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Innerspring vs. Memory Foam mattresses
In the previous articles we gave you a general overview about how to choose a mattress and the different types of mattresses available on the market. Today we are going to be talking to you about innerspring mattresses and memory foam mattresses.
What are the differences? Which mattress is better? Keep reading to find out.
What is an innerspring mattress?
An Innerspring mattress is one of the most common mattresses available and has been on the market the longest. It uses an interlocking coil or spring system to support the sleeper.
The technology dates to 1871, to German inventor Heinrich Westphal, who invented the first spring mattress. Today, you will find that there are many different types of innerspring mattresses, and you can judge the quality by looking at how many coils there are inside. The number of coils and layout of the coils contribute to how well the mattress conforms to your body. When purchasing innerspring mattresses, you should also check the coil gauge. The higher the coil gauge is, the thinner the wire is used to make the coil, which results in a softer mattress. The lower the coil gauge, the thicker the coil, the firmer the feel.
There is no “magic number” about which is better, it all depends on your personal preference. However, putting into consideration your sleep position and whether it supports your spine alignment adequately should be your main goal in choosing the perfect mattress.
What are the different types of innerspring mattresses?
Since the invention of the innerspring mattress there have been many variations on coil design with pros and cons. Here let’s have a look at how innerspring coil design affects both comfort and price.
Continuous coils: These mattresses use a single wire to support the entire system. The coils are in an S-Shape, and since everything is made up of a single, interlinked wire, this kind of mattress should be very durable. The single wire design means that this mattress has poor motion-isolation meaning you will feel every movement should your partner toss and turn. Compared to other coil mattresses continuous coils are still the most affordable.
Bonnel coils: These coils are the first to have been invented, and they are still some of the most common coils you will find on the market. Shaped like an hourglass, they look like a helix when all put together. These tend to be more mid-range when it comes to price.
Offset coils: Shaped like an hourglass, they look like Bonnel coils, however, the edges on the top and bottom are flattened. This makes them more sturdy, durable, supportive, quiet and conforms better to the shape of your body.
Pocketed coils (Marshall coil): This type of coil can often be found in newer mattresses. The coils are wrapped individually in some type of fabric and tend to provide better contouring as well as good motion-isolation, which is something you experience seldomly on an innerspring mattress.
On top of the type of springs you will often find either foam, fabric, or upholstery. Though there are innerspring mattresses that come with memory foam, if it is more than 2”, it would classify as a hybrid mattress. Which might also be a good option for you if you simply cannot decide which type of mattress to get.
What is a memory foam mattress?
Compared to an innerspring mattress, memory foam is significantly more modern. It was first created in 1966 for NASA, and it was intended to cushion astronauts against any turbulences. Its scientific name is ‘viscoelastic polyurethane foam’ and was also used in the aerospace industry in safety helmets, shoes, prosthetics, and seating pads. People soon realised that this soft, slow-reacting foam could also be used in mattresses to guarantee soft sleep.
It is important to realise, that just like innerspring mattresses not all memory foam mattresses are the same. Today, there are three main types.
Traditional Memory Foam: this is the memory foam mattress that was first launched in the 1990s. The problem was that it tends to trap body heat within the foam, which results in a hotter sleeping experience. Not ideal for people that sweat during sleep.
Open-cell Memory Foam: Even though it is made of the same foam as traditional memory foam, it has a different internal structure. Inside the mattress are ‘open cells,’ or internal pockets which improve ventilation and air flow. They 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 added to the foam. These microbeads create pockets like open cells, but instead of letting in air they absorb or transfer heat from your body.
When shopping for memory foam mattresses always look at the density of the foam. A denser mattress will be firmer but would probably also last longer.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
+ Very good at relieving pressure and providing support
+ Excellent contouring to the shape of your body
+ Depending on the density it can last for a long time
+ Great for people with allergies as there are no dust mites, mildew or mold.
+ Motion-isolating so that you don’t feel your partners tossing and turning or movement.
- Does not transfer heat well unless layers have materials that facilitates heat transfer.
+ Easy to move around and change positions at night
+ Transfers body heat very well
+ Great variety of manufacturers, styles, feels and price range
+ Tends to be more affordable- Motion isolation is an issue, but it depends on the design.
- Can be noisy due to squeaking springs; a common issue over time.
- Not very good at offering pressure relief as it can create pressure points
- More likely to sag
If after reading this article you still cannot decide whether you want an innerspring or memory foam, you may want to consider getting a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress combines the benefits of both into one.
Are you ready to finally get a good night’s sleep? Come with Sweetnight!