4th October, 2022


By Max Kirsten

What exactly is motion transfer and can the right mattress really help?

Whether it’s trips to the bathroom or frequently changing sleeping positions, anyone who shares a bed has likely experienced the frustration of motion transfer. This is the measure of mattress movement from another area of the mattress, resulting in broken nights and groggy mornings. 

Not addressed, overtime motion transfer can become a real sleep recovery problem. Especially if you are a light-sleeper with a partner who’s up and down frequently in the night, even the slightest bit of tossing and turning can cause you to become wide-awake and stare up at the ceiling, unless you wear a sleep eye-mask. However, before considering separate rooms known as a full sleep divorce or separation, it could just simply be time to upgrade your old bouncy mattress. 

When it comes to finding a mattress that will keep you comfy and supported whilst ensuring optimal sleep beside your partner, reducing motion transfer should be a major priority.  

Even sitting on the side of the mattress while your partner is sleeping can affect sleep quality. As can surprise visits from pets and going to bed and getting up at different times. All these disturbances are classed as motion transfer issues and caused by the inability of your mattress to absorb movement, affecting its performance, support and comfort.

Certain medical conditions such as ‘restless leg syndrome’ can worsen motion transfer. This causes spontaneous sudden movements that can seriously disrupt sleep when sharing a bed. Insomnia can also make sharing a bed a literal nightmare, with up to 23 million brits struggling to fall asleep. The level of motion transfer we can tolerate is subjective, though one thing’s for sure a mattress with effective motion isolation will improve sleep quality for all bed sharers.

How to find the ‘right’ mattress solution!

The world of online mattresses is not for the faint hearted. From various memory foams, to every kind of spring it’s easy to end up with no more than a headache. While modern memory foam mattresses can be helpful in reducing motion transfer, they are unlikely to completely eliminate it. Memory foam alone can make it difficult to change positions in the night particularly for those with injuries and the elderly. And the biggest problem with memory foam is heat retention. Hot sleepers in particular find them far too warm in summer. However, memory foam is not without its benefits with some foams offering orthopaedic grade spinal support and are infused with breathable technology to keep you sleeping soundly. 

The latest sleep solution is called a hybrid mattress, such as the Panda London Bamboo Hybrid. They blend an innovative layer of breathable BioCell Foam™ with OrthoAlign Foam™ and seven zones of individually wrapped pocket coils that isolate movement and yet deliver pressure point perfect comfort to every part of your body. Open cell technology ensures cool nights with a thermo-regulating bamboo infusion to maximise freshness. Hybrid mattresses are fast becoming the ‘holy grail’ of modern bed sharing combining everything you need for a great night’s sleep in one hybrid mattress. Most importantly, maximising motion isolation is the key to minimise motion transfer. This latest hybrid form of modern sleep surface gives sleeping partners a unique way to enjoy excellent spinal support and comfort without disturbing one another every time they move or turn over. 

Hybrid mattresses are an evolutionary blend of hypoallergenic, breathable and supportive foams with often independently sprung surfaces bonded together- the ultimate team work for delicious sleep. This advanced technology brings you the magical benefits of undisturbed sleep and a deeper sleep cycle minus any disturbance. (Excluding snoring and other noise which is a whole other story) 

New mattresses are a big commitment and choosing the perfect one is one of the most subjective, joint decisions every couple has to make. The good news is an advanced hybrid will likely tick both of your boxes. Though be sure to go for one that comes with a 100-Night-Trial- when you find the right one, a bit like your partner…. You won’t want to sleep without it. 

As always, I wish you a great night’s sleep.

Max Kirsten 

The Sleep Coach