Mattress Sets: Comparing Features And Prices
Did you buy your last mattress set at a store that was located next door to an actual record shop? Have you memorized the exact spots on your mattress where the springs poke through? Is your mattress so uneven that you have accidentally slid down a slope onto the floor while sleeping and even then didn't discern a noticeable difference in comfort?
Well, my friend, it is definitely time for you to get a new mattress.
But buying a new mattress set has changed dramatically over the past several years. There are now so many diverse choices and price ranges to pick from that it is difficult to know where to begin. One major difference is the ability to purchase a new mattress online meaning that you never have to set foot in a mattress store if you do not wish to do so. That frees you from fighting traffic, locating parking, and enduring annoying salespeople. But whether you go to a mattress store or make a purchase on your computer, you still must be educated about the features and prices of mattress sets.
Though the sizes of mattresses have stayed relatively constant over the years, there have been a few adjustments made to mattress set categories. Here is a handy scale for measuring mattress sizes:
Size Dimension (in inches)
Twin [Single] 39 x 75
XL Twin 39 x 80
Full [Double] 54 x 75
Queen 60 x 80
King 76 x 80
California King 72 x 84
You must also decide if you prefer sleeping on a soft mattress or a firm one or one that has a balance of both. There really isn't any other way figure out what's best for you besides the 'trial and error' method. Try and recall beds where you have slept recently other than your own (hotels, relatives' houses, etc.). Did you find those mattresses to be too soft or hard? You can also experiment with other beds or sofas in your own home. You can certainly lay on mattresses at a store but many websites will also have information about how soft or firm a given product is.
The makeup of your next mattress set should be viewed in three different areas:
Your old mattress is probably about nine inches thick. But most new mattresses are usually around 14 inches thick today. Why the difference? Manufacturers have kept the coil systems the same height, but have added more layers of padding onto the mattress sets. This helps lengthen the comfort life of the mattress. These layers can be made of anything from foam to silk to wool and the quality of these fibers will directly affect the price of the set. So if you see two identically-sized mattress sets which are priced drastically different, the likely reason is the quality of padding inside them. You must decide if the type of upholstery in a given mattress is worth the price and the answer is different for everyone.
There are two types of coils that are found in mattress sets today. An innercoil system is comprised of three- to four-inch high coils which are joined at the top and bottom throughout the mattress frame. A pocket coil system involves individually-wrapped two-inch coils that are separate from one another and move independently. Neither system is inherently better than the other again, personal preference is the main differentiator.
Box Spring vs. Foundation
Though advances have been made, the box spring support system of a mattress has stayed basically the same over the decades. A good box spring gives evenly when pressure is applied to the mattress's surface and can extend the life of the mattress. Recently, some manufacturers have been equipping their products with a foundation instead of a box spring. The non-flexing base provides a firmer feel and has no moving components to wear out.
In addition to the variations within and under a mattress, you can also choose from a few selections of 'tops.' A pillow top mattress has additional down-filled layers which are attached on top of the mattress. These down-filled layers give the sensation that your body is being 'cradled' by the mattress. Usually, people have very strong opinions about the feel of a pillow top mattress. A plush top mattress involves one extra layer of padding on top of the mattress think of it as pillow top 'light.' The bottom line: if you do not feel any added comfort from a pillow top or plush top, do not spend the money for them.
Mattress set prices are largely determined by their size and construction. But once again, the biggest factor in choosing a new mattress should be how it feels to you. If you don't need that much room, don't buy a king size mattress. If you prefer a firm mattress, then don't spend extra money for padding you don't care for. You've heard it before: people spend about a third of their lives sleeping, so it's very important that you select the right mattress set that fits your needs.