Invented recently, the technology of pocket springs provides many features that memory foam was never designed for. Mimicking the old model of the open coil mattress, the pocket sprung variety combines the best from both worlds.
While many models exist on the market, the underlying structure is the same – a network of miniature coils, wrapped up in separate pockets filled from the inside or surrounded by fabric.
The idea of the pocket sprung mattress is for each miniature part to work independently, adapting to the body regardless of type, size, and weight. This way, applying pressure to one shouldn’t affect the other. Needless to say, it is ideal for partners who have large differences in weight. With a pocket sprung model, even if you are moving throughout the night, your partner won’t feel a thing.
How to choose the right model for you?
While the underlying structure is more or less the same, there are 1000 pocket sprung mattresses, 2000 pocket sprung mattresses and whooping 3000 pocket sprung mattresses. But we will discuss technical specifications briefly.
Being in this industry for what seems to me a lifetime, I can tell that people are generally confused about the advantages and disadvantages of different mattress technologies. That being said, I’ll try my best to familiarize you with the properties of pocket sprung mattresses, the criteria for choosing your model, and the selection of best performing brands.
Wire diameter versus wire length
While many brands specify the length of the coil, you’ll have to dig deeper to find measurements about the wire diameter. The general rule of thumb, however, goes like this – the ticker the wire the more support it provides.
If you are a heavy person, you’ll want more pockets too, since weight is better distributed with every new micro pocket added to the grid.
Back to wire diameters, the measurements and back support are as follows:
- Soft 1.2 millimeters
- Medium 1.4 millimeters
- Firm 1.6 millimeters
- Extra firm/ Orthopaedic – 1.9 millimeters
Where to buy a pocket sprung mattress from?
While the technology is old enough to be widely distributed, many brands can still be traced back to large factories in the UK. Leggett and Plat, and Charles Blythe are examples of this.
Be aware of Chinese models that often lack the standard of quality followed by renowned UK brands.
Another option is Germany, with factories like Argo Gmbh, and countries like Turkey and South Africa where pocket sprung mattresses are starting to gain traction in sales.
The quality, however, is not necessarily determined by the origin of the coil units. It is, instead, evaluated by other criteria such as the upholstery which makes the bulk of the difference in price.
How to choose the number of pockets
Generally speaking, the more of them the merrier. The bottom limit is 600 pockets, which is the least that a mattress can have, while the upper limit is 2000 pockets. Everything above that requires the addition of another layer on top of the first – something that many experts generally advise against.
The king size option is always the best indicator about the number because that’s where most manufacturers list the right density ratio and number of pockets.
I would advise, at least, something above 1000 pockets since anything below can compromise support. If you are slightly above moderately heavy, 2000 pockets would be the safest bet. Most foundations, if you decide to go with this technology, recommend the 2000 pocket sprung mattress.
2000 pocket sprung mattress versus Foam mattress
While you will most certainly find a 2000 pocket sprung mattress with memory foam (top layer), comparing one technology against the other will shed some light over the advantages of the micro pocket variety.
First of all, foam is recommended for people who need a medium-soft to soft support, where they feel immersed and smothered. Pocket sprung mattresses are recommended for those who need medium firm support, and prefer sleeping on their side and often times back.
A 2000 pocket sprung mattress will often provide 5-7 support zones, each of them adjusting differently to the body.
If you want to use the entire mattress surface, pocket sprung mattresses offer edge support whereas foam models have you fearing from rolling off the bed.
For people who need strong support and those who struggle with injuries, back, shoulder and hip pain, pocket sprung models offer superior underlying support.
Pocket sprung mattresses allow for better circulation of air, and therefore much better ventilation.
Pocket sprung mattress with another layer on top
Most often than not, the pocket sprung base is combined with thin memory foam on top, natural or hypoallergenic stuffing. Some materials can act as allergens so make sure you know what the material is, or better yet look for anti-allergic quality covers.
The stitching is also important, and it has to do a lot with the overall structural integrity. Hand tufted models provide long lasting support between the base and the upper layer so make sure to read the specifications.
Durability, however, is not the strongest quality. Usually, even the best pocket sprung mattress would last between 8-10 years, but you can greatly extend this number by regularly flipping the mattress on month-long intervals. Considering how most of the models are manufactured with the same order of layers on the top as well as bottom, this is often recommended.
Pocket sprung models are great for those who struggle with heat
As sleep reaches its full cycle, your body temperature rises. For many people, this can affect the quality of their sleep. Other factors are taken into consideration as well, such as the room temperature, the weight of the person, or even how much time has passed between sleep and the last meal of the day.
However, the ventilation properties of the mattress play a vital role. While pocket sprung mattresses cannot cool your body, they can greatly reduce the temperature build-up by enabling better circulation of air. Needless to say, if you regularly sweat during sleep, or wake up in the middle of the night, a pocket sprung mattress might be a better option than a dense and firm memory foam model.