What is a Pocket Sprung Mattress? | MattressNextDay
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Pocket Sprung Mattress Buying Guide

Pocket Sprung Mattress Buying Guide

One of the most popular types of mattresses available today, pocket sprung mattresses are an updated version of the classic sprung version… but better.

What is a pocket sprung mattress?

Using high-tensile springs in individual cloth 'pockets', a matrix is created that delivers outstanding comfort and performance. They're popular because they provide a firmer feel and are ideal for back problems. The springs work independently. But they can also react to their neighbours, giving you a more responsive feel.

Each spring reacts to the tension placed on it by body weight and movement. Movement transference is cut down to a minimum as they don't move together. The springs deliver exceptional support, keeping your spine in a neutral position and banishing aches and pains. As they support the weight of each partner, you both get a restful night's sleep. This is even if one of you is a 'wriggler'.

What are the benefits?

Pocket sprung mattresses may use traditional manufacturing techniques, but their technology is definitely 21st-century. A combination of materials and production processes creates high-quality mattresses that deliver exceptional comfort all night long.

  • Increased support – the higher the number of springs, the greater the level of support. This keeps your spine aligned and minimises pressure points on vulnerable areas such as the hips, shoulders, neck and lower back.
  • Responsive action – pocketed springs work independently. So they can respond to micromovements and changes in pressure and weight if you move during the night.
  • Orthopaedic benefits – as they're firmer, they offer better support. This is particularly important if you suffer from a bad back or joint problems.
  • A more breathable environment – as the springs allow the air to flow through the mattress, it creates a cooler environment. This is ideal if you suffer from night sweats or hot flushes - or simply prefer a cooler feel.
  • Healthier – that airflow also helps keep dust mites, allergens and mould at bay, making a healthier sleeping environment. This is especially important if you suffer from allergies or respiratory issues such as asthma.
  • No roll-together – unless you want to snuggle with your partner, pocketed sprung mattresses prevent roll-together. This is particularly useful if partners are of different weights or sizes.

What is the difference between standard sprung and pocket sprung mattresses?

The key difference between a standard and pocket sprung mattress is the way the springs are put together. A standard sprung mattress, also known as an open coil mattress, consists of an interconnected spring system. This means that the springs all move together as one and provide a degree of contouring support.

The springs in a pocket sprung mattress, however, are sewn into individual fabric pockets. This means that, unlike open coil springs, pocket springs move independently. This helps the mattress to follow and support the contours of your body no matter how you move.

Both styles of mattress are great for different reasons. For instance, standard sprung mattresses tend to be more affordable, allowing you to have comfort on a budget. They also tend to have more ‘give’ than a pocket sprung mattress. For those who prefer a spongy mattress, open coil mattresses are perfect.

Pocket sprung mattresses are on the firmer side and will outlast a standard sprung mattress since the springs are more resistant. They’re also ideal for couples sharing a bed. Since the springs move independently, you can move freely without worrying about disturbing the other person, avoiding that ‘roll-together’ feeling.

How many Springs are there in a pocket sprung mattress?

Typically, the number of springs in a pocket sprung mattress vary from 1000 to 3000 springs. The amount of springs per mattress will depend on the brand and size of the mattress. For example, all spring counts are based on a king size mattress, so the actual spring count of the same model will vary in a pocket sprung single mattress or super king mattress even though the proportional spring count remains the same.

As a general rule of thumb, anything less than 1000 springs can be categorised as low quality. The quality of anything above will depend on your comfort preferences.

As the number of springs increase in your mattress, so too does the levels of support you receive. Mattresses with high levels of springs are generally thought of as being high in quality and being better for those who suffer from aches and pains.

Which is the best pocket spring mattress?

With so many superb quality mattresses on offer, narrowing it down to just one can be tough. When you're looking for the best pocket sprung mattress, consider factors such as:

  • The spring count – the higher the number, the greater the amount of support and the more responsive the feel
  • The firmness – base this on your weight rather than your preference. If you're slimmer, a medium mattress should give you all the support you need. If you're a little larger, then go for a firmer option.
  • The price – pocket sprung mattresses are affordable and will last you for at least eight years if well maintained. So they represent great value for money.
  • The fillings – more luxurious fillings such as cashmere, bamboo and pure wool will give you a more comfortable and snuggly feel. They're also naturally hypoallergenic, making them an ideal choice for allergy sufferers.

Pocket Spring Mattresses vs Memory Foam Mattresses

One of the main differences between pocket sprung mattresses and memory foam is how they react when they are not under pressure. The pocket sprung mattress restores its shape using the strength of the coils. The springs move independently of one another, so those with no direct weight on them are not compressed.

By contrast, memory foam mattresses are designed to adapt to the shape of the sleeper. The memory foam material is heat responsive. As the foam becomes warm, it is more flexible and moulds itself around the person sleeping.

The foam retains heat, so if you have a tendency to feel hot at night, you may opt for a pocket spring mattress instead. The design of a sprung mattress means that it generally stays cooler than its foam counterpart and is therefore suitable for those who typically overheat at night.

Overall support and comfort levels are another big difference between the two. While memory foam offers contoured and plush pressure-relief, pocket spring mattresses are perfect for those who require highly supportive mattresses which have a firmer feel. Pocket springs hold the body up rather than absorb the weight, providing strong support. 

Is a pocket sprung mattress good for a bad back?

A pocket sprung mattress is an excellent choice if you suffer from joint pains or a bad back. Because it has a reactive spring matrix, micro-adjustments within the core ensure that every part of your body gets the correct amount of support.

Each pocketed spring reacts individually to your movements. So it supports you continually even if you move around during the night. This works to keep your spine aligned and prevent more aches and pains. If you are struggling with a bad back, read our sleeping tips and best mattresses for back pain.

Are pocket sprung mattresses firm?

Pocketed sprung mattresses come in a wide range of firmness ratings. From softer options like the Bed Butler Haddington mattress to the extra firm Sleepeezee Backcare Ultimate 2000 Pocket Mattress, you can go as soft or as firm as you want.

Generally, most pocket sprung mattresses fall into the medium to firm categories. These will provide you with a higher level of support, especially if the spring count is in the 2000 and above range. If you want a slightly softer mattress but don’t want to compromise on the support level, why not team up a firm mattress like a Dreamland Cashmere mattress with a good quality mattress topper?

How Long Do Pocket Spring Mattresses Last?

Choosing a pocket sprung mattress is a long-lasting investment, particularly if you opt for one with a high spring count. This is due to the strength and structural integrity provided by the individual springs.

With the right amount of care and regular flipping, the sprung mattress can last between 8 to 10 years without falling foul to sagging. With the aid of a mattress protector to prevent external damage, this lengthy lifespan could be extended even further.

For more information on how to choose a mattress or even how to clean a mattress, check out our Advice Hub.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!