All About Foam Mattresses
Foam mattresses are one of the most popular types on the market today. In these mattresses, every layer is made with foam, latex, or fabric there are no coils involved in the construction.
The support core of a foam mattress is almost always a thick layer of polyfoam. This support polyfoam is firmer and denser than other polyfoams that may be used in the comfort system.
The comfort system can include one or more layers and may include memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or other fabrics. The ample comfort system allows a foam mattress to provide higher levels of pressure relief, motion isolation, and noise reduction. Quality foam mattresses have above-average durability, lasting 6-8 years and sometimes even longer.
The downsides to foam mattresses can include issues with heat retention, excess sinking into the bed, lack of bounce, and weak edge support. How much these issues arise depends in large part on the specific type and quality of materials used in the comfort system.
Does The Mattress Use A Coil
Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often sleep cooler because of better air circulation in their spring-/coil-based support cores. All-foam beds, on the other hand, use high-density polyfoam in their support core. These typically sleep hotter than innerspring or hybrid mattresses, although the mattress surface temperature can be regulated by the use of cooling foams and materials in the comfort layers and cover.
How To Shop For A Mattress
Buying a mattress no longer requires heading to a showroom and having a salesperson lurk over you as you lie on a bed for 10 minutes to decide if it will suit you for the next decade. We put together a handy guide of what to expect if you’re shopping for a mattress online at nine popular brands.
To help you shop for a mattress, we spoke with Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at PCSI.
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Are There Different Types Of Latex Mattresses
There are several kinds of latex mattresses that are differentiated by the type of latex that they use. Most often, youll see latex referred to as either natural or synthetic.
Natural latex is produced from a milky white raw material derived from rubber trees. That sap is mixed with curing agents that allow it to be formed into a final product with a specific shape and feel. Two processes are used to create natural latex:
- The Dunlop process takes the sap, froths it, and then pours it in a mold. It is then baked at a high temperature to retain the shape of the mold. During the baking process, some sediment moves toward the bottom, so Dunlop latex tends to be slightly denser and firmer on one side.
- The Talalay process starts the same way, whipping sap into a froth and putting it into a mold. It is then vacuum-sealed and quickly frozen before being baked, limiting the sediment flow that happens in the Dunlop process. As a result, Talalay latex has a more consistent texture that is usually lighter and airier.
While there is a difference in feel between Dunlop and Talalay latex, both have a high degree of bounce and durability. Either type can be effectively used in any part of an all-latex mattress however, Talalay latex is more commonly employed in comfort layers because of its lighter, softer feel. Talalay latex typically costs slightly more than Dunlop latex.
The Best Cooling Mattresses: As Chosen By Experts
Eight Sleeps The Pod set out to revolutionize the way beds regulate body temperature during sleep and it succeeded with the Pro version of its cooling mattress system. So if you want a high-tech cooling mattress that offers biometric tracking and customized sleeping temperatures, The Eight Sleep smart mattress delivers on all fronts… but at a cost.
The Eight Sleep app pairs with the beds sensors to monitor whether youve fallen asleep or woken up, and will adjust the mattress temperature accordingly. The app also produces a nightly sleep score based on your awake and asleep times, heart rate, body temperature and in-bed movements. The Pod Pro also features environment sensors that measure the room temperature, humidity, and local weather to react intelligently – a fantastic help when youre trying to sleep during a heatwave.
The 12-inch tall Pod Pro mattress is constructed from memory foam and polyfoam layers that work with the Hubs hydro engines that pump water to the Active Grid. It starts with a one-inch cotton ComfortBlend integrated mattress topper that provides pressure point relief and features built-in sensors that track biometrics. Next up is a one-inch comfort foam layer that also has Eight Sleeps Active Grid tech built into it, then youll get another one-inch of Supportive Ari Technology, a four-inch layer of transitional polyfoam and a four-inch supportive foam base.
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Pros And Cons Of The Nectar
|Cooling cover and breathable foams disperse heat||Not a top pick for sleepers with back pain, as foam may not feel supportive enough|
|Responsive||Despite cooling features, will not be as much air circulation as a hybrid or innerspring mattress|
|Good scores for pressure relief and motion isolation|
The Sleep Judge Heat Test
As I review sleep products, I always take the time to actually take a look at heat dispersion using thermal imaging technology. I test each product in a temperature-controlled setting of 64 degrees and lay on the product for a period of 30 minutes. This is because it takes a bit of time for my body heat to penetrate the various layers of any particular product. I then use my thermal camera to see how long it takes the product to return to room temperature. My thermal camera is able to pinpoint the hottest and coldest points within its scope, and I focus on the crosshairs on the area of the mattress I lay down on. You can watch on its temperature setting as the heat escapes the product.
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The Best Cooling Mattresses
The Helix Midnight Luxe is a great option if you want a mattress that combines the hugging comfort of foam with the support and airflow of individually wrapped coils. In the Helix Midnight Luxe, memory foam is coupled with coils that keep air moving through the mattress at night. The result? Heat is whisked away from the body and hot sleepers stay cool thanks to the extra air circulation.
The Helix Sleep brand sells 14 different mattress models made specifically for different sleep positions. The Helix Midnight Luxe is specifically designed for side sleepers. It features memory foam that provides targeted support for the hips, shoulders and neck to keep the spine aligned and prevent stiffness.
See what Adrianne, our wonderful editor says about the Midnight Luxe in this Helix overview.
Read our full Helix Midnight Mattress Review to learn more.
Top 12 Tips For Buying A New Mattress
With so many mattress options to choose from, buying a new one can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you have back or neck painthe right or wrong mattress can make the difference between spending the day feeling good or in pain.
While choosing a mattress is ultimately a matter of personal preference, here are some tips to keep in mind:
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Which Type Of Mattress Is Best
The best type of mattress depends entirely on one factor: you. If you prefer close body-conforming for spinal support and pressure relief, an all-foam or latex mattress is right up your alley. Would you rather sleep on a supportive, responsive bed that won’t absorb too much body heat? You’re a great candidate for an innerspring or hybrid model. For people who like to experience different firmness levels on a night-to-night basis, an airbed may be the most comfortable option.
The bottom line: use your personal needs and preferences as a guide when browsing different mattress brands and models. To get you started, let’s take a closer look at the most common types of beds available today. These include all-foam, latex, hybrid, innerspring, airbed, pillow-top, and organic models, as well as less common types such as waterbeds and air mattresses. Read our detailed descriptions and lists of pros and cons for each category below to determine what type of mattress is best for you.
Innersprings also known as coil mattresses were first developed in the 19th century and are still widely used. According to recent data, the innerspring is the most popular mattress type among sleepers across all age groups.
Consider The Bedjet For Extra Cooling
The BedJet is a device that offers climate control for the bed by blowing air directly into the mattress. The temperature of the air is completely controlled by the sleeper. That means if theyre cold, they can blow hot air into the bed. If theyre warm, they can blow cold air into the bed. A premium alternative to the BedJet is the WinkBeds coolControl.
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How About Phase Change Materials
Often used in bedding, mattress protectors, and mattresses, phase change materialschange from one state to another as the body temperature changes. They actually pull heat away from the body and store it if people are sleeping hot and, if they get too cold, release the stored heat to warm up the body.
Can Your Mattress Cause Night Sweats
Yes, it’s possible. While night sweats can be caused by many factors ranging from physical conditions to summer weather, a mattress that isn’t breathable can make it worse. A hot mattress can even cause overheating for someone that wouldn’t otherwise have night sweats. The worst offender? Memory foam mattresses. Unlike innerspring mattresses that have built-in ventilation, memory foam is more dense so there’s not much air flow happening. This means that the heat around your body gets trapped, hence the overheating and night sweats.
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How Much Variation Is There Between Foam Mattresses
The ability to carefully construct the interior layers of a foam mattress means that there is the potential for significant variation among models in this category.
Of the materials that are often found in all-foam comfort systems, each has certain strengths and weaknesses.
|Medium to High|
Remember that any specific material can be formulated to be softer or firmer, which can influence how it performs in these categories.
In addition, the feel of a mattress is based on the sum of its parts, and these materials are often used together in the layers of the comfort system. As a result, in multi-layer designs, its important to consider the mattress based on its construction as a whole rather than just one material.
Best Twin Mattress For Kids Comparison Table
We have taken cost, value, durability, as well as availability and protection all into account. Not to mention customer reviews, as well as pros and cons for each brand. Here is our top three choices at a glance:
- Materials: Foam construction
- Firmness: Plush
When it comes to a great kids mattresses, the Perfect Cloud Plush 7-inch twin mattress is an excellent option. Not only do you get a plush 1-inch cushion topper, but you also get 2-inches of ventilation transition foam so your little ones arent too hot at night.
This mattress comes with a premium cover. Keeping those pesky spills and accidents from damaging the high density foam mattress materials. The cover fits perfectly, as well as actually protects the mattress! So you wont have to worry about leakage.
When you get this mattress you also get a shredded memory foam pillow, as well as a cover for the pillow, and a matching teddy bear! The 4-inch charcoal infused grey poly foam is perfect for a great nights sleep because it allows excellent pressure relief, as well as support!
This editors pick includes a ten-year warranty! This is great for toddler beds, and youll still have the warranty up until their preteen years.
What We Like
- Comes with pillow and teddy bear
- Multiple layers to include ventilation and comfort
- Includes 30-night sleep trial and return options
What We Dont Like
- A bit on the costly side as far as twin memory foam mattresses go
- Removing protective cover voids warranty
What We Like
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Materials In Cooling Mattresses
Speaking of cooling technology, most of the leading mattress companies have incorporated cooling technology into their mattress designs. Many have even made new editions to previous models as they create new scientific advances in the cooling ability of their mattress.
Individually Wrapped Coils
Whats so special about individually wrapped coils? As opposed to Bonnell coils and hourglass coils, which are interlaced across the mattress, each individually wrapped coil in a mattress stands alone, wrapped in a fabric pocket. This pocketed coil structure lends greater breathability to the mattress. Pocketed coils are also more reactive to individual body movements, changing position as the body changes position.
While we personally dont feel that charcoal-infused foam is quite as effective as gel-infused memory foam, its a popular additive to memory foam that some sleepers swear by. Activated charcoal, combined with breathable open-cell foam, can add breathability and cooling to the mattress.
While graphite might make you simply think of pencils, this mineral agent is known to help wick away body heat and keep hot sleepers from feeling stifled. All Tuft & Needle mattresses, including the Tuft & Needle Original, Tuft & Needle Mint and Tuft & Needle Hybrid mattress, use graphite-infused foam to cool the body. The Bear Original mattress also includes Graphite-Gel memory foam.
What Makes The Saatva Stand Out
- With its coils and pillow-top, the Saatva features an excellent balance of comfort and support. This makes it ideal for combination sleepers.
- Back sleepers and stomach sleepers should receive the requisite amount of support from the coils. And side sleepers will get enough pressure relief from the pillow-top.
- It feels more like one is sleeping on top of the Saatva, not inside it. This allows more air to flow over the body, and has led to us naming the Saatva one of the best innerspring mattresses on the market.
Read our full Saatva mattress review.
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What Makes The Cocoon Chill Stand Out
- The Cocoon by Sealy features Phase Change Material that should keep the top of the mattress very cool at night.
- The mattress should be a good fit for both back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Its high-density foams works to offer the proper amount of support when people are in either position.
- Those who need extra support can also look at the Cocoon Chill Hybrid.
Read our full Cocoon mattress review.
Marshall Coil Or Pocketed Coil Mattress
These are also occasionally referred to as wrapped coils or encased coils. Regardless of what we call them, they are very similar to traditional innerspring but their differences deem them worthy of a category specifically for them alone. The two main differences are: the coils are not wired together allowing them to work independent of one another, and they are wrapped separately in fabric pockets or encasements.
Independent, insulated coils allow for improved motion isolation as well as added support. Motion transfer is muted compared to a traditional innerspring mattress because the coils are not connected. This makes them a great option for couples.
When exploring your options, remember that a higher number of coils in the mattress denotes better quality and higher levels of comfort overall. Also, the coil gauge denotes the level of firmness. A thicker coil gauge will produce a firmer mattress which is often more durable. Inversely, a thinner coil gauge will provide a softer mattress.
Is a pocketed coil mattress right for you?
It is not the right option for everyone but you need to consider the following to determine whether or not it is the right option for you specifically:
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Pros And Cons Of The Winkbeds Ecocloud
|Made with sustainably-sourced, hypoallergenic materials, including breathable, durable latex||Due to natural material usage, this is a more costly mattress|
|Memory foam gives pressure relief and plush cushioning for side sleepers||May feel too soft for stomach sleepers and firm mattress lovers|
|Lifetime warranty to back up EcoClouds touted durability|
Protection Is Needed For Kids
As a parent, you know that accidents happen. Therefore, its good to find a mattress that has a solid amount of protection against all the things your kids can think up to damage it!
Some high-quality kids mattresses come with protective covers, or stain resistant materials. You can also purchase mattress protectors and organic cotton cover options separately if needed.
However, some mattress brands are too big for covers, or will sell their own unique protectors at a high price. Thankfully, most of our top picks below already come with covers included!
A good mattress protection option will have an easy to clean outside layer, as well as an interior layer of plastic. The quality of the interior water barrier can change depending upon the brand.
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