How Do Mattresses Have Springs? (A Genuine Guide)

Let’s learn about how do mattresses have springs inside. I will also tell you about which spring mattress is good for you. Or, whether you should buy a spring mattress after all. Let’s begin.

How do mattresses have springs?

The design of spring mattresses in India is either Bonnell springs or Pocket springs. Bonnell spring mattresses have hourglass-shaped metal springs interconnected with wire. In pocket spring mattresses the metal springs are kept in fabric pockets and stitched together. Pocket springs move independently while Bonnell springs don’t.

Why does a mattress have springs?

Bonnell spring mattresses were the first type of spring mattresses.

Prior to that, mattresses were similar to pillows.

They were made of large bags, stuffed with cotton or wool.

They were unable to provide proper support, resulting in aches and pains.

So, springs were introduced to the mattress industry to provide proper support to the body.

How is a spring mattress made?

The springs are the support layer at the base of the mattress.

They are made of metals like steel and alloys.

There are two types of spring constructions available in India – Bonnell springs and Pocket springs.

Bonnell springs are hourglass-shaped springs, interconnected with metal wires.

As they are interconnected with each other, all the springs move together.

Pocket springs are individual metal springs kept inside fabric bags or pockets.

The bags are stitched together.

As they are not connected together, they move independently of each other under pressure.

On the top of the springs, a cushion of foam is laid, as it is not possible to sleep on metal springs.

This layer may be made of polyurethane foam or specialized foams such as memory foam.

And at the very top, there is a soft comfort layer of either quilted foam or cotton.

How do springs in mattresses work?

The springs in a Bonnell spring mattress move together when pressure is applied.

Bonnell spring mattresses do provide some support to the body as they are bouncy and responsive.

But, as the springs move together, the responsiveness of the mattress is uniform for the whole body.

On the other hand, as pocket springs move independently from each other, they provide different levels of support as per the amount of pressure.

If two persons are sleeping on a pocket spring mattress they do not feel the tosses and turns of each other.

Is it better to have more springs in a mattress?

No, it is not better to have more springs in a mattress.

Having more springs does not mean that you will get better support.

However, the quality of the springs will make a difference as to how well the springs function.

If the springs are firm, they will provide firm support.

Whereas, if they move and bounce easily, you will have more bounce.

How long do springs last in a mattress?

Springs are made of metals like steel or alloys.

So, they do not get damaged due to corrosion or rust easily.

However, if they are made of cheap quality, they will not last long.

The quality of the foam in the comfort layer is also important as to how long the mattress is going to last.

If the quality of the springs and foam is good, the mattress can even handle the jumping of toddlers.

Well, taking all the factors into consideration, I would say that a good spring mattress would generally last around 10 years.

Can you flip a mattress with springs?

No, you cannot flip a mattress with springs.

If you do, you will feel metals under your body as there is no foam at the base of the mattress.

The mattress will also get damaged because the soft foam will be at the base now.

Spring mattress problems

The disadvantages of a spring mattress are as follows – 

  • It is not suitable for aged people as they are bouncy by nature.
  • Bonnell spring mattresses cannot provide different support levels.
  • They cannot be flipped.
  • They cannot be moved easily from one place to another.

Spring mattress advantages

  • They are perfect for heavier people.
  • They suit young couples as they would love the bounce and comfort.
  • Pocket spring mattresses provide different support levels to the body.
  • Pocket spring mattresses provide motion isolation, which means, you will not feel the tosses and turns of the other person in your bed.
  • They are cooler and suit hot and humid climates.
  • They are durable.

Pocket spring mattress

The major advantage of pocket spring mattresses over Bonnell springs is the motion isolation factor.

Bonnell spring mattresses are earlier versions of spring mattresses.

But pocket spring mattresses are designed to overcome the disadvantages of the Bonnell spring mattresses.

Combined with a good comfort layer on the top, like memory foam, they are able to provide the right support and comfort.

Some pocket spring mattresses also come with pillow tops for an added plush feel.

Spring mattress vs foam mattress which is better?

Let’s compare a pocket spring mattress and a memory foam mattress as they are the better versions of spring and foam mattresses.

Pocket Spring MattressMemory Foam Mattress
Firm support.Medium-firm support.
Medium responsiveness.High responsiveness.
Not good for back pain relief.Good for back pain relief.
Good for motion isolation.Good for motion isolation.
Suits all climate conditions.Suits cooler climates.
Suits young people.Suits everybody.
Great for heavy people.Bad for heavy people.

Do foam or spring mattresses last longer?

Spring mattresses last longer than foam mattresses.

Although foam mattresses are made of two types of foam, a hard foam at the base and a soft foam on the top, they are more prone to wear and tear.

But spring mattresses have metal springs at the base which are able to withstand all sorts of pressure.

Hence, they last longer than foam mattresses.

Foam vs spring mattress for back pain

Now let’s elaborate a bit on a common question I get all the time – Is spring mattress good for back pain?

As springs are made of metals, they provide firm support to the body.

If you have back pain, you need medium-firm support.

Although pocket springs do provide different levels of support to the different amounts of pressure from the body, they are firmer too.

Pocket springs will not adjust to the contours of your body like memory foam.

So, in short, spring mattresses are not good for back pain.

Polyurethane foam or bonded foam mattresses are also not good for back pain either, as the former is too soft and the latter is too hard.

However, memory foam mattresses have medium-firm support.

Hence they are good for you if you have a back pain issue.

Related Articles:

The Best Spring Mattress in India for 2024 (And 1 Type To Avoid)

About Umesh Tiwari

Avatar for Umesh TiwariUmesh Tiwari is an avid writer for many years. He was suffering from back pain and a visit to the doctor led him to believe that his mattress may be one of the reasons for it. This led him to research a lot of mattresses before he bought one. He started this blog to share his findings and help others who are in a dilemma as to which mattress to buy.