Foam vs spring mattress comparison
You're likely to find high-quality foam mattresses and high-quality spring mattresses in your hunt for the best mattress in the UK.
But these two types of mattresses are very different.
If you'd like to deep-dive into an analysis of these mattresses, we'd suggest you turn to our in-depth articles:
Below, you'll find a side-by-side comparison of the significant differences between these two types of mattresses.
|Foam Mattresses||Spring Mattresses|
|Construction||Any foam - cold foam, gel foam, polyurethane foam, memory foam, etc.||Any spring - pocket sprung, open coil, etc.|
|Firmness||Generally softer or medium-firm||Generally firmer or medium-firm|
|Stability & support||A high-quality foam mattress can offer good stability & support||Excellent stability & support, especially for heavier weight sleepers|
|Suitable for (general guideline)||
Light- and average-weight sleepers
Side or back sleepers
People who like softer or medium-firm mattresses
Sleepers of any bodyweight
Any sleeping preference
Sleepers who need more support
|Temperature||Average to good temperature regulation||Excellent temperature regulation|
|Mattress covers||Usually removable||Usually not removable|
|Bed-in-a-box||Available as bed-in-a-box mattresses||Only hybrid models available as bed-in-a-box mattresses|
|Durability||High-density foam mattresses should last 8 - 10 years||Very high-quality spring mattresses should last 7 - 10 years|
|Off-gassing||Synthetic foam mattresses usually emit a chemical smell when first unpacked||No off-gassing|
|Price||Often cheaper to mid-range||Quality spring mattresses are usually more expensive than all-foam mattresses|
We can't say that one type of mattress is better than another.
But, you will find that a certain kind of mattress will be better suited to you.
Let's go into an overview of these two types of mattresses to help you figure out which one is best for you. 👇
What is a spring mattress?
Innerspring mattresses are considered classics.
You're likely to have slept on a spring mattress at some point or another. 👌
These are mattresses with a core of springs or metal coils.
Most springs mattresses combine springs with top comfort layers of foam.
Some even have a foam pillow top for maximum softness.
Different types of spring mattresses
There are many different types of spring mattresses available. 🌀
As with foam mattresses, we'd recommend you stay away from the cheaper models as these tend to be of inferior quality, forming dents more quickly and causing squeaky noises.
Open coils and continuous coils
Traditional spring mattresses generally consist of an open coil or continuous coil system.
- Continuous coils consist of one single wire used to construct a row of coils.
- Open coil mattresses are made of single springs held together by one wire.
Bonnell coils, for example, are hourglass-shaped coils used in standard designs.
Offset coils are similar, but these are straight on one side, so they fit together more snugly.
These mattresses are simple and cost-effective.
As all the springs are attached, open coil & continuous coil mattresses are very supportive.
But, they tend to lack body adaptability.
While there are some better quality open coil mattresses on the market, like those from Silentnight, we generally advise against open coil mattresses.
Here, metal coil springs are individually wrapped in fabric pocekts.
This allows each spring to move independently, enhancing body adaptability and allowing for better pressure relief, comfort, and support. 💤
Most pocket springs are spiral-shaped, but you can also find barrel pocket spring mattresses, where springs have a bulbous form.
These are very high-quality pocket sprung mattresses.
Pocket sprung mattresses tend to be more expensive, but you can also find some great budget options.
The SleepSoul Space 2000 Pocket Spring Pillowtop Mattress, for example, is available at a fraction of the standard pocket sprung price but still offers phenomenal value for money.
Hybrid mattresses combine foams and springs, but they're often classified as a type of spring mattress.
These mattresses may have mini or full-size pocket springs but they also have multiple foam layers.
They are among the top mattresses available as they combine the best features of both materials. 🏅
Hybrid mattresses are also available as bed-in-a-box models.
One of our favourite hybrid mattresses is the Simba Hybrid.
It's a more premium mattress but it's made of excellent materials, offers great support, and feels very comfortable to sleep on.
Our favourite spring & hybrid mattresses in the UK:
Foam vs spring price comparison
Foam and spring mattresses are available in many price ranges.
Cheaper foam mattresses and open coil mattresses, like the IKEA foam mattresses or IKEA spring mattresses, are generally quite affordable - but they're also not as comfortable and won't last as long.
We would not recommend these. 😏
High-quality memory foam mattresses or pocket sprung mattresses are generally more expensive, but you can get some great value-for-money deals.
On average, pocket sprung or hybrid mattresses are more expensive than all-foam mattresses.
Most high-quality memory foam mattresses, like the Nectar mattress, will set you back between £400 and £700 for a double.
Pocket sprung mattresses can actually be more cost-effective as they're likely to last you a long time.
A decent hybrid or pocket sprung model, like the DreamCloud, should set you back at least £500 - £1000 for a double. 💷
Looking for the best discounts?
Bed-in-a-box mattress brands frequently offer sales and promotions. 🥳
This means you can get the best memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses at an even better price!
We collect all the best coupon codes for you and display them on our discounts page.
Should you buy a foam mattress or a spring mattress?
There is no right or wrong, but foam mattresses and spring mattresses are best suited to different types of people.
Foam mattresses are suitable for:
- People who easily feel cold at night.
- People with orthopaedic concerns.
- Light- and average-weight sleepers.
- People who prefer softer mattresses.
- All sleeping positions, but particularly for side sleepers.
- Adjustable slatted frames.
We would not recommend foam mattresses to heavier-weight back and stomach sleepers or very heavy sweaters.
One of our favourite foam mattresses in the UK is the Nectar memory foam mattress.
It comes with a 365-day trial period, so it's a great risk-free option if you want to give foam mattresses a try.
Spring mattresses are suitable for:
- Heavier sweaters or those who prefer a cooler sleep.
- People looking for good stability & support.
- Average-weight sleepers & heavier-weight sleepers or those of larger builds.
- People who prefer a firmer sleeping surface.
- All sleeping positions, but particularly for back sleepers and stomach sleepers.
- Rigid slatted frames.
- Restless sleepers.
One of our favourite spring mattresses is the Simba mattress, a hybrid model that features both foams and springs.
Regardless of which mattress you choose, make sure it comes with a risk-free trial period.
That way, if you're not happy, you can simply send it back for a full refund. 💷