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Glossary of Terms

100% Natural

This term refers to all natural latex.

Adjustable Base/Bed

An adjustable bed gives the ability to adjust and elevate your head and feet to an almost infinite number of comfort positions.  Adjusting the bed position often relieves aches, pains and stress.  It looks like a typical box spring/foundation and serves as an additional sleep benefit under the mattress. Most companies offer a basic wired remote control or and upgraded wireless remote. Top level adjustable bases often include massage and other features. Check out our adjustable base beds here.

Air Bed/Mattress

An Air bed is a Type of mattress that uses air for support instead of the traditional spring unit or foam.  Air beds are most common as inexpensive portable sleep surfaces that are often used for guests or travel. Advanced Air mattresses (see Number Beds) such as Comfortaire offer the ability to adjust the amount of air in the mattress allowing for a personalized sleeping surface ranging from very soft to very firm. Number beds range in a wide variety of prices with top end models including premium foams and fabrics for additional luxury and comfort. View our Comfortaire selection.

Air Chamber/Bladder

Air Chamber or Bbadder refers to the support container that holds the air in either an air mattress or a number bed.

Anti-Microbial

Anti microbial is a term the often refers to a foam or fiber within a certain product that has been specially treated or naturally resists the growth of bacteria, dust mites, mold, and fungi.

Batting

Batting is the cotton layers used in a mattress as an inexpensive layer of padding to provide comfort and support. This is used in futon mattresses as well as regular mattress. Some manufacturers still use cotton batting in their products but cotton batting does not perform as well as other premium foams (see memory foam and latex).

Bed Frame

A bed frame is the support under your mattress and box spring. The bed frame can be either metal or wood. Basic options offer the least recommended support for a mattress. Bed frames usually come with legs and cones (known as gliders, wheels/casters available as well) with a conventional height of 7 1/4 inches. All Queen and King Frames must have a center support bar and center leg for proper support (and in some cases so as not to void the Warranty). Sweet Dreams Mattress highly recommends consulting your sales associate for the recommended bed frame for your purchase to further increase the life of your mattress. View our bed frame selection here.

Bed Rails

Bed Rails are the type of support you need when using a head board and/or foot board. These rails are L shaped to accommodate the mattress and or foundation along with the proper support.  Bed rails can either be made of wood or metal and additionally can be either hook on or bolt on.  Please consult your sales associate to make sure you choose the right rails or check out our selection here.

Bladder

A bladder refers to the containment area of a Waterbed and/or air mattress.

Blended Latex

Blended Latex is a type of latex produced from a blend of natural and synthetic latex.  Blended latex adds durability and support to all natural latex. Blended latex does not take away from any of the qualities of all natural latex. This is the most common type of latex used in mattresses.

Body Impressions

Body impressions are indentations on the surface of the mattress resulting from the normal compression of mattress quilting layers over time. This is considered normal under most circumstances and ALL coil mattress manufacturers have a tolerance of 1.5 inches. Anything less then 1.5 inches is considered normal as the mattress is designed to conform over time to the sleeper.  Most memory foam mattresses have a tolerance of .75 inches. Body impressions are not covered under warranty unless impressions exceed the stated tolerance. (Please see your specific warranty information) Body impressions are not to be confused with sagging which is the breakdown of a mattress component and considered a manufacturers defect.

Bonnell Coil

The original and standard innerspring coil design, characterized by hourglass shaped springs which are all tied together horizontally across the top. This is currently the most common type of spring unit. These mattresses make great guest or youth bedroom selections.

Box Spring

A type of foundation, usually consisting of heavy coils mounted on a wood frame with no padding, designed to support an innerspring. This is not as common as it once was since most companies now are using a firm and rigid foundation to better support the mattress. A box spring is often referred to as a set when offered with a mattress.  Regardless of relevance, sales associates at mattress stores will still call a foundation, box spring, because most shoppers know what box spring refers to but under any non-flip mattress, they are now referred to as foundation.

California King

A California King is a mattress and furniture size that measures 72"W by 84"L.  It is slightly narrower and longer than a standard King, which measures 76"W by 80"L. This size is fairly uncommon on the east coast especially and is always recommended measuring your mattress or furniture and/or consulting with your sales associate before committing to this size.

California Queen

California Queen is a mattress size that measures 60" wide by 84" long. It is slightly longer than a standard Queen, which measures 60"W by 80"L. This is extremely uncommon and not made by most manufacturers

Celestra

Fabric made of point-bonded polypropylene fibers stitched to quilting panel to encase quilting layers.

Center Support

Center support defines the support under your mattress which can be either horizontal or vertical depending on the frame used. Often comes with at least one supporting leg and is always recommended on queen and king size mattresses.

Coil Count

Coil count refers to the total number of coils in a mattress. The industry standard is often to quote the coil count in a queen size mattress for purposes of comparing different models.  Mattresses with higher coil counts will not transfer as much motion when sleepers adjust at night or get in and out of bed.  The higher counts also feel more substantial and give better support.

Coils

A coil is a wound wire that makes up the support of an innerspring mattress. Mattress coils are either pocketed or linked together to form the base unit of the mattress.  Coil wires come in different gauges which determine the firmness off the bed, the thicker the gauge the firmer the mattress. For example, 13 gauge coils are firmer than 15 gauge coils. The longer the wire used in each coil the more durability and structural support the coil will have. Higher coil counts also will increase support and durability.

Comfort

Comfort refers to the way the surface of the mattress feels against your body. Put simply, it refers to the ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’ that you experience when testing the top of a mattress. Comfort can also encompass other features breathability. Comfort level can change from person to person and is often most easily identified by how a person sleeps at night. i.e. side sleepers statistically prefer softer beds Comfort also reflects which mattress is best for you, a sales associate will always recommend which is best by how a customer sleeps but its always most important to choose that bed that suits the consumer the best.

Comfort Layers

Comfort Layers refer to layers of Upholstery and foam that give the mattress its feel.  Comfort layers come in a variety of thickness and firmness

Convoluted Foam

Foam shaped similar to an egg carton, giving it the more common name "egg-crate foam," used to provide additional surface cushioning. Creates softer feel than a flat slab of similar Foam, and can improve circulation.  Convoluted foam is not as durable as blocks of foam.

Core

Core is a term that generally refers to the support structure inside the mattress. The core is predominately what provides the stability and structure of the mattress.

Cotton

A soft, breathable, natural fiber used to make many fabrics in beds. In certain mattresses, Cotton can have a tendency to absorb moisture and compress over time.

Cover

Cover refers to the fabric encasing the mattress. Cover is also referred to as ticking.

Crib Mattress

A mattress designed for use in a baby crib or toddler bed. Crib mattresses are typically made with special vents, high firmness, and water-resistant covers

Damask

A slick shiny quilting layer used on most low end mattresses.

Daybed

A daybed is a type of dual purpose bed that accommodates a twin mattress and allows for either a sleeping or seating area. Daybeds, futons, and sleeper sofas are the most common dual purpose types of bedding. Daybeds have many different styles consisting of wood, metal or a combination of both. Daybeds often have a trundle option which allows a second twin size mattress to be stored underneath.  Trundles can sometimes pop up so both twin mattresses sit side by side.

Density

Density is used to describe most foams including but not limited to the visco elastic foams used in Tempur Pedic, ComforPedic and Serta iComforts.  Density, for consumer purposes, is most often used with the durability of the mattress. Typically the higher the density the more durable the mattress will be.

Double Bed

Double is the same size as Full and measures approximately 54”W x 75”L

Double Extra Long

Double Extra Long is the same as Full Extra Long and measures approximately 54”W x 80”L.

Dual-Purpose Bed

A dual purpose bed is and sleeping product that, in addition to sleeping, has a secondary function. Examples include sleeper sofas, futons, and daybeds.

Duet Coil System (Coil-in-Coil)

Exclusive Coil Design used in the Serta Perfect Day iSeries. The Duet Coil System features an individually wrapped coil-in-coil design providing better contouring and deep down support.  The outer coil gently provides pressure relieving support, while the inner coil provides maximum support for your back.

Dunlop

Process in which liquid latex is "whipped" with air until it becomes wet foam, at which time it is poured into a mold, hardened, and vulcanized.  Dunlop tends to result in slightly firmer and heavier latex than than the talalay process. Both processes can be synthetic blends or all natural.

Durability

Term that refers to the length of time a mattress will continue to provide you with adequate support and desired level of comfort.

Edge Break-Down

Edge break down refers to the loss of support along the outer edges of a mattress, commonly experienced in older beds. Edge break down can result in the sensation that one is rolling or sliding off the side of the bed. This is often considered a manufacturer defect and falls under sagging and must still be consistent with the manufacturer’s warranty.

Edge Coils

Edge coils are coils around the perimeter of a mattress to provide a firmer edge for both sitting and to prevent the sensation of rolling off the mattress. Also helps prevent against edge breakdown.

Elasticity

Elasticity is a term that describes the flexibility and resilience of an object or material.

Electric Bed

See adjustable bed.

Energy Foam

Heavy grade polyurethane foam, high ILD for firmness used at the base of the mattress below the coil unite. This helps create a supportive and durable foundation which is essential to proper support.  Energy foam also helps absorb motion and shock from the sleep surface. 

Euro-Top

Layer of additional padding sewn on top of a mattress. Similar to a pillowtop, but sewn down more tightly to the mattress.

Evenloft Quilt Design

Featured on select models in several of the Beautyrest lines, Evenloft is a luxurious smooth knit cover that lightly stretches to form to your body.  This innovative design eliminates quilting or tufting to assure that nothing comes between you and the unique feel and supportive benefits of the mattress.

Fatigue

Fatigue refers to the state of a mattress when it can no longer support a sleeper's weight. Typically results from a softening or compressing of the coils.

Euro Cool Foam

A foam in select Beautyrest Black models designed to add further stability to the mattress while also enhancing the air flow of the bed and providing a cooler nights sleep.

Fiber

Strands of material, made from natural or synthetic elements, which are used extensively in mattresses. Fiber strands have air between them, meaning that fiber tends to compress over time.

Filler

In mattress upholstery, refers to padding used underneath the mattress cover to create a quilted appearance. In a latex mattress, refers to tiny particles of clay or other materials that are sometimes mixed into latex foam, making the resulting latex less costly, but also stiffer and less durable.

Fire Retardant

Fire retardant is the material applied to a mattress in order to reduce its flammability. In the United States, all mattresses sold to the general public since 2007 have been required to meet certain flame-resistance standards.

Flipping

Flipping is the act of periodically turning over and/or rotating a mattress in order to break in the mattress more evenly to extend the life of the mattress. Flipping is highly recommended to prevent/reduce body Impressions on dual sided mattresses only.  Rotating prevents sagging or body impressions on a single sided bed

Foam

Foam is used heavily throughout the mattress industry. Foams vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and mattress to mattress. Foams can range from low grade furniture or base foams or high end visco elastic foams such as Tempur Pedic or Comfor Pedic. Foams improve the quality of the mattress as well as help give it its comfort.

Foam Core

Foam core refers to the portion of an all foam mattress that serves as the body of the bed, giving the mattress its structure and support.

Foam Encasing

Foam encasing is dense foam around the perimeter of certain mattress to add stability to the bed and to help further reduce edge break down. It is designed for sitting and also so that sleeper does not feel like they are rolling off the side of the bed.

Foundation

Foundation refers to any base or support that is sold in combination with a mattress. Often together mattresses and foundations are referred to as sets. Foundations are often called box springs. Foundations provide majority of the support for the mattress and it is always recommended to purchase a new mattress as a set to further extend the life of the mattress.

Frame

Frame is a term that most commonly refers to the support system that your mattress set sits on so that it is not on the floor. In most cases this refers to a basic metal bed frame but can also be a term used to describe any system designed to support a mattress set. Check out our metal frames here.

Full

Full is a Mattress and furniture size that measures 54"W by 75"L. Full is also referred to as a double bed or a standard bed.

Full Extra Long

Full Extra Long refers to a mattress size that measures 54"W by 80"L. Full Extra Long is also referred to as double extra long.

Futon

A futon is a dual purpose furniture piece that serves as a place to sit as well as sleep. It is one of the most common dual purpose furniture pieces. Futons can be in full or queen sizes and are paired with futon mattresses. Frame style and designs vary greatly as well as the selection of mattresses to accompany the frame. Check out our futons section.

Gauge

Gauge describes a measurement of the thickness of the wire used in a coil. The lower gauge of wire is, the thicker/heavier the wire. Wire gauge for coils in an Innerspring Mattress generally falls between 12.5 and 17.0

Hard-Sided Waterbed

Hard sided waterbed refers to the waterbed design where and water bed mattress fits firmly inside a special wood foundation that holds the mattress in its proper shape.

Hospital Bed

See Adjustable Bed.

Hybrid

This can refer to mattresses strictly made with pocketed coils and memory foam only.  Examples of this are the TruEnergy Evenloft beds or the Serta iSeries Mattresses.  Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular for customers who do not want an all foam mattress. The Hybrid beds are often superior to there traditional innerspring counterparts in durability and longevity. These beds offer the best of both worlds and are great for customers that do not like the feel of all memory foam mattresses.

Hypoallergenic

Hypoallergenic refers to products that are not likely to cause an allergic reaction due to the material naturally being resistant to allergens.  It is often associated with higher end mattresses and bedding products and the quality materials used in their manufacture.

ILD

ILD is Initial Load Depression and is used when referring to certain foams in the mattress industry. It is similar in concept to the gauge of a coil. The higher the ILD the firmer the foam will be.

Independent Support Foam

 Independent Support Foam is foam specifically designed by Simmons to give further support and conformability to its mattresses. The Foam consists of hundreds of sculpted cushions which respond independently to your shape and movement for personalized support.

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattress refers to the most popular type of mattress sold in the country. Innerspring typically can either be a link spring or a pocketed coil or any other mattress constructed around a metal spring support system. Innerspring mattresses greatly vary in quality and price and manufacturer. Foams are often added to provide additional support and comfort to the mattress. Common manufactures include Simmons, Serta, Sealy, and Southerland.

King

A king is a mattress or furniture size that measures approximately 76"W by 80"L. Not to be confused with a California King size that is 72”W by 84”L.

King Split

A King Split is a mattress set that consists of two Twin Extra Long mattresses and foundations, each 39" wide x 80" long. This is usually at a higher cost then a regular king and often accompanies adjustable bases for customers looking for independent adjustability.  In rare cases, couples will get two Twin Extra Long mattresses instead of a king to get two completely different beds that fit their needs.

Latex

A spongy material produced from either natural or synthetic rubber. Used primarily in premium mattresses.

Low-Profile Foundation

A 4”-5” thick foundation made to accompany an extra-thick mattress so that the total height of the bed will not be too high off the ground.  It is used to keep nightstands in reach or to make the bedding look better from the side.

Mattress Handles

Mattress handles are fabric or cords sewn into the upholstery of a mattress to aid in positioning it on the foundation.

Memory Foam

Memory Foam is a type of high-density visco elastic foam known for its ability to conform to a sleeper’s body no matter what position they are in. It’s designed to give an individual correct posture and alignment while they sleep. It is also one of the best materials in the mattress market at relieving pressure points. Memory foam comes in many different firmness levels and has a wide range of quality. High end memory foams such as Tempur Pedic, Comfor Pedic, and Serta iComfort are widely considered the best in the industry and are known for their longevity. High end memory foams also are known to maintain their shape and keep a sleeper in one position for the bests night sleep without tossing and turning.  

Motion Separation

Refers to the degree to which movements on one side of the bed can be felt on the other side of the bed.

Natural Latex

Type of latex produced from serum of the rubber tree. Known for its softness and elasticity, as well as its biodegradability and inherent resistance to bacteria, mold and dust mites.

No-Flip Mattress

No Flip mattress refers to a mattress where the sleeping surface is only on one side and cannot be flipped.  This is the most common mattress type currently as double sided mattresses have become increasingly obsolete as no flip mattresses are often far superior to their double sided counterparts. These mattresses often have equal if not better warranties then double sided mattresses.

Number Bed

Number beds refer to high end air mattresses where the customer has the ability to adjust the comfort level of the mattress from very firm to very soft. Number beds often are accompanied with premium foams and fabrics such as memory foam and latex to add additional luxury and comfort. Number beds are a great option of individuals whose comfort preference changes throughout the night or couples how have different sleep preferences.

Off-Gassing

Off gassing is defined as the releasing of air initially trapped in side foams used in mattress manufacturing. This is caused by air becoming trapped when mattresses are sealed in plastic immediately after manufacture. This air is released when the mattress is opened for use. Off-gassing can take up to a month to completely dissipate and is sometimes accompanied by an odor. This is similar to a new car smell that lessens the more the product is used.  In most cases off gassing is not harmful and is not an issue after 24-48 hours. Certain allergies can sometimes be affected by off gassing but is normally not an issue after the off gassing dissipates.

Olympic Queen

An Olympic queen is a mattress size that measures 66"W by 80"L. It is slightly wider than a standard Queen, which measures 60"W by 80"L. This is a very uncommon mattress size and most companies no longer manufacture this size.

Performance Enhanced Quilt

Performance Enhanced Quilt refers to a circular knit cover made with modal yarn offers supreme softness to the touch. Modal yarn is an expensive textile made from beech trees. Modal yarn as a textile is renowned for its softness and hypoallergenic properties.

Pillow-Top

Pillow top refers to a type of mattress with an extra layer of cushion sewn into the top of the mattress. Pillow tops vary in thickness and are usually much softer compared to other mattresses. Pillow tops are often recommended for side sleepers and back sleepers as the softer top layers are designed to relieve pressure points while still giving you support and conformability.

Platform Bed

A plat form bed is a piece of furniture with multiple slats that create a flat even surface for the mattress negating the use of the box spring/foundation in most cases. This is a popular modern design. Platform beds come in a variety of styles including wood and metal options. Check out our platform beds here.

Plush

Plush refers to a softer level of comfort on the surface of the mattress.  A Plush falls between firm and soft. We often recommend this level of comfort for side, back and stomach sleepers. Plush is the most popular comfort level.

Plush Comfort Foam

Foam layers in select models to enhance the ultra plush feel.  Simmons is the only manufacturer that uses this type of foam.

Pocketed Coils

Pocketed Coils refers to an innerspring mattress type where the coils are individually wrapped in separate fabric pockets. Pocketed coils are usually considered superior to traditional link springs because they provide increased support, conformability and motion separation. Simmons is the originator and pioneer of the individually pocketed coil beds with the Beautyrest mattresses.

Pressure Points

Pressure points are common places on the body such as hips and shoulders that when sleeping are commonly associated with pain and discomfort.  This is caused by the restriction of blood flow to a certain area of the body. Most commonly pressure points occur when sleeping on too firm of a mattress which can also lead

Prorated Warranty

Prorated Warranty refers to a mattress warranty that does not cover the full mattress purchase price or replacement value after a certain period of time, requiring the customer to pay a portion of the original price to have it replaced, typically depending on how long the mattress was used.

PurFoam

PurFoam is a1.5 density polyurethane durable foam layer. This foam ranges from firm to soft and has multiple uses through out the mattress. Its main purpose is to help give a particular mattress is comfort level and to extend the life of the mattress.

Pure Latex

Pure latex is a term referring to latex that does not include fillers. Can be applied to either Synthetic or natural latex. Most higher-quality latex mattresses use pure latex.

Queen

Queen is the standard mattress or furniture size that measures approximately 60"W by 80"L. This is the most common mattress size and is used by most dealers to compare specifications and prices from bed to bed.

Queen Split

Queen Split is a mattress or foundation that consists of two separate pieces, each 30" wide x 80" long that put together make a regular queen size. This is most commonly used in foundations where very tight corners must be negotiated.

Quilting

Quilting is the top-most layer of padding inside the mattress, consisting of foam and/or fibers stitched to the underside of the Ticking. Can provide additional comfort, as well as a way for the mattress to breathe, and may also include a separate layer of padding such as a Pillowtop or Eurotop.

Recovery Time

Recovery time is similar to resiliency in that it is used to describe the speed (or lack of speed) with which a material (typically foam) returns to its original shape after being compressed.

Resiliency

Resiliency is used to describe the ability of an object or material to spring back to its original form. This term in the mattress industry is most often used when referring to foams. Higher resiliency lessens the sensation that you are sinking into a mattress.

Sagging

Sagging refers to the loss of support in a certain section of a mattress due to a break down of the mattress materials. This is the number one warranty issue industry wide. Sagging warranty coverage varies greatly from each manufacturer and is recommended to consult your retailer. This term is often confused with body Impressions which are the normal break in and conformation of the mattress to your body over time. Body impressions are normal on most mattresses.

Safety Liner

Safety liner is a precautionary liner surrounding the bladder of a waterbed for containing water in the event of a leak or puncture.

Semi-Waveless

Semi-waveless is a term used to describe a waterbed bladder where the amount of fabric, foam and other materials reduces the motion and flow of water with in the bladder.

Set

Set refers to a mattress and its matching foundation from the same manufacturer. When purchasing new it is always recommended to purchase the set to guarantee full warranty coverage and prolong the life of the mattress.

Single Bed

See twin Bed

Smart Response Coil System

Two coils in one. This coil unit has a tapered top to give you extra conformability and pressure relief as you have initial contact with the mattress. The lower portion of the coil excels at giving you individualized support while you sleep. As with all Simmons pocketed coils, it also helps reduce motion from one side of the mattress to the other.

Ventilated AirCool Foam Encasement

Ventilated AirCool Foam Encasement refers to a 3” foam encased edge support that works in conjunction with other AirCool components to maximize support and airflow.  This foam provides consistent comfort from edge to edge.  Unique ventilated design maximizes airflow for a cooler night’s sleep.  It also provides a sturdy edge for sitting, or sleeping. Gently reduces pressure points by softening under the shoulders and hips while contouring to the shape of the body.

Warranty

Warranty refers to the manufacturers guarantee against defects over a certain period. This varies greatly between manufacturers and mattresses, please consult your retailer or mattress warranty card for specifics.  The most common warranty issue industry-wide is sagging and/or body impressions. Most manufactures have a tolerance of a certain setting in inches which if any depression is lower then said setting it is considered normal by manufactures standards. Again, this varies by manufacturer and product is recommended that a customer consult their retailer regarding any specifics.  

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