When it’s time to a buy a new mattress, consumers face many more choices than they did even 10 years ago. Gone are the days when the decision making process was simply about the firmness of the springs and the plushness of the pillow top. Today, before you can begin to whittle down your choices, you must learn about the pros and cons of various materials used to make mattresses.

Latex Mattresses

Before discussing the pros and cons of latex mattresses, it’s important to point out that not all latex is the same. Synthetic latex, natural latex, blended latex, and others all have different properties, so it’s important to learn a bit about the exact type of latex used to make the mattress you’re considering. That being said, latex mattresses have become hugely popular in recent years, and they earn high satisfaction marks from users.


·  Long Lasting: The average mattress needs to be replaced about every 7 years, but a latex mattress can last as long as 12 years without diminished performance.

·  Motion Isolation: If you share a bed with a light sleeper then you’ll appreciate being able to get in and out of bed without disturbing your partner’s sleep.

·  Comfort: Latex is a favorite choice of those seeking pain relief as many report that this type of new mattress helps to relieve lower back pain and pressure points.


·  Compression: This issue occurs more frequently with synthetic latex, so choosing natural latex will help you avoid this issue.

·  Heat: Some users have complained about the mattress trapping heat and causing uncomfortable sleep.

·  Firmness: Some owners find the bed to be too firm, but this problem often subsides after a few weeks of use when the mattress is “broken in.” Those who want more firmness should look for a latex mattress with a higher Impression Load Deflection (ILD). The higher the ILD the firmer the mattress.

·  Weight: If you’ll have to move the mattress on your own, the sheer weight of a latex mattress could be one reason to consider a different material. Since they don’t need to flipped, you wouldn’t have to move it as often as other types of bedding.

Memory Foam Mattresses

We have NASA to thank for the popular memory foam mattress. The soft, energy-absorbent material was originally used for airplane seats and in cushioning for helmets and shoes. Today, many bedrooms are outfitted with memory foam in various forms such as pillows, mattress pads and, of course, mattresses. Like latex, they earn high overall marks from users, but it’s important to understand the pros and cons before investing.


·  Comfort: Users report a high comfort level with their memory foam mattress that doesn’t diminish over time. The mattress also helps to relieve pressure points and aid in pain relief.

·  Hypoallergenic: Allergy sufferers will love the fact that memory foam is resistant to dust mites and other allergens.

·  Long Lasting: Memory foam mattresses are very long lasting, so they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as a traditional mattress. Many memory foam mattresses come with impressive warranties of up to 25 years!

·  No Flipping: You’ll never have to flip your memory foam mattress which is a big plus for people who find that task difficult.

·  Motion Isolation: Memory foam is another good choice when no transfer of movement is an important feature to you.


·  Heat: Users have complained that the same features that make the mattress so comfortable, such as how it cradles the body, also make it uncomfortably hot. The good news is that the addition of open cell technology and gel has made these new mattresses much cooler and more comfortable. If you choose memory foam, be sure the mattress has these features.

·  Odor: Some have complained of the mattress giving off an unpleasant odor, but this is usually because they have not allowed the mattress to properly air out. Following manufacturer care guidelines will likely eliminate this issue.

·  Climate Changes the Feel: In colder climates, the mattress may feel firmer than in warmer climates. This is something you must consider when selecting your new mattress.

Innerspring Mattresses

For many years, this was the most popular type of new mattress, and it remains a top pick. When in search of a new mattress, some consumers turn first to innerspring mattresses simply because it’s what they’ve always known, but are they the best choice?


·  Lower Cost: You can find a mattress of this type for less than those made from other materials.

·  Comfort: With so many options available, it’s easy to find an innerspring mattress that matches your ideal in terms of firmness and other comfort factors.

·  Ventilation of Body Heat: Because there is space between the coils, your body heat is dispersed more easily than it is with latex and certain types of memory foam.


·  Not Hypoallergenic: If you use this type of mattress, you’ll need to keep a hypoallergenic cover on it at all times to prevent dust mites and other allergens.

·  Movement is Not Isolated: If you get up in the middle of the night, your light-sleeping partner is going to be disturbed.

·  Shorter Life: It’s recommended that typical innerspring mattresses be replaced every 7 years. While many users report using them for much longer with no decrease in performance, this type of mattress, overall, is not as long lasting as the others.

·  Lower User Satisfaction: When compared to memory foam and latex, innerspring mattresses score lower in user satisfaction. However, it’s important keep in mind that the quality of innerspring mattresses varies wildly, and users of top quality mattresses give higher scores.

Air Beds

Air beds have an almost cult-like following. People who love them REALLY love them but, like the others on the list, they have their pros and cons.


·  Easily Adjusted: Unlike other beds, this one can be adjusted to suit changing preferences. If you want a firmer bed today than you had tomorrow, it’s no problem!

·  Easy to Repair: If a component of an air bed is damaged, it’s fairly easy to repair or replace it rather than having to replace the entire mattress.


·  Cost: A quality air mattress is going to cost much more than the other types of new mattresses on this list.

·  Air Leakage: You have to add air to the bed occasionally, which is fine—unless it’s the middle of the night.

You might be tempted to skip learning about the various materials and just buy the first mattress that seems comfortable. Resist that temptation! A little research will go a long way in helping you find the new mattress that is best for you, and that you’ll love for the next seven years or so until it’s time to do it all over again!