All The Types of Mattresses

By Jacob Mathias on October 15, 2014

In this day and age, it’s easy to see why selecting a mattress can be somewhat confusing. There are so many different types of mattresses available on the market, where do you start? First and foremost, you need to understand what each type of mattress is then evaluate pros and cons of each.

Innerspring Mattresses

Inner spring mattresses are the most commonly used mattress today. They are supported with steel coil springs and each with different types and amounts of springs for different support options. On top of the coil springs can be a variety of materials including latex, memory foam, felt, cotton, polyester, wool, or non woven fiber pads. Quality inner spring mattresses can last 7-10 years.

Inner springs are available at the majority of mattress stores. They come in a variety of firmness levels and priced for every budget. Inner springs can be comfortable for almost anyone.

A common complaint with a coil spring mattresses is the lack of pressure relief over time. Regardless of the price, coil spring mattresses tend to break down sooner causing discomfort in the hip, shoulders, and back areas.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are growing in popularity as a healthier and longer lasting mattress. They are made with natural, synthetic, or blended latex foam (rubber like material) as a comfort layer and supported by either latex, polyurethane foam, or innersprings. Quality latex mattresses are known to last 10-20 years.

Latex is considered a healthier and longer lasting material when compared to other mattresses. Latex is naturally hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, antibacterial, mold & mildew proof, and is known for exceptional comfort and support. It is also great for releiving lower back pain.

Latex can be more expensive and heavier than traditional mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses have become a very popular due to the body molding and pressure relieving qualities. Memory foam itself is a viscoelastic foam that reacts to weight and body temperature. They are commonly made with layers of memory foam on top then supported by a core layer of polyurethane foam or inner springs.  Quality memory foam mattresses are known to last 10-20 years.

Memory foam is the leader in pressure relief due to the body molding properties. It’s best for reducing pressure on joints and providing pain relief for various medical conditions. Memory foam also has least amount of motion transfer, allowing both partners to sleep undisturbed. It is most recommended for chronic fatigue, muscle pain related issues, or if you have a hard time getting comfortable.

Memory foam mattresses can be expensive. A common complaint of memory foam is that it sleeps hot, this is because the viscoelastic foam technology reacts to heat to create the “molding” comfort. Some newer foam has cooling technology to help with this. Memory foam has also been known to have a chemical smell called off-gassing.

Air Mattresses

An air mattress is made with one or more air chambers for support and can include a variety of different materials for the comfort layers. Comfort layers can vary from latex, memory foam, or poly foam depending on the quality of the mattress. Adjustable air mattresses are also available, allowing individual firmness settings. Quality air mattresses have been known to last 3-7 years.

Depending on the quality, air mattresses can provide unique comfort and support not found in other mattresses. Adjustable air mattresses make it easy for individual settings, which is great if one partner needs a firmer support than the other.

Air mattresses are not as durable as other types of mattresses, they are more prone to failure. There are also mechanical costs, such as failing pumps that can make the cost of ownership higher.