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Are Number of Springs in a Mattress Important?

January 06, 2023

Are Number of Springs in a Mattress Important?

Sleep is crucial for the human body to continue functioning as intended. The average person spends 33 years of their life in bed, so why not ensure you are sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress?

There are many variations of mattresses available on the market, each with varying levels of comfort, support, and other key features. And, it can be difficult to decipher the lingo used among mattress manufacturers. But, with the following guide, we can help sleepers better understand things like pocket-sprung mattresses, types of sleep coils, coil fatigue, coil gauge, and how sleep coils matter in a mattress.

What is an Innerspring Coil?

The innerspring coil mattress, founded in 1899 by James Marshall, is one of the oldest mattress types to date. The innerspring coil was first patented by a Canadian company in 1900. It is made with spring coils designed to provide a support center that is surrounded by a comfortable layer of fabric. Innerspring coils, once referred to as “Marshall coils” have evolved throughout the years, providing varying levels of comfort, support, and much more.

In an innerspring mattress, the core support is generally made of steel metal coils, but advances throughout the years have produced coils made of different materials for differing support needs. There are many types of coil spring systems, each with varying support, shapes, designs, and number of coils in each mattress.

What is a Pocket-Sprung Mattress?

Pocket-sprung mattresses are a type of mattress manufactured using innerspring coils that are individually wrapped or packaged in fabric pockets, rather than joined together by physically touching. Pocket-sprung mattresses are some of the oldest types of mattresses available, and tend to be the most affordable, depending on the type of coil spring used, spring counts, and other comfort features.

Pocket spring mattresses offer an even layer of support, unlike many other mattresses in the same price range, as the individual springs can compress separately under differing sleeper’s body weights.

Types of Spring Coils

Many factors must be considered when choosing the right pocket-sprung mattress. The material used to create springs in a mattress has a huge impact on the type and amount of mattress support. Common types of pocket springs include:

Open Springs

Interconnected coils, or open coil component mattresses, are manufactured with metal coils shaped like an hourglass figure, meaning they are wider at the top and bottom than they are in the middle. Open coil springs are often referred to as Bonnell coils, and are best suited for young children and teenagers, as they are not equipped to support the body weight of a grown adult. When mattress shopping on a budget, you are likely to see an open coil mattress within your price range.

Quantum Springs

Quantum coil components are micro-pocketed coils designed to offer support that will withstand the life of the mattress. These springs are a smaller diameter spring when compared to other springs used, but they are extremely resilient, and can maintain their shape for years. With quantum coils being a smaller spring, there is room for more springs than other spring mattresses can hold, allowing these mattresses to provide more firm support.

Offset Springs

Offset coils are similar to Bonnell coils in that they are made with an hourglass shape, but there are remarkable differences between the two springs listed. These pocket springs are found in individual pockets, but rather than a rounded top and bottom, offset springs are more squared.

These springs help sleepers get a good night’s sleep, regardless of sleep position or body weight, as they are designed to provide a strong, firm push against heavy body weight, but flex when light pressure is applied. This varying support helps offset spring mattresses, and provides relief to pressure points, motion isolation, and fewer aches and pains.

Continuous Wire Springs

Continuous wire coils are perhaps the most inexpensive springs in spring mattresses. These coils consist of loose coils connected by a single wire that provides even spacing throughout the mattress to limit motion transfer while sleeping. Continuous springs offer the best support when used with a thick layer of comfort material, like memory foam.

Comfort Springs

Comfort coils are just as they sound, micro-coils that are only used in the comfort layer of pocket-sprung mattresses. Unlike larger springs, comfort springs are shorter than most, helping them to provide a cloud-like comfort. These coils are excellent for sleepers who suffer sore joints, but do not need firm support.

Pocket Springs

Pocket springs, generally made of steel, are one of the most common types of spring systems used in pocket-sprung mattresses. These springs are known to be versatile in that the individual springs are wrapped separately, so they only compress when direct pressure is applied. Each coil is wrapped inside individual fabric pockets that are often glued or sewn together.

Pocket-sprung mattresses are durable, provide motion isolation, and offer more support compared to other mattresses; however, this is often accompanied by a higher price point for shoppers, due to the complexity of construction.

What is the Spring Count of a New Pocket-Sprung Mattress?

A pocket-sprung mattress is constructed with a single layer of quality pocket springs, individually wrapped to provide optimal comfort and support to sleepers. A mattress with more springs does not equate to the quality of high-end mattresses, and vice versa.

Mattress spring count refers to the total number of pocket springs within the entire mattress. Whether you are shopping online, or in-stores, mattress manufacturers advertising pocket-sprung mattresses will detail the total spring count of mattresses in the description.

Spring Count vs Spring Gauge

Understanding spring count can be confusing, as mattress manufacturers have geared advertising their products to seem as if a higher spring count makes their mattresses better than the competition. The number of springs in a mattress affects many things, but it is not the sole determinant of how comfortable or supportive a pocket-sprung mattress will be.

Two things come into play in determining if a pocket spring mattress will be a good mattress for you - spring count and spring gauge.

What is Spring Count?

In pocket sprung mattresses, spring or coil count refers to the total number of springs throughout the mattress, whether they be in one layer, or multiple. Spring mattresses can come with as many springs as can fit, but the number of pocket springs increasing does not increase the comfort of a new mattress.

What is a Spring Gauge?

The spring or coil gauge of pocket-sprung mattresses is directly related to the thickness of the wire used to manufacture pocket springs. Coil wires are generally between 13 gauge to 17 gauge, with a 13 gauge wire being thicker than a 17 gauge wire. Coils made with a lower gauge wire tend to be more durable; however, high gauge coils offer better flexibility.

In mattresses with pocketed coils, you can expect to find a higher spring count of smaller coils, whereas offset coils and Bonnell coils are larger coils with a lower total spring count. As a result, sleepers will see differing levels of support and responsiveness when comparing pocket spring mattresses and Bonnell spring mattresses.

What is Coil Fatigue?

Pocket spring mattresses that are manufactured without tempered steel coils tend to be of lower quality, and wear out more quickly than those with tempered steel springs. It is important to pay attention to the metals used to construct an innerspring mattress, as even low-quality pocket spring mattresses will provide great support at first, but the coils will experience fatigue, and wear out quicker than others.

Even the best pocket-sprung mattress, when made with thinner coils, will begin sagging in areas where more pressure is applied. Experts recommend purchasing a pocket sprung mattress with a lower coil gauge, 13 gauge or lower, as the thicker wire can withstand heavier weight.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Pocket Springs Should I be Sleeping On?

A better mattress is not necessarily one with a higher spring count. On average, a king-sized mattress with pocket springs should have a spring count of at least 1,000 for optimal comfort.

Sleep specialists recommend shoppers look for spring mattresses with spring counts of 1,000 to 1,500, but anything more than that, you are paying a significantly higher price without much reward. A good pocket-sprung mattress, made with high-quality coils, can be found with a spring count of 800, making it a more affordable mattress without breaking the bank.

What is the Least Amount of Springs Recommended in Spring Mattresses?

Spring mattresses can be tricky to understand. Many think a higher spring count equates to better sleep, while lower spring counts mean increased aches and pains, but this could not be further from the truth.

A good mattress, whether it be pocket sprung mattresses, or memory foam mattresses, offers adequate air circulation, enhances sleep quality, and does not bankrupt you after your purchase. Spring mattresses and spring counts should be decided based on personal preferences, and should not be defined by how many pocket springs are in the mattress.

The bare minimum number of springs that should be in pocket spring mattresses is:

  • Full - 300 springs
  • Queen - 400 springs
  • King - 480 springs

Does a Higher Number of Springs Make a Mattress Softer or Firmer?

The firmness level of a mattress is not determined by how many pocket springs are used during construction. Many things go into determining how soft or firm a mattress will be, including fillings and materials used inside the mattress, the type of base of a mattress, how many turns are in each spring, and the coil gauge (thickness) of each spring.

How Many Pocket Springs are in an Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattress?

We offer all standard-size mattresses, and also a Twin XL and California King, each of which is accompanied by a different number of springs:

  • Twin - 682 springs
  • Twin XL - 722 springs
  • Full - 896 springs
  • Queen - 1,057 springs
  • King - 1,283 springs
  • California king - 1,280 springs

The total spring count of our mattresses is not the sole determinant when it comes to deciding how comfortable a mattress will be. We use two coil gauges during production — a 15 gauge coil center for comfort, surrounded by 16 gauge quantum coils for exceptional edge support.

Our quantum coils provide motion isolation to ensure your partner is not disrupted by movements throughout the night, experiences fewer dips and sags, and are heat-treated to offer longer-lasting edge support for the entire mattress. The unique construction of our 15 gauge quantum coils allows each coil to move independently of the others, to compress uniquely for optimal airflow, spinal alignment, and improved support.

How Eco Terra can Help You Achieve Excellent Sleep

For decades, only a select few understood how sleeping on certified latex could improve sleep quality, leaving mattress manufacturers to drive up the price of mattresses made with a latex material.

At Eco Terra, we set out with a mission to design a revolutionary latex mattress that is affordable for all. There are many things that manufacturers must consider when constructing the perfect mattress, including how well it will accommodate all sleepers, as well as the safety and purity of materials used.

Our Hybrid Latex mattress is made with Global Organic Textile Standard certified organic wool and organic cotton, certified by the industry’s highest and most difficult-to-attain environmental criteria. The fabric-encased coil core is equipped with a single layer of isolated quantum coils, designed for exceptional body support.

All products made by Eco Terra are handcrafted in California to ensure our superior quality standards and excellent craftsmanship are not compromised. Our popular latex mattress is made with eco-friendly, non-toxic materials, polyurethane-free, and is backed by our risk-free guarantee to include free shipping, hassle-free returns, and a 90-night sleep trial for you to get a true feel for the mattress's qualities. To ensure the quality of our materials is not compromised, we have partnered directly with sustainable farmers in Asia who carry the same quality expectations that we do.

Our single-source origin for latex production, alongside our pressure-relieving quantum coils and natural materials used during production, allows us to produce affordable, comfortable sleep products that are affordable, so everyone can enjoy nature’s secret to deep, rejuvenating sleep. Everyone should be able to afford to rest comfortably, and with Eco Terra, you can do just that.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 11 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.