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What type of mattress do I need?

Starting to look for a new mattress can seem overwhelming. So many choices, price points, brands and retailers all looking for your hard earned dollars. A common question I often hear is what type of mattress do I need? Let me try and break down what goes into a mattress and why they’re needed.

To break it down into its simplest form it comes down to a supporting layer and a comfort layer.

First is the support factor of a mattress. This is the backbone of a mattress and the quality of this piece will generally set the tone for the longevity of your purchase.

The most common is an innerspring. The innerspring has been around for many many years and is typically made of metal wire that is produced in the shape of a spring. The springs can be tied together using more metal or placed into a fabric material to form a pocket coil. The height, gauge of wire, diameter of coil, and quality all are factors in the feel and support that will be produced with this type of innerspring.

An innerspring can also come in the form of a one-piece foam supporting layer. This supporting layer typically is made from a polyurethane foam. This foam takes the place of the more common wire spring. Again, the quality, thickness, density, and origin can greatly affect the feel and support of a mattress.

plush and firm mattress

The last type is a hybrid innerspring made up of the spring and foam. This is generally not as common as the first two and few retailers offer this type.  

Next is comfort and comfort again comes in many forms. When using a wire innerspring, a separating layer or insulator of some sort is necessary to protect and insulate to avoid direct contact with the springs. In a one-piece supporting layer of polyurethane foam the insulating layer is not required. A comfort layer or layers are then placed on top of this insulator to offer the customer the comfort of their choice. This can be one layer or several.

The combination of foams, gels, latex, etc is literally endless. The terms tight top, pillow top, and euro top are constantly used and they are all forms of the comfort layer in a mattress. Comfort choices are generally plush or firm. There is no right or wrong in this choice but very much a personal preference.

So, back to the question. What mattress do I need? You need a mattress with a quality innerspring that will support you for many years and a comfort layer which is a very personal preference. The confusion and overwhelming choice options are the problem when choosing. Be sure to read my article on the bed industry and what’s really behind it.

Bill’s bed produces a one-piece high-density polyurethane core with a plush comfort layer on one side and a firm layer on the other. This gives you a choice post-purchase to choose your level of comfort.