Confused about the difference between a pocket spring mattress and regular open spring mattress? – Are pocket coils better? and if so why? Here’s an unbiased comparison to help you make an informed choice.
What are Open Spring Mattresses?
The most common and conventional type of mattress is a regular open spring mattress. They’ve been around for well over a century and either use a series of interconnected steel springs or a continuous steel coil. In both cases they sit inside a larger wire frame.
These types of mattresses are easy to manufacture, which is why they are usually the more affordable option.
What are Pocket Coil Mattress?
Pocket coil mattresses on the other hand are relatively new to the mattress scene. They are often referred to as pocket spring mattresses – just different names for the same thing.
Pocket spring mattresses are different to conventional spring mattresses for two key reasons;
- Independent fabric encased springs – Instead of using interconnected springs, pocket coil mattresses use individual fabric encased springs. The fabric pocket hold each spring in place and allows them to remain independent – each spring can compress without affecting neighbouring springs.
- Smaller spring size, and more of them – The second key difference is their size – pocket coils are a much smaller than springs found in an open spring mattresses – and so a lot more are needed to make the same size mattress.
So what does all this mean for comfort, quality and support? Are pocket spring mattresses any better than conventional open spring mattresses? Here’s the full breakdown;
Comfort, Quality and Support –
The Difference between pocket spring and open spring mattresses
Keeping the spine straight should be the goal of any mattress. When the back is straight you’re well supported and more comfortable no matter what sleeping position your in.
The trouble with conventional open spring mattresses is their interconnected design. All springs are attached to one another – so whenever one spring is compressed neighbouring springs are also compressed. This creates an uneven sleeping surface leading to back shoulder and neck pain – especially for side sleepers.
Because pocket springs are independent they act individually and won’t affect neighbouring springs when under weight. Each spring can each respond differently according to localised pressure. They contour to the body and keep the spine straight.
Compare the difference in the spinal alignment of the side sleeper below on a pocket coil mattress vs both soft and firm open spring mattress;
Pocket Coil Mattress – Individual springs are able to contour to the shape of the shoulders and hips whilst supporting the back to keep the spine straight
Soft Open Spring Mattress – The connected springs move in unison under the weight of the hips and shoulders – creating an uneven curved surface which fail to properly support the back
Firm Open Spring Mattress – Open spring mattresses counteract the sinking effect by making them firm – but for side sleepers especially this prevents the back from being straight because areas under the shoulders and hips don’t compress
Spring Count – Are more springs better?
Generally speaking, the more springs a mattress has – the more supportive it will be.
This is a huge plus for pocket spring mattress over conventional spring mattress – a regular open spring mattress will typically use around 300 springs, whilst a high quality pocket spring mattress will uses between 1000 to 4000 springs.
The more springs a mattress has the better it can respond to subtle changes in weight and pressure points for better comfort and support. Think of a pocket spring mattress as a high resolution mattress.
Any pocket coil mattresses worth its salt will use a variety of spring types arranged in sections to create different comfort zones within the mattress.
For instance, springs in areas which support the lower back will have a thicker gauge to offer more firmness, where as springs in areas under the hips and shoulders should offer more compression.
Good quality pocket coil mattresses will generally have 3 to 5 distinct support zones – customised sections which support the head and neck, shoulders, lumbar, hips and lower legs.
One things for sure – a conventional open spring mattress isn’t ideal for sleeping with a partner. Because springs are interconnected, any movement on one side can be felt on the other – It’s like sleeping on a trampoline – you’re pretty much guaranteed that your tossing and turning partner will bounce you around all night.
Because springs in a pocket spring mattress act independently – you’re not going to be disturbed by a moving partner. You sleeping on your own seperate springs and they sleep on theirs with minimal to no transference between them.
Look out for cheaper pocket coil mattresses using low quality springs made of inferior steel. They won’t respond as well to repeated pressure and are far less durable over the long term.
The best pocket coil mattress makers will let you know if they are using high quality springs. I refer you to the Avocado website for a good example. They proudly display their high quality spring manufacturer, you can even view videos of their mattresses undergoing spring compression and durability and isolation tests – and view the results – worth a look.
Does a pocket coil mattress last longer than regular spring mattress?
Because body weight is spread over a larger number of springs, it stands to reason that high quality pocket spring mattresses will outlast open spring mattress with far fewer springs to carry the same load.
Of course this is dependant on buying a pocket coil mattress which uses springs made by a quality manufacturer. Good quality pocket coil mattresses can have warranties of up to 25yrs.
So now you a pocket coil mattresses is better than open spring mattresses. The answer is pretty clear – provided its good quality, a pocket coil mattress will outperform a conventional open spring mattresses on every metric – offering durability, better comfort and support, proper spinal alignment and no partner disturbance.
It’s no secret that the Avocado is the best pocket spring mattress in my opinion – they are fully transparent in their use of materials and their test results – which is virtually unprecedented in the mattress industry. Not only this but they are made in the USA from all natural and high quality materials. Another good choice is the Happsy mattress – you can detailed reviews of both here.