Pocket Sprung, Open Coil and Inner Spring Mattresses
Until fairly recently, pocket sprung or open sprung mattress constructions were the only orthopedic mattresses available. These were hard mattresses with a "minimum spring gauge" and their modem equivalents still work well when a firm bed, rather than a contouring bed, is necessary. The pocket spring mattress is still very popular and has the advantage that the springs resist being overly firm when the body's weight is applied.
Modern thinking does however suggest that, with new mattress technologies and a more advanced understanding of orthopedics, a body contouring mattress can offer equally good skeletal and body support mechanisms to this traditional mattress construction.
Coil Mattress Construction
Pocket spring (coil) mattresses are made with individual spring unites (coils) rather than the orthopedic interconnected ones. With the orthopedic inner spring mattresses, the tops and bottoms of the coils are woven together like a web. This ensures additional support and makes the coils (over 3,000 in a double bed) function as a single mesh like unit.
The more Springs there are in a coil mattress, the better it is able to support and adapt to contours of the human body and the differing shapes and masses of the torso and limbs. This kind of mattress provides firmness, but also controlled compression where needed. This mattress flexibility allows the mattress to respond to the precise shape, weight, size and sleeping patterns of any typical body during sleep.
An orthopedic Spring mattress offers a firm support to the back and can be combined with one or more layers of foams to offer softness and greater levels of comfort. As ever, the more you pay, the more luxurious will be the quilting and finishing touches (ticking) to your mattress.
A simple pocket sprung mattress will comprise of coils, layers of upholstery fillings and a cover. As a rough guide to quality, a higher coil count means that the springs will have a smaller diameter (and there will be more of them) and the mattress will probably not feel quite as firm.
The gauge or thickness of the coils also affects the firmness of the mattress. The heavier the gauge, the stiffer will be the mattress, and the lighter the gauge the springier will be the mattress. The choice of which is best is always down to personal choice and any medical advice (if there is a specific condition that is being treated).
Typical Coil mattress e.g. A standard double spring mattress unit typically comprises of just over 300 coils of 10 gauge-2. This kind of mattress produces a natural feeling "spring" and combines high compression.