Spring, Foam, Coir or Latex: The Difference

Modern mattress research and technology has made exponential improvements to the way we make and use mattresses. And so, it is worth educating yourself on what makes a mattress work for you.

While it might seem that no matter what brand you choose, or which range you pick, buying a mattress all comes down to simple basics – Spring, Coir, Foam or Latex –

The truth is, it is an old and common fallacy to choose a mattress purely based on the material within it.

It is no longer enough to base a mattress purchase decision on material that’s on the inside. The scientific ways in which these materials are combined, the technologies employed to enhance their effects, as well as the research, development and thorough testing that goes into ensuring that each of these permutations and combinations delivers a specific benefit, have far improved what a mattress can do for you.

It is a common misconception that one mattress ranks more or less superior to another. But there is no pecking order, no “best” type of mattress – not universally anyway.

It not realistic or ideal to compare mattresses purely based on their construction material. It is far more useful to understand the specific benefits each material offers, since they vary vastly, addressing a range of needs for a host of variables.

For example, you might ask; Is it worth buying an orthopaedic mattress? Which mattress should I buy for back pain? Is a soft mattress good for my children? Does a pillow top mattress mean extra plushness? What’s the best eco-friendly mattress to buy? Can my mattress choice reduce allergies? Is there a mattress that will help reduce my night sweats?

The best way to answer these is to understand the science behind what goes into a mattress

and the ideal way to consider your next mattress purchase, is to go by the benefits you’re looking for. So, rather than blindly choosing spring, coir, foam or latex, dig deep to figure what you need, specifically – a mattress to soothe your orthopaedic pains? A gentle combination for sensitive skin? A full 100% biodegradable mattress? Ask yourself what’s important, so you can arrive at a mattress that works best to meet those needs. Sometimes, it could be that the right mattress is a combination of some of these materials too.

Spring mattresses are made up of individually pocketed springs that minimize motion transfer across the mattress. This means that each spring works independently offering graduated support that responds differently to varying pressure and movement, across the entire mattress.

You will like it if…
  • You share a bed with a partner or child who tends to toss and turn. A pocket spring mattress will ensure that no matter how much movement one side of the mattress experiences, it remains contained and the other side is undisturbed
  • You need good back support. 3-zoned pocket spring mattresses significantly enhance body support.
  • You live in a humid place, because spring mattresses are also known to be good with air circulation. This helps keep cool, germ free and fresh
  • You want a comfortable mattress that is also durable in the long-run

    Coir or rubberised coir mattresses are made from coconut coir fibre treated with latex solutions, combining the benefits of airy, breathable coir fibre and the resilience of latex. This 100% natural material is environment-friendly. A hygroscopic material, it is high moisture absorption and ventilation, making for a natural, well-cooled and aired mattress option.

You will like it if…
  • You prefer a dense and firm mattress, since it is inherent dense given the nature of coir layers
  • You require optimum spine support that cannot be achieved on an extremely plush or springy mattress. A coir mattress will retain spine alignment and back support
  • You are looking for a non-sagging option, since the coir layers also retain shape for longer periods of time
  • You are looking for a cool, naturally ventilated mattress
  • Foam mattresses are the most versatile mattresses, offering a wide range of comfort levels. Based on the foam used, the density and resulting resilience, these can range from ultra-plush to extra-firm A 3-zoned foam mattresses incorporate three kinds of foam, as the name suggests, in their construction providing adequate support for the body to retain its natural shape, regardless of the sleeping condition and style.
  • You are looking for a soft mattress that takes the shape of your body. Innovations like memory foam are designed to provide gradual release and optimum pressure relief resulting in a stress-free deep sleep and return to original state when not in use
  • If you're looking for a soft mattress that also provides support and resilience. Contrary to popular belief, choosing soft mattresses doesn't always mean compromising on support.
  • You require a temperature sensitive mattress that has the unique capacity to be soft when warm and hard when cool
  • Latex is another 100% natural material used in mattresses.This makes them environment friendly and highly recommended if you are conscious about the material your sleeping surface is made up of. Many people prefer to choose latex for infants, pregnant women or senior citizens, who may be sensitive to other materials.
  • You are looking for natural (non-synthetic) materials around your home, since latex mattresses are 100% naturally sourced.
  • You prefer a dense and latex mattresses are 100% naturally sourced
  • You are inclined to eco-friendly option that is 100% chemical-free and biodegradable
  • You prefer a naturally-cooled, well-ventilated sleeping surface
  • You desire a mattress with plush feel with ample body support, and resilience. Latex rates high as a naturally resilient material
  • The decision to buy a mattress online is not likely to be a commonly recurring one. So, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with the information needed.
The main criteria to judge these materials are: firmness/ comfort, ventilation/breathability, support and budget.

You could also try this 7-step guide to buying mattresses or try our mattress selector to help you make a quick decision.

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