10 Different Types of Mattresses Explained

types of mattresses

With so many different models of mattresses available, getting one that’s just right for you may be harder than it seems. And being in a mattress showroom with a pushy salesman on your back doesn’t help either. That’s because you can’t feel the mattress and notice all the benefits when you lay on it for a couple of seconds. Instead, why not try a different approach? One that will answer all your questions about different mattress types and give you an idea of how your perfect sleeping surface should look and feel.

What is the Best Mattress Type for You?

Best mattressesDoes a perfect mattress exist? The answer is yes, it does exist. But individual taste and sleeping preference, as well as level of firmness, is different with every sleeper. So naturally, there can’t be one ideal mattress for all types of sleepers. To determine which is the best type of mattress for you, let’s review these ten unique models and find the one that’s absolutely perfect for you.

1. Memory Foam

These mattresses are great for relieving sleepers of joint pain while providing exceptional comfort and support overall. The material was invented by NASA back in 1966 and was used in airplane cushions. It molds perfectly to your body type and shape, and once the pressure of your body weight is removed, it returns to its original form. Memory foam mattresses use a unique formula containing polyurethane, which contours as heat and pressure are applied.

The term “memory” refers to the material’s unique ability to “memorize” its original shape. Therefore it never changes the structure of the mattress no matter how long you sleep on it. Memory foam also has anti-microbial properties. Some models have layers with charcoal or cooling gel inside. This way, next to comfort, pressure relief, and support, they also regulate temperature. They come in different firmness levels. The thinner the layers are, the softer the mattress is.

2. Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses aren’t popular nowadays as they were before. And they are available on the market since the early 1900s. So it’s only natural that newer and better models are replacing innerspring mattresses. But there’s one thing that these mattresses are great for. They provide excellent springiness and bouncy feel.

They are constructed from metal springs that are either individually wrapped or come in the form of a grid. Because there’s a lot of space between these coils, they allow air to circulate freely and provide better temperature regulating properties than other types of mattresses.

The only downside is their relatively short lifespan. You might feel the need to replace your innerspring mattress sooner than you would with memory foam or hybrid mattresses. Next to that, they can be quite noisy. They’re also really affordable, and that may be the reason why they were so popular. However, with the rise in numbers of newer models, their features are becoming better.

3. Gel

One of the most significant downsides of memory foam mattresses is that they tend to trap heat. They are quite supportive due to the density of the material, but that has drawbacks. So to fix that problem, scientists in the mattress industry have invented a special cooling gel. This gell is infused with memory foam to regulate heat. The heat will get trapped inside the layers overnight, but the cooling properties of this gel allow it to absorb and reduce the temperature.

Gel mattresses

So basically, you get the support and comfort of a memory foam mattress plus temperature cooling features. Bear in mind that it will take time for cooling gel to regulate heat, which means that the effect isn’t instant. Instead, it takes quite some time. Again, the formula of this cooling gel is improving with each new model released. So, if gel-infused mattresses are your favorite, and you don’t mind the delayed temperature cooling effect, you can expect even better models in the future.

4. Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine the best features of both innerspring and foam mattresses. Hence the name hybrid. Usually, they consist of one base innerspring layer and up to 4 layers of latex or memory foam layers. They offer a more customized feel and are great for a variety of sleepers.

The type of memory foam and latex vary from one manufacturer to another. So be sure to check the level of quality each model has to offer. You can expect to have the support of a memory foam and springiness and aerated properties of innerspring mattresses.

They feel different than most types of beds, and you can notice that difference the moment you lay on one. They are popular among sleepers that can’t decide whether to buy a memory foam or innerspring mattress. Unfortunately, they are also most commonly recommended by salesmen as the best possible mattress, no matter the type of sleeper you are, which is classic misinformation.

5. Latex

Latex mattressesThe latex found in these mattresses derives from a natural material. There is a tree, native to the Amazon region, which produces a unique type of sap. The sap from Hevea brasiliensis, or the Rubber Tree, is collected and processed into latex that the mattress companies use in their products. There are two ways or methods to get latex from a Rubber tree – Latex and Talalay. Due to the manufacturing process, Talalay is lighter but more aerated, while Dunlop has higher density and weights more.

Latex mattresses provide superb comfort and support, especially if the model features both types of latex. With Dunlop latex used as the base layer, you get all the support that you need. Talalay latex is lighter and provides more comfort and is used for top layers, usually. These mattresses are generally made from all-natural material and, therefore, the perfect choice for eco-conscious couples.

6. Organic

Made from all-natural materials like Dunlop or Talalay latex, premium quality wool, or cotton, these organic mattresses are comfortable and eco-friendly. That’s why organic mattresses are always an excellent choice for eco-friendly couples. If you want to be 100 % safe from off-gassing and toxins, your best option should be this mattress type.

Although many companies label their mattresses as entirely natural, it’s best to focus on the certificate. If you spot a mattress with the Greenguard Gold or OEKO-TEX certificate, you can rest assured that they are tested for low emission and harmful chemicals. Also, natural wool has flame retardant properties, meaning that these mattresses regulate temperature even better than the rest. Due to its structure, wool requires more oxygen to ignite. Therefore it’s burning temperature is really high, around 600 ° C. So, with these mattresses, you will sleep safe and sound.

7. Air Mattress

Easy to set up with generous support and comfort level, these mattresses are practical and quite affordable. Modern air mattresses are pretty different in terms of design and material used than earlier models. They are usually made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). However, some mattress companies use textile-reinforced urethane plastic as well as rubber in their products.

Air mattresses are easy to store and therefore take less space, which makes them the perfect choice for camping trips or guest use. There are also air mattresses that are specialized for RV use. Because they’re made from PVC, they are incredibly lightweight. So if you need a temporary solution for a sleeping surface or want to be prepared for every outdoor situation, an air mattress is an ideal solution. Depending on the model, you’ll either have an electric pump or a foot panel to inflate it.

8. Waterbed

Waterbeds were extremely popular around the 1980s, as almost everyone had one. They were invented even before innerspring mattresses, by Dr. Neil Arnot – a Scottish physician. Although they were designed to help sleepers with therapeutic needs, nowadays, they aren’t so popular as newer models have far better features.


There are two main types of waterbeds. The hard-sided that consists of a water-filled layer that’s secured with wood frame resting on plywood. And then there is the soft-sided version, with sturdy foam surrounding the water layer, zippered inside a casing. They don’t look much different than standard memory foam, latex, or innerspring mattresses. You will, however, notice the wobbly feel the moment you try it.

Due to simplicity in design and lack of support, they aren’t so popular nowadays. They account for less than 5 % of bed sales. So if you’re looking for that unique wobbly feel in your sleeping surface or feel nostalgic, a waterbed is your best choice.

9. Adjustable Mattress

Adjustable MattressAs the name suggests, with the adjustable mattress, you get a customized sleeping surface. This way, you can have an elevated sleeping surface for the upper or lower part of the body. They are great for people with blood pressure issues or those that prefer unconventional models. These frames work with most mattress types like latex, memory foam, and innerspring.

They are, however, a bit more expensive than the rest. But if you want a customized sleeping surface that will add style to your bedroom, go for one. There are two main types. One has split frames that allow you to place two smaller mattresses. These are great for couples with different sleeping preferences. The other type is a standard frame that supports one mattress of any size. Just make sure to get a frame that supports a specific size ( Queen size mattress, XL, Full XL, King, etc.)

10. Pillow Tops

Pillow top models are innerspring mattresses with an added layer on top. They provide adequate comfort and support for the back, side, and stomach sleepers. They have a noticeable extension on top that looks like a big pillow, hence the name pillow top.

There are several pillow top types, some of which include: summit top, box top, euro top, euro pillow top, etc. Euro top, for example, minimizes motion transfer. This way, you won’t even feel your partner rolling next to you. Euro top also has a cover that goes on top, making the mattress look as a whole, as opposed to box top, or other types. They consist of cotton, wool, or memory foam and have similar features with mattresses made entirely from one specific material.


The best way to find the best type of mattress that fits you perfectly is to review them all. This way, you can eliminate those with features you don’t like and focus on those that are important to you and your partner. If you choose your mattress using this method, you won’t have any second thoughts after you buy it. More importantly, you’ll enjoy sleeping on it that much more, as it’s exactly what you wanted. Just try not to rush and avoid overthinking, and you’ll find the perfect sleeping surface in no time!


How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress – https://www.webmd.com/