The most widely purchased type of bedding uses the support of tempered steel coils in a variety of configurations. Layers of upholstery provide insulation and cushioning between your body and the spring unit. The result of this basic approach, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, is a full range of comfort choices. Quality tip: You can't judge the quality of a mattress solely on the number of coils it contains. A high coil count doesn't automatically mean it's a better product. It's a combination of top quality innerspring system and superior upholstery materials that makes the difference.
Solid foam mattresses also offer a wide choice of "feels". They can be made of a solid core or of several layers of different types of foam laminated together. Advanced technology in polyurethane foams, refinements to traditional latex foams and the new viscoelastic foams have added to the choice of comfort, support and performance.
A good foundation (box spring) is as important as a good mattress. Don't put a new mattress on an old foundation. When you select the mattress, purchase its companion foundation—the two are designed to work best together. In fact, buying the mattress without its matching foundation may affect the terms of the warranty.
Don't Forget The Pillow. Just as your bed should provide good support for your body, your pillow should give you the right cushioning to position your head and neck properly. It should hold your head in the same relation to your shoulders and spine as if you were standing with correct upright posture. If you sleep on your side, you may want a fairly firm pillow to give your head and neck extra support. If you sleep on your back, try a medium-firm pillow to cradle your head with more "give". And if you sleep on your stomach (although some physicians caution against this position), choose a soft pillow to lessen the strain on your neck.
Mattresses have gotten more comfortable over the past decade, and in many cases, they have also gotten thicker as more layers of surface cushioning have been added. Mattress shoppers are often concerned that they won't be able to find sheets to fit these plush, extra-thick models. But fortunately, bed linens have adapted to these state-of- the-art mattresses and foundations. Sheets, comforters and mattress pads for these new, thicker mattresses are readily available, and often noted on packaging as compatible with "extra deep" mattresses or featuring "deep pocket" construction. In fact, bed linens today are offered in a wide range of sizes, from standard to extra deep, with specialty sizes designed for futons, day beds, flotation beds and even dorm mattresses. Whatever your choice, rest assured there are linens made to fit just right.