Your Guide to Understanding the Different Types of Mattresses

in Lifestyle

Did you know that around 35% of adults in the United States get less than seven hours of sleep each night? If you’re among this percentage, it might not seem like a big deal, but quality sleep is vital for good health.

The CDC recommends between seven and nine hours of sleep per night for adults. Anything less than that, and you increase your risk of developing a wide variety of serious conditions, from diabetes to heart disease.

Believe it or not, the types of mattresses in your home could be contributing to your lack of sleep. If you don’t have the right mattress, you won’t get the rest you need, even if you’ve perfected your night-time routine.

To help you determine which type is right for you, we’ve put together a detailed guide that you can use to navigate the process of buying a new mattress.

Mattress Sizes

Regardless of the style of mattress you choose, you’ll have six sizes to choose from, and it’s best to know which size you’re looking for before you begin the mattress buying process.

The standard mattress sizes are as follows:

  • Twin: 39 x 75 inches
  • Twin XL: 39 x 80 inches
  • Full: 54 x 75 inches
  • Queen: 60 x 80 inches
  • King: 76 x 80 inches
  • California King: 72 x 84 inches

Twin and Twin XL mattresses are ideal for children. If you’re an adult single sleeper, a full-size plush mattress is a better option. You’ll likely feel cramped in anything smaller.

Many couples say that a queen mattress is a perfect size. If you like your space when you sleep, a king-size mattress should provide more than enough room.

That said, it’s important to ensure that your room is big enough to accommodate such a large bed. The last thing you want to do is invest in a new frame and mattress, only to find that it doesn’t work in your bedroom.

Now, it’s possible to purchase a custom-sized mattress, but keep in mind that it will be far more expensive than standard sizes, and you’ll need to have custom sheets made to go with it.

Types of Mattresses

After you know the mattress size you need, it’s time to dive into the various types of mattresses. The type you need will largely depend on your personal preference, special needs, and sleep position.

Remember that not all mattresses are created equal. Just because a company claims that their mattress provides certain benefits and qualities doesn’t mean it truly does. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to fact check these claims.

The best thing you can do is ensure you’re purchasing a mattress from a reputable source. Googling the best place to buy a mattress online is much better than trusting a random website.

As long as you shop smart with your wants and needs in mind, you should be happy with your purchase for years to come. Outlined below is a brief description of the most common mattress types, including the benefits and drawbacks of each.


Innerspring or coil mattresses are the traditional mattress type. They are often the least expensive option. These mattresses contain layers of steel spring coils that provide shape and support. Typically, the greater number of coils, the more comfortable the mattress.

Innerspring mattresses have a short lifespan in comparison to other types. They last an average of eight years before they need to be replaced.

Although they’re great for those in need of a mattress that stays cool throughout the night, some might find them too firm for comfort. That being said, it’s that firmness that makes innerspring mattresses a good choice for stomach sleepers.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses have developed a bit of a bad rap for retaining body heat during the night. However, advances in technology have made this a non-issue for quality memory foam mattresses.

These mattresses are made entirely of memory foam and provide excellent support and pressure relief as the foam contours to your body. Those who prefer to sleep on their side for most or all of the night will enjoy this aspect of memory foam.

Memory foam mattresses last longer than innerspring varieties, maintaining their quality for ten years after purchase.


Latex mattresses are also made of foam but contain latex foam rather than memory foam. Compared to memory foam, latex mattresses provide superior cooling and less contouring.

These mattresses have the longest lifespan by far, lasting twelve years on average. So, even though they’re among the most expensive option, their long life can make up for the high price tag.

Because they’re supportive and body-forming but not quite as prone to sinking as memory foam, latex mattresses are the ideal choice for back sleepers and those with lower back pain.


Hybrid mattresses offer the best of both worlds, as they contain both foam and coil layers. Generally, they have an innerspring core surrounded by layers of foam. This means that they offer support and bounce of coil mattresses while providing the comfort and contouring of foam.

Like memory foam mattresses, hybrids last around a decade. If you aren’t sure which position you sleep in most or spend equal amounts of time in different positions, a hybrid mattress is the best choice.

Buy the Right Mattress for You to Optimize Your Health

Upon first glance, it might seem like there isn’t a big difference between the types of mattresses, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The mattress you sleep on has a huge effect on your quality of sleep and, therefore, your quality of life.

Taking the time to determine the right mattress for you is harder than picking one at random, but is absolutely worth the extra effort. You’ll be amazed by how much better you feel after a few nights of high-quality sleep.

Image Credits: Polina Kovaleva

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