Mattress Guide - Surfaces

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Did you know that we spend over a third of our lives in bed? That’s longer than we spend sitting on the sofa, sat in our favourite chair or in our cars. But we pay surprisingly little attention to the mattress that we will spend so much time lying on! A good mattress should support our bodies perfectly in the upmost comfort so we wake refreshed and ready to face the day. As we’re all different sleeping on the perfect mattress every night means selecting the correct one that suits your needs, this guide will help you do just that.

Why do mattresses look so different?

The finishing of your mattress relates to the surface that you’ll be lying on directly – this is generally a quilted of tufted finish although other types are available. A lot of quality mattress will also have handles so they can be easily moved as well as air vents to help keep you cool and fresh.


Tufting involves passing tapes through the mattress at different intervals in order to prevent fillings from becoming dislodged and is integral to the construction of a pocket sprung mattress as this keeps the springs firmly in place. Tufting is the strongest method of securing fillings in a mattress and will generally result in a firmer feel.

Quick tips

  • Secures fillings
  • Creates firm feel


Quilting is the method used to attach the outer fabric of the mattress to the underlying fillings and creates a smooth, flatter surface. This method is most commonly used in 'open spring' mattress construction.

Quick tips

  • Creates smooth surface
  • Commonly use in open spring construction

Pillow top

Pillow top mattress construction involves an extra layer of upholstery being stitched into one side of the surface of the mattress. The pillow top will usually add an additional 28-35 mm to the height of the mattress. A pillow top mattress generally can’t be turned as the pillow will only be on one side.

Quick tips

  • Extra layer of material
  • Increases height of mattress


A damask finish on a mattress means the surface of the mattress is finished with a smooth and cool layer of damask, perfect for those of us who like to be cool in bed. Damask is an historic fabric that can be traced back to the middle ages it is created from silk, wool, linen, cotton or synthetic fibres.

Quick tips

  • Cool fresh properties
  • Luxurious feel


A knitted counterpart of velvet, Velour is a textile. It combines the stretchy properties of knits such as spandex with the rich appearance and feel of velvet. A mattress that is finished with Velour will have anti dust mite and bacterial properties – great if you are an allergy sufferer.

Quick tips

  • Rich velvety feel
  • Anti dust mite and bacterial properties

Did you know...

... the term “sleep tight” dates back to Tudor times, when beds were a wooden frame with a latticework of rope or leather to support the mattress. Occasionally these ropes of leather straps would have to be tightened to prevent the mattress from falling on the floor.