Which type of mattress is the best?
The question of what kind of mattress to buy is always a difficult one since there are a lot of things to consider when choosing. How long will it last? Does it support your body properly? How much does it cost? Is there a mattress that is perfect for all of your needs? Although we can’t give you a definite answer on whether or not this perfect mattress exists, we can definitely help you by describing different types of mattresses.
Spring mattresses have been around for the longest time amongst mattresses and are usually quite a popular choice. The reason behind this is the fact that with spring mattresses you can get a fairly good quality for quite a reasonable price.
Spring mattresses are made with steel or metal coils that are either individually wrapped (pocketed) or connected (innerspring). They can have one or more layers of coils, which partly influences how bouncy they are. On top of the coils there’s usually layers of foam, latex, or pillow.
These mattresses have a number of advantages. First of all, they are the most affordable amongst mattresses. They can also be broken in in a relatively short time compared to other types. Thanks to the fact that the coils allow for airflow, spring mattresses also provide a cooler sleep. There is a wide range of firmness levels available to choose from, they are easily available and are relatively lightweight.
Disadvantages are that spring mattresses don’t conform to your body that much, thus they can lead to a less comfortable night. Some of the spring mattresses are advertised having lots of individually pocketed springs and therefore conforming to the body perfectly but they can never follow the body structure the way a consistent foam does such as memory foam or latex.
They don’t last that long and tend to lose their shape fairly quickly due to the springs losing their flexibility. Motion transfer is fairly common and cheaper options may even be noisy.
Memory foam mattress
Memory foam mattresses have a lot of advantages. They are made of several soft layers of foam. They are very comfortable and soft to sleep on, but at the same time have a decent firmness. This kind of mattress also helps distribute the bodyweight evenly; on top of that, it perfectly conforms to your body shape, thus catering to individual needs. As a result of that, it also helps relieve pain in your body. The best memory foam mattresses are also able to absorb body heat, resulting in a nice and cool sleep. This is also the mattress with the least motion transfer.
On the other hand, there may be some disadvantages to memory foam mattresses as well.
Cheaper ones can feel hot to sleep on as memory foam tend to retain more heat than types of mattresses. To address this they may be infused with cooling gel, which absorbs and disperses excess body heat. In some cases, gel-infused memory foam can even be cool to the touch.
Memory foam experiences off gassing. Memory foam is a chemical based, man-made material and contains VOCs (volatile organic compounds). As opposed to being stable, these “volatile” (or unstable) compounds break apart, most commonly forming gasses. There could be chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), formaldehyde, benzene, methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethane, naphthalene, perfluorocarbons included in the foam. Although there have reports of breathing difficuties assosiciated with VOCs there is not a scientific evidence that these additives actually cause cancer. In fact, the off gassing happens not only in mattresses but in other household products like laminate flooring. What is important is to check the certifications the mattress comes with. The New York Times had a great article on this topic.
It takes more energy to change position. Memory foam conforms to the body extremely well but as a flipside if also doesn’t let go easily of the usual position. You may have the feeling of being stuck.
Memory foam is not as breathable as a spring mattress of other types of mattresses.
It may also lose its bouncing back abilities sooner than expected making it not as durable.
Natural latex mattress
The last type of mattress we’re going to take a close look at is the natural latex mattress.
Natural latex mattresses are made of – as the name suggests – completely natural materials, so they are not only eco-friendly but also naturally hypoallergenic: they are dust mite and mould resistant without the need of adding any chemicals. Another advantage is the ability to provide good airflow within the mattress due to their open cell structure, as well as providing great support to your body, while also being comfortable to sleep on. They are also the most durable choice since they can last up to 20 years. They also prevent movements from transmitting from one side of the bed to the other.
Effectively, they feel like an if infinite amount springs supporting you while sleeping.
Having this many advantages, however, comes at a high price. Natural latex mattresses are the most expensive choice. Besides that, they are also quite heavy.
There are two types of natural latex mattress: Dunlop and Talalay. They are both great, they are manufactured differently. Talalay is bouncy while Dunlop is springy, the Dunlop foam is heavier and denser than Talalay. You can find a comparison here and here.
There are other types of latex mattress, not only natural latex. Such mattresses may contain blended latex, i.e., a per centage of the latex is natural and some of it is man-made. You can read about synthetic and blended latex in one of our previous articles here.
As we can see, all three mattresses have quite a few advantages and disadvantages and it is hard to say that only one of them is the best. It is important to choose the mattress that you feel like caters to your individual needs, and we hope that this article can help you make the best decision.