Understanding Mattress Types

different mattress types

How does someone know what the best mattress is for his or her sleeping style? With all the new technologies that have come out for mattresses, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what type of mattress will work best for you. Often, shoppers will purchase the same mattress as before, simply because they do not want to make a costly mistake.

In this blog, we want to help you better understand the different types of mattresses and how their technology can ensure your sleep, is your best ever.

Innerspring, Coil, Pillowtops

This group comprises the traditional innerspring mattresses most people are familiar with. Coil mattresses were first introduced in the 19th century. Since industrialization, these have remained the most common mattress type in American homes.

A complete spring mattress consists of the box spring base, the mattress springs, and padding layers. In each type, metal coils comprise the support system. There are several different types of spring systems in use, from connected coils to independent pocketed springs.  Quality is often represented by the gauge and number of coils. On top of the coils, manufacturers use foams, padding, and stuffing to provide a comfortable sleeping surface. They can range from basic quilting to memory foam or latex, and may be several inches thick.

Innerspring mattresses are easy to find, and are available in nearly every showroom. These are often the most affordable mattress types as well, for basic models at least. Innersprings also tend to rate higher for ease of movement on bed, and tend to receive less complaints for sleeping hot as compared to some foam mattresses.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses were first introduced in the early 1990’s under the brand name Tempur-Pedic. NASA scientists invented the original concept of visco elastic foam, as a cushioning material to absorb the affects of G forces during take off, though they believed the concept would be best utilized in consumer applications. Memory foam is a unique material in that it contours to the shape of the sleeper, and distributes the applied weight evenly over its surface to eliminate pressure points caused by heavier areas like hips and shoulders.

These types of mattresses utilize fairly simple constructions that differ little between manufacturers. The “memory foam” portion of the mattress is the upper layer, which may be anywhere from 2-8 inches thick. This is supported by a base foam, which is typically denser and does not have memory properties (otherwise a sleeper would sink to the bottom). There may be multiple layers of foam with different properties, and some manufacturers will cut air channels into the layers to reduce heat. A bed with a spring core would be not be considered a true memory foam mattress.

The key differences you will encounter when shopping memory foam beds is the foam density and type. Memory foam also comes in different formulations: standard (traditional foam, temperature sensitive, slow-response), plant-based (uses natural oils, more breathable and faster response), and gel infused (gel plus memory foam, marketed as cooler).

Overall, memory foam is the highest rated mattress in terms of owner happiness with about 80-83% of people reporting satisfaction. These are considered the best mattresses for individuals who suffer from back problems and other aches and pains, since the material supports natural alignment and does not place additional pressure on the body. Memory foam also maintains an advantage in longevity with quality beds, and is the best at prohibiting motion transfer.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses have been around since the early 1900’s, when the Dunlop process made latex foam a viable product. Over the years, the process has expanded to include synthetic latex and even organic latex. Initially, latex was very expensive but modern manufacturing has lowered the price considerably.

Latex mattresses feature one of the most simple constructions of all beds. A true latex mattress will actually contain only latex foam, as both the support core and comfort layers. After the foam is manufactured, it is cured, cut, and layered to create a bed. The layers may or may not be glued together, and the mattress can feature a range of covers from simple cotton to wool, and more.

Hybrid Mattress

Today, many sleepers are curious about the benefits of memory foam or gel memory foam sleep, but they just can't make the jump to an all foam mattress. For these consumers, a hybrid mattress is the ideal choice. Hybrid mattresses combine individually pocketed innersprings with memory foam to create the ultimate sleep experience. Hybrids allow sleepers to get the best of both worlds and enjoy the perfect blend of sturdy support and contouring comfort.

Feel the difference, in person!

We would love to meet you and show you the different mattress technologies in person. You never know what your body will prefer until you try them! Visit our Store Locator for a store near you! 

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