Pocket-sprung mattresses have been the most popular for many years now. However, there are plenty of challengers in the shape of memory foam and latex. The modern-day mattress can arrive in a box, and some even overnight! There is no obvious best mattress type, what works for you will depend on your needs. Read on to find out the differences between Memory Foam, Sprung, Latex and Hybrid mattresses.
What is an Open-sprung mattress?
An open-sprung mattress contains one long piece of wire coiled into springs. It also has a border rod of wire that gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape.
Pros: Great value for money. They are lighter than other mattresses, so easier to turn, and can be turned in all directions, which extends the life of the mattress.
Cons: As the springs are all connected, open-sprung mattresses are less responsive to your body and overall, less supportive.
Best for: Occasional use. They’re also ideal for children’s bedrooms, as they’re less expensive, so can be upgraded as your little ones grow.
Image credit: Georgia Burns
What is a Pocket-sprung mattress?
Pocket-sprung mattresses are more luxurious, with up to 3,000 individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets. They tend to have hand-stitched sides for strong, stable edges.
Pros: The springs move independently to support your body. They come in a choice of tensions – soft, medium or firm – meaning good support whatever your weight.
Cons: Because of the density of the fillings, pocket-sprung mattresses can be heavy to turn. They’re usually filled with natural materials, like lambswool, which can exacerbate allergies.
Best for: The separate springs make them ideal for two people of different weights. They’re also available to buy with two sides of a different firmness.
What is a Memory-foam mattress?
Memory foam is a mouldable material. The most well known type of memory-foam mattress is Tempur, a material famously developed by NASA. Now here comes the science bit – it’s composed of billions of viscoelastic cells, which respond to your temperature and weight.
Pros: It feels the same on any bed base. When warm, it moulds to the body and absorbs weight, essentially relieving pressure from the joints.
Cons: As the foam moulds to the body it can feel too close and claustrophobic. This same sinking feeling means you can become quite warm, although high-quality memory foam mattresses are more breathable these days.
Best for: Supportive, good for allergy sufferers and helpful for people with joint pain or a bad back. It has a unique feel, so you’ll love it or hate it. Either way if you’ve never slept on one before it might take a few nights to get used to.
What is a Latex mattress?
Natural latex is white liquid tapped from the trunks of rubber trees. This is blended with synthetic latex and turned into latex foam, using the Talalay process, which produces the finest polymer.
Pros: Latex is breathable, so you won’t overheat. Exceptionally durable, its resilient feel also makes it good for those who prefer a firmer bed.
Cons: Some think these mattresses have a rather solid feel, and they can be heavy and difficult to move. Cheaper versions can develop lumps and body impressions.
Best for: Those with allergies (except latex) and asthma, as latex doesn’t harbour dust mites. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.
Image credit: David Giles
What is a Sprung memory-foam mattress?
A sprung memory-foam mattress is a hybrid of a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer.
Pros: A compromise between the responsiveness of a pocket-sprung mattress and the support of memory foam. There’s also no need to turn the mattress.