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Why you can’t judge a mattress by its cover.
Like a good book, it’s difficult to judge a mattress by its cover. And while you can easily open up a book and take a look inside, it’s near impossible to do that with a mattress. But, just for a moment, let’s imagine that you have a special lens which allows you to see through the to the inside of a mattress. What would you see? You’d see the differences between certain types of mattresses. This is because some are made with spring, some are made with foam and others are simply filled with air!
At Snooze, we think it’s important that you know and understand what’s inside a mattress as it may help with your decision when buying a new mattress. So we’ve decided to give you the Inside Scoop! We put our special lens on and take a look inside 7 of the main mattress types to help take the guesswork out of buying a new mattress.
These are the oldest type of mattress spring. Apparently, these springs were often used in buggy seats in the 19th century.
Shaped a little like an hourglass, these wire springs or coils are knotted or wrapped to the top and bottom of a wire frame. Each spring is joined to adjacent springs by small wire spirals called helicals, and the entire structure is reinforced with a border wire to ensure the mattress retains its shape. The level of support in these mattresses depends on the number of springs and the thickness of the wire. The lower the thickness of the wire, or gauge as it’s often called, the firmer the mattress, and usually, the more springs in a mattress, the more support.
As the name suggests, these mattresses feature a single continuous length of wire in each row or lattice. Each wire is shaped into a coil, similar to an S shape, and interlaced to the top and bottom of the spring frame in a uniformed style. Because the coil is continuous and connected, each spring can draw support from the adjacent springs, which can help with comfort and durability. But, of course, the quality of a continuous coil mattress is dependent on the gauge, or thickness, and quality of the wire.
A pocket coil mattress is made with individual coils or springs, which are sealed in separate pockets. As the springs aren’t wired together, they generally operate independently from each other. This means each spring can adjust to your body, in any sleeping position, and if one person moves around on one side of the mattress they are less likely to disturb the springs on the other side of the bed.
These coils are similar to Bonnell springs, except they have a squared head and the angles of the wire vary. This is how the wire gets its name. The theory behind the squared shape is that the coils can contour to your body better. The tops of the coils, which are joined by helicals, create a hinging effect for soft pressure, while the main part of the coil reacts to stronger pressure. This means an offset coil mattress generally offers softness on top and firmness under that but, again, this is dependent on the quality of the wire and the number of coils in the mattress.
Thanks to advanced technology, mattress manufacturers can now create mattresses with different zones. This means different sections of the mattress have different levels of support. So while there are more springs or thicker wire in some areas of the mattress, in other areas there are less springs and thinner wire.
For example, as the hip area is usually the heaviest part of the body and shoulders tend to protrude more, these sections of the mattress are generally softer.
Spring mattresses are available with no zones or 3, 5 or 7 zones.
If you were to look inside a memory foam mattress, you would usually see three things: the support core, the top layer and the cover. The top layer of memory foam, which was first designed by NASA in the 1960s, is made from a substance called viscoelastic and is highly absorbent and soft.
As it’s a type of foam, when you lay on a memory foam mattress, you usually feel like your sinking into a cloud and that your weight is being absorbed. If you were to get up quickly, and if you had a special lens, you would see an imprint of your body in the memory foam. After a minute or two, the foam returns to its original state, ready to support your next movement and to help you enjoy a great night’s sleep.
As the name suggests, an air mattress, or air bed, is packed flat then filled with air. They’re usually made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and include a control panel. For comfort, many air mattresses feature a waterproof flocked material (a softy, velvety fabric) on top, or come with a mattress cover, which can be removed for washing. Most air mattresses also feature a thicker base, for extra protection.
While many air mattresses now come with built-in pumps, some require a foot pump, and the more luxurious air mattresses include quick release valves and comfort controls for personalised adjustments.
These mattresses are usually used for camping or by guests, as they are generally lightweight and can be rolled up and packed away.
If you’d like more information or assistance with choosing a new mattress, read our Mattress Buying Guide or visit your local Snooze store and talk with a sales person. While you’re in store, you can test out our different mattress types and try our bedMATCH® system, only at Snooze, which helps take the guesswork out of buying a new mattress.
At Snooze, we have a clever solution and it’s called My Side™.