Types of Mattresses – ultimate buying guide 2017

types of mattresses guide

With the New Year almost upon us, it’s a good time to start on your new year’s resolutions such as getting enough sleep which means figuring out which types of mattresses in 2017 would be suitable to purchase.

Things, like eating right and sleeping better, are always part of the list. This is because eating right leads to healthy life as well as sleeping well for longer hours leads to happiness and peace of mind. Having a good mattress is a great way to achieve one good and enough sleep for the New Year.

This is why instead of you going around trying to figure out which mattress is best suited for you; my hope is that this will guide you in making the right decision concerning your mattress purchases.

ModelTypeThicknessBest forPrice
Brooklyn BeddingLatex10"Multipurpose$712.5
Turf And NeedleCustom Foam10"Back Pain Relief + Side sleeping$530
Brentwood Home BambooGel Memory Foam11" and 13"Back and Stomach sleepers, Heavy People$424
Sleep Innovations ShilohMemory Foam12"Multipurpose, Heavy Poople$649.99
Zinus Green TeaMemory Foam12"Side sleeping, Pressure Relief$349
Personal Comfort A8Air Bed13"Back Pain$3.159
Innomax SanctuaryWater Mattress9"Multipurpose, chronic back pain$49.36
Queen Sealy PosturpedicInnerspring14"Rheumatoid arthritis$927.6
Termurpedic Flex PrimaInnerspring10"Rheumatoid arthritis$1849
Lucid PlushLatex16"Multipurpose$329.99

Who is this mattresses guide for?

My intent for doing this is due to the fact that I love to sleep and if you can add a good mattress to the equation, then so be it. I also hopefully want to save you from aches and pains of waiting too long to buy a new mattress or buying one that you will regret in the long run.

When I was waking up a while back I woke up with serious aches and pains on my lower back. To my utter dismay my mattress was in its last stages of wear and tear and though I knew I needed to get a new mattress but my budget wasn’t nearly enough to get one.

So I soldiered on with my old run down mattress and the aches and pains continued until I couldn’t take it anymore. So I went to buy a new mattress not realizing that there were different types of mattresses for specific needs such as back pain. When I got home and tried my new mattress, it was too hard to sleep in and I had to wait a few weeks before I could sleep well on it.

I would like for you to avoid making the mistake I made and buying the mattress of your dreams, literally. So for anyone looking to buy a good mattress and sleep much better let’s get started, here are the Types of mattresses – ultimate buying guide 2017:

Natural Latex mattress

These mattresses are not very popular and hence not many brands offer this type of mattress as opposed to memory foam mattresses or innerspring mattresses. However, natural latex mattress are highly received and rated with consumers.

Natural latex comes from rubber trees and is suitable for those who have chemical sensitivities due to the fact that it is antibacterial, effective against dust mites and hypoallergenic. It is very suitable for those who are prone to allergies. It also supports the spine and conforms to the contours of the body.

Zenhaven intro to latex mattresses

Types of latex mattresses
  1. Organic latex – during the farming no chemicals are being used, it has the greatest durability, it is biodegradable and has the highest ranking on the hypo-allergenic scale
  2. Natural latex – it’s very close to organic, but during the farming process is treated with chemicals, biodegradable
  3. Blended – it’s mix of natural latex and synthetic latex in 60/40 proportion, most common on the market, not as durable, F grade on the hypo-allergenic scale, not biodegradable
  4. Synthetic – it’s compound that mimics latex without its natural benefits, it’s stiffer and toxic, might cause allergic reactions, not biodegradable
Indention Load Deflection (ILD)

In other words, ILD is firmness of latex. The higher the number the firmer the latex mattress is. Here is a little chart of mattress firmness:

mattress firmness chart

Top 100% latex mattresses manufacturers:
  1. Zenhaven
  2. Brooklyn Bedding
  3. Plush Beds
  4. Astrabeds
  5. Dreamfoam Bedding
Hybrid (latex and memory foam) manufacturers
  1. Helix
  2. Casper
  3. Ghostbed

 

Memory foam mattress

Memory foam is a mix of polyurethane and additional chemicals for more density (visco-elastic polyurethane foam).

The best memory foam mattress firm or manufacturers have been ranked highly over the years and have dominated the market. It has various features such as highly soft mattress and energy absorbent. It molds to the body according to pressure and returns to its original size immediately after pressure is eradicated. This is called conforming ability which has its pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Pressure points are minimized because weight is equally distributed on the mattress
  • Minimizes or even prevents back pain

Cons:

  • Sinking into the mattress contributes to heat retention and restricting movement during changing position

Because of conforming ability, it has been said that memory foam mattresses tend to heat up. The solution is to choose a mattress with low density (2.5 – 3.9 lbs/ft). A mattress protector can significantly reduce conforming ability as well. 

Memory foam manufacturing process by Lull

Best memory foam mattresses manufacturers
  1. Lull
  2. Loom and Leaf
  3. Leesa
  4. Zinus
  5. Dream Foam
  6. Tempurpedic

Air beds (permanent use)

Airbeds have come a long way and few brands are venturing in manufacturing quality beds which are now being considered as well. They have a unique feature in that you can conveniently adjust the pressure for a softer or firmer support level for each sleeper according to their satisfaction.

Air is being used for support but the comfort layer is usually foam, latex or a combination of both.

The biggest advantage of permanent-use air beds is much greater longevity than other types of mattresses and above average conforming ability with adjusting support.

Required assembly, air pump noise, and sometimes minor malfunctions are the biggest disadvantages.

Adjustable sleep system by Personal Comfort

Air beds brands:
  1. Personal Comfort
  2. Sleep Number
  3. Innomax
  4. Comfort-Aire

Innerspring mattresses

 

innerspring mattress interior

The innerspring mattress is by far the most well known and most popular mattress around. It has various models you can choose from depending on your needs. You can choose on firmness which is from soft to hard or classic style to utilitarian style.

What distinguishes innerspring mattresses from other types is bounce which means the mattress rebounds when weight is being quickly placed on it. People who use this mattress type for sex will find it useful. This bounce also limits conforming ability.

Support is provided by innerspring coils. Comfort layer consists of polyurethane foam, gel-infused foam, memory foam, fiber or latex.

This mattress has 4 coil types which have their own pros and cons:

  1. Pocket coil – good support, average motion isolation, the least bouncy
  2. Continuous coil – most durable but noisy and not ideal for couples
  3. Offset coil – best spring action and support, good motion isolation and noise control
  4. Open coil – good durability but support and motion isolation below average

Coil count has a correlation with user satisfaction and mattress durability. Average coil less than 700 is considered below average.

The biggest disadvantage of innerspring mattresses is below average relief for pain and possible noise.

Innerspring mattresses popular brands:
  1. Saatva
  2. Brentwood Home
  3. Aviya
  4. Helix
  5. Winkbed
  6. Zinus

Waterbed

Many people say that waterbeds are the epitome of comfort. Some waterbeds are made using individual rubber tubes, while others use large single sheeting filled with water.

The right waterbed can produce the sensation of weightlessness. For many people who suffer from chronic back pain, this is a very good choice. And on top of that, they are not too expensive overall. Dust mite resistance, temperature control, and great longevity make them quite attractive.

This comfort comes with a certain amount of risk, though. If a waterbed’s lining is punctured, the bed could leak and cause damage to carpets and flooring.

Other significant disadvantages are as follows:

  • added energy cost from heating
  • initial odor coming from the vinyl
  • heaviest type of bed – up to 1,000 lbs
  • water level has to be maintain
  • might cause sea sickness-like symptom

Hybrid bed

soft-sided waterbed

The introduction of soft sided waterbed mattresses otherwise referred to as hybrids, has really changed the waterbed world in several important ways.

Hybrids have the look and feel of a traditional mattress and most often utilize a single inner bladder or a series of water-filled cylinders or tubes. The frame consists of a dense foam frame that also incorporates the vinyl safety liner.

The tops are designed with a thick layer of foam insulation that eliminates the need for an electric heating system. Many of the zippered tops can be removed and laundered and makes keeping your bed clean and free from dust mites and dirt much easier.

Modern heating systems are more efficient to operate than their older cousins due in part to the introduction of newer materials and control designs.

Waterbed brands:
  1. Innomax
  2. Comfort Craft
  3. Strobel Organic Mattresses
  4. American National

Now that that’s out of the way you have now a pretty good idea of what mattress to get and where to suit your various needs. There are also options for those looking for specific mattresses depending on certain issues that they have.

So I have written down a list of types of mattresses for people with particular issues:

Mattresses for people with back pain

back pain mattress

Apparently waking up to some back pain is not as rare as many might think. Around 80 % of people will eventually suffer from upper, middle or lower back pain or musculoskeletal discomfort at least once.

These discomfort or body aches and pains are usually because of poor quality mattresses keeping a person from sleeping well or getting enough sleep and can easily be avoided.

You may also like:

Best California King Mattress of 2017

Extra Long Twin Mattress: is this size for you?

Best Mattress Pad of 2017: Reviews

Best Twin Mattress of 2017: Reviews

The best mattresses for back pain are:

  1. Air
  2. Memory Foam
  3. Latex

Mattresses for side sleepers

mattress side sleepers

If you are a side sleeper you should look for a mattress which has:

  1. Good conforming ability – minimizes pressure and molds to your body shape
  2. Good support – middle of the mattress can’t be too low or too high causing unnatural sleeping position
  3. Proper firmness – soft for very small people, medium for average sized people and firm for heavy people

Best mattresses for side sleepers are exactly the same as for people with back pain:

  1. Air
  2. Memory Foam
  3. Latex

Mattresses for obese and heavy people

People who are over and above 200 pounds require more support than those below that size. 

To find a suitable mattress for a heavier person there are 3 factors to look at such as:

  1. Mattress thickness – minimum 10 inches
  2. Firmness – at least medium
  3. Density – high density in foam mattress (at least 1.8 lbs/ft) and high coil count in innerspring mattress (above 600)

Mattress for heavy people examples:

  1. Brooklyn Bedding
  2. Brentwood Home
  3. Sleep Innovations

Mattresses for people with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting disorder of the autoimmune system that targets the joints making them painful and swollen.

A person who has rheumatoid arthritis will require unique and specific features in a mattress. The hands and wrists are often times also involved. It is actually essential to finding the right mattress for their very well-being.

A mattress that is comfortable and yet firm enough for support is suitable for a person with the issue of rheumatoid arthritis.

Great mattress examples for this issue include:

  1. Tempurepedic Flex Prima
  2. Queen Sealy Posturepedic

Final thoughts and buying tips

Well there you go, great types of mattresses – ultimate buying guide 2017 for you to buy and then tick off at least one new year’s resolution and call it done.

It is also wise to note that it’s not the most expensive mattress that is the best but the one that has the features that suit your needs perfectly.

At least my trolling the internet will be put to good use if you this can enable you to better choose the right mattress for you and make a good purchase decision. If you are a side sleeper like I am then why not go for the Loom and Leaf mattress by Saatva which has impressive cooling features, has an amazing feel and good body contouring.

Even as I might have given you some clues on which mattresses would be suitable for you go and have a look for yourself and don’t just take my word for it. Ask around or go directly to the stores and see for yourself which mattresses really work to your satisfaction.

Below is the owner satisfaction comparison chart (from Sleep Like The Dead)

mattress owner satisfaction chart

There are various shopping tips in determining a good mattress:

Firstly, lie down on the mattress that you are thinking of buying. Make sure you wear loose clothing and if possible shoes you can easily slip off and get comfortable on the mattress. Spend approximately ten minutes on it. You can determine if it feels right for you.

Another tip is to check if they have return policies or not. If they offer a full refund and some places do offer them. Last but not least, understand the warranty which varies from the mattress to mattress. Some are up to 25 years covers only loose coil defects or sagging so stay informed.

Most important thing of all is to protect your investment. There is no use in buying a new mattress only for it to a breakdown in five or even ten years due to bad maintenance and wear and tear. Take care of your mattress by flipping and rotating it every season, tear it to its foundations and that inspects it for soil and stains and always cover it with a mattress cover.

To add to that change your sheets regularly and also place it in the sun and I don’t mean taking it outside but just in direct sunlight can actually disinfect it naturally. Also, a neat tip is to tuck under the sheets an all natural sachet which absorbs odors and gives a great smell.

I really hope this has been helpful to you and is one step closer to helping eradicate back aches and pains caused by bad mattresses one person at a time, happy shopping.

About the Author Susan Clark

Susan Clark is our editor-in-chief. She’s a proud mother of two loving home improvement activities.

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