How to Choose Between Spring and Memory Foam Mattresses

Without a reliable, arch-supporting mattress, getting your recommended eight hours of a restful night’s sleep can be difficult and even near the impossible. With the advent of new sleeping technology, shopping for the right mattress can be overwhelming as the latest-and-greatest mattress models race to the nearest showroom. 

As you shop for the right mattress that’s best suited to your needs, you’ll likely encounter a wide range of spring and memory foam mattresses, as these are the two most popular types available on the market. 

The spring mattress is considered to be the most traditional mattress type. This mattress type is made up of continuous metal coils, lined with several rows of curved wires. When weight is applied, the coils of the spring mattress will bind together to create a support mechanism. The thickness of its metal coils determines the firmness of a spring mattress.

The memory foam mattress is made up of polyurethane foam material and is sensitive to body temperature and body weight. It relies on open-bubble cells rather than springs to provide back support. Memory foam mattresses are categorized into three different subgroups: polyfoam, memory foam, and latex foam.

To make the most educated purchase, you’ll want to compare the pros and cons of each mattress type: spring and memory foam. 

Differences between spring and memory foam mattresses

Spring mattresses and memory foam mattresses vary both in their designs and how they are produced. Each mattress lends to its own series of benefits and drawbacks. As you sort out your mattress must-haves, you’ll want to base your decision on the following factors. 

Overall feel

The spring mattress has a firmer feel, as compared to a memory foam mattress. The firmer texture gifts its users with a greater sense of back support. Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, have a softer texture and are reputed for their cloud-like comfort.

Motion transfer

A spring mattress can’t absorb movement quite like a memory foam mattress. With every toss and turn, the springs will compress and bounce back. If you or your spouse are known for frequent position changes, getting in and out of bed, without disturbing your partner, will be a bit more difficult.

Whereas, the memory foam mattress is more absorbent. It can absorb the energy that’s pressed into the mattress’s surface. Because it’s less responsive, it’s able to isolate motion and help you stay asleep when your partner experiences bouts of restlessness. 

Support

Most spring mattresses don’t support the natural curvature of the spine. A memory foam mattress, however, conforms to your figure and supports the natural curvature of the spine. With a zero-pressure approach, your spine will stay aligned—preventing aches, pains, and other injuries. 

Bounce

In terms of resilience, spring mattresses have a much bouncier feel than foam mattresses do. The foam mattress, however, is prided on its shock-absorbing abilities. This means a foam mattress can quickly mold to the curvature of the body when a sleeper shifts position. 

When shopping for your dream mattress, remember that spring mattresses are more bouncy, but foam mattresses are more responsive. Purchase the mattress type that aligns with your sleeping needs and the needs of your partner. 

Temperature

Spring mattresses are ideal for those sleepers who prefer to stay cool throughout the night. The design of a spring mattress supports greater airflow, so you can stay dry and fall asleep faster. 

One of the biggest drawbacks of memory foam mattresses is that they’re prone to trapping heat. The memory foam’s design retains both body heat and external heat, which can be very uncomfortable for sleepers in a hot climate, those who are sweat-prone, or those sleepers who have difficulties regulating their body temperature, due to a medical condition. 

Durability

Spring mattresses are less durable, as their springs are prone to breakage. When a spring snaps over time, it can poke through the surface layer of your mattress. Your springs can also sink, forcing sleepers into uncomfortable sleeping positions.

Memory foam mattresses are typically more durable and can withstand exposure to tossing, turning, and any gradual wear and tear. Unfortunately, memory foam mattresses aren’t as hygienic as their spring mattress counterparts. Memory foam can collect dirt, sweat, and debris more quickly than a spring mattress.

Cost

Spring mattresses are fairly cheaper than a memory foam mattress. However, with the right research, any potential buyer can scout-out a discounted foam mattress that can fit within any budget. 

Advantages and disadvantages of spring vs. foam mattresses

The advantages of spring mattresses

Spring mattresses are available at bottom-dollar prices across the market. With the right care, a spring mattress can be enjoyed for up to a decade, so you won’t have to worry about repurchasing a pricey memory foam mattress every few years. 

The disadvantages of spring mattresses

Spring mattresses start to lose support and may even start sagging after two years of purchase. Some sleepers who own a spring mattress notice that this mattress type doesn’t offer proper back support or spinal alignment. 

The advantages of memory foam mattresses

Memory foam mattresses don’t transfer motion, which makes them popular among shoppers. The foam mattress is suitable for anyone in need of pressure relief and excellent support.

The disadvantages of memory foam mattresses

When they’re unwrapped from their packaging, memory foam mattresses can release a pungent and unpleasant odor, when purchased new. Though the smell will usually subside after a few days, it may temporarily disturb your sleep.

As mentioned prior, memory foam mattresses are known to trap heat, due to the lack of airflow. For those easily affected by hot temperatures, opting for a spring mattress may be in your best interest.

Recommendations based on sleeping positions

Stomach sleepers

Spring mattresses are ideal for stomach sleepers. This is because stomach sleepers don’t exert much force on their pressure joints, so they won’t require much back and spinal support. When diving into specific spring mattresses designed with the stomach sleepers of the world in mind,  offset spring mattresses will check-off every item on your wishlist. 

Back sleepers

The spine of a back-sleeper doesn’t require targeted support, as it’s already resting in its natural position. With this in mind, a spring mattress will do just fine for any and all back-sleepers.

Side sleepers

Side-sleepers exert the most pressure on their shoulder and hips, and therefore, require a mattress that molds itself to their body to keep the spine aligned. A memory foam mattress is ideal for the side-sleeper, as it conforms to their unique body shape.

Recommendation for athletes

The body of an athlete is subjected to a significant level of fatigue and daily strain. Therefore,  their bodies require adequate rest and periods of recovery. Any sleeper who maintains an active lifestyle should consider purchasing a memory foam mattresses to alleviate any unnecessary pressure on their pressure points such as their neck, shoulders, and back.

Final thoughts

In the new wave of sleeping technology, memory foam mattresses have gained unique popularity for their support and pressure-relief capabilities. Among other factors, shoppers should consider their sleeping position before investing in a new mattress. Your final decision should, ultimately, boil down to your personal preference, but with this knowledge, you’ll be sure to make the right choice.

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