What is a pillow top mattress?

Pillow tops are the latest craze in bed retailers offering cloud-like sleeping experiences, hotel style beds and the ultimate in decadence. The problem is pillow tops can severely reduce the lifespan of your bed and once they compress, that’s it you’re stuck with it. Find out how to avoid this with our guide.

pillow top mattress

What are pillow top mattresses?

It is a construction method whereby a layer (pillow) of sumptuous upholstery is permanently stitched upon the mattress. It is invariably always going to be one-sided. It will invariably be high-loft (28-35cm) They invariably tend to look absolutely glorious. The Premier Inn use a Hypnos Pillow top mattress that we recently reviewed here.

What use are they?

This is harder to answer, they give the impression of a sumptuous soft topper but are permanently stuck to your mattress either by glue or machine stitched on. We struggle to find any argument for using pillow tops, other than to stop toppers sliding off maybe, which we can only imagine would happen at sea and even then it would have to be a very choppy ocean? We did have one thought that maybe it stops retailers for forgetting to bag up the topper with the mattress but this sounds rather ridiculous.

We can really find no use for pillow tops in any type of mattress construction.

How are pillow tops constructed?

Let us start with the construction method. It is built in two parts.

1.The support section
The pillowtop is stitched directly to the top of the support creating a two-tier mattress. Up to this point, there is really nothing wrong with this all you have now is a fancy schmancy one-sided mattress. The support part of the mattress can be any type pocket springs, foam, suspension springs or even cage springs.

2. The pillowtop section
The Pillowtop can also be comprised of anything from polyester, memory foam, latex, wool etc. This is usually a super soft layer to give that immediate sink feeling to the mattress. A good comparison is a feather or down topper which immediately sinks and lets you snuggle into the topper.

What is wrong with pillowtop mattresses?

The main objection to pillow tops come into what you are expected to pay for them and the lifespan you will get out of them. Just like a one sided mattress, you will be unable to turn it so when the pillowtop layer becomes indented and worn, you will eventually have to replace the entire mattress even though the spring support will be sufficiently OK. At this point, I must admit that Pillowtops with a natural latex comfort layer do not fall into this argument although price wise you will be expected to pay a lot more than for a non-pillow top version.

What is the alternative to a pillow top mattress?

We would advise there is no need to use a pillow top when you can buy a separate topper that can be turned and rotated. This also means you can buy a decent handmade two sided mattress which can also be turned. This method ensures you get all the benefits of a pillowtop with zero of the drawbacks. These separate toppers can be turned and rotated like a regular mattress. As and when they require replacing its only this one part and not the entire mattress that you have to replace.

None of our mattress range use pillow tops. Where we do use toppers you can completely remove them turn and rotate them.

Topper 7cm0004 2


Purchase a decent pocket sprung mattress and purchase a separate 2-3″ deep topper that suits your exact requirements. A decent mattress protector will keep these two parts together. You will then be able to twist, turn and rotate the mattress and the topper separately. Thereby getting maximum use out of both of them.

It’s with a higher probability that the topper part will wear out quicker than the mattress but the replacement cost of the topper will be a lot less than the replacement of an entire mattress. Also, as the mattress will not be taking the brunt of nightly activities it should stay as good as new for considerably longer. If you need tailored advice call our small friendly team of experts.

We’re here to help

Speak to our small friendly team between 9am – 5pm and we’ll be happy to guide you through any questions you may have.

Call today 0161 945 3757

  • Dave Healey says:

    I think you make some valid points, although I’m not sure about how significant the wear ‘n’ tear would be on a pillow top to prematurely fail before the life of the mattress.
    Having tried out all the various mattress types in the stores recently, my wife and I both found the pocket sprung mattresses with pillow top significantly more comfortable and to our liking so based on your recommendations, maybe we should look at the natural latex comfort layers or a separate pillow top?

    Hi Dave. Many thanks for adding your views. The ‘premature’ wear and tear refers mainly to a pillow top that is made up of a polyester layer. A pillow top with a latex layer would indeed be far durable and of course would not make any difference whether this was contained in a pillow top or enclosed directly in the mattress. However, the price you will be expected to pay will indeed be far higher than a mattress with the layer directly enclosed.

    The point I was making was if the ‘pillow’ was polyester, this WILL fail prematurely, and so it would be more beneficial to purchase a [ double sided ] mattress that offers you the support you require and add your own comfort layer [topper] to give you the comfort you require. A fixed pillowtop can only be rotated whereas a removable pillow [topper] can be rotated AND reversed.

    Prior to purchase I would ask the salesperson what exactly is contained directly beneath the pillow top? Is it just the spring unit or is there an additional layer of upholstery to support and cushion the pillow? Hastens Beds as an example, provide a removable and reversable topper [pillowtop] on their mattresses. However, the mattress itself is also well upholstered so when the pillowtop eventually becpmes worn out it can be easily replaced as the mattress [support] should still be relatively as new.

    I must add that I do advocate some sort of topper / comforter on all new mattresses. The use of these in addition to a mattress protector will give you years more life from your mattress. Your bodyweights and comfort preferences will no doubt change over the years and replacing toppers now and again is a lot more economical than changing a complete mattress. The important part is getting the right support from the mattress and using a topper to give you the comfort. John and Ryan.

  • Dave Healey says:

    Hi John,
    Good to speak to you today.
    For ease of installation, its highly likely we will end up going for a zip-link system and noticed that zip-linked mattress with a built-in pillow top’s have the disadvantage of the gap between the pillow tops’s on the linked mattresses. So in retrospect, if we do decide we still want a pillow top, getting a separate (full size) pillow top on a zip-link solution will be a far better solution!
    Having given you the details of the mattress in question, my wife and I look forward to hearing Ryan’s recommendation’s.
    Kind Regards

    Hi Dave. Good choice. The money you have saved will be able to get you a super dooper all natural comforter. Look forward to seeing you next week. John and Ryan.

  • Mike says:

    Hi, was just about to buy this John Lewis mattress, researching who actually makes them and then came across this article. Happy and gutted at the same time as this is the first mattress we have liked and tried soooo many !
    I’m 6ft 2″, 18 st, my wife 5ft 6 10st. Previously had a Millbrook 1200 pocket sprung which is on its last legs.
    This mattress felt ideal, medium supportive, can you suggest any alternatives. Thanks

    Hi Mike. I’m going to break down this mattress just to show you why it would have been a wrong choice for you.
    The official desription: John Lewis Classic Pillowtop 2 Mattress, Kingsize £950
    A sumptuous, yet supportive luxury handmade mattress which has “Silver Plus” technology in the upholstery – a hygienic textile finish that will ensure the mattress maintains a fresh and clean sleeping environment.

    As you lie on the mattress you’ll experience the soft cocooning of the pillowtop layer, while 1800 supportive ReActive pocket springs will ensure enhanced support and comfort.

    Classic Pillowtop 2 contains multiple layers of soft, responsive polyester fibre including Airsteam – a revolutionary breathable fibre – and is topped with blended wool and silk. It’s finished with 2 rows of deep hand side stitching to strengthen the border and prolong the life of the mattress

    For the £950 price tag I would instantly do comparisons against our Artisan Naturals mattress at £895.

    The difference in your bodyweights should be paramount in your choice. Even as you say you have tried so many, it is unlikely you knew what aspects to look for in order for the mattress to be comfortable as well as as supportive for you both.

    The John Lewis mattress is manufactured by Hypnos. The ReActive springs are fairly standard throughout the range defining themselves on the number of turns either six, eight, ten (Ultrasens) etc. As a means of comparison Vi-Spring uses six turns on their pockets (calico encased)

    The fixed pillowtop method of construction is the aspect that should be of concern. This method of construction means that you can only ise one side of the mattress obviously making it non turn.

    Comparing this to the other models in The Hypnos Pillowtop range leads me to believe the filling in the pillowtop is blended wool and silk – their Hypnos Elite uses a similar mix of fillings but also with “White Fibre” [Polyester] which I wouldn’t really expect to see in a mattress of this ilk.

    Because of your weight differences you really will hasve to consider the longevity of your purchase. Rather than having a pillowtop providing the comfort layer on the mattress , it is bettter to have a seperate topper /comforter that can be removed / exchanged / turned / rotated etc.

    Sorry for the brief reply Mike. I would encourage you to give us a call to discuss further. John and Ryan.

  • Maggie says:

    Hi, myself & other half , both 5ft6″, both roughly 9st 11lb…presently have 7cm memory foam mattress topper which we love, super comfy. We are looking to replace mattress/topper and so wondered which mattress would best suit us- ideally a memory foam top incorporated into a mattress if one exists?
    Big thanks

    Hi Maggie. You are testament to the fact that even though Ryan and I balk at the prospect of utilising memory Foam in a mattress there are some people who really love the product.

    There are literally hundreds of products with memory Foam at 7cm depth on the market. Fortunately, it is incredibly easy to do comparisons as there are only two components to compare side by side – The Memory Foam layer (Depth and Density) and the support unit (Foam or Springs).

    It seems a shame to cast your current MF topper aside before it is due for replacement and therefore if you are asking this question because it is the underlying mattress that has ‘Had it’ then consider getting the same kind of support as your current mattress but with the MF component included BUT re-use your current topper as a means of supplementation. Using this method does not mean your new mattress has to have 7cm of MF – a nominal 4cm should suffice. There are numerous complaints throughout this site where the top layer of a MF mattress has ‘lost its memory so the more you can do to kepp it as new will pay dividends in the long run.

    As a starting point I would point you towards Ergoflex. This is certainly not a personal recco but a means of using what they offer as your starting point for comparing other models against theirs. They tend to do what we do with Vi Spring – Offering closely matched alternatives for a much lower price. They compare their products to Tempur who are deemed to be the market leader in that particular field. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Polly says:

    I have a pillow top hand-stitched (supposedly) mattress that is now saggy. I’m wondering if I can somehow replace the pillow top portion. Is this something that I can do myself as there are no mattress repair places or do I just have to chuck my $3,000 mattress and get another?

    Hi Polly. It’s worth a DIY try to remove the pillow top section rather than throwing it away. Alternatively, you could try adding a mattress enhancer to see if you can squeeze a bit more life out of your mattress that way. John and Ryan.

  • Lance Farrell says:

    Hi, I am thinking of ordering a Harrison paradise mattress at £899.00. Medium pillow top type. Is this good value for money in your opinion?

    Hi Lance. Firstly, as you’ve read above, our views on all pillowtop mattresses are well documented and it does not really make a bit of difference who the manufacturer is, the fundamental absurdity of this design stays the same.

    If you look at a couple of premier manufacturers – Hastens Beds and Savoir Beds, they use the concept of the pillowtop but as an aspect of the mattress as a whole – meaning that the pillowtop (or topper) is removable / interchangeable in order that you can fully turn and rotate the mattress to gain maximum usage.

    If you compare The Harrison’s Paradise Mattress against other pillowtop offerings in a similar price range, say the Sleepmasters Astoria or the Dreams Zen Refresh for example you will be able to gauge who is offering you more mattress for your money. However, as we have said countless times before, in order for you to do these most basic of comparisons the information you require will seldom be included within the descriptions. You will have to contact the manufacturer or retailer direct to satisfy yourself that the component parts listed are indeed all they seem.

    What do you know about the Harrisons Paradise 5000 mattress? If we break down the description we should have a starting place in order for you to do adequate comparisons:
    [Official Description]

    The Paradise is a turn free mattress, which is also suitable for bed frames, with a luxurious pillowtop.
    Containing the world’s first pressure relieving HD pocket spring and Posturfil, which not only contour the natural curves of the body, but also never lose their height thus working against settlement of the natural fillings. This ensures that the pillowtop will remain soft and sumptuous throughout the lifetime of the bed.

    The actual pillowtop itself contains 2 sheets of Posturefil (mini springs) with what seems to be a wool / cotton upholstery – although you will have to satisfy yourself what this actual upholstery detail is as this detail is not contained within the official description. Also, the description afforded by Harrisons categorically states that the springs they are using will ensure that the pillowtop will remain soft and sumptuous throughout the lifetime of the bed. They also categorically state that they [the springs] are working against settlement of the natural fillings.

    Both these comments are quite assuring and specific and should form the basis of your choice. In our mind this is indeed a better concept than the similar offerings available but obviously, the final choice is down to you. John and Ryan.

  • Heather says:

    Hi. We are now thoroughly confused!
    We tried a couple of mattresses today – we only really have Bensons and Dreams in our area, unfortunately. We liked a 1600 pocket sprung latex topped one (built in) at Dreams (£700 on ‘sale’) and then a pillow top 2200 pocket sprung one at Bensons (Relyon ‘Savoy’ £900).
    After much research and checking out your fab website, we’re now not so sure what we should be investing in.
    I’m 5’5″, 9 1/2 stone and tend to sleep on my front, my partner is 5’10”, 15 1/2 stone (pure muscle!) and tends to sleep on his back (or side when he’s snoring and I’ve made him turn over!). He also suffers from lower back pain and stiffness periodically.
    Please help us decide which mattress would suit us and what kind of topper!
    Thank you!!
    PS – We loved the Bensons one – it was ‘firm’.

    Hi Heather. Firstly, the post above about pillow top mattresses should have been enough to dissuade you from this particular model (Relyon Savoy. Further to this. I ask you to read this particular comment from another commentator who actually purchased (and regretted) it. There really isn’t much more I can say on this.

    As for the latex mattress (I’m not sure which model it was you tried), you really do have to know the precise breakdown of the mattress in order for you to see where your money is going. Our Origins Latex 1500 is broken down precisely in order for you to be able to more than adequate comparisons, but unless you actually push the salesman or retailer for comparable information you will never know who has got the best built mattress.

    Something to bear in mind whilst making your choice is that for budgets under £800 – £900 there will be minimal options for you to have a choice of spring tensions (Support) – quite important where bodyweights such as yours differ significantly. With this in mind, I ask you to consider The Tailored Pocket or better still, The Artisan Naturals as a minimum standard. I know you say you are in an area of limited choice but I really would search out a John Lewis or Furniture Village and try the models from the Vi Spring range of beds. Disregard the price, the exercise is to enforce in you how a good quality mattress should feel. Once you do, you will never be satisfied with the springy run of mill offerings in many of the bedsheds – I promise!

    It’s good that you are asking about toppers at this stage. Ryan has recently purchased a double fill Hungarian goose feather and down from pillow and duvet warehouse and is raving about it. What seems to be a comparable model at The White Company was around twice the price – worth checking out.

    Toppers should be an essential purchase with any new mattress. They take the brunt of all the wear and tear on the mattress (sweat and so forth) and particularly with good quality mattresses with natural fibres, they help the mattress to be broken in slowly over time to even out the upholstery layers.
    Hope this helps Heather. John and Ryan.

  • Ben says:

    Hi John & Ryan,

    First, and as many other’s have commented, let me congratulate you on having a really great site here. It’s very refreshing to see this open and transparent an approach to sales.

    Second, I am looking to get a mattress sorted out ASAP as I dread hitting the hay at the moment. The old mattress gets worse the more bed research I do. I think I’m reaching saturation point now, and I was hoping you would help me toward a decision.

    A few years ago I did a lot of research and bought a Rest-Assured mattress. It had 2400 pocket springs (1400 in a pillow top layer) and Latex top, but alas I donated it to my ex when we separated. It seemed a real bargain at the time at ~£5-600, and I was hoping to spend a similar amount this time perhaps a bit more £500-700.

    What I particularly liked about the previous latex mattress is that it seems to ‘spring-back’ faster, which makes it easier to manoeuvre while getting comfortable, rather than having to fight your way out your indentation which seems to be the case with the memory foam topped one’s that I’ve tried.

    It’s also my understanding that latex provides extra detailed support by contouring to your body in higher definition than the underlying pocket springs could do alone. Which seems to be a continuation of the benefit that pocket springs have. However I would take advisement on this – e.g. does it *need* latex? The Artisan models don’t boast it.

    I do want a product that will have a good long life, and your site has now made me realise that a separate/replaceable ‘top’ layer could be preferable to a built in one, especially if latex doesn’t have as great a life-span as pocket springs. The idea that you should get a topper even on a new all-singing-dancing mattress was news to me, as it seems a bit counter-intuitive what with all the luxuriously top layers of various padding.

    Anyway, from what I’ve read, I have confidence that the products you are offering through this site are probably of better value than I’m likely to easily find elsewhere.

    However, the cat is truly among the pigeons now. At my weight I suspect the most appropriate firmness is medium or medium/soft, so it looks like the best match on that factor would be the Origins Pocket 1500 Double, but should I then get a latex topper? Or just go for the Origins Pocket Latex 1500, but would that be too firm? Should I say to hell with the latex and splurge a bit more for Artisan Tailored pocket 2000 (since I could specify softness), but then I’d still need some kind of topper?!

    I know there’s no concrete correct answer, as it’s obviously a somewhat subjective field, but I would value your opinions on what you feel would be my best choice from your products.

    The missing info:
    I weigh 11st, my partner is about 12st. My preference is to get a medium/soft mattress, as I want my shoulder to sink in rather than feeling compressed. My girlfriend has found soft/medium beds tested comfortable, though she sleeps on her front occasionally and presumably too soft a mattress wouldn’t accomodate this well.

    Many thanks in advance, Ben.

    Hi Ben. I think you get the record for the longest comment left on the site !

    The upshot of this is your £500 – £700 falls into a mid price range so spend it wisely. To demonstrate this, just have a quick flick down the product list on Dreams / Bensons site and see what it can get you. Bear in mind tho’ you will need weights and breakdowns to ensure you are getting the most upholstery for your money. I wouldn’t be too concerned at this stage about differing spring types (1500 pockets will be enough to start with) .

    On the pyramid of components Polyester (white fibre / premium white fibre / hypo allergenic white fibre) is the cheapest in use and because of this is the main component or foundation of most mattresses within this price range. Moving up from this is the foams (Foam, Memory Foam, Latex etc) and then wools and cottons, and at the top of the component heirarchy is the hairs (Horsetail, horsehair, Cashmere, Mohair etc).

    I mention this because you will be wasting your life looking for mattresses with natural fibre upholstery for the budget you have. As your preference is towards latex, and I agree with you – it will now be relatively easy to draw up a list of prospective mattresses and then ultimately pick the one that suits your needs.

    As for toppers, have a look at this comment here which explains the theory in detail. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Richard Barber says:


    In a recent post you mention that Ryan has recently purchased a double fill Hungarian goose feather and down from pillow and duvet warehouse and is raving about it. Can I ask why Ryan chose that instead of the Ultimate Wool Fleece topper. I ask because the supplier says the wool topper is one of their most luxurious.

    Also, I’m concerned about heat retention and breathability of toppers and ask if you could comment on this aspect as well please.

    I’m asking because I’m researching in preparation for buying a new bed. I’ve pretty much decided on your advice of quality first and price second. I won’t be going for foam, latex etc and can’t decide just yet which of your Artisan range would suit me best.

    Many thanks,

    Hi Richard. It transpires that shortly after our comment the afore mentioned topper was not available. Ryan paid £72 for it (Kingsize). Looking at the site now it seems that this topper is retailing for around £140 same as the wool topper you refer to. We think that there was a pricing mistake on the site which made us comment on the quality of product for the price. Even so, £140 is not a great amount for this topper (The White Company offer a similar topper for a similar price).

    Toppers and the benefits thereof is commented on at length throughout this site. You could look at them as an extension to your mattress that when worn out can be changed – thus leaving your mattress as new. Polyester is more heat retentive than the natural fibres – and even this aspect of toppers should be a small compromise to the overall benefits. If you do find toppers heat retentive, the tog reduction of your duvet usually helps.

    Our pride and joy mattress is our Artisan Naturals. Not the most expensive but can be adapted to suit the majority of enquiries we get. Of course our descriptions will show you what extra you get by spending more but generally, if this is the budget you are working to it is unlikely you will find better. John and Ryan (Sorry Richard for the excessive delay in replying)

  • Lyn says:

    We am thinking of buying the Origins Pocket 1500 mattress to use on our existing sprung-edge divan base. Cost is a factor, or we would be looking at your higher end models. Having read your comments on pillow-tops, we would also buy a topper, especially as I prefer a softer surface due to aching hips when sleeping on my side. Looking at latex models, they are all out of our price range, except the thin (2.5cm) Silentnight Reflex latex king size topper at £133 from Amazon. Is it worth getting this or would we better with a microfibre or down/feather topper at a similar price? Our weights are 11 & 14 stones. Thanks.

    Hi Lyn. Personally, I think if you bought the Origins Reflex and utilised a slightly better (deeper) topper this would be a better combination for you. The support in the Reflex is fine for your bodyweights and there is ample upholstery both sides to complement any additional comfort you add.

    Toppers are quite a personal choice. It is always best to try the mattress for a couple of weeks (with just adequate protection) before deciding what topper works best for you and also the mattress. A final thing to note is that our Origins Reflex is quite a deep mattress. A one inch topper brings the depth to abut 13″ – A good fitted sheet with a 13″ – 14″ side panel will hold everything in place.
    Just one more thing: There are plenty of outlets selling toppers of all sorts so don’t be led by psuedo branding. Some brands are worthy of selection but I personally think Silentnight is not one of those. John and Ryan.
    John and Ryan.

  • jenny robson says:

    Hi, firstly thank you for such an informative website. I am after some advice – my husband and I currrently have a 14 year old ‘ortho’ pocket srpung mattress from The Iron Bed Company, now Feather and Black and it is on a metal bed frame with sprung slats – superking size. I know it needs replacing as it is old and uncomfortable.

    I am thinking of a new mattress and new base. At the moment there is a raised ridge down the middle of the bed where the metal bit is below that holds the slats in place and there are sags in each side of the mattress where we sleep.

    My husband is 6feet 2 and 18 stone and I am 5 feet 5 and 11 stone. At the moment I get woken up every night when my husband turns over as his movement makes my side of the bed shake a lot. I was looking at a pocket sprung 2000 with a layer of memory foam on the top from a local shop, but having read your info now I am not so sure about the layer on top.

    Would it be better just to get a pocket sprung and a topper? I am not that fussed about it being memory foam and I know your views on it, I just want to not be disturbed when hubby moves around, maybe that problem would be sorted just by a new mattress and bed anyway? Any recommendations for where to buy good toppers and what to look for with them? thanks for any advice!

    Hi Jenny. All signs point to the fact that your current mattress has had its day and no doubt a new one will eradicate the problems you describe. An unsubstantial mattress on sprung slats do give rise to the hump back bridge effect – where the slats are pushing the mattress up because of the insignificant weight. I also feel that the shaking from the bedframe is due to the fixings on your frame becoming loose over time (common with metal frame beds).

    Obviously, the choice of mattress comes down to budget and I would agree that purchasing the two elements seperately (support and comfort) can sometimes be a better alternative (pound for pound) than trying to find a mattress on a low budget that will tick all your boxes.

    Your weight differences make this route even more beneficial. Your husband requires more support than you do and on a low budget, it is impossible to find a mattress using a ‘one spring fits all’ composition. As a starter suggestion for you, take a look at our Artisan Tailored Pocket. Ideally this should be the minimum standard everyone should be looking at. It is not overly expensive in the grand scheme of things but can be tailored to match up with both your individual requirements.

    Please feel free to call Marie or Gary at the office to discuss further. John and Ryan.

  • Raz says:

    hi, ive been looking for a review on the John Lewis Pillowtop 1 mattress which im getting at a bargain price of £320 comnpared to the £899 listed on the jl website. is it worth my hard earned cash.

    I am 13 stones 5ft 10″ and have had a bedshed freeby mattress for the past seven years, im suffering from lower back pain too, thats why i thought id for for the pillowtop mattress. After reading the above comments im thinking twice but i guess id get ten plus years out of it wont i?
    Before looking into pillowtop i liked this JOHN LEWIS DOUBLE MATTRESS EGYPTIAN COTTON NATURAL COLLECTION £899

    I would like to hear your comments on this mattress.
    kind regards. Raz.

    Hi Raz. The simple answer to your question “..Is it worth my hard earned cash?” is YES, absolutely. But .. how are you getting it for such a low price?

    There are several posts and comments throughout this site about ‘Value’ and ‘Worth’. In this case the mattress at the advertised price of £899 (Feb 2013)is certainly not worth this price BUT, it certainly is at £320. which equates to Value and Worth.

    Again, you know my views on pillowtop mattresses but in this case it becomes rather invalid. By adding your own supplementary topper to take the wear and tear you are still looking at an unbelievable bargain. Which makes me question once again – How? Mattresses that retail below £500 can be deemed as cheap mattresses – realistically, all mattresses that retail below the £1000 mark are not always that special, which puts your find into perspective.

    Finally Raz. Getting ten years out of a mattress is pushing it. The current general consensus is that a mattress should be exchanged every seven years. This does not mean that all mattresses will ‘last’ seven years (some cheap bag of springs will not even last one year) and even if you spend a couple of grand, it is by year seven you should be looking to exchange. Hope this helps Raz. let me know a little more. John and Ryan.

    2013/02/20 at 13:53
    Thanks for your swift reply, firstly the item i bought from ebay, the packaging was damaged in transit which caused minor dust marks on the mattress. eventhough the seller had it listed for £600 with double divan base i asked him a price for the mattress alone with a little bartering i managed to get it for this price.

    John lewis mattresses are common on a popular auction in manchester Charles Taylor, that is where buyers purchase pallet loads of john lewis products.

    Thanks once again your comments are much appreciated

    Hi again Raz. Aaah. That makes sense. I still think this equates to a good buy scuff marks or not. Far better getting something like this for just over £300 than a brand new cheap mattress which is only worth £300 (and that’s stretching it in most cases). Please let me know how you get on with it post purchase. Very interesting. John and Ryan.

    2013/02/26 at 17:46
    hi john and ryan, i bought the john lewis pillowtop 1 matt the other day and am looking into buying either the cordoba bed or the barcelona bed from *** do you think these beds will be ok with the mattress?

    Hi again Raz. I’m afaraid you will have to ask the retailer this question. Only they will know their product sufficiantly to give this advice. I have absolutely no idea what these bedframes are like however, it is quite likely they will be fiine. John and Ryan.

    2013/03/15 at 16:18
    hi, i received my pillowtop mattress last night, and you know what i had a great nights sleep and missed the alarm, still got bad back though after putting together two double flatpack beds, but im sure looking forward to bedtime tonight.

    when i contacted you last time about the pillowtop i was purchasing the johnlewis pillowtop 1 for £320 but my beds hadnt arrived, so my mate dave from ashton says hes got another one coming in, so i wait and i recieved it last night only to find out itsa a pillowtop 2 retailing at £1099, so i guess i got a bargain at £375. the mattress looks luxurious and feel it too, i will keep you posted on how the mattress does in the future.


  • Sheila says:

    RE: Sealy Revive Energy Latex Mattress
    Can you give me your opinion on the above mattress.
    Thank you

    Hi Sheila. It is what it is – a cheap mattress from Argos. The most ludicrous thing about this is the despicable ‘WAS’ price of £999.00 [Kingsize: May 2013]. Argos seem to have this annoying habit of putting a mattress on site with an extortionate selling price only to reduce it when the obligatory time period has elapsed. I often wonder if anyone buys these products at the full price only to find a few weeks later they see it for sale at a much reduced price and what their complaint options are? – any wiser people than us out there who can offer their viewpoint on this will be most welcome to respond.

    The description on site is disgracefully lacking in any kind of detail. The most worrying thing about this is that as the mattress is described as ‘Latex’ there is bugger all telling you about this major part of the mattress build. It’s a continuous sprung spring system better than a basic cage sprung unit but inferior to a basic pocket sprung unit.

    So what are your options? I’m going to assume your budget is £400 or so for a Kingsize mattress and I think a better alternative to this particular model is the Latex Pocket 1000 from Mattressman is a better overall purchase [Do not take this as a personal recommendation of product or company] and use this as a model for further comparison. The Latex Pocket 1000 does state that the Latex component is made up of 2.5mm of Foam and a further 2.5mm of Latex (type unknown) but .. for the price .. still lower than the Argos model is a significantly better mattress for your money. Hope this helps and would be interested in knowing what you decide upon. John and Ryan.

  • Neil Robinson says:

    Having just recently bought an iGel mattress from Bensons I’m finding I’m waking up aching from my neck, right down to my feet and everywhere in between. I’m sticking with it for the 40 day swap period but I’m seriously considering taking it back. Would you be able to suggest an alternative?
    Bed frame is king sized wooden with thick timber slats, I’m carrying a good few pound more than my missus would like 🙁 and I do suffer from upper back problems quite regularly. I spent a grand on the mattress but am willing to pay more to get a better nights sleep

    Hi Neil. I’m sorry but there is no way we can bring ourselves to recommend any alternative from Bensons. Reading the description I see that there is no depth of I-Gel given. I would expect that for the price you paid it should be in the region of 5cm. I would consider the usage of toppers (Read Here) to give you additional elements of comfort which in turn should reduce your aches and pains. Try this (Luxury Australian Wool Topper – about £70 – Pillow and Duvet Warehouse) and see what difference that makes to the mattress. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Daniel says:

    I am currently sleeping on a Reylon 1800 pillowtop mattress we have had it for about 2 years but we both, me in particular, suffer from quite bad sweating during the night could the mattress be the cause. I have worked away and traveled quite a lot and haven’t suffered this anywhere else if it is the mattress is there anything I can do or any advice on a new type of mattress.

    Hi Danny. My initial thought was that your mattress may have been a memory foam mattress which may have been the culprit for your night sweats. Having had a quick look at Relyon models I came across the Relyon Ultima 1800 pillowtop which I assume is the model you have. No mention of Memory Foam only Reflex foam, poly cotton (RPC) and polyester (white fibre).

    The best way to reduce heat build up is as simple as reducing the tog of your duvet. Also, with differing needs from your wife having two separate single duvets can help with air circulation between you both. Hope this helps Danny – feel free to comment further. John and Ryan.

  • Aisha says:

    I bought a Silentnight Miracoil 7 kingsize which has the intergrated pillow top. After 6 months it started sagging over to my partners side – he is alot heavier and taller than me but he his not over weight. The top has sag over so much now ( just over a year after purchase)that its difficult to put over the sheet and mattress protecter. It is only the top part (the pillow top) that has pushed out over the main body of the mattress.
    I do really wish I had bought the separate mattress topper as you have recommended but now I am stuck with this one. Is there a way of repairing it or can I cut off the top layer and then buy a mattress topper? Any advise much appreciated.

    Hi Aisha. Good question. Invariably the spring unit within a year will not have received so much wear and tear as to render it useless – and so, what can be done to rectify the upholstery failure?

    I wouldn’t go as far as to remove the pillowtop section but I would turn the entire mattress upside down using the pillowtop as the cushioning to your bed base and start from scratch to add your own comfort layers on top of the non sleep side of the mattress. You may find that the underside of the mattress is utilising a firm pad which will not be a comfortable surface to sleep on. Taking the nature of this pad into consideration I would be inclined to use a foam layer (Memory Foam / Latex / Foam) of about 5cm in depth to act as as a foundation comfort layer. On top of this I would use a supplementary topper (either Feather and Down / Down / or Microfibre) to add an additional element of comfort.

    This fix will be a lot more economical for you than replacng the entire mattress, particular taking the low age into account. Hope this helps Aisha, and let us know if this works for you. John and Ryan.

  • Angie says:

    Hi, I have just ordered a Sealy Seattle Pillow top mattress from Bensons and I am now panicking after reading reviews. The Sydney Pillow top gets dreadful reviews and I am wondering if there is any independent info on the Seattle?

    Hi Angie, Apologies for the delay in responding, we’ve been incredibly busy with the new range and with our office move. Independent reviews of beds are incredibly hard to come by. Even the well known review magazines have been known to some extent to have sponsorship or affiliates. The only way to truly get an independent review is to privately pay to have a mattress tested by the furniture ombudsmen or equivalent. Due to the expense and difficulty in this scenario we always base our advice on facts, we compare the known components, densities, GSM and spring units side by side. This is the only way to critique a mattresses quality. Comfort on the other hand is nearly entirely subjective! What we will say is that pillow-top mattresses are never advisable. Why you ask? This is because whilst the pillow top may feel sumptuous at first, its usually stitched onto the mattress and its also the ‘weakest’ part of the bed. Usually pillowtops are filled with ‘white fibres’ such as polyester or very soft materials. These compress quickly and so once the pillowtop has compressed or dipped your then left lying directly on the pocket sprung unit, meaning the once soft comfort layer disappears. We always advice that you avoid this and go for a separate removable topper. Its more prudent to buy a higher quality pocket sprung mattress without a pillow top and then buy a separate topper which you can replace. We hope that helps Angie – Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Jane Dodsworth says:

    I just wondered if you know anything about the Mammoth mattresses. We have been looking at the sprung mattress with the latex layer that states it is excellent for backs and used by sportsmen and women?
    Thank you

    Hi Jane, I recently responded to someone asking about Mammoth mattresses and have copied my reply below. In regard to them being ‘excellent for backs’ any suitable high quality mattress that is the correct tension for your size and shape will help provide a more comfortable sleep experience. I would never market any mattress solely as excellent for one thing as everyone is different.

    I’d avoid the hype about sports and Olympians and look at the actual specifics of the mattresses. The latex bed you describe has 4cm of ‘drilled latex’ which I guess means they have used their technique to castellate the latex, which in my opinion is slightly unnecessary given how fantastic solid core latex is its its pure state. You only castellate foam to make it softer but with latex you’d be better simply choosing a lighter density rather than carving it up! We have a full range of 100% natural latex mattresses that are ideal for pressure relief that you can look at here.

    I don’t know of Mammoth doing a latex pocket sprung but they do a foam sprung bed. I also can’t give any guidance on the tension aspect as they use the american term ‘regular’ which gives me no indication how firm it is! The specification does not offer any densities of the foams or gauges of the springs so again comparisons are hard.

    I don’t want to baffle you further Jane with specifics and think it would be easier to ask what you want from a mattress over the phone then I can give you some advice. – Lee

    Mammoth mattresses are marketed as a sports/health mattress. Having tried a number of them I can confirm that they are ‘high specification foam’, but what does this mean. It means its a quality foam, which all quality mattresses should be the John Ryan Contemporary range is all high specification foam/latex.

    Mammoth use high density, firm, foams. The Mammoth construction uses a v- cut castellation, which is to cut and checkerboard the slab of foam to create different tensions in the mattress. This allows the more closely scored sections to be more flexible and soft and the more distant scores to be firmer. If you imagine a castellated piece of foam you’re close to the method. It is an interesting technique but as for health benefits you would need to ask to see the clinical research behind this.. Good question. Lee – John Ryan Contemporary.

  • Betty says:

    My silentnight Hendon double mattress has a hole and is sagging at the sides after 3 and a half years, I complained to silentnight and have been offered a classic miracoil-pillowtop for £180 they say it’s worth more, but I’m not convinced that after reading reviews it will take the weight of my 16 and a half stone husband.

    Hi Betty, You may have noticed that we do not recommend “pillow topped” mattresses for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that once the pillow top has flattened you will need to replace the whole mattress and pillow top mattresses tend to be one sided. Both these issues will result in a reduced lifespan for your mattress. From my research I note that the Hendon is a cushion top, which is another name for a pillow top and is presumably why it has failed after the three and half year use. Although they are unlikely to offer you anything else, we would be reluctant to accept the offer because we are not convinced that it will provide sufficient support for your husband’s weight and it is likely to flatten as described above. I am sorry we cannot not be more positive, kind regards Mike.

  • val says:

    Advice please… i bought a rest assured Eloquence extra firm mattress in August this year. I am in agony every morning since we had it. My lower back and hips are so painful I am having to get out of bed at three and walk around. I’ve thought of putting a mattress topper on to soften it but a fiber one isn’t making any difference at all. I’ve been looking at memory foam with a special cover which reduces heat (I get very hot anyway) do you have any ideas?

    Hi Val, You have not provided details of your body weight or the specific reason why you chose an extra firm mattress in the first instance. There is no evidence to support the theory that if you have back issues you should purchase a firm mattress, in fact, the recommendation from official sources tends towards the opposite. You are correct in thinking that you may be able to soften the mattress with the use of a topper and to that end I would suggest that you look at http://www.johnryancontemporary.co.uk/mattress-toppers/mattress-toppers/ where there may be a topper to suit your requirements. If you want further advice on the topper range, please call Gary on our office number. Regards Mike.

  • Adam says:

    Can you give me some advice regarding iGel mattresses (or equivalent) please?

    Having tried memory foam toppers, I am after a memory foam type mattress, and although I find them very comfortable, they have been too hot (they give me night sweats). Can you give me some advice as to whether iGel would really address this issue or if there is a more suitable alternative out there?

    I am happy to pay whatever it takes to get a decent night’s kip!


    Hi Adam,
    Memory foam is notorious for heat retention and I would not recommend a mattress containing this to anyone. We do make some mattresses containing Laygel, which is similar to IGel and does not retain the heat like memory foam. Please view our Hybrid range at http://www.johnryancontemporary.co.uk/ and contact our office thereafter to obtain more specific advice as to the suitability of these products. Regards Mike.

    Submitted on 2015/04/30 at 15:05

    Thanks for your response.

    Which of the mattress/topper types would you recommend most for heat regulation?

    I’m looking at your Laygel and CoolBlue as well as Latex, but don’t know which would be best in this respect.

    Hi Adam,
    Laygel & Coolblue are both cooler than memory foam and Latex is cooler still. Please ring if you have any further queries. Regards Mike.

  • Aggarwal says:

    Hi ,

    I am 25 years old , and have a back pain problem , thinking of which i have ordered Therapedic Back sense mattress , however in which i am confused should i go for one with memory foam or latex & whether pillow top or box top mattress.Kindly let me know .
    My weight is 83 Kgs & 6 Ft height.



    I would never advocate the purchase of a “pillow top” mattress as these tend to have a reduced life span due to the fact that they are one sided and so cannot be turned, when the top flattens over time, you will need to replace the whole mattress, making is a very expensive short term solution.

    Likewise, I would not advise the purchase of a memory foam mattress as memory foam is notorious for heat retention and does not return to shape quickly. Latex on the other hand, is more responsive and will return to shape much quicker and does not have the issue with heat retention. I note you have provided your weight details and information regarding your back issues, but have not indicated what your budget is, which makes further advice difficult. In addition, if you are not UK mainland based, we are not able to supply one of our products. Regards Mike.

  • kirsty says:

    Hi, we have just bought a “naked beds” essence 2000 pillow top and it is on a slatted base…(wish had found your website before we had!) anyway it feels so hard and both of us are suffering with neck/back trouble.( we are neither overweight nor that old! mid 50’s) it was so expensive but we are now totally gutted as we were hoping it would help but seem to have made things worse. Do you have any ideas to what we can do please? Wish had never seen the thing!!!

    Hi Kirsty,
    Having looked at the very vague description of the Essence 2000, I note that it is described as medium to firm feel. Did you advise the sales person of your body weights and preferred feel at the point of purchase? If not, then I would suggest that you contact the retailer and advise them of this and request that you be allowed to exchange the mattress for one which suits your requirements. You may need to be quite firm in your approach with the shop, as I am sure they will try to fob you off. I am only guessing, as I am not aware of your body weights, but it does seem that the medium to firm tension is too firm. If the store are adamant that they will not exchange the mattress the only other solution would be to purchase a separate topper to soften the overall feel. I trust that this helps, kind regards Mike.

  • Clive says:

    Hi, We recently purchased a king size pillow top from House of Faser, it is by Hypnos, a 2800 pocket sprung. (had we read your thoughts on pillow tops we would have opted for a mattress and high end topper, hindsight is a wonderful thing!) Our concern is that there are springs visible in the actual wall of the pillow top, very prominent on one edge, just noticeable on the head and foot edge and not at all noticeable on the other edge, this does not seem right to us so we complained but the store say this is how they are made with springs in the pillow top, seems odd that at over £2000 you can see springs? I have searched the Hypnos site and searched the web for an illustration of how the pillow top is constructed but have been unable to find a cross section showing where these springs are coming from and why they are there. The mattress is comfortable our concern is with only a thin layer of pillow top between us and the springs will they become a problem over time. All in all it just seems wrong and we would not have purchased had we known.
    Thanks and very best regards Clive

    Hi Clive,
    As you say there is little, if any, information available to confirm the construction of the mattress you refer to, however, I would go direct to Hypnos and seek some clarification from them with regard to the springs being visible. I would not expect to be able to see the springs in any well made mattress and, given Hypnos’ reputation as a credible manufacturer, would not expect the same to be standard within one of their products. I should be interested to hear how you get on. Kind regards Mike.

  • Chels says:

    I had purchased a pillow top mattress from Dreams about 5 years ago ( Solstice D Mattress – no longer able to find this on their website ) but we recently had a look at the mattress after me and my other half have been suffering bad backs and it looks like a hole / massive dent has formed in the mattress – also just seen your review about the pillow tops so will be staying away from these now

    However are you able to advise on which mattress would be suitable for us ?

    We are two large people – approx 17 stone each – we are about 5ft 7 – I can see recommendations of a mattress that are approx 13-14 inchs deep

    We are looking for a double mattress

    We don’t like the mattresses that heat you up as we prefer a cooler bed.

    We are willing to spend in the region £1000 for a good mattress – ideally one with a warranty incase the mattress collapses again as thought the solstice would give us a good 10 years

    Any advise would much appreciated ?

    Many thanks


    Hi Chelsey,
    Given your body weights, I would suggest that you opt for a medium to firm mattress. Our Artisan range are constructed using natural fibres for the upholstery. Please visit these on our site and call our office for more specific advice as to the suitability of the products in that range for you. Kind regards Mike.

  • John says:

    Hello, I’ve just taken delivery of a ‘Comfort 2200’ mattress from Marks & Spencer (£1199.00). It’s described as consisting of a double layer of pocketed springs. I was surprised, when it turned up, to see it was a pillow top mattress. Marks & Spencer’s website showed a regular mattress – this has now changed to show, correctly, a pillow top. Prior to purchasing, I’d done some research and decided to avoid a pillow top. Since it was their mistake, M&S have offered to take it back or refund me £50. I haven’t slept on it yet and, since it was in their sale, the bed will ultimately cost me around £550 instead of the regular retail of £1200. However, I have concerns about these beds. I don’t like the idea of ‘memory foam’ which is what I think the pillow top is made from. I am around 85 kilos and, although the bed won’t be used that much, I’d like to get decent wear from it. The bed looks rather luxurious and I’m tempted to keep it but … What do you think? Many thanks for a really helpful website.

    Hi John,
    As you are no doubt aware, we are vehemently opposed to pillow tops for the reasons detailed within our site. Even though you are likely to have spent less than half of the suggested retail price on this bed, this may turn out to be a false economy, as you will no doubt have to replace this mattress in the short term once the pillow top fails. I assume your purchase was made on-line without physically trying this mattress in store, based on the surprise that the pillow top gave you. Personally, I would take the refund option and look at our Origins Pocket 1500 mattress, which for your body weight would provide a medium feel. The details of this mattress are provided on our site and I would ask that if you have any more specific queries regarding this product that you call our office. Kind regards Mike.

  • Gill says:

    Hi, we have just purchased a ‘pillow top’ mattress….and having read read all the above I am thinking it was a duff buy…however it was reduced at our Next clearance from £1100 to £450, it has 2000 pocked springs and I believe is the same as the link here:

    I am hoping it will be OK durability wise, if not my thoughts are well for £450 we could use the bottom reverse side if need be and place a topper on if need be later?
    I value your opinion!

    Hi Gill,
    You will know from having read our site that we would not recommend a pillow top mattress irrespective of how good a financial deal is appears to be. In addition to the issue of the possibility of the top flattening in the short term, there is the issue of the mattress only being upholstered on one side meaning that if you flip it the feel of the reverse side, with or without a topper, will be very uncomfortable.
    Whilst I am not aware of your body weights, preferred feel and maximum budget, I would suggest that you view the pocket sprung mattresses on our site and in particular the Origins range. These represent excellent value for money and aside from the Origins Pocket Latex model, are all double sided, which will increase the longevity with regular turning and rotating. I hope that this helps, kind regards Mike.

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