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.

Pocket sprung base making

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 a 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.

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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  • A Johnson says:

    Buying a car from scratch must be easier. I consider myself competant, informed,technically aware and financially savvy. I’ve spent my working life in teaching to University entrance level.
    Yet the prospect/need to choose a replacement bed for my retirement becomes more of a problem the more I investigate.
    It would seem to be the case that the retailers/ manufacturers mantra is, “confuse the consumer”.
    Looks very like a “Cartel” to me !!
    Can you think of anything else that every single one of us DOES, WILL and MUST buy and use every day of our lives

    Hi Mr Johnson. You are absolutely right but please do not tar all of us with the same brush. To confuse the customer is right in some respect and this is balanced with to DECEIVE the customer. Recently Ryan and I found evidence that a major manufacturer has used / is using a blended component that contains Fine Horsehair, Cashmere and Wool. On the face of it, it sounds glorious and would instantly provoke you to place this particular mattress in your potential list of considerations. However, reading the detailed specification of this one component tells another story [of which you [and a retailer] would never be privvy] . The Fine Horsehair as an example mentioned, attributes to just 5% of the construction – This, in a 1000gsm pad accounts for a measly and pathetic 50 grams!

    Obviously, the description of the finished mattress will be tailored to show all these ‘fillings’ as components which of course they are, but without any weight or percentage markers you are literally guessing / assuming as to what it is you are buying.

    We fully understand your frustration and until manufacturers are forced by legislation to include a detailed specification sheet to accompany all products then this scenario will be ongoing. In a few weeks time we will be publishing our new site with full posts of similar examples as above. Please keep in touch and feel free to add more of your views. John and Ryan.

  • Can a wood slatted bed base be used in conjunction with a box spring?

    Hi Ed. ‘Box Spring’ is an Americanism and I am not particularly sure what you are asking. Please offer some sort of clarification. John and Ryan.

  • Sylvia Atkins says:

    We brought a 2000 pocket sprung mattress on a double divan sprung base from a well known retailer. It was delivered on 8th March and the mattress has now sunk to a depth of approx 4-5 centimeteres where we lay. These dips do not go, leaving a lump along the middle. We are not heavy, myself being only 8st and my husband 12st. The dips are very visible even when the bed is made. We have complained to the retailer, but they are refusing to do anything about it. Incidently the mattress has been turned regularly.

    Should this happen to an expensive bed and a supposedly good make? I previously had a 1200 pocket sprung mattress that was still good after 15 years with no sign of dipping.

    I would appreciate an opinion from an expert on mattresses
    Many thanks.

    Hi Sylvia. We really do need to know model names at the very least. Please give me as much info as possible and I will be able to give a more detailed opinion rather than second guessing. As a forewarn to everyone, you are in a considerably better position to get some sort of recompense if you make your remonstration within the first six months. I would certainly not accept their refusal as the last word, you do have plenty of alternative options. John and Ryan.

  • Harry Slora says:

    I am interested in the ** . After reading your comments on hand stitch edge springs I can not find any info on this within the description/spec for this mattress. Have you any comment on this matter. Thanks.

    Hi Harry. This is a 2000 pocket sprung mattress. The retailer in question should be more than able to give you all the information you require.

    As a point of note, mattresses that retail within this price range (around £400) will rarely utilise HSS (Hand Side Stitching). You should be looking at the quantity of upholstery used in the mattress rather than the detailing. I would say our Origins Reflex or Origins 1500 will give you a better mattress for your money. Please give the office a call and they will be able to advise more based on your bodyweight and budget. John and Ryan.

  • Jin says:

    I just wondered what kind of spring edge bases you used? Is there anywhere you can recommend for a decent base with good value? Thank you kindly

    Hi Jim. On The Artisan Tailored Pocket and Naturals we use a open coil unit for the spring edging. On all Artisan models above this we use a pocket sprung unit. I will shortly be writing a more in depth article on bases which will go into detail about what to look for and what to consider. Leave this with me. John and Ryan.

  • A Williams says:

    I currently have a Relyon Duchess double bed, which is 13 years old. I have therefore decided to purchase a new bed. The base unit of my current bed is pocket sprung and appears to be in good condition. Do you consider that it would be acceptable just to acquire q new mattress (which I’ll probably buy form you) or do you consider that I also need to buy a new base? I weight about 11st 10lbs and my wife about 9st 7lbs. I should be grateful to receive your views.

    Hi AW. Personally I do not think that it is necessary to buy a new base if it is in a good condition. This does go against most other recommendations where some manufacturers state that you have to change your base if buying a new mattress. When you remove the mattress from your base you will be easily able to tell whether to replace it or not. It is unlikely that your weights will have had a detrimental effect on the cushioning qualities of the base. John and Ryan.

  • Nick says:

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Great website!
    I am looking to buy a superking bed to replace our current 10 year old cheap kingsize. I am 6’6” and just under 17 stone. My wife is only 9 stone but prefers a firmer bed and is quite happy with our current firm one with DAPW down/feather topper.
    We’ve tried out various beds and both really like the Harrisons range and my preference was the Ruby 8000 in firm while my wife was happy with any of the medium ones. I liked the Vi Spring beds once I was lying down, although even the firm felt on the soft side for me, and I REALLY didn’t like the way the bed collapsed down at the edge because of the springedged base- this is a dealbreaker for me.
    I think we either need a firm edge base like the Harrison which I thought was great (do you offer this?) or a standard platform. I’m looking at either the Artisan 1500 or Tailored pocket 2000- can’t make up my mind! Firm for me and medium for my wife. Ideally I didn’t want to spend much more that £1500. What do you think would suit us best?
    Many thanks

    Hi Nick. Unfortunately we cannot do any like for like comparisons with any Harrison’s products – Their springs are entirely different and their upholstery is not itemised or weighted.

    You make a good observation about the edge support on Vi Spring mattresses as well as on the base. Vi Spring manufacture their mattresses without an edge support other than Hand Side Stitching. This removal gives the mattress an equal level of support across the entire sleep area – however, it does give you that roll off feeling you have experienced. This is not a problem when the mattress is either Superking or bigger but when the sleep space of two adults is minimised as on Double or King size beds it can be problematic. The addition of an edge support rod edge may make the mattress tension slightly firmer on the perimeter but the pros of this far outweigh the cons.

    I thoroughly understand what you mean about VS seeming “too soft” (I would describe it as forgiving) but this is exactly how the mattress should feel. The springs should be moving (albeit slightly) as you move. If this is not happening then the overall support is too much for the user. I know for certain that you have no idea what spring tension was used on the mattress you tried – A spring gauge (thickness of the wire) should be attributed to the ‘Firm’ moniker. As an example our ‘Soft’ spring has a gauge of 1.28mm – far too unsupportive for you, but perfect for your wife. There is also the level of upholstery used within the mattress that will have an effect on how the mattress feels when completed. We do use a considerable amount – 4300gsm in The Artisan 1500 and obviously when all this is contained and the mattress is sewn up the overall tension / support of the mattress is more than what the spring tension suggests. Getting this combination right is crucial for the end user.

    Our bases are all true edge / firm edge – where the sides of the base support the edge of the mattress and the spring edging is contained within this framework. Hope this helps Nick. John and Ryan

  • Mike says:

    Hi Ryan and John,

    Your website is really informative and very helpful.

    I purchased in November 2013 a Vi Spring Traditional Bedstead Mattress, King Size with 1254 springs. I weigh 14.5 stone. I chose a Firmer tension because I’m prone to back issues from time to time and the other tensions in the shop felt under supportive. It replaced a Vono non-turn Orthopeadic mattress of 8 years, which was supplied with a fully sprung divan base. I could feel the springs on the mattress and felt like I was sleeping in a crater.

    When I use the mattress on the left hand side of the divan base after a couple of nights there is a dip where my hips are on the mattress. On the left hand side of the divan base it takes about 2 weeks for the dip to occur in the mattress. Obviously, I’ve been rotating the mattress more frequently than instructed to avoid this happening. The dip makes the mattress feel too soft in that area. It is like creating a well in flour where an egg might sit.

    Now I’ve had the well known retailer come out and do a ‘so called’ independent inspection. The usual story, they can’t supply me with a copy of the report but are telling me there is no fault with the mattress and it is settlement that can be remedied by a 4 week turn. I’ve contacted Vi Spring and they’ve suggested the mattress should only be used on a slatted base. This wasn’t something that I was aware of at the point of sale. I find low rise beds really awkward to get in and out of so a traditional bed frame might not be the best option for me.

    The mattress was £1069 in sale so I don’t want to give up on it in the first 7 months of use. In all other respects the mattress material is fantastic and is comfy yet firm, until I get the sinking feeling after either a few nights or weeks depending on which side of the divan I’m sleeping on.

    All this is leading me to believe that maybe the Divan Base needs to change. Vi Spring recoiled in horror when I mentioned using a flat platform top, but do you think this would give me the firmness I need? Would it also stop that sinking feeling in the mattress, or should I go for a sprung divan with a firm edge? I do tend to sleep on the side of the mattress rather than in the middle.

    Your help and advice is really appreciated. Thanks,

    Hi Mike, did you find that the mattress was dipping from the outset or after a period of sleeping in the same position without turning/rotating? By rotating, do you mean turning round or flipping as is the norm? I ask this because the top layer of your mattress is predominantly wool and will settle over time. Turning the mattress and rotating every 4 weeks or so would allow areas to return to their original shape and avoid consistent dipping. Having looked at the specification for your current Vi Spring mattress, I am unable to see that there is anything that would prevent this from being placed on a platform top base. The only difference between your “bedstead” mattress and a “traditional bed collection” mattress is the inclusion, between the springs and the upholstery layers, of a wool protector pad. There is also nothing to suggest that this mattress is best placed on a slatted base, although this may make the feel firmer. The particular mattress that you have at present is not one which I would recommend to provide a firmer feel for a customer as the main constituents are 1350 GSM of bonded fleece wool and cotton together with 900 GSM of blended fleece wool and cotton, which will provide a soft feel.

    I note that you have a fully sprung base at present and that you sleep near to the edge of the bed on either side. Because your current base is sprung to the edge, it may not be providing the support required to avoid the mattress dipping as you describe. Before embarking on any large expense, I would suggest trying a piece of MDF board placed under the mattress directly on the base on the side you are sleeping on to see if that prevents the dipping and provides a better and firmer support and this will clarify whether the fault lies with your mattress or the sprung base. Personally, I cannot see there being a fault with a sprung edge base per se, however, the age of your base may be a contributing factor. It may be that a sprung true edge base may provide the support you require at the edges to prevent the dipping as would a platform top base, although the latter may provide too firm a feel.

    The reaction of Vi Spring to your suggestion of placing the mattress on a platform top base is likely to be because if they concede that it could be placed on such a base, it would be an admission that there is little difference between your “bedstead” mattress and their “traditional bed collection” mattresses, save for the inclusion of the wool protector pad referred to above. For example looking at the specification for the Vi Spring “Elite”, which is sold within their core range and that of your current “Traditional Bedstead Mattress”, the similarities are clear. Assuming that the spring protector pads in your mattress account for 500GSM the only significant difference is 400GSM of blended wool and cotton. I trust that this is of assistance to you and I look forward to your responses to the queries I have posed above, regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2014/05/10 at 11:12

    Many thanks for your reply and support.

    I started to feel the first hint of a sinking feeling after about 2 weeks after I bought the mattress. I could see the settlement on the bed, so followed the VI spring instructions for single tension mattresses: turning it right over from head to foot 1st time, then turning over and rotating 180, then again head to foot, then finally turned over and rotate. I did this for first 4 weeks and repeated but over time this turned into 2 weeks and then every few days because after 3 days the mattress did not feel as supportive.

    Now I sleep on the right hand side of the divan base and mattress in its original position, it is now back to every 2 weeks before the settlement feels uncomfortable and I need to turn the mattress per instructions. I think all of this is pointing towards a problem with the divan base, particularly on the left hand side.

    Whilst your suggestion of MDF is a good idea its not the kind of thing I have lying around, though I have asked a friend if they have something spare I can borrow.

    However, I do feel both Vi Spring and the retailer are playing table tennis with me at the moment. One can’t recommend anything, or the other for certain. I was asked to go back in store and ask for advice but I will be in the same position and I really should have been advised away from the Traditional Bedstead because of its soft feel for a firm mattress. I can see that now from your reply how that works. Shame as I insisted to the assistant I needed a firm and reliable mattress. The furniture care arm of retailer want me to go back to the store for more bad advice. Not likely to happen.

    I’m in a catch 22 where Vi Spring are saying the guarantee is nullified if I use it with a base that’s not slatted. It’s not possible for me to have a low profile bed frame so I might as well just opt for the platform. I will know for certain then how that mattress feels on a firmer supporting base. Obviously, if I get hold of the MDF between now and then I can give it a try.

    The retailer won’t let me raise another claim unless the settlement is beyond 4cm visibly from top of mattress. They also said they have no interest in what frame its on because the inspection report is just about the mattress, not ever about the base. Nobody is going to replace that mattress and if it gets really bad I will approach small claims rather than give them another £60 for an inspection.

    Obviously, I need to feel comfortable and will look around for a suitable platform top, which in many ways will be similar to the firm feel suggested by Vi Spring of the slatted base with pad. If it continues to dip over and above the 4 week turning process, I will get in touch with you guys to provide me with options for my next mattress.

    Thanks for your advice which has been incredibly helpful in my decision making process.

    Submitted on 2014/07/03 at 20:19

    Just to update the store has offered me a replacement only for the Elite Vi Spring and they weren’t prepared to offer anything else. Believe me I tried to get the well known retailer to budge but they are not interested. They said Vi Spring recommended it because it could be used on a sprung base or bedstead. Having read your previous replies I will treat that with pinch of salt.

    So I’m sleeping on an Elite firm now (more or less same specs as the Traditional Bedstead) and of course its subjective but it doesn’t feel as firm as the previous mattress. To me its much more bouncy is how its best described. Looks and feels over stuffed in some parts and shallow in others. Doesn’t look as well put together as the Traditional Bedstead.

    However, things have improved as I managed to get into some bed shops and try an Elite mattress on several divan bases. Kind sales people and a bit of help from me. With the platform base I could feel my hip coming down hard on it and the sprung edge was like bounce and roll out the bed time.

    In the end I opted for a John Lewis True Edge divan base which is pocket sprung and has a firm (ish) feel to it. It feels like a good half-way option between platform and sprung edge. I also have 90 days to be completely satisfied which is a relief compared to well know high street stores. The combination felt ok so just went for it and was a good decision.

    Taking your advice from here, I’m using a topper with the new mattress. Couldn’t find a bargain wool one to match like for like with the wool padding in mattress. However, I got a Dorma 100% full to help slow down a touch the settlement which this new mattress is already showing signs of. Even though soft and bouncy wasn’t the way I wanted to go, I do find it is more comfy with the topper and I’m starting to appreciate it.

    Don’t think I would ever buy a mattress without a base at the same time again.

    However, will definitely consider John Ryan for next mattress and base purchase as you guys are really helpful to everyone.

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the update. I am glad you managed to get some degree of resolution to your issues and I appreciate your consideration of ourselves in the future. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Kind regards Mike.

  • Chris says:


    I commend you for a fully informative and educative website, crammed full of handy tips and facts. I am left, however a little confused about the difference between the different constructions of sprung bases; your article here seems to say firm edged bases contain the spring in its frame and that cushion top styles contain the springs in a layer? I maybe misunderstanding but I had always assumed ‘sprung edge’ meant springs right to the edge of the base and ‘firm edged’ only to within a few inches or so of the edge and that otherwise there was little difference in the suspension layer?

    ‘Sprung edge’ seems to be confusing because I understood the springs were across the whole cross sectional surface area of the base (and not just the edge!). Most manufacturers do not seem to offer the choice of either designs, with some retail stores being puzzled about the difference.

    Notwithstanding the ‘roll off’ or bouncy tendency on the edges of a fully sprung base, they may provide more forgiveness to a firmer mattress but I notice you do not supply these. Can I confirm that your firm edge bases contain a similar suspension zone of springs (other than in the side frame) over the base? I may be tying myself in knots, but it’s bugging me, so any clarification greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,


    Hi Chris,

    I can see where the confusion is occurring. On our site it confirms that in the case of sprung edge bases, the springs extend over the whole surface of the base. It also refers to them extending up to 3 inches from the base, this means vertically not horizontally and this is where I think your confusion arises. True edge and firm edge bases are similar in construction and our true/firm edge bases prevent the “roll off” sensation. I trust that this clarifies the position for you. Regards Mike.

  • Len Bowling says:

    Dear Sirs,My wife and I are looking to buy two beds, and after viewing many beds this week at a large store are more confused than ever.At present our beds are about 8 to 10 years old.my bed is a reylon 4ft 6ins with a sprung edge base,and my wife the same size Maples bed with sprung edge base.We have separate beds as my wife suffers from restless legs syndrome.My question is do we need just mattress’s as the base’s on both beds seen to be in good condition with no springs creaking or showing through.All I would say is that if you run your hand over the base you can feel slight undulations where the packing over the springs are probably compressed.Could we cover base with a duvet to provide additional packing for new mattresses or do we need complete divan sets.looking forward to your reply. Len

    Hi Len,
    If your current bases are in good order save for the issue you raise, I would say the use of an old duvet is likely to provide an extended life for them and they can then be used with any new mattresses bought. Alternatively, you could place thin MDF or peg board over the bases, although this would eliminate the undulations by providing an uniform surface upon which the mattress will sit, it would make any mattress feel firmer.

    At present I am unable to provide advice as to the suitability of any mattresses in our ranges without knowing your body weights, preferred feel and of course, budget. If you would like further more detailed advice regarding our ranges, please call our office to provide the information referred to and obtain that advice. Kind regards Mike.

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