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Our process of testing

At The Sleep Advisors, we take our testing process very seriously. We believe that every product we recommend to our readers should meet a high standard of quality and effectiveness. That's why we've developed a rigorous testing process to ensure that we're only recommending the best products on the market.

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How do we test?

The Sleep Advisors testing process graphic

Each product undergoes these three tests:

  • Visual inspection. This is where we take a look at the overall design of the product to see if there are any small details that boost our first impressions. For example, a self-care label on the product or a practical design. Or whether there is a design that serves no purpose.
  • Hands-on inspection. In this part of the tests, we look at the USP of the products. It could be a removable cover and we will look at how easy it is to remove, or an anti-slip base and we can see how they have achieved that.
  • Measured tests. The final test is the crucial part. We spend a lot of time with each product to see how good it really is. On first inspection a mattress could seem too firm but when it comes to resting on it, you sink in comfortably. There are several factors that we take note of during our tests, each one having their own specific tests.

Who are The Sleep Advisors?

In short, we at The Sleep Advisors are the luckiest bunch in the world, as we professionally sleep on the job!

But not just anyone can be an Advisor. Everyone on our team has completed special courses in sleep science and/or sleep counselling as well as having a background in the bedding industry.

Furthermore, to truly gauge how good any product is, you need a wide range of testers. That’s why we’ve assembled a team with different sleeping preferences, different builds, and different needs.

By doing so, we can see which mattresses are good for side sleepers but not back sleepers or which pillows can keep you cool and which cannot. Everyone in the team gets a shot at testing out the new product and this process is repeated after one and six months, to check for any durability issues, such as sagging or faulty springs.

How do we select products for testing?

To ensure that we can create the most accurate reviews possible, testing even one mattress or pillow can take some time. So, we have to be picky when it comes to deciding which products we’re going to make a review for. Here are our basic criteria:

As previously mentioned, there are multiple factors that we test throughout because everyone has a different idea of what their perfect mattress is. We take all those factors into account when deciding who would like it, whilst giving you all the information you will need to come to your own conclusion. 

Here are the factors in more detail.

Comfort & firmness

Comfort and firmness are subjective to the consumer, so we guage these factors on a scale of 1 to 10. Using this scale across all our reviews helps to compare and find what is suited to you.

an infographic showing the different levels of firmness of a mattress

When it comes to comfort, it can largely be influenced by the firmness of the product but we aim to keep them separate in our reviews. Comfort relates more to the bounce and pressure relief. Whereas the firmness is how soft it is and the density. We test this by initially pushing down on the mattress to see how quickly the surface moulds to the pressure and returns to shape once released. This is an ideal way to see if the product will suit a combination sleeper – if it is quick to mould then it is able to keep up with a change in sleeping position, otherwise it is best for those who tend to sleep in the same position.

Following on from this, we spend time lying on the mattress too see how firm it is. We can see whether we sink into it or if we stay exactly where we are. On the softer mattresses, you will find that you sink in too much if you are a heavy sleeper or a back sleeper. However, if it is a firmer mattress light sleepers may find it uncomfortable and side sleepers will not get the support they need.


Now onto support. You will need to look for a product that can keep your spine aligned in your sleep position, so your body remains in a good posture throughout the night. This means finding a mattress that can relieve your pressure points. 

If you are a side sleeper, you are looking for a soft to medium mattress that allows your shoulders and hips to sink down to keep aligned. Whilst having the support to keep the rest of your body up. For back sleepers, ideally you want a medium firm mattress to stop your hips from sinking too low – causing your spine to curve. Those who are front sleepers should look for something that is firmer.

When testing support, we trial each sleeping position to see how the product moulds to the body. We take note of any parts of the body that sink when they shouldn’t and how relaxed we can be with our entire body being supported in various positions. Testing support is different to testing the firmness as the layers of filling can have an impact on the support a product provides. When we get up from the mattress, we look to see if it is still moulded to our shape. This shows whether the support can be adjusted when you move while you sleep or if it will take a while to mould and provide support in the new position. Thinking about this is most important for those who are combination sleepers.

Edge support

You may feel support in the centre of the mattress, but if you share a bed then you will want to have edge support too. Some choose to sit on the edge of their bed before getting in, or before they get ready for the day – so the last thing they want is to be sinking down. To start with, we press down on all edges to see how firm it is because this can give us an idea if there is any edge support. You might find that some edges have more support than others which is not ideal. We then lie on both sides of the mattress to see how much it sinks down. You will want it to be comfortable but firm enough to have support. This is followed by sitting on the very edge – most mattresses will sink ever so slightly, but some can be too soft and squash down to make it uncomfortable.

A mattress with edge-to-edge support is a good mattress.

Motion isolation

Another key factor for those sharing a mattress. It can be referred to as motion isolation or motion transfer. You will want one with low motion transfer or high motion isolation, meaning the mattress carries less movement. The last thing you want is to be woken up by your partner tossing and turning in the night. 

To test this on a basic level, you are able to see how the other side of the mattress responds when you move around on one side. Taking this one step further, we place an object on the opposite side to where we are to see how much it moves. Little to no movement means it is perfect, too much movement shows there is low motion isolation.

Temperature & breathability

Some people are hot sleepers, while others are cool sleepers so this is another factor that is subjective. However, we can still tests to see how you will find it. The materials used is essential to regulating temperature or how breathable it can be. We can look to see if there is any mesh panelling which helps with breathability and allows for air flow. Gel, coils and latex foams are towards the cooler end of the scale. On the other hand, memory foam and other variations are on the warmer side of the scale. This is based on how much they retain the heat, however, most have a design feature to regulate the temperature. With hybrid mattresses, they have varying layers to control excess heat or have moisture-wicking properties. 

When lying on the mattress, we can see how our body reacts to it by getting too hot and remaining hot when we move to another position, or if can keep cool while on the mattress. If you are a cool sleeper, you might not mind the warmth. However, hot sleepers will want a product that can regulate the temperature.

Further tests

These are the tests we do alongside the inspections. They are essential to your purchase but you may not remember to look at before buying. From looking at the information on their website and receiving the product, we can find out more about the company.


Every product we review is delivered in-house so we can judge how quickly it arrives, the same as you would having it delivered to your home. We look at what condition it arrives in, both the packaging and the actual product, as well as how accurate their information online is to the reality of receiving it. It is also a chance to see if there is slight off-gassing when opening the product, and whether it needs to be left for a day or two before using. Some companies offer old mattress removal, express delivery and delivery to a room – we find all the relevant information to include in our reviews.

Customer support

When ordering something, you don’t want to get it from a company that takes a long time to get in touch or can’t provide any help when you have a problem. We check what contact details are available and if there are options for you to use. You will find that companies have a number to call but only weekdays at specific times, or an email, or a live chat. A live chat is usually the quickest and easiest way to contact them so we put it to the test. We make note of what details they need from you to start the chat, and if the chat is actually live and available 24 hours a day. Once they respond, we can give you details of their response time, how polite they are and if they were helpful or not with our query. We believe these are all things that make for a great customer experience, and the final decision of whether or not to choose the company.


One way for us to look at durability is by checking the warranty and/or guarantee of a product. A company is not going to include either of those if a product needs replacing every year, so with a longer warranty you can expect it to be more durable than ones with no warranty. We are not able to put a product to the test for 3, 5 or 10 years. Another way we test for durability is by looking at the materials used to make the product and the quality of them when we test.  


Companies promote their purpose and environmental solutions so we like to check if they are following through. Being eco-friendly and sustainable is valued by customers so we want you to know if the product is either of those. We consider the packaging the product arrives in, the material of the product and the history of the company. It is reassuring to know when a company sticks to their values and is doing something to help the environment.

Price-quality ratio

Lastly, we work out if the quality of the product is worth the price you pay. From seeing the product, we can look at the materials used and if they are of high quality to determine a higher price. The USP of the product also plays a part in the price – if a product has something that no other does then it can be at a higher price but if nothing stands out from the rest, there is no need for it to be more expensive. After this, we compare the product to others in the same price range or of the same type to see the difference. For example, we would compare a hybrid mattress to another hybrid mattress, rather than a hybrid to a pocket-sprung mattress.

User experience & practicality

While we do our best to test every product in a magnitude of different ways, we can’t account for everything. This is why we also browse forums and customer reviews to see whether any issues pop up frequently. We then try to get to the heart of the issue and perform further testing if we believe that the complaint was made in good faith.

We have a similar process when it comes to customer support. At this point, most bedding manufacturers in the UK probably know who we are, so they might treat us differently than a regular customer. That is why we look at reviews of the brand as well as taking our own experiences into account.

How do we measure test performance on other products?

We test more than just mattresses so other products undergo different or less tests. Mattresses are the most complex to test out but we do in-depth test of pillows, mattress toppers and duvets. 

For mattress toppers, it is a very similar process to the mattress tests. This is because it is used as an addition to improve your mattress to suit your needs. We consider all the factors to find what will complete your bed.

How do we test pillows?

While not as complex as mattresses, there are still a few key factors that dictate the quality of a pillow. When making our reviews, we focus on the following criteria:

Our reviewer unzipping the Aeyla pillow and demonstrating how the dual loft feature works

How should the pillow be aligned when you sleep?

Depending on your sleeping position, different pillow lofts will be more or less appropriate. And while this can vary slightly depending on your build, these are the guidelines we follow:

An infographic showcasing which loft different sleeping positions are compatible with

How do we test duvets?

When testing duvets, there are a few key factors that we consider before creating our reviews. And, just like with mattress and pillow tests, we have different members of the team with different sleep preferences test the duvet out on the day of testing, one month later, and six months later. These are the factors that we look at:

How do we test mattress protectors?

When testing mattress protectors, we mostly focus on durability. In other words, how well it can protect the mattress underneath. However, some people also prefer to sleep with the mattress protector still on, so, the mattress protector has to check the same boxes as a mattress topper. Therefore, the features we check are:

How do we test mattress toppers?

Mattress toppers typically require the most testing as their performance relies heavily on the mattress underneath. Mattress toppers can also come in different thickness levels, which further influences their performance. Therefore, we do the following tests:

Our reviewer unzipping the silentnight impress memory foam mattress topper

How do we test bed frames?

When it comes to testing out bed frames, we mostly focus on the technical aspects that make a bed frame more or less worth it. Therefore, as opposed to mattresses or mattress toppers, our tests are a bit more objective. The tests we perform include:

a fabric pull handle for opening the ottoman bed

How can you be sure that we are the experts?

Even a million tests aren’t worth much if they’re done in bad faith or by a person who doesn’t understand the subject matter. So, what makes The Sleep Advisors experts? Three things: dedication, communication, and experience.

If our testing process hasn’t given it away yet, let’s be direct – we don’t make these reviews half-heartedly. Each aspect of the product is meticulously studied and tested by at least three different people and at least three times. And when it comes to our informative content, we make sure to read all the latest studies and do the research necessary to provide accurate information.

Secondly, we consult other professionals. When talking about back pain, we reach out to doctors and chiropractors. When talking about the relationship between sleep and mental health, we consult with therapists and other mental health professionals. And whenever a certain feature is vague or confusing, we talk with the manufacturers to get clarity and bring you the correct information.

Lastly, we are authorities in this niche in our own right. Our testers, reviewers and content team are certified sleep scientists and sleep counsellors. Together we’ve spent over 40000 hours researching and talking about sleep and sleep products. And we practise what we preach. We wouldn’t recommend a product that we ourselves wouldn’t/don’t use. So, you can rest assured that we’re only platforming the very best.

We learn every day

To wrap everything up, let’s just say this – we are still human. So, we might make a mistake from time to time. And in those cases, we welcome your comments and corrections, either by writing a comment or getting in touch with us! 

After all, good sleep is essential for a good life. And while science has cracked some aspects of sleep, we still don’t know everything. We learn every day and we hope that you will be there to learn alongside us at The Sleep Advisors!

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