Mattress Anatomy

The mattress anatomy (or insides) is comprised of three main layers or zones:

Ticking is the protective fabric cover that encases the support and comfort layers of the mattress. This outer shell or top layer comes in a wide variety of colors and styles; usually made to match the bed foundation or box spring. The colors and styles you choose will depend on the décor of the bedroom as well as your personal preferences. The ticking is usually constructed of synthetic fibers such as polyester, latex and acrylic or natural materials such as cotton, silk and cashmere. The ticking provides the visual and tactile appeal of the mattress, thus it is usually finished in soft, attractive patterned material.

The comfort layer of a mattress is immediately beneath the ticking and above the support layer. It provides the mattress its surface feel, whether it's firm or soft. A firm feeling mattress will provide extra support for individuals experiencing neck and back problems. A soft mattress will provide comfort and allow you to sink into the bed; however, it is not as effective in supporting your body (especially your back and neck) as a firm mattress. The comfort layer includes the quilt and upholstery. The quilt is a top layer of the mattress made of light foam or fibers stitched to the underside of the ticking. The quilt can be firm or soft and plush. The quilt provides the immediate soft texture when you lie on a mattress. The upholstery is located between the quilt and the support layer of the mattress. It is constructed using materials that give maximum comfort: foam, felt, cotton/polyester fibers, egg-crate foam and fiber pads. An insulator of fiber or mesh is used to keep the upholstery in place (and not sink to the bottom of the support layer).

The support layer (or support system) of a mattress provides the inside structural base of the mattress. This consists of high-density foam, pocket coils, open coils, offset coils and continuous coils. In the case of an air mattress or waterbed mattress, the air and water are usually supplemented with specially designed chambers, baffles and inserts.

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