Mattress specifications you need to know

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.

The information on specifications as well as the other info on your site has provided me with the knowledge I need to find myself a new mattress. I feel like an educated consumer.

Hi Torzewski,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum!

I’m glad that the information presented here was helpful to you and you feel like an “educated consumer” - that’s the mission of this site. Helping you with the “how” to choose a quality mattress.

I’ll be interested in learning of any mattress buying decision that you make.


I cannot get the durability guidelines link on this page to open, and I’ve tried pasting it into two different browsers. Is it broken?

deleted - link provided above works again.

Hi nascarnole,

The link is working for me. You may have been attempting to access that link when I was doing some work here on the back end of the system and it was unavailable for a short period of time. Sorry about that.


I am disabled & need a 3" talalay topper in zip around case. It would be too heavy for me to lift. What about getting 3 1" layers & putting them in a zip around case? Would they last as long? I always see they don’t always cut them the same size either. Please help! Thanks so much! Frank61

Hi Frank61.

There shouldn’t be any meaningful durability issue connected with using two (1.5") or three (1") layers to replace a thicker solid 3" slab of latex layer and enclose it into a zippered cover. In “theory only” three or two layers that were exactly the same ILD as a single 3" layer could be less durable over the course of a long life because two or three layers will act more independently and slightly abrade each other. Also, the elastically of the top 1" wouldn’t be connected and “pulling back” on the bottom 2" when it compresses so “in theory” it may act a little bit softer but in practical and real-life terms most people wouldn’t notice any difference in terms of performance or firmness.

Outside the practicality that comes with handling it or the choice of a topper or mattress with more layers having more options to customize it, if a mattress/topper is a good match for you, then one isn’t inherently any better than the other. Sleep On Latex has 1", 2", 3" latex toppers here that you may wish to consider.


These days tons of information is online and I am pleased to bumped in this site, It give me an idea what to know for my needs. Got a decade long mattress and I need to replace it, can you suggest one that is comfy but not expensive. Thanks a lot!