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Everything You Need to Know about Mattress Types

mattress types

Most experts agree that you should purchase a new mattress every five to 10 years. Is it time for a new mattress? If it is and you aren’t sure where to start, keep reading!

Determining what type of mattress is best for you can be a tricky task. Hopefully, these definitions and examples of mattress types will allow you to make an informed decision when you shop for your new mattress. 

Mattress Types


Memory Foam Mattresses

The technical name for memory foam is visco-elastic polyurethane. It is an open-celled foam that responds and reacts to your body weight to relieve pressure. While Tempur-Pedic was the first brand to use memory foam in mattresses, many companies now use this material. Memory foam is also now used as a generic term.

If “sleeping hot” is an issue for you, you would ideally want a pillow top mattress or an advanced memory foam mattress with cooling layers or gels.

Visco-elastic foamAlso known as visco. Synonymous with “memory foam”. This is an open-celled foam that responds to the weight of your body and reacts to relieve pressure. It also responds to the heat of your body, working to keep you comfortable.

mattress types

Gel foamIn general, this is a visco foam containing semi-solid gel particles, creating gel-infused foam. You will often find this in the comfort layer of the mattress. Gel foams provide the feel of memory foam mattresses while creating a cooling affect. Serta iComfort mattresses combine gel and traditional memory foams, designed to regulate your body’s temperature. 

Latex foamLatex foam is usually created through Dunlop or Talalay manufacturing. It’s a softer-feeling foam known for its responsiveness, cooling properties and more elasticity than memory foam.

  • Dunlop process: The latex is poured in one complete pour. Foam is denser at the bottom and softer toward the top making it firm and strong for long-lasting support.
  •  Talalay processA mold is partially filled with latex then air is added, expanding the latex to the complete form. This creates foam that is less dense, but has a consistent feel throughout the foam.

Innerspring Mattresses

mattress types

Serta encased coils

Benefits of Innerspring Mattresses

Strong coils=firm support

More coils=more support

Coil systems are used within innerspring mattresses to provide support. Coils offer a variety of benefits from sturdiness to flexibility and reduced motion transfer.

Innerspring mattresses are usually a more budget-friendly choice while still offering a variety of feels. Coil mattresses can still offer reduced motion transfer if the coils are individually wrapped or encased so the mattress motion stays within the area of movement.

Pillow top mattresses feature an extra layer of padding on top of the mattress, providing extra comfort. Pillow tops are often found on top of innerspring mattresses. This allows firm beds to have a soft, comfortable top without losing support.

Shop Innerspring Mattresses:

Hybrid Mattresses

hybrid mattress is a combination of innersprings and foams within one mattress. These mattresses give the feel of contouring foam mattresses with the sturdiness of the springs inside.

Hybrid mattresses offer spinal alignment and pressure point relief, which is great for side sleepers. The foam layers help reduce motion transfer.

mattress types

Beautyrest Black Natasha Mattress

The Advanced Pocketed Coils in the Natasha mattress, for example, allow each coil to adjust individually for optimal motion separation and targeted support throughout the night.

Motion Transfer– This is how energy transfers from one part of the mattress to the other, based on how the people move. This feature is important for anyone who shares a bed. A mattress with less motion transfer will ensure you can sleep soundly when your partner gets up or moves about in the middle of the night. Individually wrapped coils create less reaction throughout the bed, focusing the movement to one part of the mattress and minimizing motion transfer.

Great Mattresses for Minimized Motion Transfer:

These mattresses feature systems and materials that help reduce motion transfer so you can sleep soundly.

  • mattress types

    Tempur-Cloud Mattresses

    The Tempur-Cloud collection allows you to sleep undisturbed with its TEMPUR®material. It reduces motion transfer so your partner’s movement won’t wake you up.

  • mattress types

    Ashley Chime Mattresses

    Ashley’s Chime bed in a box mattresses have memory foam with firm support foam that works to reduce motion transfer.

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    Sealy Tuffington Plush Mattress

    The Sealy Tuffington plush mattress features a Response Pro HD Encased Coil System that reduces motion transfer.

  • mattress types

    Sealy Wahlquist Plush Pillow Top Mattress

    Similar to the Sealy Tuffington mattress, this pillow top mattress from Sealy features the Response Pro HD Encased Coil System, reducing motion transfer while creating a supportive feel.


Need more information on mattress types?

Our mattress infographic has even more information on mattress types and feels. Now that we’ve helped you decide on what mattress type you’re looking for, you can browse our selection to find the right mattress for you!

Browse Mattresses

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