Although microcoils are one of the most recent entries to the world of mattresses, they’ve been growing in popularity every year.
They’re completely unlike anything else on the mattress market.
They’re springs, but they’re not innersprings.
They’re used in comfort layers, but they’re made of metal!
But what are microcoils, exactly?
How do they work—and can a bed of coils actually be comfortable to sleep on?
Let’s dive in!
What Are Mattress Microcoils?
Microcoils work a lot like mattress pocket coils, only on a much, much smaller level.
They’re typically between one and three inches long, although in some mattresses, they can get to be as short as 10 millimeters.
They’re packaged in tiny pockets of fabric or wrapped in a thin foam, and they’re made of a flexible wire with an extremely high gauge.
Just like the rest of the coils in your mattress, microcoils compress and expand in response to pressure.
Isn’t That Uncomfortable?
In most innerspring mattresses, it’s true that you’d probably be very uncomfortable if you tried sleeping directly on the springs themselves.
That’s because your typical mattress coil isn’t designed for comfort.
It’s designed to provide a level of support and springiness to your mattress, while the comfort layers on top are the ones that are supposed to make a mattress actually pleasant to lie on.
Microcoils don’t work that way, though.
In fact, they’re often used in innersprings as comfort layers themselves—the only kind of comfort layer on the market that uses metal!
Their soft encasements and tiny, yielding nature means that microcoils are actually comfortable to sleep on, and in fact can offer a very affordable alternative to more expensive latex or memory foam constructions.
Microcoils, Nanocoils, and Minicoils
If you’re looking into microcoil mattresses, you might sometimes come across the terms “nanocoil” or “minicoil.”
Don’t let the terminology throw you off—nanocoils and minicoils are pretty much the same thing only they tend to be a little smaller.
Most nanocoils are less than ¾ of an inch long.
“Minicoil,” meanwhile, is a term used by some mattress manufacturers to describe an advanced kind of innerspring mattress.
Rather than having just an innerspring support core with a comfort layer on top, some companies have opted for multiple layers of microcoil—the topmost of which is usually substantially smaller than the ones below.
These micro-microcoils are sometimes referred to as “minicoils,” although the word is sometimes used a little inconsistently.
What Mattresses Use Microcoils?
Microcoils can be used in any kind of mattress: innerspring, foam, latex, you name it!
Most of the time, though, you’ll probably find them in hybrid mattresses—that is, an innerspring mattress combined with another mattress variety.
Since microcoils are sold to mattress manufacturers by the sheet, they’re super easy to layer and incorporate into products.
Some microcoil mattresses even alternate layers of foam and microcoil!
By any measure, the Helix is the better-rated of these two.
It comes with top-notch motion isolation and has fantastic airflow, as well as a highly competitive price.
It’s also fully customizable, and can be tailor-fitted to any user’s sleeping style, body type, and personal preferences!
Advantages of Microcoil Design
A lot of the advantages of the Helix and Agility mattresses comes from microcoils’ natural capabilities.
Just have a look at these specs—they’re not too shabby!
Microcoils mattresses all come with highly advanced support, since the coils compress and expand in response to the pressure of your body.
This means that more recessed areas, like your lower back, are still going to be in contact with the mattress, but no area of your body is going to be taking too much pressure.
This is simple a result of the microcoil design.
With so many tiny springs underneath your body, the mattress can shift perfectly to fit your specific shape and size.
Microcoil mattresses tend to be highly responsive—that is to say, there’s practically no delay between you shifting positions and the mattress shifting with you.
This is another advantage over memory foam, which often takes a couple seconds to catch up to the way you’re now lying!
These mattresses also tend to have an above-average level of durability.
In most innersprings, the comfort layers give out before the support core does, since metal is pretty dang durable.
Since microcoil mattresses include springs inside the comfort layers themselves, this means that for your mattress to start declining in quality, either the metal of the coils will have to fatigue, or the other parts of the mattress’s comfort layers would have to compress.
Bottom line, microcoils = solid durability.
The kind of support you find in a microcoil design is comparable to what you might expect from memory foam.
Unlike memory foam, though, microcoils tend to sleep cool, rather than hot.
There are a ton of air pockets built into the upper layers, so there’s always plenty of airflow.
Hot air has room to escape and cool air has room to flow in, and some microcoil technologies actually come with highly permeable mesh material to allow for even greater ventilation.
Say what you will about microcoils, but they sure don’t sleep hot!
Microcoil mattresses run the gamut when it comes to firmness.
That’s because they’re part of the comfort layers, so they can have as few or as many layers of padding as you want.
Just take care to pick out the right firmness level, and you really shouldn’t run into too many problems.
Microcoil mattresses tend to be fairly middle of the road in terms of cost, ranging from around $800 to $1200.
That’s not bad, when you consider what prices often look like for mattresses with a similar quality level.
It’s more expensive than the low-grade polyfoam you’ll often find in comfort layers, but it’s cheaper than top-quality memory foam or pretty much any kind of latex.
So this isn’t really a “budget” material, but it’s not going to break the bank, either.
How Many Microcoils Do I Need in a Mattress?
A lot of microcoil mattresses come with many hundreds of coils packed in—almost 2,000 in some cases!
It’s hard to tell exactly how much all the number of coils makes a difference, though.
Certainly, you can typically expect a higher microcoil count mattress to be more expensive than one with fewer coils.
Will it also be higher quality, though?
It’s tough to say, but it seems doubtful.
The whole point of microcoils is that you can’t feel them when you lie down, so there shouldn’t be that much of a differenence between a 200 microcoil mattress and an 1,800 microcoil mattress.
That said, some of the higher-count mattresses come with microcoils stacked up to five layers deep, which could definitely make a difference in terms of support and feel.
So while the coil count itself probably shouldn’t be enough to make or break a purchase, it can be part of an overall quality comfort layer construction.
In any case, it’s often best to look at mattresses more holistically, anyway.
A higher coil count might be better if the mattress company knows what they’re doing, but if the company doesn’t, a lower count will serve better in more capable hands.
The Final Verdict on Mattress Microcoils
All in all, microcoils offer a compelling solution to most people’s comfort layer needs.
They’re not some kind of super luxury mattress material, but they get the job done and they get it done well.
They skip over a lot of the issues people have with foam mattresses, while still providing a lot of the benefits people love most about them.
The main issue in microcoil mattresses right now just seems to be variety.
This is a new technology, and it’s going to take a little while for the market to catch up to the number of people who may want these.
In short, here’s a quick wrap-up of microcoils’ qualities:
- Highly durable
- Good level of support
- Impressive response time
- Great airflow
- Midrange pricing
With so much going for them, the future certainly seems bright for microcoil mattresses.
The variety of products featuring this technology seems certain to increase as manufacturers find new ways to implement microcoil into their design.
Conclusion About Microcoils
Microcoils offer a competitive option for the smart mattress shopper.
They provide a novel offer in the world of comfort layers, giving pretty much as much as you could hope to get without springing for a top-dollar mattress.
That said, though, they’re not the only option out there.
There are all sorts of different comfort layers in this world, each with its own upsides and downsides.
So although microcoils are certainly a tempting choice, be sure to do your research before jumping into any decision as big as your next mattress.
That’s what we’re all about here, after all.
We want you to get the mattress that’s right for you.
So happy shopping—and good luck!