mattresses: memory foam vs springs ?

Can anyone share experiences of good mattresses for hip/back problems ? Have had lots of treatment but still in pain in bed and mattress is long overdue a change. Got details re memory foam..but sooo expensive ! Don't mind if they do the job and am considering trying one out..but osteopath says an ordinary mattress with as many springs as we can afford is as good. Any thoughts ? Thanks.


  • Sarah, I suffered a slipped disc, 10 years or so ago and so I know about back problems. I had surgery on mine and it's been brilliant ever since (well, almost brilliant - just the odd twinge as opposed to constant chronic pain).

    My own preference is for pocket sprung mattresses. I recently bought a new mattress and I did lie on a memory foam mattress and I hated it. I think I'm too much of a fidget in my sleep to benefit from that.

    I think it's going to be personal preference. My back needs something of medium firmness. I can't cope with too hard or too soft.

    I'd be inclined to agree with your osteopath and go for pocket sprung. I didn't rate memory foam at all.
  • No exerience of both but Dunelm mill do memory foam toppers that you put on top of your normal mattress

    Have to say a memory foam mattress is something that is relatively high on my shopping list - but then I have along shopping list so definately not this year
  • I've had a matress with lots of pocket springs and got on well with it, but then again I like dmy memory foam too.

    Definitely couldn't cope with your average naff matress that's like sleeping on a marshmallow, way too saggy
  • Gosh..these replies came quickly ! Thank you. I have heard people say of memory foam that they wake up a bit stiff because have been in the same position all night..also do they have a tendency to be hot ? ( am beginning pre menopausal night sweats so don't fancy that ! ) Know about the foam toppers but not sure they'd really be enough..any experiences of these ? Appreciate all comments .
  • the current advice on matresses for back care is not to go for something too firm or stiff - moved on from the days when a very firm mattress with a board underneath was reccomended for backs!

    a very soft or saggy mattress is definitely not good - it doesnt keep the spine in the right alignment -which is the reason that very firm mattresses are not reccomended too

    the best piece of advice is to go and test a few different mattresses and when you have narrowed it down to a couple lie on the mattress for a good 5-10 minutes as this is the time it will take to settle and see how it feels - it shouldnt sag too much but it should give a little to accomodate your weight
    the other advice is to do this test with your partner (if appropriate!) as the mattress should allow you both to lie on it without one person rolling into the middle or feeling that they are not as supported - sometimes this may mean a bigger bed to allow enough space!

    Mattresses should also be changed every 5-10 years at latest and to get the best out of them turn regularly - turn over but also top to bottom to ensure more even wear

    id guess buying the best you can afford but specialist Orthopaedic mattresses are not now considered neccessary and as it isnt a lifetime investment probably not neccessary -buying a good mid price one that will last up to 10 years will probably be better in the long run
  • Go and try out a Tempur mattress (not just "memory foam") before you decide. Tempur feels quite different from some of the own-brand memory foam mattresses or mattress toppers.

    Hubby had a Tempur mattress when living in Japan and loved it. I tried memory foam in Harveys (or somewhere) and thought it was nothing special. Refused to shell out for it.

    But then we tried a Tempur mattress in a specialist shop (hubby is stubborn about some things and drags me off shopping...oh what a hardship!) - and it is noticeably different. Have shelled out and new mattress is being delivered next week I hope!
  • I have suffered with my neck,hips,back most of my adult life. Since buying a memory foam matress,I have been virtually pain free. They take some getting used to,but after about 3 weeks,you will wonder how you ever managed without it!

  • Isn't all foam 'memory foam' then. My kitchen sponge appears to deliver 'memory' type qualities.
  • no idea Welsh Alex....I'll send you a needle and thread - sew a few kitchen sponges together to use as a pillow and let us'd save a lot of money :-)

  • Lol !

    I was looking for a new business idea. I reckon only £9 worth of sponges and you have made a £70 pillow. Bingo !
  • Plus a quid for the effort of cutting off the green scratchy side of the sponges....that'd be horrible when you turned the pillow over in the night to get the cool side

    ....or sell them as exfoliating memory foam :-)

  • Now theres an idea !
  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭
    Have a look on the Which? website - you can get a month's free trial (and just don't take them up on joining at the end). It has surveyed all the memory foam beds and Tempur does not come out on top. I wasn't entirely convinced by memory foam so I purchased a pocket sprung mattress that also has memory foam. I have a healthbeds memory 1400 (or some such name) as per the Which? recommendation. I love it!
  • I have had a Tempur memory foam mattress for some years......

    it's very comfortable but it does retain body heat to an extent that I can be too warm even in winter with a 3.5 tog duvet....the newer Tempur ones may be better now as they have a thinner layer on top of standard foam

    I've tried pocket sprung but find them uncomfortable - the nice thing about foam mattresses is that you tend not to disturb your partner so mcuh if you're having a restless night as they aren't bouncy
  • Thankyou everyone..I do realise it is a very personal thing but I wasn't sure if pocket sprung ones can be as we loved as foam ! have booked a date in the diary to go to John Lewis with partner and minus children to try out lots ! Any more comments welcome though.
  • again ! have decided to go to a Back in Action shop as have one near....has anyone tried them ?
  • Yes....our bed is from them. It was delivered today...and is very comfy! If you have a chronic medical condition, they can waive the VAT on anything that can be considered medical equipment (yes, a tempur mattress counts). Hubby's cancer was rather useful for once...but other things like diabetes, asthma (hypoallergenic need) can qualify.
  • Mrs M got a memory foam topper and pillow for her bad hips, it does seem to help to a degree. only shortfall is that it also seems to stop you rolling so much in bed, I snore when I lay on my back.....she's only got herself to blame
  • Thankyou ! All ideas appreciated !
  • I think Memory Foam is the best.
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