April 2019

John Lewis Vispring Comparisons and alternative mattresses

Vispring is one of the premier UK mattress manufacturers who make a range of high-end mattresses specifically for John Lewis. We often get asked to compare and recommend alternatives to customers researching a new mattress purchase. We have often compared to Vispring as our construction methods and materials are of the same luxury standard. To help you make a more informed mattress purchase we have provided some comparisons and alternatives to the Vispring at John Lewis range.

It’s important when you’re looking for a new mattress that you check out the competition to see exactly what you’re getting for your money. We always aim to provide as much detail on our own range of mattresses as possible along with the construction methods. We are after all the self-confessed mattress geeks and after 15 years of designing and building our own high-end mattresses, we are in a position to help explain competitors mattress models alongside our own mattress range.

sleep schedule
It’s vital to do your homework before buying a new mattress and ask the right questions

As is with most mattress retailers though, sadly the Vispring range at John Lewis doesn’t disclose the GSM of the Natural fibre content. This is a real shame as it makes a like for like exact comparison impossible. However, we can provide some alternatives and similar models to compare against the Vispring models at John Lewis. After all, this should help make the decision to buy a new hand made Luxury Mattress that little bit easier by saving you the time in trying to accurately compare beds!

mattress edge support
You have to question why certain mattress retailers won’t disclose whats exactly in their mattresses as we have always done

Before you start trying to evaluate the John Lewis Vispring mattress range it is important to understand why mattress upholstery GSM is so vital when looking at new mattresses. It’s also imperative you do a little bit of quick reading on the differences between spring units. Lastly, take care when you see ‘blends’ of fibres as its really tricky to tell whether its an even split (ie 50/50 of two fibres blended together) or one fibre is making up the bulk of the blend (90/10). If in doubt always ask the retailer to confirm.

Prices are of Jan 2019 from the John Lewis website where these Vispring models can be compared. We have listed the comparisons on Kingsize (5′ x 6’6″ / 150cm x 200cm) mattress models.

Vispring Honiton Mattress

The Vispring Honiton uses a twin-up or dual layer calico pocketed spring system. This means that two layers of equal sized calico encased pocket springs are layered on top of each other. This gives a more ‘lively’ feel to a mattress which can feel more reactive than a single layer of springs. These should not be confused with the cheaper micro springs which we have critiqued. The Honiton then layers a number of Blended fibres such as Horsehair, Wool and Cotton. This gives it a soft to medium feel in the upholstery layer with a responsive spring system.

Our closest comparison to this model is our Artisan Bespoke 002 which again is a soft- medium feel in the top upholstery layer. The spring tension is always dictated by your weight and we offer a soft, medium or firm spring suitable for different weight brackets. Read more on spring gauges and bodyweights here to help.

Artisan Bespoke 003 Coir & Alpaca mattress

Our Artisan Bespoke 002 features a massive 3600gsm of pure Natural Fibres and is Hand-made here in Britain

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 002Vi-Spring Honiton John Lewis
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and CottonPlatinum Certified British Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
2Hairproof Cambric CoverNo data
3200gsm Soft BambooNA
41200gsm Pure HorsetailHorsehair & Wool Blend (unknown gsm)
51000 gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and CottonPlatinum Certified British Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
62508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]2244 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs (unknown gauge)
Total GSM3600gsmNot specified
Find out more

Vispring Woolacombe Mattress

The Vispring Woolacombe has a really soft feel in the top upholstery layers due to the high wool content. It also uses a dual spring layer as its support. It’s a pretty straight forward construction with layers of wool built up on top of the spring unit giving a softer sink with lively support. This is similar to the previous Vispring Devonshire, one of the softest Vispring mattresses ever made.

Our alternative to the Woolacombe is our Artisan Luxury mattress, the softest in our range due to lofty amounts of Wool, Horsehair and Horsetail. We have used a single spring layer in this mattress to give it a bit more stability due to the softer feel of the upholstery layers. If you like the traditional feel of a softer sink mattress then this is the one for you!

Artisan Luxury mattress

The Artisan Luxury features 4600gsm of Natural Fibres and is Hand-made here in Britain.

The inclusion of Horsetail and Horsehair addresses the issue sometimes found with pure wool mattresses and settlement. If you’re just using soft fibres on top of a spring unit, you can find that the mattress settles far faster than if you include some more support layers such as Horsetail. Mattress care and maintenance can help reduce all settlement and should be followed diligently, especially in a mattress with upholstery that is entirely wool based.

 John Ryan By Design Artisan LuxuryVi-Spring Woolacombe Supreme 2000
11200 GSM British Fleece Wool and CottonNew Zealand Wool (unknown gsm)
2Hairproof Cambric Cover1700gsm Devonshire Fleece Wool
31200gsm Pure HorsehairNA
4500gsm Pure WoolHand Teased New Zealand Wool (unknown gsm)
51200gsm Pure HorsetailNA
6500gsm Pure WoolNew Zealand Wool (unknown gsm)
71476 Calico encased Pocket Springs [51mm] [1.42mm]2000 Calico encased Pocket Springs (unknown gauge)
Total GSM4600gsmNot specified
Find out more

Vispring Modbury Supreme Mattress

The Modbury is one of the more frequent models we get asked about from John Lewis. It is a medium feel, utilises one row of calico encased pocket springs (available in the 3 standard tensions) and features Horsetail blended with Platinum Certified Shetland Sheep Wool, Silk & Mohair (frustratingly the GSM is not given). It has 100% natural fillings and is two-sided as all high-end mattresses should be.

Our closest comparison to the Modbury is our most popular model, the Artisan Bespoke 004 also 100% Natural fibre with 3600gsm. We don’t blend the 1200gsm of Horsetail as it simply shouldn’t need to be in our view. The Wool and Cotton blends we use are 50% (50/50). All other fibres are pure and not blended. It’s the first mattress in our range to introduce Natural Plant fibre in the form of Bamboo.

Our Artisan Bespoke 004 in a kingsize weighs in at 61kg compared to the Modbury at 54kg. This helps to give an indication of the difference in the amount and potential GSM of the fillings.

The Artisan Bespoke, shown here in a zip & link model, features 3600gsm of Bamboo, Wool, Horsetail and British Fleece Wool.

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 004Vi Spring Modbury
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and CottonPlatinum Certified British Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
2Hairproof Cambric CoverNo data
3200gsm Soft BambooNA
41200gsm Pure HorsetailHorsetail blended with Platinum Certified Shetland Sheep Wool, Silk & Mohair (unknown gsm)
51000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and CottonPlatinum Certified British Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
61600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm]1625 Calico encased Pocket Springs (Unknown gauge)
Total GSM3600 gsmNot specified
Find out more

Vispring Axminster Mattress

The Vispring Axminster is the most expensive model that Vispring make for John Lewis featuring a twin up spring unit and then 3 layers of Natural Fibres. Again no GSM is given and it’s a bit disappointing to still be seeing blends at this price point, especially with no breakdown of the blended fibres. It’s a medium feel mattress with 4 rows of hand side stitching which shows just how deep this mattress is. It’s definitely one for extra deep fitted sheets!

In this model, Vispring moves away from British Wool for Shetland using the Platinum Shetland Wool & Cotton Blend (unknown GSM). It still uses a similar layering methodology compared with the Vispring Honiton, just nearly twice the price.

We have two different comparisons and alternatives to the Axminster.

The first is our Artisan Bespoke 003, again a dual spring layer provided by Vanadium calico encased pocket springs, 2508 with 100% Natural Fibres. We prefer to avoid blends in high-end fibres, such as horsehair. This model includes 1200gsm of pure Horsetail, 400gsm of Bamboo and lastly 1000gsm of pure Alpaca (one of the softest high wicking fibres on the planet for unrivalled temperature regulation). Amongst Wool & Cotton 2000gsm overall and a Coir 1000gsm insulator layer. Weighing in at a whopping 5600gsm.

The Artisan Bespoke 003 is one of the worlds highest GSM mattresses. Hand made here in Britain.

The next model is one of the worlds first Plant-based Luxury Mattresses; the Artisan Sublime. We’ve taken the best of Natural fibres to create this incredible mattress. Containing Organic Flax 1200gsm, Bamboo 800gsm and Coconut Coir 1000gsm plus 2,400gsms of Alpaca and Horsetail. This mattress has a soft feel in the top upholstery layer and a deep sink before medium support. The support is provided again by a twin up spring system with 2508 vanadium coated calico pocket springs.

Our Artisan Sublime is a world first to feature predominantly plant-based luxury fibres.

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 003John Ryan By Design Artisan SublimeVispring Axminster Superb Mattress
11000gsm Alpaca800gsm BambooPlatinum Certified Shetland Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
2Hairproof Cambric cover1200gsm AlpacaNA
31000gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and CottonHairproof Cambric coverNA
4Hairproof Cambric coverNANA
5400gsm Soft BambooNANA
61200gsm Pure Horsetail1200gsm Pure HorsetailHorsetail Blended with Platinum Certified Shetland Sheep Wool, Silk & Mohair (unknown gsm)
71000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton1200gsm Organic FlaxNA
81000gsm Coir Coconut fibre1000gsm Coconut Fibre CoirPlatinum Certified Shetland Sheep Wool & Cotton (unknown gsm)
92508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]2508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]2500 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs (unknown gauge)
Total GSM5600gsm5400gsmNot specified
Find out moreFind out more

>Vi-Spring Fursdon Mattress

The Vi-spring Fursdon is one of Visprings softest mattresses from John Lewis. It’s primarily made of New Zealand Wool, Cotton & Alpaca soft layers with Horsehair layer. Giving a very soft feel in the top layers. It too is similar in feel to our Artisan Luxury above. This retails for £1,919 in a Kingsize in John Lewis 2019.

This mattress uses blends of New Zealand wool with other natural fibres, probably to help keep the fibres loft in stable composition. As these are incredibly soft fibres that can be known to settle quickly without additional support. The Cotton, Alpaca and Bamboo are blended with the New Zealand Wool. You have the drawback though f not knowing what the blend is and whether or not the Wool fibre is the dominant one. ie reducing the overall natural benefits and properties of the Bamboo, Alpaca or Cotton.

The horsehair layer in this Vi-Spring mattress aids in giving support to the softer layers above and below it. The closest comparison is our Artisan Luxury mattress. We use Horsehair & Horsetail in between the Artisan Luxury’s softer Wool layers to help reduce settlement and provide longevity to the mattress.


There’s plenty of detail to get through when looking for a new mattress. Frustratingly the trend to ignore the GSM of mattresses and blended fibres means it is even harder for the average shopper to work out whether their potential new purchase is good value for money. We’ve given some guidance on what to look for and what may be an alternative to Vispring models. However, if you want tailored advice personal to you, why not get in touch with our friendly team of experts?

We always list all of our mattress components and can provide you with the answers you may be struggling to find elsewhere.

Contact us today on 0161 437 4419

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