February 2010

About spring edging in bases

Spring edging refers to the divan base construction and referred to as a sprung edged divan base. Basically being a layer of springs that gives the base a cushioned support for the mattress. Not all sprung edge bases are the same, however, and there are some differences you will need to be aware of. This article will help guide you.

Spring edge bases can offer an increased level of comfort to your mattress helping soften up the overall support. All high-end beds are usually paired up with a hand made sprung edge base to make the most out of the increased spring count. However, you need to be aware that as always there are good and bad versions of a sprung edge base. We will show you what to look out for.

Pocket sprung base making
Sprung edge bases can extend the life of your mattress and increase progressive comfort

Despite its name, spring edging covers the entire top of the base and there are only four usual methods of construction techniques used to produce such an item

1. Open Coil bed of springs attached to the top of the mattress.
2. A layer of Pocket Springs extending about three inches or so from the base (known as cushion top).
3. A layer of pocket springs inset into the base frame (known as true edge or firm edge)
4. Star lashed coils inset into the bed base (Traditional method used by Savoir beds]

A further method of a sprung edged base utilises snake springs. These are similar to the spring support in a cheap sofa where a series of snake-shaped wires are stretched across and fixed to the edge of the base. You do not usually see this method these days but visible on aged bed bases.

What use is spring edging?

Spring edging can be looked upon as a mini mattress between the main mattress and the base. It offers progressive support that dampens the strain of weight from the user. Read here about mattress construction to understand this essential principle. This significantly improves the overall comfort level of a mattress. This difference in comfort is often described as ‘Softer’ which is quite an incorrect term to use.

The use of a sprung edged base also has the tendency to increase the lifespan of the mattress. The theory being that the actual springs inside the mattress are sharing the load with a further set of springs within the base.

The alternative is to have no form of spring edging where the mattress sits directly on top of the divan base AKA platform top divan Base. These type of bases are within the cheap basic construction league and only serve as an affordable alternative to a bedstead.

Sprung edge bases offer progressive comfort to a sprung mattress
Sprung edge bases offer progressive comfort to a sprung mattress
These bases can be thought of as a 'mattress for your mattress'
These bases can be thought of as a 'mattress for your mattress'

Is spring edging upholstered?

Yes, in all cases. Obviously the higher up the quality scale of divan base you go the more upholstery and the quality of such upholstery increases. On the basic models say open coil spring edging this will be as little as 600 GSM of polyester, just enough to cushion the springs from the outer fabric. The furthest extremes on top end sprung edged divan bases will be premium upholstery such as horsehair and blended wool and cotton. In many cases, this level of upholstery will be in the region of 2400 GSM considerably more than you will find in many mattresses themselves.

How many springs are used?

There are no firm or fast rules. This all depends on the range of the complete set and obviously how much you are willing to pay. The least number of pocket springs that can be used is 600. This should form the basis of a starter level mid-range sprung edged divan, however, it will more than likely be 1000 pocket springs. By way of example, the top of range core model from Vi-Spring, the Viceroy, is constructed with two layers of pocket springs 600 heavy duty directly onto the frame and topped off with 1410 softer springs as the cushioning layer.

Can all mattresses be used on a sprung edged base?

Yes. There is no reason not to. It is quite unlikely that cheap end mattresses will be partnered with sprung edged bases.  Memory foam mattresses are usually partnered with standard platform top divan bases but utilising a sprung edged base will give a different more suspension like level of overall support/comfort.

Are there any downsides to spring edging?

No.  There is a Marmite kind of thinking between sprung edged divans using the cushion top method and those using firm edge method. On the cushion, top people tend to experience a rolling off sensation as some springs may have a tendency to ‘give’ slightly more than expected. This is quite evident when sitting on the edge of the mattress.

On the other hand, firm edge construction means the perimeter edge of the mattress is supported by a firm framework and thus no suspension qualities at all.

What bases do Savoir beds use?

A point worth noting is that Savoir Beds utilises a calico encased roll of horsehair as the edge support on their sprung edged bases. This is an absolute high-end technique giving the optimum level of support and suspension and does not fully compress when sitting on the edge. Fabulous!


Which construction you choose will ultimately depend on budget, personal preference but ultimately will depend on the standard of build chosen by the manufacturer. The difference is relatively insignificant and really should not be a major cause of concern. You can view all of our sprung edge bases in our online shop. Give us a call if you need more information or if you’re now interested in mattress construction read our article here.


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