When buying a new mattress there are so many factors to consider, and one of the main selling points some mattresses boast is a high spring count.
But what does this mean and does mattress spring count matter?
The quick answer is yes, spring count does matter and can affect not only the performance of the mattress but also the quality of your sleep.
Understanding Pocket Sprung Mattresses
So you're looking at getting a pocket sprung mattress.
Pocket sprung mattresses are among the leading mattresses on the market today, and for good reason. They offer many sleepers a great deal of comfort and support, reduced motion travel, and often a good product lifespan.
Pocket sprung mattresses contain a series of individual springs sheathed in fabric pockets. Unlike open coil mattresses, pocket sprung mattresses can adjust to the sleeper and distribute their weight more evenly. They can reduce pressure points and improve sleep.
It will probably be no surprise that, up to a point, the number of springs in a pocket sprung mattress does matter.
Spring Counts: A Big Range
Spring counts can vary dramatically. Some mattresses have spring counts as low as around 600 while some mattresses might have spring counts up to 5000 or more. How can that number be so different?
There are several reasons for this. A big issue is that it depends on what the manufacturers are actually including in their spring count. Some will include the springs that are found in the base, as opposed to just counting the springs in the mattress itself.
So don’t be alarmed if you are seeing very different spring counts. There are a few things to help you decide what makes a good mattress spring count for your needs.
Can There Be Too Few Springs?
The simple answer is yes. While spring counts in pocket sprung mattresses can vary greatly, spring counts should not go below 600.
Spring counts of 600 and 800 may be common on the market but, depending on the model, they can come with some drawbacks. The springs will need to be larger than in beds with springs counts over 1,000 and this can be a problem.
Larger springs will generally cut the pocket sprung mattress’s ability to adapt to a sleeper’s shape. They may also allow more motion to travel across the bed. This reduces some of the key advantages of pocket sprung mattresses over others like the open coil.
Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Springs?
We might guess, then, that the more springs a mattress has, the better. That’s not always the case though.
Adding in more springs beyond the standard may add some value. For example, more springs may help to better cushion a sleeper, thereby giving more comfort.
However, there does exist a cut-off point where adding more springs will stop returning benefits for the sleeper. At that point, we are paying simply for having extra springs in a mattress when we don’t really need them. So where is the cut-off?
That’s not easy to discern. Some brands claim that their 4000 plus spring counts provide unrivalled comfort for sleepers, but to do this there will have been a compromise somewhere.
Manufacturers may make room for more springs by reducing the sizes of the springs and stacking the springs. Reducing the size of the springs will eventually rob them of their cushioning and reactivity, so after a certain point, this isn’t giving benefits to the buyer.
As a result, while it is possible higher spring counts can give superior comfort and support, buyers should ask bed retailers to justify the high spring count of a mattress, particularly if it seems to have added to the price tag.
Doesn’t a Higher Number Mean a Firmer the Mattress?
We might also guess that the higher the number of springs in a mattress, the more firm the mattress will be. There is an element of truth to this as more springs generally mean more support, but that isn’t always the case.
Like other types of mattresses, pocket sprung mattresses come with different degrees of firmness, but this isn’t just dependent on the spring count. Things like the upholstery and the thickness of the springs themselves also help determine this quality.
So while spring count may help guide you toward a firmer mattress, it’s best not to rely on spring count alone.
What Number of Springs is Best for a Good Mattress?
While there is no set rule, experts suggest that the best spring count for a pocket sprung mattress is between 1,000 to 2,000 springs.
When we’re buying a new mattress it is vital that we don’t rely on spring count alone though. The materials used to create the base, the fabric used to encase the springs, and the padding within the mattress itself will all contribute to its life and the comfort it provides.
While there isn’t an easy way to test out spring counts before we buy a new mattress, some bed retailers now offer trial periods in which you can try out a mattress in the home. This might be particularly useful if the mattress has an unusual number of springs.
Lastly, by going with a named brand that has several years of retail experience in making high-quality pocket sprung mattresses, we can have more confidence that the spring count is right for us.
What spring count do you think is best? We’d like to hear your opinions, and if you have any questions please let us know in the comments below.