BUYING A MATTRESS: DURABILITY
When looking to buy a new mattress, people often ask how long a mattress will last. For many years, the mattress industry stated that the average life of a good mattress set was in the 8-10 year range. Now the industry and the Better Sleep Council recommend replacing your mattress every 5-7 years. It is difficult to say what is the more accurate guideline because the life of a mattress is influenced by several factors: the quality of the materials used in the product, whether a mattress is padded on one side or two, the weight of the person(s) sleeping on the mattress, whether the person is a side/back/stomach sleeper, how much the person moves while sleeping, whether a box spring is used and the type of box spring (e.g. working modules or straight wire foundation).
At The Original Mattress Factory, we primarily make two-sided mattresses, giving you the option to flip and help extend the comfort life of your mattress by sharing the wear over two sides versus concentrating the wear on only one side. We also use modules that bend and flex in our box springs to provide better shock absorption. These construction elements are designed to offer greater durability than what is commonly found in the marketplace today.
Mattresses today can be constructed in a few different ways. First of all, in terms of basic construction, they can either be one-sided or two-sided. A one-sided mattress only has padding on the top side and cannot be flipped over. A two-sided mattress, on the other hand, is padded equally on both sides and can be flipped to ensure maximum comfort and longevity.
As far as the padding design is concerned, mattresses can have a tight top, pillow top or eurotop as depicted in the drawings below. In a traditional “tight top” mattress, the top upholstery layer is pulled down and attached to the mattress with one tape edge. In a pillow top or eurotop, the top upholstery layer is attached as a separate “floating” layer.
The purpose of a box spring is to provide support and act as a shock absorber for the mattress. It should therefore have some “give” to it in order to adequately relieve pressure from the mattress. A poor box spring can be too soft, too firm or inconsistent in support. A good box spring will consist of base frame, insulator pad, fabric cover and shock absorbing support elements, as shown below:
There are four different types of support elements:
Shock absorbing modules absorb pressure, reduce wire fatigue and side-to-side sway and increase durability. This design provides a good balance between shock absorption and stability.
Shock absorbing cone-shaped coils deliver a softer feel than a modular style box spring and are typically used by hotels due to their ability to resist abuse. The design results in more side-to-side sway and motion than a modular box spring.
Straight wire-welded cage offers zero deflection and was originally developed by manufacturers to compete against low cost wood platform foundations found in low end products. Today, this is used by most major manufacturers in products of all quality levels.
Low cost, zero deflection platform that is typically comprised of a wooden box covered with cardboard and fabric.
There are few different materials and techniques that may be used when constructing a box spring. These are defined below for your information.
Pad used to prevent the metal grid-work of a box spring or semi-flex foundation from poking through the fabric surface and possibly damaging the mattress.
Refers to the method of sewing that provides an overlap of fabric material from the side of the box spring over the top edge, intended to create a more finished look to the product. This may also be used by the manufacturer to improve FR (Fire Retardant) performance of the box spring or mattress and box spring set.
Refers to the method of sewing that attaches the top panel to the decorative side border material using a decorative binding tape on the edge. This is used to create a slightly more finished look when compared to the blind seam method since the tape edge is used as a guide to appropriately align the cover to the box spring / foundation.
Refers to the method of sewing that attaches the top panel directly to the side border material. This is considered the most efficient way to sew a box spring cover, but does not provide as cleanly tailored a look as the Tape Edge or Continental Edge style covers.
Sewing technique used with the continental edge style box spring covers to create a well-tailored and tight fitting corner. This is created by removing excess material from the corner and restitching fabric back together.
Sewing technique used with the continental edge style box spring covers to create a corner transition. This is accomplished by pinching small sections of material together and sewing pleats in the cover to take up the excess material around the corner. A pleated corner would typically feature between 2 and 5 pleats per corner.