Innerspring vs Pocketed Coil Mattresses

Last Updated On April 29th, 2024
Innerspring vs Pocketed Coil Mattresses

Key Takeaways

  • Coil Construction Matters: Innerspring mattresses and pocket coil mattresses both rely on coil systems for support, but they differ in construction. Innerspring mattresses feature interconnected metal coils providing a firm surface, while pocket coil mattresses have individually wrapped coils offering targeted support and better pressure relief.
  • Benefits of Pocket Coil Mattresses: Pocket coil mattresses offer several advantages, including greater motion isolation, improved body contouring, and reduced squeaking. These mattresses adapt to the body’s shape, minimize disturbances between sleeping partners, and provide personalized support for a comfortable sleep experience.
  • Consider Different Sleep Needs: Different types of sleepers have unique requirements when it comes to mattress selection. Pocket coil mattresses may be better suited for side sleepers due to their contouring properties, while firmer innerspring mattresses could be ideal for stomach sleepers. Understanding individual preferences and needs is crucial in making the right choice between innerspring and pocket coil mattresses.

When it comes to choosing the right type of mattress, the options seem endless. There’s memory foam, latex, airbed, waterbed, and even more niche options like hammocks and sleeping mats!

Among the various mattress types available, innerspring and pocket coil mattresses are two popular choices that offer distinct features for a comfortable night’s sleep. Each type relies on a coil system for support, but they are still quite distinct from each other.

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In this article, we will delve into the differences between these mattress types and help you make an informed decision that suits your needs.

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A Quick Look at Innerspring vs Pocket Coil

Innerspring mattresses, also known as traditional coil mattresses, have been a staple in the bedding industry for decades. These mattresses tend to feature a traditional innerspring coil system consisting of interconnected metal coils that provide a firm sleeping surface. The hourglass shape of innerspring coils allows for proper weight distribution and support, contributing to a restful night’s sleep.

On the other hand, pocket coil mattresses, also known as wrapped coil mattresses, take a different approach. They feature individually wrapped coils that move independently, offering targeted support and better pressure relief. The unique design of pocketed coils allows them to contour to your body’s shape, providing customized comfort and minimizing motion transfer between sleeping partners.

In short, the notable difference between innerspring and pocket coil mattresses is the construction of the coil system:

  • Innerspring mattresses typically utilize a continuous coil system or an open coil system, where the springs act independently to conform to your body.
  • In contrast, pocket coil mattresses consist of individually wrapped coils, ensuring better weight distribution and relieving pressure points.

Understanding Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses tend to be a more traditional mattress type that offers a firm sleeping surface and reliable support.

They are constructed using metal coils that form the core support system of the mattress. These coils can come in different types, such as continuous coils, bonnell coils. Each type has its own characteristics and impact on comfort and support.

Continuous coils, also known as coil-in-coil or offset coils, are made from a single continuous wire that is shaped into multiple interconnected coils. The design of continuous wire coils provides durability and structural stability to the mattress, ensuring it maintains its shape over time.

Bonnell coils, on the other hand, are individually shaped hourglass-shaped coils that are interconnected with helical wires. This design allows for better weight distribution and support, offering a firmer sleeping surface.

Because they usually have a simple construction with thin comfort layers sandwiching the wire coil system, innerspring mattresses can be excellent budget mattresses. However, you can still find well-made innerspring beds as you browse luxury mattresses.

Exploring Pocket Coil Mattresses

When it comes to choosing a mattress, pocket coil mattresses are becoming a popular choice due to their unique features and benefits. These mattresses are designed with individually wrapped coils that offer a few advantages over traditional innerspring mattresses.

Greater Motion Isolation

One of the key benefits of pocketed coils is their improved mattress motion isolation. These coils are individually encased in fabric pockets, allowing them to move independently of each other.

With individually wrapped coils, each coil moves independently, reducing motion transfer and providing a more restful sleep. This is especially beneficial in mattresses for couples, as it minimizes disturbances when one partner moves during the night.

Improved Body Contouring

In addition to motion isolation, mattresses are also known for their excellent body contouring properties. The individually wrapped coils adjust to the contours of your body, providing personalized support and proper spinal alignment.

Whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach, a wrapped coil mattress conforms to your body shape, relieving pressure points and ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep. This type of close-body contact and adaptability is a key element of sleeping pain-free and waking up without any aches and stiffness.

Reduced Squeaking Coils

In a pocket spring mattress, each individual coil is encased in a separate fabric pocket, allowing them to move independently of one another. This independent movement reduces friction between the coils, which is the primary cause of a squeaking bed when looking at traditional coil mattresses.

When weight is applied to a specific area of the mattress, only the pocket springs in that area compress, while the surrounding springs remain unaffected. This localized response minimizes the transfer of motion and the potential for squeaking.

In contrast, traditional coil mattresses feature interconnected coils that are wired together. When pressure is applied to one area of the mattress, the connected coils move as a unit, causing them to rub against each other and against the surrounding framework. This increased friction and movement can lead to more frequent and noticeable squeaking sounds.

Additionally, as traditional coil mattresses age and the coils begin to wear down, the likelihood of squeaking increases. Pocket spring mattresses, with their individual coil encasements, are less susceptible to this type of wear-related squeaking, providing a quieter and more comfortable sleeping experience over time.

Recommendations for Different Types of Sleepers

Remember, these are general suggestions, and individual preferences may vary. It’s essential to consider personal comfort preferences, such as firmness level and pressure relief, when choosing between an innerspring or pocket coil mattress.

Side Sleepers

Pocket coil mattresses could be a good mattress for side sleepers due to their ability to contour to the body’s shape and provide targeted support. The individualized coils can help relieve pressure points in the hips and shoulders, which is crucial for side sleepers.

Back Sleepers

Both innerspring and pocket coil mattresses can be suitable as mattresses for back sleepers, depending on their firmness preference. A firmer innerspring mattress may provide the necessary support to keep the spine aligned, while a pocket coil mattress with a medium-firm feel can offer a balance of support and contouring.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers generally require a firmer mattress to prevent their hips from sinking too far into the bed, which can cause lower back pain. A firmer innerspring mattress or a pocket coil mattress with a firm comfort layer may be a good choice as a mattress for stomach sleepers.

Combination Sleepers

Pocket coil mattresses may be more suitable for combination sleepers due to their better motion isolation properties. The individually wrapped coils can minimize disturbances when changing positions throughout the night, important in a mattress for combination sleepers.

Lightweight Sleepers

Lightweight sleepers (under 130 pounds) may find pocket coil mattresses more comfortable, as the individualized coils can provide better contouring and pressure relief for their body weight.

Heavier Sleepers

Heavier sleepers (over 230 pounds) may benefit from the sturdy support of an innerspring mattress, especially if it has a higher coil count or thicker gauge coils. However, a pocket coil mattress with a higher coil count and firm comfort layers can also provide the necessary support needed in a mattress for heavy sleepers.

Hot Sleepers

Innerspring mattresses generally allow for better airflow due to the open space between the coils, which can help regulate temperature. However, pocket coil mattresses with breathable comfort layers, such as natural fibers or gel-infused foams, can also be suitable cooling mattresses for hot sleepers.


Do pocket spring mattresses sag?

While pocket spring mattresses are known for their durability and ability to resist sagging better than traditional innerspring mattresses, they can still sag over time with prolonged use. Factors such as the quality of materials, weight distribution, and frequency of use can influence how quickly or noticeably a pocket spring mattress sags.

To minimize sagging, it’s essential to rotate or flip the mattress regularly, invest in a high-quality mattress with reinforced edges, and avoid placing excessive weight or pressure on specific areas of the mattress.

How long do pocket coils last?

The lifespan of pocket coils in a mattress can vary depending on factors such as the quality of materials, frequency of use, and weight distribution.

On average, pocket coils can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or more with proper care and maintenance. Regularly rotating or flipping the mattress can help extend the lifespan of the pocket coils.

What are the cons of a pocket spring mattress?

Some potential cons of pocket spring mattresses include potential motion transfer, especially if the coils are not individually encased or if the mattress lacks sufficient padding. The coils may also squeak or sag as they age with frequent use.

Additionally, pocket spring mattresses may be more expensive compared to other mattress types, and they may not provide as much contouring or pressure relief as foam or hybrid mattresses.

Are pocket coil mattresses good for you?

Pocket coil mattresses can be a good option for many people, particularly those who prefer a mattress with more bounce and support. The individual coils in pocket coil mattresses conform to the body’s shape, offering customized support and relieving pressure points, which can contribute to better sleep quality. The pocketed coils also isolate motion better than traditional open springs.

However, personal preferences, such as firmness level and sleep position, should also be considered when determining if a pocket coil mattress is the right choice for you.

What is better innerspring or pocket coil?

The choice between an innerspring or pocket coil mattress depends on individual preferences and needs. In general, pocket coil mattresses tend to offer better motion isolation and targeted support compared to traditional innerspring mattresses.

However, some people may prefer the firmer feel and lower cost of an innerspring mattress.

Can you flip a pocket coil mattress?

Whether you can flip a pocket coil mattress depends on its design. Many modern pocket coil mattresses are designed to be one-sided and should not be flipped. Flipping such mattresses could result in discomfort and uneven wear.

However, some pocket coil mattresses may be designed to be flippable, typically with the same comfort layers on both sides.

What is better pocket coil or foam?

The choice between a pocket coil or foam mattress ultimately depends on individual preferences and needs. Pocket coil mattresses are known for their bouncy support and breathability, making them a good option for those who prefer a more traditional mattress feel.

Foam mattresses, on the other hand, provide contouring pressure relief and minimal motion transfer, making them suitable for those who prioritize comfort and motion isolation.

Do more pocket coils make a better mattress?

While the number of pocket coils in a mattress can affect its overall support and durability, it’s not the sole factor determining the mattress’s quality. Other factors, such as the gauge of the coils, the quality of materials used in the comfort layers, and the mattress’s overall construction, also play crucial roles in determining how well the mattress performs.

Therefore, while more pocket coils may contribute to better support and responsiveness, it’s essential to consider the mattress’s overall design and construction.


When choosing between innerspring and pocket coil mattresses, it’s crucial to consider your personal preferences and sleep needs. If you prioritize support, a lower price, and a firm sleeping surface, an innerspring mattress may be the right choice for you.

However, if you’re looking for individualized support, reduced motion transfer, and superior pressure relief, a pocket coil mattress would be a more suitable option.

Ultimately, the key is to find a mattress that strikes the perfect balance of comfort, support, and pressure relief for a restful sleep. Whether you choose an innerspring or pocket coil mattress, investing in a quality mattress will contribute to your overall well-being and improve the quality of your sleep.

About the author

April Mayer is a sleep expert and writer with a degree in exercise physiology. She has dedicated her career to exploring the relationship between sleep and productivity. Her insightful articles, such as "The Surprising Way Your Mood Might Be Messing With Your Productivity" and "Wake Up to More Productive Mornings," have been featured in reputable publications like Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That. With a passion for helping others lead more productive lives through restful sleep, April offers valuable expertise on foods and vitamins for better sleep. As a trusted member of the Early Bird team since March 2020, she continues to provide informative and well-researched content.

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