Getting a good night’s sleep is important as many of us want to feel happier, more rested, and energetic. Sleep is proven to have many benefits yet much of the world faces adversity in the act of falling asleep.
Many sleep experts recommend purchasing a new mattress that supports your body and helps you feel comfortable when lying in bed at night. Each mattress has different benefits that make them best suited for a specific type of person. Many different factors are taken into consideration when selecting a mattress. Qualities such as comfort, stress, temperature, are what makes a mattress best for different personal preferences or conditions.
What Makes a Good Mattress?
A good mattress entails supporting your body in a neutral position where the spine will remain its natural curvature and the lower parts of your body such as your hips and butt are in proper alignment. Any other pressure points such as the shoulders, neck, and head also need adequate support in order to maintain good posture throughout the night.
What Type of Mattress is Best?
In general terms, most experts will say that one type or brand of mattress is not better than another. Specific health conditions such as those with lower chronic back pain may require a firmer mattress or someone who is looking for comfort may want a softer mattress. Different preferences will find different types of mattresses more appealing than others.
What are the Different Types of Mattresses?
Buying a new mattress is exciting especially if you were looking for a certain mattress in particular. Technology has evolved in the past few years in new innovations can help you find a mattress that will work best for you and your specific sleep needs. There are many different types of mattresses available in the market, each bringing their own special take to a relaxing sleep experience.
The following listed below; in no particular order is a general list of mattresses available in the sleep department.
- Innerspring Mattresses
- Pocket Spring Mattresses
- Memory Foam Mattresses
- Gel Mattresses
- Latex Mattresses
- Hybrid Mattresses
- Waterbed Mattresses
- Air Mattresses
- Pillow Top Mattresses
- Adjustable Base Mattresses
Innerspring mattresses have been one of the longest mattresses in existence. Many can agree that their innerspring was always the one that they had a love-hate relationship with the creaking and moaning of the innerspring after countless years of use. Innersprings, unfortunately, hasn’t lived up to the societal expectations for mattresses due to the difference in durability, comfort, and support to newer mattress types. Regardless, if its user isn’t picky or just feeling nostalgic, innerspring mattresses are still a viable option.
- Large variety in coil count
- Fairly budget-friendly
- One of the oldest mattress types around
- Connected springs provide a solid layer of support
- High durability
- Heavy and not easy to move
- Can trap and hold onto dust mites easily
- Poor motion transfer
- With age, innersprings can get worn or poke through the mattress itself
- Don’t last as long with heavier individuals or weight capacities
Pocket Spring (Pocket Coil) Mattresses
Pocket spring mattresses are also known as pocket coil mattresses, or even further, the improved version of the innerspring mattress. The difference between the two is that the pocket coils are packaged and layered in their own individual pockets, as well as having a cylindrical shape unlike the hourglass shape of innerspring coils. Pocket spring mattresses have gained popularity as they are extremely versatile in the amount of weight and pressure they can withstand, as well as the noticeably lessened motion transfer from one person shifting or moving around on the bed. Pocket spring mattresses have their own scale of wire thicknesses and coil count. These will improve the comfort, stability, and support of the mattress itself.
- Varied amounts of coils improve structure and firmness
- Helps users with different weights
- Excellent motion transfer
- Adapts to pressure points
- Uniform in width and size throughout the entire mattress
- Better airflow between individual coils
- Need to consider the internal foam and material surrounding the coils
- Costs more than innerspring mattresses
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are arguably one of the most popular and beneficial when it comes to beneficial sleep. They are excellent at helping those who suffer from chronic back pain as the dense foam layers that make up its infrastructure are various densities and thicknesses. Memory foam is very well padded and can sometimes act as a repelling allergen environment although its porous fibers can absorb and contain body oils or skin cells produced by its corresponding users. Technology is still being developed to create a memory foam that is efficient at regulating temperature control, but current models have come a long way from being constant heat absorbers.
- Excellent for those experiencing pain
- Great motion isolation
- Perfect for couples wanting uninterrupted sleep
- Supportive for side sleepers
- Well known for orthopaedic support and pain relief
- Can make its user feel as if they’re sinking
- Slow responding foam
- Takes longer to conform to the users body type
- Can retain heat and allergens
As many gel products are advertised, gel mattresses are more than likely known to do the same. Gel is used for cooling, moisturizing, and maintaining temperatures after it has reached a comfortable cooling temperature. Gel mattresses are often a memory foam base with either beads or gel being blended inside the porous foam material. They are somewhat less preferred in terms of temperature regulating as they do have a certain point in which they will maintain a desired cooling effect.
- Cooling capabilities for better temperature regulation
- Absorbs heat easily
- Better open-cell structure
- Gel is supportive and resilient
- Limits to cooling and heat-absorbing capabilities
- More expensive than certain memory foam mattresses
- Be conscious of gel types as some work better than others
Latex mattresses are a more natural alternative to synthetic memory foam mattresses. Pure latex is made from rubber tree sap that has been whipped into a frothy substance, poured into molds, and baked. This process results in a mattress that is firmer and provides a more substantial support system.
- Quick responding to movement
- Provide contouring pressure point relief
- Avoid the sinking feeling
- Less bounce and spring back respond
- Naturally breathable material
- False latex is often available and sold for higher prices
- Not as pressure relieving
- Less effective for motion transfer
Hybrid mattresses are essentially when two mattresses join together and share their best features within one mattress. There are many hybrid mattress types that combine latex and pocket spring, or innerspring with a certain type of foam. Hybrid mattresses are also designed to be more durable and longer-lasting although the same factors will decrease its lifespan whether the mattress is being used a lot, placed under constant stress, or just if manufacturing quality allows it. The term “hybrid” can be used fairly loosely in the mattress world, so do take care in selecting a hybrid mattress from a reputable manufacturer.
- Combine beneficial elements of multiple mattress types
- Multiple layers with various material types
- Has a cooling comfort layer
- Springs and bounces back easily
- Pillow top layer for added comfort
- Ability to customize
- Pricier mattress type
- Extremely dense and heavy
- False advertising for hybrid mattresses
Waterbed mattresses are filled with water rather than the traditional microfiber or foam fillings. These mattresses were most popular way back in the 70’s, carrying into the ‘80s and ‘90s as a novelty item in the bedroom. Waterbeds are convenient especially for those
sleeping in colder conditions. Their smooth material can be cleaned easily and is less likely to become an environment for dust particles. Just like relaxing on an innertube out on the water, the gentle rocking sensation under the flow of water can even promote the ability to sleep more comfortably and a faster rate at which the user falls asleep at.
- Conforms easily to the body
- Helps relax muscles for some
- The soothing feel of water and gentle movement can help one drift to sleep
- Can be heated with adjustable heating systems
- Good for allergies
- More expensive
- Offers little to no resistance to meet the body
- Can leak if punctured
- Old waterbeds can release strange odors
- Can be difficult to find sheets
Air mattresses are often given a bad rep for being known as the outdoorsy or guest room mattress. While these functions are accurate for the air mattress, their ability to be used for so much more makes them undervalued by the average consumer. Air mattresses are traditionally constructed from thick vinyl, plastic, or rubber material. While many of the older air mattresses had to be blown up by hand or with a much-needed bicycle pump, today’s sleep technology has provided these types of mattresses to be self-inflating and resealing. There are two types of air mattresses: permanent and temporary. The permanent air mattresses, like the name suggests, are for long term use. The difference between the two is that they are adjustable with air pressure ranges from plush to firm. The customization of these mattresses can be good for those who enjoy one section of the mattress to be softer than the other.
- Designed for low or high firmness
- Inflates itself and deflates quickly
- Excellent for camping or outdoor trips
- Less likely to give off odors from body oils
- Durable if treated properly
- Can puncture
- Not as durable
- Aren’t as big as other mattresses
- Shorter warranty
- Some retain a latex vinyl smell
Pillow Top Mattresses
Pillow top mattresses are essentially mattresses with an extra thick mattress topper on top. With a noticeably added height from the amount of cushioned material on top, these mattresses can require deeper sheets. These mattresses were designed with people who enjoy a well-padded feel to them. Some users even attest to the idea that they don’t even need a pillow with how soft and supportive this cushioned layer is.
- Comfortable and well-cushioned
- Unlikely to release or contain chemicals
- Doesn’t require mattress flipping or rotating
- Are not known to be durable
- Will not be as effective for heavier people
- Sags when placed under significant weight
- The gradual breakdown of the pillowtop can occur after an extended period of time
Adjustable Base Beds
Although this is not a specific mattress type, adjustable bed bases are growing in popularity as the versatility of these mattress bases are great for almost any time of the day. An adjustable base is excellent for those who may experience issues with breathing or experience any type of bloating or lower stomach pain. The ability to be able to adjust your mattress to different inclines can be helpful if you need the constant support of the bed to be angled in a way that keeps your airways and chest feeling less restricted. Although this is not encouraged, an adjustable base is also useful for conditions when you are confined to your bed but want to be able to stay upright to do tasks like working on a computer. An adjustable base is excellent for special holidays or on weekends with breakfast in bed or settling down for the night by watching television right in the comfort of your own bed.
These types of bed bases are compatible with almost any modern mattress that would be expected to have the flexibility and sturdiness to keep the body supported. If you’re looking for a good way to customize your position in order to help reduce pressure on your lower area, sleeping at a small incline has even been noticed to reduce pressure and promote better blood flow. Unlike other mattresses, an adjustable bed does all the work for you, allowing your body to be comfortably positioned without muscles having to be overworked at night.
- Specialized for being folded upright
- Can help allergy relief or breathing
- Lessens the amount of stress in the digestive tract
- Lowers inflammation
- Promotes circulation
- Can only use specific types of mattresses: memory foam, latex foam, traditional innerspring, or air mattresses