We spend approximately a third of our lives in bed, so picking the right mattress is crucial for our health. The technology used in the manufacturing of mattresses is getting more advanced by the day to give us even more support and comfort. If you’ve ever been curious about the interesting process of mattress production and you’ve asked yourself how are mattresses made and manufactured, our article will be of immense help in explaining the ways mattress materials are obtained and made.
Our article is separated into different sections, based on the type of mattress. We’ll go over how the main materials are made and explain some of the differences in the production process (if there are any). We’ve also included an FAQ section and a section all about the features all mattresses share that you should pay attention to when purchasing a mattress.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
How Mattresses Are Made
The manufacturing process of a mattress depends on the main material used in its design. While some things remain consistent, like the foundation of the mattress, every type of mattress is different depending on how the material is maintained. In this section of our article, we will go over the different types of mattresses available on the market and explore how each of them are made. Let’s start with latex mattresses.
Natural latex is considered to be one of the most breathable and eco-friendly materials out there, so it’s no wonder why it’s become a popular choice among buyers.
There are a few ways synthetic latex mattresses can be made, but there are only two methods that are used to make natural latex mattresses: the traditional and Talalay method. Both methods begin with maintaining the latex from a tree called Hevea Brasiliensis, also known as the rubber tree. Mattress manufacturers obtain the sap from the tree, which, after it undergoes the harvesting process, turns into latex.
The traditional method includes whipping the sap from the rubber tree and baking it after the whipping process ends. The sap is baked in a very specific mold which gives latex mattresses the distinctive appearance they have. It’s also one of the secrets behind the breathability of latex mattresses, since the specific shape prevents the air from getting trapped in the mattress. The main difference between the traditional method and the Talalay method is that the former has a firmer foundation and is a little bit more affordable.
The Talalay method shares the beginning steps with the traditional method. However, the Talalay method includes the freezing of the sap foam, after which it’s heated. This makes Talalay latex mattresses softer and more supportive. Additionally, the air from the mold is removed by a special vacuum, so they are slightly more breathable than mattresses made using the traditional method. There are also many mattresses that combine the two methods and offer different layers, so you could go for a combination latex mattress if both appeal to you.
Our Latex Mattress Recommendation
To ease your purchasing decisions, here’s our recommendation for the best combination latex mattress – the Yanis Natural Dunlop and Talalay Latex Mattress.
Made from 100% natural latex, this mattress contains a Talalay 3 cm top layer that’s supportive and pressure-relieving, so you’ll no longer have to wake up with stiffness or pain in your body. Additionally, the traditional base is 15 cm thick and it combines well with the Talalay top to ensure that you remain as comfortable and supported as possible.
We also love how breathable the mattress is. If you’re someone who constantly wakes up drenched in sweat during the summer, you’d really benefit from purchasing a latex mattress such as this one.
Another incredible benefit you’ll get from purchasing this mattress is that it’s anti-allergenic, antibacterial and anti-dust mite, so it’s great for allergy sufferers.
Last but not least, you can choose between a soft, a medium, and a firm feel, so the mattress will be perfectly catered to your specific needs and preferences.
Many mattresses nowadays are infused with bamboo, or contain a high percentage of bamboo in their design. This is because bamboo has a reputation for being an incredibly sustainable and breathable material, so those who are inclined to purchase sustainable products often opt for bamboo bedding. There are various kinds of bamboo mattresses – some brands only use bamboo mattress covers, while others infuse the bamboo into the memory foam. You can choose either one, depending on your goals and your budget, since bamboo mattresses tend to be slightly more expensive than memory foam or spring ones.
As a fabric, bamboo can be made primarily using two different methods: a mechanic and a chemical method.
The mechanic method is when natural enzymes are used to separate the bamboo fibre from the plant. After the bamboo fibres have been isolated, they are made into fabric. The mechanic method is more tedious and takes a longer time, so many manufacturers use the chemical method instead. However, the mechanic method is considered to be more sustainable.
The chemical method, as its name suggests, includes adding chemicals in the cooking process before threading it into a fabric. As you can imagine, the use of the chemicals significantly impacts the sustainability of the mattress, so if you’re someone who wants their products to be as eco-friendly as possible, we recommend opting for a mattress made with the mechanical process of separating bamboo fibres.
Bamboo has a similar effect to gel-infused mattresses – it makes the sleeping environment incredibly breathable and cooling, which is why many hot sleepers are recommended to invest in a bamboo mattress.
Our Bamboo Mattress Topper Recommendation
If you’re a hot sleeper, or you’re simply interested in purchasing a sustainable mattress, but you don’t have the budget to invest in a bamboo mattress, we have the perfect recommendation for you. The Panda Bamboo Mattress Topper is an affordable alternative to purchasing a bamboo mattresses – toppers are a great way to extend the longevity of your mattress, add more support, and, in this case, improve the breathability of your mattress without switching it for a new one.
Panda’s mattress topper comes with a natural bamboo cover that’s hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and soft, so it’s safe to use by those who have allergies or sensitive skin. On top of that, it provides orthopaedic support and sleepers who often find themselves waking up with back pain will greatly benefit from this feature. Even though it’s made in a delicate way, it’s quite easy to remove and clean, which is always a plus.
Not only does this topper include bamboo, but it’s also infused with a cooling gel in the third generation memory foam, ensuring that your sleeping environment remains dry and cool throughout the night.
Another feature we love about this mattress topper is the anti-slip layer which prevents the topper from moving around while you sleep. The micro-silicone grips will also significantly help in this regard.
Memory Foam Mattress
Since memory foam is the most popular type of mattress, it’s only natural to wonder what the manufacturing process entails. Memory foam mattresses were introduced in the 70s by NASA, in the hopes of providing astronauts with supportive, amazing sleep. After its initial release, memory foam became a widely popular material in almost every mattress company.
Unlike latex and bamboo, the production of memory foam mattresses includes a lot of chemicals, the main one being polyurethane. This chemical is used as the base layer, on top of which every other layer is added. Some memory foam mattresses can include up to 60 different chemicals. The types of chemicals used vary from country to country, depending on the country’s safety standards and regulations, and from brand to brand.
The process begins with the combination of two specific chemicals, isocyanates and polyols, as well as some kind of agent which is usually water. This process gives memory foam mattresses the open cell structure they’re known for. The foam is either poured into a mold, like the case with latex mattresses, or is pressed onto a conveyor belt. The foam is then cooled and the process is repeated, after which the foam is left on its own for a couple of days to dry. After a couple of days, the foam is washed to ensure its clean, and closely inspected by the manufacturers to establish that it meets all the safety standards of its country of origin.
No memory foam mattress contains solely memory foam – as a material on its own, it would be much too soft to provide any kind of support, even if you’re someone who likes to sleep on softer surfaces. Instead, memory foam is always combined with a firmer layer in the mattress, made of a different kind of foam, which guarantees you remain supported throughout the night.
Since memory foam mattresses are among the most popular types of mattresses, the number of options we have on the market can be quite overwhelming. For that reason, we decided to include our top memory foam mattress recommendation that will undoubtedly improve your sleep quality and make you feel more supported.
Our Memory Foam Mattress Recommendation
Made by one of the most popular mattress brands in the UK, the Silentnight 1200 Memory Foam Mattress is an excellent option for anyone who prefers a medium-firm feel. This mattress contains a comfort layer that provides pressure relief and follows the curves of your body, giving you personalized support during the night.
Much like the other mattresses made by Silentnight, it’s completely hypoallergenic, so you won’t have to worry about encountering any allergens. The mattress comes with a quilted cover that adds even more comfort to it and increases its breathability. Silentnight’s products are made in the UK, so you’ll be supporting a local brand should you decide to purchase it.
Pocket Spring Mattress
Spring mattresses were created at the end of the 50s, but they got the design we know them by today in the 80s, when manufacturers replaced the flakes with foam. They’re an incredibly popular choice for various reasons, including being slightly more affordable than memory foam mattresses and being great at following the movements of your body.
Just like the name suggests, spring mattresses contain independent pocket springs which are created by a pocket spring machine. Usually, the springs are made from metal coil. After it’s heated, the coil is tempered into springs. Every individual pocket is wrapped with some kind of fabric and arranged in a line. Many spring mattresses include soft pillow tops to add more comfort to the springs, or a layer of foam that ensures that the sleeper remains comfortable. The coil system is the foundation of the whole mattress, but the comfort layers are crucial, especially for those who struggle with pain or stiffness in some areas of their body.
Coil systems that work independently are becoming increasingly more popular since the fact that they don’t depend on each other helps reduce the pressure points.
Our Recommendation for a Pocket Sprung Mattress
If you’re interested in purchasing a pocket sprung mattress but you don’t know which one to go for, check out the Ikea Hovag pocket sprung mattress. This popular mattress is made of individually wrapped pocket springs, , significantly reducing your risk of waking up with soreness and pain in your pressure points. On top of that, the individually wrapped pocket springs are combined with a generous layer of soft fillings that work in conjunction with the springs to deliver support and comfort.
The top layer of the mattress is made of stretch fabric, which also adds to the overall comfort. If you don’t like the process of turning over your mattress every month or so, don’t worry – the Ikea Hovag doesn’t require any turning. We also love the fact that you receive the mattress roll packed, so you don’t have to worry about the tedious delivery process.
Air mattresses are incredibly versatile and cost-effective. They can be used for a myriad of different reasons, including as a guest bed, for camping, and travelling. Despite their versatility, they’re also quite affordable, so investing in one to use in your guest bedroom or for travelling should be a no brainer.
We’ve all seen an air mattress at some point in our lives, and the first thing that pops up in our minds is – what are they made of? The most common materials found in air mattresses is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plastic. Regardless of the material used, air mattresses typically come with a little pump that allows you to inflate and deflate the mattress at your convenience, in a matter of minutes. Once deflated, the mattress is considerably smaller in size, so it’s easily portable anywhere you go.
Our Recommendation for an Air Mattress
Interested in owning an air mattress? We recommend the Yawn Air Bed Deluxe.
This spacious and comfortable airbed is the perfect substitute for a mattress if you’re in the process of moving, and makes for a great guest bed due to its design. It comes with a built-in headboard that makes it resemble a sturdy bed, and a built-in motor that easily makes the mattress inflate in a matter of minutes. Since it has a raised rim, you won’t have to worry about falling off the mattress and hurting yourself. The top is flocked, which means that your sheets will stay in place regardless of how much you move during the night. Each purchase comes with a little carry bag that allows you to take it anywhere with you.
While different types of materials can be used in the making of a mattress, there are some characteristics all mattresses share, like standard sizes such as single, double, king, and super king. Let’s see what other features you should look out for when deciding between mattresses, so you can choose the perfect one for you.
There are typically three levels of firmness in a mattress: soft, medium-firm, and firm. The firmness you should go for depends on what kind of sleeper you are. Side sleepers do well with medium-firm mattresses, while front sleepers usually prefer soft to medium-firm mattresses. Back sleepers typically require more support for their backs, so they often opt for firm mattresses.
Safety and Fire Regulations
Quality control is imperative when it comes to mattress manufacturing. Before deciding on a mattress, ensure that it complies with every safety standard in your country and that it’s made of fire-resistant materials. Another thing you’ll want to do is read the list of materials carefully to ensure that the mattress doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that might be dangerous for both you and the environment.
If you decide to invest in a quality mattress, you should do your best to maintain its quality. Check the instructions that come with the mattress and look for important information, like whether or not it requires flipping. On top of that, it could be worthwhile to invest in a mattress topper to extend the lifespan of your mattress and prevent any damage and spillage.
Another thing to pay attention to is how thick your mattress is. The general rule of thumb is – the thicker the mattress, the more support it provides. If you’re someone who likes sleeping on softer surfaces, we strongly recommend picking a mattress that’s at least 7 cm thick.
What Are the Different Types of Mattresses?
There are many different types of mattresses, the most common of which are memory foam, innerspring, latex, and bamboo. There are also mattresses that are declared as hybrid, meaning they contain both a memory foam layer and a pocket spring system.
How Long Does It Take to Manufacture a Mattress?
Manufacturing a mattress usually takes a couple of hours. With that said, it heavily depends on the type of mattress.
What Is a Memory Foam Mattress Made Of?
Memory foam mattresses are usually made of polyurethane, which is mixed with a couple of different chemicals to get the final form.
What Is Toxic in Mattresses?
Certain chemicals used in the mattress manufacturing process can be toxic such as benzene, formaldehyde, and chemical flame retardants.
How mattresses are made depends on the main material used in their production. The most common types of mattresses are latex, bamboo, memory foam, pocket spring, and air mattresses. The first step in the manufacturing process of every mattress is obtaining the material that’s necessary for the mattress – for instance, natural latex mattresses are made by extracting the sap from the rubber tree. Once this process is finished, the material is usually moulded or pressed and left to dry before reaching quality control. While the manufacturing process may differ from mattress to mattress, there are many features all mattresses have in common, such as thickness and size.
Regardless of the kind of mattress you get, always read the maintenance instructions carefully to retain the quality.