Mattress Basics

What is the right mattress for you? Soft or firm? Big or small? Those are only two of the questions you face when buying a mattress. Does an innerspring mattress interest you, or would you like to try one of the foam — memory or latex — mattresses? Air and water mattresses are vastly improved from the ones used years ago. Futons are ageless, having been used all around the world for centuries. Are you seeking natural materials in your mattress, or does that not matter? Conducting research online before hitting the stores will at least educate you to the possibilities, and the pricing. Once you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to try them out at the stores.

The world of mattresses can be a confusing one. With the many different varieties and kinds of mattresses available, it can make you want to run screaming out of the mattress store when you try to make a decision. Keep in mind that the mattress salesman will want you to buy the mattress that will make him the most money. You need to learn about the different kinds of mattresses so you will have some idea of what you are looking for before you even step one foot inside the store.

You first need to know that your choice in mattresses is important. If you think about it, you spend approximately one-third of your life on a mattress sleeping. Your mattress can have a huge impact on how you sleep and how much energy you have after sleeping. That is why you need to put some time and energy into choosing your mattress to ensure that you make the best decision for you.

The more common mattresses include:

  • spring coil or innerspring
  • memory foam
  • latex
  • water
  • air
  • futon

The first and most common kind of mattress is known as an innerspring or spring coil mattress. This mattress uses coil wire springs inside the mattress to help support your body. The thing to remember with a spring coil mattress is the higher the coil count, the firmer the mattress is. Quality is important when choosing any kind of mattress, but with a spring coil mattress it is even more essential. Many things go into finding a quality spring coil mattress including the thickness of the coils, the number of coils, and how they are connected together. Yet another reason you need to learn more about spring coil mattress construction before you go to the bedding store.

Another kind of mattress is a memory foam mattress. These are the hottest mattresses on the market right now. They claim to mold around the shape of your body to make sleeping extra comfortable. The density of a memory foam mattress is the most important thing that you need to find out. A quality memory foam mattress will have a density between 4.0 and 5.0 lbs, however, they can be even denser than that. Unless you have back problems, or a very firm mattress is recommended by your physician, a 4-5.0 lb density mattress will work for almost anyone. Check the guarantee, too. The longer the guarantee the higher the quality of mattress. That is how you know that the company has completely trust in their product.

Still another kind of mattress is a latex foam mattress. These mattresses are known for being extremely long lasting and can be custom-made with soft and firm zones to fit your exact body shape and desires. This will give you maximum comfort while you sleep. The bad thing is that this kind of mattress can be quite expensive, especially if you want one with more natural latex than synthetic latex. People with contact allergies to latex don’t have to worry about having allergic reactions either, since the foam is carefully encased in a quilted cover.

Water mattresses have taken on a new life, compared to the big bag of water that people slept on in the ’70s. Do you want a baffled mattress to minimize the “sloshing”? Perhaps a bladder inside a mattress frame is more your taste. You can get the firmness you want by adjusting the water volume. Because of the quilted cover, water mattresses don’t have to be heated either. Waterbeds have come a long way.

And then there is the air mattress. While many people think of these as those mattresses that you pull out when you have visitors, some people sleep on an air mattress every night and love it. They are substantially made and look just like a regular mattress except that it has pockets of air inside it for support rather than foam or springs. The great thing about the air mattress is that it can be easily adjusted to make the bed as soft or as firm as you want or need — even a different firmness on each side of the bed. This ability is what makes many people turn to them for their sleep.

Futon mattresses are historically were filled with cotton batting, but now come in a wide range of fillings. Cotton surrounding springs and foam are popular. Some futons are made of wool batting. But whatever the contents, the layers are quilted together to form a firm sleeping platform for a good night’s sleep.

Learn about the different kinds of mattresses before you even leave your home. In this way, you can better determine what kind of mattress is best for you. From air mattresses to innerspring mattresses to memory foam mattresses, a little knowledge will go a long way in help you to be sure to find the mattress that will help you to sleep soundly night after night and the one that keeps you from running out of the store overwhelmed.