What To Look For In A New Innerspring Mattress

Construction Basics

  • The box spring is very important. Also known as the foundation, the box spring can dramatically increase the life expectancy of your mattress. There is the myth you may have heard that box springs are not significant in the purchase of bedding. But this is not true. You want your mattress to last as long as possible. The purchase of a mattress is a significant one -- one that you are taking time to research and do right. Although it is true that a mattress placed on a new box spring will feel the same as that mattress on an old box spring, that mattress will last only 1/3 as long as the one on the new box spring. Most brand name mattresses purchased today will last 10 years on a new box spring while a mattress on an old box spring will only last 3 to 4 years. Clearly it is a significant part of the purchase. So when shopping, look for mattresses with steel reinforced box springs, which will add to the longevity and BUY THE WHOLE SET -- MATTRESS AND BOX SPRING. Because it does not make financial sense to just purchase the box spring, all of our buying guide information is for entire sets.
  • The most important part of the mattress in the support of the body is the mattress core. The box spring supports the mattress: the mattress supports you. The core of the mattress is made up of metal coils, also simply known as coils. Here are three points you need to know about coils in mattresses when seeking to purchase the right mattress for you.
    1. The number of coils found in a mattress should correspond to how much support a mattress gives you. For instance, a mattress with 300 coils will give you less support than a mattress with 700 coils. This does not mean that a mattress with 300 coils is a poor mattress - that may be just the right amount of support for you. If you prefer a very firm mattress you should look for one with a higher coil count. Please note that this is a general rule and there are exceptions. Some of the most expensive and comfortable mattresses in the world have just 412 coils.
    2. Another area to consider with regard to the coils in a mattress is the gauge of the coils. The gauge refers to the number of coils it would take to make an inch. Heavy gauge - thick - coils will offer a great deal of support while light gauge coils will offer less support. There is nothing wrong with having heavy or light gauge coils in your mattress; the problem comes you are shown a mattress with a low coil count and heavy gauge wire as a firm mattress. This mattress will become lumpy quickly because it does not have enough coils to maintain that firm support. Most brand name mattress companies do stay within a reasonable range when making their mattresses.
    3. Third, you should consider the connections between the coils when choosing the best mattress for your needs. The number and quality of these interconnecting wires is not typically published. If there are too few of these interconnecting wires a mattress can lose its shape more quickly than one that has an adequate amount. Mattresses that sag quickly usually have few interconnecting wires.
  • The upholstery on top of the mattress is important for the basic comfort of the body. This choice is a personal preference and totally up to you. If you want to feel like you are sleeping on a feather bed while actually getting the real support your body needs -- look for a "pillow top". If you prefer to feel like you are sleeping on a board- look for the cover that has the thinnest upholstery available. Neither choice will lead to a poor night's sleep. The upholstery is simply there for the time that you are awake while in bed. You will get the same support from a "pillow top" as you will with a "regular-top" on the same bed. The choice should be made by what feels the best to you when you try out the mattress.
  • If you were to separate an innerspring mattress into all of its individual parts, you would have a bunch of metal, fabric and a little bit of plastic. Typically, the most costly part is the fabric which can be cotton, silk, wool, etc. That cost can add up. Pillow top mattresses are extremely popular and they have the most fabric and foam. Interestingly, the fabric is also the area that will show wear the soonest. It is much more likely that your pillow top will begin to sag before the metal springs underneath begin to lose their rigidity. If you do decide that a pillow top mattress is for you make sure you rotate and flip, assuming that it is flippable, regularly. Flipping will help delay the canoe effect that comes from wear.