How Supportive Should My Mattress Edges Be?

How Supportive Should My Mattress Edges Be?

July 28, 2011
Healthy SleepHeavy Dutymattresses

It’s a simple mattress feature that many beds may or may not have but do they offer real benefits for you?

We all do it and hands down it is one of the most damaging things you can do to your bed, sitting on the mattress edge.The mattress has become our place to watch TV, sit and put on your slippers or shoes on, work, and yes we even play. The fact is we just don’t sleep in our mattresses anymore and due to all of these extra activities that we throw at our mattress on a daily basis. The reality is we could construct the mattress edge of concrete but would that really be the best and most comfortable mattress.

How Supportive Should My Mattress Edges Be? How Supportive Should My Mattress Edges Be?

A mattress should give total and even support all the way up to the edge and most importantly you should never feel like you are rolling off or falling out or in to the bed’s edge due to poor construction and weakness.

Kinds of Mattress Edges

What kind of sleeping edge has the best highly is debatable. The inside edges of a mattress come in various configurations and designs.

  • Wire tied coil springs
  • Heavy duty boarder rods or border wires
  • Foam encasement that encloses an innerspring coil unit
  • Closed cell foam: this can either run the length of the mattress edge or wraps certain coils on the mattress edge.
  • Heavier wire gauge coil springs

About mattress edges

Wire tied coil springs rely on each other and collectively offer additional strength and mattress life. Each spring is connected by a spiral wire called a helical wire looks like the same as a notebook of paper used by students. The difference is the helical wire is much heavier and  built to support body weight for many many years.

Border rods range in thickness and enclose the perimeter of the coil springs. Better border rods tend to be thicker or of heavier gauge often ranging from 6-9 gauge.  Complaints with this design are inconsistent firmness on the sleeping surface and additional pressure on the back of the legs when sitting on the edge.

Some beds consist of heavier duty coil springs. Coils springs may consist of one or two rows with a higher coil count or concentration of coils adding a firmer feel and additional seat edge strength. Steel gauge is important so consider systems that include a lower number gauge which will offer additional strength. Complaints include loss of shape because most systems are designed with coils encased in fabric or material and take on the shape of a whiskey barrel over time. Varying firmess for both sleeping and seating.

Closed Cell Foam reinforced sides. This edge strengthening system is made of semi-rigid closed cell foam and typically runs the length of the mattress sides. Some brands wrap every other coil or every third coil to give the mattress edges needed strength.

Foam encased models vary slightly but the overall gist is an edge support system that surrounds the coils typically make up the mattress perimeter. The coils are replaced with 4 inches of foam all the way around your mattress. The polyurethane foam can differ in thickness, density, and IFD or ILD. Foam replaces steel making the bed lighter and arguably weaker. Foam encasements often have a more comfortable edge to edge for sleeping and additionally when sitting on the mattress side. Complaints include premature failure.