Innerspring vs Memory Foam Mattress Comparison: Which Is Best? Update 05/2024

Memory foam or innerspring? If you’ve found yourself here, I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing: Two of the most common materials used in mattresses nowadays are, after all. The truth is, both can make fantastic beds, but there’s only one that really stands out in my opinion.

Because of this, in addition to mentioning each material’s unique history and qualities, as well as it’s cost and longevity, I’ll also tell you which one I think is the best fit for you. It’s going to be Innerspring vs. Memory foam for this one.

To Layla’s credit, this video was made possible by her generosity. Check out my Layla mattress and pillow reviews for more information on the company. Check out the rest of my conversation with Layla’s founder, Akrum Sheikh, by clicking here.

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First, a Brief History


It wasn’t until 1871 that German inventor Heinrich Westphal built the world’s first innerspring mattress, even though the steel coil spring was first patented for chair support in 1857. It was an instant hit and has since become a standard in many a bedroom around the world. With a firm, supportive, and bouncing feel, innerspring mattresses are popular with those who prefer to sleep “on top” of the bed than “within” it.

The bulk of an innerspring mattress is made up of a steel coil support structure that is topped by a relatively thin layer of foam. I normally recommend these mattresses for stomach and mixed sleepers because they lack a lot of giving.

As other mattress materials, like memory foam, have entered the market, the innerspring has lost some of its lusters. This is because it has been the default option for most of modern mattress history (really, beds didn’t differ much from this design until the early 1990s).

Pros & Cons of an Innerspring Mattress


  • Coil-based mattresses tend to last longer than memory foam mattresses since they are more resilient.
  • Use a well-established support system that has been in use for more than a century.
  • The use of memory foam has become increasingly common in traditional innerspring types as well.
  • Comparable memory foam models tend to be more expensive.
  • An innerspring bed may accommodate any kind of sleeping preference.
  • Traditionalists will like the responsiveness (easier to move around)
  • Budget-conscious shoppers would like this option.


  • If the bed isn’t the right fit for the sleeper’s body shape and sleeping posture, they may feel the springs.
  • Some mattresses need to be rotated and flipped in order to increase their lifespan.
  • It’s really tough to clean them because you can’t normally take the cover off.
  • Many innerspring models are being phased out in favor of hybrid versions.
  • Disadvantageous in minimizing the transmission of motion (although pocketed coil systems and memory foam layers on top have improved this aspect quite a bit)

Memory Foam

Memory foam is the furthest thing from innerspring as a material. Originally developed by NASA in the 1970s to increase spaceship seat cushioning, memory foam is well-known for its sinkage and body-contouring qualities. Despite the fact that the material is no longer solely cosmic, it still has a future vibe to it.

In my experience working with the material, I’ve found that it’s really resilient and able to take a lot of punishment. Memory foam mattresses are similar to long periods of lying on soft grass; they gradually adapt to the specific contours of your body as time passes. With this mattress, you’ll be able to sink more deeply into it, making it ideal for side sleepers who need extra cushioning around the shoulders and hips.

Pros & Cons of a Memory Foam Mattress


  • Minimizes pain by reducing pressure areas
  • Comfort options for a wide variety of preferences are available.
  • You won’t be able to tell your spouse is moving because of how good you are at motion isolation.
  • the cooling technique is being used in a variety of memory foams.
  • Dust mites can’t build up in memory foam because it’s hypoallergenic. Most come with a washable cover.


  • In general, they cost a little more than innerspring mattresses.
  • Over time, the edges of some memory foam mattresses may begin to sag.
  • Heat is retained by some foams.
  • It may take some time for the off-gassing odor to go away.
  • The lack of reaction does not sit well with everyone.

Main Differences Between Memory Foam and Innerspring

The most striking distinctions between the materials’ profiles are now clear, so let’s explore them more! To better understand their differences, I’ve decided to categorize them into the following three sections: heat, sinkage, and bounce.


Memory Foam

  • When it comes to sleeping, memory foam mattresses have a reputation for overheating. The material is so dense that it readily absorbs and retains heat from the body. The deeper they sink into the memory foam structure, the hotter they get. This can be a serious problem for people who sleep hot at night.
  • However, a number of manufacturers have found a way to alleviate this problem by injecting their memory foam layers with specific components like gel or copper. Using these infusions helps to remove the heat and keep everything at a comfortable temperature


  • Because of the increased amount of ventilation created by the crevices between the coils, innerspring mattresses often sleep cooler than memory foam ones. In the middle of the night, this breathability helps keep temperatures stable.
  • All of this, however, is very dependent on the other elements that go into an innerspring bed. You might not sleep as cool if the mattress is created with a large layer of foam on the top, for example.


Memory Foam

  • There is a lot of sinkage in memory foam because of the material’s delayed response time to pressure. Allows each sleeper’s individual curvature to adjust to the material and provides a lot of relief and comfort.
  • Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, don’t all produce the same degree of sinkage; it all depends on how much foam is used and how well it’s made. For example, Layla’s sinkage is just right; it won’t leave you feeling suffocated.


  • Innerspring mattresses, as I indicated before, are quite bouncy, therefore they don’t have any linkage at all. As a result, people who sleep in these beds may feel more like they’re “on top of” them rather than “in” them.
  • This isn’t always the case, as the other materials in the mattress play a significant role.


Memory Foam

  • Because memory foam absorbs rather than counteracts pressure, there is no bounce to the material, as we discussed in our sinkage explanation above.
  • This can sometimes give the impression of being “trapped” in bed, making it difficult to get up and move.
  • For people who sleep with a snoring partner, this means that memory foam mattresses are excellent at transferring motion.


  • However, innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, are incredibly bouncy, causing the sleeper to feel as if they are lying on top of the mattress rather than within it.
  • An innerspring lift provides good mobility, which means that combo sleepers will be able to get around with ease.


Aside from the obvious distinctions, the long-term usefulness of each material must also be taken into account. Of course, you’ll want to know how long your mattress will endure before you spend your money on it. While there isn’t a hard and fast rule, high-quality steel coil innerspring mattresses tend to last longer than their memory foam counterparts.

However, the quality of the materials in the bed, not merely the sorts of materials themselves, is what determines its long-term endurance. A high-quality memory foam (think: thick and dense) will last as long as a coil support system, if not longer, in most circumstances.

Check out the guarantee on a mattress to see if it contains high-quality materials. Products with a longer warranty are more durable (usually).


Finally, you may be thinking about which material will be the most expensive for your project. Innerspring mattresses are often less expensive than memory foam mattresses, but there is no hard and fast rule. Nevertheless, it’s important not to confuse a low price with “value,” which takes into account the bed’s features, benefits, and overall quality as well.

Even though an innerspring mattress is inexpensive, it won’t provide relief for a side sleeper who suffers from severe pressure points. Back sleepers who don’t have a lot of trouble sleeping generally don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a memory foam mattress simply because the Internet says it’s the greatest.

Memory foam mattresses like the Layla provide all the advantages of memory foam (plush pressure relief and comfy sinkage) at a price that won’t break the bank, in my opinion.


Since we’ve gone through each material’s background and differences, talked about how long they’ll last, and weighed their relative costs, it’s time to offer a few final suggestions to help you decide between innerspring and memory foam.

Memory Foam

  • For individuals who prefer a soft and soothing sleep experience, this mattress is ideal.
  • As a result, memory foam mattresses are my go-to choice for side sleepers in need of pressure alleviation at the hips and shoulders.


  • It has a lot of bounce, which could be ideal for those who need to shift positions frequently as they sleep.
  • Since memory foam mattresses tend to be softer, folks who like a firmer mattress may prefer innerspring models.

For most people, it doesn’t matter if innerspring or memory foam is a better mattress material, but rather which one is best for their personal sleep preferences and needs.

Is there anything else you’d like to know? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on the video above or by contacting me on social media.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses, like innerspring mattresses, have their advantages and disadvantages. Another great benefit of memory foam mattresses is their ability to relieve pressure. As a result of the material’s shape-meeting properties, sleepers experience less strain on their joints and heavier body parts.

Memory foam, on the other hand, has an excellent elasticity. When sleeping on a memory foam mattress, people will notice that the material conforms to their body shape, giving them the feeling of being embraced once more.

Memory foam also isolates motion pretty nicely for couples. There should be no movement on either side of the mattress for the sake of intimacy. Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, rarely create a sound when you move around on them. Even if one uses the restroom three times in the course of a single night, it should have no effect on their partner’s sleep. For couples, these mattresses are among the best available on the market.

Consequently, memory foam’s most significant shortcoming is its inability to regulate body temperature effectively. Memory foam, to put it frankly, can be a little on the sweltering side. Sleeping on a hotter surface is actually possible because of this material’s ability to insulate. In order to keep sleepers warm, it can reflect their own body heat back to them.

As a result of this, not every memory foam mattress is going to be too warm to sleep on. To help with heat dissipation, many businesses use a cooling infusion such as gel, graphite, or copper. If you’re considering a memory foam mattress, keep a lookout for these infusions. Be sure to check out our explanation of “gel memory foam” in our related post.

Compared to innerspring mattresses, which are more responsive, memory foam mattresses are less so. This can make moving around on a memory foam mattress considerably more difficult. Those who frequently change roles or have mobility challenges should be especially aware of this.

When they are first opened, memory foam mattresses might have a strong chemical smell. At first, “mattress off-gassing” can be a bothersome odor. However, it will all be over in a few days.

Memory foam can finally sag. Low-density memory foam mattresses can begin to reveal body indentations after a few months of use. Mattresses can lose their ability to provide adequate comfort and support when this occurs.

Who Should Get An Innerspring Mattress?

  • Who enjoy sleeping on top of their mattress. Sleepers won’t sink too deep if they’re on top of an innerspring cushion. Those who don’t like to sink into their mattress will find this sort excellent.
  • People who prefer to be mobile. When compared to memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses are considerably bouncy and responsive. Innerspring mattresses are best for persons who sleep in a variety of positions, as well as those who have mobility concerns.
  • People who like to sleep hot. When it comes to heat retention, memory foam mattresses are notoriously bad, but innerspring mattresses rarely have this issue. The coils help regulate the mattress’s temperature, allowing for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
  • Those in need of more assistance. Memory foam mattresses, on the other hand, often lack the stability of coils. This makes innerspring mattresses great for stomach sleepers, heavier persons, and those who require additional support.

Who Should Get A Memory Foam Mattress?

  • Those who enjoy sinking deeper and deeper into their mattresses. Memory foam is truly the best material for bedding. It allows sleepers to gradually sink into the mattress. Memory foam mattresses are a great option for those who want to sleep “in” rather than “on top” of their bed.
  • People who prefer to sleep on their sides are known as side sleepers. The primary goal of side sleeping is to relieve strain on the lower back and hips. There are few materials that provide the level of comfort provided by memory foam. When you sleep on a memory foam mattress, especially one with a thicker comfort layer, you can rest assured that your shoulders and hips will be supported as you sleep.
  • Pain-affected individuals. Those with hip and muscle problems can also benefit from memory foam mattresses. Memory foam is primarily designed to relieve pressure points. People who suffer from chronic pain can greatly benefit from the cradling effect I described earlier.
  • Couples. In terms of motion isolation, memory foam is an excellent choice. Memory foam is able to isolate movements from one side of the bed to the other, absorbing the movements of the other partner. A memory foam mattress is better for couples’ sleep.


The fight is over. The choice between memory foam and innerspring mattresses should be considerably clearer at this stage. It’s understandable that you’d be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information at your disposal. But remembering this information can make the process of purchasing a mattress much easier.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or need a personal referral!


What is an innerspring mattress?

In the mid-1800s, innerspring was originally employed for chair support, and later in mattresses, to provide support. A steel coil support structure and a thin foam topper make up the majority of an innerspring.

What is memory foam?

Before it was utilized in mattresses, NASA’s memory foam was developed as a cushioning material for bed sheets. Because of its sinking and body-contouring capabilities, it takes time to adapt to the individual morphologies of each wearer.

Do memory foam mattresses sleep hotter than innerspring mattresses?

Many businesses have started including cooling features into their memory foam mattresses in an effort to alleviate some of the memory foam’s most common concerns, such as the fact that it sleeps hot. Mattresses with inner springs tend to be cooler than memory foam ones because the spaces between the coils allow for better air circulation.

Will a memory foam mattress or innerspring mattress last longer?

Generally speaking, memory foam and innerspring mattresses are built to survive for many years, although the innerspring mattresses have a tiny advantage over memory foam when it comes to durability. Steel coils of superior grade are known for their long-term durability.

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