Compare Memory Foam Mattresses To Spring Beds

Compare Memory Foam Mattresses To Spring Beds

Are you in the market for a new mattress or bed? Should you get a spring bed or a visco foam mattress? We researched every important detail of these two types of mattresses, from the way they work to the support and pressure relief they offer. But first, here’s what you must know about home mattress trials and what makes a good spring bed.

Visco Elastic Mattress Essentials

Viscoelastic foam is made of open cells, billions of balloons with holes in them. When you sit on it, air moves from one cell to another, and the mattress contours your body in a unique fashion, relieving pressure points and supporting your weight.

With regular foam mattresses, which are made of closed cells, the air in the compressed cells pushes back against you causing pressure points that constrict circulation at the area of contact. The result is discomfort and even pain over time. When you lie on a visco foam mattress there is no air left in the cells to push back and cause discomfort. The air is spread to adjoining cells and the foam simply ‘melts’ under you to provide long-term, balanced support and comfort.

Spring Mattress Essentials

History of The Spring Mattress

All of us have slept on a spring bed at least once in our lifetime. Somewhere around 1850, spring mattresses were the first to add some comfort to our sleep, after thousands of years of sleeping on wooden or horse hair beds.

Even if not always comfortable and sometimes had sags and lumps, spring mattresses were present in almost every modern household for more than 150 years. We all got stung in a broken spring or jumped on the old mattress until it sagged under our feet.

Their popularity of spring beds dropped over the past few years due to new sleeping technologies that ensure better comfort and longer lifespan. Memory foam and latex have started to replace the old springs and coils.

How Spring Mattresses Work

  • Spring, inner spring, coil spring or pocket spring mattresses work in a similar fashion, even if the different names suggest otherwise. The mattress is made of a spring zone (the source of support) and a comfort layer on which you can lie without feeling the wire network underneath.
  • This layer (machine or hand-stitched to the rails of the mattress) is made of wool, foam, latex, down or cotton fibers that may form lumps in time if they are the good quality type. On top of the comfort layer you find the ticking – the outer cover – made of cotton, linen, silk or wool.

Now, about the springs. They are hundreds of wires spun into different shaped coils. When you talk about the durability and comfort of a spring mattress, five factors are of major importance:

  • The type of springs used:
    • Bonnell springs – the classic spring type, tied together with wires to form a unitary block of springs
    • Continuous coil spring – made from a single wire shaped into the form of several rows of springs
    • Open-ended springs – all joined together by a wire network set up in the middle of each spring, thus leaving the top and bottom of each spring to move freely in order to independently adjust to the specific weight placed on it
    • Pocket springs – each spring is placed in its own separate fabric pocket and not connected in any way with the other springs, which allows independent compression of the springs, even if the mattress covering does limit some of the springs’ freedom of movement (these are the most expensive models and are said to be the most comfortable)
  • The gauge of wire used to manufacture the springs (the lower the gauge, the more durable the mattress)
  • The number of springs in the mattress (it varies from around 250 to 500, depending on manufacturer, quality and size of the mattress) – the greater the count, the more support you get)
  • The number of turns in each spring (the more turns, the softer and more durable the mattress)
  • The way springs are arranged inside the mattress (some manufacturers put some extra rows of springs in the center of the bed, where most of your body weight pushes downwards, or at the sides, which are usually first to break down)

The spring mattress can be set up directly on the floor (European style), on a slatted base or on another box spring (American style).


  • Mattress at Wikipedia – Extensive information on spring mattresses. Includes glossary.
  • Beds: A Basic Guide – Types of mattresses and bed bases, sleep considerations, and what to look for when buying a mattress.
  • Choosing Your Mattress – Bullet-point tips on buying a mattress.
  • Buying Guide: Mattresses – Good info on the structure of a spring bed.

Customer Opinions

The divet in the middle of the bed is like falling in the grand canyon and with having my lowest vertebrae fused to my sacrum I just can’t handle the sinking of the hips (major pain).

The only plain coil mattress and box spring mattress we had was our least favorite. It was a good one, but didn’t last that well, and never was as comfortable as the previous foam, and later waterbed. I would never go to a box spring and coil mattress again.

By the way, putting a spring mattress on the floor works much better for me than one on a box spring for some reason. You might try this as a temporary fix if you can’t afford a new bed right away.

One new development attacks the old adage that “firmer is better,” Those experts are not otherwise identified. However, a 2003 Spanish study of people with lower back pain revealed that medium-firmness mattresses help back sufferers more than hard mattresses, something to bear in mind if you have an occasional achy back.

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