Mattress Types – PRO’s & CON’s, Comparisons and Guides!

If you plan to buy a new mattress prepare yourself for an interesting and eye-opening search. The growing consciousness amongst consumers has forced brands making sleeping solutions back to the drawing boards. The modern consumer now knows about the importance of good sleep quality for overall wellbeing and averting common diseases. Mattress manufacturers now leverage cutting edge technology to provide a wide range of high quality mattresses. As a shopper, you have to choose from among this wide variety including innerspring, adjustable beds, folding beds, memory foam, natural fiber and latex mattresses, airbeds and waterbeds among others. This article breaks down the most common mattress types in the market to help you make an informed choice.

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Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are among the most common in the market and since the 1980s has dominated the American bedroom. While many people have used these types of mattresses in their lives, most don’t know the inner system which offers them such a comfortable sleeping experience. The standard innerspring mattress features a steel coil support system though there are variations of the spring systems, especially in newer spring systems. If you are in the market looking for an affordable mattress, the innerspring model will work for you.

Innerspring mattress

The Innerspring Mattress Advantage

Due to a large number of mattresses in the market, you need to evaluate what each type has to offer to get good value for your money. Many people have now moved on to the newer sleeping systems but innerspring mattresses still have a lot to offer. Take a look:

Pros

Consistent comfort: The unique construction of the spring system makes it easy to spread the weight of a sleeper across the entire sleeping surface. They allow independent movement and also conform to your body better than most mattresses in the market.

Rich history: These mattresses have been around for quite some time and they are popular with most families. An innerspring mattress offers stability and comfort based on its unique construction. They enjoy consumer familiarity making it is easy to get opinions from other consumers.

Affordability: The mattresses are readily available in the market with most sleeping products manufacturers having launched a line. You don’t have to hop from one store to the other looking for an innerspring mattress as happens with other newer sleeping systems.

Portability: Innerspring mattresses are easy to move around or transport.

Firmness

Drawbacks of Innerspring Mattresses

Like with all sleeping products, there are some drawbacks about innerspring mattresses that you should know. These drawbacks include:

Cons

Poor motion isolation: While the mattress will handle two sleepers comfortably, there are problems related to motion transfer.

Failure to adapt to the curvature of the sleeper’s spine compared to newer mattresses in the market.

Squeaky sounds associated with poor quality products.

No promise to counteract pain and pressure points.

Shorter lifespan as the materials wear out fast.

Sagging sleeping surface as the mattress ages.

Low satisfaction levels

This insight will help you evaluate the value of an innerspring mattress.

Different Types of Coils or Innerspring Mattresses

The support system of an innerspring mattress features coiled springs. Most consumers do not even know this though they understand there are metal structures inside. It is important to understand the springs types to appreciate the comfort levels, durability, and maintenance levels required for this type of mattress. The quality of the upper layer matters in determining the quality of an innerspring mattress but not as much as the coils inside.

coil mattress

What are the coils?

To understand how your innerspring mattress works, you need to examine the coils, which form the inner system. Coils are cylindrical metallic components built in different styles to provide the best sleeping experience. The name innerspring comes from the coil support core, which though not visible is the most crucial part of this sleeping system. The coils give the mattress a playful and bouncy feel, which makes these the best option for a kids’ bed. The coils support a sleeper’s weight and also distribute this weight across the entire surface. The coil support core features a sturdy and durable metal in different styles to provide strength and withstand continued use.

Continuous Coil

Continuous coils in innerspring mattresses feature long wires in circular shapes. This design also features helical reinforcements on both sides of the mattress to give the entire system a hinging effect. The coil design is tough and resilient but their low contour profile offers minimal spinal support. In addition, these mattresses are affordable.

Bonnell Coils

The Bonnell coil system is the oldest and also most affordable hence its common application by mattress manufacturers. These coils are distinguishable by an hourglass shape. This unique shape offers a lot of strength to the coil core and makes these mattresses tougher. For enhanced performance, they also feature helicals (spiral-shaped wires) which offer reinforcement. They don’t squeak and boast a higher degree of quality.

Bonnell coil

Offset Coils

Offset coils rate highly among spring styles, which easily conform to innerspring mattresses. Their design is similar to that of Bonnell springs in that they have an hourglass shape. However, they feature helicals for reinforcement and their design provides a hinging effect on compression of the mattress. This unique design makes offset coils more comfortable.

Marshall Coil or Pocketed Coil

When shopping for an innerspring bed, you will come across Marshal Coil springs also called pocket or enclosed coil. The distinguishing aspect of this spring type is the use of wrapping for the metallic wires inside the mattress. The unique construction helps the pocketed coils mattress attain the best contour of all coils used in innerspring mattresses.

Pocketed Coil Mattress

This type of coil minimizes motion transfer making them more comfortable especially when more than one person is using the mattress. The wrapped springs work independently, and when your partner moves, the pressure will not move across the entire surface.

Pros

Bouncy feeling on the sleeping surface which is perfect for kids.

No sinking feeling due to motion transfer qualities

Provide excellent edge support

Minimal disturbances during the night irrespective of even when your partner doesn’t sleep easy.

While a pocket coil mattress features among the crème de la crème of innerspring mattresses, it has some drawbacks too including:

Cons

High cost due to the high-quality construction and extra wrapping material on the coils.

They have a shorter life due to the use of thin, non-tempered steel.

In summary, marshal/pocket/encased coil mattresses offer more comfort and minimal disturbance but cost more than any other products in the category.

Coil Gauge

Coil gauge is one of the most crucial considerations when buying an innerspring mattress. It is the thickness of the coils and wire used inside the mattress as part of the support core. The coil gauge ranges from 12 on the thicker side and 18 on the thinner side. In essence, if you want a firmer innerspring mattress, look for one with a higher gauge which indicates thicker coils.

Natural Fiber

When looking at different types of mattresses in the market, it is impossible to miss the natural fiber sleeping system. The mattresses use natural fibers such as cashmere, latex, bamboo, wool, silk, and horsehair as opposed to springs or manufactured products. As more consumers become aware of the importance of good quality sleep, the search for the best sleeping systems has seen growth in popularity of animal and plant fiber mattresses.

natural fiber mattress

These mattresses are more breathable, durable and responsive to body posture than those made from synthetic materials. These mattresses are more expensive than synthetic ones due to the materials used and intricate construction required for each piece.

The Eco-Friendly Alternative

Environmental conservation might not be the first thing in your mind when shopping for a mattress but maybe it should. The destruction of the environment affects everyone, and for this reason, you need to adopt green living. Buying an eco-friendly mattress is a good way to start caring for the environment. Natural fiber mattresses feature no chemicals in their manufacture and will not cause carbon emissions.

The best natural fiber mattresses feature Green guard certification mark as proof of the eco-friendly processes and standards used in their manufacture. More importantly, your eco-friendly natural fiber mattress is also safer to sleep on, as there are no harmful emissions.

Overall Comfort Level and Smart Materials

When it comes to comfort levels, natural fibers rate highly. For this reason, mattress manufacturers opt for natural materials to provide the best sleeping experience for their customers. While these natural fibers are naturally comfortable, the limited availability of some of these materials makes them impractical for consumer products.

You should compare these fibers and find their unique qualities before buying any mattress. For instance, organic cotton is long lasting, organic wool is good at temperature regulation, bamboo is available and an easily renewable resource, hemp works perfectly for vegans, coconut coir gives a bouncy feel while latex boasts fire-resistance qualities.

Memory Foam

When looking to buy a mattress, it is important first to appreciate the benefits of good sleep quality. Good quality sleep offers immense health benefits including mental performance, improved heart health, boosting weight loss, enhanced creativity, and lower stress levels. Now, to enjoy good quality sleep, you need a good quality mattress, and this is where a memory foam mattress comes in handy. Memory foam mattress designers leverage NASA technology to create a product, which conforms to the sleeper’s body line. Innovative designers used viscoelastic a soft and energy-absorbent material commonly used for pilots’ protection on planes and in space exploration. The material has also featured in footwear, automotive furniture manufacture due to its comfort and safety qualities.

memory foam mattress

Unlike the ordinary mattress, the memory foam technology adjusts to your body contour easily. The mattress feels softer than the ordinary mattress and users enjoy the comfortable feeling as the foam adjusts to take their body shape.When you move during sleep, this mattress immediately takes your new shape. Some of the major benefits associated with this cutting-edge technology include boosting memory function, offering ultimate sleeping comfort, relieving body pains among other benefits. The memory foam mattress now rates top among the best sleeping systems in the market.

Rising Popularity due to Comfort

The unique qualities of memory foam including the capacity to redistribute weight evenly make this one of the most comfortable mattresses in the market. In the beginning, memory foam application was for safety wear including safety helmets and shoes. It was ideal for offering protection in case of a collision thus reducing injuries. With time, however, this innovative technology found its way into the mattress industry.

Memory foam is temperature sensitive and this is the reason it adjusts according to a sleeper’s body heat and weight. This mattress is popular across the world and doctors also recommend the technology in promoting good quality sleep. The foam used in these mattresses’ construction guarantees the best sleeping experience by helping a sleeper to attain proper spine alignment. By using memory foam pillows in combination with this high-performance mattress, the user enjoys a comfortable, safe and memorable night’s experience.

The Advantages Beyond Comfort

While memory foam mattresses dominate the market due to their great comfort levels, there are more reasons to invest in this sleeping system. These benefits include:

Benefits

Pain relief and recovery: They are perfect for relieving pains, body aches, and soreness. The memory foam molds itself around pain points which have higher temperature levels leading to pain relief and fast recovery.

Proper spine alignment which resolves spinal problems and also resolves existing spinal issues.

Better sleep by combining memory foam mattress with memory foam pillow.

Allergies relief by reducing allergens and allergy-causing dust mites.

Minimal disturbances when sleeping due to low motion transfer

Long lifespan

SomniGel

The wide range of mattresses in the market can overwhelm even the most patient shopper. At this point, you appreciate the importance of good quality sleep. At the same time, you should also consider value for your money by buying a resilient mattress. For a compromise, you need a mattress that is not only comfortable but also durable, and this is what you get with a SomniGel mattress. It is a type of mattress that boasts unique construction allowing it to bounce back to its initial position after removal of pressure earlier applied. The product has undergone the most rigorous testing under an elephant’s foot to test its resilience, and it aced the test.

Challenging Physics

What makes a SomniGel mattress tick? To answer this, you need to understand how this innovatively designed mattress works. Following basic principles in physics, you would expect an ordinary mattress to give in under pressure and remain so for some time after removal of this pressure. Now the SomniGel mattress seems to defy physics by instantly springing up after the source of pressure moves.

When sleeping on the mattress, there is no pressure pushing you back as happens with ordinary mattresses. It is possible to achieve this through by reducing contact surfaces on the product (22%) and increasing open air (78%). The mattress allows air flow and disperses heat for a better sleeping experience.

Latex Mattresses

When considering the best mattress type in the market, it is important to consider latex mattresses. These mattresses contain certified organic and natural materials to make them eco-friendly. The mattress type also boasts all-natural construction (from the sap of the rubber tree, HeveaBrasiliensis) which is good for both the user and the environment.

latex mattresses

It is one of the best sleeping products in terms of durability and has little/no off-gassing. Latex mattresses also come in different firmness levels to suit the needs of different sleepers. Other advantages include heat regulation, reduced V exposure to VOCs among others. To find the best quality latex mattress, take time to understand the two common manufacturing processes below.

Dunlop Latex

In this process, the liquid latex undergoes intense mixing to form a foamy mixture. This mixture goes into a mold which shapes it into a block. The block passes through an oven to solidify it before a final phase of cleaning to remove any residues and solidifying agents on the surface. After drying, the mold is ready for use.

Talalay Latex

In the Talalay latex manufacturing process, the mixture goes into a tightly sealed mold. The idea is to remove air and disperse the latex evenly before flash freezing the block. Immediately after, baking starts to create a completely solid block. The sleeping experience on a Talalay mattress type is cool and more comfortable than other mattresses.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Latex mattresses offer a range of incredible benefits including:

Pros

Reducing carbon footprint because latex extracted from rubber tree doesn’t cause harmful emissions. There is minimal off-gassing thus providing a good sleeping experience.

Safety: The mattress making process doesn’t involve chemicals making it safe for use by everyone in the family.

The mattress doesn’t require rotation or flipping as it ages.

Different firmness levels to suit everyone

Best option for green living in your home

Cons

Initial odor possible

More expensive than innerspring mattresses

Heavier and difficult to move

Limited availability in the market

Heat retention possible depending on the manufacturing process.

Innerspring Latex Hybrid Mattress

When looking for a good mattress for your bed, you will find multiple types each with its unique advantages. The top-performing mattresses on the market are innerspring and latex mattresses. Now that you want just a single mattress, it is possible to integrate the positive qualities of these two popular mattress types in the market by buying the innerspring latex hybrid mattress. The mattress has received rave reviews from specialists and customers and there is every reason to consider it among your top options.

Innerspring Latex Hybrid Mattress

The manufacture of this innovative hybrid mattress consists of an innerspring unit beautifully layered with naturally cool latex. The idea is to take the strengths of an innerspring mattress and those of a latex mattress to create the ultimate sleeping system. It is a more affordable option to a pure latex mattress, yet it boasts additional support from the innerspring core.

Some of the other advantages of going for an innerspring latex hybrid mattress include antimicrobial qualities due to use of latex, excellent support from the inner coil core and durability to offer good value for your money. You will not worry about squeaking noise which is a big problem with innerspring mattresses. The drawbacks you might experience include limited thickness options, structural weaknesses as different materials have different qualities.

Polyfoam Latex Hybrid

The popularity of latex in mattress manufacturing has seen more brands try different combinations to create the best sleeping product. The polyfoam latex hybrid is a result of such efforts as manufacturers seek to tap into the natural qualities of latex. This hybrid mattress seeks to eliminate the negative aspects of polyfoam and latex and combine their strengths to build a versatile sleeping system.

Polyfoam Latex Hybrid MattressWhat to Look for When Choosing this Type of Mattress

When shopping for a polyfoam latex hybrid mattress in the market today, it is important to carry out due diligence. You need to understand everything about the manufacture of these sleeping systems to avoid getting duped. Many mattress manufacturers out there are eager to make a quick buck through false marketing, and many consumers fall for their poor quality products.

For a start, you need to understand the ‘hybrid’ aspect of a polyfoam latex hybrid mattress. It entails the combination of latex commonly used for high-end mattresses and polyfoam a versatile material in mattress manufacturing.

The quality of latex used determines the overall quality of the mattress. As such, take time to assess whether the manufacturer has used Dunlop or Talalay latex. The two techniques used in latex production result in different mattress qualities. For instance, In the Talalay process, the final latex material boasts more breathability which means the mattress users will enjoy a more comfortable sleeping experience.

While comparing different polyfoam latex hybrid mattresses in the market, remember to consider the following:

Strong and durable materials

No chemical used to guarantee minimal off-gassing

High-quality safe materials preferably with Certi-Pur® rating

Flexible firmness levels to suit your needs. A good mattress should have different firmness levels. Look for a mattress that you can customize to suit your sleeping needs.

With so many mattresses in the market each with its range of benefits, it is hard to choose the best. The hybrid mattress option makes things easier for you by combining the aspects you like form different mattress types in one product.

Waterbeds

When Neil Arnott designed the first waterbed in the 17th century, his main idea was to help patients sleep more comfortably and avoid bedsores. What the Scottish physician might never have contemplated was that this innovation was to become a ubiquitous feature in most bedrooms. Today, waterbeds rate highly on all consumer reviews and for many reasons. The waterbed is renowned for providing relaxation, comfort, and support during sleep and every sleeper wants this.

If you want to enjoy a refreshing sleeping experience every night, it is time you considered a waterbed. The design of waterbeds in the market varies a lot. You can buy a hard-sided mattress which maintains shape or a soft-sided which is not bulky. The interior design also varies with some products holding water in a single chamber while others contain air chambers to avoid water rippling while sleeping.

Waterbeds are popular with people suffering back pains as they offer relief. Their form-fitting ability guarantees comfort and with an inbuilt heater, sleepers enjoy their nights even on the coldest winter nights. By conforming to all pressure points, these ingeniously designed beds work magic when used by anyone suffering from joint and muscle pains.

Well, some users say waterbeds can cause back pains, but studies carried out so far show these beds are still among the most popular sleeping options.

Pros

Form-fitting thus guaranteeing more comfort throughout the night. The best waterbeds come with individually adjustable settings when sleeping with a partner.

Easy heating: Unlike other mattresses in the market, heating a waterbed is easy using an in-built heater. The added warmth relaxes muscles and aids blood circulation.

Easy maintenance because dead skin and dust mites can’t collect on the surface.

Cons

High cost of operation when heating the waterbed

Difficulties moving the bed as it requires disassembling

Risks of punctures necessitating expensive repairs. It is one of the major problems associated with waterbeds especially if you don’t find the best quality.

Innerspring Memory Foam Hybrids

If you are in the market for a new mattress, you must have come across the hybrid range. The innerspring memory foam hybrid mattress is among the most popular in the market as it combines two of the most popular mattresses (innerspring and memory foam) to create an even better sleeping product.

Innerspring Memory Foam Hybrid mattress

What is a Hybrid Mattress?

The idea behind hybrid technologies in manufacture is not hard to understand. A hybrid mattress involves combining two high-performance mattress technologies to build an impressive sleeping system. For instance, the strength of an innerspring mattress and the conforming qualities of a memory foam mattress combine to create the innerspring memory foam hybrid.

Pros

Better performance by combining positive qualities of different mattress technologies. Coils offer support while memory foam provides enhanced comfort levels.

More support provided by combining a spring core with a foam structure to overcome weaknesses of a pure foam mattress.

These hybrid mattresses are more affordable than pure memory foam mattresses

Cons

A lot of research is required to get the right information on these hybrid mattresses. It is an overwhelming experience for first-time buyers.

Hybrid mattresses are all the rage, and this trending aspect means they cost more than other mattresses

Not ideal for those who hate innerspring mattresses

Pillowtop Mattress

The range of mattresses in the market is simply overwhelming, and as a consumer, it is important to have an idea about them all. A Pillowtop Mattress is another common option if you want to leverage versatile sleeping technologies. In the market today you will find pillowtop technology used with innerspring or air mattresses to provide more comfort.

Pillowtop Mattress

The padding on top is responsible for the higher comfort levels and you can choose from a material such as cotton, memory foam, wool, latex, foam, or fiberfilm. The best padding systems have pain-relief potential and conforming ability to guarantee an excellent sleeping experience.

Pros

Comfortable sleeping experience due to cooling properties

Body conforming qualities and ability to maintain its shape

Quick bounce back

Cons

The Pillowtop Mattress costs more than other options due to the high-quality materials used.

Slight initial odor

Not suitable for those who need a firmer surface

All Polyfoam

The most common material used in mattress manufacturing is foam. If you have decided a foam mattress is perfect for your sleeping needs, the next step is to choose the type of foam you want. Polyurethane Foam (poly-foam) is a common option for mattresses on the market today. Mattress manufacturers use it as a top layer due to its lower cost.

All Polyfoam Mattress

The foam material derived from petrochemicals might not be the best quality, but it is flexible and comfortable. Advanced techniques during the mattress manufacture guarantee the final product is safe to use. If the wide variety of foam mattresses confounds you, it is time you opted for an affordable yet comfortable polyfoam mattress.

Study Carefully the Density

If you have decided on an all polyfoam mattress, it is important to consider a higher density material to guarantee more comfort and durability of the product. If a product has no density level, it is likely to disappoint in terms of quality. Keep looking until you find a brand willing to give the density level of their mattress.

Pros

Polyfoam mattresses are relatively inexpensive

Lightweight design which is easy to flip and rotate when the need arises.

A polyfoam mattress offers relief from aches and pains

Cons

Not comfortable enough compared to other mattress types in the market.

Poor ventilation/breathability

Short lifespan as the polyurethane foam breaks down quickly and necessitates replacement.

Adjustable Beds

When looking for a good sleeping solution, it is important to exhaust all options available. You should look beyond the ordinary mattress and beds and this is where the adjustable beds come into play. It is a lightweight sleeping system that was hitherto common in hospital wards.

Adjustable Bed

However, these beds are now popular with consumers who want versatile solutions. One of the main reasons for the popularity of the adjustable bed is the fact that people with back pains complain about flatbeds. Even with extra pillows, a flatbed still feels uncomfortable and this is where an adjustable bed comes in handy.

If you want a flexible sleeping system, an adjustable bed is what you should buy. You can comfortably work from your bed by adjusting the level of your head. The bed is also ideal for sleepers suffering from back pain, snoring or sinuses. If you want to enjoy more comfort when sleeping, an adjustable bed has features allowing you to raise the level of the legs or head accordingly.

You can also invest in an adjustable bed with sophisticated features to enjoy a spa right in your bedroom. If you want the ultimate sleeping experience on your adjustable bed, you can go for a memory foam mattress or any other high-quality mattress that suits your sleeping needs.

Pros

Alleviate back pain, sleep apnea, snoring and asthmatic attacks.

You can customize the bed any way you want

Automatic adjustable function to enhance blood circulation, ease insomnia, relieve arthritis among other health benefits

Cons

Adjustable beds are costly

Expect higher maintenance costs due to many movable parts.

They make noises and are heavy to move around

Airbeds

The technologies used in making airbeds have evolved tremendously over the last few decades. Forget about the old clumsy blow-ups that required a lot of time and energy to set up. Today, you can buy a versatile, comfortable and safe airbed from a top brand. These airbeds are lightweight, portable and come with adjustable firmness level to suit unique needs of different sleepers. If you have guests over, an airbed instantly turns any empty space into a bedroom. Most airbeds come with built-in pumps and set up isn’t that hard. You can also find airbeds suited for indoors or outdoors use.

Pros

Individually adjustable settings for different sleepers to guarantee a comfortable night’s sleep.

Adjustable firmness levels for pain relief.

Safe sleeping surface and minimal off-gassing due to the use of PVC materials

Cons

Some airbeds require a lot of time to set up

Short warranties for poor quality products

There is a risk of punctures when using airbeds outdoors.

Conclusion

It is not possible to ignore the importance of good quality sleep. Sleeping well boosts your overall well-being, prevents common diseases, averts heart problems and keeps you alert always. For these reasons, you need to find only the best mattress on the market. The main consideration is not the cost but rather the quality/safety of the material used, comfort levels, maintenance, durability and availability of the mattress you choose. The above list contains the most common mattresses in the market and once you have considered your needs, it is possible to put the list to use and find the best mattress.

Mattress Type Comparisons Table

1-10 scale, with 10 being the highest

Type
Comfort
Firmness
Temperature
Motion
Cost
Innerspring 88649
Natural Fiber 98784
Memory Foam 87596
SomniGel 97883
All Latex88875
Innerspring Latex Hybrid77666
Polyfoam Latex Hybrid86778
Waterbeds77825
Innerspring Memory Foam Hybrids78687
Pillowtop78757
All Polyfoam88778
Adjustable Beds98893
Airbeds77867

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