What’s in a Mattress Anyway? Peeling Back the Layers of Quality Sleep
Have you ever wondered what a mattress is made of? Or how memory foam is made? Or the difference between a quilted mattress vs. spring mattress? As your mom always said, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
When considering your mattress options, you may wonder what’s going on beneath the fabric that makes it feel like you’re sleeping on clouds. Below is a thorough overview of the various materials that go into making a mattress so the next time you walk into a mattress store you can tell the salesperson exactly what you’re looking for, down to the foam type! The following materials found in many different types of mattresses are some of the key ingredients to a good night’s sleep.
The Most Common Materials In All Mattresses
A soft, movement-absorbing material that helps with temperature regulation and pressure point relief. Some common types of foam include memory foam, gel memory foam, polyurethane foam, and viscoelastic foam (also known as "rebounded foam").
Used as a filling in pillowtop mattresses and mattress covers.
Can be found in some mattresses for extra padding and temperature regulation.
A breathable material used both inside and outside of the mattress.
Used in mattresses to bond layers, materials and seams together for the perfect fit. Quilting is often used in combination with adhesives to further strengthen the bond between layers.
Found in all mattresses sold in the United States due to flammability laws for fire resistance.
Either formed as open coils or individually wrapped coils (also called pocketed coils), these are a key structural component that establish firm support at the base of the mattress.
Now that you know the most common mattress materials, let’s get more specific about what goes into the three most popular mattress types: innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid mattresses.
What is a Memory Foam Mattress made of?
These mattresses are known for lush layers of memory foam and polyurethane material which conform to your body. A newer addition to the memory foam family is gel memory foam which acts as a phase changing material (PCM).
On a spectrum from hard to soft, specialty foam layers work together to relieve pressure points from your joints and balance your body temperature. These layers conform to your body shape and absorb movement so you sleep undisturbed.
Memory Foam Mattress Cover Materials
Covers used on memory foam mattresses are typically stretch knit covers that allow you to settle comfortably into the foam. With the cover working its magic on top, higher density foams are used as the core layer of the bed to provide support. These beds do not have coils in them! This benefit is great for those who prefer to settle into the mattress with less of a bounce factor because the firmer core layer of foam helps provide a balanced support system.
What is this high-density foam core made of exactly? They are usually made of polyurethane, but can sometimes be made of more natural materials like soy-based foams or latex.
Since they don’t have coils, memory foam mattresses don’t need a foam encasement for edge support to hold the bed together. Some foam mattresses have firmer foam near the edge of the bed, but this is not necessary for support since the high-density foam offers even support throughout.
What is an Innerspring Mattress made of?
Innerspring mattresses come in two different systems: open coil or individually pocketed springs. The outer quilting is typically made of traditional cotton fabric blends that give each mattress a unique look, fitted with steel coil springs for a firm base support.
It’s important to remember that the number of coils doesn’t always amount to the same level of comfort from one mattress to the next, but plays a role in reducing motion transfer and offering support.
Each manufacturer uses different designs and support techniques to achieve this result, often including layers of polyurethane foam and filling inside the mattress. However, more luxurious innerspring mattresses will use other kinds of foam, including memory foam, gel memory foam and latex materials.
Innerspring Mattress Cover Materials
Cover materials can range from polyester to cotton or stretch knit, each one specifically designed to be soft and breathable. Fun fact: the tighter the cover, the firmer the bed will feel.
When you wake up and get ready for the day, edge support materials are important — especially if you prefer to put your shoes on while sitting at the edge of the bed! These materials range from thick metal rods to foam inserts and encasements. The more edge support you have, the more sleep (and sitting!) surface available.
What is a Hybrid Mattress made of?
Hybrid beds are among the latest and greatest options on the market for better sleep thanks to the many unique benefits hybrid mattresses offer. Specifically, they combine a 50/50 ratio of individually wrapped coils with memory foam to offer the best of both.
The coils offer support, while memory foam and gel memory foam layers conform to posture and regulate body temperature. Cotton fabric blends are added to protect the bed. You get the best of both mattress types above in the hybrid, plus personalized materials that are going to work together to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Hybrid Mattress Cover Materials
Hybrids tend to have a more elastic mattress cover so as not to interfere with the conforming benefits of the memory foam layers. Further enhancements to hybrid collections showcase foam encasements, made from high-density foam, which supports the edges of the mattress.
Knowing the basic building blocks of your mattress can help you ensure that your next bed has all your favorite ingredients for good night’s sleep.
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The sheets are crisp and cool, the pillows fluffed and fresh, the lights are dim or off. But if you haven’t covered your mattress with a protector, you’re not 100 percent in the healthy sleep zone.
Finding a mattress can be a struggle, especially when there are so many bed options to choose from. To simplify your mattress search, we’ve put together a list of the top consumer rated mattresses. Ranked in terms of value, quality and of course, comfort, these beds have been praised highly by real Mattress Firm customers.
The best leggings for yogis. The best gift for a new mom. Everyone wants the best in life, and mattresses are no exception. It’s time to put the debate over the best mattress for back sleepers to rest. Although back sleepers can typically sleep on any mattress, many complain of back pain or a lack of conformance. Contrary to popular belief, firm mattresses aren’t necessarily the best type of mattress for back sleepers. In fact, sleeping on surfaces that are too hard can lead to concentrated areas of pressure, which causes discomfort.
How to Find the Best Rated Mattress for You
To help you make the right choice for your friends and family, regardless of sleep-style, we are here to take the guess-work out of guest room mattresses.
When it comes to mattresses, there’s a lot of choice. Luckily, we at Mattress Firm can help you narrow it down to your perfect match. One brand that we love for its ability to deliver the ultimate sleep experience is Tempur-Pedic®. Their mattresses are proven to provide an incredible amount of pressure relief and motion isolation for a great night’s sleep, every night. Tempur-Pedic® + Mattress Firm = a match made in sleep heaven? We think so—here’s why.
Back pain can be debilitating, turning what would otherwise be a full night’s rest into a night of tossing and turning. And, what’s worse is a night of restless sleeping makes it nearly impossible to get comfortable and catch the Zzz’s you need.
From tossing and turning to bad dreams and racing thoughts, there’s a lot that can get in the way of the perfect night’s sleep — especially when your stress and anxiety levels are at an all time high. Sometimes, no matter how tired we can get, our bodies and our minds can keep us from getting the sleep we so desperately need.
If you’re in the market to buy a new mattress, but are on a budget, you may be worried that finding an affordable mattress may limit your selection. Rest assured, there are many different mattresses that are suited to fit any budget and sleep style.
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1 Offer valid 3/11/20 – 4/28/20. Savings applied to our low price. Savings vary by mattress and model (max savings up to $400). Product selection may vary by store. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy Hybrid. Other exclusions may apply. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Limited quantities available; offer valid while supplies last. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
2 Extra 25% off sitewide on qualifying items. Additional savings is applied to listed sale price. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Purple, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar or DreamCloud. Other exclusions may apply. Products & offer may vary by location. No cash value. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
3 Offer valid 3/27/20 – 4/28/20. Receive a free Head Up 50 adjustable base (up to a $499.99 value) with select mattress purchases with minimum $999 purchase. Free adjustable base offer valid on same size mattress purchased. Split king or split California king base purchases consist of 2 bases. For split king or split California king purchases, consumer will receive one free adjustable base with promotion, with second base at regular price. Free adjustable base offer valid to complete mattress set, has no cash value and cannot be used as credit. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, weekly deals, daily deals, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar or DreamCloud. Other exclusions may apply. Adjustable bases not eligible for returns price of adjustable base (up to $499.99) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Adjustable base may be pictured with furniture bed frame and headboard not included with offer. Limited quantities available offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
4 Receive a $300 Instant Gift with purchase of select mattresses in store or online. Purchase select Tempur-Pedic mattresses and receive a $300 Instant Gift or purchase select Stearns & Foster or Sealy mattresses and receive a $200 Instant Gift. Select your Instant Gift from your choice of sleep accessories. Sleep accessories must be added to the same transaction as the qualifying mattress purchase. Offer has no cash value and value cannot be carried over any value not used at time of transaction will be surrendered. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items or final markdown. Other exclusions may apply. Value of accessories received (up to $300) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
5 Offer valid 3/22/20 – 4/19/20 at participating locations only. Save 10% on any size 2019 Stearns & Foster® mattress. Selection may vary by retail location. Certain offers may not be combined. Not valid on prior purchases. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.
0% APR: 5 years* with a minimum purchase of $2799, 4 years* with a minimum purchase of $1999, 3 years* with a minimum purchase of $1299, 2 years* with a minimum purchase of $999 on your Mattress Firm credit card 60, 48, 36 or 24 equal monthly payments required. *Offer valid 3/11/20 – 4/28/20. Qualifying purchase amount must be on one receipt. No interest will be charged and equal monthly payments are required on promo purchase until it is paid in full. These payments equal the total promo purchase amount divided by the number of months in the promo period and rounded up to the next whole dollar. These payments may be higher than the payments that would be required if this purchase was a non-promo purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promo purchases. Down payment equal to sales tax and delivery may be required at point of purchase. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%. Minimum interest charge is $2. Existing cardholders: See your credit card agreement terms. Subject to credit approval.View payment options.
The advertised service is a rental or lease purchase agreement provided by Prog Leasing, LLC, or its affiliates. It is not a loan, credit or financing. While no credit history is required, Progressive obtains information from consumer reporting agencies in connection with lease application. Acquiring ownership by leasing costs more than retailer’s cash price. Not available in MN, NJ, VT, WI, or WY. Merchant participating locations only. Leasing available on select items. Not all applicants are approved. See lease for details.
Mattress Firm is proud to support both current and veteran military members as well as first responders. Save 10% off purchases with valid military/first responder ID. Savings applied to listed sale prices. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy. Offer valid at participating locations only. Visit a store, call (877) 349-1012 or chat online for complete details.
*Among traditional mattress brands based on 2017-2019 Tempur Sealy Brand Tracker Report
How Springs Are Made
Image credit: KPixMining/Shutterstock.com
Springs are mechanical devices that can store potential energy because of their elasticity. The term elasticity refers to a property of materials that reflects their tendency to return to their original shape and size after having been subjected to a force that causes deformation after that force has been removed. The basic notion underlying the operation of springs is that they will always attempt to return to their initial size or position whenever a force is applied which changes their size, whether that be forces which are from compression, extension, or torsion.
Springs are often made of coiled, hardened steel, although non-ferrous metals such as bronze and titanium and even plastic are also used. For a more complete discussion on the different materials used in the manufacturing of springs, see our related guide on the types of spring materials.
How do Springs Work?
Springs operate based on a principle known as Hooke’s law, which is attributed to the British physicist Robert Hooke who published his ideas on springs in 1678. Hooke’s law states that the force exerted by a spring is proportional to the displacement from its initial or equilibrium position. This relationship can be expressed mathematically as:
where (F) represents the force generated by the spring, (Δx) represents the displacement or the amount of deformation from the spring’s relaxed or neutral position, and (k) is a parameter that is known as the spring constant.
The negative sign in the above expression reflects the directionality of the resulting force from the displacement of the spring. If you pull a spring apart (increase its length), the force that results will be in the opposite direction to the action you took (tending to return the spring back to its neutral position). Similarly, if you push on a string to reduce its length, the force that results will be in the opposite direction and will attempt to increase the spring’s length and return it to its neutral position.
The spring constantkis a function not only of the material used for manufacturing the spring but also is determined by several factors that relate to the geometry of the spring design. Those design factors include:
- The wire diameter of the spring material.
- The coil diameter, which is a measure of the tightness of the spring
- The free length of the spring, which represents its length when it is not attached to anything and is not undergoing displacement from equilibrium.
- The number of active coils contained in the spring, which means the number of coils that can expand and contract in normal use.
The unit of measure for the spring constant is a force unit divided by a length unit. In the metric system of measurement, this would be a Newton/meter, or Newton/centimeter, for example.
Springs that follow Hooke’s law behave linearly, meaning that the force generated by the spring is a linear function of the displacement or deformation from the neutral position. Materials have a so-called elastic limit – when the material is stretched beyond this point, it experiences permanent deformation and no longer has the capability to return to its original size and shape. Springs that are stretched too far and exceed the material’s elastic limit will no longer follow Hooke’s law.
Other types of springs, such as variable diameter springs (one that features conical, concave, or convex coils) are examples of springs that will also exhibit non-linear behavior with respect to their displacement from the neutral position, even if the deformation is within the elastic limit of the material.
Another example of a spring that will not obey Hooke’s law is variable pitch springs. The pitch of the spring is the number of coils that are used in each length or segment of the spring. Variable pitch springs often have a constant coil diameter, but the spring pitch changes over the length of the spring.
Key Spring Terminology and Definitions
Spring designers use several terms, parameters, and symbols when performing spring design. A summary of this key terminology appears below with examples of the symbology associated with many of these parameters.
- Active coils count (AC) – the number of coils that will deflect under load
- Buckling – refers to the bowing or lateral displacement of a compression spring.
- Slenderness ratio – is the ratio of the length of the spring to its mean diameter for helical springs. The propensity for buckling is related to the slenderness ratio L/D.
- Deflection – the motion of a spring as a result of the application or removal of a load to/from a spring.
- Compressed length (CL) – the value of the spring’s length when the spring is fully compressed.
- Coil Density – the number of coils per unit length of the spring.
- Elastic limit – the maximum value of stress that can be applied to the spring before permanent deformation occurs, meaning that the material no longer exhibits the ability to return to its pre-deformed size or shape when the stress is removed.
- Mean Coil Diameter (D) – the average diameter of the coils in the spring.
- Free angle – for helical torsion springs, represents the angular position of the two arms of the spring when not under load conditions.
- Spring wire diameter (d) – the diameter of the wire material used for the spring.
- Free length (FL) – the overall spring length measured without any loading applied to the spring.
- Hysteresis – represents the loss of mechanical energy during repetitive or cyclical loading or unloading of a spring. Losses are the result of frictional conditions in the spring support system as a result of the tendency for the ends of the spring to rotate during compression.
- Initial Tension (IT) – for extension springs, this is the value or magnitude of the force needed to be overcome before the coils of a close wound spring begin to open.
- Modulus in Shear or Torsion (G) – the coefficient of stiffness for compression and extension springs. Also called the Modulus of Rigidity.
- Modulus in Tension or Bending (E) – the coefficient of stiffness for torsion or flat springs. Also called Young’s Modulus.
- F = the deflection of the spring for N coils which are active (for linear displacement)
- F o = the deflection of the spring for N coils which are active (for rotary displacement)
- Active length (L) – the length of the spring that is subject to deflection
- P = the load applied to the spring
- Pitch (ρ) – the center-to-center distance of the adjacent coils in an open wound spring.
- Rate – represents the chance in the load value per unit length change in the spring’s deflection. Units of measure are in force/distance such as lbs./in. or N/mm.
- Set permanent – is the change to the value of the length, height, or position of a spring as a result of the spring being stretched past the elastic limit.
- St= the torsion stress
- Sb= the bending stress
- Total coil count (TC) – the total number of coils in the spring, including active coils and inactive coils.
Types of Springs
There are various types of springs, the designs of which take advantage of different energy storage management. The common types of springs include the following:
More information on each of these types of springs may be found in our related article Types of Springs – A Thomas Buying Guide.
Spring Materials and Manufacturing
How are springs made? Springs are often made of hardened spring steel, which can either be pre-hardened before spring formation or hardened following formation. Helical springs include any type of spring that is made from bar stock or wire and which is formed into a helical shape. This category includes compression springs, extension springs, and torsion springs. Long stock wire is used and fed into an auto-coiler to produce those spring types. The wire stock can also be coiled on a lathe if a smaller run is being prepared, but there are many safety concerns to consider. Spring wire will uncoil dramatically if it is not tied down or if a machinist loses control of it. This uncoiling behavior can be extremely dangerous to those nearby, especially if it is a heavy gauge wire.
An auto-coiler is a machine that can force spring wire into a coiled shape. Although it has a similar name to an automotive autocoil transmission, it is a different device. They are typically adjustable machines that can alter the coil tension, length, and number. Auto-coilers use rollers to feed spring wire through headers and then quickly spin the wire around a cylinder. The quick spinning action forces the spring to adapt into a coiled helical shape. The auto-coiler then ejects the spring and coils the next piece of wire.
Leaf springs are formed differently from helical springs. First, a flat bar is sheared into shape and then a collection of bars is punched together. Several machines trim the resulting bars to remove extra metal and taper the ends. The spring is then heat-treated to harden the steel, while other treatments such as painting finishes are performed to match the spring to predetermined visual specifications.
This article presented a brief summary of springs including how they work, key terminology, the different types of springs, and how they are made. For information on other topics, consult our additional guides or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform where you can locate potential sources of supply for over 70,000 different product and service categories.
Pocket spring mattress guide
First lets clear up what isn’t a pocket spring. Common names such as Orthopaedic, Continuous Coil, Bonnel coil, Bonnel sprung, Miracoil & Opencoil are all cheap cage sprung systems. If a manufacturer is using premium pocket springs in their mattresses, trust us, they will want to tell you all about it!
- Spring counts
- What is a pocket spring?
- Types of pocket spring
- Mattress upholstery and pocket springs
- Tailored Spring Gauges – Soft, Medium or Firm?
- How are pocket springs made?
- What is a Vanadium spring?
- Other types of springs – Cortec, Revolution & Micro Springs
View our range of Pocket Spring Mattresses
Pocket Spring Counts
It has become a trend in recent years for mattress manufacturers to increase the number of springs listed in their mattresses. They are tapping into the consumer’s belief that the higher the spring count the more value they are getting for their bed purchase. Its worth understanding that there is only so much space in a mattress and to achieve these ridiculously high spring counts, ie 6,000 plus the manufacturers are simply using sheets of miniature springs layered on top of each other and reducing upholstery. They are also placing springs within springs to artificially inflate the number of springs on the label.
Thankfully this approach has not been adopted by the most respected mattress manufacturers here in the UK. We continue to see more and more mattress models adopting this farcical approach to bed making.
Pocket spring counts are always based on the number of springs in a king size mattress: 150 x 200 / 5’0 x 6’6. Even when a single mattress is described as having 1000 pocket springs, for example, it won’t. It will have proportionately less based on its size. A super king size mattress will have proportionately more.
Some retailers have started to give the exact count of a particular size which throws a fly into the ointment when you are doing like for like comparisons. Always be aware of the count in a king sized mattress and you just can’t go wrong.
The least number of pocket springs you can get in a mattress is 600.
This level of spring count will be in starter or budget ranges of pocket sprung mattresses. This is a good example of the value of a pocket sprung unit, obviously, the retail price will be low but, the quality level of mattress will be significantly better thananymattress utilising an open coil or continuous coil retailing for a similar price.
Our Origins 1500 is our best selling starter model click here to view
What is a pocket spring?
A pocket spring is a case, usually made of fabric that encases a wire spring. These cases are either stitched or in cheaper models, glued together to create a length of individual springs that are connected. This enables a sleeper to be supported independently by each pocket spring. It’s great to prevent movement between sleepers and will enable you to have far greater support than a cage sprung or open coil mattress.
The highest quality pocket springs will be calico encased and the spring wire will be vanadium plated. This enables them springs to breathe and prevents heat build-up.
Our Mattress collection only uses Premium Pocket Springs, if you want to see more please visit our shop to start browsing. We have never sold and will never sell a cage sprung contraption and would highly recommend that you do not buy one.
Types of Pocket Spring Mattress
We have always advocated for high-quality handmade pocket sprung mattresses over mass-produced bags of springs such as open coil mattresses, but there’s still a minefield of information on pocket springs which we aim to summarise for you. We like to keep things simple so we have summarised to two types of pocket springs below.
There are two main types of pocket spring
1.Synthetic spun bond springs – the entry-level spring unit. Glued together with a polyester style material. The least breathable and responsive but still a million times better than any cage sprung or open coil nightmare.
Click here to view Pocket Spring Mattresses
2.Calico encased pocket springs – Encased in a breathable natural calico cover which are then stitched together. Highly responsive and much more breathable.
Calico Pocket Springs are the highest quality view our Artisan Mattress Range Here
All the high-end manufacturers, such as Savoir beds, Vi-spring will use calico pocket springs
Pocket springs must be matched with suitable upholstery
For instance, there is no use having a super duper all singing all dancing pocket spring unit when it is not backed up by an element of substantial upholstery.
As you browse through the internet looking for your perfect mattress you will soon see that in most cases great swathes of text is focused on how good the pocket springs are in any particular model, the science behind the design and how you will sleep like a baby. All of this will be relatively pointless if equal space is not designated to the rest of the mattress, the upholstery, the detailing and so forth.
We detail the GSM alongside the Pocket Spring count in each of our Hand Made mattresses – Visit our Shop by Clicking Here.
The fact of the matter is, a standard pocket sprung unit which forms the basis of many mattresses, will be suitable for practically everyone. Especially when compared to a cage sprung or open coil mattresses which should be avoided at all costs. Standard spun-bond pocket springs are not overly expensive and will offer you all the support you will require.
The most pocket spring units you can get into a king-sized mattress on one layer is 2000. Mattresses described as having more than this are utilising double-layer construction techniques or they are utilising a suspension pocket sprung unit or they are using mini springs to increase the count. When looking at descriptions and you see a specification with more than 2000 pocket springs you really do have to examine how this was achieved.
As I have said in previous posts, the only differentiating factor between many mattress manufacturers are the springs used. Fundamentally, the springs will more often than not be similar but how they are constructed will provide enough difference to achieve the elusive brownie points that will sway you into thinking their product is somehow better than the competition.
Generally, though and this certainly does not apply in all cases manufacturers tend to go down the soft / medium/ firm route and use the firmer springs on the 1000 counts to softer springs on the 2000 counts. The theory being that 2000 pocket springs do not have to be as supportive as 1000. The support will be there but spread out over a greater number of springs.
I know you are thinking now that if a 1000 spring unit is firm why would that suit our ten stone friend? Good point. The Firm spring unit only has 1000 springs and at a gauge of say 1.5mm. The 2000 spring unit at Soft will have a gauge of 1.2. This difference in spring gauge is fractional and nominal between two individual pockets. They will both compress easily under the pressure of your hands. As the number of springs increases as in a complete unit, it takes more pressure to compress them.
Guide to pocket springs
A good thing to bear in mind that a 1000 / 1500 / 2000 pocket sprung unit will be broadly similar from about 90% of all manufacturers. It is what is placed on top of the units (upholstery) that makes the difference in Price and in quality.
Total spring counts come in usually at 600 / 800 / 1000 / 1200 / 1400 / 1500 / 2000 pockets per unit.
The lower spring counts will have a larger diameter spring – The higher spring counts will have a smaller diameter spring. One of the most prolific questions we get asked and abundant on internet forums is the “how many springs are best?”. Now although this is such a simple question the answer is not! The response to this question should always be followed up with “best for what?”
Which is best a Pocket Spring or Open Coil?
If you are torn between two similar mattresses one open coil and one pocket sprung the pocket sprung mattress will win hands down! Like I said above, the minimum 600 pocket count is far superior toanyopen coil or continuous coil mattress you can get. It is so unlikely an open coil/continuous coil mattress will have a quality level of upholstery attached and all these fall within the low-end range of mattresses.
How many mattress springs do I need?
If you look at the complete range from Rest Assured, for example, you will see that the bulk of their mattresses utilise a 1400 pocket spring unit. This count will suit the majority of users not too firm and not too soft. A bigger person (such as my 20st Rugby Player friend) will gain more benefit from a 2000 unit. His weight will be equalised over a greater number of springs, The springs will not be fully compressed but allowed to ‘move’ with him. If he was on a 1000 pocket unit, for example, the weight is distributed over a lesser number of springs. Whereas our ten stone friend will be quite happy on 1000 pockets.
You should aim for atleast 1000 pocket springsin a mattress up to 2000 in a single layer.
This is only half the story, though! The other difference between 1000 springs and 2000 springs is the tension of the spring itself. There is no hard or fast rule on what gauge wire is used on a particular spring count: A 2000 unit can utilise a firm spring say 1.5mm or it can utilise a soft spring say 1.2mm. And it is this reason alone why the question above cannot be answered with any degree of precision. It is so unlikely a retailer will know what gauge wire is used on any particular unit contained in a particular mattress.
Tailored Spring Gauges – Soft, Medium or Firm?
Once you move away from cheaper mass-produced springs you then have the option of tailored spring gauges. This means that dependant on your weight you can choose a soft, medium or firm spring. This means that you have the potential for split tension mattresses and zip and links. So if you and your partner are different weights, then you can have different tensions to suit each of you.
View our Zip & Link Mattresses
Creating the perfect sleeping experience for both of you! Our Handmade mattress range are all available in both zip and link and split tensions if required.
|Upto 16 Stone / 50-101kg||Medium|
|16 Stone / 101kg Upwards||Firm|
|Available in Bespoke Products (Please Call)||Soft|
Pocket Spring wire diameter explained
Spring wire diameter is sometimes shown on product descriptions, not to be confused with spring gauges. It shows you how thick the wire is for that spring unit. The thicker the spring wire the firmer the support you will get from it as it’s harder to compress. The gauge refers to the torsion, push-pull measurement which tells you how resilient/firm a mattress spring is. An example of this is an orthopaedic mattress which has a gauge of 12 and is very firm.
We have a handy table that allows you to see the spring wire diameter we use in our range and the tension that the spring is set at. We also, unlike many competitors, allow you to see what the weight tolerance is for these springs. This is crucial when working out the support you need and we detail this more in the article on soft, medium & firm.
|Spring Tension||Wire diameter (Gauge)||Weight Range|
|Soft||1.2mm||Bespoke Tension (Please Call)|
|Medium||1.4mm||Upto 16 stone|
|Firm||1.6mm||16 stone plus|
|Extra Firm / Orthopaedic||1.9mm||20 stone plus|
How are pocket springs made?
In the bulk of all mattresses, you will come up against the pocket sprung unit itself, which will be relatively similar. They are produced in this country in large factories such as Leggett and Platt, Charles Blythe and such like. There are also imports with the most regarded being Agro gmbh (Germany). Currently, the most prolific imports of pocket sprung units come from Turkey and South Africa.
Some manufacturers have the equipment and facility to produce their own springs such as Vi-Spring/Harrisons and, of course, the manufacturer we use who makes our Artisan range all completely made in Britain.
Calico Pocket Springs are meticulously made by specialist equipment and craftsmen
Each one of our Artisan Calico Encased Pocket Springs is made by a specialist piece of machinery. Each individual spring is formed and then inserted into a calico sleeve which is then machine stitched shut. Once each length of pocket springs have been formed they are then hand-cut so each strip is one piece. Cheaper synthetic pocket springs may be glued together instead of stitching to reduce the time required to make them.
What’s a Vanadium pocket spring?
Vanadium is used in the steel forging process and provides strength to the metal which assists when it is then formed into a spring. It also has a low oxidisation value meaning it doesn’t corrode as quickly as other metals. So springs don’t rust.
We use Vanadium on our calico pocket springs that are found in the higher end Artisan models. Vanadium is often found in metal alloys and top-end tools to give strength and durability against corrosion. It is used within our springs to ensure they are of the highest quality giving an enhanced lifespan and longevity. Most manufacturers couldn’t tell you what is in their spring wire, you will probably just get shrugged shoulders, but here at John Ryan, we can share with you the exact composition of our calico vanadium pocket springs.
|Chemical Composition of Steel Wire||C||Mn||Si||P||S||Cu||V (Vanadium)|
Other types of springs – Cortec, Revolution & Micro Springs
Update 2020:Recently the mattress market has seen a flood of new ‘spring innovations’ which are all there to tempt you to certain brands mattresses. Spring technology has pretty much remained the same for over a hundred years. The simple spring mechanism works by compressing and extending based on a load applied to it, ie a sleeper loading the spring when they lie on a mattress. There’s only so much innovation you can do with a spring, such as changing its shape or size. It will have some influence, but is it enough to spend hundreds of pounds more on a new mattress? We take a look at a few of the newer spring types so you can make your own mind up.
Cortec Springs:Cortec springs by Harrison Spinks are an elongated pocket spring. That means they are thinner and taller than regular pocket springs. Cortec springs are not glued together but heat-sealed into rows meaning they are glue-free. So you don’t need glue to bond them together as they can concertina together by being folded in their rows. Imagine a roll of paper labels and how each one can be folded back on each other or torn off. This is the same layout as the Cortec spring. They are still synthetic coated pocket springs and unlike our Calico ones are not vanadium coated so won’t be as impervious to rusting over time.
Revolution Springs:This is again another innovation from Harrisons which involves placing a smaller spring within a regular-sized pocket spring. So you have two springs in one. We’ve trialled these and not found a huge amount of comfort difference between the two. We do have reservations about how sure they are that the smaller internal spring won’t get stuck or trapped in the larger spring.
Micro Springs:These are the latest in spring count hype. Micro springs are tiny synthetic pocket springs that come in rows of 1000. Meaning you can add a few layers to suddenly boost the overall spring count of a mattress. We really don’t rate micro springs as they compress almost instantaneously making them redundant in our tests. We can only imagine that retailers are now using HD or micro springs simply to up the spring count in the competition to have the higher figure. However, this simply means less upholstery for you as the more layers of springs you place in a mattress the less room there is for the upholstery comfort layers. So bare this in mind.
Here is an example – not from Harrisons – of multiple synthetic spring layers and micro springs. Click to view true Vanadium coated Pocket Spring models.
If you’re wanting the best of the best you need to be looking for calico pocket springs. If your budget constrains you, a spun-bond pocket spring unit with at least 1000 pocket springs per kingsize will get you a mid-range mattress. There is also a post on this site about the anomalies of soft medium or firm mattresses. Worth a read particularly if you are struggling with how on earth a mattress can be described as such. If you have different body weights we can create split tension mattress or zip and link beds which can be tailored specifically to your weight.
Lastly, if you want to get really informed on the details of pocket springs and the different tiers, gauges and latest developments read our detailed arguments here. To help start off by viewing some of the best handmade mattresses here in our shop where we only use the highest quality pocket springs and coverings. Still struggling? Then why not call our small expert team based here in Manchester on 0161 437 4419 to see if we can help?
How are mattress springs made
Living Wall made from old Mattress springs
2 YEARS LATER – MY LIVING WALL UPDATE – JUNE 2016:Some of the original succulents are still there. I have also added many air plants because they don’t require any soil and only occasional misting with the garden hose. They are actually perfect for hooking into the mattress. Most of the air plants are still small and some are supposed to change color. Here is what it looks like right now:
ORIGINAL POST FROM JUNE 2014:
A few months ago I dismantled my daughter’s old mattress. It was too old to give away, so I wanted to see if I could repurpose it. I was playing with the idea of using it as a vegetable trellis or some sort of wall art. My sister suggested to make a living wall.
The dismantling actually took a little time, longer than I thought. Then I forgot about it in the side yard and it started rusting. It looked a lot better once it was spray painted orange.
For the plants, I used some succulents but I think air plants would be great also and maybe some herbs also. Not sure if there’s a better way, but I cut some pieces of Coco liner (see next picture) to wrap the plants in. I bought a couple of mixed succulent containers and gently separated the plants. Then I wrapped them in the coco shell pieces, along with some soil.
Then I gently stuffed the little wraps inside the springs.
I found the perfect wall space for it by our outdoor dining area. My veggie garden is right next to it so that should remind me to mist the living wall frequently. I will probably add more plants down the line but want to see first if these do well.
Buying a Mattress Made in USA: The Ultimate Source List
Is buying a mattress on your list of things to do this year? A good mattress is an investment in your comfort and health, but it is also a good opportunity to buy American from a company you can trust. There are a surprising number of options. Don’t miss this list of American made mattresses to get you started on your search for the perfect one!
Don’t miss our source lists for American made bedding and made in USA organic bedding.
Buying a Mattress Made in USA
Aslan: 365 Night Trail, Infinite Warranty
Aslanis the only mattress company that offers a full 365 night trial with free returns on a product that is 100% made in the USA. They also offer an Infinite Warranty and will match other mattress warranties. Aslan medium-firm mattresses are made of 3 layers of state of the art CertiPUR-US Foam and offer ideal comfort and support for all body types. The top layer is made of beaded GEL Memory Foam, which provides temperature regulation and helps keep the body cool. Aslan mattresses also have great edge support, and are Zero Off-Gassing.Save 10% on Aslan mattress and pillow orders with promo code USALOVE.
BedInABox.com: The Original Mattress in a Box
For 12 yearsBedInABox.comhas been offering affordable luxury mattresses online. It is the oldest direct sale mattress company in the business. All BedInABox is the only box mattress company that manufactures it’s own foam cores in the USA and they are CertiPur-US® certified. Choose from mattresses for every sleep style and budget. BedInABox.com offers 120-night sleep trial. You pay nothing if you are not satisfied with a money back guarantee, just contact our onsite customer service center. Every mattress is covered with a 20 year warranty as BedInABox stands behind all products with an exceptional warranty. Get your new BedInABox mattress in only 2-5 days in the contiguous US as it is shipped right from the facility where every product is inspected for quality. Free shipping on all orders!15% off all BedinaBox.com orders (and an additional $25 off the Azul and Tranquillium mattresses) with discount code USALOVE through March 6, 2020. Valid on all Queen Size Mattresses and higher, with the exception of the PacBed Lite Mattress.
CRāVE: Luxury Foam and Spring Hybrid Mattresses
The CRāVE team knows that one mattress does NOT fit all which is whyCRāVEoffers four mattress styles to choose from. Two of CRāVE mattress styles are foam and spring hybrid mattresses- mattresses that provide comfort and support equal to traditional luxury spring mattresses, but at a lower price.CRāVE mattresses are Eco-friendly. All foams used are CertiPur-US® certified. Made in North Carolina, all materials used in CRāVE mattresses are sourced with in a 200 mile radius, reducing their carbon footprint. Receive the good night’s sleep you crave on an affordable, Eco-friendly, luxury mattress. CRāVE mattress offers free shipping too!
My Green Mattress: Non-Toxic Mattresses
My Green Mattressnon toxic mattresses are handcrafted in Illinois. All My Green Mattress mattresses are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which considers safety factors for individuals with sensitivities and allergies. Instead of chemical laden flame retardants, My Green Mattress uses American Eco Wool as a natural flame barrier on it’s mattresses. The wool is sourced from California and Oregon. For its latex mattresses, My Green Mattress uses 100% GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) Certified Organic Dunlap latex. Dunlap latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree. My Green Mattress even offers a 100 night sleep trial.MyGreenMattresss discount code USALOVE saves you $125 off.
Factory Direct Mattresses
Did you know that you can get high-quality mattresses sent right to your door? I honestly had no clue until I started doing research for this list! Purchasing a mattress from an online-only retailer usually means that the mattress comes to you directly from the factory. This lowers the cost of the mattress by cutting out retail store costs. To make shipping easier, these mattresses come rolled up in an easy to handle box. I have to admit, I was a little wary about purchasing a mattress this way.
BearMattresssent me a twin size mattress to review. BearMattress gel memory foam mattresses are uniquely designed for optimal cooling, comfort, and healing. The mattress arrived right to my door via UPS.
The box was easy for me to move without the need of another person and contained easy to follow directions on how to remove the mattress. With the help of my kiddos, we removed the mattress from the box, followed the directions, and had the mattress ready to use in no time. Once we unrolled it, there was no evidence at all that the mattress had previously been rolled up.
BearMattress was specifically designed for those with an active lifestyle as it’s engineered with four layers of foam to promote healing, cooling and to increase energy levels. Active, I am not, so this review is limited on that aspect. However, the day that the mattress arrived I had been on a hike with the hubby that included going up and down a large hill which normally would have resulted in sore muscles the next day. Coincidence or not, after sleeping on the BearMattress that night (and having a great night’s sleep), I did not have a spot of soreness.
My daughter is the one who has been sleeping on the mattress since. She is the person in the family who is always hot, and she would often wake up during the night from being too hot (even in the winter). This has not been happening since she has had this mattress. For our first online mattress experience, BearMattress has set the bar high!
Buying a Mattress Made in USA: Ultimate Source List
Many of the companies on this list are online only stores. This list is always growing, so check back often. If you have a favorite American made mattress company that you don’t see on our list, let us know in the comments and we will add it.
- 4Sleepoffers luxury foam mattresses.
- Agilityhybrid mattress was designed with moms in mind.
- Ameena Mattressare factory direct and manufactured in Georgia (the covers are made in North Carolina) from CertiPur-US certified memory foam.
- Amerisleepis a maker of natural memory foam mattresses.
- Amore Bedsmattresses are available with organic cotton fabric, split mattress firmness. Also available: 2 sided flippable mattresses and coil hybrid mattresses.
- AslanGEL infused memory foam Certi-pure USA certified mattresses are made in the USA and come with a 365 Night Trial.Learn more about Aslan mattresses at the top of this post.
- Avocadomattresses are made with natural and organic materials in California.
- BearMattressmemory gel foam mattresses are specifically designed for athletes and those with active lifestyles. See review above.
- BedinABox.comis an online retailer and manufacturer of memory foam mattresses, located in Tennessee. The Serenity mattress is pictured below.Learn more about this made in USA Mattress company at the top of this post.15% off all BedinaBox.com orders (and an additional $25 off the Azul and Tranquillium mattresses) with discount code USALOVE through March 6, 2020. Valid on all Queen Size Mattresses and higher, with the exception of the PacBed Lite Mattress.
- Brentwood Homememory foam, latex, spring, and foundation mattresses (quilts, pillows and pet beds too) are made in California.
- Brooklyn Beddingfactory direct mattresses, pillows and sheets are made in Arizona.
- Caspermattresses, pillows and sheets are made in the USA and factory-direct.
- Cocoon by Sealymattresses are assembled in the USA.
- Colgatemanufactures crib, changing table, and bassinet mattresses.
- Cozy Puremanufactures organic pillows, sheets, blankets, and toppers in Norfolk, Virginia.
- CRāVE Mattressfoam and innerspring mattresses are Eco-friendly and made in North Carolina.Learn more about CRāVE Mattress at the top of this article.
- Create A Mattressmanufactures made to order memory foam, latex, futon, and pillow-top mattresses in the USA.
- Diamond Mattressbrands includeRallyand Diamond. Diamond Mattress has been making mattresses in the USA since 1946.
- Dromma BedEco-friendly mattresses are made in the USA from natural materials.
- Easy Restadjustable mattresses are made in the USA.
- Eco Terrahybrid mattresses are made in California from 100% talalay latex and have fabric encased coils.
- Elementfactory-direct memory foam mattresses are 100% American made.
- eLuxuryis an online retailer of bedding products. Not all products are American made, but they have a selection of pillows, mattresses, and toppers that are.
- Envi3 layered mattresses are made in Portland.
- Everlaymattresses, pillows, and even pet beds are made in California.
- Freedom Sleepmattresses are affordable and American made
- GhostBedGel memory foam and latex mattresses by Nature’s Sleep. Foundation/box spring also made in USA.
- Helixpersonalized mattresses are made to order.
- HIBRmanufactures cooling memory foam mattress, made in America.
- Hyphenmattress is designed for a cool, clean, supportive sleep.
- Kiss Mattressmemory foam and latex mattresses are made in USA.
- Leesafoam mattresses for everybody. For every 10 mattresses sold Leesa donates one mattress to a shelter.
- Lilybedmattress is designed for women, made in Vermont
- Loom & Leafby Saatva. These ultra–luxury mattresses are made from a plant-based foam
- Luxiis a luxury foam mattress that adapts to your body’s needs
- Memobedluxury hybrid copper infused mattress, made in California
- My Green Mattressnon-toxic mattresses are handcrafted in Illinois. The Hope latex mattress pictured below is made from certified organic Dunlap latex, made from the sap of the rubber tree.Learn more about My Green Mattress at the top of this post.MyGreenMattresss discount code USALOVE saves you $125 off.
- MyPillowmakes a mattress too- 10″ and 4 layers.
- Nest Beddingsells American made organic mattresses, sheets, pillows, blankets, and comforters.
- Newtonbreathable crib mattresses are made in Tennessee.
- NolahEvery part of the mail order Nolah foam mattress is made in the USA in one of their 8 factories.
- Novosbeddesigner luxury memory foam mattresses are made in Pennsylvania.
- Pacific Mattress Co.float foam mattresses are made in California.
- PangeaBedmanufactures copper infused Talalay latex mattresses.
- PerformaSleepmattresses are handcrafted in the USA. The foam is made in Georgia and the covering materials in South Carolina.
- Plushbedsflagship product is the Botanical Bliss American made organic latex mattress – a custom-made, hand-crafted, adjustable firmness model with a 25-year warranty. PlushBeds offers free shipping and a completely risk-free money-back guarantee.
- Puffyfoam mattresses are American made.
- PuraSleepmemory foam mattress and pillows are American made.
- Purpleoffers no pressure mattresses, made in USA.
- Quilbedmanufactures gel memory mattresses.
- Real Sleep by Real Simplemattresses are 100% made and designed in the USA
- Saatvais the only online mattress brand that manufactures and sells ultra-premium innerspring mattresses.
- Sertamattresses are available in 7 sizes from crib to Cal King. Serta has 24 factories throughout the USA.
- Spoonmattresses are memory foam.
- Spindlenatural latex mattresses are made in Massachusetts.
- Stumptown Mattressmattresses are affordable and made in the pacific northwest.
- Summerfieldmade in New York and developed by the owners of the mattress store Craig’s Bed.
- Sure2Sleepoffers plush gel memory foam mattresses
- Tangomattresses are 2 sided- plush on one side, firm on the other
- tulomattresses are available in multiple firmnesses and can be purchased in store AND online.
- Tuft & NeedleAdaptive Foam mattresses are made in California from materials sourced throughout the USA.
- Warrior Bed Companymanufactutures Certipur-US memory foam and gel mattresses in Mississippi.
- WinkBedshybrid premium mattress, made in USA
- Yoga Bedluxury gel memory foam mattresses
- ZenBedGEL infused hybrid memory foam mattress are American made
- Zenhavenby Saatva affordable luxury natural latex mattresses made in USA with organic cotton and wool.
- Zottooffers hybrid foam mattress and mattress topper.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post which USA Love List is proud to share with you because, sponsored or not, we only share stuff we love.