In this guide, we will be outlining the four main types of mattresses on the market – innerspring, memory foam, latex and air. We will summarize the pros and cons of each type and discuss the key features of the top 5 mattresses in each category. This will give you some guidance in deciding on the best mattress to meet your needs as well as helping you to learn which mattresses you should avoid.
Table of Contents
- Mattress Types
- Innerspring Mattresses
- Memory Foam Mattresses
- Latex Mattresses
- Air Mattresses
- Types of Mattress to Avoid
- Top Mattress Companies
- Detailed Mattress Reviews By Type and Brand
There are several different types of mattresses available and each type has its own advantages/disadvantages. The type of mattress that is right for you will depend on your own personal needs and preferences. The main types of mattress that you can choose from are as follows:
Innerspring Mattresses – These are mattresses that use steel coils for support. The type of spring system that is used will vary from one manufacturer to another.
Memory Foam Mattresses are made of a polyurethane material with an increased density. The foam is designed to soften in reaction to body hear allowing it to contour to the body. It then springs back to its original shape. The end result is a mattress that is comfortable and supportive.
Latex Mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic latex using one of two different manufacturing processes – Dunlop or Talalay. Many consumers feel that latex mattresses can offer all of the same benefits of memory foam, but with a better range of firmness and comfort options. However, latex mattresses are not widely available and it can be a challenge to find the right one to meet your needs.
Innerspring mattresses use steel coils as their main source of support. There are many different styles of springs and these will vary between manufacturers. Some mattresses have the springs connected into one single unit while others use individually wrapped coils inside pockets. The springs are also going to vary in terms of the shape of the spring, the gauge of the coils and the number of coils. There may be additional layers or padding in addition to the springs, for example foam.
Pros & Cons
According to consumer reviews, some of the best advantages of innerspring mattresses include the fact that they are widely available, affordable and can be found in a wide range of firmness and comfort levels. It is also very common for customers to note that they did not experience any any noticeable off gassing after purchase and that their innerspring mattresses do not tend to trap any heat. However, a number of consumers have also noted that they find innerspring mattresses are not very durable and comment on their lack of longevity. Many consumers have also commented on the fact that they can be noisy and that they are not very good for relieving painful joints and pressure points.
Top 5 Mattresses
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Hybrid
The Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Hybrid mattress is structures in 4 separate layers including a pocketed coil base layer, smartflow poly foam, copper infused gel memory foam and a padded top layer. The mattress is available in two different firmness options – medium and luxury firm. One of the thing that consumers mention often in reviews of this particular mattress is that is offers really great edge support. Consumers also not that it offers balanced support and sleep cool. There seem to be very few complaints which is not unexpected considering the fact that Nest Bedding are known as industry leaders.
Aviya are one of the smaller companies in the mattress industry, but they can still hold their own against the big brands. The Aviya innerspring mattress is an affordable option for those looking for an innerspring mattress. It features a stability foam base, approximately 800 individually wrapped coils (Queen), a foam support layer and a foam comfort layer with a quilted cover. One benefit that many customer reviews note is that the edge support is excellent thanks to the addition of polyurethane foam around the edge. However, on the down side, reviews do note that motion isolation is not particularly great, so if you sleep with a partner this may not be your best option.
The Voila mattress is available in 3 different levels of firmness – plush, medium and firm. Each of them is constructed with multiple layers including pocketed coils, support foam and gel foam. Consumer reviews say that the mattress is responsive and has a great bounce to it. Thanks to a mix of pocketed coils, talalay latex and gel memory foam the mattress has great air flow and does not sleep hot.
Brentwood Home Oceano
The Brentwood Home Oceano is one of 3 innerspring mattresses from the Brentwood Home range. It is the most expensive of the 3 options and it is also the softest in terms of firmness. The mattress construction features a layer of coils topped by polyfoam, then a layer of microcoils which is topped by a gel memory foam. This is very much a luxury mattress and is great for side sleepers thanks to excellent pressure relief.
Winkbeds Luxury Hybrid
The Winkbeds Luxury Hybrid mattress has a combination of both foam and springs. They are only available online. The mattress is constructed with the foam on the top which give is a very plush feeling, but the additional spring layer offers support and pressure relief. This makes it a good choice for side sleepers. There is only one firmness level available and it is average/medium firm. Consumers rate the mattress highly in terms of comfort and a support. They also feel that it represents good value for money. However, on the downside, many consumers complain that is does not perform well in terms of motion transfer.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are made from a polyurethane material which has been treated with chemical agents to increase its density. The foam consists of a large number of spherical open cells. It is generally distinguished by its ability to return to its original shape and is known for conforming ability. Most memory foam mattresses are built on a thick support layer of poly foam with additional layers of memory foam above it. Depending on the manufacturer, these memory foam layers amy be infused with copper and/or gel to aid cooling.
Pros & Cons
Memory foam mattresses are popular with consumers thanks to their conforming ability. It is common for reviews to praise support and motion isolation as two of the main advantages of this type of mattress as well as the affordability. It is possible to purchase a good quality memory foam mattress at a reasonable price. However, consumer reviews also mention a few disadvantages of choosing a memory foam mattress, mainly the tendency for off-gassing, the lack of bounce and the fact that they are prone to retaining heat.
Top 5 Mattresses
The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Contour mattress is available in firm (contour elite) or extra firm (contour supreme). There is also the breeze variation which has additional cooling technology to tackle the heat retention that memory foam is known for. The pros of this particular mattress are that it has excellent conforming ability, long lifespan, a variety of firmness options and an overall sophistication and quality. Tempur-pedic are very often the benchmark against which all other brands are judged as they are established as a top name in the mattress industry. The most common cons mentioned for the mattress relate to the price. Tempur-pedic is expensive in comparison to other brands, but many feel the quality is worth the extra expense. There are also many reviews which mention off-gassing and heat retention as downsides to the mattress.
BedinaBox Pacbed Original
The Bedinabox Pacbed Original is a medium to medium-firm mattress with a low density support base and a gel memory foam layer. In terms of advantages, consumer reviews suggest that the mattress has excellent motion isolation and I also good for relieving back pain. Consumers also note in reviews that there is no squeaking or creaking – the mattress is virtually silent. However, on the downside, the mattress does have some potential for off-gassing and many customers are unhappy that the bed must be kept for a minimum of 60 days before it can be returned. It is also known to sleep hot.
Nest Bedding Alexander Signature
The Nest Bedding Alexander Signature mattress features four different layers. We start with a foam foundational layer at the bottom, topped with a transition foam layer to offer extra support and deep compression for heavier sleepers. Next is the comfort layer of foam and the cooling top layer of gel foam. One of the biggest advantages of the Alexander Signature mattress is that it is one of the few online options that offers various firmness choices. Consumers also praise the lack of off-gassing and the above average pressure relief it provides. The most common complaint from consumers is that the edge support is a little lacking.
Sleep Science Marina 10 Queen Memory Foam Mattress
The Sleep Science Marina 10 mattress is generally only available online via CostCo.com and it is a fairly affordable option for those looking for a memory foam mattress on a tight budget. Customers say that they feel the mattress is good value for money and they enjoy the very comprehensive Costco return policy and warranty that covers the mattress. However, on the downside, many feel that the mattress is too firm and there are few options available. Off gassing and heat retention are mentioned frequently as potential problems with the Sleep Science Marina 10.
Classic Brands Cool Gel 10.5
The Classic Brands Cool Gel mattress is infused with gel particles to aid cooling and has two high density gel foam layers for maximum support where it is needed the most. This mattress is a great option for back support and does well with relieving pressure points for a more comfortable sleep. The open cell construction of the foam allows it to self-ventilate making it one of the coolest foam mattresses on the market at present. Consumer reviews rate the mattress highly for comfort and sleeping cool. However, many say that the off-gassing is an issue and can take a month to clear completely, although most say it is tolerable within a week. There are also some concerns about the longevity of the mattress.
Latex mattresses can either be made from pure latex, synthetic latex or a blend of both. These all have very similar properties but natural latex is the more expensive of the three options. Latex is produced using one of two different processes. The more traditional method is Dunlop where liquid latex is poured into a mold and baked to produce one single piece to serve as the core of the mattress. This method can offer a inconsistent result as some of the late settles during the process making the latex softer on top and harder towards the bottom. The other process is talalay which offers a couple of extra steps. The liquid is poured into the mold gradually and a vacuum is used to disperse a serum throughout the mold. When full, the mold is flash frozen before being baked. Talalay is more expensive due to the longer process.
Pros & Cons
Consumers have plenty of positive things to say about latex mattresses. These are among the most environmentally friendly mattresses that are available which really strikes a chord with consumers who care about going green. The other common praise you will see is that latex mattresses offer all of the benefits of memory foam, but few of the disadvantages. They are hypoallergenic and also great for people with back pain. However, on the downside there is not a huge amount of consumer data available for latex mattresses and that can mean researching your options more difficult. Since there are so many options and customization available it can be overwhelming without guidance.
Top 5 Mattresses
The Saatva Zenhaven mattress is 100% natural Talalay latex with 100% organic wool and cotton on the cover. What really makes it stand out from competitors is the affordable price tag. It is priced much lower than most natural latex mattress, but without compromising on the quality. The green credentials are one of the big positives for this mattress, although consumer reviews also comment on its durability and also the fact that you can flip the mattress for a choice of firmness options! One of the complaints that some reviews note is that it is a little pricey. While the mattress is cheap for natural latex, it is still fairly expensive in comparison to memory foam.
Plushbeds Botanical Bliss
Plushbeds Botanical Bliss is a 100% latex mattress with two different layers – all of them latex. This is different to most latex mattresses which contain some element of foam. The Botanical Bliss mattress is available in four different firmness levels – soft (3.5/10), Medium (5/10), Medium-Firm (6.5/10) and Extra Firm (8.5/10). The mattress really seems to strike just the right balance of responsiveness, bounce, hug and contour. Some consumer reviews do note that the mattress is very heavy and can be difficult to move, while others complained that it is not suited to larger people weighing 200lbs or more. On the positive side, consumers are pleased with the comfort, pressure relief and the natural cooling capabilities of the latex.
Nest Bedding Hybrid Latex
Nest Bedding are known for innovation and this is certainly true of the hybrid latex model. The mattress consists of individually wrapped coils topped with a latex layer and a wool comfort top. The hybrid latex mattress feels very much like an inner spring mattress rather than a latex mattress which seems to split the opinion of consumers. Some reviews note that they do not particularly like the fact that it feels this way. However, on the positive side reviews say that the mattress sleeps cool and that it ranks highly in terms of durability and longevity.
SleepOn Latex Pure Green
The Pure Green mattress from SleepOn Latex is a 100% natural latex mattress. It is a soft, yet supportive mattress that is ideal for side sleepers. The mattress contains no harmful chemicals or inorganic materials and is completely healthy and environmentally friendly. It is supplied with a 10-year warranty and consumers describe it as being very durable. One complaint that we have seen a few times is that the firmness ratings are not as expected. Although the medium option is said to be around 6.5/10, many consumers felt it was closer to firm than it was to medium.
Brooklyn Bedding #BestMattressEver
Brooklyn Bedding’s #BestMattressEver has a lot to live up to with a name like that and it certainly does try its best! The mattress comes in three different levels of firmness, so there is plenty of choice. It has some bounce to it and great overall support. Most consumers seem very satisfied with how it relieves pressure points too. However, there were complaints from a handful of consumers who were more used to a memory foam mattress and could not get used to the latex. There is a 120 night trial period, so if you are new to latex this should offer some peace of mind. The mattress actually uses a combination of Dunlop and talalay latex along with a high density polyfoam.
Air mattresses are commonly made from polyvinyl chloride 9PVC) and have a textile top and sides. There are a number of different ways that the bed can be constructed. The mattress may have parallel beams or chambers running either horizontally or vertically or it may consist of diamond shaped pockets. Some air mattresses even use a series of coils. There are some more sophisticated ‘air mattresses’ emerging on the market which are innerspring or memory foam mattresses which include air chambers to control the firmness, but these are not the same thing as a standard air mattress.
Pros & Cons
One of the main advantages of air mattresses is the cost, they are a much cheaper alternative to a traditional mattress. They are also portable and some consumers say that they can alleviate back pain thanks to the ability to inflate or deflate to the ideal firmness. However, they are not really designed for long term use. The majority of air beds are intended for camping, or guest use rather than as an everyday bed. Consumers who use air mattresses over a longer period will find that it loses air gradually and needs to be re-inflated frequently.
Top 5 Mattresses
Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress
The Soundasleep Dream Series Air Mattress uses 40 internal air coils which offer durability and support. It features an internal pump for easy inflation and deflation and claims to be able to reach maximum inflation in under 4 minutes. Although it is designed for in home use, it also has a carry bag for easy portability. One of the features that gets a lot of praise from consumers is the suction grip bottom that will stop the mattress slipping and will grp to any flat surface. The mattress is durable but it is not designed to be a permanent bed for daily use. Most consumer reviews praise the comfort offered, but a common complaint is that it is very noisy when moving around as you sleep.
Fox Air Beds Plush Inflatable Bed
The Fox Air Beds Plush Inflatable Bed has pillow top chambers for added comfort, a built in two way pump and extra thick vinyl for added durability. One thing that is often mentioned by consumers reviewing this air bed is that it is very comfortable thanks to the plush topper. Most say they did not need a mattress topper and that it feels and looks a lot like a ‘real’ bed. It rates highly for comfort and gets praised for being longer than competitors making it ideal for tall people. However, some reviews do note that if it is used for more than a few nights you are going to need to top up the air each day. This seems to be a bigger issue for larger people, especially if they are using this as their everyday bed.
Coleman Double High
One of the unique features of the Coleman Double High mattress is then additional height. The taller size provides a sturdier sleeping experience and additional comfort compared to lower air mattresses. However, some consumers still suggest adding a foam mattress topper for an improved sleep. One common complaint from consumers is that there is no built-in pump, so one has to be purchased separately. It also has an unpleasant rubber odour in the beginning.
Intex Premium Comfort Mid Rise
The Intex Premium Comfort Mid Rise airbed is strong and lightweight. It has a built-in pillow and a flocked top/sides for additional comfort. The bed is inflated using the built-in electric pump. The main complaint from consumers who have purchased this bed is that is does not come with a warranty and unless you purchase the extra repair kit, it is supplied with only one patch. Another complaint is that the repair patches do not adhere to the flocked parts of the bed. In terms of the pros of the Intex Premium Comfort Mid Rise bed, consumers say that it is comfortable and does feel like sleeping on a traditional mattress.
InstaBed Raised Air Mattress
The InstaBed Raised Air Mattress has a dual-chamber construction to limit internal air movement, resulting in a firmer sleeping surface. This also creates a more stable edge meaning that the bed is easier to get in and out of than some other air beds. Most of the consumer reviews are positive, with the comfort and durability being praised. However, one of the downsides mentioned is that because of the dual chamber design, the bed can dip in the middle if it is used by two people. Some reviews also note that this is not intended for long term use (beyond 7 consecutive days) and they found that due to stretching the bed increased in size considerably when it was used long term.
Types of Mattress to Avoid
When shopping for a mattress, there are a number of things that you want to avoid. The most obvious things would be choosing a mattress that doesn’t fit your bed correctly, or one which is too firm or too soft. However, we also recommend that you avoid mattresses that have a ‘gimmick’ attached. It is becoming all too common for mattress manufacturers to label their product ‘medically-approved’ or ‘orthopaedic’. However, the truth of the matter is, that there is no organization which approves such claims. Anyone could add these labels. It is best to avoid such gimmicks and look for a mattress that suits your preferences and requirements. If you suffer from a bad back or joint pain, your doctor can advise on the right type of mattress and the required firmness to alleviate your pain.
Top Mattress Companies
Over the years, Tempur-Pedic have become the mattress company that all others are judged against. This is a well-established company operating out of Lexington, Kentucky that has been in business since 1992. They have maintained an A+ BBB rating for several years, but customer service can be somewhat inconsistent. The warranty, trial period and returns policy all rank lower than competitors.
Was established in 2011 and they are based in California, although there are 8 locations around California, New York and Illinois. The warranties offered vary from 10 to 20 years depending on which type of mattress is purchased and the policies are more or less in line with their competitors. They have a good reputation in terms of customer service and an A+ rating with BBB.
Bed in a Box
Bed in a Box have been in business since 2006 and are based in Tennessee. Based on consumer reviews, they provide a reasonably high level of customer satisfaction and they hold an A+ BBB rating. The returns policy is competitive with a 120-day 100% money back guarantee. However, the mattress can only be returned after a minimum of 60 days. The warranty offered is very reasonable with the first 10 years non-prorated, although some customers feel that the sagging coverage after 5 years is below average.
Leesa started trading in 2014 and are based out of Virginia Beach. As a fairly new company they have not yet had time to build up a huge following, but nevertheless they are becoming known for excellent customer service and have a B+ rating with BBB. One thing that helps their credibility is that they do not remove negative reviews from their own website which offers completely transparency. The return policy is excellent, although the warranty falls short at only 10 years.
Saatva are the company behind both the Loom & Leaf and Zenhaven brands. They have been in business since 2011 and although based in Westport, CT they have offices across the country. The company has an A+ BBB rating and boasts some of the best customer service in the industry. The 15 year warranty offered on the mattresses is not the best we have seen, but it is fair and they have a good returns policy in place.