Bonnell Spring Vs Pocket Spring


January 9, 2024

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Spring mattresses have been a popular mattress type for decades, offering even pressure relief and back and joint support since their inception.

Over time, they have evolved sufficiently to make traditional innerspring mattresses all but obsolete, and newer products have taken their place. Two such products are Bonnell and Pocket spring mattresses.

Both of these mattress types are a natural evolution of the innerspring mattress design, providing ample support, comfort and pressure relief. That said, it can be difficult to know which suits better for your specific use case.

So, to help you learn the differences between Bonnell and Pocket spring mattresses, we’ve created a list of differentiating factors that separate the two. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Bonnell Spring Mattresses

Instead of the cylindrical spring design of the traditional mattress, Bonnell spring mattresses use hourglass-shaped coils. These springs are overlaid on top of a metal mesh that creates a cohesive spring system. The result is a durable and supportive inner coil structure that provides support evenly across its surface area. 

Bonnell spring systems are typically used as the middle or bottom layer of the mattress, underneath the comfort layers. In modern mattresses, these comfort layers may be made from cotton, wool, or memory foam.

People suffering from back pain can benefit from a Bonnell spring mattress, as the spring system serves as an excellent orthopaedic support for the back. Paired with a plush comfort layer, the Bonnell spring mattress can be comfortable while being supportive and functional.

Pocket Spring Mattresses

Pocket spring systems employ several lines of coil unit encased individually in fabric. Typically forming the middle or bottom layer in a mattress, pocket spring mattresses offer a higher level of personalised support and response.

The pocket spring system differs from spring systems in that the springs move individually rather than as a unit. As a result, each spring reacts differently to the pressure applied directly to it. This makes the spring system ideal for couples who prefer not noticing their partner toss and turn in their sleep.

Pocket spring mattress is quite consistent in the support it provides when compared to traditional innerspring mattresses. These offer complete body support as you sleep and can soothe aching joints as well, making them a good option as an orthopaedic mattress.

Bonnell Spring Vs Pocket Spring Mattresses

1. The Supportiveness And Pressure Relief

Maintaining proper posture throughout the night is important to prevent joint and back issues. There is a slight curve to our spine, and the spring system needs to provide adequate support to keep back pain from cropping up.

From a purely orthopaedic standpoint, Bonnell springs are far more consistent in the support they provide to your whole body. The support offered by them is even and firm across the mattress, making it a great option for those with chronic joint and back issues. But as far as comfort is concerned, the Bonnell spring mattress may fall a bit short.

Additionally, Bonnell spring mattresses are firmer and won’t adjust to your body weight and shape, which can become an issue. The lack of conformity in the Bonnell spring system puts undue pressure on sensitive joints, which can end up exacerbating joint issues.

Pocket spring mattress, on the other hand, provides far more personalised support across the board. Each coil reacts individually to the pressure applied by various parts of your body, making it far more comfortable as a result. The pocket spring mattress conforms to the shape of your body, resulting in a much more pleasant sleep experience.

And as for pressure relief, pocket springs are far better than Bonnell springs because of the way the springs conform to your body. They contour your body, which can help relieve pain from different pressure points.

2. The Comfort

Comfort is a quality that is highly subjective, and it will vary from person to person. That said, you can get a general idea of how comfortable a mattress will be based on what you need from it. For instance, people who prefer firm beds may choose one spring system over the other and vice versa.

As good at supporting the body as they are, Bonnell systems fall slightly behind when it comes to comfort. Some people have found these spring systems to cause mild discomfort, which can be a point of contention for those preferring a plush bed.

In contrast, pocket springs make for mattresses that have a near-universal appeal, thanks to the number of mattress coils in the system. The more coils a mattress has, the more supportive and comfortable it will be. While this can vary from one mattress to the next, you can consider pocket springs to be generally more comfortable than Bonnell systems.

3. The Build Quality

Mattress durability depends largely on the materials used to make it, and both spring systems contribute heavily to it. After all, the springs in old innerspring mattresses were often cheaply made, which resulted in uneven pressure and loud noises at the slightest of movements.

Both the mattresses tackle this issue in their own way. Something they share in common is that they usually have sturdy metal springs that don’t break or wear down easily. But that is where the similarities end.

Bonnell spring systems may generally be more susceptible to long-term issues due to the springs moving together as a unit. Thus, if a part of the spring system faces an issue, you will take notice quite quickly.

On the other hand, the pocket spring mattress technology circumvents this because of the way the springs are structured. You are far less likely to notice if one or two springs develop a fault out of several tens or hundreds.

The bottom line is, both of these spring systems can help the mattress last a long time, with the pocket spring mattress edging out the Bonnell mattress slightly.

4. The Motion Transfer

If you’ve ever shared a bed with another person, you may know that it’s not a pleasant experience if the other person moves a lot. Stirring in sleep is natural and a part of everyone’s way of sleeping, but that doesn’t have to be what keeps you awake at night. For couples, limiting the noticeability of this motion is quite important, especially for light sleepers.

This phenomenon of movement being noticeable on the other side of the bed is known as motion transfer. And most modern mattresses strive to limit this as much as possible. After all, motion transfer is only a hindrance to a good night’s sleep.

Due to the way Bonnell springs are structured, they offer very little when it comes to motion transfer reduction. When someone moves on one end of the bed, the other person will notice it as the spring system moves with them. So, it’s best to use the Bonnell spring system for single beds only.

In stark contrast, pocket mattresses were designed with motion transfer in mind, and are well-known for their ability to limit it. You will only barely take note of your partner moving and vice versa, as not all mattress coils react to motion on the bed. Pocket spring systems are vastly better at reducing motion transfer for couples and families.

5. The Heat Diffusion

Most modern mattresses come with some form of heat-diffusing quality or feature that regulates body temperature as you sleep. This is particularly useful for those living in warmer areas, as being covered in sweat every time you sleep is not a pleasant experience.

Bonnell mattresses are generally highly ventilated, and thus, they are vastly superior at being breathable and regulating body temperature. There is plenty of space in the solid spring structure to allow air to pass through, making it suitable for all seasons, no matter the temperature.

Pocket coil systems are also quite effective at heat diffusion, owing to their structure. The springs in a pocket spring mattress do have plenty of space to allow air circulation, albeit not enough to match Bonnell springs.

6. The Price

The price of a mattress is dependent on plenty of factors, such as the build quality, comfort, form factor, and spring system. While the spring system alone isn’t enough to make a mattress affordable or expensive, it does play a part in the matter.

Bonnell spring system mattresses are generally more affordable of the pair, given how simple the construction is. These systems don’t require any elaborate foam setups either, so it stands to reason that you’ll find a relatively inexpensive Bonnell spring mattress.

On the other hand, pocket coils are generally more expensive due to the relatively complex construction and high build quality. When paired with good mattress foam layers, you can create a sleep experience that delivers on all fronts despite the price being relatively high.


Choosing between Bonnell spring and pocket spring systems can be a little troubling at first. Both Bonnell and pocket spring systems target a different niche despite the similarities they share. 

The former is more adept at providing a cool night’s sleep while offering excellent support and pressure relief. And the latter focuses more on comfort and longevity, providing you with a better overall sleep experience.

Once you narrow down what you need from the mattress, choosing between one over the other becomes quite straightforward. There is no single correct answer here, as the choice varies from one person to the next.

No matter which you choose, all that matters is for you to get an excellent sleep experience, something both spring systems are capable of.