Choosing a mattress is a big decision: after all, we spend about a third of our life sleeping! A good night’s sleep is essential to your happiness and health. From memory foam mattresses to spring and latex mattresses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options on the market. So how can you navigate all the choices on offer, to find the perfect sleep solution for your needs?
In this article, we break down the key advantages and disadvantages of latex mattresses, memory foam and springs—so you can make an informed choice.
- What is a Spring Mattress?
- What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
- What is a Latex Mattress?
- Latex vs Spring Mattress vs Foam: Pros and Cons
- How to Choose the Right Mattress for You
- Key Takeaways
What is a Spring Mattress?
A spring mattress is a type of mattress that uses coils or springs to support the body. These coils are generally made from steel, and are arranged in a grid pattern to evenly distribute weight across the mattress. Usually, spring mattresses will have a number of layers: with the core made of springs, and the external layers made of soft padding. The coils may also be wrapped in fabric or foam. This type of mattress has been around for many years, and it is still one of the most common types on the market. Spring mattresses are generally one of two types: innerspring mattresses, or pocket spring mattresses.
What is a Memory Foam Mattress?
A memory foam mattress is made from viscoelastic material called polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foam is a mix of various chemicals, including petroleum-based oils; the foam is open-celled, meaning that the cells do not touch each other. This makes the layers of memory foam more reactive to pressure and body heat, which causes it to soften and contour to your body while you sleep. This makes memory foam extremely comfortable to sleep on. The material was originally developed by NASA in the 1970s, as a way to reduce impact during aircraft landings. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that memory foam became widely used in consumer products like mattresses. Memory foam mattresses can range in firmness from soft to very firm. They’re also often used in combination with other types of mattresses, such as latex or innerspring mattresses. There are several types of memory foam mattresses, from traditional memory foam to gel memory foam and plant-based foam.
What is a Latex Mattress?
Latex mattresses use latex foam as its primary material. Latex foam is very bouncy and supportive, as it evenly distributes body weight. Latex mattresses generally fall into one of two categories: 100% natural latex or synthetic latex. Natural latex is made from the sap of rubber trees, and synthetic latex is made from petroleum-based products.
The white milk of a rubber tree is whipped to a thick and frothy consistency, before being poured into a mould where it’s left to set into a foam. As latex is made from natural materials, it’s a great choice for those who care for the environment. INNATURE is one brand, for example, made purely from organic material: with hemp, cotton and pure NZ wool used to make our latex mattress topper.
Latex vs Spring Mattress vs Foam: Pros and Cons
Latex mattresses are a popular choice for people who are looking for a high-quality, long-lasting mattress.
- Durability – can last up to twice as long as other mattress types—20-25 years. To extend longevity, the INNATURE latex mattress is double sided.
- Odour and liquid resistant – for the entire life of the latex mattress.
- Hypoallergenic and free of added chemicals – with no glues and synthetics used in production. Resistant to mould, microbes, dust mites and mildew.
- Provides pain relief and support – for pressure points such as the spine, hips and shoulders.
- Isolates movement during the night – limiting disturbance if a partner is sleeping on the other side.
- Minimises carbon footprint – as 100% natural latex mattresses are made from eco-friendly and recyclable materials.
- Natural air circulation – which has a cooling effect for hot sleepers.
- Metal free construction – no springs used.
- Higher upfront investment.
- Heavier than other mattress types, making it more difficult to set up – especially if you’re doing it on your own. To solve this issue, INNATURE latex mattresses come with strong handles on each side: so you can turn and flip it with ease. (excludes INNATURE Unik Range)
Before you purchase a spring mattress, here’s what you need to consider.
- Provides a firm sleeping surface – offering extra spinal alignment to prevent and manage chronic pain.
- More affordable – but will need replacing sooner than other mattress types.
- Well-ventilated – as the space between coils has good airflow, which keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
- Less motion isolation when moving around, as spring mattresses can be quite bouncy and loud.
- As they are not odour and stain resistant, spring mattresses will wear faster than other mattress types. Springs will gradually lose their firmness and padding will wear out over time.
- Has added chemicals to achieve microbial resistance, and dust mites can form in the gaps in the springs.
- Spring mattresses do not contour to provide cushioned comfort.
Memory Foam Mattress
Before you purchase a memory foam mattress, this is what you need to consider.
- Better weight distribution for those with back pain – reducing tossing and turning.
- “Remembers” your unique shape – cradling and contouring to your body’s shape.
- Absorbs movement – so you don’t feel it when your partner gets in or out of bed.
- Free of springs and dust mites – hypoallergenic due to the mattress’ dense construction.
- Though generally durable, memory foam isn’t naturally resistant to liquids, microbes and odour. If a memory foam mattress does claim to have these qualities, it likely has chemicals added.
- Heat retention is higher and air circulation is lower – making this an unsuitable option for hot sleepers, especially since body heat can amplify the feeling of sinking into the mattress.
- Heavier than innerspring mattresses because the material is dense: making it more difficult to set up.
How to Choose the Right Mattress for You
To find your perfect sleep solution, consider the below questions or book a free sleep consultation.
- Do you require extra support eg. for your spine or a certain injury?
- Are you or your partner a light sleeper – do you need to minimise disturbance with movement throughout the night?
- Do you want a mattress that contours to your body shape? Does it need to remember your body structure when you’re not lying on it?
- How durable does the mattress need to be – would you prefer to invest upfront, or replace it sooner and more frequently?
- How firm would you like your mattress to be – how much would you like the mattress to move when you get into bed?
- Do you sleep hot or cold? Latex has better air circulation compared to other options.
INNATURE offers a range of exceptional latex mattress products, with a variety of sizes and levels of firmness. Regardless of the product you choose, you’ll receive a high level of contour support and comfort—giving you a rejuvenating night’s sleep. INNATURE latex mattresses are handmade with love here in New Zealand: from certified natural latex, organic wool, and coconut fibre. Every latex mattress comes with a 10-year warranty, as well as a 14-day trial period.
Latex mattresses, spring mattresses, and memory foam mattresses each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. What’s important is to find the mattress that best suits your needs and sleeping habits. If you want to try out different types of mattresses before making a decision, we recommend visiting one of our local showrooms. At INNATURE, we want to make the process as easy as possible for you—whether you’re buying an organic baby mattress, a latex pillow or a new latex mattress for yourself. Visit us and find your new latex mattress today!