Some people see one spring mattress and think they’ve seen them all. The reality is that there are differences in each of these mattresses that make them unique — and it all starts with the coil.
Let’s begin with some basics: the gauge number of a mattress coil determines the thickness of a mattress. If you’re looking for a firmer sleep with plenty of support, a lower gauge number is most desirable. If you want a softer mattress, you should go with a higher gauge number. This usually revolves around a 12-15 scale, meaning a 12 would be very firm while a 15 would be very soft.
In terms of how many coils a mattress should contain, a low count is simply not ideal. That said, figuring out a minimum number of coils can be challenging since mattresses vary in size. As a general rule of thumb, full or double mattresses should have at least 300 coils, 400 coils for queen mattresses, and at least 380 coils for king mattresses.
Since you now have an idea of mattress coil fundamentals, determining the right one for you is the next step. Remember, furniture stores and furniture liquidators have plenty of options, so take notes.
Bonnell coils are generally regarded as the godfather of mattress coils since they’re the oldest and most common type of coil available.
With an hourglass shape, the thinner middle part of Bonnell coils compresses with soft pressure, and the rest of the spring provides deep down support. We wouldn’t dare knock a pioneer, but these kinds of coils are known to be a little less durable than some of the others on this list.
Because of their lack of long-term durability, they're also less expensive. A mattress with Bonnell coils is great as a children’s bed or spare mattress for guests. These aren’t necessarily the best option if you’re looking for more advanced support or comfort.
While pocketed coils provide optimal comfort as a coil system, they're not actually wired together, so each coil works independently. This is how they’re able to address the issue of motion transfer so effectively. With that in mind, they can also lack long-term durability if there’s more wear and tear on a particular set of coils on the mattress.
The real advantage of having a mattress with continuous coils is durability. They may not be quite as soft as a mattress with pocketed coils, but they'll generally last much longer. These coils also provide better support for the centre third portion of the mattress, which is good for your back during sleep.