Types of Mattresses – A Guide to the Right Mattress you Need

Mattresses - Types of Mattresses Guide featured image

Here’s a familiar scene: You visit a showroom to buy a mattress. An overly eager salesman, whose only agenda is to make you buy the most expensive mattress, approaches you.  

You lie down for a few seconds on a mattress to test it, but you can’t really tell if its the right mattress for you.

And because you don’t know what kind of mattress you actually want, you give in to salesman’s suggestions and buy the expensive one.

Sound familiar? We get it. With so many different types of mattresses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. That’s where we come in.

In our handy guide, we discuss each mattress type so that you can make the right decision. So let’s get right to it!

1. Innerspring Mattress 

Innerspring Mattress- Types of Mattresses Guide

Innersprings are the most common mattress type. They are also the oldest. They’ve been around since the late 1800s and yet they’re still considered a popular mattress today.

The innerspring mattress is made up of steel coils. When you put your weight on them, the coils condense to support you. Of course, the number of coils, shape, and size all differ from mattress to mattress.

Another reason this mattress is so popular is due to its price. They’re very reasonable. However, these mattresses have a short lifespan, and over time the coils may become a little squeaky.

It’s generally known that the more coils there are, the more support there is and the higher the quality of the mattress. That being said, let’s take a look at the different types of coils you can use in an innerspring mattress.

Continuous Coils 

Continuous coils consist of a single wire which supports the entire bed. A single intertwined wire makes the mattress more durable.

Continuous coils are also very well within budget. And unlike the traditional coil, they take the shape of an S which makes it more durable.

Bonnell Coils 

Bonnell Coils were the first coils ever used in the innerspring mattress. They are the oldest and simplest of coils that are still generally used today. They are shaped like an hourglass.

The design resembles a helix pattern when it all comes together. The Bonnell coils are priced in the mid-range so they are still very reasonable.

Offset Coils 

For those who detest a squeaky bed, offset coils are the ones to need to invest in. The hourglass shape is very similar to the Bonnell coils.

However, unlike the Bonnell, this one has smooth edges at the top and bottom of the coil. It takes the shape of your body and is known to be very supportive and sturdy. And they are also very quiet. Offset coils are a bit more expensive, but still worth it.

Marshall Coils 

Marshall coils, also known as pocketed coils, are thin-gauged steel coils that are not wired together. Instead, these coils are encased and individually covered. The independent coils offer support and they isolate movement.

The Marshall coil is constructed in the shape of a barrel. You may hear the term ‘coil gauge’ often when you buy an innerspring mattress. The higher the number of coils, the thinner the gauge will be and vice versa.

Keep in mind, a thin gauge means a soft mattress. But thick gauge coils are known to be more stable and durable. Marshall or pocketed coils fall under the higher price end of an innerspring mattress.

2. Latex Mattress 

Latex Mattress-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types

If you’re not sure what a latex mattress is, you’ve come to the right place. Latex is considered to be a natural product mainly because it’s made from the sap of rubber trees.

For those who want a more natural option, instead of synthetic latex, natural latex is a perfect choice.  

This mattress is free of chemicals and it’s biodegradable. Besides being eco-friendly, latex mattresses are known to be very comfortable and durable.

They are consistently cool; you’ll never have a heating problem. They’re very expensive mattresses though, but they can last for over  20 years. Let’s take a look at the two ways latex mattresses are developed:


Dunlop latex is made by pouring latex into the mold. This process makes the bed dense at the bottom and soft at the top.


The Talalay latex uses a vacuum after the latex is poured into the mold. The vacuum sucks out all of the air and this freezes the framework to make it stable.

3. Memory Foam Mattress 

Memory Foam Mattress- Types of Mattresses guide

Another name for Memory foam is Viscoelastic. The function of memory foam is to form around the body and remembers its shape.

The foam makes the user feel like they’re sinking in. When you put your weight on it, the foam takes up the shape of the body. After you get off, it slowly goes back to its original form.

The contouring feature of this foam helps relieve pain and give the user enough support. These mattresses have a few benefits as well as drawbacks. Let’s take a look at them:


  • Helps align the spine.
  • Even distribution of weight supports the body and relieves pressure.
  • Impervious to allergens and dust mites.
  • Reduces the impact of movement at night for undisturbed sleep.


  • Gets hot at night.
  • Uses harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the user.
  • The sinking effect can cause discomfort.


For those who worry about the heating problem in the memory foam mattresses, gel infused memory foams may be more suitable.

The gel foam works by taking the heat from the memory foam and in turn make the bed feel cool.  The process takes a while but gradually, you’ll feel much cooler than you did without the gel infusion.

4. Hybrid Mattress 

Hybrid Mattress-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types 

Hybrid beds are considered to be the best kind of beds out there. It’s a mix of the innerspring bounciness and the softness of a latex mattress. The perfect combination!

The hybrid is made with a bottom layer of coiled springs, while the upper parts are made of either latex or memory foam. This allows the user to customize as they see fit.

If you’re a memory foam fan, then you can customize the bed to have springs at the bottom and memory foam infused with gel at the top. This way you will have the bounce and all the benefits of a memory foam mattress.

It’s wise to do your own research before you jump into the hybrid bed bandwagon though. They have a wide range of promotional offers, so take a look and see what would be best for you.

Important Read: How to Choose the Right Bed – Your Ultimate Bed Buying Guide

5. Airbeds 

Airbeds-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types

When you think Airbed, you may think of the cheap air mattresses you use when you go camping. But that’s not the case. These mattresses are of a much higher quality.

This Airbed mattress helps those who have back pains to sleep comfortably. It’s made with foam layers with air chambers inside. So, there’s never any chance of sagging.

If one person prefers their mattress to be soft and the other firm, they can just simply adjust the mattress to their needs.

The PVC material used to make the bed makes it completely odor-free. Not to mention, this bed is durable and has a lifespan similar to a latex mattress.

The best part is that the Airbed is reasonably priced and comes with a pump so you can adjust the firmness easily.

Read More: Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain – Reviews and Buying Guides

6. Waterbeds 

Waterbeds- Types of Mattresses Guide


Although waterbeds were really popular in the 80s, modern waterbeds seem to have made a comeback.

Nowadays, there are softside and hardside waterbeds. Softside waterbeds have a layer of foam covering the water. It’s then covered with a fabric casing and a padded top.

Hardside waterbeds have a frame with a headboard and footboard. This helps the waterbed to hold its original shape.

They’re also adjustable so it can suit both you and your partner. Many modern waterbeds have the option to change the temperature of the water, which means a warm bed during cold winter nights!

While it takes a lot of time to set up a waterbed, it’s also on the pricey side. However, these beds are great for back pain!

Also Read: Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers – Reviews & Tips

7. Pillowtop Mattress 

Pillowtop Mattress-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types

Pillowtop mattresses are also sometimes known as Euro-top mattresses. This mattress is made with an innerspring mattress; the only exception being the layer of padding that makes the top a few inches thicker.  

There are many types of materials that can be used in the pillowtop mattress. For instance, wool, latex, cotton or even foam.

Based on the materials used, they offer various benefits such as stability, comfort, and cool temperatures.

This bed is perfect for those who have hip and shoulder problems. They’re also affordable which is probably why they’re so popular in the first place.

However, this mattress is not for those who are on the heavier side; their chronic pains won’t go away as easily. The mattresses may also sag faster than normal mattresses.

8. Adjustable Beds 

Adjustable Beds-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types


Gone are the days when adjustable beds were thought of as beds that were only suitable for senior citizens. There’s more to adjustable beds than meets the eye.

These beds have some pretty cool features. They can be reclined or raised to your needs plus their massaging options are bliss for an aching back.

The adjustable bed is perfect for those who like to work on their bed, watch TV or read books. They help reduce snoring and sinus problems. Simply raise it to your desired position and you ’ll have an amazing night’s sleep.

Although the adjustable beds are pricier than your average mattress, they do come with a maintenance fee. So, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth investing in or not.

Important Read: Best Mattress for Platform Beds – Reviews & Buying Guide

9. Organic Mattress 

Organic Mattress-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types

For the people who are environmentally conscious, organic beds are the next best thing. They are made with materials such as natural latex, recycled coils, and organic cotton or wool.

It’s the perfect way to distance yourself from the chemicals and toxins that other mattresses give out. They’re biodegradable mattresses that can be customized to fit your needs.

Not only is the mattress eco-friendly, but it’s also highly durable. However, since it’s made with natural latex, these beds tend to be more expensive. However, if you’re a person who wants to help the environment then this bed is perfect for you.

10. Polyfoam 

Polyfoam-A Complete Guide to the Most Common Mattress Types

Last but not least, there’s the Polyfoam mattress. Polyfoam is a petroleum and synthetic based foam that can be highly durable.

These days, there are many online businesses that develop their own foam. This makes it easy for the buyer to customize it to their needs.

Although they are made with various chemicals, they’re processed in ways that counterbalance them and make them harmless.  

Remember when you’re buying a polyfoam mattress, always check if it comes with a CertiPUR-US certification. This seal ensures that the bed is free of lead, mercury, flame retardants, and ozone depleters.

These beds are very reasonably priced but do your research first and find out if this is the best bed for you.

In Conclusion 

Let’s face it, there are far too many mattresses out there for you to choose from. But it doesn’t mean you won’t find your perfect mattress.

A little diligence and research can go a long way when it comes to investing in the right mattress. In the end, it all depends on what makes you comfortable and happy.

We hope our guide helps you narrow down the mattress options you’re looking for so that you don’t lose hope and feel overwhelmed. Take your time and find out what works best for you!

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