A mattress is a filled rectangular pad placed on a frame or on the floor to provide a comfortable place for sleeping. It often contains some framing and/or springs and is likewise often used in conjunction with a foundation, which is often a box spring, a cloth-covered frame with rows of springs. Mattresses may cost a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars, so it pays to know what you’re getting.
There are some important different types of mattresses to fit various needs:
Adjustable Beds—these are specialized beds that provide adjustments for people whose health conditions require them. They are not a standard sleeping solution for healthy people.
Air Bed—distinct from an air mattresses, which is not recommended for daily use because it doesn’t provide sufficient support, but works well as a guest bed for a brief stay. Air beds are made by Select Comfort have air chambers instead of springs, and each side of a queen size bed is adjustable to suit the sleeper.
Foam—there are a variety of types of foam: viscoelastic (also known as Memory foam), latex, and polyurethane. Viscoelastic is both the most durable and the most expensive. Polyurethane tends to compress and degrade over time. Latex is desirable because it is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant.
Innerspring—has been the most used type of mattress for many years. Notable features remember are coil count and firmness levels, stain resistance, thickness, the type of spring used, and extra cushioning (called “pillow tops”).
Waterbed—still popular with people with allergies, and those who want to eliminate all pressure points. Some are heated and may come with padding and some even claim to be waveless.