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January 2020

Herdy Mattress Review: is it worth the price?

When we found out that there was a natural fibre contender entering the UK mattress world we were really excited so we had to try it! We spent a couple of nights on a Herdysleep mattress to bring you our review of how it felt and whether it is worth the £1k price tag for a mattress when compared to other models.

We love getting under the covers when looking at new mattresses so this Herdysleep UK made Natural fibre model got us itching to get into bed. This Herdy mattress review guide will provide our feedback on the mattress, its contents, benefits and drawbacks. All so you the mattress shopper can work out its suitability and more importantly value for money during your mattress shopping search. Don’t forget there are over 5,000 mattress models in the UK market at any one time so it really is in your interests to do your research and compare!

Herdy mattress review guide
You may recognise Herdy as a homewares brand who recently moved into endorsing a boxed mattress. Click to see non-boxed mattresses here.

Herdy is Lake District-based design brand that was formed in 2007 creating homeware, giftware & accessories with their distinctive Herdwick sheep logo. They have since risen to become a well-known brand in shops like Booths and other home interior retailers. They are an ethical company that gives back to their local area supporting the building of dry stone walls and such. You probably recognise their brand before you would their mattress as they now supply over 400 UK retailers with their sheep insignia homeware products!

What’s inside the Herdysleep bed?

The Herdysleepis in a similar price bracket to the Eve, Simba, Casper et al models. However, with the Herdysleep mattress now arrives fully formed rather than boxed like its competitors. Something which is nice to see, especially as this model features a dual spring construction method which we know boxing can impact the structure of.

The Herdy mattress features the following specifications that we will review along with our comfort thoughts, along with detailing and longevity feedback. We have taken these extracts from the technical specifications on the Herdy site.

  • Herdwick Wool, Cotton & Cashmere – This mattress is upholstered by hand with layers of insulating Herdwick fleece wool, breathable cotton and durable, luxurious cashmere.
  • 7000 Cortec™ & Micro pocket springs
  • Chemical-free sleep surface

The mattress is made up of the following 4 layers before being covered in a chemical-free cover.

  1. Blended Herdwick Wool, Cotton & Cashmere (Unknown GSM)
  2. A layer of Micro Springs (quantity unknown 4,000 estimate)
  3. Cortec pocket springs (quantity unknown 3,000 estimate)
  4. Polyester mattress base (No depth is given)

The Springs

We like to start by assessing the springs used within any mattress as this is the basis for support. If you’ve not already been brought up to speed on how to spot a good pocket spring then this article here will help.

The Herdy mattress uses Cortec springs which are individually pocketed and sealed with heat, rather than glue. This is marketed as making the mattress 100% recyclable at the end of its life. However, most mattresses can be completely recycled at specialist centres in the UK to stop them from going to landfill. In fact, we offer a 100% Eco Recycling service where every component of the mattress is broken down and then repurposed in another way. However, its good that Herdy are helping to spread the message of recycling old mattresses rather than they being sent to landfill like the majority of them are at the moment. Shocking but true.

Herdy doesn’t give you an exact breakdown of the spring quantities in the mattress between the Micro springs and the Cortec springs. Based on our experience it looks like 3,000 Cortec pocket springs and then 4,000 Micro pocket springs on top. We’re not a fan of micro springs if we’re honest. In our trials, they completely compress at an alarming rate making them redundant in most mattresses. ie no push back once fully compressed.

Manufacturers also have limited space in which to fit both the spring unit and upholstery in a mattress. The maximum depth for a kingsize mattress is 33cm so the more layers of springs you add, the less space there is for upholstery on top. It’s this upholstery that makes up the majority of the true mattress feel so you certainly don’t want to scrimp on these comfort layers. The Herdy is 26cm in-depth meaning there should be plenty of space above these springs for natural fibre comfort layers (more on that further on).

Spun bonded and HD pocket springs on the John Ryan By Design Website
Here is an example – not from Herdy – of multiple synthetic spring layers and micro springs. Click to read more on why we don’t rate micro springs.

We think it would be far better for Herdy to drop the micro spring layer and add a thicker mattress spring insulator layer instead such as a Mohair or further layer or coarse wool. The Herdy mattress uses both the final upholstery layer as both a comfort layer and the spring insulator. Meaning there’s no bridging layer probably due to the inclusion of micro springs taking up that space.

The Herdysleep mattress is quite a firm feel mattress
The Herdysleep mattress is quite a firm feel mattress
It contains one Wool blend upholstery layer and is a 1-sided mattress using Cortec pocket springs
It contains one Wool blend upholstery layer and is a 1-sided mattress using Cortec pocket springs

Herdy Mattress Fillings

Herdy contains ‘Responsibly-sourced wool’ from Herdwick sheep here in the UK. Herwick wool was once the staple of the UK wool carpet industry but as that has seen a decline in demand. Herdysleep are now making use of this Herdwick wool, which is known for its bounce and resilience. Great for mattress upholstery. The fact that Herdysleep collaborates with a cooperative of local Herdwick farmers, buying 100% of their wool direct from the farm at a fairtrade rate is a fantastic touch which we wholeheartedly support. This is a lovely touch, it’s nice to see local materials being used in mattresses that would otherwise go to waste whilst supporting UK farmers. So we give full marks to Herdy for that.

The drawback with the Herdy is that they don’t provide any GSM or grams per square meter for this upholstery layer. Also, it’s not pure Herdwick wool but blended with Cotton and Cashmere (in unknown amounts). They don’t provide the blend to its hard to know exactly what split of the fibres is contained within. After speaking to Herdy they blend the Herwick wool to add softness to it which would make sense given the resilience of Herdwick wool.

We have written a lot about blending fibres and how you are better off with a single natural fibre layer. You can then tell exactly how it will behave. When you start mixing over 2 fibres then the benefits get blurred and the original properties of each fibre gets reduced.  Some manufacturers will blend up to 6 fibres together just to name check the mattress as ‘containing’ these fibres. From discussions with Herdysleep the majority of this fibre is Herdwick wool with cotton and Cashmere blended in just to raise the softness. Care needs to be taken in this case that the fibres are in a significant enough quantity to be of any use. This is why knowing the GSM is essential.

Swaledale Wool picture from John Ryan By Design
Wherever possible a pure blend of fibre is preferable in your mattress. Click to view Natural Fibre mattresses.

We estimate that the Herdy GSM is 1200GSM for this blended Wool, Cotton and Cashmere layer. It’s a real shame that they don’t add in a further layer to bridge between the springs and increase the comfort layers. With the current Herdy construction method you only have one mixed comfort layer.

The mattress cover is a Viscose Damask like our Artisan Range and its nice to see that it is chemical-free also. There’s been a real movement away from Chemical fire retardants recently which can only be a positive thing.

Herdy Mattress Detailing

There are a few nice details in the Herdy mattress that we liked such as the fact it’s a tufted mattress, Tufting helps reduce settlement and keep your mattress in shape for longer. So it’s great to see. The mattress also looks like it has some form of side stitching however, we don’t think its genuine hand side stitching. If it was then Herdy would be shouting this from the room top. There is some form of stitching/tieing of the side panel to the spring unit but it is not clear which type.

The biggest issue with have with the Herdy mattress given it’s gone to so much trouble to source its mattress fillings is that its a one-sided mattress. Meaning you can only ever use one side. This has real drawbacks, especially at this price point of £1,000, where you should be expecting a 2-sided mattress. One-sided models often suffer far quicker settlement and potential dipping as there’s no way to turn over the mattress. You can only rotate it meaning all the wear is happening night after night on the same side. This coupled with the Herdy only having one upholstery layer makes us question the potential longevity of this model. Again having a spring insulator fibre would help extend the mattresses comfort and life span. It’s something we think Herdysleep definitely need to think about moving forward.

To help extend the lifespan of the Herdysleep bed we would recommend you add an additional mattress topper which can be turned on both sides. This will help even out wear and extend the life of the mattress.

How does the Herdysleep bed feel?

The Herdy mattress is a firmer feel bed. With a medium feel in the top layers, it’s going to provide firmer support for most sleepers up to about 15 stone. The firm feel is in part due to the limited upholstery layer (there’s only one layer before the spring support). If you’re looking for a firmer feel mattress then the Herdy will be suitable for you. However, if you’re wanting a more forgiving mattress or a medium feel then you may need to look at other models or add a deep mattress topper to soften this model. Especially if you are under 11 stone.

What compares to the Herdy Sleep?
We look at alternatives to the Herdy.

Given the price point of the Herdysleep mattress (£1,000 for a kingsize) and the feel we can directly compare this to our Artisan 1500 natural fibre mattress.

The Artisan 1500 has a medium feel in the upholstery layers. The top comfort layer of 500GSM Wool is a premium product used to boost the overall quality of this mattress. More weight could have been gained by using polyester but this usage would deteriorate the overall value. Meaning that the final Comfort Layer of this mattress is 100% Wool for both breathability and softness.

We use Rebound Poly-Cotton (RPC) and polyester in the mid-layers to give this model a medium-firm feel with a huge amount of upholstery for both comfort and support. This combination contributes greatly towards the overall feel and longevity of the mattress providing loft & resilience. In addition to this its a two-sided mattress, meaning twice the sleeping surface to even out settlement over time.

The springs are the component which enabled us to build to a specific price point. Same spring material as used in the Calico units – just the housing is different to keep the Artisan 1500 at this competitive price point. They are available in 3 different spring tensions depending on your body weight and height.

The upholstery quantity and quality is among the best you can get for this budget. There is a massive combined upholstery weight of 4300GSM of which 53% are Natural Fibres.

Two rows genuine Hand Side Stitching & Hand Tufted.

The Woven mattress cover is completely Chemical-Free using a Natural plant-based fire retardancy protection.

Artisan 1500 Comparison to Herdy
Artisan 1500 Comparison to Herdy
Artisan 1500 Herdy Sleep
1 500GSM Wool 1200GSM Herdwick Wool, Cotton & Cashmere Blended Pad (estimated)
2 600GSM Rebound Polycotton (50/50 Blend) 4,000 HD Springs (No Gauge estimated amount)
3 700GSM Polyester 3,000 Cortec Springs (No gauge estimated amount)
4 600GSM Rebound Polycotton (50/50 Blend) Polyester pad 500GSM (estimated)
5 700GSm Polyester NA
6 1200 Coarse cashmere Insulator Pad NA
7 1500 Spunbond Pocket Springs (Soft, Medium or Firm Gauge) NA
Total GSM 4300 1700 (estimated)
Sides 2 1
Rated Excellent Trustpilot
Click to shop Herdy Alternatives

Benefits of the Herdy Mattress

  • Uk Made
  • Medium-firm support
  • Uses a portion of Herwick wool supporting local industry (GSM Unknown)
  • Does not contain foam
  • Uses a chemical-free cover

Drawbacks of the Herdy Mattress

Summary

It’s nice to see Herdysleep using UK based Wool in this mattress and featuring some nice details such as tufting and a chemical-free cover. In our tests, it’s a medium feel mattress with minimal bulging when we sat in the sides, which is often the case with cheaper mattresses.

We think for the price of £1000 for a king-size mattress you could expect a bit more for your money. At the very least a 2-sided model with a higher GSM content in the mattress fillings. Also, a tailored spring tension would be far better-allowing sleepers to pick the tension ideal for them.

This is Herdy’s first mattress model so hopefully, over time, they will refine it to further improve the potential longevity and make it a 2 sided model. I think customers would appreciate them making this a 2-sided model instead even if the price increased slightly.

Are you still needing help choosing a new mattress? Then why not call our small expert team based here in Manchester on 0161 437 4419 to see if we can help?

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