January 27, 2022 6 min read

You probably haven’t put much thought into your furniture's support system. The only time most people notice the seating support system for their couch, chair, or loveseat is when that system starts to deteriorate.

Perhaps you've noticed your sofa becoming more and more uncomfortable to lounge in as time goes on—this breakdown in comfort results from the sofa springs and support systems wearing out.

But what exactly goes inside of a piece of furniture seating, and what makes each system responsive and supportive? Are all spring systems the same, or are there superior spring designs? How do I ensure I’m getting the best furniture seating support for my needs?

At Furniture Fair, we’ve been selling furniture for over 50 years, and we have seen all manner springs and support systems utilized in furniture. We’ve fielded many questions regarding how different springs can affect the feel of certain pieces of furniture, and we want to share our knowledge with you!

This article will cover the most common spring systems used in furniture seating and help you to get a better feel for the type of comfort each plan provides. After reading this article, you will be more informed on each style of seating and better prepared to make an informed decision regarding your next living room furniture purchase.

What Types Of Springs Are Used In Living Room Furniture?

Why Do Manufacturers Use Springs?

Manufacturers use springs in sofas for various reasons, but the number one reason is comfort and support. Gone are the days of hard, flat surfaces on most living room furniture, and today’s cushions are now supported by systems that support them without being too rigid and uncomfortable.

Comfort, durability, and price are the main reasons companies use the types of springs found in their furniture. This is why some sofas are more affordable than others and why some higher-priced sofas have much more support and comfort than others.

Springs are made to absorb the shock from years of everyday use, whether through sitting, lying, or the occasional jumping when your two-year-old thinks you aren’t looking. With the proper springs for your daily household use, you can ensure that your couch or armchair stands up to the everyday use you and your family will put it through.

Different types of springs can affect the feeling of support you get when seated. You may know that some couches are made to sit deeper and feel “cushier” than others, making or breaking the purchase decision. No one wants to sit on a sofa or loveseat that they find uncomfortable.

Many companies measure their springs using the term “gauge.” The gauge measures how many wires you can fit into an inch of steel. Different companies use different gauges, but the most important thing to remember is that a lower gauge means better quality support.

What Types Of Springs Are Used?

The three most common springs you will see on furniture showroom floors are coil springs, sinuous springs, and Pirelli webbing. Each of these spring systems have strengths and weaknesses, and we will highlight the pros and cons of the three types here.

#1 Eight-way Hand Tied Coil Springs

One of the best coil springs on the market today is the 8-way hand-tied coil spring. This coil spring system is used in brands like Smith Brothers of Berne, Indiana. With this system, a series of coil springs are hand-tied into a secure position that adds an incredible level of durability and creates a supportive and comfortable surface.

Suppose you want the most comfortable support in the industry and that extra attention to detail that many mass-produced furniture lacks. In that case, the hand-tied coil spring system will give you a sofa or sectional that supports and lasts for decades.

Because this method is one of the best support systems available, the hand-tying process is more time-consuming, the coils spring support system is a more expensive option than other springs.

In addition, some sofa frames may not be deep enough to support a coil spring system and therefore are not an option for some customers. But if you want the best support and can afford to invest in the best quality support, this option is for you.

#2 Sinuous No-sag Springs

The most common springs you will find for upholstered furniture are the “no-sag” sinuous wire spring systems. They are easy to spot, and most can be felt when you remove the cushion and touch the bottom of the couch or chair.

Higher quality steel and closer spring spacing are good things to look for when shopping for furniture with this spring system. Cheaper sofas use thinner gauge steel and space their springs further apart to help reduce the cost for the consumer.

The sinuous wire spring system is perfect for someone seeking comfort within a budget. The sinuous wire spring system uses less material, making for a cheaper piece while still giving attention to the level of comfort that customers expect for the price.

Higher quality no-sag springs are cross-tied, which means they are secured from two directions, making the support system stronger and less likely to fail. Some brands like England Furniture also incorporate circular springs underneath for firmer support.

If you are looking for a good balance of quality and affordable pricing, no-sag springs are the soundest investment. The sinuous wire spring system will provide support while sitting and holding up for a long time.

#3 Pirelli Webbing

The Pirelli webbing spring system is a durable upper strap suspension system that sits under the couch cushion to provide support without other spring systems’ volume. A product of the Pirelli Tyre company, which has been in business in Italy since 1972, Pirelli webbing is durable, cost-effective, and easy to assemble.

The webbing will sag over time; however, Pirelli webbing is one of the most accessible webbing systems to repair. Because the system is so simple, an upholsterer or anyone with the patience and willingness to learn can quickly fix or replace a sagging webbing system.

The higher the quality of the rubber, the more resilient your webbing will be, so make sure you are getting the best quality webbing support. The longer you have to go without replacing your support system, the better your purchase will be.

What Types Of Springs Are Used In Living Room Furniture?

How Can I Find The Right Spring Systems For Me?

Remember, your couch cushion isn’t the only source of seating comfort. Springs and cushions work together to create a supportive and soft seating system that supports your body, and you want the best seating experience for you.

So how do you find out which seating systems are in the sofa, loveseat, or sectional you are looking at? There are a few ways to find out which spring system you are sitting on the showroom floor.

If the furniture has a tag of any kind, you may be able to find out from the tag what system the couch uses. If you can’t find the information on a sales tag, check with an available sales associate. Most qualified sales experts know or know where to find the information on the spring systems.

If all else fails, you can check for yourself by lifting the cushions and feeling the section under the cushions. With a bit of intuition, you can quickly tell which spring system is being utilized.

In addition, with the help of a sales expert, you can look at the system for yourself by asking the associate to pull back the seat decking so you can visibly see what type of spring system is being used.

Ready To Find The Right Springs For Your Living Room Seating?

The world of furniture springs may seem intimidating and confusing. Still, now that you know about the types of springs and how they are used in furniture, you will better understand the quality available and what to look for for your perfect furniture fit.

Remember that eight-way hand-tied coil systems are the best and will provide a tailored level of support. Remember that sinuous “no-sag” coils are the most common support system type, and Pirelli webbing is a minor support system made from supportive rubber straps.

Learning about spring systems in living room furniture may be interesting, but the only way to tell which support system is best for you is to try them yourself. Furniture Fair has a wide selection of spring systems available to test in our showrooms.

Visit one of our showrooms throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, and Louisville, or schedule an appointment online. With so many options, you are sure to find the perfect sofa for your living room.


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