The Mattress Organic
by Rhintek LLC
8835c Columbia 100 Pkwy
Columbia, MD 21045
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Mattresses consist of two main parts, the core and the covering (called ticking); plus, sometimes, a pillow-top.
Core: The mattress core can be made of: steel springs, foam, air, water, and many others materials (cotton, wool, polyester fiber fill, feathers, straw, mud, dung, etc.). Often the core is made of several layers of various materials; I consider this to be a “patch” for using a deficient core material.
Ticking: The mattress covering is so important that it has its own word, ticking, to describe the heavy woven fabric used to cover early mattresses. Today, lighter weight materials are often used, such as the velour used by the Tempur-Pedic folks. The main purpose of the cover is to keep the insides in. With the self-supporting cores found in most contemporary mattresses, this is less important and other considerations arise. The cover may be used to provide shape, repel water, reduce the flow of allergens, look pretty, and the one that will become very important soon is to provide a fire retardant barrier.
Toppers: Mattress toppers, e.g. “Pillow-top”, are a useful addition to a too firm mattress that was bought during the “firm is better” craze, or where the mattress user has changed. A pillow-top mattress should not be purchased as a unit for several reasons:
- the topper does not last as long as the typical core, making the set lumpy for most of its life (the only exception to this rule is a quality latex topper) ,
- it is much harder to clean the topper when attached,
- the price of a good topper at a bedding store is very reasonable, whereas the cost increase is enormous when the topper is attached to a mattress, and
- adjusting the individual feel for two sleepers is more difficult.