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LuckyGuy's avatar

Which type of mattress is better for "sleeping", coil spring or memory foam?

Asked by LuckyGuy (29625 points ) May 31st, 2011

It is time to replace our sagging, 15 year old coil spring mattress. Mattresses have changed quite a bit over the years and there are now so many choices in the $1500 price range it is difficult to decide.

The memory foam seems to cushion nicely but there is no bounce. It feels comfortable but dead and would require a lot more effort to change positions. Furthermore, it seems like a roll in the hay would take much more effort and not be near as bouncy and fun.

Has anyone here had experience with this type of mattress? I have no doubt it is great for sleeping but, what about amorous activities? Compared with a good coil spring bed does it help or hamper?

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30 Answers

_zen_'s avatar

I like my firm, coil mattress. Bought it about 5 years ago – your price range – and it’s still like new. But then, I don’t bounce around much.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Neither participant in said bouncing is a teenager or overweight, but the springs are durability cycled regularly.
Silly me. I thought a good mattress lasted forever. Now they say 15 years is a long time.

_zen_'s avatar

I checked around a bit – most agree with me that 10–15 years is the run for a mattress. Mine even says 10 year warrantee so that’s about right. Of course, it depends on the wear and tear – and as you mentioned, the weight of the people involved would be a factor.

If you (or your partner) are used to a medium mattress, would you consider a firm one? It’s better for the back – and lasts longer, imho.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have never personally slept on a memory foam mattress, but I can see where you might find it less than ideal for extra curricular activities. I would stick with the tried and true, personally, but I’m sure someone with experience with a foam mattress could give a better answer.
I have, however, had a memory foam mattress cover/pad, and it had zero effect on the overall bounce of the bed. Made it nice to sleep on, though. Maybe a compromise?

poisonedantidote's avatar

I used to sell beds for a few months for “Courts” in the UK.

The whole bed system thing is nonsense. Just go to a bed shop, and try a few beds. When i say try them, I don’t mean lay on them like you are doing coffin practice. Dont lay on it like a corpse on your back, get in there and get comfortable. Find one that you like, buy it, and skip on the extended guarantee and extras.

Plucky's avatar

We bought a memory foam pillow-top bed almost two years ago. For sleeping ..I absolutely love it. It’s hard to do anything else but sleep or lay there; for extra-curricular activities, it may be more difficult. Not much experience there ..these days.
The other issue is that you can’t flip a pillow-top bed. And, warranty is usually void if you do not use a mattress protector. My biggest issue with the mattress protector ..it makes us both more likely to sweat, even when not hot, in the night (while sleeping).

Our old bed was a very old spring mattress but I had a memory foam pad on it. That helped alot and mobility wasn’t really an issue.

I really love our new bed though.

Oh and yes… you really need to be willing to spend an afternoon, or more, testing beds out. Lay on them how you would at home – and for a good amount of time…and on the area of the bed you sleep on mostly. Seriously ..lay around on them, get comfy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We tried them out at the store and tested various positions: back, front, side, left spoons, right spoons. We could not run the critical test since at least one of requires a shower before any serious activity and both of us could have been arrested and charged as SO’s in this state.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Some bed industry lies:

- This one has more coils, so it’s better.

Wrong, thats just them taking advantage of the psychology of “If one is good then two is better” It’s not better. It could maybe be better for you personally, but it wont be better for everyone.

- Shapes to the contours of your body for spine support blah blah blah

Most beds specially designed to prevent back problems (orthopedic) are hard beds. Even orthopedic beds have minimum science behind them.

- Coil sprung vs barrel coil vs micro-coil vs double coil layers vs coil blocks

these things all mean “springs in foam”.

- This bed will last you 20 years, at that rate it’s less than 0.0037 cents a night!

Yea yea, it 4k. .. Don’t spend 4k on a bed, most of the 600 buck ones are just as good if not better.

- Keep you cool, keep you hot

Believe it only when you see it. When I was selling beds, this got me more complaints than any other claim.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Jeruba asked about this a few months ago, maybe there’s some helpful stuff in here…

Plucky's avatar

If you are mostly concerned about the extra curricular activies…I’d go with the coil spring mattress. You can always spend the money, that you saved, on a memory foam pad ..if you so desire. :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JilltheTooth I read that thread and Jeruba ‘s requirements were quite different from mine.

@poisonedantidote That is a great list. Fortunately the store we visited was not high pressure .It was: Here they are. Here is the price range, Feel free to try themout. Call me if you have questions.

@ANef_is_Enuf, @PluckyDog I am liking the idea of coil spring and purchasing a memory foam top.later if desired.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I probably would have realized that if I’d read through it again, sorry. It’s early and I’m a little stupid this morning… :-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JilltheTooth No problem. Didn’t Freud once say: “Sometimes sleeping is just sleeping.”
I can understand how someone of pure mind and heart would miss the implication.

@__zen__ The mattress was fine for at least 12 years and then it started to run flat -.almost as if there was a bounce counter in the coil springs and we had reached the cycle limit.

AmWiser's avatar

Hubby and I went mattress shopping yesterday, first because it’s time to buy a new one. We’ve been sleeping on a memory foam on top of our existing mattress for the past 5 years. It served us well but it’s time to go. I think each age of your life requires different comfort levels. Second, we tested quite a few mattresses but the real test will come when you get the mattress home and actually sleep on it. Finally we decided to go with Sears because of their sale and the coupons we received and also the fact that if we aren’t satisfied after 30 days we can send the mattress back and pick out another one. We decided on a Sterns & Foster coil plush mattress.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Pocket sprung with a memory foam top. Pure memory foam I find to be very uncomfortable. Pocketed springs (where each spring is confined in its own little material wrapper) offers a lot more support. A couple of inches of memory foam on top just take the harsh edge of it.

chyna's avatar

I have a coiled spring pillow top. Love it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@chyna The pillow tops were very comfortable and cuddly but I heard they wear out. Maybe that is not a problem for people in the “slight of build” class.

Plucky's avatar

@worriedguy What do you mean “wear out”?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@PluckyDog : The pillow tops can become compacted over time. I bought a foam topper at Target for $15 dollars that I can easily and cheaply change out when it wears out. I had my last one for 5 years, and saved about $150 by not buying the pillow top feature on my bed.

Plucky's avatar

@JilltheTooth Ahh, thank you. I hope ours doesn’t do that too quickly. I was worried about how long the poofiness would last. So far, it still seems like new to me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I wish you long and happy poofies!

Plucky's avatar

@JilltheTooth Lol, thank you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

And may much of your poofies be bouncy!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JilltheTooth I also had a “removable” cover for ours. I’m not sure if I made that clear in my earlier post. So, yes, when it got beat up all I had to do was replace it.

chyna's avatar

My pillowtop is 8 years old and still as poofy as it was when I bought it. @worriedguy would have us believe it is because I’m “slight of build” but apparently it’s from lack of use. :-(

Plucky's avatar

@worriedguy Thank you. I actually tested the bounciness of our bed this morning, because of this question. It’s not too bad for bounce ..however, our pillowtop is about 4–5 inches high. But I think you’d probably want it bouncier. ;)

And, to get rid of any naughty visualizations some you may be having ..I really was just bouncing. :P

chyna's avatar

Sure @PluckyDog, rub it in.~

Coloma's avatar

I bought a top o’ the line memory foam about 4 years ago. It has a 20 yr. warranty. I love it!
It is hypoallergenic, which helps my face, along with pillows of the same. It has zero turbulence when sleeping with others, ( yes, it has been tested with a few sleepovers, although I remain happily single. lol)

The new bed excitement has faded, but, honestly, I still think to myself at least once a week…” Aaaah, I love my bed!” ;-)

LuckyGuy's avatar

I ended up getting a good, firm, coil spring model. I figure I can always add a memory foam top later.
So far it is better than the 15 year old mattress – there’s no sag in the middle.

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