Spring has sprung. What modern technology should we be looking for when replacing our old mattress? How do we compare mattress features like coils, memory foam, and gel?
Coils and Springs
By far, coil technology has gone through the most improvements over the years. Coil mattresses remain great value, because of their durability and variety.
Engineers have designed coil mattresses to provide different types of pressure relief by changing the qualities of the coil (sometimes referred to as the spring). Quality brands like Sealy Posturepedic, Beautyrest and our own Contempo use numerous combinations of technologies to achieve each type of support.
- Coils with more turns will feel softer and are more durable
- Coils made with titanium or specialized alloys hold their shape longer
- The shape of the coil can be modified to support heavier or lighter parts of the body
- The number of coils can be changed within different zones of the mattress
- A denser number of coils adjusts to more of the bodys contours
- Sometimes, smaller coils are placed inside a larger coil to allow dual support of the weights and curves of your body as you roll around
- Pockets around coils allow each coil to move independently and reduce motion transfer across a mattress
Finally, mattresses will be padded and ticked with a variety of materials to improve airflow, softness, heat retention and to reduce allergens.
If you havent shopped beds in the last few years, you might not know that memory foam and Tempurs visco-elastic material are all different.
Memory foam is used as padding and contours around your position in bed. It is resistant to mildew, dust mites and allergens. However, the drawback to memory foam is that it can take up to 15 minutes to warm-up and soften on a cold night or can feel warm on a hot night. For this reason some manufacturers will add a layer of natural fiber such as wool, cotton or silk in the ticking over the memory foam to moderate the temperature and still gain the benefit of the comfort.
While Tempur's material is similar to memory foam, it has been manufactured to circulate air between the cells in the material. The air circulation helps regulate body temperature while sleeping. Additionally, many of Tempurs mattresses are flexible and designed to be placed on an adjustable frame. This frame allows a persons head, torso and feet to be raised or lowered for comfort.
Gel is a dense water-based material that is non-toxic and environmentally safe. The density of the gel helps move heat away from the body. Cool gel is used in mattresses and pillows to not only provide cooling benefits, but to also reduce impact on pressure points and more!
Edges and Bases
Many manufacturers have combined dense foam and increased the number or type of springs at the edges of mattresses to ensure the edges of the bed dont wear faster than the rest of the mattress.
In addition to the mattress technology, the base is an important piece in supporting the mattress and getting the right feel. For most mattresses, buy the full ensemble or the mattress and frame as a set to get the combined benefit of the bed engineering and technology.
Stop by any of our local Bedshed stores to ask questions and try out the different mattresses. Our friendly staff will help you find the mattress technologies that give you the most comfort for your body and the best value for your lifestyle.