Innerspring - Mattress Tech From The 1800s

Written by
 Purple Staff
Last Updated
October 9, 2021
min read

What are the Benefits of an Innerspring Mattress?

Out of all of the mattresses available on the market today, innerspring mattresses are, perhaps, the most well-known. Innerspring mattresses have been around for a long time.

Steel coils were invented in 1857, but German inventor Heinrich Westphal was the first to place them in a mattress, in 1871 in fact, and thus the innerspring mattress was born.

What is an Innerspring Mattress?

An innerspring mattress is made up of three parts: the foundation, the core, and the comfort layer.

The Foundation: Sustains the Coils, Offers Structure

The bottom part of the mattress is the foundation and is usually made of wool. It is the primary structure of the bed, and provides support for the coils at the core.

The Core: Houses Coils and Springs

The core is the main part of the mattress, where all of the springs and coils are. The number of springs and coils vary, but the more springs there are, and the thicker the coils, the better the support.

Individually Encased Coils: Advanced Coil Technology

The most popular type of spring is the individually encased coil, also known as the Marshall coil. An individually encased coil is a coil that is individually wrapped in titanium or steel, which offers better contouring of the body and more pressure relief. It also transfers motion less than other types of coils.

The Upholstery: The Comfort Layer

No one would be comfortable just sleeping on springs, so every innerspring mattress is topped with some sort of upholstery, making up a comfort layer. This can be made of different materials like fibers or foam.

Innerspring Mattresses vs Memory Foam

While many consumers prefer new technology like memory foam over innerspring systems, the innerspring mattress still has a lot to offer, and has had plenty of time to develop its own technology to produce a supportive and comfortable bed.

Help, I’m Sinking! vs. Springy and Firm

Where memory foam can make people feel like they’re sinking, innerspring mattresses offer a springy feel. Additionally, innerspring mattresses offer a firmer bed, which is ideal for some sleepers.

Body Contouring vs. Absorbing Motion

On the other hand, memory foam contours to the body, and you’re not likely to feel your partner move at night, whereas innerspring mattresses don’t absorb motion as well.

Hot Sleeping vs. Cool Mattresses

People sometimes complain about memory foam being too hot, but innerspring mattresses are among the coolest mattresses available due to the air between coils.

What Types of Innerspring Mattresses Are Available?

Innerspring mattresses offer great versatility. They are available in all sizes, including twin, full, queen, and king. These mattresses are offered by multiple brands, and are made with different materials and different types of springs.

Innerspring Hybrid Mattress: The Best of Many Worlds

A hybrid mattress combines various mattress materials so that you get all of the benefits in one mattress. Innerspring hybrid mattresses are very popular, as many mattresses use innerspring technology to provide a firm base.


The top comfort layer, which is usually at least 1.5 inches thick, can be made of foam, latex, or another material, providing great comfort with different technology.

What Does an Innerspring Mattress Cost?

Many people choose to use these mattresses because they are, generally speaking, the cheapest on the market. Where newer technology mattresses can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, innerspring mattresses can cost less than $100 on the low end to around $1,500 or more on the high end.

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