What’s Better – Memory Foam vs Latex vs Spring

There seem to be 3 heavy hitters in the mattress world when it comes to what your mattress is made out, you got Traditional Innerspring, Memory Foam, and Latex.

There exist many subcategories of these 3 mattresses, but for the most part, these are the top 3.

Since we have 3 different styles to choose from this raises a new question – “Which one is the best one?” Memory Foam vs. Latex? Latex vs. Spring? Memory foam vs. Spring?

The answer to this question is not such a cut-and-dry answer. What may be good for me to sleep on may not be right for you. What we can do instead is list the advantages and disadvantages of each to see which one works best for your needs.

How You Determine What Is Best For You

The best way to see what mattress style is best for your needs is to keep a few things in mind. Here is a list of what you should be paying attention to when buying a mattress…

  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Health
  • Motion
  • Smell
  • Size
  • Pressure points
  • Price

Being on the lookout for all the important factors is key to you finding the best mattress style.

Innerspring Mattress

The innerspring mattress is probably the most common mattress around. The innerspring mattress uses springs to support your body.

Known for being springy – easy to bounce on – mattress.

Pro’s of Innerspring Mattress

One of the biggest perks of getting an innerspring mattress is that it can be one of the cheapest of the three. Another perk is that they can be found just about anywhere, from mattress stores to online stores.

Because they are so common, people have grown accustomed to how they move and how they get out of bed. Getting out of an innerspring mattress is very different than getting out of a memory foam bed. An innerspring will allow you to “bounce” out, but a memory foam wants to suck you back in.

I’ve got to say this because I get this often; spring mattress is the best for adult activities.

Con’s of Innerspring Mattress

The biggest drawback of having an innerspring mattress is that it’s probably the worst one of the three to sleep on. The springs push back creating many pressure points that start to hurt your back. Many manufacturers try to solve this by placing pillow tops on them which only helps a little.

Innerspring also has the shortest life of all mattresses since the metal springs lose shape through the years. Some innerspring mattresses can lose around 10% of their support in the first year alone.

To keep a spring mattress from going bad, you often have to flip or rotate it. To cut cost many spring mattresses are only one-sided, but yet you’ll still need to rotate it often to keep the springs from sagging.

Why Are Spring Mattress Still Around

The biggest reason why spring mattresses are still around even though they should have faded away is due to cost. These bad boys are the cheapest around and the cheapest to make. Being cheap can mean high margins in them, and that is the biggest reason mattress stores love to carry them.

Mattress stores have more overhead and having a spring mattress with 200% markup (most of the time it’s higher) is an excellent way to stay profitable. This is why you see so many mattress stores around; those margins are attractive.

If you want to learn more about mattress shopping, I have created a guide for it here.

Memory Foam

I consider Memory Foam to be the new leader in the mattress world. The crazy part is that memory foam is not new, but to manufacture it cheaply enough for the masses is new.

The very first memory foam was created in the 60’s for Astronauts to relieve pressure points on their seats during liftoff. The memory foam mattress started to appear in the early 90’s and was given high remarks. The first memory foam mattress was quite expensive until we begun to get past 2010.

Production of memory foam got a bit cheaper because demand started to rise for them and memory foam was being used in many other objects like sofas and toys. The demand to buy online also help to decrease the cost to make memory foam mattresses. Unlike buying from a retail store, buying online has more competition which kept the price of memory foam a lot more reasonable than buying from a mattress store.

Buying a mattress online has really shaken up the mattress world as it can be cheaper and a better buying experience – no pushy salespeople.

Pro’s of Memory Foam

Comfort has got to be the best feature of a memory foam mattress. Since they don’t have springs that create pressure points a memory foam mattress will be relaxing to sleep on.

Since new memory foam mattress companies are springing up, you’ll start to see more competition and more options for mattresses. What this means is that memory foam mattresses will become cheaper and better. Even a basic memory foam mattress is far better than a nice spring mattress, so think how great it will be for future memory foam mattresses when they come out.

If you sleep with your partner in bed, then the biggest advantage is that there is no motion transfer on memory foam. Everyone’s seen the video of the person jumping up and down on a mattress and the wine glass not spill over, well that is a type of memory foam mattress. So you can easily get out of bed without waking your partner.

Since memory foam is a slab and has no moving parts, you don’t have to worry about dust mites burying themselves into the mattress.

Memory foam mattress holds up better over time compared to spring mattresses, and require less maintenance, but I still recommend a Mattress Protector*.

Con’s of Memory Foam

The biggest con of a memory foam is getting used to sleeping on it. If you’re coming from a spring mattress, then the way you get in and out is different. A spring mattress will give you feedback which you can use to bounce yourself out of the bed.

Memory foam creates a sinking feeling, like quicksand, that is perfect when trying to fall asleep but difficult when you need to get out of bed.

Some memory foam mattresses are heat sensitive so they will need you to lay on them for a couple of seconds before the foam reacts to your body heat and conforms around you. This is what creates the sinking feeling, it’s like the mattress formed a perfect mold of your body.

Some people do complain that a memory foam mattress smells, which is less of a problem with modern ones. The way they ship the mattress is by compressing it into a bag that goes into a box. The smell of the factory gets trapped in the plastic. The smell goes away after a day or two when you allow the mattress to expand and air out. I’ve slept on many different memory foam mattresses, and the smell is never a concern for me, and I’m not quite sure why the internet is all worried about it.

The last con of a memory foam mattress is that it can be tricky to do adult activities on it compared to the other 2. Just like trying anything new you’ll get used to it and won’t concern you after awhile.

The cost of a memory foam mattress can sometimes be more than a spring mattress, and I don’t think for long this will be the case, but it can cost you more to buy a memory foam mattress. Since they can last longer and degrade less over the years, it is a more sound investment.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses feel like the new guy on the block, but it’s actually kind of old. The natural latex comes from a tree called a rubber tree which leaks a sap that you can make latex from.

Latex foam which is used in mattress wasn’t discovered until a few years later. One of the very first latex mattress was introduced was in the 1930’s.

There are a lot of reasons why latex never took off, but the biggest reason was the price. Latex can be more expensive to make compared to all the other styles of mattresses. The real kicker is that Latex is probably the best to sleep on compared to the other two.

A Latex Mattress is a good example of “you get what you pay for”. Latex is one of the best mattresses to sleep on, but it comes at a bit higher of a price.

Pro’s of Latex Mattress

Latex will feel more like a spring mattress and makes the transition a lot easier if you’re coming from a spring mattress.

Latex has a better recovery time compared to memory foam which means it doesn’t create that sinking feeling and makes it easier to get out of bed.

Latex doesn’t sleep as warm as memory foam. So if you sleep hot, then you might want to consider a latex bed over the standard memory foam. There is some memory foam with a gel or other cooling factors to help keep a mattress cool, but overall I feel the latex is a better option for keeping cool.

Latex is far better than Memory Foam when performing adult activities.

Latex mattresses often have less of a chemical smell to them compared to memory foam mattresses.

Latex is known to give better support over the long term compared to the other mattresses.

Here is an excellent video showing why latex is a good mattress material…

Con’s of Latex Mattress

They’re expensive.

They do have cheaper latex mattresses but they usually are made from different forms of latex or combined with memory foam. The most common form is a small layer of natural latex foam will be put on top of other forms of cheaper latex or memory foam to give it the feel of a latex mattress. Nothing wrong with this, but an entirely Latex Mattress feels a lot better to sleep on.

The more natural a Latex mattress is, the more expensive its going to be. A fully Natural Latex is going to be the most expensive method for a Latex Mattress, but one of the best sleeps you’ll ever have. A good compromise is a hybrid latex mattress.

Since Latex is more expensive to make you see fewer manufacturers going after them thus, you have fewer options with Latex.

Due to the nature of some Latex Mattresses they can be a lot heavier than the other 3 mattresses. Not really a huge problem, but make sure you have someone help you move your mattress if you need to move it.

What I find interesting is that memory foam owners claim more pressure relief from their beds then compared to latex. I feel this is a bit off because people going to memory foam are usually coming from a spring mattress and probably never heard of a Latex mattress. Very few people go from Latex to Memory Foam so it’s hard to see this as a fact, as most individuals who own a Memory foam will eventually go with a Latex because it’s the next progression up.

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