What does it mean to have a quality mattress

How to assess the quality of a mattress by construction and materials used.

How can consumers tell if a mattress is of good quality before making a purchase? This is a tough question to answer because one must take a few factors into consideration. First and foremost, determine your budget. It sometimes comes down to money. This doesn’t mean people have to spend a lot of money for a quality mattress, but if you are on a tight budget, you have to be realistic of what is affordable and what is not. 

One important factor of how a mattress will hold up is the weight of the person. For people on the heavier side is investing in a mattress that has coils over 8” in thickness. Using common sense, if the mattress is for an adult couple, be prepared to spend a minimum of $500 for an innerspring mattress. This doesn’t mean you won’t come across a good deal for under $500, this simply means that your choice of quality for a mattress will decrease considerably.

Here are a few very basic points to consider when purchasing a quality mattress without getting too technical. You may come across blogs that will go into depth of all the types of coils. Not all manufactures disclose this information and its irrelevant when looking at the big picture. The following information will help you to get an overall idea of how to assess the quality of a mattress by feel. 

  • The thickness of the coils 
  • The amount of padding,foam, cotton or barrier between the coils and the surface of the mattress
  • Foam encased perimeter 
  • Quilting or ticking- the most outer layer of the exposed surface
  • The quality of materials used

You don’t necessarily have to be a mattress expert to determine the quality of a mattress while trying them out in a showroom. Take into consideration that the price of a mattress reflects the amount of materials used in the manufacturing process. For example, let’s say you come across two queen size mattresses that claim to use the same quality of latex. They both measure ten inches in thickness. One is priced at $1,500 and the other is priced at $800. Assuming there is no real sale going on, why is there such a big difference in price if they appear to almost be the same mattress? A simple answer is that the cheaper latex mattress most likely will have an 1-2 inches of latex while the more expensive one will have more than 3 inches of latex. The same goes with any category of mattress such as memory foam, high density foam, cotton etc…

Most consumers think that the firmer the mattress the better it is. Keep in mind that what is more important is that it has firm support and a plush surface. Generally the thicker the coils and the closer they are arranged, will tend create a firmer mattress. However, firmer doesn’t mean anything if their is not sufficient padding over the coils. Mattresses with 10”+ are recommended especially if you plan on keeping your mattress for more than 5 years.

The amount of padding barrier between the coils and the most outer layer is the next factor that determines quality of a mattress. Cheap mattresses will have very little padding over the coils. When testing out one of these cheap mattresses, you may not feel the coils hitting your back right away, however after a few months of frequent usage, what tends to happen is the foam flattens and then the coils start sticking in your back eventually causing pain and discomfort
A foam encased perimeter is the padding barrier around the edge of the mattress to cover the coils. How can you tell if the mattress is foam encased? Simply press your fingers on the side of the mattress. If you can feel the coils, then the mattress is not foam encased. The encasement around the mattress perimeter helps to keep the coils in place, create a more stable and firmer sleeping surface and also decreases the wear and tear of the mattress. With a foam encased mattress, you should be able to sit on the edge of the bed without having the mattress cave in on the side.

The quilting and ticking refer to the fabric upholstered around the mattress. Generally the cheaper mattress will use mostly a polyester blend or other synthetic fibers while higher end mattress will use cotton or other natural fibers. The right quilting on a mattress will provide a more suitable and plusher feel of the surface as well as a more breathable when your body perspires.

Generally speaking, the manufacturer’s warranty on the mattress reflects the longevity. Look for mattresses that offer a warranty over 5 years. Anything under 5 years will say a lot about the quality. Mattresses that have 10 plus years warranty, tend to be of superior quality. Sometimes, simple is better. If you are constantly suffering from back pain and you can’t seem to find the right type of mattress, and you are on a budget as well, consider getting a cotton, or cotton and foam futon mattress, and say goodbye to the innerspring. In my experience selling futons and conventional mattresses, the customers that tend to be the most picky about what they sleep on, are just better off sleeping on a firm cotton filled futon mattress.


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