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April 2019

John Lewis Mattress Comparisons & Alternatives

We often get asked about mattresses from John Lewis and so thought it may be handy to discuss some comparisons and alternatives to help you in your search for your new perfect mattress. John Lewis, unfortunately, don’t disclose the exact GSM (Grams per square meter) of the upholstery layers which is one of the key details needed for an exact comparison. However, we have assessed their product specifications to help provide some guidance. Let’s get comparing!

John Lewis has a range of around 40 mattresses in their own label range. These are made for John Lewis by a number of different mattress manufacturers.

A mattress with pillows and a throw
Comparing mattresses side by side is the only way to assess their quality and value before making a purchase

John Lewis categorises these beds into 3 main ranges.

  • Essentials (Entry level mattresses)
  • Naturals (Natural fibre mattresses)
  • The Ultimate (High-end luxury mattress model)

Now we’re not going to get through all 40 plus models but based on questions we get asked and their most popular models we have listed the top 5 John Lewis own brand mattresses to compare to here. All comparisons are based on the fillings and listed tension of each mattress. Prices are of Jan 2019 from the John Lewis website comparing Kingsize mattress models.

Before you start trying to analyse the John Lewis range its worthwhile understanding why mattress upholstery GSM is so important and the differences between spring units. Lastly, take care when reviewing ‘blends’ of fibres as its really tricky to tell whether its an even split or one fibre is making up the bulk of the blend.

John Lewis Essentials

This range is aimed at the entry level mattress market and features entirely synthetic components. Simple single layers of polyester and spun bond spring units are used. Featuring quilted covers which usually indicates a simpler or lower GSM filling this is because tufts are always used on high GSM models. It also doesn’t say where these are manufactured. All of our mattresses are hand made here in Britain and always made to order.

Pollyester 800G mattress fibre

Entry level mattresses will primarily use polyester as the comfort layer

These models should be compared alongside our Origins range, though bear in mind these are all tufted and at a minimum, our entry level Origins Comfort comes in with 1250GSM along with a mattress insulator layer. Have a look at our Origins 1500 as a worthy competitor against all entry-level pocket spring mattresses. We have yet to find a model which matches its GSM, Natural fibre or detailing.

Origins Pocket spring 1500 mattress

The Origins Comfort should be your starting point when comparing Hand made mattresses

John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Herdwick Wool 8000 Comfort Support

The John Lewis Herdwick is one of their most popular Natural fibre models. It uses blended Natural fibres to achieve its Medium feel and again Micro or HD springs. The main spring unit is a spun bonded pocket spring system. The specification lists the 8,000 springs as being made from Micro Springs. Looking at the cutaway the spun bond pocket springs look like they are 1,000 in quantity but there’s no detail of the gauge or spring wire diameter.

The two models we provide are the Artisan 1500 which also has a similar spun bond pocket spring system and the Artisan Naturals, our best seller. The Artisan Naturals spring system is far superior as it contained vanadium coated Calico Pocket springs, as used in Savoir mattresses. These are hand tied and never glued.

Artisan naturals pocket sprung mattress

The Artisan Naturals features a high-end Vanadium Coated Calico Pocket Spring and 10-year Guarantee.

The two models show the GSM that should be expected at this price point and are great alternatives to consider against the John Lewis Herdwick mattress model.

 John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Herdwick Wool 8000John Ryan By Design Artisan 1500John Ryan By Design Artisan Naturals
Upholstery & Spring LayersWool Blend, Herdwick Wool & Cotton Blend, Natural Cotton Blend,Hemp & Flax Blend.8,000 Synthetic Pocket Springs Mix of Micro Springs & Spunbond Coated Springs500gsm Wool, 600gsm Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50), 700gsm Polyester, 600gsm Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50),700gsm Polyester, 1200 gsm Cashmere Hair Pad as Insulator.1500 Spun Bond Pocket Springs1200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton, Hairproof Cambric Cover, 1250gsm Rebound Poly Cotton, 1500gsm 100% Pure Mohair.1600 Calico encased Pocket Springs[ 49mm ] [1.28mm ]
Total GSMNo GSM Provided4300gsm3950gsm
FeelMediumSlightly firmer than John Lewis ModelMedium - Similar to John Lewis Model
Price*£1,799£965£1235
Guarantee7 Years5 Years10 Years
Find out moreFind out more

John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Silk 17000 Ortho Support

This model has a firmer feel for the sleeper, due to a number of rows of Micro Springs, we’ve discussed the benefits and drawbacks of these here. We prefer the inclusion of more upholstery rather than layers of smaller springs, which is our preferred traditional construction method.

The closest comparator to this model is our Artisan Bespoke, which has a firmer feel in the upholstery layers. Using 1200 GSM of Horsetail and an additional 1200 GSM of Horsehair which gives a firmer responsive feel to the mattress. The White Cashmere insulator helps provide a firmer feel to this mattress.

Artisan Bespoke mattress

Our Artisan Bespoke provides a firmer feel in the top upholstery layer, is 100% Natural, Handmade and has a 10 Year Guarantee

Unlike the John Lewis model, which uses spun bond Revolution pocket springs, we use Vanadium coated Calico Pocket Springs, hand tied in our model. Highly breathable and hand stitched, not glued, together. You can see the full break down and price comparison below between these two models.

 John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Silk 17000 Ortho SupportJohn Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke
Upholstery & Spring LayersBlended Wool, Silk & Wool Blend, Natural Cotton Blend, Hemp & Flax Blend.17,000 Synthetic Pocket Springs Mix of Micro Springs & Spunbond Coated Springs500gsm British Wool,1200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton,Hairproof Cambric Cover,1200gsm Pure Horsetail,1200gsm Horsehair,1000 gsm White Cashmere Insulator,1600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [49mm] [1.28mm]
Total GSMNo GSM Provided5100gsm
FeelFirmFirm
Price*£2,599£1,850
Guarantee7 Years10 Years
Find out more

John Lewis & Partners Natural Collection Cashmere 21000 Luxury Support

The Natural Collection Cashmere model has a whopping 21,000 springs contained within it. Care does need to be taken when comparing on spring counts. We’ve discussed this on numerous occasions but there is a golden ration to spring counts in a mattress after which the number just becomes confusing.

A kingsize mattress can only hold so many layers of springs before the upholstery GSM and value starts to be reduced. This is because springs are taking up space where thicker upholstery layers could be. In the Cashmere 21000 for example, 20,000 of the total spring count is made up if a small synthetically cased micro pocket springs. Which leaves only 1,000 pocket springs for the bulk of the main support system.

Usually, the most you will see in a single tier of springs is 2000 in a Kingsize. Any more and you’re looking at two tiers or micro-springs.

We’ve never used Micro Springs to increase a spring count; which takes up valuable space where Natural fibres can provide comfort.

We have avoided using micro springs as we find them to have little to no value when used in this method. They are quite useful in toppers, but in a main mattress, our experience shows that a high-quality calico pocket spring unit is far more suitable and durable than thousands of tiny springs. Micro springs tend to compress incredibly quickly and simply don’t have the size or strength to offer any real support other than a quick soft sink. Calico pocket springs also breathe far better than a polyester stitchbond covered spring like the John Lewis model.

The Artisan Bespoke 003 uses a twin-tier spring system of 2508 Calico encased Pocket Springs and 5600GSM of 100% Natural Fibres

We compare our Artisan Bespoke 004 and our Artisan Bespoke 003 to this model in terms of feel. The upholstery and spring units are vastly different. Both of which use Vanadium coated hand tied calico pocket springs never spun bond or micro-springs. The Artisan Bespoke 003 uses high-end Alpaca 1000 GSM and also uses 1000GSM of Coir as the spring insulator. The John Lewis model uses a flax blend as their insulator layer.

 John Lewis Natural Collection Cashmere 21000John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 004John Ryan By Design Artisan Naturals
Upholstery & Spring LayersWool Blend, Cashmere, Silk & Cotton Blend, Natural Cotton Blend, Hemp & Flax Blend.21,000 Synthetic Pocket Springs Mix of Micro Springs (20,000) & Spunbond Coated Springs (1000)1200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool & Cotton, 200gsm Soft Bamboo, 1200gsm Pure Horsetail, 1000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton1600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm ]1000gsm Alpaca,1000gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton, 400gsm Soft Bamboo, 1200gsm Pure Horsetail, 1000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton, 1000gsm Coir Coconut fibre2508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]
Total GSMNo GSM Provided3600gsm5600gsm
FeelMediumMediumMedium with a soft sink
Price*£2,999£1580£2775
Guarantee7 Years10 Years15 Years
Find out moreFind out more

John Lewis & Partners The Ultimate Collection Cashmere Pocket Spring

This is where mattress composition and manufacture become high end serious. The John Lewis Ultimate mattress range is a worthy contender to the likes of Vi-spring and Savoir. The price tag of around £14,000 reflects this and the time taken to manufacture such a mattress.

It features a plethora of natural fibres, sadly again, John Lewis won’t disclose the actual GSM’s which is a shame. Also, its still using blended fibres which can be frustrating for a customer paying this price tag. There’s no need to blend such luxury fibres as they are perfect as stand-alone materials, a bit akin to blending fine wines. Again it’s using micro springs but at least this time they are calico coated to try and reduce the heat retention of the synthetic versions.

John Ryan Legacy Mattress

The Legacy features the Worlds Finest Mattress materials sourced from the UK with a minimal carbon footprint

The comparison to this model is our Legacy Sleep System, arguably the Worlds Finest Mattress. It’s a bit of an unfair comparison in all honesty as the Legacy is made up of three separate components. The Legacy Mattress, Base Pad and Hand Made Sprung Edge Base & headboard. With the Legacy mattress you’re getting an entire sleep system not just a mattress. So please bear that in mind!

The Legacy Sleep System comes with three components for the most decadent hand made in Britain sleep experience

 John Lewis & Partners The Ultimate CashmereJohn Ryan By Design Legacy
Softer SidePashmina, alpaca & kaplok tree silk blend; Leckford Linen & Egyptian Cotton blend; Yorkshire hemp, Cotton, British Fleece Wool, Angora, Cashmere & Silk Blend;1000gsm British Alpaca Wool (Top layer)Cambric hair proof cover1200gsm English Swaldale WoolCambric hair proof cover1200gsm of Horsetail1000gsm Organic Flax (Bottom Layer Insulator)
Firmer SideEgyptian Cotton Blend;Pashmina, alpaca & kaplok tree silk blend;Yorkshire hemp, Cotton, British Fleece Wool, Angora, Cashmere & Silk Blend;1200gsm English Swaledale wool (Top layer)Cambric hair proof cover1200gsm English Swaledale woolCambric hair proof cover1200gsm of Horsetail1000gsm Organic Flax (Bottom Layer Insulator)
Base PadNAYes - 4400gsm & 1300 Calico Encased Pocket Springs
Sprung Edge BaseNAYes - 2400gsm & 1300 Vanadium Coated Calico pocket springs in a firm 1.6 gauge tension.
HeadboardNAHand made 100% Yorkshire Wool Woven only for the Legacy
Total Spring Count & Type31,000 Micro Springs + 1,000 Calico Pocket Springs (Multiple tensions Unknown Gauge)4,200 Calico Encased Vanadium Pocket Springs Hand Tied medium Spring Gauge 1.4
Total GSMNo GSM Provided16,800gsm
FeelMediumMedium
Price*£14,000£6,715
Guarantee7 Years25 Years
Find out more

John Lewis & Partners Essentials Collection Pocket 1000 Luxury

The John Lewis Essentials Pocket 1000 is their entry level synthetic fibre mattress. It features 1000 synthetic spun bond pocket springs in a medium tension and a polyester comfort layer. There sadly isn’ any information about the GSM of the Polyester but from the cutaway, it looks like its around 500GSM. The single layer of Polyester acts as both the comfort and the insulator layer on top of the springs.

The fact this has a quilted cover and is not tufted supports this. You can only quilt foams or mattresses with lower upholstery GSMs if you try and quilt multiple layers they tend to shift and move when you sleep on the mattresses. This is why tufting is required when models start to see significant upholstery. Tufting is used to keep the layers in place and compressed. This model is not tufted but quilted, probably due to the single layer of synthetic fillings.

Our Origins Comfort is the closest alternative to this model though it has a softer feeling in the top layer. Featuring a medium 1000 Spun bond pocket spring support unit and then three layers of upholstery fillings. Featuring 750GSM of Soft Polyester, an additional 500GSM of Polyester plus a foam insulator on top of the spring unit. It contains 1000 medium gauge pocket springs and is side stitched with turning handles.

Who makes Mattresses for John Lewis?

There are a number of manufacturers who make for John Lewis’s own label mattress range. One being Spinks and Edgar, you may recognise this from Harrison Spinks the mattress manufacturer brand. Harrison Spinks make the following bed ranges Harrison, Somnus, Hybed and Spink & Edgar which are their brand names. Hypnos also make ‘exclusive’ mattress for John Lewis. You can find further details on each of their product listings as to which manufacturers make each model.

Summary

There’s no doubt from the specifications of the John Lewis mattress range that these are leading towards the higher end of mattress manufacturer and detailing. Unfortunately, they won’t disclose the GSM or the blend of the fibres they use making it rather tricky to accurately compare. You really do need to assess the spring unit and fillings to work out whether the mattress is suitable for you and your budget.

Especially with micro springs which can give a confusing number, and volume of springs in a mattress. Usually to the detriment of more luxurious natural fibre fillings. However, we’ve provided some food for thought that you can see what else you can get for your money, or significantly less in some examples.

If you’re still stuck on making a decision why not get in touch with our small team of experts on0161 437 4419 or email us. We are only too happy to help with any of your bed queries.

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