Almost everyone is confused when it comes to buying a new mattress. Your time is limited and on top of that the mattress industry uses that to their advantage. The big brand names spends millions everyday to make it seem confusing which tends to produce a multitude of misinformed impulse buyers. Then when you walk into the big mattress showroom they simply say “lay down and see which one works for you”. You see all the high prices, pretty mattress covers and different types of mattress. At which point your head is spinning by design.
I have tried to put together a few quick and informative blogs to help educate you and help you become beducated.
- Waterbed: These are not used much any more mainly because of potential hazards. First of all they have strong potential to grow dangerous algae. If punctured this algae could cause a health risk. Also, a kingsize waterbed weighs as much as 1600 lb. which some people (not knowing the danger) will place on a floor not designed for that type of heavy weight. Waterbeds are still available and at Charleston Bedding we offer them however we do not display them.
- Spring Mattress: The first patent for a spring bed was in 1871. In 1883 Leggett & Platt started producing springs for mattresses. They are still the major producer of spring mattresses to this day. L&P manufacturers close to 90% of all the springs that go into mattresses in the U.S.A. including all of the Advent International brands (Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Stern & Foster). They also produce almost all of the springs for the other 500 brands of mattresses. Leggett & Platt offer approximately 20 different spring mattress systems for the entire industry. These different systems vary by spring design, steel gauge and amount of steel that goes into the mattress system. Some of the different spring systems can be found here: Click Here For more information regarding which spring system is best for you read our blog (Which spring system is best?)
- Foam Mattress: If a mattress does not have any steel in it, the chances are that it is a “Polyurethane” foam mattress. (Polyurethane was invented in 1937 by a German scientist to replace expensive rubber. It is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and to put it simply, made from any type of oil.) Poly Foam is used in the $5 pillow, $100 mattress, $999 mattress, $7,000 Tempurpedic mattress or anything in between. With regard to the different types of foam mattresses (basic foam, gel, visco) this is what you should know. Poly Foam is made with oil, there are varying qualities of foam from petroleum, safflower, corn, soy bean or any types of oil. There are also different densities when it comes to mattresses, in general terms while discussing mattress density usually from the cheap 1 lb. to visco’s 7 lb. Some people mentally relate density to the firmness of foams, and that relationship is totally incorrect. Foams with an extremely wide range of hardness can be made at an extremely wide range of densities. For further information regarding the different types of foam mattresses read our blog here:
- Latex Mattresses: Unlike polyurethane, latex is a natural product although can be a combination of synthetic and rubber. Rubber trees are the chief source of natural latex. Just as with polyurethane, latex is offered in varying degrees of quality. A mattress shopper seeking the best should look for Natural latex. There are two types of latex when it comes to mattresses (dunlop and talalay). Dunlop is firmer while talalay goes through an extra freeze dried type of process which adds tiny air bubbles making it feel softer. Latex mattresses have been around for about 50 years. Latex is much more durable than polyurethane. There are people sleeping on 50 year latex mattresses to this day. Here is a video about that: Click Here Polyurethane as it gets denser has the characteristic of trapping body heat. Gel foam helps however latex sleeps much cooler than any polyurethane. Therefore in conclusion latex is superior to polyurethane in every way. (Some people have allergies to latex however that is in regard to rubbers gloves, etc. There has never been a case of anyone being allergic to latex mattresses that I can find).
So there you have it! When you eliminate water beds, there are really only 3 types of mattress. (spring, foam and latex). Of course there are a multitude of combinations of these 4 however I hope this blog helps you with the basics. As always you can come by my store and in 5-10 minutes get up to speed on what to look for in a new mattress and what best fits you.