Mattress Types 101: Innerspring Mattresses

The rise of modern technology has had a profound effect on our lifestyles unlike any previous generation. Since the advent of the “space age”, we’ve seen technological wonders our parents and grandparents couldn’t imagine when they were kids. From space stations to smart phones, we’ve come a long, long way in a relatively short period of time, technologically speaking.

Modern technology has touched every facet of our lives, including our sleeping surfaces. Mattresses have evolved considerably over the last decade or two with plenty of advancements in how our beds are made debuting over the last few years. Gone are the days of sleeping on lumpy bags of feathers or spring-loaded devices that would seem more at home in a medieval dungeon than a modern bedroom. Today’s sleeping surfaces are testaments to engineering ingenuity with beds featuring state-of-the-art gel-filled coils to literal inventions spawned from NASA’s engineering successes.

With variety comes the difficulty of choosing which sleeping surface is right for you. Considering how big an investment new bedroom furniture is, you certainly don’t want to make a purchase without doing a fair amount of research. With this in mind, Mattresses For Less is proud to offer the following information concerning different types of mattresses to help the thrifty mattress shopper with their research. Today’s focus is a modern take on a classic type of mattress: the innerspring mattress.

An innerspring mattress has been around almost as long as there have been mattresses although the technology has drastically improved over the years. While most of us have slept on some variation on the innerspring mattress theme, you may be surprised to learn there is much more to these mattresses than covering a bunch of springs with cloth, sheets, and pillows.

Most innerspring mattresses are composed of three layers: the core, the foundation, and the upholstery layers.

The Core

The core of an innerspring mattress is the part of the mattress that supports the sleeper. The core consists of the “innersprings” usually made of steel coil springs. There are several variations of spring coils to choose from with each type bringing a different sleeping experience. The following list consists of a few examples of the coil varieties available:

Bonnell Coils:

Repurposed from the buggy seat springs from the 19th century, these are what most people think of when the phrase “innerspring mattress” comes up. These hourglass-shaped steel wire coils are connected by cross wire helicals forming the most basic of the innerspring mattress types.

 

 

 

Marshall Coils:
A much thinner gauge spring coil, these barrel-shaped coils are individually wrapped in fabric and are normally not interconnected. This design allows the coils to work independently instead of en masse for obvious benefits. Innerspring mattresses made with Marshall coils tend not to show the same types of wear and tear that Bonnell Coils often exhibit like sagging in the middle.

 

 

 

Continuous Coils:
This is an innerspring mattress style featuring rows of coils made from a single piece of steel wire. This style of innerspring mattress benefits from what is commonly referred to as a “hinging effect”. With this effect, the coils more easily conform to the shape of the sleeper’s body than the traditional Bonnell coils or even the individually wrapped Marshall coils.

 

 

 

The Foundation


This portion of the innerspring is the bottom section of the mattress set, or “box spring”. The foundation is made with extra heavy-duty springs as it must support not only the weight of the sleeper(s) but also of the core mattress as well. The box spring is made with a solid frame, usually made with wood as well as a high-density foam support beneath the coils for a more rigid foundation.

 

 

 

Upholstery Layers


As the name suggests, this section of the mattress is the fabric that covers the core springs and provides support and cushioning. Most upholstery layers are made up of an insulator layer made of a fibrous material, a middle section made up of cushioned materials like foam, cotton, or polyester, and a quilted section that comprises the actual sleeping surface. Together, these layers provides a soft, cushioned padding between the sleeper and the coils.
Put together, these components make up a major portion of the mattress sets offered by retailers across the globe. Obviously there is much more to a mattress set than meets the eye and if you find yourself in the market for a new set of mattresses, researching the benefits and liabilities inherent in each type of mattress is key to finding the perfect sleeping surface for you. We’ve all slept on uncomfortable mattresses over our lifetimes, but there truly is nothing that can compare with a good night’s sleep on a mattress set that seems tailor made for you.