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Innerspring Mattresses


  • Lower Starting Price Points
  • Familiar Feeling
  • Most Variety


  • Durability
  • Lowest Satisfaction Rating
  • Hard to Compare

Our Analysis

Innerspring mattresses are the most popular category of bedding, and the category runs the gamut from bargain basement to mid-grade to luxury. Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy and Serta are the major brands in the mattress market, but there are several other national brands, including Spring Air, Kingsdown and Stearns & Foster which is owned by Sealy. Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy, & Serta all have similar satisfaction ratings with Simmons and Serta having a slight edge. Serta just surpassed Sealy as the highest volume manufacturer in the U.S. There are also many brands that are not nationally known, but do very well in regional markets. Southerland out of Nashville, TN which originated in 1893 is employee owned and known for high quality in lower price points and extremely low warranty returns.

With consumer demand rising for more heavily quilted plush tops and pillow tops beginning about 20-15 years ago, it is common to hear complaints about mattresses sagging or showing body impressions. Most innerspring mattress manufacturer’s warranties do not cover replacement of body impressions of less than 1 ½”. Serta Perfect Day ISeries mattresses (Non-Quilted) are an exception with a tolerance of only ¾” body impression. This is a huge advantage for Serta and this new ISeries line from Serta Perfect Day have raised the bar with a 25 year warranty and a 120 night risk free trial. Double-sided pillow top and plush top mattresses often break down faster because the upholstery on the bottom often gets smashed and pressed between the mattress and the box springs. Well done no-flip designs with quality foam layers and components typically have lower warranty rates than double-sided mattresses and usually provide better bang for your buck.

Thicker pillow tops are more likely to show deeper body impressions than non-pillow tops because they have more layers of upholstery and quilting. For this reason, it is a more durable choice to go with the high grade all memory foam mattresses or the innerspring mattresses with no quilting like the ISeries.

For quality mattress sets for the master bedroom, it typically is better to go with higher coil counts (number of springs). It is best to stay focused only on mattresses that have a coil count of 504 (Rated in a queen) or higher for the master bedroom. Most of the premium brands will be over 600. The type of coils (or springs) are important. Pocketed Coil designs contour better and offer better motion separation than innerspring/continuous coil designs. Also important is the type of foam layers used in the upholstery. Featured foams like latex and memory foam often add comfort and durability.

The best way to find the mattress that’s right for you is to take your time and pick the one that is most comfy to you in the store, however, it is important to narrow your search with your criteria so you don’t try to many mattresses and get confused. If you know that you like a firmer or harder feeling mattress based on your previous experiences, focus more on those. Side sleepers usually prefer plush or pillow top mattresses. Stomach sleepers usually require firm to medium firm mattresses so that their back doesn’t arch into the mattress too much. Back sleepers are open to a wider variety based on comfort preference.

The most important step in choosing the right mattress, is choosing the right company to buy from. Check the return or exchange policy, and only buy from the companies that have solid reputations for taking care of their customers. If you buy a new mattress, and you find that it is ultimately not a good fit for you, you will want to be doing business with someone that you trust and that will take good care of you. In dealing with a company that has a great satisfaction guarantee, ask which models consistently perform the best. That is a great way of narrowing down your search to the most reputable.

Our Sources


Typically higher coil counts are a good sign, but coil design is even more important for comfort and support.   A typical mattress will have between 250 and 1,000 coil springs.  A mattress with fewer coils might use thicker wire or other techniques to compensate for the lower coil count.  A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 300 coils in a full size, 375 coils for a queen, and 450 coils for a king size mattress.


Editors take apart 11 mattresses from the three top manufacturers- Sealy, Serta, Simmons.  Consumer Reports does not make any recommendations but did find there not to be much difference between the manufacturers for the rest test evaluation.  The report chalks it up to buying at a discount, buying from a company that will disclose the manufacturer’s spec lists of what’s inside, and buying on comfort.  ConsumerReport’s open forum on their website voices many dissatisfied readers by the lack of specifics or recommendations.  The video enclosed in their report has a gentleman that says he would not buy unless it’s a 50% discount.  He must be referring to the stores that post a fake inflated MSRP price that no one ever pays.


SLTD compiled data from over 2600 innerspring mattress owners and the results show a 61% satisfaction rating.  Common problems voiced with innerspring mattresses are sagging and body impressions.  Innersprings rated highly for variety, availability, and the springiness rated highly for being good for sex.  This category rated lower than all other categories for the rest of the evaluation topics.  Serta, Simmons, and Sealy are all rated above other top manufacturers like Stearns & Foster, and Kingsdown, but well below brands of other categories like Tempur-Pedic, Comfor-Pedic (Also Simmons), and IComfort (Also Serta).  

4. most innerspring mattresses will last 5 to 10 years with the right kind of care.  Innerspring mattresses are less durable on average than all foam mattresses. Pillow top mattresses are the most appealing when you try them, but the pillow top will wear out much faster than the rest of the mattress.  It is important to understand the cross section or the build out of the mattress to determine how well the mattress is constructed and how long it will last.  Simmons Beautyrest, Serta, and Sealy are the top manufacturers. Pro’s include: Least expensive type, Numerous brands available, Pocketed Coil Modes are well suited for couples, some models can be flipped.  Con’s include: Difficult to Comparison Shop, Cheaper Models, May require Purchase of Box Springs, Less Durable than Other mattress types.


While mattress shopping is found to be subjective, feedback gathered by Choice Magazine reveals that Tempur-Pedic brand is the number one for satisfaction in the US, UK, and AU.  Feedback also points to general dissatisfaction with the terms of the warranties.  It is important to understand the policies and guarantees up front before purchasing.  Contrary to other studies, Choice’s article explains that more expensive mattresses are always more comfortable than lesser ones.


Mattress Buying Guide discusses what to look for in a new mattress.  Discusses the construction basics of the 1) Foundation (Box Spring) New mattresses will last 1/3 as long on an old box spring rather than a new one 2) Mattress Core- the core made up of coil springs is the most important part of the mattress.  Consider 3 things about coils: Coil Count, Gauge of the Coils, Connection between the coils.  3) Upholstery- choose between pillow tops (which breakdown faster) or regular tops based on what your preference is.  Understand the differences in types of foams used in the upholstery.


Simmons Beautyrest Mattresses 3.7 out of 5 stars out of 88 reviews , Serta Mattresses 2.1 out of 5 stars, Sealy Mattresses 3.5 out of 5 stars. *Serta has stepped up their game with the new ISeries Perfect Day- 25 Year Warranty, 120 Night Risk Free Trial