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Mattress Glossary | Ultimate Jargon Buster

If you're browsing mattresses you've probably encountered a range of different terms. Some of these might be confusing, so to help you understand what they mean, we've put together a glossary of terms that you'll often see in relation to mattresses. Understanding what they mean can help inform your choice and ensure that you get the best mattress for your particular needs.

Air Vents

Air vents allow for the movement of air through the mattress, keeping the temperature regulated and helping you enjoy a comfortable night's sleep. They help keep the mattress in good condition and can increase its longevity.


This is a substance that helps to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms, such as bacteria, dust mites and fungus that can be damaging to human health and your mattress. It can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, and can help keep your mattress in better condition for longer.

Cooling for Hot Sleepers

Cooling mattresses are made from specific materials and purposefully designed to remain cool, making it easier for hot sleepers to enjoy a good night's sleep. They help tackle the discomfort and insomnia that many hot sleepers experience. Check out our best mattresses for hot sleepers.

Eco Comfort Fibres

Eco Comfort Fibres are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and made to be highly breathable. They help to keep you cool and fresh while you're in bed and promote a healthy night's sleep. They're an eco-friendly choice that also helps to ensure a good night's rest.


Mattress firmness refers to how soft or hard the mattress feels when lying on it. Different people like different amounts of firmness in their mattress, with the six different mattress firmnesses being: soft mattress, medium mattress, medium to firm mattress, firm mattress and extra firm mattress. The best firmness for an individual will depend on their body type, the position in which they sleep and the level of support they require.

Flip & Turn

By regularly flipping your mattress over and rotating it from end to end, you keep your mattress in great condition for longer. It's recommended that this is done at least once every three months, to ensure that the filling is evenly distributed and you use each side equally.

Hand Tufted

Tufted mattresses have nylon tape threaded through them at regular intervals. This is then secured to the sides by cotton or wool rosettes, which creates tension to make the mattress feel firmer.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid mattress is made up of a range of layers, such as memory foam, gel or latex alongside an innerspring system. It gives the user the benefit of pressure relief from the foam layers while ensuring it still has the sturdy feel of a spring mattress.


A hypoallergenic mattress is specially designed to prevent the risk of allergic reactions. A tightly sealed mattress prevents body oils and dead skin cells from spreading through the material. This prevents the dust mites from infesting the mattress.

Latex Foam

Latex foam is used to create a mattress that can quickly adjust to your weight and shape, as well as your movements. Its elastic qualities provide support for the heavier parts of your body for increased pressure relief. It's also incredibly resilient, meaning a latex mattress will maintain its shape for longer.

Mattress Cover

Mattress covers or protectors cover your mattress in a similar way to a fitted sheet. They help to protect the mattress against accidental spills, some allergens and bacteria. They're usually made of water-resistant materials but still allow for air to flow and overall breathability.


If you're looking for convenient delivery and handling of your new mattress, then a mattress-in-a-box might be the answer. Made of the same materials, they can be rolled up and shipped in a box without reducing the quality comfort and longevity of the mattress.

Memory Foam

Memory foam moulds around your body shape as it heats up creating high degrees of comfort and pressure relief. When the pressure of your body is removed from the mattress, the memory foam returns to its original shape. Made of high-density, low-resilience polyurethane foam, it creates a comfortable and supportive mattress. When the pressure is removed from the mattress, it returns to its original shape.

Miracoil Sprung

Miracoil Sprung mattresses are a type of open coil or continuous coil mattress. These have an inner-spring system that's made with one continuous coil of metal. They are highly responsive and allow movement from one side of the bed to the other, and create an even surface on which to sleep.

Natural Fillings

Mattresses with a natural filling are made without synthetic fabrics. Instead, they are filled with natural materials such as wool, cotton or bamboo. They help to keep you cool and moisture-free throughout the night while ensuring the mattress is of high quality and has a long lifespan.

No Roll Together / Motion Isolation

No Roll/Motion Isolation mattresses are multi-sprung mattresses that distribute body weight evenly, reducing the risk of you and your partner rolling into the middle. A small light spring runs up and down the mattress, creating an even surface and high levels of support.


Octaspring is an advanced mattress technology that uses eight-sided foam springs that can move in 3 dimensions. This helps to evenly distributed body weight across hundreds of comfort points, adapting to alleviate any pressure points right across your body.


An orthopaedic mattress provides targeted support for your joints and back and provides a firm even surface on which to sleep. They're commonly used by anyone who suffers from back pain but they have developed over the years to be suitable for a wide range of different users and sleeping habits.

Pocket Sprung

Unlike open coil mattresses, a pocket sprung mattress is made up of individual pockets springs. Each of these pocket springs is enclosed in its own fabric pocket and works independently of each other. This means that each spring reacts only to the pressure that's applied to that particular area, and they don't move as a whole unit.

Pressure Relieving

Pressure-relieving mattresses reduce the amount of pressure that is being applied to the body, reducing the risk of injury and pressure sores. They're frequently used in medical settings and other situations where someone has to spend long periods of time in bed. They work using different methods but deliver high levels of pressure relief to the user.

Quilted Cover

Quilted mattresses use a fabric that has been quilted together to create a soft and comfortable surface. The padding is held in place by stitching and can be deeply quilted, light or micro-quilted, or may use a tack and jump technique to create the quilt.

Reflex Foam

Reflex Foam is a brand name for a foam mattress made of high-density responsive polyurethane foam that provides additional support and firmness. It has high flexibility and can quickly regain its original shape.

Reinforced Edges

The level of edge support around the outside of the bed, and the materials that are used to create the mattress structure, will determine how much support the edges of the mattress gives the user. Reinforced edges ensure that the mattress provides even support right across its surface.

Soft White Fibres

Soft white fibre is a term sometimes used by mattress manufacturers to describe synthetic fibres bundled together that are used in their products.

Spring Count

A mattress spring count is the number of pocket springs that the mattress contains. While in most cases spring count won't make much difference to the overall comfort, very low spring counts can create a less comfortable mattress.

Staycool Gel

Staycool Gel mattresses and pillows contain gel-infused memory foam, that remains cool even during warm weather. As with other types of memory foam they provide pressure-relieving support, with gel adding springiness that returns the mattress to its original shape quickly.

Traditional Sprung

A traditional sprung mattress, is an open coil, open spring or Bonnell spring mattress that provides high levels of support and utility. Well constructed and available in a variety of comfort grades and sizes, they offer good value for money and are suitable for a wide range of different users.

Turning Handles

Turning handles are handles that are placed on the sides or at the ends of a mattress to make it easier to move and rotate the mattress. Not all mattresses feature turning handles, and they are more likely to be found on traditional sprung types which can be heavier.

Vacuum Rolled

A vacuum-rolled, or roll up mattress, is a mattress that's rolled up in a tight cylinder to be sold. The mattress is placed into a protective bag and is then flattened in a compression machine. It's then vacuum sealed and the heat is sealed for better protection. Vacuum rolled mattresses are easier to transport and handle.

Zip & Link

Zip and link mattresses consist of two mattresses that can easily be attached to each other to create a single mattress. These have zips along one side, enabling each mattress to be joined or separated as the user requires, providing a flexible solution.

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