Spring vs. Foam Mattresses

Sleep in Comfort mattress

Getting a good night’s sleep can be a real challenge for some. One of the ways you can help to fight back insomnia is to ensure you have a suitable mattress, and in that regard comes a fairly common question nowadays: do you want a traditional spring mattress or a more modern foam mattress?

As with most questions, a lot of it can come down to personal preference. What may be attractive to some sleepers could well be irksome for others. Others are actually rooted in more objective qualities and traits. People with bad backs or who favor certain sleeping positions, for example, may well find one type of mattress easier to sleep on than the other. So what are the main advantages and disadvantages between foam and spring mattresses?

Spring Mattresses

The spring mattress is of a more recent design than one might think, only appearing within the second half of the 19th century. They replaced older fillings of cotton, straw, feathers and animal hair, with the main advantage being increased durability and better hygiene – spring mattresses were easier to keep clean than older types because there is less material for bed bugs to hide in.

The main strength in the spring mattress lies in its versatility of design and style. Additionally, you can find a spring mattress on the cheap, although this is not without its drawbacks. Cheap mattresses may not last as long as more expensive varieties, and you also run the risk of discomfort from poorly made springs or material.

The cost effectiveness is also long term, as spring mattresses are more capable of weather years of use than most other materials. You can reasonably expect to be using the same spring mattress for a decade or so before it needs replacing, and possibly even longer. However, when spring mattresses do start to become worn, springs may begin to loosen, or start to tear through the fabric to poke into sensitive body parts. The distinctive noise that old springs make may also be off-putting to some sleepers.

Overweight sleepers may also find that spring mattresses offer better support than foam mattresses, as well as those who have a tendency to sleep on their backs or their fronts.

Foam Mattresses

If spring mattresses are relatively recent, then foam mattresses are brand-spanking new, only appearing sixty years ago. Since then, the technology has been improved with new “memory foam” mattresses that can conform to the shape of the sleeper. These can be fully fledged mattresses in their own right, or layered with other fabrics or even spring support.

A foam mattress is perfect for those who find spring mattresses too hard and unyielding. In particular, those who sleep on their side will find that the way foam gives way to the pressure points on the shoulders, ribs, hips and elbows much more comfortably than alternatives. Older sleepers can also find a measure of comfort in that the soft material is gentler to painful joints or other areas of sensitivity.

Those sleeping with a partner can also find additional assistance in foam mattresses – the bouncy material better absorbs movement, so if your partner is particularly prone to tossing and turning during the night it’s less likely to bother you.

If there is one disadvantage to memory foam, it’s that it often doesn’t breathe very well. While spring mattresses allow plenty of air to circulate, better regulating the temperature of the bed, foam mattresses soak it up like a sponge (pardon the simile). For sleepers in warmer climes, this may make sleeping a tad uncomfortable. Newer designs, like the foam mattress from Lull, have taken advantage of better materials and construction to alleviate issues of temperature and air flow, and more improvements can be expected in the future.

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