What types of mattresses are there?

type of mattress

Just having a good night’s sleep every night may depend not only on the bed you choose but many suggest the mattress is what makes all the difference. And yes the variety of mattresses is vast – so choosing a suitable mattress depends on whether you want super soft, extra supportive or just plain and firm. With so many versions to choose from, here’s a helpful list of mattresses you’ll come across in your search for a new bed. Happy hunting!

Open Sprung / Spring Coil Mattress

The most common type of mattress is the spring coil system, often available within the lower to middle price range. Using a singular piece of coil or wire to link together the whole mattress so that when pressure in applied the whole coil system moves. This is an extremely inefficient mattress and most uncomfortable when the coil system would start to age or rust. A better option would be a more modern coil based mattress such as a Silentnight Jupiter Mattress that uses Silentnight’s Miracoil system.

Pocket Sprung

The spring system used for this mattress resembles honeycomb as each spring or coil is ‘cocooned’ within its own pocket and tightly clustered together for independent movement with the added benefit of maximum support for the user. The greater the number of springs equals a higher quality of mattress and its support. This mattress would be in the higher price bracket due to its superior

Memory Foam (Visco Elastic)

Memory foam was originally developed by NASA for its astronauts to absorb the extreme forces present at ‘lift off’. Although this mattress comes with a high price tag this doesn’t seem to be off putting enough to customers. Adjusting to body shape and heat almost instantaneously, this mattress gives ultimate support and comfort for any age group or size, particularly those with joint and back problems.


Latex was developed as a cheaper option to memory foam although it offers good support for joints and is comfortable it is also considered the ‘greener’ mattress which is made from natural materials and very important for sufferers who have allergy and chemical sensitivities. Natural latex has hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-dust mite qualities. “These organisms do not thrive in natural latex” – David Rosenburg, Healthy Foundations. There are however natural and synthetic latex products on the market so it’s wise to do your research first – then go shopping.

Orthopaedic Mattress

An orthopaedic mattress can provide vital support for anyone suffering from back problems and thus offer a good night’s sleep. This mattress tends to be quite firm allowing the back to remain quite straight during sleep but will certainly not suit those customers wanting a more super soft mattress to sleep on.

Air Mattresses

Mainly used for camping, guests and for those on a limited budget. These mattresses offer little support and have no orthopaedic qualities and are not intended as a permanent sleep system. Of course for camping and temporary guest purposes air beds are ideal and at least better than sleeping on the floor. As a low cost mattress solution they come in a variety of sizes and you can inflate and deflate for easy storage.

Reflex Foam

A reflex foam mattress is more commonly used with electronic bed systems. A similar mattress to the memory foam mattress versions, however without the temperature sensitivity components. Differences also include a firmer mattress which allows for ease of movement and turning as well as supportive for those with joint, shoulder and back complaints.

5 Must-Knows About Mattresses

  • They usually last eight to 10 years.
  • They will weather better if covered with a mattress protector. It’s also more hygienic as you can whip them off and wash regularly.
  • Buy a topper (available at department stores), to make them feel softer.
  • Mattresses should be vacuumed every now and then, but carefully so fillings don’t suffer.
  • They should also be turned end to end and side to side every week to begin with, then between once every three months to once every six months. If the mattress is non-turnable, rotate it instead.