Memory Foam vs Spring Mattress

By HumanWindow
Updated on 22 June 2020

Should you go for a Memory Foam or a Spring Mattress? If you’re asking this question, then you’re probably weighing up the pros and cons of both types of mattress before making a decision.

There are many more different types of mattresses around these days than there used to be just a few years ago.

The extra choice is making it much easier for consumers to choose products that are perfectly suited to their needs.

However, the extra choice can also make it tricky to pick out the mattress that’s best suited to your needs.

You probably already know that both memory foam and spring mattresses have their pros and cons – but what are they?

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the main differences, advantages and disadvantages of both memory foam and spring mattresses to help you make a better choice.

We’re going to break this article up into the following sections:

• What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
• What is a Spring Mattress?
• Memory Foam Mattress – The Pros
• Memory Foam Mattress – The Cons
• Spring Mattress – The Pros
• Spring Mattress – The Cons
• Our Top Picks
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at both memory foam and spring mattresses.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

You’ve probably already heard all about memory foam mattresses in recent years.

They have become incredibly popular and there are more brands around than ever these days.

Memory foam is a type of foam which was originally developed by Nasa to keep astronauts comfortable during launch. A memory foam mattress usually combines layers of memory foam with denser support foam to offer body contouring and great support.

The memory foam found in most mattresses is usually firm to the touch, but it will then gradually mould into your body shape and offer exceptional support throughout the night.

Memory foam mattresses were originally popular with people who were looking for specific products to offer support for bad backs, but they are now one of the most popular consumer mattresses out there.

Memory Foam Mattress - Pros and Cons (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Memory Foam Mattress – Pros and Cons (Photo: Adobe Stock)

What is a Spring Mattress?

A spring mattress is often seen as a more ‘traditional’ type of mattress than foam alternatives.

They are very different in the way they have been constructed, as they are made from many metal springs that offer support and durability.

Spring mattresses usually feature hundreds of coiled springs throughout, and they often offer more of a firmer feel and more robust support than their foam counterparts.

The coil springs are suspended in the various other materials of the mattress, so you shouldn’t feel the coils when you lie on the mattress.

Memory Foam Mattress – The Pros

• Durable – One of the best things about memory foam mattresses is that they usually last quite a while. The technology being used in this type of mattress is always developing and most manufacturers offer at least a 10-year warranty with their mattresses.

• Adaptive – The great thing about memory foam is that it adapts brilliantly to your body shape. This is great for pressure relief as it literally moulds around your body to offer customized support.

• Easy to Clean – Memory foam is pretty easy to clean, and most mattresses these days also come with a zippable cover that can be removed and machine washed.

• Low Motion Transfer – Another benefit of memory foam mattresses is that they usually offer low motion transfer. This means that you’re less likely to feel your partner moving around during the night.

Memory Foam Mattress

A memory foam mattress is made up of different layers (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Memory Foam Mattress – The Cons

• Hot – Memory foam mattresses have a bit of a reputation for heat retention. That means that they can often feel hotter than traditional spring mattresses. This is not ideal if you tend to get hot during the night.

• Smell – Some users complain of a chemical-like smell that often accompanies memory foam mattresses for a few days after delivery. This usually subsides in time, but it’s still not great to have to sleep on.

• Slow Response – Memory foam has a slower response time than a spring mattress. This means that the memory foam can take time to ‘catch up’ to a change in your sleeping position during the night. This may not suit everyone, and some people complain that this causes an unpleasant ‘stuck in the bed’ sort of feeling.

Spring Mattress – The Pros

• Firm Support – Spring mattresses tend to offer stronger support than their memory foam counterparts. This may be particularly beneficial if you usually sleep on your back or your stomach – as those positions tend to be better suited to a firmer feel overall.

• Lower Price – Because of the production process, spring mattresses tend to be a little bit cheaper than their memory foam counterparts. That being said, there are many more affordable memory foam mattress options available now than there used to be.

• Cooler Feel – The good thing about springs is they allow for more airflow within the mattress itself. This means that spring mattresses can have a cooler feel than memory foam alternatives.

Spring Mattress – The Cons

• Durability – Spring mattresses tend to have a shorter lifespan than their memory foam counterparts, and as a result, that means that most of them come with shorter warranties from the manufacturer. This is because the springs can sag and lose effectiveness over time.

• No Contouring – A spring mattress offers more generalized support and not specific body contouring like a memory foam mattress. This means that you won’t get the custom feel that memory foam offers.

• Difficult Delivery – Memory foam mattresses can be delivered to your door in a box because they can be vacuum packed before delivery. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case with spring mattresses, and so that means that they’ll have to be delivered by truck (and it makes it more tricky to get them up the stairs!).

Our Top Picks

We recently updated our buyer’s guide to the leading memory foam mattresses on sale right now, so be sure to take a look if you’re thinking of buying one.

We’re also currently in the process of putting together a guide for spring mattresses, which we will link to on this page when published.

The Emma Mattress (Photo: Emma)

The Emma Mattress is a memory foam option (Photo: Emma)

Anything Else to Consider?

You probably already know this, but the best way to find out whether a mattresses is right for you is to sleep on it for a few nights.

Most mattresses out there these days come with home trials, meaning that you can try them for a number of nights (usually 100) and return them for a refund during that time if you’re not happy.

We strongly recommend making use of the home trials available, as you’re the only one who is going to be able to decide whether a mattress actually suits you or not.

Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our comparison between Memory Foam and Spring mattresses.

We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about both of these types of mattresses and have also outlined the pros and cons of both.

Generally speaking, memory foam mattresses tend to be a little bit more expensive but they are probably more durable.

Spring mattresses often have a cooler feel because of increased airflow, but memory foam offers more specific support for different parts of the body.

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