|Mattress Tips Furniture Buying
Standard Mattress Sizes:
- Crib: 27” Wide x 52” Long
- Twin: 39” Wide x 75” Long
- Extra Long Twin: 39” Wide x 80” Long
- Full: 54” wide x 75” Long
- Queen: 60” Wide x 80” Long
- King: 76” Wide x 80” Long
- California King: 72” Wide x 84” Long
Various manufacturers build their Mattresses in
different ways and may have different terms to describe the same thing.
Here are some of the more common terms (and their
explanations) that you'll run into.
The support needed for a good night’s sleep is supplied by the spring
This is the support system utilized in a mattress.
While there are a variety of
support systems...most will fall under one of these categories:
- Pocketed Coils: The
spring unit is composed of pre-compressed coil springs individually
encased in fabric pockets. (You may also see them referred to as
"Marshall Spring Units")
- Coil Spring: The spring system is held together by small continuous coil
springs called helical springs. Offset Bonnell units are very much the
same. (You may also see them referred to as... “Bonnell Coil
All quality manufacturers of mattresses use coils made from high carbon
steel measuring between 12 ¾ and 15 ½ gauges. (The thicker the steel, the lower the
12 ¾ gauge steel is the thickest used to produce
mattress coils. Steel thicker than 12 ¾ would be too firm to depress
properly under the sleeper’s body weight.
Steel thinner than 15 ½ would be too thin and
could not support our body weight over an extended period of time.
While I am not aware of any manufacturer using steel thinner than 15 1/2
gauge...there may be some out there. My advice...don't be tempted by a
low price...stay away from them.
What Else Makes Up A Mattress?
The Insulator: A pad, netting or wire arrangement.
Almost all mattresses have some form of insulation over the spring unit to
prevent breakdown in the padding...you don't want the padding to start
migrating down into the springs.
The Padding: The cushion that
determines the comfort factor is supplied by the padding overlaying the
insulator. This cushioning material is usually made up of cotton, felt,
foam or a synthetic fiber.
The Outer Covering: This is
what you see when you look at a mattress. It's referred to as the “tick” or ticking
and is the cover
used for the exterior of your mattress. As with almost everything
else...the grades of fabric used for the outer cover vary greatly.
What Determines the Quality Of An Innerspring
- The spring support system
- The insulator and padding used
- The ticking
- The quality of workmanship
What Other types Of Mattresses Are There?
Waterbed: (Make sure
your Waterbed comes with a heater)
Full Flotation: This type of waterbed consists of a
water filled bladder that rests in a liner. The liner offers protection
against water damage due to a bladder puncture or leak. It is supported by
a ridged frame.
A pedestal with a flat top called a "deck" supports
the flotation frame.
Motion Reduced and Motionless...incorporates
baffles, fibers or hydraulic wave reduction systems inside the mattress to
dampen wave motion.
Individual cylinders can also be used to
eliminate side to side wave motion.
Hybrid Waterbeds...combines the
look of an innerspring sleep set and the “feel” of a waterbed.
They can be used with your existing bed frame
and furniture, uses standard bed sheets and are easy to get in and out of.
A hybrid mattress fits on top of a specially
constructed base and looks just like a conventional foundation/box spring.
Slab: Mattress made from a single piece of foam
cut to size.
Lamination: These are produced by combining
two or more types of foam for special “feels”. Such as the use of
convoluted foam (egg carton type) or foam cores with an extra firm
Air mattresses are made up of a vinyl bladder filled with air, covered
with cushioning material and ticking. Looks like a conventional mattress and
it can be adjusted to a desired firmness by adding or releasing a small
amount of air.
Compare quality first and price second.
Don't get caught up in the Salesperson's pitch...they're
pitching the unit that the store makes the most money on or that they
receive the highest commission on or bonus for selling.
Now, in all fairness, I must add, quality does play a big
part in what an ethical salesperson promotes...after all, they don't want to
returning the unit and they want you to come back and purchase.
But, remember...they balance their hip-pocket (wallet)
with quality and offer you a compromise...you have to be educated enough and
assertive enough to make your own hip-pocket (wallet) and comfort your
number one concern.
Never put feelings of the
salesperson over your own best interests...remember, you're just a number to
them, as soon as you leave another customer will take your place...followed
by another and another and other.
It's the duty
of a salesperson to make you feel like their only customer. It's your
duty to remember that you, your family and your pocket book are your prime