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Pocket Springs vs Memory Foam Mattresses - Which Last Longer?

A Pocket Spring or A Memory Foam Mattress, Which Lasts Longest?

Q: Will a memory foam mattress last longer than a pocket spring mattress?

A: One of the key advantages of foam mattresses is their durability. Most foam types are extremely resilient and will last a long time but foams come in different grades. Of course higher grade foams will last longer than lower grade foams. Foam is graded by density (kg/m3) and the higher the density,  that is the less air content, the greater the resilience.

Memory foams used in the mattress industry for example, range from 25 Kg/m3, which don’t perform in the way you may be lead to believe and will not last long, upto 80Kg/m3. Really high grade foams are disproportionally more expensive to buy, because of the waste incurred during production and the higher volume of chemical ingredients. 80Kg/m3 will be very resilient and durable and should, if cared for, last decades.

Latex foams are more resilient than memory foam and some natural latex mattress, arguably the perfect material for mattresses, can last over 20 years. Again, the resilience is relative to the density.

Pocket spring mattresses can last as long as foam ones depending upon the type and number of springs, the gauge (thickness) and metal used in the wire and the standard to which everything is put together.

The key to longevity of any mattress is how clean it is kept. Mattresses become unsanitary very quickly if not covered and cared for properly. Each night as you sleep you will excrete about 0.5 litres of body fluid, sweat mainly, some of which seeps into your mattress. As we never launder the mattress itself, some moisture is retained by the mattress for ever; a little more every night. If there are two people in your bed each night, double the moisture intake. Yuk!

For this reason it is wise to air, or ventilate your mattress occasionally. Simply strip the covers off and open some windows. This will help to dry your mattress a little. A mattress on a bed with wooden slats should remain drier as air can circulate around your mattress more freely than if your mattress is on a divan base.

Mattresses made with natural fillings like cotton, cotton-felt and wool should dry out fairly well. Foam mattresses however, will dry out less.

For this reason, a foam mattress becomes unsanitary much quicker. Your body fluids are absorbed into a foam mattress, like a sponge. For example if you leave a partially wet sponge in your bathroom overnight, in the morning the top of the sponge will feel dry and the base of the sponge will feel wet because all of the water in the sponge has sunk to the bottom. Your foam mattress will act in exactly the same way, this retained moisture will become mouldy if your mattress is not properly aired.

There is no substitute for a mattress protector to absorb most of your nightly sweat, as the mattress protector can be easily laundered. It’s wise to buy mattress protectors in pairs; one for the bed and one for the laundry and alternate weekly.

My conclusion, therefore, is that although foam mattresses can be more resilient they become unsanitary more quickly than a pocket sprung mattress with natural fillings. Either way, buying a high quality mattress will enhance your sleep quality which will allow you a multitude of personal benefits.


Your author

Jerry ‘The Beducator’ Cheshire, is resident bed and mattress expert at his award winning bed shop, Surrey Beds in Purley, Surrey. Jerry has been selling beds for over 16 years and personally has over 30,000 satisfied customers.

Follow him on Twitter @thebeducator.