Do You Know Which Mattress Type Suits You Best?
America has always been a country based on innovation, and with that comes a wide variety of product choices. Just as we are the only country in the world that dedicates an entire aisle of the supermarket to frozen pizza options, the available variety of mattress types on today’s market can seem equally overwhelming at first. To help get you started in deciding which type of mattress is best for you, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow overview of the five leading mattress types, along with the pros & cons of each design.
Innerspring Mattresses: Tried & True
Since the 1930s, innerspring mattresses have dominated the American bedroom, and for good reason. The best innerspring mattress designs provide consistent comfort and support across the entire body, and they’re also nicely responsive in terms of it being easy to change sleep positions at night. When shopping innerspring mattresses, the most important questions to ask will involve the types of coil design used in the innerspring assembly itself, the gauge of wire used throughout that assembly, and the quality of the comfort layer materials blanketed between you and the springs.
While Bonnell Coils and Continuous Coils are more common due to lower manufacturing costs, Offset Coils provide more independent movement while conforming to your body better. 14-gauge wire is a good standard to shoot for, with anything over 15-gauge getting into flimsy territory. Finally, make sure that the polyurethane foam or other comfort layer materials near the surface of the mattress are of good quality and don’t allow you to feel the spring unit pressing into your back as you lie down on the mattress.
- Pros: Consistent comfort; a proven history; extremely reasonable prices.
- Cons: Less than optimal ability to adapt to the curvature of your spine; doesn’t prevent motion transfer (which could disturb your partner’s sleep); cheaper designs have a short lifespan and can feel flimsy.
Pocketed Coil Mattresses: A Smart Option with Little Downside
A good metaphor for comparing pocketed coil mattresses to innerspring mattresses would be comparing the ride quality of a van to that of a sedan. Vans can be comfortable and are always a reliable way to get from point A to point B, but a sedan will do it with more grace and elegance. Unlike innerspring mattresses that rely on a single steel assembly unit to provide even support across your entire body,
A good metaphor for comparing pocketed coil mattresses to innerspring mattresses would be comparing the ride quality of a van to that of a sedan. Vans can be comfortable and are always a reliable way to get from point A to point B, but a sedan will do it with more grace and elegance. Unlike innerspring mattresses that rely on a single steel assembly unit to provide even support across your entire body, the best-pocketed coil mattress designs are comprised of several hundred individual springs each encased in their own pocket of fabric. This allows each spring to provide isolated supported to every square inch of your body without being affected by any of the other springs around it.
- Pros: Excellent comfort that adapts to pressure points; eliminates motion transfer so that both you and your partner can sleep soundly through the night; provides high value for the price.
- Cons: Doesn’t contain all the bells and whistles of more modern bed types that have advanced the pocketed coil design toward even greater comfort.
Memory Foam Mattresses: Great for Joint Pain, But…
Memory foam mattresses have gotten a lot of attention over the past 15 years or so, and it’s not hard to see why. The material itself was originally developed by NASA and feels completely unlike any other substance on the planet. Typically in a memory foam bed, actual memory foam only makes up the top 1-3 inches of foam near the sleeping surface of the mattress, while a more high-density traditional polyurethane foam is used as a support core underneath. The best memory foam mattress designs, however, will employ advanced materials like gel-infused and/or high-density foams made from natural sources like soy.
- Pros: Highly touted by back and joint pain sufferers for the orthopedic support they provide while conforming to every curvature of your body.
- Cons: Often sleeps hot as a result of traditional memory foam’s poor breathability; lack of “bounce” makes for a sleep surface that sometimes feels more like quicksand.
Latex Mattresses: Often Forgotten, But a Favorite Among Connoisseurs
With all the attention that memory foam and innerspring mattresses tend to get on television commercials, latex mattresses are “the sleeper” bed type that provides truly high-end feel. While providing a lot of the same conforming qualities that people like about memory foam, the best latex mattress designs minimize the drawbacks of memory foam by providing a cooler sleeping surface with just the right bounce. A key piece of advice when shopping latex beds is that words like Talalay and Dunlop speak only to the manufacturing process of the latex itself. Whether or not that Talalay latex comes from a natural or synthetic source is a separate issue.
- Pros: Cool sleep surface that conforms to your body like memory foam without making it difficult to change sleep positions throughout the night.
- Cons: Some people don’t like the “spongy” feel for latex; latex allergies might deter a small number of people; latex beds can be expensive.
Hybrid Mattresses: The Best of Both Worlds
As the newest of the five leading bed types on the market, the best hybrid mattress designs look to capitalize on the advantages of more traditional designs while eliminating the downsides. The most common definition for a hybrid involves the combination of a pocketed coil foundation that’s blanked with memory foam on top, but hybrids can also contain combinations of other materials like latex and nano coils.
- Pros: Conforms to your body as well as memory foam without sacrificing the nostalgic “bounce” factor of innerspring mattreses.
- Cons: Hybrid labeling can sometimes be ambiguous and misleading as to what materials are actually inside; some hybrids provide only trivial advantages over standard pocketed coil designs.
Hopefully, the above breakdown of the five leading bed types has helped you gravitate toward one or two designs that you feel would be a best fit for your particular preferences. Regardless which mattress type or feel you’re leaning toward, Sherwood Bedding offers a line of mattresses that gives you all the quality high-end materials you’re looking for at a price that the competition simply can’t touch. We recommend you discover the Sherwood Bedding difference yourself by visiting a retailer in your area.