10 Types of Mattress Explained – Pros and Cons

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When it comes to classification based on brand, filling, and types, mattresses are numerous. From the hard to the soft and the medium, each brand has them all with different fillings. Of course, this means that any visit to the store will present one with an array of mattress types that one may not be able to keep up with. You’ll find out that brand A has mattress A in sizes i, ii, iii, and iv. For each type of mattress, they have numerous sizes, and this is the same for many other brands who have mattresses on display in stores and on their website.

Already, visiting the store to get a new mattress comes with specific protocols as there are factors to be considered when choosing a mattress. Therefore, being faced with lots of choices and having to pick one out of the numerous options make it even more challenging, and that is why we have compiled a comprehensive list of all types of mattresses you will likely get to see in stores and online. We listed out the pros and cons of each one so you can choose the one that has more to offer you in your everyday life. We also included advice and guides that you will find helpful when picking a mattress.

1. Innerspring

One of the commonest mattresses you find in almost all stores you go into is the innerspring mattress. Ignoring brand name or other labels, innerspring mattresses are mattresses with coils surrounded by comfort materials. At the core of the mattress, you will find layers of coils that give the bed a sort of bouncy effect. All around it is comfort materials which could either be made of foam, latex, or fiber.

The innerspring mattress is not a mattress that is too soft. Because it relies on the coils for support, it has a level of firmness. 

Pros 

  1. Innerspring mattresses are readily available on a small budget. You don’t have to spend a lot or have a large budget to purchase one.
  2. They have different varieties of firmness options. Firmness is not just hard and soft; there are several other options in between the two. Read the firm mattress guide.
  3. Innerspring mattresses offer back support. They are suitable for spine alignment and are great beds that won’t cause you back pain.
  4. Availability is another point that innerspring mattresses have to themselves. As mentioned earlier, you can find them in almost every store. They are traditional and common.
  5. Innerspring mattresses are also easy to move and transport. Transportation after purchasing would bring no issue.

Cons

  1. Flipping helps your mattress to last for a long while as you change from side to side. However, for an innerspring mattress, flipping is useless. They are one-sided and therefore unflippable.
  2. Although Innerspring mattresses have a great support system, they offer less relief to pressure on joints. 
  3. Also, as the bed becomes old and starts to wear, your spring coils may become very noisy. When this happens, the bed becomes uncomfortable for sleep as every movement on the bed comes with a creak.
  4. Compared to other types of mattresses, the innerspring mattress wears out faster. They are not durable and therefore do not last very long. Nonetheless, you should expect to use it for about five years.
  5. Generally, customers have been known to rate it low when it comes to customers’ satisfaction.

Types of spring mattresses

Mattresses with innerspring can also be classified into various types. They are

1. Pocket coil

This is the most expensive type of innerspring mattresses, and they are very bouncy. However, unlike the general types of coil mattresses that are noisy and disturb other sleepers when there is movement on them, the pocket coil mattress absorbs the motion. Sleepers can sleep and move out of bed without disturbing other people. 

Each of the springs in a pocketed coil mattress is wrapped in a pocket, and this makes it very easy to minimize the effect of motion on the whole mattress.

Other than the fact that pocketed coil mattresses are expensive, they are the best option of the Innerspring mattress types.

2. Offset coil

If your budget is an issue and you cannot afford the pocketed coil mattress, then the offset coil is another option to look at. Offset coil mattresses have their coils constructed with a hinge-like squared top and bottom. This too, and the bottom is then connected to the next coil. 

Offset coil mattresses are also of good quality, but they are expensive. They are durable than many of the other types of cheaper innerspring mattresses, and they serve owners well. 

3. Bonnell coil

Picking a Bonnell coil mattress is moving down the scale as their quality falls short of that of offset coil. The coils are built like an hourglass and then connected. They have good localized support, are very cheap but come noisy. If you are picking your innerspring mattress based on a budget, then Bonnell is cool because they are not expensive. However, they are not a very durable choice.

4. Continuous coils

Another of the innerspring mattress coils you will likely come across is the ones with continuous coils. The springs are rather very long and compiled into an S-shaped, making it continuous. Like the Bonnell, they are also not quality and not durable, but they do the job.

Innerspring mattresses offer comfort and are great if you are looking for firmness and back support. However, how long they last depend on the type of coil which is contained in them.

2. Memory Foam

One of the foam mattresses that you will get almost anywhere is the memory foam. They are fast replacing the innerspring mattresses because they offer most of its benefits and even more. They offer an outstanding level of sinkage and restore to their normal shape in no time.

The material is great and cushions your body when you sleep in it. NASA invented memory foam to make the aircraft cushion safer. So yes, you know what that means. They can absorb pressure and motion while still being super comfy.

They are gentle, cuddles you up, and are great for relaxation. 

Pros

  1. One of the pros of memory foam mattresses that continues to stand out is comfortability. Foam mattress offers a comfort level that not many mattresses can boast of. They form the perfect bed to lay and a good measure to compare other mattresses.
  2. Unlike the innerspring mattress, they offer relief to pressure points. Therefore, great to relax on after a long day.
  3. Memory foam is great for spine alignment. It won’t sink too much to cause your spine to be placed in an irregular position.
  4. It also has reduced motion transfer that helps to reduce the effect of movement on the mattress when sleeping. Whether you move or your partner moves, the effect wouldn’t be so much on disturbing sleep.
  5. Most customers who have used memory foam are also noted to have loved it as they said it gives great satisfaction.
  6. Lastly, memory foam mattresses are durable. You won’t think about getting a new mattress for a very long time as they will continue to serve you till they become very old.

Cons

  1. Memory foam mattresses do not come cheap. They are more expensive and require that you allocate a large budget when going shopping for one. However, they are totally worth it. 
  2. For people who sleep hot, memory foam may not be a good option. They trap heat and are not very breathable. Therefore, cause the body to feel hot. 
  3. It also has less bounce-back quality.

3. Gel foam

Of the foam mattresses, you will find gel foam. Their foams are gel-infused, which allows them to make up for memory foam’s inadequacy- temperature maintenance. They also bounce back quickly after use but do not have the cuddling feel that memory foam gives.

Pros

  1. They have temperature regulation and are good whether you sleep hot or cold. They don’t trap the heat.
  2. It bounces back to its original state after pressure is taken off, so they are cool and won’t have hollows quickly.
  3. They are great for pressure on joints and the hips.

Cons

  1. Gel foam mattresses are not very hard, so they don’t ouch back after pressure is applied. They sink to regain their shape later.
  2. Although foam mattresses are very expensive, this mattress type costs even more.

4. Latex mattresses

Latex foam is another foam mattress you’ll come across in the array of mattresses available. The foam is made from latex. It offers a soft feel, and it is bouncy. You’ll find most of them durable because of the material from which they are made, and they are as well affordable.

Latex mattresses could also be of different qualities based on the processing technique- The Dunlop and the Talalay latex process. The result of the latter makes the mattress more breathable.

Pros

  1. Latex foams are made with natural materials. So yes, they are really eco-friendly. They are ideal if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint.
  2. They are bouncy and do not sink much to cause a hollow. 
  3. Chemicals are not used in their production, another reason why they score a point on the eco-friendly board.

Cons

  1. They are expensive but can be said to be worth the investment. There are durable, and you’ll enjoy using them
  2. If you have a latex allergy, then you may not be able to use the latex mattress
  3. Although a great bed, they possess a spongy feel that makes them slightly uncomfortable.

5. Polyfoam

One other foam type that you will likely come across is polyfoam. They are the direct opposite of latex and fiber because they are made from chemicals. Not to worry, however, the chemicals are not dangerous to your health, as they have been made to be specifically non-hazardous. 

Polyfoam is the mattress type that combines layers of different materials. Usually, they have three layers, so each one may have the same constituent or different constitutes. Some polyfoam utilizes memory foam, innerspring, or other high resilience polyfoam as their layers.

Pros

  1. Polyfoams are comfortable to sleep on and feel almost like memory foam. They cuddle you close and sink you in.
  2. They are great for pressure relief of joints after a tiring day.
  3. The sinking is not very much, and it can bounce back quickly after pressure is removed.
  4. It is also great for spine alignment. You can be assured you won’t wake up with back pain when you use polyfoam.
  5. Unlike latex, people with latex allergies can make use of polyfoam without fear.

Cons

  1. One of the layers commonly used that gives it density, high resilience polyfoam, is expensive.
  2. Its durability depends on its density. Therefore, there is a need to pick foams of higher density.

If the price is to be ignored, foam mattresses are great. They are durable and offer support for the body. Generally, they have reduced motion transfer. If you will be getting a foam mattress, the investment is worth it.

6. Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid mattresses are mattresses that combine both the spring and the foam. Yes, they utilize the benefits of both to give users a new experience that was not available before. If you can’t choose between a foam and a spring mattress, you should check out the hybrid mattress. You will definitely find one you love.

Pros

  1. With hybrid mattresses, you get pressure relief support as well as back support. The need to compromise and enjoy some quality while lacking others is removed.
  2. They are not as expensive as getting mattresses with only memory foam layers. With hybrid, you can enjoy the benefits of memory foam without actually paying the price of memory foam.
  3. Hybrid mattresses have good temperature regulation features. So, you don’t have to worry whether you sleep hot or cold. 
  4. They are really soft and comfortable but do not sink because of the spring present.
  5. Spring mattresses have issues with motion transfer; for hybrid, it’s not. They are quieter with reduced motion detection. Couples will love it.
  6. Couples with different interests when it comes to firmness would also appreciate the hybrid mattress as it offers different firmness levels based on the material.

Cons

  1. Hybrid mattresses absorb motion more than the innerspring mattress; however, compared to foam mattresses, they absorb less.
  2. The higher the quality ( or quantity of foam), the more expensive it becomes. There is like a scale that if it is more springy, then you’ll find it cheaper.
  3. There is also a need to research the components of any hybrid mattress before picking it so that you know what you are signing up for.

Types of hybrid

Innerspring latex hybrid

The innerspring latex hybrid mattress combines the advantages of the innerspring together with that of the latex to give a unique mattress. They are durable, strong, and very comfortable.

With the innerspring latex hybrid, you will go eco-friendly while still saving money. They are not as expensive as the latex-only mattress. The spring gives it even steadier support.

One problem which the innerspring latex mattress faces, however, is the problem of structural weakness. You can overcome this by first checking and testing the mattress before settling to buy.

Polyfoam latex hybrid

Polyfoam latex hybrid combines polyfoam and latex together to create another unique mattress. The end product of the combining is a durable, soft mattress that you would love. 

Polyfoam is loved for the comfort it offers and its durability. This feature you can combine with latex’s bouncy nature without paying more than necessary.

Hybrid mattresses are not exactly perfect, but if you do not have a budget for foam and the innerspring is too much for you. Then picking the hybrid would be ideal.

Other types of mattresses

7. Waterbeds

Waterbeds are some of the oldest beds that you will come across. They were used as far back as 3000 years BCE, and in the ’80s, they were very popular. 

Pros

  1. Waterbeds are great for the back as it was invented to help back sores. It makes the back more limber.
  2. The water in the bed can be heated for other effects related to therapy and health care.
  3. The bed helps to relieve the body of pains body and joint aches.

Cons

  1. A waterbed is not easy to transport, and it is also hard to set it up. Added to that is the heavyweight.
  2. It could also leak, causing additional stress. Therefore it needs a high maintenance level.
  3. It does little in motion transfer absorbance, so your sleep will likely be disturbed when there is movement on the bed.

8. Airbeds

Airbeds are another type of mattress that can be considered for long-term use, rather than short-term use, which we are all familiar with. Some airbeds which come with built-in inflation devices allow you to adjust the firmness to your desired level so you can control the firmness and softness.

Pros

  1. The ability to manipulate the firmness is one of the reasons that make it desirable. You don’t have to go with the factory-made firmness; instead, you can adjust to suit your needs.
  2. Some airbeds can accommodate two settings to help you and your partner settle with a setting that fits your sleeping needs.

See Also: How to choose a mattress

Cons

  1. Airbed takes a while to set up as you need to inflate it if you deflate it after use.
  2. It could also sag with time, losing its air.
  3. Most of them come with a low-quality warranty.

9. Adjustable beds

Another chance to customize your own firmness or bed slope is the adjustable bed. Usually, they are combined with other types of beds to make it even more comfortable. Just like the name suggests, an adjustable bed can be adjusted to any form.

Pros

  1. Adjustable beds are great for when you have to be in a particular position because of an ache or pain. 
  2. They help you to work easily from your bed as they can be adjusted to fit.
  3. Some adjustable bed brands offer the massage features that you would appreciate after a long day.

Cons

  1. Quality adjustable beds are usually expensive.
  2. You need to research adjustable beds to get one that fits your bed or mattress or to get the right bed sheet sizes for them. To get the right one with ease, you may have to purchase both your mattress and adjustable bed from the same brand.
  3. They are heavy. Thus, transportation is not easy.

10. Pillow-top mattresses

An additional type of mattress that is commonly found in stores is the pillow-top mattress. The mattress is made with an extra pillow on top of it to increase the padding that comes with the mattress. The paddings, of course, are of various types and you can choose based on the available options. 

Pros

  1. Pillow-top mattresses have good temperature regulation and therefore have a cooling effect
  2. The bounce back quickly and easily after pressure has been removed
  3. They also do not form a hollow quickly, therefore durable
  4. Unlike many other mattresses, they are washable

Cons

  1. They are expensive, therefore may require a large budget to purchase
  2. Pillow-top mattresses are also often too soft.

Types of mattresses and their firmness

Soft

Soft Mattresses can be found amidst the memory foam, polyfoam, and gel-infused foam.

Medium

Medium-firm mattresses are available in almost all mattress types. Talk to a store guide or contact the manufacturer for more details on this.

Firm/Hard

For hard mattresses, pick either the innerspring or a hybrid mattress. Read the firm mattress guide for more information.

FAQs

Which mattress type is best?

Each mattress type has its pros and cons. None of them have it all; however, many customers seem to prefer foam mattresses.

Which mattress type is good for health?

Individual health and body requirements differ; therefore, there is no perfect mattress for everyone. You are expected to pick a mattress based on your interest, budget, and body.

How do you choose a mattress type?

To choose a mattress requires that you put into consideration certain conditions. Read our guide on how to choose a mattress.

What are the different mattress types?

Mattresses could either be foam, innerspring, hybrid, or other types like the waterbed, airbed, and adjustable bed.

Conclusion

We have converted some of the very many mattresses available. We mentioned the pros of each one and the cons to guide you when picking a mattress.

Do not forget to consider the type of sleeper you are to further guide you on the firmness level you need.