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What Type of Mattress Should I Choose?

Posted by Lauren Juarez on

What Type of Mattress Should I Choose?                                   

Did you know that there are several factors that can impact your quality of sleep? The temperature in your bedroom, your partner’s snoring, watching TV before bed, and even your choice of PJ's can all affect how well you sleep. Yep, it’s true. Aside from those factors though, there are two bigger factors and those are the type and age of your mattress. So, what kind of mattress are you sleeping on and how old is it really?

If your mattress is more than 7 years old, it may be time to say goodbye. A great mattress should comfort and cradle your body, offering the right amount of support where you need it most to relieve pressure on your joints. Unfortunately, if your mattress is too old, or of poor quality, you may be causing your body more harm than good. An aging mattress loses its ability to support you properly, and if the quality of your mattress leaves something to be desired, it’ll seem to age even faster. If you’re regularly waking up exhausted, have a sore back, or just can’t seem to get comfortable at night, chances are that your mattress is the culprit.

Does this sound like you? If the answer to that question is a “yes”, then I’ll pose another: Are you ready to replace that shotty mattress yet? Another “yes”, but don’t know where to begin? Then it’s time to break down your options!

With the newest technologies and some seriously cool materials, along with options for every price point, you’re bound to find the mattress your body’s been craving. Keep in mind, though, that choosing a mattress is a very personal decision and only you will know which one is the best. How? Test that sucker out! That’s right, right in the store! Lay down, roll all over that bad boy, on your side, your back and your stomach, heck, grab a pillow and prop yourself up like you would if you were watching TV at home. In reality, doing these things is no different than trying on a pair of shoes and walking around in them for a bit before purchasing. And if we’re being honest, a mattress is probably going to run you a bit more monetarily speaking than a pair of tennis shoes, so it’s definitely worthwhile to give it a go before making a decision.

Still waiting on those options? Right. Well, let’s start with an innerspring mattress; these are made up of steel coil support systems, of which there are several. Individually wrapped pocketed coils are fairly popular as they typically reduce motion transfer, allowing you to sleep with less disturbance from your partner. Continuous coil innerspring systems are constructed of rows of coils all connected by one piece of metal that runs from head to foot, hence the name; this type of innerspring system tends to be on the firmer side for those who prefer a little less give. Then there’s an offset coil system which typically provides better support and more easily contours to your body better than other innerspring options.


How about a pillow-top mattress? These are usually still innerspring based, though they can also be constructed with gel or memory foam, and are made by adding an additional upholstery layer that is similar to a pillow in feel and thickness. The upholstery layer typically consists of regular foam, latex, memory foam, cotton, or wool.

Next up is a hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses combine a steel coil support system, in other words an innerspring system, with one or more types of foam, like memory, latex or gel. They offer a great option if you’re looking for the pressure relieving benefits of foam with the traditional feel of an innerspring system, or, if you just aren’t ready to make the leap to a mattress made up completely of foam.

Speaking of foam, next up would be the specialty foam mattresses which are constructed of just that, specialty foam. Some models use more than one type of foam, combining memory and latex, or gel foam for cooling benefits. Specialty foam mattresses offer advantages and focus on comfort and durability above all else. These mattresses are ideal for those who are looking for relief of pressure points; greater back and joint support; or are looking to limit the effects of motion transfer. Since the material absorbs pressure, and allows for your body weight to be evenly supported across the surface of the mattress, your body alignment is sure to improve over time.

Feeling gelly? Let’s talk about some gel options, shall we? Gel mattresses are constructed of foam containing gel, either in the support system, upholstery layers, or both. Since gel memory foam is still memory foam, you’ll find that it feels quite plush. These types of mattresses also lessen partner disturbance, similar to other options, but offer better air circulation allowing heat to be more effectively drawn away from your body, producing a cooler sleeping surface. So, if you tend to sleep hot, I’d suggest giving a gel mattress a run.

Memory foam is next. Memory foam mattresses use a high-density polyurethane foam for the support system, in the upholstery layer, and sometimes in both. Memory foam contours to the shape of your body, offering unsurpassed support, and quick response to heat and pressure, allowing the surface to evenly distribute your body’s weight when on it, and easily returning to its original shape when you’re not. Memory foam is also allergy friendly, great at eliminating motion transfer, and since it contours to your shape, can offer pain-relieving comfort where your body needs it.

On to latex! Well, to begin, I should start by letting you know that latex mattresses are either made using natural materials or man-made synthetic materials. If it’s all natural, the latex is derived from rubber trees (Yep, trees, y’all.) which yield a milky white fluid that, when coupled with a few other ingredients, becomes rubber-like in consistency. Synthetic latex is made of chemicals, which may not matter to some consumers, but may to others. These days, most latex mattresses are constructed with a blend of natural and synthetic materials so it’s best to pay attention and ask any questions you may have about the specific materials used.


Well, now that your options have been broken down, are you ready to replace that old mattress of yours? Say yes, say yes! Remember though, to do yourself a solid and try them out. With the right knowledge and numerous materials and price points to choose from, I just know you’ll find a mattress that offers all your body needs.