Orthopedic Mattress Vs. Spring Mattress – A Detailed Comparison

Choosing the right mattress plays a crucial role in having a comfortable night’s sleep. With the variety of mattress types available, it becomes difficult to choose a mattress that meets your needs, which is why it is important to know the differences between certain types of mattresses. Depending on your specific needs one mattress may be more suitable than another. In this article, we discuss the difference between an orthopedic mattress vs. spring mattress to help you decide which one you should buy. 

The advantages of choosing an orthopedic mattress vs. a spring mattress include better support for the body, pressure relief, and temperature regulation. The disadvantages of using an orthopedic mattress over a spring mattress include increased motion transfer when sharing the bed, an orthopedic mattress is heavier and more difficult to move around, and is more expensive. 

3 great orthopedic mattresses doctor recommends

The two popular types of mattresses that are known for their great support are orthopedic mattresses like these, and spring mattresses like these. Each of these types has different characteristics that distinguish it from the other and make it more suitable for specific sleep needs. Our orthopedic mattress materials guide runs through details about the materials and composition of an orthopedic mattress and how they support and conform to a resting body. 

Benefits of an orthopedic mattress vs. spring mattress include support, pressure relief, and temperature regulation.The multilayer construction of an orthopedic mattress means it will provide superior support for those experiencing back or joint pain. Image Source: Amazon.

What Is An Orthopedic Mattress Made Of? 

The term orthopedic mattress is used to refer to a type of mattress that is firmer and more supportive of the body than any other type of mattress. An orthopedic mattress is designed to provide excellent support for the joints and back, and to keep the spine in a neutral position when sleeping on your side. This article from the University of Central Lancashire explains how mattress firmness influences back support when sleeping. 

Orthopedic mattresses are often made from memory foam, innerspring, and latex, which offer superior body support, excellent pressure relief, enhanced temperature control, and better spinal alignment. 

Orthopedic mattresses like these are often prescribed by physicians for patients with back injuries and back pain preventing them from sleeping on a regular mattress. Orthopedic mattresses are available in various sizes such as twin, full, queen, and king sizes and can be made from various materials including innerspring, memory foam, and latex.  Read our article about orthopedic mattress sizes to help you choose the right one. 

Additionally, you might be interested in learning whether or not medicare will pay for an orthopedic mattress and what to do if an orthopedic mattress hurts your back  Take a look at our related article to find out.

An orthopedic mattress offers superior support and temperature regulation. This orthopedic mattress will assist in relieving back pain. Image source: Amazon.

Take a closer look at what each of the orthopedic mattress layers is used for in our related article.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Orthopedic Mattress

Like any other type of mattress, an orthopedic mattress has its pros and cons. It is important to be aware of them before buying an orthopedic mattress. 

Advantages of an orthopedic mattress are excellent support for the body, pain and pressure relief and temperature regulation. However, orthopedic mattresses are firm, heavy and more expensive. Choose an orthopedic mattress that offers a sleep trial to try one before buying it. 

Generally speaking, orthopedic mattresses like these are more expensive than regular mattresses, so take a look at our orthopedic mattress price guide before buying one. Before making a purchase, you want to decide what to do if an orthopedic mattress hurts my back,

In spite of the many benefits of orthopedic mattresses, some people report that they can cause lower back pain and lead to muscle tension and poor-quality sleep. This article from The American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation explains the sleep disturbances that people with chronic lower back pain often experience. 

You might also find interest in learning how to find an orthopedic mattress for scoliosis. Be sure to take a look at that article too.

What Is A Spring Mattress?

A spring mattress is constructed of metal springs or coils, with a thin layer of foam to create a soft and comfortable surface. Two types of innerspring mattresses include ones with interconnected coils or pocket spring mattresses which have individually wrapped coils. 

Spring mattresses are a type of mattress that have many metal springs to provide a supportive layer, like this one which has tempered steel coils for extra support. Spring mattresses are finished off with a foam cushioning layer on the surface to provide extra padding. 

When comparing an orthopedic mattress vs. a spring mattress it is important to note that a spring mattress offers a great deal of support.Spring mattresses are a popular choice because of the support they offer to people with various sleep preferences. Image Source: Amazon.

To find out more, you may want to read our detailed comparison between an orthopedic mattress vs. a regular mattress as well.

Is A Spring Mattress Good For Your Health?

There are many causes of getting too hot and sweating, like menopause, low blood sugar, hormonal issues, and some types of cancer. 

Spring mattresses can be beneficial for health problems like sweating and overheating while sleeping because their construction encourages good air circulation in and around the mattress. They are not good for joint pain, because they don’t contour to the shape of the body. 

According to this article by Medical News Today, spring mattresses can be beneficial for people who sweat while sleeping due to an increase in body temperature. 

The construction of a spring mattress, like this one, allows for a healthy flow of air through the mattress and provides a cooler sleeping surface. A spring mattress is not a good choice for people with joint or back pain because this type of mattress lacks the ability to contour to the body which can increase pressure on joints, especially for side-sleepers. Read our article on choosing a mattress topper for a side sleeper if this is your preferred sleeping position so that you can alleviate pressure on your joints.  A spring mattress also tends to sag quickly which affects sleep quality and prevents the neutral spine position that most orthopedic practitioners recommend. 

Are Spring Mattresses Better Than Orthopedic Mattresses?

Both orthopedic and spring mattresses are good mattresses, but depending on your specific needs one may be more suitable than the other. 

A spring mattress is a good choice if you have no medical or health conditions that require specialized support, while an orthopedic mattress is better for targeted zone support to alleviate pain in specific areas. An orthopedic mattress costs more than a regular spring mattress because of its design, and cannot regulate temperature like a  spring mattress can. 

For the average person, a spring mattress works just fine. According to this study in the Journal of Work, spring mattresses with soft surface materials and firm cores provided most participants with high sleep quality. They tested 18 new spring mattresses with five kinds of spring mattress cores and fourteen kinds of top comfort layers.

Using a bed frame like this or a base like this will also influence the type of mattress you should choose. Read our article on choosing an orthopedic mattress for an adjustable bed to learn more about selecting a mattress that compliments your bed frame.

Additionally, you might find interest in our related article   

Summary of Orthopedic Mattresses Vs. Spring Mattresses

Reason For Purchasing A New Mattress Orthopedic Mattress Vs. Spring Mattress. What’s recommended? Why is this type of mattress better? Example From Amazon Price
A  general-purpose mattress with good back support is needed. Spring Mattress Spring Mattresses provide good back support and are ideal for people without medical conditions or back injuries. Full Mattress, Molblly 10 Inch Spring Mattress ~$370
A mattress for sciatica pain is needed. Orthopedic Mattress Orthopedic mattresses are the best choice for sciatica pain because of their ability to relieve pressure which is the main cause of sciatica pain. Spectra Elements 9.5″ Orthopedic Mattress ~$270
A mattress for lower back pain is needed. Orthopedic Mattress Orthopedic mattresses provide even weight distribution that helps with spinal alignment to reduce lower back pain.  Spectra Orthopedic Mattress ~$500
A firm mattress is needed for nonmedical purposes. Spring Mattress Spring mattresses are firm and suitable for non-medical purposes.  Best Price Mattress 8 Inch Tight Top Innerspring Mattress ~$190

You might also find interest in our related article about finding an orthopedic mattress for heavy people. Be sure to check that out too.