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THE GOOD. Innerspring mattresses are popular mainly for five reasons: 1) consumer familiarity, 2) wide availability, 3) affordability, 4) many firmness and comfort options, 5) suitability for sex.
THE BAD. Innerspring mattresses overall have lower owner satisfaction than other mattress types due mainly to below-average durability / longevity and (long-term) comfort potential. Noise is possible.
THE MATTRESSES: Innerspring coils provide support. Comfort layer material often consists of foam, fiber and perhaps memory foam. Models with at least 1.5 inches of memory foam are called hybrids – and they are rated separately.
THE COMPETITION: See how innerspring mattresses compare to other mattress types.
Innerspring Mattress Ratings: Overall As a Group
Innerspring Mattress Ratings: By Brand
What Makes Innerspring Mattresses Different
Innerspring Mattress Owner Satisfaction
Innerspring Mattress Longevity
Analysis of Main Consumer Complaint: Sagging
Coil Type Comparison
Coil Count & Coil Gauge
Comfort Layer Material Comparison
Innerspring Mattress Buying Tip
The ratings below show how innerspring mattresses as a group compare to other mattress types as evaluated by owners. For information on specific brands, see the following section.
|Owner satisfaction||d+||Owner satisfaction among innerspring mattress brands can vary, but overall they have 64% owner satisfaction when used regularly / everyday. More.|
|Affordable||B||Prices range considerably ($200-$3000+) due mainly to thickness, material, and coil count. The average queen innerspring mattress costs about $950. More.|
|Durability / longevity||d+||Within three years of ownership, about 25% of owners (1 in 4) report sagging occurring to an extent that undermines comfort and support. No other mattress type has as high a sagging rate. More.|
|General support||B-||Support level can vary as pricier models often provide better support. Coil count, coil gauge and coil type largely determine support level. Sagging often undermines support.|
|Reduced pressure points||C-||Innerspring mattresses tend to have fair-at-best conforming or contouring-to-the-body ability. This can result in noticeable pressure points due to less than ideal distribution of a person's weight. More.|
|Less (back) pain||c||Initially, innerspring mattresses often provide relief from pain, including back pain. Mattress sagging, however, appears to cause at least some pain for about 15% of owners (1 in 7). (See mattresses and pain for general analysis.)|
|Easy to move on||b-||Those models with poor support or a thick, soft comfort layer may provide some resistance to movement including the changing of positions. Sagging can also impede movement.|
|Motion isolation||c||Motion isolation refers to how well a mattress absorbs motion and prevents movement made by one person from disturbing another. Motion isolation for innerspring beds can vary significantly depending mainly on coil type. Pricier models tend to provide superior isolation.|
|Edge support||B-||Support for sleeping or sitting near the edge of the bed can vary by model but it tends to be at least average – especially compared to many foam mattresses.|
|No initial odor / off gassing||B-||About 8% of owners (1 in 13) complain of off gassing, which is the release of a chemical-like odor that occurs when the mattress is new. Those models with a thick foam comfort layer tend to have the greatest off gassing potential. (General analysis: mattress off gassing.)|
|Not a heat trap||B-||About 7% of owners (1 in 14) report sleeping hot. Softer models and those with memory foam tend to have the most complaints. (General analysis: mattress heat retention.)|
|Good for sex||b-||People often like the bounce of the beds, but there are some negatives. More.|
|No noise||c-||Noise – squeaking, creaking, clunking, crackling – can range from significant to almost nonexistent depending mainly on coil type and cover. Pocket coils tend to have few noise complaints. More.|
|Heavy person friendly||C+||The durability of low-priced models (under $400) tends to not be ideally suited for people 230+ lbs especially over the long term. Large people also tend to report more noise issues and lack of support. (See mattress guide for large people.)|
|Light / small person friendly||B||Softer innerspring mattress models are often preferred by people under 130 lbs as they better conform to their bodies. Models 12 inches or thicker are often too tall for shorter people to allow for easy access. (See mattress guide for small people.)|
|No topper needed||C||Cheaper models especially – those with little or no comfort layer – have an above-average likelihood of needing a topper to improve softness.|
|Short break in period||C+||Innerspring mattresses tend to have a shorter-than-average break in, usually under two weeks.|
|Adjustable base friendly||C-||While most innerspring mattresses are compatible with an adjustable base, those models with a border wire / rod are not. And given that most innerspring mattresses have greater-than-average thickness, they may lack optimal flexibility to bend easily with the base.|
|Easy to maintain||c+||Most models are one sided and no flip. To combat sagging, owners often report rotating (head to foot) their mattress at least twice a year.|
|Easy to lift, move, handle||c+||The mattresses often weigh 35-140+ lbs with the average queen weighing about 93 lbs. Pricier, thicker models often weigh more. The mattresses tend to be be as floppy and unwieldy as foam-based mattresses. Grips are often present on all but the cheapest models.|
|Warranties||c+||At least 15% of owners say that warranties lack adequate coverage for sagging. Warranty lengths range 5-25 years with 10 being about average. (See mattress warranties: what you should know.)|
|Availability at mattress retailers||A||Innerspring mattresses are the most widely available mattress type in stores which allows for convenient try out before buying.|
The table below rates and compares (in alphabetical order) many of the more popular innerspring mattresses. Select a mattress for a full ratings report. Many of the following mattresses can be compared in detail in the mattress comparison.
|Distinctive Advantage or Trait||SLTD Rating of Company
||Sold in Stores and or Online
|Aireloom / Kluft||75%
|$1400- $7000+||med-soft to firm||12-16"*||often luxurious||B-||stores, online||Macys, Bloom- ingdales||10-20 years|
|$3700- $12k+||mostly med||9.25- 12.5"*||prestigious||C+||stores||Duxiana||20 years|
|$130- $1900||med-soft to firm||7.5-14"||strong return policy||B||stores, online||Furniture Row||5-15 years|
|$3600- $20k+||soft to med*||n/a||ultra prestigious||C+||stores||Hastens stores||25 years|
|$90- $1000||mostly firm||5-17"||in Ikea stores||B||stores, online||Ikea||20 years|
|$350- $2800||soft to firm||9-16"*||assist from Intl Chiro Assoc.||B-||stores, online||many retailers||10-25 years|
|$450- $3500+||soft to firm||11-17"*||in-store diagnostic avail.||B-||stores, online||Mattress Warehouse,
Sit N Sleep
|$450- $2200||med-soft to firm||9.5- 17.5"||--||C||stores, online||many retailers||10-15 years|
|$600- $1400||med-soft to firm||11.5", 14.5"||very strong cust. service||B-||online||saatva .com||15 years|
|$280- $1300+||med-soft to x-firm||8.5-16"||largest global mattress mfg.||C+||stores, online||many retailers||10 years|
|$340- $1000+||soft to firm||9-15"||largest US mattress mfg.||C+||stores, online||many retailers||10 years|
|$100- $350||med to med-firm||6", 8", 13"||value||C+||online||Amazon, Walmart .com||1 year|
|$400- $2000+||soft to firm||6- 18.5"||since 1870||C+||stores, online||many retailers||10 years|
|$420- $2100||soft to firm||9.5- 16.5"||--||B-||stores, online||several retailers||10 years|
|Stearns & Foster||62%
|$1100- $3500+||soft to firm||13-17.5"||widely avail. luxury brand||B-||stores, online||many retailers||10 years|
|$95- $350||med to firm||6-13"||ultra value||B-||online||Amazon, Walmart||5-10 years|
* partial estimate to estimate
Two characteristics most distinguish innerspring mattresses from other mattress types: bounce and limited conforming ability.
Innerspring mattresses tend to have more bounce than other mattress types. This means that quickly placing weight on the mattress, such as sitting down on it, will cause the mattress to rebound, usually 3 to 5 times before stopping. Some innerspring mattresses are bouncier than others due mainly to the type of innerspring coil used.
Bounce has a main pro and a main con:
|Bounce PRO||Bounce CON|
|At least some mattress bounce is often preferred for sex as it may help to create and maintain rhythm. More.||Sitting down on, getting up off, and vigorously moving on an innerspring mattress will produce at least some bounce, and this movement may disturb another person on the bed. Models with pocket coils tend to produce the least disturbance.|
Innerspring mattresses tend to not conform strongly. In other words, they tend to not contour and mold to a sleeper's body nor envelop and "hug" a sleeper to the extent of most other mattress types. Some innerspring mattresses are more conforming than others due mainly to the type of comfort layer material used.
Limited conforming ability has two main pros and one main con:
|Limited Conforming Ability PROS||Limited Conforming Ability CON|
|Being less enveloped or "hugged" by the mattress often results in more airflow around the sleeper which helps to keep bothersome heat retention minimized.
Limited conforming ability tends to allow for easier body movement, namely changing positions and getting up off the bed.
|Due to the mattress not strongly conforming to the curves of a person's body, a person's weight may be unequally distributed on the mattress. This can result in gaps in support and therefore a greater likelihood of experiencing pressure points and even poor spinal alignment.|
Innerspring mattress prices can vary widely mainly due to design and amount / type of material used. The average price for an innerspring mattress (no foundation) is about $950 for a queen. The price of the average queen mattress is about $1550.
While prices are better-than-average for innerspring mattresses, owner satisfaction is worse than average. As a result, consumers give the mattresses about a fair rating for value or "bang for the buck."
Owner satisfaction for innerspring mattresses appears to be improving in recent years, but the beds overall still rate behind the other mattress types.
Learn more about how innerspring mattresses compare to the other mattress types.
The graph below shows that after the first two to three years, innerspring bed owner satisfaction overall is somewhat lower than that of all mattress types overall. This is mostly due to innerspring beds in general having somewhat worse longevity / durability than the other mattress types.
|Innerspring Mattresses||All Mattresses|
|Owner Satisfaction For Regular / Everyday Adult Use||63%||69%|
|Owner Satisfaction For Temporary / Occasional / Light Use||86%||89%|
Innerspring mattresses have lower longevity / lifespan than most other mattress types due mainly to a higher sagging rate (see next entry).
* partial estimate.
Compared to other mattress types, innerspring mattresses have the most problem with sagging. Sagging is the loss of a level, supportive sleep surface. Sagging can include the development of body impressions, "sink holes," and "peaks & valleys." About 25% of innerspring mattress owners report the problem thereby making sagging the top innerspring mattress owner complaint.
* estimated to be at least 1.5" depth
** partial estimate
Innerspring mattresses consist of many assembled parts and many different types of materials. In other words, the mattresses are not simple – especially compared to foam mattresses which often consist merely of two to four layers of foam glued together. This complexity of innerspring mattresses appears to give them a higher likelihood of developing problems, including sagging problems.
In addition, models with thick pillow tops / comfort layers tend to be at least two times more likely to sag / compress than those models with a thin / minimal comfort layer. See the truth about pillow top mattresses. Also see the buying tip for a way to possibly minimize comfort layer problems.
Other causes of sagging may include: 1) one-sided designs which cannot be flipped to avoid uneven wear / compression; 2) queen- and king-sized models that lack the construction strength needed to properly support two people especially in the middle; and 3) an inadequate, sagging or poorly assembled foundation.
A lack of (head-to-foot) mattress rotation is not likely a chief cause of sagging because many people who report sagging claim to rotate their mattress regularly. A person's heavy weight also does not appear to be the chief cause of the problem since many people who weigh less than 180 pounds report sagging.
Innerspring mattresses tend to rate better than most other mattress types on this issue.
Pros of innerspring mattresses on this issue include:
Cons of innerspring mattresses on this issue include:
Learn more: Sex and mattresses comparison.
Seemingly endless types of coils exist, but almost all of them fall under one of the four types below. Each coil type has its own pros and cons.
1. Pocket. These are individual coils wrapped in fabric and appear to be the most widely used mattress coil type. They provide mostly consistent distribution of support and at least fair motion isolation. Pricier mattresses often feature a more advanced pocket coil design. Consumers seeking a highly bouncy mattress may want to avoid this coil.
2. Continuous. This coil type is likely second to pocket coils in popularity and use. A continuous coil system consists of coil rows made of continuous wire that run head to toe. This coil is often present on low- to mid-priced mattresses. While it is durable because each coil gets support from ones next to it, the system tends to not be especially supportive or quiet. In addition, because the system consists of one integrated piece, it tends to provide below average motion isolation making it a less-than-ideal choice for couples.
3. Bonnell / Open. This coil is hour-glass shaped and has a simple design. They are used in mattresses of various price points. Durability is often fair or better, but support is questionable and motion isolation is average at best.
4. Offset. Offset coils are sometimes used in mid- to high-priced mattresses. They are similar to Bonnell coils but have better spring action and support. Some variations have good motion isolation and noise control.
The following comparison (based on actual owner experiences) shows what tends to be true; a particular brand, model or individual mattress may go against these findings somewhat.
|Continuous||Offset||Bonnell / Open|
Coil count refers to the number of coils in the mattress. Most queen innerspring mattresses have a coil count of 450-900 with 725 being about average. Mattresses with a higher coil count are more expensive than mattresses with a lower count, all other things being equal.
Our research shows little correlation between coil count and owner satisfaction or coil count and mattress longevity / durability overall. Nevertheless, heavy people especially may prefer a high-coil-count mattress as this may result in improved support and mattress strength.
Coil gauge is a measurement of how large the coil wire is in diameter. Mattress coil gauge often ranges from 12 to 15. The higher the gauge, the thinner the coil wire and the softer and springier the feel of the bed. Coil gauge in conjunction with the thickness and composition of the comfort layer largely determines the firmness level of an innerspring mattress.
Coil gauge may somewhat affect mattress durability / longevity. Mattresses with a lower (thicker) gauge tend to have a longer lifespan than mattresses with a higher (thinner) gauge. Heavy people especially may want to consider buying a mattress with a lower gauge.
In addition to supportive coils, innerspring mattresses have a comfort layer which can consist of any number of the following materials.
1. (Regular) foam. This material is widely used, and its purpose is to provide softness. Its durability tends to be questionable; those mattresses with a thick layer of regular foam tend to have an above-average number of sagging / compression complaints. This foam can also off gas, that is, release a chemical-like odor when it is new. A greater quantity / thickness of foam present on the mattress means a greater likelihood of noticeable and potentially bothersome off gassing.
2. Fiber. Polyester or cotton is often used to provide softness. Durability is questionable as those mattresses with a thick layer of fiber tend to have the most sagging / compression complaints from owners.
3. Gel-infused (regular) foam. This foam is used on a limited number of innerspring mattresses and usually in small quantity. The foam is infused with tiny gel beads which tends to allow the foam to sleep cooler longer than regular foam.
4. Memory foam. This material may be present on innerspring mattresses in small quantity. (If 1.5 or more inches are present then the mattress is often considered to be a memory foam hybrid.) Memory foam is often more dense than regular foam and provides softness as well as conforming-to-the-body support. It can be effective in minimizing pressure points and, to a lesser extent, reducing motion transfer. In general, memory foam is more likely than regular foam to retain heat and off gas.
5. Gel-infused memory foam. This foam is memory foam infused with tiny gel beads. It is sometimes used on innerspring mattresses in small quantity. (If 1.5 or more inches are present then the mattress is often considered to be a memory foam hybrid.) It tends to reduce heat trap complaints by about 30% compared to regular memory foam.
6. Graphene-infused or diamond particle-infused memory foam. A small number of innerspring mattresses use memory foam infused with tiny graphene or diamond particles – both conductors of heat. Their effectiveness, however, in reducing heat trap complaints is mostly unknown at this time given their currently limited use.
7. Latex. This material is not widely used. Its purpose is to provide pressure relief similar to that of memory foam. The latex used is often blended latex – a combination of natural and synthetic latex. The durability of latex that is often used in innerspring mattresses is questionable as it can develop body impressions. The latex may also off gas and act as a heat trap.
8. Mini coils. These coils are usually no more than four inches tall and tend to be pocket coils. They help to provide additional contouring support.
The following comparison (based on actual owner experiences) shows what tends to be true; a particular brand, model or individual
mattress may go against these findings.
|Regular Foam||Fiber||Gel Regular Foam||Memory Foam||Gel Memory foam||Latex||Mini Coils|
|Not heat trap||C||B+||B-||D||C||C-||A|
|Easy to move on||B-||B||B-||D||D||C+||B+|
|No off gassing||C||A||C||D+||D+||C-||A|
* partial estimate
Innerspring mattresses with memory foam – especially those models 1.5 inches or more of the material – may also be referred to as (memory foam) hybrid mattresses. They tend to have characteristics of both innerspring mattresses and memory foam mattresses. Learn more: memory foam hybrid mattress ratings.
Instead of buying a mattress with a thick comfort layer, consider buying the mattress and comfort layer separately as described below. This buying strategy often minimizes both potential durability problems and cost.
Purchase a firm innerspring mattress, that is, one with minimal padding – preferably no more than two inches of padding in the comfort layer. Most mattress brands offer at least one model that meets this criteria. The advantage of this is that firm models tend to have fewer and less severe sagging problems than do models with thick comfort layers / pillow tops. Firm models also tend to be highly affordable because they lack significant padding.
Then, if you wish to soften the mattress, purchase a mattress topper. The thicker the topper is, the softer (and perhaps less supportive) it tends to make the mattress.
The advantage of this buying strategy is that if the topper deteriorates, compresses or sags, then only it needs to be replaced as opposed to the entire mattress.
Consumers who have used this buying strategy tend to report good comfort, durability and money-saving results.
Ratings are based on over 8,000 innerspring mattress owner experiences collected from diverse sources.
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