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Tufted or quilted mattress, which is better?

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Quilted mattresses have a smoother, flatter surface and often feature a decorative design on the cover. Tufted mattresses have a contoured surface where cords or tapes are passed through the mattress to keep the fillings in place. It isn’t necessarily the case that one finish is better than the other, but more about personal preference.

When shopping for a new mattress, one of the first things you will notice is its surface. Some mattresses have a flatter surface, while others are contoured. Mattresses often come with tufted or quilted covers to give the sleeping surface a nicer look and feel.

It isn’t necessarily the case that one finish is better than the other, but more about personal preference. However, it helps to understand the differences between the two, so you can make an informed decision regarding which is more suitable.

Quilted mattress

With a quilted mattress, the cover is stitched to the top layers inside the mattress. Quilted mattresses have a smooth, flatter surface and typically feature a patterned effect on the cover.

The quilting layer can be made from natural materials such as linen, wool, silk, and cotton or synthetic materials like foam, fibre, and polyester. Natural materials are more resilient and breathable, while synthetic materials feel warmer and break down sooner.

Some materials may provide extra comfort and cushioning on top of the mattress. These fibres may also provide some pressure relief depending on the thickness of the quilted layer.

There are three mattress quilting techniques; Micro quilting, deep quilting, and tack and jump.

Quilted mattress close up
Quilted mattress

Tufted mattress

Tufting is a technique that can be performed by hand or machine in which cords or tape are passed through the mattress at regular intervals. These are then secured on either side with padded buttons or felt washers. Tufting creates a contoured surface and prevents the loosening or sagging of the fillings by compressing the mattress and securing its components.

Tufting is often synonymous with higher-quality pocket sprung mattresses to keep the upholstery in place. However, be mindful that lower-quality mattresses can also be tufted.

Better quality tufts are usually protected by felt or wool washers, ensuring a comfortable sleeping surface. However, with cheaper tufts, the plastic ends are often exposed, which some people may feel. Placing a good-quality mattress protector or topper on the mattress should resolve the issue. Otherwise, consider a quilted mattress instead.

Sometimes the tufts can break. However, this is usually no cause for concern and will not dislodge the fillings. Most manufacturers will replace a broken tuft if necessary.

Tufted mattress close up
Tufted mattress

Other features to consider

Besides whether you prefer a quilted or tufted surface, you also need to consider other fabric features. For instance, some mattresses come with anti-dust mite fabrics, which are ideal for Asthma and allergy sufferers.

Other mattresses feature moisture-wicking properties, which draw moisture away from the body, creating a cooler and more comfortable sleep environment. The cloth must also be tough and resilient to withstand everyday wear and tear.

Mattress side stitching is another feature to consider. It is a labour-intensive task that involves stitching the mattress’s side panels to the outer rows of springs to improve edge support.

Final thoughts

Whether you choose a quilted or tufted mattress comes down to personal preference. Remember that the cover is the first thing you’ll notice. Hence, manufacturers take time to ensure their covers look luxurious and enticing.

Though mattresses may look similar, the components inside the mattress affect how it feels and performs. Comfort and support are the two main factors to consider when choosing a new bed and mattress.

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About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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