Innerspring mattresses have been manufactured since the 19th century and are widely sold to this day, representing a significant portion of current mattress sales. Their popularity with consumers is largely due to their high levels of support; many owners claim their bed maintains an even, comfortable surface. They are also highly responsive, and couples say this makes them the best mattresses for sex. Innersprings are often priced lower than other mattress types, as well.
Because innerspring mattresses are so popular, you’ll have your pick of options to choose from. It can be a lot to wade through on your own.
That’s why we did the research for you. We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of mattresses to find the best innerspring mattresses 2021 has to offer, and selected our top picks based on verified customer and owner experiences, along with our own intensive product research. Then, in our Buyer’s Guide, we give you a peek into our research process, so you can evaluate mattresses on your own to find the best one for you!
Many sleepers have trouble finding a mattress that feels “just right,” comfort-wise. They won’t have that problem with the Saatva. This innerspring mattress is available in three firmness options to accommodate a wide range of comfort preferences: ‘Plush Soft’ (4), ‘Luxury Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). It’s also available in 11.5- and 14.5-inch profiles, so shoppers can find one that looks “just right,” too.
Additionally, the Saatva mattress features a plush comfort system that’s much thicker than you’ll usually find with an innerspring mattress. The bed has a Euro-top cushioning layer consisting of polyfoam and dacron fibers. The comfort system also includes memory foam, polyfoam, and pocketed coil layers. As a result, the Saatva offers better conforming and more pressure relief than the average innerspring.
The low-gauge bonnell coil support core helps the bed maintain a flat, even surface, providing consistent support across the mattress surface. It also reinforces the edges, which minimizes sinkage in areas where people sit.
The innerspring core makes the Saatva mattress responsive enough for sex. It also sleeps cooler than most mattresses with comparable comfort layers, largely due to dual coil layers that provide good air circulation. Compared to other coil-based mattresses, the Saatva is also relatively quiet.
Saatva offers free White Glove delivery to customers in the contiguous U.S. This service includes in-home assembly and old mattress removal. The Saatva is backed by a 180-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.
The Bottom Line.
With its menu of customizations (from firmness level to mattress height), the Saatva mattress is a clear Editor’s Pick. Beyond its customization options, though, the bed features a superior construction that sleeps cool and comfortable, while providing better support and pressure relief than the typical innerspring.
Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). Side sleepers may prefer the softer firmness options, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer the firmer models.
Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). The Saatva offers three firmness levels and two profiles to suit nearly any body type. Lighter individuals will likely find the ‘Medium Soft’ most comfortable, while individuals of average weight may prefer the ‘Medium Firm’ option. Heavier individuals will find the ‘Firm’ option most supportive, and can purchase the thicker 14.5-inch profile for additional support.
Back pain sufferers. The innerspring grid provides consistent, even support, encouraging healthy spinal alignment, while thick comfort layers provide pain and pressure relief.
Hot sleepers. The Saatva sleeps quite cool, thanks to freely flowing air throughout the support layer.
Not Recommended for:
Couples where either partner is a light sleeper. While the Saatva is very responsive and suitable for sex, the bed does not isolation motion very well, which can lead to sleep disruptions during the night.
Those looking for a high level of conforming from their mattress. Thanks to its thick comfort layers, the Saatva provides more conforming than the average innerspring, but it can’t compete with a true memory foam mattress.
Best CoolingLulu Hybrid
Medium Firm (6.5)
101-night sleep trial
Innovative ION cover can assist with physical recovery
Supportive coils reinforce the edges against deep sinkage
Most innersprings sleep fairly cool compared to other mattress types. This can be attributed to their coil systems, which promote steady airflow throughout the interior and help the mattress remain comfortable for sleeping. The Lulu Hybrid is a standout for temperature control due to another component: its cover made of ION, a proprietary fabric designed to convert body heat into energy and transmit it back into the sleeper through their skin in order to help the body recover during the night. While experiences vary, many people have reported these types of fabric sleep cool.
The Lulu Hybrid’s comfort layer is composed of gel-infused memory foam. This material contours evenly to the body to distribute weight across the mattress and alleviate pressure, but the hybrid has a medium firm (6.5) feel so conforming will be somewhat minimal. This allows back and stomach sleepers to rest comfortably without sinking too much, especially if they weigh 230 pounds or less.
Another strength of the Lulu Hybrid is edge support. The coils are thick and sturdy, resulting in strong reinforcement along the perimeter and more stability for owners when they sleep near the edges or get on and off of the mattress. The coils also make the mattress feel fairly responsive, which some couples prefer for sex.
Compared to other memory foam hybrids, the Lulu Hybrid has a very reasonable price-point. Shipping is also free for any customers within the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 101-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
The Bottom Line.
An innovative cover material sets the Lulu Hybrid apart from its competitors, but this model also offers sturdy edge reinforcement and dependable support for back and stomach sleepers.
Back and stomach sleepers who weigh up to 230 pounds. The Lulu Hybrid is medium firm, and will hit the sweet spot for many back and stomach sleepers in this weight range.
Hot sleepers. Thanks to a cooling cover and consistent airflow throughout the mattress core, the Lulu Hybrid regulates temperature quite well and sleeps cool.
People who have a difficult time getting in and out of bed. The coils of this mattress reinforce the perimeter and prevent excessive sinkage, making it easier to get on and off of the mattress for those with mobility issues.
Value seekers. The sticker price of the Lulu Hybrid is significantly lower compared to the cost of the average hybrid mattress.
Couples. The coils of this mattress create a fairly responsive feel on the surface that may lead to sleep disruptions for people who share their bed with another person.
Side sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. For most side sleepers in this weight group, the mattress will feel too firm and may cause added pressure as a result.
The Brooklyn Bedding Bowery Hybrid mattress is a great pick for value seekers. It delivers strong all-around performance at a price that offers considerable savings relative to similar mattresses on the market.
The Bowery Hybrid is constructed with four layers. The top layer is a quilted cover that includes 1 inch of memory foam. The second layer is 2 inches of a polyfoam that acts as a transition from the top of the mattress to the support core. Together, these two layers offer modest conforming and moderate bounce. It is enough pressure relief to promote spinal alignment but without excessive hug or sink.
The support core is 6 inches of individually-encased innerspring coils that sit on a bottom layer of 1-inch support polyfoam. The coils provide notable resilience while augmenting responsiveness because of their ability to compress in proportion with the body’s weight across the mattress.
The stability of the support core and the transition layer provide the Bowery Hybrid mattress with excellent edge support. The coils and transition foam layer resist heat buildup to keep this mattress from posing problems with temperature regulation.
Brooklyn Bedding has a proven track record as a manufacturer of high-quality mattresses, and they provide a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty to back the Bowery Hybrid.
The Bottom Line.
With a Medium Firm feel (6.5), the Bowery Hybrid can meet the needs of sleepers in almost any sleeping position and of most body weights. Given its extremely competitive price point that includes standard shipping and a 120-night sleep trial, the Bowery Hybrid jumps to the top of the list for value-seekers.
Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). Foam comfort layers allow sleepers to sink just deeply enough to relieve pressure points for their particular sleep position, while the pocketed coil layer provides additional contouring and support.
Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups. The ‘Medium Firm’ feel is ideally supportive for sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more.
Back pain sufferers. The pocketed coil layer provides stabilizing support for sleepers with back pain, while the comfort layers provide pain and pressure point relief.
Value seekers. With the Bowery Hybrid, Brooklyn Bedding offers a budget-friendly mattress without compromising on quality.
Not Recommended for:
Lightweight sleepers. The ‘Medium Firm’ feel of the Bowery Hybrid may feel too firm for those who weigh less than 130 pounds, especially if they sleep on their side.
Those who tend to sleep hot. While the Bowery Hybrid offers decent temperature neutrality, it doesn’t sleep as cool as some of the other innerspring mattresses on our list.
The WinkBed is a luxury innerspring that is available in three firmness options – ‘Softer’ (4.5), ‘Luxury Firm’ (6.5), and ‘Firmer’ (7.5). This makes it suitable for most body types, weights, and sleep positions. The comprehensive comfort system contains polyfoam, gel polyfoam, and microcoil layers, as well as a lumbar pad to provide extra back support and pressure relief. The support core features pocketed coils encased in foam, which helps the mattress sleep cooler and offers strong edge support.
In addition to the standard WinkBed, the WinkBed Plus is a specialized ‘Firm’ (8) bed designed to accommodate larger people. The WinkBed Plus swaps out the memory foam and microcoil components for a zoned latex layer that provides targeted support to different areas of the sleeper’s body.
All versions of the bed are highly responsive, making them good for sex. They also offer good, consistent body conforming to alleviate aches and pains, and isolates motion transfer to a significant extent.
Customers in the contiguous U.S. who order the WinkBed qualify for free delivery, and White Glove services are available for an additional charge. The mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line.
The WinkBed features a sophisticated construction deserving of a Best Luxury mattress pick. The bed’s multiple firmness options cater to sleepers with different body types and sleep preferences, while other features cater to other, more niche needs. The bed isolates motion well but is responsive enough for sex, making it a great choice for couples. It also features zoned support and a specialized lumbar pad to alleviate aches for those with chronic pain.
Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination). With four different models to choose from, sleepers can find the best fit for their sleep position.
Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy). There’s a firmness model for every body type, along with a ‘Plus’ option specifically designed to support heavier individuals.
Back pain sufferers. The zoned support system and lumbar pad provide extra support for the lower back, offering pressure relief and promoting healthy spinal alignment.
Couples. The WinkBed is bouncy enough for sex, but isolates motion well, so sleepers are less likely to be disturbed by their partner changing positions during the night.
Not Recommended for:
Very lightweight side sleepers. Our testing showed that those who weigh less than 130 pounds may experience pressure when sleeping on their side in the WinkBed.
Budget shoppers. The WinkBed’s higher price-point is justified by its luxury construction, but it may put this mattress out of range for shoppers on a budget.
Many innerspring have firmer, thinner comfort layers that do not provide sufficient conforming and pressure relief for sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The Helix Midnight – one of Helix’s many luxury hybrids – offers a ‘Medium’ (5.5) feel and a soft, closely conforming comfort system that should be suitable for most lightweight sleepers, as well as those in the average weight group (130 to 230 pounds).
Two versions of the Helix Midnight are available. The Standard design measures 10 inches thick, and is constructed with a memory foam comfort layer, polyfoam transitional layer, and a pocketed support core reinforced with a high-density foam base.
The Helix Midnight Luxe is 14 inches thick; although the firmness is the same, the Luxe has additional pillow-top and gel memory foam layers for extra padding. This version also offers zoned pocketed coils, with different gauges throughout the support core to provide targeted sleeper support. The Standard is ideal for lighter sleepers who prefer beds with average thickness dimensions, while the Luxe may be the best option for those that like higher-profile mattresses.
Helix offers free delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The Helix Midnight Standard is backed by a 10-year warranty, while the Luxe is backed by a 15-year warranty. Both mattresses also come with a 100-night sleep trial.
The Bottom Line.
With a true ‘Medium’ firmness, the Helix Midnight has a softer overall feel that sleeps comfortably for most sleepers of lighter body weight. Those who want a little extra cushioning can find it with the thicker Luxe version.
Side and back sleepers. The ‘Medium’ feel of the Helix Midnight offers an optimal balance of cushioning and support for these sleep position.
Sleepers in the light and average weight groups. The Helix Midnight is our Best Innerspring Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers, but it should sleep comfortably for anyone weighing up to 230 pounds.
Back pain sufferers. The zoned support layer provides extra support for heavier parts of the body, relieving pain and pressure in the lower back.
Hot sleepers. The pocketed coil layer allows for ample airflow, contributing to an overall cooler mattress to sleep on.
Not Recommended for:
Couples where one partner weighs more than 230 pounds. The ‘Medium’ feel of the Helix Midnight is too soft to be adequately supportive for these sleepers.
Shoppers who want to be able to return their mattress quickly if they don’t love it. The 100-night sleep trial includes a mandatory 30-night break-in period.
Best for Average Weight SleepersDreamCloud Premier
The DreamCloud Premier is a quality, high-profile mattress with pocketed coils and a plush memory foam euro-top. Average weight sleepers, who we define as between 130 and 230 pounds, tend to prefer medium-firm mattresses that balance conforming and support. The DreamCloud Premier is just that, testing well across all of our ratings categories and especially well with average weight sleepers.
The DreamCloud Premier’s comfort layers are all quilted together inside a pillow-top. This consists of polyfill for cushioning, polyfoam, and gel-infused cooling memory foam. The result is a moderately conforming comfort system that provides great pressure relief to average weight sleepers.
Under that is a polyfoam transitional layer and an 8-inch pocketed coil support core. In addition to providing tons of support for sleepers of most weights, the pocketed coils allow for plenty of airflow through the bulk of the mattress, making it a great option for hot sleepers. These layers add up to a well-above-average 15-inch pofile.
DreamCloud offers an impressive 365 sleep trial, allowing you to test the mattress for an entire year before committing to it. Additionally, they offer a lifetime limited warranty. Dreamcloud will ship anywhere in the US and provides white glove delivery for an additional fee.
The Bottom Line.
The Dreamcloud Premier has a ‘Medium Firm’ feel and thick comfort and support layers, providing the pressure relief and support required by most average weight sleepers. Further, this versatile construction caters to all sleep positions. The gel memory foam contours to the body to ease pressure points. Meanwhile, the 8-inch pocketed coil support core provides an even surface and tons of airflow.
Average and heavyweight sleepers (130+ pounds). Though highly-recommended to average weight sleepers, the thick construction should provide sufficient contouring and support to heavier sleepers as well.
Hot sleepers. Air circulates freely through the coil support core, while the gel memory foam layer is designed to enhance the breathability of the comfort layer.
Couples. The bed is firm and responsive enough to provide a suitable surface for sex, plus the pocketed coils allow for decent motion isolation.
Those who want to try before they buy. DreamCloud’s 365-day sleep trial allows users to get a refund within a year-long window.
Not Recommended for:
Lightweight side sleepers (under 130 pounds). The DreamCloud Premier is a little too firm for most lightweight side sleepers, not offering the close-contouring required.
Sleepers who like a low-profile mattress. The with mobility issues or an already-tall bed frame may not prefer the tall, 15-inch profile of the DreamCloud Premier.
Heavier people generally prefer firmer beds; sleep surfaces that feel excessively soft tend to sink too deeply, resulting in poor spinal alignment and discomfort for those who weigh more than 230 pounds. The Titan, a hybrid model from Brooklyn Bedding, offers a ‘Firm’ (8) surface with excellent support that should be suitable for most sleepers in the heavyweight group.
Thanks to its firm feel, this mattress is a particularly good pick for heavier individuals who prefer to sleep on their back or stomach sleepers. The Titan mattress is built with comfort layers of gel memory foam and polyfoam, along with a pocketed coil support core and 2-inch high-density foam base for added reinforcement.
The Titan offers exceptional edge support, even by innerspring standards, and the bed is sufficiently responsive for sex. The bed also sleeps fairly cool due to its breathable cotton-polyester cover, gel-infused comfort layer, and good air circulation throughout the coil layer.
Brooklyn Bedding offers free shipping for customers in the contiguous U.S. The Titan is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.
The Bottom Line.
From top to bottom, the Titan mattress is designed for heavier sleepers. It has one of the firmest firmness options you’ll find today, along with extra reinforcement from the thicker foam base layer. The Titan also provides cooling relief for heavier sleepers who also tend to sleep hot, with its gel memory foam layer, breathable cotton cover, and pocketed coil core.
Back and stomach sleepers. The ‘Very Firm’ feel of the Titan mattress provides excellent support for these sleep positions.
Sleepers in the heavyweight group. The Titan Mattress was designed to support heavier sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or more.
Couples. The Titan’s firmer feel makes it responsive enough for sex. The mattress also isolates motion to a significant extent, thanks to its thicker comfort layer, which helps prevent sleep disruptions during the night.
Those who tend to sleep hot. The makers of the Titan took care to promote temperature neutrality at each level of the mattress, from airflow in the coil core, to a gel-infused comfort layer, to the breathable cotton-poly cover on top.
Not Recommended for:
Sleepers who weigh less than 230 pounds. The Titan has a ‘Very Firm’ feel which is unlikely to feel comfortable for sleepers of average weight or less.
Sleepers with chronic pain. The Titan offers very minimal conforming and may not provide sufficient pressure relief for these sleepers.
The Aviya mattress is an innerspring model with a robust bed of pocketed coils underlying multiple layers of supportive, high-density polyfoam. The mattress comes in three firmness options that can suit the needs of almost any kind of sleeper: ‘Plush’ (5), ‘Luxury Firm’ (6), and ‘Firm’ (7.5). The high-density foams and coils give the Aviya a supportive feel that is akin to a balance of sleeping “on” and “in” the mattress, more so “on” with the firmer models.
The mattress starts with a layer of polyfoam quilted into the top of the bed’s breathable cotton cover. This layer is bolstered by two polyfoam layers underneath. Together, these layers form a relatively thin comfort system that contributes breathability, support, and moderate pressure relief. The Aviya’s foams are all CertiPUR-US certified and guaranteed to be made without a number of harmful elements like mercury and ozone depleters. The 8-inch pocketed coil core provides a significantly bouncy feel and edge support, while also adding to the bed’s overall temperature neutrality. The edges are reinforced with a foam encasement for added sag resistance.
The Aviya’s multiple available firmnesses make it a viable option for nearly any kind of sleeper, as well as couples who have different body styles or comfort preferences. The breathability of the comfort system and coil core keep it sleeping much cooler than the average bed. The bounce of the pocketed coils provide strong edge support and ease of movement for sex, though it is also easier for movements to transfer across the bed’s surface as a result.
The Aviya ships for free to the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial as well as a 10-year limited warranty.
The Bottom Line.
The Aviya’s supportive feel and various firmness options make it suitable for sleepers of most every size and sleeping position. Its polyfoam layers provide a breathable feel that is further accentuated by the airflow through its pocketed coil core. The bed’s edges are bolstered by its strong innerspring coils and provide lasting support.
Sleepers in every weight group (lightweight, averageweight, heavyweight). The Aviya comes in three firmness levels that span a wide range, from Medium to Firm. Combined with the bed’s supportive coils, sleepers of nearly any size should be able to find a firmness option that suits their needs.
Sleepers of any sleep position (side, back, stomach, combination). The combination of the bed’s polyfoam layers and robust coil system provides cushioning and support for almost any kind of sleeper. Side sleepers will likely prefer the softer versions of the Aviya, whereas back and stomach sleepers will enjoy the support of the firmer models.
Hot sleepers. The Aviya’s supportive foams provide a more breathable body-contour to help heat dissipate, which is supported by ample airflow provided by its individually pocketed coils.
Not Recommended for:
Sleepers who wake easily. The Aviya’s bouncy coils and supportive feel make it very easy to move around on the surface, but they also allow a significant degree of motion to transfer across the bed.
Sleepers looking for deep pressure relief. The Aviya’s comfort layers are relatively thin as an innerspring model, so they do not provide the deep hugging feel that may come with a more cradling memory foam bed.
Innerspring Mattress Buyer's Guide
Below, we share everything sleepers need to consider when buying an innerspring mattress, along with our best tips for buying a new mattress.
Like most mattresses, innerspring beds consist of two main components: the comfort layers and the support core. The comfort layers in most innersprings contain polyfoam, but some also contain thin memory foam or latex layers. The support cores, as a rule, must contain steel coils. This innerspring support core is what gives the mattress its name. Common coil types include bonnell, offset, continuous-wire, and pocketed.
Originally used to pad the seats of horse-drawn carriages, innerspring cushioning was first developed for bedding by inventor Berliner Heinrich Westphal in the early 1870s. The design was revolutionary: a firm sleep surface insulated with rows of metal coils to help withstand compression and provide bodily support. The innerspring mattress was patented in the United States two decades later, and has dominated the American sales market since the 1930s.
In recent years, the innerspring has competed against newer mattress types, such as polyfoam/memory foam, latex, hybrid, and airbed models. However, innerspring construction is still found in the majority of mattresses sold nationwide — and represents roughly two-thirds of overall industry sales, according to recent estimates.
The popularity of innerspring mattresses (also known as coil mattresses) has endured for several reasons. These mattresses are the most widely available and typically the most affordable mattress types, making them relatively cheap and easy to buy compared to other mattress models. Some types of innerspring are also well-suited to certain sleepers, such as stomach sleepers, people with moderate back pain, and those who weigh more than 250 pounds.
However, several criticisms about innersprings still persist. These include premature sagging, lack of motion isolation and a short lifespan. The majority of innerspring owners have reported fair to low satisfaction levels, and these scores are significantly lower than other mattress types. As a result, innersprings have managed to become both the most popular, widely sold mattresses in the country — and the least liked.
Visit our 2021 mattress reviews to see the innerspring mattresses with the highest customer satisfaction ratings, or read on to learn everything you need to know to find the best innerspring mattress for you.
Pros and Cons of Innerspring Mattresses
Innersprings are usually the most affordable mattress option, and are widely available through online and brick-and-mortar sellers
Compared to other mattress types, innersprings are bouncier and more responsive — and most couples say this makes them better for sex
Innersprings have better air circulation compared to foam and latex beds, and tend to retain less body heat and sleep cooler as a result
Off-gassing potential is lower with innersprings, and owners rarely report excessively strong or long-lasting odors
Uniform sleep surface can be particularly supportive for stomach sleepers
Many sleepers complain that innersprings are too firm
Premature sagging is a common complaint with innersprings and the average lifespan is relatively short
Innersprings offer minimal contouring and below-average pain and pressure relief
Innersprings can be noisy and provide less motion isolation, both of which may lead to nighttime sleep disruptions
Innerspring Mattress Construction
The term ‘innerspring’ does not refer to the entire mattress, but rather the support core. This innermost layer of a mattress is designed to provide spinal support and pressure relief for sleepers while also withstanding compression and preventing the mattress from completely collapsing.
The support core works in tandem with the topmost layer, or comfort layer, which is constructed from softer, more responsive material in order to provide a suitable sleep surface. Most innersprings have comfort layers made of polyfoam or memory foam.
Offset coils have an hourglass shape with a flattened, hinge-like bottom
An innerspring support core consists of metal springs, or coils, that are evenly spaced throughout the core to maximize support and ensure proper weight distribution. In most cases, coils are molded from tempered steel, which is considered more resilient than non-tempered steel or other metals.
Coils situated at the borders of a mattress are often reinforced with foam, webbing or other sturdy materials for added longevity and performance, since the edges of innerspring mattresses are more prone to sagging than the central area.
Today’s innerspring mattresses are distinguished by the type of coils, which fall into one of four different categories:
Offset coils, including double offset and freearm offset coils
Continuous wire coils
Pocket coils, also known as Marshall or encased coils
Bonnell coils are the oldest coil type used today, and also cheaper and more widely available compared to other innerspring coils. Molded from tempered steel in an hourglass shape, bonnell coils are joined together with spiral-shaped wires known as helicals and often reinforced with thick, low-gauge wire. As a result, bonnells can withstand high levels of compression without shifting or falling apart.
You will often find bonnell coils in mattresses used in places that accommodate a steady stream of sleepers, such as hotels, dorms and nursing homes. Our Editor’s Pick Innerspring Mattress, the Saatva, uses bonnell coils.
Offset coils are made of tempered steel, shaped like hourglasses and joined together with helicals. However, the bottom of an offset coil is straightened to create a hinging effect when the mattress is compressed. Two variations of the offset coil are also common.
Double offset coils are straightened at both the top and bottom for extra hinging and more support.
The free arm offset coil, on the other hand, is not joined with neighboring coils.
Offset, double offset and free arm offset coils are considered highly durable — and as a result, these mattresses tend to run on the expensive side.
Continuous Wire Coils
Continuous wire coils feature several rows of long, singular wires that are molded into circular shapes and joined by helicals on both sides. This creates a hinging motion that is similar to that of offset coils.
Although noted for its stability and resilience, this arrangement cannot contour to your figure like other innerspring types. The result, in most cases, is a mattress with a long lifespan that provides minimal levels of spinal support.
Pocketed coils are encased in a cloth material for better insulation
Pocket or pocketed coils, also known as Marshall coils or encased coils, are wrapped in cloth, and connected to neighboring coils by strands of fabric attached with hot glue; no helicals or additional wire attachments are used.
Compared to other innerspring configurations, pocket coils enhance the mattress’s contouring effects and cut down on motion transfer. Not surprisingly, these mattresses tend to be the most expensive models available. However, many pocket coils are made of thin, non-tempered steel, giving these mattresses a shorter lifespan than other innersprings.
Selecting Your Firmness Level
The firmness of an innerspring mattress is somewhat linked to the gauge, or thickness, of the innerspring coils and wires. Gauge is measured in numerals that represent different widths. Most innersprings sold today range in gauge from 18 (thinnest) to 12 (thickest).
The lower (thicker) the gauge of the wires and coils, the firmer the mattress will feel. You can also evaluate innerspring firmness using pitch, or the angle of the coils/wires in relation to the top surface of the mattress.
In addition to the coil type, material and gauge, coil countis another factor that may affect the way an innerspring mattress feels. The coil count of most mattresses falls between 500 and 1,000, although this number can range from 300 on the low end to more than 2,000.
To a point, the coil count can be used to evaluate the contouring ability and lifespan of a mattress. Accordingly, models with a high coil count also tend to be the priciest, while those with low coil counts are usually the cheapest.
However, you should avoid judging the overall quality of a mattress based on coil count alone — and in some cases, the number is merely a marketing gimmick. Today’s experts note that the best innerspring mattresses on the market have a coil count ranging between 600 and 1,000 individual coils. Coil counts in excess of 1,000 are not necessarily linked to increased levels of support, comfort and mattress performance.
The bottom line: When evaluating an innerspring mattress, the coil type, coil material, wire gauge and coil count, as well as the comfort layer materials, should all be taken into consideration.
The table below looks at coil count, wire gauge and other important factors related to the four primary innerspring mattress types.
Low to High
300 to 600
Responsive/good for sex
Common and inexpensive
Low to Medium
600 to 2,000
Medium to High
400 to 800
Responsive/good for sex
800 to 1,200
Good motion isolation
Rather than evaluating the coil gauge and count to assess the firmness of a particular mattress, an easier route is to simply read the firmness description offered by the mattress manufacturer. Most brands will describe their mattress with terms ranging from ‘Soft’ to ‘Very Firm.’ We translate these to a 1-to-10 scale, with ‘Soft’ being a 3 and ‘Very Firm’ being an 8.
Generally, the optimal firmness level for you will depend on your body weight and sleep position:
Heavier individuals, as well as stomach sleepers, tend to prefer firmer mattresses. These provide sufficient support without allowing them to sink too deeply into the mattress surface, potentially resulting in spinal misalignment.
Individuals of average weight, as well as back sleepers, usually prefer mattresses with ‘Medium’ or ‘Medium Firm’ ratings.
Lightweight individuals, as well as side sleepers, need softer mattress surfaces to sleep comfortably. These sleepers need a bit more “give” or cushioning from their mattress.
Of course, your experience may vary. The most important thing is finding a mattress firmness that works for you, not whether it fits these trends. The chart below summarizes the popular firmness ratings by sleep position and bodyweight:
Preferred Firmness for Most Side Sleepers
Preferred Firmness for Most Back Sleepers
Preferred Firmness for Most Stomach Sleepers
Below-average (Less than 130 pounds)
3 (Soft) to 5 (Medium)
4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)
4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)
Average (130 to 230 Pounds)
4 (Medium Soft) to 6 (Medium Firm)
5 (Medium) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
Above-average (More than 230 Pounds)
5 (Medium) to 6 (Medium Firm)
6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
6 (Medium Firm) to 7 or 8 (Firm)
The Feel of an Innerspring Mattress
According to our findings, innerspring owners and users have reported the following experiences:
Less contouring: Innersprings tend to be firmer than mattresses made of other materials (such as foam or latex). Sleepers experience less contouring and pressure relief as a result. This may provide a more comfortable sleep experience for heavier individuals and stomach sleepers, but it may be less comfortable for side sleepers or those with chronic pain.
Edge support: Due to their coil-based support cores, innersprings are less prone to sinkage around the edges where people usually sit.
Responsiveness: Innersprings are bouncier than other mattress types. This often results in higher levels of noise and motion transfer. However, many couples say the responsiveness of innersprings makes them better for sex.
Sleeping cool: Innersprings do not retain as much body heat as other mattresses, allowing sleepers to remain cool and comfortable throughout the night. Some mattresses enhance the bed’s natural temperature neutrality by infusing the foam comfort layers with cooling materials like gel or graphite. For example, both the Helix Midnight and Titan mattresses include gel in their upper layers.
Innerspring Mattress Buying Tips
As you compare different mattress brands and models, ask the following questions to ensure you get a good deal on your innerspring mattress.
How Long Is the Expected Lifespan of the Mattress?
The lifespan of an innerspring mattress will depend on several factors. These include coil gauge and composition. Low-gauge wire is more resilient than high-gauge wire; likewise, coils made of tempered steel will have a longer lifespan than those made of non-tempered steel.
For this reason, pocketed coils — made of high-gauge, non-tempered steel — have the shortest lifespan of all innerspring types. Continuous wire coils are built to withstand more compression, although they are usually made of medium- to high-gauge wire. Bonnell and offset coils, both made of tempered steel that is often low- or medium-gauge, are considered the most resilient.
That being said, our findings indicate that innerspring mattresses have an average lifespan of five and a half years, the lowest among all mattress types.
Average Lifespan of an Innerspring Mattress
How Long Is the Mattress Warranty, and What’s Covered?
Warranties are crucial for innerspring mattress owners because they often include coverage for sagging. When a sagging claim is filed, then the manufacturer will replace the mattress free-of-charge if the indentation reaches a certain depth; otherwise, replacement expenses will fall on the mattress owner.
Warranty length is also important. Although innerspring mattresses usually last up to five and a half years, warranties may run as high as 20 years in length. Our Luxury Innerspring Mattress pick, the WinkBed, comes with a lifetime warranty. The other mattresses on our list have warranty periods of 10 years or more.
The warranty will be divided into non-prorated and prorated periods; owners must pay more out-of-pocket expenses during the prorated period, which is typically the longest of the two.
Also take time to learn about the manufacturer’s process for addressing warranty claims, as well as any additional fees or shipping costs for replacing a damaged mattress. Check out our guide to Understanding Mattress Warranties for more information about this topic.
How Much Does an Innerspring Mattress Cost?
Coil type can partially determine the cost of an innerspring mattress. Pocketed coils tend to be the most expensive option; offset coils are considered mid-range; and bonnell and continuous wire coils are usually the cheapest.
Regardless of coil configuration, innersprings are by and large the cheapest mattress option on the market. The cost of some premium innerspring models ranges from $1,500 to more than $2,500. On the low end, a new innerspring may cost less than $200.
Based on our findings, the average innerspring mattress costs $1,038. One thing to note: because innersprings cannot be compressed for shipping, online orders may include additional transport fees of up to $100.
Innerspring vs. Memory Foam
Innersprings and memory foam mattresses are two of the most commonly used mattress types. Here is a quick breakdown of the two models.
Innerspring mattresses are perhaps best-known for their robust coil systems and relatively inexpensive price-points. The coils provide strong support, strong airflow through the bed, and the springs make the surface bouncy and easy to move around on.
That being said, innersprings tend to have minimal comfort layers, so they don’t do well at cradling the body or taking pressure off of sensitive areas. The bounce of the springs tends to make innersprings noisier and not so good at isolating motion.
Innersprings tend to be sufficiently supportive for averageweight to heavyweight sleepers and cool enough for hot sleepers, but they may provide too much pushback on pressure points to be comfortable for those who need it.
Innersprings tend to be the least expensive type of bed, but they are also often the least durable.
Memory foam mattresses are well-known for their significant level of comfort and pressure-relieving capabilities. Memory foam hugs close to the body to take strain off of pressure points and absorb noise and movements.
On the other hand, memory foam is notorious for retaining heat and sleeping hot. The closer a foam layer hugs the body, the less room there is for air to flow and the harder it also becomes to move around on a foam bed.
Memory foam tends to be great for lightweight to averageweight sleepers and those who need pressure relief, but it may be lacking in support for heavier sleepers and in cooling capability.
These beds tend to be a bit more expensive than innersprings as well as a bit more durable.
Match Your Pillows & Bedding
If you’re on the market for a new mattress, it’s probably a good time to replace your pillows and bedding as well.
Pillows should be replaced much more frequently than a mattress, every few years or so. Pillows work in tandem with your mattress to provide a comfortable sleep experience, and support proper spinal alignment throughout the night. Generally, people choose a pillow based on their sleep position:
Side sleepers tend to sleep best on medium- or high-loft pillows (3 to 5 inches, or taller). These are tall enough to fill in the space between their shoulder and their neck, ensuring spinal alignment.
Back sleepers usually prefer medium-loft pillows (between 3 to 5 inches). These offer enough thickness to support the space beneath their neck, while being soft enough to allow their head to sink.
Stomach sleepers often prefer sleeping on low-loft pillows (under 3 inches) or no pillow at all. If a pillow is too tall, it forces their head and neck to curve backwards, which can be uncomfortable and lead to aches or pain upon waking up.
Because innersprings tend to fall on the firmer side, with less conforming than other mattresses, back and side sleepers may want to err toward a slightly higher-loft pillow than usual. When sleeping on an innerspring mattress, you’ll feel more like you’re sleeping “on” as opposed to “in” the mattress, so you may need a pillow with a higher loft to fill in the space between your neck and the mattress surface. Stomach sleepers, however, will still want to opt for the lowest pillow loft they find comfortable, or try for no pillow at all.
If you decide to get new sheets as well, pay particular attention to the pocket depth of any sheet set you’re considering. This refers to the thickness of the mattress it can fit.
Depending on their construction, innerspring mattresses, especially hybrid models, can have taller profiles than the average mattress. The Saatva and Helix Midnight Luxe, our Editor’s Pick and Best Innerspring Mattress for Lightweight Sleepers, are two such examples. Both are available in larger, 14.5- and 14-inch profiles, as well as their standard sizes.
Sheets with a “standard” depth are designed to fit mattresses between 8 to 12 inches tall. All of our innerspring mattress picks are available in these standard sizes, so a standard sheet set will work just fine. If you opt for a thicker model, however, you’ll want to get sheet sets with a “deep” pocket depth.
Mattress toppers are a quick and inexpensive way to change the firmness and feel of your bed. As innerspring mattresses usually have little to no comfort elements, a substantial mattress topper can provide added cushioning and pressure relief to a bed. Toppers can also help adjust the performance of a bed by adding cooling elements or other features.
Buying an innerspring bed and customizing it later with a topper may be an alternative to buying a more expensive bed. Using a mattress topper is also a good way to get a bit more use out of a bed that doesn’t quite need replacing yet.
Note that while this is a useful tactic, mattress toppers have a significantly shorter lifespan than a mattress, so multiple toppers may need to be purchased over a bed’s lifespan. A mattress topper will also not be able to make up for a bed’s sagging or underlying issues with support.