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Everything You Need to Know About Innerspring Mattresses
So you’re thinking about getting a new bed, and you want to know if an innerspring mattress is the way to go. You’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about coils and springs, so you can make the right choice. As you can see above, we’ve recommended a few of our favorites. But first, let’s understand what makes innerspring so popular.
Think of innerspring as the more traditional bed type. They’ve been around the longest. There have been a ton of new mattress brands coming out with bed-in-a-box foam mattresses in the past few years, but there are still far more innerspring mattresses out there. Some of them come in a box as well (that’s a new thing), but many are delivered the old-fashioned way and many brands will offer to set them up for you.
So what’s the defining feature of innerspring beds? That’s right… they have springs. At their core is a system of springs or coils, made from various different materials, depending on which company is making them. Some mattresses will have one large zone of coils to offer more support. Alternatively, many brands will have these coils individually wrapped, which makes them more responsive and better at contouring to your body—more on that later. Others on the luxurious end of the spectrum will have a combination of both.
Most innerspring beds today will also have a layer or more of foam or latex, which provides a little more comfort, contouring, and motion isolation. For this reason, you could technically consider them “hybrids,” but hybrids
tend to have more of an equal balance between foam or latex and springs, while innersprings consist predominantly of coils and have just some foam or latex.
What You’ll Love About Your Innerspring
You might just save some money. Innerspring mattresses can be less expensive than some memory foam beds, or the much more expensive latex beds. Depending on where you shop, you might get a little more bang for your buck with innerspring. But if you do decide to splurge, you’ll get tremendous luxury and quality.
Innerspring beds also work very well for all kinds of sleep types (side sleepers
, back sleepers
, and stomach
). With great pressure-relief and support, innerspring mattresses are historically very good for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Lighter- and heavier-weight sleepers can also expect to sleep well on these coil systems (lighter-weight sleepers on softer beds, and heavier-weight sleepers on firmer). People who wake up with any kind of joint pain—especially back pain—should see that pain alleviated with the right innerspring mattress. Sometimes that pain is just a sign that you need a new bed. With great pressure-relief and support, innerspring mattresses are historically very good for back sleepers.
Innersprings are not as dense as foam beds. Air flows more freely through them, which means they won’t retain heat as much. You’ll sleep cooler on them.
Springs create great responsiveness, which many people find makes innerspring mattresses the best kind for sex.
What You May Not Love
Springs can make a bit of noise when you move around on them. Innersprings today are much better than they have been in the past when it comes to keeping quiet. The comfort layers surrounding the coils pretty much eliminate any creakiness. They’re almost, but not quite as silent as memory foam or latex beds.
They’re not as good as memory foam or latex at isolating motion. For the same reasons innerspring beds are great for sex (their support, bounce, and responsiveness), they’re not the best at motion isolation. Look for an innerspring bed with layers of foam on top and surrounding the coils and you’ll get better motion isolation.
Finally, innerspring mattresses tend to be firmer and so may not provide the sinking-in contouring that many sleepers enjoy, especially side sleepers
. You will likely get better support with innerspring though, and you can always opt for a softer innerspring, with foam comfort layers, if you want more contouring. If you sleep on your back or stomach, you’ll thrive on a firmer mattress, which will help you keep your spine aligned.
Innerspring vs. Memory Foam and Latex
Innerspring mattresses have multiple comfort layers and structural spring layers, which gives them the ability to provide you with superior overall support. Memory foam beds and latex beds, are more likely to give you the feeling like your body is being enveloped. That means a little less structural support. Both mattress types are capable of keeping your spine in proper alignment to give you great pressure relief. You just have to choose the right firmness level
The level of support that each of these types provide is probably the biggest differentiator between them, aside from the materials that they’re made out of. Latex and memory foam are both a bit better than innerspring at conforming to your body. Some people can’t sleep without the feeling of sinking into their mattress. Meanwhile that same sinking-in dynamic can feel restricting to other sleepers who enjoy sleeping more on top of the bed. For them, the superior support of innerspring is perfect. And brands that have both springs and foam or latex are the best of both worlds. Contouring from the comfort layers and powerful support from the springs.
Support goes hand in hand with responsiveness. Innersprings are more responsive to your movement throughout the night. This creates the feeling more like you’re floating on the bed rather than sinking into it, as we mentioned above. This makes them less than great at isolating motion. Latex mattresses are more responsive than memory foam beds, but not as responsive as innerspring beds.
Is an Innerspring Mattress The Right Choice for Me?
Again, innerspring mattresses serve every kind of sleeper very well (back, stomach, and side sleepers). It’s just about finding the right comfort levels (firm vs. soft) for you. Check out our guide for choosing the right mattress
for you. You’ll definitely be able to find an innerspring bed that works fantastically.
In general, innerspring mattresses won’t give you the same level of contouring as memory foam
. But, you can find some on the softer end of the spectrum if you are looking for greater conforming from your bed. You can also find innerspring mattresses with thick, comfort layers of memory foam on top to give you good conforming and some enveloping feel.
Innersprings beds are also very good at alleviating back pain
, because of the spinal support they offer to back sleepers and stomach sleepers, especially. If you’re a side sleeper, you might want to choose an innerspring mattress that’s on the softer side, so it contours better to your body to relieve pressure on your joints.
If sleeping cool is a priority for you, definitely go with innerspring. They breathe better than foam mattresses. That means great airflow and a cooler sleep
. So people who sleep hot, look to innerspring as a potential answer.
With the number of innerspring mattresses out there, you’re sure to find one that gives you an optimal night’s sleep. We’ve gone ahead and given you a head start by highlighting our top picks above. We recommend them all and encourage you to look at their sites for more information. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Happy shopping and happy sleeping!