Frequently Asked Questions about Mattresses

Question: What's a mattress made of?

Answer: Despite their simple exterior appearance, mattress sets are highly engineered sleep systems constructed of different components such as springs, foam and air. Regardless of how the mattress is constructed, every mattress requires a foundation or box spring to properly support the mattress, and ensure the life and comfort of the mattress. Together a mattress and its foundation comprise a sleep set.

  • Innerspring mattresses are composed of precisely configured tempered steel (coil springs) and many different qualities of foam (padding), which work together to support weight, limit stress to pressure points such as hips and shoulders, and comfortably suspend a sleeper's body throughout the night.
    • Sealy Posturepedic CoilInnerspring support provides a variety of different configurations including individual coils that are placed together, individual coils that are placed in fabric pockets, or one continuous wire that forms an entire row of coils.  An important variable to these three types of innerspring construction is the gauge of steel.  The coil count combined with the gauge of steel and border support system is critical in the creation of a quality mattress set.
    • Coil Count: This indicates the number of coils used in an innerspring mattress. A high coil count does not necessarily translate into a better quality mattress. Instead, the design of a coil, the gauge of the wire used, and the way the coil is engineered are equally significant indicators of the comfort, support and durability the mattress will provide.
    • Gauge of Coil: The gauge of coil is the thickness of the wire used in a mattress and/or foundation coils. A lower gauge denotes a heavier/thicker wire, which may mean more support.
    • Edge Support: Mattresses with edge support offer edge-to-edge comfort across the mattress, ensuring the mattress retains its shape and provides long lasting comfort. Edge support also reduces the chance of mattress-edge sink (typically caused by sitting on the edge of the mattress) over a period of time. Edge support is provided using several methods, such as foam encasement for the innerspring unit, additional coils near the edge of the mattress, or a tied coil construction.
    • Foam mattresses are designed specifically for pressure management. When you lie on a foam mattress, the foam immediately distributes your body weight properly across the entire sleeping surface to reduce uncomfortable pressure points.
  • Foam sleep sets are constructed using multiple layers of foam. Some foam has an open cell structure, while others have closed cell foams. Open cell foams have absorbing properties as well as cushioning characteristics. These foams will help to cradle the body. Closed cell structured foams have a lower absorption rate, but offer higher levels of support.
    • Rolled Memory FoamMemory Foams are denser than other foams and can be more supportive than other types of mattresses. These types of mattresses are comprised of temperature sensitive foams which mold to the body quickly and help to limit motion transfer.
    • Latex Foams have a different cell structure than memory foams, which make them more breathable and naturally hypo-allergenic. Latex is also an eco-friendly, biodegradable product, made from the rubber tree. Latex easily forms to the contours of the body, but is not prone to lasting body impressions.

Question: How often should I replace my mattress?

Answer: Every 5-7 years. Even if your mattress doesn't show much wear and tear, your body, lifestyle and sleep needs have probably changed. If your mattress is 5-7 years older, so are you! Has your weight changed, have you gotten married, developed back problems, or do you have a less active lifestyle? That old mattress may no longer be the best fit for the person you are today. In fact in a Consumer Reports study showed that 72% of polled online subscribers found a new bed improved their sleep.

Question: What's the proper way to turn or rotate a mattress and how often should it be done?

Answer: Some new mattresses should be rotated every week for the first few months and every few months thereafter. Most new mattresses have been designed as "no-flip" mattresses, eliminating the need for end-over-end rotation. We suggest you consult your manufacturer’s warranty for the proper rotation guidelines specific to your new mattress.

Tip: Unless your mattress is a twin size, we don't recommend you turn it alone. Doing so can result in damage to the product or injury to you. Get a friend or a family member to assist you. Do not use the cord handles to turn the mattress, as they will not support the weight of the mattress and will likely pull out. Mattress handles should be used for final positioning only.

Question: Should I buy a hard mattress if I have a bad back?

Answer: Your doctor may have specific recommendations. In general, we'd recommend a mattress that offers good support, and such support does not mean the hardest or firmest mattress available. Innerspring mattresses offer various types of surface materials over the coil unit that aid in improving the comfort of a mattress without compromising the support. Foam, latex or air mattresses are also good options for contouring the body while offering proper support and lasting comfort.

Question: What is the best mattress, or mattress brand?

Answer: Each of the major brands we carry offers unique features and benefits that may appeal more to you, while consistently providing a great quality product. Your comfort is a personal choice. A trained salesperson will help to guide you based on your preferences, enabling you to make an informed buying decision.

Question: What are the measurements of each mattress size?

Answer: Throughout the industry, there are standard mattress sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, California King, and Eastern King. See dimensions below. Mattress dimensions can vary +/- by a half inch depending on the manufacturer.

  • Twin (Also know as a single bed): A bed measuring 39 inches wide by 74 inches long.
  • Full (Also known as a double or a standard bed): A bed that measures 54 inches wide and 74 inches long.
  • Queen: A bed that measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long.
  • California King (Also known as a Western King): A bed that measures 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.
  • King (Also known as an Eastern King): A bed that measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long.

Question: How soon can I have my new mattress set delivered?

Answer: Sleep Train provides same day delivery for FREE (within any of our local delivery zones). Purchase any in-stock product by 2 PM, and we can deliver it that day. We will also set up your new mattress set and remove your old mattress set at no cost.

Question: What is the best way to protect my new mattress?

Answer: Mattress protection, including the use of waterproof mattress pads, is the easiest way to protect the manufacturer’s warranty on your mattress. Should a problem arise with your mattress, it must be free of stains in order to qualify for a warranty exchange or repair. Aside from keeping your mattress free of stains, many mattress protectors have the ability to keep dust mites out of your new mattress and away from your skin.

Question: What are the new regulations on mattresses being fire resistant?

Answer: Beginning July 1st, 2007 all mattresses manufactured must meet the new Federal Government Law on F.R., "Flammability Regulations." This law requires that every mattress must have a label that states the mattress set meets the federal standard. This regulation requires that mattresses be significantly more resistant to an open flame than previously outlined in individual state rulings. All Sleep Train mattresses now meet these new flammability regulations, by the means of fire resistant fiber barriers, not with the use of hazardous chemicals. The new F.R. Law is designed in the case of a fire and will give homeowners an extra 20-30 minutes to escape their bedroom. It also provides firefighters more time to get into a home, thus preventing further damage. It is estimated this new law now in effect will save 270 lives each year, and prevent as many as 1,330 injuries.

Question: Is my child ready for an adult-sized bed?

Girl reading on a mattressAnswer: The transition from a crib to a bed is a big step for children.  Due to the danger of injury from a crib, it is encouraged to switch to an adult size bed as soon as a child begins to climb out of the crib, or once a child reaches 35 inches in height. Most children move from crib to bed between the ages of two and three years old.

Tip: Children spend a great deal of their growing years in bed. Providing them with a mattress set that offers adequate comfort and support for active, developing bodies is important, and usually cannot be found in hand-me-down or used sleep products. While many parents still purchase twin size sleep sets, recent industry statistics show a rise in the number of parents opting for full size or "double" beds for children. Space permitting, the larger size bed allows greater freedom of movement while sleeping and can provide more comfort for both parent and child during quiet talks and bedtime stories.