Date:2023-08-23 15:27:14

Demystifying Mattress Fabric Covers

Demystifying Mattress Fabric Covers

Selecting the right fabric for your mattress cover can be a bewildering task, given the multitude of options available. With various materials, properties, and marketing jargon, making an informed choice can be challenging. This guide aims to provide clarity and help you understand the fabric options for your mattress cover, enabling you to avoid investing in inappropriate bedding.

Updated in 2023: Once you’ve delved into the composition of your potential new mattress, the next aspect to consider is the mattress cover fabric, often referred to as ‘mattress ticking’. You might be wondering about terms like “mattress damask” or “stitchbond”. Is it really worth paying extra for a mattress based on its cover?

This guide outlines the four main categories of mattress ticking, shedding light on what they entail and which ones to approach with caution.

Understanding Mattress Ticking
To begin, let’s clarify what mattress ticking is. Ticking refers to the material used for the mattress cover, an industry term for describing the fabric that encases a mattress.

Types of Mattress Ticking
Exploring mattress stores or retailers reveals a dizzying array of fabric options, designs, and coverings that can baffle any consumer. These choices, much like fiber types and spring counts, often aim to persuade you to spend more on a mattress that might not warrant the expense. An abundance of offerings, featuring a spectrum of colors and unique names, claim various benefits such as hypoallergenic properties (often attributed to polyester), cooling attributes (which might not deliver on promises), and even extraordinary features like precious metals woven into the fabric.

In reality, there are only four primary categories of fabrics used for mattress ticking:

1. Stitchbond
Representing the most affordable option for mattress fabrics, stitchbond is suitable for ethical use in mattress construction. Any material of lower quality might be akin to sackcloth, an undesirable texture for a mattress. Stitchbond fabric feels coarse and is commonly found in budget and economy mattresses. Its patterns are printed rather than woven like damask or other mattress fabrics. However, due to its coarse weaving method, it lacks breathability and flexibility, making it less conducive to a comfortable night’s sleep.

2. Damask
Woven fabric, often termed “Belgian damask,” is prevalent in most mattresses. While referred to as Belgian, many damask fabrics are manufactured outside Belgium. Different fabric suppliers cater to mattress manufacturers, each specializing in their own production. Sources span from Europe to regions like India and Malaysia. Genuine woven Viscose blend Damask fabric, as opposed to cheaper shiny polyester imitations, offers a soft touch, breathability, and flexibility. These qualities enable the underlying upholstery fibers to perform optimally and provide superior comfort.

3. Knits
Commonly referred to as micro quilts, knits encompass knitted fabric, unlike woven Damask. These fabrics lie in the mid-range spectrum. Known for their exceptional softness, they are typically used as covers for mattresses with memory foam or latex tops. Knits are unlikely to be found on side panels or matching bases, where complementary damask or woven fabrics are preferred. Although primarily used on quilted products, knits can also be tufted depending on the mattress design. Knits are more breathable than Stitchbond but less so than Damask. Usually, these fabrics consist of a polyester synthetic blend, providing the stretchy feel they’re known for.

4. Specials
Caution is necessary when considering the term “specials.” Often, these fabrics are essentially polyester interwoven with other fibers, marketed as extraordinary materials. In some cases, these additional fibers constitute as little as 1%. In recent years, the mattress fabric industry has seen a surge in innovation, with Probiotic Fabrics like Purotex® and Bugshield® claiming to neutralize allergens and bacteria. These fabrics purportedly contain beneficial bacteria that eliminate harmful ones. However, skepticism surrounds this concept when applied to inert materials.

Currently, an extensive range of specialized mattress fabrics exists, including those infused with aloe vera, ylang-ylang, tea tree oil, and scents like vanilla and lavender. Climate control fabrics such as Coolmax®, Outlast®, and Climasmart® coexist with organic and eco-friendly options. Natural fabrics encompass cotton, merino wool, bamboo, and health fabrics designed to reduce static buildup. Silver particles, silver fleck, copper threads, and other similar materials also exist. While these fibers can be less breathable, they’re generally preferable to Stitchbond. Prioritizing natural fibers within the mattress and opting for Damask or knit covers is recommended.

Does the Mattress Cover Regulate Nighttime Temperature?
The pursuit of coolness is a common concern, with fabrics like Coolmax and “hypoallergenic” covers entering the scene. It’s vital to understand that a hypoallergenic cover is typically made of polyester or contains viscose, which lacks animal fibers. Hence, Damask or Polyester covers are inherently more hypoallergenic than those blended with animal fibers, like Merino Wool. Coolmax and similar “cool” fabrics are often paired with memory foam mattresses known for heat retention. These fabrics attempt to address this shortcoming but are not extensively researched. For a cooler sleep experience, breathable bedding like cotton and a mattress with high breathability (preferably not foam) are more effective choices.

For those desiring a memory foam mattress without heat buildup, Natural Latex mattresses offer an alternative. Similarly, Natural Fiber Pocket Sprung mattresses provide superior cooling throughout the night.

In Conclusion
This concise example underscores the significance of mattress fabric coverings. The cutthroat competition among textile merchants vying for the mattress market necessitates a thorough understanding of these fabrics. While premium fabrics are a bonus, it’s crucial to prioritize mattress construction over fabric allure. Striking a balance between fabric and construction knowledge is essential in navigating your mattress journey.

For in-depth information on mattress ticking, quilting techniques, and fabric nuances, ensure you are well-informed before embarking on your mattress selection journey.