As you shop our mattresses and sleep systems, you may find some words or terms you’re not familiar with. As we get down to the science of sleep, we want you to know exactly what you’re seeing and why it’s important. Here is a list of common technical and industry terms.
Apnea is a period of sleep during
which breathing is stopped or significantly
reduced. Sleep apnea is a fairly common cause of
Materials that are
resistant to bacteria, fungi and other living
organisms that can set off allergies.
Allergen-resistant bedding and mattress covers
also help your mattress last longer.
In an innerspring
mattress, this coil system provides support and
minimizes motion transfer without sacrificing
The metal frame on which your
mattress and foundation rest. Queen and King-Size
bed frames have a metal center leg and slat that
supports the weight of the sleep set. A low-profile bed frame can also reduce the height of
your sleep set. See Platform Bed.
Polyurethane foam that has
been enhanced with latex.
The position in which you
generally lie when going to sleep. This can
include your back, left or right side and your
stomach/abdomen. Body position can affect the
type of mattress and pillow that is best suited
A heavy wire that curves
along the perimeter of the mattress.
This wire is
attached to the outermost coils, maintaining the
mattress’ shape and
The lower unit of a sleep set
that works to support and enhance the features of
the mattress. A box spring has actual springs in
the unit that work together with the springs in
the mattress. Not all headboard/footboard units
a box spring or foundation. See Platform
Bed. See Foundation.
A bed measuring 72
inches wide by 84 inches long. Sometimes referred
to as a “Cal-King,” this bed size is slightly
larger than the typical King-Size.
A luxurious fiber that provides
dependable temperature stability (cooling in the
summer, warm in the winter). This material is
often found in the most luxurious sleep sets to
increase temperature regulation.
The biological rhythms
(your internal clock) that regulate your sleep
The number of coils in an
innerspring mattress. The number given is often
in reference to a Queen-Size bed. Coil count is
not necessarily the key factor in determining a
A general term describing the
overall feel of a mattress. Our comfort levels
include: Soft, Medium and Firm. Our different sleep surfaces include: Cushion Firm, Plush, Pillow-Top,
Euro-Top and Dual Comfort. See individual entries
for further information.
Coils in an innerspring
mattress that are formed from one continuous
piece of wire, often running from head to toe.
They provide one method of obtaining a supportive
Fitting to the form or curves
of the body.
A natural fiber, often used as an
insulator or comfort pad and as ticking.
A comfort level between
Firm and Plush, offering support with a touch
This refers to the weight per
cubic foot of foam. Density is not the same as
firmness, but it is still a key factor in
determining foam quality.
Another term for a Full-Size
bed. It measures 54 inches wide by 75 inches
Refers to a mattress,
usually Queen or King-Size, that has both a firm
and a plush side, of varying levels of comfort,
meant to fulfill your and your partner’s
individual sleep needs.
Microscopic organisms that
live throughout your home and feed on dead skin
cells and dust. Dust mites live in carpets,
pillows and mattresses, and their presence can
agitate allergies for some people.
The European version of the
Pillow-Top comfort level. A pillow-top is sewn
onto the sleep surface for added plushness.
A comfort level that is associated
with an unyielding surface.
A mattress that is wrapped
entirely in heavy foam, eliminating the border
Another term for ‘box
spring,’ however, it does not have springs
inside. A foundation uses a steel slat or
all-wood system to provide support for the
mattress. See Box Spring.
A bed measuring 54 inches wide by
75 inches long.
This is the smallest size to consider for two people.
The thickness of the wire used for
the coils in an innerspring mattress
spring. Lower gauge denotes heavier or thicker
wire, while high-gauged
wires are slimmer.
The amount of give in a
foam mattress. Higher density foam has less give,
meaning a firmer surface.
and hand-laced wrapped coils. This type of coil
system reduces motion transfer.
featuring tempered, coiled springs. This type of
mattress is the most popular and provides various
support levels, depending on the coil structure
The spring and wire
unit are made up primarily of coils, helical ties
and border wires, which comprises the interior of
A bed measuring 76 inches wide and
80 inches long.
The perfect solution for two people.
In its natural form, latex is
derived from the Rubber Tree in Malaysia. Both
hypoallergenic and anti-microbial, it can be
processed into a product that has many uses,
including surgical gloves and foam products. In
its synthetic form, it has the same properties as
natural latex but is made from petroleum-based
Specially-processed fibers or foam
that allows for more resiliency and lift to the sleep
A sleep system, mattress or
foundation that has a slightly shorter height
than the standard size—anywhere from one to three
inches shorter. Low-profile bedding works well
with platform beds.
A padded, protective cover
that goes over your mattress.
A protective cover
for your mattress which does not have loft.
Suggested for Viscose mattresses.
Also called Viscose Memory
foam, this synthetic material has a high density
that is very effective at reducing pressure
points. Its sensitivity to temperature allows it
to conform better at higher temperatures.
When movement from your
sleep partner affects you during the night. This
can include tossing, turning and kicking. Many
mattresses are designed to reduce this for more
An anti-microbial and
hypoallergenic polymer derived from the Rubber
Tree in Malaysia. Used as a superior foam product
in mattresses, natural latex can be processed in
the Dunlop or Talalay method. In the Dunlop
method, the liquid latex is whipped with air to
create a foam, which is then poured into a mold
and heated until it vulcanizes, giving it a
springier feel. In the Talalay method, the liquid
latex is poured onto a mold with pincore holes,
giving more air to the foam and producing a more
uniform cell structure. A softer foam is created.
Mattresses that do
not require the end-over-end
flipping. These are
actually one-sided mattresses. Regular
rotation is still recommended.
An innerspring mattress coil
that has an hourglass shape and a squared-off
section at the top and bottom of the coil.
A design feature on the top
of a mattress which gives it an extra plushness factor.
Usually a contemporary or
modern-styled bed that supports the mattress
alone without the need of a box spring or
A comfort level referring to
coils enclosed in separate flexible fabric
pockets. The pockets are attached for stability
and to eliminate motion transfer.
Found just below the
pillow-top to lift it.
A bed measuring 60 inches wide by
80 inches long.
This is a popular size for two people.
Patterns that are sewn into the
mattress ticking, which can influence the plush
or firm feel of the mattress surface.
Surface liveliness and
spring-back. A resilient foam will last longer
and has quicker spring-back.
Luxurious fabric used in mattresses
that is more resistant to body heat, helping to
keep your bedding cooler in warmer weather.
The term used for a mattress and foundation set, pillows, and mattress protector.
Sleep to Live® Diagnostic Test:
tool used to measure physiological sleeping
needs. The Sleep to Live® Diagnostic Test
gives support requirements to
ensure a restful and restorative night’s
sleep for you (and your partner).
Split Box (Queen or King-Size):
spring that is made up of two equally-sized
foundations, made to fit through doors/halls
better than one large box spring.
split box has two pieces measuring 30 inches wide
by 80 inches long, and the King-Size split box consists of
two pieces measuring 38 inches wide by 80 inches
A general term used to describe
how the mattress distributes and stabilizes body
weight and maintains proper alignment.
Steel that has been
heated at high temperatures to increase strength.
Used in mattress and box spring coils.
The fabric that covers a
A mattress that does not have
a pillow-top feature on its surface.
A bed measuring 39 inches wide by
75 inches long. This is the choice most often
made for child and youth beds.
Twin Extra Long:
A bed measuring 39
inches wide by 80 inches long. This is
size most often used in college dorm rooms, and
requires a specially-
sized sheet set.
Viscose Memory Foam:
See Memory Foam.
A natural fiber that breathes and
regulates your body temperature. Offers warmth in
the winter and cools in the summer.