Close up of internal view of innerspring mattress structure, the bonnell coils can be seen between the comfort layers.


All about Innerspring Mattresses:

Tips, Tricks, and Must-Knows

By Sleep First May 09, 2023

Take your time and do your research when shopping for a mattress, and don't be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from experts. 

by Sleep First 12 min read

You toss, you turn, and you count sheep, but nothing seems to work. You know you need a new mattress, but where do you even begin? With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of mattresses. But fear not, because today we're talking about the classic innerspring mattress.

The innerspring mattress is the one you probably grew up with, and it's still a popular choice for many people today. And if you're looking for a classic option that won't break the bank, an innerspring mattress might just be the answer. In this blog post, we're going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to innerspring mattresses.


What is an innerspring mattress?


Definition and history

An innerspring mattress is a type of mattress that provides support and comfort using a system of metal coils. Depending on the kind of innerspring mattress, the coils are normally constructed of steel and are organized in a number of designs and combinations. Innerspring mattresses are popular among many sleepers due to their low cost and widespread availability.

This type of mattress has been around for almost a century, with the earliest patent obtained in 1865 for an innerspring mattress. Since that moment, innerspring mattresses have seen several changes and breakthroughs, including the development of alternate coil configurations, the inclusion of comfort layers, and improvements in durability and longevity.

How it works

Innerspring mattresses provide support and comfort using a system of metal coils. When you put weight on the mattress, the coils compress and push back, producing a supportive surface for you to sleep on. The coil system is often wrapped by many layers of padding and upholstery, such as foam or fiberfill, to give extra comfort and cushioning.

The firmness and feel of an innerspring mattress can vary widely depending on the type of coils used, the number of coils, and the type and thickness of the comfort layers. In general, a higher coil count and thicker comfort layers will result in a softer, more plush mattress, while a lower coil count and thinner comfort layers will result in a firmer, more supportive mattress.

The anatomy of an innerspring mattress

The anatomy of an innerspring mattress can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific model, but there are some common components that most innerspring mattresses share. These components include:

  • Coil system: The coil system is the backbone of the mattress and provides the primary support. There are several types of coil systems and different shapes used in innerspring mattresses.
  • Comfort layers: Comfort layers are the materials that sit on top of the coil system and provide additional cushioning and support. Comfort layers can be made of a variety of materials, such as foam, fiberfill, or wool.
  • Upholstery layers: Upholstery layers are the layers of padding and fabric that cover the comfort layers and create the outermost layer of the mattress. Upholstery layers can include materials such as cotton, polyester, or silk.
  • Border and edge support: Border and edge support are components that help to keep the mattress in shape and prevent sagging. This can include reinforced edges, extra coils around the perimeter, or additional padding.

Types of innerspring mattresses

Bonnell coils

The most common type of innerspring coils used in mattresses are Bonnell coils. They are hourglass-shaped and connected by a grid-like arrangement of helical wires. Bonnell coils are known for their durability and affordability, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious shoppers. They may, however, be less sensitive to body motions and have greater motion transfer than other types of coils.

Continuous coils

Continuous coils, also known as Mira coils, are made from a single piece of wire that is formed into a series of S-shaped coils. The coils are then connected by a series of helical wires that run the length of the mattress. Continuous coils provide consistent support and can be more responsive to body movements than Bonnell coils. However, they may have more motion transfer and may not contour to the body as well as other types of coils.

Offset coils

Offset coils are like Bonnell coils but have a flattened top and bottom that provides a more consistent and supportive surface to sleep on. The flattened shape also allows for better contouring to the body, which can provide more comfort and reduce pressure points. Although offset coils can be more expensive than Bonnell coils, they could be a better choice for those who want more support and prefer a firmer mattress.

Pocketed coils

Pocketed coils, also known as Marshall coils, are individually wrapped coils that are encased in fabric pockets. This enables each coil to move independently of the others, resulting in more focused support and less motion transmission. Pocketed coils are commonly found in high-end mattresses and might be an excellent choice for couples who wish to reduce the disturbance produced by their partner's movements.

Comparison of the different types

When choosing an innerspring mattress, it's important to consider the type of coils used and how they will affect the comfort and support of the mattress. Bonnell coils are a good choice for budget-conscious shoppers who want a durable and affordable mattress. Continuous coils may be a better option for those who want a more responsive mattress that can contour to the body. Offset coils are a good choice for those who need more support and prefer a firmer mattress. Pocketed coils are the most advanced type of innerspring coils and can provide the most targeted support and reduced motion transfer. However, they can be more expensive than other types of coils.

Finally, the ideal sort of innerspring mattress will be determined by your own individual needs and preferences. When looking for a new mattress, try on various types and styles to locate the one that feels the most comfortable and supportive to you.

Factors to consider when buying an innerspring mattress

Firmness level

The firmness of an innerspring mattress may play an important role in defining comfort and support. A mattress that is excessively firm might put pressure on the joints and create discomfort, whereas a mattress that is too soft may not give appropriate spine support and cause back pain. It is critical to get a comfortable balance between hardness and softness for your specific needs.

Coil count

The number of coils in an innerspring mattress can also affect comfort and support. The higher the coil count, in general, the more supportive the mattress. However, coil count is not the only factor to consider when selecting a mattress, since coil thickness and quality may have a considerable impact on the overall feel and longevity of the mattress.

Comfort layers

The materials that lie on top of the coil system to give additional cushioning and support are referred to as comfort layers. These layers can be made of many materials, including foam, fiberfill, and wool. The thickness and quality of the comfort layers can have a considerable impact on the mattress's overall comfort and feel.

Support and alignment

A good innerspring mattress should give appropriate spine support and aid in maintaining proper alignment while sleeping. This is especially important for those who have back pain or other joint problems. A mattress that is either too soft or too hard might create alignment problems and discomfort or pain.

Durability and longevity

When purchasing an innerspring mattress, it is critical to evaluate its durability. A high-quality mattress should last for many years without sagging or losing form. To guarantee that you get the most out of your investment, search for a mattress manufactured with high-quality materials and backed by a robust warranty.

Benefits and drawbacks of innerspring mattresses


  • Affordability: Innerspring mattresses are frequently less expensive than other types of mattresses, making them a popular choice for those on a tight budget.
  • Breathability: The open form of innerspring mattresses allows for improved air circulation, keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
  • Wide availability: Innerspring mattresses are readily accessible in several forms and pricing ranges, making them simple to locate and purchase.


  • Motion transfer: Innerspring mattresses can be prone to motion transfer, meaning that movement on one side of the bed can be felt on the other side. This can be a problem for couples who have different sleep schedules or who are easily disturbed by movement during the night.
  • Noise: Innerspring mattresses can be noisy, especially if the coils are not properly cushioned. This can be a problem for light sleepers or for people who are easily disturbed by noise during the night.
  • Less contouring than other mattress types: Innerspring mattresses may not contour to the body as well as other types of mattresses, such as memory foam or latex. This can lead to pressure points and discomfort for some sleepers.


Tips for maintaining and caring for an innerspring mattress

Regular rotation and flipping

Rotating and flipping your innerspring mattress can help to extend its lifespan and prevent sagging. Most manufacturers recommend rotating the mattress 180 degrees every three months and flipping it over once or twice a year. This helps to distribute the weight evenly and prevent the coils from wearing out in certain areas.

Proper support

Innerspring mattresses need appropriate support to avoid sagging and keep their form. Assemble your mattress on a stable, flat surface, such as a platform bed or box spring. If you're going to use a box spring, be sure it's in good shape and doesn't sag in the middle.

Cleaning and maintenance

Keeping your innerspring mattress clean and well-maintained can help to extend its lifespan and prevent the buildup of dust mites and allergens. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your mattress:

  • Use a mattress protector: A mattress protector can help to protect your mattress from spills, stains, and dust mites. Be sure to choose a protector that is breathable and machine washable for easy cleaning.
  • Vacuum regularly: Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and debris from your mattress. Pay special attention to the seams and edges, where dust mites and allergens can accumulate.
  • Spot clean stains: If you spill something on your mattress, clean it up immediately with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as these can damage the fabric and coils.
  • Air it out: Periodically remove the sheets and blankets from your mattress and let it air out for a few hours. This can help to reduce odors and freshen up the mattress.

By following these tips for maintaining and caring for your innerspring mattress, you can help to extend its lifespan and keep it clean and comfortable for years to come.


How long does an innerspring mattress last?

The lifespan of an innerspring mattress can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the materials, how often it's used, and how well it's maintained. However, a good quality innerspring mattress can last for several years with proper care and maintenance, typically around 7 to 10 years.

How to ship an innerspring mattress?

Shipping an innerspring mattress can be a challenge due to its size and weight. To ensure safe transit, choose a reputable shipping company that specializes in shipping mattresses like FedEx, UPS, or mattress shipping companies. Prepare the mattress by wrapping it in plastic or a mattress bag, placing it in a sturdy box or crate, and filling empty spaces with bubble wrap or foam. Seal securely with packing tape and label it with shipping instructions. Schedule a pick-up or drop-off time and track the shipment online. Careful handling and preparation are essential to prevent damage during transit.

How to pack innerspring mattresses when moving?

Packing an innerspring mattress for a move requires careful handling and cushioning to prevent damage during transit. Remove all bedding and clean the mattress before wrapping it in a plastic bag or sheet secured with packing tape. Use moving straps or rope to secure the mattress to a hand truck or dolly for transport to the moving truck or van. During transit, ensure the mattress is secured tightly. When unloading, handle it carefully to avoid damaging the coils and upholstery. These steps can help ensure your mattress arrives at its destination in good condition.

How to dispose an innerspring mattress?

When disposing of an innerspring mattress, there are a few options. The first one is to contact your local trash management or recycling center and ask if they have a mattress recycling program in place. If they don't, you might consider donating the mattress to a charity or shelter in your community. In case the mattress is in poor condition, the last resort would be to dispose of it at a landfill.
Additionally, some stores or manufacturers may provide disposal services when you buy a new mattress. Remember that properly disposing of your old innerspring mattress is critical for reducing waste and minimizing environmental effect.

How much are innerspring mattresses?

The price of an innerspring mattress varies based on several criteria, including the brand, size, quality, and materials used.

Innerspring mattresses often range in price from $300 to $2000 or more. Lower-cost versions often have a plainer design and fewer features, but higher-cost models may have more advanced technology and extra comfort layers.
Some high-end innerspring mattresses can cost thousands of dollars. When buying for an innerspring mattress, keep your budget and demands in mind, and conduct some research to discover the greatest value for your money.

What kind of foundations do spring mattresses use?

Innerspring mattresses are typically supported by one of two types of foundations: box springs or platform foundations. Box springs feature a wooden frame with a spring mechanism inside, whereas platform foundations are solid and flat. Both may be used with innerspring mattresses; however the choice is based on personal preference and mattress requirements.

Some innerspring mattresses are compatible with adjustable beds. However, it is extremely important to select an innerspring mattress that is compatible with the adjustable base. These mattresses frequently have more flexible coil systems and extra cushioning to improve conformability and flexibility.

Who needs an innerspring mattress?

Several types of sleepers can benefit from using an innerspring mattress. Here are some of them:

  • Those who tend to sleep hot as it has good airflow and breathability.
  • People who are constantly shifting positions during the night as it offers bigger bounce than other types of mattresses.
  • People with back or joint pain because innerspring mattresses typically provide good support for the spine and joints.
  • Those who prefer a traditional feel as this type of mattress has been on the market for a long time and feel familiar to them.
  • People on a budget because innerspring mattresses are generally more affordable than some other types of mattresses.

The firmness of an innerspring mattress can be changed?

Yes, if your innerspring mattress is too firm, you can add a soft or medium-firm mattress topper to give additional cushioning and contouring. If your mattress is too soft, you may add a firmer topper to give additional support and avoid sinking.

Remember that while adding a mattress topper might improve the feel of the mattress, it may not totally modify the firmness level. A topper may not be adequate to reach the ideal degree of comfort and support if your mattress is exceptionally hard or extremely soft. In some circumstances, you may need to investigate alternative solutions, such as replacing the mattress or changing the base.

What is the coil gauge in an innerspring mattress?

The coil gauge in an innerspring mattress refers to the thickness of the wire used to make the coils. A lower gauge number means a thicker wire and a firmer mattress, while a higher gauge number means a thinner wire and a softer mattress.

What is the coil count in an innerspring mattress?

The coil count in an innerspring mattress refers to the number of coils used in the mattress. Generally, a higher coil count means a more supportive mattress, but the thickness and quality of the coils can also affect the overall feel and durability of the mattress.

How should I choose the right firmness level for my innerspring mattress?

The right firmness level for your innerspring mattress depends on your individual needs and preferences. As a general rule, back sleepers typically prefer a firmer mattress, while side sleepers prefer a softer mattress. However, it's important to choose a mattress that feels comfortable and supportive for your individual needs.

In our blog we have prepared a guide on how to choose the perfect mattress for your needs, take a look at it, we hope it can be very helpful.

How can I tell if my innerspring mattress needs to be replaced?

Signs that your innerspring mattress may need to be replaced include sagging or indentations in the mattress, visible wear and tear, and a decrease in comfort and support level. If you're having trouble sleeping because of discomfort or pain, it could be time to replace your mattress.

How can I reduce motion transfer in an innerspring mattress?

To reduce motion transfer in an innerspring mattress, you can choose a model that has individually pocketed coils, which can help to isolate movement and prevent it from transferring to other parts of the mattress. You can also use a mattress topper or pad to provide additional cushioning and absorb motion.


Innerspring mattresses have been around for over a century and remain a popular choice for many sleepers today. They are known for their affordability, breathability, and wide availability. With different types of coils, comfort layers, and support options, innerspring mattresses can provide a range of firmness levels and feels to suit individual needs and preferences.


While there are some drawbacks, such as motion transfer and noise, proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan and comfort of an innerspring mattress.


And remember, when choosing a mattress, it's important to consider your personal needs, preferences, and budget. Its super important to test out different options to find the one that feels most comfortable and supportive for you.

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