Mattress Types Explained: A Shopping Guide

There are Many Types of Mattresses.

Each mattress type has pros and cons. This guide provides an overview of each type of mattress to help you figure out which one might be right for you.  

Waterbed Mattresses

As their name implies, instead of foam or springs, this whole bed is just filled with water. It’s as heavy as it sounds, and that’s not the only issue with it.

Waterbeds were outrageously popular in the 1970s; however, with today’s technology and innovation spring and foam mattresses offer much stronger support and greater health and sleep benefits.

Air Mattresses

Sleeping on air can be nerve-wracking. It’s hard to say how much support these mattresses can provide, but there’s definitely a difference in quality depending on what you choose. Some people sleep on them, but it’s when camping or floating on the water an air mattress is the best option.

The mattresses are easy to carry, compact and can provide adequate sleep while enjoying your favourite activities.

Bonnell Coil Inner-Spring Mattresses

There are lots of types of coils, but The Bonnell Coil came first.

For almost 150 years Bonnell Coil Inner-Springs mattresses have been around. Many of us grew up sleeping on one of these basic mattresses.

Over the years, they have maintained their strength and durability. This is the perfect mattress to set up in a spare room or for temporary use. 

Continuous Coil Inner-Springs Mattresses

Mattresses with continuous coil inner-springs are excellent at distributing body weight throughout the mattress. Their superior ability to distribute weight can help to improve circulation resulting in more comfortable sleep.

These mattresses can provide some relief for health issues like arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, sciatica, and tingling of the hands and feet. 

Offset Coil Inner-Springs Mattresses

The offset coil inner-springs mattress offers an inventive approach to the simplistic Bonnell coil inner-springs mattress. Their design allows them to better withstand pressure from body weight.

This can improve sleep quality by increasing circulation and relieving pressure from elbows, hips, ribs, and shoulders.  

Pocket Coil Inner-Springs Mattresses

Often when your partner is tossing and turning all night it can result in sleep disruptions. A pocket coil inner springs mattress can provide superior support at both ends of the bed.

These coils are encased individually and joined at the center; therefore, they move independently of one another.

The motion on one side of the bed is not transferred to the other side of the bed. Pocket coils conform to the shape of the body which takes the pressure off of the lower back.

By decreasing the pressure on the elbows, hips, ribs and shoulders it can improve circulation and provide relief from arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, sciatica, and tingling of the hands and feet.  

Memory Foam Mattresses

The cradling experience of a memory foam mattress is unlike anything else. The support provided by memory is exemplary in pressure point relief. NASA is often given credit for the introduction of memory foam.

They began to use it in spaceships to improve comfort and reduce G-Force. Shortly after, memory foam began to be used by commercial airlines for pilot seats and eventually on burn units in hospitals.

The introduction of a memory foam mattress in 1992 by Tempur-Pedic® has been extremely influential in how we sleep today. When making the decision if memory foam is right for you the best option is to lay down on one for a few minutes. You will know almost instantly if it’s what you’re looking for.

There are many benefits to a memory foam mattress. Memory foam takes the pressure off body pressure points such as the shoulders, elbows, ribs, hips and knees. This can help reduce pain.

Memory foam also reduces motion transfer while sleeping. This is great for you and sleep partners, as there’s less chance of sleep interruptions because of reduced tossing and turning.

Memory foam is naturally dust mite resistant and anti-microbial, which prevents the growth of mould and mildew.

Memory foam is hypoallergenic and cradles the body. Memory foam can be infused with gel to provide additional support and cooler sleep.

Despite having many benefits there are some objections when it comes to memory foam mattresses. Due to their cradling ability, for some, they can be difficult to turn in and get out of.

Memory foam is affected by temperature. Temperature changes can affect the firmness of the mattress. If the temperature drops memory foam can firm up considerably. Likewise, if temperatures go up in summer months in homes with no air conditioners, memory foam mattresses can soften.

Finally, due to the process used to create memory foam, it can give off gas, and with it a smell, more than other forms. This can be irritating to some people.

Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress

The innovative gel-infused memory foam provides a pressure-relieving and cozy feeling, yet is able to stay cool throughout the night. The addition of gel to the memory foam provides more support throughout the mattress. Gel-infused memory foam mattresses are antimicrobial and resistant to dust.

Latex Mattress

Latex foam mattresses offer countless benefits and provide a unique sleeping experience that far outweighs the benefits of conventional foam bedding. There are two available types of latex foam mattresses, natural and synthetic.

Latex mattresses are highly durable and resilient. They do not require rotating or flipping, extending their shelf life beyond 15 years.

They conform to body shape providing support for the body and pressure point relief which decreases motion transfer causing restless nights. Latex does not react to changes in temperature and is highly breathable.

Natural and synthetic latex mattresses are dust mite resistant and anti-microbial which prevents the growth of bacteria.

Synthetic latex mattresses and high-quality natural latex mattresses can be hypoallergenic if cleaned properly during manufacturing.

Latex is an environmentally friendly product (contains no formaldehyde, carcinogens, petroleum fillers, artificial additives, or harsh chemicals)

Natural Latex Mattress

Natural latex mattresses are produced from sap taken from rubber trees. To create a natural latex mattress only natural, organic, biodegradable ingredients are used. No harmful solvents are used or emissions are created during the production process.

Natural latex prevents the growth of bacteria making it a good choice for people with respiratory difficulties. Natural latex has supreme elasticity and reduces pressure points on muscles, therefore, improving circulation.

Synthetic Latex Mattress

Synthetic latex mattresses are produced by using a molecular copy of natural latex. A process called Talalay is used to create both natural and synthetic latex. This process relies on renewable resources and water-based materials to create latex. Due to this procedure, the sleep industry has been able to create the most breathable, resilient and consistent material for mattresses.

Blended Latex Mattress

Blended latex mattresses are produced using a combination of natural and synthetic latex materials. By conjoining these two materials together consumers receive a mattress that has the look and feel of a natural latex mattress that also has the durability of a synthetic mattress.

Despite latex mattresses being considered a hypoallergenic option, it is always encouraged to discuss any concerns with an allergy specialist before making a decision on which mattress is right for you. 

Closing Comments

For the best sleep choose a comfortable cooler, healthier mattress. It can make a world of difference. A mattress is something that is personal; everyone has unique preferences when considering the perfect mattress. Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your mattress every 8 years. To protect your loved ones and yourself, consider a cooling waterproof mattress protector with antimicrobial silver chloride which inhibits bacteria, mould, mildew, stains, and odours.

For more information, see our full mattress types guide.


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