Pocket Spring Mattress Buyers Guide

Pocket suspension mattresses or pocket mattresses are mattresses with many advantages but also have several disadvantages.

A pocket mattress offers many advantages and has several disadvantages that are rarely discussed in bed shops. For years, the pocket mattress and the corresponding box spring (within the Netherlands) have been sold the most. The margins are excellent, and there is a clear (technical) story to tell about them. But the disadvantages of pocket suspension mattresses you will rarely hear. But what are the disadvantages? Less hygiene, space loss, hard zones, covers, seam formation, fungi, rust and magnetic fields.


The hygiene of a pocket spring mattress

A hygienic bed is important. We spend 1/3 of our time in bed. We lose about 300 millilitres of fluid per person per night. Moisture attracts dust (therefore, for example, it is almost always dusty under a bed). Also, moisture and heat is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Even though a pocket mattress ventilates well, a lot of dust comes in, so a pocket mattress is one of the least hygienic mattresses. That is one of the reasons why you will not find pocket mattresses in hospitals.


Loss of space in the case of a pocket spring mattress due to the frame/sidebars.

A pocket mattress always has a foam frame. This frame is necessary to keep the steel feathers in place. However, this foam frame also causes space loss. The foam frame is, on average, up to 10 cm to 15 cm thick. With a 90 x 200 cm pocket mattress, the loss is then 30 cm!! That is 1/3 of the total surface area of the mattress! In these edges, there are no zones, and they are often even harder (firmer) than the rest of the mattress. If two pocket mattresses are facing each other, it may well be that you experience a thick firmer edge between you and your partner.


Transition zones

A pocket mattress has a so-called hard transition in the comfort zones. This means that the next zone starts from one centimetre to another. The zones, therefore, do not gradually over-blend into the mattress as with cold foam or latex mattresses. But move from one centimetre to the next into the next zone. These zones should only match your physique (length and width). Besides, the zones are not in the foam frame and, therefore, not over the mattress’s entire width.


Rust and dust

Rust does not occur with stainless steel feathers, of course. But if stainless steel has not been used, the pocket springs will soon rust. This can result in dirty brown stains on the mattress. A pocket mattress is also certainly not suitable for people with allergies. A lot of dust and dust mites attract what does not come out easily in a pocket mattress.


Magnetic field

Steel in a mattress causes a magnetic field that has negative effects on sleep. This tension increases your muscle tension, and it is relaxing to be able to fall asleep and sleep well. People who sleep on pocket mattresses and box springs regularly experience cramps in calves and toes. This is due to the increased muscle tension. Since 2005 it has been known that a magnetic field increases muscle tension ( source ). Steel in a mattress provides increased muscle tension and, therefore, a less good night’s sleep.


How does a pocket mattress work?

How does a pocket mattress work

A pocket suspension mattress is a mattress filled with steel springs that are individually packed in bags. The bags are (usually) made of synthetic non-woven material and the steel feathers of steel wire. The pouch around the spring ensures that each spring can, independently, adapt to the pressure applied to it. It also ensures that the feathers do not get tangled when you bend the mattress (for example, on an adjustable bed base). A foam frame (edge) is applied to keep the pockets together to complete the entire pocket package. At the top and bottom, on the feathers, covers are placed, and around it goes a mattress nail (the textile). The covers determine a large part of the comfort of the mattress. Cold foam or latex usually works best.

The number of springs in the mattress determines how accurately the mattress can adapt to your body shape. But then the covers have to be really smooth. There are usually several covers on the feathers in practice, which causes a large part of the point elasticity to be lost. Pocket suspension mattresses are available with 150, 200, 250, 300 and 500 springs per m2. The number of feathers largely determines the comfort of the mattress. The more feathers there are per m2 in the mattress, the better the body weight is distributed over the mattress. The firmness or suppleness of the spring is determined by the number of rotations and the steel wire thickness.


Zones in a pocket spring mattress

A thick wire (more material) has more resistance and is firmer than a thinner wire. In this way, the different ‘zones’ are made of a pocket suspension mattress. The softer zones are at shoulder and hip height. This way, the mattress can further collapse and add there. In the loins, there are firmer feathers for extra support. In this way, it becomes possible to keep the spine straight when sleeping on the side. However, it is not so easy to find a perfect pocket suspension mattress. Because these softer zones should be at different heights for everyone, after all, we are all built differently, and all have different body lengths. Finally, the foam frame has no zone distribution, and this can be palpable.


Pocket mattress covers

On top of the pockets, there are always one or more covers. These covers absorb body moisture, provide comfort and also ensure weight distribution. Quality differences in these covers determine a large part of the comfort and service life of the mattress. Possible covers are:

  • Jute
  • Horsehair
  • Polyether
  • Latex / possibly perfoliate
  • Cold foam
  • Memory foam
  • or a combination of the materials

The better and smoother the covers, the more comfort the pocket mattress can and will offer. Smooth covers ensure better point elasticity.


The ventilation of a pocket mattress is perfect.

A special advantage of the pocket mattress is the great ventilation. The ventilation is really perfect in a pocket mattress. Because a pocket mattress has many open spaces in and around the pockets, moisture can easily sink through the mattress and evaporate. A pocket mattress is therefore ideal for people who sweat a lot and whether they are hot quickly.


The bed base for a pocket mattress

A pocket suspension mattress comes into its own on a box spring bed base. And pocket mattress needs an even surface. A pocket mattress can also be used on a spiral or flavour bed base. In most cases, a slatted base is a less suitable base for a pocket mattress. This is because there is no bar, the spring in the mattress (pocket spring) does not get any backpressure. A box spring bed base is also upholstered at the top and therefore offers an even back pressure against the mattress’s underside. This gives all feathers equal backpressure. A tip is to take a boxspring bed base with non-slip material on the top. This prevents your mattress from slipping easily from the box—more information about bed bases.


Who is a Pocket suspension mattress most suitable for?

Who is a Pocket suspension mattress most suitable for

Pocket suspension mattresses are airy mattresses that ventilate perfectly. Pocket mattresses are best suited for people who are hot quickly and sweat a lot. People who like a medium to warm bed should not take a pocket mattress. A pocket mattress can be really cool (especially in winter). Pocket mattresses are also not really suitable for people with a dust allergy.

Magnetic field and staticity

If you are sensitive to electrical radiation, a pocket mattress pocket and inner suspension mattress is certainly not a good idea. The steel in the mattress creates a magnetic field that can cause sleep problems in sensitive people. A magnetic field creates muscle tension. It is the relaxation that is desirable because you fall asleep from this. The extra muscle tension causes cramps in the toes and calves and makes sleeping in and through more difficult. Besides, due to the abrasion of the synthetic bags, the steel springs also become electrostatically charged. This can disturb sleep, especially for light sleepers.


The pros and cons of pocket mattresses


  • A pocket mattress is a cool and well-ventilated mattress. This makes a pocket mattress very suitable for people who are hot and/or sweat a lot.
  • Pocket mattresses with hardened steel springs and a durable cover last a long time (up to 12 years).
  • Many comfort zones can ensure good pressure distribution and ergonomics.


  • Pocket mattresses are cool mattresses and not suitable for people who are cold quickly.
  • A pocket mattress is slightly less hygienic. A pocket mattress is, therefore, less suitable for people with allergies.
  • The iron of the pocket springs creates a magnetic field and thus increases muscle tension.
  • A pocket mattress has space loss due to the foam frame. This frame is necessary to keep the feathers in place and the mattress well in the model.


A lifetime of the pocket mattress

The service life of a good pocket mattress is approx. 8 to 12 years, depending on the quality.



A pocket mattress ventilates well and is cool. A pocket mattress can be an excellent and good type of mattress if the zones suit your body. However, a pocket mattress is not particularly hygienic, and there is talk of space lost due to the foam frame. Also, a pocket spring mattress should be turned regularly to prevent silage formation.

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