When shopping for a new mattress, you may find yourself comparing memory foam vs innerspring, trying to determine which types best fits your needs. While you hear about people switching to memory foam mattresses, traditional innerspring mattresses still make up 80% of the market. So which mattress type means better sleep for you?

Memory Foam vs Innerspring > Which Design Means Better Sleep?

Memory Foam Versus InnerspringAs with any mattress, its effectiveness will depend on your sleep needs – sleep positions, any back or other health issues and the qualities you find most helpful to get a better night’s sleep. So let’s start by comparing how memory foam vs innerspring mattresses are constructed.

Typically made from a visco-elastic substance derived from polyurethane, a memory foam mattress is an open-cell foam that responds to the weight and heat of your body. Although a few companies manufacture natural memory foam, most memory foam mattresses remain man-made.

Because memory foam conforms upon body contact, it relieves your pressure points as well as motion disturbance from a partner. That’s why memory foam is noted for pressure relief and less disturbed sleep. Once you exit your bed, the mattress cools and returns to its normal shape.

The softness or firmness of a memory foam mattress depends on the level of foam density used. Density levels in a memory foam mattress usually range from 2 to 6 lbs/ft3, with levels over 4 lbs/ft3 indicating a high-quality product. Denser mattresses will typically feel firmer and last longer, but will also cost more.

Still the most popular mattress type, the innerspring mattress uses the support of tempered steel coils with a strong border wire and/or foam encasement, along with upholstery layers to produce a comfortable, supportive sleep surface.

The border wire attaches to the perimeter of the coils to retain the mattress shape and reduce sagging. The edge of an innerspring contains specially shaped springs or foam to support the sleep surface right to the edge, eliminating ‘rollout’ and edge breakdown. And the upholstery layers provide insulation and cushioning between your body and the spring unit.

Manufacturers use a variety of spring, or coil, shapes to construct innerspring mattresses. The original, Bonnell coil system, sports an hourglass shaped spring with a knot at each end of the coils, and will usually cost less than other coil systems. The Offset coil contains hourglass shaped springs with flattened edges at the top and bottom for a more efficient hinging action, and therefore greater body conformance. The Pocketed coil design individually wraps each coil within its own pocket, allowing independent coil movement and decreased motion disturbance.

Memory Foam vs Innerspring > Which Offers More Sleep Advantages?

When you look at the pros and cons of memory foam vs innerspring mattresses, memory foam can generally claim more benefits. But you still have to look at possible cons for each to help determine which better meets your sleep needs. Let’s take a look.

MEMORY FOAM

Pros:

  • Synthetic foam offers softer surface for body conformance and optimal pressure point relief (good for back and side sleepers)
  • Synthetic foam resists bacteria, mold and dust
  • Foam minimizes motion disturbance

Cons:

  • Body conformance may make sleeping hotter (however, sleep cooler with a gel-infused memory foam mattress)
  • Foam surface may leave body impressions over time
  • Low-density foam used in mattress core may lack back support
  • Foam surface is NEVER recommended for infants (due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome concerns)

INNERSPRING

Pros:

  • Costs less while providing adequate support and comfort

Cons:

Coil system allows more motion disturbance and less body conformance (however, Simmons Beautyrest mattresses counter this with the Pocketed coil system)

 

In a snapshot, on a scale of 1- 5 with 5 being the highest:

MEMORY FOAM

INNERSPRING

Affordability
4
5
Durability
3
3
Enables cooler sleep
3
3
Healthful (less chemicals)
3
3
Motion seperation
4
2
Pressure Relief
5
3

 

When considering memory foam vs innerspring, visit a Mattress Source location to give them a 15-minute rest test  in person. If you’re uncertain about memory foam, you may consider buying an innerspring and adding a memory foam topper that’s removable, or buying a pillowtop innerspring mattress. Whichever you choose, Mattress Source will help you find the best mattress for you at the best price.

Locate a MattressSource Store Near You

The Ultimate Mattress Buying Guide