Latex Vs. Coil Mattress: What's the Actual Difference?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

When you’re shopping for a mattress, you may want more information about the difference between a traditional coil mattress and a new latex mattress model. You might be looking at how they measure up in terms of cost, build design, quality, and facilitating a good night’s sleep. After all, you’re going to be paying a good bit of money for a new mattress.

The bottom line is that while latex mattresses may cost a bit more than coil mattresses, they have new and improved engineering that can make latex models better than coiled mattresses for back support, allergies, and a number of other health conditions or quality concerns.

Here’s some of what to think about when you’re shopping around for the right mattress for your bed, for example, looking at a plush vs. firm mattress. Keep your budget in mind, but also think about how a mattress will fit into a bedroom or other space.

Also, what kind of design best fits your sleep style, and what you want to be sleeping on ten years from now. That will help you make a better decision in terms of the final result and know more about how to make this rather large purchase.

Differences Between Latex and Coil Mattresses

Latex and coil mattresses are different in terms of what you will pay and what you will get for your money. These two different mattress types offer their own benefits in terms of firmness and support, as well as nightly comfort.

Knowing more about each of these options and how they stack up will help you to choose the best mattress for every bed in your home. It’s always good to think about who will be sleeping on the mattress, and how any health conditions, or preferences for firmness or body support, can affect your final choice.

For instance, how many years are you going to get out of your latex or coil mattress, and what is a night’s sleep going to feel like? Let’s take a look at some of the best comparison points for these two different mattress types.

Latex and Coil Mattresses: Build and Design

A conventional coil mattress is made up of quilting and external layers covering a series of metal coils or springs. These coils run the length and breadth of the mattress to support the body or whatever is lying on top.

Some of these coil mattresses will have wrapped coils, which means there is an insulating material put over each individual coil. This can improve the quality of the coil mattress to some extent, but it doesn’t eliminate some of the potential problems having to do with this type of “mechanical” mattress design.

By contrast, a latex mattress is made with layers of modern material, with perhaps a thick layer of latex in the middle and other quilting materials around it. Most of these modern mattresses have detailed engineering that shows how multilayer design helps to support sleepers and add up to a good night’s sleep.

When you don’t want to be counting sheep, take a look at the design characteristics that go into building the modern latex mattress with innovative engineering that works every night on your behalf.

Comparing Cost

In general, latex mattresses tend to cost a little more, although coil mattresses themselves are not cheap. The burden of manufacturing a mattress with dozens or hundreds of coils inside is significant. To the extent that latex and other materials come down in price, you may be able to get a latex mattress for a comparative cost.

A lot of other cost factors have to do with the quilting and stitching involved, as well as brand names and the dealer cost – people are typically shopping at specialized mattress dealers, and these businesses have to cover their own costs, which can come into play while you’re trying to do an apples-to-apples comparison.


When it comes to comfort, it’s pretty much a matter of taste. There’s a lot of subjectivity to how people view the feeling of lying on a latex mattress or a coil mattress.

Some people like the buoyancy of the individual coils, although others suggest that these mattresses are too soft, or sometimes squeaky, or otherwise inferior or unsupportive.

In general, latex mattresses will often be firmer but still yield to the body. This can be much better for someone with existing back injuries or other similar health conditions.

A Quality Sleep Environment

Here’s one difference between latex and coil mattress designs. It has to do with how these mattresses work within the context of your average bedroom.

We all know that any building creates a certain amount of dust and debris. We know that microscopic items like dust mites and mold spores can affect indoor air quality.

The difference is that many of these tiny contaminants are harbored in a coil mattress, where a latex mattress more effectively seals them out.

That’s because of the open space that’s involved in a coil mattress design. Since the individual coils have to be able to contract and expand, they are built in pocketed spaces inside of the mattress. But this allows for more airflow into and out of the mattress build.

For that reason, latex mattresses are considered to be more hypoallergenic and antimicrobial than traditional coil mattresses.

When you see a latex mattress advertised as “dust mite resistant” or “mold resistant,” you know this is what they’re talking about. There is the general consensus that a latex mattress is just cleaner, based on the technology involved and the way that it is manufactured. And there is really some science behind that too, in terms of airflow and air quality (as discussed).

Layers and Design

Again, coil mattresses will traditionally be made with individual free or wrapped coils and then some layers of quilting on top.

The latex mattress can benefit from a build that really ensures a high degree of quality. What does this look like? Well, manufacturers may install a heavy layer of high-quality organic cotton over the exterior of the latex layer. They might also use high-quality wool for insulating. All of this creates a soft, fresh feeling and a great experience for the sleeper.

Is a Latex Mattress Worth it?

Many of those who have done the research feel that a latex mattress is definitely worth the cost. There are a number of reasons for this. For instance, people who have dealt with squeaky coils or coils that wear out over time will love the enduring quality of the latex mattress.

Again, the latex mattress can be very valuable in terms of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial solutions. For instance, if someone is using an air filter in a bedroom or otherwise trying to improve indoor air quality, the latex mattress can help, too. In these kinds of situations, the latex mattress is definitely worth it.

Then there are situations where a coil mattress experiences significant wear. If a coil or spring fails, you’re going to have an area of the mattress that doesn’t rebound normally, and that can cause someone to get rid of a mattress much sooner than they otherwise would. So where you invest in layer material that doesn’t “spring a leak” so to speak, that money is well spent.

Will Latex Sag?

Some shoppers remain concerned that latex mattresses will sag over time. It’s true that in general, the latex material can degrade over a period of years. But in fact, a lot of the sagging of latex has to do with either the quality of the original mattress, or the maintenance that’s involved.

With the right quality and care, a latex mattress can keep supporting the body for decades. On the other hand, a coil mattress can easily wear out where one or more coils are compromised by extended use.

Is Mattress Coil Count Important?

For a coil mattress, coil count is important. It determines how much support you will get due to how closely or far apart the individual coils are spread from each other. As mentioned, having wrapped coils also helps. But some shoppers want to forgo the coil route completely, and get layered latex mattress designs that use completely different technology to facilitate a great sleep result.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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