A guide to Mattress Fillings


It is recommended that we change our mattress every 7 years. This helps ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, and enables you to replace an existing saggy mattress with one that provides adequate support and stability for your body.

Among the many factors to consider when choosing a mattress, you will need to decide on the type of filling that you want inside. The mattress filling determines the level of support and firmness of the mattress. It can also help promote or prevent airflow, increase or decrease sleeping temperature, and will also determine how long your new mattress lasts before it starts to lose shape and sag or suffer from pooling.

Natural Materials

Natural mattresses use natural fibres including animal hair and even plant fibres. Many of these fillings are free from allergens, are hardwearing, and will retain their shape and structure for longer than foam and some other synthetic fibres. Some of the most common natural fillings include:

Cotton – Cotton is a sustainable crop, and it has a proven track record for offering a comfortable base on which to sleep. It is naturally resistant to dust mites while being incredibly durable and breathable. It is typically used as a filling for mattresses, like the 5ft King Size Slumberland Copper Seal mattress, because of how soft it is and for the padding that it offers. Do bear in mind that non-organic cotton may have been treated using chemical compounds.

Wool – Wool is derived from the coat of sheep. It holds air between the fibres, which means that it works as a highly effective insulator. For this reason, it is a popular material in cold climates. It is naturally water resistant, which is important considering that it is estimated that we lose half a pint of bodily fluid during the night. Wool is typically used to encase other materials, providing a padding around less soft materials.

Silk – Silk is a luxurious and soft material that is used in everything from clothing to bedsheets. It is spun by silkworms, and it is especially beneficial for those that like a cooler sleeping environment. It is typically used in high end mattresses because it can carry quite a high price tag, but if you’re serious about getting a good night’s sleep, silk mattresses are certainly worth considering.

Cashmere – Cashmere has some similar properties to wool, but it is derived from the coat of cashmere goats. It is softer and finer than lamb’s wool, and it offers a more luxurious feel when used in mattresses like the 5ft King Size Sleepeezee Backcare Pocket 2000 mattress, which combines cashmere with lamb wool.

Mohair – Mohair comes from the angora goat. It is a very flexible filling that retains its shape even after regular use. It is most often used in the top layer of a mattress and combined with wool. It offers a cool sleeping environment and a luxurious feel.

Latex – Latex is formed from the sap of the rubber tree. It is a very elastic material, so is ideal as the top layer of a mattress, such as the 5ft King Size Sealy Jubilee Latex Posturepedic Anniversary mattress, because it quickly returns to its original shape, and will continue to do so for many years. It also adapts to the body, which provides exceptional levels of support for the whole body while you sleep.

Synthetic Materials

Synthetic materials are designed to offer the best features of natural filling, but are manmade. The quality and effectiveness of these materials varies according to the filling type, but below are some of the most common and some of the most beneficial synthetic mattress fillings:

Memory Foam – Memory foam is actually made from similar compounds to polyurethane, but contains compounds that help it retain its shape and provide better support for the body. There is a range of memory foam densities available, with bigger sleepers usually benefiting from those mattresses with a higher memory foam density.

Polyurethane – Polyurethane mattresses are usually less expensive than those made with any other material. It is also a versatile material, but many people are put off by the fact that it is a petroleum-based compound and rarely offers the same comfort or luxury as other fillings.

Polyester – Polyester is the cheapest mattress filling option. It is used in entry level mattresses but, despite its low price, it still has surprisingly good recovery properties. Good quality polyester mattresses can last for years without showing signs of damage or wear.

At The Sleep Shop we have a large selection of mattresses including those with natural or synthetic fillings. Choose the mattress that suits your sleeping style, your heat and firmness preferences, and choose a good quality mattress that will not only last for the recommended 7 years but will continue to offer a good night’s sleep every night throughout this period.