How to Choose an Innerspring Mattress

Organic Mattresses Resources

Since we spend close to one-third of our lives on our mattresses, choosing a bed that enhances our sleep makes sense. An innerspring mattress is the type of mattress that many of us used when we were growing up. It feels familiar, of course, and so is an option worth considering.  Innerspring mattresses have changed and improved through the years, so it is worthwhile to research and educate all options when making this important decision. Changes in materials, construction, and comfort layers make today’s innerspring mattresses even more comfortable and supportive.

A Comfortable Mattress is Important

 There are many reasons to prioritize comfort in the mattress you purchase. First of all, this contributes to our physical and mental health.  In addition, we will be more productive when we are well-rested. Finally, we will enjoy our sleep more on a bed that we love. Our mission here at The Clean Bedroom is to help you get restorative and healthy sleep. We mentioned earlier that most of us grew up on innerspring mattresses. However, let’s take some time to explain this option and look at the construction – and the benefits.

Innerspring Mattresses explained

An innerspring mattress contains just what it says – coils known as springs which are in the mattress.  They can be individually pocketed or not. There is often a comfort layer on top made from wool, latex, or another natural material – although not as thick as in a hybrid mattress. If you like a slightly “bouncy” mattress with some edge support, then an innerspring mattress can be an excellent choice.

Benefits of an Innerspring Mattress

Besides providing a slight bounce, an innerspring mattress has other benefits as well.  Some people sleep cooler due to air circulation. An innerspring mattress provides excellent support, often performing well in the area of edge support as well. Some innerspring mattresses are customizable as well. Finally, often this option can be cost-effective. Cost can often relate to the number and type of coils a mattress has.

All Coils Are Not Created Equal


The type of metal used for the coils in your mattress is critical.  A twice-tempered or Vanadium steel coil will be stronger and more durable than one made with steel that is being reused.  The coil gauge represents the thickness of the coil metal.  If you like your mattress to be softer, you want a higher gauge. However, lower gauges typically offer more support and last longer. There are various ways that the coil can be constructed, as well.

The type of metal used for the coils in your mattress is critical.

The Bonnell Coil

Bonnell coils can be produced using several different wire gauges. Overall, a Bonnell Coil is often a firmer feel.  However, because they can utilize various wire gauges, they can have several different firmness levels.  Bonnell coils can be less expensive but sometimes have lower durability as well.  They can be excellent for a mattress that will have short-term use – dorm bed, guest bed, or bed for small children.

However, for the bed that you will be using consistently, it is important to understand and know the type of metal used in the springs as this will directly affect the durability of the mattress.

Pocketed coils

A pocketed coil is just that – a pocket coil mattress is individually encased and provides superior pressure point relief. Pocketed coils also help reduce motion transfer, making for a calmer night of sleep. 

Number of coils (gauge count)

The gauge count is the number of coils in your mattress. The most common is 600-1000, and for many years 800 for a queen-sized mattress was the goal. 

Comfort Layer

This is the layer closest to your body. It can be made of latex, microcoils, or wool, among other things. Therefore, it is good to try different types to find out which is the best for you. Latex is durable and easily conforms to your body while providing support. It is typically more durable than memory foam. If you need pressure point relief, a latex layer is helpful, either incorporated into the mattress or in the form of a topper that is laid on top of the mattress.  Microcoils provide more of a bouncy, springy feel than latex while still conforming to your body.

Other natural fibers such as wool or cotton are often used also to provide support and cushion. These are also often used within mattresses as well, along with fibers such as cashmere, silk, mohair, and horsetail.  All of these   create a more luxurious feel as well as helping to add support.

A final word about buying an innerspring mattress

In the end, the most important thing to do when shopping for a mattress is to evaluate what your personal needs are. It is worth the time, as we spend about a third of our lives on our mattresses: Some examples of things to think about:

  1. Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper – or a combination?
  2. How much support/firmness/cushion do you need?
  3. Do you and your partner have different needs in terms of firmness?
  4. What is your budget?
  5. Are there any allergies to take into consideration?

It bears mentioning what the healthiest mattresses do not contain.  As mentioned in our article A Healthy Mattress, our mattresses are free of harsh flame retardant or stain-resistant chemicals as well as free from foam cushioning, phthalates, PBDE’s, and petrochemicals. In our 17 years in business, we have sought out the best organic, luxury, and natural mattresses, holding to the standard that they will be chemical-free.

Here at the Clean Bedroom, we are available to help you make the best mattress choice for you. All of our mattresses are non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals as they are made of natural and organic materials. Our staff have over 100 years of experience combined and are available to help you in our showrooms, via phone or text (212-764-3232), or through online chat.


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