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Marks & Spencers Mattresses; Are they any good?

We’ve been answering questions about Marks & Spencer’s mattresses for many years now. As one of the oldest high street retailers, their reputation proceeds them as a trusted retailer for homeware as they have branched out into furniture and soft furnishings. As with all mattress manufacturers, it’s important to delve a little deeper into the stated technical specifications of their mattresses. We aim to explain whats in their mattresses and provide some alternatives to compare to.

If you’ve read our other hundred or so detailed bed articles you will know by now that the only way to accurately compare mattresses is to know the full breakdown of the mattress upholstery. Once again, as with many retailers, Marks & Spencer only give very brief details of the fibres and spring units. However, they do provide detailed cutaways which help us, the mattress geeks, explain in more detail what you’re getting for your money.

We’re going to be looking at the most popular Marks & Spencers mattress models and giving some more detail alongside any alternatives to compare to.

Ortho Firm Support 1500 Marks & Spencer

This model is one of Marks & Spencers most popular mattresses. We’ve talked at length about the real niggles with Orthopedic beds and their link with bad backs which you can read more of here. Listed as the ‘super supportive’ option we certainly would think so at an Extra Firm feel. Its worth noting that an extra firm feel mattress needs to be looked at with caution. Your body weight, height and sleeping position really needs to be taken into account. If not, you may find yourself with an uncomfortable mistake of a mattress if you’re not used to such a firm unforgiving bed.

This is a one-sided mattress meaning that the fillings are layered up with more weighting on one side. You usually find one-sided mattresses at the cheaper end of the market. On one hand, you don’t need to turn it (as you can’t you would crush the fillings of the top layer) but it does limit the lifespan of your mattress.

 Marks & Spencer Ortho Firm Support 1500John Ryan By Design Origins ReflexJohn Ryan By Design Artisan 1500
1Soft 'White Fibre' (unknown gsm)750gsm Very soft Polyester500gsm Wool
2Cotton layerOne inch reflex foam layer600gsm Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50)
3Foam (unknown depth)270gsm Polyester700gsm Polyester
4Insulator Foam (unknown depth)One inch reflex foam layer600gsm: Rebound Poly Cotton (50/50)
5NANA700gsm Polyester
6NANA1200 gsm Cashmere Hair Pad as Insulator
71500 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (unknown gauge)1000 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Medium gauge)1500 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Soft/Med or Firm)
Total GSMNot specified1020gsm4300gsm
Price£899£575£965
Find out moreFind out more

For the price point of nearly £900, we would expect to see at least a two-sided mattress construction method. Also without the GSM, it is hard to see exactly what support the upholstery is providing. The term ‘Ortho enhanced wool & cotton’ causes confusion, as the only way to firm up these natural fibres is to blend them with Polyester. Which would hint that they are not 100% natural blends? Again, its impossible to say without accurate GSM details.

Origins reflex mattress details

Our Origins Reflex provides a firm feel at a more reasonable price point and its two-sided

The two alternatives show what you should expect from an entry-level ‘Firm support’ mattress such as our Origins Reflex (at a fraction of the price) or what you should expect from the near £900 mark, our Artisans 1500.

Click to Shop Artisan 1500

Luxury artisan mattress

At the £900 price point, the Artisan 1500 can be used as a good guide comparing GSM and construction methods

Natural 1250 Medium Mattress Marks & Spencer

The next model we get asked about frequently is the Natural 1250 Medium feel mattress from M&S. Again, frustratingly, this is a one-sided mattress meaning you can only ever use one side. The breakdown shows it has ‘Luxury white fibre’ which we are asked frequently about.

What is White fibre?

White fibre is a term that a number of retailers are now using to describe upholstery in mattresses. White fibre is usually blended polyester and other traces of synthetic fibre. It’s a blend so is cheap to produce. We’re not sure what makes this blend luxury unless it maybe has some cotton or such in their too? Looking at the price point we are thinking probably not.

The next layer from the cutaway shows a very small amount of lambswool, maybe a 200GSM sheet if we had to guess. The other layer is then listed as Cotton but again no GSM or blend given. It’s based on a 700 spring count synthetic pocket spring unit again no tension given.

We think for this price point you should be looking for a two-sided mattress at the minimum. You’re not going to get lashings of natural fibres at this price point but our Origins Pocket 1500 should be a good comparison at this level.

 Marks & Spencer Natural 1250 Medium MattressJohn Ryan By Design Origins Pocket 1500John Ryan By Design Artisan Naturals
1Luxury 'White Fibre' (unknown gsm)300gsm Wool1200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Lambswool layer(unknown gsm)750gsm Very Soft PolyesterHairproof Cambric Cover
3Cotton (unknown gsm or blend)500gsm Polyester Pad1250gsm Rebound Poly Cotton
4NAOne Inch Foam Insulator Layer1500gsm 100% Pure Mohair
7700 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (unknown gauge)1500 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Medium gauge)1600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm ]
Total GSMNot specified1550gsm3950gsm
Price£599£620£1235
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If you’re looking at a real Natural fibre mattress then our Artisan Naturals should be the mattress to aspire to, although the price reflects this.

Click to Shop Artisan Naturals

artisan naturals mattress

The Artisan Naturals is our Best Seller

Marks & Spencer Luxury 5800 Mattress

This is Marks and Spencers ‘twin up’ mattress which contains two layers of springs. The manufacturer has decided to use Micro springs which we have detailed the drawbacks of at length here. A true twin up should really use the same spring twice for the desired effect and be two-sided. Again this model is still a no turn one-sided model which is a real shame given the £1000+ price point.

The upholstery layer detail gets even more brief on this model. From the specification and cutaway we can see there are the following layers:

  • Polyester (synthetic fibre)
  • Blend of Polyester and Cotton
  • Natural Lambswool
  • Sumptuous Natural Wool, Cashmere and a deep Silk layer

There’s zero GSM given and looking at the cutaway the Natural Wool, Cashmere and Silk has to be a blend. It’s still using synthetic springs which is a surprise. At the £1000+ price point, you should expect calico encase pocket springs which are far more breathable and progressive.

 Marks & Spencer Luxury 5800 MattressJohn Ryan By Design Tailored Pocket 2000John Ryan By Design Artisan Sublime
1Polyester (unknown gsm)1200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton800gsm Bamboo
2Blend of Polyester and Cotton (unknown gsm)Hairproof Cambric Cover1200gsm Alpaca
3Natural Lambswool (unknown gsm)1250gsm Poly CottonHairproof Cambric Cover
4Natural Wool, Cashmere and a deep Silk layer (no gsm or blend)1500gsm Pure 100% Mohair1200gsm Pure Horsetail
5NANA1200gsm Organic Flax
6NANA1000gsm Coconut Fibre Coir
7Spun Bond Pocket Springs (unknown amount or gauge)2000 Double Tier Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Soft/Med or Firm)2508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]
Total GSMNot specified3950gsm5400gsm
Price£1299£1120£3025
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The nearest comparison we have for review is the Artisan Tailored Pocket 2000 featuring a ‘twin up’ of Spun bond pocket springs. It also is two-sided and features a huge 85% Natural filling content.

Click to Shop Artisan Tailored Pocket

If budget is no option then the next model with a similar feel would be our Artisan Sublime which is 100% Natural fibre and has an eye-watering total GSM of 5400 and a 15-year guarantee.

Artisan Tailored Pocket sprung 2000 mattress

Our Artisan Tailored Pocket 2000 is 85% Natural Fibre and features a Dual Calico Spring support system

Marks & Spencers Cashmere Comfort 2000 Pillowtop

If you haven’t already seen our reviews of pillowtop mattresses then definitely read why you should avoid them first. They are fraught with settlement problems and once the pillowtop fails that’s the end of your mattress as you can’t remove it.

The Cashmere Comfort struggles with the same issues with the other Marks & Spencers models in that there’s very little information to accurately compare to. This model has zero information about the fillings of the actual pillowtop for example, which is the prime comfort layer.

It features a dual spring unit of synthetic pocket springs and then some of that ‘White fibre’ again which at £1299 is a shame.

 Marks & Spencer Cashmere Comfort 2200 MattressJohn Ryan By Design Origins Comfort 1000John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 004
1Soft 'White Fibre' (unknown gsm)500gsm Polyester PadHairproof Cambric Cover
2Blend of Cotton, Cashmere & Silk(unknown gsm)One Inch Foam Insulator Layer200gsm Soft Bamboo
3Polyester (unknown gsm)NA1200gsm Pure Horsetail
4NANA1000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
52200 Spun Bond Pocket Springs Dual Layer (unknown gauge)1000 Spun Bond Pocket Springs (Medium tension)1600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm]
Total GSMNot specified1250gsm5400gsm
Price£1299£525£1580
Find out moreFind out more

What we would actually recommend to get a similar feel as the Cashmere comfort, and save a small fortune, would be to pair our Origins Comfort with a separate topper of your choice. You will get the same soft sink and medium support but without any of the pillowtop drama.

Click to Shop Origins Comfort

If you’re wanting a 100% Natural fibre mattress instead then our Artisan Bespoke 004 is unbeatable for the price in comparison. Both of these alternatives are two-sided and fully turnable.

Our Origins Comfort will provide a soft sink and none of the drama of a pillowtop mattress

Who makes Marks & Spencers Mattresses?

Relyon used to make ‘white label’ mattress goods for Marks & Spencer, though it is hard to find out if that’s still the case. We would guess that they have a number of manufacturers supplying their products looking at the product range. It covers everything from pillowtop one-sided mattresses to firm orthopaedic models and then memory foam quilted mattresses.

Summary

Marks and Spencers have a really wide range of mattress options including Natural Fibre and pocket sprung mattresses. However, you really need to be able to assess both the GSM and spring count to fully compare other mattresses to Mark & Spencer’s range. The comparisons above are based on the breakdown of the mattress specification and feel of the bed. Hopefully, this discussion will prompt manufacturers to be more detailed with the mattress specifications. If you need any further help when comparing or choosing a new mattress please get in touch with our small friendly team on 0161 437 4419

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