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Mattress Glossary

Want to know all there is to know about mattresses? Browse through Serta’s extensive Mattress Glossary here to find definitions of the most common mattress-related terms. You can scroll through our entire glossary, or use the links below to jump ahead.

Serta Mattress Terms

  • 638 Individually Wrapped Coils with Foam Encasement

    638 individually wrapped coils work independently to conform to the body, responding to pressure and providing extra support where you need it most. The advanced design works to reduce motion transfer while Foam Encasement extends the sleeping surface and strengthens the mattress edges. 

  • Active Base

    An active base allows you to adjust the support and firmness of the mattress to fit your personal needs and maximize your comfort. Active bases are also referred to as "adjustable beds". See our Trump Home™ Mattress Collection section for information on mattresses compatible with active bases.

  • Adjustable Bed

    A type of bed designed for an active base, or a special base that can be adjusted into various positions. See our Trump Home™ Mattress Collection section for information on mattresses compatible with adjustable bed bases.

  • Advanced Comfort Quit®

    This patented and exclusive quilt layer is designed to cushion every part of the body while relieving pressure points. Advanced Comfort Quilt works to reduce tossing and turning for a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep. See our Perfect Sleeper section for more information.

  • Anti-microbial foams and fibers

    Foams or fibers that have been treated to be or naturally are anti-microbial, preventing the growth of bacteria and dust mites.

  • Bamboo and Silk Mattress Cover

    A extraordinarily soft and luxurious mattress cover made from silk fibers and rayon from renewable bamboo. This fabric "breathes" easily, allowing air to flow through keeping the mattress cover cooler throughout the night. It is featured in our Trump Home Mattress Collection.

  • Base Fiber

    A fiber pad underneath the mattress innerspring that provides stability to a no flip mattress.

  • Bed Frame

    A metal or wood frame used to support the mattress and the foundation. See our Mattress Care section for information on selecting the proper bed frame for your mattress.

  • Bed Rails

    The "L" shaped sides of a bed frame that hold the mattress in place.

  • Beyond Comfort ™ Quilted Latex Foam

    Temperature-regulating latex foam that helps to maintain a consistent sleep surface temperature that works by absorbing heat and energy released from the body. Latex foam is the most advanced and breathable foam available and it provides superior pressure point relief. See our Vera Wang by Serta Specialty section for more information.

  • Body Impressions

    Term used to describe normal indentations on the mattress surface from normal compression of the mattress foams and fibers in the upholstery layer. Body impressions up to 1 1/2" are normal. See our Serta Mattress FAQ section for more information on body impressions.

  • Body Loft™ Fiber with Ultra Fresh™

    Serta Body Loft Fiber is a layer of cushioning fiber that is extremely breathable, providing a pillow-like feel around the body. Body Loft Fiber features Ultra Fresh antimicrobial protection to help keep your mattress cleaner and healthier.

  • Bonnell Coil Innerspring

    A type of innerspring with hourglass-shaped coils, which are attached to surrounding coils with a small wire spiral called a helical. Also called "Open" coil. See our Types of Mattresses Section for more information.

  • Border Rod

    Wire that surrounds the Innerspring or Box Spring/Foundation which creates a stronger seating edge for additional durability.

  • Border Wire

    See border rod.

  • Box Spring

    An upholstered bedspring composed of a number of helical springs with moving parts that supports a mattress. The term "box spring" is often used interchangeably with the term "foundation", but these are two different things. Today's single sided mattresses use foundations, which are similar to box springs but have no moving parts. Foundations are designed to provide proper support to today's single-sided mattresses designed to remove the hassle of flipping a mattress.

  • Bunkie Board

    A thin foundation made for all sized mattresses. Mainly used on bunk beds to significantly lower the height of a mattress set.

  • California King

    A mattress with an approximate measurement of 72 x 83.5". See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Clipped Border Wire

    A process used to attach the border wire to the innerspring unit. This provides a stronger connection than the more popular helical wire for a firmer, more durable seating edge.

  • Coil Count

    The number of coils in an innerspring unit. A high coil count alone does not indicate better quality. Firmness support and durability are determined by the design of the coil, the gauge of wire used and the way the coil is engineered. The count is usually based on the number of coils in a queen-size unit. See our What's in a Mattress section for more information on coil count.

  • Coil Density

     

  • Coils

    Spirals of steel wire that make up an innerspring unit, or the support system of an innerspring mattress. See our What's in a Mattress section for more information on coils.

  • Comfort Layer

    The upholstery and quilt layers of a mattress, typically composed of various foams and fibers, that rests on top of the support system. The comfort layer determines the "feel" or "firmness" of a mattress. Also referred to as "upholstery layer". See our What's in a Mattress section for more information on Comfort Layer.

  • Continental Style Foundation

    Wrapping the border fabric around the top of a foundation to eliminate the tape edge. Gives the border of the foundation a stronger and cleaner look.

  • Continuous coil innerspring

    A type of innerspring with rows of advanced coils made of a single, continuous wire. See our Types of Mattresses Section for more information.

  • Continuous Support® Innerspring

    Rows of continuous coil run head to toe, proving support along the entire length of the body. This design works to maintain proper spinal alignment throughout the night and reduce motion transfer from one sleep partner to another. See our Perfect Sleeper section for more information.

  • Convoluted Foam

    Foam with "dimples" designed to provide comfort and pressure relief. The shape is similar to that of an egg carton, which is why this foam is sometimes referred to as "egg crate" foam.

  • Cool Nature™ Latex Foam

    This revolutionary new Latex foam is designed to help regulate temperature while you sleep by actually absorbing and releasing heat as needed. See our Pure Response section for more information.

  • Counting Sheep

    Serta's beloved and reluctant brand icon introduced in 2000. The counting sheep's goal is to stop people from sleeping on a Serta so they have to count sheep instead (job security). They were inducted into the Advertising Walk of Fame in 2008.

  • Cover

    See Mattress Ticking.

  • Custom Support Foam

    Exclusive to Vera Wang by Serta, this foam helps reduce pressure points for a more comfortable and restful sleep. Custom Support Foam is 46% more supporting in the center of the mattress, where you need it most. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Damask Cover

    Woven fabric with a pattern that is used as a tick on mattresses.

  • Double Mattress

    See Full Mattress. See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Double Sided Mattress (or two-sided mattress)

    Mattresses built with a sleeping surface on both sides. Allows users to flip the mattress over and sleep on both sides. These are rare in the retail marketplace but are still widely used in the hospitality industry. Double sided mattresses have been replaced by today's single-sided models which are designed to deliver the same comfort and support without the hassle of having to flip the mattress.

  • Ecosense™

    A foam manufacturing procedure using minimally processed plant based ingredients. See our Trump Home Mattress Collection section for more information.

  • Egg-crate Foam

    See Convoluted Foam.

  • Euro Top Mattress

    A type of mattress with an additional upholstery layer at the sleep surface for enhanced cushioning. It has more structured tailoring than a traditional pillow top and, therefore, can be constructed to feel firmer than a pillow top. Click here to read about Serta's different comfort choices.

  • Extra Firm Edge-to-Edge Support

    Serta’s Extra Firm Edge-To-Edge support system is designed using firmer foam around the mattress edges for more edge durability. The edge-to-edge latex foam maximizes the sleep surface while helping to reduce edge “roll off”. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Firm Mattress

    A type of mattress with a construction that uses less foams and fibers so the sleeper sleeps closer to the support system, feeling less cushioning.

  • Firmness

    A term used to describe the "feel" of a mattress in terms of softness (or lack thereof). Serta Mattresses available in a variety of feels including firm, plush, pillow top and euro top.

  • Foam Core

    A type of support system made of entirely of supportive foam, such as Visco-elastic Memory Foam or Latex Foam. Many of Serta's Specialty products with Memory Foam cores feature a 5 lb. memory core. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information on foam cores.

  • Foam Density

    The weight of one cubic meter (foot) of foam. Foams with a higher density have better durability which is why Serta uses a 5-lb. memory foam core in its specialty products.

  • Foam Encasement

    Hard form rails along the perimeter of a mattress used to protect against edge break down. Mattresses with foam encasement experience less edge sagging and have an extended sleep surface.

  • Foams and Fibers

    Padding material made from a variety of components used to enhance the cushioning of a mattress.

  • Foundation

    Provides durability for today's single-sided mattresses. The term "foundation" is often used interchangeably with the term "box spring". However, these are two different things. What makes a foundation different from a box spring is that it is produced with no moving parts or springs. This construction provides the proper support and durability to today's single-sided mattresses which are designed to provide the same comfort and support as a two sided mattress, but without the need to flip the mattress. See our What's in a Mattress section for more information.

  • Free Flex® Innerspring System

    Serta's patented and exclusive Free Flex Innerspring System is the most advanced innerspring design available today. Constructed with an open coil design, each coil independently conforms to the body and responds to pressure for superior support and proper spinal alignment throughout the night. Serta offers different versions of the Free Flex innersprings all of which are zoned uniquely - The Free Flex Innerspring with 5-zoned support in our Perfect Day collection, the Free Flex Innerspring with Custom Support in our Vera Wang by Serta collection and the Free Flex Innerspring Unit in our Trump Home Mattress Collection.

  • Full Mattress

    mattress with an approximate measurement of 53 x 74.5". See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Gauge

    The thickness measure of the wire used in innerspring mattresses. A lower gauge number denotes a heavier wire. Coils made of lower gauges are stiffer (for example 13 gauge), giving the sleeper extra firmness. Higher gauge wires are springier (15 gauge). A quality bed will be equally durable regardless of which gauge you choose. See our What's in a Mattress section for more information

  • Head-to-toe Helicals

    Helical wires in the mattress that are laced from head-to-toe instead of side-to-side. This configuration helps reduce partner motion in the mattress.

  • Helical

    Spirals of wire used to connect adjacent rows of coils in an innerspring. Head-to-toe helical construction is ideal since it helps reduce motion transfer.

  • ILD

    Indention Load Deflection. A measurement of foam firmness. Amount of force it takes to deflect a piece of foam 1 inch. The higher the number the firmer the foam.

  • Individually wrapped coil innerspring

    A type of innerspring with an individually wrapped cylindrical coil contained within separate fabric pockets. Each coil is separate so the rest of the bed is not disturbed by the movement of the coils surrounding it. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information.

  • Innerpanel

    An upholstery layer in pillow top and Eurotop mattresses that separates the pillow top and Eurotop part from the rest of the comfort layers below. It also adds a level of comfort to the mattress.

  • Innerspring

    traditional mattress support system constructed using springs enclosed within a padded fabric cover. There are several types of innerspring systems used in today's mattresses. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information on Innersprings.

  • Insulator

    An upholstery layer that sits directly on top of the mattress which helps prevent the upholstery layers above it from pocketing down into, or being damaged by, the innerspring unit. It also reduces lumpiness in the mattress.

  • King Mattress

    mattress with an approximate measurement of 76 x 79.5". See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Knit

    Fabric used in mattress ticking (covers) that is knitted.

  • KoolComfort™ Memory Foam Cushions

    Cushions of Serta’s temperature-regulating KoolComfort Memory Foam breathe up to 95% more than traditional Memory Foam for a cooler sleep surface without the heat buildup that can disrupt sleep. KoolComfort Memory Foam Cushions contour to your sleeping position, promoting a more restful sleep by helping to reduce tossing and turning. See our Perfect Day section for more information.

  • KoolComfort™ Quilt with Ultra Fresh™

    This unique quilt is made of a combination of temperature-regulating Memory Foam and Serta’s exclusive Advanced Comfort Quilt®. The Memory Foam breathes up to 95% more than traditional Memory Foam so you will sleep cooler while the Advanced Comfort Quilt works to reduce tossing and turning. KoolComfort Quilt features Ultra Fresh antimicrobial protection to help keep your mattress cleaner and healthier. See our Perfect Day section for more information.

  • Law Tag

    A legally required tag or label on new items describing the fabric and filling regulating the United States mattress, upholstery and stuffed article (e.g.: pillows, plush toys, comforters, etc) industry. Typically these tags begin with a phrase such as This tag may not be removed under penalty of law except by the consumer. Some states require tags on used bedding as well. See our Serta Customer Care section for more information.

  • Low Profile Box Spring

    A box spring designed to be shorter than the traditional box spring which is beneficial to those looking to reduce the height of the mattress set since today's mattresses are very thick. Typical height of a low profile box spring is 5 - 5.5" (versus an average of 9" for a standard box spring).

  • Low Profile Foundation

    A foundation designed to be shorter than the traditional foundation which is beneficial to those looking to reduce the height of the mattress set since today's mattresses are very thick. Typical height of a low profile foundation is 5 - 5.5" (versus an average of 9" for a standard box spring).

  • Mattress Ticking

    The fabric that makes up the cover of the mattress. Serta mattresses feature a variety of covers from traditional damask to organic cotton, all with a variety of unique, value-added benefits. See our What's in a Mattress Section

  • Memory Foam

    A common name for Visco-elastic foam. Temperature sensitive, slow recovery urethane foam that conform to the body and distributes pressure according to body heat and weight. It comes in many thicknesses, densities, and different levels of softness and firmness. Visco foam may be used as the primary construction material, or as a component of the comfort system of an innerspring mattress.

  • No-Flip Mattress

    See Single-Sided mattress.

  • Non Pro-rated Warranty

    The time frame in the warranty where the item is covered 100% with no replacement or repair costs. Any possible transportation costs are not covered.

  • Offset coil innerspring

    A type of innerspring similar to the open coil but with coil that has a square head. It is slightly more cylindrical in shape than an open coil. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information.

  • Open Coil Innerspring

    A type of innerspring in which the coils are not encase. It is made of hourglass-shaped coils, which are attached to surrounding coils with a small wire spiral called a helical. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information.

  • Organic Cotton Fabric

    Organic cotton is naturally soft, environmentally sound and allergen-free allowing you to sleep comfortably throughout the night. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Organic Cotton Fabric Enhanced with Aloe Vera

    Our naturally soft and environmentally sound organic cotton fabric is allergen-free for a healthier sleep surface. It is treated with aloe vera to create a smooth and silky finish that is luxurious to the touch. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Perfect Day

    An upper end collection from Serta that utilizes many Serta exclusive features to give you a great night sleep. Among these features are KoolComfort™ memory foam, 5-Zoned Free-Flex™ coil system, Advanced Comfort Quilt™, Pro Energy Celliant technology fiber, Total Edge, and Triple Beam foundations. This beds can also include Talalay Latex and other comfort foams. See our Perfect Day section for more information.

  • Perfect Sleeper

    The most popular and best selling mattress collection in the industry. Has been Serta's flagship product line since 1937. Its features include, Advanced Comfort Quilt™, Continuous Support innerspring, Total Edge™, and StabL-Base foundation.

  • Pillow Top Mattress

    a type of mattress with an additional upholstery layer at the sleep surface for enhanced cushioning. Its tailoring is less structured than a euro top mattress, which also has an additional upholstery layer. Click here to read about Serta's different comfort choices.

  • Plush Mattress

    a type of mattress with a construction similar to the firm mattress, only with enhanced cushioning at the top of the mattress for a softer feel. Click here to read about Serta's different comfort choices.

  • Posturized Center

    The middle third of the Continuous Support innerspring used in the Perfect Sleeper where the coils are positioned closer together to give you better back support and reduce the sagging in the innerspring.

  • Pressure Points

    Places on the body where capillaries will close due to pressure against that area. When in bed, these pressure points are typically the shoulders and hips. The result may be pain, numbness or morning stiffness. Serta offers many advanced features that help reduce pressure points.

  • Pro-Energy™ with CelliantSleep™

    This revolutionary material is clinically proven to increase oxygen levels in the body. Increased oxygen levels improve comfort, promote quicker healing and provide a deeper, more rejuvenating sleep. See our Perfect Day section for more information.

  • Queen Mattress

    mattress with an approximate measurement of 60 x 79.5". See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Quilt

    The upholstery layers, fibers, and cover that is quilted together at the very top of the mattress.

  • Sagging

    Caused by the innerspring unit in the mattress, or the coils in the box spring, breaking down developing a hammock effect. Sagging is in the coils while impressions are in the foams and fibers. See our Serta Mattress FAQs for more information.

  • Sensura® Fabric

    This durable and resilient fabric provides a soft and sensual feel while keeping the sleep surface cool and comfortable. Exclusive to the Vera Wang by Serta Collection. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Serta

    A mattress manufacturer that started in 1931 when 13 independent manufacturers got together to form Guardian Knight Sleep Products. Changed their name to Serta in 1938 by spelling "mattress" backwards and dropping the first "s" a "t" and the "m" at the end. Has since emerged as an international mattress powerhouse with many brands leading the industry in innovation and customer satisfaction.

  • Sertapedic Collection

    A value line by Serta that offers quality products at lower prices. Includes features like the Verticoil support system, StabL-Base foundation, and memory foams and latex in selected models.

  • Serta® Comfort Foams and Fibers

    These extra-soft foams and fibers provide superior comfort at the sleep surface, so you sleep more soundly in enhanced cushioning. See our Sertapedic section for more information.

  • Serta® Latex Foam

    This unique, breathable foam instantly responds to your body, providing the ultimate in pressure relief and spinal support. It is naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic for a healthier night’s sleep. See our Perfect Sleeper section for more information.

  • Serta® Memory Foam System

    This state-of-the-art 5-lb. Memory Foam core is designed to conform to the body while promoting proper spinal alignment. It works to reduce pressure points and motion transfer between sleeping partners for a deeper, more restful sleep. See our True Response section for more information.

  • Serta® Soy-Based Foam Core

    The Serta Soy-Based Foam Core works to provide proper spinal alignment while the foam construction absorbs pressure and movement to promote a more restful sleep. Our soy-based foam core is made using natural soybean oil, reducing CO2 emissions and using less energy during the production process. See our Trump Home Mattress Collection section for more information.

  • Serta® Zoned Convoluted Foam

    This advanced convoluted, or "egg crate", foam works to distribute weight evenly and help alleviate pressure points that can cause discomfort. Our Zoned Convoluted Foam is designed to provide additional pressure relief where your body needs it most - at the shoulders, arms and hips.

  • Sheer Veil™ Overlay

    In the tradition of her bridal collection, Vera Wang has designed this beautiful fabric overlay to give this bed a romantic and elegant look. The unique Sheer Veil is luxuriously soft and cool to the touch for additional comfort on the sleep surface. See our Vera Wang by Serta section for more information.

  • Single Bed

    Another name for a Twin Mattress.

  • Single Sided Mattress

    A mattress with the comfort or upholstery layer built on only one side of the mattress. Most of the mattresses made today are single sided in order to eliminate the need to flip a mattress, which can be tedious. There is no loss of durability or longevity with a single-sided mattress. Also called a "no flip mattress".

  • Slat

    Wood strips used at the bottom of a foundation or box spring.

  • Specialty Mattresses

    A term used describe "all-foam" mattresses, or mattresses that have a 100% foam core in place of a traditional innerspring system. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information on specialty mattresses.

  • StabL-Base® Double Beam Foundation

    Serta’s StabL-Base® Double Beam Foundation provides consistent support across the bottom of the mattress and lasting durability to the mattress sleep set. The unique construction of this foundation isolates the impact of your sleep partner’s movements, so you can sleep undisturbed. See our Perfect Sleeper section for more information.

  • StabL-Base® Triple Beam Foundation

    Serta’s StabL-Base® Triple Beam Foundation provides consistent support across the bottom of the mattress and lasting durability to the mattress sleep set. The unique construction of this mattress foundation isolates the impact of your sleep partner’s movements, so you can sleep undisturbed. An additional beam of support enhances the performance of the foundation, making it twice as strong as the industry standard. See our Perfect Day section for more information.

  • Support System

    The innerspring or foam core center of a mattress which provides support for the back. Various types of both innerspring support systems and foam core supports systems are available in today's market. See our Types of Mattresses section for more information on Support Systems.

  • Tack & Jump Quilt Pattern

    A quilt pattern where the quilt machine's needle sews in a certain area then jumps to a different area instead of a continuous running design. Gives the mattress a more level and even sleeping surface.

  • Talalay Latex

    The highest quality, most consistent type of latex available. The latex goes through a 6 step process which includes Compounding; Molding where it is vacuum sealed, frozen, and heated; Washing; Drying; Quality Testing; and Fabrication. See our Pure Response section for more information.

  • Talalay Latex Cushions

    Cushions of our responsive Talalay Latex Foam surround your body in cradling comfort for superior pressure point relief. Serta’s Talalay Latex is also naturally antimicrobial and allergen-free for a healthier night’s sleep. See our Pure Response section for more information.

  • Talalay Latex Foam Comfort Core

    Serta’s Talalay Latex Foam Comfort provides up to 33% more pressure relief than other foam bedding, helping to eliminate the pressure points that could interrupt your sleep. It is naturally antimicrobial and hypoallergenic, making it an ideal solution for those concerned with allergies. See our Pure Response section for more information.

  • Tape Edge

    The material that is sewn around the top and bottom of most mattresses and foundations that keeps the mattress together and all the upholstery layers in place.

  • Tempering

    The process of adding memory to steel to prevent sagging. There are 2 types of tempering: Heat tempering and electric tempering.

  • Topper

    Another name for upholstery foam layers in a mattress.

  • Total Edge® Foam Encasement

    Serta exclusively offers this combination of an advanced encasement design plus a border rod for superior edge support. Total Edge Foam Encasement creates a total edge-to-edge sleeping surface so you have more room to stretch. Plus, the advanced encasement strengthens the mattress edges to eliminate potential edge “roll off.” See our Perfect Sleeper section for more information.

  • Trump Mattress Collection

    An exclusive mattress collection by Serta in partnership with Donald Trump, available in both innerspring and foam core. Incorporates features like KoolComfort™ memory foam, Advanced Comfort Quilt™, and Talalay Latex.

  • Twin Mattress

    A mattress with an approximate measurement of 38 x 74.5. Typically used for older children or adults who are too tall for a regular twin mattress. See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Twin XL Mattress

    A mattress with an approximate measurement of 38 x 79.5". See Serta's Size Chart to compare mattress sizes.

  • Ultra Cushion Top Mattress

    A mattress top like a pillow top that uses 2 tape edges instead of 1 allowing more upholstery layers to be added.

  • Upholstery Layer

    See Comfort Layer.

  • Vera Wang Collection

    An exclusive mattress collection by Serta in partnership with Vera Wang, available in both innerspring and foam core. Incorporates features like KoolComfort™ memory foam, Advanced Comfort Quilt™, Beyond Comfort™ Latex, and Talalay Latex.

  • Verticoil Premier® Innerspring

    This innerspring provides 35% increased surface coverage than traditional, value-priced innersprings. This results in an increased ability to react and conform to the individual contours of the body. See our Sertapedic section for more information.

  • Verticoil Premier™ Innerspring with Foam Encasement

    This innerspring provides 35% increased surface coverage than traditional, value-priced innersprings. This results in an increased ability to react and conform to the individual contours of the body. Foam Encasement adds edge strength to help eliminate potential edge “roll off”. See our Sertapedic section for more information.

  • Visco-elastic Memory Foam

    Temperature sensitive, slow recovery urethane foam that conform to the body and distributes pressure according to body heat and weight. It comes in many thicknesses, densities, and different levels of softness and firmness. Visco foam may be used as the primary construction material, or as a component of the comfort system of an innerspring mattress.

  • Warranty

    Serta's statement of the terms under which we will repair or replace a Serta mattress or box spring. See our Product Warranty and Registration section for more information.

  • Wire Gauge

    A measurement of how large a wire is, either in diameter or cross sectional area. See our What's in a Mattress section for more information on wire gauge.

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