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  • Writer's pictureTri City Furniture, Auburn

Furniture Spring System

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

"My sofa is broken. What do I do? How do I fix it?" Have you ever thought this statement and questions before? The answer to that question is what type of construction do you have within your furniture? Do you have springs? Do you have coils? Do you only have webbing? Or maybe it is just a fiberboard box with no support? Yup! A sofa can be made without springs? It will even look pretty close to the one built with the best coil system available- well, that is, it will look like it as long as you don't sit on it....

Find out more about the inside construction of furniture and what you should be paying for if you want your furniture to last!

Kathy grew up in the furniture business, just as Krista has. When Kathy was young, back in 1957 when Ron, her father, opened Tri City Furniture ALL furniture was made different.

There has been so many changes, people do not even realize what they are now missing and why it was first designed the way it was. Let's just talk about the springs today.

You would guess that furniture today should have springs inside of it. This would include sofas, chairs and mattresses. In the old days- that was true, but today companies have figured out ways to change the support system to NOT USE COILS. Imported furniture from China often comes without coils. It is cheaper due to less materials being used and less weight for freight charges coming across the ocean.

None of the reasoning to the remove the coils is for the purchaser's benefit, only the manufactures.

Inside a Mattress- Let's just start here....

There are mattresses with springs and without. A hybrid mattress uses springs and foam, as a hybrid car uses gas and electricity. An all foam mattress has no springs. The different types of springs within the mattress gives it it's quality, longevity and feel. I am only going to briefly touch on this, because there is so much more to just a spring. The thickness of the spring....the type of metal that is used to make the spring, how many twists the spring has, the overall size of the springs and the count of springs within the piece are all so very important. Right now, I am only talking about the SHAPE. If you want to know more. Come in and talk to Kathy.

The hourglass shaped spring, known as a Bonnell coil, is wider at the top and bottom vs the middle. The tighter rings of the coil take more pressure to compress therefore hold body weight more evenly. Bonnell coils are usually hooked together with a mesh of steel so that the springs stay together as a solid foundation support. Looking just at that photo above you can see that the two springs differ in their make. They are the same type of spring, but adding more twists, more coils give the spring more support. All springs are not created equal. This is why there are different costs within different construction.

Another style of coil is called the Marshall coil. It is larger in the middle. It gives with body weight easier. It is considered to be more responsive to alleviating pressure points. Usually, the more coils there are the more responsive the mattress is to give your body more comfort. These coils are directly related to the quality of foams that are used with the spring system. Again, look at the two photos. Same type of spring, but the coils are indeed different from each other.

The third type of system would be no springs. Many people understand that these mattresses are done with just foam layers. If the foam is higher quality foam, they will last a very long time. There are ways to use cheaper foam with less density (more air). These foams can break down with will cause sagging. One way to think about it is, a lower density means more air within the foam. Less foam, more air. More air will crush in quicker causing the foam to sag. No soil or spring system to push back and support the foam shape.

Remember, all of these components have a benefit. They were put in the furniture piece to do something for the purchaser. Nothing is ever added for no reason.

Let's get a Little More Detailed!

Steel can come in many different weights. Understanding steel is important. A 15 gauge steel is lighter weight than a 13 gauge steel. The steel piece is thinner the higher the number, therefore not as strong. So a 1 gauged steel would be as thick as a pencil. Coils are typically made in 12-15 gauged steel. A 12 gauged coil is very firm and 15 gauged coil would lay/ sit softer.

Knowing if the coil is tempered is also very important. To understand this, think of a safety pin and a paper clip. A safety pin has been heated and cooled several times so that it has a longer life of opening and closing.

A paper clip has not been tempered, so if you bend it a couple of times it will break. Understanding what the tempering to steel does, causes you to know the importance of it within your furniture pieces. Especially when the kids are jumping on the bed!

There are several ways to make an excellent mattress. If you are looking for super firm, a Bonnell spring in 13 gauged will give you just that within a mattress holding 1000 coils. This design may be too firm for you. The Marshall spring offers more comfort to bodies that have a lot of aches and pains. Again, if you only purchase a queen mattress with 400 coils within it, you still could have aches and pains and it probably will not last. You really need the count of coils to be closer to 800-1200 for longevity of support.

You need to try mattresses. There are different styles for different body types.

There are different foams for hot flash sleepers vs young football players. You really should go out and talk to someone you trust and let them fit you to a mattress after hearing your concerns and needs. There is a mattress for every budget. Don't be afraid. We can find you something that will give you relief for a decent price.

You do not need to spend a fortune, but also remember you are INVESTING in your sleep as well as INVESTING in your Daily life!

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