Did you know that we spend approximately a third of our lives asleep? Sleep provides us with vital rest and much-needed comfort at the end of a long day. So it only makes sense to find a mattress that is as supportive as it is snug.
With so many different types of mattresses on the market, it can be hard to know which is the best one for you. After all, you should be aiming to get something that will last you for the next 5 to 10 years. Individuals who purchase mattresses online without viewing the mattress in person risk selecting the wrong mattress for their needs.
We want to save you the hassle by explaining everything you need to know about different types of mattresses: memory foam, pocket sprung and hybrid. Each mattress type comes with its own pros and cons, but this handy guide will help you find the best type of mattress for you.
What is the difference between memory foam and pocket sprung mattresses?
Memory foam mattresses
Memory foam mattresses are created using a man-made viscoelastic foam, meaning the main component of the mattress is polyurethane plastic. It was originally invented for aeroplane seats and was then adopted by hospitals to reduce bed sores and provide spinal support to patients before hitting the mainstream market.
They are completely hypoallergenic as they do not collect dust, making them particularly great for people with allergies. However, some do not like the plastic smell first released from the mattress when it arrives.
- Memory foam mattresses evenly distribute your weight, by moulding to the shape of your body. This then cushions your joints and reduces stress on pressure points.
- Memory foam mattresses are highly reputable for enhancing sleep quality and providing great comfort.
- Unlikely to disturb your partner when asleep, as it's able to isolate movements and motions.
- Generally, are able to last longer than other mattress types.
- Memory foam mattresses resist dust mites, preventing allergies from being aggravated.
- Memory foam mattresses are generally more expensive than pocket sprung mattresses.
- Because memory foam retains heat, sleepers might find it too hot to sleep.
- Memory foam is heavy due to it's density, making it difficult to move.
- New memory foam mattresses may have an initial odour, due to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
- Some people don't like the idea of 'sinking' into their mattress.
Pocket sprung mattresses
An improvement on traditional spring mattresses, a pocket sprung mattress is made of between 600 and 3000 coils that are encased individually. Each spring moves independently to adapt quickly to different weights and sleep positions.
With pocket sprung you can customise the firmness of your mattress depending on the spring count. A higher spring count generally provides better support and breathability.
- Spring mattresses are more affordable compared to other mattress types.
- Provides excellent airflow circulation, offering a cooler sleeping experience.
- Provide a springy feeling, meaning when you lie down, you will feel like you are lying on top, rather than sinking into the mattress.
- Pocket springs work independently, meaning that you're less likely to wake your partner if you move around during the night, compared to an open coil mattress.
- Pocket Sprung mattresses offers more support than memory foam for heavier people.
- Pocket sprung mattresses require rotating and flipping to maintain longevity.
- Doesn't provide the same level of comfort or support as a memory foam mattress does.
- Springs can make noise.
- Due to being filled with natural materials, such as wool, pocket sprung mattresses can exacerbate certain allergies.
A hybrid mattress is exactly what it says on the tin, it uses both memory foam and pocket springs in different layers to give you the best of both worlds. Generally, the springs provide a support layer and a foam layer on top provides comfort. This allows you to adapt the firmness of the mattress and balances the benefits of a body contouring foam top and a bouncy, supportive core.
- Usually feature a unique combination of a pocket sprung mattress and memory foam mattress to provide a mix of joint and back support, suitable for all sleeping positions.
- Able to offer a cooler sleeping experience compared to memory foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses have cooling properties to help regulate body temperature.
- Able to isolate movements, preventing you from disturbing your partner's sleep.
- Hybrid mattresses tend to be more expensive than memory foam mattresses.
- Hybrid mattresses can get very heavy, making them difficult to move.
- Have a shorter lifespan compared to other mattress types.
Pocket Sprung Vs Memory Foam Vs Hybrid - What’s the best type of mattress for…
Back pain and alignment support
If you suffer from back or joint pain, maintaining your spinal alignment is key for getting a good night’s sleep and taking the pressure off your problem areas. Memory foam mattresses are widely regarded as the best for body contouring and posture as they are initially firm to the touch, but designed to gradually mould around your body. This distributes your weight evenly, reducing the pressure on the hardest areas of your body like your hips and head.
So if you want to wake up feeling refreshed and supported, a memory foam mattress may well be the way forward.
However, if you like the bounce and firmness of a traditional mattress, you might want to look at hybrid mattress options. A pocket sprung support layer will help build a firm foundation and the top comfort layer of memory foam will still shape to your body to support your spine and weight perfectly. Read up on the best mattresses for back pain.
Style of sleeping
Everyone sleeps differently, but we will look at the most common sleep positions and which mattress serves them best. Most people are side sleepers, finding it a natural way to sleep. A memory foam mattress is best for side sleepers as it relieves the pressure put on your hips, knees and shoulders as it adapts to your shape.
A pocket sprung mattress cannot adapt as well, so you are more likely to get bedsores if you lie on your side. If you sleep on your front, a memory foam mattress is also perfect for you for this reason.
If you mainly sleep on your back, your best investment is a pocket sprung mattress. The springs are each individually contained in fabric and then sewn together, meaning the mattress provides the same support and firmness from head to toe.
Whilst foam mattresses can adapt to your shape, they are heat sensitive, so you may find yourself overheating while you sleep. The best option for regulating your temperature is a pocket sprung mattress. The fillings used will keep you warm but are less likely to overheat and disturb your sleep.
Maintenance and durability
A memory foam mattress is probably going to last the longest. They generally last between 10 and 15 years because the foam is designed to bounce back after use, preventing it from sagging. This also makes it a very low maintenance mattress as you do not need to flip and turn it to even wear.
A pocket sprung mattress is not far behind, generally lasting between 8 and 10 years. However, the natural fillings are more likely to sag over time and springs do wear down. reducing the support and buoyancy of the mattress over time, and requiring rotation and turning to try and hamper the wear and tear.
A hybrid mattress is the least durable mattress, and it is recommended that they are replaced every 7 years. Most are single-sided with the memory foam providing a top comfort layer, so they generally only need to be rotated and not turned.
Movement in bed
Memory foam mattresses are generally harder to move on than a pocket sprung bed. A pocket sprung mattress is full of bounce and spring and as each spring is individually contained, moving in bed is much easier.
However, if you are sharing a bed with someone who tosses and turns in the night, you might want to pick memory foam or a hybrid. Foam is much better at shock absorption, meaning you will not be able to feel a restless sleeper as much as you would on a traditional mattress.
Which mattress is the most budget-friendly?
If you are keeping an eye on your pennies, a pocket sprung mattress is definitely going to be easier on the bank balance. Memory foam mattresses are generally more expensive, but a hybrid mattress is the most expensive option on the market.
As it uses a combination of both memory foam and pocket springs, the higher price tag makes sense. To find out more, read our guide on how much a good mattress costs.
In the battle of pocket sprung vs memory foam vs hybrid, there are lots of factors to take into account. Everyone sleeps differently and prefers a different level of firmness and support. Each person will have a different ideal mattress, and you have to balance what is most important to your sleep in order to make the best decision for you.
In most of the key aspects of support and endurance, a memory foam mattress is going to serve you best. However, overheating in your sleep can interrupt your rest and ultimately lead to a bad night’s sleep. A pocket sprung mattress will handle this better, so is probably the best option if you struggle to regulate your temperature at night. If you have a little more money to spend, a hybrid mattress can give you the benefits of both and might be the easiest way to get the best of these sleep technologies.