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Many different types of mattresses exist, and some may be more beneficial than others.

No guidelines exist for choosing a mattress, and most recommendations come from people’s own experiences.

This article compares several considerations, such as size, material, and which mattresses to choose for comfort, pain relief, and sex, using popular mattress brands.

Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in a mattress.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Researchers suggest that different mattress parameters can have a significant impact on sleep comfort.

Mattress dimensions may vary from country to country.

The following table will list the different mattress sizes and their dimensions in inches (in).

SizeDimension
Twin38 in x 75 in
Twin XL38 in x 80 in
Full54 in x 75 in
Queen60 in x 80 in
King76 in x 80 in
California King72 in x 84 in

It is important to choose a mattress that fits the bedframe a person has. For example, a person with a full bedframe should only purchase a full mattress.

The type of material a mattress uses may also influence sleep comfort. Different mattress materials include:

  • waterbed
  • memory foam
  • spring
  • latex

To combine the benefits of individual mattress types, some manufacturers design hybrid mattresses that have both springs and memory foam or latex.

However, it is important to note that people with latex allergies should avoid mattresses that contain this material.

The following table compares some brands and the materials of their mattresses.

Material
Dreamcloudmemory foam and spring hybrid
Helix• latex foam and spring hybrid
• memory foam and spring hybrid
Birchwool, latex, and spring hybrid
Nectar• memory foam
• memory foam and spring hybrid
• copper, memory foam, and spring hybrid
Avocado• wool, latex, and spring hybrid
• hemp, wool, silk, and spring hybrid
• cotton, latex, and spring hybrid
• wool and latex foam
Tuft & Needle• memory foam
• memory foam and spring hybrid

One review found that a mattress that people identify as medium-firm or custom-inflated is optimal for comfort, sleep quality, and spinal alignment.

The following table compares some brands and the mattress firmnesses they offer.

Firmnesses
Dreamcloudmedium-firm
Helix• soft
• medium
• firm
Birchmedium-firm
Nectarmedium-firm
Avocado• soft
• medium
• medium-firm
• gentle firm
Tuft & Needle• medium-plush
• medium
• firm

People define comfort in different ways. The most comfortable mattress for one person depends on their preferences.

Learn more about the most comfortable mattresses available to buy online here.

Limited studies suggest that medium-firm mattresses may be the most comfortable option for people with low back pain.

The following table compares three different medium-firm mattresses for comfort.

DreamCloud Luxury Medium Hybrid MattressAvocado Green MattressNectar Memory Foam Mattress
Materialmemory foam and springswool, latex, and springs memory foam
Top layeruses quilted foam and cashmere to help users stay cozy and cooluses organic cotton and wool that is moisture-wickinguses quilted, cooling Tencel that is soft and airy

These mattresses are available for purchase online:

People with pain, particularly in the lower back, may have difficulty sleeping because of their mattress. No guidelines exist on how to choose a mattress to prevent or improve back pain, however.

The following table lists some mattresses that may help relieve or prevent back pain.

Helix Midnight MattressDreamCloud Premier HybridBirch Natural Mattress
Materialmemory foam, Helix Dynamic foam, and wrapped springspressure-relieving memory foam, contouring foam, and wrapped springsnatural Talalay latex and individually wrapped springs
Top coveruses a soft-touch design cover with light stretch optimized for airflowuses a breathable cashmere-blend coveruses breathable organic cotton with subtle stretch and a soft touch

These mattresses are available for purchase online:

Some important considerations to make when choosing a mattress for sex include bounciness, edge control, and noise.

Bounciness is more prominent in spring mattresses than in foam mattresses. Latex mattresses may fall in the middle.

To minimize sounds coming from the mattress, it may be best to avoid spring mattresses.

Edge control helps prevent falling off the bed. Manufacturers provide edge support in the mattress with springs or ensure thicker memory foam at the bed’s edges.

The following table lists three mattresses that may be better suited for sex.

Helix Dusk LuxeTuft & Needle Mint MattressNectar Memory Foam Mattress
Bouncemedium feel and ergonomic foam to provide bouncehas plenty of bounce despite having no springshas plenty of bounce despite the three layers of memory foam
Noisedoes not contain springs and contours to the bodydoes not contain springs contains memory foam, which will not make any sound with movement
Edge controlhas no additional edge supporthas 4 in of extra-firm foam at the edges for extra edge supporthas no additional edge support

These mattresses are available for purchase online:

Some people may overheat or feel uncomfortable during sleep.

Many manufacturers offer mattresses that have some cooling qualities. While memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hotter than hybrid or spring mattresses due to their density, many products include a layer of cooling graphite or cooling covers.

Learn more about the best cooling mattresses here.

The following table lists three cooling mattress options.

Birch Natural MattressHelix Dawn LuxeNectar Premier Copper Mattress
Materialnatural Talalay latex and springsHelix dynamic foam, memory foam, and springscopper and gel-infused memory foam
Cooling technologybreathable organic cotton cover and breathable latex foampremium quilted top with either a TENCEL cover or a GlacioTex Cooling Covercooling copper cover and ActiveCoolHD memory foam

These mattresses are available for purchase online:

If a mattress is no longer comfortable, or if a person is experiencing body aches or difficulty sleeping, they may wish to consider changing their mattress.

Sometimes, flipping or rotating the mattress once or twice per year can help distribute the wear and tear and prolong its life span. People should read the directions on their mattresses, however, as some should not be flipped.

Depending on the material, the life span of mattresses differs. Manufacturers suggest that air and spring mattresses have the shortest life span, while mattresses containing latex have the longest.

The following table lists five mattresses with long life spans.

WarrantySleep trialFlip
DreamCloud Premier RestLifetime warranty365 nightsno flip
Helix Moonlight10—15 year warranty100 nightsno flip
Birch Luxe Natural Mattress25-year warranty100 nightsno flip
Nectar Memory Foam MattressForever warranty365 nightsno flip
Avocado Vegan Mattress25-year warrantyone yearno flip
Tuft & Needle Hybrid Mattress10-year warranty100 nightsno flip

These mattresses are available for purchase online:

Temperature control is another important consideration for getting better sleep. Currently, the available evidence regarding the appropriate temperature for a mattress is insufficient, but some experts recommend warmer temperatures.

Mattress maintenance and hygiene are other considerations to make when caring for a mattress. For example, dust mites can collect in mattresses because they provide the ideal temperature, food, and moisture for their growth and development.

One study investigated the presence of dust mites in foam and spring mattresses. It found a higher percentage of mites in foam mattresses. The researchers suggest replacing foam mattresses with spring mattresses to reduce exposure to dust mite allergens.

Good mattress maintenance and hygiene are necessary for a healthy sleeping environment. People should refer to the instructions on their mattresses for more information on maintenance.

Here we answer some common questions about comparing these products.

What is the difference between a mattress and a mattress in a box?

Mattresses are usually available in a box or are available for delivery unboxed.

People may prefer to purchase a mattress in a box as they are often more convenient and easier to move to the room a person intends to place the mattress.

To unpack a mattress in a box, a person should open the box and slide out the mattress. It will be vacuum-packed. People should place the mattress on their bed frame and carefully open the packaging, unrolling the mattress to cover the bed frame.

It can take up to 24 hours for a mattress in a box to reach its full height. People who intend to sleep on a mattress the same day they purchase it may prefer to purchase one that does not come in a box.

Which mattresses do not contain fiberglass?

Fiberglass is a manufactured material that can irritate the respiratory system, skin, and eyes, and can trigger asthma symptoms. Fiberglass is one of several materials manufacturers may use to make mattresses flame retardant.

One way to determine whether a mattress contains fiberglass is whether a manufacturer warns people not to remove the mattress cover. Fiberglass can become airborne if a person exposes it to the air.

DreamCloud, Avocado, Tuft & Needle, and Birch state that they do not use fiberglass in their mattresses. Nectar and Helix do not disclose whether they use this material.

What is the difference between firm and plush?

Firm and plush are on opposite sides of the firmness scale.

Plush mattresses range from soft to medium-soft firmnesses, whereas firm mattresses range from firm to ultra-firm.

People who require extra support, or people who have a larger frame, may find a firm mattress more comfortable.

What is the difference between buying mattresses in-store vs. online?

The main difference between buying mattresses in-store rather than online is that a person can see the mattress. They can lie down and test its firmness and support, and may be able to decide which type of mattress they prefer easier than when shopping online.

However, online shopping may be more convenient. It also means a person can look at all of the mattresses a company has rather than being limited to which mattresses a showroom has in stock.

Shopping in-store or online should not change the warranty or sleep trial a company offers.

Choosing the best mattress can be a daunting task, as different types have different benefits. Currently, no guidelines exist on the best mattress for each person’s needs. Some mattress types share benefits with others, as well.

There are several considerations to make when choosing a mattress, including comfort, pain relief, and temperature control. Choosing the best mattress may require several trial periods with different brands.