Straw, hair, cotton, water, air, feathers… these are just a few of the things that have been used for the inside of mattresses over the years. Thankfully, times have changed. With advances in sleep technology, mattress manufacturers can use materials designed at different comfort levels. This allows you to choose the right type of mattress to alleviate back pain, pressure points, and irregular sleep.

The most common types of mattresses are innerspring, foam, and hybrid. It’s important to know the pros and cons of each before you invest in a new mattress…

Three Types of Mattress

Innerspring Mattress

Although it sounds counterintuitive to use steel coils to create a comfortable mattress, innersprings are still the most common mattress types on the market. With the innerspring method, metal coils are used in the center of a mattress to create the all-important support layer. By encasing the springs in other, more comfortable, material, you’ll get a sturdy mattress that is comfortable but does not lose its shape.

There are four different types of coils used for these bed types, ranging from a continuous coil made from one long piece of metal to Mershall coils which are encased individually in fabric pockets. Because there are so many variations between the different coil support layers and the additional comfort layers, there are many ways to construct an innerspring mattress. When shopping for a new mattress, make sure to ask whether the overall feel is firm, plush, or somewhere in the middle.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam was created in 1966 by scientists at NASA. It was developed to create safer and more comfortable seats for aircrafts. Since then, memory foam has been adapted to make shoes, hospital equipment, pillows, and mattresses. 

Memory foam mattresses are known for their ability to provide comfort and pain relief. Because the polyurethane material adapts to body heat, it will conform to a sleeper’s body instead of creating resistance along pressure points. By using foam with different densities, manufacturers are able to create firm mattresses as well as medium-firm and plush options. Many modern foam mattresses are gel-infused to prevent overheating. 

For those who suffer from back pain and lower back pain, a memory foam mattress could help alleviate that pain. By contouring to the body, memory foam improves blood circulation throughout the body. Rather than pinching joints and nerves, memory foam adapts to let the spine align in a straight line. So for side sleepers, memory foam mattresses can make a big difference.

Latex mattresses are similar to foam but the material is a natural rubber. Most latex mattresses are made from a latex blend. Plant-sourced latex is known for being firmer than memory foam but they are also very durable. This is not a good choice for people with a latex allergy.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid mattress is just what you’d expect: it’s a combination of a memory foam and innerspring mattress types. By using the support of an innerspring with the comfort of memory foam, users get the best of both worlds. 

In a hybrid mattress there is a steel coil support system beneath a layer of memory foam padding. Many manufacturers use individually wrapped coils placed strategically for optimal support and comfort. As with the other mattress types, you’ll find a range of comfort levels, from firm to plush. There are also hybrid mattresses available that can work with an adjustable base.


Hopefully this helps you understand the three main types of mattresses available today. However, if you still have questions or you would like help finding the right mattress for a specific problem (such as back pain), come visit the experts at Garden City Furniture! Whether the answer is a new mattress or a simple adjustment to your current bedding, we’ll make sure you’re able to get a good night’s sleep!