Forming an essential part of many high-quality mattresses, it’s important to understand the role of mattress springs and how they contribute to a good night’s sleep. We’ve put together a short mattress guide to ease your buying experience.

Spring mattresses

There are two types of mattresses that use springs to provide support: "open coil" and "pocket spring".

Open coil or continuous coil mattress springs

Open coil or continuous coil spring mattresses
Photo by John Staggart, licensed CC-BY-SA-4.0

The springs in this type of mattress are made up of one continuous piece of wire, connecting each spring together throughout the whole mattress. A typical open coil mattress contains around 300 springs. They are also known as continuous spring mattresses.

Having an open coil or continuous coil mattress means that all the springs move together. If you were to roll over in the night, then your partner would know about it too! An open coil mattress can only give support to the heaviest sleeper, making it less suitable for couples who differ in weight. Eventually, this type of mattress is prone to sagging in the middle.

Mattresses of this type are usually mass produced, owing to cheaper manufacturing costs, and this is reflected in the retail price point.

Pocket springs

Superior in several ways, a pocket sprung mattress is a much better option. In this type of mattress, the springs are placed in individual pockets of fabric which are connected together. Because the pockets are separate, they can move independently from each other. This not only means that you can move in your sleep without the whole mattress responding, but the mattress can give your body the support you need for a comfortable slumber, too.

As standard, the spring count indicated on UK mattresses is based upon the number of springs in a king size mattress. For a double, it will be less than the number shown, and for a superking it will be more.

Photo by Heather Catsoulis, licensed CC-BY-SA-2.0
Photo by Heather Catsoulis, licensed CC-BY-SA-2.0

The higher the spring count, the more supportive the bed will be.

Imagine the pins in a pin art impressions block; if there were only ten big pins in the block then it wouldn’t be able to create many shapes. The same applies to lying on a few large springs or a multitude of smaller ones—a higher spring count offers more contact with the body, allowing the mattress to better contour to your shape.

Anything with more than 2,000 springs is generally seen as a premium mattress, whereas a mattress with less than 1,000 is aimed toward the budget end of the spectrum.

A Herdysleep wool mattress has more than 7,000 pocket springs, topped off with a sleep layer of Herdwick wool. This provides a luxurious, even sleeping surface but with lots of support beneath.

Further reading: How is a Herdysleep mattress made?

Mattress spring gauge

The gauge of the springs refers to the thickness of the wire that’s used. Usually, the thicker the spring the firmer the support. However, our mattress experts produce their own very thin wire, which allows them to create our special micro-sized Herdysleep pocket springs. These springs offer greater levels of support and comfort than regular pocket springs, as they can contour perfectly to the shape of your body as you sleep, distributing your weight across a higher number of springs and therefore relieving the build-up of pressure points.

How do I know which type of mattress springs works for me?

Once you’ve done your research and have got a better idea as to which mattress and spring type is best for you the only way you’ll really know is to try it out. You need more than a quick sit down on a mattress to see if it suits, which is why herdysleep offers a 100-night sleep trial in the best possible place to try a mattress: your own bedroom. If after 100 nights you’re not convinced, we’ll collect the mattress and refund you in full. We’re pretty confident you’ll love it, so why not give it a try?

If you’ve got any spring or mattress-related questions, then ask away in the comments below or join the Herdysleep flock on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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