In this article we will discuss the 10 most popular types of mattresses that you can buy for your bed and will provide you the best sleep for your needs.
When you’re young, falling asleep while dangling over Mom’s or Dad’s shoulders or propped up in a car is the easiest thing in the world to do, no matter how uncomfortable that environment may be.
Like all of the delights of childhood, the ability to pass out anywhere and at any time doesn’t always work when we get older. For most, falling asleep and staying in Slumberland anywhere but in a comfy bed becomes paramount if one is to get a decent amount of shuteye.
If you’re like most people, you have had a close encounter of the restless kind by sleeping on a mattress that feels more like a torture rack than a cloud.
Continue to rely upon your lousy mattress and all aspects of your life could take a turn for the worst. Find out how and why this happens before you shop for types of mattresses that meet your unique physiological needs.
Table of Contents
- 5 Reasons why people don’t sleep well
- Which type of mattress should you choose?
- Types of Mattress Sizes
- Popular brands of Mattresses
- Best Types of Mattresses for your Health
5 Reasons why people don’t sleep well
When “Huffington Post” editors delved into the topic of why people can’t sleep these days, Dr. Michael Stanclift identified the top reasons for this troubling condition:
- Skip regular meals and you interrupt the function of hormones that have the power to change sleep patterns. Even missing breakfast can impact the nervous system and drive cholesterol readings skyward. You don’t necessarily have to be a slave to 3 meals a day, but if you eat properly, you’ll encourage healthy sleeping patterns.
- Deal with stress. You know the drill: Your body wants to shut down to repair itself. Your brain wants to dream. But mobile phones, job pressure, financial troubles and personal problems rise up like alien armies as soon as you get between the sheets. Stress triggers cortisol surges and adrenaline rushes that are as harmful to the body as smoking. Your life could depend upon solving stress issues that keep you awake.
- Examine food and drink choices. When your mom handed you a glass of milk before you went to bed, fortifying your bones with calcium wasn’t her only motive. Milk, like turkey, contain tryptophan, a chemical that encourages sleep. “Reader’s Digest” magazine suggests adding walnuts, almonds, cheese, lettuce, pretzels, tuna, rice, cherry juice, cereal, herbal teas, honey, kale, hummus, shellfish and elk to your diet to help you sleep. We needn’t remind you of alcohol’s negative impact on sleep, right?
- Get your rhythm on. Circadian rhythm, that is. Offbeat work schedules, 3rd shift hours, incessant travel, night noise plus the persistent light radiating from the face of your cell phone each have the potential to disrupt your sleep rhythms. In concert, these factors can be disastrous. Even employers are beginning to recognize sleep disruption triggers but it’s up to every cell phone owner to declare a moratorium once it’s time to sleep.
- The mattress dilemma. Studies undertaken by NaturalNewsBlogs.com, Hunker.com, SleepSavvy.com magazine and the Better Sleep Council are just a few authorities that list bad mattresses as being the #1 cause of sleep problems. The wrong mattress, says WebMD, can make you vulnerable to work or driving accidents, diminished mental acuity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, memory loss, weight gain and impaired judgement. Your sex drive can plummet, too.
Which type of mattress should you choose?
When shopping for a mattress, it’s a wise idea to do your homework before you step out your front door because the number of mattress choices on today’s market are diverse. Psychologists theorize that when choices offered to people number 7 or more, decision-making gets harder.
That stated, if you’re ready to break up with your old mattress because your nightlife has become a tangled web of exhaustion and frustration, consider today’s top 10 mattress types and then use your budget to guide your decision-making process.
1) Coil Spring/Innerspring Mattress
Source: Wayfair – Madison 12″ Innerspring Mattress
If you’re a traditionalist and have fond memories of sleeping on a steel coil support system since you were a kid, you’ll welcome news that, according to the Better Sleep Council, coil spring mattresses remain popular.
Some of these mattresses are made with individually wrapped coils connected to a framework. Others feature differing numbers of springs and those coils can assume different shapes.
Innerspring mattresses may be sandwiched in-between foam or fiber. There’s also a mattress in this category that features layers of big and small coils. You want the most number of coils you can afford, so always ask for a coil count if you prefer an innerspring mattress.
2) Memory Foam Mattress
Source: Wayfair Sleep 12″ Memory Foam Mattress
If eras of mattress-making can be divided into vintage and contemporary, one of the biggest departures from innerspring designs came about when the world was introduced to Memory Foam, also called Viscoelastic by people in the mattress industry.
These thick sheets of high-density polyurethane foam rubber are designed to give the body a foundation that conforms to the shape of the sleeper.
The foam may be encased in layers of upholstery, though cheaper mattresses are just a slab of foam without the slipcover. If you’re big on aesthetics and won’t go bare bones to solve your sleeping dilemmas, insist on a nicely encased Memory Foam model.
3) Airbed Mattress
Source: Wayfair – 18” Air Mattress
These thick rubber mattresses have been favored by outdoor campers for decades so when they were reintroduced for the indoors, sleepers took notice.
The airbed’s engineering is straightforward and simple: Rubber molds are used to shape mattresses featuring air chambers that are inflated and then sealed. Today’s airbeds feature luxury coverings and/or padding.
Buy a more sophisticated airbed and enjoy dual control so couples can customize each one’s “side of the bed” by making adjustments to the amount of air that flows through the chambers. That stated, if you bunk with one or more cats that still have their claws, think hard about this mattress type when evaluating your choices!
4) Waterbed Mattress
Source: Wayfair – Expressions Water Mattress
Waterbeds, like airbeds, require chambers, but instead of air, this mattress type is pumped full of water.
First waterbeds were invented 3,600 years ago in Persia when goat skins, filled with water, served as sleeping cushions. The waterbed was reinvented in 1873 by a British doctor but it took until the 1960s for them to come into everyday use.
Waterbeds are available as hard-sided or soft-sided models. The first requires a rectangular wood frame that, when assembled, gives the furniture the look of a traditional bed. Soft-sided waterbeds rely upon combinations of vinyl and material linings encased in fabric.
Both need a platform. If you’re not wild about motion, opt for a gel-filled “waveless” waterbed because there’s much less motion.
5) Gel Mattress
Source: Wayfair – 10.5″ Medium Firm Gel Memory Foam Mattress
New to the mattress party, gel types have come a long way since they were first introduced to the waterbed market.
The technology and fabrication process required to make gel mattresses has only been around since 2011.
Differences between gel mattress types are found in construction: some position the gel throughout the foam layer while others add a gel layer closer to the surface.
Gel mattresses are favored by those who like the way body weight is uniformly distributed. For those who sleep on foam mattresses but find them too hot, gel mattresses were supposed to solve this dilemma.
To the chagrin of those who bought that advertising claim and still sweated up the sheets, a decision to buy this mattress type proved disappointing.
6) Coir Mattress
Do you like your sleep on the exotic side? A coir mattress may have your name (and your back’s health) written all over it.
Coir is the brainchild of mattress-makers in India who wanted to take advantage of raw materials that would otherwise wind up as waste.
These mattresses are made by creating a mat of fiber extracted from coconut shells that are woven, twisted and shaped and then dipped in natural latex so the mattress base is firm and moisture-resistant.
Coir mattress makers use proprietary construction methods that also sandwich layers of latex or foam to produce a more comfortable mattress. When slip-covered, this mattress looks just like a traditional one, and an environmentally-friendly one at that!
7) Latex Mattress
Source: Wayfair – 12″ Medium Latex Mattress
There are two ways to make latex mattresses, both of which start as sap from rubber trees that are whipped into foam before the latex is poured into molds that look like waffle irons.
The Dunlop method bakes, molds and unmolds the liquid latex so particles sink to the mattress bottom. The second, called the Talalay method, is identical until the hot latex mix is poured into molds, at which point it’s covered, sealed and air is vacuum-expressed out. Next, the Talalay mattress is frozen to suspend particles before being baked.
Confused? Try them both out if you’re considering this mattress type, but don’t let anyone talk you into a cheap latex mattress because these glued versions won’t hold up as long as Dunlop- or Talalay-molded mattresses do.
8) Hybrid Mattress
Source: Wayfair Sleep 12″ Firm Hybrid Mattress
If you think everything is going the “hybrid route” these days, you won’t be surprised to learn that hybrid mattresses have crashed the mattress market.
To understand how many materials and methods are used to make a Hybrid, review all of the aforementioned descriptions and you’ll figure out how this mattress earned its name.
Think of a combination: steel coil with foam. Steel coil with polyurethane. Coils beneath latex shells that require longer fabrication processes. The sky’s the limit when it comes to mixing and matching materials for a hybrid mattress, so if you like the idea of a Memory Foam mattress with a solid spine or a Gel Mattress with cores of coils, just ask. By the time you read this, there may be more combinations!
9) Pillow-top Mattress
Source: Wayfair Pillow Top Pocket 11″ Medium Innerspring Mattress
If your mom read fairy tales to you as a kid, you may remember “The Princess and the Pea” written by Hans Christian Andersen.
To dispute rumors that she’s not royalty, the princess sleeps on 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds stacked atop a single green pea. By morning, she hadn’t slept because, as a true princess, she bore the bruises of that pea.
If you’d like to experience your own version of this fairy tale, a Pillow-top Mattress should be first on your wish list.
You’ll sink into an additional layer of comfort that resembles foam- or fiber-filled pillows spread across the top of a regular mattress so the bed is luxuriously high. You needn’t to be a member of a royal family to buy a pillow-top, but you should plan to dip deeper into the royal treasury to acquire this style of mattress.
10) Adjustable Mattress
Source: Wayfair – TEMPUR-Ergo Adjustable Bed
Have you seen TV commercials where couples use controls to adjust firmness and/or positioning of their mattress? You understand how this type of bed works and you couldn’t find a pricier, trendier way to get your ZZZZs at night.
Luxurious and versatile, you can adjust the height and incline of these mattresses, tilt it to support upper or lower body positions and the controls to undertake these adjustments are independent, so each sleeper controls their own nocturnal destiny. Read. Watch TV. Recover from surgery or injuries. This bed won’t make the coffee but it will pamper a couple happy to spend whatever it takes to sleep in the lap of luxury.
Types of Mattress Sizes
What may once have been a romantic experience -hugging and spooning- can become the stuff of which nightmares are made if a couple “outgrows” the mattress that once suited them so perfectly. Think about it: if you’ve adopted all of the suggestions listed in this post, why would you want to compromise that perfect night’s sleep by crashing on a bed that’s too small? Get the biggest mattress you can based on your budget and room size for the best night’s sleep.
Here are the different sizes of mattresses you can buy:
- Twin/single: Ideal for a slim single person or a child, this mattress measures 38 x 75 inches.
- Twin extra-long: This category of mattress is fairly new and popular, measuring 39 x 80 inches.
- Full/double: It’s the solution for small rooms and small couples at 53 x 75 inches.
- Queen: Queen mattresses measure 60 x 80 inches and are the fastest sellers on today’s market.
- King: The equivalent of putting two twins together, the king mattress measures 76 x 80 inches.
- California King: This West Coast original measures 72 x 84 inches. Only a custom-made mattress is roomier!
Popular brands of Mattresses
Leave it to the website “SleepLiketheDead.com” to publish accurate brand mattress ratings that take the pulse of sleepers. These rankings were published in 2017 and measure owner satisfaction. Surprisingly, brands you likely have known for years like Sealy, Serta, Simmons and Stearns & Foster were the lowest ranked mattresses of all.
Most popular mattress types
- #1: Memory Foam
- #2: A tie between Foam and Latex
- #3: Air mattress
- #4: Futon
- #5: Waterbed
- #6: Hybrid
- #7: Innerspring
Most popular mattress brands
- #1: Bed in a Box
- #2: Helix
- #3: A tie between Tempur-pedic, Saatva and Loom & Leaf
- #4: A tie between Casper and Ghostbed
- #5: A tie between Purple and Tuft & Needle
- #6: Leesa
- #7: Sleep Number
- #8: A tie between Signature Sleep, Sleep Innovations and Zinus
- #9: Ikea
- #10: iComfort
Best Types of Mattresses for your Health
Choosing comfort over other benefits is an easy call to make if you’re in great health and don’t suffer from conditions that can keep you up at night because pain and discomfort are daunting. We address circumstances you should take into consideration if you need all the help you can get to sleep soundly at night.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
Got Back Pain? While it’s always critical to avoid sagging mattresses if back discomfort is an issue, your best relief is found in the Adjustable and Memory Foam categories.
- Memory Foam Mattress
- Adjustable Mattress
Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers
Side Sleeper? According to experts, Latex and Memory Foam mattresses offer side sleepers the best experience because these mattresses evenly distribute hip and shoulder weight known to create painful pressure points that trigger pain in bed.
Innerspring Mattresses are the least desirable mattress for side sleepers because coils impact the curve of the spine and cause pressure points that make side sleepers wish they were anywhere else but in bed!