If you’ve purchased a new foam or latex mattress, you might be a little unsure of what type of bed base to buy. Choosing the right type of bed base for your mattress is an important part of ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. Getting it wrong could compromise the level of comfort as well as reduce the lifespan of your mattress, which is certainly something you don’t want to do when spending large amounts of money.
Latex and foam mattresses are manufactured in a different way to standard coil spring mattresses, so there are reservations you need to make.
No matter the type of sleep surface you’ve purchased, choosing the right foundation is critical. Proper centre support will help maintain the structural integrity of your mattress and increase the life of your purchase; it may also enhance pressure point comfort and spinal support.
In this guide we’re going to take a look at what you can do to make sure the bed you choose is the right one for your mattress. Which base you choose can mean your mattress lives a long, happy life and ultimately provide you with the best possible sleep.
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
Memory foam mattresses are mattresses that are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material that forms to your body shape (fun fact: memory foam was invented by NASA for use in space suits).
This type of mattress is very good for relieving pressure on painful joints, but generally they can be a little pricier than standard sprung mattresses. Due to this additional layer, memory foam mattresses feel somewhat different to regular sprung mattresses and aren’t always suitable for everyone.
While most memory foam mattresses are actually sprung mattresses with a layer of memory foam on top, some have extra layers of memory foam instead of springs. Often described as pure memory foam, they tend to be pricier and softer, but not necessarily better.
Memory foam is affected by room temperature, so you might find a memory foam mattress a little cold and hard when you first get into bed. As it reacts to your body heat, it moulds to your shape – this reaction means that you may find it slightly more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, so they’re not always a suitable choice for those that have mobility issues.
Memory foam also reduces air circulation around your body, which makes the mattress feel warmer. Many people enjoy this perk in the winter months, but you may feel too hot in summer. Memory foam mattresses generally can’t be turned over due to how they’re manufactured, but you can turn them around which will help to maintain its shape and helps prevent sagging.
What is a Latex Mattress?
A latex mattress combines latex foam with either springs or reflex foam to create a supportive and durable sleep surface. Where memory foam is a polyurethane and chemical based foam, latex in its natural form comes from the sap of a rubber tree and its Pioneered by Dunlopillo in the early 1900’s, they revolutionised the natural material by creating a range of mattresses and pillows made purely of latex foam, which offer fantastic support and pain relief. As the success of Dunlopillo products grew, so did the interest in using the material in the wider market. Now latex mattresses are a big contender when shopping for a new bed.
Because latex is a natural product, some latex mattresses are often combined with other natural fillings to create the perfect natural mattress.
Besides being great for pressure relief, latex is naturally hypoallergenic and durable, which means a latex mattress, though initially expensive by comparison to standard sprung mattresses, should last for many years.
Due to how different the materials are, latex and memory foam mattresses do have different properties. Memory foam uses your body heat to soften and mould to your body shape, where as latex mattresses don’t require heat to contour to your body. Instead, latex responds to your weight and shape to provide pressure relief tailored to you, as a result, latex mattresses are a cooler option, so are better suited to those that prefer a more refreshing sleep. The bounce back rate of latex is also much quicker, meaning that it’s easier to maneuver on a latex mattress.
What Type of Bed Base Do You Need for a Foam or Latex Mattress?
Due to the fact both latex and memory foam mattresses malleable materials and are designed to mould to your body, a firm bed base is advised. Therefore, wider slats or a bed board would be the best option. A sprung bed base may not offer the level of support required by the mattress to perform to the best of its ability.
Why Do Latex and Foam Mattresses Need a Firm Base?
Another reason why you need a firmer bed base is the weight. Typically, latex mattresses in particular tend to be much heavier than most other types of mattress, so the base needs to be strong enough to hold not only the mattress, but the people sleeping in the bed too.
Can You Use a Slatted Base With Foam and Latex Mattresses?
Yes. in fact they’re ideal. Not only do they provide the firm support required, but they also allow air to circulate, which is important for both foam and latex mattresses. You do however need to be conscious of the spacing when using a slatted base, the closer together the better, with a gap of no more than 3 inches apart, ideally less. If the slats are further apart, the foam and latex mattresses are more likely to sink between them, compromising the integrity of the mattress. As we mentioned above, always opt for a solid slat bed base as opposed to a sprung one as they offer more support.
Can You Use a Box Spring Base with Foam and Latex Mattresses?
Also a yes. However, you need to be aware that an older box spring base may cause the mattress to sag. You also need to bear in mind that a box spring base won’t let the mattress ventilate in the same way.
Can You Use a Platform Base with Foam and Latex Mattresses?
Due to the fact they’re a solid base means they’re ideal for accommodating the weight of the mattress, however much like with box spring bases, ventilation can become an issue.
Can You Place a Foam or Latex Mattress on the Floor?
Much like with a platform and box spring base, placing a foam or latex mattress on the floor is ideal as it’s solid and provides even surface needed. However, ventilation can be an issue again, you’re also more open to damp issues and susceptible to draughts.
We hope our guide for choosing the right base for your memory foam or latex mattress has helped. The key elements of a suitable bed base should be, stability, firmness and ventilation, if you find a base that covers all of these things then you don’t really need to look any further!