Foam vs Springs: Which one should you choose?
We know that the best mattress needs to be supportive, comfortable and breathable. But mattresses can be personal and with so many on the market, it can be hard to know which is the best mattress for your body.
To help you decide, we’re going to break down the difference between foam and spring mattresses for you, as well as the difference between comfort and support.
What is a spring mattress?
Spring mattresses were the first ‘traditional’ mattress to hit the market. Before their invention in 1871, beds were made out of feathers, corn or straw! However, whilst spring mattresses were a clear upgrade from their predecessors, it took many years of tweaking before they were considered comfortable or supportive.
Spring mattresses come in a variety of different styles with the two main types being innerspring and pocket spring.
Innerspring mattresses have interconnected spring systems and tend to have a “bouncy” feel.
Pocket spring designs, on the other hand, have individually pocketed spring systems. This independent system provides more personalised support by contouring to the body and results in less partner disturbance.
Pocket spring mattresses that use steel springs are also highly durable and often experience less sagging than other types of spring mattresses. Look for pocket springs that are ‘zoned’ as this means the tension of each spring will vary based on where you need the most support.
Spring mattress advantages and disadvantages
Spring mattresses can range from affordable to expensive. It all depends on the type of springs and materials used.
While they can be durable, innerspring mattresses lack the ability to conform to the body’s pressure points. This can also lead to motion transfer issues. If partner disturbance isn’t an issue for you, innerspring mattresses can be an affordable yet long-lasting option.
Cheaper spring mattresses consisting of continuous coil or bonnell coil structures often lack support and can sag easily.
Meanwhile, pocket spring mattresses (which are more expensive to produce) offer individualised springs that are enclosed within their own pocket to stop them from rolling together. This spring system helps support the natural curves of your spine to offer pain relief.
Pocket springs are often organised in zones that offer targeted support for different areas of the body. This can give the mattress a personalised feel which you may not get from other spring or foam only mattresses.
Pocket springs can last for years due to the strength of the steel used and help to keep the mattress cool by allowing for air to flow through the mattress.
Spring mattresses are great for warmer climates and anyone who is susceptible to back, shoulder or neck issues.
Correct spinal alignment
What is a foam mattress?
Foam mattresses can be made from a number of different materials with the most popular being memory foam.
Memory foam was first invented in 1966 by NASA to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airline pilots. Since then, memory foam has evolved and become a popular choice for mattresses and pillows, as it distributes body weight evenly and offers zero partner disturbance.
Medium to firm foam mattresses are often recommended for back pain as they provide plenty of support and pressure distribution.
Foam mattress advantages & disadvantages
A common complaint of foam-only mattresses is off-gassing after unboxing.
For those who haven’t experienced this before, off-gassing is the release of a chemical smell in the air after opening a new product (not just limited to mattresses).
If you’re going down the foam-only mattress route, make sure to read other customer reviews and look for a mattress with low VOCs.
Alternatively, hybrid or pocket spring mattresses that use less or no memory foam will prevent this from happening.
If you’ve slept on a foam-only mattress you also know they can heat up quickly! The reason for this is foam traps heat due to its dense structure that doesn’t allow air to circulate.
If you’re in a cool climate this might be ideal for you! But hot sleepers will want to look out for cooling gel memory foam to regulate temperature, or pocket springs to allow air to flow through the mattress.
If you’re currently sleeping on a foam-only mattress, one way to cool it down is to buy a mattress topper made from natural fibres. The only downside is these toppers can be expensive and don’t always solve the issue.
Speaking of VOCs, when choosing a mattress it’s important to look at what certifications they have. Some companies don’t advertise this on their website which could be a red flag.
At Eva, we’re passionate about making sure your mattress is safe for the whole family. After all, you’re spending a lot of time together!
The foam used in the Eva Mattress is Certipur-US® approved which ensures it’s safe and non-toxic. Our gel memory foam and base support foam are SGS certified. Our top latex layer and outer material are Class 1 OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. This guarantees the materials are safe for use by babies and children.
Our team is always happy to answer any questions about our certifications, so don’t hesitate to give us a shout!
What is a comfortable mattress?
When you first lie down on a mattress, you’ll probably notice how comfortable it is right away. While this is important, it can change over time, especially with softer mattresses, so it’s really important your mattress comes with a trial period.
The truth is, most mattresses feel comfortable at first, so a couple of minutes in a showroom really isn’t going to give you an insight into if that mattress is the right fit for you.
Our advice? Whatever mattress you choose, try it for at least a month. 30 nights with your mattress is the sweet spot as it can take a little while for your body to adjust.
And if it’s not right for you? Most mattress trials offer free or affordable returns so you’re not stuck with a mattress you don’t like for the next 10+ years!
What is a supportive mattress?
A supportive mattress sounds like a given, but many mattresses on the market can be comfortable but don’t provide adequate support or distribute body pressure evenly. This can lead to a whole host of neck, shoulder and back issues now or down the track.
A good mattress needs to promote correct spinal alignment and support your hip and shoulder area, also referred to as the body’s pressure points.
“It is important to have a mattress with support that keeps your spine neutral, you don't want your neck to be lower than your hips or your body twisting like a pretzel." - Dr Alex Harvey, Eva’s Resident Chiropractor.
How do you know if a mattress is supportive?
A month with your mattress should give you an idea of if your mattress is best suited to your body.
It’s also important that the mattress isn’t too soft or too firm. A medium-firm mattress is generally a safe bet for most people.
If your mattress is too firm, it will push on your pressure points and take you out of alignment. If it’s too soft, your pressure points won’t be properly supported and you’ll end up feeling stiff and sore the next day.
So, now you know all the pros and cons of each mattress, which one should you buy?
Why not try a hybrid!
Hybrid mattresses are, you guessed it, a combination of springs, memory foam, and latex meaning you can benefit from all the unique features each material has to offer!
A better choice for comfort and support
Springs and latex layers offset the “quicksand” feel of memory foam, and combining pocket springs with memory foam helps reduce motion transfer - so you can sleep soundly with a partner or pet.
Together, these elements work to provide the sleeper with the ultimate comfort, support and breathability!
A better choice for hot sleepers
As mentioned above, memory foam is commonly known for trapping heat — not ideal if you sleep hot. If you live in a very cold climate, memory foam might be the perfect choice for you! However, those living in climates with all four seasons will prefer the temperature regulating properties of a hybrid mattress.
The Eva Mattress regulates temperature in three ways:
- Gel memory foam: The top memory foam layer of the Eva Mattress contains thousands of tiny gel beads that keep the mattress cool, cancel out the heat-trapping properties of memory foam and help to regulate temperature.
- Latex: Our latex foam has tiny pinholes that allow the mattress to flex and breathe. The more breathability the better!
- Pocket springs: Springs allow for more airflow throughout the mattress which results in a cooler, more stable temperature as you sleep.
As there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding the perfect mattress the only way to know if a mattress is right for you is to try it!
At Eva, our award-winning hybrid mattress is delivered to your door for free and comes with a 120-night trial! This means you can test it in your home (for up to 4 months) to decide whether or not it is right for you!
If you love it, you’ll be sleeping soundly! If you don’t, you can send it right back and receive a full refund — no questions asked!