Category Archives: Mattress

Memory Foam Advantages Over Traditional Spring Mattresses

The first step when choosing a new mattress is to decide between a traditional spring design and a modern memory foam model. While each one has unique features, memory foam offers some advantages that make it an excellent choice for many consumers.

Structure and Technology

Traditional mattresses with springs are based on a design that’s been around for over a century. Most models have a base layer of springs covered by a cushion. In theory, the cushion and springs compress to provide a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. Modern spring mattress designs aren’t very different from older models.

Memory foam is fairly modern by comparison. It was developed in the 1960s as part of a NASA project to improve safety in aircraft seating. Mattresses utilizing memory foam have been around since NASA made the technology public in the 1980s. There have also been upgrades to memory foam technology over the years to improve breathability and reduce manufacturing costs.


The internal structure of a traditional spring mattress allows airflow, which can help to keep people from getting too hot while sleeping. However, spring mattresses with thick top cushions can reduce air circulation and make users uncomfortably warm.

Due to its dense structure, memory foam can retain heat, which was a potential disadvantage of some of the early memory foam mattresses. Fortunately, there have been many changes to memory foam technology that have improved breathability and reduced heat retention. Some mattresses are made of gel memory foam, which has integrated gel particles that help cool and stabilize the material’s temperature. Moisture-wicking coverings can also help maintain a comfortable temperature.

Pressure Points

Many people, especially those who sleep on their sides, notice that spring mattresses push on certain areas of the body, including the hips and shoulders. This pressure can contribute to misalignment of the spine, which can cause back and joint pain. It can also cause sleepers to change position frequently in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

One of the most well-known benefits of memory foam is its ability to eliminate pressure points. Memory foam is designed to soften and change shape. This means it molds around a person’s body, creating a customized surface that is both soft and supportive. Most people experience no pressure points regardless of which sleeping position they choose. This can reduce tossing and turning, helping users wake up feeling rested and pain-free.

Allergen Control

Mattresses generally require cleaning. They can trap dirt, sweat, hair, and dust mites, contributing to odor and poor indoor air quality. This is a common issue with traditional spring mattresses, which have large open spaces in the internal structure that attract and trap dust and allergens. Vacuuming can clean the top surface of a mattress, but it can’t really affect the allergens trapped inside.

Memory foam has a very dense structure, which makes it much more difficult for dirt and dust mites to become embedded. As such, memory foam mattresses generally stay cleaner than traditional models. Some memory foam styles also feature hypoallergenic materials.

Motion Transfer

When partners share a bed, it is common for each person’s movement to affect the other. In a traditional mattress, the springs transfer movement throughout the whole structure, making it uncomfortable when one person turns over or gets out of bed. In a memory foam mattress, there aren’t any springs to transfer motion. The spongy nature of memory foam naturally prevents one person’s movement from affecting the other. This can help improve sleep for both partners.


All types of mattresses eventually wear out and need to be replaced. In most cases, spring mattresses and memory foam perform similarly in terms of longevity. However, traditional mattresses may become uncomfortable over time. Worn out springs can cause sharp peaks or permanent depressions in the mattress. As memory foam ages, it tends to become softer and recover its shape more slowly, which is not as problematic.


A mattress is an important investment that can affect a person’s sleep and quality of life for years. While traditional spring mattresses remain popular, many people are turning to memory foam for its numerous advantages. Memory foam mattresses can eliminate pressure points, allergens, and motion transfer, creating a comfortable environment for high-quality sleep.

Here at The Sleep Shop, we carry a large selection of both traditional spring and modern memory foam mattresses.  Come by our store and see which mattress is best for you!

Top 8 Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses

Serta-blue-100-gentle-firm-memory-foam-mattressChoosing a new mattress is an important decision that can affect your sleep and overall quality of life for several years. With all the available options from traditional spring mattresses to state-of-the-art memory foam, you may be wondering which type is best. Memory foam mattresses offer numerous unique benefits that you can’t find in other styles. Here are some of the top advantages to consider when deciding if a memory foam mattress is right for you.

  1. Minimal Motion Transfer

If you share a bed with a partner, you likely know the frustration of waking up every time he or she moves or gets out of bed. This can be especially difficult if you are a light sleeper. One of the most appreciated advantages of memory foam is the lack of motion transfer. Because of the construction and properties of memory foam, it doesn’t allow movements to carry through the material. 

  1. Relief From Aches and Pains

Ideally, sleeping should help your body recover from everyday soreness and aches so you wake up feeling refreshed and free from pain. Memory foam can help ensure your body rests completely by conforming to the unique contours of your sleeping position. Because of the way memory foam adjusts, it evenly spreads your weight across your whole body instead of just a few points such as your hips, heels, and shoulders. This customized cushioning helps reduce pressure points. Because there is no tension or poking from internal springs, you don’t have to worry about pain in sensitive joints or muscles.

  1. Reduction in Allergens

You may not think that your mattress can be a source of allergens, but it’s a fairly common problem. Fortunately, the density of memory foam discourages dust mites (one of the most common causes of indoor allergies). Dust mites need space to live, breed, and burrow into, and memory foam doesn’t provide that space. Since any dust mites in your mattress can’t burrow, vacuuming occasionally can help control them completely. Memory foam’s density also discourages dust, mold spores, and pet dander from settling into your mattress. You can choose a memory foam mattress with a hypoallergenic cover to further reduce the risk of indoor allergies.

  1. Proper Spinal Alignment

If you suffer from back pain, it’s essential to find a mattress that encourages the correct alignment of your spine while you sleep. If your bed doesn’t help adjust the position of your back, sleeping in a misaligned posture can actually make your back problems worse. Because every inch of memory foam can adjust to your body, it supports your spine in the lumbar area while reducing pressure on the shoulders and hips. As such, you can enjoy a restful night with reduced back pain, which improves your relaxation and helps ensure you wake up feeling your best.

  1. Easy Care Requirements

With a memory foam mattress, you don’t have to worry about difficult maintenance chores such as flipping it over every few months. You may want to rotate your mattress on your bed and vacuum it every so often, but these tasks don’t require much time or energy to complete.

  1. Accommodation for All Sleeping Positions

Whether you are a side, back, or stomach sleeper, you can be completely comfortable on a memory foam mattress. If you tend to sleep in several positions overnight, memory foam can constantly adjust to each movement, reducing the chance you will be restless or wake up when you change to a new sleeping position. 

  1. Excellent Performance in Adjustable Beds

Beds that adjust to different positions and configurations are becoming more popular outside hospitals and care facilities. Many of these beds can adjust the height of the head, the foot, or both to improve circulation, reduce pressure points, and make it easier to get in and out of bed. Because memory foam curves and conforms easily without losing its structural integrity, it’s an ideal material for adjustable beds.

  1. Long Lifespan and Durability

While all mattresses will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, most memory foam styles last at least a decade. Additionally, this type of mattress can retain its original shape and contouring properties throughout its entire lifespan, so you don’t have to worry about sagging or soft spots.

With their ability to improve sleeping posture, reduce aches and pains, and improve the overall quality of sleep, memory foam mattresses are becoming more popular every year. Upgrading to a mattress of this type gives you all the benefits of reduced indoor allergies and deeper sleep without interruption from your partner’s movements. Additionally, you can feel confident a new memory foam mattress is a solid investment that will perform well for years to come.

If you’re looking for a new mattress for your bed, come by our store and check out our selection of memory foam mattresses.  Our helpful knowledgeable staff can answer any questions you may have.

The Rise and Fall of the Waterbed in the United States

Waterbed in bedroomMost of us would probably remember the first time we laid eyes on a waterbed – maybe had one of our own. Waterbeds were once a huge trend; classy, sexy, comfortable, and you had to have one.

The waterbed got its kick start in California, in the late 60s. After failed experiments with cornstarch and even Jell-O filled chairs, Charlie Hall, a design student in San Francisco State University, had the idea of a mattress full of water. Hall designed the product while focusing the comfort and a good night’s sleep. The water-filled mattress was his master’s thesis, and once he presented it, his entire class spent the night playing with it. That’s how the modern waterbed as we know it was born.

During the 1970s, waterbeds hit the US market while the general idea of choosing an innerspring mattress was firm, firmer, or firmest.  Over the next 20 years, waterbeds became a must-have household product for many people. By the end of 1989, waterbed sales reached upwards of $30 million. People just couldn’t get enough of the waterbeds as these beds offered seamless comfort when compared to conventional spring mattresses. They were also believed to be super-fashionable and incredibly sexy among the youth. That’s how waterbeds became the beds of the sexual revolution and were viewed as a significant piece of impressing the opposite sex. If you didn’t have a waterbed, you had a lesser chance.

Why they were so popular

Aside from their appeal of passion, which was liberally encouraged by manufacturers who tried some slogans like “Two things are better on a waterbed, one is sleep,” waterbeds offered something that most beds at the time didn’t offer: a comfortable good night’s sleep.  When you were lying down on the waterbed, your body’s pressure was distributed equally, meaning you experienced support without any excess pressure on any part of your body, such as your hips, back, or shoulders.

Also, waterbeds were cheap, very cheap! If you went shopping for a waterbed, the average price you’d come across back then was between $150-350. Plus, by the end of the waterbed era, it could cost as low as $90, which was also too much to resist.

Why the love is over

All of a sudden, the passion was gone. The sexual marketing, which had been a big hit thanks to advertisements back in the 80s, quickly became old news in the 90s and it started to be considered as quirky and weird to be lying on a waterbed. Plus, the feelings of practicality and sensibility took over, and it was not as acceptable to be sexually rambunctious and to be over the top.

However, this wasn’t the only factor against waterbeds. They also had technical problems such as propensity to spring leaks, and they needed constant maintenance. If you wanted to move your waterbed, you had to drain it first, which was a time consuming process.

By the early 90s, as suddenly as they were cool and sexy, they became weird and lame.  It became clear that the novelty of waterbeds wasn’t worth the additional work they needed. Also, different manufacturers came up with different mattress innovations which offer comfort, flexibility, and softness while not making you run a garden hose through your second-floor bedroom window.

As for today…

Today, even though the waterbed market is still active in a much, much smaller scale, the market of mattresses offers significantly more options than it did during the waterbed era. If you spend some time looking at different mattress options, you’re likely to come across hybrid mattresses, innerspring mattresses, gel mattresses, pillow-top mattresses, or latex mattresses, or even waterbeds, if you’re lucky!

The answer to the question of “what kind of mattress is best for me?” depends on many factors, many of which are separately specific. The best way to find out which type of bedding is best for you is to come see us in person or you can give us a call, so our specialists can help you out with finding the best option for your needs and comfort.

3 Steps to Choosing the Right Mattress Size

When you’re looking for the right mattress, size matters! Depending on who is going to use it, you have plenty of options. It can seem overwhelming to figure out all of the variations in mattress size, length, width, and depth. Let our mattress experts help with this quick-start guide!

Step One: Making Room

Are you looking for some extra room for you and your partner to spread out? How about your child/children?  Are they transitioning to a “big kid” bed?  Is your mother-in-law coming to spend time in your guest room? Figuring out which mattress size you need is a purely personal decision.  However, consider how the mattress will be used and which room it will be going in. Twin sizes are great for kids and single-sleeper adults, and full sizes are perfect for singles who like to stretch out. Queen sizes can accommodate a couple of snugglers, or solo sleepers who want lots of bed without taking up the whole room. With king sized mattresses, the whole family can pile in!

Mattress Size dimensions guide

Infographic courtesy

Step Two: Consider bedding

Bedding like sheets and blankets for standard twin, full, queen, and king mattresses are easy to find.  They can be very affordable depending on what they’re made of and where you buy them. Custom bedding for the less popular mattress sizes (twin XL, California king) can be harder to find and a bit pricier. If you already own bedding, double-check the dimensions so you know which mattress size you should be looking at. Also, remember that the pillows, pillowcases, and shams for king size bedding are larger than the other sizes. Depending on the mattress style you buy, you could also pay more for extra depth on fitted sheets to allow for a pillow or foam topper.

Step Three: Get deep

Traditional, old-school mattresses used to have a standard depth of 7 inches. However, recent innovation in mattress construction has created a new generation of mattress that can be up to 24 inches high! Keep this measurement in mind as you shop.  Once you add in the height of your frame and box spring, the inches add up.  This is especially important to consider for those who have trouble climbing in and out of bed.  If you are purchasing a mattress for a child or someone with mobility issues, perhaps look for a mattress with a lower setup.

Make sure you research before you make a mattress investment. The most common mistake most people make is that the bed we buy ends up being too small! Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all, and that’s okay because there are plenty of options for every style sleeper.  Once you know what mattress size is right for your situation, come visit our showroom and let us help you find the perfect mattress!

Choosing the Right Mattress

Choosing the Right MattressJust about 30 years ago, traditional innerspring mattresses were (sadly) pretty much our only option. Remember when you were a kid, jumping on a squeaky bed? Or feeling a coil dig into your back all night as you were trying to get comfortable? Yeah, so do we! Thankfully, mattresses have evolved and now there are plenty of choices for all types of sleepers. Choosing the right mattress means being educated about the options.  We want to help you by breaking down some of the most commonly-purchased types of mattresses.

Innerspring Mattresses

This is a traditional mattress fabrication, and despite all of the fancy mattress trends that have swept through, the innerspring mattress remains the most popular and usually the most cost-efficient choice. You can choose from a variety of firmness levels and they’re easy to transport during moves. The drawback of innerspring (or coil) mattresses is that they can be noisy and don’t offer any therapeutic benefits for those suffering from back pain or pressure. When shopping for an innerspring, don’t forget to consider coil gauge — thicker coils make for a firmer mattress.

Natural Fiber

Mattresses made of natural fiber (instead of synthetic foam) can be a little pricey, but they’re great for the environment and great for families who tend to choose products that help to reduce their carbon footprint. Choose cotton if you want up to 15 years of durability.  Wool is great for regulating sleep temperature (attention hot sleepers), and latex harvested from rubber plants is fire-resistant. Because these mattresses come from different sources it’s important to try them before you buy as each lends itself to different sleeping styles.

Memory Foam

You’ve probably heard a lot about memory foam mattresses, and there’s a good chance you own other products that already use memory foam technology. They are incredibly popular and known for conforming to your body shape and returning back to “normal” a few minutes after getting out of bed.

Some features of a memory foam mattress include:

  • Very comfortable
  • Can help in pressure point and pain reduction
  • Offers better spine alignment
  • Won’t move when your partner does
  • Bonus: they fit adjustable beds


As we mentioned above, latex is harvested from rubber plants and latex mattresses can be both affordable and durable while being a “green” option. Remember that all latex manufacturing processes are different, so make sure to research how brands produce their specific mattresses. On the plus side, they don’t require flipping and rotating and are chemical-free.  The downside is that they happen to be heavy to move and are pricier than innerspring mattresses.

Along with these common styles, there are hybrids, custom options, and highly specialized mattresses available as well. The best way to find the right one for you is to visit us in-store and test them out for yourself. Our mattress pros are here to consult with you to make sure you end up getting the best night’s sleep possible!

Which is better for you: a firm or soft mattress?

Every day a customer asks, which is better for you: a firm or soft mattress? My customers want a simple answer. They want me to come down firmly (pardon the pun) on the side of firm or soft. The truth is every person is different and may require a different sleep surface. Thankfully, there so many mattresses, from ultra soft to brick hard to anywhere in between. Here are 3 ways to choose your mattress firmness:

Choose firm or soft based on your weight

Mattresses are designed to support the average American adult, weighing 250 lbs. If you are on the heavier side, a firm mattress will support you better and last much longer. You don’t have to choose a rock hard mattress, but stay in the firm to medium-firm range. Stay away from pillow-tops. Pillow-tops do not hold up as well over time and they will soften, providing you less and less support as the years pass. If you are small or petite, you may need the extra cushioning of a softer mattress.

Choose firm or soft based on your preferred sleeping position

Nearly everyone has his or her preferred sleeping position. This sleeping position may not be the best for your health, but you can use it to choose your mattress type, firm or soft. Generally side-sleepers prefer a soft mattress, while back and stomach sleepers prefer a firm sleep surface.

firm or soft
Serta Perfect Sleeper Redwin Firm, our firmest mattress

Choose firm or soft based on science

What does science say about mattress firmness? Not surprisingly, scientists don’t agree on what mattress choice is best for every person. In a blog post I wrote last year, titled “What’s the best mattress?” I explored several small-sample scientific studies that found medium firm mattresses were best for relieving low back pain and helping people sleep better. However, that’s not the final word! Some scientists claim that a harder mattress is best, because a hard mattress offers your bones necessary resistance during sleep. Your bones work to support your body overnight, allowing your muscles to relax completely while you sleep. When your bones have resistance, your spine doesn’t sink into an awkward angle, and your circulation and breathing improves. Still there is another school of thought that promotes a soft, cushiony bed for the best night’s sleep.

There are so many options for you when shopping for a new mattress. Take your time and test a firm or soft mattress for 10 or fifteen minutes to see which suits your body best!

What is the Best Mattress?

What is the best mattress?

What is the best mattress stack

I’ve been in the family mattress business since 1999. I bet I’ve been asked “What’s the best mattress?” every day since I started working here! The truth is that I can’t tell you what the best mattress is for you, but I can share with you some of the research I’ve done. I can also share with you some great tips about buying and trying out mattresses!

Hopefully, you get seven to eight hours each night in bed, getting the restorative sleep your body and mind need. Your sleep surface has a lot to do with ensuring that your night is restful. Ahem. If your sleep surface has gotten old/worn out or is not appropriate for your body type or size, you’ll start to wake up with aches and pains. In fact, when you start to wake up with aches and pains,  it’s time to replace your mattress. That is,  if you didn’t spend the past few days working in your yard, building a deck, or trying P90X for the first time. Don’t listen to the mattress industry that tells you to replace your mattress every eight years! If you are still comfortable, and you do not wake up achy, your mattress is FINE!

Common aches and pains you might experience if you have an old, worn out mattress: shoulder pain, neck pain, and stiffness. By far the most common complaint is lower back pain. This is the complaint that drives folks in to see their chiropractor, asking him or her, “What’s the best mattress?”

Scientific studies done in the last 15 years have focused on what effect changing the sleep surface had for people suffering from low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and stiffness.  All the studies have a very limited sample size, but the studies basically reach very similar conclusions.

Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain

In this study of 27 adults with low back and shoulder pain, a mattress was designed specifically for each patient based on his or her dominant sleeping position, back, side, or stomach. The mattresses were “medium-firm mattresses specifically layered with foam and latex based on the participants’ reported prominent sleeping position”. Each patient answered questions about their pain and sleep comfort each night for 21 nights before they received their new mattress. After receiving their mattress, each participant rated his or her pain and sleep quality at intervals of four, eight, and twelve weeks. And guess what? “It was concluded that sleep surfaces are related to sleep discomfort and that is indeed possible to reduce pain and discomfort and to increase sleep quality in those with chronic back pain by replacing mattresses based on sleeping position.”

Better Backs by Better Beds?

This 2008 study was to test the notion that a firm mattress is always best for chronic low back pain. You’ve heard this your whole life, right? Get a firm mattress if you have a “bad back.” The study started with 160 participants, and each participant was randomized in to one of three groups. Each group was to receive 1 of 3 different types beds. The beds were: water, body-conforming memory foam mattress, and a hard mattress.

19 people dropped out before they even got their waterbed heaters plugged up. Another 27 people stopped before the one-month trial period. In conclusion, it appears that the waterbed and the memory foam mattresses were superior to the hard mattresses in providing folks with chronic back pain some relief. However, the differences were small. I think the point here is don’t choose anything too firm. This funny little study from 1981 should quietly disappear. It advocates a very firm bed for chronic low back sufferers, but if that doesn’t work, go ahead and get a waterbed! Bedding has come a long way since 1981, needless to say.

Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems

This neat little study published in 2009 set out to determine if replacing a mattress set, older than 5 years old could help a patient experiencing minor back pain, poor sleep, and stress. Each of the 59 participants answered a series of questions to assess his or her sleep quality, pain, and stress levels for 28 days before receiving a new medium-firm mattress. After receiving their new mattress, each participant filled out questionnaires about his or her pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress level.  The conclusion of this study showed “new bedding systems increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort, factors that may be related to abatement of stress-related symptoms.” All good news for a mattress seller.

The Goldilocks Effect

I highlighted “medium-firm mattress” above because Goldilocks was right, Baby Bear’s mattress was the best mattress. It wasn’t too firm, and it wasn’t too soft, it was just right. In my experience, customers are happiest when they choose a mattress more in the middle, too. But don’t listen to me! You have to try a mattress out to make sure that what is the best mattress for you. Weight, height, and body mass index are all factors that influence how a mattress will feel to you. When you decide that it’s time to shop for a new mattress, here are some of my handy mattress shopping tips to help you make the most of your shopping trip. If you live close to our store in Hudson, NC, please stop by. We’d love to help you find the best mattress for you.

Two Sided vs. One Sided Mattresses

I remember watching my grandparents flip their full size mattress over periodically. Then my grandmother would carefully vacuum their mattress while the curtains in their bedroom swayed in the breeze. “It’s good to let the fresh air in when you can,” she’d holler over the sound of the vacuum. Most mattresses today are not meant to be flipped over. I’m not sure what my grandparents would think about this, but I know many of my customers are disappointed when they realize none of the major bedding manufacturers make two sided mattresses anymore. The one sided mattress has been the standard since the early 2000’s.

“It’s like you’re getting only half a mattress,” an unhappy customer said of the trend.

Why No More Two Sided Mattresses?

New Flammability Standards

Why did bedding manufacturers like Simmons, Sealy, and Serta start making all their mattresses one sided? It really all came down to a change in the federal flammability standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that took effect in July, 2007. This flammability standard was specifically aimed at mattresses and foundations, but also crib mattresses and futons. Prior to this regulation, a mattress was a massive source of fuel in a house fire, due to its large size and the fact that most of the foams inside are made of petroleum. Within three to ten minutes, the whole mattress is engulfed in flames, creating massive heat and smoke, hampering rescue efforts and endangering the lives of the home’s occupants and firefighters.

With the new flammability standard, mattress companies were required to use flame retardants, and those worked incredibly well. Rather than burst into flames, a mattress smolders, allowing occupants to get out of harm’s way. (Of course, there are folks who argue about the safety of the flame retardants, but that’s a discussion for some other time!)

Mattress Manufacturing Changes

Starting in July, 2007, mattress manufacturers must send each new mattress in their lineup to a testing lab for compliance with this regulation. At the lab, each mattress set gets placed mattress on top of foundation. It must pass a flammability test before the set is sold in the US. All this testing was and is costly for bedding manufacturers, and they did not believe consumers would willingly pay for flame retardants in their bedding, an advantage that customers can’t see and can’t feel. Additionally, if bedding had two sides, both sides had to have flame retardant material in it, and both sides had to be tested. This required two sets of bedding for testing.

And so it was in the early 2000’s, that the one sided mattress took over the mattress industry. This helped keep the costs of the required flame retardants from affecting consumers, even if consumers didn’t know it.

Are Two Sided Mattresses Better?

No, not really. We sell some two sided mattresses by Jamison Bedding. If you want to be able to flip your mattress, you can. If you have a two sided mattress, you must flip it to keep it in good shape. Plenty of owners of two sided beds never flipped them anyway, and that’s why one sided mattresses made sense to begin with, notwithstanding the flammability issue.

The design for the one sided mattress was studied and well-thought out, at least by the larger manufacturers like Serta. They used (and still use) a sturdy base foam at the bottom, topped with coils, and then pre-compressed foams on top. We always recommend rotating your mattress from head to foot frequently, at least with the seasons.

Those who really believe they need a two sided mattress have a one sided pillow top. Pillow tops are the worst to show body impressions. In fact, mattress manufacturers have not been able to make a pillow top that won’t get body impressions. Even if those pillow tops magically grew a second side,  body impressions develop after a night or two on that second side.



Difference between a box spring and a foundation

Box Spring

Coil Box SpringBox springs like the one at left are rare today. Bedding manufacturers opt for less expensive wood foundation or steel foundations, though some suppliers still offer the old fashioned coil box springs as an option. It is not a requirement for today’s bedding, however, to have a coiled box spring, because today’s bedding offers so much more plushness than bedding of old. The old coil box springs provided additional “give” to old fashioned mattresses, offered in firm, firmer, or firmest.

What We Offer – Steel Foundations & Wood

In our store, we offer most mattress sets with a steel foundation. We call them box springs or foundations; using both words interchangeably. Our less expensive mattress sets come with wood foundations. The support is often just fine. The problem is in the construction. Wood foundations are made with wood slats to create a stable base for your mattress. The wood slats are covered with cardboard, and the cardboard is covered with fabric so it looks just like a box spring or steel foundation. Over time, the cardboard tends to squeak, and the wood weakens. There is nothing more annoying than rolling over in the bed awakening to the sound of a squeaky foundation.Steel Foundation

That’s why, when we have the choice, we always provide our customers with steel foundations, like the one at right. Steel foundations have a wood base, with a heavy gauge steel grid designed to support your mattress properly. Steel foundations are generally stronger and less likely to crack and squeak than wood foundations.

When given the choice, choose a steel foundation. Inexpensive bedding often only comes with a wood foundation. If the set is for a guest room or a child, that may be okay. For a good, quiet night’s rest, the steel foundation is the way to go.

Mattress Sizes

Mattress Sizes
The most common mattress sizes are twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. Sometimes twin size is called a half bed. Full size is often referred to as double or standard size. Listed below are the most common bedding sizes (and some uncommon ones!). These sizes are approximate – each manufacturer has its own specs and sizes may vary slightly.

Twin Bed Dimensions:  38″ W X 75″ L

Other than a crib mattress, the twin size mattress is the smallest mattress available. A twin size bed is a good size bed for one child or one small adult.

Twin Extra Long (XL) Bed Dimensions: 38″ W X 80″ L

Twin XL Size mattresses are often used in college dorms, because they are a good size for one adult. They are longer than regular twin size mattresses to allow for the extra height of adults. Twin XL mattresses are also often used on adjustable beds.

3/4 Bed Dimensions: 48″ W X 75″ L

3/4 Beds (Three-quarter beds) are not manufactured today, but they were once a common bed size. You can find 3/4 beds in antique shops around the country. While larger bedding manufacturers do not make this mattress size, many small and independent bedding suppliers custom make this size. We do not not recommended 3/4 beds for couples, because of the small size. We recommend this size only for one adult or one child.

Full Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 75″ L

Full size beds, also known as double or standard size are a good choice for children. While for many years, full size was the choice for many happy couples, it is hard to see how a couple got a truly good night’s rest on a full size bed. On a full size bed, each person only has 27 inches of space – that’s less than a crib! We recommend queen or king size for couples.

Full Extra Long Bed Dimensions: 53″ W X 80″ L

Full XL size is a usually a special order mattress, but it is a good size if you have less width in your bedroom. The 53″ width makes full extra long an unappealing bed size for couples, the extra length makes this a good choice for taller children who may have a smaller bedroom.

Queen Size Bed Dimensions: 60″ W X 80″ L

Queen size is the most popular size for couples. It has about 5 or 6 extra inches of width, compared with the full size mattress, and 5 more inches in length. Couples who like to snuggle find this size more appealing than the king size. Queen size is also a good size for guest rooms.

King Bed Dimensions: 76″ W X 80″ L

Over the years, king size has become a very popular option. Each person has his or her own sleeping space. There is generally less partner disturbance and both get a better night’s sleep. If you have pets or children who often climb in the bed with you, you’ll love the extra space of a king size bed. Sometimes, this size is called Eastern king.

California King Bed Dimensions: 72″ W X 84″ L

California king size is a good choice for taller people, because it is the longest of the standard bed sizes available. There is ample room in a California king size bed for two adults, and a pet or two. Maybe even a child! The most confused bed sizes are king and California king sizes. Customers often believe California king is much larger than king size, and they often believe their bed is larger than it really is! California king is narrower and longer, but not really bigger than Eastern king. When someone orders a California king size bed frame or bed support from our website, and they are not in California, we always call them to confirm the size. If a local customer in North Carolina wants a California king mattress, we ask them to measure twice because it is quite rare to have a California king size!