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February 2016

How much should you spend

The answer on how much you should spend on a mattress should be to spend as much as you can to get what you want. The tricky part is do you actually know what you want? This article will explain what you can get for your money and the minimum standards to look for. Helping you separate out all those 'bargain deals' from the real quality mattresses.

Working out what mattress your hard-earned money will get you is the first step in setting expectations for your new mattress. With all the sales spin and daily online discounts, it can be hard to see if that mattress price is fair or a good deal. However, we’re on hand to give to a detailed guide to assess how much to expect for your budget.

Artisan Naturals Outlet Mattress template
We pull back the curtain on retail mattress pricing

The bottom line is spending as much as you can afford. It’s the same line that is trounced up and down every bed shop in the country making you think that to get even better you have to spend more and spend even more for better still.  There will always be a more expensive model available, in fact, it culminates at £115,000.

Your dilemma is, where between £99 and £115,000 do you set your budget? £99 will get you a cheap mattress but how much more do you want to spend to get better?

For some, it can be an easy choice. For everyone else, it is more difficult to actually pinpoint what you need. Your partner fidgets, differing weights, rolling together, back problems, heat problems, neck problems, hip problems and every single problem absolutely individual to you. Is the mattress you need actually out there?

It is a fact that no matter how clued up you think you are, it is unlikely you really know what you can expect for your money. This post will give you an indication of what you can reasonably expect in relation to your budget.

Mattress retail pricing explained

Firstly, there are a few things that you should know in relation to retail pricing.

All components used in mattresses cost the manufacturer relatively the same price. Just because ‘Brand X’ uses a container full of springs on a weekly basis does not necessarily mean that they are paying substantially less for them. It then follows that it will be the same for fabrics, waddings and fillings.

The raw cost price of a mattress will generally be the same, for a ‘like for like’ model, for all manufacturers. You are then quite right to wonder why there are such huge price differences for essentially the same mattress. Well, once the mattress has been manufactured, additional costs have to be added by the manufacturer to the raw cost such as:

  • Advertising, marketing and promotion
  • Transport
  • Licensing to retailers
  • Cost of shop floor space
  • Logistics
  • Mark up

Depending on the size of the manufacturer depends on how high these additional costs can go. The bigger the manufacturer, the higher the costs. After all, there is then the retailer’s costs to consider. Shop costs of rent and rates, staffing costs to sell the bed, delivery costs to get the bed to you and so on. The retailer adds on their markup, or share of the profit, in order to keep their business growing or to divide among the shareholders.

When you find your “like for like” mattress, virtually tear them apart to see where all your extra money is going!  Is it on the mattress or on the Brand? You can only do this by knowing the GSM (Grams per square meter) that are in your mattress.

What fillings should you have in your mattress?

Even though there are well over 4000 models of mattress out there you really don’t have much of a choice. How so?

Bear in mind when considering budget, is the fact that there are only four general types of mattress build:

  1. Mass produced – Polyester as upholstery
  2. Mass produced – Mainly Polyester – Minimal natural fibre.
  3. Mass produced- Mainly natural fibre – Minimal polyester
  4. Mass produced – 100% Natural Fibre.

For a budget of around £600, the main upholstery will be either/or polyester or visco-elastic memory foam nothing more. And when I say nothing more, I mean any other waddings added that can offer a significant improvement to the mattress comfort, other than having it contained in the specification and this inclusion could be relatively worthless. Knowing about a mattresses GSM times table is essential and we have a detailed post about it here.

Mattresses that contain natural fibres (lambswool, cashmere, hair, cotton, mohair etc,) in such a quantity for them to be beneficial or to make up the mattress completely, just do not exist for budgets less than £850.

Swaledale Wool picture from John Ryan By Design
Natural fibre mattresses will all be in excess of the £1000 price tag. Any mattress cheaper than this can just ‘contain’ as little as 3% Natural Fibre.

The higher your budget means the higher up this list you can go.  Because of this manufacturers recognise that the inclusion of some kind of natural fibre component can sway you to their product rather than their competitors. If the price is significantly increased for an insignificant amount of natural fibre then your money would be better spent on tweaking the cheaper mattress by use of a separate topper.

There is one final type; the Hand Made mattress which is the highest standard of mattress manufacturing. Usually, this carries a hefty price tag but smaller independents can offer hand made mattresses that can compete in terms of quality and price with some of the mainly polyester models sold at retailers.

If you can stretch your budget to a handmade mattress, your odds of choosing a higher quality product increase significantly. All of our mattresses are handmade here in the UK.

What your money can get you?

How much to spend on a double mattress?What can I expect for my money?
£500Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil / cage sprung with a thin polyester layer.
£750Could get you a fairly OK orthopaedic mattress or the beginnings of a basic pocket springs with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials
£1000Should get you away from most low-mid ranges and into the basic pocket spring models
£1250Should get you an average pocket sprung mattress.
£1500Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models.
£1500-£2000Should get you a hand made primarily Natural Fibre Mattress
£2000+You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and traditional construction methods
£5000+A bespoke hand made sleep system, high end spring units & featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres

Take a quick look through the models we have on offer here. Our mattress range starts at £430 for our Origins Comfort which shows you exactly the handmade quality you can expect. Use this as a starting point as we think they are quite difficult to beat. Let’s say for example your budget is around £500 (Double size). I say that this amount can get you 1000 pocket springs, double-sided with a decent polyester wadding, reflex foam aiding the support and longevity and an above average fabric. Incidentally, this is our minimum standard, we do not sell a lower quality of build than this.

Moving up to our Artisan range that compares with the likes of Vi-spring. All of which are handmade here in the UK only for us by us. Use this as a starting point for £1000 plus mattresses being dubious of any retailer that can’t or won’t tell you the GSM content of the beds you are looking at.

Do your comparisons

Using the basic comparison details of 1000 Pocket Springs, Reflex Foam (25mm) and Polyester (1250gsm) you should then search each shop or site looking for a similarly built mattress for a similar price. When you have your list of possible candidates for comparison you then look at all the additional details such as fabric quality, detailing, service, guarantee etc

Use the same initial principle no matter what your budget. Find out what it can get you and then try to match it or beat it for comparison.

I’m adding a little disclaimer here. If you are looking at high-end mattresses with premium weight natural fillings as the main components then prices will indeed be in excess of the £1000 plus ballpark. Our comments here relate to mass-produced mattresses without a predominant ‘natural fillings’ content.

Hand side stitching a John Ryan By Design mattress in action
A pocket spring mattress is far superior and longer lasting than cheaper open coil or foam boxed mattresses

Do not expect to be able to get everything you need to be included. For example, you have found a 1000 pocket sprung mattress. The fillings used will no doubt be polyester (1200 gsm should be expected at the very least). You may then have to add a supplementary comfort layer in the form of mattress topper or enhancer to give you an additional comfort layer and assurance to extend the longevity.

The rule of thumb is to get the best ‘components’ your budget can buy. If £500 can get you a pocket sprung mattress – why settle for a cage sprung mattress for the same money? When the budget is an issue it is better to complement an average pocket sprung mattress by adding your own comfort layers.

Bear in mind that as polyester is the most basic component of mattress upholstery hence the cheap price it really does not have a very long lifespan. Without taking the above measures of care, it will not be too long for the mattress to develop dips and indents where the polyester refuses to spring back to life. Bear in mind that we all perspire through the night and this is the mattress’ worst enemy. It is better to replace the topper or whatever every so often than it is to change your mattress.

How to compare mattresses
By comparing them you can see what your money is paying for

By knowing what to expect for price points you can help focus your new mattress search and remove a number of confusing models.

The example here shows two models side by side. The first is our Artisan 1500 hand made mattress combining 53% Natural fibre upholstery with a spun-bond pocket spring unit. Our price for a Kingsize is just over £1000 for this medium feel mattress.

We know that £1000 should move you away from synthetic and man-made fibres and into natural fibres. As the Artisan 1500 demonstrates. This should set a benchmark for £1000 mattresses to compare to.

Comparing this to the Vi-Spring Regal Superb as an example, which is a 100% Natural Fibre Calico Encased Pocket Spring mattress retailing at £4555 you can see the difference in price immediately.

The ‘comfort’ feel of the two mattresses is similar for both these models which shows you just how much variance there can be between price ranges if you don’t know how to interpret them.

What to expect for your budget?
What to expect for your budget?
Artisan 1500 Vi Spring Regal Superb
1 500gsm Wool 900gsm Blended real Shetland Isle Fleece Wool and Cotton
2 600gsm Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50) Hairproof Cambric Cover
3 700gsm Polyester 1200gsm long stranded Horsetail blended with British Fleece Wool
4 600gsm: Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50) NA
5 700gsm Polyester NA
6 1200 gsm Cashmere Hair Pad as Insulator 1000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
7 1500 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Soft/Med or Firm) 1720 Calico encased Pocket Springs [48mm ] [1.28mm ]
Total GSM 4300 3100
Price for a Kingsize £1005 £4555
Rated Excellent Trustpilot
View our Artisan 1500 Mattress

Find all the details you can

Keep notes on what you see and make sure that you are comparing like for like/component by component. After visiting a few sites without them, you will become lost and forget the important specification details. However, and unfortunately, you will soon see that these basic fundamental details are missing from many descriptions. If they are vague then phone/mail the retailer or manufacturer and ask.

These missing details are done purposefully so you just end up through sheer frustration, sticking a pin into a long list of potentials and hoping upon hope you have made the right choice. Don’t be embarrassed by asking what the mattress is composed of by weight in GSM. This is the only way you will be able to tell the construction build quality of any mattress.

Have a look at Vi Springs site (and ours) as a good example of how descriptions should be listed. They tell you and show you in great detail what is inside their mattresses, how the components are put together, and you are in a better position to see exactly and without any shadow of a doubt where your money is going.

Consider this. The finest Cashmere costs around £4000 kilo. How far down the Cashmere Quality chain do you think the mattress is that contains this product in any great quantity?

Summary

There is a claim that the more you spend on a mattress the better it will be. This is true when you are talking about premier league manufacturers. Mass-produced mattresses are not in the premier league. If you need advice or help in knowing how much to spend to get a mattress that exactly suits your needs, get in touch with us.  Please browse our online shop to see exactly what you can get for your given budget.

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