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Innerspring Mattresses

INNERSPRING MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 03.03.2021 10 Min.

Spring - or innerspring - mattresses are a true classic.

But you're likely to come across many inferior innerspring mattresses. There are definitely big differences in quality available. That's why it's so important to pay attention to the type of spring mattress you're considering.

In a nutshell, there are three different types of innerspring mattresses: the barrel pocket spring mattress, the pocket spring mattress, and the Bonnel spring mattress.

We also often recommend hybrid mattresses, which combine pocket springs with memory foam.

We'll guide you through everything you need to know about innerspring mattresses and recommend some of the best spring mattresses available in the UK in this article.

Innerspring Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Types
  • Suitability
  • Key criteria
  • Sizes
  • Slatted frames
  • Mattress toppers
  • Alternatives
  • Conclusion

Advantages

  • Firmer support with more stability
  • Suitable for heavier-weight people
  • Good for people who sleep on their stomach or back
  • Excellent temperature regulation results in a neutral to cool sleeping climate
  • Suitable for heavy sweaters
  • Suited for restless sleepers
  • Pocket spring mattresses are point-elastic and great for orthopaedic concerns
  • Safe for people prone to allergies
  • Often quite affordable

Disadvantages

  • Cooler sleeping climate may not be good if you easily feel cold at night
  • Not great for people who prefer softer mattresses
  • Bonnell spring mattresses aren't well-designed for side sleepers
  • Can't be used with adjustable or electric slatted frames
  • Older or inferior models tend to form dents, which can create or worsen back pain

Hybrid construction
Emma Hybrid Mattress

EMMA HYBRID
Price from £ 569

EMMA HYBRID

The Emma Hybrid is a high-quality hybrid mattress, combining memory foam and springs for superior comfort, support, and breathability.

This hybrid mattress by the award-winning Emma brand combines high-quality foams with pocket springs to offer optimal comfort and spinal support. 

All about the EMMA HYBRID

Emma Hybrid

The Emma Hybrid is a high-quality hybrid mattress, combining memory foam and pocket springs.

It is a breathable, supportive, and comfortable mattress.

The mattress adapts well to the contours of your body and relieves pressure adequately, allowing you to relax and enjoy a good night's sleep. 

The Emma Hybrid comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free 200-night trial period.

Emma Hybrid Mattress

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DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress

DREAMCLOUD LUXURY HYBRID
Price from £ 824

DREAMCLOUD LUXURY HYBRID

The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress is a 5-layered premium mattress that combines memory foam with pocket springs for superior breathability, comfort, and support.

A high-quality mattress that combines five layers of premium memory foam and ActiveEdge pocket springs for luxurious comfort and support. 

All about the DREAMCLOUD LUXURY HYBRID

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid

The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress is a premium mattress that combines high-quality memory foam with pocket springs.

Breathable, comfortable, and supportive, this medium-firm orthopedically-designed mattress aims to eliminate back, neck, and shoulder pain. 

At 28 cm thick, it's luxuriously comfortable & offers edge support.

The mattress regulates temperature well and is great for couples. 

Dreamcloud luxury hybrid mattress

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Premium choice
Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress

EVE PREMIUM HYBRID
Price from £ 978

EVE PREMIUM HYBRID

The Eve Premium Hybrid is a luxurious hybrid mattress with 5 layers of new generation foam and over 1500 pocket springs.

This high-end mattress combines foam with pocket springs and offers superior comfort with optimal support and spinal alignment. 

All about the EVE PREMIUM HYBRID

Eve Premium Hybrid

The Eve Premium Hybrid is a luxurious medium-firm mattress that offers superior comfort and excellent support. 

Its unique composition of foams and springs offers a high degree of comfort in all sleeping position.

The mattress adapts well to the body of the sleeper and offers optimal spinal alignment.

This is a great mattress for people suffering from back pain.

The Eve Premium Hybrid comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress

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Eve Original Hybrid mattress

EVE ORIGINAL HYBRID
Price from £ 363 (519 )

EVE ORIGINAL HYBRID

The Eve Original Hybrid is a hybrid mattress, combining foam and springs, that offers spinal support & body-hugging comfort.

Combing pocket springs and high-quality foams, the Eve Original Hybrid aims to provide the best in terms of comfort, support, and breathability. 

All about the EVE ORIGINAL HYBRID

Eve Original Hybrid

The Eve Original Hybrid combines 5 layers of high-quality foams with 800 full-sized and individually wrapped pocket springs.

It has been specifically designed with breathable foams, springs, and a moisture-wicking cover to be temperature neutral

It also offers optimum support, healthy spinal alignment, and a body-hugging softness

The Eve Original Hybrid comes with free delivery & returns and a risk-free trial period.

Eve Original Hybrid

30% OFF EVE ORIGINAL HYBRID

 

Different types of innerspring mattresses

As you may have guessed, innerspring mattresses have a core composed of springs. These are usually combined with some or other foam to enhance comfort.

There are various types of innerspring mattresses available, some of which have a higher quality than others.

Here are the three most common types of spring mattresses.

Barrel pocket spring mattresses

The barrel pocket spring mattress is our favourite type of innerspring mattress.

Its construction is identical to that of the pocket spring mattress: hundreds of individual steel springs - also known as mattress coils - are sewn into fabric pockets.

The name of this mattress comes from the shape of the springs. They look like barrels.

This design makes the barrel pocket spring mattress point-elastic.

It also offers a slightly softer feeling when lying down than the pocket spring or Bonnel spring mattress.

It is possible to purchase a zoned barrel pocket spring mattress, which can help in terms of ergonomic support and optimal spinal alignment, and relieve pressure.

Barrel pocket spring mattresses are often recommended to people who suffer from back pain.

Pocket spring mattresses

Pocket springs

The difference between the pocket spring and the barrel pocket spring mattress lies only in the shape of the springs.

With both types, hundreds of springs are sewn into individual fabric pockets.

But in contrast to the Bonnell spring mattress, the individual springs are not connected to each other. This makes both the barrel pocket spring mattress and the pocket spring mattress point-elastic.

When you lie on a pocket spring mattress, only the springs that are under load give way.

This means that the shoulders and pelvis can sink in deeper and the spine will remain in a better alignment.

This is especially important for people who sleep on their side, as they need more depth to support the heavier parts of the body.

People who sleep on their back or stomach also benefit from stabilisation in the lighter parts of the body, such as the head, lumbar, and foot sections.

Zoned pocket spring mattresses enhance the support and spinal alignment even further.

Bonnell spring mattresses

Bonnell Spring

The Bonnell spring mattress has a stable spring core made of hundreds of individual steel springs connected to each other.

There is usually a layer of foam on top of the spring core so that you don't directly feel the springs.

The Bonnell spring mattress is the cheapest option.

Although you get the typical springiness associated with spring mattresses, the Bonnell spring mattress has no point elasticity.

If only offers surface elasticity and, as such, does not relieve musculature.

The mattress is not particularly comfortable and we wouldn't recommend it.

Is an innerspring mattress the right mattress for you?

While we would certainly steer away from inferior models, high-quality spring mattresses can be recommended for a wide variety of people.

Greater breathability makes it a good choice for heavy sweaters

The space between the springs creates natural ventilation channels.

This gives a spring mattress greater breathability and allows for an overall cooler sleeping climate.

This makes spring mattresses especially suitable for heavy sweaters.

Point elasticity can help with back pain

If you struggle with back or neck pain, then a high-quality point-elastic zoned pocket spring mattress can help.

These help keep your spine in an optimal position and relieve tension and pressure in your muscles.

Greater support and stability

Spring mattresses can often be firmer than foam mattresses and they offer greater support and stability.

This makes them particularly suitable for heavier-weight people or those who generally require - or desire - more firmness and support.

Good for singles

Some spring mattresses have greater motion transfer.

This is because motion can travel quite well through springs, meaning that you're likely to feel your partner's movements better on a spring mattress than on a foam mattress.

For this reason, spring mattresses are often recommended for singles and less so for couples.

Criteria to consider when purchasing an innerspring mattress

There are various factors you should consider when purchasing an innerspring mattress.

1. The number of springs (at least 350)

The more springs the mattress has, the higher its quality.

We would recommend looking for an innerspring mattress that has at least 350 springs for the smallest mattress size.

Mattresses with a higher number of springs are more point-elastic.

They'll also have a longer lifespan as the increased number of springs allows fewer dents to form.

2. Choose a pocket spring or barrel pocket spring mattress

We're not big fans of Bonnell spring mattresses.

Not only do we find them uncomfortable, but they also don't have good point elasticity and don't enhance optimal spinal alignment.

We highly recommend a pocket spring mattress or a barrel pocket spring mattress instead.

3. Consider comfort zones

If you struggle with back or neck pain, then it's worth considering an innerspring mattress with 5 or 7 integrated comfort zones.

Comfort or support zones help the mattress adapt better to your body and keeps your spine in an optimal alignment.

4. Pay attention to your sleeping position

Your prefered sleeping position affects your choice of mattress.

If you sleep on your side, for example, you'd need a slightly softer mattress that allows your body to sink in deeply enough in the shoulder and hip areas.

A zoned spring mattress would then be a better choice.

5. Right degree of firmness

Spring mattresses tend to be firmer and offer more stability and support than foam mattresses.

This is great for heavier-weight people but may not be suitable if you're quite a small, light person.

Make sure that the mattress you choose has the right degree of firmness for you.

Very often, the only real way to ascertain this is by testing out the mattress. That's why we always recommend choosing a mattress that comes with free delivery, a risk-free trial period, and free returns.

This will give you the chance to fully try out the mattress in the comfort of your own home.

And if it's not perfect for you, you can simply return it for a full refund.

eve premium hybrid firmness

eve lighter hybrid

Choosing the right innerspring mattress size

Spring mattresses are available in most of the standard UK sizes.

These include:

However, springs are best for single-size mattresses.

This is due to the motion transfer of spring mattresses. As the mattress 'bounces' and carries motion quite well, you'll feel your partner toss and turn more on a spring mattress than you would on a foam mattress.

If you share your bed with a partner and really want a spring mattress, we'd recommend considering two separate single spring mattresses that can be placed together on one double bed frame.

You can always get rid of the gap between the two mattresses by using a bed bridge or mattress topper.

WHICH MATTRESS SIZE IS THE RIGHT ONE?

UK Mattress sizes

Choosing the right slatted frame for your spring mattress

Consider the following when purchasing a slatted frame for your spring mattress.

Think about zoning

To support the divisions of the comfort zones of an innerspring mattress, you should choose a slatted frame that has the same divisions.

For a 7-zone innerspring mattress, for example, we recommend using a 7-zone slatted frame.

A 7-zone slatted frame allows the pelvic and shoulder areas to sink in a little deeper and stabilises the rest of the body.

Rigid slatted frame

Innerspring mattresses are not suitable for adjustable or electric slatted frames.

You should use your innerspring mattress on a good rigid slatted frame instead.

Small slat spacing

Ensure that the slats aren't too far apart.

A maximum spacing of 5 cm between slats is optimal.

Recommended bed frames

Take a look at some of our recommended bed frames below.

Add a mattress topper

You may find that you've purchased a spring mattress that's just a little too firm for you.

This doesn't mean that you need to necessarily buy a new mattress.

A too-firm mattress is a problem that's easily solved with a mattress topper.

These add a layer of softness and comfort to the top of your mattress, meaning that you can entirely change the way your mattress feels without having to buy a new mattress

Take a look at some of our recommended mattress toppers below.

Alternatives to innerspring mattresses

You may feel that a spring mattress isn't right for you.

Try one of these alternatives instead.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam or Visco mattresses are characterised by their memory imprint.

When pressure is applied, the foam becomes softer and allows the body to form an imprint on it.

Due to its extremely high adaptability and pressure relief, Visco foam is used for orthopaedic purposes.

The innerspring mattress, in comparison, has a completely different lying sensation. It is more springy and doesn't adapt as well to the contours of the body.

Memory foam mattresses also retain more heat, offering a warmer sleeping climate than spring mattresses.

Visco foam

memory foam imprint

Cold foam mattresses

A cold foam mattress is more adaptable than an innerspring mattress.

Cold foam mattresses have good point elasticity, similar to good barrel spring mattresses, and high adaptability.

They are therefore also recommended for orthopaedic problems.

In contrast to innerspring mattresses, though, cold foam mattresses provide a slightly warmer sleeping climate.

cold foam mattress

cold foam

Latex mattresses

Latex mattresses also have a high point elasticity and offer high comfort.

Latex mattresses made of high-quality natural latex have very good ventilation.

The sleeping climate on a latex mattress is also cooler - similar to that of an innerspring mattress.

The feeling of lying on a latex mattress is slightly different, though, and latex mattresses tend to be slightly softer than innerspring mattresses.

latex foam mattress

latex foam

Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid mattresses are a great compromise as they combine pocket springs with high-quality foam.

This gives you the comfort and adaptability of foam and the breathability and stability of springs.

mattress materials

Conclusion

While there are many inferior models available, it is possible to find very high-quality spring mattresses.

We often recommend hybrid mattresses.

Spring mattresses, in general, are a great choice for people who easily feel warm, heavy sweaters, and heavier-weight people requiring more support and stability.

Nicky P.

My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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