Have you ever been overwhelmed by the terms and technical jargon you hear while mattress shopping? If so, don't worry, because there's an easy way to find out what's inside of a mattress. There are three major components in a mattress:
- Upholstery layers (the padding)
- An innerspring coil unit
- The box spring or foundation
These components are responsible for the comfort and support of a mattress. By understanding what role each plays, you can easily find the right mattress for you.
The upholstery layers account for most of today's mattress cost. Twenty years ago, the average mattress
height was nine inches. Today, the average mattress height is fourteen inches. While the coil unit itself hasn't gotten much taller, the upholstery layers (commonly referred to as padding) add height to the mattress. Research has shown that a greater quantity of high quality comfort materials provide a more comfortable sleep surface and allow for a longer comfort life.
These layers can consist of man made materials, natural fibers, and a variety of
foams. Every mattress has approximately 3 to 8 layers of padding, with each layer composed of a different material. Of the three major components, the padding alone costs more than the innerspring unit and foundation/box
spring combined. Materials like wool, cashmere, silk, memory foam, and latex foam usually signal a better overall quality. Padding layers also come in different grades, so you shouldn't expect the wool in a $1,000 mattress to be as good as in a $3,000
The innerspring coil unit is the base of a mattress. It allows for even distribution of your body mass while you rest. The innerspring, often called the coil, will hold its strength for many years. The coils offer support to your body where you need it most. Sealy, Serta, and Simmons beautyrest offer a variety of innerspring coil units, and price usually dictates the quality. Stearns & Foster does not alter coil count, as they use the same high
quality coil count throughout their entire line.
Many people ask about the importance of coil count. A greater amount of coils
is beneficial when the manufacturer spaces the same size and type of coils closer
together, providing more coils in the same size mattress. You cannot compare the
quality of mattresses between brands based solely on coil count. There too many variables in
design, function, and durability for coil count to be the definitive measure of quality. You can be sure that all of
the premium line mattresses we sell have a good innerspring unit. Focus on selecting the right comfort level and model for your needs.
Box Spring or Foundation?
Today, a box spring and a foundation are essentially the same. Some
manufacturers still use a true box spring that has a coil or modular coil
spring system within it. The coils act as little shock absorbers, so when
force and weight are applied to the top of the mattress, the box spring will
give slightly underneath.
Recent advances in technology have eliminated the need for a true box spring, and most mattresses are designed to work with a foundation instead. Framed in either wood or steel, foundations look like true box springs but have no give or
shock absorbing abilities. For example, the Simmons Beautyrest mattress sets are
built on a foundation. The non-flexing base makes for the deep
sleep that Beautyrest mattresses are known for. The base has no components to
wear out, and provides a more rigid feeling.
Try not to get overwhelmed by technical jargon when you're shopping for your new mattress. Keep these three major components in mind, and trust that you'll make the right choice. If you'd like more help finding the right mattress for you, you can speak with one of our friendly mattress experts by calling 1-800-455-1052.