by Staff Writer
There are basically three common types of mattresses used today: spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, inflatable mattresses and feather beds. Each type has its own benefits. A mattress pad is a less expensive way to add comfort to your bed than purchasing a whole new mattress. With that said, if your mattress is lumpy or saggy, a mattress topper probably won't make much difference. If it is good, though, you have many different choices in material, price, and comfort. Whatever you get, just make sure you purchase the right size for your bed frame. Take a look below to learn more about the best-selling mattresses on the market.
Spring mattresses: A traditional spring mattress consists of tempered steel springs covered with layers of upholstery. You need to pay special attention to the spring count and the quality of the upholstery surrounding the springs. The upholstery both insulates and cushions so you don't feel all those springs. A pillow top provides an extra layer of cushion. However, a pillow-top mattress cannot be flipped over periodically to prevent sagging. A higher coil count means the springs will have a smaller diameter and probably won't be quite as stiff. However, you will get more even support, especially for those curvy areas that can develop pressure points. Most mattress sets (mattress and box springs foundation) are designed to work together. That means a new mattress on old box springs probably won't be as comfortable as it could be. So when you buy a new spring mattress, think seriously about purchasing the whole mattress set.
Memory foam mattresses: Visco-elastic memory foam mattresses soften when they come in contact with heat. That means they mold to the shape of your body when you lay down, evenly distributing your weight. Memory foam mattresses eliminate sensitive pressure points that can develop with other mattresses, helping you sleep comfortably. When buying a memory foam mattress, it is important to pay attention to the memory foam's density. A higher density rating means a firmer, more durable mattress, so if you don't like it firm, get a lower density. Overall, Visco-elastic memory foam mattresses are heavier than spring ones, but they don't collect as much dust. A memory foam mattress does not need to sit on box springs. It only needs a flat, stable foundation. Usually a sheet or two of plywood on several cross supports is all you need.
Air beds: Air beds also come in a variety of sizes and configurations. Today's air beds are usually designed to mimic spring mattresses, with air providing the support. Many even have pillow tops for added comfort. Air mattresses are great if you want something that will let you sleep comfortably and can be easily transported or stored away. And an inflatable mattress lets you adjust the firmness when you feel like it. One of the most important things to pay attention to when it comes to purchasing an air bed is its construction. Heavy duty vinyl is important; you don't want to poke a hole in your inflatable bed in the middle of the night. Also, if you are planning on using the mattress with an actual bed frame, make sure the air pump won't get in the way.
Featherbeds: Featherbeds are essentially down mattress pads, and a quality one provides softness and insulation that is difficult to imitate. The most important features of any featherbed are its type of down, its thread count, and the design it employs to keep the down in place. Goose down is the best, especially Hungarian goose down. And a baffle-box design helps the down stay in place while keeping its fullest loft.