The Top 4 Ways A Mattress Is Built

mattress coils

Wondering how a mattress is made? We reveal all the amazing skills and methods of the top mattress-makers.

A bed is manufactured according to its type. The four types are innerspring, memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses. But overall, each one is designed to have a supportive core and comfortable outer layers.

Let’s delve into the wonderful world of mattress-making!

How Is A Mattress Built?

Mattresses are as old as time. Indeed, people have been building beds for thousands of years to get a good night’s sleep. But what about the beds we use in modern times? How are these mattresses made? If such questions keep you awake at night, then read on. We will cover each of the four most popular types of mattresses and their construction. 

  1. Innerspring.
  2. Memory foam.
  3. Hybrid (spring and foam).
  4. Latex.

How Is An Innerspring Mattress Built?

Innerspring mattresses are any beds that contain metal coils at the core. This layer can be made in different ways. Sometimes the bed company farms the job out to another business but some brands make their own coils. Either way, the springs are sometimes individually wrapped with fabric or wrapped as a single unit. This protects the coils or in the case of individually wrapped coils – it eliminates more motion transfer between sleeping partners.

Learn more about how often you should change your mattress and why.

What About The Softer Layers Inside An Innerspring Mattress?

There are several layers of upholstery attached to the wires. The layer closest to the coils is called the “insulating” sheet and it exists to prevent the rest of the upholstery from being damaged by the wires. The insulating sheet does not add comfort or support. The support comes from the coils and the comfort from the other layers of upholstery. The other layers serve a cushioning purpose and depending on the brand and model of the bed, there can be between one and eight different levels. 

How Does Everything Stay Together?

The most popular method is to use flanges. These panels link the mattress cover and the coils in such a way that nothing inside the bed can move or fall apart. 

How Is A Memory Foam Bed Made?

memory topper foam

Here is a fun fact for those who love memory foam mattresses. You are sleeping on a material that was invented by NASA. Developed in the 1970s, memory foam changed the world of sleep. The foam moulds to the shape of the body and absorbs energy. In other words, your partner’s movements won’t wake you and the foam supports your own unique body shape, even when turning around or sleeping in an awkward position. The foam also returns to its original shape after use.

Meet the top memory foam mattresses from the best brands.

The process that creates memory foam is fascinating. While it might differ from brand to brand, here are the basics. 

  1. A mix of initial ingredients creates the basis of memory foam. These compounds include petrochemicals, water, and fillers like calcium carbonate.
  2. The ingredients are then heated until they melt together.
  3. The hot substance is then churned to add air (this makes the mixture foamy).
  4. Catalysts are also added to create bubble-like cells inside the liquid.
  5. At some point, the foam forms and has the consistency of dough.
  6. This viscous material is poured into a mould.
  7. The material is then agitated with air to create an open cell structure.
  8. The material is then rapidly dried to create the foam.
  9. The mould is cooled.
  10. The foam is removed, cleaned, and inspected for quality.
  11. The slab is cut into a mattress shape and stored.

Grab our free and popular guide that explains everything you need to know about how to clean a mattress.

How Is A Hybrid Mattress Built?

Traditionally, a hybrid mattress has an innerspring core and outer layers of memory foam or memory foam gel. The “gel” is not the goopy stuff but a solid sheet with incredible qualities. There are millions of liquid gel beads captured within the foam to lend it great comfort and durability. 

Once again, depending on the brand and model, a mattress can have between one and three layers of pocket coils and between two and eight layers of fabric and memory foam. The actual construction is very often similar to that of an innerspring mattress. But instead of the layers of upholstery, the innerspring core (or cores) is sandwiched between layers of memory foam, fabric, and memory foam gel.

That being said, technically speaking a hybrid mattress can be any bed that has two different fillings that support the body. Let’s look at some examples.

  • An innerspring bed that contains layers of latex.
  • Pocket sprung core surrounded by natural hair such as wool, alpaca, and horsehair.
  • Memory foam and latex.

How Is A Latex Mattress Made?

latex rubber tree plantation

Latex beds have been popular for decades and with good reason. One of the best benefits that consumers get is longevity. Mattresses are not cheap but a latex bed can last up to 15 years before you have to buy another one. Another perk for Earth-conscious buyers is the fact that latex is a natural product. Many mattress companies only use latex from sustainable plantations and incorporate the latex in a way that is chemical and toxin-free. 

Interestingly, there are two ways to make a latex mattress and both are fascinating. Let’s look at the Dunlop and Talalay methods to make latex beds.

The Dunlop Method Gives Firmer Beds

  1. Pure latex sap is collected from rubber trees.
  2. The sap is then whipped until it resembles a frothy liquid.
  3. The liquid material is then poured into large moulds.
  4. Using steam, the material is baked.
  5. Natural bits and bobs settle near the bottom, making Dunlop mattresses denser in the lower area.

The Talalay Method Gives A More Luxurious Feel

  1. The latex sap is extracted from rubber trees.
  2. The sap is whipped into a froth.
  3. The froth is injected into a mould.
  4. Unlike Dunlop beds, the mould is only partially filled.
  5. The foam is vacuum-sealed.
  6. Due to the vacuum, the foam expands and the density is equally distributed (the bottom is not denser like Dunlop beds).
  7. The foam is frozen and injected with carbon dioxide.
  8. The frozen material is then baked.
  9. The latex is removed from the mould, cleaned, and inspected.

A Quick Summary On How A Mattress Is Built

  • There are different ways of constructing a mattress.
  • An innerspring bed has a coil core with surrounding layers of upholstery.
  • A memory foam bed is created with layers of foam made from chemical processes and plastic.
  • Latex beds are made with foam created from the sap extracted from rubber trees and set in moulds.
  • A hybrid mattress is built of layers of at least two different support systems, like a spring core and layers of foam.