What Is an Innerspring Mattress?
Despite the flurry of memory foam and latex beds coming on the scene, traditional innersprings still make up the majority of mattress sales worldwide. Innerspring mattresses are made with, you guessed it, springs!
They are built with a system of steel coils and vary from company to company in the types of coils used. Some have a system of coils in one large block, some have a network of individually-wrapped coils. Others, like Saatva, for example, have layers of both for better contouring, support and durability. Generally, the more of coils a bed has, the better it can contour to and support the sleeper.
Many innersprings also include layers of other materials like memory foam for additional comfort and support. Some would call these mattresses hybrids, but since their primarily made with spring systems, they can certainly fall into the innerspring category.
Innersprings tend to be more affordable than newer alternatives. If you’re on a budget, your money will go farther with this kind of mattress.
They are also capable of catering to a wide variety of sleepers (side, back, stomach sleepers, as well as light/heavy sleepers and those who experience all kinds of body pain).
Less density means better breathability, means you will sleep a lot cooler.
The springiness and responsivity also make these beds great for sex.
Some sleepers complain about their noise and lack of motion isolation. Today’s quality innersprings have done much to cut down on noise/creakiness and improve motion isolation, but for many sleepers, they do not compare to memory foam and latex in either of these two categories.
Many customers will report sagging with innersprings and in general, they tend to have shorter lifespans than memory foam and latex alternatives. With a high-quality luxury bed, you are unlikely to experience these problems.
Innerspring beds may not provide the contouring and pressure-point relief that many sleepers like.
Innerspring vs. Memory Foam/Latex
With multiple layers and spring systems, innersprings are believed to provide better overall support. Memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses, on the other hand, are built to hug your body.
This difference in supportiveness is perhaps the biggest distinction (aside from the raw materials) between innerspring and memory foam/latex. Latex and memory foam both conform to your body. Some sleepers enjoy the feeling of being enveloped by their mattress. Other sleepers find it too hard to move and dislike this “quicksand” feeling.
Innersprings are more responsive to your movement. They move with you, so it feels more like you’re floating on the bed rather than sinking into it. Consequently, they’re not so good when it comes to motion isolation and noise – two categories where memory foam and latex shine.
Very generally speaking, back and stomach sleepers tend to favor innersprings, while side sleepers tend to sleep better on memory foam and latex.
Is an Innerspring Mattress Right for Me?
Innerspring beds tend to be on the firmer side, so they can be very good for heavier individuals. They generally do not offer the same kind of contouring and sink-factor as memory foam and latex. However, you can certainly find some on the softer end of the spectrum. You can also find beds that have both springs and comfort layers of memory foam to get some of that hugging feel.
Innersprings are also very good at alleviating back pain. They’re especially good for back sleepers, and also provide good spinal support for stomach sleepers. Some side sleepers may find innerspring beds to be not soft enough to alleviate pressure on certain parts of the body. Though, many beds will come in softer comfort levels.
If you are a hot sleeper, an innerspring is for you. They retain much less body heat than memory foam and latex. They also have more bounce and responsiveness, which many people feel makes them ideal for sex.
With innerspring mattresses, you’ll be sure to find the highest level of support and responsiveness. But you might not get the contouring and sinking-in feeling you may (or may not) be looking for. Side sleepers, for example, need more contouring than back or stomach sleepers to keep their spines aligned while they sleep. A medium to soft innerspring would have a more ideal level of conforming for side sleepers or anyone who enjoys that feel in a mattress. Most of today’s innersprings will have a layer of foam that will lend more conforming to the top of the bed. This makes them an excellent option for people of all sleep types. Heavier-weight sleepers will likely sleep more comfortably on a firmer innerspring mattress.
Innerspring mattresses also breathe very well, so can be a great choice for side sleepers that tend to be hot during the night. And they can be some of the most inexpensive mattresses out there, which can be great if you’re on a budget.
There are many innerspring mattresses on the market today. Which means a great ease of finding a mattress that is perfectly suited to your needs. If you want a mattress that can be custom-tailored to you, you should go with Saatva. That’s just one of the reasons we’ve not only ranked it as the #1 Best Innerspring Mattress, but as The #1 Luxury Mattress overall. Read our full Saatva review for more on why it is the best mattress out there.