Foam vs. Spring Mattresses: The Great Debate, Explained

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When it comes to foam vs. spring mattresses, deciding which is best is like asking if dogs are better than cats — it all depends on your individual preference! Both are great options, but one might irritate your allergies, make you uncomfortable or disturb your sleep.

Before making a decision, you need to do your research – especially if you’re ordering a mattress online. The better you get to know your next mattress before pulling out your wallet, the better your sleep will be!

Here is a quick breakdown of foam vs. spring mattresses to help you make the right decision.

Spring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses use rows of coil springs as the main support structure. These coils make up the core of the mattress, and are covered by top and bottom fabric layers. These layers help add cushion and soft texture to the sturdiness of the coils.

Many people don’t know that there are actually several different types of coils that can be used. The three main options include:

  • Continuous Coils
    • The coils in this type of spring mattress are S-shaped and made from one long wire. The interlinking of this coil system can provide a stable structure.
  • Pocket Springs
    • Most spring mattresses have coils that are wired together, but pocket spring mattresses include individually wrapped coils. This makes it possible for each pocket of coils to act independently and respond quickly to movement.
  • Bonnell Springs
    • These springs are shaped like an hourglass, and are connected to each other. This can provide a great deal of support, but also means that motion transfer can be an issue.

Since sleeping directly on top of coils would be incredibly uncomfortable, spring mattress brands add foam layers for added comfort, making this another area where they can differ.

Spring Mattress Pros and Cons

Pros

  • There isn’t a “new car smell” to a spring mattress like with foams. This means no airing out is necessary.
  • Spring mattresses will stay temperature neutral. If you are prone to night sweats or just tend to sleep hot, this can be a great benefit.

Cons

  • Since the springs give the mattress a bounce, motion transfer at night is noticeable. If you sleep with a partner or even a fidgety pet, you might be disturbed if they move.
  • The open space between the springs can create a nest for dust mites, which can possibly affect your allergies and overall health.
  • If you’re buying a spring mattress in a retail store, you’ll likely experience some high-priced markups that lead to shockingly high price tags.

Foam Mattresses

When you’re making a sandwich, how do you put together your ingredients? Bread, cheese, veggies then meat? Or bread, meat, veggies then cheese? And what kind of bread do you use? The construction of foam mattresses can vary just as much as these options.

Every brand on the market has a different structure of diverse foams, all with varying levels of weight and density that offer certain features. The three main types of foam mattresses include:

  • Latex Foam
    • Latex mattresses can come in all natural, synthetic or blended varieties. There is usually a high bounce level with these types of mattresses.
  • Memory Foam
    • This is a man-made foam constructed of polyurethane (poly) and other added materials. Memory foam is well-known for its contouring abilities.
  • Poly Foam
    • In high-density foams, air can pass easily through the holes in the cells, resulting in comfortable padding. This type of foam is also made of polyurethane.

Two of the most widely used foams are latex and memory foam. Most foam mattress manufacturers also incorporate a high-density poly foam, which has a strong cell structure and high durability.

Foam Mattress Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Foam mattresses can contour better to the body while also reducing pressure on critical areas.
  • The structure of most foams can control motion transfer, which means you can sleep undisturbed.
  • The reduced compression within the foam prevents sunken spots, so your mattress will stay supportive.

Cons

  • If you’re most familiar with sleeping on a spring mattress, foam might sleep hotter to you at first. You’ll just need some time to adjust.
  • The components of the foam layers may give off an odor at first, but this diminishes quickly.
  • Latex mattresses can be a problem for people with allergies to rubber. However, Qualatex™ Foam can be used instead of latex and doesn’t run a risk of affecting your allergies.

Some foams, like memory foam, are known to be incredibly temperature sensitive. But many new foams, like Serene® Foam, use cooling technology to help you avoid sleeping hot.

CertiPUR-US® Certification

When you’re looking at your foam mattress options – no matter the type – there is one area not to overlook: Make sure the brand you select is CertiPUR-US® certified! This will verify that the foam in the mattress is:

  • Made without ozone depleters
  • Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants
  • Made without mercury, lead and other heavy metals
  • Made without formaldehyde
  • Made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions for indoor air quality (<0.5 parts per million)

Foam vs. Spring Mattresses

The biggest difference between foam and spring mattresses is the construction of the interiors. Every mattress brand believes they have figured out the perfect combination of materials to promote a healthy sleep system. While they all may have their benefits, the perfect combination will ultimately be up to you!

In the foam vs. spring mattress debate, we (of course) are on team foam. That’s because Blello is made of three foam layers: 1.5” of Response Foam, 2.5” of Comfort Foam and 6” of Support Foam. To learn more about each layer, visit our mattress page or contact us with any questions!

 

*Qualatex™ is a trademark of Carpenter Co.
*Serene® is a registered trademark of Carpenter Co.

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