John Lewis Natural Collection Egyptian Cotton 5900 Review
We spend a lot of time in mattress retailers to see just how their models stack up against their specification sheets. Here we give you our expert review.
The John Lewis mattress range has recently been revised to be more environmentally friendly and features some new technology. This review guide is based on our expertise, the technical specifications that John Lewis provide and also a test in their showroom of the Egyptian Cotton 5900 model. We tested this model in Autumn 2019.
- This model features high wicking Natural fibres in small amounts
- There is no polyester in the top comfort layers helping increase breathability
- This is a lightweight mattress at 42kg making it easier to lift
- It’s glue-free – like our Artisan Range
- This is one sided mattress limiting its lifespan when compared to a 2-sided equivalent
- The fibres are blended with multiple other fibres diluting their individual benefits somewhat.
- This model uses micro springs which we have found are pretty useless in mattress construction
What’s inside the Natural Collection Egyptian Cotton 5900?
The Egyptian Cotton 5900 is made by Harrison Spinks for John Lewis and is a Natural fibre and pocket sprung model. It’s a one-sided mattress that features:
- Hemp, Cotton, British Wool, Linen, Egyptian Cotton
- Cortec pocket springs
- Micro Springs
- Quilted Side Panels
Let’s have a look in more detail on the technical specifications of this John Lewis mattress in more detail.
When we tested this mattress in the showroom it has a softer feel in the top layer before medium support which was true to the description. When we look at the fibres we can see that it contains a number of Natural Fibres but unfortunately, they don’t disclose the grams per square meter that you need to make a true like for like comparison. We can, however, use our expertise to give an estimate of these layers based on the technical specification on testing.
British Wool & Viscose Blend
This is the primary comfort layer which gives the initial soft feel to the mattress. It’s a shame that there’s no GSM given or breakdown of the blend. The Viscose is a plant-based fibre from plant celulose which has a similar feel to soft polyester and is what we would call an ‘in-between’ fibre that has similar properties to both a synthetic and natural fibre. It’s used to help increase loft in otherwise softer materials like wool. It can also be used to bulk up mattress layers. We would imagine from the mattress cutaway that this is a 500-800gsm layer.
Egyptian Cotton, Hemp, Flax & Cotton Blend
This is the next comfort layer before the support layers. It provides the mattress with a firmer feel after you’ve sunk through the blended Wool and Viscose. What’s interesting is the blend again is missing. Having such a broad blend of fibres can mean that you’re getting a small amount of each of their properties. Flax, for example, is a very supportive firm fibre whereas Cotton is very soft with a low loft.
We would guess that they have used a blend to help keep the loft high without increasing the GSM, ie keeping the amounts low for the price point. We tend not to use blends of more than 2 fibres as you can end up diluting their individual properties and lose the value of them. It does, however, allow you to state that there are lots of natural fibre ‘types’ in a mattress without having the benefits of them each being their own layer. We would estimate this pad to be 700-1000 GSM.
The Spring Support
The spring support in the mattress is listed as a medium feel but no specific spring gauge information is given. The micro springs again have no gauge given making it hard to do a direct comparison but we will move onto why we don’t rate high-density springs next!
2.5k High Density (Micro) Pocket Springs
We’re going to be honest, we never see the point in Micro Springs in mattress construction. In the most part, they are simply used to bulk up the spring count so it can be used as a marketing tool. As the competition for ‘which mattress has the most springs’ develops. In our experiments, these mico springs compress almost instantly when used in mattresses making them pretty much useless. As they are just over an inch in depth they provide little to no resistance once they have compressed. A horsetail layer would be far better here for support and resistance.
Cortec™ pocket spring system
The main support system is provided by Cortec pocket springs. There’s no count given but taking the 2,500 HD springs away from the 5900 figure we can estimate its around 3,400. Cortec springs are a relatively new development where pocket springs have been reduced in size and made thinner. The argument is that they are lighter and can be more responsive. However, a springs sole function is to compress and extend dependant on the forces put on it. A sleeper in the case of a mattress. We’re not sure whey they need to be thinner or what the benefit is other than being able to cram more in a mattress.
Your bodyweight dictates the spring tension, not the comfort feel of the bed
|Spring Tension||Wire diameter (Gauge)||Weight Range|
|Soft||1.2mm||Bespoke Tension (Please Call)|
|Medium||1.4mm||Upto 16 stone|
|Firm||1.6mm||16 stone plus|
|Extra Firm / Orthopaedic||1.9mm||20 stone plus|
The truth is still out on the Cortec pocket springs longevity as its relatively new compared to calico encased pocket springs which have been used for the past 30 years or so. The cynic in us makes us think they are just used to help increase the spring count with no discernible benefit to the consumer. Time will tell.
Eco White Fibre Pad
This is a synthetic white fibre pad used as an insulator for this one-sided mattress. White fibre causes much confusion for mattress shoppers. This is because it’s essentially the same as polyester. Retailers are looking for ways to move away from the P-word which is why ‘White Fibre’ has made an appearance. The word eco could relate to it being recycled as in shredded and repurposed polyester. However, without details, we’re not sure what the Eco refers to.
How did the Egyptian Cotton 5900 mattress feel?
The mattress in the showroom has a soft feel in the top layer and a medium support feel. We tested the medium spring tension over the firm. Based on this it is probably ideal for those wanting a medium soft feel between 11 stone and 15 stone. If you’re 16 stone and over then the firm tension would be recommended. It’s a tufted mattress with a satin viscose cover which felt soft and looked uniform. There’s no split tension option but they do offer it in Zip & Links. It wasn’t clear if you could have a Zip and Link in two different tensions, ie medium and a firm.
Based on the price point of £1000 for a kingsize and the feel of the mattress we can directly compare this model to the Artisan 1500 Natural Fibre Two-sided model in our range. The main differences being the notable increase in fillings and the detailing. Our Artisan 1500 is hand side stitched, hand-tufted and is available in split tensions.
We have used as best we can a similar range of components to The Artisan Naturals in order to garner the closest match in terms of support and comfort levels. For example; The insulating layer (1200 gsm Cashmere) is the same weight and similar in overall quality and feel to the Mohair as used in The Naturals – this is the most expensive component in this mattress – but critical to achieving the correct support and comfort properties for a medium feel mattress. It has a slightly firmer feel to the John Lewis model in the top comfort layers.
The mattress cover is completely Chemical-Free using a Natural plant-based fire retardancy protection.
This Artisan 1500 model comes with a 5-year full guarantee vs the 7 Year warranty of the John Lewis model (care needs to be taken between a Guarantee and Warranty exclusions read more here).
|Artisan 1500||John Lewis Egyptian Cotton 5900|
|1||500GSM WOOL||500SGM (ESTIMATED) BRITISH WOOL & VISCOSE|
|2||600GSM REBOUND POLY COTTON (50/50)||1000GSM (ESTIMATED) EGYPTIAN COTTON, HEMP, FLAX AND COTTON BLEND|
|4||600GSM: REBOUND POLY COTTON (50/50)||NA|
|6||1200 GSM CASHMERE HAIR PAD AS INSULATOR||2500 HD MICRO SPRINGS (NO GAUGE)|
|7||1500 SPUN BOND POCKET SPRINGS (SOFT,MED OR FIRM)||3400 CORTEC POCKET SPRINGS (NO GAUGE)|
|8||NA||1000GSM (ESTIMATED) ECO WHITE FIBRE PAD|
|Total||4300GSM||2,500 GSM BM (ESTIMATED)|
The John Lewis Natural Collection Egyptian Cotton 5900 was comfortable and relatively well made for the price point. However, we would always like to see models at the £1,000 price point using two-sided construction methods to aid mattress longevity. Likewise, the quilted side panels look and felt quite cheap given the quality of the Natural fibres. A machine side stitched panel would be preferable. If this was a £700 model then we could accept these components but believe you can get far more for your money with our Artisan 1500.
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