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Mattress information. When have been sleeping on mattresses for our entire lives. But have you ever wondered what it is and how it is made? Here we will go through the origins, construction, and types of mattresses.

A mattress is usually a rectangular shaped item that is made up of several layers of springs and/or foams. These layers are arranged in a manner that provides a surface to sleep on that is comfortable enough for you to get a good sleep.

Mattress history

The first mattresses that were used comprised of a variety of different fillings. Some examples of these fillings are straw, feathers and even horsehair. In the early part of the 20th century these fillings got replaced with springs or different types of foams. The spring systems then became more advanced and different type began to be used. The most common type of spring was the Bonnell spring but others that have become more widely used are pocket springs or continuous coil springs. In the case of foam, high density foam is the most common but other variations include latex and memory foams.


A typical mattress consists of an inner core and comfort layer. This is topped with a ticking, which is the material used to cover the whole mattress. The inner core of a foam unit is mostly a reconstituted or chip foam. This core is then topped with various layers of different density and hardness of foams. A spring unit is either one of the spring types, which just like the foam core is topped with a combination of foam layers. The ticking or outer fabric is a set of three materials used to finish the product and give it insulation and comfort feel. The final layer of the ticking can be cotton, jacquard or any number of natural fibres like bamboo.

Mattress sizes

Just like different countries have different measurements for mattresses, South Africa has its own. The sizes are single which measures 91cm wide. A three-quarter measure 107cm wide, double 137cm queen152cm and a king 183cm. There are standard length options of 188cm long and extra length options of 200cm long.


While many manufacturers offer up to a 10-year guarantee and 20 year warranty, it does not mean that the mattress will be comfortable for that period. Over time the foam and springs become compressed which can make the mattress uncomfortable. In general, the manufacturers of these mattresses recommend changing your mattress every seven years.

Mattress care

As with any item in your home, the proper use and care is always suggested. You will find instructions on how to care for the mattress as well as how to turn and/or rotate it to achieve the best life out of the product. Most mattresses are flip and rotate but there are also no turn mattresses that only need to be rotated. These sequences ensure that the entire mattress is used and it helps avoid sagging or sinkage in any one spot of the mattress.