What's Inside a Spring Mattress? Mostly Fluff & Air!
Have you looked inside your mattress lately?
Where are you at in your mattress life cycle? Do you fall into any of the Mattress Problems discussed below? Do you own a spring mattress?
Spring Mattress technology was patented in 1865. However it wasn't until 1930 (65 years later) that spring mattresses became dominant in the bedding industry. We started selling full foam mattresses in 1988, long before there was Tempurpedic, Sleep Country Canada, spring mattresses imported from China and people selling cheaper memory foam mattresses on the internet.
Full foam mattresses have become so popular that even the big three spring mattress manufacturers are now offering full foam mattresses in their line-ups. The problem is they are not using the best quality of foam available because they are banking on the fact that most people do not know any better or do not have the time to check on the details. Advertising is good but sometimes it is used to create perceptions that may or may not be true. We know better and before you buy your next mattress, so should you.
1. Spring Mattress Construction
The picture above shows what a spring mattress looks like from the inside out. A lot of the spring cores are imported from China in a 1 inch thickness. When you pop the clips, which are holding them down, they spring up to an 8" thickness. Do you realize that 7 of those 8" are made up of air? That is how they fill the space and make the mattress look more substantial. You are paying for mostly air. Pocket Coil mattresses are no different. They too are made up of mostly air. However, somebody decided to cover the spring units with a thin layer of lining maybe to hide the fact that there is a lot of air between the thin amounts of wire.
On top of the spring core, they put some sisal, cotton felt, light weight foam and polyester fibre. Then more of these light weight fluff materials are quilted in the cover to give you a pillow top. It looks great on the showroom floor but you can see body impressions in your mattress as soon as 3 to 6 months of regular normal use. When you call for warranty then you discover that the warranty mostly applies to the spring core of your mattress and any softening or sagging (up to 1.5" of your comfort layers is considered normal wear). It does not have to be like that.
2. Don't forget to Rotate your mattress
Spring mattresses need to be rotated every 3 months to prolong the inevitable - premature sagging of your comfort zone. The density of the most commonly used toppers is 1.0 lb to 1.3 lbs per cubic foot. We know this because we have been supplying spring mattress manufacturers with foam toppers since 1988.
Our All Natural Latex toppers are 5.0 lbs/cu ft. That is five times as much weight as spring mattress toppers. More weight means more material and less air. . Good quality full foam mattresses do not need to be rotated or flipped. They are truly maintenance free. They are heavier and they will give you better comfort and support for a longer period of time. They are more expensive to make. Most things are more expensive than Air. However, you should also keep in mind that where you buy your mattress will also have a lot to do with how much you will pay for it. If you want better value then you should shop factory direct where you can get better quality for a lot less. You will also find better quality modern options that are too expensive to sell in retail stores.
3. The Lowest Price does not always give you the best Value
My Dad used to say, "we cannot afford to buy this again". That is why we made sure to always do our homework so that we could buy the right product and get the best value. Unfortunately to a lot of people this means buying a mattress from a store that advertises the lowest price. Again, based on nearly 30 years of experience in supplying foam and in selling mattresses, we can tell you that the lowest price will not always give you the best value. Not if you have to replace your 20 year mattress after 3 years of use because the comfort layers have sagged and the warranty does not cover them. Similarly, falling for bait and switch advertising and paying a higher price from a retail store will not guarantee that you are getting the best quality or value. A lot of people visit our showroom with this common complaint, "We paid a lot for this mattress. It was the most expensive mattress on the floor. We can't believe that it only lasted 5 years and now it is very uncomfortable".
4. The Highest Price does not always equal the Best Quality
Similarly, falling for bait and switch advertising and paying a higher price from a retail store will not guarantee that you are getting the best quality or value. A lot of people visit our showroom with this common complaint, "We paid a lot for this mattress. It was the most expensive mattress on the floor. We can't believe that it only lasted 5 years and now it is very uncomfortable".
Paying the most for your mattress does not mean that you got the best quality materials on the inside. Spring mattresses are 'Old Technology'. They are sealed so that you cannot look inside. All our mattress covers are made with zippers so that you can check and make sure you got exactly what you ordered and so we can easily make changes to your mattress if your needs or preference change in the future. Spring mattresses are still popular because they are inexpensive to produce and the people that sell them can make very high profit margins.
Believe it or not, a couple that was in our Vaughan Showroom actually turned to each other, away from the salesperson, and said, "this memory foam mattress can't be as good as the one we saw at the last store (they specialized in selling carpets) because it is $1,000 less". They did not understand the concept of shopping factory direct and how, if you go to the right source, you can get better quality for less. Really? Would you go to a mattress store to get a good deal on a carpet?
5. My mattress is Very Noisy
It is very common for spring mattresses to start squeaking after a short period of time. Box springs that are made with cardboard toppers will also start to creak as the temperature gets colder and the air inside your house becomes drier. Consider that most people toss and turn up to 80 times a night - that is a lot of noise that will keep you awake. According to lab tests people turn 60 to 80 times a night when they are sleep on a mattress that is the wrong firmness or when they sleep on a spring mattress that has lost its comfort zone.
If you are sleeping with someone, not only do you have to find a way to sleep through your entire noise making but theirs as well. Full foam mattresses do not make noise and they can be properly configured, using our Ergocheck Testing, to make sure that you are sleeping on the right firmness.
6. My partner and I have Different Needs
I am 6 ft and weigh 250 lbs. My wife is 5 ft and weighs 165 lbs. I need a firmer mattress to support my weight. I also find that a firmer mattress also helps to relieve my lower back pain. On the other hand, my wife likes a softer mattress and complains about constant numbness and pressure points in her shoulders.
At Foamite, we can give you what you both need or want on your side of the bed. The trick is layering the mattress with the right grades of foam that will give you the right comfort and support. Unfortunately it is not as easy as saying soft, medium or firm. There are varying degrees of firmness and countless combinations to suit your weight, back condition and preference on your side of the bed.
7. I sleep better on the couch...
A firm bed resists rather than conforms to the natural contours of your body. When a spring mattress loses the top 2 or 3" of comfort it can be very uncomfortable trying to sleep on the springs alone. Some people retreat to the couch which is made with 4 to 6 inches of foam. If the foam is not too hard you can get a more comfortable sleep on your couch than you would on a spring mattress that has lost its comfort.
Even though full foam mattresses are the fastest growing sleep surface, falling asleep on the couch is one way that people start thinking about foam as their primary sleep surface. However, even with foam you must be careful because not all foam is created equal. Along with making mattresses we also cut foam to size for use in sofa cushions. If you want you can try our foam in your sofa first, before committing to one of our mattresses.
8. I bought a Memory Foam mattress on the Internet
One customer originally bought a memory foam mattress on the internet but after only 3 months of use he was fighting the company to get his money back. He only got a portion of his money back but instead of turning away from foam mattresses he started researching the market to find out what really makes a good foam mattress. He was originally attracted to the lower price and really didn't pay much attention to the details (what made up the mattress) until after it was too late. Believe it or not, a lot of people come to us after having a bad mattress experience.
He was originally bothered by the strong chemical odour that came from the mattress. They said it would go away after 2 weeks but it was 3 months and the off-gassing was still there. He also found the mattress very uncomfortable and after exchanging a few emails with him we soon found out why. When he asked the company what quality of foam the mattress was made with they said, "It was made with a high grade of memory foam, which ensures longer durability and better support." Notice how they didn’t talk about specific weights and densities. Whenever you buy a mattress you should always ask about the density of the foam used in the topper. You should also know that there are over 45 grades of foam that can be used and they are not all the same.
The other thing that stuck out was that they said the memory foam was put on a cemented core of polyurethane foam. Wow the word 'cement' sounds hard to me and probably the last thing you would want under a layer of very soft memory foam. You will go right through the memory foam and feel the harder lumpy foam that is under it. Little did they know that memory foam works as a system with all the other layers that support it.
I am sure what this inexperienced salesperson was saying was that the core was made up of recycled scrap foam that was shredded down and joined together with foam adhesive or in this case 'cement glue'. Spring mattress manufacturers use air to fill the space others use scrap foam. The problem with scrap foam is that your mattress will feel lumpy because there are so many different compressions that are shredded together. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with a mattress like this but it is a good indicator of how a company like this operates.
9. My "Natural" Latex Mattress is very uncomfortable
We bought a nice looking mattress that was sold to us by a high-end mattress store in the city as a 'natural latex' mattress. When we got it home we found out that the legal label that was on the mattress described it as only 21% latex and 79% polyurethane foam. We had some discussions with the store and did some local research. That is when we found out and remembered that the sales staff, at this store, routinely described this mattress as 100% natural latex.
The store offered us a replacement mattress but we decided to keep the mattress because it was comfortable. We accepted their assurance that they would educate their staff and they gave us a $75 gift voucher. Six months later the bed was really uncomfortable. It has become lumpy and very soft in some areas. The pillow top has become distorted even though neither my wife nor I are particularly heavy. We paid a lot for this mattress and it is not even what we were told it was. This sucks and we now feel very helpless since the store won't even return our calls.
Everyone says that they have the 'best quality' or the 'most natural' or foam 'just like Foamite'. At Foamite, we believe in certified quality. Our products have been tested by independent labs and they are certified. If they were not we would not stock them or support the suppliers that made them.
10. Nobody sees my mattress, it's not that important to me
It's unfortunate but it is true. People will spend thousands of dollars on designer clothes, shoes and things like dining room sets that they may only use a couple of times a year. However, when it comes to mattress shopping they will buy the cheapest mattress thinking that it is not as important because nobody sees it.
If you are one of these people you should know that very few things are as important as a good night's sleep. Sleeping better on a good, properly configured mattress will provide you with a number of key benefits - you will look, feel, heal and think better. You spend a third of your life in bed, why not use that time properly so that you can be the best that you can be. It is very important to sleep better.
11. Our mattress was a Wedding Gift... it only lasted 4 years
Many newlyweds have never had to purchase their own mattress before they get married. In many cases their parents will still advise them on what to buy. They may even buy a mattress set for them as a wedding gift. Even though many things have changed in the mattress industry over the years, many parents usually purchase the same old technology that they were aware of when they bought their last mattress. They may even buy an overly firm mattress based on the old adage that a firmer mattress is better for their back.
Don't do it parents. Everyone is different and we have the options (including our marriage saver mattress) that give them both people what they need and want on their own side of the bed.
12. We can't find our Custom Sized mattress anywhere
We can make any size mattress you need. In fact, we specialize in mattresses for round beds, antique beds, camps, hospital beds, boats, recreational vehicles, specialty kid's beds, antique cribs and family beds. We also did not know what a family bed was until we made one. It is the size of a king mattress with an extra long single attached to it. It was a very big mattress but we had no problems bending it to put it into our delivery truck or take it up the stairs in the customer's home.