Improve Your Sleep Environment | Part 6: Mattress Types
Innersprings, Pocket Coil, and Gel Mattresses
In my last sleep blog, I covered two of the most common luxury mattresses on the market today—memory foam and latex. Though definitely premium products, they’re not the only comfortable options out there. Knowing what’s available is the first step toward finding a bed that will help you sleep soundly… at any price point.
Here are some other common comfort options:
- Inner springs: Inner spring mattresses are collections of coiled steel springs that provide simultaneous cushion and support. Inner springs are prone to sagging and don’t always spring back to their original shape, so body impressions can develop over time. Quality inner spring construction combined with a comfort pillow top layer can get you a comfortable and supportive mattress at an economy price… but keep in mind that the lifespan of an innerspring mattress will be much shorter than pricier options like latex.
- Pocket coil: Pocket, or pocketed, coil construction modifies the classic inner spring construction, isolating each coil within a fabric pocket to reduce motion transfer and the formation of body impressions. Pocket coil mattresses conform better to your body than inner springs, but are usually also more expensive. If you’re shelling out the money for a pocket coil mattress that will have a fairly short lifespan, consider spending that money on a longer-lasting mattress option that doesn’t use steel springs.
- Gel: Gel mattresses are the only option that really approaches the pressure-relieving qualities of latex, and were originally designed for medical settings (in order to minimize bedsores and maximize comfort in institutions such as hospitals). These mattresses are rarely constructed purely of gel—they’re usually comprised of gel layers or foam infused with gel. They are manufactured in a laboratory setting and so are both expensive and laden with industrial-strength chemicals.
There are many common hybrid options that combine layers of several of these materials to build comfort into you your mattress. Memory foam and latex may be used together or with any of the options above to create a relaxing and supportive sleep experience. Only you know your sleep needs, your body type, and your budget… and in many cases, a hybrid mattress can get you a good night’s sleep at an affordable price point.
(Still, as a self-professed “green girl,” I have to add that I always recommend chemical-free botanical latex… as the most eco-friendly, healthiest luxury option on the market.)
Author Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep and health, and is an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist Latexmattress.org.