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We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Understanding Mattress Types

Jake Comfort  |  Updated: January 2024

Jake Comfort  |  Updated: January 2024

We have an affiliate relationship with and receive compensation from companies whose products we review on this site. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

It wasn’t that long ago that the only choice you had in mattress types was between “soft” and “firm”. However, leaps in sleep technology have created a ton of different types of mattresses. We’ll look at five of the most popular types of mattresses today. We’ll explain the qualities that each mattress has, and go over the pros and cons. Use this information to help find the right type of mattress for you.

Understanding Mattress Types

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are increasingly popular. This is for two reasons. First, memory foam mattresses can provide a truly unique feeling that many people love. Second, the rise of internet shopping and enhanced manufacturing techniques means that memory foam mattresses are more affordable than ever!


Memory foam is defined by its ability to contour to your body as you sleep. While there are lots of different types of memory foam, they all form a type of pocket that reacts to the heat and pressure of the sleeper. This creates a unique cradling effect that many sleepers love.

Memory foam mattresses can come in almost any firmness level, from soft to extra firm. Additionally, they come in any size and there are a ton of different options on the market. That means lots of options for the discerning sleeper!

Pros of Memory Foam Mattresses

The biggest advantage that memory foam mattresses have is their ability to contour and cradle your body while you sleep. Many people find that these does a good job of helping to relieve pressure points that cause you to wake up with aches and pains or cause you to feel unrested in the morning.

Another advantage of memory foam mattresses is that they do a good job preventing motion transfer. This is important for couples, especially those that are light sleepers and/or tossers and turners in the night.

Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses

The biggest drawback of memory foam mattresses is that they are more likely to retain heat than traditional mattresses. This is because memory foam mattresses don’t have the same kind of airflow that traditional innerspring mattresses have. However, many new technologies, like gel-infused foam, open cell foam, and more, do a lot to limit this issue.

Some people sometimes feel like they are sinking into a memory foam mattress. This can be an unpleasant sensation for some. It can also make it a bit more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, as these mattresses lack the bounce you get with an innerspring mattress.

Understanding Mattress Types


Innerspring mattresses are what we traditionally think of as mattresses. They’re made by creating a series of interconnected or independent springs. These form the core of the bed. Innerspring mattresses use some kind of padding or pillowing on the top and bottom of the mattress to provide a soft sleeping surface.


Innerspring mattresses act like you think a mattress should. They’re usually rather bouncy. They can come in any level of firmness. Additionally, there are lots of different ways for the innerspring system to be set up. That includes things like independently wrapped coils, different types and densities of springs in different sections of the bed, and so on. As a result, you can find almost any mattress quality in an innerspring mattress.

Pros of Innerspring Mattresses

The biggest benefits of innerspring mattresses center around the fact that, for many people, an innerspring mattress is what they think of when they think of going to bed. This level of familiarity makes them very appealing to lots of sleepers.

Additionally, innerspring mattresses provide the best bounce out of all mattress types. This is important to help people get out of bed in the morning and for adult fun time. This bouncy quality also makes it easier to do things like use the mattress to help you get dressed in the morning, as it’s much easier to sit on and stand up from innerspring mattresses to do things like put on socks.

Finally, innerspring mattresses tend to be very good at dispersing heat. That’s because they have a lot of room inside for air to move around. As a result, this helps move heat away from your body while bringing constant fresh, cool air.

Cons of Innerspring Mattresses

There are some drawbacks when it comes to innerspring mattresses. First, these mattresses can come in a wide range of qualities. That means you need to be extra careful when shopping to ensure that you’re getting a mattress that will last.

Another issue with innerspring mattresses is that they can wear down over time. That means you might not get the same sleep experience over the course of using the mattress.

Understanding Mattress Types

Latex Foam

Latex foam mattresses are increasingly popular. They bring a lot of the positive qualities of memory foam mattresses while providing other qualities that more closely resemble traditional innerspring mattresses.


Latex mattresses provide a unique combination of qualities. They have the body-contouring properties of memory foam, while also providing more bounce than memory foam offers. Additionally, the contour created by latex foam is more rounded and less sharp than what you get with memory foam, which makes it a good option for sleepers who want a foam mattress but don’t like the sinking feeling they can sometimes get from memory foam.

Pros of Latex Foam Mattresses

The biggest benefit of latex foam mattresses is their unique combination of qualities. You can get the body-hugging feel of memory foam, but with more bounce. Additionally, you get this extra bounce without the motion transfer issues that you can sometimes get with innerspring mattresses.

Cons of Latex Foam Mattresses

There are a few drawbacks for latex foam mattresses. First, there are lots of people who are allergic to latex. That means you’ll want to be sure you know your allergies before you invest in one of these mattresses.

Also, latex mattresses tend to have a higher price point than either memory foam or innerspring mattresses. As a result, they can be more expensive than some sleepers are willing or able to pay for a new mattress.

Finally, while latex mattresses provide a combination of qualities from innerspring and memory foam mattresses, these qualities aren’t as intense as you’d get with those types of mattresses. For example, a latex foam mattress has more bounce than a memory foam mattress, but it won’t have nearly as much as an innerspring mattress. That means they can be a mixed bag for some sleepers.

Understanding Mattress Types


Hybrid mattresses are a wide range of different mattress types. It’s important to note that sometimes manufacturers use the term hybrid to describe a mattress with multiple types of foam. While that’s not wrong, the term is more commonly understood to mean a mattress that combines memory and/or latex foam with an innerspring design.


The qualities of a hybrid mattress are much closer to an exact combination of memory foam and innerspring mattresses. That’s because these mattresses are made from both of those materials and use both of those construction types.

As a result, you get the feel and bounce you’d expect from an innerspring mattress, while also getting the contouring and feel that makes memory foam so popular.

One of the biggest draws for hybrid mattresses is that they can have almost any combination of qualities. Therefore, they’re a great place to look if you know exactly what you want out of a bed. However, this means that you might need to spend more time shopping and trying different mattresses to ensure you get the feeling and support that you’re looking for.

Pros of Hybrid Mattresses

The first pro of hybrid mattresses is that there’s a seemingly limitless number of ways to combine different foams and innerspring systems. That means you can almost certainly find a hybrid mattress that has all of the qualities you want and none of the qualities you want to avoid.

Hybrid mattresses are also a great option for people that want the feel of memory foam, but also want to ensure they stay cool while they sleep. That’s because the innerspring system in a hybrid mattress does a great job at providing enhanced airflow. This helps remove hot air and moisture while circulating cool, fresh air through the mattress.

Finally, hybrid mattresses do a great job of using planning and science to produce the best sleep experience possible. After all, making a mattress using multiple materials and construction techniques takes a lot more forethought than just using memory foam. That means your mattress is more likely to deliver on its promises. For example, hybrid mattresses are some of the best options when it comes to reliving pressure points and making sure you get the support you need, where you need it.

Cons of Hybrid Mattresses

There are a few drawbacks when it comes to hybrid mattresses. The first issue is the price. Hybrid mattresses are more time-consuming to construct. They require a wider range of materials and construction techniques. That means they’re more expensive to make, and thus, more expensive to buy in most cases.

Additionally, it can be hard to find the hybrid mattress that has everything you want. Just like with most things, the fact that a hybrid mattress tries to do everything means that sometimes it won’t do anything especially well. As a result, you can find yourself disappointed that you don’t get the full feel of the qualities you’re looking for.

Finally, hybrid mattresses share many of the cons of the main mattress types. The innerspring system is more prone to wear and tear, the foam construction means that you’ll get more heat retention than you’d find in a traditional innerspring mattress, and the springs inside mean that you won’t get the same deep-contour feeling you get from latex and memory foam.

Understanding Mattress Types

Natural and Organic

Finally, we’ll talk about natural and organic mattresses. These mattresses are increasingly popular as people understand the impact their buying choices can have on the environment. Additionally, they’re an incredibly popular choice for those who prefer sustainable materials in the goods they buy and people that have sensitive allergies to commonly used chemicals.


The qualities of a natural or organic mattress are very flexible. That’s because natural and organic mattresses describe the materials in the mattress, rather than the type of mattress. For example, you can have an innerspring mattress made from all natural or organic materials. You can also have a latex foam mattress made from organic latex.

As a result, there aren’t a ton of overlapping qualities for natural and organic mattresses. However, that can be a good thing, as it means that it’s likely you can find the type of mattress you want made with completely natural and/or organic materials.

Pros of Natural and Organic Mattresses

One of the best things about natural and organic mattresses is that they don’t contain any kind of chemical or chemical residue from their construction. That means people with sensitive skin or allergies to commonly used chemicals can be sure they can get a comfortable night’s sleep.

Natural and organic mattresses can also help the environment. Many natural and organic mattress companies make a point to use sustainable materials in their construction. That means sleeping on an organic mattress can help protect the environment.

Finally, organic and natural mattresses give a wonderful sense of luxury. For example, many mattresses have great and comfortable pillow tops. However, the feeling of a pillow-top made from organic cotton and stuffed with Joma wool is something that just can’t be replicated.

Cons of Natural and Organic Mattresses

The biggest downside of natural and organic mattresses is the cost. These mattresses will, on average, be 15-30% more expensive than similar mattresses. That means you need to be ready to pay a premium to enjoy the comfort of natural and organic mattresses.

Additionally, while many people have allergies or bad reactions to chemicals, there are also lots of people who have allergies to natural materials. That means you’ll want to be sure that you’re not allergic to anything in these mattresses before you purchase one.