Curious about why your chosen furniture feels so soothing? It largely stems from those unseen compression springs tucked away in the upholstery. These springs are pivotal in striking a balance between support and comfort. Yet, not all upholstery springs share the same effectiveness - their performance can greatly vary based on the materials crafted and the inherent design. This article will navigate through the variety of upholstery springs, emphasizing their unique attributes and design variations to match multiple seating needs. Consider for instance, the employment of thinner gauge coil springs; these could possibly offer a more refined feel, but unfortunately, they may not last as long in a heavily used piece of furniture such as a family sofa. As such, selecting springs in line with their proposed usage can prolong the furniture's longevity without sacrificing comfort. Let's explore the domain of upholstery spring design and selection.

Common Types of Upholstery Springs

How Upholstery Springs are Designed

The design of upholstery springs requires consideration of factors like load response and durability. These springs should compress under applied weight, such as from a sitting person, and return to their initial position when the weight is removed. The spring's material, wire thickness, and wire form are key determinants of this ability.

The choice of wire initiates the spring design process. Thinner wires may provide a softer seating feel due to their flexible characteristics, but they may deform under continuous use, which could reduce the furniture's functionality. Thicker wires, on the other hand, facilitate better support and prolong furniture longevity due to their robust load-bearing abilities. Hence, the ideal wire size must balance comfort and durability.

The chosen wire is then formed into various spring shapes, each exhibiting unique behaviors. For instance, in the manufacturing of coil springs, the wire takes a spiral form. This shape distributes the load evenly, minimizing stress concentrations and therefore, enhancing the lifespan of the furniture. The efficacy of these springs, however, is reliant on accurate installation.

The arrangement of springs within the furniture frame affects user comfort and helps avoid sagging. To avoid uneven wear that may lead to premature sagging of the upholstery, the springs' placement should be uniform across the furniture piece. Consequently, achieving uniform spring spacing is a necessary part of spring design.

Differences in Design Based on Seat Type

Compression springs in various seating options should be designed considering dimensions, material, load type, and surrounding environment. Different types of seats such as chairs, couches, and car seats need diverse spring specifications.

As an example, dining chairs usually use zigzag or sinuous springs. These springs are made from steel processed by heat treatment, which gives them the property of regaining their original shape after use. This characteristic comes from the diminished number of contact points of the spring, leading to less deterioration.

Conversely, sofas and couches often employ coil springs. These springs are linked together to distribute weight more evenly, resulting in a softer surface for prolonged sitting durations.

Designing for constricted space situations such as car seats, serpentine springs are advantageous. Made with fewer coils, these springs have a shallow profile without sacrificing support or comfort levels.

These examples only serve as a general guide. The selection of springs should always revolve around the bespoke design requirements, anticipated usage, and comfort needs of each individual seating unit.


Learning about the purpose and design of springs used in upholstery is essential for engineers involved in furniture design. The correct spring, chosen according to the furniture type and its intended use, helps improve user comfort and increase the furniture's lifespan. In upholstery, choosing the right compression spring is a fundamental step, due to its direct impact on user experience. As such, when designing furniture, much attention needs to be accorded to spring selection to realize the desired levels of comfort and durability.