Types of Mattresses
When you are at the moment when you need to purchase a new mattress, you might find that you have a wide variety of choices to pick from. You might ponder between an innerspring or a memory foam. You might also think whether to choose a hybrid over a latex model. With various advancements in materials and technology that are being introduced to the market by manufacturers of these mattresses, you might find it difficult to decide which one is the best for your needs. You should also take into consideration your favorite sleeping positions.
Most consumers are knowledgeable with the conventional innerspring model. You might even know the latest among these mattresses. However, if you are not into following every blog post and blog update regarding the latest in the industry, you are at the right place becausem we’re about to equip you with the most common kinds of mattresses.
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam was designed as an offshoot of NASA’s goal to improve crash protection and seat cushioning for passengers and airline pilots in the 1970s. It was a successful project that prompted designers and engineers to use the innovation in various commercial products, such as mattresses. This move made memory foam models one of the market’s best-selling designs.
Memory foam is popularly named as Visco Elastic foam. This has the special trait to adapt to the body of the sleeper while distributing the weight at even proportions throughout the bed. It is perfect for morning pains, achy joints, and sleepers who have sleep disturbances. Memory foam is sensitive to temperature that makes it conform and soften to the sleeper in conformity to body weight and body temperature.
As a result, this unique conforming property allows memory foam mattresses to sleep a bit warmer compared to conventional innerspring mattresses. To solve this problem, many manufacturers of memory foam mattresses incorporate new technologies into their products such as gel-infused memory foams, “open-cell” memory foams, and interlaced foam support layers to enhance air circulation when sleepers use these mattresses. They are also mold-resistant as well as resistant to dust mites, bed bugs, and bacteria.
- Advantages: Memory foam mattresses are arguably the best when it comes to orthopedic support. Since memory foam conforms to the sleeper’s body shape as well as to weight shifts through the night, it relieves pain, reduces pressure points, and promote proper spinal alignment. Memory foam is also known for great motion isolation, probably the best amongst all types of materials. Its ability to absorb movement also will not result to disturbing one’s sleeping partner with one’s tossing and turning.
- Disadvantages: There are negative feedbacks when it comes to memory foam mattresses. They can make one feel extremely hot during the night as these are sensitive to temperature. Memory foam softens and molds to the body which causes heat to be trapped between the mattress and the body. Moreover, memory foam models radiate a chemical smell that is not pleasant to the nose. Some might find it a bit difficult to move around or get out of the bed due to the conforming property.
- Works Best With: A sleeper who finds it difficult to be comfortable, or who undergoes muscle pain, or chronic fatigue, might prefer memory foam mattresses as long as he does not have any problems with temperature-related conditions.
Innerspring models are the pioneers and one of the best-selling designs of modern mattresses. Manufacturers utilize different steel coil support systems that could either be individually wrapped pocketed coils or springs attached into a single unit to make these long-lasting mattresses. These inner springs are covered with different kinds of upholstery or padding materials that result in better sleeping experience.
Innerspring mattresses have evolved to become better, stronger, and more comfortable ones because of advanced materials that include fibers, foams, fabrics, and extra layers of smaller steel springs. It remains to be a top choice among affordable kinds of mattresses in the global arena.
As what has already been mentioned, innerspring models have coil springs as support and each of these coils are enclosed individually. The use of these coil springs helps in lengthening the lifespan of mattresses and preventing popping out of coils from the mattress.
Contrary to what salespeople say, it is not true that a mattress with more provides increased comfort. It is not required to have more than 390 coils. It would not matter anymore since it would be minimal to feel the difference when it is beyond that number.
- Advantages: There are various innerspring mattresses available on the market. They vary in firmness, pillow top fluffiness, and a wide range of prices to choose from. They generally sleep cooler than most types of mattresses on the market thanks to its coil system, which allows better air circulation.
- Disadvantages: It is not true that there is a direct correlation between price and comfort. However, it is best not to purchase the cheapest innerspring mattress. A sleeper won’t be able to obtain the best sleeping condition if cushions and the springs are not enough.
- Works Best With: Sleepers who are overweight might prefer the firm support of innerspring mattresses. This firm support allows sleepers to get in and out of the bed easier. People with back pain should opt for the firmer versions. However, anyone would be comfortable with spring-based models.
It may come as a surprise to everyone that latex mattresses were open to the market in the 1960s. However, latex production involves a very high cost that led to soaring retail prices. Thus, the average sleeper does not have the financial capacity to buy pioneer latex mattresses. The good news is that advancements in technology have decreased the prices. This makes these latex mattresses available to anyone who desires to buy one.
Latex models provide two major benefits. Latex is very durable and resilient. This enables latex to support sleepers without exerting pressure on the shoulders, hips, or other areas. It still provides proper alignment. This assists in the reduction and/or prevention of pain in delicate areas that include the lower back. Moreover, they inhibit motion. A sleeper will not disturb the sleeping pattern of another because of that person’s agitated sleep.
Natural or synthetic rubber usually comprise latex mattresses. They are popular in offering uniform firmness and bouncy support throughout the bed.
- Advantages: When it comes to providing support, one of the best materials is latex. It has similar characteristics like the memory foam such as firmness, support and conforming ability. However, Latex is resilient, making you feel like sleeping on top of the mattress, instead of in it. Thus, it provides more support.
- Disadvantages: All natural latex mattresses tend to be on the firmer side of the firmness spectrum.
- Works Best With: A latex model or latex topper is perfect for sleepers who want to alleviate their back pain as this offers both comfort and support.
Foam mattresses are made of varying densities and weights of latex rubber foams or flexible polyurethane foams based on petrochemicals. With its different designs, they offer a cost-efficient option to other expensive mattresses. They are designed to provide support to all parts of the model. This is perfect for sleepers who sleep all over the mattress during the night.
Consumers can find different options when it comes to foam-type mattresses that include the solid foam, latex foam, gel foam, or memory foam. It is crucial that buyers know how to compare the pros and cons of these contrasting foam materials.
- Advantages: Foam mattresses offer multiple advantages. They are affordable, has limited heat retention, makes no noise, isolates motion, and has strong product warranties.
- Disadvantages: There are limited options for firmness, might be super firm for some, have below-average edge support, relatively thin, and can be purchased online.
Hybrid models represent its namesake. They are hybrids of the various innovations of sleep technology. Two or more different kinds of support systems are combined such as an advanced innerspring system with sophisticated memory foams. This combination offers the advantages of memory foam while enjoying the feel and classic look of an innerspring mattress.
Combining these various sleep technologies in a hybrid offers benefits to sleepers who find it difficult to sleep. Motion is inhibited as it limits motion to the sleeper himself and not to his partner because of the pocketed coil technology. Sleeping becomes more comfortable as multiple layers of infused memory foam assists in alleviating pressure on sensitive areas. These memory foam also assists in regulating body temperature by diffusion of heat away from the body.
This comfort is delivered by the memory foam layers. While doing this, the coil system assists in retaining the bounciness that most individuals benefit with conventional innerspring mattresses. This coil system provides hybrids a conventional shape in contrast to the low profile and straight lines of memory foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses often attract buyers as it is more affordable compared to memory foam mattresses. These also have better performance compared to low-end memory foam mattresses.
- Advantages: Hybrid mattresses have similarities to innerspring models. Thus, the advantages and disadvantages of innerspring mattresses are carried over by these hybrids. These hybrids provide more ease in moving around compared to all-foam mattresses and are more affordable. These also are better in following the contour of the body of the sleeper compared with more innerspring mattresses. Many individuals also like the feel of these hybrids.
- Disadvantages: Hybrids cost more compare to other models that have similar qualities. People are buying the latest in mattresses. Hybrids also cannot keep up with the same quality of other mattresses when it comes to contouring the body or separating motion.
Sofa beds prove their worth when there are unexpected visitors that stay at home for a night or two. These flexible, thin mattresses are easy to fold and collapse. Most find it convenient to have a sofa bed, but only a few would say they find it best when it comes to comfort.
It is recommended to have futons when one needs space and a bed that is flexible. Futons are better for the back compared to the conventional sofa bed.
- Advantages: Sofa beds provide convenience to homes that have limited space. However, there are no advantages when it comes to health benefits.
- Disadvantages: Sleeping on a sofa bed for a night or two would be okay. However, this is not the type of bed that a person can sleep on for very long time. These sofa beds use very thin mattresses and have weak springs. This bad combination can bring a bad sleeping condition to its sleepers.
- Works Best With: Sofa beds offer no health advantages. They will exaggerate the discomfort when a person has bad back or hips.
They are not the typical blow-up models that a host allows his visitors to stay for a few days. There are similar appearances with higher-end air beds with standard innerspring mattress. However, the former uses air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are cloaked with a foam layer on top.
These air beds have been utilized by bedridden patients with injuries to the spinal cord. These are adjustable as these do not apply force on the same parts of the body. Moreover, this prevents the breakdown of skin in immobile patients.
- Advantages: Partners who have huge differences in their personal choice of firmness and comfort levels can opt for an air mattress. Each side of the bed can be altered with its firmness. One partner can have a different level of firmness compared to the other. Thus, the beds are adjustable. It can also find air toppers similar to latex and memory foam.
- Disadvantages: There are instances when sleepers fail to make their airbed firm enough and wake up with aches in the body. There are also cases when one side of the mattress pops up with less sophisticated air mattresses. It is best to have multiple chambers.
- Works Best With: Air models are convenient for sleeping couples who have dissimilar needs. It is recommended to have the firmer side of the bed for the sleeper who has a bad back.
Waterbeds, as the name implies, are mattresses filled with water. These are purposefully meant for sleepers who are injured, bedridden, or undergoing medical treatments. Circulation of blood increases due to water that is filled inside the waterbed. Waterbeds also distribute weight evenly that makes a better sleeping situation for sleepers.
- Advantages: The bed contours to the shape of the body. This decreased the pressure points. Sleepers who suffer from severe back pain as pressure on the spine is reduced through the use of a waterbed. Waterbeds last for more than 12 years, compared to conventional models.
- Disadvantages: Since water adapts to the temperature of the environment, the cost of energy increases as the waterbed requires heating during cold seasons.
Adjustable beds are bendable and are capable of being elevated at different angles. There are various kinds of mattresses that can be utilized on an adjustable bed. This includes air models and latex mattresses. However, it is more challenging to use spring models as these are not flexible enough.
- Advantages: This is perfect for sleepers who find it difficult to get in or get out of bed.
- Disadvantages: Adjustable beds might not be within the reach of average consumers. They are expensive compared to other mattresses. Adjustable beds require high maintenance costs. Their unique size implies that these require unique sheets.
- Works Best With: Sleepers who have acid reflux can find it best to buy adjustable beds as these allow the upper body to be elevated.