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Choosing the Perfect Mattress

Choosing the Perfect Mattress Header

Girl Sleeping on a Brand New Mattress

The mattress has been around since the Neolithic period and consisted of stones, leaves, grass or straw. The mattress industry has come a long way with what constitutes a mattress nowadays. With many options to choose from, picking the right mattress can be a confusing and frustrating task. Some mattresses are too soft while others are too firm.

During the15th Century Renaissance period, mattresses were made of pea shucks, straw and sometimes feathers- stuffed into coarse material and covered with silks or velvets.

Getting a good night's sleep depends on different factors- comfort, stress and temperature, but the most important and basic building block is the mattress. Getting a good night's sleep will no longer be an issue if you know what type of mattress you are looking for. What follows is a list of popular types of mattresses and their features.

The word mattress is derived from the Arabic word "al-matrah" meaning "to throw" and "place where something is thrown". During the 18th century, mattresses began to be stuffed with cotton or wool, and soon the box spring was invented to provide support to these softer mattresses.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring Coil Mattress Cross Section

The innerspring mattress is the most common type of mattress and very popular. These mattresses consist of rows of spring coils and a comfort layer. The innerspring is the source of support and provides support as your body shifts during sleep. The combination of foams and fibers provide multiple options of softness and comfort.

There are four different types of coil mattresses:

  • Open Coil (or Bonnell) Mattress – feature hourglass-shaped coils which are attached to surrounding coils. These coils provide excellent support. Open coils tend to wear faster than other coil construction.
  • Offset Coil mattress- is similar to open coil mattresses but feature a square head instead of round.
  • Individual wrapped (or Marshall) mattress- has individually wrapped coils within separate fabric pockets. Each coil is separate and helps reduce movement.
  • Continuous coil mattress- has rows of coils made from a single continuous wire. This causes each spring to share the weight.

The largest mattress you can buy is the Grand King and measures at 80" x 98"!

According to the, the largest mattress created was by Italian mattress maker Fariello Materassi and is the size of 100 full size mattresses, 3 feet tall, features 40,000 coils and weighs over 6 tons.

Latex Foam Mattresses

Latex Foam Mattress with Sheet

These mattresses feature a latex foam core instead of traditional innersprings. This type of mattress is extremely resilient and helps reduce heat through normal use. There are two types of latex: natural and synthetic. The foam is designed to be responsive and supports a comfortable night's sleep. There is no need to worry about blown springs with foam mattresses.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory Foam Pillow

In the 1970s NASA invents a material best known as, "memory foam". In 1992, Tempur-Pedic introduces the memory foam mattress.

Memory foam mattresses feature visco memory foam instead of coils. These mattresses are ideal for people who suffer from lower back pain as the memory foam molds around the person's body, providing customized support without sagging. Motion transfer is greatly reduced since there are no coils to transfer movement and this type of foam is typically denser that other foam mattresses. This in turn makes it very supportive but heavier.

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