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Step by step guide to how a bed is manufactured

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Have you ever wondered how that lusciously comfortable mattress that you rest your weary body on every night is constructed? There is more to the mattress than you think and it all starts with the manufacturing process.

Just one missed detail in the construction of a mattress can result in the mattress not giving you the desired comfort and levels of support night after night.  Finding that mattress that hits the soft spot is really what matters and to gain an even bigger appreciation of your favourite piece of furniture, here is what you need to know about how a bed is manufactured.

Even your favourite mattress started out as wire and material

Even your favourite mattress started out as wire and material

Basically there are three types of mattresses on the market these days, and they are not only fantastically comfortable but they are also great for your sleep health. The latex foam mattress, the memory foam mattress and the innerspring mattress are the three popular mattress types on the market these days and when used in a certain way along with quality fibres and fabrics, the mattress suddenly takes on a new form and gains new qualities that aid in the support of certain parts of the body.

Did you know? The number one place that thieves look for money and valuables when they break into a home is under the mattress. Hiding your money under your mattress might have been a safe place in years gone by but today it is not at all a wise decision to make.

First some basics

Beds being made in the early times

Beds being made in the early times

The development of a mattress is linked closely to the development of a bed, a piece of furniture that was first used by the earliest of mankind. In early human history, people would sleep on beds created out of leaves, straw and animal skins.

Once humans started living a more settled life, rather than a nomadic existence, they started building beds that would not have to be packed up and moved. With their more settled life, the bed came into existence and the mattress was created.

Enough history, let’s design!

As you might have seen with one of the previous blogs, the bed designs these days are really something to look at. In fact, some of them are completely bizarre and look like something that would better suit the Starship Enterprise.

Part of design is the bed size. The earliest examples of beds were created in various sizes, with no standard sizes available. This meant that dimensions were all over the place! Imagine a bed that is not long enough for your body, a bed that is so short that the legs of the sleeper fell over the edge. Not long after it was realised that beds were being manufactured in all types of dimensions, the standardisation of beds became the norm.

In its earliest forms, the mattresses that were manufactured were very flat. To give the bed a bit more support and to make the flat mattress a whole lot more comfortable, the bed would be fit with a box spring. The design of mattresses then changed again and mattresses were made thick enough for there to not be a need for the box spring at all.

Bouncing with the coils

At the centre of a mattress, there is an innerspring unit. This is considered to be normal for all mattresses. An innerspring consists of numerous wire coils that are either individually wrapped or wrapped as a group. The Sertapedic Prefect Touch Firm Bed is an example of a bed that has a high count inner coil system as well as high-quality fabrics and fibres that will all work together to transform the bed into a luxurious one.

Bonnell coil spring units are hugely popular

Bonnell coil spring units are hugely popular

Once the wires are securely connected to one another, the layers of upholstery are attached to the wires. The first layer of this upholstery is known as the insulating layer, its purpose is to stop the delicate, comfortable cushioning from coming into contact with, and being damaged by, the wire springs. The insulating layer is possibly going to be an industry standard size, as this layer has nothing to do with the comfort of the mattress or the support that the mattress is going to give.

What you can expect to change from mattress to mattress are the layers that serve as the cushioning, those layers that are important for providing comfort. To complete this section of a mattress, the flanges are attached to the mattresses cover. The flanges are panels that connect the inner springs to the cover of the mattress so that none of the internal parts of the mattress are left hanging loosely about.

Interesting to know: You can never judge the quality of the mattress by how many springs are contained within it. If a mattress has a high innerspring count, it doesn’t automatically mean that the mattress is going to be of a superior quality. The quality of a mattress depends on so much more than the springs.

Just like there are different types of foams within a mattress, there are also different types of innerspring systems. The four types of spring systems are known as the Bonnell system, the Offset system, the Continuous system and the Pocket system.

  • Bonnell System

The Bonnell System of coils is popular and used in the Sertapedic bed range. Bonnell Coil Systems consist of coils that are knotted at both ends and are hour glass in shape.

  • Offset System

This coil system is also shaped like an hour glass, but the tops and the bottoms of the springs are flat. This allows the springs to be hinged.

  • Continuous System

The Continuous System consists of S-shaped coils that are designed to be in a continuous long strand of steel wire. This is why they are known as a continuous system.

  • Pocket System

The Pocket System is arguably the other most popular coil system after the Bonnell System. The Pocket Coil System is designed in such a way that each coil is encased in a pocket which is then connected to the coils next to it.

It is estimated that the average mattress will have around 250 to 1000 coil springs within the mattress. Sometimes the mattress can have up to 610 meters of steel wire.

While box springs can be placed beneath the mattress, it is generally agreed that the box spring is not needed for supporting the mattress.

But design goes way beyond the look of the bed and the innerspring system, the design also lies with the foams…

The foam that remembers

Memory foam is one of the many wonders that NASA has blessed humanity with. In the mid-1960’s NASA developed memory foam for airplane seats and from there the popularity of the foam boomed. Memory foam is made from viscoelastic and it is not only soft but also energy absorbent.

Memory foam is great for one reason, it has the ability to mold to the sleeping body. This foam is triggered by the body’s heat and the body’s pressure, supporting every movement and every turn. And once the weight of the body is removed, the mattress will return to its original shape.

NASA later used this foam for flights into space, to cushion and protect astronauts, medicine and applications. Today memory foam comes in a variety of densities and it is used in mattresses and pillows.

Going natural with latex

There are a number of questions that you have to ask when you are selecting a mattress made out of latex foam. These mattresses have been on the market since the middle of the 1950’s and they show no signs of losing their popularity. One of the biggest reasons for their popularity is that these mattresses are natural and unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Latex mattresses are considered to be very healthy, making them a popular choice.

Latex mattresses are very durable, they have been known to last up to 15 years. These mattresses are thought to be much firmer than the other mattresses on the market as they will not give you that sinking feeling when you lie down on it.

The down side is that this type of mattress can be on the expensive side, but that shouldn’t be a big issue if you are willing to invest in a mattress that is going to give you many years of exceptional comfort.

Bringing it all together for that perfect bed

For most mattress companies, doing it all is not possible. For this reason, a lot of the work that is put into the creation of a mattress is outsourced to a different manufacturing company.

The innersprings of a mattress will usually be created by a different company, as the manufacturing of these springs becomes an industry all by itself. Once the mattress manufacturers receive the innerspring system they will task a team to inspect the springs to determine if the springs are of the right quality. Once they are happy with the inner spring system they will apply the insulating layer and the cushioning layer that will provide the comfort to the final mattress.

All the hard work comes together to create the perfect mattress

All the hard work comes together to create the perfect mattress

While this is being done in one part of the manufacturing plant, the workers at the other side of the plant will be working on the cover that will be placed over the entire final product, the external cover that will protect the mattress. The cover is made by a huge quilting machine and the way in which it stitches is both incredibly useful and perfect for decorative purposes. When the cover is complete, it will be cut into panels that will be placed onto the top and the bottom of the mattress, after these big quilted pieces have been cut, the side covers will also be cut. Should the mattress be fitted with handles, these will be added before the side panels are placed upon it.

Have the knowledge: Mattresses don’t go to waste once they have become old. Rather the mattresses are recycled. The metals, wood and fibres can be used as a fuel source or they can be recycled and used in other appliances.

The next step in the mattress manufacturing involves the flanges being attached. Another specialised machine will be used to attach the top and the bottom panels and rings will be stapled to the flanges in order to secure them.

Closing up the mattress in order to complete its creation is the last part of the process. And it is the part of the process that is the trickiest. A moveable sewing head will be mounted on a track and the sewing head is manually fed by highly skilled operators who will walk around the machine as it sews. These skilled operators make sure that the machine is fed the right amount of binding tape.

The final journey

Before any mattress leaves a warehouse, every aspect of the mattress will be analysed and inspected to make sure that the product is perfect in every way. No product that is below standard will be allowed to leave the warehouse, this guarantees that the consumer never gets anything but the best.

The making of a mattress is not as fun as getting to sleep on it but knowing the effort that is put into the creation of a mattress is part of appreciating your favourite bedroom furniture. At The Mattress Warehouse we a wide selection of superb mattresses for you to choose from, have a look through our online store and bed sure to keep a look out for our specials. 

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