Memory Foam vs Pocket Springs - Which one too choose?
June 25, 2007 5:23 AM   Subscribe

Which bed mattress would you pick? Mattress with 3,600 Pocket springs or Memory Foam?

Both at the same price, and both have the same comfort levels.

Can anyone share their experiences?
posted by friedbeef to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Which one is going to absorb more body oils and odors over the years? Which is going to have more structural durability over the long term?

You don't want your memory foam getting alzheimers or your your individual pokets to smell like where the dog peed 3 years ago.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:29 AM on June 25, 2007

I had have a memory foam bed pad. While it made my bed wildly comfortable, something about the foam also irritated my asthma. If you have any respiratory issues, I'd go with the standard mattress.
posted by headspace at 5:40 AM on June 25, 2007

memory foam can be very polarizing (my parents have one that i hate, but i have a memory foam pad on a regular mattress, which i love). you may want to check with your partner before you invest.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:49 AM on June 25, 2007

I wonder if your best option might not be the spring mattress with add-on memory foam topper if you find the spring isn't perfectly comfortable?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:32 AM on June 25, 2007

My bed is memory foam, and it's glorious. Go for the foam.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:53 AM on June 25, 2007

Although I have and love my memory foam (but with pillow top) mattress, something you may not have considered: The foam traps heat like you wouldn't believe. If you're a sweaty sleeper, this will only make it worse. If you like to be very cool while you're sleeping, memory foam is probably not for you. :)
posted by Andrhia at 7:00 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do you toss and turn a lot in your sleep? I do and memory foam is incredibly uncomfortable for me. Not noticeable in the store when you're lying there and it's all comfy as you're still.
posted by meerkatty at 7:05 AM on June 25, 2007

We have a Joseph Abboud series mattress from Simmons. It has double the number of coils as the regular Simmons mattress, as well as a pillow-top with memory foam in it. It's one of the closest models you can get to the Westin Heavenly Bed without actually BUYING a Heavenly Bed. (If you've never slept in a Westin Heavenly Bed, get thee to a Westin!)

I LOVE my mattress. As a side-sleeper, I like that the coils conform to your curves so that that there isn't any undue stress on one part of your body. A few friends have bought straight foam (Tempur-Pedic style), and my understanding is that they haven't held up well, but YMMV.
posted by clpage at 7:06 AM on June 25, 2007

I've slept on all manner of surfaces: memory foam mattresses, memory foam pads atop average mattresses, good mattresses, bad mattresses, high density non-memory foam, motion-isolating mattresses, futons, floors, dirt, rugs, and everything in between.

The worst sleep I've ever had always involved memory foam. You know why they call them "NASA beds?" Because they reflect heat like reentry tiles. There is absolutely no way whatsoever a memory foam mattress can absorb and vent enough heat to be comfortable.

At the moment there's a memory foam layer atop my bed -- in concession to the preferences of its other sleeper -- and after owning the thing for a few months, now it's just a morass of squishiness with next to no bodily support. I'd get a better night's sleep on the floor.

Do not bother with memory foam. It's made out of two toxic ingredients: hype and discomfort.
posted by majick at 7:19 AM on June 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

I recently bought a foam mattress and it is a wholly different sensation from a spring mattress.

I would recommend trying both out in a shop showroom before you buy and be sure to try your favourite sleeping position out - even if that means contorting in public. My favoured position to fall asleep in is on my front and it takes alot of getting used to on a foam mattress.

My mattress is not memoryfoam, its actually very firm and doesn't mould to me that much but it took a while to not feel a bit suffocated on my front. I can imagine that a memoryfoam mattress would be even trickier for a belly sleeper.

This leaflet
(PDF) from the UK Sleep Council has some advice for buyers that I found useful.
posted by Ness at 7:22 AM on June 25, 2007

If you're in the mood for an additional option, do yourself a favor and consider the Select Comfort bed. We've owned one for a year, and it's by far the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in.
posted by Work to Live at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2007

Another option: plain old spring mattress with a featherbed. We have a pretty low-end mattress but the featherbed has been absolutely amazing. Some things to consider: It requires fluffing every few days and you have to find the right featherbed cover. The one we bought from Bed, Bath & Beyond reflected heat like reentry tiles but the one I bought off amazon is great.
posted by puritycontrol at 8:03 AM on June 25, 2007

Similar to puritycontrol we went standard spring + featherbed. My partner hated it (before it was even on). I, thinking it would be great (and figuring partner would eventually cave), found out that if you're buying a featherbed that in fact, the cover is the key. Otherwise you are constantly being stabbed by feathers (no, seriously, they're pokey). Any sort of foam is way too sweaty and clammy. In our camper trailer, we bought a thick cotton pad (or a very thin mat) as a topper from Ikea. This is good.
posted by kch at 8:32 AM on June 25, 2007

There is absolutely no way whatsoever a memory foam mattress can absorb and vent enough heat to be comfortable.

Wow, that's a pretty unequivocal statement. I love my memory foam mattress topper. That you don't like memory foam doesn't quite equate to 'absolutely no way'. It's a YMMV sort of thing.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:40 AM on June 25, 2007

I'm another vote against the memory foam. I'm a toss and turner and a hot sleeper with a touch of claustrophobia. Laying on one of those things, sweating and feeling it suck up around me is honestly miserable. (Although I have had good luck with featherbeds in the past).
posted by mostlymartha at 10:11 AM on June 25, 2007

I love my memory foam. I need 30-60 minutes less sleep every night.

I disagree with those who say they are furnaces. I hate being hot when I sleep and I find it to be slightly cooler than my old spring mattress. But I don't live in the tropics. I also have one of the firmer mattresses, so it might be because I don't sink as far.

Some people hate them though. My money would be on getting a high quality memory foam mattress from somewhere that has a 30-90 day return policy.

meerkatty is correct that they're not great for those who toss a lot, but I found I'm so much more comfortable I don't want to move as much.
posted by Ookseer at 10:26 AM on June 25, 2007

I like a spring mattress, no pillow top, the firmer the better. I used to have back pain, but when I started sleeping on Sealy's best non-pillow-top extra-firm mattress, that went away.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:29 PM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

It kind of depends on what you plan on doing in bed (aside from sleeping), but if you're used to things working a certain way with a spring mattress, note that a foam mattress will absorb physical energy placed upon it instead of having a "bounce" or rebound. You know what I'm talking about.

Also, I've found the foam to be hot as well, but it's slightly technically inaccurate to say it "reflects" heat. Foam is just a very effective insulator, so the mattress just feels warm because it's sucking less heat away from your body than anything else. The heat isn't being reflected, it's just moving verrrrrrry slowly.
posted by LionIndex at 12:45 PM on June 25, 2007

We had a pillow-top, lots-of-coils mattress for years and years, and when it no longer gave us support, we gave it to our kids and got another. They last long, and they don't make you hot when you sleep. If you sleep with someone else and want to have a sex life when it is above 80 degrees, don't go for foam.
posted by misha at 4:24 PM on June 25, 2007

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