Sprung versus pure foam mattress – Which is best for you?

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Foam mattress and pocket spring

When mattress shopping, one of your first choices is a sprung or foam mattress. Sprung mattresses use metal springs for support, while foam alternatives, as the name suggests, use multiple layers of foam of various densities. 

Both come with trade-offs around comfort, support, durability, and price that are worth weighing. Sprung tends to bounce more, while foam closely conforms to your body.

We provide more information regarding these mattress types below. 

Mattress Comfort

Foam mattresses contour very closely to the body, relieving pressure points for many sleepers. However, some find this “hugging” sensation too restrictive and yearn for more bounce. Hybrids aim to marry the pressure relief of foam with the springy support of coils.

Innersprings provide more substantial edge support, as the foam compresses more easily, causing edges to dip. However, newer foam models with reinforced borders seek to improve in this area.

Dormeo Octosmart Premium Classic Aerocell Foam Mattress.
Pictured: Dormeo Octosmart Premium Classic Aerocell Foam Mattress. Priced from £319

For motion isolation, the foam has the upper hand, absorbing movement, so you barely notice your sleeping partner’s tossing and turning. Innerspring coils transfer motion across the surface as they compress and rebound. Pocket spring mattresses provide more motion isolation than interconnected spring designs.

Assessing your priorities – contouring vs. bounce, edge support, partner disturbance, and beyond will clarify which design suits your needs, whether all-foam, spring, or anywhere between. Try before you buy to get a true sense of the nuanced comfort differences.

Sleepeezee G3 Memory Pocket Spring Memory Mattress.
Pictured: Sleepeezee G3 Memory Pocket Spring Memory Mattress.

Mattress Durability

Mattress materials impact longevity. Quality foam stands the test of time, retaining shape and performance for up to a decade, while lower-density foam loses resiliency faster. Coils are the crux for innerspring – continuously contorting to your body’s imprint night after night, eventually leading to sagging.

Pocket springs best withstand repeated use as fabric wrappings curtail friction between components. Over 1000 thicker gauge coils in your mattress help, too. Regularly rotating the mattress averts uneven wear.

Quality comes at a cost with foam and springs but ensures more years of comfort and support. Yet even high-end materials weaken over 5 to 10 years. Prioritise certified foams and durable coil systems if you would like your mattress to go the distance. And give those coils a flip and rotate now and then. Investing a little care into your mattress goes a long way.

Mattress Support

All-foam and sprung mattresses take different approaches to providing support. Foam contours precisely, allowing more give where needed – lighter under shoulders and legs, reinforced under the spine. But foam can sag excessively under heavier areas without enough internal bracing, and edges often dip.

The structured coil layer of an innerspring inherently prevents sinking and reinforces the entire mattress perimeter. It lends firm, even support tailored through zoning the springs – firmer at the midsection, gentler by shoulders.

For larger frames or bad backs, a quality innerspring or hybrid mattress provides superior, customisable support that keeps the spine happily aligned without sagging.

Sleepeezee Pocket Gel Poise Plus Hybrid Mattress.
Pictured: Sleepeezee Pocket Gel Poise Plus Hybrid Mattress.

Mattress Price Range

Foam mattresses carry a higher price tag than the average pocket-sprung bed. But as streamlined all-foam brands entered the bed-in-a-box scene, costs came down – now you can find a king for £300 to £450.

Image showing an open coil mattress.

Traditional open coil mattresses still occupy the lower end, with basic models from £200 to £400. Higher-spec choices with luxury foams, 1000+ pocket springs, and reinforced edges run £900 to £1250. Handmade artisan styles featuring pocket springs plus indulgent materials like wool and silk can surpass £1,000.

Which Mattress is Best Overall?

There’s no universal “best” mattress for everyone – it comes down to your priorities and preferences around comfort, support, motion isolation, and value.

Innersprings provide durable support for years. Look for 1,000+ resilient pocket coils encased separately for contouring ability. Reinforced perimeters maximise sleep space as springs resist sagging edges better than the foam—pair quality coils with cushioning foam comfort layers for a blend of responsiveness and pressure relief.

For motion isolation, foam absorbs more movement across the bed, so you barely notice a restless sleeping partner. Pocket springs isolate motion better than interconnected coils but may still transfer some vibrations.

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