Mattress Glossary

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 13, 2024

What is a coil count? What is a Euro top? Well, there are a lot of terminologies when it comes to mattresses. It can be confusing trying to understand all the different types and what they mean. This mattress glossary will help clear up any confusion and explain the basics of mattresses. From coils to foam, you'll have a better understanding of what goes into making a comfortable bed. So, let's get started.mattress glossary

Mattress Types

Foam Mattress

A foam mattress is a type of bedding that is made from polyurethane, memory foam, or latex foam. These mattresses are designed to provide support and comfort for sleepers. Foam mattresses are often considered to be more comfortable than traditional spring mattresses, and they are also quieter and less likely to sag over time.

latex mattress

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses are the most popular type of mattress on the market. They are made with a steel coil support system and are typically topped with a layer of padding. The coils provide support and bounce, while the padding helps to distribute body weight evenly and reduces pressure points.

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are a type of mattress that is made from viscoelastic material. This material is known for its ability to conform to the shape of a person's body, providing support and comfort. This can provide a feeling of being "hugged" by the mattress, which can be beneficial for people with pain or joint issues.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses are a type of mattress that uses latex foam as its primary material. It has a number of advantages over other types of mattresses, including its durability, resilience, and ability to contour to the body. Latex mattresses also have a reputation for being very comfortable and supportive, making them a popular choice for people with back pain or other health conditions.

Natural latex foam mattress

A natural latex foam mattress is made from the sap of rubber trees. The sap is whipped into a froth and then baked, resulting in a material that is both durable and flexible. This process does not use any harmful chemicals. Many people find latex mattresses to be more comfortable than traditional mattresses because they conform to the body's curves. Latex mattresses are also environmentally friendly. This means they are made of natural materials and do not off-gas like some mattresses made with synthetic materials.

Organic latex foam mattress

Organic latex mattresses are made with materials that have been certified by an independent organization as being organically produced. The most important component in an organic latex mattress is the latex itself, which comes from rubber trees. In order to be certified organic, the latex must be processed without the use of harsh chemicals or pesticides. The end result is a more natural product that is better for both your health and the environment.

Synthetic latex foam mattress

A synthetic latex mattress is a synthetically produced mattress that mimics the properties of natural latex. It's usually less expensive than natural latex and organic latex options, but it offers many of the same benefits, including durability and support.

Blended latex foam mattress

A blended latex mattress is made of a combination of natural and synthetic latex. The percentage of each can vary, but most blended latex mattresses contain about 30% natural latex and 70% synthetic latex.

Egg crate foam mattress

Egg crate foam mattresses, also known as convoluted foam mattresses, are a type of mattress that uses a foam material to create a raised, egg-crate-like surface. The foam helps to provide support and comfort for the body, and the raised surface helps to improve airflow and promote better circulation. Egg crate foam mattresses are often used in hospitals and nursing homes as they can help to prevent bed sores. However, they can also be used in any home where comfortable sleeping is a priority.

Polyurethane foam mattress

Polyurethane foam mattresses are made from a type of synthetic foam that is derived from petroleum. Polyurethane foam mattresses are generally more affordable than other types of mattresses, making them a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. However, they are not healthy and as durable as other mattress types and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Hybrid mattress

A hybrid mattress combines the support of a coil system with the cushioning of foam. The coils provide firmness and allow air to circulate, while the foam offers pressure relief and contours to the body. This combination can provide a balance of comfort and support, making it a good choice for people who want the best of both worlds.

Pillow top mattress

A pillow top mattress is a type of mattress that has an extra layer of padding sewn into the top. This extra layer can be made from a variety of materials, including down, memory foam, wool, or latex.

Air Mattress

An air mattress is an inflatable mattress, typically made of PVC or other synthetic material, which can be inflated using an air pump. Air mattresses are commonly used as temporary beds, for camping, and as guest beds. They are also used in health care for patients who need to be temporarily bedridden. Air mattresses are generally more comfortable than sleeping on the ground, but they can be less comfortable than a regular mattress.


A water bed is a type of bed in which the mattress is filled with water. Water beds are designed to reduce the amount of pressure on the body, and they are often used by people who have back pain or other medical conditions.

A neat and clean bed with a highly supportive mattress, pillows, and other accessories

Mattress Material Terms


Mattress coils are one of the most important components that make up the support system in an innerspring mattress. They are made of steel, and they provide support and durability to the mattress.


Mattress padding is a type of material used to provide extra comfort and support for a person sleeping on a mattress. There are various types of mattress padding available on the market, including foam, down, and cotton.


Quilting in a mattress refers to the stitching that holds the layers of fabric and filling together. It is generally a decorative feature, but it can also serve to hold the filling in place and prevent it from shifting. Quilting can be done by hand or machine, and the specific design is often determined by the type of mattress being made.


Ticking is the fabric that covers the outside of a mattress. It's usually made from cotton or polyester and helps to protect the mattress from wear and tear.

what is ticking

Mattress Construction Terms

Base layer

The base layer of a mattress is the foundation upon which the rest of the mattress is built. It is typically made of high-density foam or innerspring, and its purpose is to provide support and durability. The base layer is also sometimes referred to as the "support layer," as it is responsible for much of the mattress's overall support.

Comfort layer

The term 'comfort layer' is generally used to refer to the top layer or layers of a mattress that is designed to provide cushioned support and pressure relief. In many cases, the comfort layer or layers will be made of memory foam, latex, or other materials that mold to the contours of the body and distribute weight evenly.

Transition layer

Transition layer refers to the layer that sits between the comfort layer and the support layer in a mattress. The purpose of this layer is to reinforce the comfort layer and provide a buffer between your body and the base materials. This helps to prevent sinkage and provides a smooth transition when moving around on the bed. Transition layers can be made from different materials, including memory foam, latex, or polyfoam.

Mattress core

A mattress core is the central support system of a mattress, and it plays an important role in determining the overall comfort and durability of the mattress.

Insulator layer

An insulator layer is a barrier between the comfort system and the support core of an innerspring mattress. Its main purpose is to prevent the sleep surface from sinking into the spring system. This layer may also modify the feel of the mattress. The most common materials used for the insulator layer are polyfoam, memory foam, and latex foam.

Bonnell coils

Bonnell coils are a type of innerspring coil that's shaped like an hourglass and interconnected with helical metal wires. They're the most common type of coil and can be found in many mattresses on the market. Bonnell coils tend to be less expensive than other types of coils and are not as responsive.

Offset coils

Offset coils are a type of innerspring coil that's shaped like an hourglass with square-off sides. They have a hinging effect that allows them to contour to your body, providing support and pressure relief. They're also more responsive than other Bonnell coils, meaning they'll adjust to your movements more quickly. Offset coils are pretty much expensive.

Pocketed coils

Pocketed coils are a type of innerspring coil that's wrapped in a fabric pocket. This helps to reduce noise and can provide a more comfortable sleeping surface. Pocketed coils are also known as Marshall coils or Wrapped coils.

Continuous coil

Continuous coils are made from a single piece of wire that is formed into a series of loops. These coils are very strong and stable, which makes them ideal for use in innerspring mattresses. They're strong and durable but can be more expensive than other types of coils.

Mattress size Terms

Crib mattress

A crib mattress is a type of mattress specifically designed for infants and toddlers. It measures 27.25 X 51 inches. Crib mattresses are typically smaller than standard twin mattresses.

Twin mattress

The smallest standard mattress size. It's 38 inches wide and 75 inches long.

Twin xl mattress

A twin mattress that's longer than a standard twin mattress. It's 38 inches wide and 80 inches long. You can put two Twin XL together to make a King size bed.

Full mattress

A full-size mattress is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long. It's also known as a "double" mattress.

Full xl mattress

A full-size mattress that's longer than a standard, the measurement is 54 inches x 80 inches.

Queen mattress

The most popular mattress size. A queen-size mattress is 60 inches wide and 80 inches long.

Olympic queen mattress

An Olympic queen mattress is longer than a standard queen mattress. It measures 66 inches wide by 80 inches long—giving you an extra six inches of space to stretch out.

King mattress

The largest standard mattress size. A king-size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long.

California king

California king mattresses are slightly larger than standard king mattresses, measuring 72 X 84 inches. They're a good option for people who need the extra space, but don't want a mattress that's too big for their room.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Wyoming king mattress

A Wyoming king mattress is the smallest oversized mattress measuring 84 X 84 inches. It is as long as a California king mattress but 12 inches wider.

Texas king mattress

A Texas king mattress is a type of oversized mattress that is extra-long and extra-wide, measuring 80 X 98 inches. Although a Texas king is narrower than a Wyoming king, it is still 14 inches long. These mattresses are also 4 inches wider than a king and 8 inches wider than a Cal king.

Alaskan king mattress

An Alaskan king mattress is the largest of the king-sized mattresses measuring 108 X 108 inches. This massive mattress is designed for people who need extra space to sleep, move around, or simply sprawl out.

Family with three children on an oversized mattress

Mattress Foundation Terms

Bed frame

A bed frame is a structure upon which a mattress rests. It typically consists of a headboard, footboard, and side rails. Bedframes are usually made of metal or wood and can be found in a range of styles, from traditional to modern.


A headboard is a type of furniture that's attached to the head of the bed. It's used to support the pillows and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or upholstered fabric.


A footboard is a type of furniture that's attached to the foot of the bed. It can be used to support sheets and blankets and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or upholstered fabric.

Mattress Foundation

Mattress foundation, also known as a bed base, provides a flat and sturdy surface for the mattress, helping to prolong its life and prevent sagging or damage. Most mattress foundations are made of wood or metal, and they typically sit on top of a bed frame.

Box springs

A box spring is a type of mattress foundation that's traditionally used with innerspring mattresses. It has coils that provide support and helps to prolong the life of the mattress.

Platform bed

A platform bed is a type of low-raised bedframe that doesn't require a box spring or foundation. This means you can keep your mattress directly on top of a platform bed. It usually has a solid surface and can be made from a variety of materials, like solid wood or metal, and are suitable for almost all mattress types.

Adjustable base

An adjustable base is a type of foundation that allows you to adjust the position of the mattress. It can be raised or lowered and can provide a more comfortable sleeping surface.

Trundle bed

A trundle bed is a type of bed frame that is designed to be stored underneath another bed. It's designed to be stored underneath another bed when not in use, which makes it perfect for people who want to have an extra bed on hand for guests but don't have a lot of extra space in their bedroom.

Bunk bed

A bunk bed is a type of bed in which one-bed frame is stacked on top of another. Bunk beds are usually used in children's bedrooms, as they are a great way to save space. However, they can also be used in guest rooms or dormitories, as they can accommodate two people in a relatively small amount of space. Bunk beds typically have a ladder leading up to the top bunk, though some models may also include a staircase.


A day bed is a multifunctional bed that can be used both as a bed and as a couch. It has three sides: one side serves as the headboard and the other side as the footboard; there's also an extra long section behind where you lay your arms or rest elbows when sitting up straight against this soft cushioned wall (the backrest).

Mattress Protection Accessories Terms

Mattress toppers

A mattress topper is an added layer that sits on top of your mattress. They are intended to adjust the feel, support, and comfort of your existing mattress as well as protect the mattress surface from wear and tear.

Mattress pad

A mattress pad is a thin layer of padding that's placed on top of the mattress. It adds comfort and protects the mattress from liquids, accidents, and dirt. It can be made from a variety of materials, including memory foam, latex, or down.

Mattress protectors

A mattress protector is a type of protective cover that's placed on top of the mattress. It helps to keep the mattress clean and free from dust, dirt, spills, and stains.

Mattress encasement

A mattress encasement is a six-sided protective barrier that fully covers your mattress. They are made out of a wide variety of materials, and the popular ones include cotton, polyester, and lyocell. The main purpose of a mattress encasement is to protect your mattress from contaminants, such as moisture, mildew, mold, dust mites, pet dander, etc.

Bedding accessories

Mattress Accessories Terms:


A comforter is a type of thick quilted blanket that features a fabric filled with soft, comfy materials such as down, cotton, wool, etc., to keep you warm.


A duvet is a type of bedding that is filled with materials like down, wool, cotton, silk, or a synthetic alternative. Unlike comforters, a duvet comes with two separate pieces - an insert and a cover (duvet cover).


Sheets are a type of bedding that's used to cover the mattress. They can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, bamboo, linen, or polyester.


A pillow is a soft, cushioned piece of bedding that's used to support the head and neck. Pillows are usually made from down, feathers, memory foam, latex, buckwheat, or synthetic materials.


A blanket is a type of bedding that's used to keep the body warm. It can be made from a variety of materials, including wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber.


A throw is a type of blanket that's smaller than a standard blanket. It's often used as a decorative item or for added warmth. However, not all blankets are throws.


A quilt is a type of bedding that's made from two or more layers of fabric that are stitched together.


Bedspreads are an extra layer of bedding that's used to cover the entire bed, including the mattress and pillows. They are lightweight and can also be used to keep you warm.


A pillowcase is a type of bedding that's used to cover a pillow. They are easy to remove and protects the pillow from dust, dirt, and stain.


A bed skirt is a type of decorative fabric that's used to cover the box spring.

what is a bed skirt

Mattress feel and performance terms


Bounce simply means a rebounding effect, that is, the ability of a mattress to regain its original shape when weight is removed. A mattress with good bounce provides better ease of movement, but they are also known to cause greater motion transfer.


The term 'conforming' refers to how much your mattress molds to the shape of your body.


Body contouring refers to how much your mattress hugs your body to redistribute weight and relieve pressure points. The term is pretty much similar to that of 'body contouring.'


Breathability refers to how well air flows through your mattress.


Sinkage refers to how deeply your mattress envelops the curves of your body.

Edge support

Edge support is a feature that helps to keep you from rolling off the edge of the mattress. It's especially important for people who share a bed because it can help to prevent one person from taking up too much space.


Firmness is a measure of how hard or soft a mattress is. It's generally measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest.


ILD stands for indentation load deflection. It's a measure of how firm or soft a foam mattress is, and it's generally measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and ten being the firmest.

Motion transfer

Motion transfer is a measure of how well a mattress absorbs movement. It's important for people who share a bed because it can help to prevent one person from disturbing the other.

Temperature control

Temperature control refers to how well a mattress helps in regulating the temperature to prevent the sleeper from overheating.

natural and organic pillows

Mattress Purchase Terms

Sleep trial

A sleep trial is a period in that you're allowed to test out a mattress before you decide whether or not to keep it. Sleep trials typically last for 30 days, but some companies offer longer trials.


A warranty is a guarantee that a mattress will be free from defects for a certain period. Warranties typically last for ten years, but some companies offer longer warranties.

Now that you know the basics, you can start shopping for your perfect mattress. And don't forget to check out our Mattress Buying Guide for more tips on how to choose the right mattress for you.

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5. How Do You Extend The Life Of Your Mattress?

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.