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Foam vs Spring Mattress Which One's Best For You?

Foam vs Spring Mattress Which One's Best For You?

Which One's Best For You?

Deciding what type of bed you need should be the first decision you make before buying a mattress - and it is also the most important one.

Initially, the vast amount of mattress reviews, mattress types, and mattress brands may feel a bit overwhelming. The good news is that there is quite a lot of information online to help you find the perfect mattress for you.

While there are many different types of mattresses, they can all be broken down into two separate categories: foam and spring (there are some types that incorporate both designs, called hybrid mattresses).

Provided below is a brief but comprehensive comparison between these two categories so that you can make the right decision when buying a bed.

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Spring Mattresses

Spring mattresses have been in the market for quite some time and were once considered the golden standard for beds.

The technology behind its construction hasn’t changed much since its conception; they consist of multiple rows of coil springs that are suspended inside a layered cushioned material.

These metal springs act as the main support structure and are responsible for the push-back that is so often correlated with an innerspring mattress.

While the springs are useful for creating a responsive feel to the bed, they are also responsible for uneven zones of pressure that can cause quite a bit of discomfort when sleeping.

These pressure spots are often exacerbated as time goes by and the cushion layers begin to deteriorate. This can lead to uneven body support, one of the leading sleeping complaints.

There is a combination of benefits and drawbacks that come with sleeping on a spring mattress. Here are a few to consider:

  • Transport: while beds with newer technology are able to be vacuum sealed and transported in small boxes, moving a spring bed into your home may require a pickup truck and a few capable hands. Beware apartment-dwellers!
  • Variety: generally, you can find a decent spring mattress for a reasonable price, making it a good option for those on a strict budget. Unfortunately, there is a definite lacking in firmness variation as springs and pocketed coils will always cause a medium firmness feel.
  • Support: if you aren’t fond of the contouring and cradling effect that memory foam has, spring mattresses may be the way to go as they are generally firmer and more rigid (they are also good for stomach sleepers).
  • Maintenance: most spring mattresses require you to rotate and flip them throughout their life for proper maintenance.
  • Durability: spring mattresses generally have a shorter lifespan than foam beds and it is also possible that the comfort quality will degrade as time goes by.
  • Temperature: spring mattresses generally have no issues with keeping cool.
  • Motion Transfer: spring mattresses have notoriously high motion transfer, so co-sleepers may have issues with an active sleeper in bed.

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Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses were introduced into the market during the early seventies and immediately gained public interest. These new beds were hypoallergenic, mould-resistant, and required minimal maintenance - making them an immediate popular choice.

Unfortunately, the temperature regulation technology was lacking at the time and it was commonplace to hear complaints from customers that they were easily overheating on their memory foam beds.

Thankfully, the early nineties brought about new-and-improved technology that was able to keep the bed cool by infusing gel into the foam. This technology became known as - you guessed it - gel-infused foam.

Before making a foam mattress purchase you should be aware of the pros and cons:

  • Transport: foam was the technology that allowed the bed in a box industry to be a top contender in the mattress industry. This is because of its capability to be compressed into a very small space and packaged in a box.
  • Variety: unlike spring mattresses, foam beds have a greater variation in price and firmness, meaning that you can find the perfect mattress no matter your sleeper type or budget. You also have a variety of foam types to select from, including latex foam, memory foam, and polyfoam.
  • Support: foam beds have superior contouring capabilities for all sleep positions, which acts as a support for the natural curvature of the spine. This makes it best for those who suffer from lower back pain and other body aches.
  • Maintenance: no flipping and turning required. Put it on the surface of your choice and never worry about moving it again - plain and simple.
  • Durability: foam beds tend to be more durable and have a longer lifespan than other types. This is reflected in their warranties that are usually at least 10 years. However, it is always preferable to find a company that offers a lifetime warranty, as it shows they are confident in their product’s quality.
  • Temperature: some foam materials have been known to absorb and hold onto body heat - memory foam being the most notorious for this. Fortunately for you, this problem can easily be solved by making sure the bed you buy is using gel-infused foam which disperses heat away from your body and out of the mattress.
  • Motion Transfer: expect minimal motion transfer when sleeping on a foam mattress - a definite bonus for couples.


Final Verdict

After reading through the material above, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out which type of bed will be best for you. To summarize:

Pick Spring Mattresses If:

  • You like a generally firm mattress that doesn’t contour and cradle your body
  • You sleep alone and don’t have any issues with motion transfer
  • You have a few spare hands to help you place the mattress in your bedroom

Pick Foam Mattresses If:

  • You are open to a variety of firmness levels and want to feel as though you are being cradled while you sleep
  • You co-sleep and want minimal motion transfer
  • You are looking to keep the same bed for decades
  • You prefer to have your bed conveniently delivered to your door with easy installation methods
  • You want to keep maintenance at a minimum
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