Innerspring mattresses are the oldest and most well-known type of mattress. But through the years, the simple innerspring design has been modified and developed upon extensively, introducing a mind-boggling variety of these mattresses in the market.
To help you out, here are our three expert tips for choosing the perfect innerspring mattress for your needs.
What are the different layers of an innerspring mattress?
An innerspring mattress is composed of three principal layers:
Fabric layer is the topmost layer of the mattress. It is the outermost cover of your mattress and as such decides the look as well as the durability. While you will see a wide variety of materials like silk, polyester, cotton, or rayon in use for the fabric layer, the only good options are polyester or cotton, as they will last longer and protect the comfort layer from damage.
The Comfort layer is the part of the mattress that directly supports you, and as such is an important factor toward the comfort and cushioning you experience. Good mattresses contain memory foam or latex in their support layer, while cheaper options use synthetic materials like polypropylene or polyester.
Support layer is the most important part of an innerspring mattress. It consists of the springs or coils that earn these mattresses their name. The type and quality of these coils decide the level of support of your mattress, as well as controlling how well it handles motion transfer. As such, this is the layer that should receive the most consideration from you as a buyer, for this is also the biggest factor in the cost of your mattress.
Which type of support coil should I choose for my innerspring mattress?
Have a limited budget? => Bonnel Coil
Bonnel coils have the simplest coil structure of all innerspring mattresses. Also known as open coils, these mattresses are composed of hourglass shaped coils made of steel. The coils are designed to be thinner in the middle, allowing them to compress at soft pressure.
This simplicity translates to a much lower cost than other innerspring mattresses, making Bonnel coils the perfect choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option. At the same time, the level of support and comfort is not comparable to other variants like offset coils or encased coils.
Want something that avoids motion-transfer? => Continuous Coil
A persistent problem faced by many couples are the disturbances created by their partner's movements on the other side of the bed. In low-cost mattresses, these movements tend to create ripples that affect the whole mattress.
A simple yet effective measure to combat motion transfer is the continuous coil.
Basically, rows of continuous steel springs are attached using helicals to get a seamless structure that evenly distributes pressure without causing ripples through the mattress. Not only does this prevent motion transfer, but it also comes without increasing the price range of the mattress to expensive levels.
Looking for the best contouring and support? => Encased Coil
Memory foam generally wins over innerspring mattresses are far as contouring and support are considered. If you want the best possible features in your innerspring mattress, you should go with the encased coil.
Encased coil, or pocket coil, as it is also sometimes called, is the highest quality of coil type that you can find in an innerspring mattress. As you might have guessed from the name, this type consists of individual springs encased in fabric.
A mattress might be composed of hundreds to even thousands of such 'pockets', giving it an unprecedented level of support. Furthermore, as these encased coils are not connected with one another, they also help give you almost perfect motion isolation, not to mention much better contouring than other mattresses in the market.
The only factor against buying an innerspring mattress with pocket coils is the cost. These tend to be the most expensive mattresses, but with good reason; the longevity and comfort offered by these coils is unparalleled.
Need to strike a balance between quality and affordability? => Offset Coil
If encased coils are too expensive for you, but Bonnel coils too simple, offset coils might just be the thing for you.
Structurally speaking, the coils are similar to open coils. The difference is that these coils are connected by a network of hinges, which greatly improves load sharing, as well as the response to soft pressure.
As a result, offset coils are much better than Bonnel coils or continuous coils in supporting your weight as well as limiting motion transfer. While this also makes it more expensive than those types of coils, the cost is still less than that of an encased coil mattress, making offset coils an attractive alternative.
What other factors are important when buying an innerspring mattress?
What is the basic measure of an innerspring's quality? => Coil Count
If you are looking for a simple ballpark number to quickly compare innerspring mattresses, you can consider the coil count. The coil count is very simply the approximate number of coils that make up the mattress.
Needless to say, if the coil count is too low, your mattress is unlikely to provide much support. At the same time, increasing the coil count beyond a certain level does not add significantly to the comfort either.
At the minimum, aim for a coil count of around 500 for a king size bed, and at least 400 for queen size.
How firm or soft is your mattress? => Coil Gauge
Apart from the coil count, it is the thickness of each coil that affects the quality of the mattress. The coil gauge measures just this. Higher the coil gauge, the thinner the coil, and softer the mattress.
- Consequently, if you are looking for maximum softness, a coil gauge higher than 14 is the best.
- On the other hand, if you want your mattress to be firmer (for example, if you are dealing with back pain), then a coil gauge of 12 is more suitable.