Why do Mattresses Have Springs? [Your Questions Answered]

vector of an innerspring mattress

Innerspring mattresses are the most popular type on the market today. Despite the numerous advantages latex and memory foam promise, more Americans sleep on spring mattresses.

This may seem surprising especially when mattress companies continue to tout foam models as the most comfortable.

Why do mattresses have springs?

The main benefit of a mattress is to provide optimum support for the sleeper’s body. Innerspring mattresses feature thousands of interwoven coiled steel springs that connect. These connections compress to provide that bouncy effect many sleepers have come to love.

The moment your body hits the surface of a coiled spring mattress, you feel an immediate bounce that props up the body thanks to the built-in springs.

History of Mattress Coils

Mattress coils have been in use since the late 19th century. Remarkably, they’re still very popular today even though foam mattresses have been making inroads into the market in recent times.

After initially applying the technology in furniture and carriage making, industrialists eventually adopted the use of coils for mattresses.

Types of Mattress Coils 

All mattress coils are not the same. Different manufacturers employ different types of products. Since each type has its characteristics, it is important to know their strengths and weaknesses so you can choose right.

  • Bonnell Coils – These were the first type of mattress coils used in the industry. They also remain the most popular. They’re made from steel and come in a knotted, round-top shape that resembles an hour-glass. These coils entwine with cross-wire helical wires to form Bonnell units.
  • Continuous CoilsPopularly known by the trade name “Mira-coil”, they come in a single row derived from a solo wire piece.
  • Offset CoilsThese coils come with a semi-flat top and bottom twists. The flat segments of the twists are hinged with helical wires during the setup of an innerspring unit. The hinging allows the coils to conform to the body shape of each user during sleep for the ultimate comfort.
  • Marshall CoilsAlso known as pocket springs, they come in a thin-gauge design and barrel shape. The coils are also knotless and come out in individual encasements known as pockets. Pocket coil mattresses are the latest and most durable on the market and consumers prefer them to other types.

Types of Spring Mattresses

Two main types of mattresses feature spring coils. Shall we look at what each type brings to the table?

Pure Innerspring Mattresses

These types of mattresses feature a thin layer of polyurethane foam at the top supported by thousands of carefully woven mattress coils. These coils span several inches and form the core of the mattress.

Typically, most pure innerspring models span no more than 2 inches of foam. The use of minimal layers of expensive foam explains why they tend to be cheaper than not only pure memory foam or latex but hybrid spring mattresses as well.

Keep in mind that manufacturers rely on standard foam materials during production. Therefore, you should know that the foam components of spring coil mattresses are nothing special in terms of the comfort they provide.

My brother swears by the Modway Jenna Individually Encased Coil Innerspring Mattress from Amazon since I recommended it 6 months ago. He credits it with restoring his sleep and helping him battle chronic insomnia after several years.

Hybrid Spring Mattresses

Hybrids are the latest innovation in the mattress industry. They typically come in the form of premium polyurethane foams such as latex or memory foam supported by coiled spring mattresses.

Unlike pure innerspring models, the foam component of hybrids can be quite substantial. This guarantees that they can provide more cradling comfort compared to regular spring mattresses.

Hybrid spring mattresses can be quite expensive and this explains why they’re not as popular. They stand out by allowing you to enjoy the spell-binding and body-conforming pleasures of foam materials as well as the bouncy feel of steel springs.

If you can afford to order a hybrid, they could be worth your while. 

The Sweetnight 12-inch Eurotop and Pocket Coil Hybrid Mattress from Amazon has transformed the quality of my sleep in the last 6 months. I now enjoy a full 7-hour sleep and wake up without any aches and stiffness, unlike my previous mattress.

10 Reasons why Mattresses Have Springs 

The popularity of innerspring mattresses is by no mere coincidence because they do offer tons of benefits for your sleep. Here are the reasons why mattresses have springs.

1. Support

If there’s one thing that innerspring mattresses offer in abundance, it is weight support. We all know that lying down on any sleeping surface can exert a lot of pressure on it and mattresses are no exception.

The spring component of coiled models allows the even distribution of your body weight across each area. It achieves this in a process known as zonal differential where varying spring resistance is employed across each area of the mattress.

As soon as your body lands on the coiled springs, they compress to match the requirements of each pressure point depending on your total weight. The sleeper’s body achieves the highest spring resistance across the head, hips, and feet. Thus, the lower resistance coils are left for the other areas such as the lower back and knees.

Apart from superior weight support, coil spring mattresses can absorb considerable levels of shocks. This protects you from waking up every time your restless partner moves his or her body in bed.

2. Durability

Looking for a mattress that can take you through the next decade and possibly longer? Spring coil mattresses can make that possible. The amazing support from the high-end tempered steel coils provides a core base for you to sleep.

As long as you choose a model that integrates top-end steel coils, durability should be the least of your problems.

Additionally, spring mattresses are easy to care for unlike rivals such as memory foam. This means they’re able to withstand not only considerable levels of sleeper weight but the pressure from other daily activities as well.

No wonder many people report sleeping on innerspring mattresses passed down from an earlier generation.

3. Affordable Prices

dollars bills rubbed with rubber bandHave you noticed that pocket spring mattresses are cheaper than their foam counterparts? If yes, there’s a good reason for that. Sure, spring mattresses integrate thousands of woven coils connected.

However, coil mattress technology has been around for hundreds of years. This means it is cheaper than newer options such as Latex and Memory foam.

While foam materials have their own merits and drawbacks, the technology is relatively new. This means all things being equal, it costs less to produce an 8-inch coil spring mattress compared to memory foam or even latex foam models of the same dimensions.

The lower manufacturing costs allow brands to list these mattresses at relatively cheaper prices.

4. Flexibility

To say that coiled spring mattresses are flexible is a huge understatement. The presence of thousands of interconnected springs in every inch of the mattress offers genuine support across all angles.

This eliminates the risk of feeling higher levels of pressure in specific areas more than the others.

Thus, whether you prefer lying on your front, back, or sides, these integrated coils make it possible without losing any sleep.

While many foam mattresses begin to sag when u sit on it for long periods to read, write, or watch movies, coiled springs take much longer.

Their durability gives you the freedom to get multiple uses out of your mattress without the fear of messing it up.

5. Temperature Regulation

hot burning furnace

What is the point of spending thousands of dollars on a mattress that heats up so much that you can barely sleep at night? Temperature regulation is one of the core advantages of integrating steel coils into mattresses.

The human brain associates dropping temperatures as a sign to relax and activate sleep. No wonder we find it easier to nod off at night when temperatures are at their lowest levels.

While foam material may come with lots of interconnecting layers that inhibit breathability, the opposite may be true for coiled springs. The thousands of featured steel coils connect in an open structure that maximizes ventilation. It achieves this by allowing free circulation of air across every inch of the mattress.

Spring mattresses eliminate night sweats and other forms of heat-induced problems that cause tossing and turning in bed. You can expect a cool body temperature which leads to cooler sleeping and more energy in the morning.

6. No New Mattress Smell

Have you ever purchased a brand new memory foam mattress? If yes, you’ve probably come across the strong distinct smell they give off immediately upon arrival in your home.

Well, memory foam contains a mixture of synthetic substances and industrial chemical components of foam.

But the smell specifically comes from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that emit excessive levels of vapor at ordinary room temperature when a brand new mattress is unwrapped.

This new mattress smell can be so bad that you’re forced to make alternative sleeping arrangements for a few days before you can consider sleeping on your new purchase. 

Even though every coiled spring mattress has some foam component, you can expect absolutely no smell when it first arrives in your room. This is usually due to the minimal layers of foam integrated by manufacturers. 


The use of springs in mattresses offers a lot of benefits to consumers in many ways. No wonder the majority of Americans continue to stick to this type of mattress despite the numerous foam options available now.

As long as you choose right, innerspring mattresses can be vital for your sleep. If your budget allows it, you should take a look at hybrids. You’ll be amazed at the options on offer.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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