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Open Coil Vs. Pocket Spring Mattresses

Open Coil Vs. Pocket Spring Mattresses

Mattress Guides
Read Time: 4 minutes
  • Open coil mattresses, also known as traditional innerspring, and pocket spring mattresses both use coils for support, but their designs and features differ significantly.
  • Affordable with good airflow, open coil mattresses have interconnected coils, making them lighter and easier to move. However, they may dip in the middle, transfer motion easily, lack even weight distribution, and have durability concerns.
  • Durable with individually wrapped springs, pocket spring mattresses offer better pressure relief, even weight distribution, and reduced motion transfer. However, they can be expensive, lack airflow, and are heavy to move.

If you are on the hunt for a new mattress, you may be confused about how open coil and pocket spring mattresses differ. Open coils and pocket springs have some similarities: they both use coils to support the sleeper.

However, that’s really where the similarities stop. Open coil mattresses have a network of uncovered coils, while pocket spring mattresses are made of individually wrapped springs. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each of these mattresses.

What is an Open Coil Mattress?

An open coil mattress is also known as a traditional innerspring mattress. These beds have a network of bare coils, often each shaped like an hourglass. The firmness of open coil mattresses depends on two things: the gauge of the coils and the coil count.

The gauge refers to the coil’s wire thickness. The lower the gauge, the firmer the bed. The coil count refers to how many coils are inside the mattress. More coils mean more support, and a high coil count also means the mattress is likely to last longer than one with fewer coils. The simple coil design promotes a cooling mattress for hot sleepers.

For more information on firmness and advice on choosing the right feel for you, read our mattress firmness guide.


  1. Open coil mattresses are usually very affordable.
  2. The open coils promote airflow, helping you sleep cooler.
  3. These mattresses are lighter and easier to move.
  4. They support the sleeper’s body weight very well.


  1. Open coil mattresses tend to dip in the middle.
  2. The coils in this mattress are all connected meaning it has a high level of motion transfer.
  3. They don’t tend to distribute weight evenly, leading to poor pressure relief.
  4. These mattresses are less durable and can wear out fairly quickly.
  5. Dust mites and other allergens can easily settle within the mattress.

What Are Pocket Spring Mattresses?


Pocket spring mattresses have each spring wrapped in its own fabric pocket. These metal coils are straight, not hourglass-shaped like open coil mattresses. The springs in this mattress are not all connected but rather stand on their own; this promotes better pressure point relief. Many pocket spring beds are hybrid mattresses with a foam top that hugs the body.

Just like the open coil mattress, the firmness of a pocket spring mattress is determined by spring gauge and spring count. The lower the gauge, the firmer the mattress; the higher the spring count, the better the support.


  1. Pocket spring mattresses are durable and usually last 8-10 years, depending on the quality of the mattress.
  2. They distribute weight evenly, relieving pressure points.
  3. The structure of these mattresses allows one person to move during the night without the other person noticing the shift.


  1. Because of all the material around each coil, this mattress doesn’t have very good airflow.
  2. Pocket spring beds are heavy and hard to move.
  3. This type of mattress tends to be rather expensive.


Do pocket spring mattresses sag?

Mid to high-quality pocket spring mattresses shouldn’t sag. They are very supportive and usually have upwards of 800 coils—the more coils, the more supportive the mattress. The coils combined with the foam and comfort layers of the mattress keep its surface from sagging.

Are pocket spring mattresses good for back pain?

Yes, a pocket spring mattress with at least an 800 coil count is excellent for back pain. The individually wrapped springs provide a firm, conforming surface that aligns your neck, spine, and hips. This kind of bed also distributes your weight evenly, relieving pressure points, improving circulation, and easing aches and pains.

How often should you replace your mattress?

How often you should replace your mattress depends on its quality and what kind of mattress you have. Assuming a good quality mattress, here’s roughly how often you should replace each mattress type:

  • Latex Mattress: 15-20 years
  • Hybrid Mattress: 8-10 years
  • Memory Foam Mattress: 15-20 years
  • Innerspring Mattress: 8-10 years

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?

Whether a firm or soft mattress is better for you depends on your sleep style and needs. If you are a side sleeper, a medium-firm mattress is best because it’s solid enough to give you ample support while being soft enough to conform to your hips and shoulders. Back sleepers should sleep on a firm mattress; this helps keep their neck, spine, and hips in healthy alignment. Stomach sleepers should find a soft mattress that conforms to the contours of their body, keeping their spine straight and their body as aligned as possible.

Do I need a boxspring for pocket spring mattresses?

A pocket spring mattress doesn’t usually require a boxspring. This mattress performs best when it has a solid foundation, like a platform bed frame. A solid foundation works with the individual springs to evenly distribute the sleeper’s weight and relieve pressure points.


There are many pros and cons for both open coil and pocket spring mattresses; deciding which is best for you depends on your sleep style, needs, and preference. All-in-all, the pocket spring mattresses distribute your weight better, relieving pressure points and helping you get a good night’s sleep. Plus, the mattress doesn’t require a boxspring, unlike open coil beds.

Whichever you choose, do your best to find a mattress that feels comfortable, has a high coil count, and a firm coil gauge. At the end of the day, only you can decide which is the best mattress for you.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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