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Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Sleeping allows both your brain and your body time to rest and recharge.
However, it’s not enough to turn off the lights and go to sleep. You need to take steps to ensure you’re getting quality sleep. These steps include creating a calming atmosphere in your bedroom, moderating lighting, and selecting the right mattress.
One particularly important part of the mattress selection process is making sure you’re getting a mattress made of the right material.
So, are branded mattresses and generic mattresses made of the same material? Yes, branded mattresses and generic mattresses are made of the same types of material, but the quality of the materials and the formulation of the mattresses differ.
Read on to explore the different materials that go into making mattresses, how they impact your sleep quality, and the differences between branded and generic mattresses.
Branded vs. Generic Mattresses: The Basics
Generally, mattresses can be divided into two categories: branded mattresses and generic mattresses.
Popular branded mattresses in America are Serta, Simmons, Sterns & Foster, Tempur, and Sealy.
Generic mattresses can be bought from department stores or on e-platforms like Amazon.
What Material are Branded Mattresses and Generic Mattresses Made of?
Since the industrial revolution, the way mattresses is made has changed. Most mattresses, whether generic or branded, are factory produced using a range of different materials. Understanding the different types of mattresses and the materials used to make them can help you understand the difference between generic and branded.
Innerspring mattresses are made with coils topped with polyurethane foam. While both branded and generic innerspring mattresses are made with coils, the arrangement of the coils can differ. For instance, in pocket coil mattresses, each coil is separate, while continuous coil mattresses have rows of connected coils. Each type of innerspring mattress construction has its benefits and drawbacks.
When looking at the type of innerspring mattress you want, you need to understand your own niche needs.
Do you need a firmer mattress, which makes little to no noise when you lie down? If so, the offset coil mattress is your best bet.
Do you sleep with someone else on the bed? If you do, then choose a pocket coil mattress as it minimizes the motion transfer across the mattress; there’s less chance that your sleep partner will get disturbed if you get up.
If you have niche sleeping needs, it’s better to opt for a branded mattress as it will allow you a more detailed insight into the type of coils that have been used to make the mattress and how they will affect your sleep.
However, if you’re looking for a cheap mattress option, you can consider a generic mattress which will typically use Bonnell coils.
Memory foam mattresses are some of the most popular types in the market. The origin story of foam mattresses goes back to scientists in NASA, who developed viscoelastic, a material that was used in airplane seats. As you sink into a memory foam mattress, it will change its shape slightly to adapt to your body. When you get up, it’ll slowly go back to its original form.
The adaptability of memory foam is terrific, but there are some drawbacks to memory foam mattresses. They can potentially contain toxic, carcinogenic chemicals that help the foam retain their shape as well as adhesives. Memory foam mattresses can also get hotter than other mattresses because the chemicals that go into making them retain more heat. Over time, the mattresses may also stop retaining their shapes and develop dips that don’t bounce back.
If you want to protect yourself from the drawbacks of using memory foam, it’s best to opt for a branded memory foam mattress from brands like Casper or Tuft & Needle. They tend to be made using higher quality substances, last longer, and contain less toxic chemicals. Generic mattresses will be cheaper but will be made with less durable materials.
If the idea of chemicals infused in your mattresses will make you lose sleep, consider investing in a latex mattress. Sap from latex producing trees is whipped and mixed with other substances to harden it and shape it into latex, which is then constructed into a mattress. There are two methods of making a natural latex mattress; the Talalay method and the Dunlop method.
The Dunlop method is the more energy-efficient of the two – latex is processed into a foam, which is baked in a mold to produce the mattress. Meanwhile, the Talalay method involves two steps – the latex foam is placed in a mold, which is then put into a vacuum chamber and flash frozen, creating a more buoyant, adaptable mattress.
Talalay and Dunlop mattresses each have their advantages based on what kind of texture and firmness you want. However, there are other types of latex mattresses, such as synthetic and blended latex. Synthetic latex mattresses are made using petrochemicals, and, because they take less energy to produce are cheaper than their natural counterparts. Blended latex mattresses, a combination of natural and synthetic latex, are also cheaper, but contain more chemicals and are less durable.
Branded mattresses like the Spindle mattress, Dreamfoam mattress, and ZenHaven are more likely to be made with natural processes, giving them green certifications and better durability. Generic mattresses will be cheaper, but in the long run may not be the best choice as they will more likely be made with synthetic latex and last only a few years.
Natural mattresses are another great option if you’re uncomfortable about the chemical formulations that go into making memory foam. As the name suggests, natural mattresses are made from natural materials and fibers, each type of which affects the character of the mattress. Materials used include:
- Cotton: Cotton mattresses are known for their durability and can last for almost a decade. However, as the material is untreated, they may become a nesting ground for dust mites.
- Hemp: Hemp is a vegan-friendly material that produces solid, durable mattresses with low environmental costs.
- Wool: Wool traps air, providing natural insulation in a mattress.
- Coir: Coir is made from the husk of a coconut and is a springy, firm material that can be ideal for people with back problems. Coir mattresses work best in hot and humid climates as they don’t retain a lot of heat.
- Flax: Flax is mixed with wool or cotton to create an extra firm mattress.
- Feathers and Down: Feathers and goose down are used to make mattress toppers, which are spread over a mattress to add extra comfort. They are excellent at retaining heat and work best in colder climates.
Mattresses made with natural materials tend to be more expensive, but there are both generic and branded mattresses which use them. The main difference is the quality and treatment of the fibers. To ensure that there are minimal chemicals, bigger mattress brands will use organic wool and cotton. On the other hand, to keep costs down, generic mattresses will more likely be made with non-organic cotton and wool, which have been raised with the help of pesticides and treated with chemicals.
So, even though the materials are the same, their actual composition differs depending on which type of mattress you choose.
Indeed, this is the case in any mattress type you choose. While branded and generic mattresses are made of the same materials, branded mattresses are made of higher quality, less toxic materials. They will be more durable and will also be under warranty for at least a year.
Generic mattresses will be cheaper but because the material quality is compromised, less durable, and even less comfortable.
When deciding which way you want to go, think about what your budget is, but also what kind of sleeper you are and what you need from a mattress. Use this guide, make an informed decision, and then sleep easy. Happy dreaming!