Coil Sprung Mattresses. The Facts

An extremely popular choice of mattress on the market and one that is most widely available are Coil Sprung Mattresses. As with all mattresses when considering a purchase you need to take into account comfort and durability. After all we all desire a good nights sleep while protecting our spine from any undue stress and strain.


Coil mattresses consist of a wire coil inside the mattress which is then filled and the ticking applied. There are three things to consider with this type of mattress the gauge, working turns and tempering. Also with a coil mattress there are three main coil designs being hourglass, pocketed and continuous.

The gauge in a coil mattress is the thickness of the wire utilised in the manufacture of the coil. Normally you would think the higher/thicker the wire the better however, this is not the case here. Coil gauge range from 12 centimetres to 15 3/4 centimetres on most national brands. As it transpires the higher the gauge, the thinner the coil. With thinner coils they are more flexible and produce a softer feel in the mattress. A coil with a lower gauge coil is thicker and stronger. This type of coil is mainly used in a firmer mattresses. For example a gauge wire of 12.5 would be very stiff whereas a gauge wire of 16.5 would be quite bouncy.

Working turns are used to determine how tightly the coil is wound during manufacture. Coils that are made using a higher amount of turns will have the effect of both a softer and more long-wearing mattress. This occurs because the job of supporting your body is distributed throughout the springs.

Tempering is the procedure whereby the coils are heated and cooled. This process will ensure that the coils over time will hold their correct shape. A further upgrade on this process is double heat temper whereby the coils go through the heating process twice hence providing the result of even longer durability.

With the coil design, the hourglass coil is the most commonly used and are generally found in less expensive mattresses. Our next coil type is the pocketed coil, these coils are individually wrapped in fabric pockets. Although the fabric pockets are interconnected, the coils will move independently of each other, this is beneficial if you share the bed with another person as you will not get dragged into the centre of the bed as the weight is distributed evenly. Also beneficial if the other person in the bed is more restless at sleep time as it means that you should not be affected by their continuous movement. In addition the coils should last longer as they are built to withstand greater strain over time. The final coil type available is the continuous coil and this spring is constructed from a single length of wire shaped into a group of informal “S”shaped ringlets. The thinking behind this design is that by connecting each coil to each other it will produce extra support more stability and increased durability. The spring used is generally narrower and smaller making the mattress slightly softer.

Typically a coil mattress will have between 250 to 1000 coils however, when looking to purchase a mattress a guide to work with is 300 coils in a single, 375 in a double and 450 for a king size mattress.


One major advantage and probably a deciding factor when purchasing coil mattresses is the cost, as they are one of the most popular and widely available mattresses on the market there is a mattress to suit all budgets. Unlike some mattresses on the market they will allow your body to breathe and cool down. This type of mattress does not retain body heat.


Coil mattresses can begin to sag quite early on, the reason for this is not known. To increase and protect the life of a coil mattress it is recommended that you turn it over and flip it head to toe frequently. As a result of the mattress loosing its shape it can become uncomfortable over time. For people suffering from allergies, asthma and other similar complaints there is little or no allergy protection. Due to the structure and fibres used in manufacture they provide an ideal breeding ground for dust mites. The other common complaint is noise from the coils when in use, the coils can squeak/creak which may be more evident on cheap mattresses.

There are a number of misconceptions in reference to coil count and firmness. Research once said that firmer mattresses give better back support. In fact this is only relevant to a small percentage of people who sleep on their backs and/or stomachs. In fact in most instances people sleep on their sides. As the side of the human body is not flat (like a back) then a mattress that moulds better to the body will provide the right support placing the spine into proper alignment or it’s natural resting position and this has been proved to be more beneficial. Individually wrapped coils have proven to be the best option in support for side sleepers. This is something to bear in mind when you are considering your purchase. Make sure you try out a number of mattresses and brands before making your ultimate decision.