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Innerspring mattresses

INNERSPRING MATTRESSES

Nicky P.

Last updated: 11.05.2021 10 Min.

If you have fond memories of jumping up and down on a squeaky bed as a kid, then you're likely to be familiar with innerspring mattresses.

But are these mattresses any good for adults, movie moments aside?

Unfortunately, you're likely to come across many cheap spring mattresses, which is why it's so important to pay attention to the type of mattress you're considering.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed - but we're here to help!

In this guide on innerspring mattresses, we'll take you through all the different types of springs available, what to pay attention to, and even recommend some of the best spring mattresses in the UK!

So let's get to it 👇

Innerspring Mattresses
  • Overview
  • Innerspring mattresses
  • Different 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 sleep.
  • 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

  • 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 £ 589

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

BUY EMMA HYBRID

Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress

Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress
Price from £ 699

Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress

The Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress is a traditional hand-tufted pocket spring mattress.

This mattress features a luxurious pillow top for additional comfort.

All about the Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress

Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress

The Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress is a luxurious pocket sprung pillow top mattress and a height of 39 cm

It offers edge-to-edge support and superior comfort with a medium-firm feel.

With an individual responsive spring system, this pocket sprung mattress also offers pressure relief to help your muscles relax fully. 

Silentnight Mirapocket 2000 Deluxe Box Top Mattress

BUY SILENTNIGHT MIRAPOCKET 2000

HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress

HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress
Price from £ 139

HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress

The HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress is one of the most budget-friendly, adult-sized pocket sprung mattress on the market.

This hand-crafted mattress is made exclusively for HappyBeds.

All about the HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress

HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress

The HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress is one of the most budget-friendly pocket spring mattresses on the market.

It offers enhanced breathability, exceptional comfort, and medium-firm support.

The mattress has a depth of 25 cm for a luxurious feel and weights 18 kg for the smallest size.

It is finished with hand tufted damask fabric on both sides for a classic look.

The mattress only requires flipping and rotating every six weeks. 

HappyBeds Majestic 1000 Pocket Sprung Orthopaedic Mattress Closeup

BUY HAPPYBEDS MAJESTIC

Simba Hybrid Mattress

Simba Hybrid
Price from £ 456 (609 )

Simba Hybrid

The Simba Hybrid mattress is a high-quality pocket sprung mattress with multiple layers of foam.

This award-winning and five-star-rated original mattress by Simba Sleep is a unique hybrid mattress that combines polyfoam, high-definition foam, and pocket springs.

All about the Simba Hybrid

Simba Hybrid

The Simba Hybrid is an award-winning hybrid pocket sprung foam mattress.

It features a comfort layer of Simba-Pure open-cell polyfoam and a core of Aerocoil pocket springs and high-definition foam. 

The Simba Hybrid is a great choice for a wide range of sleepers.

It comes with free delivery and a 200-day risk-free trial period.

Simba Hybrid Mattress

 

25% OFF SIMBA HYBRID

Eve Premium Hybrid Mattress

Eve Premium Hybrid
Price from £ 782 (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

20% OFF EVE PREMIUM HYBRID

What is an innerspring mattress?

As you may have guessed from the name, innerspring mattresses have a core composed of springs (or coils).

They are often also simply referred to as spring mattresses or coil mattresses.

You'll never find 100% springs in a mattress.

The coils are usually combined with some or other foam to enhance comfort.

Sometimes, as in cheaper spring mattresses, this is just a thin layer at the top and bottom of the mattress.

More luxurious spring mattresses, though, include deeper layers of more high-quality foam for superior comfort.

There are many different types of innerspring mattresses available.

Different types of innerspring mattresses

While the foam comfort layers do play a part in the quality of the mattress, the primary determining factor of the quality of a spring mattress is determined by the type of spring or coil used.

There are numerous different types of springs available.

Here is an overview of the most common ones.

Open coil mattresses

Open-coil mattresses are the most common types of mattresses - in use since 1871!

They consist of an inter-connected spring system.

There are different types of open coil spring mattresses available, including continuous coil mattresses (where coils are made from one long wire), Miracoil mattresses, and Bonnel spring mattresses.

Bonnell spring mattresses

Bonnell spring mattress

Bonnell spring mattresses are often referred to as traditional spring mattresses.

They consist of a stable open spring core made of hundreds of individual steel springs connected to each other.

These have an hourglass shape and are wider at the bottom and the top than they are in the middle.

Usually, you'll find a layer of foam on top of the spring core so that you don't directly feel the springs.

Bonnell springs result in very durable and supportive mattresses.

These are also the cheapest option available - which is great if you're on a budget but not a wise investment for the quality of your sleep and overall health.

Bonnell spring mattresses may be supportive, but they offer no point elasticity and do not relieve pressure points, leading to aches, pains, and discomfort.

They also transfer motion quite a fair bit, making them unsuitable for couples.

We would not recommend opting for an open coil mattress.

Pocket sprung mattresses

Pocket spring mattress

In contrast to open coil mattresses, pocketed coil mattresses feature springs wrapped in individual fabric pockets.

These individual pocket springs are not connected and can move independently.

This allows for greater point elasticity (which relieves pressure points) and minimises motion transfer (which allows for a more restful sleep, particularly if you share your bed with a partner).

When you sleep on a pocket sprung mattress, only the springs under load give way.

This means that the shoulders and pelvis (the heavier parts of your body) can sink in a little deeper, allowing your spine to remain in a better alignment.

This is especially important for side sleepers, 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.

You may come across zoned pocket spring mattresses, which further enhance the mattress's orthopaedic properties and allow optimal spinal alignment.

Pocket springs are often also referred to as Marshall coils.

Barrel pocket sprung mattresses

Barrel pocket spring mattress

The only difference between standard pocket spring mattresses and barrel pocket spring mattresses is the shape of the springs.

In the latter, the springs look like barrels. They are wider in the middle than they are at the top and bottom.

Barrel pocket springs offer a slightly softer feeling when lying down, making them much more comfortable.

They are also often recommended to people who suffer from back pain.

We can highly recommend pocket sprung mattresses.

Is an innerspring mattress the right mattress for you?

While we would certainly steer away from inferior models, there are many reasons why you may want to choose a high-quality spring mattress.

We've outlined a few below.

Greater breathability

Spring mattresses are known for their enhanced breathability.

The space between the springs creates natural ventilation channels, which allows for greater airflow within the mattress.

This enables the mattress to remain cool and comfortable.

Spring mattresses are thus a good choice for those who prefer a cooler sleep and for heavy sweaters.

Most modern-day memory foam mattresses and hybrid mattresses also offer a cooler sleep, but very heavy sweaters are better off choosing a quality spring mattress.

Good orthopaedic choice

A quality spring mattress offers great support, optimal spinal alignment, and point elasticity.

This allows the mattress to keep your spine in an optimal position while relieving tension and individual pressure points.

This results in greater overall relaxation, melting away muscle pains.

For this reason, spring mattresses are often recommended as an orthopaedic mattress choice.

Good support and stability

Spring mattresses are often firmer than foam mattresses and offer better support and stability.

While firmness itself can often be a matter of preference, the support of a mattress is crucial.

Lighter-weight people do not require as much support and stability and can choose any mattress they like.

People of larger size and heavy body weights (particularly if they're over 130 kg) require more support.

They would do well on a spring mattress.

Good choice for singles

While most quality pocket spring mattresses have decreased motion transfer, you'll still find many spring mattresses that don't offer great motion isolation.

This is because movements can travel relatively well through springs, meaning that you're likely to feel your partners movements more on a spring mattress than on a foam mattress.

For this reason, innerspring mattresses are often recommended for people who sleep alone and less so for couples.

Criteria to consider when purchasing an innerspring mattress

As mentioned, there are numerous inferior spring mattresses available - which you should steer away from!

The key criteria below will help guide you in your purchasing decision.

1. Opt for pocket springs

Open coil and Bonnell spring mattresses may be the cheaper option, but we do not recommend these.

They're uncomfortable and can be bad for your back and spine.

Surface elasticity results in a build-up of pressure points, leading to aches and pains.

In the long-term, these mattresses will do your body more harm.

This is why we always recommend going for pocket sprung mattresses, or barrel pocket sprung mattresses.

They may be more expensive at first but are a much better investment in the long term.

2. Spring count

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

We would recommend looking for an innerspring mattress with a minimum of 350 springs for the smallest available size.

Mattresses with a higher number of springs are more point-elastic, which result in greater comfort and spinal support.

A higher number of springs also reduces the chance of dents forming.

This enhances the mattress' durability, resulting in a longer lifespan.

After all, you want your mattress to last a good ten years, so it's worth investing in a quality product from the get-go.

3. Consider zoning

If you struggle with back and neck pains, then it's worth considering a zoned pocket spring mattress.

A mattress with five or seven integrated comfort zones can help better support your body and keep your spine in its optimal alignment.

This is because it will allow your body to sink in more deeply in certain parts and receive more support in others.

This enhances the ortho properties of the mattress.

4. Pay attention to your sleeping position

Your preferred sleeping position affects your choice of mattress.

If you're a stomach sleeper or back sleeper, then a spring mattress is a good choice.

If you're a side sleeper, though, you would need to opt for a slightly softer mattress or a zoned spring mattress.

This is because your hips and shoulders need to sink in more deeply to keep your spine straight, and you need a mattress that allows for that extra sinkage.

5. Mattress firmness

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

But, even here, you'll get varying degrees of firmness - some are extra firm, and others are a little on the softer side.

Extra firm mattresses are great for heavier-weight people or those of larger builds, but may not be suitable if you're a smaller or lighter person.

Often, though, mattress firmness is a matter of personal preference, and you need to make sure that you choose the right degree of firmness for you.

If you want the stability and support of a spring mattress but prefer the softness and comfort of a foam mattress, then you can also choose a pillow top mattress, invest in a mattress topper, or even try out a luxuriously thick quilted cover.

Very often, the only real way of finding out if you have the right degree of firmness 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 return it for a full refund.

eve premium hybrid firmness

eve lighter hybrid

Innerspring mattress sizes

Spring mattresses are available in most standard UK sizes.

These include:

  • Single mattresses sized 90 x 190 cm (3’ x 6’3”)
  • Small double mattresses sized 120 x 190 cm (3'9" x 6'3")
  • Double mattresses sized 135 x 190 cm (4’6” x 6’3”)
  • King-size mattresses150 x 200 cm (5’ x 6’6”)
  • Super-king size mattress 180 x 200 cm (6’ x 6’6”)
  • Emperor mattress sized 200 x 200 cm (6’6” x 6’6”)

However, springs are best for small single or single-size beds.

This is because of the motion transfer of spring mattresses.

As the mattress 'bounces' and carries motion quite well, you're likely to 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 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.

Spring cot bed mattresses

Spring cot bed mattresses in the 60 x 120 cm and 70 x 140 cm sizes are also quite popular as they offer a foam-free alternative.

Often, they also include other natural fillings, which ensures a toxin-free environment.

We go into more detail on cot bed mattresses in our guide on the best mattresses for babies and children.

UK Mattress sizes

Choosing the right slatted frame for your spring mattress

A good bed frame or divan base can only enhance the qualities of your mattress.

Some mattresses are simple and can be used on any frame, but spring mattresses often have specific requirements.

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.

Mattress toppers

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

This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to 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 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 excellent 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? 

Try these

We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

Emma Original
Emma Original Emma Original Mattress
Emma Price from £ 269 (£ 449 )

Get 40% off the Emma Original, an award-winning soft & comfortable mattress that's suitable for all.

Simba Hybrid
Simba Hybrid Simba Hybrid Mattress
Simba Price from £ 456 (£ 609 )

Get 25% off the Simba Hybrid mattress, a high-quality pocket sprung memory foam mattress with Simbatex synthetic latex layer.

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We're a team of sleep enthusiasts and experts. We test hundreds of sleep products - mattresses, pillows, toppers, bed frames, and more! - to provide you with the best reviews. Our mission is to help you make the right choice for your sleep. Read more about us

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