What Is Innerspring Mattress? A Comprehensive Guide

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What is an innerspring mattress?

Innerspring mattresses are the most commonly used mattresses in the world, and they’re also the oldest type of mattress. The innerspring mattress is constructed from two layers: a metal coil support system and a comfort layer above it.

The basic construction makes it a sufficient choice for most sleeping positions and body types; however, the firmness and support of the innerspring mattress vary depending on multiple factors, such as the number of coils used, the type of coils, and their size.

innerspring construction

Pros of Innerspring Mattresses

Support

Innerspring mattresses are well-known for their sturdy and solid support layer, which makes them an excellent choice for those seeking a mattress with a firmer feel or any sleeper who’s looking for extra support.

Breathability

The coils’ support layer promotes airflow and helps with the circulation of innerspring mattresses, which can promote better airflow and ventilation, which can help dissipate heat and keep you cool while sleeping.

Durability

Innerspring mattresses are generally more durable than other types, especially if they have a high coil count or quality construction.

Affordability

These mattresses are among the most affordable on the market because they don’t feature many materials. The lower price could be beneficial for shoppers with a tighter budget.

Cons of Innerspring Mattresses

Noise

Innerspring mattresses are famous for producing squeaky noises when there’s a movement on top of them, especially if they are of lower quality, which can drastically affect the quality of your sleep.

Motion Transfer

Mattresses with innerspring support cores are bound to have motion transfer levels to some extent as the metal coils transfer the motion across the surface of the mattress, which could cause some disruption, especially in the case of bed-sharing.

Potential for Sagging

Over time, Innerspring mattresses tend to show some wear and tear signs and one of these signs is sagging, however, that completely depends on the quality of the material used in the mattress and if it’s well-maintained or not.

Types of Innerspring Coils

Bonnell Coil

Bonnel coils are the oldest and most traditional type of innerspring coils; they have an hourglass shape, and they are noticeable as they’re interconnected and move in unity.

Offset Coils

Offset coils look and feel like Bonnel coils, but they’re slightly more modified to increase the overall motion isolation performance of the mattress by removing the top and bottom convolutions.

Continuous Coil

Continuous coils are an innerspring type that provides strong support while promoting motion isolation. It consists of rows of coils produced from a single wire.

Pocketed Coil

Pocketed coils are individually wrapped coils, which give them the flexibility to adapt to the body's movement and shape because each coil moves by itself, which not only enhances the motion isolation performance of the mattress but also distributes the body weight equally across the mattress.

How Do You Choose an Innerspring Mattress?

Firmness

Innerspring mattresses are typically on the firmer side, as they feature a thin comfort layer, and their coil support layer makes them more firm and responsive. They tend to range from medium-firm to firm, so sleepers who are looking for a firmer feel and added support, like back sleepers and stomach sleepers, will enjoy innerspring mattresses, but if you’re looking for a soft surface with some sinkage and contouring, then you should consider other types of mattresses, such as the hybrid mattress.

Sleeping Preferences

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers need a mattress with proper support, which makes a medium-firm innerspring mattress perfect for them, as it will promote spinal alignment while maintaining its softness to cushion the shoulders, hips, and lower back.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers often require a mattress with a firmer feel with limited sinkage, and due to the thin layer of foam on the innerspring mattress, it will prevent excessive sinkage and the support core will boost the firmness of the surface and even support across the mattress.

Side Sleepers

For side sleepers to get a comfortable sleep, they need a thick comfort layer with contouring abilities to cushion their hips and shoulders, which doesn’t exist in innerspring mattresses, as they only feature a thin comfort layer, so side sleepers most likely won’t prefer innerspring mattresses.

Weight

Lightweight (Less than 130 lbs)

Light sleepers often want a soft comfort layer, which makes innerspring mattresses not the ideal option for them as they feature a thin comfort layer of foam.

Average Weight (From 130 lbs to 270 lbs)

Average sleepers who are seeking a firmer feel will enjoy innerspring mattresses, especially back and stomach sleepers; however, side sleepers might experience some pressure buildup on their hips and shoulders.

Heavyweight (More than 270 lbs)

Heavy sleepers will find innerspring mattresses to their liking as they will provide them with great support unlike all-foam mattresses; however, if you’re a heavy sleeper, you should keep the coil count of the mattress in mind while choosing your mattress, and you should choose a mattress with a higher coil count.

Budget

Innerspring mattresses are some of the most affordable and budget-friendly in the market, as they only consist of two layers, so if you’re on a tight budget, you should check out innerspring mattress options. Even though the price can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, you will always find an innerspring mattress that fits your budget.

FAQs

Do you need a box spring with an innerspring mattress?

While not strictly necessary, an innerspring mattress still requires a strong foundation for optimal shape and stability. If you choose to use a box spring, ensure its compatibility with the mattress and its good condition. Damaged box springs with sagging or broken slats can negatively impact your mattress's performance. A good box spring can enhance the support, height, and motion isolation of your mattress.

Is an innerspring mattress the same as a hybrid mattress?

Though sharing similarities, innerspring and hybrid mattresses are distinct. Hybrid mattresses utilize spring coils, but over a third of their height is comprised of other materials like foam. In contrast, innerspring mattresses feature a core of supportive metal coils topped with a thin comfort layer, often made of cotton.

Is innerspring or memory foam better for your back?

Innerspring mattresses are excellent for back sleepers due to their supportive steel coil cores. Pocketed coils, in particular, distribute weight evenly for even better support. Memory foam mattresses, while comfortable, may not offer the same level of firmness and support required for back health.

How can you tell if a mattress is innerspring?

Innerspring mattresses typically have a firmer and more responsive feel due to their coil-based construction, with a thin comfort layer on top. Their sturdy and durable nature makes them one of the most popular mattress types globally.

Do innerspring mattresses sag?

With continuous use and time, an innerspring mattress may sag. The best defense against a sagging mattress is to routinely turn or rotate the mattress and take care of it according to the manufacturer's cleaning and care recommendations. If the mattress has already begun to sink, you might be able to correct it by turning it or by adding a mattress topper to make it more comfortable.

Why buy an innerspring mattress?

Innerspring mattresses are very durable and can last for a very long time without showing any signs of wear. They're supportive, firm, and responsive, and they can handle almost every weight range and sleeping style. Additionally, they're one of the most affordable mattresses on the market.

Conclusion

Innerspring mattresses are still relatively common, as they have many benefits and fit many sleeping styles, but they are not suitable for everyone. While some individuals prefer more modern types like hybrids, memory foam, and latex, others also enjoy the classic feel of the innerspring mattress.

It’s crucial to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of an innerspring mattress before purchasing it to make sure that you’re getting a mattress that can fulfill all your sleeping needs.

Dom Abraham

Dom Abraham

As the lead content writer at Sleepiverse. Dom pours his heart into writing mattress reviews, bedding product reviews, and medically-reviewed health articles. Dom is from Portugal and likes to spend his free time writing on the beach as it gives him a sense of comfort. Aside from writing mattress reviews in front of the soothing beach view, Dom likes to experiment with new amazing food ideas.