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Durability testing of beds and mattresses

Bed designers and manufacturers often turn to SATRA for assistance during the design and product-proving process.

Image © Colleen Coombe | Dreamstime

Before new beds are released onto the market, designers and manufacturers are often interested in the durability of the prototype product and how it performs during simulated use. To supply such information, SATRA uses a variety of test methods to provide data which can then be used to give answers or judgements on the performance or characteristics of the bed.

Durability assessments

The durability of the mattress is assessed using a fatigue test machine incorporating a large round roller with applies a load of 1400 ±7 N. It is operated according to the test method laid down is EN 1957:2012 – ‘Furniture – Beds and mattresses. Test methods for the determination of functional characteristics’. This ‘rapid best test’ subjects the mattress and/or bed base to 30,000 cycles at a rate of 16 ±2 cycles per minute.

An ‘indentometer’ is used to measure the hardness and firmness of the mattress. The mattress is compressed using a loading pad under computer control and data is collected that enables the load versus indentation characteristics to be plotted. From this plot, EN 1957:2012 provides a mathematical calculation that gives a ‘hardness value’ in N/mm and also a ‘firmness rating’. The firmness rating is a number on a scale between one and ten, which expresses the firmness of the mattress. A rating of one corresponds to ‘very firm’ and a rating of ten corresponds to ‘very soft’. These measurements are completed before and after the main mattress rolling part of the test.

Figure 1: The EN 1957:2012 bed test

The overall bed construction is assessed for the occurrence of any problems, including broken springs, broken stitching and tufts, displaced fillings and rucked of loose ticking. The whole process can be completed within one week after suitable conditioning has been carried out.

EN 1725:1998 – ‘Domestic furniture – Beds and mattresses. Safety requirements and test methods’ includes test requirements to ensure the safety of beds and, in particular, that the bed base is fit for purpose. The tests can be applied to the bed base with a standard mattress or with the mattress supplied with the bed base. Depending on if the bed base and mattress are supplied as a set or separately, a series of impact and static tests are applied to the frame, mattress support structure (including springs, slats, webbings and sheet material), and various points of the mattress, to assess the strength and durability.

The ‘durability of bed edge test’ is particularly useful. This is conducted for 5,000 cycles and determines whether sitting on the edge of a product will, over time, have a detrimental effect on its performance. This test method can be adapted to help with the evaluation of beds where the designer has been concerned about the effects of prolonged sitting on the bed while watching television. Both static and fatigue loads can be carried out in the areas specified by the client.

How can we help?


Please click here for information on SATRA's furniture testing services. SATRA can provide help, advice and consultancy for most bed testing and complaint issues – email to discuss how we can help your company.