Choice between Vi Spring and Somnus mattresses

Tijana asked
22nd October 2010

Hello, I was wondering if you could please advise?

I am agonising over mattress choice for months now. I loved Vi-Spring but decided it was too expensive and am now trying to choose between Somnus and Harrison. Someone recommended Somnus but when I tried it (had only 5000 spring one in showroom though I would buy a 3000 one) didn’t quite feel right. The medium support felt too firm for me (have a low back and pelvic problem) and my husband found the firm one too soft. We then tried a Harrison one with 3,500 springs and it felt better for both of us, but I am now worried whether it will be too soft in the long run (felt softer than the Somnus one). We have also liked a John Lewis Premier I mattress which is also around 3,000 springs and apparently the same as a Harrison mattress. I am now torn between Harrison and Somnus as I have had quite a strong recommendation for that and it seems a successful brand. Please help!


1 Answer
Lee Staff
answered 12 years ago

Hi Tijana,

To be quite frank, the manufacturers you mention Vi-Spring, Somnus and Harrison all fall into the same quality table.

Harrison and Somnus are in fact the same family business with Somnus being the posher and Harrison the more mainstream.

You don’t mention any model names so I am unable to verbally dissect them for comparison.

There is also Spink and Edgar (same Harrison family) who are now in the running as offering the most pocket springs in a mattress – with The Empire having over 21.000!!

When you are looking at mattresses of this pedigree, and as you have so eloquently pointed out, firmness levels cannot really be placed on any particular model (although it is done).

Your husband finding the so-called firm one – too soft, clearly illustrates this anomaly in categorising firmness levels of natural fibre mattresses.

As for which one would be best for you, I would suggest for the first stage you disregard the manufacturer and concentrate on the reasons why you find the mattress comfortable. Please use the article found here on what is the best mattress for you.

Then break down the components and then do your comparisons with like for like models.

Bear in mind that spring counts over 2000 particularly from the Harrisons family utilise layers of mini springs above/below the main unit.

Once you have found out what the spring layout is then the all-important wadding layers have to be detailed to ensure you are getting the maximum amount of filling you possibly can, this is known as the GSM.

Long term (longevity), mattresses of this calibre are built to be bedded in over time.

The tension you feel when they are new will most definitely not be the same some years down the line.

Always work on the principle that they will become softer – and incidentally, this principle should be used on all mattresses – exactly like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

This is one reason why trying a mattress out in a shop can only give you a general idea of comfort levels.

The support comes from the internal spring unit and the tension is determined by the body weight sleeping on the mattress.

BodyweightSpring tension
Upto 16 Stone / 50-101kgMedium (1.4mm)
16 Stone / 101kg UpwardsFirm (1.6mm)
Available in Bespoke Products (Please Call)Soft (1.2mm)

Finally, Harrisons et al, do manufacture for John Lewis -and although the specifications may look similar for a lower price, they invariably have some differences between the similar models – ask as many questions as you can to differentiate between models. We have a John Lewis comparison page here which may be of interest to you.

Hope this helps, and let me know what you choose.

If you require any further assistance please call our office on 0161 437 4419. Please find our office opening hours here.

Kind Regards John.

Terry Hawkins
commented 3 years ago


I’m looking at the Vispring Elite as theres a good deal on one at Furniture Village. I’m 13 stone and like a medium feel mattress. Can you let me know which in the John Ryan range maybe similar?


Amy Woolley
commented 3 years ago

Hi Terry Hawkins,

Thank you for your question.

At 13 stone we would recommend a medium spring tension for the correct support.

Our closest comparison to the Vi Spring Elite is The Artisan Luxury.

Although the Luxury is similar in comfort to the Vi Spring Elite, the construction is very different. Our Luxury contains far more upholstery and also layers of Horsehair/ tail to help keep the upholstery loft and reduce compression.

I hope this helps, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0161 437 4419 should you have any further questions.