Mattress Materials Buying Guide
There are plenty of mattress styles available. So many that it can get confusing when trying to pick the best one for you. There are mattress styles and fillings to suit every sleeper and their needs. And, many of us could be sleeping on the wrong style for our sleep needs. In this guide, we'll explain the mattress materials and help you choose your perfect mattress style.
What are the different mattress materials?
Mattresses come in all shapes, sizes and styles. The material plays a huge role in how comfortable the mattress will feel to you. And choosing the right style for you can be the difference between a good nights sleep and a great one. Here are some of the most popular mattress styles available and their benefits:
Foam mattress styles:
- Memory foam
- Latex foam
- Gel foam
- Reflex foam
Foam mattresses are perfect for people that like a soft, yet supportive surface to sleep on. It has a unique sinking feeling that is particularly popular among side sleepers. This is usually because foam allows the joints to sink in where needed whilst still supporting the spine. This makes sure there's not too much pressure on the hip or shoulder joints when sleeping on your side. Foam can also be beneficial for people suffering from joint pain. The soft surface ensures that no matter what sleeping position you end up in, there won't be too much pressure on any one spot. Reducing tension and aches in the joints.
Spring mattress styles:
- Pocket sprung
- Open coil
Spring styles are the traditional type of mattress. They tend to be the most versatile in terms of firmness. Ranging from soft to orthopaedic, you'll be sure to find your perfect mattress tension. They can be used for all sleeping positions and particularly popular with people that prefer to sleep on their back. Spring mattresses range in price depending on the quality and spring count. Pocket sprung mattresses are usually more expensive than open coil styles. This is because they're more durable and offer more comfort benefits. Including no transfer of movement, making it a popular choice among couples sharing a bed.
Other mattress fillings:
- Pillow Top
Water mattresses are seen to be quite outdated and alternatives like gel foam are safer and more commonly available. Hybrid styles are usually a mix of springs and foam. Giving the best of both worlds. With the support and bouncy feel of a spring design with the soft, sinking feeling of memory foam. Similarly, pillow-top styles tend to be a mix of springs with a soft pillow comfort layer. Making them a great choice for side sleepers that need an extra bit of padding for their joints.
Which mattress materials last the longest?
According to the National Bed Federation, the average mattress will last around seven years before it needs replacing. However, some styles and materials last longer than others. If durability is what you're looking for in a mattress then there are plenty of long-wearing styles available. Latex foam and pocket sprung models tend to be the hardiest of the bunch. With higher quality styles lasting between eight to ten years. A whole three years longer on average. Although, the life span of a mattress will depend on the usage, quality and care taken to protect it. Here are a few care tips to follow when trying to extend the life of your mattress:
- Use a mattress protector: mattresses can be expensive and the last thing you want to do is spill your morning coffee all over it and damage the inner fillings. Using a waterproof mattress protector from the start will protect the materials from any spills or accidents.
- Regular cleaning: don't worry, cleaning doesn't mean you'll need to scrub it once a week. To keep your mattress clean, aim to vacuum or sweep it once every three months. Generally, spring styles benefit from being vacuumed every so often. However, foam styles are better off being swept. Vacuums can damage and even tear foam mattresses so be sure to check the instructions before doing so.
- Flip or turn: to ensure even wear all over the mattress, try flipping or turning it a few times a year. This prevents putting too much pressure on one section which can cause sagging. Make sure to check what is suitable for your mattress. Some styles need flipping, some rotating and some are designed to be left alone.
What mattresses are made of natural materials?
Natural materials are used in many mattress styles. However, natural mattresses are made up entirely from natural fibres. These materials include wool, latex, cotton, mohair, bamboo and hemp. All of these materials have their own unique comfort benefits. Latex foam is a very popular style of natural mattress. And with the same comfortable feel like memory foam and little eco-damage, it's no wonder. Materials like Egyptian cotton and silk are popular among premium mattress styles. If a luxury feel is what you're looking for, these materials could be perfect for you.
How to choose the perfect mattress material:
When choosing your perfect mattress, you should consider a few key things. Your body weight, the position you like to sleep and your comfort preferences. Some people love the bouncy, supportive feel that pocket springs provide. While others enjoy a sinking, soft feeling from a material like memory foam. Bodyweight plays a huge factor when deciding on the mattress firmness. Usually, the more you weigh, the firmer your mattress should be. As a rule of thumb, those under nine stone are best suited to a soft or soft-medium tension. Medium or medium-firm tension is considered the universal mattress. Being comfortable for most body weights. Those sixteen stone and over usually feel best supported with a firm mattress. For more information on choosing your perfect mattress, check out our mattress buying guide.