Different Types of Mattresses Explained

Different Types of Mattresses Explained

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Last Updated on Jun 14, 2022

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    Buying a new mattress can get confusing with several sellers in the market and so many types of mattresses available. What suits you best will depend on your preferences and health conditions.

    This guide will take you through the different types of mattresses to make your task easier while buying a new bed. Moreover, it will inform you about the pros and cons of each so that you can make a well-informed decision.

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    Types of Mattresses

    You can determine the type of mattress based on its material and mattress construction. The most common types are innerspringfoam and hybrid mattresses. However, there are several other categories, some of which are quite rare and exquisite.

    Foam Mattresses

    Foam mattresses became popular after NASA invented memory foam in the 1970s. It was initially used to provide cushioning and extra protection to the pilots and passengers. However, it soon became a crucial element in mattresses.

    Foam mattresses do not have coils. The comfort layers are made of thick layers of different kinds of foam. If you are looking for high mattress firmness, they are your best option. 

    Foam mattresses are ideal for both support and pressure relief since they adapt to the contours of your body. So, they are perfect for side sleepers and people with painful conditions requiring softness to soothe their pain.


    • Provides a soft and cushiony feel for side sleepers and people with joint pain
    • Doesn’t make weird noises since there are no springs
    • Reduces motion transfer, helping in undisturbed sleep
    • Durable and last longer than spring mattresses


    • It May be uncomfortable as certain types of foam trap body heat
    • Some mattresses are too soft and might not provide adequate support
    • Costlier than innerspring mattresses

    Hybrid Mattresses

    Hybrid mattresses contain a mix of foam and spring. The springs at the bottom are layered with foam at the top. So, you will get the perfect blend of pressure relief and sturdy support.

    These mattresses are the ideal fit if you are looking for a bed that is neither too soft nor too firm.


    • Offers pressure relief without compromising the support for your back
    • Softer than spring mattresses without the sinking effect of foam mattresses
    • Allows air circulation and regulates temperature
    • Quieter than innerspring mattresses


    • More expensive than other mattress types
    • Can’t reduce motion transfer as good as foam mattresses

    Latex Mattresses

    Latex mattresses are made of natural fiber derived from the sap of rubber trees. They are an excellent alternative if you are looking for mattresses without memory foam.

    These mattresses do not retain heat like memory foam and will keep you cool. However, they are more bouncy and won’t hug your body like foam mattresses.

    A latex mattress can be a good fit for you if you are hyperallergic. Moreover, these mattresses are eco-friendly since their production doesn’t harm the environment.

    Innerspring Mattresses

    Innerspring mattresses are one of the oldest mattress types and have been around since the 1900s. They are made of springs or coils surrounded by foam, latex, or some other comfort material.

    If you love bouncy beds, an innerspring mattress can be your best companion. They compress under the weight of your body and give the desired support to your body.


    • Affordable
    • Available in different firmness levels
    • Provides support to your back as it adjusts to your body’s contours


    • Not durable and can get worn out easily
    • Springs might make weird noises
    • Doesn’t offer adequate pressure relief on joints

    Types of Foam Mattresses

    Memory Foam

    It is a dense polyurethane foam that is highly elastic. So, memory foam mattresses hug your body rather than bounce back when you lie down. That provides a cozy and comfortable sleeping and is ideal for those with pain and stiffness.

    Gel Infused Foam

     Memory foam can trap body heat, making you uncomfortable during the night. It happens because the layers of foam are dense and do not allow proper air circulation. That is where gel-infused foam comes to your rescue. The gel between the foam layers will help offset the heating effects, keeping you cool throughout the night.


    Polyfoam is a synthetic, petroleum-based material. It contains several chemicals with complex names. However, they are manufactured in a way that neutralizes their toxic nature.

    While buying a new mattress, check if it has a Certi-PUR - US certification. That will indicate the mattress is free from lead, mercury, and other toxic chemicals.

    Now, whether you choose a spring or foam mattress will depend entirely on your personal preferences. If you want more bounce, you can go for the former. But, if you wish to get body-hugging comfort, foam mattresses are your go-to option.

    Types of Latex Mattresses

    There are two types of latex mattresses based on the manufacturing process.


    In this manufacturing process, all the latex is poured into a mold at once. Thus, the mattress is firm at the bottom and soft at the top.


    In this process, a vacuum sucks off all the air after the mold gets filled. After that, the material is frozen. As a result, the mattress has the same density and feel throughout.

    Types of Spring Mattresses

    Continuous Coils

    These mattresses are made of a single coil that supports the entire mattress. The coil is S-shaped and runs throughout the mattress. So, these mattresses are more durable. That too at an affordable price.

    Bonnell Coils

    The coils in these mattresses look like helix. They were originally made for seat cushions and are now used in mattresses. They are a bit costlier than continuous coils.

    Offset Coils

    Offset coils are much like Bonnell. They also have the shape of an hourglass, but the edges are flat. So, the ends act like hinges, preventing the springs from making noise.

    Marshall or Pocketed Coils

    Marshall coils are also known as wrapped coils as they are enclosed in a case. Since the coils are separate from each other, there is more support. Moreover, they prevent motion transfer.

    Other Types of Mattresses

    Apart from these most popular mattress types, there are several other types of mattresses. Let us take a look at them so that you don’t get confused while choosing a mattress.

    Pillowtop Mattress

    In a pillowtop mattress also known as the euro-top mattress, a layer of some material like foam or latex is placed on top of the mattress. It can be stitched to the rest of the mattress.

    The pillowtop layer can be of any material, and the purpose they will serve depends on the material. It might add durability to the mattress, provide a cooling effect, or lead to increased comfort. Pillowtop made of feathers and cotton makes your bed super soft and cozy.


    • Pillowtops can increase the lifespan of one-sided mattresses
    • They can offer enhanced comfort depending on the material


    • Don’t provide much support for heavy sleepers
    • They tend to wear out faster
    • The mattress might get damaged if it is two-sided

    Adjustable Bed

    Adjustable beds are those that can change their position depending on your requirements. Sounds familiar? Yes, you must have seen these beds in hospitals.

    Doctors prescribe adjustable beds for specific medical conditions like shoulder pain or problems with the sinus. You have to only adjust the bed so that you can rest your head higher.

    These beds are also an excellent option if you love to read your favorite book or watch TV shows in bed. You can change the position depending on your activity to avoid straining your neck and shoulders.

    However, there are pros and cons of adjustable beds like everything else.


    • They provide pain relief by letting you sleep in a position that suits you
    • Some beds can even give you a relaxing massage


    • More expensive than usual beds
    • Less durable as it has electronic parts
    • The electronic parts are not easy to maintain

    Futon Bed

    Futon beds were first used in Japan to sleep on the floor. You must have seen them in Japanese movies and anime. They are different from your regular mattress because you can also fold them.

    Futon mattresses are perfect when you have a space crunch. You can put them on a futon frame and fold them to form a couch when guests arrive. Moreover, futons are light and easy to maintain.

    What should be the ideal mattress firmness when you are using a futon bed? You can go for 3-5 inches to give it a longer life.


    • Ideal for small apartments as they save space
    • Easy to move and carry


    • May get damaged due to repeated folding
    • May not provide adequate pressure relief for some

    Water Bed

    Dr. Neil Arnott developed a water bed in the 1800s for therapeutic purposes. It became quite popular later in the 20th century. Though their popularity has reduced, they are still used by many people because of the advantages.


    • You can heat the water for therapeutic effects
    • Relieves pressure on painful joints


    • They can be hard to move when full
    • Water leakages can make your life hard
    • Cannot absorb motion


    Air mattresses first came into existence in the late 1800s. They come with an air chamber support core. It is adjustable, and you can pump air in and out of the chamber. Thus, you can adjust the feel of the mattress anytime, according to your preferences.

    Each side of the air bed has a different air chamber. So, sleepers on both sides can adjust the mattress firmness levels according to their needs. Airbeds are thus the best mattress type for couples. Now, you don’t have to fight with your partner over the firmness of your mattress because you can have two different firmness levels on the same bed.


    • Highly flexible as it lets you adjust the firmness levels on each side
    • You don’t have to worry about sagging since it is filled with air


    • Airbeds can be expensive
    • Slight damages can lead to leakage

    Organic Mattress

    If you are looking for the best mattress material that does not harm the environment, you can go for organic mattresses. They use materials whose manufacture does not harm the environment.

    The materials used in organic mattresses often have certifications like Global Organic Latex Standard and Global Organic Textile Standard. They indicate that the materials used in the mattress get manufactured through natural and organic processes.

    Most organic mattresses are made of latex since it is a natural element. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are also used as filling or topping. Materials like coils and foams are not organic as their production leaves harmful impacts on the environment.


    • Safe for the environment
    • Limits your exposure to chemicals and toxins


    • It may be quite expensive 

    Now that you know everything about types of mattresses and their pros and cons, you will not have any doubts about how to choose a mattress. However, remember that the goal of a mattress is to give you a good night’s sleep. If it fails to do that, you should replace your mattress.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EIf you ask what kind of mattress is best according to chiropractors, they recommend the use of \u003C\/span\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.nectarsleep.com\/posts\/latex-vs-memory-foam\/\"\u003E\u003Cb\u003Efoam or latex\u003C\/b\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003E mattresses. These mattresses will conform to the contours of your body, providing pressure relief. At the same time, they would support your spine too.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E","_id":"9ab6c57"},{"title":"Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EIt is better to sleep on a medium-firm mattress. The ideal one should be neither too soft nor firm.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E","_id":"0837d15"},{"title":"What makes a good mattress?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EA good mattress gives you undisturbed sleep and doesn\u2019t cause pain and aches when you wake up. 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