With the majority of people spending up to one-third of their life asleep, purchasing the right mattress is the key to ensuring a comfortable night of well-rested sleep.
Innerspring mattresses are the most common and widely available on the market today but that doesn’t mean an air mattress wouldn’t be a great alternative too.
Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to choosing between the two.
Air Mattress vs Spring Mattress – How to Choose?
Making the right choice of mattress for you all depends on personal preference, remember you’re going to be sleeping on this mattress for years to come and want to make the best investment possible so that you are as comfortable as possible and have a great night’s sleep.
If your current mattress isn’t working for you then a lack of sufficient support may be the cause.
A lack of support can cause some real aches and pains all over your body.
This can be the case for an air mattress or memory foam mattress.
When your mattress is too firm then that may cause pressure in certain points of your body causing misalignment of your spine and creating issues with your shoulders and pelvis.
On the other hand, if your mattress is too soft then there will be insufficient support for your pressure points causing your body to effectively sink into the mattress and distort your spine creating back problems in the long run.
Sagging is also the main cause of mattresses becoming uncomfortable over time, and with some memory foam beds losing as much as 16% of their ability to “spring back” within the first year of use alone, you should always do your research ensuring you get a great mattress that lasts.
The benefit of air mattresses when it comes to sagging is their unique ability to re-inflate which you don’t get with traditional innerspring mattresses.
This also means air mattresses are adjustable air to whatever level of firmness you find most comfortable on your body.
The quality of your mattress plays a big part in maintaining good structure, longevity, and hiding signs of wear and tear.
Air mattresses are a great affordable option, however, sometimes due to cheaper materials used in production that can easily break and form holes causing deflation.
Higher quality air mattresses that use thicker more durable materials designed for daily use and often come with repair kits for any small holes that may occur.
You should also consider what features you are looking for from a mattress such as temperature control material, life span, and regular rotation, and if you suffer from allergies you could look into hypoallergenic mattresses too.
In a hurry? Here is a quick comparison between air and spring mattresses covering the basic information you need to help make the best decision for a good night’s sleep.
|Adjustable firmness level air bed
|Fixed firmness level
|Unique ability to re-inflate
|Prone to sagging over time
|Best mattress as per budget
|Moderate to high
|Varies (occasional use vs. long-term use)
|5.5-6.5 years before becoming uncomfortable
|Highly portable, easy to deflate, perfect for tent camping
|Less portable, heavier and bulkier
|Varies based on materials used
|Varies based on materials used, memory foam mattress
|Variety of Options
|Offers a wide variety of choices
|Standard options available
|Some air mattresses are hypoallergenic
|Not inherently hypoallergenic
|Less breathable, limited airflow
|Better circulation and ventilation
|Easy to clean
|Difficult to clean
|Varied (dual chamber options minimize motion transfer)
|May have motion transfer with partner
|Depends on quality of materials
|Suitable for Back Problems
|Not recommended for back problems
|May not provide adequate support for back problems
The cost can vary hugely in both of these products depending on factors such as quality, size, and any additional features that they may have.
With an innerspring mattress typically containing a mix of spring and foam construction, you are looking at around $500-$1200 when buying new.
Alternatively, air mattresses can be as cheap as $40, however, these types are not recommended for daily use as they are designed for occasional use such as camping trips, sleepovers, and unexpected visitors.
For an air mattress designed for more regular use, you are looking at around $150.
This usually includes features such as built-in pump meaning you can inflate the mattress as and when required without having to move bulky bedroom furniture around.
The lifespan of a foam mattress is generally 7-10 years, however, there are several factors to consider that can influence this.
The position you sleep in determines how the weight of your body type will be distributed across the mattress.
For example, if you generally sleep more on your side then your shoulders and hips will create more pressure on the mattress, which will then produce sagging and obvious wear on your mattress.
Cheaper innerspring mattresses usually last anywhere from 5.5-6.5 years before becoming uncomfortable and sagging which will then require changing.
Air mattresses designed for occasional use may not last very long due to their thin structure and cheaper quality, but a good long-term air mattress can last 8 years or even more.
You should consider any mechanical components too, these may require changing more frequently to ensure all moving parts including the manual pump and electric pump stay functional.
This can get costly over time in comparison to a slightly larger one-off payment you would make on a memory foam mattress.
If you are a frequent traveler, or maybe plan on moving home soon, then you should also consider the weight of your mattress to make moving as stress-free as possible.
Air mattresses of any size, shape, or cost have the brilliant feature of being super easy to dismantle by simply deflating them.
This means you can take your bed with you wherever you go without hauling a large heavy memory foam mattress with you.
Each layer of material in your mattress will contribute to the overall feel and comfort meaning a great quality mattress that is composed of comfortable layers among the springs will provide pressure relief, support and give the bed a softer feel too.
Choosing between air and spring mattresses all comes down to their quality, as any bed that is made of low quality materials will not provide the best comfort regardless of their type.
Opting for a memory foam mattress with individually wrapped coils will minimize any motion from a partner in your bed and give you a much more well-rested sleep, whereas an air bed without the benefit of dual chambers would turn comfort into a very difficult task when it comes to sharing a bed.
If you do purchase an air bed with dual chambers, this will give you a much greater choice when it comes to adjusting your required support and firmness and prevent any arguments or discomfort from arising.
The more air in your mattress, the firmer it will be.
Air Mattresses Pros and Cons
With so much variety available in the air mattress world, it can be hard to choose which one may be right for you.
Considering which features and factors you would benefit from the most is the best way to help influence your decision and end up with the comfiest mattress for you. It is also good for shoulder pain and bad back pain.
Here are some of the great advantages that come with having an air mattress:
- Easy clean and hypoallergenic
As well as being a great option for frequent travelers and comfort seekers, there are unfortunately several downsides to this inflatable option:
- Risk of punctures
- Short warranties
- Generally not suited to long term use
- Less resilience
- Lack of breathability and airflow
Spring Mattresses Pros and Cons
Spring mattresses are one of the most commonly found bed options on the market today which makes the task of deciding on one even more difficult.
Now we have covered everything you need to look for to make the best decision possible, here are the pros of purchasing a spring filled mattress:
- Long lasting
- Better circulation and ventilation
- Widely available
Even though these are a popular option for many comfort seekers, they also have some disadvantages to go with it:
- Dust mites
- Heavy and bulky
- Difficult to clean
- Springs can wear and lose support with frequent compression.
When Should I Replace My Mattress?
Your mattress should come with a rough guideline of how long it will last before needing to be replaced.
As a general rule, it is suggested for your health to replace them every 7-8 years if not before.
Here are a few signs that your mattress may be past its days of comfort and need a change:
- Not getting a good night sleep
- Not feeling good support on all body type
- Waking up feeling sore or achy
- Being over 7 years since you purchased a new mattress
- You can feel your partners every move and turn
If your mattress is still under warranty but you find that it just doesn’t seem to be working well for you anymore then you should reach out to the manufacturer to see if you could benefit from a repair, replacement, or even just get some friendly help and advice.
Deciding between an air mattress and a memory foam mattress is a tough choice to make, but by doing thorough research and making sure your purchase comes with a good warranty you’re sure to make a good choice and have your back not only covered but comfortable too.
Both products are widely available too in most mattress stores so make sure to test them out before making this very important investment to prevent any regrets in the future and ensure you get the best sleep you possibly can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Mattress Better With or Without Springs?
Spring mattresses tend to not be as durable as foam due to the wear and tear it takes on during your sleep.
The lack of coils in a foam mattress can also prevent sagging and discomfort from poking springs.
Why Do Hospitals Use Air Mattresses?
Air mattresses provide pressure relief for patients who spend a lot of time in bed or a similar position and prevent any ulcers or sores from developing on their skin.
They are also easier to clean and disinfect making them a much more hygienic option in a hospital setting.
How Do I Secure My Air Mattress?
A handy tip is to use Velcro tape to hold your air mattress in place if you find it moves around too much when under pressure.
This will also prevent any punctures from forming as it slides across the floor and possibly snags and tears.
Are Spring Beds Bad for Your Back?
Spring mattresses are the cheaper option in comparison to more expensive options such as memory foam, but this does mean due to their structure they are not recommended if you suffer from back problems.