Spring vs foam mattress – which will give you the best night’s sleep?

There are many things that contribute to a good night’s sleep. But possibly the most important is a good mattress.

The perfect mattress will offer just enough support and be so comfortable that, insomnia aside, you’re virtually guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

A bad mattress on the other hand – too soft, too hard, too lumpy, too saggy, too old – will torture you all night, making deep sleep little more than a dream (pun intended!).

Trethowans
Trethowans

So how do you find the perfect mattress? For many people the decision often starts with two choices: foam or spring mattress.

To help you decide which type mattress is right for you, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

What is your budget?

There’s little point falling in love with your dream mattress, only to discover it’s way out of your price range. So you need to start out by considering how much you can and want to spend on a mattress as well as look for good options like Big Save’s range of beds to see what you like.

And your budget can influence whether you’d be best with a foam or a spring mattress.

Foam mattresses are made from synthetic materials which prolong the life of the mattress. However these materials also mean that foam mattresses are generally more expensive than spring ones.

If you like the idea of a foam mattress, but can’t stretch to one, you might perhaps want to settle on a hybrid that may include foam and spring, and be affordable.

While the perfect mattress is an investment that you’ll appreciate for several years, the good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on one. According to Which, the majority of their ‘Best Buy’ mattresses were in the £500-700 price range. And the second largest number fall into the £300-500 range.

Do you like a firm or a soft mattress?

We all have our own preference for mattress firmness. Foam mattresses are considered to provide a greater level of comfort. However, many people prefer a traditional, bouncy feel to their beds. If you’re in the bouncy camp, a spring mattress might be a better choice for you.

If you wanted to get really technical about mattress firmness, it might surprise you to know that there’s actually a scale used to measure it.

The softest mattresses are rated 1-3. Their softness means they conform to your body shape and help to relieve pressure points and keep your spine aligned. On the downside, doe most people there’s too much contouring, and they can lead to excessive curvature in the spine.

Soft mattresses are best for side sleepers who need more cushioning on their hips and shoulders. If you’re a back or stomach sleepers, the excessive sink in a soft mattress can draw your spine out of alignment.

Medium mattresses are rated 4-6 and usually offer the best overall support because they offer enough contouring to reduce pressure points, while not letting your body sink into the mattress too much.

Medium mattresses work well for all sleeping positions, and work best for ‘combination sleepers’ – people who sleep in multiple positions – and couples who don’t sleep in the same position.

Firm mattresses are rated 7-10. And while they don’t offer the same level of contouring of softer mattresses, there is usually enough cushioning to prevent pressure point problems.

That said, if you’re a side sleeper, you might not get on as well with a firm mattress. Back and stomach sleepers sometimes find that firmer mattresses help to stop their abdomen sinking too deeply into the mattress. Be wary of venturing too far up the scale though – the mattresses at the top end of this group are rarely comfortable for sleepers in any position.

Is the quality of the mattress important?

There are plenty of different spring and foam mattress options to choose from. And if you’re someone who likes to change their mattress regularly, you’d probably be better off choosing a mattress at the lower end of the range.

If though you see a mattress as a long term investment, then you’ll be better off spending more to get a better quality, long lasting product. When choosing between foam and spring mattresses, it’s worth noting that spring mattresses can tend to sag over time, so check out reviews and compare features before making a decision.

What is your sleep style?

As we’ve already learned, how you sleep plays a big role in deciding what kind of mattress is best for you. As a rule, if you are a side sleeper, then foam mattresses are a good choice for you as they provide pressure relief on your shoulders, hips, and back.

If you’re a stomach or back sleeper, you’d be better off choosing a firm spring mattress, as they offer greater spine support.

Do you sleep with a partner or alone?

This may seem an odd question but it’s actually one of the most important considerations. Why? Because if you share the bed with someone, then motion isolation is essential. 

This means that if your partner moves too much in bed (or vice versa) then you’re not disturbed. And that means choosing a mattress that provides motion isolation, and contains any movement to the part of the bed it occurs.

How much do you weigh?

This is another very important consideration when choosing a mattress, as your body weight determines how much you sink into the mattress, and how much pressure you put on it.

As a rule, foam mattresses are more suitable for lighter people, and spring mattresses more apt for heavier people.

According to this guide to mattress firmness, if you weigh less than 130 pounds, you should choose a softer mattress (a 2-5 in the firmness ratings). If you weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, you’d be better with a medium-firm mattress (4-6). And if you weigh over 230 pounds, you should buy a firmer mattress (6-8).

Form or spring mattress – what’s right for you?

We hope these questions have helped you learn more about choosing the right mattress for a good night’s sleep – and in particular whether a foam or a spring mattress is the best choice for you.

Read more sleep tips

Need help to get a good night’s sleep? you’ll find practical tips in these articles:

Photo by bruce mars