Which is Best: Memory Foam vs Spring Mattress

Last Updated on November 22, 2020

by Marc Werner, Founder - Ghostbed

When it comes to choosing a mattress, you’ve got a lot to consider. What size do you need? Should you go for a traditional spring mattress or a memory foam mattress? And what’s the difference, anyway?

At the end of the day, we all want a comfortable, relaxing sleep experience. But the right type of mattress for you depends on your sleeping style and individual needs. In this article, we’ll help you choose between a memory foam and spring mattress, based on several factors.

Check out this chart for a recap and then continue reading as we dive into each type further.

Spring Mattress Memory Foam Mattress
Typical Lifespan 5-10 years 7-10 years or more
Typical Cost $-$$ $$-$$$$
(depends on materials used)
Pressure Relief Little to medium Ideal
Mattress Feel More bouncy, springy More contouring
Best Choice For... Adequate for all types of sleepers, but comfort levels will vary All types of sleepers: stomach, back, side and combo

What is a Spring Mattress?

First, let’s review some basics: what exactly is a spring mattress?

Known as the “traditional” mattress type, a spring mattress is made of steel or metal coils and surrounded by layers of other materials that provide foundational support and comfort. There are 4 types of coils—continuous, Bonnel, offset and pocket—that provide varying levels of support. Coils that are referred to as “innerspring” are connected, while pocket coils are individually wrapped.

Some mattresses layer memory foam around the coils, and you’ll see those referred to as hybrid mattresses.

Here’s an example of the hybrid GhostBed Flex, featuring individually-wrapped coils topped with multiple layers of cooling, contouring gel memory foam:

  • Quilted, Cooling Cover - experience immediate cool burst airflow technology
  • 1" Cool Fiber Layer - continuous airflow allows fresh air to pass through
  • 1" Gel Memory Foam - Contouring, pressure-relieving, and comforting
  • 1" Gel Memory Foam - Relieves joint pressure, and repels body heat
  • 1" GhostBounce Layer - Our supportive, resilient foam is responsive like latex and contouring like memory foam
  • 8½ Individually Wrapped Support Coils - Enjoy springy support and cooling comfort, creating the weightless feeling you love
  • 1" Support Foam - Your mattress is assured to remain supportive and durable

Pros Pros

  • Spring mattresses have a relatively short break-in period.
  • Some types, such as those with continuous coils, are less expensive than other mattress types.
  • Spring mattresses provide a cooler sleep than traditional foam mattresses, as the coils allow for airflow between them.
  • Coils offer a bouncy feel, for those who prefer that over the “sinking” feeling of memory foam.

Cons Cons

  • Unlike a comfortable memory foam mattress that can be vacuum sealed to be delivered in a compact box, spring mattresses need to be delivered to your home by truck or balanced on top of a vehicle.
  • Spring mattresses don’t contour to your body unless there is a layer of memory foam on top. Although there may be a choice of firmness, it’s more of a one-mattress-fits-all.
  • Without the right comfort layers, the pressure of the coils—especially connected or innerspring coils—may exacerbate aches and pains instead of relieving them.
  • Spring mattresses tend to have a shorter lifespan and warranty than memory foam mattresses.
  • You’ll need to rotate and flip a traditional spring mattress regularly to maintain it. This can add time and frustration to caring for your mattress.
  • Spring mattresses tend to transfer motion to your partner when you’re sharing the bed.

What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

A memory foam mattress contains multiple soft layers of polyurethane or polyol foam. The foam layers usually vary in thickness, creating the perfect foundation for a contouring feel and evenly-distributed support. Because of this, most agree that memory foam mattresses are more comfortable to sleep on than a spring mattress.

Fun fact: memory foam was first designed for astronauts in the 1960s! NASA developed the foam to help counteract the pressure the astronauts faced up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

When memory foam mattresses first began to gain popularity, they had a tendency of retaining heat. Not a great choice for hot sleepers! Fortunately, with the invention of gel memory foam, this is no longer a problem. The gel foam absorbs heat, helping you stay cool all night long.

Some mattresses, like the GhostBed Luxe, combine this with other cooling elements and fabrics for a double-whammy of cool comfort. Here’s what the layers look like inside the Luxe:

  1. 1. Ghost Ice Fabric — Instantly cool to the touch, our deliciously plush cooling fabric is soft, supple and gently soothing.
  2. 2. Cooling Fiber — Woven directly into the cover is 1” of immediate cool burst airflow technology fiber.
  3. 3. Gel Memory Foam — To complete our luxurious cover, we’ve included 1” of gel memory foam to give you that “GhostHug” feeling.
  4. 4. Ghost Ice Layer — Developed by sleep scientists, our patent-pending thermo-sensitivity technology senses heat and adjusts to keep you cool, all night long.
  5. 5. Ghost Memory Foam - Imagine relieving all your aches and pains while your spine finds the perfect alignment.
  6. 6. Ghost Bounce Layer — Exclusively ours—responsive like latex, contouring like memory foam. The Ghost Bounce layer is as close as you can come to floating without leaving the ground.
  7. 7. High-Density Support Layer — Our 7.5" base layer provides ideal support, durability and longevity.

Pros Pros

  • Memory foam helps distribute your body weight evenly, supporting individual pressure points to relieve aches and pains and encourage a great night’s sleep.
  • When infused with gel and other cooling technology, memory foam mattresses can pull heat away from you as you’re sleeping.
  • Unlike spring mattresses, memory foam mattresses hold their shape longer without any worries about eventual sagging.
  • Although many think of foam as being very soft, the layers in memory foam mattresses create a firm sleeping surface that contour and support your body weight.
  • Memory foam mattresses are easy to ship and arrive at your door in a compact box.
  • Memory foam mattresses only need to be rotated every 3 months for easy maintenance.

Cons Cons

  • Some traditional (non-gel) foam may retain heat, depending on the materials used.
  • If the foam isn’t high quality and durable, you may need to replace the mattress earlier than expected.

How Long Do Memory Foam Mattresses Last?

A memory foam mattress will last about 8-10 years, and sometimes more. Similar to a spring mattress, the longevity will depend on the quality of the materials and how well you take care of your mattress. We recommend pairing with a solid foundation or base and rotating the mattress every 3 months.

So, Which Is Better - Memory Foam vs. Springs?

Choosing the perfect mattress is subjective, so the answer to this will depend on your individual needs, sleeping style and more. However, why not go with the best of both worlds? For the ultimate in comfort and contouring, a hybrid mattress that blends springy coils and cooling gel memory foam may be just what the (sleep) doctor ordered.

Compare GhostBed’s Memory Foam & Spring Mattress Options

Want to learn about GhostBed’s mattresses? We’re proud to offer 2 gel memory foam mattresses and 2 hybrid options. Here’s how they compare:

The GhostBed

The GhostBed Layers

Best Choice If...

  • You have a limited budget - but don't want to skimp on comfort or quality.
  • You need a mattress that's soft, yet supportive to alleviate back, neck, or joint pain.
  • You want a bed that's springy enough to move around on, but with minimal motion transfer so your partner doesn't wake up when you move.

Sleeper Type

  • All sleeper types: stomach, back, side, and combo.

GhostBed Flex

GhostBed Flex Layers

Best Choice If...

  • You're making the switch from a traditional innerspring mattress.
  • You love the idea of supportive coils combined with comforting gel memory foam (the best of both worlds!).
  • You want a mattress that contours to your body without making you feel "sunk in".

Sleeper Type

  • All sleeper types: stomach, back, side, and combo.
  • Couples with slightly different comfort preferences.

GhostBed Luxe

GhostBed Luxe Layers

Best Choice If...

  • Sleeping cool is a major priority.
  • You dream of a soft, yet supportive mattress, but you prefer a plusher top.
  • You're looking for relief from neck, shoulder, or hip pain.

Sleeper Type

  • Side sleepers and back sleepers who love the feeling of sleeping on a cloud.
  • Couples who prefer low motion transfer throughout the night.

GhostBed 3D Matrix®

GhostBed 3D Matrix® Layers

Best Choice If...

  • You crave the ultimate in luxury and cutting-edge sleep technology.
  • You need added support due to joint pain, arthritis, or limited range of motion.
  • You tend to sleep hot (and are tired of waking up drenched in sweat).

Sleeper Type

  • Side sleepers and back sleepers who want a soft and bouncy mattress.

Conclusion

In the battle of memory foam vs. spring mattresses, we’re partial to gel memory foam and hybrid mattresses that offer the best of both worlds. But it will always come down to your individual preferences.

No matter which type you go with, you’ll want to look for the following:

Good luck finding the ideal mattress for you, and we hope this information helps! And don’t forget—if you ever have questions, our friendly Support team is here for you. Contact us today.


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More

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