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Innerspring vs. Memory Foam Mattresses

In this article we have given you a general overview about different types of mattresses, but there is a lot more to be said 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?

This mattress type is the most traditional of all types, as it has been on the market the longest. It is also one of the most common ones, so you might be more familiar with this type of mattress.

The technology actually dates back to 1871, to Henrich Westphal who invented them. Today you will find many different types of innerspring mattresses, and as a rule of thumb, you can judge the quality by how many coils there are. The amount and their placement both contribute to how well the mattress conforms to your body. When buying innerspring mattresses, you should also check the coil gauge. The higher the coil gauge is, the thinner the wire is. This makes your mattress feel softer. This also means that a lower coil gauge would give you a firmer feel.

There is no “magic number” about which is better, it all depends on your personal preference. 

What are the different types of innerspring mattresses?

This is an important question to tackle as the type of coil has a huge impact on 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. However, because there is only one wire, there is very little to no motion transfer, so you will notice it whenever your partner moves. These are the most affordable spring mattresses.

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 some 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. It’s scientific name is “viscoelastic polyurethane foam” and was soon also used in the aerospace industry in safety helmets, shoes, prosthetics, and seating pads. It was quickly realised, that this soft, slow-reacting foam could also be used in mattresses in order to guarantee soft sleep.

It is important to realise, that just like innerspring mattresses, there not all memory foam mattresses are the same. Today, there are three main types.

Traditional Memory Foam: this is the memory foam that first made it to the market in the 1990s, however it is not very breathable and users often experience hotter sleep on them.

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”, 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 similar to open cells, but instead of letting in air they absorb or release 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?

Memory Foam

+ very good at relieving pressure
+ excellent contouring to your body
+ due to 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 

- Some experience feeling “trapped” by the mattress
- Does not tranfer heat well unless enginnered for cooler sleep 

Innerspring

+ easy to move around and change positions at night
+ very breathable
+ a huge variety of manufacturers, styles, feels or price ranges
+ tend to be more affordable 

- Little to no motion-isolation
- Can be noisier due to squeaking of the springs
- Not very good at offering pressure relief as it can create pressure points
- More likely to sag 

If after reading this article you still can't decide because both appeal to you, maybe consider getting a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress combines the benefits of both into one.

Should you want to learn more about how a mattress topper can be a gamechanger, head over to this article.

You can use the discount code SweetSleep15 on your next order to get a 15% discount. Don't miss out!

Innerspring vs. Memory Foam Mattresses

In this article we have given you a general overview about different types of mattresses, but there is a lot more to be said 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?

This mattress type is the most traditional of all types, as it has been on the market the longest. It is also one of the most common ones, so you might be more familiar with this type of mattress.

The technology actually dates back to 1871, to Henrich Westphal who invented them. Today you will find many different types of innerspring mattresses, and as a rule of thumb, you can judge the quality by how many coils there are. The amount and their placement both contribute to how well the mattress conforms to your body. When buying innerspring mattresses, you should also check the coil gauge. The higher the coil gauge is, the thinner the wire is. This makes your mattress feel softer. This also means that a lower coil gauge would give you a firmer feel.

There is no “magic number” about which is better, it all depends on your personal preference. 

What are the different types of innerspring mattresses?

This is an important question to tackle as the type of coil has a huge impact on 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. However, because there is only one wire, there is very little to no motion transfer, so you will notice it whenever your partner moves. These are the most affordable spring mattresses.

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 some 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. It’s scientific name is “viscoelastic polyurethane foam” and was soon also used in the aerospace industry in safety helmets, shoes, prosthetics, and seating pads. It was quickly realised, that this soft, slow-reacting foam could also be used in mattresses in order to guarantee soft sleep.

It is important to realise, that just like innerspring mattresses, there not all memory foam mattresses are the same. Today, there are three main types.

Traditional Memory Foam: this is the memory foam that first made it to the market in the 1990s, however it is not very breathable and users often experience hotter sleep on them.

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”, 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 similar to open cells, but instead of letting in air they absorb or release 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?

Memory Foam

+ very good at relieving pressure
+ excellent contouring to your body
+ due to 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 

- Some experience feeling “trapped” by the mattress
- Does not tranfer heat well unless enginnered for cooler sleep 

Innerspring

+ easy to move around and change positions at night
+ very breathable
+ a huge variety of manufacturers, styles, feels or price ranges
+ tend to be more affordable 

- Little to no motion-isolation
- Can be noisier due to squeaking of the springs
- Not very good at offering pressure relief as it can create pressure points
- More likely to sag 

If after reading this article you still can't decide because both appeal to you, maybe consider getting a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress combines the benefits of both into one.

Should you want to learn more about how a mattress topper can be a gamechanger, head over to this article.

You can use the discount code SweetSleep15 on your next order to get a 15% discount. Don't miss out!