John Lewis Vi-Spring Modbury Reviewed

John Lewis stock a number of Vispring mattresses, some of which are exclusive to them. One model we have recently been asked to compare to is the Vispring Modbury Superb. So we took a closer look at this natural fibre mattress to give you a better insight into its components.

At John Ryan, we quite like being asked about Vispring mattresses, because they are one of a few premium mattress manufactures here in the UK that makes high-end mattresses. Any followers of ours will know how far back our love of fine mattresses goes, just look at our discussions over Savoirs handcrafted luxury beauties in our Ask a Question section!

It’s a nice comparison to make as Vispring use predominantly natural fibres and decent spring units. Sadly though whereas Vispring used to give the GSM of their models they don’t do this on the John Lewis website. Meaning its hard to make an exact comparison. We are not deterred though!

As with all of our comparisons, we will be using the spring count for a king size mattress when comparing the details each mattress.

The Vispring Modbury Superb Breakdown

This model is listed by John Lewis as being a medium feel mattress that is constructed with natural fibres. It’s described as having ‘refined natural fillings absorb humidity to furnish a delightfully fresh feel while contributing excellent durability and resilience‘. Sounds lovely so far, but you’ll know by now we need much more detail than that to make an analysis.

It is listed as containing:

  • Platinum Certified British Fleece Wool
  • Cotton
  • Horsetail
  • Shetland Wool
  • Silk
  • Mohair

As the GSM (grams per square meter) information are not available we cannot say how much of each natural fibre was used in the construction of this mattress.  This makes it quite difficult to make an exact comparison in terms of feel and support for the mattress. However, we can tell you a bit more about the properties of those fibres, providing there’s enough GSM to make them worthwhile.

Fibres in the Vispring Modbury Superb

The first layer consists of a blend of British Fleece Wool & Cotton in one pad. The second layer is again a blend of Horsetail, Shetland Wool, Silk and Mohair in one pad. The third layer is a repeat of the British Fleece Wool and Cotton. Since we don’t have the GSM here are the properties of each fibre, remembering that the higher the GSM the more of these ‘properties’ you can expect to experience in the mattress.

British Fleece Wool & Shetland Wool – excellent heat regulation properties and loft. Cooler when warm and warmer when it’s cold. It’s frequently used in the top comfort layers of a mattress.

Cotton – Has a multitude of uses and is excellent in wicking moisture away from warmer sleepers. In its pure form is quite expensive which is why sometimes it’s blended with other fibres like polyester. For the Vispring Modbury, it’s blended with the British Fleece Wool into one pad.

HorsetailHorsetail is phenomenally expensive due to a limited supply chain and it is longer than horsehair but has similar properties. It’s got an incredible rebound rate and when used on its own in a pad, such as in our Artisan Luxury, it acts as a secondary spring system in a mattress. The more you blend it, the less resilient this becomes.

Silk -Supersoft fibre created by the Bombyx mori silkworm. It’s unique in having a prism-like cross-section with rounded edges which helps give the refracting sheen on the fibre. High cost and very labour intensive to make.

Mohair – A very resilient fibre from Angora goats, not to be confused with Angora Rabbits! Can be used as an insulator if using coarser Mohair.

Remember: Without the GSM of the blends its really difficult to compare mattresses or know how much of the ‘luxury fibre’ you are actually getting.

Vispring Modbury Superb Springs

The Vi-Spring Modbury Superb contains 1625 Calico Pocket Springs which are Vanadium coated. This type of spring is the highest quality you can buy and we have written extensively about it here. We too use Vanadium coated Calico encased pocket springs. John Lewis doesn’t list the gauge or detail on the vanadium though so again it is hard to comprehensively compare the two.

Vispring Detailing

The Modbury has 100% Viscose Ticking (the cover fabric) and is finished off with three rows of genuine hand side-stitching and hand-tufted wool tufts.  Hand side stitching is labour intensive and a true craft we have more on that here. It has a depth of 21 cm and weighs in at 54Kg.  The price of this mattress is £2375 July 2018.

The Artisan Bespoke 004

This is one of our best selling 100% natural fibre, medium feel mattresses. It’s Hand Crafted containing layer upon layer of natural fibres including Bamboo, Wool, Horsetail and British Fleece Wool. So let’s have a look in more detail at what goes into this mattress.

Artisan Bespoke 004

Upholstery Layers

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 004
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Hairproof Cambric Cover
3200gsm Soft Bamboo
41200gsm Pure Horsetail
51000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
61600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm]
Total GSM3600 gsm

Artisan Bespoke 004 Spring Unit

There are 1600 Calico Pocketed Vanadium Springs in an Artisan Bespoke 004.  These springs are available in a soft, medium or firm tension depending on your body weight. The Bespoke 004 is a two-sided mattress. Meaning it can be turned and rotated with the exact same fillings on both sides.

Artisan Spring TensionWeight Range
SoftUnder 8 stone /50kg
Medium8-16 stone / 50-101kg
FirmOver 16 stone / 101kg
Spring TensionWire diameterWeight Range
Soft1.2mmUpto 8 stone
Medium1.4mm8-16 stone
Firm1.6mm16 stone plus
Extra Firm / Orthopaedic1.9mm20 stone plus
Chemical Composition of Steel WireCMnSiPSCuV (Vanadium)
Percentage Contained0.710.54180.120.0140.1900.5/0.9

Mattress Detailing

The Ticking is 100% Viscose, there are two rows of hand stitching on the side and also has hand-tufted wool tufts.  All our Artisan models have a depth of 30 cm and the weight of the Artisan Bespoke 004 is 61kg.  This mattress will cost you £1580 July 2018 (please check our store for current pricing).


At John Ryan by Design, we like to be transparent and let customers know exactly what they get for their money.  As you can see from this example not all retailers feel the same way or they miss out on vital information that makes it harder for you to accurately compare.

The depth and weight differences alone show you that there are more Natural Fibre fillings in the Artisan Bespoke 004 than the Vispring Modbury Superb. There is also a difference in price, the Artisan Bespoke 004 comes in at £795 cheaper than the Vispring Modbury Superb (July 2018).

If you think this mattress may be for you or would like advice on which of our other mattresses may be suitable for you why not give our friendly team a call on 0161 437 4419.