Which Type of Support is Right For My Partner and Me?
If we knew the answer to that question for certain and if there were a magic "right mattress" for every individual or couple, then choosing a mattress would be so much easier. There is a reason that mattress manufacturers utilize a variety of materials and
construction methods when creating a specific mattress. Different body types require different types of support and comfort.
countless hours and tremendous resources in research and development when designing
the final combination of materials and construction methods which are found in
each model we manufacture. The goal of these R&D efforts is to deliver a
specific feel and level of support, while attempting to provide the best
possible product for an amazing price.
Sleeptronic® believes that there is no
single mattress that is perfect for everyone! Selecting a mattress takes some
work just like choosing a new car or a pair of shoes, and if you have done any browsing in-store or online, you may be
wondering, “Which type of mattress should I choose?” When answering that
question, it is as important to ask “What type of support system is best for me?”
Whether purchasing a mattress from the upper end of the product spectrum, or
buying a mattress for a guest bedroom or occasional use, shoppers will usually encounter mattresses that fit into one
of the following five categories:
Spring + Foam - This is the most
popular and widely manufactured support system for mattresses.
All-Foam - Once the fastest
growing segment of the mattress industry. Demand remains strong but this once
red-hot category has cooled in recent years.
Hybrid - The best of both worlds, combining the positive features of Spring + Foam and All-Foam construction into one mattress!
Water - This isn’t the 1970s – and
many if not most mattress stores no longer sell waterbeds.
Air - Popular for its adjustability. Useless if punctured or if one of many parts including the air pump should fail. Air mattresses are a niche product manufactured by a select few companies.
Sleeptronic® exclusively manufactures mattresses that fall within the Spring + Foam, Hybrid and the
All-Foam categories. The following outlines some of the differences in the foams and springs that go into the products we manufacture.
+ Foam support is both tried and true, and is constantly evolving. New spring
configurations coupled with innovative comfort
and support layers combine to
create the widest possible range of feels and types. In general, any mattress
with a spring will be more responsive than an All-Foam mattress. Consumers
often report that they feel as if they are “Sleeping On” a spring mattress.
+ Foam mattresses are available both as traditional mattresses that most consumers
are familiar with, to Hybrid Mattresses which are a combination of an All-Foam
construction coupled with a spring base. The springs used in Spring + Foam
mattresses range from basic bonnell innersprings which have decades of proven use
in the field to highly advanced coil systems and multi-coil systems.
Both Spring + Foam traditional innerspring mattress and Hybrid Mattresses incorporate a variety of spring types. Some of the most popular spring types are explored below.
Fabric Encapsulated Coils – These
provide the least motion transfer and the highest level of individual response
are often referred to as “Pocketed Coils.” Typically they are comprised of
finer wire, barrel-shaped, knotless coils individually encased in fabric
pockets—normally a fabric from nonwoven fiber. Some manufacturers compress these
coils prior to wrapping them, which increases overall support and allows for greater
motion separation between the sides of the bed. Because the springs are not
wired together, they work more independently which reduces or eliminates motion
transfer caused by a partner entering or leaving the bed, or which is often
caused when a sleeping partner is tossing and turning.
oldest and most common form of coil support! First adapted from buggy seat
springs of the 19th century, they are still
prevalent in mid-priced and
entry level mattresses. Bonnell springs are a knotted, round-top,
hourglass-shaped steel wire coil. When lacedtogether with cross wire
helicals, these coils form the simplest innerspring. Advanced bonnell innersprings feature coils with helicals that lace the coils together from head to foot rather than from side to side. Head-to-toe helical lacing helps reduce motion transfer across the mattress by channeling movement up and down the mattress. Several ultra-value models with bonnell coils that are manufactured by Sleeptronic
® feature head-to-toe helical lacing.
These highly engineered spring configurations are formed from a single
piece of wire that runs continuously from side to side across a mattress.
They are typically firmer than other types of springs and are designed to
deflect motion both across and into the interior of a spring.
- An adaptation
of a bonnell spring and are comprised of hourglass type coil on which
portions of the top and bottom convolutions have been flattened. Like a
bonnell unit they are laced together with helical wires. The hinging
effect of the unit is designed to conform to body shape and to send motion
caused by movement on the mattress into the spring rather than
transferring the motion across
Mico-coils - These are typically an
adapted version of a fabric encapsulated coil that are both short in
height and narrow in diameter. Thousands of micro-coils can be present in
a single mattresses. Often used to replace a comfort or support layer in a
mattress, micro-coils produce a unique, highly responsive feel.
Quantum® Edge and Quantum® Elite - One of the most advanced spring systems available in the US is the Quantum Coil from Leggett and Platt. Mattresses featuring Quantum Edge Coils are specifically designed to conform and flex and used on an adjustable foundation. Extra coils concentrated around the perimeter of the mattress provide a firmer and more supportive edge which prevents the all too common "falling out of bed feeling" that many budget mattresses produce. Quantum Edge Steel Perimeter bends and average of 24% more easily than foam encasement, which means less wear and tear on moving parts and a more “friendly” performance on adjustable bedbases.
The Support and Comfort of Foam
mattresses provide a huge range of conformance and support. A high quality All-Foam mattress will generally offer the least responsive sleeping experience but the most pressure relief while delivering the lowest motion transfer from side to side. Foam mattresses often conform precisely to the natural curves of a sleeper’s body, thereby providing optimum pressure relief. Pressure points in the hips and shoulders are typically minimized. Consumers who purchase high-quality All-Foam mattresses often report that they feel as if they are “Sleeping In” the mattress. In many mattresses, a variety of advanced polyurethane and
natural plant-based comfort and support foams work together to create unique feels. Whether choosing a product with visco-elastic foam, latex foam, or other advanced foam configurations, high quality All-Foam mattresses can provide a great night’s sleep. Polyurethane foam, viscoelastic memory foam, and latex foam are the three most common foams used in mattress construction:
In addition to use in All-Foam mattresses, consumers will find that each of the types of foam outlined below are often incorporated into a mattress that features a spring system - as either a comfort or support layer, or as both.
Polyurethane Foam - Many mattress manufacturers use polyurethane foam in the quilted
layers and as the comfort layers of both Spring + Foam and All-Foam mattresses.
With the advent of roll-packed mattresses, polyfoam is often used as a base
layer in their mattresses instead of using spring coils. Several
different varieties and densities of polyurethane foam are available. Higher
density polyurethane foams are more durable than lower density foams. Many
advanced features are available in poly-foam layers including convolution, and
varying densities and softness ratings. High quality polyurethane foams carry
the Certi-PUR US emission certifications. Consumers are often familiar
with polyurethane foam as the type of foam used in sofa cushions or encounter
polyurethane foam when shopping for mattress toppers, including “egg crate”
mattress toppers. Polyurethane foam is comprised primarily of
petrochemicals. In addition to being both durable and comfortable, polyurethane foams can be shaped and modeled and cut into specific pressure relieving designs.
ViscoElastic Foam – Also commonly referred to as “Memory Foam,” viscoelastic polyurethane foam
is a type of polyurethane foam that contains added compounds which change the
way it responds to pressure and which makes it reactive to changing
temperatures. Chemists have engineered Memory Foam for additional conformance
and pressure relief, which often results in slower recovery. For example, Memory
Foam continues to display a handprint for a few seconds after a hand is removed.
Memory Foam is usually denser and more expensive than regular polyurethane
foam. Memory Foam is also temperature reactive, which means it absorbs
heat and softens as it becomes warmer. Newer versions of Memory Foam known
as “Open Cell” visco foams are designed to dissipate heat once absorbed. Many
Memory Foams will become firmer in cooler environments and are not recommended
for environments where the temperature often dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As
with polyurethane foam, Memory Foam is made up primarily of compounds derived
Latex Foam - Latex foam is one of the most
durable types of foam available. Latex reacts instantly when pressure is
applied and the support it provides changes with your every move. Latex
foam does not “sink in” either initially or during the night and maintains
constant support regardless of temperature. The responsive nature of latex
facilitates easy movement throughout the night, without producing sleep
interruption. Latex foam can be produced with predominantly natural latex which is
harvested from rubber trees, or from synthetic latex, which is produced from
petrochemicals, or can consist of a blend of both natural and synthetic latex elements. Most latex utilized in American made mattresses are of the blended variety. The two dominant methods used in manufacturing latex are "Talalay" vulcanized and vacuum sealed molds which are used for products with high natrual latex content, and "Dunlop" or line poured latex which is often mostly synthetic. "Talatech" latex utilizes the "Talalay" process for blended latex that contains both natural and synthetic components.
Infused Foams – The chemists and engineers who work
for foam manufacturers are on a constant quest to create new types of polyfoams and latex
foams that can deliver unique comfort, support, and performance properties. Many natural
and synthetic additives are now commonly found in the comfort and support
layers of modern mattresses. These include cooling gel, copper, and graphite.
Each type of infusion offers one or more specific benefits for the consumer. New and innovative foam products are periodically introduced to the market, and are too numerous to detail here. If you find that a mattress contains an infused polyfoam, typically that signifies a more advanced product. To find out more about these products, a google search will yield the most up to date information.