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Parts Of A Mattress

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#1 Rated: Saatva Classic

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Before you buy a mattress, understand its 3-4 basic layers.

You'll likely make a mistake that will negatively impact your sleep and health.

Support, transition layer, comfort layer, and overall style (ticking and quilting) are all 'parts' of a mattress that you should familiarize yourself with.

Saatva Classic is our #1 rated mattress (out of 325+). An incredible combination of comfort and support. It'll last 10-15 years.

Mattress Parts - Support Layer

There are 5 main mattress support layers, also known as the core, that are responsible for proper spinal alignment:

• Innerspring
• Latex
• Polyurethane
• Airbeds
• Waterbeds

There are 4 basic types of innerspring mattress cores:

• Bonnell
• Offset
• Continuous coil
• Pocket coil

These mattress cores can be used with any type of comfort layer, including latex, memory foam, polyurethane, or natural fibers.

Natural fibers and memory foam are not usually suitable for the support core of a mattress.

Memory foam can be used in rare cases - if the layer of foam is high density (more than 4.5 lbs)

Mattress Parts - Comfort Layer

There are 6 types of comfort layers that can be included in a mattress:

1. Latex:
• Made from a milky liquid that comes from a rubber tree and processed into a foam.
• When it is made from natural rubber it is called NR latex.
• When it is artificially made with a synthetic alternative it's called SBR (Synthetic Rubber Latex).
• Blends of NR and SBR are widely available and very similar to NR in quality, while pure NR latex is less common.

2. Memory foam:
• Similar to polyfoam with some added chemicals.
• Dependant on the thickness of the support layers at the bottom of the mattress. This is because memory foam by itself isn't supportive enough to be used in the deeper support layers.

3. Polyfoam (Polyurethane):
• Defined as a type of foam that softens or breaks down relatively quickly, becoming the weak link in the mattress in terms of durability.

4. Natural and artificial fibers:
• Natural fibers can be very comfortable in some cases.
• They are far less elastic than foams.
• They form a pressure-relieving cradle suitable for single sleeping profiles.

5. Micro-coils:
• Type of a "mini" innerspring that can provide pressure relief as well as support.
• In order to isolate coils from the sleeper, they should be covered with a thin layer of foam or fiber.

6. Buckling gel column:
• Has an unusual "crackling" feel and like memory foam requires a firm and high-quality support layer underneath it.

Mattress Parts - Coils

The 4 main types of coil or innerspring mattresses are:

1. Pocketed coils:
• Each unit consists of tempered steel coils that are individually inserted into a durable material pocket or sock.
• Each pocket/sock is fused to its neighbor until a large rectangle forms.
• The springs are zoned to provide some pressure relief where needed.

2. Bonnell coils:
• The most common innerspring system. Uses single steel which is woven in various ways and may be knotted or bound together.
• A thick wire frame is bound along the entire edge of the coils, closing them into a typical mattress shape.

3. Mini/Micro/Nano coils:
• Significantly smaller than those found on innerspring and hybrid models.
• Made of cotton fabric blends with coil springs for added support.
• They are more inclined in motion transfer and offer more stable support for your sleep, but don't guarantee the best mattress for long-term comfort.

4. Offset coils:
• Offset coils are hourglass-type coils on which portions of the top and bottom convolutions are flattened.

Mattress Parts - Foam

Furniture and bedding industries use polyurethane foam (PU) because it is easy to reproduce and durable.

Every mattress contains some amount of PU foam.

Furthermore, polyurethane foam provides a cushioned feel as well as support.

Memory foam mattresses feel firmer in cool rooms, and softer in warm rooms. For this reason, manufacturers developed "faster response" memory foam and made mattresses warmer.

Some foams are designed and configured to keep your body warm by regulating the temperature. Gel has recently been introduced to mattresses, either as a pad or as particles infused into visco-elastic layers.

Mattress Parts - Latex

Rubber trees produce latex from their milk sap. It is organic and biodegradable. In mattresses, latex foam is usually made from both natural and synthetic latex. By using the talalay or dunlop processes, natural latex mattresses can be made without polyurethane-based chemicals.

In spite of mattress manufacturers touting the virtues of their latex beds, there is not much difference in quality between them. The difference between latex mattresses (without chemical foaming agents) and Talalay latex mattresses (which have been mixed, foamed, and cured with soaps and rubber curing agents).

Mattress Parts - Hybrid

Hybrid beds usually combine coils with foam, latex, or gel to give them a balance between coils and foam.

Layers relieve different pressure points during sleep, reducing tossing and turning.

The mattress' base is also supportive, bouncy, and comfortable.

Mattress Parts - Pillow Top Vs. Tight Top Vs. Euro Top

There are 3 main choices for a mattress top:

• Pillow-top
• Euro-top
• Tight-top

Note: Each of these three style choices is not a testament to the overall construction of the mattress. The top design of a mattress is more of an aesthetic choice than a practical one.

Mattress Parts - Ticking & Quilting

The mattress cover is usually a quilted white layer that prevents sweat and oils from penetrating. Mattresses and foundations are covered in ticking. The fabric is usually made from polyester yarns and comes in a variety of colors and styles.

In the early 2000s, single-fabric beds were popular. These days, the top panel is covered with a circular knit or woven damask. To enhance comfort, a foam layer sits beneath the quilted top layer. Cotton batting of varying thicknesses is also used in certain areas to provide firmer support.

Insulated padding protects the coils from damage and prevents the sleeper from feeling them. Matted fabric or plastic fibers are usually used for padding.

Modern mattresses also have an extra layer of foam along the edges to provide firm support.

Mattress Parts - Support

Under a mattress, support reinforces, elevates, and prolongs its life.

Platform foundations typically consist of wooden boxes with wooden slats and metal crossbars.

Mattress Parts - Other

Some mattresses are made from 4 main non-standard materials, such as:

• Dacron, which is a non-allergenic, non-animal fiber fill that feels and looks like cotton wool.
• Lambswool or cashmere mattresses are blended with cotton or wool for a thicker, more durable comfort layer.
• A waterbed has water inside instead of coils or air which supports the spine and other body parts.
• An air mattress uses air rather than a coil system or foam core for support. They are inflated either orally by blowing into a valve, or with a manual or electric pump.

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#1 Rated: Saatva Classic

Saatva is our #1 best mattress for 2023! 50k+ 5-star reviews.

FREE white-glove delivery


5 s


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