Selecting the correct type of mattress for your needs isn’t as tricky as you may think. Since your lumpy bumpy mattress is no longer bringing you the kind of joy that it once did when you first brought it into your bedroom all those years ago, a worthy replacement must be found sooner rather than later. Rest is a beautiful thing, and a subpar mattress can really throw sleep cycles out of whack - as you’ve probably figured out by now since you’re reading this. But for some, buying a new mattress is just a complicated nuisance that comes up every decade or so, while for others, it’s merely an afterthought.
The reality is that there is a healthy middle ground, picking the right mattress doesn’t need to turn into an overdrawn process, but it also shouldn’t be taken lightly. First of all, it’s not a cheap choice. Most mattresses cost more or less the same as any one of the big appliances that you’d purchase for your home. You definitely wouldn’t be thrilled if your new washer didn’t clean your clothes properly, so why would you settle for a new mattress that didn’t give you a good night’s sleep? And second, you expect your mattress to last for at least a couple of years, so it is most certainly NOT a short-term buy.
That being said, making a thoughtful purchasing decision is in your best interests. Evaluate the pros and cons of each main mattress type and then take a look at the following criteria to assess your individual requirements to determine what will best suit you.
THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF MATTRESSES
From innerspring and hybrid mattresses to memory foam and high-density foam varieties and everything in between, the possibilities seem endless. But with a little thoughtful examination of varying construction aspects and qualities, you can easily weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each major mattress type against your own personal needs. Use the following information as a comparison guide.
Construction: Memory foam mattresses are never made using 100% memory foam. They’re usually crafted with a memory foam top layer and a high-density foam base to add more structure and stability to the mattress and prevent extreme sinkage. Memory foam mattresses can range from plush medium to medium firm feel. On the other hand, 100% high-density foam made mattresses are firm to the touch.
Benefits: If you enjoy cushy pressure point relieving comfort and mattresses that mold to your body, then memory foam is your top pick. These types of mattresses are readily available online for purchase and come in many affordable bed-in-a-box variations. Memory foam is intrinsically good at motion isolation so it’s unlikely that you’ll feel your partner tossing or turning. Gel or charcoal infused memory foam layers can also regulate body heat. Depending on the firmness level, memory foam mattresses may be used by both side and back sleepers while aiding back pain sufferers. High-density foam mattresses work well for stomach sleepers and are a longer lasting product.
Drawbacks: Varying in quality, memory foam mattresses aren’t as durable as coil-based mattress types and are more prone to sagging leading to a shorter lifespan. Off-gassing occurs once both memory and high-density foam items are unpackaged. Memory foam mattresses can sometimes cause you to feel like you’re stuck in place due to their contouring properties and may not provide enough support even with a high-density foam core. Memory foam made without gel or charcoal and high-density foam do not perform as well at regulating body temperature. Foam mattresses aren’t known for giving great edge-to-edge support, many people complain about not being able to sit on the edge of their bed without feeling like they’re sinking.
Construction: The name says it all. The inner core of the mattress is comprised of springs. The main spring section is built using steel coils and usually sandwiched between thin layers of cushioning for slight comfort. The springs can consist of either continuous, bonnell, offset, or encased coils and offer a firm feel.
From least to most expensive:
Continuous Coils: Hardened steel wires run across the length or width of a mattress in rows in a continuous manner like the name implies. Provide low grade support and motion isolating capability. Featured usually in lower priced mattresses.
Bonnell Coils: Also known as Open Coils, these types of coils are the oldest in production and are made using interconnected steel springs that form an hourglass shape. Provide a moderate degree of support and motion isolating ability with an average shelf life. Found in low to mid-level priced mattresses.
Offset Coils: A little pricier than Bonnell coils, these coils are hinged together for better body contouring and motion isolating effects. Typically used in mid to high price range mattresses.
Encased Coils: Referred to as Pocket Springs, each spring acts independently from one another and is individually wrapped in fabric for superior motion isolating comfort and enduring support. Commonly utilized in higher end mattresses.
Benefits: Standard innerspring mattresses are relatively inexpensive. They deliver the firm edge-to-edge support that stomach sleepers need due to the coil system that keeps the mattress from caving inwards at the midsection. For people who enjoy the feeling of being on top of a mattress rather than being stuck in it, then this type of mattress is their best choice and provides the bounce and ease of movement that they’re looking for. Coil based mattresses are known for their durability because of their strong steel core and off-gassing isn’t a major concern because of the minimal use of foam.
Drawbacks: Innerspring mattresses are not very good at isolating motion so it’s likely that you will feel your significant other toss or turn during the night. Another negative with these kinds of mattresses is that they tend to be loud. You’ll probably hear noisy squeaks caused by coil friction with every movement. Firm innerspring mattresses are a poor option for side and back sleepers because they don’t offer the body contouring cushion layering needed to keep the spine correctly aligned.
Construction: Hybrid mattresses employ a mix of different materials in their comfort and support layers. The cushioned top layers may be comprised of a pillow top memory foam, polyfoam or quilted polyester fill while the support base is constructed using steel coils, either pocket or open coil springs. They run the gamut from plush medium all the way up to firm feel.
Benefits: Springs and cushioning provide both bounce and body contouring balance for proven and lasting comfort that lessens pain and relieves pressure points. The versatile blend of materials used leads to a more customized sleeping experience because you can pick and choose the combo that best fits your needs. Spring core hybrid mattresses regulate body heat 30% better than all-foam mattresses and deliver edge-to-edge support. Many hybrid mattresses employ pocket springs which act to minimize motion transfer. Hybrid mattresses can be used by all types of sleepers.
Drawbacks: These kinds of mattresses may be substantially more expensive. Hybrid mattresses made with an innerspring system won’t work as well to isolate motion. Attention must be paid to the types of foam used because hybrid mattresses aren’t immune from off-gassing.
MATTRESSES TO ALLEVIATE PAIN
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to lingering aches in the upper or lower back. Unfortunately, due to daily life and job-related stresses, back pain is a common complaint that most people are trying to address when attempting to find the right mattress. According to experts, memory foam and hybrid mattresses that fall within a medium-firm range are the kinds of mattresses that are tailor made to target back pain issues. The reason why memory foam and hybrid mattresses work so well for back pain sufferers is because they bolster the natural curvature of the spinal column by providing a supportive contouring and cushioned layer without either too much sinkage or too much rigidity, typical of many plush foam or firm innerspring mattresses which are known to aggravate both upper and lower back pain conditions. The goal here is to select a mattress that won’t thwart proper spine alignment but will still deliver pressure relieving support.
Say goodbye to pain with the cleverly constructed Memoir 12-Inch Memory Foam Mattress from Signature Sleep. Made to relieve stiff pressure points with ease, its 4-inch memory foam top layer and 8-inch high-density foam foundation alleviate built up tension along the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
TYPES OF MATTRESSES FOR DIFFERENT SLEEP POSITIONS
How you sleep also greatly influences the type of mattress that you should be zeroing in on. Side, stomach, and back sleepers each have different demands that must be met before hitting the sack.
Side sleepers know that if their shoulders and hips aren’t perfectly supported during bedtime, reaching an ideal degree of comfort is virtually impossible. That’s because cushioning is crucial. A mattress that is too stiff will not contour the body or provide enough give to relieve pressure points, but a mattress that is too soft will do just the opposite and excessively sink where support is needed most, both resulting in poor spine alignment. Types of mattresses that benefit side sleepers are medium comfort level memory foam mattresses or hybrid mattresses with a pillow top layer to hug the body’s curves and a hardier base to maintain correct back positioning.
A perfect accessory to maximize side sleeping relaxation is the medium plush 13-Inch Hybrid Coil Mattress with Bamboo Fabric and Pillow-Top from Signature Sleep that helps to stabilize spine posture without depriving side sleepers one bit of snuggly comfort.
Something that all stomach sleepers can attest to is that there’s nothing worse than feeling like your mid-section is caving in during the middle of the night. And if a mattress is too plushy, that’s exactly what will happen. A firm innerspring, hybrid, or high-density foam mattress presents just the right amount of pushback needed to keep the spine in straight placement without causing undue strain on the neck or shoulders. What’s important is making sure that the body’s core is fully supported. But it’s also valuable to find a mattress that is lightly padded with cushioned layering to prevent stomach discomfort.
The Contour 8-Inch Reversible Mattress with Independently Encased Coils by Signature Sleep is one such item perfectly attuned to the needs of stomach sleepers. Designed with a strong pocket coil core and soft surrounding layers, this flippable mattress was crafted to expertly support the torso.
If you sleep on your back, you know the unique set of challenges that you face when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. Mattresses that are inherently soft exceedingly droop beneath the hips and buttocks, wreaking havoc on the upper back, while on the other end of the spectrum, firmer mattresses put unnecessary pressure on the lower back by not delivering enough body-cradling support. Medium-firm grade memory foam and hybrid mattresses offer the optimal balance between cushioning and reinforcement that back sleepers need to avert back pain.
And with this in mind, Signature Sleep has specifically designed the Contour Hybrid 12-Inch Independently Encased Coil Memory Foam Pillow-Top Mattress to help back sleepers on their quest to better sleep. Ideally balanced with support and comfort, this mattress follows through on its promise to deliver back relieving satisfaction.
THE BEST TYPE OF MATTRESS FOR YOUR BUDGET
If you’re one of the few people out there who has an unlimited budget to buy the mattress of your dreams, then lucky you! But if you’re like most of us plebs, you’re probably trying to stick to a set amount to spend on your mattress purchase. All things considered, prices between mattress types and even within a specific mattress type can vary greatly depending on craftmanship and brand. A hybrid mattress with all the bells and whistles will likely cost way more than a standard innerspring mattress, but a higher quality innerspring mattress could outprice a lower end hybrid mattress. The thickness of a mattress also impacts price - a 12-inch mattress will undoubtedly cost more than a 6-inch mattress because of the added use of materials. But fortunately for the consumer, the mattress industry is highly competitive and there’s a wide assortment of mattresses to meet every price-point and preference – the trick is to simply do some due diligence and research all options before ADDING TO CART.
One luxuriously thick and attainable option that doesn’t break the bank is the Contour Comfort 12-Inch Tight Top Mattress with Independently Encased Coils from Signature Sleep. High quality pocket springs enveloped between cozy foam layers deliver excellent motion isolation, support, and pressure relief at a totally affordable price point.
THE MOST DURABLE TYPE OF MATTRESSES
Changing your mattress isn’t something you expect to do on a frequent basis. You want a long-lasting item that will hopefully stand up to its 5, 10, or even 15-year warranty claims, but not all mattress types live to see another day. Caused by compression and sagging over time, memory foam mattresses degrade slightly faster than other types of foam mattresses and steel coil containing innerspring and hybrid mattresses. Reversible tight-top innerspring mattresses tend to last the longest because they can be routinely flipped over to minimize prolonged wear and tear. All these factors should be taken into consideration when durability is a prime concern.
And if extending the life of your mattress is of paramount interest, look no further than the Contour Comfort 8-Inch Reversible Tight Top Mattress by Signature Sleep. Made with pocket springs and supportive foam, its rotatable dual-sided design and hassle free 10-year limited warranty will ensure enjoyment for years to come.
MATTRESSES FOR HEALTH-CONSCIOUS INDIVIDUALS
Recently opened vacuum-sealed mattresses need to be aired out for a few days or weeks to get rid of that unnatural new mattress smell before being fully enjoyed. This airing out step is known as off-gassing and results when VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which are derived from synthetic chemical treatments that were used during the mattress manufacturing process, are released into the air. Studies have concluded that short-term off-gassing unlikely creates any negative long-term health consequences, but it can be a temporary irritant resulting in headaches or watery eyes. Many foam-based mattress items produce off-gassing, but there are numerous mattress products that are made without the use of VOCs and have been certified to meet indoor air quality standards. If this is something that you are worried about, just read the product features because mattress manufacturers make it a point to label their items as “VOC Free” and “Clean Air Certified” when applicable and are making the effort to minimize VOC emissions from their products.
THE BEST MATTRESSES TO STAY COOL
The expression some like it hot and some like it cold doesn’t really apply to mattresses. While you may crank up the thermostat to enjoy a comfortable ambient bedroom temperature during the colder months, you probably don’t want to experience the sweaty sensation of overheating in bed. And unfortunately, certain types of mattresses, mainly the all-foam variety, don’t do a great job of regulating body heat, but there are exceptions. Mattresses with a gel-infused or charcoal-infused memory foam top layer can adequately absorb moisture and keep you cool as a cucumber.
One way to stay fresh and comfortable is by introducing the Vitality 13-Inch Encased Coil Charcoal-Infused Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress from Signature Sleep into your sleep routine. The charcoal within the memory foam comfort layer is a natural moisture minimizing agent.
By weighing your needs and wants against the pros and cons of each mattress type outlined above, there’s no reason why you can’t find a mattress with your name on it. Remember to never underestimate the power of a great night’s sleep!