One of the biggest rivalries in the world of bedding is that between memory foam and spring mattresses. If you want to upgrade or replace your mattress and you’re unsure whether you should go for foam or a spring mattress, we believe our article will be of great help. We’ll cover the debate of foam vs. spring mattress by providing you with a detailed list of the pros and cons of each type of mattress and allow you to decide which one would suit you based on your preferences.
In addition to outlining the benefits and drawbacks, we have a buying guide which includes some factors you should keep in mind when browsing for a mattress, as well as an FAQ section where we answer some pressing questions.
Now let’s start by examining what memory foam mattresses are and how they came to be.
What Are Memory Foam Mattresses?
Memory foam mattresses are one of the most popular types of mattresses nowadays. The foam used was originally invented by NASA in the mid-1960s, when they needed comfortable seat cushions that would provide sufficient support for astronauts. As you can imagine, the foam has been perfected since then to become the ultra-comfortable material we use now. Nowadays, mattress manufacturers use viscoelastic polyurethane which comes with a plethora of benefits that we will explore below.
Types of Memory Foam Mattresses
Before we move on to all the benefits memory foam mattresses have to offer, let’s take a closer look at the types of memory foam mattresses that are available.
Traditional Memory Foam Mattresses
Traditional memory foam is made up of polymer, so it’s a little denser than other types of memory foam. Many sleepers avoid purchasing traditional memory foam mattresses for this reason, especially if they’re prone to overheating at night. The dense structure makes it harder to temperature regulate, so it’s not the best choice if you’re a hot sleeper or live in a warm climate.
However, it boasts all the other benefits of memory foam mattresses, so if you live in a colder climate or you don’t struggle with overheating, it’s a perfectly acceptable choice.
Open-Cell Memory Foam Mattresses
Open-cell memory foam mattresses are insanely popular with hot sleepers. The structure of the open-cell foam contains small cells (hence the name) which allow for optimal airflow. This type of foam will make the warmer months of the year that much more comfortable, so it’s a go-to for those who have trouble with temperature regulation.
Gel Memory Foam Mattresses
Much like open-cell memory foam, gel memory foam mattresses are infused with a gel that helps prevent overheating and night sweats.
The inclusion of gel in memory foam mattresses can occur in two different ways: it’s either infused directly onto the memory foam, or there’s an additional layer of gel that’s included in the structure. Every manufacturer has a preferred method, but both are proven to be equally effective.
You might wonder, “Why is gel so effective in dispersing heat?” The answer lies in the gel beads/swirls. These beads are specifically designed to absorb the heat and diffuse it away from the sleeper.
Benefits of Memory Foam Mattresses
To help you decide on which mattress to go for, let’s go over the benefits you can expect if you sleep on a memory foam mattress.
Memory Foam Mattresses Provide Orthopaedic Support and Back Pain Relief
We all know the feeling of waking up with a stiff and painful back. Due to its ability to follow the natural curves of our bodies, memory foam is outstanding at hugging and providing pressure relief for all the problem points in our bodies, such as the shoulders, neck, and back.
In addition to helping with back pain and stiffness by providing pressure relief, memory foam mattresses also encourage proper spinal alignment. It helps the spine maintain its natural curve, thus improving your posture while you’re asleep.
Due to spending so much time sitting down, some of us have a chronically bad posture, which can be further exasperated if we don’t sleep in the correct position. If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, you might want to think about investing in a memory foam mattress.
Memory Foam Moulds to Your Body
Every body is different and one of the reasons why memory foam is so popular is its ability to mould to your body and weight, offering personalized support throughout the night.
Memory Foam Mattresses Are Usually Hypoallergenic
Since memory foam is inherently hypoallergenic, most memory foam mattresses are safe for allergy sufferers. Unlike wool mattresses, you can rest assured knowing your sleeping environment won’t be the cause of any skin irritation or a stuffy nose. Whether or not a memory foam mattress is hypoallergenic depends on the other materials used in the making, so always check with the manufacturer if you’re prone to allergies and you’re unsure.
Apart from that, memory foam mattresses are incredible at keeping the dust mites at bay and providing a clean sleeping environment.
Memory Foam Mattresses Are Versatile
Not all mattress types are designed for every sleeping position. Luckily, that’s not the case with memory foam mattresses – they’re designed to support every sleeping position. Regardless if you’re a back, front, or side sleeper, the memory foam will provide ample support and keep you comfortable throughout the entire night.
One of the reasons why it’s a great choice for back sleepers is the fact that it encourages spinal alignment and provides back support. Similarly, front sleepers will find the pressure relieving benefits of memory foam incredibly helpful in reducing and preventing pain in the pressure points.
Memory Foam Mattresses Are a Great Option for Partners
Another major reason why sleepers opt for memory foam mattresses is their motion transfer properties. If you or your partner are prone to tossing and turning at night, consider investing in a memory foam mattress.
By absorbing the motions of you or your partner, it will prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night due to excessive movements. This is quite an important feature for light sleepers who are usually disturbed by even the slightest movements.
Memory Foam Mattresses Are Durable
Sure, some memory foam mattresses have a higher price than the average spring mattress. However, what makes them such a great investment is that they’re amazingly durable and sag-prone. Memory foam is in itself a durable material, so it’s not surprising that one of the perks of buying a memory foam mattress is its longevity.
With that said, the durability varies from mattress to mattress, depending on the quality of the foam used and the brand, so make sure you do your research before investing in one.
The Drawbacks of Purchasing a Memory Foam Mattress
To provide you with a balanced view of memory foam mattresses, in this section, we included some of the possible drawbacks of memory foam mattresses.
Memory Foam Mattresses Can Trap Heat
As we already mentioned before, traditional memory foam mattresses are notorious for trapping heat. While that won’t be a problem for those who live in colder climates or aren’t prone to night sweats, hot sleepers and those who experience high temperatures yearly might find that it overheats them and causes discomfort.
Memory Foam Mattresses Can Smell
All new products have a certain smell to them, but memory foam mattresses have a certain chemical smell that takes a couple of days to dissipate.
Memory Foam Mattresses Can Be Pricey
Needless to say, there are a lot of factors that influence the price of a mattress, such as the brand, the materials used, and whether it comes with any additional features. One of the few drawbacks of memory foam mattresses is that they can be quite expensive, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding between memory foam or a spring mattress.
What Are Spring Mattresses?
As their name suggests, spring mattresses are mattresses that are made of springs. They’re usually comprised of various different layers, one of which contains the springs, while the others are made of softer materials that provide additional comfort.
Types of Spring Mattresses
There are two main types of spring mattresses: pocket spring and open spring mattresses. Let’s see how they differ.
Pocket Spring Mattresses
We’ve all heard of pocket spring mattresses. They’re quite popular on the market for their revolutionary open coil structure.
The secret of pocket spring mattresses is that they’re made of individual springs which aren’t connected, allowing them to move independently. This makes them a great option for partners, as well as those who appreciate personalized support.
Open Spring Mattresses
Open coil mattresses are among the most popular types of mattresses. Unlike pocket spring mattresses, open spring mattresses contain one wire which holds all the springs, so they’re dependent on each other.
Due to their straightforward design and traditional manufacturing process, they’re known for being the most affordable type of mattress on the market.
Benefits of Spring Mattresses
Spring mattresses are a classic for a reason. They come with many benefits that help all kinds of sleepers.
Spring Mattresses Are Affordable
Unlike some types of foam mattresses, spring mattresses are quite affordable. You could easily find one that’ll cost you less than £100 and that provides comfort and support.
Spring Mattresses Are Low Maintenance
Apart from being quite durable, spring mattresses are known for being low maintenance. For most spring mattresses, all you’re required to do is turn the mattress over every couple of months or so. This is necessary to maintain the shape of the mattress and to prevent any damage.
Spring Mattresses Are Breathable
Compared to memory foam mattresses, spring mattresses are quite breathable. Since they’re made of springs, they allow for more airflow and ventilation, so you won’t have any trouble with overheating during the summer.
Spring Mattresses Are Amazing for Partners
Made of springs that work independently of each other, pocket spring mattresses are an outstanding choice for partners. They ensure that any movements you make during the night won’t disturb your partner, and vice versa, making them perfect for light sleepers.
Spring Mattresses Are Supportive
Unsurprisingly, spring mattresses offer great support. Many people prefer spring mattresses over foam mattresses precisely because they provide support and pressure relief without that sinking feeling that we can sometimes experience with memory foam.
The Drawbacks of Purchasing a Spring Mattress
As amazing as they appear on paper, there are a few cons associated with spring mattresses that you should be aware of.
Spring Mattresses Can Be Noisy
Due to their construction, spring mattresses can be quite noisy while you’re sleeping or moving around on the mattress. This can potentially disturb your partner and be quite annoying, so keep that in mind if you or your partner is a light sleeper.
Spring Mattresses Can Be Uncomfortable
Nowadays, most spring mattresses come with a layer of comfort that balances the hardness of the springs. However, with some mattress brands, this layer isn’t sufficient to provide full-body comfort. Try your best to research the brand carefully before committing to a purchase.
Regardless if you opt for a memory foam or a spring mattress, there are some factors you should keep in mind to ensure that the mattress is perfectly tailored to your needs.
The firmness you opt for depends on your preferences. If you don’t have a preference, select one depending on your preferred sleeping position. Front and side sleepers usually do well with soft or medium-firm mattresses, while back sleepers require a bit more support, so they should go for medium-firm to firm mattresses.
If you’re a hot sleeper, choose a mattress that has cooling features, such as a gel layer. This will ensure that the sleeping environment remains cool and dry even in the summer, resulting in better sleep.
It’s a huge misconception that you need to pay hundreds of pounds for a high-quality mattress. Nowadays, you can easily find one that’ll cost you less than £200 and provides an equal amount of support and comfort as luxury mattresses.
Setting a budget prior to going mattress shopping can be of immense help since it will naturally narrow down your options and make it easier for you to make a decision.
Now that you know all the major benefits and drawbacks of both memory foam and spring mattresses, it’s time to give you our final verdict.
Opt for a memory foam mattress if:
- You want personalized, full-body support and pressure relief
- Struggle with your posture and you need additional support for your back
- Want a mattress that’s going to last you for years on end
- Don’t mind paying a little extra money for a mattress
Choose a spring mattress if:
- You’re on a tight budget
- Are a hot sleeper who tends to wake up drenched in sweat in high temperatures
- Want motion isolation from your partner
Which Is Better Foam or Spring Mattress?
Whether you should opt for a foam or a spring mattress depends entirely on your needs. If you’re someone who requires a lot of support (especially for your back), we recommend going for a foam mattress. If you’re a hot sleeper who’s on a budget, you should go for a spring mattress.
Is Foam or Spring Mattress Better for Back Pain?
When it comes to back pain, foam mattresses are definitely superior. They offer pressure relief in the back area and help with proper spinal alignment during the night.
Is Foam Mattress Good for Health?
Provided that they meet the safety and health standards, foam mattresses are perfectly safe for use.
We hope you found our article on foam vs. spring mattresses useful and that we helped you make a decision on which one would suit you best.
Memory foam mattresses, one of the most popular types of mattresses, were first made by NASA in the mid-1960s. There are three main types of memory foam mattresses: traditional, open-cell memory foam and gel memory foam mattresses. They come with a myriad of benefits, such as providing pressure relief, back support, being partner-friendly, and moulding to your body. Some of the drawbacks associated with memory foam mattresses are that they can be quite pricey and they lack breathability.
Spring mattresses are divided in two major groups: pocket spring and open spring mattresses. Unlike memory foam mattresses, they’re quite affordable and are a great option for hot sleepers. Some of their other benefits include being low maintenance and providing full-body support. With that said, the springs can make them quite noisy which can potentially disrupt your sleep. Another drawback associated with spring mattresses is that they can be quite uncomfortable, depending on the brand you choose and whether or not the mattress has a good supportive layer that complements the layer of springs.