One side firm, one side soft; split tension mattresses explained
Updated 2020: This article will explain how you can have two different spring tensions in a mattress. Split tensions can help both you and your partner sleep better by creating a custom mattress based on your bodyweights and sleeping preferences. Dual tensions can also reduce the disturbance caused when your sleeping partner moves in the night. Leading to a far better night sleep!
More often than not mattress retailers only offer you one tension in a mattress meaning that usually, one partner is having to make a sleep compromise. We don’t believe in compromise when it comes to sleep. So a dual tension can enable you both to have a fantastic mattress leading to better sleep.
What is a Split/dual tension mattress?
A dual or split tension mattress allows you to have two different spring tensions in a one-piece mattress. This is ideal for sleepers of different weights that may need a different spring tension each. If you and your partner have ever struggled to agree on a mattress due to having different sleeping preferences; then a dual tension mattress can provide the perfect solution. So if you need a medium mattress and your partner’s bodyweight requires a firm mattress then a split mattress can offer you both the correct spring tension.
What spring tension should I pick for my mattress?
We have discussed how the spring tension alone is not the deciding factor in how soft, medium or firm a mattress will feel. In the majority of instances, the upholstery alongside the spring gauge dictates the comfort feel. However, spring tensions are made for weight tolerances in mind and there is a helpful table below to get you started on which tension to look at.
|Artisan Spring Tension||Weight Range|
|Soft||Available as a Bespoke Product (Please Call)|
|Medium||Upto 16 stone / 101kg|
|Firm||Over 16 stone / 101kg|
What mattress sizes are split/dual tension beds available in?
Split tension mattresses are available in kingsize bed sizes and above. Smaller sized mattresses are only available in one spring tension, which is probably why a double-sized mattress is now less popular than a King size mattress here in the UK.
It’s important that you choose the correct spring tension based on your body weight and not mattress comfort. The comfort is provided by the upholstery, not the pocket spring unit.
What are the different mattress tensions for a dual bed?
Split tensions are available in either:
- Soft & Medium Split
- Medium & Firm Split
For example: If you’re an 8 stone sleeper but your partner is 14 stone you would need a Soft & Medium split. If you went for a retailer’s one-piece mattress, the 8 stone sleeper would either be on a painfully firm support unit or the 14 stone sleeper would be totally unsupported. With a split tension, you can both be perfectly supported.
The reason a Soft & Firm split is not possible in a one-piece is that it requires perimeter support to bridge the gap between the two different tensions. This is possible with a zip and link mattress though.
|Spring Tension||Wire diameter (Gauge)||Weight Range|
|Soft||1.2mm||Bespoke Tension (Please Call)|
|Medium||1.4mm||Upto 16 stone|
|Firm||1.6mm||16 stone plus|
|Extra Firm / Orthopaedic||1.9mm||20 stone plus|
The other alternative is to opt for a zip and link construction. This can involve having one side with a lower or higher spring count than the other. It can also be constructed with firm plus soft or any combination of spring tensions.
Zip and Link Tension Sizes
- Soft & Firm Split (Not available in a one-piece)
- Soft & Medium Split
- Medium & Firm Split
The mattress can only be flipped not rotated without losing your sleeping side but this is a small sacrifice for two different weighted sleepers. On zip and link models, there are ways to combat this by having the zippers on each side of each individual mattress, however, this method does come at a price to account for the extra labour involved. Read here for all about zip and link mattresses.
So why do we need dual spring mattress tensions?
Split tensions are perfect when there is a weight difference between two sleepers as we have detailed above. Without a split tension then the chances are one of you will be uncomfortable during the night. We have spoken to plenty of couples who have been mis-sold a one-piece mattress with the wrong spring tension. Split tension beds are available from high-end mattress manufacturers. You will rarely see dual tension beds in retailers as they are made to order. However, when it comes to sleep you should not compromise simply because these stores don’t stock the correct model for you!
Spring tensions are based solely on your body weight and should not be confused with ‘Comfort Feel’ of the mattress. The ‘Comfort Feel’ is always provided by the upholstery on top of the spring unit. So if you choose the wrong spring tension ie you’re 13 stone and you choose firm you will really struggle to get comfortable in bed as this spring tensions made for people who weight 16 stone plus. Dual tension beds allow you both to have the perfect spring tension for your bodyweight.
If you’re vastly different in weight say 7 stone and an 18 stone sleeper then a zip and link model is more suitable that way you can have completely opposing spring tensions such as Soft on one side and Firm on the other.
There really isn’t that much more to say on this particular subject. With all low-priced mattress models out there you do not have this level of choice of differing spring tensions and it will only be an available choice within the mid to high-end range from most mattress manufacturers. All of our Artisan mattress range are available with tailored spring tensions for your bodyweight.
If you’re still stuck why not give our small friendly team a call on 0161 437 4419 for more tailored help.
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