Luxury Mattress Types: Foam vs. Spring (vs. Innerspring)

mattress types foam vs. spring

Until trendy “memory foam” began flipping the bedding industry on its head around the turn of the millennium, it had long been the case that pretty much every luxury mattress on the market (waterbeds aside) was based on one or another type of springs.

Fueled by a lot of creative advertising and a collective fascination with “space age” synthetic materials, the foam-based mattress manufacturers eventually did an excellent job of (mis)informing Americans that spring mattresses were outdated relics of our grandparents’ generation.

But now that the dust has finally settled, those of us who already own or have at least tried a foam mattress realize that there are a lot of disadvantages (e.g., poor temperature regulation, foul chemical odors, lousy sex) that leave us missing certain aspects of spring mattresses.

Since many of today’s top luxury mattress manufacturers have already picked up on the now-resurging popularity of springs, we thought we’d help set the record straight on how today’s luxury designs are miles ahead of the spring mattresses we grew up with.

Foam vs “Springs”

Television advertisers have done a remarkable job these past 15 years in misleading consumers when it comes to spring vs. foam mattresses.

Typically in these ads, there’s some sort of wine glass positioned on one side of the bed and a bowling ball being dropped on the other, with the message always the same: “foam is in, springs are out”.

And in the traditional sense of what mattress springs used to be, these ads may have a point.

Innersprings Are Not Coils

Innerspring mattresses are what most of us think of when we think of springs in a mattress, and these outdated designs have gotten a bad wrap for good reason. They usually involve an interconnected network of cheap metal wiring that causes one section of the bed to react based on pressure being applied to another section, which is never a good thing for a couple trying to get a good night’s sleep.

But innerspring designs differ drastically from today’s advanced “coil” and micro-coil designs, which can consist of numerous isolated support zones interlinked through a careful aggregation of sometimes thousands of individual springs.

These fabric-encased coils work in harmony to provide a level of comfort that’s unlike anything else out there, and many luxury mattress buyers who chose memory foam just a few years ago now find themselves swayed toward newer micro-coil designs due to superior overall comfort.

Concluding Points

In this new world of luxury mattresses built on coils and micro-coils, it’s important to remember that the best quality mattresses will often be those with the highest coil counts. Well designed coils aren’t cheap to make, so it should come as no surprise that mattresses with the highest coil counts are usually also the best.

Not only do higher coil counts provide greater comfort and more precise joint support, but they also lose less firmness over time, leaving you with a new bed that will still feel new even several years down the road.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading The Scholar so far, and invite you to continue learning more about the world of sleep science. Continue your journey toward a better night’s sleep and Signup for The Scholar.

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