Understanding the Different Types of Mattresses

mattress types

Considering people spend one-third of their lives asleep, it’s an irony that so many folk cut costs with their mattresses. There’s nothing worse than having squeaky bed springs or insufficient back support. We all want to experience better sleep and to awaken refreshed in the mornings, rather than having battled with our bedding. Just as it’s unwise to buy a cheap mattress, it’s not a good idea to never replace it. 

When the choices are limited it’s not so hard to find a replacement. When there are lots of different types, however, it can become overwhelming. The manufacturers all make bold claims about their products, but some are no doubt better than others. The fact is that people have different needs, and they usually get what they pay for. This article clarifies the different options available,  so you can end up with what is best for you. 


If you can sleep anywhere and you fancy something cheap and cheerful, this could be your option. If you have a mattress containing springs, it may sag over time and lean towards the middle. In contrast, these mattresses are full of air so they don’t sag. 

Most people think of using airbeds for camping or when they host unexpected guests. They don’t set you back financially and they can help you remain cool throughout the night. If you have a regular mattress it may be too hard or too soft, but airbeds can be adjusted to suit your individual requirements. 

Before you make your purchase you must make sure you have the room for it. As you can see from this guide they come in many different sizes and dimensions. In addition to single mattresses there are twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and more. If someone was looking for a California king mattress they would be able to see product photos on specialist websites before they decide. 

Memory Foam

If you check the product specifications you’ll discover they are made using closed or open-cell memory foam. Infused foam is also featured in some brands. The foam density won’t tell you how hard or soft a mattress is, but as with all bedding, it’s a good idea to try before you buy. Memory foam feels very different from other more traditional mattresses because it’s designed to shape itself around your personal contours. 

Side sleepers like them, and they are very useful from a medical angle: They are highly supportive, don’t sag, and are gentle with people who have pressure points or chronic pain. As a downside, they do tend to heat up overnight, which can especially be an issue during the summer. 


These mattresses offer some of the benefits of memory foam (eg pressure relief) without some of the drawbacks (getting warm overnight). It is also more bouncy. Because latex comes from the rubber tree, it’s one of the most natural, eco-friendly options. You can choose from either Dunlop or Talalay latex, and can rest assured that the mattress is naturally fire-retardant. 

Dust mites are pests that can increase their presence in a mattress over time. The value of latex is its dense cell structure which makes it harder for these creatures to access and take up residence. A surprising number of people have allergy issues when it comes to bedding, in which case latex can be the perfect solution. 

Pillowtop Mattresses

If you enjoy having an innerspring mattress, this is how you can bring things up a level. Rather than having an extra layer of bedding (a topper) across the top of your mattress, you could have this already sewn in for stability. 

This extra layer of upholstery can make your bed feel more like memory foam or a gel mattress in terms of comfort. On the negative side, the extra layers would make the bed heat up during the night. 


They are a niche market, so they are often bought online rather than from local bed stores. Many back sleepers like nothing more than resting on water chambers that have additional fiber or foam padding for comfort. They can be a calming experience and many people enjoy them as a novelty. 

If you decide to purchase one, you’ll need to choose from a hardside or softside version. The hardside is the cheapest, using wooden frames to help retain the bed shape. Softside mattresses feature resilient upholstery or dense foam to help maintain the frame. You can set the temperature to your specific requirements safely in the knowledge that it’s clean and resistant to dust mites. 

Innerspring (Coil) 

This is the most traditional option, having been around for a very long time. If you sleep on your stomach you may especially appreciate this product. 

They feature a large collection of coils with a soft coating on the top for comfort. Those with solid coil blocks are able to provide a very resilient product, whilst pocketed coils provide more flexibility in terms of adjusting to your body shape. The number of coils and their placement would be a large factor in your personal comfort. Whilst they are one of the cheapest options you can pay more for a higher-quality version.

Foam Or Gel

It’s worth researching polyurethane (polyfoam) foam mattresses too. They’re economical to buy and more breathable than some of the alternatives. They are more durable and less likely to smell than memory foam. Whilst they appear spongy on impact, they are good at retaining their shape for longer. 

Gel mattresses are like the foam versions, but with additional gel in the cloth layer or support system. A strong advantage of these products is the way they deal with heat. Rather than absorbing the warmth of your body, they let it escape more freely, thus keeping you cooler at night. 

Whether it’s economy or luxury, there are solutions here. Hopefully, you will be delighted with your new purchase and enjoy it for many years to come. With the right choice, your bed will be comfortable and your sleep will be sweet. If you have a partner, they will enjoy the benefits as well. 

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