We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is vital to our mind, body and soul. Hitting the day ahead with enthusiasm and motivation, whether at work or play is dependant on those vital hours of shut-eye. But when it comes to how to choose a mattress or where to buy a mattress in Hong Kong, the choice seems so hard. That’s why we updated our mattress buying guide for 2019!
Many people think that finding the perfect mattress in Hong Kong is literally an impossible dream. The sheer number of brands, models and features makes the correct choice confusing at best and intimidating at worst. Add in the infrequency and expense of this important purchase and it seems a daunting task. And when you consider that everyone is different and we all have individual sleep preferences……..surely now it’s mission impossible?
However, we’ve got you! As experts, we want to share our knowledge and research, debunk some myths and remove the guesswork and help you to choose a mattress that will give you a great night’s sleep for years to come.
Welcome to our 2019 ultimate guide to buying the perfect mattress in Hong Kong.
Mattress Buying Guide: Table of Contents
- Where should I buy a mattress in Hong Kong - in a mattress store or online?
- Mattresses can be made from so many different materials - what material is best?
- What mattress size is right for me?
- Is a firmer or softer mattress better?
- What mattress features are essential and what mattress features aren’t?
- What other considerations do I need to think about when choosing my perfect mattress?
1. WHERE SHOULD I BUY A MATTRESS IN HONG KONG - IN A MATTRESS STORE OR ONLINE?
Mattress stores in Hong Kong
Many people shop for mattresses in department stores, malls, or branded mattress shops. Although shopping in a traditional brick and mortar retail location is beneficial because you can touch and feel the product, many customers nowadays have become more sophisticated, realizing that there are a number of drawbacks to shopping in store. Before you walk into your first mattress store, please be aware of some of the limitations to exclusively shopping in a store for your next mattress:
- High Prices. The prices will typically be higher than online prices, as the price has to cover overhead such as shop floor rental, marketing costs, and sales commission for the staff
- Lack of Transparency. Lack of specific information about what’s inside each model, different model names between different stores, and confusion about how much of the price is negotiable leaves many customers with more questions than answers when they visit a store. Sales staff will promote items that have higher commission. Be wary of enthusiastic sales staff. They may simply be pushing you toward items that provide them the largest commission check.
Shopping online for a mattress
This has become a more and more popular way to shop for a mattress in recent years. For many, it’s a way to save money or receive better customer service. For others, it’s a way to make sure they’re getting the exact mattress they want after deep consideration and research. In either case, it’s hard to ignore that the internet is a channel that almost every mattress customer should at least consider in researching, shopping, and purchasing their new mattress.
Shopping online for your new mattress means that you CAN….
- Conduct extensive research. In store, if a particular product takes your fancy, you are reliant on the salesperson to fill in your knowledge gaps. Online, however, you are free to do extensive research – such as reading mattress review.
- Make buying more convenient. Being able to comparison shop from a mobile device while you are in-store is incredibly helpful, as is ordering from a laptop when you’re at home (for instance, you can measure your bedroom dimensions on the spot!). In addition, most online brands will deliver your mattress in a few days (versus traditional retailers who may make you wait for 2 - 4 weeks).
- Get free delivery. Many online retailers offer free delivery meaning a money saving for you. In addition, most online brands will deliver your mattress in a few days - versus a 2-4 week wait with retail stores.
- Take advantage of home trial. Many reputable online retailers offer a sleep guarantee or home trial. After a quick search, we found offers of a money-back guarantee for anything from 30 to 100 nights, meaning if you don’t fall in love with your new mattress for any reason you can return it for a refund. Although you can sit and lie down on a mattress in a retail store, actually sleeping on a mattress in your bedroom cannot be beaten.
One hurdle online shopping faces is the fact that you cannot physically ‘feel’ the mattress as part of the buying process. Don’t let this put you off! If you choose the right company they will be open and transparent about the construction and material to enable you to make an educated choice, backed up by the fact you can often take advantage of their home trial.
In addition, the best online companies will also have physical locations where you CAN try the mattress in person. For most customers, we recommend shopping for your mattress using an approach that combines online research and shopping (so you know what’s right for you) and a visit to the showroom (so you can be confident in your purchase).
2. MATTRESSES CAN BE MADE FROM SO MANY DIFFERENT MATERIALS - WHICH IS BEST?
Gone are the days when your mattress construction choices were limited to which animals’ fur you wanted! Today there are many choices, but three popular materials are most commonly used to construct a quality mattress – springs (or coils), foam, and memory foam.
Springs (or coils)
When it comes to springs (or coils) it easy to get in a twist, so let’s help you out with the jargon. There are 4 types of mattress coil and they vary in their response range, which is the way firmness changes as the spring is compressed:
- Bonnell coils (also known as open coils) were adapted from child buggy seat springs and are the oldest and most common spring design in modern mattresses. The hourglass-shaped coils are laced together, which means there is no motion isolation. However, nowadays, more advanced coil technology is available on the market.
- Offset coils are a type of Bonnell coil with a hinged and squared wire on top. In terms of properties, it is similar to the Bonnell coil, although it has some advantages in that it can feel softer with light pressure and firmer with deeper pressure due to its design.
- Continuous coils are made from a single piece of wire. Although commonly marketed as an expensive type of coil, in reality the manufacturing cost for continuous coils is actually very low as the manufacturer does not need to form individual coils. However, since coils have limited ability to shape themselves to a person’s body profile - similar to Bonnell coils and offset coils - it’s impossible to feature motion isolation in this design.
- Pocket coils are coils where each coil is separately sheathed in its own cloth pocket. The steel coils are barrel-shaped and thin-gauged and generally have the greatest response range of any coil system. Not only are they softer on initial compression and firmer on deeper compression, but they provide greater a greater ability to form around your body profile, as well as the added bonus of no annoying squeaking as the individual sheathing means no part of the mattress where a metal part touches another. Although expensive to manufacture, pocket coils are popular due to their ability to create motion isolation (the ability to allow movement on one part of the mattress to not be felt on another) – a byproduct of the fact that each individual coil is covered in fabric. Pocket coils are typically found only in premium-grade mattresses.
With foam, you really do get what you pay for and the type and density of foam layers in your mattress will make a big difference to your sleep experience. A premium high-density foam is typically more expensive, and different types can be used for different benefits, such as to increase comfort, support, breathability or responsiveness. However, cheap low-density foam - especially if it makes up more than 50% of your mattress’ construction material - can cause sagging and issues with durability.
Memory foam is famous for having a slower response rate, which allows the foam to conform (or mold) around a sleeper’s body. When used in a mattress, memory foam can be amazingly beneficial since the conforming nature of memory foam can help provide pressure relief. Be careful of mattresses that use too much memory foam, however, as many consumers dislike the “sinking” feeling and lack of bounce, which can make them feel “stuck” in bed.
Expert Tip - Don’t be confused by the term “gel memory foam”. Although marketed as a new type of memory foam that is cooler to the touch, studies have demonstrated that there is no material difference in sleep temperature. In terms of its material properties, gel memory foam and “regular” memory foam are identical - apart from the price obviously!
2 New Mattress Types
- Hybrid Mattress - Newly introduced to Hong Kong, hybrid mattresses that combine different materials offer the best of all worlds. Using different layers of materials in specific layers is fantastic for sleepers because it means you can maximize the benefits you want whilst limiting those properties you don’t want. For instance, a hybrid mattress that combines pocket coils and memory foam can promote the even weight distribution of coils with the pressure relief of memory foam while completely eliminating the “sinking in” feeling of memory foam that many people dislike. Likewise, a hybrid with pocket springs and firmer orthopedic foam will work well for a sleeper who prefers the responsiveness of coils but wants extra lumbar support during the night.
- Bed in a Box - One category of mattresses that have become popular in Hong Kong recently are so-called beds-in-a-box. Whilst they may seem like a great option in terms of convenient delivery, in order for them to fit in a courier package, they are usually constructed purely from foam and as such will offer limited support and suffer the short lifespan experienced after nightly use of this material.
Other Less Popular Materials
Although we’ve moved on from the animal fur, there are still some less popular materials in use. In fact, horse hair is still occasionally used (although cashmere and wool are also found in some of today’s mattresses!).
- Latex material can offer comfort and elasticity, but most sleepers find latex to be too soft and unsupportive. Those who want or need their lower back supported when they sleep should opt for a mattress that features a spring core. In addition, certain people are allergic to latex, so those with a latex allergy definitely want to stay away!
- Air can be used to fill an inflatable mattress for a camping trip, sleepover or for a surprise guests staying over, but the lack of support means it really is a short term bedding solution - Ok for a night two but not for every night.
- Water-filled beds may be out of fashion, but some still choose to have this mattress type purely for personal preference. As we say, everyone is unique when it comes to the perfect mattress......
- Horsehair mattresses are seen as traditional as many were filled with it through necessity in the past, but now it is considered a very expensive luxury
- Cashmere and wool are both mattress fillers that come from the over and undercoats of sheep and goats. This supersoft natural fibre may make for a super-comfy night’s sleep but comes with a large price tag.
- The Most Advanced Mattress in the Hotel Industry: What Makes It So Special?
3. WHAT MATTRESS SIZE IS RIGHT FOR ME??
A major influence on your eventual spend will be the size of mattress you purchase, so it is worth considering what you really need. Start with size of your existing bed base (if you have one) and bedroom size as these will affect your options; bear in mind we are unique in Hong Kong in that we tend to have smaller bedrooms than other counties but still want as large a mattress as possible! For this reason, local manufacturers often offer a choice of lengths - from shorter to longer - to give you more choice.
When it comes to the size, remember that they are often referred to by a size name (Single, Double, etc) and the actual dimensions (a single is also known as a 3’ x 6’ mattress), so be prepared to look for both! If you are on a budget, and have a small bedroom or sleep alone, then you should consider either a single or double. The money you save by keeping it small can be put towards a larger model in the future!
If you sleep with a partner (or pet!) or your bedroom is large enough, then a Queen or King size may be more comfortable and offer better sleeping options. If you’re sharing your mattress with your partner but your bedroom is too small to fit a Queen, we recommend a Full which is perfectly comfortable for two.
Expert tip - Don’t overlook you or your partner’s height. Having space to starfish is no good if your feet are sticking out of the end! Many manufacturers recognize this and now offer ‘long’ versions of their mattresses. Not sure what you need? Here’s a handy list of standard mattress sizes in Hong Kong:
|Single||3'0" x 6'0"||36 x 72"||91 x 183 cm|
|Single Long||3'0" x 6'3"||36 x 75"||91 x 190 cm|
|Double||4'0" x 6'0"||48 x 72"||122 x 183 cm|
|Double Long||4'0" x 6'3"||48 x 75"||122 x 190 cm|
|Full||4'6" x 6'0"||56 x 72"||137 x 183 cm|
|Full Long||4'6" x 6'3"||56 x 75"||137 x 190 cm|
|Full Extra Long||4'6" x 6'3||56 x 75"||137 x 190 cm|
|Queen Short||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 Long||5'0" x 6'6"||60 x 78"||152 x 198 cm|
|King Short||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 Long||6'0" x 6'8"||72 x 80"||183 x 203 cm|
One other thing to consider is bedding for your new mattress. Although you might think that simply buying the same dimensions makes sense, in reality, most people buy their duvet and duvet cover to be larger, so the sides of the duvet will cover the sides of the mattress. Larger duvets also give you more room to snuggle, plus you can avoid duvet wars!
4. IS A FIRMER OR SOFTER MATTRESS BETTER?
Although it’s a commonly held belief in Hong Kong that a firm mattress is “healthy”, the truth is a little more nuanced. Let us take a brief moment to explain!
It was long believed that firmer mattresses were good for your back, but research has dispelled that particular myth and now recommends something not too soft, not too firm. The ideal firmness is a firmness level known as “medium firm”.
Ideally, you want something that is firm enough to support your back, waist, and legs while being soft enough to envelop your shoulders and hips. The reason? Your shoulders and hips are the heaviest parts of your body. A mattress that is too firm will jam your shoulders and hips causing potential misalignment.
In addition, sleep research have shown that your mattress needs an element of softness that “cuddles” your body (ie, comes into contact with your entire body) so your body is supported in all the right places, with no pressure points. If your mattress is too firm, your shoulders and hips won’t sink into the mattress and your spine will not be aligned.
On the flip side, you also need to avoid mattresses that are too soft! A soft mattress may lack proper support. If your mattress is too soft, your hips will sink too deeply into the mattress and your back will not be supported, leading to poor sleep posture.
So be careful! A mattress that is either too firm or too soft may result in aching muscles and back pain. If you experience sudden or worsening back pain with no obvious cause, it could be time to change your mattress.
We would recommend a mattress constructed of pocket coils - with all the stability and durability advantages they bring - with a firm foam that provides both comfort and support.
5. WHAT MATTRESS FEATURES ARE ESSENTIAL AND WHAT MATTRESS FEATURES AREN’T?
Some mattresses feature Zoned Support, which, as the name suggests, offers more or less support in certain “zones”. The premise is to offer more give for heavier parts of the body (shoulders, hips, etc.), and softer give for the lighter parts. Although this feature sounds great, in reality, it may not be the answer to your comfort dreams. Let’s be honest, it is highly unlikely that any one mattress’ zones match up perfectly to your unique body (or that of your partner), meaning you are getting support in all the wrong places, leading to a very strange sleeping position!
Moreover, it’s impossible for such zones to provide the right support as you move in bed, or when you rotate your mattress as experts recommend. The fallacy of this feature is highlighted by the fact that options include 3-zone, 5-zone, or 7-zone - clearly, manufacturers cannot agree on whether your body has 3, 5 or 7 zones!
If you sleep with someone who is constantly tossing and turning, this feature is a must for you. Normally found in pocket coil and memory foam mattresses, it means one person’s movements cannot be felt by the other, no matter what stage of sleep either is in – perfect for getting that restful night’s sleep. Motion isolation also means that you might get some relief from a snoring partner, as the lack of movement will, if nothing else, keep them on their side of the bed and a vital few inches further away from you!
Coiled mattresses have a pleasant bounce. These types of mattresses are easy to move around on and are preferred by many sleepers.
Many consumers complain the “sinking” feeling in foam and latex mattresses means that it’s hard to move around on the mattress (ie, they feel “stuck” in the mattress).
Lifespan and durability
Many design choices can actually affect the lifespan of your mattress. For instance, studies show that all-foam mattresses have a significantly lower average lifespan than mattresses that feature coils. Hand tufting, which secures the top layers together to ensure a uniform feel, guarantees that support doesn't shift and increases your mattress' lifespan by 50%.
For those who share a bed, the edge support feature will increase the overall surface area of your mattress, meaning a few more vital inches to spread out over. For those who sleep near the edge of your mattress, this feature will allow you to do so without feeling like you might fall out! And for those who like to sit on the edge of the bed, which is common in the smaller bedrooms in Hong Kong, this feature is a must - both for comfort and lifespan.
Temperature regulation and breathability
Studies find that most people need to cool their body temperature down before they can easily fall asleep. The use of high-quality cooling fabric cover can assist in helping you “sleep cool”, as can mattresses that have air channels added to any top foam layer. Ask any sales person - online or in store - about these important features!
Considering how long we spend in our beds, it makes sense to consider your options when it comes to cleaning your new mattress. Regular mattress cleaning will help reduce allergens and help keep your mattress fresh and looking new for years.
Obviously, you clean your bedding regularly, but it doesn’t take long to tend to your mattress either. Your options include:
- Mattress Protector - a simple mattress protector can provide a barrier between your mattress and any dust or dirt in the air. Easily launderable, this is a great way to keep your mattress clean. A waterproof mattress protector actually prevent stains from making contact with your mattress, making any spill or clean-up much easier!
- Vacuuming - a simple once-over with your vacuum will remove any surface dirt and dust that has gathered.
- Airing - Putting your mattress under a window with natural light will kill bacteria and air the whole of its surface area.
- Spot cleaning - spillages are not always avoidable, but removing them quickly - will again extend your mattresses lifespan.
If you can, a regular combination of the above is the best way to keep your mattress in tip-top condition.
Expert tip - avoid a mattress with a removable cover. Although this may seem to be a feature that you can’t live without when it comes to cleaning, it is in fact not as great as it seems for either your mattress or your wallet. A removable cover means that the materials used to construct your mattress are not tufted together, so those materials may move around while you sleep, resulting in an uneven sleeping surface and a reduced lifespan overall.
Although it is not essential, a bed base makes an ideal foundation for any quality mattress, giving it the support it needs to support you! Whether you choose the traditional wooden frame and slats, or something a little more minimalistic or funky, it will make give you mattress the chance to perform at its best.
A platform base is usually low to the ground and features a built-in headboard. Your mattress is placed on either a solid wood piece or on slats. Whilst the slats offer air circulation, a solid one allows for storage. A box-spring base means a firm mattress will feel slightly softer due to the flexing of the springs. There are literally thousands out there to choose from, so start looking to find the ideal solution for you and your bedroom.
6. WHAT OTHER CONSIDERATIONS SHOULD I THINK ABOUT WHEN CHOOSING MY PERFECT MATTRESS?
The amount you are able to invest in your new mattress will obviously affect your choice. For such an important and long-lasting household item, we would advise that you budget as much as you can afford to help you find the perfect fit.
Budget (Under HK$4000)
If you find yourself on a very tight budget, be extra careful when making your purchase. Mattresses under HK$4000 tend to be less durable and comfortable than those in the next budget range up.
Good value for money
A great compromise between breaking the bank and a lower-end budget is a middle-range budget. This is often the sweet spot for value and quality for many consumers. In fact, based on our research, you can definitely locate great mattresses within this range. Certain companies offer premium build and very high-quality materials that rival big-budget mattresses that are sold for 3 - 4x more. Like with any other purchase, however, make sure you do your research carefully and ask enough questions before handing over any money. Not all mattresses in this price range offer strong value. For instance, we often see all-foam mattresses in this category being marketed as “premium” when they are more accurately categorized as a budget purchase.
Expensive (Over HK$15,000)
If you are spending over HK$15000, then it really should be the mattress dreams are made of. Many mattresses in this range will feature superior quality materials and design but beware…many simply feature a high price tag to cover expensive marketing campaigns targeting the luxury consumer. In many cases, there is no need to spend this much money to get a dreamy night’s sleep. Although you may be able to find an incredible product in this price range, we recommend that you proceed with caution: a high price does not necessarily equal better sleep.
Are you sharing?
Think carefully if you’re sharing a mattress! If it’s not just you, there are some features you really can’t do without. Edge support will make the bed feel bigger - ideal for space hoggers! Please also bear in mind for those extra-curricular activities most couples prefer a bouncier coil mattress which enhances your experience vs an all-foam or all-latex mattresses that will often make you feel stuck-in-the-mud - not the sexiest of feelings! And after all that excitement, for a guaranteed uninterrupted good night’s sleep, motion isolation is essential.
Remember to check how your mattress will be delivered. A new trend in Hong Kong is selling “bed in a box” mattresses. As the name suggests, the mattress arrives in a box for a minimal postage fee or even for free. This seems a logistical dream as the mattress is shrink-wrapped to be as small as possible for delivery and is often sent by courier. Sound ideal? Consider that you will be expected to unpack it, set it up, remove and dispose of all the packaging. In addition, any existing mattress you have will need to be got rid off, probably by a moving company for a hefty fee. If this seems like more work than you were planning on doing, make sure the company you order from offers in-home setup and removal of any old mattresses.
Home Trial and Returns
Wherever you buy your mattress from, where possible opt for a mattress that comes with a home trial. A 5-minute doze on a shop display mattress is not a good indicator as to whether your chosen model will be a dream come true or a nightmare that will haunt you for years to come. A home trial is the only way to be sure that you can properly evaluate your purchase and make sure it is perfect for you – and the longer, the better; online companies typically offer anything from 30 to 100 days to decide if you have made the right choice.
Once you have purchased the perfect mattress, you want to be sure it will remain perfect for as long as possible. Make sure you are aware of the warranty and what it covers. Most will cover for manufacturing defects but not wear and tear. However, the biggest problem you are likely to face is sagging. Even moderate sagging can, and often does, result in reduced comfort and support, and therefore affects your quality of sleep, so pay special attention to whether sagging is covered and if so, how it is measured in terms of warranty claims - it could be subjective or a given physical depth. Be sure you know your rights should you need to claim later on.
Although you may not realize it, the mattress industry has many standards and certification levels that recognize a product’s quality and features. When shopping for your perfect mattress, you should look for companies that have passed independent tests and overall quality assurances and have up-to-date certifications from OEKO-TEX 100 and CERTIPUR-US.
NOW YOU CAN FIND THE MATTRESS OF YOUR DREAMS
Be Prepared When You Start Shopping
Whether you choose to shop in store or online (or a combination of the two) it’s important you are ready to shop wisely, whatever your choice. This comes down to two elements – budget and research. Stick to your budget and stick with your research AND don’t take everything the salesperson says at face value.
If You Decide to shop in a mattress store...
For you, if the act of shopping is incomplete without visiting a store to buy your mattress, if the lure of touching and trying out your potential purchases is too much to stay behind a computer keyboard, then make sure you do the following:
- Don’t just sit or lie down for two minutes -- sleep on it for an extended period (before the other shoppers start giving you funny looks!) in the sleep position that you prefer at home
- Bring your partner, if you’re sharing a bed
- Ask about each layer inside the mattress -- the salesperson should be able to explain everything fully!
- Test things that you should be able to feel like motion isolation, bounciness, and edge support
- Almost all prices in retail stores are negotiable -- ask for a steeper discount than the salesperson initially offers
- Bring your mobile phone with you so you can make your own product comparisons on the spot -- don’t rely solely on what the salesperson says
- Don’t purchase the same day as you shop in the store! Firstly, if the salesperson knows you’re still shopping around, she may offer a steeper discount. Also, once you know what mattress in the store you like, you should go home and research comparable models and their prices.
The only truly perfect mattress is one that is perfect for you. It must have a combination of all of the above factors that best suits you.
However, to help you along, if we were to describe the elements we think make up a ‘perfect mattress’ then it would have the following features:
- Look for a hybrid mattress that combines properties you want
- We strongly recommend a mattress that features pocket coils for even weight distribution, motion isolation, and responsiveness
- Edge support for the practicality of getting in and out of bed
- High-quality cooling fabric cover for durability and air flow
- Firmness level of medium firm for back and muscle health
- Avoid all-foam mattresses due to known durability issues
- Accreditation by independent bodies such as OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 and CertiPUR-US®
The Hush Mattress™ is just one example of a mattress that encompasses all of these features, and more.
With the help of our ultimate guide and expert tips, you should now have the confidence to go out and get the mattress of your dreams! Just remember, you are an individual and your mattress should reflect that, and armed with your new knowledge you now you have the upper hand when it comes to making that all important purchase!
Happy shopping and (more importantly) happy sleeping!
You are welcome to check out other articles on how to buy a mattress in Hong Kong:
- Buying a Mattress in Hong Kong? Here are Tips on How to Test a Mattress in the Store
- The Most Advanced Mattress in the Hotel Industry: What Makes It So Special?
- How To Turn Your Mattress and Bed into a 5 Star Hotel Quality Bed
- 7 Common Myths about Mattresses
- Do You Need a New Mattress? Top 6 Signs You Need to Replace Your Old Mattress Immediately