The Firmness Levels In Different Types of Mattresses
After reading the previous article on how to choose a mattress firmness, you may have a better understanding of firmness ratings, and you can begin to understand which types of mattresses give you choices within that range. The firmness of different mattresses depends on the type, quality and quantity of materials used in the comfort layer, as well as the design or composition of the materials.
Traditional Innerspring Mattresses
The firmness of an innerspring mattress is affected by the shape and thickness of the springs. In terms of firmness, innerspring mattresses vary the most. The firmness of these beds depends on the shape, gauge and number of coils, as well as the type and amount of material packed in and around the coils. It's important not to confuse a mattress' coil count with its firmness level. Even a bed with a very high number of coils will feel soft if the thickness (or gauge) of the coils is low. The shape of the coil is also important. Hourglass coils are generally stronger than continuous coils.
A popular innerspring mattress is the pillow top, which consists of a separately sewn and upholstered comfort layer placed on top of the mattress. The pillowcase provides a soft feel on top even if the underlying mattress surface is firm.
Ideal For: Average weight, back sleepers, side sleepers
Latex Hybrid Mattress
Latex mattresses are made of foam rubber material and have a unique "bounce" feel. Although these mattresses offer a range of firmness levels, they generally lean toward the firmer side. This makes them ideal for stomach sleepers and people with a higher body mass index.
One of the newest options for latex mattresses is the "zone" latex mattress. Zoned mattresses are arranged in varying firmness to provide targeted firmness at pressure points. This means the mattress provides soft cushioning where you need it and firmer support elsewhere.
Ideal For: Heavyweight, back sleepers, stomach sleepers
Memory Foam Mattresses
The firmness of foam and memory foam mattresses varies based on the ILD grade and layer composition of the foam. Memory foam is a polyurethane foam with a unique viscoelastic response that reacts with heat and softens to mold itself into any form of applied pressure. When the pressure is removed and the foam is allowed to cool, the foam returns to its original shape.
The hardness of memory foam is not directly related to density. Instead, its firmness is affected by the ILD rating of the foam and how the different layers are constructed. The diversity of this ILD grade and the versatility of layer composition implies a wide range of robustness possibilities. A softer memory foam mattress will allow for more sinks and contours. Firmer memory foam mattresses will still conform to the shape of the body, but will also provide more support. The foam lowers your body to different levels to support the spine evenly. This uniform positioning also reduces impact on pressure points, preventing pain and numbness.
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