Innerspring vs. Foam Mattresses: What's the difference?

Innerspring mattresses, also known as coil or spring mattresses, are the most common mattresses in our homes today.  However, foam mattresses have seen enormous growth over the last few years.  There are many types of foam mattresses available today.  The most popular innerspring mattresses are pocketed coil mattresses while the most popular foam mattresses are memory foam and latex foam.  Innerspring mattresses and foam mattresses differ in the type of the top of the mattress, support structure of the mattress and type of support the mattress offers.

Innerspring mattresses come in pillowtop, plush top and firm top mattress styles.  The foam and top cover of the mattress are quilted together in different ways to produce the desired style.  Firm top mattresses will have more quilt spots closer together, which pulls the foam tighter and makes it feel firmer.  The plush top has less quilt spots and therefore feels softer.  The pillowtop mattress is designed to allow the foam maximum loft and provides the softest feel.  Foam mattresses are typically made as a smooth top mattress.  The top cover surrounds layers of foam and with the absence of any quilting creates a smooth surface on the top of the bed.


The support structure of innerspring and foam mattresses are vastly different.  Innerspring mattress use some type of coil unit to provide support and a responsive feel.  The coils are designed to contour to the body while providing support.  Foam mattresses use a foam core to provide conforming comfort and support.  This foam core provides firm support deep under the foam layers to enhance the contouring support of the foam layers.


The differing support structures of innerspring and foam beds give each bed a distinctive type of support.  Innerspring beds are said to have active support.  When your body presses down into the mattress, the springs give a little to contour to your body while pushing back to provide support.  Foam mattresses are said to have passive support.  The foam core in foam beds provides resistance with pushing back, which allows the foam layers to contour to the body and provide pressure relief with very little resistance.


Please visit any of our 14 St. Louis metro area locations and speak to one of our Sleep Experts to learn more about our mattress selection.

innerspring vs foam mattress

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