A good night’s sleep is of utmost importance in order to maintain good health and a refreshed mind and body. Apart from a suitable bed, comfortable bedding and ambiance, the right type of mattress play a very important role in ensuring this. The choices available in the market today could be a little overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Knowing what goes into your mattress and the factors that provide comfort will help you make the right choice. To ease this process a little for you, we have made a comprehensive list of different types of mattresses, with a little information on what’s inside them.
Mattresses made their first appearance almost 80,000 years ago according to findings by many archaeologists. And in the many centuries that followed, it has undergone significant changes. Today, there are umpteen types of mattresses available to suit every type of sleeper, and shopping for the ideal one may even seem a daunting task for most.
Types of Mattresses:
Innerspring or coil mattresses are among the most well-known type of mattress and have been around since the mid-19thcentury. These ‘bouncy’ mattresses are made up of three parts: the foundation, the core,andthe upholstery or the comfort layer. The foundation is the bottom layer that comes in contact with the bed and is usually made of wool. It provides the base for the core layer, which is what houses the coils. The number of coils and its distribution within the core dictates the ‘springiness’ of the mattress as well as how well it adjusts to the body.
Innerspring mattresses are the most common mattresses and are generally preferred because they are available at affordable prices. That said, it is also true that an innerspring mattress is the one that will need replacement sooner than other types of mattresses. Innerspring is made up of a number of steel coils inside the mattress. The number of coils indicates the quality of the mattress. More the coils, higher is the quality. They are then padded and upholstered with softer material for comfort. The coils could vary in size, shape, and design, and are good for people who sleep on their backs, stomachs and sides. They support the body and contour is while asleep.
Types of Coils
One single wire bent into S-shape forms the whole support system. This makes it longer lasting and affordable.
When assembled together, they look like helixes or spirals. They fall in the mid-range price category.
Similar to Bonnel coils, the only difference is that their ends are flattened out. They form hinges which help support the body and take on its shape. They are durable and strong.
Marshall or pocketed coils
Also known as wrapped coils and encased coils, they are different from the rest. They are separate from each other. This provides even more support than the others
Memory Foam Mattress
Known in the industry as viscoelastic mattresses, these mattresses are made of low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu). It is called memory foam because of its ability to ‘remember’ the shape of the body because of its reaction to body heat. Due to this unique ability, the foam remains in the shape it is pushed into and resets several seconds after the pressure is removed. This kind of mattress eases the pressure on joints and spreads the body weight uniformly, minimizing the chance of tossing and turning in sleep. The materials in memory foam mattresses are usually allergen-resistant and do not attract dust particles as much as other types of mattresses. On the flipside, these mattresses tend to heat more than other types, and can be uncomfortable during warmer months. The ‘sinking’ reaction of memory foam can also be a cause of discomfort for many users because of its restraining effect.
The gel mattress came as a relief to the one major drawback of the memory foam, which was retention of heat due to the material used. The gel came as a solution to this and manufacturers started filling the foam with gel, which absorbed the heat from the foam, making it much cooler.
With features very similar to the memory foam, the only main difference in the latex mattress is that it is less cushiony, but is plusher. It also tends to absorb less heat. Latex can be synthetic, as well as natural. Synthetic latex is made from petroleum, while natural latex is made from rubber tree sap.
These were the predecessors to memory foam mattresses and are generally constructed of natural latex harvested from rubber trees. These mattresses also adapt to the body, but are quicker to regain its shape once the pressure is removed. They are long-lasting and comfortable making these mattresses one of the more popular types of mattresses in the market. If made of natural latex, these mattresses do not heat up as much as their memory foam cousins, and last several years without the need to flip them.
Latex mattresses are manufactured in two different ways:
Latex is poured into the mold in one single step, making the bottom of the mattress dense and the top soft.
Latex is poured into the mold, then the air is vacuum suctioned out of it and then frozen.
The hybrid mattresses were manufactured with the intention of combining the benefits of both kinds of mattresses. A hybrid mattress will usually have spring coils at the bottom, and the foams or latex of preference on top, with a gelfoamusually forming the topmost layer. This makes the mattress cool to feel, provides the plushness of foam or latex, at the same time the strength and support of the coils at the bottom.
Here’s a littleknown fact: waterbeds were invented by Scottishdoctor, Dr. Neill Arnott, as an aid to relieve bedsores even before innerspring mattresses. It is very soothing, as it gives the feel of floating on water. Waterbeds can either have free-flowing water, which means there is nothing inside to obstruct the water movement, or have chambers filled with water so that it limits the flow. The water chambers are padded with upholstery and usually rest on a platform. While these are heavy, they make for great flexible beds to lie on
Just as the name suggests, pillow tops are nothing but mattresses that have additional layers of padding and upholstery at the head of the mattress, which makes it look like, and gives the feel of, having pillows on the mattress. This can be several inches thick and are made of a variety of materials like cotton, wool, latex, and foam. These mattresses are on the expensive side.
Various types of foam mattresses are available today.Polyfoam issynthetic,and is made from petroleum and other chemicals. Each company has its own blend and any chemicals used are treated to make them harmless for regular and continuous use. They are available in various shapes and densities and provide a wide range of comfortable fits to choose from.
Airbeds are usually made with foam layers, and provide comfort similar to that of waterbeds. Instead of water, airbeds are filled with air, and keeps the mattress flexible and even, while the foam on top provides the necessary cushioning and comfort. Airbeds, however, need to be filled using a pump, which can be noisy, and hence are not liked by many. Other ways to fill in the air are even more tedious and time-consuming.
This one is for nature lovers and environment conservationists. Organic mattresses use natural material like plant products and natural fiber like coconut coir, organic wool, and recycled metal for its coils. They contain no foam and are eco-friendly and long-lasting. However, they are also costlier because the process of manufacturing these is more complicated and time-consuming and expensive. These might be an acquired taste, as the limitations of the product used also result in limitations in comfort. So, while they provide general and basic comfort, they will not be on par with say a latex or a foam as far as softness and bounce are concerned.
Based on personal preferences and firmness needs, selecting the right mattress type is a decision that will go a long way in ensuring that you get your beauty sleep, every time you hit the sack! Make sure to choose your mattress wisely!