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Mattress Construction Guide

by Nick, Digital Specialist | July 4, 2020

These days, mattresses are constructed a variety of different ways. With coils, with memory foam, both...each one has their own positives and negatives, and one might be better than another for how you sleep. Which one is right for you?


To someone who hasn’t been shopping for a mattress in awhile, making a decision can be overwhelming and confusing due to the insane amount of options. It’s true that there are now more things to choose from, but in our fast-paced society, quality sleep is more important than ever, making it important for people to find their ideal mattress. One of the best ways to narrow down your choices is based on how it’s constructed. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on the different types of construction, and what it all means to you.

Innerspring
These are the most common types of mattresses, and likely the type of mattress you’ve grown accustomed to over the years. These feature a layer of steel coils in the middle that support a sleeper’s body, and the thickness (or “gauge”) of the coils can be changed to affect the firmness of the mattress. Modern-day mattresses also have each of the coils individually wrapped in fabric- this helps the mattress keep its shape while also helping to prevent motion transfer (the effect of the mattress moving when someone else moves on it). These mattresses generally feature some sort of foam padding over the top of the coil layer, adding a buffer between your body and the coils.

The benefit: Its status as the most common type of mattress means that this is what many people are used to. For those people looking to replace an old mattress and achieve a similar feel, this is likely the way to go. Coil mattresses are also excellent at holding their shape over time.


Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses have skyrocketed in popularity in the past 10 to 20 years, thanks in no small part to the internet. They’re comprised of a variety of layers of foam stacked on top of one another. Imagine them being built like a layer cake- then, by changing the recipe of the “cake,” you get different levels of firmness or softness. The layers are generally made from viscoelastic foam, polyurethane, and/or latex. While it used to be true that memory foam mattresses slept hotter, modern versions have incorporated cooling technologies that help keep the mattress cooler. However, it is true that memory foam mattresses will feel firmer in a cooler room.

The benefit: pressure relief. Memory foam works by conforming to the shape of the person who’s laying on it, allowing for a customized experience. This can help relieve pressure on the back and joints, letting a person get a better night’s sleep.


Hybrid
As the name implies, the hybrid is a mix. In this case, it’s a mix of the first two kinds of technologies. You’ll find a base layer of individually wrapped coils, topped with an equally thick layer of memory foam. In theory, a sleeper could get the benefits of the comfort of memory foam (this is what puts you to sleep), as well as the supportiveness of the coils (this is what keeps you asleep). Hybrid mattresses have been growing in popularity recently, and shoppers may find more of these today than ever before.

The benefit: this is a great mattress for someone who wants the best of both worlds. It’s also a great transition for someone who wants to experience memory foam but doesn’t want to give up the familiarity of the coil mattress that they’re so used to.


Air Mattresses
No, we’re not talking about the mattresses that you lay on the ground for those guests that you have over once a year. We’re referring more to the permanent-use, always-inflated beds that use an air bladder as the support system. The user can change the comfort settings with a remote that will add or subtract air, making the mattress firmer or softer. Some studies have suggested that these mattresses are beneficial for someone who has back pain. Also, in some cases, the comfort level can be changed on each side of the mattress, allowing each sleeper to adjust their own side.

The benefit: as mentioned, air-bladder mattresses allow for adjustment on the fly- their firmness or softness can be changed with the push of a button. In some cases, the comfort can be tailored on each side of the bed. This is the best for people with back pain or issues with snoring.