With all of the mattress types on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. And while the number of options available can make it overwhelming to choose the right one, it also means that everyone can find a mattress that’s perfectly suited to them. Whether you want a luxurious pillowtop mattress you’d find in a 5-star hotel or a memory foam mattress that contours to your body, the right mattress is different for everyone. In this guide, we round up the most popular types of mattresses and who they’re best for to help you find your perfect next bed.
Mattress Types Explained
|Types of mattress||Who is it best for||Pros||Cons|
|Foam||Pressure relief||Pressure relief|
Can cause a sinking feeling
Not enough support for all sleepers
|Innerspring||Back support||Doesn’t sleep hot|
Easy to move around
Provides back support
|Doesn’t contour to your body|
No motion isolation
|Hybrid||People who want both pressure relief and support||Pressure relief|
|Less motion isolation than foam|
|Latex||People who want a foam bed with more breathability||Rebounds more quickly than other foam mattresses|
Organic or natural material
|Less pressure relief than memory foam|
Expensive compared to other foam beds
|Water||People who want heated pressure relief||Pressure relief|
Comfort and relaxation
Can be heated
No motion isolation
Easy to travel with
|Lack of support|
Not designed for daily use
Foam mattresses have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reasons. These mattresses are well-known for their soft comfort and for providing necessary pressure relief for your joints. Foam mattresses also isolate motion well, meaning you can share the bed with a partner without waking each other up at night. There are several types of foam to choose from, including memory foam, gel-infused foam, polyfoam, and more. Here are some of our favorite foam mattresses:
An innerspring mattress is the most traditional type of bed that most people probably grew up sleeping on. While they have a reputation for being uncomfortable and noisy, these mattresses have come a long way. Thanks to their innerspring coils, these beds provide the best back support, making them ideal for back sleepers. You don’t have to worry about sinking into these beds, meaning they’re easy to move around. But they also don’t isolate motion well and don’t have the pressure relief you might find with a foam bed. Some of our favorite innerspring beds include:
Hybrid mattresses combine the benefits of both foam and innerspring mattresses. Thanks to the memory foam within them, they provide pressure relief and motion isolation. And because they also contain coins, these beds provide the back support you need and help to regulate temperature better than strictly foam mattresses. Because of the combined benefits, hybrid mattresses are great for many types of sleepers, including side sleepers, back and stomach sleepers, couples, and heavier individuals. On the other hand, these mattresses can also be expensive because of their construction. Here are some of our favorite hybrid mattresses:
Latex beds provide many of the same characteristics as memory foam beds, with a few differences. Like memory foam beds, latex mattresses provide pressure relief to your joints. But they don’t provide quite as much relief as a standard memory foam bed. On the other hand, latex beds don’t contour to your body as much, meaning they rebound more quickly and feel less like you’re sinking into them. Another thing people love about latex beds is that they’re often made of natural and organic materials. Some of our favorite latex mattresses include:
Waterbeds may not be as popular as they were in the 1980s, but you can definitely still find them. Waterbeds have some unique advantages, including the pressure relief they provide. And because you can heat the water in them, they provide a particularly therapeutic experience. That being said, water beds can leak, which is a hassle to clean up. They are also difficult to set up and move.
You’ve probably slept on air mattresses on camping trips or overnight stays. While they’re still best suited for short-term use, they’ve come a long way. Air mattresses come in far more thickness levels today, and you can get one that allows you to sleep further from the ground. Many also come with built-in devices that allow them to self-inflate. A benefit of air mattresses is that because you’re inflating them, you can keep your mattress exactly as soft or firm as you want it.
One of the things that set different mattresses apart is the materials they’re made of. Even beds that have similar construction can have a different feeling depending on their materials. Let’s discuss some of the most popular mattress materials today.
Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress materials on the market today, used on its own, as well as in hybrid spring mattresses. Memory foam was invented by NASA but eventually found its way into mattresses. This type of material provides pressure relief, but it often traps heat. Memory foam contours to your body, which can sometimes give you the feeling that you’re sinking into it.
Gel-infused foam is another popular material in mattresses today. Similar to memory foam, gel-infused foam provides pressure relief on your joints and can contour to your body to keep you comfortable. It also has some advantages over memory foam. Gel regulates temperature better than memory foam, meaning it doesn’t heat you up as much at night. Gel foam is often used in hybrid mattresses.
When latex is used in mattresses, it’s turned into foam by aerating it and trapping the bubbles within the material. Latex foam has some similar characteristics to memory foam but with less body contouring and more bounce. Latex is a popular material in hybrid mattresses but can also be used on its own.
Polyfoam is short for polyurethane, which is a type of foam that’s similar to memory foam. Polyfoam is firmer than traditional memory foam and bounces back more, meaning you don’t sink into the mattress as much. Polyfoam is often used as a press relief layer in hybrid spring mattresses.
Bonnell coils are the oldest and most popular ones used in innerspring beds. These coils have an hourglass shape and are placed evenly throughout the mattress. The mattresses are tightly bound together, which results in greater motion transfer.
In a mattress with continuous coils, all of the springs are connected in a single row of wire. These coils act similarly to Bonnell coils in a bed, meaning there’s little motion isolation and pressure point support.
Pocketed coils are each individually wrapped (or pocketed) in fabric and then sewn together. The coils aren’t directly attached to one another, meaning there’s increased motion isolation. Pocketed coil mattresses provide more pressure relief than other types of springs but are also more expensive.
When it comes to shopping for a mattress, there are many types and materials to choose from, each of which offers its own unique benefits. Innerspring mattresses are designed to provide support, while memory foam provides comfortable pressure relief. And for those who want the benefits of both, hybrid mattresses make an excellent choice. For more help choosing your next mattress, take our mattress finder quiz, and we’ll recommend the perfect mattress for you.