Spring Mattress vs Foam

When choosing for a new mattress, one of the most common questions that people usually ask first is whether they should choose a spring mattress or a foam mattress. Of course, for a long time, spring mattresses have been considered as the best type of mattresses available. Such assumption is partly because of the expensive prices of the products (though there are also cheap, budget-friendly models). Thus, spring mattresses are often considered as luxury items. However, in the recent years, many companies have filled the market with modern foam mattresses that offer various advantages. Besides the significantly more affordable prices, modern foam mattresses now also offer stylish designs and aesthetically pleasing looks. They also claim to be able to deliver superior contouring and support to the sleeper’s body.

So, should you pick a spring mattress or a foam mattress? Below, we are going to compare the two types of mattresses based on several aspects. Continue reading!

About Spring Mattresses

Spring mattresses are also known as coil mattresses. These are perhaps the mattresses that most people are familiar with. Since the industrial age made the production of springs more affordable, spring mattresses have become a staple in most homes. Spring mattresses can be grouped into three categories depending on how the springs are arranged: open springs, continuous coils, and pocket springs. The comfort and support of a spring mattress depend on the number and gauge of coils. More coils give more support, but too many springs may reduce spinal support and contouring. Some models have paddings on top of the springs for comfort. The wide variety of springs mattresses means that you are given a wider range of choices to find the perfect comfort and support.

About Foam Mattresses

Foam mattresses were originally used by astronauts at NASA, but are now available for the general publics at affordable prices. There are several types of foam used for mattresses. The latest trend is memory foam, which boasts superior contouring and pressure relief. There is also latex foam, which is made from a combination of natural and synthetic latex, offering a similar support to memory foam but with enhanced cooling and breathability. Higher quality latex mattresses contain more natural latex, thus are able to spring back quicker, though definitely not as bouncy as spring mattresses. Foam mattresses are known for their ability to conform well to the shape of the body, reducing pressure points. In addition, since the mattresses are made from solid foam, they cannot be infested by mites and bedbugs. Hence, they generally require less maintenance, at the same time offering a healthier environment for allergy sufferers.

Spring Mattress vs. Foam: Support

We want the mattress to be able to support our whole body as well as all the pressure variations that our body may pose. Spring mattresses are specially designed to ease the human body by varying the weight distribution across the entire surface, usually by using differential zoning (zones with different spring resistance levels). This way, when you lie on the mattress, the springs will compress and provide a comfortable resistance to every pressure point. A good spring mattress is able to act as a supportive platform for the back and spinal column when we sleep and our muscles relax.

Different foam mattresses may have different support levels. However, foam mattresses generally sink when given pressure. The sinkage creates a sort of ‘hugging’ that some sleepers like. In addition, the sinkage also provides a comfortable contouring across the sleeper’s body. However, heavy sleepers may find foam mattresses not supportive enough, as they would sink deeper. Some people also don’t like to the sinkage because it creates a ‘trapped’ feel.

Spring Mattress vs. Foam: Bounce

This aspect goes all the way to spring mattresses. If you are looking for a bouncy mattress, a spring mattress would be your best bet. With the coils inside, spring mattress can be bouncy and all. It will be very comfortable and fun for your night activities. Some foam mattresses, particularly those that are made using latex foam, have a degree of bounce, though nowhere near to spring mattresses. If you don’t like a bouncy bed, a foam mattress is the way to go.

Spring Mattress vs. Foam: Durability

Actually, the durability of both spring and foam mattresses depend on the quality of the product. A good spring mattress can last for at least ten years. The great durability is due to the high-grade tempered steel coils. These don’t break. However, a cheap spring mattress is not as durable, either the padding is easy to pierce or the coils are easy to break. There is a chance that if the padding or a coil is broken, the sharp part of the coil will protrude through the padding and to the surface. Hence, a spring mattress would require a proper care to last.

Cheap foam mattresses can get flattened fairly quickly due to the continuous pressure. However, a good foam mattress can last long, too. Many companies are confident enough to give their products a 10-year warranty. On the good side, a foam mattress does not pose any threat of protruding sharp metal. In addition, foam mattresses are generally easier to maintain. And we have mentioned above that foam mattresses are virtually immune to mites and bedbugs.

Spring Mattress vs. Foam: Heat Retention and Cooling

Spring mattresses have a more open structure than the foam counterparts. Because of this, spring mattresses are generally more breathable. The design effectively allows air circulation and prevents heat retention. So, you will be able to sleep cool over the night. On the other hand, foam mattresses generally have some more heat retention. Older models may get fairly hot due to the foam retaining heat from your body. However, modern foam models have been designed to allow more air circulation, and are comparable to spring mattresses in terms of cooling. Latex foam mattresses are usually more breathable than memory foam mattresses.

Spring MattressFoam Mattress
- Contains springs/coils for support, with some layers of padding- Constructed of some foam layers
- Bouncy, great weight distribution and support- Not bouncy, great contouring
- Relatively cooler- Modern models now have good cooling, too
- May require more care- Relatively easier to maintain


Choosing between spring and foam mattresses today depends more on what you seek. If you like a bouncy mattress with great support, a spring mattress is the answer. However, if you like a mattress that gives you a hug feel and supreme contouring, or if you simply don’t like a bouncy bed, a foam mattress is the way to go.

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