Different Mattress Types, Explained


Are you lost in a mattress maze? Still, deciding what’s the best mattress to go for? Get a good night’s sleep with a suitable surface. Many spring, foam, and hybrid mattresses promise the rest of your dreams. Before buying a new bed, learn about mattress types!

This guide shows you the memory foam and blends inside so you can pick the most comfortable one for how you sleep. No more guessing! Jump in. What are the different mattress types? Prepare for a great night’s sleep!

Mattress TypesFirmnessLifespan
InnerspringMedium to Firm5-8 Years
Memory FoamSoft to Medium8-10 Years
HybridMedium8-10 Years
Gel Memory FoamSoft to Medium10-12 Years
PolyfoamSoft to Medium10-12 Years
LatexMedium10-12 Years
PillowtopMedium Firm5-7 Years

What are the Different Mattress Types?

What are the different types of mattresses? Mattress types are not created equal. Each offers a unique sleeping experience. Let’s explore the key categories:

1. Innerspring Mattress

A typical innerspring mattress comprises steel coils linked together and a thin layer of padding under the cover. Therefore, a supportive, airy, and springy sleeping surface is created, making it simple to move and alter poses.


  • Innerspring mattresses are suitable for hot sleepers.
  • Coil structure and materials enable airflow.
  • Innerspring mattresses are ideal for sleepers who prefer a firm support system.
  • Stomach and back sleepers will find the firmness they need in an Innerspring mattress.


  • Limited lifespan due to loss of spring tension.
  • Breakdown of critical materials causes a mattress to sag, resulting in pain during sleep.

2. Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam softens and conforms to the contour of the wearer using body heat. This offers exceptional comfort and support. The name ‘ memory’ is derived from memory foam gradually recalling your body shape and the most comfortable slumber position after relieving pressure.


  • Memory foam mattresses are very common because they are very comfortable.
  • It molds to your body and takes the pressure off your back so you can rest.
  • Memory foam mattresses react to heat and pressure to ensure pressure points don’t worsen.


  • The biggest issue with these mattresses is heat retention.
  • Traditional memory foam without technology is heated and uncomfortable during the night.
  • Another problem of raw memory foam is moisture retention.

3. Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress has the support of an all-foam construction and the bounce and airflow of a coil construction. There is a coil support system under a comfort system made of foam, latex, or polyfoam in hybrid types. Most of the time, the comfort system is at least 3 inches thick.


  • Coil support makes a sleep surface more sensitive and bouncier, making position changes easier.
  • A sexual benefit may also come from this characteristic.
  • Most hybrid versions feature robust edges due to coil support cores.


  • Hybrid types cost more than all-foam models; however, there are cheaper ones.
  • Coil cores are more prone to generate noise and convey motion than polyfoam support systems.

The Pillowtop Mattresses

This design is composed of one gusseted layer of foam or fiber. As the name implies, pillowtop mattresses frequently feel “pillowy” and soft. The layer is sewn onto the top with a tiny space between it and the mattress’s comfort layer.


  • Pillowtop mattresses have heavy cushioning on top.
  • They have gels and foams as cooling solutions that don’t trap body heat.
  • Pillowtop mattresses are less shifting than layers you can buy separately to cover your bed.


  • They flatten and become less pillowy over prolonged use, making them less durable.
  • Some pillow top mattresses, especially heavier ones, lack support for sleeping or sitting near the edge.

Foam Mattress Types

Gel Memory Foam Mattress

Like a memory foam mattress, the best gel memory foam mattress has gel pods added to the upper foam layers. Your neck and lower back will receive additional support from these gel capsules.

They also give your mattress additional bounce, which speeds up the foam’s return to its natural shape.


  • Gel foam mattresses seem colder than memory foam.
  • The cooling gel’s top layer wicks heat and moisture.
  • Gel foam mattresses offer cool-to-the-touch comfort for hot sleepers.


  • They cost more than regular memory foam mattresses.
  • A smell of chemicals.
  • They’re bigger than other beds.

Polyfoam Mattresses

Regarding mattresses and toppers, polyurethane foam, also called “polyfoam,” is the least expensive and worst quality foam. Most people know polyurethane foam as the kind of foam that’s used in cheap “egg crate” mattress toppers or couch cushions.


  • PU foam relieves pressure on specific body parts and joints and alleviates superficial pain.
  • For chronic pain, PU foam is comfortable and provides quick pain relief.


  • A standalone PU foam mattress would be uncomfortable due to body heat retention and unequal comfort.
  • PU foam is medium-soft and doesn’t sink like memory foam. Thus, the material is unforgiving and uneven.

Latex Mattress

Latex foam can be made from both natural and artificial products latex from rubber trees is natural, so the mattress has no complex chemicals.

Foam is made from tree sap that is frothed up and cooked. A lot of people who want an eco-friendly mattress choose this one.


  • Latex offers better motion isolation than innerspring mattresses, allowing you to sleep uninterrupted.
  • Latex alone provides unmatched support and spinal alignment.
  • Coils and foams are unnecessary.


  • When it comes to producing mattresses, latex has very few drawbacks. Some of these are the price, the weight, and an initial odor that is slightly rubbery.

Spring Mattress Types

Continuous Coil

A continuous coil is a single wire length twisted into numerous smaller coils. They can’t provide individual support, but with a thick comfort layer, they can give general support.


  • Continuous wire coils are stable but lack shaping.
  • They suit thick, comfortable mattresses.
  • Continuous coils cost less and take less time to make.


  • It doesn’t fit your body shape as well.
  • You might be able to feel your partner moving in bed.


Bonnell spring beds are made with different foams and Bonnell springs. The mattress made with these springs is also firm because they are stronger than pocket springs. These are liked by people who want a challenging and firm mattress. These innersprings are helpful in many ways.


  • Spring components give Bonnell spring mattresses a robust structure.
  • They are made for firm mattress lovers.
  • They offer comfort and enough space to maneuver.


  • Pain may happen in pressure points that aren’t adequately supported.
  • It doesn’t reduce the spread of movement.


An offset coil is a modified bonnell spring consisting of an hourglass-shaped coil with flattened sections on the top and bottom convolutions. They are linked together with spiral lines, like a boiler unit.


  • Extremely uplifting
  • Enhanced contouring
  • Reduced transfer of motion


  • Pricey
  • Motion transfer feels higher than with pocketed coils.

Marshall/Pocketed Coil

Pocketed coils are made up of many smaller coils that are each wrapped in fabric. The fabric covers are either sewn or glued together, which lets each spring move freely inside its fabric case. Pocketed, or Marshall coils, are very popular in hybrid mattresses.


  • The enhanced motion isolation and pushback make sleeping with a spouse easier.
  • Airflow, spinal alignment, weight distribution, and body contouring are enhanced with pocketed coil mattresses.


  • The pocketed coil system is not supportive.
  • The pocketed coil system is not durable.

Other Types of Mattresses

Organic Mattresses

The best organic mattress is made from natural materials like organic cotton, wool, or latex, sourced without synthetic chemicals or pesticides. They’re often hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and provide a more sustainable bedding than traditional mattresses.

RV Mattresses

RV mattresses are usually shorter or narrower than regular mattresses so that they can fit in all the areas of an RV. There isn’t a single height or length that works for all mattress sizes. There are a lot of rectangle-shaped RV mattresses on the market that can fit one or more visitors.

Folding Mattresses

In a small apartment, a guest room, or a child’s room, folding mattresses are a great way to save space. People with folding beds can store them flat when not in use. This frees up room on the floor for other things during the day or when no one is there.

Futon Sofa Bed

A futon is a bed that can be turned into a sofa during the day and back again when it’s not used. Futon mattresses come in many different styles, but one common way to use one is to push the backrest down to make a flat area for sleeping. It’s also possible to say “bed” in Japanese.


A waterbed is a plastic mattress that is filled with water. It is also called a flotation mattress. Waterbeds have tubes that hold water inside them.

These tubes are called bladders; they can be one big bag or a bunch of tiny tubes. These days, waterbeds support themselves, so they don’t need a separate frame.


An air mattress, sometimes called an airbed or a blow-up bed, is an inflatable mattress composed of rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reinforced with textiles. The mattress can be rolled up, kept, or carried in a small space when deflated.


In the world of mattresses, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding your preferences and needs is the key to a good night’s sleep.

We hope this guide has shed light on the many mattress types available, helping you make an informed decision.

Remember, the right mattress can transform your sleep quality, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.


What is the most common mattress type?

Innerspring mattresses are the most frequent. These mattresses are the most popular. However, memory foam, adjustable, and air beds are becoming more popular—innerspring mattresses date to the early 1900s. Your weight compresses the steel coils in these mattresses, unlike memory foam.

What is the best type of mattress for health?

Pocketed innerspring mattresses are some of the healthiest. This mattress features individual springs at the base and layers of wool, cotton, or both on top.

Does the type of mattress impact firmness?

Common materials include polyfoam, memory foam, latex, and fiber. The mattress feels softer with thicker comfort systems composed of more conforming materials and firmer with thinner layers made of less pliable materials.

What type of mattress lasts the longest?

Latex mattresses last the longest, usually between 10 and 12 years. It’s made from natural materials, meaning it will last longer if you take good care of it.

Does memory foam make your back hurt?

If you don’t locate the right firmness, memory foam mattresses might cause back pain. The ideal firm mattress for sleep posture neutralizes the spine and relieves pressure points. Medium, medium-soft, or soft beds are best for side sleepers.

About the author

Best Mattress Advisor Editorial Team

Our dedicated team of experts, with more than two years of experience in the bedding industry, is committed to helping you achieve your best sleep yet. From in-depth reviews to comprehensive guides, we cover almost every aspect of sleep products, including mattresses, pillows, bed frames, and accessories. Explore our website and discover why we're the go-to resource for all things sleep-related.

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Best Mattress Advisor Editorial Team

Our dedicated team of experts, with more than two years of experience in the bedding industry, is committed to helping you achieve your best sleep yet. From in-depth reviews to comprehensive guides, we cover almost every aspect of sleep products, including mattresses, pillows, bed frames, and accessories. Explore our website and discover why we're the go-to resource for all things sleep-related.

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