Though most memory foam mattresses do not have comfort layers, nearly every other kind of mattress does. Even many latex foam mattress feature comfort layers. While the foam or innerspring system provides support for the sleeper, comfort layers are the quilted, padded layers of materials that cushion the sleeper and provide a soft and comfortable sleeping surface.
Different mattress models feature different ranges of materials in the comfort layers. To further convolute the situation, many bed mattress manufacturers have proprietary arrangements with the manufacturers of materials that go into comfort layers. As it is difficult to comparison shop from one Los Angeles mattress store to another because different mattress stores offer different mattress models from the same manufacturers, it is also difficult to comparison shop across comfort layers. The best thing to do is select a couple of mattresses from one showroom, then research the components before finalizing a decision.
Nearly all comfort layers feature either cotton or polyester fiberfill batting. Shoppers will often come across combinations of both. Cotton holds its fluffy loft better than polyester fiberfill, but polyester fiberfill is less expensive. These are the materials that are layered and quilted to create a soft, quilted mattress top. Euro-top and pillow top mattresses usually have more batting than firm mattresses and foam mattresses that feature comfort layers.
A type of very inexpensive foam commonly referred to as “egg crate” foam is a common addition in comfort layers. Many beds have a layer of this convoluted foam as the base layer of the comfort layers. This foam is the first cushion between the steel innersprings and the sleeping person. Unfortunately, as many people who have purchased egg crate foam mattress toppers from discount stores will attest, this type of convoluted foam has a relatively short lifespan. It breaks down, and is not particularly supportive for the human body. Piling cotton and polyester fiber fill on top creates a soft, fluffy bed that often becomes flattened and stiff long before the steel support coils wear out.
Vulnerability to wear and tear and lack of orthopedic support is why convoluted foam is more and more frequently replaced with latex and visco-elastic foam. However, because latex and memory foam are orthopedically supportive for the body and are renowned for being comfortable sleep surfaces, these layers are usually found toward the top of the comfort layers. A mattress with memory or latex foam comfort layers is a great compromise for people who prefer innerspring support, or who do not want to spend the money on foam mattresses that are often more expensive than innerspring mattresses.
Of course, there are many manufacturers of comfort layer materials, and many claim that their product has special properties that others do not. For this reason, it is best to find out what kind of materials are used in a bed’s comfort layers, and even research what brand of materials are used. Some are superior to others, and a bed is an investment in healthy sleep that should last for years of comfort without wearing out.