Buying a mattress can be a hugely stressful, exhaustive and painful buying experience. Nobody wants to have to become an expert in the bedding industry in order to buy their next mattress and yet, the entire industry is rife with marketing speak and, for the best part, a whole lot of garbage. So how do you determine fact from fiction, good from bad and right from wrong when it comes to buying your next pocket spring mattress?
In this article we will look at what's inside a pocket spring mattress, the benefits and the downsides too, by the end of this you will know whether they are worthy of your money.
Leggett & Platt is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of innerspring components operating in the U.K. and across Europe, and lists a huge swathe of the British bed manufacturing trade as customers.
Recently Leggett & Platt acquired Kayfoam Woolfson, the Ireland based foam producer and bed manufacturer behind brands including Kaymed.
This marks the company's first transition away from pocket spring production and into the greater mattress product as a whole. The Kaymed brand is popular among many online mattress retailers throughout the UK as a niche higher end mattress manufacturer.
A pocket spring mattress is built using individual springs with each spring being sewn into its own little fabric pouch or "pocket", hence the name. The end result is that each spring can operate independently to it's neighbours meaning that each spring is able to move and support your body uniquely. We really like pocket spring mattresses as a supportive base because it allows the mattress to efficiently contour to your body relative to position and pressure meaning you get even and well distributed support across the entire mattress.
Open Coil - If you have been researching mattresses for a little while now you will have come up against a few different construction layers for mattresses, most commonly "open coil" or "traditional spring", both of these are the same thing and both are terrible. Open coils basically take around 200-400 springs and attach them together with a rigid wire frame. The problem with this is that while being linked together provides an amount of consistency through all areas of the base, it removes the ability for each spring to work truly independently to the one beside it meaning poorer distribution. Further to this, look at that spring count, 200-400? That's in a king size as well bare-in-mind, so if you get a double or single you end up with even less. With such a low spring count you do not have the right support system in place to promote good coverage and distribution.
Memory Foam (Reflex Foam) - This is actually a common misconception. Memory foam is a filling, not a construction. You can have a memory foam mattress with a pocket spring or open coil construction. The mystery lies in that many memory foam mattresses can come with a reflex foam construction, this is basically a cold foam block that does not have any memory properties but is firm and supportive enough that it can provide for a decent night's sleep. The benefit of reflex foam as a construction is that it is cheap to produce and thereby sell and it also can be vacuum packed for far easier distribution. The vast majority of bed-in-a-box retailers like Eve, Simba, Nectar and Otty all utilise some degree of reflex foam base layer and they all get to make use of the easier logistics and reduced shipping costs that vacuum pack affords.
Pocket Spring - As we discussed previously, pocket spring offers good support and even distribution across the entire mattress. Firmness of your mattress can be determined by the pocket springs properties, size and shape rather than the amount of pocket springs. Many people avoid a higher number of springs as they worry that it makes the mattress too firm, however, this is a misconception. The truth is that the more springs the better, it's as simple as that. The more springs you have the better the sprigs can contour and adapt to your body pressure as you move around the mattress. Springs should be firm for when you suffer from back-pain, but again, an amount of springs is necessary to apply adequate pressure to each part of the back in order to provide relief.
Do you suffer from back or neck pain? Odds are an open coil mattress is simply not going to cut it. You need the mattress to be firm, sure, but you also need support across your entire body to take the pressure off your muscles. A sprung pocket mattress offers much of this exclusively and is one of the best ways to ensure you get a good night's sleep. Further to this, longevity of pocket spring mattresses tends to be higher than traditional spring counterparts, namely due to quality of materials but also because those that buy pocket sprung mattresses, while paying a bit more, will be ultimately more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and thereby hang onto it much longer. The average life expectancy of a pocket sprung mattress tends to be around the 7-year point which more than covers the slight increase in costs.
Pocket sprung mattresses can come in soft, medium and firm grades. The idea that a pocket sprung mattresses are too firm is a myth. The type of spring can determine the firmness, the tension on that same spring can determine firmness, but pocket springs themselves, regardless of quantity, does not inherently effect the firmness and tension of the mattress.
Pocket sprung mattresses are on the upper end of the quality segment when it comes to materials. As such, the length of time that you get from a pocket sprung mattress should be longer than that of a cheaper open coil variant. To that end, we would peg life expectancy of pocket sprung mattresses at around 7-8 years. Obviously one the of main factors when determining life expectancy is quality of parts. You can still get bad quality pocket sprung mattresses, albeit far rarer than other constructions though, so don't assume that all pocket sprung mattresses are equal. Once you have found the right pocket spring mattress for you, try researching the brand and seeing where they fit in the quality scale and make an informed choice from there. Price will be a factor in the quality of your mattress, but you can get very good value for money, and after all, 8 years of life from a mattress, the cost of great sleep has never been so cheap.