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November 2019

Relyon Balmoral Mattress Reviewed

The Relyon Balmoral mattress is one of the most popular in their range. We love to compare mattresses to provide you with the full facts when mattress shopping. So today we turn our attention to this Relyon mattress to give you our expert review of this bed.

The Relyon Balmoral is a twin up or dual spring mattress providing a medium soft feel in the top comfort layer. Dual spring mattresses of this type are relatively rare in the market which is nice to see. We have been making them for years in our Artisan range so it’s nice to see progress in the market. The Balmoral also boasts Natural Fibres which means a cooler and more resilient mattress makeup.

Bedroom flowers on White Duvet
What’s under the covers of the Relyon Balmoral Mattress: we delve deeper!

So we are excited to have a look under the tufts on this model and see what’s inside. The model retails at £1600 for a kingsize.

What’s inside the Relyon Balmoral Mattress?

The Relyon Balmoral technical specification sheet details the contents as:

Upholstery Layers

When we look at the fibres we can see that it contains Natural Fibres but unfortunately, Relyon doesn’t disclose the grams per square meter. It is this key information that you need to make a true and detailed comparison. However, we can use our expertise to give an estimate of these layers based on the technical specification and depth of the mattress.

It would be far easier for you if Relyon disclosed the exact GSM but like most mattress retailers they seem to want to keep this secret for reasons unknown. (We guess the reason is they don’t want you actively comparing).

Given the Natural Fibres listed it would actually be a selling point for them if they did this. We always disclose the full GSM and blend of our fibres as this is the only way you can properly compare mattresses side by side. This is vital when comparing construction, comfort and the ultimate value of a bed.

Hypoallergenic Fibre Layer

This is really interesting and a selling point if you’re concerned about allergies. However, there’s very little detail given on this layer and what it could be. Quite often hypoallergenic is another word for synthetic. Allergies are caused by a multitude of factors but in mattresses sometimes its a protein or cortex/cuticle of a hair that can cause an allergic reaction.

Materials such as polyester and ‘white fibre’ are classed as hypoallergenic as they don’t contain any natural oils or proteins. It also means they don’t contain the benefits that Natural Fibres bring such as longevity, loft and breathability. So you need to trade these off against each other. This layer is going to be a softer feel fibre such as polyester to give the mattress its medium-soft feel.

Polyester cross section
Hypoallergenic usually means a synthetic material like polyester

Given the mattress is covered in a further polyester blend cover and then your bedsheets, we’re not sure why you would add a synthetic fibre on top of Natural Fibres. It would be better to just stick entirely to synthetic fibres, accept the heat and compression drawbacks but also save a considerable amount of money. If you have allergies we always advise you seek professional medical guidance on the exact fibres you’re allergic too. In the most part, synthetic beds are best for people with animal or hair allergies such as our Origins Range. We would guess this layer is around 1000gsm as a comfort layer.

Hypoallergenic is usually another term for polyester or white fibre
Hypoallergenic is usually another term for polyester or white fibre
You really should be looking for entirely natural fibres at the £1500 price point
You really should be looking for entirely natural fibres at the £1500 price point

Cotton Layer

Cotton is often used in mattresses as a breathable plant fibre. It’s tough and resilient but more often needs to be blended with another fibre such as wool or more often polyester. This is because cotton has a really low loft. The loft is how fluffy or bulky a fibre feels. It’s how much lift and air the fibres have giving it a spongy fluffy feel. The higher the loft the greater the sink and more cushioning it will have. Cotton has a very low loft so it is blended to stop it compressing and flattening out completely.

We would again need to guess as there is no GSM given but this layer is probably a polycotton blend at 500gsm or thereabouts. This would be another soft layer with a quick sink sensation to it.

Wool, Cotton & Hair Layer

Again this is a blended layer with no details of the GSM or blends given. What we can establish is that this layer acts as the ‘bridging layer’ between the spring unit and the other softer upholstery layers above. with the inclusion of hair. This helps to prevent the softer fibres above from getting lost between the pocket springs and give consistency to the mattress. The Wool and Cotton are again blended to help keep their loft and stop them compressing entirely which is a good move.

We’re a little uncertain of the ‘hair’ layer as no details are given. Is this Cattle hair? Horse hair? Other?

We would imagine is again a blend within a blend which is why no details were given. Probably the lower grade horse and cattle hair mixed together to give the pad some resilience. Ideally, you'd want this layer to be entirely Horsetail or Horsehair especially at the price point of the mattress. This layer will probably be around the 500gsm weight.
Without the details of the blend and GSM you really are just guessing

Mattress detailing

This is where you can start to tell the entry-level ‘basic’ mattresses apart from the Mid-point to Luxury. Mattress details give you an indication of the skill level used in the construction of a particular mattress. However, care needs to be taken as there are lots of tricks and false details that other retailers can use to give the impression of a high-end mattress.

Hand Nested and Centre Tied

This relates to the spring support system, more details on that below. When a spring is hand nested it means that they are lifted and placed into a tying table frame. This is the ‘hand nesting’ element; laying them out by hand before being stitched/tied together. This nesting takes place in a large rectangular box that then allows a skilled craftsperson to then hand-tie/stitch the pocket springs together. This is incredibly time-consuming and only used in high-end mattresses. The craftsperson will pass a large needled through the centre of the springs which is what centre tied means. Knots are then used to finish off each row.

pocket springs, tape and stitch
Hand nesting and tying is a heritage mattress craft and only used in the best mattress construction

The benefit of this is that the springs are kept far more flexible than when they are ‘glued’ together. It provides flex, extension and far more progressive comfort for you. It’s nice to see Relyon using this traditional skill. We hand nest and centre tie all of our Artisan mattresses providing the best level of support and flexibility from our Calico Encased Pocket Springs.

3 Rows of Hand Side Stitching

Similar to the above when the mattress upholstery and side panels are being crafted you have two options. Hand side stitching, which is time-consuming but means each spring is hand-stitched to the side of the mattress. This stops the dreaded mattress bulging you see on cheaper mattresses when you sit on the edge. The second and less technical version is machine side stitching. This is when the side panel has a machine that then fires stitched through to the spring unit which is less targeted and far quicker.

Hand side stitching a John Ryan By Design mattress in action
Hand side stitching provides the ultimate in mattress support and detailing.

The Spring Support Details

Here’s where we get to the really interesting part of this mattress as it features a Dual Spring. Dual Springs offer a very different sensation to regular ‘single-layered’ mattress springs. It means the mattress can feel far more lively which suits people who may move around a lot during the night or prefer a slight bounce to their mattress. Quite often these dual layers are made of cheap synthetic springs such as spring bond. In the Relyon, they use a fabric encased pocket spring.

There are two layers of 1000 springs making the total 2000. They don’t give a spring gauge or tension which us a real shame. From the selection, it looks like they may use a 1.2,1.4 and 1.6 gauge spring based on your weight. However, without confirmation, we’re not sure.

Spring TensionWire diameter (Gauge)Weight Range
Soft1.2mmUpto 8 stone
Medium1.4mm8-16 stone
Firm1.6mm16 stone plus
Extra Firm / Orthopaedic1.9mm20 stone plus

Is the Relyon Balmoral good value for money?

The honest answer is, possibly. If you knew the exact GSM’s of each of the fibres and more details on the ‘Hypoallergenic’ layer then you would be able to properly compare. We estimate that this layer is entirely synthetic meaning its a mixed mattress and not 100% Natural. Blended fibres are usually significantly cheaper than stand-alone fibre layers so bear that in mind. A good comparison is the Artisan Bespoke 002 which retails at around £2000 and is entirely natural and a significantly higher GSM to boot. It also uses Calico encased Vanadium springs which are the same springs used by the likes of Savoir and Vispring ie ultimate high-end support.

How much to spend on a double mattress?What can I expect for my money?
£500Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil / cage sprung with a thin polyester layer.
£750Could get you a fairly OK orthopaedic mattress or the beginnings of a basic pocket springs with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials
£1000Should get you away from most low-mid ranges and into the basic pocket spring models
£1250Should get you an average pocket sprung mattress.
£1500Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models.
£1500-£2000Should get you a hand made primarily Natural Fibre Mattress
£2000+You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and traditional construction methods
£5000+A bespoke hand made sleep system, high end spring units & featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres
Relyon Balmoral Comparison
We detail a comparative model for your review.

The closest comparable model we can find to the Relyon Balmoral is our Artisan Bespoke 002. There are of course a few minor differences between the two. For example in the Artisan Bespoke 002, there is an additional layer of Bamboo, we utilise pure horsetail rather than blending it with wool or ‘other hair’.

Essentially the overall tension, quality, build and feel of this particular mattress can rightly be deemed as relatively similar.

It is also these models that utilise a double tier spring unit that accentuate the overall support and comfort qualities of this particular model. Dual springs offer a much livelier support system. Great for those who frequently need to turn in the night.

Whereas the Relyon uses some synthetic fibres and then blends of other fibres we prefer to stick to 100% Natural Fibres only blending two fibres at once such as Cotton & Wool.

The mattress cover is completely Chemical-Free using a Natural plant-based fire retardancy protection.

This model has a 10-year guarantee which is higher than the Relyon equivalent.

Artisan Bespoke 002 Mattress
Artisan Bespoke 002 Mattress
Artisan Bespoke 002 Relyon Balmoral
1 1200GSM BLENDED BRITISH FLEECE WOOL AND COTTON HYPO-ALLERGENIC LAYER (EST 1000GSM?)
2 HAIRPROOF CAMBRIC COVER NA
3 200GSM SOFT BAMBOO COTTON LAYER (EST 500GSM?)
4 1200GSM PURE HORSETAIL WOOL, COTTON & HAIR (EST 500GSM?)
5 1000GSM BONDED BRITISH FLEECE WOOL AND COTTON NA
6 2508 (2 TIERS) CALICO ENCASED POCKET SPRINGS [56MM] [1.40MM] 2000 FABRIC COVERED POCKET SPRINGS (NO GAUGE)
Total 3600GSM 2000GSM ESTIMATED
Cover Chemical Free Plant Based FR Chemical Free Plant Based FR
Fibre Type 100% Natural 50% Natural 50% Synthetic
Rated Excellent Trustpilot
View Our Comparison Model

The Benefits

  • Advanced mattress detailing such as plant-based fire retardancy
  • Two-Sided Mattresses (Like all high end should be) so you can use both sides
  • Hand Side Stitched which is a real skill

The Drawbacks

  • No GSM or Blends are given for the upholstery making it harder to identify its value in comparison to other mattresses
  • Has a synthetic top comfort layer out of keeping with the other Natural Fibres
  • Anti-allergen may be confusing to buyers given it is likely to just be white fibre and not natural.
Summary

It’s really nice to see some genuine details going into the Relyon Balmoral such as the hand-side stitching and twin up spring construction method. It’s two-sided which brings a smile to our face as no quality mattress should ever need to be one-sided – unless it is half the price!

As always its frustrating to not get all of the details from Relyon on this model. It has a medium-soft feel in the top upholstery layer which will suit sleepers looking for more sink. It’s also lively and progressive with the dual-layer spring system. So if you’re a frequent mover at night it could be a benefit to you in making turning in the night easier.

We really would like more details on the springs used and gauge to provide a more detailed comparison, save cutting into the model which we don’t want to do!

If you need extra help in comparing mattresses or advice on what’s suitable for you then please get in touch with our small expert team.

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