Innerspring mattresses are a category of beds that have evolved a lot compared to what they were like decades ago. They are not beds that a have support coil system, but also a comfort layer that’s usually made from something like foam or some other material. An innerspring mattress is usually the least expensive option, so what exactly are the benefits of sleeping on such a bed?
What’s Inside an Innerspring Mattress?
Before we can reveal the ups and downs of owning and sleeping on such a bed, it is important for our readers to understand what is the exact definition of an innerspring mattress and what materials can you expect to find inside it. For the most part, an innerspring mattress is a bed that has comfort layers and a core system that’s made from coils. The comfort layer can be made with materials that range from latex to polyfoam.
In general, an innerspring mattress is a bed that has one layer of coils and another comfort layer on top of it. The core of the mattress can feature four different types of coils, each with its own benefits and characteristics:
- Bonnell coils are the veterans in the picture. Because they are cheaper, they are widely available and used in plenty of innerspring mattress constructions. They have the shape of an hourglass and are molded from temperate steel. Right in the middle of such coils, you can see spiral-shapes wires (helicals), as the overall construction of the coil allows it to handle heavy compression.
- Offset coils are pretty similar to Bonnell coils, but with a few differences. They have the bottom side straightened to that they can hinge under compression. A mattress that falls into this category can either have double offset coils (straightened at the bottom and the top) and free arm offset coils (independent from neighboring coils).
- Continuous wire coils are basically standalone wires molded to create circular shapes. They have helicals on both sides and are known to be quite resilient. However, they are not that good at contouring as other types of coils are.
- Pocketed coils are what you’ll see in the best and more modern innerspring and hybrid mattress support cores. They are also known as Marshall coils and are characterized by the individual pieces of fabric that cover every coil inside the system. The reason why pocketed coils have become the popular and obvious choice is that they are much better at contouring compared to the other options. Since the coils are not connected to one another, that means that they only compress under direct pressure, which eliminates that domino effect and reduces motion transfer. Needless to say, mattresses that have individually-wrapped coils are also more expensive compared to beds that have other types of springs.
Benefits & Drawbacks of an Innerspring Mattress
When people think about an innerspring bed, they probably have the image of that old mattress pop up in their mind, the one that used to sag really fast and would have the coils poke them in ribs while they were sleeping. Make no mistake, innerspring beds have evolved quite a lot from that primitive stage, and now offer plenty of different benefits:
- Innerspring mattresses are bouncy, which is one benefit that attracts a series of other advantages. Some people just prefer bouncy beds because of that traditional feel they provide, but there are more palpable benefits to them. For instance, having a bouncy mattress makes it easier to get in and out of bed, but also to switch from one sleeping position to another. These beds are also good for sex.
- Because of their construction, innerspring beds are more breathable. The space that lies between the coils that make up the support system makes it easier for air to circulate inside the mattress, making them cooler compared to a foam bed, for instance.
- Since these mattresses don’t have that much material in their comfort layer, there are less likely to have a distinct odor. There are plenty of people who complain about off-gassing in foam or latex mattresses, but that’s not the case with innerspring beds.
- Alongside foam beds, innerspring mattresses are the least expensive option that you have. They can serve as affordable beds for your master bedroom, but also a cost-effective option for your guest bedrooms.
- Due to the fact that they have uniform sleeping surfaces, innerspring beds are a good option for stomach sleepers, who need to have their bed push back and prevent the hips from sinking into the bed up to a point where the spine fails to rest in its natural position.
And, of course, it’s also important to know the drawbacks of innerspring mattresses:
- One of the biggest drawbacks of a coil bed is premature sagging. Sadly, because there are few layers lying between your body and the coil system, these mattresses are very likely to sag faster compared to other types of beds, and they are not well-known for their durability.
- Because of the bounce factor of innerspring beds, they don’t rank well in motion isolation tests. That makes them the less desirable option for couples who share a bed.
- One of the most common complaints that people have about different innerspring mattresses is the fact that they are too firm. That’s also due to the minimal design of the comfort layer, causing them to provide minimal contouring.
Even if some think of innerspring beds as being outdated, they have managed to put up a serious fight in the fierce competition that we now see unfolding in the mattress industry. Coil mattresses aren’t always the first solution that people think of when they try to picture what a comfortable bed feels like, but there are plenty of reasons that made the innerspring bed survive.
Aside from being a cost-effective option, innerspring beds are actually good for certain types of sleepers, and they are still one of the most widely available options out there. Even so, there are people who tend to criticize the innerspring bed because of its rather poor contouring and the lack of durability in time.