Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 4, 2021If you want a little spring in your new mattress, pocketed coils are tough to beat. Unlike open coils, pocketed coils are not wired together. Instead, they each come encased in their own fabric or foam pocket.Pocket coil systems are more durable than open coil systems:They’re better at isolating motionThey offer superior supportThey’re more flexibleYou have two basic constructions for pocketed coil mattresses: innerspring and hybrid. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.Below, we’ll talk about some of the main differences between innerspring and hybrid mattresses. We also discuss some things to look out for when buying a pocket coil mattress of either construction.Innerspring MattressesInnerspring mattresses come with a coil support core and a comfort layer. These comfort layers can contain any different materials, from cotton to wool to foam to down.Many innerspring beds also have a layer of extra padding called a pillow top sewn over their comfort layers. These pillow tops can come in different designs. See our pillow top vs innerspring mattress guide for an in-depth comparison.Innerspring beds can have open coil support cores, and they can also have pocketed coil ones. For this post, we’ll only be talking about pocket coil innerspring mattresses.Layers of an InnerspringInnerspring mattresses have two essential layers, the comfort layer and the support layer. They can have a few optional layers as well.Pillow TopNot every innerspring has a pillow top, but many do. Pillow tops are just a layer of extra padding that goes on top of the comfort layer to add cushioning to an otherwise reasonably uncushioned mattress. It’s worth noting different types of mattresses can have a pillow top, though they’re far more common on innerspring beds.There are two basic types of pillow top, regular and Euro:Regular pillow tops are sewn over the mattress cover. This design leaves a visible seam between the pillow top and comfort layer.Euro tops are sewn under the mattress cover, so there’s no gap.SEE ALSO: Euro Top vs. Pillow Top MattressComfort LayerThough they don’t all have a pillow top, all innerspring mattresses do have a comfort layer. This plush layer goes on top of the coils and cushions your body. The main job of an innerspring’s comfort layer isn’t just to relieve pressure points and cradle you. The comfort layer also protects you from pressure caused by the coil support core.Like a pillow top, an innerspring comfort layer can be made of anything from natural and synthetic fibers to gel to foam.Support LayerThe innerspring’s support core is always made of coils. In open coil innerspring beds, these might be Bonnell, offset, or continuous coils. However, with the pocket coil design, you’re always going to have a system of coils inside fabric or foam sleeves.Besides pocket coils being independent rather than wired together, a big difference between open coils and pocket coils is their shape. While the individual springs in an open coil system have an hourglass or S-shape, pocket coils are barrel-shaped, meaning they’re straight and equally thick all over.FoundationIn the past, innerspring beds were just a spring support core and a little padding over it. Now, it’s quite possible to run across an innerspring with a base layer of high-density foam. This layer can help the mattress retain its shape, protect the bottom of the coils, and reduce noise and motion transfer.CostOn the whole, innerspring mattresses are more cost-effective than hybrids, though pocket coil innersprings can cost more than open coils, as it’s often more expensive to stack individually wrapped coils next to each other rather than wiring them together. For this reason, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $2000 for a pocketed coil innerspring.CompatibilityNormally, innerspring mattresses are fine to go on box springs. Box springs were designed for coil mattresses, after all. However, when it comes to pocket coil innerspring mattresses, you’ll need to be more careful. Most of the time, it’s better for pocket coil mattresses to have firmer support like that provided by a mattress foundation or platform bed.You may not be able to pair box springs with your pocket coil mattress. However, you might be able to use the mattress on an adjustable bed. Pocket coil systems are flexible enough to bend with your bed, meaning a pocket coil innerspring can go on an adjustable base, whereas open coil innerspring beds can’t.Keep in mind, if your pocket coil innerspring has a comfort layer filling that could shift around easily, you might want to reconsider putting it on an adjustable bed. The compatibility of a pocketed coil mattress with an adjustable base really depends on the individual mattress.DurabilityPocketed coils make innersprings more durable than they would be with open coils. Open coil systems are wired together and generally have fewer individual springs, so open coils tend to lose tension faster than pocket coils, leading to sagging. Pocket coils resist sagging, meaning you can usually expect to get a decade or more out of your pocket coil innerspring.Pocketed coil innerspring mattresses, however, may experience soft spots or more wear in certain areas because each coil is independent of all the others. For this reason, it’s important to rotate your mattress every six months so it wears evenly and you get the full life expectancy out of it.FeelThe biggest difference between a pocket coil innerspring and a hybrid is their comfort layer, and this can impact the feel of the mattress. While hybrid’s comfort layers are always foam, innersprings can have many other materials in their comfort layer. Cotton, wool, and fiberfill are all common, and these materials may be less contouring and more breathable than foam.Pocketed coil innersprings are highly responsive. However, they will be less bouncy than traditional innerspring mattresses with open coils. They may also be less breathable because the pockets around the coils reduce airflow.WeightSince innersprings normally come with a thinner comfort layer made of materials other than foam, they can be lighter than hybrids. However, pocket coil innerspring beds have more individual springs than open coil designs, so they’ll be heavier than traditional innerspring mattresses.Hybrid MattressesHybrid mattresses consist of a pocket coil support layer topped with at least two inches of foam. Most hybrids have more than two inches of foam laid out in several layers. Softer foams go in the comfort layer, while higher-density foams can be found in the transition layer between the comfort and support layers.Some hybrids may also feature a base layer of hard foam to help protect the bottoms of the mattress’s coils from wear and reduce motion transfer.Layers of a HybridHybrids come with a similar layout to pocket coil innersprings. Still, the main difference between the two is a hybrid’s comfort layer only ever contains foam, and it must be over two inches to be classified as a hybrid.Comfort LayerAs we said above, a hybrid’s comfort layer is always foam. It can be latex foam, gel foam, memory foam, or any other type of foam meant to cushion and support. The type of foam in a hybrid impacts your sleep in lots of ways.Memory foam is highly contouring, but it can retain a lot of body heat. Gel additives can help improve the temperature regulating abilities of memory foam. However, if you want a highly breathable and naturally responsive foam, latex may be better for you. Still, latex is not as contouring as memory foam, so it won’t take your shape as easily.For more on the differences between latex and memory foam, see our memory foam vs latex guide.Transition LayerNot all hybrids have a transition layer, but many do. This layer sits between the coil support layer and the softer foam comfort layer. It is typically composed of firmer poly-foams that help reduce pressure from the coils and evenly distribute body weight.The transition foam usually features a bounce to minimize sinkage. Without a transition layer, you would be at risk of bottoming out on the support coils.Support LayerLike with pocketed coil innersprings, hybrids have a support layer composed of barrel-shaped coils wrapped in fabric or foam. This is the main layer that keeps you lifted onto the mattress. It’s responsible for promoting spinal alignment and offering correct support.However, keep in mind that a hybrid will never come with an open coil support system. If your mattress has got an open coil support core, then it doesn’t matter how many inches of foam is in the comfort layer—it’s not a hybrid.Some hybrids feature edge support in this layer, relying on dense coils along the sides. Other mattresses have foams ring around the coil layer for firm support.Base LayerNot all hybrids have a base layer, but a lot of them do. Like with a pocket coil innerspring mattress, the base layer is made of hard foam and is meant to protect the coils, reduce motion transfer, and increase the life expectancy of the mattress.CostAs a general rule, hybrids cost more than any other mattress type. Not only do pocketed coils cost more than other coil types, but the different kinds of foams that come in a hybrid’s layers are also typically costlier than the materials that go in an innerspring’s comfort layer.Both latex and memory foam can be more expensive than cotton, fiberfill, and other plush fills. Latex, in particular, can cost a pretty penny. Combine that with a pocket spring core and a durable poly-foam base layer, and you’ve got a mattress that can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3500 for a queen.CompatibilityWith all their foam components, hybrids can wind up being pretty heavy. For this reason, you should never use box springs underneath a hybrid mattress. The box springs can be crushed under the weight of your hybrid, which may cause them to wear out faster or even break.On the flip side, hybrids are compatible with every other type of bed base, including mattress foundations, platform beds, and even adjustable bases.DurabilitySince they have foam comfort and transition layers, hybrids are often more durable than innersprings. However, because they also have coils, most hybrids are less durable than mattresses made out of foam. Depending on the quality, the average life expectancy of a hybrid mattress will range from 8 to 15 years.Keep in mind, you’ll still want to rotate your mattress around twice a year in order to ensure it wears down evenly and you don’t wind up with soft spots on one part of the mattress.FeelThe great thing about hybrid mattresses is they feel similar to all-foam mattresses because their comfort layers are made of memory foam, gel foam, or latex foam. This allows them to have all the contouring and pressure-relieving power of foam while retaining a coil core. Hybrids may provide superior relief over innerspring beds for pressure points such as hip and shoulder joints.Depending on their materials, hybrids may also be more cooling than pocketed coil innersprings. For instance, the cotton comfort layer in one innerspring might be cooler than a memory foam hybrid’s comfort layer. But a latex hybrid will likely be cooler than an innerspring with a wool comfort layer.WeightThe pocketed coil design of a hybrid combined with its foam layers can make for one heavy mattress. While hybrids will not typically be as heavy as all-memory foam or latex mattresses, they’re also usually much heavier than innerspring beds—even pocket coil ones. This is something to keep in mind if you move a lot.Pocket Coil System FeaturesYou need to think about two main things when deciding on a pocketed coil mattress:Coil countCoil gaugeBoth of these factors will impact everything from the feel to the price to the durability of your mattress.We also touch upon how pocket coils feel in each position.Coil CountCoil count is simply the number of coils inside a mattress. Some people think that the higher the number of coils, the better the mattress. Indeed, higher coil counts are often ideal, but there are some caveats to consider.While a low coil count can lead to a mattress that doesn’t have enough support or wears out too fast, overly high coil counts are often nothing more than a way for manufacturers to excuse a higher price tag.The ideal coil count depends on the mattress size. For example, the best coil count for a queen mattress is between 400 and 1000, but for a king or California king, it could be up to 2000. If you run across a mattress with fewer coils, you should question its quality. Conversely, if you run across a bed with more, you should ensure you’re not being overcharged before you purchase.Here are the dimensions of each standard mattress size, as a reminder:MattressDimensions (Inches)Crib27.25 inches by 51 inchesTwin38 inches by 75 inchesTwin XL38 inches by 80 inchesFull54 inches by 75 inchesQueen60 inches by 80 inchesKing76 inches by 80 inchesCalifornia King72 inches by 84 inchesNaturally, crib mattresses should have the lowest coil count, about 135 to 150 coils. However, you might want to consider an all-foam mattress when it comes to what’s best for a baby. The Federal Register notes that protruding coils can injure an infant or toddler.Coil GaugeCoil gauge refers to the thickness of each coil and typically ranges from 12 to 15, with 12 being thickest and 15 being thinnest. Lower gauge coils are more durable than higher gauge coils, so a mattress with a lower gauge coil will probably outlast one with a higher gauge coil by up to several years.Lower gauge coils also have more tension, meaning they’ll be more rigid than their higher gauge counterparts. If you want a firm mattress with a lot of resistance, a low gauge might be the right choice for you. A 12 will offer you the most firmness, while a 13 will still be adequate if you’re looking for a little give.However, if you want a mattress with more give, a higher gauge might be more your speed. A 14 might be your ideal gauge since it will be a bit more forgiving but still last longer than a 15. 15-gauge coils might be the softest, but your mattress may wear out too fast if it contains coils of this gauge, especially if it has a lower coil count.Feel of Pocketed CoilsHow it feels to lie on pocketed coils depends on your sleeping style. Side, back, and stomach sleepers all have different firmness needs, but pocketed coils can suit all positions.Back sleepers will enjoy that pocketed coils can compress under the torso and buttocks yet rise to fill in the gap in the lumbar region. A good mattress for back sleeping offers a medium to firm feel. Many back sleepers enjoy a medium-firm mattress with bouncy coils.Stomach sleepers will appreciate the fact that pocketed coils combined with firm foams can prevent their hips from sinking into the mattress and over-arching the spine. A mattress for stomach sleeping offers a firm feel to minimize sinkage.Side sleepers will enjoy that pocket coils can compress under the hips and shoulders to prevent pain in these pressure points. Excellent mattresses for side sleeping feature soft to medium feels for maximum pressure relief.Pocket Coil Pros and ConsPocket coil systems have several advantages over open coil systems. Pocket coils improve on the open coil design (where uncased coils are wired together to form a network) in several key ways, though they do have a couple of drawbacks as well.We cover their differences more fully in our open coil vs pocket spring mattress guide.Pocket Coil ProsFabric casings reduce coil noiseIndependent coils offer superior motion isolationBetter flexibility and contouringImproved support over open coilsMore durable than coil networksPromotes spinal alignment and offers pressure reliefPocket Coil ConsOften more expensive than open coilFabric casings can reduce airflowMay wear out unevenlyMaking Your Coil Mattress LastThere are some things you can do to make coil mattresses last longer. Mattress protectors and a regular care routine are the secrets to a long-lasting bed.First, cover your bed with a mattress protector. This will keep dirt, dust, and bacteria out of your mattress. When these things invade the mattress, they can change its feel and trigger allergy symptoms.Flipping your mattress is another one of the best ways to make it last. If you can, turn your mattress over about every six months.Can’t flip the mattress because it isn’t dual-sided? You should still rotate it to ensure the whole mattress is experiencing the same amount of nightly pressure. Just take the mattress and turn it so that the side that was at the head of the bed is now at the foot. Do this around twice a year.SEE ALSO: How to Clean a MattressFAQsWhat’s the difference between a hybrid and an innerspring?The main difference between hybrid and innerspring mattresses is that hybrids have two or more inches of foam in their comfort layers. In contrast, innerspring beds can have many materials in their comfort layers, such as wool, cotton, fiberfill, etc.Another big difference between hybrids and a lot of innerspring beds is that hybrids always have pocketed coils in their support core, whereas innerspring beds frequently have open coil support systems. Pocket coil innerspring beds are not as common as their open coil cousins.Pillow tops are another difference between hybrid and spring mattresses. While pillow tops can come on any kind of mattress, you’re far more likely to see them on innerspring beds. However, a pillow top also doesn’t make an innerspring mattress a hybrid. Even pillow top innersprings cannot be classified as hybrid mattresses if they don’t have the requisite two inches of foam.Are pocket coils good for back pain?Pocket coil systems can be great for back pain sufferers. Unlike open coil systems, pocketed coils can operate independently of one another, contouring to your curves much better than a network of coils all attached to one another.Instead of just compressing in a U-shape that curves under the heaviest parts of your body, pocket coils can compress and rise to fit your unique body shape and sleep position. At the same time, coils also offer more support and resistance than even the most durable foams.This combination of support and flexibility can be a boon for you if you suffer back pain.Will coil mattresses last as long as foam mattresses?As a general rule, coil mattresses break down faster than all-foam mattresses. While lower gauge coils and pocket coils keep their shape longer, all coils will eventually lose tension. When this happens, your mattress can develop soft spots, sagging, and warped areas.Latex and memory foam mattresses don’t have this problem. They don’t have any coils to break down. That means the mattress’s durability depends on the quality, density, and chemical makeup of the foams.As a rule of thumb:Denser foams will outlast lighter foamsNatural foams like latex will outlast synthetics like polyurethane foamHow can I tell if I can flip my pocket coil mattress?That depends on its construction. If your mattress is dual-sided (meaning it has a comfort layer on both sides and a coil core in the middle), you can flip it right over. However, if your mattress’s comfort layer is only on a single side, then you will not be able to turn it over.Many mattresses are constructed with a bottom and a top. The base layer will not be comfortable to sleep on because it’s either hard foam or just coils. Meanwhile, the comfort layer may be squished and ruined by prolonged pressure. Mattresses like these should never be flipped, so ensure you’re familiar with your mattress’s layers before attempting to flip it.Which is firmer, a hybrid or innerspring?Both hybrids and innerspring beds come in multiple firmness levels, so the type of mattress isn’t the determining factor in its firmness. Soft and medium-soft hybrids and innerspring beds will have thick comfort and transition layers of plush materials that reduce a lot of the pressure from the coil support core.Meanwhile, medium-firm and firm hybrids and innerspring beds will have either thinner or firmer comfort layers to provide more support and resistance and less cushion. Of course, medium mattresses fall right in the center, with a moderate amount of plush materials in their comfort layers.Bottom LinePocketed coil mattresses have a ton of benefits. They can eliminate a lot of the drawbacks of open coil mattresses (such as noise, sagging, and bounce) without scrapping the good qualities of coils, like their responsiveness and increased airflow.Pocketed coils can be a great compromise between open coils and no springs. They’re excellent for people who prefer a bouncy bed.Regardless of whether your pocket coil mattress is an innerspring or a hybrid, make sure you’re getting a quality piece. How do you know if you’re getting a well-made mattress? Check the warranty and sleep trial.Manufacturers who are proud of their product usually offer:A warranty at least ten years longA sleep trial period that’s at least 90 nightsThe risk-free trial period allows customers to be certain they’ve bought the bed that fits their needs. If it’s not right for them, they can return the mattress.The warranty lets them rest reassured they’re sleeping on a product that’s built to last. Any good warranty should offer sagging coverage, and this is especially true with pocketed coil mattresses. We recommend warranties that cover sagging under an inch.About the author Kiera PritchardKiera Pritchard’s curiosity around dreams and dreaming sparked her passion for sleep science. In addition to freelancing for eachnight, Kiera is also a physical trainer and strives to help others lead healthy lives while asleep and awake. Since joining our team, Kiera has compiled multiple sleep health guides offering our readers advice on how to improve their days and evenings. Find more articles by Kiera Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.