Mattresses Buying Guide
There is a good deal of intelligent thought that goes into developing and manufacturing a mattress. After all, mattresses are where we rest, recover, and sleep. The same quality thinking can go into your shopping process. That way, when you make the right choice, you'll have a singularly restorative piece of furniture for your home.
Types of Mattresses
Isn't it odd that we stress out so much about buying a mattress -- a product designed to alleviate stress? But with the variety of mattresses, from standard innerspring to pliable foam to memory foam, it's hard to pick the right one for you. Yes, a test drive in the showroom is important. But with information that explores the different types, you will be able to pick likely candidates out of the sea of beds you'll encounter. Here are the highlights; we'll explore each of them in depth in separate buying guides.
Like the name implies, these mattresses are filled with air. A twin-, full-, queen-, or king-size vinyl chamber shaped like a mattress has large valves on one end for inflation and deflation. You may have to pump the mattress full of air by hand, use a hair dryer, or plug in a mechanical pump. Extremely useful for houseguests and temporary sleeping situations, air mattresses can inflate in seconds, and then be deflated, folded, and stored in a bag the size of a pillow.
Bunk beds are fitted with twin-size mattresses, which can be any kind of your choosing. The standard variety with fabric-covered springs is most typical. Some bunks may have a larger bottom bed, which calls for a full- or double-size mattress. A few European retailers sell mattresses made specifically for their bunk bed frames.
These long-lasting mattresses are filled with a thick slab of foam, a synthetic substance with thousands of tiny air pockets that give it bounce and cushion. These mattresses are easy to custom-order for your specific needs. The foam can be shaped into any size and form, which is helpful if you have a nonstandard or antique bed. Foam mattresses also are available in a variety of densities depending on whether you are a back or side sleeper, and you can layer the densities to achieve a certain feel.
Designed to fit a futon bed frame, these mattresses are flexible enough to bend in the middle, yet supportive enough for nightly sleeping. When not used for sleeping, futon mattresses also serve as lounging or sitting spots, so they have more cushion than a typical mattress. Usually they have a core of foam surrounded by layers of cotton to add plushness.
Latex mimics the qualities of synthetic foam, but it is a natural substance derived from the rubber tree. A latex mattress will have the same springy feel as a foam one. It's a long-lasting and durable material, and it is considered "green" because it comes from a renewable resource.
Once you have your mattress in place, you may want to add a pad, which covers the top and wraps around the sides of any size mattress. The pad will protect the mattress from stains as well as wear and tear. It also may perform a specific task, such as waterproofing or bed-bug prevention.
A mattress topper covers only the topmost surface of the mattress and is secured by straps that hook under the corners. A mattress topper is less for protection of the mattress -- though it does provide that -- but is intended primarily to add comfort to the mattress. If you have a firm mattress, for example, you can add cushion to the top with a pillowy mattress topper.
The distinction between a foam mattress and a memory foam mattress lies in the chemical additives that make the polyurethane material temporarily adhesive when exposed to heat. In other words, when your warm body lies on a memory foam mattress, the foam rises and gently adheres to the curves of your limbs. When you get up in the morning, the foam returns to its original shape.
Most mattresses manufactured and sold in the United States are the standard variety, with springy coils covered in padding and fabric. There is a tremendous variety within this vein of mattresses, however, and manufacturers will draw distinctions between their method and another's. Some coils are individually wrapped in fabric. Some are bunched together and topped with varying layers of foam. Some standard mattresses have a pillow top, which is a separate chamber filled with polyester foam attached to the top of the mattress.
Shopping for a mattress can take awhile. To start, you'll want to research the different types so you know what to look for. Then check out a vast mattress showroom filled with lots of types to test drive (or "test sleep"). Also visit a few specialty retailers that sell one brand of mattress, such as Sleep Number or Tempur-Pedic, so you can make comparisons. Finally, ask about delivery service. Will the store dispose of your old mattress? Find out the return policy as well in case you aren't happy with the mattress after sleeping on it a few nights. Will the store come back to pick it up? There are few tasks worse than wrestling a heavy mattress up or down flights of stairs.
When you purchase an air mattress, consider who will likely be sleeping on it and where it will most often be used. If the bed is for Grandma and Grandpa, choose one that is extra tall to make getting in and out easier. An extra-tall bed is also good in a basement, because the sleeping surface is farther from the cold floor. On the other hand, if you are buying one to use for kids' sleepovers, choose a low air mattress in case the child slides out, and pick one with an easy-to-clean vinyl cover.
The mattress you choose for a bunk bed can be any kind that is comfortable to the sleeper. If the retailer recommends a specific mattress for the bed, you would be wise to purchase the two together; the mattress may be a special size or depth to fit the frame.
Long popular in Europe, foam mattresses are becoming popular stateside as well. The feel of a foam mattress is distinct from a standard innerspring mattress, however, so make sure you give it a "test sleep" at the store. Because of the dense material, foam mattresses can be warm; if you don't like that, you may want to add a mattress pad with a breathable cotton cover. Thick, dense foam mattresses can also be very heavy, so make sure your bed frame is sturdy and up to the task.
When you purchase a futon, a mattress will be recommended for it. Because futons don't run standard sizes, make sure the mattress is big enough for the frame. Be sure to purchase a cover for the mattress, which will help protect it from spills. You may want to buy a second cover if the futon is placed where it will get a lot of wear and tear, such as in a dorm room.
Though latex is a commendable choice for its eco-friendly qualities, anyone who is sensitive or allergic to other latex products should avoid these mattresses. "Natural latex" is the term for latex that goes directly from the rubber tree plant to the mattress form without modification or additives. However, without the extra chemical processing, natural latex dries out and becomes flaky more quickly than synthetic latex, so the mattress won't last as long.
There is a wide range of prices for mattress pads based on the material and extra features. Basic polyester or cotton pads may cost as little as $15, but deluxe pads with memory foam, down fill, or adjustable heat might cost several hundred dollars.
Like mattress pads, a variety of toppers is available, and the price depends on the feature you are adding to the mattress. Toppers have the advantage of being quick to remove, so you can use one for just one season of the year.
Like other foam mattresses, these tend to be heavy and unwieldy. Before you purchase a memory foam mattress, plan the route it will take through your home and into the bedroom. Make sure your bed can accommodate it, or purchase the complete bed -- mattress, support layer, and frame -- in a set. To protect your investment, you'll want to buy a mattress cover.
The variety and longevity of a standard innerspring mattress differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Once you find one that is comfortable and fits your budget, ask what maintenance you can do to prolong its life. Many mattresses benefit from being flipped and turned periodically to prevent them from developing low spots. Mattresses with pillow tops, however, are not supposed to be flipped. Also ask: Should you buy the companion box spring support piece? And if so, do you have room for a mattress and box spring in your bed frame? Platform beds, for example, usually don't accommodate both.
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Cozy up in the warmth of this quilted heated mattress pad that offers complete comfort and softness. quilted constructionfits up t...o 18" mattresscontroller has 10 heat settings10-hr auto offselectable preheat settingLCD display Cotton/polyester. Washable. Imported. read more
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Zip-off mattress pad. Cushy quilted cotton top mattress pad with lofty polyester fiber fill. Stretchy elasticized polyester skirt ...fits snuggly and securely. Top zips off for easy washing. Mattress pad fits mattresses up to 18 inches thick. Machine wash. Imported. Our Easy Zip-Off mattress pad can do wonders for a bed's comfort level. An essential element, the mattress pad both protects and cushions your mattress while promoting a wonderful night's sleep night after night. A true example of form meets function, our ingenious mattress pad is designed with a cushy quilted top that zips off for easy washing?so you won't have to go to the trouble of having to remove the entire mattress every time you want to wash it. Imagine a convenient mattress pad that provides all the comfort and protection without any of the hassle?the simple zip-off style ensures you won't strain or pull your back while trying to remove your mattress pad. It's also machine washable for convenience. Simplify your daily life with our easy zip-off mattress pad and see what a difference upgraded details can make. Designed with a quilted cotton top and lofty poly fiber fill, our zip-off mattress pad fits snuggly and securely on mattresses up to 18 inches thick with its stretchy elasticized polyester skirt. Transform your bed into a cozy retreat while also adding an extra layer of softness and security in one simple step. An essential addition to your bed, this effortless zip-off mattress pad is comfortable, durable and necessary. read more
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Whether youre giving the gift of cozy nights or cuddling up yourself?this mattress pad will be a holiday favorite. offers a 10-hou...r auto-off featureeasy control interfacefits up to a 16" mattress Polyester. Machine washable. Imported. read more
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Protect your mattress and enjoy resting on a cloud of softness with the select mattress pad from jcp home. guaranteed to fit mattr...esses up to 18" thick200 thread countplain weave cotton tophypoallergenic fill: polyester batting fill: 8-ounce square yardstain release and repellent Cotton/polyester. Washable. Imported. Twin: 39x75"Twin XL: 39x80"Full: 54x75"Queen: 60x80"King: 78x80"Cal. King: 72x84" read more
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This 300 thread-count body tech mattress pad features a patented body tech quilt design, which adds loft to areas where your body ...needs the most support. 300 thread-countpremium 2-way polyester/spandex stretch skirt fits mattress up to 21" thicksoft, breathable cotton dobby weave coverhypoallergenic antimicrobial polyester fill Cotton/polyester/spandex. Washable. Imported. Twin: 39x75?Twin XL: 39x80?Full: 54x75?Queen: 60x80?King: 78x80?Cal. King: 72x84? read more
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The Isotonic Iso-Cool, visco-elastic molded foam mattress topper is filled with 11 ounces of luxurious spiral-spun polyester fiber... to provide a restful nights sleep. 300 thread-count cotton cover has elastic for a secure fitmemory foam helps to reduce tossing and turning Outlast® Adaptive Comfort? fabric regulates body temperature, absorbing and releasing body heat as neededSleep Better? with supremely plush temperature-sensitive memory foam that equalizes pressure and reduces tensionfoam pad is 3" thick with a 2˝-pound density15" spandex skirt fits mattresses up to 20" deep Back is polyester. Polyester filled cover fits over the foam pad and your mattress. Cover is hypoallergenic and washable; spot clean foam. Manufacturers 15-year warranty. Made in America of imported materials. Twin topper: 37x72"Twin XL topper: 37x77"Full topper: 51x72"Queen topper: 58x77"King topper: 76x77"Cal. King topper: 70x80" read more
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Stay toasty warm all night long with the technology of this premium heated mattress pad that will keep you at the perfect temperat...ure. quilted topun-quilted skirt Polyester. Machine wash, tumble dry low then dry flat. Made in America of imported materials. read more
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Extend the life of your mattress, while resting on a cloud of softness with this classic mattress pad brought to you by jcp home. ...guaranteed to fit mattresses up to 16" thick190 thread-countplain weave polyester tophypoallergenic fill: polyester batting fill: 5 oz square yard Polyester. Washable. Imported. Twin: 39x75?Twin XL: 39x80?Full: 54x75?Queen: 60x80?King: 78x80?Cal. King: 72x84? read more
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The TheraGel Isotonic® 2" mattress topper will give you the coolest and most comfortable nights sleep. easy-care polyester cover w...ith a visco-elastic foamprovides the perfect combination of responsive temperature-smart foam and microgel beads for superior support and pressure relieffeatures Active Air technology which allows 400% greater airflow and Cool Choice breathable mesh side gussets2" premium memory foam has advance open cell construction to help keep you cool and comfortablemicrofiber cover features NanoCool comfort fabric which wicks away moisture Polyester cover is washable. Visco-elastic foam is spot clean only. Manufacturers 5-year warranty. Made in America of imported materials. Twin: 39x72"Full: 54x75"Queen: 60x80"King: 76x80"Cal. King: 70x80" read more
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This 3" rejuvenation mattress topper helps you get the deeply restful, re-energizing sleep you need to be at your best every day. ...extra-deep 2-layer construction; 1-1/2-inch of gel-memory foam plus 1-1/2-inch of luratex customwave foammicro-beads of cushioning gel are infused into premium memory foam for an ideal balance of cradling support, proven comfort and superior breathabilityluratex customwave foam layer is uniquely contoured to provide gentle firmness and dramatically improved airflowcustomizable 3-in-1 mattress topper allows you to choose your comfort and support layer for a truly personalized sleep experienceseparate zippered compartments allow you to arrange the layers for a customized sleep experience Removable cotton cover is washable. Spot clean foam. Made in America. Twin: 39x75x3"HFull: 54x75x3"HQueen: 60x80x3"HKing: 76x80x3"HCal King: 72x84x3"H read more