What is a memory foam mattress?
Memory foam is a type of man-made, viscoelastic foam that was originally invented for aeroplane seats. It was later used in hospitals to provide spinal support and lessen bed sores, before hitting the mass market in the form of mattresses and pillows. Although it’s firm to touch, it’s designed to shape to the contours of your body gradually to provide support.
Memory foam mattress: the pros
Heat sensitive. If you live in a cooler climate or have trouble staying warm, this could be the option for you.
Longer lasting. While springs can wear down over time, memory foam is designed to bounce back to its original shape time after time.
Highly supportive. If you have joint or back problems, memory foam could be the right choice as it moulds to the shape of your body to provide support.
Hypoallergenic. This type of mattress doesn’t collect dust, so if you have allergies or respiratory issues that are antagonised by dust then memory foam could be the way to go.
Shock absorption. If you sleep with a restless sleeper or a fidgeter, you won’t feel their movement as much.
Memory Foam mattress: the cons
If you live in a warm climate or you tend to get hot and bothered at night, memory foam’s heat-retaining qualities won’t suit you – although you could top your mattress with ‘cooling’ layers to help solve this problem. You may also find memory foam mattresses trickier to move around on, so if you change positions frequently during the night then this might not be the best option for you.
What is a pocket sprung mattress?
A pocket sprung mattress is a modern version of more traditional spring mattresses – designed for improved comfort and support. Other types of sprung mattress feature intertwined springs, but pocket springs are encased individually so they move independently from one another. The result is a smoother, more supportive feel.
Pocket sprung mattress: the pros
Bouncy and springy. When you lie down, you’ll feel like you’re lying on top of your mattress (rather than sinking into it).
Comfort and support. Encased springs make the mattress smoother and more supportive compared to other types of sprung mattress because they don’t transfer as much motion.
More options to choose from. Because the number of individual springs can vary dramatically from mattress to mattress, there’s more choice, so you can choose a level of firmness that works for you.
Pocket sprung mattress: the cons
When you apply pressure to a pocket sprung mattress, it doesn’t respond with the same amount of pressure (like a memory foam mattress does). This means you can feel more pressure on the hardest areas of your body – like the chest, hips and head. For some, this can be an uncomfortable experience. And if you have back or joint issues, it may not give you the level of support you need.
Memory foam vs Pocket sprung
The right mattress for you depends on your individual needs. When deciding on a mattress, here are a few important things to think about:
Heat. If you’re prone to overheating, memory foam could make this worse.
Movement. If you move around a lot during the night, a pocket sprung mattress will be more accommodating.
Bed sharing. If you share your bed with someone else, memory foam absorbs movement so you won’t be disturbed as much.
Durability. Memory foam mattresses are generally considered more durable than pocket sprung options.
Support. If you have joint or spine problems, you’re likely to find memory foam more supportive.
Feel. Firm memory foam? Or bouncy springs? Which you prefer is entirely up to you.