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4 Mattress Features That Actually Don’t Impact How You Sleep

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
October 28, 2016 · 2.2k Views

You don’t have to look very far before seeing an ad from a mattress company claiming that by using their product, you’ll experience the best night’s sleep ever. Articles from the medical and wellness communities reporting on how our sleeping patterns affect serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity as well as memory, risk of injury, and mood are common. Considering these factors, it is not surprising how willing we are to pay a lot of money for a mattress backed by the promise of blissful slumber. Before buying your next mattress, you want to be aware of certain terms that sound good, but really don’t improve overall comfort or support. 

sleepin cat icon When you're ready to shop for a new mattress, make sure you check out Macy's, Sears, Sealy Bedding, and Mattress Discounters before you buy. You never know how much you can save with DealsPlus!


4 Mattress Features That Actually Don't Improve Your Sleep sleeping z icon


  1. More or better coils

    mattress coils

    Source: Mattress Store San Diego

    The mention of more or better coils certainly sounds connected to improved support. After testing better innerspring mattresses with 600 to 1,000 coils, Consumer Reports found that the additional coils didn’t help because they were made of thinner-gauge metal. Consumer Reports also ruled out the type of coil as having any benefit.

  2. Hybrid foam layers


    Source: BedTimes

    When you see the term hybrid, it means that the mattress has a layer of foam on top, which is supposed to improve the performance and feel of the innersprings. In order for the foam layer to improve comfort, it has to be at least several inches thick. Tests revealed that the foam layer varies from mattress to mattress. In some cases, the layer was too thin to affect support.

  3. Cooling gel feature

    mattress cooling gel feature

    Source: Walmart

    Mattresses with a gel-infused foam layer are supposed to have a cooling effect while you sleep. But tests showed that the “cooling” gel layer is buried deep in the mattress and has no effect on sleep quality.

  4. Additional lumbar support 

    lumbar support

    Source: BackFitPro

    Back problems are common making the mattress feature of a raised lumbar-support zone sound especially appealing. Unfortunately, this feature showed no significant benefits when tested.

    blue arrow For more information, read Consumer Report’s article 4 Features That Don’t Improve Mattress Comfort.


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lightbulb iconTips for shopping for your next mattress

  1. Do your research. Research the different mattress types: memory foam, innerspring, and adjustable air. Compare the features of each mattress type and consider how they relate to any issues you are experiencing such as joint and back pain.
  2. Don’t comparison shop. After reading a rating for a particular mattress on Consumer Reports, you go to a store only to find it doesn’t carry the exact model. Don’t let the salesperson lead you to a “similar” mattress because chances are, it will vary in construction, components, and firmness from your original model.
  3. The lie down test. Spend 5 to 10 minutes lying down on any mattress you are considering to buy. Be sure to see how the mattress feels lying on your back, each side, and stomach.
  4. Return policy. Before purchase, get all the details about the store’s return policy. Make sure it offers a full refund or credit toward another mattress and be aware of the return period, which can range from a couple weeks to 120 days. Most likely, you will be responsible for getting the mattress back to the store, but some online retailers like Costco provide free pickup.
  5. Warranty. Warranty covers manufacturing defects only and can range from 10 to 20 years.
  6. Delivery day. As with all home deliveries, inspect your mattress thoroughly for any damage or stains. Make sure the mattress is labeled “all new material.” Do not accept the mattress if it is damaged, or improperly packaged and labeled.

    blue arrow For further reading, check out Consumer Report’s Mattress Buying Guide.

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catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.