John Lewis and Staples Mattresses Reviewed

Alex B asked
1st September 2012

I’ve recently bought a John Lewis Refresh 2 mattress.

It was missing a felt washer from one of the tufts, so John Lewis had the manufacturer send out a couple of spares; the sender was Horatio Myer & Co Ltd/Staples.

The Refresh 2 seems to have elements of Staples’ Eleanor and Cordelia models, but is no-turn, like some of their higher-end models. Which made me start questioning the mattress and whether I’d got a good deal or been sold a dud!

The Refresh feels ok but now I’m wondering why it’s only one-sided and if I’ve made a mistake buying this bed? Can you advise how you can review and compare their models?



22 Answers
Lee Staff
answered 10 years ago

Hi Alex.

Thanks for this question. We get asked all the time about John Lewis mattresses and whether they are a good buy for sleepers. Before we answer that we need to address the issue of the Staples mattress is the issue of the John Lewis being a one-sided mattress.

You should only expect a one-sided mattress if you’re paying half the price of a two-sided model. One-sided models restrict you to one side and can have a really short shelf life in comparison once the fillings settle. It’s not that theres anything wrong with the John Lewis model just that you could get a lot more for your money with a 2-sided alternative.

Another major difference is that the two Staples models you mention above has 2 rows of Hand Side Stitching rather than machine stitched as on the John Lewis Refresh. Another huge difference in terms of overall build quality.

Comparing John lewis Mattresses:

We have written a really detailed article that compares the John Lewis mattress range here which maybe of help for you to know what to look out for. The John Lewis Refresh gives very minimal details other than being a one-sided medium feel mattress.

You’re going to need to be able to identify the following areas to really compare a John Lewis Mattress:

The one thing which we are unsure about are the weights of fillings used in any of them. We list all of our weights for our range here. We explain a bit more below about wool as an example of a natural mattress fibre which maybe helpful to watch.

If you want to see an example of the kind of detail you should expect to see on a quality mattress, then have a look at our Artisan Naturals below which too is a medium feel mattress.

How to compare mattresses:

The best comparison to the John Lewis Refresh mattress is our Artisan Naturals pictured below. It has a true Medium feel and is 85% Natural fibre with a calico encased pocket spring.

Artisan Naturals Mattress




4 1500GSM 100% PURE MOHAIR





How much should you spend on a new mattress?

As a guide below is a table that shows exactly what you can expect for your budget regardless of where you buy your mattress. This should act as a helpful aid when browsing mattress shops and retailers.

How much to spend on a double mattress?What can I expect for my money?
Under £500Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil/cage sprung with a thin polyester layer or a solid foam mattress.
£500Entry level spunbond springs with some form of synthetic upholstery. Usually one sided mattresses.
£750The beginnings of a basic pocket springs unit with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials. Two sided models.
£1000Should get you away from most low ranges and into the mid-range pocket spring models.
£1250Should get you a decent pocket sprung mattress with some Natural Fibre content.
£1500Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models with Natural Fibres
£1500-£2000Should get you a Hand Made primarily Natural Fibre Quality Mattress
£2000+You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and Traditional Hand Made Construction Method.
£5000+A Bespoke Hand Made Sleep System, High-end Spring Units & Featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres.

We would always recommend you view two mattresses side by side in this way detailing as much as you can about them. Then you can correctly compare their feels, value and quality. All of our pocket sprung mattresses are double-sided, whether that be our man made range or our natural range.

If you would like more information please give the office a call on 0161 437 4419.

John and Ryan.

Sandra Wilson
commented 3 years ago

Can you feel the tufts on a mattress? I read online that they can feel like buttons digging into your back? is this true?

Gareth Soper
commented 3 years ago

Strange that you have changed to this ‘topper’ approach and advise against one sided mattresses. I bought one of your latex beds that is one sided around 10 years ago and one sided or not it’s pretty much as good as it was when I bought it. The only reason I’m here looking for another one is for another bed.

Guy Blundell
commented 3 years ago

HI Mr Soper,

Thanks for your comment

We have always advised that if you want to replicate the feeling of a pillow-topped mattress to replicate this with a mattress and topper as this will extend the lifespan of the mattress and avoid the common pitfalls of a no turn mattress. The Origins Pocket Latex is the only mattress we would advocate due to the quality of the latex used in combination with pocket springs so cover this with a guarantee that reflects that. I’m so pleased that your mattress has lasted beyond the guarantee. Please let me know if I can be of any help with your search for a new mattress. I hope this helps John Ryan By Design

Michaela Long
answered 3 years ago

Hi Sandra,
Thank you for your question.  Some people are sensitive to the tufts on a mattress which are essential to the construction of the mattress as they hold all the upholstery layers together.  Once a mattress protector and sheet have been added most people do not notice them. If you are sensitive to the tufts, a simple solution would be to add a mattress topper which would also give extra comfort.

The best option for people who do not like tufts would be a one-sided mattress. The best option for these types of mattresses is one that has pocket springs for support and Latex as the comfort layer. Latex is a lot more responsive and durable than memory foam but without the heat retention. The only mattress of this type that we have is the Origins Pocket Latex 1500 which has a very firm to medium feel depending on your body weight.
I hope this helps and if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact the office on 0161 437 4419.
Kind Regards