Nature's Sleep MattressToday, there is almost as many types of beds as there are sitcoms to fall asleep to.  However, what’s more important than the variety is choosing the exact type that is the best fit for you.  Since you’ll be spending more than a few hours of each day in bed, it’s best to know how to spot the top mattress.


An innerspring features steel coil support.  However, the way in which a manufacturer creates each model’s coil system can differ.  For example, some coils may be fitted inside a plastic pocket.  How coils are arranged differ in addition to the number, design, and shape.  Models vary, but in general, the greater the number of coils, the better the distribution of weight and support of the body.

Spring mattresses may be best for those who are overweight since they can provide superior support of the body (depending on the number and nature of coils).  Those with back pain usually find rest with a firmer mattress, but spring-based models are suggested to most sleepers.


A hybrid mattress has a steel coil support system along with one or more varieties of foam (polyurethane, memory, latex, gel, etc).  Head to to learn about a special hybrid that combines air, water, and memory foam.


Waterbeds are either hardsided or softsided.  The former has the water bladder fitted inside a wooden frame.  The softsided variety features the bladder inside a frame of foam, which is zippered inside some kind of fabric casing.  Both styles rest atop a platform and are designed to appear like a regular bed.  The bladders can be free flow, where nothing obstructs the direction of water, or waveless, which means fibers limit the allowed motion of water inside the bladder.


Several types of foam can be used as bedding support.  Foam can be polyurethane, memory, latex, gel, or a combination of other materials.  Such mattresses may adopt a number of shapes and levels of thickness, which dictates the level of comfort as well as heat retention.

Air Bed

Air beds make use of air chambers, and unlike those used for camping, are covered by padding and upholstery, including foams and fiber.  Air beds can be adjusted to meet the owner’s preference of firmness or softness.  Some allow for the modification of each side to accommodate opposing preferences of multiple sleepers.

Air beds are great and simple solutions for couples who have different preferences.  Other than a memory foam model, no other bed will be able to accommodate two sleepers so well.


Memory foam (visco elastic foam) is called so because it adjusts to the contours of the sleeper’s body.  Like a personalized mattress, the memory foam molds itself to the shape of the sleeper.  While it is an advancement in sleeping materials, some who prefer firmer mattresses don’t enjoy the softness of the memory foam.

Memory foam mattresses are sometimes suggested to those who have issues with chronic fatigue or a type of muscle pain.  The accommodating nature of the foam facilitates comfort and lessens the likelihood of restlessness.


An adjustable bed is much different than a traditional mattress.  Rather than remaining flat and stationary, an adjustable may bend, elevate, and contort the sleeper via controls.  Most are powered by an electric motor while others may be adjusted manually.

Those with sleep apnea or who experience acid reflux while sleeping can benefit from adjustable beds.  Similarly, those with hip or back pain may benefit from this type of model since they don’t have to transfer from a complete flat position to get in and out of bed.


Latex models are made from natural or synthetic rubber, which makes for a firm and bouncy support.  Some liken the level of comfort to that provided through memory foam, but unlike memory foam, latex reacts to the sleeper’s weight, which provides more support.  Those who do not like sleeping on a firm mattress are not the best candidates for rubber mattresses.

Sofa Beds

Sofa beds make the transition from couch to fold-out bed and are useful to those who don’t have a lot of space or live in a studio apartment.  Unfortunately, most models are not incredibly comfortable but are great for accommodating guests who only sleep on it for a limited number of nights.  If you are buying a sofa bed as your regular sleeping mattress, you may want to purchase an additional foam cover to throw on top when using it as a bed.

Mary Berkowitz has worked as a sleep therapist for the last 8 years. She helps to diagnose and then fix a patients sleep disorder. Amongst her friends she has become known as the “sleep doctor” and realising that she can share her knowledge with a lot of people who simply need an uninterrupted night’s sleep she has taken to writing!