Why You Should Trust Us
Leveraging our vast knowledge and experience in the sleep product industry, we carefully analyze each product we review to provide an unbiased assessment.
Our goal is to help you choose the right sleep products for your needs, lifestyle, and budget. To that end, we perform a variety of in-depth tests that look at factors such as motion isolation, temperature regulation, and pressure relief. In addition to our quantitative research, we rely on feedback from testers of varying body types and position preferences to get a clear idea of how the same mattress performs for different individuals.
What Is an Innerspring Mattress?
An innerspring mattress consists primarily of metal coils. The gauge, or thickness, of the coils helps determine the firmness of the mattress. A higher gauge means the coil is thinner, which leads to a softer mattress. Lower-gauge coils are thicker and firmer, leading to a firmer mattress.
The type of coils also affects the mattress’ performance. Bonnell coils, offset coils, continuous wire coils, and pocketed coils are common options. Each has potential benefits and drawbacks.
While traditional innerspring beds have little to no comfort system, modern innerspring mattresses usually include a cushioning comfort system consisting of latex, foam, or fiber to alleviate pressure.
Today, most quality innerspring models are durable and budget-friendly. This mattress type is also widely available, giving you plenty of options.
Innerspring Mattress vs. Airbed
While an innerspring mattress has a coil core, an airbed uses air chambers for support. Most airbeds have at least two air chambers, though some incorporate more. You can adjust the firmness by adding or releasing air using a remote or app, which makes this type of mattress more versatile than an innerspring. Airbeds are also generally more durable than innersprings. However, airbeds tend to be significantly more expensive and lack an innerspring model’s distinctive springiness.
Like an innerspring mattress, an airbed’s comfort system may include foam or latex for added plushness. Similarly, models with thicker comfort systems usually offer more pressure relief.
Innerspring vs. Hybrid Mattress
Differentiating between hybrid and innerspring mattresses can be difficult since both rely on metal coils for support. Innerspring models used to have little or no comfort system, whereas hybrids have always included significant comfort systems. Now, innerspring and hybrid beds both generally contain coil support cores and latex, polyfoam, or memory foam comfort layers.
Because of the obvious similarities, many manufacturers use the terms “innerspring” and “hybrid” interchangeably. That said, hybrid models generally have thicker comfort systems and higher price tags. They also tend to last slightly longer.
What Are the Different Types of Innersprings?
Innerspring models typically use one of several common coil varieties. Each type performs a little differently based on its construction.
Shaped like hourglasses and connected by spiral wires, Bonnell coils are the traditional option for innerspring mattresses. These coils are budget-friendly, but they’re a little less responsive and more prone to squeaking and transferring motion than some alternatives.
Offset coils also have an hourglass shape interconnected with spiral wires, but their sides are more square-shaped. Under pressure, they flex like a hinge,which allows for good contouring, limited noise, and reduced motion transfer. However, offset coils are typically more expensive than Bonnell coils.
Continuous Wire Coils
Continuous wire coils are made with a single wire twisted into a row of loose coils. These coils are typically inexpensive and durable, giving the mattress a firm and stable feel. However, because they’re all made of one piece of wire, they don’t contour as closely to the body, and they tend to transfer motion.
Pocketed coils are individual springs, each wrapped separately in fabric. Since they’re not connected, pocketed coils can respond independently to movement and pressure. This limits motion transfer and relieves pressure points. While pocketed coils are generally the most expensive kind of coil, they also tend to be the most durable.
Should You Sleep on an Innerspring Mattress?
If you need stable support, tend to sleep hot, or just have a limited budget, an innerspring mattress could be right for you.
Our tests have shown that stomach and back sleepers often have an easier time maintaining good spinal alignment with innerspring mattresses due to the innerspring’s coil core and thinner comfort system. Testers who weigh over 230 pounds have also frequently reported appreciating the solid support of innerspring models.
Additionally, innerspring mattresses are often popular with hot sleepers. This is because the coil system allows air to circulate freely, which helps heat dissipate. Models with thin comfort systems generally don’t hug too closely to your body, which also reduces heat buildup.
Budget-conscious shoppers may also prefer an innerspring mattress over a hybrid, all-foam, or latex bed due to cost. Some of the most affordable models on the market are innersprings, and many are reasonably high quality. We’ve put together a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of innerspring mattresses below.