The appearance of a mattress refers simply to the way it looks. Since most of the features of a mattress are hidden from view, some mattress shoppers feel that the appearance of a mattress is a material factor (no pun intended) when making their purchase decision. And yet, perhaps somewhat ironically, a common observation amongst consumers is that all mattresses look the same! (Curious why this is? Read this explanation of why mattresses tend to look so similar.)
That being said, we discourage mattress shoppers from letting appearance be a factor in their decision. The reason is that as soon as your new mattress is in your home, you will immediately cover it with a fitted sheet, and perhaps even a mattress protector. So, unless you are purchasing a box spring with your mattress that will remain visible after the bed is made, the appearance of your mattress set will never be exposed long enough to either please or perturb you. Long after you have completely forgotten what your mattress looks like, it will be the comfort, support and durability of your mattress that you will remember on a daily basis. As such, you are far better off letting those be the factors that guide your decision!