Best Mattress Reviews of 2017 – A Complete Guide
Welcome to MattressAnswer.com, a complete overview of everything beds. Whether you’re looking for a mattress for back pain, a latex mattress or any other type of mattress, you’re in good hands. As an owner of a bed store for over 20 years, we started Mattress Answer as there was so much misinformation online regarding the different types of mattresses and their purposes.
Need a new mattress, bed, or pillow? Want to know the best aftercare and upgrade tips for your bedroom accessories? Or do you just wish to have an insight of the market offer when it comes to any of these products? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, our website is the right destination for you. Here, we have the best buying guides for mattresses and bedroom accessories, which will stir you in the right direction. Besides that, we offer you the Top 10 best-rated products for each type of unit, so you can just pick that one that suits your needs best and complete the checkout.
When it comes to mattresses, if you’re a complete newbie and have never shopped for them before, you have to know that there are four main padding materials: air, innerspring, memory foam, and latex. There are also several sub-types, for instance, gel-infused memory foam, viscoelastic foam, Dunlop or Talalay latex, etc… If these names have already given you a massive headache, here are the main features and properties of each type of mattress:
Memory foam is a unique material which is both temperature and pressure sensitive. When it comes in contact with one’s body heat, memory foam adjusts itself to the sleeper’s body contours, offering a unique and very comfortable sinking sensation. After a while, it starts springing back to its original shape, becoming firmer and offering the necessary support for one’s joints and spine.
There are several types of memory foam – viscoelastic, also known as Visco or Standard, gel infused, and plant based. Viscoelastic foam has been patented by NASA and is a great heat retainer. If you prefer a cooler mattress, go for gel-infuse memory foam. It does not retain excessive heat. And, if you wish to stay closer to nature and choose something that’s environmentally friendly, go for plant-based foam.
Latex is a natural rubber tree extract material and is considered to be the best mattress padding in the world. Latex can be both plush and super firm, depending on the density and preparation method.
It’s important to know that all latex mattresses are rare to come across and can be very expensive, but you can find units that have a latex core and foam top layers, or vice versa.
When it comes to latex, there are two main types: natural or organic and synthetic. The natural one is the pure rubber tree extract, is more expensive, but healthier to sleep on. Synthetic latex is easier to come across in showrooms.
Besides that, there are two main preparation methods for latex: Dunlop and Talalay. Dunlop is obtained by pouring the liquid latex into molds and waiting for it to harden. This method creates two layers – a sturdier base and a plusher top, as the sediments tend to harden at the bottom of the mold. Talalay adds two extra steps: the liquid is spread through the mold evenly using a vacuum mechanism, and is shock frozen to ensure that it has an even firmness all over.
Innerspring mattresses have been a popular choice for years, and are still widely available nowadays. There are modern technologies that are used to improve their elasticity, prolong their lifespan, and offer an equally comfortable sleep like any other pricier alternative.
Innerspring mattresses consist of a core layer, which has a number of metal springs or coils as the support mechanisms, plus a layer of foam or other material for increased comfort. With this type of construction, you need not worry about springs poking out of the mattress or anything of the kind.
If you’re not too fussy about longevity or comfort, an innerspring mattress will be a great starting-level item for you.
Air mattresses are becoming very popular lately, mostly because of their flexibility. These units can be inflated or deflated using a pump, which can be external or internal. Internal pumps are more convenient that external ones, as you need not worry about carrying an extra object with you if you plan to take this mattress with you when traveling.
Air mattresses can be very convenient if you’re often moving, have overnight guests but not enough space for an extra couch, love camping and backpacking or prefer to sleep in your car when traveling, rather than paying a hotel fee. They can even be used in pools or at the beach.
Nonetheless, they can work as a regular bed as well, just make sure you purchase a double height unit or place it on a bed frame.
It’s very important for babies to have a very sturdy support to sleep on. As they may spend over 16 hours sleeping, you want to make sure that the crib mattress you choose offers proper spinal alignment, and stimulates a healthy growth of the bones.
When choosing a crib mattress, you may want to check with the CSPC (The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission) for the minimum sizes. As for the material, you want to make sure it meets all the compliance standards as being non-flammable, antibacterial and antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, etc… You also want to make sure that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
There are usually three types to choose from – innerspring, memory foam, and latex. Most of these crib mattresses also double up as toddler beds once the little one grows.
Floor mattresses and futons
Much like the name suggests, floor mattresses are units that are meant to be placed on the floor without presenting any risk to the person’s health.
There are two types of floor mattresses – rolling and folding ones. The rolling ones are also known as futons or Japanese tatami beds and are usually thinner and lighter than folding units. Folding floor mattresses usually come in a trifold style and can be fully spread on the floor or gathered into a sofa-like shape.
Folding floor mattresses can be made of memory foam or latex, but it’s mostly memory foam that you’ll find, and futons are usually padded with something softer, such as cotton or polyester. Futons are designed to be placed on carpeted and warm floors, that’s why they are thinner that folding ones.
Mattress toppers and pads
One of the greatest investments you can make to improve the quality of your sleep is a mattress topper. These are actually just thin mattresses, which can be treated as a “sample” of the real thing. They’re great for experiencing materials such as latex and memory foam before buying a full-size mattress. They also provide extra firmness and softness if your regular bed lacks these qualities.
There are two types of units you’ll find online: toppers and pads. Toppers are usually thicker, between 2-6 inches, and are made from foam or latex. Pads are thinner, usually 1 to 2 inches, and will be filled with cotton, wool, or polyester fiber. Mattress pads are designed to offer your bed extra softness, compared to toppers, which help with sagging mattresses and add firmness.
Mattresses for back pain
If you struggle with back pain, you need to check out special, orthopedic grade mattresses that are extra firm. These can be enforced with high-density memory foam, a big number of inner springs, or be 100% latex. Make sure you look for foam mattresses that have at least a 5lb density, all-latex ones, or innerspring beds with over 1000 coils.
These mattresses can be extremely firm and even hard to the touch, but you will certainly feel the difference after sleeping on them.
There are several types of bed frames, or just beds, to choose from. Besides the average ones, which come in different sizes and styles, there are special bed models, which can be bought to improve the quality of one’s sleep, help save space, etc…
If you’re looking for the perfect baby crib, don’t forget to check with the CSPC standards. Also, it’s best to opt for a bed which can transform into a toddler one, just like the crib mattresses. They are known as convertible beds and are widely available in stores and online. It’s also better to choose one that is made from sturdy and natural materials, and that it meets the certifications.
There are also bunk beds, which are really convenient for the kids’ room when they grow older and are also widely accessible on the market. You can choose from different sizes, have nifty additions like trundles or some other storage space, etc…
Adjustable beds are great for the elderly, disabled, or people with limited motion capacities. These semi-robotic units can lift the upper or lower body, have massage features, and can be moved around easily grace to the metal frame. These can be a treasure to have at home if you don’t feel at ease renting a hospital bed and leaving your loved ones there alone – it’s much easier and more convenient to invest in an adjustable bed for home.
Last but not least, we’ve covered a wide range of pillows that you can purchase and enjoy. A pillow is an essential accessory to have for your bed – even if you’re a stomach sleeper and prefer a low loft. There are all sorts of pillows – plush, medium, or even firm, that can help you customize your sleeping experience. From the fanciest royalty used down pillows to the classic feather ones, and on to the supportive memory foam pillows, we have a buying guide for each and every one of them.
When it comes to choosing the right mattress for you and you partner, it’s important to consider several crucial aspects. Of course, you should consider the budget you can afford to spend, and start from there. The next thing you’ll have to decide on is the material. As we mentioned before, there are four main types of mattresses: innerspring, latex, memory foam, and air. There are also hybrid mattresses – the kind which includes both memory foam and latex layers, or innerspring and foam layers. Choosing one of them will depend on your budget and your requirements for comforts. Here are a couple of details about each type of mattress:
1. Memory foam mattresses tend to be in the mid to high price range and offer a high level of comfort for almost any kind of sleeping patterns. Grace to their ability to mold themselves to the contours of the human body, memory foam mattress will seem soft enough for both side and back sleepers, and the springy texture will provide proper spinal alignment throughout the night.
If you struggle with back or joint pain, memory foam is still a great option for you. As it works by relieving the pressure in the needy areas on the body (the so-called pressure points), memory foam will make the world of a difference.
There are several types of foam to choose from, which can help you customize it even more. The viscoelastic foam will retain heat, the gel-infused foam will provide a cool surface to sleep on, perfect for people who live in hotter climates, and plant-based foam will make a healthy and ecological bed.
2. Latex mattresses are the most expensive ones you’ll find on the market, but they are also extremely supportive and high quality. Designed with the customer’s support in mind, all-latex beds are rather firm, mildly spring, and offer you an orthopedic grade support.
Be aware that many manufacturers will label their products as “latex mattresses,” but in reality, the bed itself can contain as little as one 1” layer of latex, the rest being foam or other alternative material. A rule of thumb is that anything below $800 is not pure latex – they fall into the hybrid category.
When it comes to 100% latex, there are two main types – organic and synthetic. The organic one comes from natural rubber tree extract, and the synthetic is an imitation made from polymers. You will also find blended latex mattresses, which have a percentage of 80/20, or even 50/50.
Go for a latex mattress if your budget allows it and you’re very pretentious about the quality of your sleep. It won’t let you down for sure.
3. Innerspring mattresses are not as comfortable as latex or memory foam, but they do the trick if you’re not very pretentious regarding the bed’s lifespan or the level of comfort.
An average innerspring unit will have between 500 and 800 metal coils, which are individually wrapped in fabric and topped off with a layer of foam for added comfort. Expensive, medical-grade and bariatric innerspring mattresses can have up to 2000 coils.
Look for a bigger number of coils if you like your bed firm or suffer from back and joint pain, and stick with a lower one if you like it soft and plush. Also, you want to check if the coils are somewhat isolated, be it by fabric pockets or another technology, so that they cannot poke through the foam.
On average, an innerspring mattress will last you up to 10 years.
4. Air mattresses are best suited for traveling with them, using it for guests, or as an alternative bed now and then. In other words, they are not the best option for a permanent bed. They cannot be placed on a normal bed frame without extra precautions, can get cold easily, and have a rather short lifespan – only five years of constant use.
These units are perfect for those who don’t have enough place for an extra guest bed, or who wish to have a comfortable slumber when traveling, backpacking, camping or whatnot, or for those who wish to use it like a temporary outdoors bed.
Air mattresses can be inflated and deflated using a pump and should be ready to go in less than 5 minutes. They are also rather cheap compared to all the other alternatives. Regarding comfort, air mattresses are known to be more comfortable than some innerspring units.
5. Hybrids are the most common type of mattress you’ll find on the market. It’s very common to have an innerspring core topped off with two layers of memory foam for comfort or a high-density foam core with a latex layer on top.
These units are the best regarding value, often coming at a pretty affordable price and offering you the best of both worlds. They can be great for aching backs and joints, and can also be extra plush for those who prefer their beds soft – there’s a lot of versatility to hybrid models.
It’s also important to choose a size for your new mattress. Here are some aspects to take into consideration:
1. Familiarize yourself with the most common mattress sizes in the US and Canada.
2. If you’re a single person, go for any size from Twin to California King. If you plan to share the bed with your partner, go for Queen or above. Full is the most popular size for single beds, and King is the most popular one for couples.
3. If you’re purchasing a mattress for your little one, it’s better to choose a crib mattress that doubles as a toddler one.
4. A rule of thumb is to go for a mattress that is at least 6” longer than your height.
5. The brand and price are also important aspects you should look at. There are several reputable mattress brands, such as Serta or Brentwood, that will have very high quality and high rated products for each kind of mattress. However, a brand comes with some extra 20% added to the final price, so it’s better to go for something that is a bit more underground if you’re on a budget. However, make sure that they are made from quality materials and have positive customer reviews – this way, you will never go wrong with your choice of mattress.
It would be nearly impossible to give an average price for mattresses. Expect to pay anything between $300 and $1500 on a new unit, and $50 to $200 for an inflatable one. As you can see, the price range is too wide to tell you anything, so you’ll have to decide on the material and size to have a more precise estimation.
Besides size, material, brand, and price, you’ll have to take into consideration allergies and compliance standards. Here are some tips you should take into consideration:
1. If you’re buying a crib mattress, compliance standards are the most important thing to look at. Make sure the size follows the CPSC requirements, and that the mattress is non-flammable, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, free of harmful chemicals or all-natural if that’s what you’re going for.
2. The seller can include a ton of information in the description; however, only a CertiPUR-US certification will prove that the unit is indeed resistant to dust mites, and only a GREENGOLD certification will demonstrate that it is 100% organic.
3. Some common allergies that can be triggered by mattresses are: allergy to latex (the natural kind), which means you should rather go for a memory foam bed or a synthetic latex one; allergy to dust mites – in this case, go for a latex or memory foam mattress, as these are dense enough to be resistant to dust mites; and memory foam allergy, which is pretty uncommon, but can still be triggered in some people.
The best way to find out if you are allergic to foam or latex is to purchase a pillow or a mattress topper first. If everything is alright after a few night of sleeping on it, it’s probably safe to buy that mattress.
These would be all of our recommendations when it comes to choosing the perfect mattress for yourself. On this website, you’ll find more in-depth guides about each type of material, a guide to sizes and certification, and even some aftercare tips that can help you prolong the lifespan of your mattress. We hope you enjoy our website and find the information and products that you’re looking for. Good luck choosing your new mattress!