||The best option for upholstery
springs is eight way hand-tied. All the best upholstery brands use
this method: Classic Leather, Leathercraft, Hancock & Moore,
Vanguard, Key City, etc. In fact, Key City uses ten way hand-tied
springs, adding double ties at the front and back of each spring
where the stress on the upholstery twine is highest.
Individual hand-tied springs allow for slight movement in all
directions, making the seat more comfortable for each individual
||Drop-in coils are another good
choice. The picture at left is from an advertisement by Hickory
Springs, one of the most popular makers of this type of upholstery
Drop-in coils are helical coils mounted on a metal frame, so that
they can be added to a furniture piece as a complete unit. This
gives some of the durability of true eight way hand tied springs
without the labor cost of individually tying each spring eight
Crate & Barrel calls their drop-in coils a "Flexolator" system.
Nantuckit Furniture and Bassett Furniture also use this type of
||The patented Flexsteel blue
steel seat spring is a very long lasting type of spring suspension.
Flexsteel patented this suspension technology in 1993, and currently
they are the only furniture maker using it. The steel suspension
looks very much like alternating steel candy canes with the curved
portion facing down. This provides a very strong suspension system,
but not the horizontal flexibility of eight way hand-tied springs.
Please note that while Flexsteel's spring suspension has a good
reputation for quality, consumers have complained about other aspects of
Flexsteel furniture. I can't recommend this brand's overall
||Next down the list in quality
are "no-sag" springs. These are also called "serpentine springs",
"sinuous springs", etc. Most mid-quality upholstery makers use them:
Pottery Barn, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Crate & Barrel, Ashley
Contrary to what some
furniture makers claim, this type of suspension is far from
new and modern. The detail at left is taken from an
advertisement in the September 17th, 1948 issue of Life Magazine.
Not my idea of cutting edge technology.
Sinuous springs simply don't hold up over time the way eight way
hand-tied springs do. If you absolutely must buy furniture made
this way, at least make sure you get a break on the price to match
the drop in quality.
||The lowest quality upholstery
suspension system is made of plain webbing. No springs of any kind,
just criss-crossed straps. Avoid investing in furniture made this
way. It won't hold up well over time.