You visit your local mattress store and start trying mattresses. You find one you like and start asking a few questions so you can compare it to other similar models. Hank, your friendly mattress salesperson, proudly tells you it has 1,000 coils!
Of course being the bright person you are, you realize something doesn’t sound right about that number. Your instinct is correct. Hank just quoted you the Coil Density, not the actual coil count.
I’m not sure who first started this practice, but coil density refers to the number of coils the mattress WOULD have, were it not foam encased. It truly is a worthless number in my opinion and causes more confusion than necessary. And I have found in my travels that most salespeople don’t necessarily explain or fully disclose the difference. I will let you decide whether or not they are being deceitful in this practice.
Some common numbers given for example:
Simmons World Class Queen – Density – 1000; Actual – 825
2011 Sealy Posturepedic Queen – Density 660; Actual – 560
Coil counts are really not that important without knowing all the other factors – coil design, number of turns, tempering, material, gauge etc etc. The majority of mattresses from the “S” brands will provide adequate support once you get into their main product line. That is why I say focus on alignment and comfort. Coil counts are only useful as you are comparing products – to make sure you are making an apples-to-apples product comparison.
If you want to test your mattress salesperson, after he quotes you coil count, ask him if that is the density or actual coil count. You will learn quite a bit about him based on his response. And you will sound a little more educated than the average mattress shopper.