What should I look for in an innerspring mattress?


Choosing the Perfect Innerspring Mattress for Optimal Comfort and Support

Is it time to replace your old, worn-out mattress? Are you tired of tossing and turning all night, only to wake up with aches and pains? If so, it's time to consider investing in an innerspring mattress. With their proven track record of providing both support and comfort, innerspring mattresses remain a popular choice among sleepers. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we will delve into the key factors to look for in an innerspring mattress, ensuring you make an informed decision that leads to countless nights of restful sleep.

What Sets Innerspring Mattresses Apart?

Innerspring mattresses are constructed using a series of metal coils or springs that provide support and structure. Each coil is individually wrapped or connected, allowing them to respond to your body's movements and distribute your weight evenly. Unlike other mattress types, such as memory foam or latex, innerspring mattresses offer a more traditional feel, combining a responsive surface and excellent breathability. This combination makes them particularly suitable for hot sleepers or individuals who prefer a cooler sleep environment.

The Importance of Coil Count and Gauge

When it comes to evaluating the quality and support of an innerspring mattress, two essential factors to consider are the coil count and gauge. The coil count refers to the number of coils present in the mattress. Generally, a higher coil count signifies better contouring support and improved durability. However, keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. It's crucial to prioritize mattresses with tempered steel coils, as they offer superior longevity and resistance to sagging.

On the other hand, the gauge measures the thickness of the coils. Lower gauge coils are thicker and firmer, making them ideal for individuals who prefer a more supportive feel. Alternatively, higher gauge coils are thinner and more flexible, creating a softer mattress surface. The choice between coil gauges ultimately depends on your personal preferences and desired level of support.

Exploring Different Coil Types

Not all innerspring mattresses are created equal. Beyond the coil count and gauge, it's vital to understand the various types of coils available. Each coil type offers unique benefits, influencing the overall support, motion isolation, and durability of the mattress. Here are some common coil systems you may come across in your search:

1. Bonnell Coils: Bonnell coils are the most traditional and widely used type of coils in innerspring mattresses. They have an hourglass shape, which provides excellent support and stability. However, bonnell coils have minimal motion isolation and tend to transfer movement, making them less suitable for light sleepers or those sharing a bed.

2. Continuous Coils: Continuous coil systems consist of rows of coils made from a single piece of wire. This type of construction enhances durability and provides consistent support throughout the mattress. Continuous coils also promote better motion isolation compared to bonnell coils.

3. Offset Coils: Offset coils have a similar shape to bonnell coils, but with a squared-off top and bottom. The squared design helps reduce motion transfer and provides more targeted support to different parts of your body. Due to their unique shape, offset coils generally offer enhanced contouring capabilities and reduced pressure points.

4. Pocketed Coils: Also known as individually wrapped coils or encased coils, pocketed coils are considered the gold standard of innerspring mattresses. These coils are each wrapped in a fabric pocket, allowing them to move independently and provide targeted support to different areas of your body. Pocketed coils excel at isolating motion, making them an excellent choice for couples or light sleepers.

The Role of Comfort Layers

While the coil system is the backbone of an innerspring mattress, the comfort layers play a crucial role in providing cushioning and pressure relief. These layers are typically made from materials like foam, latex, or natural fibers, and they are placed on top of the coils to enhance comfort.

When evaluating comfort layers, it's essential to consider the thickness and density of the materials used. Opting for thicker comfort layers can provide additional softness, while denser materials offer more support and durability. The right combination of comfort layers will depend on your personal preferences and desired level of firmness.

Understanding Firmness Levels

Finding the perfect firmness level is vital to ensure a good night's sleep. Innerspring mattresses are available in a range of firmness options, from plush to extra firm. The appropriate firmness level largely depends on your sleeping position, body weight, and personal preferences.

Side sleepers typically benefit from a medium to medium-soft mattress, as it allows for better spinal alignment and pressure relief on the hips and shoulders. Back sleepers often find medium to firm mattresses more suitable, as they provide a balance of support and comfort. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, tend to require a firmer mattress to prevent excessive sinkage and maintain proper alignment.

Considerations for Motion Transfer and Edge Support

If you share your bed with a partner or tend to move around frequently during the night, it's crucial to consider motion transfer when choosing an innerspring mattress. While innerspring mattresses may not excel at isolating motion compared to foam or hybrid mattresses, certain features can help minimize it.

Pocketed coil systems, as mentioned earlier, are particularly effective at reducing motion transfer. The individual coils can move independently, limiting the ripple effect caused by your partner's movements. Additionally, mattresses with thicker comfort layers can absorb some of the motion, further improving overall motion isolation.

Another factor to consider is edge support. If you find yourself frequently sitting or sleeping near the edge of the mattress, strong edge support is essential to maximize the usable surface area. Look for mattresses with reinforced edges or perimeter support systems that prevent sagging and provide a stable feel.


Choosing the right innerspring mattress is a significant investment in your sleep quality and overall well-being. By understanding the key factors to look for, such as coil count, gauge, coil types, comfort layers, firmness levels, and motion transfer, you can make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs. Remember, everyone's preferences differ, so take the time to try out different mattresses and seek reputable brands that offer sleep trials or return policies. With the perfect innerspring mattress, you can look forward to nights filled with unparalleled comfort and rejuvenating sleep.


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