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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

Why are there so many Mattresses?


Sleep is a favorite subject!  There are so many different mattresses. Some are firm, some softer and lots in the middle!  But, why are there so many different ones to choose from?

It is very similar to shoes…. Lots of variables in style, comfort and size!  It would be easier if everyone slept the same position and their body was comfortable, but that just isn’t the case.


Does our age enter into what mattress might be selected?

Yes, as we age, we have more aches and pains.  Many times, people will say, I got up this morning…and my bed just isn’t comfortable!  Usually, it isn’t the bed that has changed but it is our body and what support it needs to be more comfortable!


The position that you sleep also required different support, correct?

Yes, a back sleeper can usually be comfortable on a firmer mattress. Our back side is typically flatter so will rest better on the flatter surface. But if we need more support in the lower back area, more cushioning will be more comfortable. Usually men can enjoy a bit firmer bed when they are a back sleeper, but more often women have more curves so a bit softer bed will feel more comfortable!Side sleepers definitely need more cushioning because of the curve in our waist and to cushion the should those 2 areas put extra pressure and cause the blood to be stopped!  That is the main reason people toss and turn! A common problem is that your arm will go to sleep, so you turn to the other side!Stomach sleepers typically will want a somewhat firmer mattress, and a very low pillow!This is the worst position as it puts a lot of pressure on all of your internal organs, and it difficult to keep your spine straight.  You can get neck issues with this position!


The position is key to getting the correct mattress.  But what if two people have different needs and are in the same bed?

There are two options here…..use a mattress which is more middle in support, usually referred to as a plush.  There are also firmer pillow top mattresses….so this bed will be a bit firmer but still has extra padding for the person needing a little softer. The other option would be if you are using a king mattress, many people will purchase one side firmer and the other side softer or even a pillow top.  This is a perfect solution when the needs are distinctively different!


That seems like a great solution.  But let’s go back to the original question.  Why are there so many different mattresses?

First you have many companies….and they all want a piece of the market.  That is where we are seeing a lot of new online manufacturers.  They do not have the years of research like mainline companies, but they will create something, and tell you it is the best thing since sliced bread!  And, it could be cheaper, but many times it is not!  Beware!  They can talk all they want, and try to describe the feel, but you cannot know if a mattress will give the correct support unless YOU LAY ON IT!Also, there are so many variables that have occurred….in the old days, all mattresses need to be rotated and flipped to give the mattress a longer life, even-ing out the wear!  But, because beds got larger and more difficult to move, people just didn’t flip their beds. Mattress manufacturers then came up with solutions so that you don’t need to flip them.Also, people are very intolerant of pain these days.  Going to the doctor seems to be a favorite pastime, as we want them to fix whatever is wrong. Comfort on a mattress is very important….and if you have a bed that is really old, you should replace it, as newer mattresses have many newer innovations to allow our bodies to be supported and comfortable!


Have the newer foams changed a lot of mattress support systems?

Yes, most definitely.  In the old days, I remember going to a mattress plant and watching them clean cotton bales and the roll it out with many, many layers…and that was the cushioning.  At that time, in the 60’s, foam was not used as much, but then in the 70’s, foam replaced the cotton…problem was that foam compressed so the cushioning did not remain consistent. Later, a specialty foam was created for the astronauts, now as memory foam.  This gave them better cushioning as they were in the same position for days.  Memory foam has longevity and is a product that entered into mattresses.  In the beginning, many problems occurred as an all-memory foam mattress was comfortable, but made you feel like you were sleeping in a hole!Since then, there have been many changes…and have created better mattresses for support as well as longevity!  I think the best system is called the hybrid. If gives you the best of both worlds.  It has the comfortable foams for cushioning and steel springs for body support! 


Is it the contents of the mattress are what determine the price?

Yes, specialty foams are expensive!  So, if a mattress would be all memory foam, it would be $10,000…….. but realize also long as there is memory foam in it, it can be called a memory foam mattress!  It might have 1/2”, an inch or even 2” of memory foam!  Those variables make the cost differences!  They can use fillers to make the mattress thicker!  So, understand what you are getting!  Also, purchase from a store that will take care of you if you have an issue.  Mattresses are big and heavy… and usually carry a great warranty!  It is a piece that you should be able to enjoy for many years!


Thank you, Kathy, for reminding us about mattress comfort and construction!  Getting a comfort

able mattress gives you a great day!Thank you for watching DesignTime!

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