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Foam vs Innerspring Mattress: Which One to Choose


Woman in mattress store holds a Foam mattress sample as she decides whether to choose a foam vs spring mattress as salesman watches

When you’re shopping for a new mattress, you have two main options: a traditional innerspring mattress or one made with foam inside. This foam vs spring mattress choice is the most important decision to make, before you pick a comfort preference, brand name, or specific mattress. We want to help you make the right call!

Innerspring mattresses have been around for centuries, well before the invention of the foam that made other mattresses possible. That does not mean innerspring mattresses are obsolete and foam mattresses are a superior product. It really comes down to your personal preference and which one fits your needs better.

Pros and Cons of a Foam Mattress

When you lie on memory foam, your body temperature and weight soften the foam, forming around your body almost like a gentle hug. The foam evenly distributes weight on the sleeping surface, which relieves your pressure points. Memory foam is sometimes known to be a more durable option because the lack of coils reduces the risk of sagging. Memory foam is very good at isolating motion transfer as well, making it a good option for couples who accidentally wake each other up too often.

That’s the good news. Some people, especially those who tend to get hot when they sleep, feel that these mattresses make them too warm to get truly comfortable. You see, memory foam beds respond to your body heat and pressure, but they also tend to trap heat. As well, the recovery time of memory foam is slow. This makes it low in bounce when compared to a spring mattress alternative.

You Should Buy a Foam Mattress if...

When you sleep on a memory foam mattress, every body part is supported as the contouring foam molds to your curves. This makes memory foam mattresses a good option for alleviating back pain or joint pains. Those with chronic back pain tend to like this option. If you are a back or side sleeper, memory foam provides a more natural spinal alignment and enhances the lumbar support you need to wake up ache and pain free. Learn more in our foam mattress buying guide.

Top 3 Foam Mattresses we Recommend

Tempur-Pedic Pro Adapt Soft Mattress

In truth, this mattress is made with amazing Tempur foam, not regular memory foam. This extra soft foam works cohesively with the other layers to absorb motion, providing comfort, strength, and durability that lasts.

Nectar Classic Memory Foam Mattress

You’ll experience five layers of life-changing comfort with this bed in a box mattress. This all-foam mattress’s support and base layers adapt, stabilize, and reinforce you all night long.

Serta iComfort Foam C1000 Medium Mattress

Engineered for pressure point benefits and a dense overall feel, the layers of this mattress’s memory foam and carbon-infused materials conduct heat away from the body. You’ll sleep cooler, with the contouring support you want.

Pros and Cons of an Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses were first introduced to the public in the 1800’s and people have been sleeping on them ever since and have seen significant upgrades over the years. The basic structure of an innerspring mattresses includes metal coils or springs that form the “support layer.” This layer of sturdy support is then topped with some type of soft cotton or other upholstery, forming a “comfort layer.” These layers ensure that you don’t feel the springs directly under you as you sleep. It’s support and comfort in one! These mattresses also tend to sleep cooler. The innerspring layer enhances airflow, making for better temperature regulation throughout the night. Innerspring mattresses are usually less expensive than memory foam.

A downside mattress shoppers should be aware of is how an innerspring mattress may exacerbate existing back or joint problems if you’re sleeping on a bed that’s too firm. It is possible for the coils to press too firmly into already existing pain areas, aggravating the problem.

You Should Buy an Innerspring Mattress if...

Typically, stomach sleepers benefit from a coil layer in their mattress because it pushes back, preventing their body from arching unnaturally. While it’s not impossible to have a firm surface with memory foam, most people who like a Firm mattress enjoy innerspring options better. If you are worried you’ll get hot on a memory foam mattress, you may want to stick with one with springs. 

As briefly mentioned above, innerspring mattresses are often available at a lower price point than a comparable memory foam option. This makes them the go-to option for those looking for a value-priced mattress that fits into a tight budget.

Top 3 Innerspring Mattresses we Recommend

City Mattress Grand Teton Eurotop Mattress

We proudly stand behind our own line of innerspring mattresses in our Parks Collection. This mattress features resilient, individually wrapped coils at the spring unit in order to reduce motion transfer. Because it is finished with foam encasement around the perimeter for optimum edge support, you’ll enjoy the ultimate sleep comfort.

Sealy Response Kenaston Firm Mattress

This is by far one of our most popular mattresses. It features all-over, durable support, and includes the exclusive Posturepedic Technology. This has layers for pressure relief that feature gel-infused SealyCool foam to promote a cooler feel. The encased coil support system gives consistent responsivity and contributes to personalized, orthopedic alignment.

PranaSleep Karma Plush Mattress

While PranaSleep is known for its proprietary Talalay Latex, they also offer innerspring options in their Karma Collection. A durable coil system, top quality materials, plus superior engineering and patented processes combine to make this luxury mattress one that offers true comfort and value.

Both memory foam and spring have their advantages and disadvantages. In the foam vs spring mattress debate, the basic difference between the two is in how they feel. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s all about what you like best. While a memory foam mattress is more body-conforming and pressure relieving, innerspring mattresses are bouncier with a bit more give and support for your spine. You probably want to actually feel the difference for yourself. Once you lie down on them both, it’ll be much easier to know which is the right option for you. Our City Mattress Sleep Experts are here to make every step of the buying process easy and informative!