choosing the right mattress for yourself isn’t so easy. Considering the vast number of brands, models and materials available in Hong Kong, and the costs involved in such a personally important purchase makes mattress shopping a truly daunting task for many of us.
However, don’t panic! As experts, we’ve put together everything you need to choose the perfect mattress for years to come.
Mattress Shopping Guide: Section Guide
1. How and where is the best place to buy a mattress in Hong Kong?
a) Shopping at a mattress store
Buying your mattress at a brick and mortar location such as in department stores, shopping malls or branded mattress stores has been a lifelong practice for many people in Hong Kong. The opportunity to physically touch and feel the mattresses and compare different models certainly helps consumers make an informed purchase decision. However, before heading over to a mattress store, do keep in mind some limitations of shopping exclusively for mattresses in a store.
b) Shopping for a mattress online
In recent years there has been a growing trend for consumers to buy mattresses online, given the wealth of information that you can find and research on mattresses, the lower prices often found online, and of course the added convenience of online shopping. Many online retailers also offer free delivery and a trial period, enabling customers to try out their new mattress at home, with the option to return it if they aren’t fully satisfied. It’s definitely a channel people should always consider when researching and shopping for a new mattress.
c) The best way to shop for a mattress
Afterall, mattress shopping can be a long process requiring thoughtful research and consideration, given you spend almost a third of your time on them. With increasingly detailed information on mattresses now available online, particularly from established online retailers who are transparent about materials used in their mattresses with real customer reviews, coupled with the availability of a risk-free home trial, online shopping is definitely worth considering.
To enhance the shopping experience, online mattress retailers are increasingly adding physical locations for consumers to test their mattresses in person with staff available to help on the spot. As such, we believe that a combination of researching and shopping for mattresses online, complemented by a store visit can help consumers make an informed decision and provide an enjoyable mattress shopping experience.
Skyler, while primarily an online mattress retailer, also maintains store locations for consumers wishing to try out mattresses in person. Whether customers place their orders online or at the store, they can also take advantage of Skyler’s home trial with free returns if they decide it’s not the right fit for them.
2. What are the best types of mattresses?
Mattresses have always been constructed using a variety or combination of different materials, sometimes with unusual materials such as horsehair, lambswool, or simply filled with water. However, the most popular materials used in mattresses today are springs (coils), polyurethane foam, memory foam or latex.
a) Springs (Coils)
Spring mattresses are the most common type of mattress available today. Constructed using metal wires, the firmness of these mattresses depend on the shape, gauge, and number of coils, as well as the type and amount of material packed in and around the coils. In general, a thicker spring will produce a firmer feel, and the greater the number of coils, the more support the mattress would provide. Here are four of the most widely available types of mattress springs:
i) Bonnell Coils (Innersprings)
Bonnell coils, or innersprings are the oldest and most common spring design in mattresses today, and are an affordable option to many. They are shaped like an hourglass and consist of single springs fixed together by a long wire to form a mat. However, this design can allow movement to be transferred throughout the mattress and often become squeaky after extended use.
ii) Continuous Coils
Rows of coils are formed from a long, single piece of steel wire, connecting each spring to each other. As only a single wire is used, although durable this is the least expensive type of spring mattress, and motion isolation is often poor as springs would move in tandem with each other as you toss and turn around the mattress.
iii) Offset Coils
Offset coils are similar in construction to Bonnell coils, but with a hinged and flattened design on the top and bottom of the coils. They can provide better support and contouring for the body and are thus often found in higher-end innerspring mattresses.
iv) Pocket Coils
Different to other types of coils, pocket coils are barrel-shaped and thin-gauged, and are individually wrapped in a fabric pocket. As the coils work independently, they are able to respond and contour around your body more effectively than other types of spring mattresses. They are also better at isolating movement, so you won’t feel another person moving about on the mattress as much as you would on another type of spring mattress. Pocket coil mattresses are only found in more expensive spring mattresses.
b) Polyurethane Foam
Commonly used in a variety of home furniture such as sofas and seat cushions, polyurethane foam is a popular material also found in mattresses. Depending on the type and density of foam used, they can provide a soft, cushioning feel and a comfortable sleep surface, or a strong, rigid structure that can effectively support your spine and body. A higher density foam made without any harmful chemicals possessing international certifications such as CertiPUR-US®, although more expensive, would provide safe, durable and long-lasting support for your body.
c) Memory Foam
Memory foam was originally developed by NASA in the 1960s to improve safety in airplane seats. Consisting mainly of polyurethane foam, memory foam has since developed to be an extremely popular material for mattresses due to its slow spring-back properties which allows the foam to mould, or conform precisely around the shape of your body, relieving pressure points and providing high levels of comfort.
Traditional memory foam has been known to retain heat which is often considered as its main disadvantage, however major developments have been made in recent years to produce new open-cell memory foams for improved breathability, and the infusion of gel particles into the foam to create gel memory foam, which effectively reduces trapped body heat for a cooler sleep experience.
These new-generation memory foams are often found in the top layers, or ‘comfort’ layers of premium mattresses for improved comfort and pressure relief.
Open-Cell Memory Foam
Gel Memory Foam
Latex foam mattresses are another popular type of mattress, known for its durability and comfort. Latex is available as natural latex and synthetic (man-made) latex.
Natural latex is harvested from rubber trees and is thus eco-friendly and free of any harsh chemicals. Similar to memory foam, latex conforms to your body while being more springy and bounces back quickly, without the sinking feeling of memory foam. With an open-cell structure, natural latex doesn’t trap any heat and is resistant against mould and dust-mites. Given all these beneficial properties, it’s no surprise that natural latex mattresses are amongst the more expensive mattresses available in the market.
Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is produced artificially from different varieties of polymers to replicate the feeling of natural latex rubber. While synthetic latex is much cheaper to produce than natural latex, it generally feels less elastic and springy, and is also less durable than its natural counterpart.
3. Growing Mattress Trend: Hybrid and Combined Foam Mattresses
Over the past decade, there has been a growing trend for mattress companies to combine different materials in the design of their mattresses to provide customers the best each material has to offer. Whether the mattresses are designed using springs as a foundation and topped with foam on its upper layers, or simply consisting of several different foam layers, these advancements have proved to be a hit with consumers.
a) Hybrid Mattresses
Hybrid mattresses are typically constructed using coils (usually pocket coils) as a foundation, with memory foam / latex for its top layers. Hybrid mattresses are a great way for consumers to experience the pressure relieving benefits of memory foam while retaining the classic feel of an innerspring mattress. With a more complex construction offering higher levels of comfort, hybrid mattresses are often priced significantly higher than traditional innerspring mattresses.
b) Combined Foam Mattresses
Mattresses featuring separate layers of foam have also become increasingly popular, with the most common designs constructed with high density polyurethane foam as the foundation or support layer, and a combination of other foams, memory foams and/or latex for the upper comfort layers of the mattress. With this combination, the benefits of particular foams can be maximised, while its shortcomings can also be limited. For example, using a layer of latex together with memory foam can help eliminate its sinking feeling while providing pressure relieving support and added bounce to the feel of the mattress.
Research from leading mattress review publications have shown that owners of memory foam and latex mattresses had the highest overall satisfaction ratings compared to other types of mattresses, such as hybrid or innerspring mattresses. No wonder why foam mattresses have become so well praised by consumers across the globe and have become quite the hype in recent years!
Skyler mattresses are designed combining different layers of premium foam to provide a superior level of support and comfort to all sleepers. In particular, the flagship Skyler mattress is constructed using layers of natural latex, gel memory foam, and high-density polyurethane support foam. Learn more about the Skyler mattress, and also compare Skyler mattresses here.
4. What mattress firmness should I choose? Soft, medium or firm?
Many people, particularly in Asia, believe that firm mattresses are best for you and offer better levels of support and comfort. However, is this really true?
When choosing the right firmness, apart from personal preferences it is important that your mattress supports the natural curvature and correct alignment of your spine. This ensures that pressure points are relieved, particularly your shoulders, hips, and legs, which are areas where your bed is most in contact with.
A mattress should be firm enough to support your back and waist, with a suitable degree of softness to allow your shoulders and hips to sink in and conform to those pressure points so your spine is properly aligned. You should be able to sleep comfortably and not wake up with aches and pains as a result of poor spinal alignment.
Your sleep position also influences the firmness you should choose. Generally, side sleepers would prefer a softer mattress, as this allows the mattress to conform more to pressure points in the shoulders and hips, as well as the arm that gets tucked beneath them, preventing numbness and tingling. Back sleepers would be more flexible on firmness as pressure is more evenly spread across their pressure points while they sleep, and can find comfort in either firmer or softer mattresses.
Body weight is another key factor in choosing a firmness level, particularly for people who are over or under the recommended body mass index (BMI) range. A heavy person may sink very low into a soft mattress, while lighter person may feel as if they are pushed on top of a firm mattress. As a general rule of thumb, the higher you are on the BMI scale, the firmer you will want your mattress. The lower your BMI, the softer your mattress should be.
Below is an infographic showing the issues with a mattress that is too soft or too firm for you.
A mattress too soft will cause your hips to sink in too deeply and create an unnatural curve in your spine. Conversely, a mattress that is too firm will create pressure points on your shoulders, hips and legs, resulting in a misalignment of the spine and leading to aches and pains in your back and shoulders. If you find yourself waking up with these issues without any known causes, it might be time to consider changing your mattress.
For those that are still unsure on their mattress firmness, research from sleep experts generally recommend a mattress with a medium-firm firmness, a good compromise between people of varying sleep positions and body weight, and a level most sleepers would find optimal.
5. What are the standard mattress sizes in Hong Kong?
Aside from choosing the ideal mattress for yourself, you’ll also need to decide on the size of mattress that best fits your requirements. Given that we prefer to fit in as large a mattress as we can into the small bedrooms we have here in Hong Kong, mattress companies here offer a wide range of sizes available in different widths and lengths to cater for specific needs.
Standard mattress sizes in Hong Kong are expressed in feet and inches, and due to the broad range of sizes, consumers generally look for mattresses in a specific width and length instead of a standard named size, such as a Single or Queen. If you have a bed that’s measured in metric units, simply convert it to inches to find the closest size available. A difference of up to 2-3 cm would still fit the bed frame as many mattresses are designed to leave a small bit of wiggle room for this.
If you have a smaller bedroom or sleep alone, then we’d recommend a mattress with a width of 3’ (Single) to 4’ (Small Double). If you sleep with a partner or have a larger bedroom, then a mattress with a width of 5’ (Queen) or above would be a very comfortable choice, however if space is limited then a Full Double size mattress with a width of 4’6” (or 4.5 feet) would be absolutely fine for couples.
Lastly, do consider your height or that of your partner, as it’s never a great feeling to have feet sticking out from the back of your bed! We recommend choosing a mattress that’s at least 10 cm or 4 inches longer than your height to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Here’s a list of common mattress sizes that you’ll find in Hong Kong:
|Small Single||2'6" x 6'0"||30" x 72"||76 x 183 cm|
|Single||3'0" x 6'0"||36" x 72"||91 x 183 cm|
|Single (L)||3'0" x 6'3"||36" x 75"||91 x 190 cm|
|Large Single||3'6" x 6'0"||42" x 72"||107 x 183 cm|
|Large Single (L)||3'6" x 6'3"||42" x 75"||107 x 190 cm|
|Small Double||4'0" x 6'0"||48" x 72"||122 x 183 cm|
|Small Double (L)||4'0" x 6'3"||48" x 75"||122 x 190 cm|
|Full Double (S)||4'6" x 6'0"||54" x 72"||137 x 183 cm|
|Full Double||4'6" x 6'3"||54" x 75"||137 x 190 cm|
|Queen (S)||5'0" x 6'0"||60" x 72"||152 x 183 cm|
|Queen||5'0" x 6'3"||60" x 75"||152 x 190 cm|
|Queen (L)||5'0" x 6'6"||60" x 78"||152 x 198 cm|
|King (S)||6'0" x 6'3"||72" x 75"||183 x 190 cm|
|King||6'0" x 6'6"||72" x 78"||183 x 198 cm|
|King (L)||6'0" x 6'8"||72" x 80"||183 x 203 cm|
6. What other important factors should I consider before making a purchase?
a) Customer Reviews
When conducting your mattress research, we recommend reading through customer reviews to help you understand first-hand what others’ experience has been with their purchase, giving you further insight on aspects of the service and product that might not be mentioned elsewhere.
Online mattress retailers typically allow their customers to leave feedback on their purchase and have reviews available for browsing on their websites, increasing transparency and guiding you towards making an informed purchase.
b) Mattress Delivery and Costs
With the size of a mattress being so large, it is important to check how your mattress will be delivered, and whether it can fit through the lift of your apartment building or the stairs to your bedroom. While some mattress companies offer free delivery, others may charge delivery fees, with extra charges for remote locations or delivering up several flights of stairs.
Many lifts in Hong Kong are small and are often unable to fit a Queen or King sized mattress inside (over 5 feet wide), so do keep this in mind and allow for extra costs (HK$50-100 per floor) for delivering your mattress up the stairs if they don’t fit, which can go up to thousands of Hong Kong dollars. Alternatively, for peace of mind, consider mattresses that are vacuum compressed and delivered to you in a compact box, alleviating any logistical worries or limitations on the size of mattress you can buy.
Another consideration is the place where you live, as mattress companies may charge extra delivery fees, or are unable to deliver to more remote areas such as Tung Chung, Discovery Bay and the Outlying Islands. They may also charge extra fees for deliveries to walk-ups or village houses, which can add up significantly to the cost of your mattress purchase. Meanwhile, online mattress retailers that conveniently deliver their mattresses in a box will often offer free delivery to their customers, regardless of whether you live in remote areas or need it carried up several flights of stairs, potentially saving you lots of money.
If you are replacing a mattress, do check the costs of removing your old mattress when the new one is being delivered. Many mattress companies offer this service for a small fee, and this will most likely be cheaper than arranging a separate service. This also saves you the hassle of moving your old, heavy mattress to your nearest collection centre, which can often be far away, as mattresses can often only be disposed at specific collection points.
c) Home Trial and Returns Policy
Whether you buy a mattress online or in-store, do consider opting for those that offer a home trial, usually between 30 and 100 days. A mattress may feel great after 5-10 minutes in the showroom, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable sleeping on it for years to come. A home trial that allows you to actually sleep on the mattress for a period of time is the only way to properly evaluate whether it is the right fit for you.
We recommend trying out for at least 30 days to allow time for your body to adjust and realign to a new sleep surface, and for the mattress to break in. Also, while many mattress companies will offer free returns and a full refund on your purchase, be aware of those that may only allow exchanges to another model or those that charge extra fees for returns.
d) Mattress Warranty
After you’ve made your purchase and are satisfied with the mattress, you’ll want to make sure that it stays great for years to come. Make sure you understand what’s covered by the warranty on your mattress - most policies cover manufacturing defects and sagging, but not wear and tear.
The most common issue consumers may face is sagging, where after a few years of use holes or indentations may be felt in parts of the mattress. Minor indents can already greatly reduce comfort and support levels, which consequently affect sleep quality and correct alignment of your spine. Therefore, we suggest checking whether sagging is covered by your warranty, and if so, how it is measured to be eligible for a claim, and how the company will help you solve the issue.
7. The perfect mattress and the best shopping experience
We hope that with the help from this guide, you will now be equipped with the knowledge to venture out and shop for your perfect mattress! Be sure to do your own research, be aware of your budget, and whether you shop online, at the store, or a combination of both, make sure you fully understand what is being offered and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have. After all, a mattress is an important purchase, and must be suited for your own preferences and requirements.
To sum up, we believe that these factors would help contribute to getting the perfect mattress, and the best mattress shopping experience for yourself:
- Conduct initial research online and browse and compare customer reviews
- Ask any questions you may have about the mattress - whether it’s about the materials, feel, delivery, home trial or warranty etc.
- Schedule visits to mattress stores where necessary
- If you share a bed, do involve your partner in the decision process
- Search for hybrid or foam mattresses that combines features you desire
- Breathable materials that don’t trap heat, such as natural latex and open-cell memory foam, especially for warm and humid Hong Kong
- High quality materials that possess international certifications such as CertiPUR-US® and OEKO-TEX®
- Firmness level of medium-firm for optimal spinal alignment
- Home trials that offer free returns and full refunds for ultimate peace of mind
- Warranty that covers manufacturing defects and sagging
One mattress that we believe incorporates all of these features is the Skyler Mattress, which you should definitely consider as one of your options when choosing the perfect mattress.
Enjoy your mattress shopping and we wish you the sweetest dreams ahead!