Understanding Mattress Support: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Mattress Support: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Mattress Support: A Comprehensive Guide

A good night's sleep is crucial for overall well-being, and the foundation of a restful sleep lies in the support provided by your mattress. In this article, we'll delve into the various aspects of mattress support, exploring key factors such as coil count, coil gauge, edge support, and different types of support systems like foam core or innerspring. Additionally, we'll discuss the concept of three-zone support and its significance in enhancing sleep quality.

Coil Count:

Coils with white fabric wrapped around each one

Coil count refers to the number of coils or springs inside a mattress. It is a critical factor influencing the mattress's support and durability.

Generally, a higher coil count is associated with better support, as the coils work together to distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure points. Mattresses with higher coil counts are often preferred for individuals seeking enhanced support and stability during sleep.


Coil Gauge:

Three drawings of coils with different thicknesses

Coil gauge measures the thickness of the coils in a mattress. It is typically represented by a numerical value, with lower numbers indicating thicker coils and higher numbers representing thinner coils. Thicker coils (lower gauge) are generally more robust and provide firmer support, while thinner coils (higher gauge) offer a softer feel.

Understanding coil gauge helps consumers choose a mattress that aligns with their preferred level of firmness and support.

Edge Support:

Edge support is a crucial aspect of mattress design that ensures the perimeter of the mattress is as supportive as the center. Mattresses with strong edge support maintain a consistent level of comfort and prevent sagging along the edges. This is particularly important for individuals who use the entire surface of the mattress or sit on the edge frequently. Enhanced edge support also contributes to the overall longevity of the mattress.

Types of Support Systems:


Innerspring mattresses utilize a system of steel coils or springs for support. These mattresses are known for their responsiveness and support, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a traditional feel. The coil count and gauge play a significant role in determining the overall support and comfort of innerspring mattresses.

An innerspring support system is also used in hybrid mattresses, which are similar to the traditional innerspring but usually have more foam. The additional foam makes it feel like a combination between a memory foam bed and an innerspring. The ratio for a true hybrid is that half the height of the bed is coils and half is foam.

Read more about different styles of mattresses in our Mattress Types Guide.

Foam Core:

Foam core mattresses, as the name suggests, rely on layers of foam for support. Memory foam and latex are common materials used in foam core mattresses. These mattresses offer excellent contouring and pressure relief, making them suitable for individuals with specific comfort preferences or those seeking relief from joint pain.

The foam core is a very dense slab of foam that will provide a solid base for the softer layers of foam that go above it. 

Three-Zone Support:

Three-zone support is a design concept that divides the mattress into three distinct zones, each catering to different parts of the body – head and shoulders, torso, and lower body. Most commonly there is a denser portion of coils in the middle section. Another way you see this done is by adding a layer of gel memory foam in the middle section for additional support. This is the area right under your lower back and hips.

This targeted support helps align the spine and alleviate pressure points, promoting a more comfortable and restful sleep experience. Mattresses with three-zone support are often recommended for individuals with specific sleep concerns or discomfort in particular areas.


Choosing the right mattress with proper support is essential for a good night's sleep. Understanding factors such as coil count, coil gauge, edge support, and different support systems empowers you to make informed decisions based on your individual preferences and sleep needs.

Whether opting for the traditional innerspring or the modern foam core, the goal is to find a mattress that provides the type of support that feels most comfortable to you.

Give us a call or visit us at one of our stores for expert help in deciding what support type will be best for you.

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  • Juliana Huhta
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