There are a number of mattress technologies on the market today. Here is a brief overview of the options available to consumers.
Traditional spring mattresses (Open Coil)
Spring mattresses come in a number of different formats but the principle has remained broadly the same since the early 1900s: a series of coils are housed within the fabric of the mattress.
By varying the thickness of the wire, the density of coils, the height of each spring, manufacturers can create different mattress tensions to suit the weight and physiology of an individual.
However, spring mattresses are considered to be inferior to newer mattress technologies in terms of weight distribution and pressure relief. The centre of a spring mattress is typically much softer than the edges and, as the integrity
of the coils are compromised over time, the surface can become lumpy and uneven. This uneven upward pressure from the springs may aggravate existing aches and pains.
Pocket spring mattresses
Pocket spring mattresses were developed to provide sleepers with greater support and pressure relief than traditional spring mattresses. The coils of pocket springs are clustered into small groups and wrapped within a pocket of
fabric, providing more even support than traditional spring mattresses.
Arranging each cluster of springs in this way helps the mattress to adjust to the contours of the body and reduces roll-together, which leads to partners disturbing each other at night.
Pocket spring mattresses can also come in a broad range of tensions from hard to soft.
Pocket spring mattresses can be combined with other technologies such as Medical Grade Foam, memory foam or latex to create “Hybrid” mattresses to counter act the negative pressure caused by the springs ‘fighting back’.
Latex is a material made by harvesting the sap of the rubber tree. Latex is known as a durable mattress technology with significant elasticity. This allows it to adapt to the shape of a sleeper quickly to support an even distribution of weight.
Latex is often found to be a cooler alternative to memory foam, although the “spongy” feel is not to all tastes.
Memory foam mattresses
Memory foam mattresses have grown in popularity over the last couple of decades due to their ability to respond to the shape and pressure exerted by an individual. It was a big step forward in mattress technologies.
The most widely known Memory Foam technology is visco elastic foam, which is a material originally used in space travel and has been more recently manufactured in a range of densities and tensions for the general public sleep on.
One complaint commonly made about memory foam mattresses is that they lead to sleepers getting too hot.
Memory foam requires body heat to mould to the shape of the body and deliver comfort at night. This means:
1. Finding comfort can take time depending on the
temperature of the mattress
2. Mattresses may deliver different levels of support and
pressure relief depending on the season and room
3. Sleepers may overheat as heat cannot escape easily.
Gel foam mattresses
Gel mattresses offer similar benefits to memory foam in terms of pressure relief and support. Typically, these mattress technologies incorporate small beads of gel alongside the other ingredients of the foam mix. While gel foam mattresses may feel similar to memory foam mattresses they are considered to dissipate heat more effectively.
Medical Grade™ Foam mattresses
Medical Grade™ Foam is a technology derived from the high specification foam used in healthcare. Arguably the first mattress technology designed specifically for the human body, Medical Grade™ Foam is considered to be the next
evolution of memory/visco-elastic foam. This technology responds immediately to the shape and weight of each sleeper without the need for heat, making it more responsive and less hot, whilst eliminating partner “roll-together” through the night.
Medical Grade™ Foam is the first sleep technology registered as a pressure relief device with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
*Mammoth’s mattress technologies are also recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for their pressure relieving and temperature regulating properties. Medical Grade™ Foam is also known to be a
highly durable material, resistant to perishing and sagging.
*Clinical guideline number 179.
Ultimately, choosing a mattress comes down to a matterof taste and comfort. It is always important to test drive different materials and technologies thoroughly before purchasing.