The materials inside your mattress affect it how it feels and how long it lasts, so it’s important to understand your options.
For decades, most mattresses were constructed of an innerspring, topped with various types of padding. But today, you’ve got gel-infused memory foams, moisture-regulating fabrics, carbon-steel coils and numerous other materials, available across a wide range of mattress types.
The good news is: you don’t need to be a mattress scientist to get a great night sleep. You just need to know some basics.
Box Spring Mattresses
The box spring, also known as the foundation, sits underneath your mattress. It plays an important role in supporting the full width of your mattress and ensuring its longevity. This is why manufacturers strongly encourage buying your mattress and box spring together—they’re designed to work in unison. Today, most box springs do not actually have springs, but instead use a sturdy wood framework, which is topped with flat board and lightly upholstered. An adjustable foundation is another option for those who do a lot of reading or watching TV in bed.
Most modern mattresses are still made with an innerspring system, typically made of thin metal. Some use a continuous coil system; others use independent coils. New innovations from Englander use ultra-lightweight carbon steel, which flexes more freely, and is arranged head-to-toe to reduce motion between partners. This can be found in the mattresses shopping section that we offer at Ben’s.
Traditional Foam & Fiber Layers of A Mattress
Your mattress’s innerspring system typically has several layers of foam on top and underneath. The most immediate layers are usually high-density foams designed to provide a supportive base for the other layers. This incorporates numerous foam and fiber layers to create the perfect amount of cushioning, in addition to other benefits, like improved air flow, temperature regulation and fire blocking.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam is unique from other foams in that it gently conforms to your body. This helps to greatly reduce the pressure points that cause tossing at night. It also distributes your weight evenly, ensuring proper sleep posture. Memory foam is typically incorporated as one of the top layers of the mattress (see our Oxford Box Top Mattress for example). Some mattresses are made with a memory foam core, instead of an innerspring. In other cases, mattresses are made with other types of foam cores, but then topped with memory foam. Some manufacturers are now using gel-infused memory foam for even better pressure-point relief without the heat build-up that traditional memory foams are known for.
Quilting of a Mattress
The “quilt” is the very top layer of the mattress, consisting of the fabric itself, sometimes with additional foam layers encased inside. Mattresses like our Nottingham Pillow Top use a moisture-wicking fabric that ensures a dryer, cooler sleep surface.
Featherbeds, contrary to their names, are not actually beds. They’re bedding, made with feathers, down or a mixture of materials, which you add on top of your mattress to make it softer – kind of like lying on a tick comforter.
The 70s may be long gone, but believe it or not, you can still buy water beds. Newer water-based mattresses incorporate multiple fiber and vinyl layers to reduce “waves” and provide more support than older styles. Just keep the scissors away!
Ask The Mattress Experts at Ben’s Furniture
Remember, each mattress has its own unique set of materials to accommodate the comfort preferences of each sleeper. If you’re curious what’s inside any of our mattresses, just ask our associates. We’ll go over your options to help you build the perfect bed.