Alaska Sleep Education Center

Pros and Cons: Memory Foam vs Spring Mattresses

Posted by Misha Yueng on Jan 21, 2021 12:51:11 PM

Peaceful woman sleeping on a cloud and having sweet dreams-1

Are you in the market for a new mattress? Maybe you’ve had your mattress for a few years and it’s time for a change. Or, perhaps you’re experiencing back issues and you’d like to see if there’s a mattress that can help you to sleep more comfortably. Regardless of why you want a new mattress, you’re fortunate to have a lot of excellent choices. 

A spring mattress is the traditional choice. In fact, for decades a spring mattress was the only option. Today, you have another great option in the form of a memory foam mattress. 

One of the most effective ways to make a decision about which type of mattress to choose is to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each one. 

A Memory Foam Mattress 


One of the main advantages of having a good foam bed is it provides your body with full support. When you lie down, the mattress conforms itself to your shape so the support you receive is unique to you! Plus, this technology allows your mattress to ‘remember’ so you have the same familiar comfort the moment you lie down to sleep. 

Another advantage is memory foam has a lower level of bounce. So, when you get into bed, your sleeping partner is less likely to be disturbed due to the bouncing caused by you getting settled.      

A high level of durability is an advantage appreciated by many owners of memory foam mattresses. The design and materials used to make them last longer than traditional mattresses. This is especially appealing to people who want to keep a mattress for many years into the future.

Choosing a memory foam mattress opens up the door to even more options. There are several types of memory foam. Plant-based memory foam contains plant oils which brings a cooling feature to the mattress. Gel memory foam has gel beads that serve to cool the mattress. Some memory foam mattresses have cooling additives such as graphite and copper. Traditional memory foam has an open cell design that helps to cool the mattress.


One disadvantage of having a memory foam mattress is that its design causes it to retain heat. However, there are memory foam mattresses being made today with clever, built-in cooling systems that keep you comfortable.

A new memory foam mattress releases a chemical odor for a short time. This is something that many owners have detected. The odor is due to a process called off-gassing. Airing the mattress out before putting it into your room gives the odor a chance to dissipate. 

Memory foam mattresses are heavier than mattresses with traditional springs. This is due to the components involved in their design.


A Spring Mattress


An advantage of a spring mattress is its springiness! If you enjoy a mattress that responds with movement whenever you turn over or otherwise adjust positions, this type of mattress offers that advantage.

A spring mattress allows for more air circulation than a memory foam mattress. In short, it doesn’t have a design that retains heat.

You have several choices when it comes to a spring mattress. The difference comes in the design of a mattress’ coils. Spring mattresses with pocket coils have less movement than the traditional spring design. Offset coils give a mattress firm support if you like a firm mattress. Continuous coils add durability to the design of the mattress.

A spring mattress is lighter than a memory foam mattress. Memory foam mattresses have a dense construction that adds weight to them. So, when hauling a mattress into another room, a spring mattress will be lighter than a memory foam.


A spring mattress needs to be replaced within a certain number of years. This can be a disadvantage especially for people who are budget conscious.

While the springiness is an advantage for some people, it’s an unwanted feature for others. If you’re looking for a mattress that moves very little as you get into bed, a spring mattress is not the best choice.


You can find budget-friendly choices in both spring and memory foam mattress designs. Generally, spring mattresses are a little less expensive than memory foam mattresses. This is because there is less technology involved in making them. But, of course, each type of mattress has different qualities to offer a sleeper.

Tips for Making a Decision

As you see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. You can make the decision process a little easier by asking yourself the following questions.

  • Do you want a mattress that addresses a physical issue such as a bad back or shoulder?
  • Do you have a partner who is easily disturbed or awakened by your movements at night?
  • Are you easily disturbed from your sleep by the movements or buoyancy of a mattress?
  • Do you want a mattress that conforms to your own body structure?
  • Do you want a mattress that remembers your body structure before you even lie down?
  • Do you want a mattress known for its durability or are there other features that are more important to you?

Considering your answers as well as your partner's answers to these questions can help you to narrow down what qualities you’d like in a new mattress. Sometimes having an idea of what you want before looking at all of the options can help you to make the best decision. After all, you’re likely to have your new mattress for many years to come!

Finally, remember a mattress is more than a practical item in a bedroom. The type of mattress you choose can help you to feel more relaxed at night allowing you to get a better quality sleep. When you wake up feeling well rested, you have a big advantage even before the day begins.

To discover if there are underlying causes to your lack of sleep, contact the Alaska Sleep Education Center for a free 10 minute phone consultation. And if you live in the state of Alaska, our board-certified sleep specialists can even make a Home Sleep Test work for you by calling 1-855-AKSLEEP.


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Topics: mattresses, comfortable bed, mattress foam

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