Which mattress is better - a spring or a foam mattress

Foam vs. Bonnel vs. Pocket Spring Mattress. Which is Better?

Foam vs. Bonnel vs. Pocket Spring Mattress. Which is Better?

Which Mattress is better – a spring mattress or a polyurethane foam mattress?

ParametersBonnel systemPocket systemFoam
Price From£89£299£179
StiffnessDepends on the base.Depends on the padDepends on foam density
Service lifeApproximately 5-7 years.Up to 10 years7-8 to 10 years.
HeightFrom 14cm.From 19cm.From 15cm.
PackageFull sizeFull size/RolledRolled
Orthopaedic characteristicsBasic levelThe higher the spring density, the more pronouncedDependent on foam density
DurabilityBasic LevelHigh Level.Dependent on foam density
ComfortBasic levelHighMedium to High

Table of Content:

Foam vs. Bonnel vs. Pocket Spring Mattress. Which is Better?

When choosing a mattress to sleep on, many people face the problem of Which Mattress is better: an innerspring mattress with Bonnell or pocket sprung, or a polyurethane foam mattress? PPU (Polyurethane) or, as it is also called by manufacturers, synthetic latex, is often used as the basis of construction. It provides pretty good elastic support for the body and is not inferior to springs. Each mattress type construction has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Innerspring mattresses

How do innerspring models differ by the type of construction?
All innerspring products can be divided into two broad categories: Products on dependent block Bonnel and models with pocket sprung (system of many individually packed springs).

Type of spring

  • Traditional spring mattress (Bonnell). Typically, such spring systems are used in constructions of the budget category. Everyone is familiar with the Bonnell spring system. It is a metal frame, which consists of two steel frames, in which there are springs. Since all the springs are connected to each other, the load on one spring causes the additional compression of the neighboring springs. The average number of springs: 120 springs per square meter.
  • Independent spring units are more modern designs. An independent spring system consists of a number of springs, each encased in nonwoven material. The most commonly used material is Spandbond. It fixes the spring so that it is compressed only vertically. The more independent springs per square meter, the better and more expensive the coil mattresses.

Advantages and disadvantages of innerspring mattresses with Bonnel Spring Core

Advantages of Bonnel spring

Bonnel spring core

Lower cost compared to products with the same height of PPU.

Bonnel is a proven and reliable option that has been in use for a hundred years. If you buy this mattress, you can be sure that this construction (observing all the rules) will serve you for a long time.

Disadvantages of Bonnel Spring

Bonnel block mattresses do not provide adequate orthopaedic support for the body. This disadvantage is due to the dependent construction of the springs, which under load drag the neighbouring springs. The surface is pressed unevenly under the weight of the body, which results in the back not assuming the correct position during rest.

Due to their construction, they are not suitable for couples. Firstly, the interconnected springs easily transmit vibrations. If one partner sleeps restlessly and constantly turns over, the other partner will feel all the vibrations, even in a large double bed. Second, if one partner weighs significantly more, he or she presses harder on the surface, and the lighter partner gradually rolls away from the heavier one. As a result, sleeping comfort suffers significantly. To maintain harmony in the family, it is recommended to buy a mattress with an independent spring block.

As a rule, such products are designed for a weight of up to 90 kg, but there are also models with reinforced Bonnell blocks that can withstand more weight. They are more expensive – their price is close to the designs with independent springs. When used in unheated rooms, the springs may creak.

Advantages and disadvantages of Pocket Sprung Mattresses

Independent spring core
This is how a mattress on an independent innerspring core looks on average.

pocket sprung system

Advantages of Pocket Sprung

Better orthopaedic support for the body. Since each spring flexes individually under the load, the mattress perfectly adapts to the contours of the human body. This support is especially important for the health of the spine. It is naturally curved in the shape of the Latin S. The springs perfectly fit the curves of the body and prevent the body from sinking into the mattress.

To save money, you can buy a single-sided version with only one side of the bedding.

Good for couples. Since the springs are not connected to each other, they do not transmit vibrations to the neighbouring springs. If one partner turns over or gets out of bed during sleep, the other will not feel a thing. For partners with significant weight differences, there are special double-spring elements.

Disadvantages of Pocket Sprung

Mattresses with these spring systems are more expensive. This is especially true for the more advanced versions. Spring models require more careful handling. They should not be stepped on or used as a trampoline. If these rules are not followed, the springs will quickly become unusable.

If the permissible load is exceeded or the conditions of use are not observed, one or more springs may come loose, making it uncomfortable to sleep on such a surface.

When choosing a bed, pay attention to the height of the filling. Models with a 2 cm layer of fabric over the springs are preferable.

Foam Mattresses – Foam vs. Bonnel vs. Pocket Spring Mattress.

Mattresses made of polyurethane foam

Products made of polyurethane foam are in no way inferior to innerspring models.
Polyurethane foam is a modern artificial material. Its foam structure provides excellent orthopaedic properties. The open pores are compressed under load, imitating the work of the spring block. There are several types of polyurethane foam mattresses:

They are made from a single piece of material. Monoblock foam mattresses are among the most affordable. Manufacturers often roll them up for more convenient transport.
Products in which the foam board serves as the basis of the structure. With such models, you can save money. A high product, made entirely of natural latex, is several times more expensive than the same model with a latex top layer and a high foam board inside.
Laminated mattresses. As a rule, these are the most durable models that can withstand the most weight. However, they cost considerably more. What is polyurethane foam? Properties and advantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Mattresses – Which Mattress is Better?

Advantages of polyurethane foam

Unlike pocket sprung products, polyurethane foam mattresses include thin models that can be used as toppers. An orthopaedic mattress topper costs significantly less than a full-sized mattress.

No electromagnetic field. For people who are sensitive to EMF, this is a big plus.
Innerspring mattresses are more suitable for unheated rooms: in the country house or villa. They do not suffer from temperature fluctuations or humidity. As a rule, innerspring models creak in similar conditions.

Suitable for couples, as they do not transmit vibrations.
Manufacturers use different types of polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foam HR (High Density) is close to the quality of natural latex – a high-quality material, but it costs less.

Wide range of construction types: from toppers to high multilayers.

With springless construction, there are no mechanical elements that could break and damage the top layers and cover.

Mattresses made of a single PPU sheet are made without glue – such models are more environmentally friendly, and they do not need to be ventilated to get rid of the factory smell.

The foam structures are suitable for convertible bases.

Most polyurethane foam mattresses are sold in a compact, factory roll-bonded package, while the selection of innerspring mattresses in such a package is rather small. Roll-bonding makes shipping cheaper, and it is easier to pick up such a model at home.

Disadvantages of polyurethane foam

Conventional polyurethane foam is inferior to natural materials in terms of durability. A mattress made of natural latex or coconut that is the same height as a foam mattress will last less time.

Zone mattresses are less common and more expensive than innerspring mattresses. If you need a mattress with a zone structure, the foam model will cost more.

The pure foam models are cheaper than the innerspring models for the same price.

Tips for choosing – Which Mattress is Better?

It is impossible to say with certainty Which Mattress is better, a foam mattress or an independent innerspring mattress. It is important to choose according to your needs and characteristics such as body weight, habits, age, and preferred sleeping position. Below are some tips to help you make the right choice:

Innerspring products on independent blocks can be purchased from adolescence. Before that, it is better for babies to sleep on beds without springs. Models made only of polyurethane foam are not suitable – you should choose products made of combined materials. For example, made of coconut fibre and a layer of polyurethane foam.
People with average stature and without orthopaedic diseases should choose a mattress with a minimum height of 10 cm.
People with higher body weight (120 kg and more) should choose multilayer foam and coconut products or mattresses with zone springs.

If you need a mattress for a country house where there is no heating, it is better to choose only variants made of polyurethane foam. If you use the purchase in a heated room, as a temporary option, any model is suitable.

Older people can choose models without springs. It is desirable that a mattress was soft. When you sleep on it, the joints are not strained and blood circulation is not hindered.

Products with the Bonnel spring system are outdated and are suitable only as a temporary guest option.

Let us summarize
Sprung and unstrung models have their advantages and disadvantages. The final choice of type of mattress depends on your sleeping needs.

If you are curious about Which Mattress is best, you can check our ratings.

Cheap vs Expensive Mattresses

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