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The Most Common Types of Mattresses you will Encounter in the Industry

There are many thousands of different mattresses that are sold in the industry that use a wide range of different components and materials in their design which means that it can be confusing or even overwhelming to try to figure out what two different mattresses have in common but in very general terms they can be categorized into a much smaller number of categories based on the primary materials and components that are used in the support core and the comfort layers of the design. While each category can also include hundreds or sometimes thousands of individual models with a very wide range of thicknesses, layering combinations, and firmness levels ... knowing the most common categories of mattresses can sometimes be helpful if your testing indicates a "pattern" that you tend to prefer some types of mattresses over others or in making more "apples to apples" comparisons between mattresses. The "definition" of a category is generally based on the type of support system and the type of comfort layers that are used inside a mattress.

A note about durable mattress materials. 

I would also keep in mind that the choice between different types of materials and different types of mattresses is primarily a preference or a budget choice rather than a "better/worse" choice and different people will prefer some types of materials or mattresses over others. Each type of material will tend to have lower quality and less durable versions and higher quality and more durable versions so no matter which types of materials or mattresses you tend to prefer I would always make sure you know the specifics of all the layers and components inside any mattress you are considering (particularly in the upper layers of the mattress) so that you can confirm that there are no lower quality and less durable versions of any particular material in a mattress that could be a "weak link" in terms of its durability and useful life and how quickly you may need to replace it (see this article).

These are the dozen or so most common types of mattresses that you will find in the industry.



While each of these categories have a very wide range of different models and designs and can be anywhere from very soft to very firm ... by knowing the different mattresses categories it may help you to identify any general patterns in the types of mattresses and materials that your testing indicates you tend to prefer and help you narrow down your choices a little more easily.


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Important Information to Know Prior to Making a Mattress Purchase

Here is a brief list of the basic information and specifications you need to know about any mattress that you are seriously considering to make sure that it uses good quality materials and there are no weak links in the design in terms of Durability. You can print this and take it to the store with you and show it to the salesperson you are dealing with to make sure ahead of time that they can provide you with all the information you will need to make an informed choice and/or you can ask them to only show you the mattresses they carry where this information is available. Better yet would be to call them or email them first to confirm that they will provide you with this information.

One of the most frustrating parts of mattress shopping can be spending time testing a mattress and finding out that you like it and it's a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, pressure relief, and Personal preferences) only to find out that the information you need to identify any lower quality and less durable materials that would be a potential weak link in the mattress or to be able to make meaningful comparisons to other mattresses isn't available and you've wasted the time you spent testing the mattress.

Information you need to know about any mattress you are considering (either locally or online) before making a purchase...

  1. The type and thickness of all the layers or components in a mattress listed in order from the top down (or the bottom up) to make sure they add up to the thickness of the mattress.
  2. The density of any polyfoam or memory foam layers in lbs per cu. ft (lb/ft3).
  3. The type (Dunlop or Talalay) and approximate blend (the percentage of natural rubber and synthetic rubber) of any latex layers.
  4. The type of innerspring, the gauge of the coils, the number of the coils, and the density of any polyfoam edge support.
  5. The type or blend of fabric and any quilting materials used in the cover. If the quilting material is polyfoam or memory foam and is in the range of "around an inch or so" or less then it's not essential to know the foam density. If any quilting layers are 2" or more then I would want to know the density of any foam materials in the quilting.

Comparing mattress specifications with our durability guidelines.

Once you have this information then you can compare it to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no obvious weak links in the mattress that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress and to make more meaningful comparisons to other mattresses.

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About The 20 Largest Mattress Manufacturers

Updated February 9th, 2019

Throughout this website, it is often mentioned to avoid "major" mattress manufacturers. This is primarily due to a clear lack of transparency about the quality and specifications of the materials used in their mattresses vs. smaller independent manufacturers that make similar mattresses with the same or better quality, are transparent about their materials and designs and often times sell for better prices. This article will give you a better idea of who the largest 20 manufacturers are, which manufacturers to avoid, and some who are possibilities in terms of their transparency, quality, and relative value.

The list, which presents estimates developed by Furniture Today through a review of materials sent to the publication and a survey of bedding producers and suppliers.

It is very important to note that through merger/acquisition consolidation, Serta Simmons Holdings LLC owns Serta and Simmons; similarly Tempur-Sealy International, Inc. owns Sealy and Tempur-Pedic. These two mega-corporations represent 65.6% of mattress sales for the entire industry. Furniture Today’s top 20 companies represent 90.8% of all bedding sales in 2017.

major mattress manufacturers 2017 graph

The “Other producers (9.1%)” consists of hundreds of smaller manufacturers, most of who lack a massive advertising budget, and sometimes are only available locally or regionally.

One of the goals of this website is to help consumers identify and find the manufacturers who are open and transparent about the materials in their mattresses and are focused on making and selling higher quality and value mattresses.


Beyond these top 20 manufacturers, there are hundreds of smaller local or regional manufacturers or in some cases national online brands, which are well worth considering if they are fully transparent about the materials they use in their mattresses. Many of these independent manufacturers provide better quality and value for consumers.

Most importantly, knowing the specific details of the materials and components in a mattress and making "mattress to mattress" comparisons is the only way to make meaningful comparisons. Blind purchases in which you know little to nothing about what’s inside the mattress should always be avoided regardless of which manufacturer makes the mattress.

Spending your valuable time with more transparent manufacturers, or with retailers who will provide you, the needed information will save you a great deal of time and frustration. Transparent bedding companies are more deserving of your time and effort because they are saying, Consumers deserve to know what they are buying".

Based on the Furniture Today publication of June 11, 2018, below is a list of the top 20 mattress manufacturers in the bedding industry in the year 2017. A brief description of each one and a note on the product range as categorized by common industry nomenclature is summarized and accessible by clicking the information icon for each of the manufacturers in the table below.

Additionally, at TMU we came up with the “TMU Assessment Criteria” to give our consumer subscribers better guidance and information about what one may encounter and experience with the Top 20 manufacturers. These assessments are based on our years of experience writing about the mattress industry as well as the input from our many advisors and contacts within the mattress industry.

TMU Assessment Criteria  Code  Definition & Terminology     
Specification Transparency S - T Provides detailed information re. the composition of the components used in its products. (Examples - Density/ ILD of Foams, Quantity of coils, Component Thickness)
Component/Quality Control System C/Q CS Mattress product consistency from internal Quality Control Systems & Quality of Components used vs. warranty
Price/Value P/V Consumer Price relative to component cost vs. comparable products available
green button  Good    yellow button  Caution  red button  Poor   
COMPANYMillions Sales in 2017Info S - T C/Q CS P/V
Serta $ 1,662 red button green button yellow button
Simmons $ 1,640 red button green button yellow button
Sealy $ 1,357 red button green button yellow button
Tempur-Pedic $  861 red button green button yellow button
Select Comfort $  462 red button green button yellow button
Corsicana $  364 red button red button yellow button
Therapedic $  154 red button yellow button yellow button
Ashley Furniture $  148 red button green button yellow button
Englander $  121 red button yellow button yellow button
Sherwood $  120 red button green button green button
Restonic  $  116 red button yellow button yellow button
Symbol  $  111 red button green button green button
E.S. Kluft  $  102 red button green button yellow button
Kingsdown  $  100 red button green button yellow button
King Koil  $   93 red button yellow button yellow button
Spring Air  $   72 red button yellow button yellow button
Southerland  $   50 red button green button green button
Boyd  $   44 red button green button yellow button
Eclipse  $   40 red button yellow button yellow button
Paramount  $   28 red button green button green button




Product Line Price RangeQueen Min  Queen Max       
Promotional    $     99         $   499  
Premium    $    500         $ 1,099  
Luxury    $ 1,100         $ 2,499  
UltraLuxury    $ 2,500         $ Higher  


green button Good
yellow button Caution
red button Poor
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Determining Mattress Durability

One of the most frequently asked questions when consumers are buying a new mattress is "how long will this mattress last" and even though this is one of the most important parts of the value of a mattress purchase there are very few sources of information that will provide a reliable answer to this question.

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