Confused about what kind of coil you should be looking for in a mattress? You're not the only one. Read this article for detailed information on the most common types of mattress coils. What types of mattress coils are best for me?

Buying a mattress can be complicated. As if finding the right comfort level isn't difficult enough, now you have to figure out the difference between several different kinds of coils and which one works best for your needs. The springs in a mattress support your body while the layers surrounding it provide comfort as desired, so if you are picky about the kind of support you get from a mattress, focus on the coils rather than the layers of comfort.

Most importantly, when you're looking at mattress construction information, notice the gauge of the coils. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the coils are. 12.5 gauge coils will feel significantly firmer than 15.5 gauge coils.

These days, the number of coils isn't as important as is the way the coils are constructed. Coil construction isn't as difficult as it seems. There are three main types of coils. Hourglass, Pocketed and Continuous coils.

Pocketed coils are also known as Marshall coils and are used in mattresses to reduce the sensation of movement on a bed. Pocketed coils have become very popular over the years and are used in high-end mattresses, as they are more expensive to construct.

Hourglass coils are by far the most common. There are Bonnell and offset hourglass coils. The Bonnell coil system is the oldest and most popular in construction of mattresses because they are less expensive to make. Offset coil systems are known to make less noise because they are constructed with a hinge-like rounded top and bottom. These are often found in higher-end mattresses.

Continuous coils are different in that they are s-shaped, not coiled, and made from one long wire. This can provide a very stable, interlinked coil system that has also been noted as more durable. Serta and Kingsdown mattresses are often constructed using continuous coil systems.

When gathering information about each bed, find out how many and what kind of coils are being used as well as if the coils have been tempered. Tempered coils are more durable than non-tempered coils because they are heated and cooled multiple times in order to solidify the shape of the coils. Tempered coils are great for larger-build individuals or those that require Firm support

The best way to figure out what feels right for you is to spend about 10 minutes on each kind and determine what you do and do not like about each.

  • Encased Coils or encased springs, are a component part of a mattress in which each coil is separately wrapped in a textile material. Encased coils may also be generically referred to as Marshall coils or wrapped coils.
  • Offset coils are designed to hinge, thus conforming to body shape. They are very sturdy, stable innersprings that provide great support. An example of this type of coil design is the Sealy Posturepedic coil system.
  • Continuous coils Or Mira-coils, Work by a hinging effect, similar to that of offset coils. In a basic sense a continuous coil is simply that, one continuous coil in an up and down fashion forming one row (usually from head to toe) of what appear to be individual coils. The advantages of how firm a support the continuous coil provides it is somewhat tempered with the 'noise' associated from a typical mira coil unit. The largest company using a Mira-coil design, is Serta Mattress Company, though their coil units are supplied from Leggett & Platt.

Some information from this article has been adapted from