Mattress terminology shouldn’t be complex. Our glossary guide simplifies the jargon to help you make confident choices and get better sleep.

Mattress Terminology

Ever felt lost in the maze of mattress terminology while looking for that perfect sleep partner? You’re not alone.

From bed lingo like “Dunlop Latex” to “Euro Top,” it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But here’s the silver lining: mastering these terms will make buying a new mattress easier!

Ready to become a sleep expert? This mattress glossary paves the way for dreamy nights ahead. Dive in, and let’s demystify mattress lingo!

Mattress Types

Grasping the types of mattresses is the first step toward your ideal sleep.

Whether it’s the contouring comfort of memory foam or the classic feel of innerspring, there’s a mattress tailored to your sleeping needs.

Adjustable Bed: A bed designed for customization. Users can adjust positions for comfort, enhancing sleep.

Air Mattress: A bed filled with air. It provides varied firmness levels by adjusting air pressure, perfect for temporary sleeping arrangements.

Gel Mattress: Infused with gel, this mattress offers optimal comfort by distributing body heat, ensuring cool sleeping.

Hybrid: A blend of innerspring coils and foam layers. This bed provides a balance of support from coils with foam comfort.

Innerspring: A classic mattress type, primarily made of coil springs. It offers bounce and support.

Latex: A bed made from natural or synthetic rubber. Known for its elasticity, it offers a unique balance of support and comfort.

Memory Foam: A bed made from viscoelastic foam. It contours to your body shape, providing pressure relief and comfort during sleep.

RV Mattress: Specifically designed for campers or recreational vehicles. It’s often more compact but still offers comfort for on-the-road sleeping.

Waterbed: A bed filled with water. It provides a unique sensation, known for its therapeutic benefits and gentle support.

Also Read: 5 Types of Mattresses Explained (And How to Choose One)

Mattress Layers & Components

As you delve into the bed layers, knowing these parts of a mattress is crucial. They play a significant role in defining the mattress’s comfort, support, and overall feel.

Whether you prefer the plush feel of a pillow top or the firmness of high-density foam, there’s a combination for your sleeping preference.

Base Foam: The foundational layer in many mattresses, offering structural support and durability.

Box Spring: A bed base made of a wooden frame and springs. It elevates the mattress and provides added support.

Coil / Spring: Metal springs in innerspring mattresses. They’re key for support and bounce.

Coil Count: Indicates the number of springs in a mattress; higher counts often suggest better support.

Comfort Layer: The topmost layer, designed for maximum sleep comfort. It’s typically made of plush materials.

Density: Refers to the compactness of the foam. Higher density ensures longevity and better body support.

Euro Top: Similar to a pillow top. However, its padding is stitched flush with the mattress for a sleek look.

Gel Beads: Infused in some foams to regulate temperature. They offer a cool sleeping experience.

Pillow Top: An extra layer stitched on the mattress surface. It provides an added cushion for plush comfort.

Support Layer: This section offers support below the comfort layer, ensuring proper spinal alignment.

Mattress Sizes

Choosing the right mattress size is pivotal for optimal sleep comfort.

Whether you’re sleeping solo or sharing the bed, there’s a size tailored to provide you with the most restful nights.

California King: A long mattress measuring 72 inches by 84 inches. It’s ideal for taller sleepers who need more legroom or love a lot of space.

Cot: A compact, often portable mattress measuring around 30 inches by 75 inches. It’s perfect for temporary sleeping arrangements.

Full (Double Bed): A spacious option for single sleepers or smaller rooms. These mattresses measure 54 inches by 75 inches.

King: A luxurious size for couples wanting ample space, 76 inches by 80 inches.

Queen: A popular choice for couples. This mattress measures 60 inches by 80 inches, offering a balance of space and comfort.

Split King: Two separate Twin XL mattresses side by side. It offers customization for couples with differing mattress preferences.

Twin: Ideal for children and single adults, measuring 38 inches by 75 inches.

Twin XL: A bit longer than a standard twin and commonly found in college dorm rooms. Its dimensions are 38 inches by 80 inches.

Note: Ensure you factor in room size and your sleeping needs when selecting from the vast range of mattress sizes.

Mattress Comfort & Feel

Your mattress’s comfort plays a pivotal role in sleep quality. A bed that aligns with your sleeping preferences can make a difference between restless nights and deep, rejuvenating sleep.

Everyone’s ideal mattress feel is unique, from soft plush to extra firm support.

Body Indents: Impressions that form over time on the mattress surface due to consistent sleeping positions. It indicates wear and can affect sleeping comfort.

Bounce: Refers to how quickly a mattress springs back after applying pressure. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often have more bounce than foam.

Breathability: The mattress’s ability to circulate air and prevent overheating. Essential for a cool and comfortable sleep.

Conforming: Describes how a mattress adapts or molds to the shape of your body.

Contouring: How the mattress cradles your body, providing targeted support and pressure relief. Memory foam is known for its contouring properties.

Edge Support: Defines how well a mattress supports weight at its edges. Crucial for those who sit or sleep near the edge.

Extra Firm: A mattress with very minimal give. This firmness is ideal for certain back and stomach sleepers.

Firmness: An indicator of how hard or soft a mattress feels. It’s a critical aspect of mattress comfort and comes in various levels, like soft, medium, and firm.

Medium: A balanced level of firmness, offering support and cushioning.

Medium Soft: A slightly plush feel with underlying support. It’s a midway between soft and medium.

Motion Isolation: A mattress’s ability to prevent movement from one side from disturbing the other side. This feature is ideal for couples with different sleep schedules.

Motion Transfer: Opposite of motion isolation. It refers to how much movement is felt from one side of the bed to the other.

Plush: A soft and luxurious feel, often added via pillow tops or plush comfort layers.

Pressure Relief: A mattress’s capability to alleviate tension from pressure points like hips, shoulders, and knees. Essential for side sleepers.

Resilience: The speed at which a mattress regains shape after pressure. High resilience means quick bounce-back.

Sinkage: The depth to which a person “sinks” into a mattress. Often seen in softer mattresses or those with memory foam.

Soft: Mattresses that offer a cushioning effect, enveloping the sleeper for a cloud-like experience.

Temperature Regulation: A mattress’s ability to maintain a neutral temperature. This feature ensures neither too hot nor too cold sleeping conditions.

Mattress Materials & Technology

The technology and materials used in mattresses are evolving rapidly. From the plush feel of Egyptian cotton to the benefits of Celliant fabric, the quest for better sleep has driven innovation in mattress materials.

As you explore various types of mattresses, knowing these materials can be your compass in finding the perfect comfort match.

Bamboo Fabric: A sustainable fabric derived from bamboo plants. It’s hypoallergenic, breathable, and possesses natural moisture-wicking properties, promoting a cool sleep environment.

Bonnell Coil: The oldest coil type used in innerspring mattresses. It’s hourglass-shaped and offers a durable yet bouncy feel.

Celliant Fabric: A high-tech fabric that converts body heat into infrared energy. It can promote better oxygen levels and more restful sleep.

Certified Organic: Materials grown and processed without synthetic chemicals or pesticides, adhering to strict organic standards. It offers a cleaner sleep environment.

Coil Gauge: Refers to the thickness of the mattress coils. A lower number means thicker coils, often translating to a firmer feel.

Continuous Coil: A system where the coils are interconnected in one continuous piece, enhancing durability and support.

Dunlop Latex: A natural latex process that results in denser, more supportive foam. It’s less bouncy than Talalay latex.

Egyptian Cotton: A luxurious, soft cotton known for its longer fibers and superior strength. It’s often used in premium bedding and mattress covers.

Gel-Infused Memory Foam: Memory foam combined with gel particles. The infusion promotes cooling and combats the heat retention issues common in traditional memory foam.

Memory Foam (Viscoelastic Foam): A popular mattress material that conforms closely to the body. It offers pressure relief and motion isolation.

Moisture Wicking: Materials designed to draw moisture away from the body, ensuring a dry and comfortable sleep environment.

Offset Coil: Coils with flattened tops and bottoms linked with helical wires. They adapt to body shape, ensuring comfort and durability.

Organic Latex: Latex derived from rubber trees without synthetic additives. It’s eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and durable.

Pocketed Coil: Individually wrapped coils that move independently. They offer targeted support and reduce motion transfer.

Quilting: The top layer of a mattress that provides a cushiony feel. It also protects the underlying layers.

Talalay Latex: A latex processing method that produces a lighter, more buoyant feel than Dunlop latex.

Tencel: A sustainable fabric derived from eucalyptus trees. It’s soft, breathable, and biodegradable.

Ticking: The outermost layer of a mattress, which encases all the internal components. It’s essential for durability and aesthetics.

Mattress Health & Certifications

For those prioritizing health and well-being, these certifications and terms can make mattress buying a more informed process.

By knowing what lies beneath the layers of a bed, sleepers can rest easier and with peace of mind.

Antimicrobial: A feature in some mattresses preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi. It contributes to a cleaner sleeping environment.

CertiPUR-US Certified: A certification ensuring the foam used in mattresses is free from harmful chemicals and has low VOC emissions. It also promotes better indoor air quality.

Dust Mites: Tiny creatures that can populate mattresses, feeding on dead skin cells. Regular cleaning helps reduce their numbers.

GreenGuard Gold Certified: A rigorous certification ensuring a mattress emits very low levels of chemical emissions. It also promotes better indoor air quality.

Hypoallergenic (Allergens): Materials that help reduce allergic reactions. It’s essential for those sensitive to common allergens like dust or pollen.

OEKO-TEX Standard: A certification indicating the absence of harmful substances in textiles. It ensures safety for direct skin contact.

Off-Gassing: Refers to releasing a distinct chemical smell after unboxing a new mattress. Typically, it dissipates after a few days of airing out.

Organic: Mattresses or materials sourced without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. Often preferred for eco-friendliness and health concerns.

Sleep Positions & Needs

Recognizing your sleep position is vital for mattress selection. By understanding these terms, you can narrow down choices to ensure a restful night’s sleep tailored to their unique needs.

Back Sleeper: A person who prefers sleeping on their back. This position often requires a mattress with good spinal alignment and lumbar support to prevent back pain.

Combo Sleeper: An individual who changes positions frequently during sleep. A versatile mattress offering balanced support and comfort is ideal.

Hot Sleeper: Someone who tends to overheat during sleep. They benefit from breathable materials and cooling technologies.

Lumbar Support: Refers to the support provided in the lower back region. Crucial for back sleepers to maintain a natural spine curve.

Side Sleeper: A person who sleeps predominantly on their side. They often need a mattress with pressure relief for shoulders and hips.

Snoring: A common sleeping issue often linked to obstructed airflow. Proper pillow height and mattress firmness can help reduce its occurrence.

Spinal Alignment: Maintaining the spine’s natural curve while sleeping. Essential for overall comfort and avoiding back pain.

Stomach Sleeper: Those who prefer sleeping on their stomach. A firmer mattress typically prevents the pelvis from sinking too deep, ensuring proper alignment.

Mattress Care & Maintenance

Proper mattress care ensures a prolonged life and optimum comfort. Incorporating these maintenance tips can ensure many restful nights on your mattress.

Break-in Period: The time it takes for a new mattress to adjust to your body and vice versa. This can vary, but most sleep experts recommend giving it a few weeks.

Mattress Flipping: Turning the mattress over to its other side. Not all beds need this, but it can help extend the lifespan of some older mattresses.

Mattress Pad: A layer placed on top of a mattress for added comfort or protection. It’s often thinner than a topper.

Mattress Protector: A cover specifically designed to protect the mattress from spills, allergens, and wear.

Mattress Sagging: When a mattress develops dips or low spots. Regular rotation can help prevent this wear.

Mattress Topper: A thicker layer of cushioning added to the top of a mattress to enhance comfort or adjust firmness.

Mattress Rotation: Turning the mattress 180 degrees. This evens out wear and can prolong its life.

Spot Cleaning: Cleaning a specific mattress area after a spill or stain. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper care.

Mattress Warranty & Trial Period

Choosing the right mattress isn’t just about initial comfort. Understanding warranty and trial options ensures peace of mind in your investment.

Sleep Trial: A period during which you can test a new mattress at home, ensuring it meets your sleep needs. If not satisfied, most companies allow returns or exchanges.

Warranty Period: The length of time a mattress company guarantees the product against defects. It reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in their mattress quality.

White Glove Delivery: A premium delivery service where professionals deliver, set up your new mattress, and sometimes remove the old one. It takes the hassle out of setting up your new bed.

Bed Basesses & Miscellaneous Terminology

While these terms might seem straightforward, grasping their nuances is helpful when buying a mattress.

Adjustable Base: A bed base allows you to modify its position, typically elevating the head or feet. Perfect for customizing sleep preferences and addressing specific health concerns.

Bed Frame: A structure that supports the mattress and elevates it off the ground. It also adds an aesthetic appeal to your bedroom.

Bed-in-a-Box: An innovative mattress delivery method where mattresses are compressed, rolled, and shipped in a box. Upon opening, they expand to full size.

Bed Foundation: A supportive base for a mattress, often made of slats or solid wood. It’s crucial for maintaining mattress longevity and providing even support.

Next Steps Towards Restful Sleep

Now that you’re fluent in mattress terminology, buying a mattress just got easier. Every mattress term decoded brings you one step closer to that ideal sleep.

Use your newfound knowledge to explore our site and discover a bed tailor-made for you. Happy mattress hunting and even happier sleeping!

Find Your Perfect Mattress