March 2019

Things to Think About When Choosing a Natural Fibre Mattress

When looking for a new mattress you’ll probably be immediately overwhelmed by the choices in fillings and fibres. Don’t worry you’re not alone! If you’re looking to invest in a mattress that will last you considerably longer than most entry-level models then you’re probably already considering a Natural fibre mattress. A Natural Fibre mattress will contain some of the most resilient and best quality fibre fillings that you can find in any mattress. It’s not hard to see why so many choose one as their next purchase! They have fibres and upholstery that are far more breathable and responsive than any synthetic Man-Made Fibres, and can offer a longer lifespan of specific support and comfort.

If you’re thinking about choosing a Natural Fibre mattress, then there are a few things you need to know to make the best bed buying purchase decision…

The GSM of Mattress Fillings

When it comes to the mattress upholstery, there are many combinations and types that can be created from an array of different Natural fibres all with different feels. The GSM (Grams per square meter) refers to the weight of a particular layer of fibre within the mattress. All these natural materials are layered (hopefully by hand like all our mattresses) on top of the mattress spring unit, with the top layers being referred to as the ‘comfort layers’. You’ll see plenty of fancy descriptions as you search online and in stores for your mattress, which will all try to describe in the most verbose detail the fine upholstery elements within a particular mattress. However, without the GSM these fancy long winded descriptions can be misleading.

Swaledale Wool Mattress Fibre

For example, a description could say; the mattress contains generous layers of sumptuously soft natural fillings, including cotton, lambswool, and silk. This sounds great but it doesn’t tell you how much of the natural fillings are actually included in the mattress. As far as you know, ‘generous layers’ could mean you’re getting a kilo or an ounce for your money! What’s also concerning is that often retailers will use mixed fibres, sometimes mixing them with polyester so they can claim the mattress contains natural fibre.

You should always be able to see the exact breakdown like the example table below.

 John Ryan By Design Artisan NaturalsVi Spring Regal Superb
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton.900gsm Blended real Shetland Isle Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Hairproof Cambric CoverHairproof Cambric Cover
31250gsm Rebound Poly Cotton1200gsm long stranded Horsetail blended with British Fleece Wool
41500gsm 100% Pure Mohair1000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
51600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm ]1720 Calico encased Pocket Springs [48mm ] [1.28mm ]
Total GSM3950gsm3100gsm

This is why knowing the GSM of the fillings in the mattress is hugely important. This will allow you to know the actual weight of any particular upholstery component, and establish the real quality of the Natural Fibre mattress you’re considering. Once you know this figure you’re better armed to know whether the amount is significant enough to provide lasting comfort or whether it’s just a trace of that fibre for sales purposes. You can see in this comparison article the kinds of GSM volumes you should expect in a high-quality Natural Fibre mattress.

Where are the fibres sourced?

We believe that knowing exactly where your fibres have been sourced from is also an important part of your mattress research, especially when looking at the ultimate high-end mattress market. British woven fabrics have always proven to be of the highest quality and there’s a resurgence in locally sourced fibres, such as Swaledale Wool. They are renowned for their durability and comfort, which far surpasses that of any cheaper alternatives. It’s no wonder that there has been a distinct movement in the industry back towards traditional British made fabrics.

Swaledale Sheep

Take our John Ryan Legacy mattress; which has been built using material and upholstery that has been entirely sourced in the UK. Every piece of material used can be traceable back to its origin, from its layers of 100% natural British fibres or the flawless Wool fabric woven in true heritage style.

We believe a mattress should capture the essence of Britain’s fabric weaving and upholstery manufacturing heritage, and celebrate the weavers and cotton spinners who produce the best levels of durability and comfort, using 100% Natural Fibres. This is what you deserve in a mattress, and it’s what you should search for if you’re looking for the ultimate in Natural Fibre mattresses.

How will the fibres feel

You should always be thinking about how a mattress is going to feel, because after all, you want to know that it’s the right feel for you. Every sleeper needs to be perfectly comforted and supported. This is where seeking expert advice, and avoiding retail Salesmen can help.

Natural Fibre mattresses can cater to any preference because the materials can be used individually, coupled together, and interchanged to produce the perfect feel, just for you. Our small expert team can help guide you to find the ideal feel mattress just for you and you don’t even need to visit a store. We even have the UK’s first 100% Plant-based Natural Fibre Vegan mattress which you can read more of here.

artisan luxury
View our Artisan latex Vegan Mattress here

The comfort layers on top of the mattress spring unit will always give you a better idea of the ‘perceived overall firmness’. The different upholstery layers that you choose to have over the spring unit, will change how soft, medium or firm the mattress feels. For example, layers of deep soft British fleece wool and cotton on the Artisan Luxury produces a sumptuously soft feel. Whereas Horsehair layered with Wool in the comfort layers of the Artisan Bespoke provides a firmer feel.

Take our Artisan Sublime mattress, which has been carefully crafted to provide the ultimate in breathable natural layers, topped off with a medium soft comfort layer. It uses Natural Organic Plant fibre along with soft Alpaca to perfectly compliment twin layers of vanadium coated Calico pocket springs and Natural Fibres. This combination creates an incredibly luxurious medium feel sleep experience.

artisan sublime full bed
The Artisan Sublime can be viewed here in our shop

This is one of the most breathable and forgiving mattresses around, and one of the only Natural Plant Based mattresses in the world. Using Natural Plant Fibres such as Coir, Organic Flax, and Bamboo, along with Alpaca, and Horsetail to produce an unbelievably exquisite medium snug soft feel. If you’re wanting the best of the best then the Artisan Sublime firmly beats off competition from mattresses twice its price.

Upholstery LayerFibre TypeHow it will feel?Price Point
White FibreSyntheticSoft/MediumCheap
Recycled Fibre / Eco FibreSyntheticMediumCheap
Memory FoamSyntheticMedium/FirmMid Price
Igel / Hybrid FoamSyntheticMedium/FirmMid Price
PolycottonSynthetic/Natural BlendSoft/MediumMid Price
LinenSynthetic/Natural BlendMediumMid Price
Wool (Pure)NaturalSoft/MediumHigh-End
Cotton (Pure)NaturalSoftHigh-End
Latex (100% Natural)NaturalMedium/FirmHigh-End
Coarse CashmereNaturalFirmHigh-End
BambooNaturalSuper SoftExpensive / Exclusive
Horsetail NaturalFirmExpensive / Exclusive
AlpacaNaturalSoftExpensive / Exclusive
Cashmere (Pure)NaturalSoftExpensive / Exclusive
VicunaNaturalSuper SoftExpensive / Exclusive

If you’re in the process of choosing a Natural Fibre mattress and you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today on 0161 437 4419. We can help find the perfect layers of Natural fibres to ensure you find the right mattress.

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