Mattress Guides

Innerspring vs. Memory Foam mattresses

We know that purchasing a mattress can get a bit confusing. This is because there are many mattress types out there, from memory foam, innerspring, latex and hybrid types. But what does this all mean for the sleep experience? How can it affect how I sleep? Let's start by looking in detail into two of the most popular mattresses available on the market - memory foam and innerspring.

Innerspring vs. Memory Foam


  • What is an innerspring mattress?
  • What is a memory foam mattress?
  • What are the difference of each?
  • Advantages vs. Disadvantages
  • Shopping Tips
  • Maintenance and Care of Mattress
  • FAQs

What is an innerspring mattress?

An Innerspring mattress is one of the most common mattresses available and the mattress type that has been on the market the longest. There are typically two sections: a metal coil support core and a softer comfort layer. The support core provides a strong, resilient base, while the comfort layer will generally be around 2 inches or less. If the mattress has a comfort layer greater than 2 inches and contains pocket coils, we categorize it as a hybrid mattress.

This innovative design dates back to 1871, from German inventor Heinrich Westphal, who invented the first spring mattress. Today, you will find 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 contours. 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, and the firmer the feel.

Types of innerspring mattresses?

Types of innerspring

Since the invention of the innerspring mattress, there have been many variations in coil design with different 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 disturbance 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, and quiet, as well as 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 seldom experience on an innerspring mattress.

What is a memory foam mattress?

Compared to an innerspring mattress, memory foam is relatively more modern. 'Memory foam' material 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 it was widely used in the aerospace industry for safety helmets, shoes, prosthetics, and seating pads. People soon realized that this soft, slow-reacting foam could also be used in mattresses for great sleep comfort.

Memory foam mattresses have at least one comfort layer that is constructed of memory foam. They might be made of several layers of foam, but they won’t feature metal springs like innerspring and hybrid types do. Memory foam mattresses typically have high-density polyfoam support cores instead.

Types of memory foam mattresses?

It is important to realize 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 airflow. 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 and would probably also last longer.

What are the difference of each?

Table header 0InnerspringMemory foam
Support coreMetal springsHigh-density polyfoam
Comfort layer2-inch or thinner fabric or polyfoamMemory foam
Overall feelFirm and less contouringSoft and body-hugging
Motion isolationVery littleGood
Average lifespan5.5-6.5 years6-7 years

Advantages vs. Disadvantages

Memory Foam

Memory Foam Mattress Character


Innerspring Mattress Character

If you still cannot decide whether you want an innerspring or memory foam after reading this article, you may want to consider getting a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress combines the benefits of both into one.

Shopping Tips

There are a few things to consider while looking for an innerspring or memory foam mattress. To start, it is crucial to shop around. Even while innerspring mattresses are typically less expensive than memory foam mattresses, it’s still a good idea to search around to find the best price.

Reading reviews and looking for user comments are also important. Reviews might give better insight into the mattress’s comfort level and firmness. Make sure the mattress has a solid warranty as well, as this might help you to ensure long-term use.

SweetNight offers a 100-day full refund policy, so you can try the mattress first for 100 days before deciding whether this mattress is for you. We provide a 10-year limited warranty for all our mattresses to assure product quality and long-term no-worries sleep. Should you have any questions you can also contact our friendly 24/7 customer service team anytime.

Maintenance and Care of Mattress

Proper care may prolong the durability of a mattress. Regularly rotating or flipping your mattress can prevent the mattress from damage through use. It is also critical to keep your mattress clean because allergens can develop from dust and grime accumulation over time. Use a mattress protector to shield your mattress from spills and stains and to preserve its appearance for a longer period of time. Furthermore, examine your mattress coils regularly in order to make sure they are in good condition.



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