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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Ah yes, the old coil spring count myth. It is one of my favorite marketing ploys by the mattress industry and their willing accomplices, the salesman. It has been said that “Mattress coil spring counts are the bed industry’s equivalent to Jedi-mind tricks” and we agree. Mattresses with more coil springs inside of them don’t necessarily mean you are getting a higher quality mattress.
In fact, you need to look no further than a couple of decades back when mattresses lasted 10-20 years and had but a fraction of what mattresses include today. The interesting part is that those old-style mattresses lasted that long and were still supportive and relatively comfortable considering their age.
To squeeze more inner coil springs inside a mattress builders would have no choice but to build their steel coils smaller. I will share with you what one very well-respected sales representative once told me about coil count. If more is better, then why not put millions of springs inside a bed? He referenced teeny tiny ink pen springs as a possibility to show the absurdity of this idea.
He was correct, the more coils we add to a sleep system, the less space there will be to fit them all in there, so we must build the coil springs smaller. To make the coil smaller the wire, in turn, needs to be slimmer and thinner. Thinner wire and smaller coils in the case of a mattress mean a weaker design that decreases the durability and the overall life of your mattress. This plays a very important role in the current story of mattresses failing prematurely. You can read all more about that here.
Salespeople try to assimilate high coil count numbers with high quality, and this can be very misleading. Sadly, the only standard for comparison is that there is no standard for comparison. Many years ago, industry insiders compared coil count based on a full-size mattress 54 x 75. Today mattress manufacturers base their coil counts on various sizes. One may base their 522-coil count on a full size, while others base theirs on a queen size 60 x 80 coil count at 652 coils. The same mattress with the same coil design but 2 different coil counts. The average shopper would miss the tiny but important detail. This is the game. The salesperson doesn’t reference both coil count and mattress size and it flies right over the customer’s head.
Additionally, there are so many kinds of spring types made, it would be hard for the average person to compare them much less note which is better. The truth is a well-trained qualified salesperson could spend an hour explaining the different types of coils and differences between them. Marshall Coil (pocketed coil) Verti Coil, Bonnel or Bonnell Coil, Continuous Coil and it goes on and on. The multitude of coil design choices only adds to the layers of confusion.
Finally, 2 mattresses having an equal number of coils and identical steel gauge can have completely 2 different feels. How is this possible? Mattress builders can tweak the quilting pattern or the layers of upholstery on top of the coil spring unit. This can change the feel dramatically. I think this Consumer Reports quote says it best, “On the whole coil count doesn’t matter.” So go with your gut (or your back) and purchase your new mattress based on its comfort.
STL Beds builds their coils the way manufacturers used to build them. The proven tried and true method of being tied together (wire tied) for added strength. Each coil because it is linked together borrows strength from the surrounding coils.
Our beds include larger springs with low coil counts that outperform beds with 3 times as many coils. The wire is thick like linguini, not thin like angel hair pasta. This type of coil spring design is the heart of every Medicoil HD Mattress. Shop them here.