Choosing a good mattress is key to rest. And rest is key to good daily performance and physical and mental health. But how do you know which mattress is better?
Today we analyze two of the most common material options: viscoelastic and springs. What are the differences between them? Which is better? In this article we explain the characteristics of both, their advantages and disadvantages, how they differ and for which people each one is more suitable.
What is a memory foam mattress?
Viscoelastic is a synthetic foam with thermo-reactive properties and high resilience. In other words, it is a material that reacts to the heat of the body, becoming more flexible and, therefore, adapting to the shape of the body. In addition, it quickly recovers its original shape without deforming, when the contact is interrupted. Therefore, its main characteristics are that it is highly adaptable and ergonomic, since it distributes the weight of the body evenly, relieving pressure points and preventing it from transmitting movement.
However, when talking about viscoelastic mattresses, it really means that they contain layers of this material. And it is that it cannot be used as the only material, since, due to its qualities, we would sink in excess. It needs to be combined with another material that provides support in the core of the mattress.
Types of viscoelastic memory
Since its first application until now, viscoelastic has evolved and given rise to different types:
Foamed viscoelastic: The open pore favors the circulation of air inside (it is cooler), but it reduces its adaptive capacity.
Closed-pore viscoelastic: It is denser, so it gives more warmth on contact, but offers optimal adaptability.
Vegetable viscoelastic: It is not 100% vegetable, obviously, but it has additives that are, such as soy, aloe vera or active carbon to provide the memory with the benefits of these materials.
Advantages and disadvantages of memory foam
Before opting for this material, we want to explain its benefits and drawbacks so that you can make the best choice:
Great adaptability and ergonomics. Helps maintain spinal alignment, decreases muscle and nerve tension and improves blood circulation.
Good feeling of welcome. Softening the hardness of the core and offering a pleasant comfort.
High bed independence. Being very adaptable, it reduces the transmission of movement, making it ideal for double beds or people who move a lot when sleeping (although a layer of between 3 and 5 cm is recommended).
Gives heat. Since it reacts to body temperature, it can give a certain sensation of warmth on contact, which increases the greater the density of the visco. There are solutions such as viscogel, which help to refresh the surface.
It is not an inexpensive material. The price of mattresses tends to rise.
Less durability. Visco can lose properties over time.
For whom is a viscoelastic mattress indicated?
It is an ideal mattress for people who want greater comfort when sleeping but without losing support, seek to relieve pressure points and prioritize adaptability and keep the spine properly aligned.
In addition, they are suitable for people who spend many hours in bed and for those who suffer from muscle, joint or circulatory problems. It will also be suitable if two people are going to sleep in it, since it reduces the transmission of movements.
What is a spring mattress?
These are mattresses whose core is made up of a structure of steel springs (we will see the types below). As it favors the ventilation of the mattress, they do not accumulate moisture and are cooler and more breathable.
Its adaptability, firmness and ability to prevent the transmission of movement from one side of the bed to the other depends on the type of spring. The most used today are those with pocket springs.
These mattresses are not flexible, so they are not suitable for articulated beds and it is not recommended to use them on slatted bases, except when the distance between them is less than 5 cm.
Types of springs
Spring mattresses have also evolved over time. The first were the Bonell (or biconical) springs, they are individual, have a double cone shape and are joined together with steel wires. Its firmness is usually medium low.
Continuous wire springs followed, which is a framework made from a single metallic wire, which gives it high firmness, but less adaptability and very low bed independence.
And finally, the most advanced are the pocket springs, independent and each one covered by a fabric bag. The result of these is good firmness, accompanied by adaptability and high bed independence.
Advantages and disadvantages of springs
The main pros and cons of core spring mattresses are:
Very high breathability. They allow the air to circulate correctly inside the mattress, which keeps it fresh and prevents moisture from accumulating.
Homogeneous distribution of body weight. Especially in the case of pocket springs, which have good adaptability, minimize pressure points and prevent sinking.
They do not transmit movement. They are a good option for double beds or people who move a lot during the night.
More economical. The final price of the mattress depends on the materials with which it is combined, but the springs themselves are not a factor that makes the product more expensive.
High durability. They resist the passage of time better than viscoelastic.
More rigid. They offer more support in the core and are harder, which is why they are always combined with layers of softer materials, especially with visco.
loud. With the exception of pocket springs, the other types of springs make noise when you move on the mattress.
For whom is a spring mattress indicated?
It is the most suitable mattress for those who are looking for good support, but often feel hot when sleeping or live in hot or humid areas, so they need a fresh and breathable mattress. They are also a good option for those who tend to move a lot when sleeping or for double beds.
Which is better, a memory foam or spring mattress?
As we always remember, there is not one type of mattress better than another in general, but it depends on the needs and characteristics of each sleeper.
For example, if you are looking for an adaptable mattress, both pocket springs and memory foam have this feature. The visco, however, is better in terms of avoiding pressure points and has a very good reception feel.
Do you usually get cold or hot while you sleep? While spring mattresses are characterized by their high breathability, memory foam mattresses, especially if it is a very thick or very dense layer, give a sensation of heat, so spring mattresses are more advisable for people who usually get hot during the night or live in very hot or humid areas and visco ones are ideal for people who are cold.
If there are two of you in bed, either of the two options can work well for you (except Bonell or continuous wire springs), since both materials greatly reduce the transmission of movement from one side of the bed to the other. The same if you usually move when you sleep, although in that case, the viscoelastic layer will have to be a minimum of 3 cm high.
Which mattress is better for back pain, springs or memory foam?
There are studies that confirm that the best mattress for people who suffer from back ailments is the one with medium-high firmness, so the best would be a hybrid mattress that combines viscoelastic with pocket springs.
Can a mattress be viscoelastic and spring at the same time?
Given that viscoelastic must always be accompanied by another material that gives support and that spring mattresses, in turn, have foam in the comfort layers (the upper ones), it is possible to find mattresses that combine both materials.
In summary, both viscoelastic and springs are very good materials, both separately and combined in the same mattress, so that the choice between one or the other (or a hybrid mattress that has both) depends on the needs of whoever is going to use the mattress.