Dreamoligists Decode Mattress Terminology

In the market for a mattress, but a little overwhelmed by all the confusing terms? Never fear, your trusty Dreamologists are here to help! Below, we explain all the mattress terms you need to know, from platforms to pillow-tops, and everything in between.

Adjustable Base

A bed base that can move into several different positions. Usually controlled with a remote to raise the level of the head or feet.

Air Bed

Usually best for temporary rest like guests or camping! Air beds are filed with–you guessed it–air! and can usually deflate in minutes for easy storage.

Border Wires/Rod:

Steel wire or rods around the outside edge of the mattress or box spring to help a bed keep its shape. 

Box Spring

Typically goes under a mattress to provide extra support. It features vertical coils and a steel border rod and is usually covered in a sturdy material. You’ll need a box spring if your bed frame doesn’t have another form of support. Our True-Flex® features the patented Dyna-Lock™ interlocking grid system for extraordinary support and spring action.


Steel wires shaped into a vertical spiral, often encased in fabric or foam, designed to support the body when sleeping. Usually flexible and springy to add extra comfort and motion support. 

Day Bed

Used as a bed by night, couch by day. Whereas a sofa sleeper or hide-a-bed looks like a couch during the day, a day bed looks like a bed at all times–usually just with more pillows and padding. 

Edge Guard:

Wire or extra foam padding placed around the outside border of a mattress to prevent the dreaded side sag.


An alternative to box springs, a foundation is a bed base constructed using a sturdy wooden frame and, in some models, a steel non-flexing spring.


Otherwise known as the bed that folds up in your living room sofa, it’s also sometimes called a “sofa bed” or “sofa sleeper” or “sleeper sofa.”  

Hybrid Mattress

A mattress made of various types of material, like coils, memory foam, latex, foam, and pillow tops.

Latex Natural Foam

No springs attached! Latex natural foam mattresses don’t have any coils inside and are made of buoyant rubber from the Amazonian rubber tree (hevea brasiliensis). Naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic.

Mattress Topper

A removable extra layer to customize your sleeping needs, a mattress topper can make your bed softer or firmer, cooler or warmer, and can be made of a variety of materials depending on your preferences.

Memory Foam

Sometimes called visco-elastic foam, memory foam is a Man-made foam primarily made of polyurethane, memory foam is known for its moldable, pressure-relieving properties.

Memory Foam Gel

Similar to memory foam, the gel provides additional temperature moderation and heat dispersal.

Murphy Bed

A space-saving design that uses hinges to fold a mattress up into a cabinet or wall unit until needed, at which time it lowers down into a regular bed.

Pallet Base

Sometimes called a “Bunkie-board,” a pallet is a 2? bed base constructed using a sturdy wooden frame. It’s usually covered with a thin upholstery and acts as a box spring alternative, especially with platform beds.

Pillow Top

You’ll recognize a pillow top mattress as one that has an extra, “separate” layer of padding sewn on top of the mattress to make it more soft and comfortable. This feature is an extra layer of padding on top of the mattress to provide a soft, extra-comfortable surface for sleeping. You may need to get sheets in a special “deep pocket” size to ensure they fit over the pillow top.

Pillow Top (Eurostyle)

Similar in idea to the regular pillow top, but instead of a separate layer sewn on top of the mattress, the extra stuffing is included beneath the cover of the main mattress for a sleeker look.

Platform Bed

Increasingly more common, platform beds are slowly replacing box springs. A simple pallet base or adjustable platform base supports the mattress, lifting it off the ground and allowing for under-bed storage at the same time.

Plush Top

In lieu of an extra layer of stuffing like a pillow top, this mattress is constructed with a softer top and a firmer bottom. 

RV Mattresses

Like you guessed, these are designed specially to fit within the exact space of your RV. We can help you design one for maximum comfort and breathability.

Support Foam

The high-density foam usually found at the base of a one-sided mattress.

Trundle Bed

A two-fer design in which one mattress on wheels is tucked under the platform of the first mattress. The idea is usually to save space in smaller living areas.

Now that you’re in the know on all the main mattress keywords, come on down to our showroom and pick out your next good night’s sleep!

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