One thing is for sure: there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all sleep solution. Every person has unique sleep needs and preferences, and finding the right mattress for you is a matter of understanding your personal sleep requirements and the benefits of each type of bed.
When it comes to innerspring versus all-foam mattresses, there is no “right” answer to which is better. Your next step is to understand a little bit about how these types of mattresses are made, which sleep needs they are most helpful for, and how to determine which is best for you.
An introduction to: Innerspring and Hybrid Mattresses
There are two main types of innerspring mattresses: traditional innerspring and hybrid mattresses. Traditional innerspring beds are made with an interconnected “grid” of coils covered by a layer of wool or padding, while a hybrid mattress combines layers of foam with either an innerspring or pocketed coils.
Hybrid beds made with pocketed coils tend to minimize motion transfer better than other types of innerspring mattresses, and are the most common of type of innerspring mattress on the market today. Some hybrid mattresses use one, two and sometimes three layers of foam on top of an innerspring base for enhanced contouring and pressure point relief.
Benefits of innerspring mattresses:
– The types of coils a bed uses will change the way it feels. Many high-quality hybrid mattresses use pocketed springs, which reduce motion transfer without sacrificing support. Consequently, hybrid innerspring mattresses with pocketed coils are great for couples who need some extra support.
– Since hybrid and innerspring mattresses have negative space within each coil, these types of mattresses tend to sleep cooler than other types of mattresses.
– Hybrid innerspring mattresses that blend springs with comfort foam layers tend to be more versatile, and can provided targeted pressure point relief for those that have unique sleep needs.
– Quality hybrid and innerspring beds have thicker coils around the perimeter of the bed, so they offer great edge support that’s superior to that of all-foam beds.
– Because they are more common, hybrid innerspring and traditional innerspring mattresses tend to be more affordable than other types of mattresses — but expect to pay more for higher-quality technology and materials in certain types of hybrid beds.
An introduction to: Foam Mattresses
Foam mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. Certain foam mattresses are made using one or two types of foam, while others can have up to five different layers of complementary foams. Contrary to popular belief, the number of layers does matter — that’s because foam mattresses with three or more layers can create more dynamic support, gentler transition from top comfort layers to core support layers, and provide enhanced breathability with transitional layers.
Foam mattresses can be made of many different types of foam, including from memory foam, latex foam, or polyurethane foam. Some types of all foam mattresses have cooling gel infusions to enhance breathability and cooling. The two most popular types of high quality foam are latex (or latex alternative) and memory foam.
Benefits of latex and latex alternative foam mattresses:
– Latex and latex alternative foam is a quick-response foam that reacts quickly to movement. Consequently, latex and latex alternative foam is great for sleepers who want contouring pressure point relief but want to avoid the sinking feeling of memory foam.
– Latex and latex alternative foam is naturally breathable, so latex mattresses are a great choice for hot sleepers and those that suffer from night sweats.
– Latex foam blends the “on top” feeling of an innerspring bed with the contouring properties of memory foam, so latex and latex alternative mattresses are a good blend of pressure point relief with a “sleep on top” feel.
Benefits of memory foam mattresses:
– Since memory foam is best-in-class for motion isolation, memory foam beds are great for couples who want to continue sleeping soundly even when their partner moves around.
– Since memory foam is a slow-response foam, memory foam mattresses are a good choice for light sleepers who have a hard time getting comfortable.
– Depending on quality of materials, memory foam mattresses tend to last longer than traditional innerspring beds (but not necessarily hybrid innerspring beds).
– Memory foam is extremely adaptable to the curves of the body, so they are particular good for side sleepers and people with chronic pain near pressure points.
How to choose the right type of mattress
The type of mattress you choose depends on what your most critical sleep needs are, so it’s important to list out what matters most to you. Take a moment to determine how important each of these factors are in your sleep solution:
– Amount of support (soft vs. firm for proper spinal alignment)
– Responsiveness (slow vs. fast response)
– Pressure point relief (depending on your sleep position)
– Breathability and cooling (if you are a hot sleeper)
Different types of mattresses work for different types of sleepers, but there are some important factors to look for in any mattress you consider. Before buying a foam or a hybrid/innerspring mattress, make sure:
– The mattress comes with at least a 10-year warranty
– The company offers at least a 120 night trial
– There are clear instructions for how to return or exchange your mattress
– There is dedicated customer support should you have any trouble with your new mattress
Still not sure which type of mattress is best for you? Create your Sleep Profile to find out which mattress is best for your sleep style and needs — and get helpful tips on how to get your best sleep ever.
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