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Spring and latex mattresses are quite different. Not only in the way they feel but also their price, longevity, and suitability for different body types and sleepers.
Because the price difference between them can be wide, it’s worth learning a bit more about what the individual pros and cons are for a spring mattress and similarly, a latex mattress.
Let’s dive in.
Spring Mattress vs Latex Mattress
Before we discuss the differences between a spring mattress and latex mattress, note that we will be referring to natural latex mattresses in this post.
Because the term latex mattress can also refer to synthetic latex mattresses – and we cover such latex foam mattresses in our separate post on spring vs foam mattresses.
And just in case you don’t have time to read through this whole post (but you should to better understand the differences):
|Criteria||Spring Mattress||Latex Mattress|
|Price Range||Cheap||Very expensive|
|Durability/ Longevity||Poor To Fair||Excellent|
|Sleeping Position||Best For Back/ Stomach Sleepers||Any|
|Body Weight||Light To Average Body Weight||Any|
|Maintenance||Easy To Move But More Susceptible to Mould, Bacteria, And Dustmites||Tiresome To Move But Less Susceptible to Mould, Bacteria, And Dustmites|
|Sustainability||High Recycling Value||Fully Compostable|
|Other Benefits||n/a||Natural Resistance To Bacteria, Dust, Mould, And Dust Mites|
1. Breathability/ Ventilation
Both spring and latex mattresses can be very breathable.
Latex is just naturally breathable due to the open cell structure of latex. There are often pinholes in natural latex mattresses for that reason too.
On the other hand, spring mattresses have good air flow because of the space between the springs.
So in our hot climate, either a spring or latex mattress will be comfortable if don’t know where to start in choosing a suitable mattress.
2. Price Range
While a spring mattress can be as cheap as RM350, natural latex mattresses will cost a lot more. Many are well over RM10,000.
Note: Prices are based on queen sized mattresses
In fact, it’s getting more and more difficult to find 100% natural latex mattresses. You’ll likely come across more 100% natural latex mattress toppers now, instead of full-sized mattresses.
If you do see a latex mattress selling for a few thousand, it’s either partially or fully synthetic. “Latex feel” mattresses are just another name for a synthetic latex mattress.
3. Durability/ Longevity
Spring mattresses are not known for their durability and when it comes to the expected lifespan of a mattress, spring mattresses and coconut coir mattress fare poorly compared to other types of mattresses.
Although it is possible for a spring mattress to last for 10 years, you might be able to feel the springs in an old spring mattress.
On the other side of the spectrum, high quality latex mattresses can last for up to 2 decades before they start to sag, especially if you take care of your mattress.
4. Sleeping Position
The conforming nature of natural latex means that a latex mattress can adequately accommodate any sleeping position.
Whilst spring mattresses with their firm support and non-conforming nature are generally better for back or stomach sleepers.
However, you can find spring mattresses with a softer comfort layer on top if you are a side or combination sleeper.
5. Body Weight
A latex mattress will last a lot longer with heavy body types as opposed to a spring mattress. Latex mattresses are extremely heavy themselves and thus, can support heavier weights.
But heavy loads will put more stress on the springs of a spring mattress, causing them to wear out faster.
6. Motion Transfer
Traditional spring mattresses have very poor motion isolation. They might make a lot of noise too.
The newer individual pocket spring technology addresses this but compared to latex mattresses, spring mattresses will still have more noticeable motion transfer.
Meanwhile, latex mattresses have amazing motion isolation.
Weight plays a role in maintenance because you won’t want to be turning that massive heavy latex mattress often. Whilst a spring mattress is much lighter.
However, the problem with a spring mattress is that the comfort layer on top will eventually sag so you do need to rotate a spring mattress regularly to even out the pressure that your body puts on it.
And spring mattress are at a higher risk of mould or dust mite infestations than a latex mattress.
8. Firmness Level
As we said before, spring mattresses can have varying firmness levels.
Latex mattresses, however, will be able to provide firm support no matter your sleeping position.
So if you who suffer from chronic pains (including in multiple areas), a latex mattress is highly advisable.
This is a complicated affair that involves the whole life cycle of the mattress:
Unless the spring mattress uses recycled metal for the springs (unlikely), it will involve mining to procure virgin metals for the springs.
So in this regard, it might appear that latex mattresses are more sustainable than spring mattresses since latex is made from collecting the sap of the rubber tree without the need to destroy the tree.
Note: we didn’t mention ethical treatment of workers in metal mines or rubber plantations
However, there are also factors like rubber plantations taking up natural habitats and local farmland.
And depending on how the spring or latex mattress is made, there may be chemicals involved as well which is in itself another matter (e.g., worker risk, management and disposal, energy use, etc).
Lastly, there’s the end of the mattress – Spring mattress have high recyclable value because of the metal springs. Natural latex is entirely compostable, but it’s not easy to compost such a large and very heavy item.
In general, figuring out what to do with an old mattress is a tiresome matter.
10. Other Benefits
Unlike most mattress types, a natural latex mattress is inherently resistant against many common problems that you might face with a mattress. This includes mold, bacteria, dust and dustmites!
Manufacturers of synthetic mattresses may treat these mattresses with chemicals to give them the protection against dust mites and bacteria.
Both spring and latex mattresses possess some bounce. Although latex mattresses have more of a sinking feel to them.
It’s a matter of personal preference.
If you can afford to, just get a latex mattress because the benefits are well worth the cons (higher price tag and heavy weight).
Understandably though, most of us will just have to settle for cheaper hybrid mattresses that have a thin layer of natural (or synthetic) latex for the comfort layer and springs for the support layer.