Microcoils (or minicoils) are coils which are smaller than standard innerspring coils. Innersprings are usually 6” to 8” high. Some microcoils are 4” high, but most are much shorter, usually 1” to 2½” high. They are also narrower and made with lighter gauge wire. Some microcoils are only ¾” tall. At least one supplier calls the shorter ones mini-microcoils.
Innersprings are designed for primary support, but microcoils are designed for comfort. The lighter wire gives them a softer feel, and more coils in a given area make them feel smoother.
Microcoils are the latest major development in mattress springs, but there is already a great deal of variety. Among their developers and manufacturers are major players such as Leggett & Platt, Hickory Springs Manufacturing and Spinks Springs.
Microcoils are sometimes called “micro-pocket coils,” because they are usually pocket coils, individual coils wrapped in fabric pockets, a design now often found in innersprings. Because each coil responds independently, a pocket coil layer conforms to body contours, helping to relieve pressure and dampen motion transfer. The pockets are sewn, glued or “welded” together. Welding at one point on a seam allows the coils to move sideways as well as up-and-down. Mattress makers call this “three-way stretch.” It makes the microcoil layer even more conforming.
Microcoils are sold to mattress manufacturers in sheets or layers covered top and bottom. The major advantage of microcoils is that since they are thinner than innersprings, they can be placed higher in the mattress, among the comfort layers. Several mattresses alternate layers of foam and microcoils.
One benefit of microcoils is that they are cooler than foam. They are open, allowing air to flow through, making them much cooler than memory foam. Some microcoil layers are covered with mesh to let even more air through.
Mattresses without coils are specialty sleep beds. Therapedic a manufacturer of specialty sleep products, now has a mattress collection with springs. Ágility models have microcoils and mini-microcoils, with heights of ¾, 1 ½ and 4 inches. The trend seem to be that more foam mattresses will also include microcoils.
Because of their flexibility and versatility, the use of microcoils in mattresses will grow. The advantages are durability, conformability and coolness. As microcoils and mini-microcoils are developed further, there will be a greater variety of design as well as sizes, yielding additional benefits. In this sense, smaller will be bigger.
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