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Innerspring vs. Memory Foam: Pros and Cons


There are a lot of different types of mattresses, but two, in particular, stand out among the rest. More often than not, people looking for a new mattress are torn between buying an innerspring mattress or a memory foam mattress.

How are they different? More importantly, how do you know which mattress is better for you? Keep reading to find out.

What is an innerspring mattress?

This type of mattress is the most traditional of all, as it has been on the market the longest. The technology behind it dates back to 1871, and it is one of the most common types of mattresses today. Chances are, you have at least one of these in your home right now.

Today, you will find many different types of innerspring mattresses. As a rule of thumb, the quality of an innerspring mattress can be determined based on the number of coils inside it. The number of coils and their placement inside the mattress contribute to how well it conforms to your body. 

In addition, it’s also worth checking the coil gauge when buying a new innerspring mattress. The higher the coil gauge is, the thinner the wire and the softer the mattress feels. There is no “magic number” when it comes to how many coils should be in a mattress. The best innerspring mattress largely depends on your personal preferences.

What are the different types of innerspring mattresses?

This is an important question to tackle as the type of coil has a huge impact not only on feel, but also on price.
Continuous coils: These mattresses use a single wire forming an S-Shape with multiple coils to support the entire system. Since everything is made up of a single interlinked wire, mattresses with this type of coil are generally more durable than others. On the downside, because the internal structure is made of only one wire, there is little to no motion isolation. This means that you will feel the entire mattress move each time your partner changes his or her sleeping position. These are the most affordable spring mattresses.

Bonnell coils: These coils are the first to have been invented and are still used in some of the most popular mattresses on the market. Shaped like an hourglass, these coils look like a helix when all put together. Mattresses with these coils tend to be more mid-range when it comes to price.

Offset coils: Like Bonnell coils, offset coils are shaped like an hourglass as well. However, the main difference is that the edges on the top and bottom of the coils are flattened. This makes them more durable and quiet, and allows them to better support your weight.

Pocketed coils (Marshall coil): This type of coil is often found in newer mattresses. Each coil is wrapped in fabric to improve contouring and motion isolation, which are two features that innerspring mattresses generally lack but memory foam mattresses are known for.

On top of the type of springs, innerspring mattresses also vary in the foam, fabric, or upholstery they’re created with.

What is a memory foam mattress?

Compared with an innerspring mattress, memory foam has a significantly more modern design. Memory foam was created in 1966 for NASA and was designed to protect astronauts from impact and turbulence during flight. Almost three decades after it was invented, manufacturers realized that this soft, malleable foam could also be used for mattresses.

Just like innerspring mattresses, not all memory foam mattresses are built the same. Today, there are three main types of memory foam mattresses:

Traditional memory foam: This is the memory foam that first made it to the market in the 90s. While revolutionary, the main downside to using this foam for mattresses is that it absorbs and retains body heat. This can result in an unpleasant experience, especially when used in rooms with warmer temperatures.

Open-cell memory foam: Even though open-cell memory foams are mostly made of the same material as traditional memory foams, this type of memory foam has a different internal structure. Inside the mattress are “open cells”, which are internal pockets that improve ventilation and air flow within the mattress. Memory foam mattresses of this type also tend to be less dense than traditional memory foam mattresses.

Gel-infused memory foam: This is a combination of traditional memory foam and gel, where gel-based microbeads are injected into the foam. These microbeads create pockets similar to open cells. But instead of allowing air to pass through, these open cells absorb or release heat from your body due to the natural qualities of gel.

When shopping for memory foam mattresses, always consider the density of the foam. Memory foam mattresses with a higher density will feel more rigid on your back, but also tend to last longer than mattresses with lower density.

What are the pros and cons of memory foam and innerspring mattresses?

Memory foam

+ Good at relieving pressure

+ Excellent contouring qualities

+ Mattresses with higher densities can last for a long time

+ No dust mites, mildew, or mold; great for people with allergies

+ Excellent motion isolation; movement does not cause the mattress to bounce or move

– Some users experience feeling “trapped” by the mattress due to contouring qualities

– Traditional memory foam absorbs and retains heat


+ Easier to move around and change positions at night

+ No heat retention

+ More manufacturers, variations, and price ranges

+ Generally more affordable

– Little to no motion isolation

– Can be noisier due to the squeaking of springs

– Little to no pressure relief; pressure is not evenly distributed throughout the body

– More likely to sag faster than memory foam; shorter lifespan

If you still cannot decide between the two after you read this article, you can consider getting a hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses are basically innerspring mattresses with a built-in memory foam topper. Typically more than 2” in thickness, a hybrid mattress takes the features of both an innerspring mattress and memory foam mattress, and combines them into one.

Source from Sweetnight

Disclaimer: The information set forth above is provided by Sweetnight independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.

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