Pocket coils vs all foam for higher BMI and pressure points

Which is better for a higher bmi with pressure points? all foam mattress or pocket coils and foam on top mattress? Would one be better then the other? Worse? Coils may hold up better/longer then foam but will they create pressure points?

Hi Ari,

There is no one answer for your question, as it is such an all-encompassing query with far too many variables in not only innerspring units but types of foams used for support cores, and then the combinations of materials placed upon them, and then combined with the individual preferences of the people sampling the finished product, that any sort of a definitive answer is impossible. But I can provide a bit of information that you may find helpful, comparing innersprings to latex for a support core.

Both innersprings and a firmer latex core can be used as a support layer and each has very “different” characteristics but besides the more obvious ones the most important differences are the ones you can feel and that you personally prefer. Both of them come in softer or firmer versions and in many different designs so an innerspring could be firmer than a latex core or the other way around depending on the specifics of the components you are comparing. There is more about the 4 main types of innersprings in this article and in post #10 here and more detailed information about innersprings vs latex support cores in post #2 here.

Some of the more technical differences include:

Innersprings have a more “flat line” response curve than latex ( see the graph here) but because there are many types of innersprings with different response curves this doesn’t always hold true and there are also different types of latex which would also have different response curves. There are even large variations within the pocketed spring category, with variations on spring profile, number of turns, steel gauge, and even the manner of joining.

Innersprings absorb less energy than latex (and latex absorbs less energy than polyfoam) which means they are more resilient. They “push back” more strongly than latex in other words but this is not the same as softness … only about how much of the energy that is used to compress them is lost (or how high a ball will bounce when it’s dropped on them).

Latex has a similar or higher compression modulus than most innerspring spring rates and either gets firmer with deeper compression at a similar rate as an innerspring (Talalay) or at a faster rate than an innerspring (Dunlop) which means it can be more “supportive”.

Different innersprings have widely different abilities to take on the shape of the body (depending on the number of coils and how independently they function) while latex is much more “point elastic” than any of them because it can flex in each part of the core with less effect on the area around it than an innerspring.

In general latex will be more motion isolating than an innerspring. Pocketed coils are generally the best at motion isolation out of all of the innerspring styles.

Firmer latex can be more durable than an innerspring but neither of them would tend to be the weak link of a mattress.

Innersprings have more “air” in them so they would be more breathable than latex even though latex is the most breathable of the foam materials but the deeper layers of a mattress also have less effect on the ventilation and temperature of a mattress than the comfort layers.

Most latex is more expensive than most innersprings. Polyfoam can be less or more expensive than certain innerspring units – it depends upon the actual items being compared.

They “feel” very different with innersprings being more “bouncy” or “springy” than latex (although latex has more “spring” than other foam types).

There are many other more technical differences but the most important differences are the ones you can feel. Either of them can make a good choice for a support layer and in the end it really boils down to which one you tend to prefer. Both of them can provide good/support alignment. There are so many varieties of both that it’s not really possible to make more specific comparisons outside of some of the more obvious and more “generic” differences that I’ve mentioned.

Making more generalized assessments of a mattress only based on one component doesn’t take into account that all the layers in a mattress work together and will affect its feel and performance so either one could be part of a mattress that provides you with your pressure relief and alignment/support needs. Assuming that all the materials in a mattress are high quality … everything boils down to which mattress design works best for the two basic functions of a mattress.

You’re already well familiar with my suggestions for higher BMIs, so for the deep support I would recommend higher-density polyfoams or firmer latex, and as for spring units you’d want to make sure that if you are considering a pocketed coil unit that it was one that was on the “firmer” end of the spectrum (you’d have to check with the supplier/manufacturer you were considering), or perhaps a knotted double offset or firmer LFK spring unit.

I know these are general answers, but that’s as complete of an answer as I can provide to such a broad inquiry.


Thanks Phoenix!
Latex will never be an option for me.
I was under the impression that with pressure points you don’t want coils of any kind. That info was given to me by someone who sells all foam mattress and hybrid mattresses also - he had nothing to gain as I was buying something either way at the same price point

Not sure where to go from here lol

one more thing LOL sorry
would quantum pocket coil be on the “firmer” end of the spectrum ?

Hi Ari,

Sorry, I forgot about your preferences regarding latex, but the comparisons are still valid and can be extrapolated to polyfoam as well.

Both pocketed coil spring units and polyfoam cores can be used in mattresses for people who are pressure point sensitive. It is true that a piece of polyfoam will have the ability to be more contouring and be more point elastic than a pocketed coil innerspring unit, but as I mentioned in my previous reply, making more generalized assessments of a mattress only based on one component doesn’t take into account that all the layers in a mattress work together and will affect its feel and performance so either one could be part of a mattress that provides you with your pressure relief and alignment/support needs.

As for the Quantum spring unit, there are different variations of pocketed spring units using the Quantum spring (sometimes along the edge, and sometimes an entire spring unit using the Quantum springs), so you’d want to check with whatever retailer/manufacture you’re considering as to the version they are using and the appropriateness for your BMI range and how it combines with the comfort layers placed on top of it for the pressure point relief you desire.


Thanks Phoenix!
I believe it is the zoned quantum pocket coils
I am concerned as no transition layer was mentioned in this particular case.


Leggett and Platt makes different versions of their pocketed spring units using the Quantum Edge which are quite nice and supportive. They can change the type of zoning and spring gauge depending upon the client, so you’d always want to find out such data from anyone with whom you’re dealing. For example, I know just because it’s been mentioned here on the site before, Luma Sleep uses a zoned Quantum Edge system as their “step up” innerspring unit and also for people of a higher weight. Granted, this is a latex mattress and not what you’re curious about, but that’s just an example of how some of those units are quite substantial, but contouring. There’s also a non-zoned version of the Quantum that is in one of the mattress lines I offer, and this particular version would also be appropriate for someone of a higher weight.

Jeff Scheuer
Mattress To Go

Hi Jeff :slight_smile:
I am pretty sure he said zoned quantum pocket coils . I believe those do well compressed in a box?
I worry they will be too hard.
Approx 3-4 " 5lb memory foam and 1" of “firmer” memory foam would be on top of these coils. Is that enough to not feel the coils ?

Hi Ari,

Oh yes, they will be fine compressed. You should see how much compression innerspring units are under when they are shipped from the innerspring company to the mattress factory. They undergo quite a bit of compression and survive just fine.

As for how the mattress might feel, I’m sorry but I wouldn’t be able to tell you that. You would have quite a contouring surface, that’s for sure, but you’d have to test it out in person in order to determine if it felt good to you. If you can’t test it out and you’re ordering online, make sure the see if there is some sort of exchange or return policy.

Good luck!

Jeff Scheuer
Mattress To Go

Thanks Jeff! I appreciate your time helping me try to sort through this :slight_smile:

Ari - As another point of reference the Nest Alexander Hybrids use a version of the Quantum Edge Elite in a zoned configuration, and they’re compressed, folded, and rolled for shipment without any issues. The QE line of pocketed coils seem to be very widely used across the industry.

thanks SD I forgot to look at Nest for a comparison. My whole day has been spent on pocket coils and springs my head is spinning LOL

Jeff and Sweet Dreams,

Thanks for your input and assistance!