What a fitness buff should be looking for in a mattress – health benefits and shortcomings of each mattress type

A fitness-oriented person will have a very specific set of needs in terms of sleep. These needs range from recovery time to something specific (and more serious like) like a chronic injury.

Everybody talks about the importance of sleep but you rarely see some specific tips on choosing the right mattress – that changes here and now.

Today, we’ll go through each mattress type that’s out there and explore their benefits and shortcomings regarding your health and wellness.

Latex Mattresses

Latex is one of the most durable, lasting materials for mattresses. The most famous are Dunlop and Talalay latex mattresses. There are three types of latex: natural, blended, and synthetic. How natural you want your latex mattress is going to dictate price greatly.


PROs of latex


Latex mattresses are very durable. Latex is a byproduct of the rubber tree. The natural sap is converted into a solid form and is extremely resilient. It is one of the most durable mattresses on the market. Latex mattresses can last for 10 years, but of course, nothing lasts forever and even the highest-quality latex mattresses will not be the same as you bought it ten years later.

Latex Mattress Is Good For Your Back

Many people suffer from back pain and the type of mattress you sleep on can really have an impact on your back. Latex mattresses are designed to support your back properly. It is flexible enough to support your back yet resilient enough to stand the test of time.


If you’re concerned about temperature when you sleep, latex is much cooler than memory foam for example. It’s not the coolest material necessarily because it is actually pretty conforming and when a mattress conforms to your body, that’s one of the ways in which it can retain heat. But if the mattress is made from natural latex, that helps with the breathability and general temperature regulation of the mattress and keeps you at your natural temperature.

CONs of latex

Latex Mattresses Are Expensive

This is one of the main cons for latex mattresses. If you want a high-quality natural latex mattress, the price is very high. Although some could argue that the upfront cost is high, it generally pays off since latex mattresses last for a longer time compared to other mattress types.

Can Be Too Firm

Some latex mattresses can be too firm which can result in the mattress not being as comfortable. But there are different varieties of latex regarding firmness and some people like their mattresses to be firmer.

Synthetic Latex

This type of latex mattress can’t breathe because it’s chemically made. It also forms body depression so the longer you’re on it, it starts to create that depression in the mattress. The problem is that a lot of companies sell synthetic latex as natural latex so you have to be very careful what you buy and what percentage of the mattress is natural latex.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam is one of the most famous materials for mattresses. Memory foam technology began with NASA and since then it has become extremely widespread and popular. Many people prefer memory foam mattresses and many claim that memory foam has revolutionized the mattress industry.




Memory foam adjusts to your body contours and helps you feel supported and comfortable all night long. Memory foam mattresses have good pressure point relief and this refers to the foams ability to contour to a person’s body which allows for equal distribution resulting in good comfort.

Motion isolation

Motion isolation is another pro of memory foam since it absorbs motion and movement. It is not bouncy. That allows the person to move or get up off the bed without disturbing their partner much, if at all.

No Noise

Memory foam beds are quiet unlike some innerspring beds and airbeds. They are silent under all conditions. This is a very important part of memory foam because nobody likes a lot of noise in their bedroom and having a squeaky or noisy mattress can be really irritating.

Good Low-Priced Models

There is always at least somewhat better selection of highly rated low-priced memory foam mattresses available than there are low-priced options among other mattress types.


Initial Odor

Memory foam mattresses have higher likeliness from other mattress types to give off an initial odor that can last from a few hours to a few weeks, or months in extreme cases. And although this problem usually goes away on its own, nobody wants a funny odor coming from their mattress.

Heat Retention

While not a widespread problem, memory foam, and especially higher density models can retain more heat than other mattress types. This is a big problem in the summer months when it’s very hot in your room and your mattress is also making you hot. So customers who are heat sensitive should consider this downside.

Difficulty Of Movement

Difficulty of movement can be a problem for some memory foam mattresses. Higher density models tend to provide significant resistance to movement, getting up or off the bed. Memory foams mattresses are also not romance friendly for some people. Complaints on this issue often relate to the fact that memory foam beds have no bounce.


Airbeds have the appearance of a regular bed but use air for support as opposed to springs or foam. They rate significantly better based on customer experience than innerspring mattresses but is not as popular as latex or memory foam mattresses.

Bear in mind that we’re not talking about a regular inflatable bed (the cheap air beds that you might get for your guests, models made by Intex, SoundAsleep, Insta, Serta, Coleman). Even the best of those air mattresses are not really a long-term sleeping solution.

These can useful by a fitness buff in certain scenarios – for example, if you are considering investing in an adjustable airbed for a specific reason like back pain or injury, an air mattress might be a good idea, because it will help you get an idea whether the firmness adjustment works for your back pain. In other words, it’s a cheap test-drive for an adjustable bed. You can see the reviews of the best air mattress of this type as per TheSleeStudies.com here.

We’re talking about the other end of the airbed spectrum, the high-end adjustable airbeds like Sleep Number.


Personalized comfort

With an airbed, firmness and support can be adjusted by adding or moving air from a mattress using an electric pump. Each side of the bed can have its own independent adjustment. At least 30% of owners report that this personalized comfort of airbeds is a strong positive.

Pain Relief

Another airbed pro is pain relief. The ability of an airbed to contour to one’s body minimizes pressure points, provides support and reduces pain, especially back pain. Users report that sleeping on air bed reduces tossing and turning which results in better sleep. Airbeds are also very comfortable since they’re filled with air and provide a lot of support.


Longevity is another pro. The lifespan of airbeds tends to be good, helped by the fact that if a part or an aspect of the bed breaks or deteriorates, it usually can be replaced.



Given the mechanical nature of airbeds, various problems can and often do arise such as air leaks and pump or controller problems. These problems, however, are usually fixable.


Warranties are another disadvantage. Airbed warranties usually have a short non-prorated period, meaning that after just a few years you will often have to pay a percentage of the repair cost.

Noise from Air Pumps

Many airbed users complain about the noise from air pumps. Unfortunately, air pumps are an unavoidable part of air beds. But this problem might be solved by buying a high-quality air pump that will produce less noise.

Assembly Required

Another disadvantage of airbeds is that they require assembly. The assembly of an airbed can take from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of people that are assembling it.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses are a type of mattresses that have springs for support as opposed to foam, latex, air or water. These are a classic type of mattresses that most people have or have had in their bedroom. Although innerspring mattresses have been overshadowed a bit by new technologies and different mattress types like memory foam, air or latex mattresses, they are still very popular.

inner spring



Unlike some other mattress types such as latex mattresses and airbeds, innerspring beds are widely available at most mattress retailers. You also have a greater selection to choose from and find the perfect one

Low Cost

One of the main pros of innerspring mattresses is low cost. Several models are available below, and in some cases well below, $500. That is one of the reasons a lot of people choose innerspring mattresses.



Significant mattress sagging can occur within three years. This undermines support and comfort of the mattress. It has been shown that innerspring mattresses have the highest sagging rate among all other mattress types.

No Pain Relief

Regarding pain relief potential, innerspring mattresses often lack the conforming or molding properties of other mattresses such as memory foam, latex, and air. Mattresses that conform to a person’s body tend to result in superior pain relief and pressure point relief. Many innerspring mattresses contain memory foam but they don’t always contain an amount adequate to provide much benefit.

Conclusions and takeaways

Choosing the right mattress type really depends on your preferences. There are pros and cons for each one. Some people like firm mattresses, some like soft.

Some enjoy memory foam as a material; others don’t like it at all. So it’s really important that you consider what you like and require in a mattress and then shop for a mattress according to that.