Mattress protection with a bed topper

Mattress protection is something that every mattress and bed should have. It not only can help extend the life of your mattress but can also provide a much-enhanced sleep experience. This article should be read in conjunction with mattress construction in order to expand on the value of the comfort or primary Layer within the mattress but read on to find out about mattress protection.

Latex 100% Natural Topper

What are toppers?

Toppers are separate items of bedding that you add yourself to the mattress in order to increase the level of longevity to the built-in primary layer and also to add a separate layer of primary comfort layer to suit you.

On our site, we received many comments from readers who questioned that if the mattress was expensive and had adequate comfort layers already, why was it deemed necessary to add further by way of a topper?

Now these were quite good and valid questions and it was only when we questioned a bedding expert that a full, precise and logical explanation could be given. In order to explain this fully, we will first look at a real life example in the way of Savoir beds and Vi-Spring.

Savoir beds produce the world’s most expensive bed at over £115,000 known as the Royal State. On this particular bed set, they include a mattress with the most exquisite layers of upholstery known to man. However, to complete the mattress set, they add not one, but two individual and separate toppers to make up the mattress ‘set’.

Again, using Savoir as an example, On their premium core range of mattresses (Savoir number 1, number 2, number 3 and number 4) they give you the option of either buying the mattress separately or can provide you with the appropriate additional topper.

Vi-Spring as well has their own range of toppers built specifically to complement the models within their own range. These are known as the Heaven Range and consist of only three. The Heaven, Heaven Luxury and Heaven Luxury Supreme toppers.

Is there a construction method for mattress toppers?

Yes. The general rule of thumb is that the upholstery used to make the topper should be ‘in keeping’ with what is used as the primary layer within the mattress. This means that if the mattress has a wool or wool and cotton primary layer, the topper should also be built with the same or similar upholstery components. On the other side of the scale, a latex mattress should have an additional topper consisting of latex, a memory foam mattress should have a topper consisting of memory foam.

If you have read the techniques of mattress construction in another post you will know that as you get higher up the mattress to the actual sleeper, the material has to get softer. This thesis stops when the mattress is fully constructed and you start again using the mattress as the support element and begin again to add further bridging and comfort layers in the form of toppers.

If we look again at the Savoir Royal State, we see that the primary comfort layer in the mattress is carded cashmere wool, one of the softest and most luxurious primary layers in any mattress. But if we look at what toppers are placed on top of this, we see that the first one is a horsetail foundation with carded cashmere as the primary. The second topper is loose horsetail completely encased in lambswool. The toppers they utilised on this mattress set are not softer than the carded cashmere within the mattress, but they start using what can be deemed as relatively firmer components and going softer as you get closer to the users body.

Note: We must admit  in feeling a bit disingenuous to Savoir for detailing this particular model in such crude terms. This particular set is a true work of art and although well outside my financial limitations, no-one can disagree that this is nothing short of the finest example of the bedmakers craft.

Why are mattress toppers useful?

Now that you know what is deemed to be the right way and also what the best in the industry do, we have to look at why the utilisation of toppers with your mattress is so important. As I said in the introduction they are useful for two main reasons:

1. Adding additional Comfort layers to your mattress
2. Aiding in the longevity of your mattress

1.Additional Comfort Layers:

If we follow on from the mattress construction article, we built our virtual mattress with a final layer of Blended Wool and Cotton. This is a very soft component that has virtually no support properties whatsoever. The main function of this layer is to provide the sleeper with an initial cushioning effect before your entire bodyweight utilises the main support elements. If we also go back to how the mattress was constructed from the springs upwards we can see that to reach a mattress depth of around 25cm there is only so much a (good) manufacturer can include incorporating all the elements required; Insulate / Support / Comfort. You can look at this completed mattress as a minimum standard no matter how much money you have paid for it!

If you choose to sleep on this particular mattress without adding an additional topper, it will not be too long before the wool / cotton component compresses completely under your bodyweight and the mattress will become discoloured through perspiration. It has to be said, that even with a topper the wool element will eventually compress – it’s the nature of the material – but compressing slowly and evenly over time beneath a topper will certainly not be as harsh and punishing.

Understanding this, we can go on to say that the topper will in effect be an additional substantial comfort layer that there was no room on the mattress to include. The topper will be making what is essentially a fabulous mattress even more fabulous. If you add two well, you will certainly be in heaven!

2.The longevity of the mattress:

Taking all the above on board, we can now understand the basic principles. It now stands to reason that if you were to sleep directly on the mattress there is nothing there to combat the three main enemies to your mattress:

1. Body Perspiration
2. Dead skin cells and bacteria
3. Undue Settlement and Indentations

Even by themselves should give cause for concern, but when all three are considered and this is a fact of life, not pseudo scare tactics of which we are vehemently opposed to, should impress upon you the absolute validity of utilising toppers with your mattress. Going back to the questions we received over the years, we have concluded that the more you have paid for your mattress the more essential the topper element is.

The additional benefits you get from utilising toppers will, in the long run, pay dividends, so you should not be looking at this purchase as an expense, but an insurance that your mattress will be lasting – and staying as new as possible for a greater period of time. When the topper has taken all it can after the brunt of nightly activities, it is a small expenditure to replace as necessary rather than reaching the stage where the complete mattress requires replacement.

What kind of toppers does John Ryan use?

We have matched our toppers to the mattress bases to provide the best progressive comfort as we have tried and tested the combinations that work well together.

Many of the high street retailers don’t recommend toppers or if they do they permanently stitch the topper to the mattress completely removing the longevity benefit. Retailers that do sell them often are selling products without explaining the benefits, drawbacks or product details leaving you once again confused and scratching your head.

When buying your own topper, you need to work out what will work best for you given your existing mattress. If it is too firm then maybe a softer topper will help, if it is too soft then maybe a firmer topper will help remove some of the issues. Mattress toppers used in this fashion can only tweak a bed and not completely restore it. Our guidance is to make sure you buy a topper alongside your mattress to enable the two to fully work together.

I did say at the beginning of this article that the right topper was to replicate the primary layer within the mattress. This is not a hard and fast rule and the topper you choose to use should be based on your personal preferences.

In my case, for instance, I have the Artisan Luxury mattress which is now nearly two years old. The primary layer of this particular mattress is Wool, but my first topper (I have two) is a goose feather and down which does have an element of firmness about it. On top of this, I have a simple but well constructed Microfibre topper. This combination on top of my mattress is perfect for me, but will not be perfect for everyone. The overall tension of this combination is Soft and it is like going to bed on a cloud – even though the underlying mattress (medium tension spring) is more than supportive enough for my sylph-like body of 12 stone.

Marie our office manager, on the other hand, prefers a firmer level of tension (she has a bad back) and overlaid her wool topper with a further wool topper. She has The Artisan Bespoke Mattress  004 which is finished with a Wool / Cotton blend primary layer – so again the support is suitable for her, but she has tweaked the cushioning elements to suit her actual requirements.

Summary

Over the years we have all purchased, tried, sampled and discussed the merits of all toppers in general. Our conclusions are that you do not have to go to enormous expense although we say steer away from ultra cheap versions around the £25 mark particularly if they are the feathered variety. In our experience, there is far too little material in them to be of any use or benefit.

Obviously, if you can afford better quality such as Dauny, then that’s even better and I would be completely green with envy.

We have our own range of contemporary single and double mattress toppers, in particular, we specialise in high-quality latex mattress toppers, perfect to provide that initial sink to a bed without losing the support or getting too hot, unlike memory foam counterparts. We would love to hear your views on toppers so ask a question or get in touch for further help. Alternatively, for more information on bed toppers, read our article on bed toppers

Comments

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  • Hi John and Ryan,
    I have just read your comments about Toppers and I am interested also that Tim was looking to buy the Sealy Brisbane.
    We bought the Sealey Brisbane SuperKing Size last year. It seemed very comfortable in the showroom and when the salesman said we didn’t have to rurn it over we thought, as we are getting older that that was an advantage.
    After a few months both my wife and I started to feel that we were wanting to fall out of the side of the bed and if we wanted to “meet” we had to climb a hillock between us.
    I tend to toss and turn a lot so now each time I do, I wake up so I don’t either fall in the indentation or adjust myself to lie on the edge of the hillock..
    I contacted the supplier who arranged for an inspector to check it. He came and made a report that there were no manufacturing faults found. Privately he said that it was more to do with the design.
    The supplier has subsequently written to say there is no fault and they have sent me a booklet “to get the most from my bed”. It outlines “the benefits of having a bed which is designed to bed in and mould to your body” and “the gap between you will remain plump” etc.
    The booklet appears to be an effort to placate many people who are finding it difficult to sleep in these beds.
    I have sent them a 14 day pre court letter demanding my money back due to the bed not being fit for pupose.
    As their comments in their booklet appear to oppose your view that one of the three main enemies of a mattress are
    3. Undue Settlement and Indentations.
    I would be interested in your views and advice in this matter.
    My current thinking if I don’t get my money back is to pull out the current topping and replace with something which doesn’t cause the problem. If I do get my money back I will come to you for the best bed you can opffer me to replace it.
    Thankyou
    Chris Bedford

    Hi Chris. There is no question – it is the actual pillowtop design that in my opinion is completely flawed. I am not 100% sure whether they have utilised the (so called) Sealy smart fibres within the pillowtop and the latex as the support layer or vice versa. From how you describe the settlement it seems that the smart fibres have been utilised within the pillowtop and therefore is showing the indents.

    The description states “..The deep zoned layer of Innergetic Latex gives outstanding comfort and pressure relief. “. I am going to hazard a guess that the latex layer is in the region of 3cm. I personally would not consider this to be a “deep layer” but as this was not divulged to you at the time of purchase leaves you with little recourse for complaint. Had latex been used as the insulator (on top of the spring unit) and further used as the pillowtop you would not be experiencing this – Latex is a premium component and has excellent rebound properties. You could try to extract the depth of latex used from the supplier and bear in mind that if less than 3cm has been used – this certainly cannot be deemed to a be a “deep layer”.

    It seems wrong that you have to go to further expense of another mattress to put this right and I would recommend you purchase topper(s) at this stage to inhibit any more deterioration. Should you get your money back the toppers will be of use to your new mattress. Please keep in touch and let us know how this pans out. John and Ryan.

  • Charlie says:

    Do you sell toppers to compliment your beds? If not who is the recommended supplier?

    Hi Charles. We do not sell toppers. Our preferred supplier is Duvet and Pillow Warehouse (D&PW). We have all had toppers from there and can vouch for the service, quality and price. Each month they tend to have a promotional code available on their site which gives you a further discount – usually up to 20%. The current discount gives 20% but only available till the 7th Oct. John and Ryan.

  • Darsh says:

    Hello,
    I am writing to ask if all mattress toppers should have fire retardant lables.
    Also please advise what is the difference between a coolmax cover and cool+ cover for a memory foam topper?
    Thank you

    Hi Darsh. Good questions. Fire retardant labels? You would have thought that they would have one attached wouldn’t you. I have just stripped my bed back to check my toppers and no – there are no FR labels attached. There is a label which states that the product has been checked for harmful substances (Oeko-Tex standard) and a care label but that’s it. I have just had a quick look through the The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and in the interpretation it does state;

    “furniture” means–
    (a)furniture of any description which is ordinarily intended for private use in a dwelling and includes beds and divans (including the bases and headboards of both), sofa-beds, children’s furniture, cots (including carry-cots, playpens, prams and pushchairs and any other article of a like nature and use designed to contain a baby or small child), cushions, high-chairs, mattresses (of any size) and pillows, but does not include bedding or floor coverings (including carpets and mats);

    Coolmax is a registered brand and a trademark of INVISTA. There are several other brands of wicking fabrics used on mattresses such as Outlast and Climasmart etc. Personally, I am a little sceptical about the use of these ‘Hi Performance’ fabrics on a mattress – I can see the potential benefits when used on sports apparel but I think the extra money spent on the HP fabric can be better spent on good quality cotton bedding. There is also the element of proof to consider. Apart from manufacturers and suppliers statement that they do attribute to a cooler nights sleep, I haven’t seen anything yet that can entirely convince me of this.

    Good questions Darsh and I will be looking more into this when time allows. Please feel free to add further viewpoints. John and Ryan.

  • Wanlee says:

    Hi !!!
    I have some question to ask you. can I use a memory foam mattress topper as a bed and just out it on the floor no base or mattress ? If so how’s thick of topper it should be?
    Thanks

    Hi Wan. Yes, you can use a topper directly on the floor but it will be rather unconformable without a mattress. I would use at least 5cm. I’m interested to know why you want to do this – please let me know. John and Ryan.

  • Liz Evans says:

    Hi. Firstly, thank you for your wonderful site, I am so pleased I found it. We recently bought a superking wooden bedframe and mattress from Warren Evans and have had lots of problems with the mattress being too hard, large indentations appearing etc. After trying two of their mattresses we eventually decided to return the mattress and yesterday we ordered the Origins 1500 mattress (thank you Gary for advising us).

    Reading this article has made me realise we need a topper to go with it, we already have a fairly expensive wool protector and cotton fitted sheet, so can’t choose a topper that is too thick. Which topper from the Duvet and Pillow Warehouse would you recommend? My husband gets hot at night and sweats a lot (I tend to be cold), neither of us wants anything too soft, and we are on a reasonably tight budget (though can pay a bit more if we need to). Thanks in advance for your time.

    Hi Liz. As you can probably tell I (John) am becoming fixated with toppers. It just seems so obvious in terms of additional comfort and ultimate care for the mattress itself. I am currently experimenting with three toppers (I know this is overkill) but using three different types of construction – Feather – Feather and Down – Microfibre. in various combinations can radically change the feel of the mattress. I started with Firmer (Feather) directly on the mattress – Bottom sheet and then the other two toppers laid loose (but covered in Duvet covers) on top of this. The softest Microfibre being the sleep surface. However, Last week I did use the softest (Microfibre) as the one directly on top of the mattress, Feather on top of the bottom sheet, and slept on the Feather and Down one (going completely against gradual support theory) and surprisingly, this gave MORE of a marshmallow / Cloud feel than the other combination.

    The Origins 1500 you have (and as you now know) is incredibly deep to start off with, but as it is polyester based, really does require something to keep all that upholstery as new for as long as possible. As a start, I would ask you to look at the D&PW Classic Microfibre Topper (around £50) to be used (covered) directly on your mattress (on top of your current protector) and supplement this further (if necessary) with a Luxury Microfibre Duvet (rather than actual topper) as your sleep surface. If this is covered with a 600TC cotton cover will provide you with a luxurious sleep surface.

    Incidentally double toppers can fit into Single Duvet covers and likewise Kingsize toppers can fit into Double Duvet covers. I always think the sleep surface topper or duvet should be bigger than your actual mattress so when the bed is made up, the overhang of the sleep surface layer matches the overhang of your duvet.

    Finally Liz. Taking into account your husbands ‘sleeping hot’ issues, I would be inclined to use your current duvet as the base topper and buy a new (but lower tog) duvet for use (about 9 tog). Please let us know how this works out for you. John and Ryan.

    2013/11/01 at 20:04
    Hi John, thank you for your reply regarding the toppers.

    I am a bit confused why you recommend putting the mattress protector onto the mattress, and placing the topper on top of that. Wouldn’t it be better the other way around, so the protector protects the topper as well?

    I am a bit reluctant to follow your advice about putting a duvet into a duvet cover and sleeping on that – it would mean we don’t get the benefit of the wool mattress protector (it is meant to help regulate body temperature) and Egyptian cotton sheet, plus I don’t think we can afford to buy new duvet covers, we have spent so much on the bed, mattress and bedding recently! I also think it will move around too much, my husband is quite a fidget in bed 🙂

    Our plan was to get a topper to put directly onto the mattress, then put the wool mattress protector on top of that, then our Egyptian cotton fitted sheet on top of that.

    Would our idea work, and are there any downsides (apart from possibly the fitted sheets not being deep enough?). In addition, we are going to have to wait and see if our fitted sheets will actually fit over the Origins mattress and a topper – the sheets were expensive so we don’t want to buy new ones unless we absolutely have to.

    If it turns out a topper won’t fit under the sheet, our Plan B was to use one or two of our existing double duvets as a topper instead. Would this be sufficient to protect our new mattress?

    Finally, we have actually just ordered a new superking 9 tog duvet, hopefully it will keep us both happy (me with a blanket on top!)
    Thanks, Liz

    Hi again Liz. This will now become trial and error as to what works best for you. I readily admit I do tend to get carried away with my obsession on toppers, protecting the mattress and bedding etc, and no doubt if I wasn’t in the business I am in I would not be so anal!

    I mention the protector directly on the mattress due to the fact that they are usually thin and pre-compacted and if this is on the mattress it provides an element of support beneath your soft topper – BUT – there is no reason not to experiment and you may find that the protector on top of the topper suits you better. John and Ryan.

    Hi again John, thanks for your reply. Our mattress is due to be delivered this weekend and we’re really excited! I have just one more question. If our fitted sheets and mattress protector won’t fit over a topper, can we use one or two old duvets as a topper instead? Will this be enough to protect the new Origins 1500 mattress? Thanks, Liz

    Hi again Liz. Absolutely. Don’t think that a topper / Duvet etc has to be under your fitted sheet. Like I said above, If contained within a cover you can use this as your sleep surface. You will find that this way gives you the opportunity to plump it up when you make up your bed. Enjoy your mattress and let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • Angela says:

    Hi,
    Have been reading your articles with interest. I am currently sleeping on a bed that is not mine, so no idea of the specifications etc. it’s not uncomfortable, but I’d like to get a decent topper that I’ll be able to use for years. Am willing to spend a bit. What do you think of the vi-spring toppers and are they worth the money or would a less expensive one do the job/last as long?
    Many thanks,
    Angela

    Hi Angela. The Vi Spring toppers (Heaven range) are of course highly desirable and no doubt will offer you everything you could possibly require from a topper. However, I am more than happy with various combinations from Feather and Down, Feather, Microfibre etc. There is no magic combination for toppers and will be trial and error as to what suits you best. If you like marshmallow / Cloudlike comfort then Microfibre / wool / down etc will give you this. If your preference is for the firmer comfort, then feather / feather and down etc will be the way to go. I personally think that with toppers replacing when necessary is better than paying too much at the outset and trying to make it last. John and Ryan.

  • Jane says:

    Hello John and Ryan,

    So pleased that I came across your great site.
    I was terrible confused regarding mattress choices/specs/comparisons, well, no longer. I will be calling when I am due to move house to order a new mattress to go with.
    In the meantime I will buy a topper. Now, among all the info here, I have not seen a ? regarding where the electric under-blanket goes for maximum benefit in all these layers?
    Too simple? Do not rest on your laurels, my phone call will be much more demanding.
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Jane.

    Hi Jane. Hmmm.., I have absolutely zero experience with electric blankets and not particularly given much thought to the usage. I have just had a quick scoot on some sites and there seems to be a mix of comment about whether they can be slept directly upon (above topper or under topper. I would be grateful if you could offer your own thoughts on this and let us know what type of topper you get.

    Made me smile about your pending demanding calls .. Looking forward to them. John and Ryan.

  • Allan Pedley says:

    Hi

    I wonder if a new mattress is bought from you and two thick toppers are fitted from new does this change how often the bed should be turned please

    Hi Alan, unfortunately no matter how many layers you add to the mattress we always recommend regular mattress maintenance. We recommend turning and rotating mattresses every month, this evens out wear and ensure the mattress ages consistently. We know its not the most exciting of chores but really will pay dividends in the long run. There are some one sided mattress in the contemporary and foam world where this is not possible, we however use a dual construction method with turnable and rotatable removable toppers to minimise this. Toppers themselves, where possible should be rotated and turned also. There’s a link here for far more detail around mattress maintenance as well Allan. Hope that helps. Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Deb Atkinson A says:

    Hi
    Thanks for all the great info.
    We are looking at a john Lewis naturals collection super king mattress £1150. Could you tell me how this compares to your artisan natural mattress £1350?
    We currently have a S.king wooden base and 2single ikea mattresses with a mattress topper. Would we be better off with the same, for ease of manoeuvre? We do have room to get a s.king mattress in through the house.
    We will definitely want a mattress topper and a medium to firm mattress.
    Thanks
    Hi Deb
    Thanks for your comment, you haven’t mentioned which one of the John Lewis natural collection you are referring to. You will need to find out from John Lewis what the weights of the fillings are and then you will be able to make a fair judgement on where your money is best spent. Once you have this information you will easily be able to make comparisons to our models.
    Hope this helps
    John and Ryan

  • Scot C says:

    Hi
    Hope you can help with buying a new mattress, i have read some posts on you site and it answered my questions about the half price sale for a full priced mattress. rrp etc.

    To my question, i currently sleep on a Sealy Prestige Support Regular King Mattress with a Yanis 3 inch coolmax latex topper (graphite grey dunlopillo low percentage latex) and a silent night 1 inch talalay topper, this has been a good combination for me for the last 2 years but now the Yanis topper is about 50mm thick where i sleep instead of the 80mm it was or still is at the edges, it has been turned and flipped every 2 weeks but it has lost some of its return, the Silentnight 1 inch topper has lost its return too,

    I am looking for new mattress that would be similar or a combination that would suit the above setup. I really need a mattress that is not going to have my body imprint on it after a year or two. I weight 12 stone but prefer the firm mattress but the softness of the latex, too soft and my lower back will go. any suggestions in your range. it is a must that it does not sink and must have good edge support

    Regards
    Scot
    0780 3308774

    Hi Scot, I’m glad the site has answered your questions. Let’s see if I can help answer the remaining ones. The prestige you have is a firm single sided mattress. Unfortunately, but oh so commonly, there is very little discernible information about this mattress online or from Sealy as to whats inside and its components. Its one sided nature suggests there is only one comfort layer and from the price point we can assume its entirely synthetic.

    The 8cm Yanis latex topper you mention is a graphite synthetic blend. We have a range of detail in our posts about the blends of latex here. To try and summarise discussing latex is like discussing ‘Beer’ without specifying whether it be lager, ale or stout you can’t really gather any information. In this case we know its graphite, which is usually used for a FR layer in more expensive high quality latex mattresses. Some cheaper mattresses wil use this as their ‘latex’ layer as its the cheapest type of latex. It is also the crumbliest. I could hazard a guess that if you opened the topper and started to rub it it would crumble pretty quickly. This is the downside of synthetic cheaper latex but that said its considerably cheaper than high quality latex!

    You’ve found that it has now compressed somewhat, which is a common issue customers come to us with from other mattesses. Now all foams will compress over their lifetime, just like a spring compresses and softens, like a sofa cushion or car suspension etc. This is natural. The issue is how far it compresses over its life time. One thing that is accepted is the higher quality the foam or latex the better the responsiveness (how quickly it comes back to its original position) and how resilient it is. Remembering that Latex in its natural state is used in hundreds of varied applications because its robust and flexible. The weaker the blend or more synthetic the further away from this benefit you may move. There is no way of ever preventing compression, but you can ensure the material compresses minimally over time. You’ve been maintaining your mattress which is always the first part of advice.

    1 inch toppers are pretty much useless I’m afraid Scot. They may hold limited short term value but not the for the long run. This is because all foam will compress over time and with 2cm being the accepted tolerance, once its compressed there is little left to have any effect. All our toppers are 5cm or greater.

    We would never guarantee that any mattress would not compress to some degree but what we will say is that we only offer high blends of natural and 100% natural latex mattresses so your really buying the best you can get.

    To meet your firm preference and latex combination I would recommend the Fusion zero. It gives firm support but has two layers of dunlop latex, one being a removable topper. I think this is a higher specification of the current mattress you have. Hope that helps Scot. Lee

  • Heather says:

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you could recommend a mattress topper. We have just bought a new mattress and I am utterly disappointed in it. My husband, on the other hand loves it.
    It is the Highgrove mattress Desire with 1500 pocket springs.
    I have two issues with it. Firstly, although it is firm when you first get on it, you very quickly sink into it (I realise now that this is to do with the memory foam). I like a firm bed. It was a terrible mistake to get memory foam.
    Secondly, I am seriously overheating with the memory foam. We have several egyptian cotton sheets but that lovely “coolness” you get from them is completely lost in the heat of the mattress. I am waking up several times in the night far too hot and sweaty.
    I have been unable to sleep since having this mattress and I am at the end of my tether! Is there anything you can suggest?

    Hi Heather
    I am sorry you have had a bad experience with your mattress. I am struggling to suggest a suitable topper as I think it will only make a bad situation worse. We normally recommend toppers to soften the feel of a mattress and as you are already finding your mattress softer than you would like I think a topper may only worsen the situation as it will inevitably only make it even softer!
    John and Ryan

  • James williamson says:

    Hi, Thanks for all the advice offered its a great wealth of information. I have a couple of questions I hope you can help with,

    i have recently purchased a Vi-Spring Elite double mattress in soft tension. I am just under 12 stone in weight and it is on a board on top of a decent slatted base (hence being advised to go for soft over medium) . For the first week or so it was amazingly comfortable but within a week was noticeably sagging (settlement?) I rotated it and fine again for another week. I have then turned it and again rotated it and it is dipping where I am lying. I have read on here about toppers so purchased a 5cm Duck feather topper from DAPW however, other than getting very warm, I don’t find it remotely padding.

    I am now using a 4.5 tog feather duvet as i was getting so warm at night (still am). I have no heating in the bedroom ether.

    What would you recommend to adequately pad up the mattress to give it a pillow top feel but also keep me coolish at night? have looked at wool toppers however they seem pretty thin. If I put a wool topper onto a microfiber topper would that be cool enough with the wool or would the microfiber still keep me too warm?

    I hope this all makes sense and you can offer some advice.
    thanks. James.

    Hi James. Personally I do not think The Vi Spring Elite was a suitable choice for you and for a bodyweight of around 12st. This particular model is more suited for people of a very light bodyweight – sub 10st for example. The reason being is the upholstery used;

    Official Specification:
    Upholstered with 1350 gsm bonded British fleece wool and cotton. Overlaid with two layers of 900 gsm blended British fleece wool and cotton.

    The firmest element in this construction is the Bonded Wool and Cotton (BO-WC) at a weight of 1350 gsm. This is topped with 1800 gsm of Blended Wool and Cotton (BL-WC). Even though I say the firmest element is the BO-WC this is a particularly soft material used as a good comforting insulating layer but more supportive than the incredibly soft BL-WC used as the primary comfort layer.

    Blended Wool and Cotton has no support qualities whatsoever and thus prone to natural settlement. This is not a failing of the material and in time will even itself out. BL-WC in it’s new state is quite a lofty material. 1500 gsm will be about 6 inches in depth but with relatively little recovery properties and so, as you have found out settled quite quickly.

    On the flipside, It has to be said that Blended Wool and Cotton is among the best primary comfort layer you can get – despite the shortcoming. We use it in all our Artisan models but at a weight of 1200 gsm maximum and backed up with a complimentary soft but more resilient upholstery layer such as horsehair for example. As a further indication of the quality of BL-WC the entire Vi Spring range use this material as the primary comfort layer.

    Your slatted base could be instrumental in how the mattress feels as well. As you know this is quite a soft and forgiving mattress and would feel and react quite different if utilised on a sprung edged divan base. Your slatted base with the addition of boards is not providing any suspension to the mattress at all and thus as you lay on it the bottom of the mattress is stationary and compressing against the slats / board.

    Personally, I would be looking at toppers as the solution. If you hadn’t of raised concerns about heat issues I would have advised the use of a latex topper with this particular model. Heat issues are quite a personal and subjective area and even though I do not find latex a heat retentive product, we have had feedback from some customers saying quite the opposite. The Feather and Down topper you have would best be used independently of your bottom sheet. This means that it should be placed in a duvet cover and you sleep directly upon this – sheet up your mattress as normal tho’. Feather and Down also has limited recovery and by using it in this way means you can shake it out each morning to restore the loft.

    Hope this helps James. Please let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • Anthea McNeill says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for such an informative and non biased site,you have helped me massively in finally finding my perfect bed!
    I have a Super king sized And so to bed brass bed frame,a Simmons divan and I have just bought a Harrisons 3250 sprung mattress medium tension which is the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on.I have a Fogarty 100% wool mattress protector.
    You recommended Duvet and pillow warehouse ( now Soak and Sleep) I have made six orders in the past month,I have mostly 800 or 1000 tread count white cotton bedding,again the best quality I have ever found,but what makes them outstanding is their pricing,two 1000 TC square pillow cases £15, superking extra deep 800TC fitted sheet £30. The eqivelant in Harrods is £169 for one pillow case! I will never buy bedding elsewhere again.I just bought a cotton duvet ( summer tog) at just £32 and prefer it to my stupidly expensive Hungarian down duvet.
    My question is,I have my perfect bed,but do I need to invest in a topper to protect the mattress? I am happy with the feel /tension and don’t want to alter it,I don’t like sleeping on a fat feather topper,but want to maintain the life span of my bed. Any suggestions? Many thanks,p.s I dislike any man made fibres so no latex or memory foam. I bought a silk topper for my daughters bed from DAPW which is lovely and soft and not too thick,would this perhaps work on top of my wool protector?


    Hi Anthea,
    Definitely, the addition of a topper is a must to obtain that almost perfect sleeping surface and as you point out DAPW, now Soak and Sleep have an excellent selection. Please let us know which topper you eventually plump for and how it feels. Kind regards Mike.

  • caroline says:

    Dear john

    Thank you for your wonderful informative website .
    We have just bought a vi spring coronet divan bed and are looking for a topper to go with it. We laid on the vi spring heaven topper in the shop (which was heaven!) but at £700 we can’t afford it on top of buying the bed which at less than half price still broke the bank.
    Could you tell me if there is an equivalent topper to go with this bed but with a reduced price tag anywhere?

    Thank you for your trouble

    Kind Regards

    Caroline

    Hi Caroline. We do not sell toppers at present and I note the Vi Spring model you like is comprised of a layer of 600 GSM Soft Needled British Wool sandwiched between two layers of 300 GSM British Wool. Given this breakdown, I would suggest you visit the site for “Soak and Sleep” (formerly the Duvet and Pillow Warehouse) to see if they have a topper with similar fillings, which may be priced more reasonably than the Vi Spring option. Please let me know how you get on, Kind regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2014/05/23 at 14:21

    Hi mike

    Thank you for your help .
    After some online research I have ordered a devon duvet wool mattress topper for £170. It was the only topper I could find which was similar to the construction of the vi spring topper although it doesn’t specify how much wool is in it . I have contacted devon duvets re the details.
    I will let you know once I hear

    Kind regards

    Caroline

    Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for this, I look forward to a further update in due course. Regards Mike.

  • Mark says:

    Hi. We’re thinking of getting a Somnus Broadway Mattress, which has a pillow-top topper already built onto the mattress. Would you recommend buying a further topper on that too? What’s your view of the Somnus Broadway in general? Thanks, Mark

    Hi Mark, We would never give a view in general on the mattress and say it’s either good or bad because there is a large amount of subjectivity especially around mattress comfort. I’m sure you can appreciate the need to be factual rather than opinion based which is why we always focus on the facts!

    What we can do is provide guidance on what to look for in a quality mattress and the components we use in our hand made John Ryan mattress range for comparisons. This then allows you to make your own informed decision based. What we will say is that there’s no such thing as a ‘Cheap quality mattress’ and there are many middle of the road or over priced ‘average mattresses’. Our customers usually want to avoid either of these two potential scenarios!

    The details provided for the somnus are very limited, like nearly every bed manufacturer I’m afraid. It does have a pillow top which we never recommend as it shortens the life of the mattress and makes it a no turn mattress. Again theres no detail on the gauge of the spring or turn count so I can’t compare to our range. The pillow topper does contain small springs, again with no detail so its a tiered sprung mattress, 2 layers or more of springs, to get an idea of a high quality tiered sprung mattress have a look at our Artisan Bespoke 002 for more detail on what tiered springs are.

    In reference to an additional topper; my honest advice would be to buy a high quality pocket sprung mattress without a pillow top then add a separate topper. You could look at a latex topper such as our John Ryan Contemporary range. I would never recommend a pillow top mattress as you solely reliant on the pillow top. If it fails then the entire mattress is rendered pretty much useless as you can’t turn it! – Lee

  • Michael says:

    Dear John and Ryan,

    I bought your Origins 1500 pocket kingsize zip-up mattress last year and my wife and I are using it on a slatted oak bedframe. I have found it very comfortable, though I have never been a true side-sleeper, which she is, and she finds it too firm. She prefers beds where she sinks in, even when they feel cheap and springy to me. We have a Baavet wool topper at present, which is soft and warm, but not about additional depth.

    I am considering a mattress topper as a present and I wonder if it would really help the lack of sinking in. Perhaps it would need to be quite deep to really make a difference? I presume a king-size topper would be alright on the zip-up mattress, but is getting a half-size one an option, so as to make her side of the bed as deep as necessary?

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks for getting back in touch and we’re glad the mattress is comfortable. It can be very difficult to get the perfect mattress for both sleepers, especially if they sleep in different positions and are different weights. There are ways to tweak the mattress to make the comfort layers deeper for example.

    If you want a deeper sink then the ideal option would be either a latex mattress topper or a laygel hybrid foam topper. I wouldn’t recommend a microfibre topper if you need this deeper sink as they simply are not made for that purpose. The latex would be the most natural and top of the range topper for this purpose. It ha a progressive slow sink but also is very responsive so will bounce back to its original shape quicker than say a memory foam topper. Laygel would be the softest topper we have thats also very springy, so if your wife likes the springy feel this maybe ideal. We also do this in a deep 7.5cm depth, allowing a really deep sink.

    I would only recommend getting a full size topper for the entire bed or there will be a noticeable ridge and height difference down the middle Michael.

    What I would advise Michael is that you maybe try out the sensation of latex in a bed store or hybrid foam mattresses. I wouldn’t advise memory foam as this is slow to recover and is very heat retentive, something to bear in mind with any topper I’m afraid. Latex however and Laygel are the least heat retentive of these styles of topper. We have published some mattress video guides to how these foams feel and react which may help to explain what they would feel like. As always if you want to discuss further then please give us a call – Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Richard says:

    Hi
    Like many people we haven’t bought a mattress in several years. Too many in truth.
    We’ve been to shops and the staff have been very helpful to their credit. We understand that comfort is a personal thing, and we know that there’s a risk that what feels good for 2 minutes in a shop is different after a night’s sleep.
    We found a mattress that suits or comfort and budget. But our concern now is that we’ll spend £800 on a mattress and then our sweat and dead skin will start to ruin it immediately. We found a similar mattress which had a built in latex top but that’s going to get dirty still so having a removable topper makes sense. But that leaves us with the dilemma of choosing a mattress for comfort and a topper for hygiene, but it will have an impact on comfort too!
    We need some sense on this. Is It enough to use protectors and sheets to keep the mattress clean?


    Hi Richard,
    We would advise that the minimum requirement for keeping your mattress clean would be a mattress protector, however, if you wish to extend the life of a particular mattress from new and also want to add a layer of comfort, we would suggest that, in addition to the protector, you add a topper. You can certainly remove a protector and launder it on a regular basis, however, this does not apply to all toppers, so you will need to consider this when purchasing. We would not recommend any mattresses with built in toppers (known as pillow top mattresses), because when this gets dirty or begins to flatten, you cannot remove to clean or to bolster by fluffing. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2014/06/24 at 20:06

    Thanks for the swift reply.
    Using your Origins Pocket 1500 as a reference for price it would seem about right for us. We like a firm feeling bed overall, with a bit of softer cushioning on top. We’re both under 10st – would that mattress give us the right firmness? What kind of topper should we add?

    Submitted on 2014/06/25 at 07:32

    Why do manufacturers combine the springs and upholstery into one product when they could build them separately but sell as a package? An advantage of a topper, you say, is that they can be replaced when they wear out but the mattress upholstery cannot. I assume there is a good reason.


    Hi again Richard,
    Whilst the Origins Pocket 1500 is a great product, given that you prefer firmer feel, I would suggest you opt for the Origins Pocket Reflex 1000. This would provide a firmer feel and this would be softened slightly by the addition of a topper. It also falls within a similar price range. Before suggesting which topper is the most appropriate, I would ask that you call the office and speak to Marie to make sure we have all the relevant information, such as size required etc.

    As far as your second query is concerned, I confirm that all mattress upholstery will deteriorate over time, but this is very gradual and is likely to be outside the normal guarantee period provided. By introducing a topper, you will reduce the amount of work done by the constituent layers of your mattress and prolong it’s life as this work will be done by the topper. If constituent parts were made separately, but sold as a package, customers would look to customise their mattress without the specific knowledge of comfort effects and spring tension. It is far better for manufacturers to build mattresses with specific constituent parts and sell them based on the specific criteria of weight, preferred feel and budget. Some manufacturers will offer to build a mattress in a bespoke fashion, but the price of such an item is likely to be prohibitive. Kind regards Mike.

  • Daniel Gore says:

    Hi,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your website. It has come a little too late for me as I’ve already ordered my Vi-Spring Newbridge Mattress from John Lewis. However, I think I got a decent price (£1,300) looking at comprable Vi-spring bedstead mattresses on the web.

    I was curious about your comments regarding mattress toppers. Our bed is a slate bed originally for a futon, topped by a Tatami Mat (so effectively a solid top). The mattress we ordered is “medium” but my wife probably leans towards slightly softer. I’m 5’7 and weight 74KG and my wife weighs a little less and is 5’4. I do have a mattress topper left over from my futon but doubt this is ideal to use on my new mattress (filled with two super-soft layers of fibre bonded poly cotton fibres and a minimal layer of recycled foam to ensure a little extra spring from the futon shop http://www.futoncompany.co.uk/all-mattresses/futon-company-mattress-topper.html.)

    What would you recommend as a mattress topper for this set-up?

    Many thanks and appreciate any advice.


    Hi Daniel, I would suggest that before embarking on the expense of a new topper, you should at least give the one you have a try. If this does not provide you with the required level of softness, then I would direct you to our sister company John Ryan Contemporary and suggest you look at the Laygel 5cm topper. Alternatively, if you do not like the idea of this type of topper, look at Soak & Sleep and their Luxury Microfibre topper. I trust this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Gary says:

    Does the latex arrive pre-wrapped/inserted into the quilted topper, or
    is this a DIY/IKEA-esque job?

    The latex topper comes inserted into the quilted cover ready to use. There is no DIY experience required! Thanks

  • Ellie Hargreaves says:

    I have a zip linked superking size bed and would like to buy some mattress toppers for it but am unable to find anywhere which sells the longer length single toppers. I do occasionally use these beds as twin beds so a single topper would not be ideal
    Have you any suggestions?
    Thanks


    Hi Ellie, we do not make toppers and usually refer customers to a company called Soak and Sleep, although we are not aware of whether they have the size you require, but it is worth a try. Regards Mike.

  • Julie Lemon says:

    I am currently waiting for delivery of my Artisan luxury mattress:-) I am keen to keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible and would like your advice about mattress protection. After researching on the internet, I am still unsure whether I should be going for a mattress encasement or a fitted sheet style protector and whether a waterproof one is really necessary to make sure the mattress stays as clean as possible. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks.


    Hi Julie, All that is required to offer protection to your mattress is a basic protector. These usually come with corner fixings that keep them in place. You would only need something more substantial or waterproof if there is a likelihood that there is going be some contact with moisture or liquid. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi,
    I’d appreciate your advice on the best type of topper for the mattress we have just ordered (vi spring Devonshire medium). I am 9.5 stone and my partner 15 stone. The sales person advised us not to purchase a combination mattress given that we are both under 16 stone. I am now somewhat concerned reading the other comments on your site about the support qualities of the wool which is the main component of this mattress. Will a topper prevent degredation of the mattress or have we perhaps not selected the best for us? The sales person was very anti mattress toppers and went so far as to say there wasn’t much point in us buying a quality mattress then covering it up!
    Any advice you can offer much appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    Michelle

    Hi Michelle, By combination mattress I’m assuming you’re referring to split tensions of springs. Based on your weight difference I’m not sure why they gave this advice as I would recommend that your half of the bed was on a soft spring, for your weight and your partner on a medium. This doesn’t mean the bed would feel softer for you, it just means that the spring is built to support and react to your weight. A medium or firmer spring wont behave the same way for you and you may end up just resting on top of it!

    As for the advice on toppers I completely disagree. A topper serves a number of purposes one of which is to act as an additional comfort layer. The next is to help protect your mattress. It also means that if there is an degradation of the topper ie it settles you can simply replace it rather than buy an entire new mattress. I think a goose down or wool topper would greatly help soften the top layers for you at 9 stone. Hope that helps – Lee

  • Marcie says:

    We have just purchased a Vi-Spring Coronet mattress with a Sovereign divan. We are trying to find a topper that will work for us. I am allergic to wool (bummer). Although the bed has wool in it, it doesn’t bother me. But the Vi-Spring wool topper does bother me.

    If we can’t use a wool topper, what do you recommend?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Marcie


    Hi Marcie,
    We do not make toppers ourselves and would refer you to a company called Soak and Sleep who have a selection. It may be worth contacting them by phone to discuss content of their toppers to make sure your allergy is not an issue. Regards Mike.

  • Charles Miller says:

    You only produce foam toppers. Are they compatible with your Bespoke mattresses?


    Hi Charles, our toppers can be used on our bespoke mattresses, however, before purchasing a topper, we would recommend that you try the mattress for a short while to see if the feel is ok without the addition of a topper. If you would like further advice regarding the purchase of one of our mattresses, please contact either Marie or Gary on our office number. Regards Mike.

  • Chris Woods says:

    We bought an Artisan bespoke zip and link super king size nearly three years ago. I am interested that you now recommend a mattress topper, and we are looking for a suitable wool or wool and cotton mix, but cannot find anything that is 6’6″ long. Can you help? My wife finds our mattress too firm now, where’s I am still happy. Suggestions please
    Thanks

    Chris


    Hi Chris, Although we do not sell natural fibre toppers, our sister site John Ryan Contemporary does sell latex, memory foam or hybrid foam toppers. If you specifically want natural fibres as per your post, please visit Soak & Sleep as they have a wide range of that type of topper. I note that your wife if finding the medium tension firm and the use of a topper will soften the feel for her. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Gill says:

    Hi we have placed an order with you for a king size Artisan bespoke 004 last week
    about the middle of August I got one of these toppers ( to try & prolong our old mattress )
    Duck Down Dual Chamber Topper king from soak & sleep, will this topper be ok with our new mattress when it arrives or would you recommend getting a new topper of different material eg a wool one
    many thanks Gill


    Hi Gill, We would advise that you try out your new mattress first and see if a topper is required. If it is, then the one you have purchased should be fine, although it really depends upon what feel you want ultimately. Please let us know how you get on when your new mattress arrives. Kind regards Mike.

  • Sarah says:

    Is it okay to use an electric blanket over a latex topper? There is so much conflicting advice concerning this.


    Hi Sarah, you can use an electric blanket with a latex topper, however, you need to be aware that this will slightly soften the latex, so it may be prudent to turn the blanket off around an hour or so before getting in to bed. Regards Mike.

  • Sheila Aldous says:

    We are very disappointed in our Hypnos medium/firm mattress. It began to ‘dip’ within the first month despite regularly sticking to the manufacturer’s instruction to turn and rotate. We were very disappointed and alerted the retailer but they jsut said it was settlement. At no time were we warned this could happen and we were not advised to buy a topper to reduce the ‘dipping’. It is so bad we actually dread going to bed as we wake with aches and pains and have a very disturbed sleep. We paid £1700 for the divan and mattress combination. Do you have any advice please.


    Hi Sheila, Mattresses are subject to a certain level settlement and we would suggest that you ask the retailer to advise on the tolerance applicable to your particular mattress. Once you have this information, you will be able to ascertain if what you have is natural settlement or could be deemed excessive. You need to also question advice given to you at the time of purchase and whether that advice was based on specific criteria such as body weights, preferred feel and budget.

    Because Hypnos do not disclose details of the upholstery layers by way of GSM (grams per square metre) it is impossible for us to comment specifically on the construction or expected performance of your mattress. If you are not able to obtain a replacement from the retailer, then the use of a topper may improve the feel and make the dipping less noticeable. I hope that this helps in some way. Kind regards Mike.

  • Mark Brown says:

    Hi we purchased an Artisan Naturals matress from you in feb 2012 and have never used a topper. It now has large settlement areas where we sleep so would a topper help bring life back to the mattress or have we left it too long before taking this action.
    Many thanks
    Mark


    Hi Mark, All mattresses suffer from settlement over a period of time, however, the effect on the mattress can be reduced by regular turning and rotating. If you have not been turning and rotating, I suggest that you try this over a period of weeks to see if the indents you refer to lessen/reduce. If this does not resolve the issue, then the use of a decent topper may add some life to the mattress. I trust that this helps, regard Mike.

  • Anne Hutton says:

    Hi We purchased your Artisan Luxury Superking mattress before Christmas & are delighted with it.We have added a Microfibre topper ( excellent)from Soak & Sleep but cannot make out where we put the existing mattress protector that we have.Over or under the topper?
    Regards Anne


    Hi Anne,
    We would suggest that you place your protector over the topper, thus affording it the same protection as you would your mattress if you did not have a topper. Kind regards Mike.

  • Emma Smith says:

    Hello,

    I’ve just bought a Sienna mattress from Warren Evans, and after our first night’s sleep on it I’ve decided it seems firmer than it did when trying it out in the shop. I like the firmness but am wondering what sort of toppers I should get to give it a softer feel – can you recommend any for this particular mattress?

    Thanks for your help,

    Emma


    Hi Emma,
    It is difficult to recommend any additional products for your mattress as there is very little information available from the manufacturer in respect of the upholstery layers in that particular mattress.

    As far as the firmness of the mattress is concerned, I would advise that it is likely that the one tried in the shop may have been on display for some time meaning that a great number of people will have laid on it thus flattening the fillings and making it feel softer than when just made. I would persevere for at least 14 days before making any snap decisions with regard to the purchase of a topper. I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Simon says:

    Hi,

    Really good to have such a website like yours. I am planning to by a vi-Spring Devonshire. I am slightly above 11 stones. I guess I will chose the “medium” firmness. Is it a good option to use the Vi-Spring dream or heaven topper in addition to make the feeling even more comfortable and smooth?

    Best and Thanks a lot,
    Simon


    Hi Simon,
    A medium tension is appropriate for your body weight and any topper used will produce a softer feel to any mattress purchased, but unfortunately, I cannot make a specific recommendation in respect of your proposed purchase. Kind regards Mike.

  • Margaret Davies-Hale says:

    Laytex is rubber, so surely it will make you sweat (and we’re does the sweat go), and would it be too hot?

    I have just ordered an Artisan Natural mattress. Does this mean it would be better with a topper? And would I need to turn the topper every week as well as the mattress.


    Hi Margaret,
    Latex is a natural product and is breathable, it really depends upon the constitution i.e. what % natural latex is used. Our latex toppers are either 80% or 100% natural latex. Memory foam is a synthetic material, which has heat retaining properties.

    As far as the use of a topper with your new mattress is concerned, we would always advise you to wait at least two weeks after receipt of the mattress before making a decision regarding whether or not to purchase a topper. You may find that the mattress is comfortable enough and there is no need to incur further expense on a topper. If you require further advice after the two week period, please do not hesitate to contact us. Kind regards Mike.

  • Andrea says:

    Can you use a microfibre mattress protector on top of a memory foam topper that is made from viscoelastic? Or does it need to be a 100% cotton mattress protector on top of such memory foam?

    Hi Andrea, You can use either topper on top of memory foam. Usually a cotton based topper cover will aid ventilation but given the fact its going on synthetic memory foam thats notorious for heat retention any breathable fabric would be rendered pretty useless. Lee

  • Daniel Brown says:

    Hi.

    My wife and I are looking for a new bed and have been looking at the Harrisons bed range, particularly their Emerald 9000, Sapphire 11000 or Diamond 13000 mattresses, and then with their bed frame – this has the same 1000 pocket springs as their divan but with a nicer look (the numbers above for each mattress are representative of the pocket spring numbers for the mattress)

    We’re looking for a zip link as my wife is much lighter than myself (she is 53kg and I’m 74kg), so she would get a ‘gentle’ firmness and myself the medium. We’re looking at the superking size as I’m 6ft and always struggle to ‘fit’ in a bed, even our current kingsize. We currently have a Millbrook 2500 pocket sprung mattress with a memory foam top on a sprung edge divan, using a simple synthetic topper which came with the mattress as part of the warranty criteria.

    As these Harrison mattresses are typically coming in at over £2000, we want to make sure we’re not making a mistake before purchasing from them.

    Your site and articles have thrown up a lot of subjects which I’m really glad I started looking at before putting down the money on an order, however, I do have a few questions:

    1. Are the Harrison mattresses above of good quality (GSM, CUW, ratios of blends, etc)

    2. Would the ‘gentle’ for my wife and the medium for myself sound right? I ask as I sat on the ‘gentle’ option in a retail store too for comparison and thought I would sink right into it – I just don’t want her to end up also sinking in 6-12 months time after the fillings have settled, leaving us wishing we’d just picked a non zip-and-link superking with medium across the whole mattress.

    3. Should we get a topper? I read above that it will add to the comfort and mattress protection, however I’m just concerned that more fabric sat on top of the mattress will deaden the movement and feel of the premium fillings inside, making it a little redundant to have paid for a higher end mattress in the first place. Would a more basic mattress with a really plush topper achieve the same result?

    4. What other alternative products should we consider given the thinking above (we’ve looked at other options – Millbrook Boutique 3000, Hypnos Beethoven and Relyon Henley beds, however they all seem to offer a lower spec of mattress for the same/higher cost).

    5. Which of your mattresses would be a good comparison for equivalent spec to, say, the Harrison Sapphire 11000

    6. Which of your mattresses would be a good comparison for the equivalent price to the Harrison Sapphire 11000 (and what would be the advantages of your mattress)

    Really appreciate your help, your website it blowing the doors open for me on how to buy with confidence as an informed consumer. Please keep it up, I know I’ll be coming to you for your thoughts again.

    Kind regards,

    Daniel Brown


    Hi Daniel,
    I appreciate your hesitance at purchasing a product, which may turn out to be inappropriate after 12 months. Purchasing the right mattress is vital, whether you have a large budget or a more limited one.
    It is clear that you have done research yourself and as a result, you have no doubt discovered that the description of the upholstery layers used in each of the options mentioned is somewhat vague particularly in terms of the GSM. This makes any form of comparison to our products or recommendation of alternatives impossible. You will note from our site that we provide a full description of the upholstery layers used by way of GSM, meaning that you know exactly what you are buying. Our Artisan range is comparable to certain models within the Vi-Spring range of mattresses and I have attached a comparison sheet for your assistance.
    Given your body weights, we would recommend a soft (gentle) tension for your wife and medium tension for you, which is what you have been looking at. Having said that, you should make sure that any mattress you purchase is double sided. The would allow turning and rotating, which in turn will prolong the life of your mattress and avoid any excessive or permanent settling of the upholstery layers.
    As far as a topper is concerned, I would advise that you wait until you have had your new mattress, whichever you choose, for at least 14 days to allow your bodies to get used to the change. You may well find that a topper is not required and the mattress is providing you with the correct feel. I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Emma says:

    Hi, I’m looking for some advice please. My husband & I are looking to buy a new king size mattress. We are both roughly in the same weight bracket (between 15 & 16.5 stone). We like a medium support, but would potentially like a bit of that ‘luxury’ sinking feel with a topper. Having looked through the great info on your site, we’re looking at the Artisan tailored pocket 2000, or even the Artisan Naturals. So I have 2 questions: 1) what are the additional benefits of ‘upgrading’ to the Naturals? 2) Should we consider a topper, and if so, what would you recommend?
    Thanks in advance,
    Emma


    Hi Emma,
    By upgrading to a mattress with natural upholstery layers you will obtain a more luxurious feel and it is likely, with care, to outlast anything comprised of synthetic layers. In addition, with natural layers you obtain a longer manufacturer’s guarantee and our mattresses in that range are manufactured to a very high standard. Although mattresses with natural layers are more expensive, the longevity and feel provided make them worthwhile.

    When buying a mattress, it is important to consider your body weights, preferred feel and of course, budget. As far as toppers are concerned, we would always advise that you wait until you have had your new mattress for at least 14 days before considering such a purchase, as it may turn out to be an unnecessary expense. If you would like more detailed advice as to the suitability of the mattresses you refer to, please call our office. Kind regards Mike.

  • Dominic says:

    Hi,
    I really like your articles on mattresses and toppers and would welcome your advise.

    My wife recently purchased an “Eminence 2000” Kingsize mattress to replace our old one. The label says, it has 2000 individually pocketed springs, luxurious stretched knitted fabric, natural pure new wool with silk and cashmere and is reversible (97% PES 3% Organic).

    The problem is we don’t get a good nights sleep on it. I’m 16 St and wake up with a bad back, my wife has child bearing hips and she wakes up with hip pains. I was very interested in your article about “toppers” and would like some advise on the best combination to try and overcome the discomfort we both feel in the morning.

    Kind regards.
    Dom


    Hi Dominic,
    The Eminence was a mattress made by Hypnos and I understand it is currently discontinued, but aside from that there is very little information available in respect of the upholstery layers, although it is described as a medium mattress for people with average body weights. It is difficult to confirm whether this is the correct tension for your wife without knowing her body weight and I would imagine that for you it is more of a medium mattress.

    There are several important things to consider when purchasing a mattress and they are body weights, preferred feel and budget. I do not know if you were asked your body weights or preferred feel at the time of purchase, but it does seem as if you may have the wrong tension, although how long you have had the mattress may be a factor. We would normally expect you to have the mattress at least 2 to 3 weeks before querying the feel as it does take time to get used to a new mattress. Mattress toppers are usually used to soften the feel of a mattress and cannot be used to firm one up. Are you able to raise the issues with the retailer of the Eminence to see if they can suggest a solution/exchange? Kind regards Mike.

  • Kim says:

    Hi John.
    I found your website just after taking delivery of a VI Spring Traditional Bedstead in medium tension. I have a solid wooden slatted base. My old mattress, which was firm rated, proved to be too firm for me, I was waking with terrible aches and pains and particularly shoulder and neck pains causing headaches. When looking to buy the VI Spring the only tensions available to try in store were medium and firm. I wasn’t asked what my weight was at the time, I am just under 10 stone and 5ft 6inches tall. I tend to sleep on my back and my side and like to read in bed on my side. Having had the mattress for three weeks now it is starting to soften up a little (it felt very firm first few nights) but I find that there still isn’t enough give for my shoulders to sink into the mattress when lying on my side, it feels comfortable enough when lying on my back. I am now concerned that I should have gone for the soft tension? I have bought a 3cm microfibre topper and this has given a slightly softer feel to the mattress but not enough to be able to sleep on my side.

    As this has been a considerable long term investment for me I wonder if you could give me some advice. I do have the option of changing the tension to soft under their comfort pledge but am unsure about doing this because it is probably easier to soften up a medium mattress with a topper (deeper topper) than firm up a soft mattress if the soft proves too soft? I do not have a partner (and their weight to consider) at present but as this mattress should last many years that could change!
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Kim


    Hi Kim,
    I am not surprised to hear that your body weight was not taken into consideration by the store when purchasing your current mattress. This is a common thread in queries we receive and it appears that many sales staff are putting a sale before the needs of the customer in terms of spring tension.

    I note that you have had the mattress for 3 weeks and that, even with the addition of a topper, this has not made the mattress comfortable enough for you to be able to sleep on your side. We would normally have advised a soft spring tension particularly with it being placed on a slatted base, which would firm it up slightly. What I would say is that you consider the offer for an exchange, but at that point make them aware of your sleep requirements and body weight and that the mattress will be placed on a slatted base and see what they recommend. I trust that helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Dave Lightfoot says:

    A few years ago we bought a super king size Artisan from you. It was a brilliant buy, thanks for your advice and guidance you were totally correct. We wonder if you can give some advice on an electric blanket. We have a mattress topper of pure new wool and a cotton cover (made by Devon Duvets). The question, which sounds may sound a bit silly, is should the electric blanket go over or under the topper? The topper is about 2-3cm deep. On searching the internet I can find no clear answer.


    Hi Dave,
    I would advise that you place the electric blanket on top of the topper and under the top sheet otherwise, with the depth of your topper, you will end dissipating some of the heat produced and therefore may not get the best from the electric blanket. I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Pat says:

    Wow ! your website is amazing. I’ve learnt a lot this afternoon.
    Regarding mattress protection, I am embarking on a buy-to-let property and the subject of mattress protectors has come up. Presumably if you have a topper a protector won’t be needed.
    If you don’t have a topper can you recommend and mattress protectors that won’t give that horrible sweaty feeling whilst proving good protection against staining for the mattress in the event of excessive sweating or leaks !.
    Pat


    Hi Pat,
    Toppers are best used if it is your own bed that you are applying them too and you wish to alter the comfort level. With a buy to let, because you do not know the body weight or preferred feel of the people who may rent that property, it may be an unnecessary expense to purchase toppers at this stage. Having said that, if you do opt to purchase a topper, you should place any mattress protector over the topper as you wish to protect the whole. We would always recommend the use of mattress protectors, but do not manufacture these and are not able to provide a recommendation in that regard. Our Origins Pocket Reflex 1000 is a mattress which we recommend for B & Bs because it is suitable for a wide range of body weights.

    If you would like further information or assistance in relation to the purchase of the mattress referred to or in any other regard, please do not hesitate to contact our office. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

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