Your Complete Guide to Mattress Terms

The best way to find the right mattress for you is to visit a store and actually try one out for yourself. But if you’ve ever been to a mattress store or even browsed around online, you’ve probably heard a number of strange terms, ranging from egg crate foam to bunkie boards. So, to have the best shopping experience, it helps if you can “speak the language” and understand all the different mattress terms being used. Here is a handy guide to common mattress terms so you can have all the information you need to visit a store and pick out the perfect mattress.

Adjustable airbed — A bed that contains pumps and several air bladders so that air can be increased or decreased to adjust the firmness of the bed.

Adjustable bed — A bed designed to be used in conjunction with an adjustable bed frame. Not all bed designs (namely traditional innerspring mattresses) are compatible.

Adjustable bed frame — A bed frame that allows you to raise or lower the head and feet of the bed to maximize comfort.

Antimicrobial — A treatment for mattress fabrics that helps prevent microorganisms, bacteria and dust mites.

Border wires — This strong wire runs along the perimeter of the mattress to add stability and support so you can sleep all the way to the edge of the mattress. Sometimes called border rods.

Bunkie board — Popular with modern platform beds, this thin, sturdy board takes the place of a box spring and provides support for the mattress.

California king — Slightly longer and narrower than a traditional king bed, California king beds measure 72” wide and 84” long.

Coil — A traditional spring used in innerspring mattresses to provide support.

Crib — Mattress size measuring 27” wide and 52” long.

Egg crate foam — Also known as convoluted foam. A type of foam padding that has rows of raised bumps so it resembles the underside of an egg crate.

Euro top — A layer of padding on the top of a mattress that is thinner than most pillow-top designs.

Factory-direct — A business model like the one Jonathan Stevens Mattress uses where the manufacturer sells directly to the customer, skipping the middleman to provide the best possible price to customers.

Foundation — A rigid box placed under the mattress to provide support.

Full — Mattress size measuring 54” wide and 75” long. Sometimes called a double.

Hybrid mattress — A mattress design that uses a combination of materials to provide maximum comfort and support.

Innerspring — A mattress design that uses metal coils to provide support with layers of padding added above for comfort. This is the most common type of mattress on the market.

King — Mattress size measuring 76” wide and 80” long.

Mattress protector — A piece of bedding that goes underneath your sheets to both protect the mattress from spills and stains, and to help protect users from dust and other allergens.

Memory foam — Technically called visco-elastic foam, this material is commonly used in mattresses and is known for its ability to conform to a person’s body for unique comfort and support.

Motion transfer — Refers to how movement on one part of the mattress is transferred to the rest of the mattress. This is most important for couples who will be sharing a bed and want to understand how one person’s movements will affect their partner.

Murphy bed — A type of bed that folds into the wall vertically to help conserve space in small rooms. Also known as a wall bed.

Pillow top — An extra layer of thick padding on top of a mattress that makes the bed softer and more comfortable without sacrificing support.

Platform bed — Modern bed style that sits low to the ground and often forgoes a traditional box spring, instead using a Bunkie board to provide support.

Plush top — Often compared to pillow top, the extra layers of padding in a plush-top mattress are actually built into the structure of the mattress, rather than sitting on top.

Pressure points — Spots on a person’s body that traditionally bear the most weight when in certain sleeping positions. Eliminating or providing extra support for pressure points can increase comfort and lead to a better night’s sleep.

Queen — Mattress size measuring 60” wide and 80” long.

Twin — Mattress size measuring 39” wide and 75” long.

Twin XL — Mattress size measuring 39” wide and 80” long.

These aren’t the only mattress terms out there, but they are the most important. By understanding these terms, you will not only have a better idea of exactly what you’re getting in a particular mattress, but you can also ask the right questions to find the mattress that’s perfect for you.

If you’re ready to buy a top-quality mattress while enjoying the savings of our factory-direct model, contact Jonathan Stevens Mattress or stop into a store near you today.