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Anatomy of a Mattress


Anatomy of a Mattress

Posted on: September 12, 2017

A guide to what makes up your mattress.


Alto Mattress by Southerland

Coil Spring Mattress


Also known as an Innerspring Mattress, a Coil Spring Mattress is an old school option, composed of a single frame with interconnected steel springs. A ‘comfort layer’ of foam, fiber or batting rests on top of this steel support layer, and the full mattress is encased in a fabric cover. This mattress type is the least expensive, and also touted as the least comfortable. Because springs operate as one mass, the mattress is less responsive, and may aggravate pressure points and joints. After prolonged used, springs tend to sag. Most experts will tell you to steer clear of this type, and opt for other options.

  • Inexpensive

  • Readily available

  • Linked coils are less responsive and more likely to aggravate pressure points

  • Lack of motion isolation

  • Limited lifespan

  • 4-6 years

TIP: If you are set on a Coil Spring approach, search for Offset Coils, rather than Bonnel or Continuous Coils

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Crown Imperial Mattress by Kingsdown

Pocket Spring Mattress

A Pocket Spring Mattress is the contemporary solution to a spring based mattress. Steel coils are housed in individual fabric pockets, connected together with glue or stitches. These pockets allow springs to move independently, conforming to bodies better than interconnected coil springs. Various types of coils are arranged at the head, foot, sides and center of the mattress, providing a specific range of support. A ‘comfort layer’ of foam and fiber is layered over the pocket springs, and the mattress is encased in quilted fabric. The open springs allow for a breathable, temperature regulated sleeping experience, but can attract dust mites and allergens. Pocket Spring Mattresses are a great choice for those desiring a ‘springy’ feel at an affordable price.

  • Generally inexpensive, available in a wide range of prices for every budget

  • Springy feel with a reactive touch

  • Breathable, which helps to regulate body temperature at rest

  • Various types of springs offer a range of support

  • Conforms less to body than Memory Foam, and may aggravate some pressure points

  • Can trap dust mites or other allergens

  • Lack of motion isolation

  • 6-8 years

TIP: For top quality, look for a coil count over 1,000.

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Crown Mattress by The Bed Boss

Memory Foam Mattress


Praised for exceptional comfort, Memory Foam Mattresses form to the contours of each body, providing individual, targeted support. Memory Foam Mattresses are composed of multiple layers of conforming visco-elastic foam, atop a foundation of firm, polyurethane support foam. These solid blocks of dense foam tend to be more hypoallergenic than coil options, with no nooks to trap dust mites. Memory Foam Mattresses are great options for partners that toss and turn, featuring strong motion isolation. If you seek sinkable comfort, this is the style for you.

  • Provides a ‘sinking,’ enveloping feel

  • Conforms to the body, providing personalized support

  • Distributes weight evenly

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Isolates motion

  • More expensive than spring mattresses

  • Initial offgassing of polyurethane may irritate some sleepers

  • Lack of airflow can make it difficult to regulate body temperature at rest

  • 10-12 years

TIP: Look beyond the surface. For durability, high end support foam is just as important as an upper layer of quality memory foam.

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Hybrid Sleep Mattress by The Bed Boss

Hybrid Mattress

Marrying the best of both worlds, Hybrid Mattresses combine the pros of Pocket Spring Mattresses and Memory Foam Mattresses. Generally composed of a pocket spring foundation, Hybrid Mattresses are topped with a thick ‘comfort layers’ of memory foam or latex. This allows for the responsive support of traditional coils, with the sinkable comfort of contemporary foam. A little ‘sink’ and a little ‘spring’ allows you to rest well and wake happy.

  • Provides the ‘sinking’ feel with a springy support

  • Conforms to the body better than Spring Mattresses

  • Less expensive than Memory Foam Mattresses

  • A newer mattress form, we have yet to see long term studies on wear and tear

  • Less motion isolation than Memory Foam Mattresses

  • 8-10 years

TIP: Shop carefully; Make sure your hybrid is topped with high quality memory foam or latex.

Latex Mattress

For an eco-friendly option, turn to a Latex Mattress. Latex is made from the processed sap of the rubber tree, and 100% latex mattresses forgo chemical additives and petroleum byproducts. These are the most expensive mattresses available, and also the most durable. Latex mattresses provide firm support, and are a top choice for those with back pain. Looking for a high end, all natural option? Latex might be the choice for you.

  • An all natural alternative to synthetic mattresses

  • The most durable option available

  • Superior support for back pain

  • Hypoallergenic


  • More expensive than other mattresses

  • Initial natural scent may irritate some sleepers, but does dissipate with time

  • Lack of airflow can make it difficult to regulate body temperature at rest

  • 15+ years

TIP: For a less expensive take, seek a Latex exterior over a synthetic base.

A Visual Guide to 10 Iconic Forms