Anatomy of a Foam Mattress

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Mattresses have come a long way in the last twenty years. Long gone are the days of futons and stiff, uncomfortable mattresses that provide little to no support. Today, we’re living in a new age of foam mattresses, which help give us better sleep while also saving our pocketbooks: foam mattresses are less expensive than spring mattresses and can save you thousands over a lifetime. Thanks to advances in technology, it’s now possible for your mattress to be soft yet firm enough to keep your spine aligned throughout the night. This guide will help you understand how foam mattresses work and what makes them so special for getting better sleep.


The cover is the outermost layer of your mattress and is made of soft, breathable material. It should be comfortable to sleep on and easy to clean.

The cover of most foam mattresses is made from cotton or a blend of natural fibers like cotton or polyester. These are easy to wash and dry quickly, so they’ll feel fresh every time you use them—even after several years!

Base foam layer

The base foam layer is the foundation of your mattress and what supports you as you sleep. It’s usually a high-density foam, which means it will be firmer than other layers in the mattress. The base tends to be a bit firmer than the comfort layer because it doesn’t have to conform and contour to your body like that layer does; its job is simply to keep everything together and provide stability throughout the night.

Because this layer is so firm, it can take some getting used to if you’re accustomed to sleeping on softer bedding like memory foam or latex. You may feel just how much support this base gives when lying down on it — as soon as your body sinks in, there’s no going back! But if that doesn’t bother you (and if you prefer firmer mattresses), then welcome aboard!

Support layer

The support layer is the middle layer of a mattress, and it provides support. It’s usually made of polyurethane foam (or PU for short). The support layer is usually thicker than the other layers, so you can feel more comfortable as you sleep on it. The support layer is also usually more expensive because it provides good support for your body.

You might hear this part called “the comfort layer,” because this is where you’ll get most of your comfort from when sleeping on a latex or memory foam mattress!

Comfort layer

The comfort layer is the top layer of your mattress. This is the layer that you feel when you sit down on a mattress, and it’s also the part of your mattress that you sink into when lying down. It’s important to know this because it can determine how comfortable your mattress will be for sleeping purposes. For example, if your comfort layer is too thin, it might not provide enough support for your body weight while sleeping; conversely, if it’s too thick or dense (like memory foam), then it may feel uncomfortable against your skin and make getting in and out of bed more difficult as well. In general though:

  • The softer a person sleeps–the heavier they are–the thicker their comfort layer should be (and vice versa).
  • The softer a person sleeps–the heavier they are–the harder their base layers should be (and vice versa).

The different layers of foam in a mattress play an important role in your sleep quality.

Foam mattresses are constructed from layers, each with a different purpose.

The cover is usually the most visible part of your mattress and it’s what you can feel when you sit on it. The cover does more than just protect your mattress, it also helps to regulate temperature during sleep by keeping heat in or out as needed, helping to keep you comfortable throughout the night.

The base foam layer is where all of your weight will be distributed when sleeping on your new foam mattress—the support layer holds up all that pressure so that when you lay down, it doesn’t sink too far into the mattress or bounce back up repeatedly while trying to rest at night! It’s important that this layer be strong enough to withstand such heavy loads (weight) without losing its shape over time—something made possible thanks in large part due its density level being higher than other parts within each type (see below).


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the anatomy of a foam mattress. You’ll be able to use this knowledge when deciding on your next foam mattress or comparing foam mattresses with other types of mattresses. If you have any questions, please send me an email and I will do my best to answer them!

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