Choosing an Innerspring Mattress is Making Me Crazy!

I hear the same thing all the time from my older customers: “Why are there so many different mattresses to choose from?  When I was young, there was a soft one, and a firm one…”  The short answer is that one size does not fit all.  The long answer is too long to answer in one blog post, but I’m sure that I’ll end up covering it all at some point.  Today, we’re going to focus on the innerspring mattress.  Even when you strip off the padding, covers, and edge support, there are huge differences in coil systems between beds.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the different coil systems that are out there, just the most popular ones.

Pocketed coil beds are perhaps the easiest explained coil system that is currently made.  Each coil is individually wrapped in it’s own cloth bag.  The coil is usually compressed before it is sealed up in it’s bag, so it’s always tensed and ready to spring.  The bags are assembled and glued together, about half way down the length of the coil.  This allows for individual movement of each coil.  These are great for eliminating motion disturbance, and they offer better conformance than most other innerspring mattresses.

The Bonnell coil system is the most traditional coil system, and is used in most entry level beds.  Each coil is attached together at the top and the bottom with a helical wire, usually across the bed side to side.  Each coil is in an hourglass shape, being thinner in the middle of the coil than at the top and the bottom.  The Bonnell coil system is inexpensive, and offers adequate support.  However, they aren’t built to last forever, and are pretty bouncy.

The double offset coil unit is the next option.  These coils are very similar to Bonnell coils, because they are also in an hourglass shape.  However, they have a squared off portion at the head and foot of the coil, making them more durable and easier laced together.

Some manufacturers make their innerspring mattress out of one continuous wire, called a continuous coil.  This is type of coil system is very durable, as each coil can be supported by the coils around it, but this type is very bouncy, and not necessarily the best for couples.

The coil system is what gives each innerspring mattress it’s support.  Coil counts aren’t as important and the coil composition, and placement in the bed.  Add to all of these different brands, types, feels, memory foam, latex, pillow tops, and euro tops, and you’ve got hundreds of beds to choose from.

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About Alyssa Linvill

Alyssa has been in the mattress industry since 2001, and is very interested in how sleep and comfort affect our quality of life. She has done extensive research regarding the way that mattresses and sleep position both aggravate and alleviate common medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and sleep apnea. Currently, Alyssa is helping seniors in Central Florida get a better night's sleep at Dr Snooze, where more attention is paid to the clinical and scientific side of mattress selection. She also writes the blog for Dr Snooze, and has put out many different articles and writings about medical conditions and sleep, as well as reviews on products and ways of making sleeping and mattresses healthier.

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