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Are Spring or Memory Foam Mattresses Better?

Memory foam mattress. Bed Drs. Comfort for all ailments.

Getting a good night’s sleep can make or break your day, and the quality of your shut-eye largely depends on the type of mattress you own. Deciding on a mattress is tough, though – the spring versus memory foam debate is as heated as the battle between Pepsi and Coke or iPhone and Android. Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you if you’re having trouble picking a side.

Construction – Spring Mattress

Spring mattresses remain the most popular mattress option. They vary in durability and comfort based on the springs housed inside. Lower end mattresses, for example, are made of individual Bonnell coils. Other options include:

  • Continuous coils – lacing and individual coils made of one wire
  • Offset coils – lacing and individual coils that accommodate body shape
  • Pocketed coils – individual coils encased in fabric that reduce motion transfer

Construction – Memory Foam

Memory foam is made of polyurethane and air bubbles and was originally invented by NASA. It is denser and more viscous than the regular polyurethane foam you’d find atop a spring mattress. The top layer of a memory foam mattress, called the comfort layer, cradles the body, while the base layer provides support.

Delivery & Unpacking

Spring mattresses are large and hard to compress, so they are typically shipped in a box rather than roll packed. Memory foam mattresses can be shipped either way. However, if a memory foam mattress is roll packed, it must be given time to expand after unboxing and may emit chemical odors for a few weeks.

Heat Retention

Memory foam mattresses have a reputation for retaining more heat than spring mattresses. This can disrupt sleep and cause you to sweat during the night. If traditional memory foam is too warm for you, there are options like open-cell and gel memory foam that facilitate better airflow.

Feel and Support

Spring mattresses are – you guessed it – springy! They push back against the sleeper’s body weight for a firmer feel. By contrast, memory foam changes shape according to body heat and pressure. The sleeper will sink into the mattress and may feel surrounded or enveloped by the foam. Some users say memory foam has a quicksand sensation.


Many people claim memory foam mattresses are much more expensive than spring mattresses, but the price point really depends on the specific type of coils or foam you’re looking for. As with anything, higher quality mattresses will be more expensive.

Pain Relief

If you have back pain, you could benefit from a memory foam mattress that cradles your pressure points. Side sleepers who feel sore in their back, shoulders and neck will be pleased to hear that memory foam also aligns the spine as you sleep. Well-made spring mattresses may also provide similar relief.


Unlike spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses are hypoallergenic. They are resistant to dust mites, mold, skin cells and other allergens that might otherwise aggravate someone with allergies.


Memory foam mattresses last slightly longer than spring mattresses, but they are also more likely to sag. Warranties are similar for both mattress types. No matter which mattress you choose, you will need to rotate it every three to six months to make sure it wears evenly. You will also need to flip a spring mattress if it does not have a top foam layer to get the most life out of it.

Pick the Perfect Mattress

At Bed DRS, you can try spring and memory foam mattresses to your heart’s content so you can confirm which type you like best. We allow customers to spend up to four hours in our Dream Room testing mattresses to find that perfect fit. Contact us online or visit our Phoenix or Scottsdale showroom today to get started!