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Mattresses Buying Guide - Glossary

A new mattress is a sure-fire way to get a great night’s sleep. Ensure you get the right mattress, and you’ll have restful nights for years to come.



Have you ever wondered about some of the technical or special terms used in explaining sleep sets? The glossary below contains helpful, easy-to-understand definitions.


Dust and other substances that can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Foam is often considered a good choice for allergy sufferers, if the foam is mildew and dust-resistant.

Bed Frame/Sleep Set Support

The bed rails and frame that help prevent the sleep set from warping, twisting or sagging.

Border Wire

Heavy-gauge wires that help the mattress retain its shape and increase its durability.

Box Spring/Coil Spring

A foundation that has cone-shaped wire coils. These wire coils provide a soft feel.


A glazed, plain weave cotton fabric, generally woven with hard spun fine warp and coarser, slack twist filling.

Chiropractic® Sleep Set

Endorsed by the Canadian Chiropractic Association for providing correct back support. Chiropratic® is the registered trademark of Springwall Sleep Products International Inc.

Coil Tempering

The process by which a coil is bent into shape and then heated to a very high degree of heat, or creating the coils “memory” so that it continually returns to that shape.

Comfort Zone

The layers of upholstery between the support system and the ticking of the mattress.

Continuous/Integrated Coil

A type of coil construction in which a single wire is formed into a row of coils. Also called integrated coil.

Corner Guard

Made of plastic or metal, its purpose is to cover the sharp corners of the foundation.


A rich, silky fabric with woven floral designs, it is made of linen, cotton, wool, worsted silk, rayon, acetate and other man-made fibres.

Edge Guards

Heavy-gauge wires at the mattress edges that help prevent sagging edges. They also increase the usable sleeping surface and maintain structural integrity.

Euro Top

A square top that has several more comfort layers than a pillow top.

Euro-Pillow Top

A square box generally several inches in height with a gusset sewn around the edge.

Foam Encasement/360°

A supportive foam rail surrounds the perimeter of the coil unit to maximize the usable sleeping surface of the mattress. Also improves the overall durability of the product by reinforcing the edge seating.


The bottom component of a sleep set that transfers and distributes the weight evenly across the mattress.


A small coil wire used to join inner spring coils together.

Innerspring Mattress

A mattress with wire coils as its support system.

Latex Foam

Latex foam has a higher elasticity or resiliency than memory foam. The result is that latex will feel springier than memory foam. The benefit of latex foam is that it will dynamically conform to the body, providing optimal support in any sleep position. Talay latex is a suppler version of latex. It is more expensive and is composed of both synthetic and natural latex.

Pocket/Independent Coil

A mattress construction that uses individually-wrapped coils. Coils move independently of each other, so if your partner moves, you are less likely to be disturbed.

Modular Coil/Modular Grid

Also known as a torsion grid, this refers to a square wire coil used in foundations to absorb weight and reduce lateral sway.

Offset Coil

A wire coil similar to an open coil, but with squared ends.

Open Coil

This is an hourglass-shaped wire coil.

Pillow Top

The semi-attached layer with a gusset at the top of a mattress that provides additional softness and support.

Posture Box

A foundation that has no wire coil support system. It is made entirely of wood.

Posture Zone

Added support in the centre third of a mattress. This added support can be from either the use of heavier gauge coil, the use of more coils or the use of firmer upholstery layers.


A foundation with a grid of wires that firmly supports a mattress.

Soy Foam

Offers the same support as a polyurethane base foam but with the added benefit of using less petroleum based oil.


The fabric covering of a mattress or foundation.

Upholstery Layers

The foam, padding and fibres used between the support system and ticking of a mattress to provide cushioning and comfort.

Visco/Memory Foam

Memory foam will have a more solid feel than latex. Therefore, memory foam will not push back up against your body upon pressure being applied to it. The benefits of memory foam are pressure point relief and enhanced comfort to help prevent aching muscles and joints

Wire Gauge

A higher gauge means that the wire is thinner and creates a softer feel. A plush mattress will have a 15 gauge or higher wire. A firm mattress has 14.5 or lower gauge wire, this means the wire is thicker.


Wool fibers help repel moisture away from the body and promote air flow to keep the body cooler.

3 Zone

Centre zone helps keep your spine in proper alignment, while the head and foot zones provide a plush supportive sleeping surface.

5 Zone

Provides additional support where the body needs it most as well as proper natural alignment. Three comfort zones reduce pressure to the shoulders, hips and lower legs; two support zones maintain natural alignment and contour to the thighs and back.