Foam vs. Spring Mattresses

Buying a mattress used to be a relatively simple process. With a limited selection of options to choose from, the decision was much more straightforward. There is now a much wider selection of mattresses to choose from, but when you’re thinking of buying a new mattress, you first have to make an important choice: foam vs. spring?

To choose the best kind of mattress for you, you need to understand how your bed affects your sleep quality. For example, your bed’s firmness can impact how well you sleep, and it can take a few nights to adjust to a new mattress before you start sleeping better. 

While you’ll need to consider many factors before buying a mattress, let’s start by taking a look at the basic differences between foam vs. spring mattresses. 

Foam vs. Spring Mattresses

These are two of the most common kinds of mattresses, but they’re quite different. That’s why it’s important to know the pros and cons of foam vs. spring mattresses so you can make the right decision about which mattress to buy.

Spring Mattresses

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A spring mattress (also known as an innerspring mattress) uses a large number of coils to support you while you sleep. These coils are usually made of metal. Older spring mattresses often contain just these coils, but newer spring mattresses tend to feature coils that are individually wrapped in foam or cloth. This wrapping helps add cushioning so that newer coil mattresses aren’t as firm as a traditional innerspring mattress. 

Above the springs, there’s usually a layer of foam to add cushioning. Older mattresses tend to have a very thin layer of foam, while newer options often have thicker layers of foam or pillowtops made of foam or latex.

Some people find that spring mattresses are too firm for their liking. That’s often the case when they’ve tried an older innerspring model, or if they’ve tried a spring mattress without enough cushioning on top. Choosing a pillowtop spring mattress could potentially solve this problem. 

Spring systems can often start to sag sooner than some foam mattresses, especially latex and memory foam mattresses. When shopping for a spring mattress, it’s important to read reviews and consider how long it will last.

Foam Mattresses

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Foam mattresses have become very popular in the past few years. But for a true comparison of foam vs. spring, we have to remember that there are different types of foam mattresses. Before you consider a foam mattress, make sure you know what kind of foam it’s made from.

Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress materials. This foam was invented by NASA for use in spaceships, but it’s probably most commonly used today in beds. 

Probably the biggest difference between foam vs. spring mattresses is the fact that a foam mattress will usually provide more cushioning than the firmer innerspring. Memory foam in particular is able to contour around your body, taking on the shape of your curves as you lie down and cradling you comfortably. 

While foam mattresses are softer than spring mattresses, a foam mattress can usually provide enough support to help keep your spine aligned. In fact, many foam mattresses show up on lists of the best mattresses for back pain

A memory foam mattress also offers better weight distribution, which helps relieve pressure points and can alleviate pain. 

Foam mattresses are usually able to retain their original shape longer and more effectively than spring-based mattresses. This is one of the major benefits of foam, as it means your bed will last longer before you need to replace your mattress

Foam vs. Spring: What’s the Best Mattress for You?

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Now that you have a better idea of the differences between foam vs. spring mattresses, the question remains: which kind of mattress should you choose? 

Consider how firm you would like your mattress to be. If you like to sleep on a firmer bed, a spring mattress could be a good option. If you’ve experienced back pain and neck pain while sleeping on a spring mattress, switching to a foam mattress could solve your problems. 

Another option to consider is a hybrid mattress. These newer options combine an innerspring system with a top layer of memory foam to offer a supportive structure with the luxurious comfort of memory foam. If you’re having trouble deciding between foam vs. spring, perhaps one of these hybrid mattresses could be the best of both worlds.