What is the best type of mattress? A memory foam mattress maybe, maybe not. There are so many different types of mattresses and even within particular types of mattresses, there are also many different brands. So choosing the best mattress in Calgary requires some digging. The research has shown that which type is best for you may depend on your personal preference as well as price point, comfort level, and need for support.
There are currently six main types of available mattresses:
- Memory foam
- Latex foam
- Air pressure systems (air beds)
- Innerspring hybrid (coil on coil)
Each type of mattress has its own advantages and disadvantages. We are only going to discuss four types in this article, however. These are the ones that are most common and account for 95% or more of all mattresses sold today according to several industry sources.
Let’s start with spring mattresses. There is no disputing that springs have been used to make mattresses for hundreds of years. The current coils were invented by Robert Tasker in the 1800s but did not gain much acceptance until about 1930 when companies like Sealy, Simmons, and Serta started manufacturing them on a large scale basis at affordable prices for the average consumer.
Spring mattresses can be made up of just one layer of wire coils (the number depends on the size and thickness of the mattress) or several layers of coils. The main advantage is the price. They are usually less than half the cost of most other types of mattresses and they come in a wide range of firmness levels such as soft, medium, and firm. However, there is no standard for describing the firmness level so it can be difficult to compare one company’s ‘soft’ with another company’s ‘firm’. You must try out each type you like before buying because everyone has their own preference when it comes to having a different feel between your shoulder and your knees when you lie down on a particular mattress.
Another disadvantage is that spring coils do not provide the same comfort and support level for both partners during lovemaking. Every time a spring mattress compresses under the weight of the occupants, it loses its ability to provide uniform support for both partners. Also, when there are two or more people in bed with you on a regular basis then springs may not provide enough comfort and support over time.
Spring mattresses also don’t breathe as well as some other types so they tend to be warmer and less comfortable than memory foam, latex foam, and air pressure systems. This is due to the fact that body heat tends to get trapped between the coils and surrounding material which causes overheating during sleep. However, newer designs such as pocketed coil use thousands of individual coils that do not touch each other so these types of mattresses can provide better airflow than just one continuous wire loop.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are made of several layers of visco-elastic material. The top, comfort layer is the part that determines how firm or soft it will be when you lie down on it. It also greatly affects how hot or cool it will feel if your body weight releases heat while lying there.
Some memory foams have gel added to increase their cooling ability but the type with gel tends to be more expensive. Other materials used to improve airflow are wire mesh and air channels cut into the memory foam itself which provide other benefits such as adding contour support at the same time while relieving pressure points by helping distribute your partner’s weight evenly across the mattress while you both sleep. Memory foam does not breathe so well so people who tend to sleep hot may not like that feature. Also, the initial odor that comes from new memory foam mattresses can be very strong and lingers for days or even weeks in some cases so you will need to air it out before using it. Memory foam is also more expensive than an average spring mattress but they are worth their price if you value comfort over the economy – especially for heavier people with back problems.
Latex Foam Mattresses
Latex foam has enjoyed a steady increase in popularity since 1990. It provides all the benefits of memory foam and has none of its disadvantages. Latex is a natural product and it breathes much better than other materials so it will keep you cool while using heat-retaining memory foam. Like memory foam, latex also prevents motion transfer between occupants who move around on the mattress during sleep. This makes it an excellent choice for couples who like to sleep close together but don’t like feeling each other’s movements as they toss and turn at night.
The most expensive of all types is natural latex which is made from sap taken from rubber trees in the Far East. It’s harder to get than synthetic latex but it is biodegradable so it can be recycled or even safely composted at the end of its useful life. Some manufacturers use wool and cotton batting wrapped around layers of latex to provide greater comfort while you sleep. This makes their natural latex mattresses more expensive but they are well worth the extra money since they allow your body to breathe freely during sleep.
Air Pressure Mattresses
Like spring mattress, air pressure systems (also known as air beds or air chambers due to their design) use small tubes connected to an air pump located somewhere close by. These tiny tubes are placed under the fabric covering and they create a “mattress within a mattress” that can be filled with as much or as little air as you like. This means that if your weight causes them to over-inflate, simply blow some air out of those chambers until they feel just right. Air pressure systems come in two types: one for sitting (often called an inflatable chair pad, sofa, or bean bag chair) and the other for sleeping which is usually built into a headboard and has special coils inside which provides support and stability during sleep, especially when compared to other types of mattresses such as water beds or air mattress.
You should not use an air pressure system for sitting if you are very heavy because it can break down, especially if you’re sitting on it while watching TV or reading a book. Also, the pump that inflates the chambers is usually noisy so you’ll need to get used to sleeping with that noise in your background. The prices vary by brand but these types of mattresses are generally more expensive than regular spring ones. They do require less maintenance though since there are no coils inside to deal with which means no un-compressing and re-compressing them in order to prevent sagging over time (which happens when using regular steel coil matresses).
A waterbed consists of two watertight compartments that hold a total of about 80 gallons or 300 liters of water. One compartment contains a dense bag filled with styrofoam beads which are called the waterbed mattress while the other one is usually made from plywood and it’s where you will place your bed frame.
The two compartments are separated by a sheet of vinyl which is where all the action happens during sleep time. In fact, this sheet forms waves when someone lies on it causing their weight to shift and move freely throughout the bed creating that “floating” sensation we’ve heard so much about over the years. Waterbeds come in two types: soft-sided and hard-lined (or wooden) ones. The former has more give due to its foam base layer whereas the wooden type is more rigid and supportive.
They provide excellent support for your body, especially when compared to regular spring mattresses. If you have back problems, this might be an ideal candidate as long as it’s well insulated against heat (most newer models come with insulation built-in). Another advantage is that waterbeds distribute your body weight evenly across its surface so there won’t be any pressure points causing discomfort during sleep time even if you tend to move around a lot. Plus, they look really cool!
These days most manufacturers have discontinued the production of new waterbeds but you might still be able to find some at used furniture stores or online auctions. If that’s not an option then perhaps buying an inflatable mattress would be better since their feel is very close to that water beds.