When you need a new mattress, you will find it is not always easy. There are so many choices available from new brands to trusted ones as well as pricey to affordable mattresses. Add to that are the mattress types that can also affect your final decision. Choosing the right type of mattress is definitely vital in the shopping process. But what most of us don’t know is that it is not only about our preferences. Our mattress can impact the quality of our sleep and can therefore affect our health if we don’t get enough sleep at night.
There are a few factors that could have a huge influence on your next mattress. Plus, there are mattress types, such as airbeds, waterbeds, latex, and foam mattresses. But two of the most popular choices are memory foam and innerspring. If you have had your mattress for several years now, chances are it is an innerspring or spring mattress. Some may tell you to switch to a new mattress type, but you may want to stick to where you are most comfortable with. So how do you make a choice?
What’s Your Mattress Type?
The mattress type you will want to explore will normally be about your personal preference. The variations of mattresses can be quite confusing, especially with the jargon that most of us don’t really understand. This alone can make the shopping experience even more difficult. Aside from innerspring and memory foam, there are other types of mattresses. Here are the most popular ones:
This type of mattress is built using latex foam, which can be from materials that are petroleum-based or from plants. People choose this type because of its cooling properties. Latex mattresses are also popular for their feel and offered comfort, as well as the bounce, cooling, and responsiveness.
Who is this mattress best for? If you are looking for a mattress that offers great bounce and is responsive, this is a type to consider. Latex mattresses are also ideal for those who don’t like mattresses that seem to “hug” sleepers excessively or those that contour to the body and yet offers foam layers.
Pros: The materials of the latex mattress are usually very durable and breathable as well. This means they will not only last long, but they will also help keep you cool at night. Plus, they are recommended for people who are prone to allergies since this mattress type will not shelter dust mites.
Cons: If you’re looking for a softer mattress, latex may not be the right type of mattress for you. This type has a solid feel, so don’t expect a cushioned sleep. Additionally, they are difficult to move around because they are quite hefty. It is also a big no-no to buy inexpensive latex mattresses because they usually have that lumpy problem in just a few years. Latex mattresses are also costly with a good quality one that could start at $2,000.
Airbeds aren’t the same as the other mattress types. As the name suggests, it uses air to provide cushion for the back and sides of the sleepers.
Who is this mattress best for? Airbeds are ideal for people who are looking for a mattress that they can easily move around the house. You can easily deflate airbeds, so you can store or move them wherever you want. It is also an ideal mattress for those looking for an adjustable bed based on firmness or softness. The mattress is also useful for couples who have different preferences on firmness because the airbed can have two inner chambers that can have varying firmness for both sides.
Pros: Airbeds offer custom firmness. You can deflate or inflate the bed according to your preferences so you can enjoy a softer or firmer mattress. This makes the mattress great for people who will use it as a guest bed. Airbeds are also ideal for those who want to prevent back pain or at least feel better and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Because it can be adjusted, back and joint problems can be addressed correctly based on the needs of the sleeper.
Cons: Airbeds aren’t really the most affordable mattress type around. First problem is that you may need to replace the pump. Most airbeds come with a built-in pump that can become faulty and you may either have to repair it or buy an external pump. The warranties are also shorter for airbeds and the assembly for the inflatable mattress can take up to an hour. You may also need the help of another person.
A hybrid mattress is a combination of different materials, such as memory foam, latex, or coils. A mattress like this is designed to make the most out of certain benefits of the combined mattress types, while minimizing cons. So for instance, if the mattress is a combination of latex and memory foam, it will give the mattress a better bounce, responsiveness, and cooling because of the latex layer, while the memory foam layer will give superior pressure relief and better support.
Who is this mattress best for? If you’re looking for a mattress that will give you the best of all worlds, a hybrid mattress may be the right choice for you. It is a good option for almost every kind of sleeper.
Pros: Compared to plain mattresses, hybrids are better at contouring. They also have a unique feel because of the combination of two mattress types. They follow the shape of the body, while providing pressure relief.
Cons: Because of the combined mattress types, a hybrid mattress is more expensive than other types even if the quality is similar. It is also quite unclear whether a mattress is a hybrid or not, especially if you’re not familiar with this mattress type. You may want to make sure it is a real hybrid before you buy. Additionally, there could be problems in the durability of the mattress.
Factors That Affect Your Choice
While it is true that shopping for a new mattress can be taxing, you can make it easier if you know what your own needs. This is made possible if you are armed with the right information. When it comes to choosing the mattress type, here are factors you should consider:
Comfort: An innerspring mattress, for instance, has a different feel compared to memory foam. How the mattress feels when you lie down on it is extremely important. Buying in store will allow you examine how the mattress is based on the comfort level. You can lie down, get up, and even move around the mattress to test if it is the right feel for you. Of course, this involves a lot of work, but you need to be patient in testing. If you choose to buy online though, this shouldn’t be a problem since it is now easy to return the mattress if it does not suit you. Make sure that you understand the conditions for returning as well as the length of the trial period.
Support: Know about the support system used by the mattress. In innerspring, the coils can be linked or wrapped. Memory foam usually uses high density foam to provide great support especially for the back and the other heavy parts of the body. If you choose an innerspring mattress, you will be advised to known about the coil gauge and count, which can give you an idea about how supportive the mattress is. As for memory foam, the thicker the base, the more supportive the mattress is. But of course, there are other qualities you need to look into.
Your Requirements: Some people have special requirements, such as those with chronic back pain. Make sure you go for a mattress type that is recommended for your situation.
Preferences: Mattress shopping is a personal experience. You choose what mattress to buy and no one should tell you it is the wrong choice if you’re happy with it. Pay close attention to how the mattress feels for you since one mattress can feel different for you and to another person. You shouldn’t depend on what other people say unless you have tried the mattress yourself.
Budget: You can always find a very affordable mattress that costs $500 – even less than $200. But don’t expect it to have great features like support and comfort, especially when compared to the expensive ones. Your budget can be limiting though it is always possible to find a mattress that not only matches your budget, but also your requirements. Some mattresses need a topper and a corresponding foundation to make you feel even more comfortable.
If your top two choices are memory foam and innerspring, you can arrive at your final decision by investigating on these two types further.
Innerspring vs. Memory Foam
Innerspring is probably what you jumped on when you were a little kid. It is a squeaky bed with some type of steel or metal inside it. This type is the standard innerspring mattress with steel coil as the support system. Innersprings haven’t really changed much over the years, although there are some that have changed. Most innersprings are the same – they use springs or coils that are connected in one unit. More often than not, the higher the number of coils, the better the quality of sleep.
Innersprings can seem primitive, especially compared to other types of mattresses including memory foam. They are a little outdated, but they are still considered the most popular type. Innersprings have coils that come in various configurations and shapes. Typically, on top of the springs are layers of foam in order to provide pressure relief. Polyfoam is mostly used and sometimes there are layers of fiber filling that is quite fluffy to add comfort. There are high end models though that also include horsehair, latex, memory foam, or wool as the material for toppers.
Spring mattresses work by compressing the springs along with the body weight of the sleepers as they lie down on the bed. Heavier areas of the body, such as the hips and the shoulders, will cause the coils to compress further. This helps in supporting the bulk of the weight of the body. If you’re looking for a mattress with great contouring, this isn’t the mattress for you. Nevertheless, this mattress type has many advantages over other types of mattresses.
Innerspring mattresses are popular for a reason. Most people prefer them based on how they feel. If you’re thinking about getting a spring mattress, here are the great features you can expect from it:
There are a variety of firmness options available. You can choose from a soft spring mattress or a firm one. You can also find many spring mattresses that are of medium feel, meaning they are designed to be “just right” – not too firm and not too soft.
It is also quite easy to find innerspring mattress. If you go to your local store, most of the mattresses there are spring mattresses. You can also find them online.
You will find affordable innerspring mattresses. They are actually available in various price points, so you won’t be forced to make compromises. What’s great about innersprings is that they can provide a lot of benefits even when they are low-priced.
Just like other products around, no mattress is perfect and innerspring isn’t an exception. Here are some negatives you should be aware of:
As with many affordable products, innerspring mattresses aren’t as high in quality as most of the expensive ones.
There are many complaints about the support of the innerspring mattresses on the market today. They typically lose some of their comfort much faster than other types.
Innerspring mattresses are also not the mattress type to go for if you have bedmates. It gets worse if he or she tends to sleep with so much tossing and turning.
This type of mattress can be quite noisy and it will become worse over time.
You will need to flip the mattress if you want to keep the mattress from sagging.
It is possible that the springs will poke through the mattress surface, especially if you always use the mattress.
Another problem with this type of mattress is that it does not distribute weight evenly, making it easy to create pressure points when you lie down on it. This is true even if you add a topper on the mattress.
Meanwhile, if you are still undecided about memory foam, there are some pros and cons as well. Foam mattresses are very popular these days. One of the reasons is the ability of the material to envelope the sleeper, making a person feel snug.
You will know that a memory foam mattress is what you’re looking for if you want your mattress to give you the feeling of sinking into your bed. Memory foam will cradle you to sleep with its excellent contouring ability. Some people like the slow response when pressure is released. Imagine placing your hand on the material and when you release your hand, it leaves an impression for about a few seconds. It is like that with memory foam.
While you may have heard about memory foam mattresses, you may not know that this material is actually tied with NASA. In the early 1960s, scientists worked on a material they called viscoelastic. It was soft and could absorb energy to protect pilots as they sat on the airplane seats.
Memory Foam Pros
Memory foam mattresses have so many advantages, which is why they are among the popular mattress types around. Here are some reasons why memory foam may be the right mattress for you:
It is good for pain. If you have been suffering from lower back pain, you can benefit from a memory foam mattress. It is excellent at reducing pressure points since it can distribute weight evenly. Those who have been suffering from joint pains, for example, have noted how memory foam helped them with their achy problems.
Memory foam is good at isolating motion. This means that if you share your mattress with your partner, you will not feel their movement. This is why it is recommended for couples, especially those who usually complain about their partner disturbing their sleep with their movements.
Memory foam has really great support, especially for the back. The support is commendable and is far superior, particularly when compared to any innerspring mattress – even those that are expensive and have quality coil system.
If you often toss and turn at night, memory foam can actually help you sleep better. It is designed to be more comfortable than any other mattress types. According to statistics, those who sleep on memory foam toss and turn 80% less.
Durability is usually not an issue with memory foam. This is because they have high foam densities, which allow the mattresses to last twice longer than innersprings. Best part is that the mattress will not develop body impressions and will not sag as well.
Memory foam will not creak or squeak unlike innersprings.
Memory foam mattresses are usually hypoallergenic. They do not collect dust mites and can prevent mildew and mold from invading where you sleep on.
Memory Foam Cons
Just like innersprings, memory foam mattresses also have disadvantages:
Some people don’t like the feel of memory foam because it can feel as if they are stuck in the mattress. It allows them to sink further too, even if it is a firmer one.
Many people complain about sleeping hot when they are on a memory foam mattress. If you live in a particularly warm region, you may not be happy with this type of mattress. Be sure to check out the features of the mattress before you buy. Some of the mattresses actually address this problem.
Responsiveness of the mattress can also be an issue with other people. Memory foam tends to respond slower than other mattress types, including innersprings. This makes it difficult for the sleeper to move around on the mattress or even get off of it.
The mattresses are also quite hefty, so you can’t just transfer it from one to another on your own. It is also difficult to rotate it. Some mattresses though don’t require rotation or flipping.
Compared to innersprings, memory foam is more expensive. You can find good quality yet affordable mattresses though if you know where to look.
If you’re looking for a mattress that has a high profile, memory foam is usually not as high as innersprings.
Many younger people like the feel of memory foam, while there are also some who want to stick to the traditional feel of innerspring mattress. You should choose which type you know will benefit from, both for your wallet and your health in the long run.
Best Innerspring Mattress: Brentwood Home
Brentwood Home offers mattresses that they call “safe and natural.” The LA-based company has both foam and spring mattresses. For their spring mattress, the Oceano Mattress is a luxury mattress that costs $1,495 for the queen size. There are two layers of coils that are guaranteed to be responsive and supportive. The mattress only has one comfort level and is rated by Brentwood Home as 8, which makes it a medium plush mattress. With this comfort level, expect the mattress to be soft and will give you enough hug. But it is still supportive, making this mattress ideal for people who sleep on their sides.
The mattress comes with the following layers:
Euro top: The first layer consists of a quilted euro top, which gives the mattress extra cushion. It makes the mattress a great choice for people looking for a soft bed to sleep on. The top layer is made from New Zealand wool comes with a double-stitched side tape, which keeps the other layers secure.
Second Layer: The second layer consists of a two inch memory foam that’s been infused with gel to not only help reduce pressure points, but also eliminate motion transfers.
Third Layer: The third layer has 2.5 inches of micro-coils, which have been individually wrapped to avoid vibrations and provide isolated support.
Fourth Layer: There’s another foam layer known as Airlux, which has been certified by CertiPUR-US. This layer aims to provide the mattress more breathability, so that the sleeper sleeps cool and comfortable.
Fifth Layer: Finally, the last layer that measures eight inches has base coils that are also individually wrapped. The coils stay in five zones with four inches of top pocketed coils.
The mattress works on almost any kind of surfaces, whether you’re using an adjustable or slatted base, box spring, or platform bed. Brentwood Home Oceano spring mattress can be bought online and will be shipped in a box. It offers stress-free returns, allowing the sleeper to try the mattress for 120 nights and can be returned if unhappy for free with a full refund.
Best Memory Foam Mattress: Amerisleep Liberty
When it comes to memory foam, one of the most notable brand names is Amerisleep. They have a variety of mattresses catered to different needs. Amerisleep Liberty is a good choice for people who are new to memory foam. It has medium firmness with adequate hug and contouring. But the Liberty mattress is not the same as the other memory foam mattresses around. It is more responsive than others and best of all, it is plant-based. Instead of using petroleum-based materials, the mattress has safe, natural ingredients so you sleep worry-free at night.
Because of the natural materials used, there is less complaints about the mattress smelling when new. You can also try the mattress for 100 days and you can return it with full refund if you are not pleased with it.
The mattress has 12 inches of three separate layers of foam:
Top Layer: Measuring three inches, this layer consists of Bio-Pur memory foam, which is designed to provide comfort, cooling, and pressure relief.
Middle Layer: The second layer has two inches of transition foam to provide the support the sleeper needs.
Bottom Layer: The final layer is a seven inch Bio-Core foam with deep compression support.
Amerisleep Liberty is truly unique. It has a Celliant-infused cover, which is a material that is difficult to find in other mattresses. Celliant is useful in keeping the sleeper cool while sleeping and even has health benefits, including pain relief. It works like infrared light, which has been proven to improve blood flow throughout the body. This leads to more oxygen transported in and around the body, which not only helps a person deal with pain better but also helps in temperature regulation. The result is a much better and longer sleep.
Amerisleep not only promises that you will sleep comfortably with Liberty, but will also help you sleep faster. Based on the company’s tests, you can sleep 15 minutes faster on average compared to other competing mattresses out there. Also, if you or your partner has a problem with tossing and turning, Liberty guarantees that you will spend 18 minutes less of that habit. This way, you will wake up feeling refreshed and alert – plus, without achy joints and muscles.
All the mentioned properties and more are available in the Liberty mattress, which only costs $899 for twin size. It is truly affordable despite the many benefits and the high quality materials used.
If you’re not convinced with either innerspring or memory foam, a good type to look into is a hybrid mattress that combines the benefits of these two mattress types. Normally, the savvy mattress manufacturers would take the buoyancy offered by an innerspring core, while adding the motion isolation properties of a memory foam mattress. It is indeed a best of both worlds choice as it can satisfy many sleepers, including those with partner disputes when it comes to sleeping styles and other preferences. However, it can be hard to find a hybrid mattress that could match your needs if your budget is limited.
Best Hybrid Mattress: Saatva
If you’re considering a hybrid mattress that combines coil and memory foam, a recommended mattress is Saatva. You can only purchase the mattress online, but there are three firmness levels you can choose from. Whether you want a plush, a luxury firm, or a firm mattress, Saatva can provide what you are looking for in a hybrid mattress.
The Saatva mattress has individually wrapped coils, which are found at the top part of the mattress are encased with foam. These coils are effective in responding well to the sleeper’s body and provide contouring to the shape of the body as well. Saatva also has edge support system that is better than other mattresses, giving the sleeper more surface to sleep in. This feature also allows the mattress to stay durable for a long time. Saatva also has lumbar support enhancement because of its memory foam layer that provides pressure relief and support.
Which Should You Really Choose?
The final decision is still in your hands. It is always a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a product before you buy. It is also recommended to read more about the mattresses as well as the mattress companies you are considering to transact with. While brand names are a good start to look into, you should not be too biased. Sometimes, you’re mainly paying for the brand, not the mattress itself. But this doesn’t mean you should go for cheaper ones just to save money. More often than not, these cheap alternatives without names should be overlooked as they have several issues in durability, comfort, and even your safety.
Aside from the brand of the mattress, it helps if you have set a budget. A lot of people turn to innersprings rather than memory foam because the former is usually less expensive. But as you can see with the Amerisleep Liberty, it is very affordable and even has superior features than luxury mattresses, whether they are spring or memory foam.