Why do some mattress models command higher prices? If you’ve been wondering about this, you’re in the right place. We are going to talk about a lot of things related to the cost of beds in the United States. The topics range from the categories of mattress price comparison to the factors that affect the final price.
On PhatFusion, we regularly publish unbiased mattress reviews. As we get to know each mattress, we take note of the best ones. Then we compile them in a list. We will share with you more than 10 of those lists in the upcoming section. So stay tuned.
You can also geek out on the factors that affect market costs. Don’t worry, this is not an economics lecture. We will just take a deep dive into your favorite mattress types and how their design and materials count toward the figures attached to them.
Table of Contents
- Best Mattress Price Comparison
- Factors That Affect the Final Price
- Other Factors
Best Mattress Price Comparison
Here are the links to our lists of best mattress in various categories, plus their prices (Queen):
- Best Mattress for the Money
- Best Mattress Under $200
- Best Mattress Under $500
- Best Mattress Under $1000
- Best Crib Mattress
- Best Innerspring Mattress
- Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Best Hybrid Mattress
- Best Air Mattress
- Best Futon Mattress
- Best Mattress for Back Sleepers
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
- Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Best Mattress for Scoliosis
- Best Bamboo Mattress
- Best Cooling Mattress
- Best Eco-Friendly Mattress
- Best Firm Mattress
- Best Luxury Mattress
- Best Mattress for Couples
- Best Mattress for Sex
- Best Mattress on Amazon
- Best Online Mattress
- Most Comfortable Mattress
Factors That Affect the Final Price
The oldest and most traditional version, innerspring mattresses are known for their straightforward construction. You have the steel coil springs at the core. Up above and underneath you have the upholstery, which can be made of polyurethane foam or polyfoam.
One of the markers of its value is the coil gauge. Each spring system has a designated number, such as 12.5-gauge or 14-gauge. The lower the number, the thicker and firmer the coils are. What sets apart the low-end, mid-end, and high-end is the type of wires found in each innerspring class.
Memory foam is based on a cushioning technology developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s. It was meant to be used for airborne emergencies, protecting passengers from injuries. These days, the material is known as a common component in comfort and support layers of mattresses.
Indeed, the memory foam mattress has come far. Back in the day, there was no established way to mass-produce memory foam. So imagine it was expensive to try and put it inside a bed.
But from the time Swedish company Tempurpedic introduced it, memory foam has become a household name. It is its ability to contour to the curves of your body that have made it desirable. This means it hugs and supports your body, relieving pressure points. Another standout feature is its responsiveness. It can cling on to your body shape, but it can also bounce back fast after you get up.
Today, memory foam is an affordable choice. It is recommended for side sleepers. Those who sleep hot may have to look for a model with cooling technology. The gel is the most recognizable element among them all.
With reliable motion isolation, resistance to dust mites and allergens, and compatibility with adjustable beds, memory foam beds are favored by manufacturers and consumers alike. It is highly affordable and valuable for both parties.
Listed among the premium materials in luxury models, latex is made from the sap of rubber trees. To achieve the foam people know so well, manufacturers process the raw material using either the Dunlop or Talalay method. This is where you get the two types of latex used in the industry.
Latex is naturally breathable and bouncy. For these, it is created into layers of all-foam or as a cushion to hybrid or innerspring. It does not fully conform to your curves like memory foam, but it still delivers some hug-like feel. In the next section, you’ll find out how natural, blended, or synthetic latex affects bed prices.
Quite expensive but preferred for the value it provides, the hybrid mattress combines the best features of two systems. These systems are the traditional innerspring and dependable all-foam. It is reminiscent of the bounce of spring coils, which have long been here since the 1900s. Then there is the contouring and responsive comfort found in comfort and support foams.
To not confuse it with innerspring, a hybrid is set apart by its top layer, which should be two inches thick. Innerspring has a thinner version. Nevertheless, it has the responsive and springy sensation of the latter. It just amps up the features of the foams people love and rely on.
Further, hybrids can accommodate sleepers on the heavier side. They are joined by couples and back pain sufferers who need the support of the spring, minus the soreness. It’s also the in-between mattress type. So pick this if you like a good compromise.
We mentioned that hybrids can be expensive. Prices in the mid-range range from$1,600 to $2,000 for a queen version.
Also take note that the thicker the foam layers, the higher the price the mattress commands.
Pillowtop mattresses are preferred by individuals who want a plush sleeping surface. It derives its name from its top layer of soft upholstery that is called pillow toppers. This layer, aside from being comfortable, lets you sink into the bed. With the right sink-in feel, more parts of your body are supported, relieving pressure points.
In turn, the spine aligns naturally as the hips and shoulders release some of the pressure. Side sleepers can benefit the most from this dynamic. Pillowtop beds have prices that range from the cost of innerspring to the cost of hybrid versions.
This is one of, if not the most, expensive mattress types. A queen-size air mattress can retail from $1,500 to $2,500. Why does it cost a lot? What makes this one special?
The mechanism inside the airbed is different from other bed types. Instead of foam or core layers, it features air chambers. Conventional models consist of two air chambers. More recent ones sport up to six air chambers. To inflate the unit, you can activate the inner pump or pump air into it manually. With the manual or remote pump, you can control the height and firmness settings of your mattress.
Airbeds have a wide range of use, from serving as the sleeping space in master bedrooms and guest rooms to being the bed of choice in outdoor camping adventures.
Design & Materials
Bonnell Coil vs Offset Coils vs Continuous vs Marshall Coils
Bonnell coils make up the oldest and traditional spring system used in mattresses. It was derived from the springs used in buggy seats in the 1800s. It is composed of hourglass-shaped steel wire coils with knotted, round tops. Each innerspring unit or Bonnell unit is joined by crosswire chemicals.
Some innerspring still prefer Bonnell for its cheap price and availability. Models using it are usually in the low- and mid-range. Depending on the other materials found in the bed, your sleeping surface may transfer a lot of motion. That’s because the coils act as a single unit when reacting to impact and pressure.
Offset coils also come in an hourglass shape as they are based on Bonnell coils. But instead of knotted tops, they have flat or square top and bottom parts. Every two square ends are tied using helical wires. The resulting innerspring unit has a hinging effect, which allows for the coils to respond individually, not as a unit. This setup also makes for better conformity.
Offset coils can be knotted or unknotted. Knotted coils have a more stable and smoother feel, while unknotted ones offer a springier and more flexible response. Being more complex than the Bonnell coil system, in high-end mattress brands like Sealy prefer to use it in their products.
Continuous coils were popularized by Serta. This spring system was created for the manufacturer by Leggett & Platt using the commercial name Mira-coil. Yet, the continuous coils term has stuck. It’s probably because the innerspring unit sports a continuous wire, with rows running crosswise. In some models, the rows can run crosswise and lengthwise, enabling the mattress to support heavier sleepers.
Continuous coils are flexible as they are hinged like the offset coils.
Marshall or Pocketed Coils
Last but not least, Marshall coils or pocketed coils are the most preferred unit today. Consumers and manufacturers may also know or refer to it as individually wrapped or encased coils or pocket springs. These coils have a thin gauge, which means they’re thick. They’re also barrel-shaped and knotless. Instead of wires, they’re usually wrapped together in a man-made, non-woven fabric, so they can work independently from each other.
If you can, find pocket coils that are pre-compressed. They are firmer and isolate motion well.
The gel is infused in foam layers, including memory foam, latex foam, and polyfoam. Like graphite and copper, the gel is added to mattresses because of its cooling properties. It is the most common among those we mentioned even if it tends to be expensive to produce. It is usually found at the top or support layer of smart gel beds.
This component effectively dissipates heat and moisture. The surface should then be able to keep your body cool while you sleep. If you sleep hot, you can try a memory foam or polyfoam mattress with this element. It somehow feels different, though, from your typical all-foam mattress.
Natural vs Synthetic Latex
Natural latex is the raw material sourced from rubber trees. The sap is processed using either the Dunlop or Talalay method. Dunlop has been around since the early 1900s, so it is the more established and traditional way. It includes a baking process during which sediments from the sap accumulate at the bottom. This results in a more dense surface, making Dunlop latex firmer than Talalay.
The more recent method is Talalay, with the rubber sap being placed in a vacuum-sealed chamber. The resulting latex foam is lighter and more consistent. When it comes to breathability, Talalay has improved on the weaknesses of Dunlop. However, it is also said to contain synthetic materials sometimes, so you end up with a blended latex.
Dunlop latex is not 100% natural as well. But in its best form, Dunlop latex probably contains 95% latex and 5% curing agents.
Speaking of synthetic latex, this material is made from petrochemicals. A liquid called Styrene and a gas called Butadiene is two polymers of the highest value which are used to create it. Meaning, it is 100% man-made and contains zero natural latex. The threshold for natural latex is quite high. So if you find a mattress or product claiming to contain 30% natural latex, some people already consider it synthetic. But they label it with the euphemistic term blended latex.
At the same time, Dunlop or Talalay process can be used to produce synthetic latex. This is the explanation behind blended Dunlop or blended Talalay foams. Blended latex has small portions of natural rubber, which helps it to produce softer beds. Not all synthetic latex is harmful or unhealthy. So, better look for certifications like Oeko-tex or Eco-INSTITUT to know if what you’re buying has been tested safe.
A latex mattress typically costs more than memory foam and hybrid mattresses. And it is even more expensive when made of natural and/or organic latex.
Most online mattress companies offer free shipping. So this should not affect the final price you see at checkout. But if you live outside the contiguous United States, this may not be the case. This service is usually reserved for residents in the said area. If you are from Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada, you may have to pay a flat fee to get your mattress delivered.
On top of free shipping, some brands provide white glove delivery. They will send their personnel to set up the mattress in your home. In most cases, this is bundled with old mattress removal. There is a corresponding fee when you avail of this service. But a few companies will do it for free.
Bed-in-a-box models are often the candidates for returns. Not that all of them are generally poor in quality that people are asking to get their money back. But they come with a sleep trial, which is an open invitation from manufacturers to buy, test, and return the used mattress if it doesn’t fit.
When you request a return within the trial period, many companies promise to refund you in full. Yet they will likely add that pickup and transportation fees shall be deducted from the amount. While this does not affect the price you pay during pre-sale, you’ll probably be spending on return costs.
Is there an added layer of latex, memory foam, or micro-coils in the mattress? The presence of premium materials can bump up the price of a bed. As you read in the section discussing the different mattress types, some components determine how many models costs.
Aside from natural latex, options with natural or organic materials can command more dollars. That’s because it takes money and time to produce them. And the manufacturer needs to recover the production costs. To ensure your bed is safe and healthy, look for certifications, such as:
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
Some brands create foundations or bed frames that complement the mattress models they sell. Said foundations or bed frames will be offered on the Shop or Product page. If you click the option to buy a frame, you will often get a discounted amount. Still, the final price will be higher than when you purchase the mattress alone.
Pillows, sheets, duvets, and other bedding items can also be bought with the mattress. Online marketplaces make this possible. But individual brands can develop their own sleep accessories and sell them together with the mattress. Some of these products are affordable and enhance your sleep experience. So the additional amount may not really make the final price shoot up.
The more intricate and effective the construction is, the higher the price. Components are also assessed by their make-up. We enumerated the most common (memory foam), the desired (latex foam), and the innovative (hybrid).
If you choose any of the options we provided here, we would be happy to hear about what made you do so. Feel free to send in your comments, as well as your questions and suggestions. And now another day ends. And you learned something new before purchasing a mattress.
More information on sleep, mattresses, and sleep accessories can be accessed on phatfusion.net. We publish daily, so visit us often.