If you are considering what mattress to buy, you may wish to make a comparison between memory foam vs spring mattress options, especially if you have only ever had an innerspring mattress before.
We have become used to sleeping on mattresses with springs inside, while the market has evolved quite a bit since then with the choice of mattress material to sleep on.
If you are unsure as to which mattress to buy, here is a direct comparison between spring mattresses and one of the most popular mattress types today.
Price Difference Between Spring & Memory Foam Mattresses
Traditional spring mattresses remain the most popular type of mattress (especially in the US, where market share hovers at around 80 to 90 percent) because of two reasons.
Firstly, they have for a long time been the de facto mattress choice for the market. Secondly, they still remain the most affordable mattresses on the market. While some models can be expensive, the entry level models are quite cheap.
This is because it uses simpler technology, and makers of spring mattresses have long refined the manufacturing process as well as producing so many of them, that manufacturing costs are lower than for memory foam.
That said, a lot of budget memory foam manufacturers have entered the market and produce quality mattresses, so the price difference has become quite narrow, making it a realistically affordable option.
Memory foam mattresses now typically cost hundreds of dollars, rather than the thousands of dollars you may already be aware of, being associated with premium brand foam mattress manufacturers such as Tempur-Pedic, whose complete bed solutions range go from $1,400 at the entry level to $13,000 at the top of the range end.
Thanks to these budget manufacturers, who do produce mattresses that many customers have been absolutely delighted with, there is now a market for those that want the luxury, comfort and support of memory foam, without having to pay premium prices to get one, and without having to pay a whole load more than a spring mattress.
Memory Foam vs Spring Mattress Durability
It is in this area where memory foam mattresses demonstrate their superiority over spring mattresses. Although spring mattresses are cheap, they are also not as durable as their foam counterpart.
A typical spring mattress will begin to sag after a year or two, and in fact one study revealed that a spring mattress lose 16% of its support after the first year of use. They typically come with warranties of only up to 10 years, and within months of ownership the bed begins to take a more permanent form and doesn’t recover from pressure anymore.
You have to flip or rotate spring mattresses about 4 times a year so that the wear and tear on the mattress is even and prevent it deteriorating too quickly. You can expect one of these mattresses to be within acceptable sleeping condition for 5 to 10 years.
Memory foam mattresses can have warranties that last up to 20 years, because that’s usually how long it takes before you need to replace them.
This is incredible product assurance as most other products do not come with warranties longer than 2 years, and of course spring mattress manufacturers tend to only offer up to 10 years warranty. An additional benefit is that there is no need to flip or rotate it to even out the wear either.
Support Offered By Memory Foam Mattress vs Innerspring Mattress
When you lie on a high quality spring mattress, it may feel quite comfy. Technically, it’s an illusion that is sufficient. Studies show and as you can guess when you think about it, spring mattresses push back against your body.
While this may be fine if you have no kind of muscular or skeletal issues, for those that do, this can serve to agitate the condition and cause pain. It can lead to or aggravate any existing pressure points, which can also lead to pain and poor blood circulation.
A memory foam mattress, on the other hand, is like a mattress with many billions of tiny sponges supporting you. They push back only as hard as each part of your body does providing comfort and support instead of a feeling of resistance and pressure.
This reduces pressure points by as much as 80%, and causes far less tossing and turning which usually prevent a good night’s sleep. This is the main reason why many health professionals recommend memory foam mattresses for people with backaches.
What to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Memory Foam Mattress
Just in case you’re thinking that memory foam technology has been perfected, that’s not necessarily the case, especially if you don’t carefully choose the manufacturer of your mattress.
Common complaints about memory foam mattresses that don’t apply to spring mattresses include:
- Initial off-gassing smell. You will need to air out the mattress first for at least 12 hours before you use it, although some manufacturers include green tea or herbal scents to mask this smell. The smell can linger for up to 2 weeks. Some people choose to buy a mattress protector if they are sensitive to smell.
- It retains heat. This can make the mattress feel uncomfortable during warm weather. Manufacturer’s answer to this problem includes airflow solutions and the newer gel memory foam mattresses that combines gel with memory foam to help dissipate the heat.
- When you move on the mattress, it may take time for the material to respond to your new position due to the way memory foam molds itself around the body in response to heat and pressure. This can take a bit of getting used to, although newer mattress models from reputable makers promise faster response time to new sleeping positions.
Spring Mattresses vs Memory Foam Mattresses Conclusion
In just about every important point of comparison between the two mattress types, memory foam mattresses are superior, with a few minor annoyances here and there. The greatest advantage of spring mattresses is that they are more affordable, generally having a lower entry price level than memory foam mattresses. But even that gap has been closed significantly, in fact some big name spring mattresses manufacturers have mattresses that are much more expensive than memory foam ones.
However, price difference is significantly offset when you factor in the life expectancy of a memory foam mattress tends to be double that of a spring mattress.
You can also see this with manufacturer’s warranties, with spring mattresses often coming with up to 10 years, and memory foam mattresses up to 25 years.
So when it comes to memory foam vs innerspring mattresses, if you can afford to buy the former, you may as well buy one. They are essentially the more cost-effective option.