A mattress is a part of a bedding unit, usually accompanied by a bed frame and box spring, on which you can sleep, lie, or rest. Mattresses can also be used alone, lying on a floor without anything beneath them. Generally, though, most mattresses are placed on a simple box spring or some sort of platform so that they are a bit higher off the ground. Most mattresses vary in thickness from six to eighteen inches.

Parts of a Mattress

Mattresses are generally made of multiple layers of foam, natural and synthetic fibers, and springs. Foam materials include latex foam, viscoelastic foam, and other polyurethane-type foams. Some mattresses are permanently encased in fabric called ticking.

The three components of a mattress are the:

1. Upholstery layers of a mattress

These are covered by a variety of soft materials that provide cushioning, these layers hold the core of the mattress together; consist of an insulator, middle upholstery unit, and quilt

2. Spring core or innerspring unit of a mattress

This is primarily responsible for supporting the body; usually made up of steel coil springs unless it is part of a foam-only mattress

3. Mattress Foundation

The foundation elevates the mattress to help prolong its life and add to its comfort.

There are three basic types of mattress foundations:

  • Wood foundations - made of pine or a similarly hard variety of wood; usually covered with cardboard or beaverboard to increase the firmness and stability of a mattress
  • Box spring foundations - features heavy-duty springs that provide a softer feel to a mattress
  • Grid foundations - made up of steel and wood.

Types of Mattresses

There exist a plethora of mattress types. Pillowtop mattresses have an extra layer on top that provide a bit more cushioning while still allowing for a mattress to have a good amount of firmness. They are said to hold on to their resiliency quite well and do not necessarily need to be flipped.

Memory foam mattresses take on the shape of an object lying on them until that object moves or is removed. They are said to distribute pressure evenly across the body. Their top layers are soft while their resilient base layers allow one sleeper to move without disturbing the other.

Air mattresses can be adjusted manually in firmness and softness with a pump. They are supposed to provide even pressure. A variety of other high-tech and luxury mattress types are available that promise extra resiliency, comfort, and support.

For further information see the following article from HomeDocotor.net for sizes of mattresses: Queen Mattresses.