All Types of Mattresses Explained │Megafurniture
A Comprehensive Mattress Buying Guide for Your Best Night's Sleep
Buying a new mattress? Narrow down your choices with this expert guide to different mattress types in Singapore.
Shopping for the best mattress in Singapore, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, can be very stressful. If you're like many who tend to seek out what you exactly had before, you might want to look for other varieties and maximise your possible options to see if you can still improve the quality of your new bed purchase. With all the best mattress claims, the sheer volume of materials, and price range, it can be confusing to determine what's best for your needs. But it does not have to be that way.
This comprehensive mattress guideline will outline the different types of mattresses according to materials, sizes, and firmness rates, along with their pros and cons. We will also give you tips on finding the perfect mattress for your specific needs.
Excited to buy your new bed mattress? Let's get started.
General Mattress Types
The construction technology of the mattress industry has evolved over the years. Generally, you will encounter foam mattresses, innerspring, hybrid, air mattresses, water beds, futons, and folding types. Material quality, construction, and sleeping position are important factors when choosing your best mattress.
1. Foam Mattress
Looking for a foam mattress to purchase can be confusing, especially when there are many different types of foams that shops claim to be the best. But aren't all foams the same? They might look uniform at a glance, but there is a vast range of foam materials used in constructing mattresses, each having benefits and drawbacks. Let's check them out.
A. Polyurethane Foam Mattress
You may not be familiar with this foam type, but most foam mattresses you have used are manufactured with this material. This versatile material is also involved in manufacturing mattress comfort layers. Otherwise called a polyfoam, polyurethane foam is a synthetic mixture of polyols and diisocyanates. Polyfoam is also used in creating memory foam but with additives that make it more flexible and contouring.
When shopping for a polyfoam mattress, note that its density comes in three grades: Low Density, High Density, and Ultra-High Density. A foam mattress with a higher density is generally heavier, but this doesn't mean that a high-density foam is firmer. Density is better tied to the support and durability of the foam.
Polyfoam is a highly versatile material that is present in many mattresses and sofa constructions. The presence of multiple densities also makes it a good choice if you want a soft and responsive bed or a more supportive variety. Low-density polyfoam is very responsive and is used in creating many mattress top layers, while high-density foam provides durable support.
Due to availability, many budget mattresses are made of polyfoam, even cheaper than some spring mattresses. If you are looking for an economical sleep choice, polyfoam is a good choice.
Polyfoams are Not as Durable as Other Mattress Types
Because of their price and construction, polyfoam mattresses are not as specialised as other bed types in terms of durability. Although you can rely on them for daily use, they tend to sag and lose their shapes faster than other foam mattresses.
No Adequate Contour Comfort
Compared to the next mattress we will discuss, polyfoams do not offer much contour comfort. If you are suffering from back pain, you may want to upgrade to another mattress variety.
B. Memory Foam Mattress
A memory foam mattress is one of the most popular beds for many good reasons. High-quality viscoelastic polyfoam offers contour comfort by following the body's natural shape. Interestingly, although memory foam is a widely used material for mattresses, it actually originated from NASA in the mid-1960s. Its intended use is to provide cushioning and crash protection for astronauts. The potential of polyfoam was discovered and is now used in creating sofa cushioning, pillows, mattresses, and mattress toppers.
Memory foam absorbs your body heat to follow your curves when lying down. This process helps in providing appropriate pressure relief during sleep. Once you stand up, the foam will bounce back to its original shape, hence called memory foam.
Memory foam offers various unique advantages compared to other mattress materials. It comes with excellent pressure relief that many bed shoppers favour.
Unique Support and Comfort
Memory foam provides high levels of comfort while maintaining the proper alignment of your spine.
Plush Mattress Type
Memory foam is a great option if you prefer a cuddly bed that offers pressure relief. However, if you are more of a heavy sleeper or if you suffer from back pain, we recommend firmer foam mattress types to support your body better.
Even Body Distribution During Sleep
Due to its versatile contouring property, memory foam evenly distributes your body weight into the foam mattress regardless of sleeping position, reducing excess pressure from the heaviest parts of your body like your hips and shoulders. The contouring medium soft memory foam mattress is ideal for side sleepers. For back and stomach sleepers, we recommend medium firm to firmer polyfoam mattress types.
Minimum Movement Transfer
Unlike bouncier foam mattresses, memory foam offers less movement transfer which many mattress sharers look for. This is because a memory foam mattress absorbs movements instead of transferring them to the other side of the bed.
Reliable Dust Mite Resistance
Memory foam on sale comes with anti-dust mite, anti-allergy, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties to make sleeping more comfortable and safe. The structure of a memory foam mattress cannot be easily penetrated by allergens.
A high-quality memory foam mattress can last more than a decade when adequately taken care of. Generally, memory foam mattresses are durable, with many reputable mattress shops offering high-end units.
Aside from providing pressure relief for back and side sleepers, a memory foam mattress also comes in a cheaper price range than its counterpart latex, although not as affordable as a spring mattress.
Memory Foam Can Vary in Quality
While memory foam offers numerous advantages, not all foam mattresses are equal. Because of their popularity, many memory foam mattresses are made with cheaper quality materials and structures, especially all foam mattress types, to make them more affordable.
New Mattress Smell
Off-gassing is normal for new beds. However, the chemicals used in treating memory foam mattresses tend to produce more off-gassing smells than more natural varieties. Although many high-end mattresses are designed to lessen this distinct odour, we recommend maintaining proper ventilation while breaking into your new foam mattress.
Feeling of Being Stuck
While some people prefer the contouring comfort of memory foam mattresses, others may not be that fond of the "stuck" feeling, especially if you sleep hot or during summer. An all foam mattress can make the users feel that they're sleeping "in" the bed, not "on" the bed. Although advantageous for a side sleeper, back and stomach sleepers may not favour this sensation. In this regard, carefully choosing foam firmness is important.
In hot places like Singapore, we recommend shopping for gel memory foam mattresses.
C. Gel-Infused Foam Mattress
Since memory foam is known for its tendency to get hot during warmer days, many mattress shoppers who prefer the contouring comfort of memory foam look for more breathable alternatives.
Gel-infused memory foam or gel foam mattress contains gel microbeads or pods that regulate the mattress' temperature while providing additional support for your lower back, shoulders, and neck.
Standard memory foam regains shape when the body weight is lifted on the surface. However, recovering its form may not be fast enough, especially for combination sleepers, giving them the feeling of being stuck on the mattress. As for a gel mattress, regaining its original form is much faster for better motion comfort.
Better Breathability than Memory Foam
When the temperature gets scorching, it's vital to look for a surface to keep you cool during snoozing. A gel-infused foam is an efficient solution for places with hotter climates.
Adequate for Heavy Sleepers
A gel-infused mattress offers adequate support for heavier sleepers that other foam types might not provide. If you are on the heavier side and choosing between memory foam and gel-infused foam, go for the latter.
Can Be Costly
Additional benefits mean additional costs. Generally, gel-infused mattresses are pricier than memory foam.
Hard to Transport
Gel foams are heavier than memory foam, thus, harder to lift or move. You will need assistance when transferring this mattress from one point in your room to the other.
2. Latex Mattress
Latex is a high-quality natural material used in creating mattresses. It comes from the sap of a rubber plant, giving it a springy feel. Being pioneered by Dunlopillo, latex mattresses became revolutionary, enhancing the sleep quality of many mattress users.
Latex foams are also highly in demand because of the premium bouncy comfort and the resilient pressure relief they offer. A latex mattress can be a natural latex or a combination of natural latex and other materials to provide a supportive and versatile sleep base. It can also be an all foam mattress or a combination of latex foam and innerspring. Latex is considered more eco-friendly than other bed types.
Latex foam offers a medium firm bouncy feel when you settle in, giving you a sleeping "on" a bed feel.
Types of Latex
Dunlop latex is an all-natural product manufactured with the old method of baking latex material within a mould to create a firm and dense foam. This is called the Dunlop process. This provides a medium firm to a firmer base for stomach sleepers and back sleepers who deal with back pain.
Compared to Dunlop, Talalay is a newer process of manufacturing mattresses that involves added steps before baking the materials. The extra steps include freezing and injecting air into the foam to produce a luxurious, softer mattress that side sleepers love. Beds made through the Talalay process provide the right medium firmness than Dunlop and are more expensive.
Blended latex is made from a mixture of natural latex and synthetic fillers. This mattress type is more affordable than 95% to 97% natural latex. Note that what is described as natural latex is not 100% made of pure latex. This is because of curing materials used in processing natural latex. These curing agents make up 3-5% of the materials.
Synthetic latex is manufactured from petrochemicals used to mimic the feel of natural latex. Although it follows the feel of the mattress, this type is far from premium latex that meets global standards for quality. If you are searching for natural latex, we suggest thoroughly looking for quality units instead of settling for the price.
This mattress type provides a buoyant and supportive feel when you lie down. Unlike memory foam, latex does not follow your body's natural curves but gives them a push, which is also ideal for pressure relief. Latex is an excellent choice if you are a fan of medium firm bouncy mattresses.
Latex is also an excellent material for hot sleepers as it is structured with pinholes, creating better airflow for a cooler night's sleep. This makes latex a practical mattress choice in Singapore, where the hot climate is prevalent.
Adequate Pain Relief
Suffering from back pain? This organic mattress provides exceptional pain relief for both the back and the joints. In fact, many professionals and sleep experts recommend a latex mattress for people who go through back and muscle issues.
Promotes Natural Spine Alignment
One of the greatest advantages of latex foam is that it promotes proper spine alignment with its medium firmness while relieving the pressure from the heaviest parts of your body during sleep. Its elasticity gives you a light sleep sensation while targeting your pressure points.
No Chemical Smells
You don't have to worry about the pungent new mattress smell with a latex bed because it is made from natural materials. However, this is not applicable to synthetic latex since it involves chemicals in its process.
Durable and Resilient to Dust Mites
Latex mattress naturally resists dust mites, moulds, and other allergens. Because of its bouncy feel, latex is less likely to sag and lose its quality shape over time. With a latex bed, you will need to replace your mattress less often than with cheaper foam. Generally, latex mattresses last seven more years than other types, of course with the right hygiene and maintenance. With its benefits and longevity, latex beds are among the best mattress types that give the highest satisfaction, according to mattress reviews.
Heavier than Other Foam Mattresses
On average, latex foam is heavier than many other foam beds. Although this differs in size, material combination, and density, a latex variety may require more effort to lift than other mattress units.
Costlier Than Other Foam Types
Due to its undeniable quality, latex foam can be in a more expensive price range than innerspring or a polyurethane foam. But with its additional cost, you are guaranteed to enjoy better comfort, posture support, breathability, and longevity.
3. Innerspring Mattresses
An innerspring mattress is a traditional type of mattress that has been on the market for years. It is made from interconnected coils, giving firmer support to the user. The coils are covered with different layers of foam or padding to provide comfort, coming in three primary layers: the comfort layer, the core, and the mattress foundation.
There are various types of innerspring beds, including those with connected springs and individually pocketed coils.
Types of Innerspring Mattresses
A. Bonnell Spring Mattress
Bonnell coil mattresses are the oldest types of highly durable and firm innerspring mattresses, ideal for stomach sleepers. Because of their open hourglass coil structure, Bonnell spring beds are not as resilient as foam mattresses in terms of motion transfer. They are also not as efficient as memory foam in targeting pressure points. This means Bonnell spring beds might not benefit you as much if you are a side sleeper.
B. Offset Coil Mattress
Compared to Bonnell spring mattresses, offset coil mattresses lean on soft to medium firm foam firmness. This helps them conform and relieve pressure from the body.
C. Continuous Spring Mattress
Continuous spring mattresses make up some of the firmest mattress choices available. This firmness also contributes to their longer lifespan. However, continuous coil mattresses do not provide pressure relief compared to softer mattresses. If your mattress feels this way, try using soft to medium firm polyurethane or gel memory foam mattress toppers.
D. Pocketed Spring Mattress
Loved by bed sharers, pocketed spring mattresses feature individually enclosed springs that respond independently with movements, providing minimal motion transfer. This means when one tosses and turns, the other will not feel the disturbance of the motion regardless of sleep position. Lighter sleepers will love this mattress type.
Pro Tip: Check or ask for the coil gauge when shopping for this type of mattress. Lower coil gauge means the springs are thicker, making the mattress firmer. The firmness depends on your sleeping needs and preferences.
Familiar Mattress Feel
Because of its traditional design, many mattress shoppers stick to an innerspring mattress. Its springy feel helps you feel you are sleeping on the mattress than an all foam bed, providing a suitable cradle.
If the budget is at a premium when shopping for a mattress, you can rely on the more affordable spring unit. Alongside some foam beds, innerspring varieties are the cheapest to purchase.
A spring mattress is more breathable than most mattresses made with pure foam. The distance between the coils helps the air circulate freely within the bed. This type of bed can also come with a gel or open-cell layer that increases its breathability.
Beneficial for Stomach Sleepers
If you are a stomach sleeper, you need a firmer sleep base that will give your body a little push back to prevent uneven distribution of your weight. A spring mattress can support the said sleep position while preventing back pain as you wake up.
Sags Faster Than Foam
Although promoting breathability, an innerspring mattress has a big potential to sag prematurely due to the lack of foam layers between the coils.
Not All Innerspring Mattresses are Great for Motion Transfer
Pocketed spring mattresses are widely known for their versatile motion isolation, but not all innerspring mattresses work that way. If you share your bed with someone and want to experience better motion isolation, we recommend sticking to a pocketed spring mattress than other coil units.
Can Be Too Firm
Inner coil mattresses are great for stomach sleepers because of their firmness. However, the same cannot be true for side sleepers. If you are a mattress sharer, it's good to assess your sleeping position and your partner to check if an innerspring mattress is applicable.
4. Hybrid Mattress
A hybrid mattress can be constructed with memory foam, latex, gel foam, cotton, wool, and various spring materials. These materials have their individual benefits, giving you a more personalised comfort than mattresses produced from single prominent material. Is a hybrid mattress the best mattress for you? It depends.
The term "hybrid" can be very appealing as it comes with a high-quality notion. While there are many premium hybrid mattresses on the market, not everything has the same quality, so it's important to understand the mixture of materials used for a hybrid mattress.
Components of a Hybrid Mattress
Not all hybrid mattresses have this layer, but it's worth discussing what pillow top mattresses are. Pillow top is a one to two-inch soft to medium firm layer stitched on the comfort layer to provide an additional cloud mattress feel.
The comfort layer is thicker than the pillow top. It is usually three to four inches of latex, memory foam, or gel-infused foam that gives the hybrid mattress a soft feel thus called the comfort layers.
The mattress or support core is the thickest layer filled with coils that make hybrid mattresses firmer than standard foam mattresses. This layer prevents the sleeper from sinking despite the presence of the softer comfort layer. It also makes the bed more stable and durable.
Another thin layer, a base, is made of high-density foam to enhance the mattress' stability.
Good for Any Sleeping Position
Hybrid beds provide proper body support that works with varied sleeping positions with their unique structure. Whether back sleepers, side sleepers, stomach sleepers, or combination sleepers, a hybrid mattress can support multiple needs regardless of preferred sleeping position.
Great for Sharing
Sharing a bed with your partner? You can rely on a hybrid mattress' motion isolation. Since it is made from layers of materials, it can support both sleepers without sacrificing comfort.
Living in Singapore with a hot climate means dealing with hot summer nights and sweaty snoozing. While foam offers contour comfort and body support during sleep, it can overheat during warmer seasons, especially when humidity strikes. In this case, you will appreciate the presence of gel layer, innerspring, and your favourite foam material.
Can Be Expensive
Hybrid bed manufacturers specially curate the materials used to make a proper blend of benefits into a single mattress, making it a more expensive choice. A hybrid mattress is a worthy investment for many, but we highly recommend checking your budget and weighing your choices when buying a new mattress in Singapore.
Hybrid Mattresses are Heavy
We love the advantages and sturdiness of hybrid mattresses. However, unlike other mattress types, a hybrid unit cannot be flipped and easily moved. This can be because of its enormous weight, considering its layers. This can also be because of the presence of comfort and support layers.
As we mentioned earlier, comfort layers are soft and cloudy, conforming to the natural shape of the body during sleep, while the support layer is relatively firm to stabilise the mattress. Flipping the mattress might not be the most comfortable choice.
Unlike beds in boxes, hybrid mattresses are hard to deliver and move.
Other Mattress Types in the Market
A bit different from the mattresses listed above, an air mattress is a non-permanent sleep solution typically made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), urethane plastic, or rubber. Instead of foam or springs, air mattresses are filled with, as the name implies, air, giving them their form.
Like other beds in Singapore, air mattresses also come in different varieties and sizes. You can also inflate them in different ways.
FAQ: Can I use an air mattress as a regular bed?
Although designed to be as comfortable as possible, this type of mattress is structured to be an alternative sleep solution during camps or when there are guests. The air mattress is not suitable for placing on a standard bed frame where it might burst. Unlike spring or foam mattresses, medium soft to medium firm air beds do not guarantee the optimum solution for back pain when used daily.
Pillow Top Mattress
Cloud-like and highly comfortable, pillow top mattresses feature a cosy mattress topper stitched on the uppermost layer of the bed. If you noticed pillow top mattress is not necessary a type of mattress but a hybrid mattress layer. This layer is made from different materials, but memory foam, which contours with our body heat, is the most popular pillow top mattress.
The pillow top raises the comfort of a hybrid mattress with its versatile contouring comfort. Being created with memory foam or high-density polyfoam, this layer offers adequate support on top of relatively firmer mattress layers. This foam top layer reduces motion transfer from innerspring mattresses. This layer helps mattress sharers enjoy better sleep without disturbance when one tosses and turns. However, it's good to note that the presence of a pillow top layer makes mattress flipping impossible unless the mattress has two-sided pillowtop layers.
Waterbeds were popular in the 20th century for providing, you guessed it right, a floating sensation. However, in the 1990s, waterbeds faded in popularity due to the required maintenance. Although still available in the market, waterbeds are not as preferred as other mattress types.
For additional ergonomic support, mattress shoppers prefer adjustable beds with specially-designed mattresses. Air beds are great for improving blood flow while reducing the pressure from different parts of the body. They come with a multi-hinged base that can be motorised for customised comfort. This way, you can adjust the headrest, footrest or elevate both.
Adjustable beds are beneficial in alleviating stress, reducing swelling, improving blood circulation, and increasing comfort. However, with all these benefits, you should expect significantly pricier adjustable beds compared to other mattresses.
Futon and Sofa Bed
You got it right. A sofa bed is a fusion of a sofa and a bed frame. It generally looks like a sofa but with a wider surface that can be converted into a cushioned bed frame. This can be folded or pulled out depending on the type of sofa bed. Some sofa beds come with built-in storage compartments to keep linens and beddings within reach. These are convenient for sleepovers or temporary use but are not cosy enough as the standard bed frame and mattress alternatives.
Mattress Types According to Firmness
Mattress firmness has a considerable role in providing comfort and body support during sleep. Determining the right mattress firmness is crucial to ensuring the mattress can help maintain the natural alignment of your spine when resting.
Firmness is determined on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. The 10-point firmness scale is described by classifications.
Very Soft Mattress (1-2 Firmness Scale)
There are not many mattresses with this firmness level on sale since they provide a super plush feel but less support.
Soft Mattress (3-4 Firmness Scale)
These mattresses offer more support than 1-2 scaled mattresses. They also contour the body while relieving pressure from areas that usually hold the weight when we lie down. These mattresses are chosen by many light and side sleepers. However, these plush varieties have a shorter lifespan than firm mattresses as they lose their shapes faster.
Medium Firm Mattress (5-6 Firmness Scale)
Medium firm mattresses combine a comfortable medium firm feel while providing excellent foundations for many sleeping positions. Being in the middle of the scale, medium mattresses offer the balance that most shoppers look for. Moreover, they are great bases for back sleepers and combination sleepers who suffer from back and joint pains.
Many shoppers also prefer this medium firmness level as it provides a balance of comfort and support.
Extra Firm Mattress (7-8 Firmness Scale)
Users who like sleeping "on" the bed choose a firm mattress. This mattress provides a push-back feel when you lie down, aligning your spine correctly without putting unnecessary weight on your back, hips, and shoulders.
Those who love their firm beds usually add a softer mattress topper to give the bed a cloudy mattress feel.
Very Firm Mattress (9-10 Firmness Scale)
Like a very soft mattress, a very firm mattress is not as popular as medium firm mattresses. It provides a little to no hugging feel.
Mattress Types According to Size
There are many mattress sizes in the market in different price range. Interestingly, sizes can differ from one place to another. In Singapore, the major mattress sizes are single, super single, queen, and king mattresses.
A single mattress measures 91 cm x 190 cm, the smallest one on this list. This size is ideal for kids or single adults. It can also be utilised for bunk beds, trundles, and daybeds.
Super Single Mattress
A super single mattress has a dimension of 107 cm x 190 cm, wider than its single counterpart. This is an efficient choice for individual back sleepers dealing with back pain and combination sleepers who often toss and turn during snooze.
Queen Size Mattress
A queen mattress is among the most popular sizes sold every year. Many bed sharers opt for this size because it is spacious but does not take up much floor space compared to a king sized mattress. A queen mattress can fit two adults with its 152 cm x 190 cm dimension. It also provides individual users ample space to toss and turn.
If you need a bigger sleeping surface but contemplate your available area, a queen bed might be one of your best mattress choices.
King Size Mattress
The king-size mattresses are some of the best mattresses for families or partners who want more sleep surfaces. Measuring 182 cm x 190 cm, they offer a wider allowance for mattress users without compromising comfort. When buying a king mattress, correctly measure your room and set your budget, as they can be pricey compared to smaller mattress sizes.
What Type of Mattress is the Best?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing a mattress. All mattress types have pros and cons, so selecting one means maximising the benefits based on your slumber needs. Individual preferences also play a big part in weighing the most suitable mattress.
How to Choose the Best Mattress
While many mattress companies claim that they have the best mattresses for comfort and relieving back pain, there are many factors to consider to make sure you will really bring one home. They might be telling the truth, though. Some varieties can be considered the best mattresses for specific sleeping needs, while other shoppers might benefit from another. Before shopping for a new mattress, ask these questions first:
Does my current mattress give the proper comfort and support I need? Do I need to switch to another type?
- What is my preferred sleeping position?
- How many people will sleep on the mattress?
- What is the size of my room?
- How much is my budget?
- Shall I shop for my mattress online?
Does Your Current Mattress Provide the Support that You Need?
Suppose your mattress is not that old enough to be replaced, but you are experiencing back pain every time you snooze. You might need to reconsider your sleep solution. This is a good benchmark for buying a new mattress or upgrading with a mattress topper.
In What Position Do You Sleep?
Your sleeping position plays a big role in choosing your foam firmness and material.
Back sleepers prefer medium soft to medium firm mattresses.
Side sleepers favour soft mattresses.
Stomach sleepers need firmer mattresses.
Combination sleepers will benefit from a medium firm bed.
Note: If unsure what your prominent sleeping position is, we recommend observing how you settle on your bed and wake up.
Will You Share Your Mattress with Someone?
For bed sharers, it's vital to check both your sleeping positions and preferences before shopping. Medium firm to firmer mattress types are generally chosen by mattress sharers, especially back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Consider mattress toppers if opting for firmer options if you are a side sleeper.
What is the Size of Your Bedroom?
Is your room spacious enough for a king size mattress? How much allowance can you maintain between your bed and other bedroom furniture in your home? Can a bigger mattress fit your door? These questions can help you shortlist the best mattresses for your room size.
How Much is Your Budget?
The aim is to buy the best mattress possible within your price range. It's also important to weigh the quality that comes with the price, as many high-end mattresses provide better comfort and longevity than budget mattresses. It's also good to note that some mattress manufacturers, especially those tagged luxury brands, charge more. In this case, explore more options outside what's already familiar. When shopping for a bed or anything in general, it's wise to determine your budget plan before purchasing.
Should You Buy Your Mattress Online?
It depends. Some mattress shoppers prefer feeling the mattress in person, while others go for hassle-free online mattress shopping.
If searching for the best mattresses in person, try lying on the mattress in your prominent sleeping position. If you are a side sleeper, lie down sideways. For back sleepers, lie on the mattress backwards.
If looking for a wider assortment of mattresses in Singapore with a significantly more affordable price range, we recommend shopping online. If worried about the quality or mattress feel, retailers offer a 100-day trial period to experience your best mattress purchase.
Megafurniture takes your sleep quality seriously. We strive to curate the best mattresses, bed frames, and sleep products to help you experience a restful slumber. To know more about our premium home products in Singapore, connect with us at Megafurniture.sg.