Mattresses flop in body-support tests

Local | Sophie Hui Apr 17, 2018
Nearly half of mattresses tested failed to provide adequate support for a person's body.

The Consumer Council tested 25 models of single mattresses - 21 spring and four foam models - with prices ranging from HK$1,490 to HK$8,600.

They were tested for their body support, comfort and durability.

Twelve models scored only 2.5 points or below on a scale of five in body performance.

In terms of firmness, the council found that in general the mattresses tested in Hong Kong were harder than those in Europe and America.

Three samples were considered "very hard" and 12 samples were rated as "hard," while there were seven "medium," two "soft" and one "very soft" samples.

However, a harder mattress does not mean better body support.

The three "very hard" models received only one to two points in body support. But four "medium" samples scored 3.5 points.

On overall performance, spring mattresses outperformed foam mattresses.

The watchdog said if the mattress is too hard, some body parts like shoulders, hips and sacrum, can be under excessive pressure, making the users feel discomfort and back-muscle tightness.

The price did not guarantee a quality product as the most expensive sample - Simmons Beautyrest Kent Mattress - received the same score as the cheapest model, IKEA Harmavik Spring Mattress Firm.

The top four mattresses were medium-priced, from HK$3,088 to HK$3,224.

Test results are variable in terms of comfort. The watchdog tested the mattresses' elasticity including lumbar support, stability, moisture permeability and heat dissipation.

All samples were rated 3.5 points or above in moisture permeability, but 15 samples only have normal performance in heat insulation.

Only nine samples scored four points or above in elasticity. Ten samples were rated a high score of 4.5 points in stability, while 11 samples did not perform well, with 2.5 points or below.

The council's chief executive, Gilly Wong Fung-han, reminded consumers to try the mattresses well before purchase, and to compare them.

"Don't just sit on the bed and decide to buy it," she said. "People should wear some comfortable clothes, and lie down on the mattress with different positions for eight to 10 minutes, then choose one."

The watchdog also suggested people to flip the mattresses once in a while, so the pressure won't be concentrated on one side for a long time.

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March 2019