3 Remarkable Difference Between Coir And Foam Mattress

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The main difference between coir and foam mattress is the material. Coir is made of coconut coir, a natural product. A foam mattress is made from carbon compounds, a synthetic product. So which one is good for us? Which one should we buy? Let’s find out.

Quick Answer

The 3 remarkable difference between coir and foam mattress are related to the material, cost and the kind of support the mattress gives to the body.

If you want to buy the best mattress among the two types, click here.

What Is A Coir mattress?

Difference Between Coir And Foam Mattress
The primary material of a coir mattress, the coir, is made from coconut fibres.

But sleeping just on coconut fibres, is not comfortable at all.

So the coir is covered by a layer of soft foam on the top for comfort. The comfort layer on the top of the coir mattress is generally made of polyurethane foam or PUF.

To make the coir mattress firm and stable, sometimes bonded foam is also used as a third layer, at the bottom of the mattress.

Then the mattress is covered and stitched with a fabric. It can be a cotton fabric or a synthetic fabric.

Note : Coir is only the primary material in a coir mattress. There are secondary materials also.

Coir Mattress Features

Coir mattress are made from coconut coir. So, the primary material is a natural product.

Being made from natural products, you may believe that it is full of goodness.

But a coir mattress has some disadvantages too.

First we will take a look at the advantages.

These are the advantages of a coir mattress:

  • The primary material of a coir mattress, the coir, is made from coconut fibres or coconut husk. So it is a natural material.
  • The secondary material on the top and bottom of a coir mattress is made of foam. It is not a natural material.
  • Thus a coir mattress is not a 100% natural product, although the primary material is a natural product.
  • As coir fibres has plenty of gaps inside, coir mattresses are generally well ventilated. So there is little or no chance of having bad smell. 
  • As a coir mattress is well-ventilated, the mattress is cooler in summer.
  • There is also little or no chance of having any health issues like allergies, asthma problems, etc. from a coir mattress.

Following are the disadvantages of a coir mattress:

  • A major disadvantage of a coir mattress is that, it does not last very long. A coir mattress can sag after few years of usage. Life of a coir mattress is generally around 5 years.
  • The other disadvantage of a coir mattress is that, it is firm in comfort. So, if you are looking for a soft or “springy” comfort, coir mattress is not for you.

Note : Life of a coir mattress is about 5 years.

What Is A Rubberised Coir Mattress?

If you are planning to buy a coir mattress you may come across a term called “rubberised coir mattress”.

It is very easy to get carried away thinking that a “rubberised coir” mattress may be made of both rubber and coir.

While this is true in some rare cases, but mostly this is a sales tactic.

Very few mattresses are made from coir and latex in India. The main reason is that, both coir and latex are costly materials. Using them both on a single mattress may increase the cost to such an extent that it will be difficult to sell it.

The other reason is that, there is no special benefit of combining both latex and coir.

Latex itself is an excellent material for both body support and comfort.

As such, combining it with coir does not make much sense.

The term – rubberised coir – is mostly used as a sales term to indicate that the coir mattress have a good bounce.

This is again very opposite to a real coir mattress.

Coir mattresses are hardly bouncy. They are mostly firm.

So, if you come across a “rubberised coir” mattress, you should first check whether there is a combination of coir and latex in it. 

If yes, then you have found a good coir mattress which has a real bounce and comfort.

If not, just give the mattress a pass.

Note : Rubberised coir mattress is mostly used to indicate the bounce in a coir mattress.

Coir Mattress For Back Pain

A common query that you may have is that – Is coir mattress good for avoiding back pain?

Before we answer that, it is necessary to understand why a back pain occurs.

difference between coir and foam mattress

In short, back pain results from stress in the spine.

Back pain from a mattress can occur if the spine is not aligned properly during our sleep.

Our spine may not be properly aligned during sleep, if the surface on which we are sleeping do not give proper support to the spine.

For proper support to the spine, most of the orthopaedic doctors recommend to sleep on a medium-firm mattress.

If we sleep on a firm mattress, our body weight cannot go “into” the mattress. This results in excessive pressure to the spine.

difference between coir and foam mattress

On the other hand, if we sleep on a soft surface, our body, including the spine, goes “into” the mattress. The spine is now curved inside the mattress. This also creates stress to the nerves in the spine, resulting in back-pain.

difference between coir and foam mattress

However, a medium-firm mattress do not allow the spine to go inside the mattress.

A medium-firm mattress also do not create excessive pressure from the body weight to the spine.

A medium-firm mattress gives the right support to the body weight and helps the spine to remain straight during sleep.

Now, let us come back to our main question.

Is coir mattress good to avoid back pain?

The answer is no.

But why?

It is because, the comfort level of a coir mattress is generally firm. A firm mattress creates excessive pressure on the surface, making our spine curved during sleep.

The top layer of the mattress is made of foam, which is soft in nature. That also do not help to keep the spine straight.

As the primary material is coir, a coir mattress also sags easily. As sagging continues with time, the coir mattress gets harder and harder.

So, a coir mattress is not good to avoid back pain.

Note : Coir mattress is not good for avoiding back pain.

What Is A Foam Mattress?

difference between coir and foam mattress

A foam mattress can be made of different types of foam.

We will look at the different types of foam mattresses in detail in the next section.

A foam is made from chemicals.

Only latex foam mattress and talalay foam mattress are made from natural products.

So basically, a foam mattress is a synthetic material.

A foam mattress is generally made of different types of foam, all arranged in different layers of the mattress.

The top layer consists of the primary foam material. It can be made of PUF, memory foam or latex.

The lower layer is made of  secondary foam material like bonded foam.

A latex mattress generally do not need a secondary layer.

As usual, a foam mattress is covered by a fabric, either synthetic or cotton.

In some memory foam mattresses, the outer cover can be opened and washed.

Note : PUF and memory foam mattresses are made form chemicals. Latex mattresses are made from natural materials.

Types Of Foam Mattresses

There are generally 4 types of foam mattresses available in India

  1. PUF or polyurethane foam mattress.
  2. Bonded Foam mattress
  3. Memory foam mattress
  4. Latex foam mattress

Let us take a look into each of them quickly:

1. PUF Mattress: A polyurethane foam mattress or a PUF mattress or a polyfoam mattress, is made from a chemical called polyol.

The PUF foam is generally the top layer or the comfort layer  of the mattress.

A hard layer, below the PUF layer, forms the second layer. This layer is made of bonded foam.

A PUF mattress is of soft  to medium-soft comfort.

2. Bonded Foam Mattress: In a bonded foam mattress, the primary material is bonded foam.

A bonded foam is made from scrap PUF foam, bonded by glue under tremendous pressure.

It form the lower layer of the mattress.

The comfort layer in a bonded foam mattress can be PUF or memory foam.

A bonded foam mattress is of firm comfort.

3. Memory Foam Mattress: Memory foam is made by adding additional chemicals to the PUF foam.

A memory foam has more density and elasticity. It is also responsive to pressure.

A memory foam retains the original shape when pressure is lifted from it.

The memory foam is the top layer in a memory foam mattress.

The secondary layer is made either of PUF foam or bonded foam.

A memory foam mattress have a medium-firm comfort.

4. Latex Foam Mattress: A latex foam mattress is made from the sap of the rubber tree.

Hence a latex mattress is a natural product.

A latex mattress do not generally have any secondary material.

Latex mattress are made by two processes – Dunlop and Talalay.

Dunlop is the traditional process, while talalay is a newer process.

Talalay foam mattresses are not widely available in India. Only few companies import talalay foam into India.

They are very costly too.

The comfort level of a latex mattress is medium-firm.

Note : There are 4 types of foam mattresses.

Is Foam Mattress Good For Back Pain?

We have discussed the cause of back pain earlier in this article.

We will now look at the question of whether a foam mattress is capable of avoiding back pain or not.

Only those foam mattresses which have medium-firm comfort is good for avoiding back pain.

Hence memory foam mattress, latex foam mattress and talalay foam mattress are good for avoiding back pain.

A PUF or polyurethane foam mattress is not useful to avoid back pain.

Note : Only memory foam mattresses and latex foam mattresses are good for back pain.

What Is A PUF Mattress?

We have defined a PUF mattress earlier.

Let us take a look at it a bit more.

A PUF mattress or a polyurethane mattress is made from the polyol chemical.

A PUF mattress has PUF foam on the top layer of the mattress. The base layer is made of harder foam or a bonded foam.

The fabric covering the mattress varies from cotton to other synthetic materials.

A PUF mattress is of soft to medium-soft comfort.

Note : A PUF or polyurethane mattress is made from a chemical called polyol.

PUF Mattress Pros And Cons

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of a PUF or polyurethane foam mattress.

Pros:

1. Low Cost: A polyurethane foam mattress is cheaper than most other type of mattresses.

2. Light Weight: A polyurethane foam mattress is the lightest of other types of mattresses, provided there are no other secondary materials.

Cons:

1. Warmer: A polyurethane foam mattress feels more warmer, as ventilation is poor.

2. Poor Body Support: Being soft, a polyurethane mattress cannot provide support to the spine.

3. Short Life: A polyurethane foam mattress do not last very long. 

Note : A PUF mattress has a poor body support.

What Is A Rebonded Mattress?

Rebonded foam mattress are made from polyurethane foam scraps.

The foam scraps are glued and compressed heavily to form a thick and hard substance. This is then used as a rebonded foam in various types of products, including mattresses.

Rebonded foam are mainly used in the lower layer of the mattress.

Note : Bonded foam are made from PUF scrap.

Bonded Foam Mattress Pros And Cons

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of a rebonded or bonded foam mattress.

Pros:

1. Cheap: Bonded foam mattress are made from foam scraps. Hence they are cheap.

2. Tough: Bonded foam mattresses are tougher than coir or polyurethane foam mattresses.

Cons:

1. Poor Body Support: Bonded foam is used mostly in the base layer of the mattress. So it has little or no effect to body support.

2. Heavy Weight: Using bonded foam in the mattress makes it heavy.

Note : Bonded foam mattress has poor body support.

What Is A Memory Foam Mattress?

difference between coir and foam mattress

Memory foam was first developed by NASA for their astronauts.

Memory foam mattresses are made from polyurethane foam.

Additional chemicals are added to polyurethane foam to increase it’s elasticity and denseness.This makes the memory foam mattress more responsive to pressure.

The main characteristic of a memory foam mattress is the ability to retain it’s origin shape when pressure is removed.

The memory foam in a memory foam mattress is used as the top layer of the mattress.

There are secondary layers consisting of either polyurethane foam or bonded foam.

Some memory foam mattresses may have cooling gel inside to keep the mattress cool.

The outer fabric in some memory foam mattresses can be opened and washed.

Note : Memory foam is made from PUF foam.

Advantages Of Memory Foam Mattress

Following are the advantages of using a memory foam mattress:

1. Good Body Support: Memory foam mattresses moulds to the contours of the body thereby providing good body support.

2. Cheap: Memory foam mattress is made from polyurethane foam. Hence they are cheap.

3. Relieves Body Pains: Due to good body support, the spine remains straight during sleep. Hence there is a relief from body pains and aches.

Note: Memory foam mattresses has good body support.

Disadvantages Of Memory Foam Mattress

Following are the disadvantages of using a memory foam mattress:

1. Smell: When memory foam mattresses are opened for the first time, there may be a hint of chemical odour from it.

2. Hotter: Memory foam mattresses retains body heat to work well. The mattress denseness do not allow the heat to escape. So it may feel hot sleeping. Some memory foam mattresses comes with cooling gels to absorb the heat.

3. Health Issues: Some users complain of allergies, asthma and nausea from the odour of memory foam mattresses. But the number of people having such issues are very less.

Note : Memory foam mattresses cause health problems to some people.

Should We Use Coir Or Foam Mattress For Summer?

In summer you should not use any synthetic mattresses at all, just like your clothes.

So avoid using a PUF or a memory foam mattress in summer.

Coir is a natural material. Coir mattresses have gaps in them, which allows the heat to escape. So they remain naturally cool during the summer months.

Latex mattresses are also made from natural material. Rubber do not easily heat-up in summer. So latex mattresses are also good for summer.

Note : Coir mattresses and latex mattresses should be used in summer.

FAQ

Latex mattresses are the best type of mattresses in all respects.

Mattresses which are capable of giving good body support are good for health. A PUF mattress does not give a good body support, but a memory foam mattress gives a good body support. But when buying a memory foam mattress, always buy a CERTIPUR-US certified memory foam mattress.

There are many good latex and memory foam mattresses in the market. Please refer to the Foam Mattress section in this website to read about them.

A coir mattress has good air circulation as it is less dense. As heat can escape easily coir mattresses are good for summer.

There is no specific term as “coir foam mattress”. Generally all coir mattresses have a layer of PUF foam on the top as a comfort layer.

Coir is better than a bonded foam simply because, coir mattresses are natural product while a bonded foam is a synthetic product.

3 Remarkable Difference Between Coir And Foam Mattress

The general differences between a coir mattress and any foam mattress are related to the material, cost and body support.

Let us take a look at them one-by-one:

1. Material: Coir and foam mattresses have opposite types of materials.

Coir is a natural material, while foam mattresses, except latex  mattresses are made of synthetic materials.

2. Cost: The cost of a coir mattress is higher than a PUF or memory foam mattress. 

However, latex foam mattresses costs higher than a coir mattress.

3. Body Support: A coir mattress has a firm surface. It cannot provide a good support to the body curves.

A polyurethane mattress is also too soft too provide a good support to the body. They are of soft comfort.

A memory foam mattress gives a good support to the body curves as it moulds to the contours of the body. It is also responsive in nature. A memory foam mattress is of medium-firm in comfort.

Latex mattress gives the best support to the body. They are medium-firm in comfort.

All above are general differences between a coir mattress and a foam mattress.

Now we will take a look at the 3 remarkable difference between them which will help us to take a purchase decision.

So the 3 remarkable differences between a coir mattress and a foam mattress are:

  1. Coir mattresses are good for summer, but a foam mattress is not good for summer.
  2. Foam mattresses lasts longer than a coir mattress.
  3. A latex foam mattress is the best type of mattress in all respects. By all respects we mean material, cost and body support.
Now that you know the differences, take a decision and buy the mattress that fits your budget.

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