Settlement and indents

A few years ago the National Bed Federation (NBF) & Sleep Council noted that retailers were not informing customers that all new mattresses, in particular, high-end mattresses were subject to settlement. This means that initially, body impressions would be more visible as the mattress fillings directly beneath the user are compressed. This article explains why settlement and indents need consideration when buying a new mattress.

John Ryan Hybrid Mattress 1

In our experience settlement can be a cause for unnecessary concern. Showing itself more in mattresses with a bigger span area such as king-size or super king sizes. It stands to reason that as you are only sleeping in an area the width of your body, the central and perimeter areas will be underutilised. After a few weeks, it may look like the sleeping areas are wearing quicker than the rest of the mattress but constant turning, rotating and using different parts of the sleeping area will in time equal out this pattern.

Mattresses with very soft layers such as wool, wool cotton, are more prone to settlement and, therefore, constant twisting and rotating of the mattress whilst new is extremely important to even out the wear pattern. Even Vi-Spring, one of the premier mattress manufacturers, gives this essential information advising that initial body impressions are not a fault of the mattress but an intrinsic part of the mattress bedding in period.

Reduce Settlement by following our Care Guide

Funnily enough, cheaper end mattresses with minimal layers of wadding tend not to show body indents as there is so little wadding and upholstery to indent you tend not to notice it more readily. Of course, cheaper end mattresses will more than likely be polyester based and as polyester has a low rate of recovery and not a very long lifespan you will soon be primarily be sleeping directly on the spring unit.

So what can be done about mattress settlement?

Firstly not many people realise that the underlying layers used in the mattress will have an effect on how they settle. Foams as bridging / insulating layers are extremely resilient to this and in all of the starter mattresses, we sell (Origins range) we always add an inch layer of Reflex foam above the spring unit as the resilient bridge/dampener between the springs and the softer primary comfort layers. If this was not there then when you are compressing the comfort layers you will be doing so directly on the springs with absolutely nothing taking the strain.

Absolute high-end mattresses with natural fibre upholstery, rather than polyester, utilise components such as horse hair, mohair, coir, bonded wool and cotton, cashmere blends and so forth as the insulator between the spring unit and upper layers. These products are entirely ‘forgiving’ and move in conjunction with the sleeper and the spring unit. These components are also completely and utterly fail-safe meaning that there is no possible way they can be depressed to such a level as to not return to their original loft.

Mattresses are built from the support unit upwards to softer upholstery layers

The general conception of all mattress builds is that there is progressive support from the spring unit upwards. This is to say that the components used directly beneath the primary soft comfort layer should be gradually increasing in tension. It then becomes quite obvious that as the mattress has a soft comforting primary layer such as wool, for example, the likelihood of compression indents within the bedding in period will be quite noticeable. We have a detailed article on the techniques of Mattress Construction which can be found here.

Final (primary) layers of wool are included entirely for softness and comfort but have relatively little support or resilience properties. The addition of cotton to the wool supplements the properties with little detriment to the comfort properties. The layers directly below this must be components that offer an increasing degree of support to prevent you sinking right into the spring unit. Bear in mind that all high-end mattresses will utilise either wool or wool blended with cotton as primary layers.

Mattress insulator layer

As a good example, Vi Spring’s top of range model the Magnificence utilises a final comfort layer of 1200 gsm blended real Shetland Isle fleece wool and cotton. This particular model is backed up with underlying layers of additional wool (600 GSM) and then more supportive elements are introduced such as mohair (200 GSM). All of this represents the comfort layers.

Additionally, below this, elements of support are introduced such as 610 GSM hand-opened and hand-teased long-stranded horsetail and 900 GSM blended real Shetland Isle fleece wool and cotton.

If you take this particular build to be amongst the epitome of mattress construction and component usage, take for granted that even a mattress at this high level of build will have an element of depression from the wool as it is being bedded in it is not possible for a high-end component such as wool to retain its original loft.


The bottom line is that settlement and indentations are going to occur in all mattresses. If a person was five foot wide and 6 foot high the depression and settlement would be equalised over the entire mattress. However, people are not the same size and shape of a mattress and, therefore, body-shaped impressions will occur.

We always advocate the use of toppers to allow this settlement to happen slowly over time with the topper taking the brunt of your body weight rather than the primary layer of the mattress.

If you need more advice please give our small expert team a call on 0161 437 4419.

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  • Jean says:

    We are on our second Vispring mattress. The first one we only had for 2 months, the settlement was so bad, we were sleeping in a hollow with a big lump down the middle. It was very uncomfortable. they exchanged it and now this one is no better even after 18 months. We had our previous Vispring for 20 years before it needed replacing. I can’t believe this settlement is normal. I should have mentioned which mattress we have currently, it is a Herald Supreme Kingsize medium and we are 11st and 10st 7lbs respectively. We are so disappointed with the mattress and don’t know what to do.
    Hi Jean, for the benefit of other readers it will be important to point out that Vi-Spring are deemed to be the premier mattress manufacturer in this country. They also lay claim to manufacturing the most expensive bed at £52.000 ish! They are also the only major manufacturer who will detail the components used in their mattresses by weight. That said, they also have a moral duty to stand by their reputation and in all cases of customer dissatisfaction have an obligation to do the right thing. After all, you purchased this mattress based on the performance of your 20 previous years of Vi-Spring luxury – so what has happened?

    The mattress you have concerns with has a retail price of around £2000 (Prestige Range) and even though this is no small amount of money it can only buy you a Vi-Spring mattress from just above their bottom of range. However, you have also bought a mattress based on Vi-Springs reputation for quality. Looking at the fillings used for the primary and supportive layers [primarily wool and cotton] they [will] compress over time. I personally would have thought that measures would have been taken to reduce the ocurrance bearing in mind that it is manufactured by a company of worth and generations of experience.

    And this is what makes me think that it was probably your choice of comfort level [medium] that could be a candidate for your complaint. Taking into account the length of spring, mattress depth and fillings weight as best I can, the tensioning of the tufts would have been less taut than say on the firmer option. In contrast, making the tuft strand shorter the fillings will be compressed further [thereby creating a firmer tension because there is little room left for any movement whatsoever] and so settlement would only start to occur slowly and naturally with time and age. Finally, bear in mind that this mattress has a lifetime guarantee. It really is unlikely that the components have failed and so the only other conclusion would be a manufacture fault – either through design or assembly. Please let me know how you get on and what the reasons for the indents actually were. John

  • Jean says:

    John, thank you for your response. The first mattress was a Regal Supreme, and the guys who came to take it away could not believe that it would not even stand up against the wall, it just sagged down to the floor. So on visiting the Vispring factory, and being told that in general the Regal was softer, they suggested a Herald, which is what we had before. My husband, who likes a firmer bed in general, was convinced by the technicians that at our weight, we did not need a firm construction, only a medium. So it was decided that the replacement would be a herald Supreme Medium. We have turned it regularly both end for end and right over. Both sides show that the ticking is wrinkled and there are big indents where our bodies have been. Sorry, I should also add that even after 6 hours out of the bed, if you go back and take the linen off, the ticking is still wrinkled and the body shapes are still there.
    We have a person from Ecomaster visiting next week – probably the same guy who came last time and we will see what he says. I will come back when I know. Jean.
    Hi Jean, since your last comment we have heard of a similar experience from another reader. Please let us know how this pans out and we will be able to put you in touch with each other. John.

  • Jean says:

    John, if the other person also has a Vispring, please give them my e-mail address and tell them to contact me. The Vispring factory is only about 10 miles from here and we intend to visit again once the independent person has been.
    Hi Jean, It was also a Vi-Spring. I will pass your details on. John.

  • Jean says:

    OK, so the guy from Ecomaster came today, seemed to know what he was talking about and seemed to agree that the bed was not what it should be. As Vi-Spring are only down the road, we have told him to ask one of them from the company to come and take a look because I don’t want a third bed that is going to do this. Will keep you posted.
    Thanks Jean. This will be interesting to see how it pans out. John.

  • Jean says:

    OK, so we have received a letter from Furniture Village, saying that a new mattress will be delivered in the next 4-6 weeks. We telephoned to ask what the Ecomaster person said, but they don’t know. Next we spoke to the Vispring technician who we saw when we visited the factory and he said they make 35,000 beds a year and 3% are duff. So that means that 1150 mattresses a year are rubbish? Now it’s strange that we have had 2, but we have worked out that out of 104 a day, 4 are rubbish, so kind of puts it into perspective.

    We are going to visit a shop that has a firm mattress available to view, although personally I doubt you can tell anything about a mattress by spending 10 minutes on it!

    Our first Vispring (lasted 20 years) was firm one side and medium the other. So we are no wiser as to what was wrong with it, the only thing the factory tell us is that they are changing the wool they were using to something different.

  • Claire says:

    Could it not be a cover for a badly made mattress?

    I’ve had 2 Sleepeezee 6’0 ft mattress (Vancouver & Vermont) from Furniture Village. The last one having ‘settled’ so much that I can no longer sleep on it.

    The first one they just replaced without sending anyone out, the second one started to sag after 4 months so they sent a technician from FIRA who said the bed had been damaged around the edge but that hadn’t caused the sagging. He then told me that the settlement in the ‘most weighted areas’ was ‘natural’ and that 22mm in 4 months is normal! If a mattress is guaranteed for 5-6 years then 22mm every 4 months makes for a very uncomfortable mattress!

    If someone had told me when I bought the mattress that it would start to sag then I would not have continued with the purchase. I suffer from back pain and this mattress has made it worse. We had a cheap Ikea mattress that lasted 8 years and just became less supportive, it certainly never felt like I was sleeping in a hole!

    I’ve written to FV telling them that the mattress is not fit for purpose but they will not refund me as the technician’s report (of which they kindly sent me a copy!) says the settlement is natural… it’s got cop-out written all over it as far as I can see!

    Not giving up yet though! Will let you know how I get on. Claire.
    Hi Claire, thanks for sharing this. Ryan and I have absolute empathy with your situation and unfortunately there is no simple remedy. What is most appalling about this is the fact that ‘customer service’ seems to have stopped as soon as you paid your money. Another galling aspect of this is recognising that a retailer of this standing is not prepared to take ‘direct issue’ on your behalf with the manufacturer to identify why this has happened – twice!!
    It isn’t as if FV is an insignificant retailer and I assume they are considered a major account to many manufacturers, so they should be insisting / demanding with absolute vigour that the quality of the products they sell meets their standards – and ultimately – their customer’ standards.
    The [Memory Foam] products you chose were not cheap (average about £800) although in our opinion they should have been. This being the case every effort by the retailer and manufacturer should have been made to ABSOLUTELY ENSURE the quality of the product is in relation to the retail price and obviously this has not been done.
    Ryan and I give a guarantee to all our customers that we will collect and refund in full if they are not happy with any of our products thay have bought. We are not a big company – just the two of us, but ethically and morally we believe it is the right way to carry out our business and ensure our customers keep coming back to us. There should be no need whatsoever for any mattress retailer to involve third parties, if our customers say there is something wrong or they are not happy, then that is good enough for us and it becomes absolute priority that amends are made – at our expense and not our customers. In order for us to do this we have to ensure as best as posible that the products we sell will not develop faults months down the line – hence one of many reasons why we do not sell Memory Foam mattresses – or indeed numerous other models that we ourselves do not have faith in. If the big companies did this and spent more time on researching and detailing the quality of products rather than patronising advertising then incidents such as yours would become relatively rare.

    So what can be done? Until consumers start to question what is actually INSIDE the mattress by weight and quality then unfortunately complaints such as yours will continue. In your case, do you actually know the depth and density of memory foam (the main component) used as the top layer? I doubt it, and you should be questioning why on earth don’t you know? After all, it was on this component that most of your money went. And so, because of this simple lack of vital information you (and I) cannot say with any degree of certainty why the problem occurred. If it was one centimeter of Memory Foam, then sure it would quickly degrade, if it was an acceptable 2″, then something else could have caused the dipping.

    Sorry for the extended reply on this comment. My blood boils because indirectly Ryan and I will be tarred with the same brush. We too will not be giving up either. Keep in touch. John.

  • Jean says:

    OK, new bed (firm) has been delivered. My husband loves it. For me, it is a little hard, but a feather topper makes all the difference. Only had it a week, but seems a lot better.
    Hi Jean, glad to hear all turned out well. As these comments are placed in date order new readers will find the full story by reading from the bottom upwards!

    One significant point to note is that even on a mattress from a premier manufacturer (Vi-Spring) you have had to adjust the comfort level with a topper. This is no bad thing and should be considered acceptable on all mattresses. All mattresses ‘settle’ over time and will get softer as they are broken in – the overall tension on a new mattress does not stay the same. Ryan and I always advocate that you should select a relatively firmer mattress than you would have normally chosen and tweak it to your desired comfort level by use of a good quality topper. In years to come your mattress should still be like new and the expense of a new topper now and again is far less than the expense of a new mattress. Mattress tensions are gained by only two methods
    1)The spring itself (thicker wire = Firmer – Thinner wire = Softer)
    2) The tufting strands (The shorter the strand = Firmer – The longer the strand = Softer)
    Comfort layers themselves cannot really be made softer or firmer – the more they are compressed through tufting means they will have less room for movement (and thus the less chance of those horrible indents appearing ). Conversely, the softer tension on a mattress means that the fillings have been kept loose and you sink into said mattress and so indents will appear more readily. .. So how do you compromise? Do exactly what Jean has done and use a topper to tweak the comfort level for an initial period of a year or so. You will be getting the right support and the right comfort from day one and in the coming years your mattress will be breaking in slowly and naturally.
    It has to be said that this short reponse is not the ultimate in answers to inhibit settlement and indents but does go a long way in explaining why and how it happens. Please add further comments or arguments if you want to discuss further. John and Ryan.

  • Jean says:

    John, I would like to thank you for your amazing information especially as I am not a customer. We are amazed that they sent a third mattress – good customer service – although the lady who called me by phone with a problem from the same company didn’t have the same experience. Yes, the topper makes all the difference, to both of us and hopefully this bed will last us nearly as long as our first from this company (20 years) but by then, we will both be too old to care – many thanks. Jean

  • Simon Cockerill says:

    Hi there,
    We have had exactly the same problem with a Somnus 6000 count mattress, Harrison Spinks has been out once replaced it from a regular tension to a firm but still after 5 months we can not sleep on it due to the indentations. Bum just sinks has no support, if you turn its like sleeping on a hill or in a hole. How are you meant to turn these mattresses with a bad back as they weigh a ton. Just waiting to hear whar Barker & Stonehouse say, we just want our money back now, ridiculous for a £1500 mattress!

    Hi Simon, sorry to hear this and unfortunately it is a recurring theme hence the reason why I started this particular post.

    The main reason settlement is accentuated – as well as accelerated, is the fact that the primary layers are ‘soft and comforting’ with little or no underlying support except for the spring unit. When the soft layers are tirelessly compressed against the spring unit night after night it wont take too long for them to lose their inherant ‘bounce’ and refuse to spring back into the original loftiness. You then find yourself sleeping directly on the spring unit albeit for a flattened (no longer soft) layer of wool or whatever.

    What’s missing are underlying layers of progressively supportive complimentary waddings so the wool (or whatever) has a soft bridging buffer to repel against instead of being forced against a spring unit. However, adding additional layers will make the mattress relatively firmer, and firmer still when the primary layers become greater – each being able to compliment the ones above, as well as below to aid longevity and of course minimise premature settlement.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that high end mattress manufacturers stow great store in the actual spring technology utilised in their mattresses. If there was umpteen layers of wadding in the mattress then how would you benefit from the spring unit which in most cases is the only thing that differentiates the manufacturers of equal standing.

    There is no easy answer Simon, Ryan and I advocate the theory that your mattress should be tweaked by use of a topper to suit your persoanl comfort level and the mattress should be supportive enough for your individual bodyweight. Your comfort preference will undoubtedly change over the years and exchanging the topper to suit will be a lot easier (and economical) than changing / replacing the mattress. The wear pattern will also be on the topper keeping your mattress as new for many, many years.

    For all readers, I am aware that this response has so many conflicting arguments [for and against] that it seems to me rather inadequate. In order for me to address this particular concern with more clarification please add your individual comments and questions. John.

  • Jean says:

    John/Ryan, one thing still totally confuses me. Why did our first Vi-spring mattress not suffer from these problems. Bought in 1988, lasted over 20 years, was comfortable from day one and never had indentations. What are they doing differently?

    Hi Jean, Without seeing or knowing what was inside your old mattress we cannot say for cerrtain. This would be a good question to ask Vi-Spring. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

  • Jon Fox says:

    HI All
    I’m a different Jon. This thread has been great reading and with all honesty its great to see what you guys are doing here. I’m a retail manager for Feather & Black & we deal with high end bespoke mattresses & I am forever having these conversations with customers, trying to explain that supportiveness & firmness are DIFFERENT things entirely. I totally agree with the chaps here, comfort is 2nd to correct levels of support when purchasing as the comfort can be adjusted to suit, if you fail to have the correct level of support for both partners you will find the comfort impossible to attain. Always follow the Goldilocks System when choosing a bed & when ever in doubt always go one additional tension firmer rather than softer to ensure you body is supported fully. Once again John/Ryan great job in looking after these folks & long may service levels stay at the top of our business objectives especially in this sensitive product type. Jon

    Hi Jon, Thanks for your comment. You will be aware that perceived firmness levels from a high end mattress that uses calico [tied] pocketed springs rather than mass produced polypropylene [glued] pocketed springs offer an entirely different level of support and comfort. Even though all pocketed springs use the same principle of individualised support it is how they are encased and utilised with the components contained that can produce a mattress of vastly differing firmness and comfort levels. At Feather and Black for example, you will be more than familiar with the comfort and support levels of most Vi-Spring matts that use Calico springs as the support. What Vi-Spring tend to describe as firm [based on a 1.52mm six turn spring] has a completely different tension and level of comfort to a mattress that uses the aforementioned mass produced springs of similar gauge and count but also described as ‘firm’.

    This brings me to the Soft, Medium or Firm anomoly that most people tend to use when selecting a mattress. It is not posible to try out a [firm] Vi-Spring mattress and then look for a simlar [firm] tension from say a Sealy or whatever because the difference in support between the two will be so vast a direct comparison cannot posibly be made. Mattresses should initially be selected based on the customers weight and weight differences. Their budget will dictate the expected quality of the internal components and then everything else should fall into place.
    Thanks Jon for taking the time to comment, particulary as you are in such a prestigious environment, it is very much appreciated. John and Ryan.

  • C Shea says:

    Dear Sirs,
    I wonder if you could pass my email address onto Jean as I am also having the same problem with a Vi Spring mattress as she is. Thank you.
    Regards, C Shea.

    Will do. Please let me know what problems you are experiencing. John

  • Iain Anderson says:

    We’re most grateful for this site.

    Re Jean; we’ve had same problem with our (2xmedium) Herald Supreme Z & L. After a month first bed sagged in middle (ie at sides of each mattress) & was replaced; second has develped same problem after 10 months & inspection due shortly.

    Please tell us what happened after your last mail of 21 Jan. Many thanks & we hope it worked out well for you. If not did you get a refund?

    Hi Iain, I have already sent Jean an email informing her of this post. Please feel free to add further findings here where I am able to add a direct response rather than broadly speculate. John and Ryan.

  • Jean says:

    I thought folks might just be interested in knowing about our third Vispring mattress. It is a firm and as I said, we are using a double chamber topper. The bed is a little too firm for me without the topper, but after 3 months, there is no indentation or sag in the mattress. In fact, it pretty much looks like it did when it arrived. So we are satisfied at present and it looks like it will remain a good bed. However, I am interested to note that I am not alone with the problems with this company, but quite sorry as their reputation is almost second to none.

  • Dave Micheal says:


    You’ve got you maths wrong! 3% of 35,000 is not 1150 or 4 a day.
    It’s 1050 which is less then 3 a day if they work 365 days a year.

    Hi Dave. Thanks for the correction. In any event it is very small fry. What is oiutstanding is the fact they readily admit things can and do go wrong – many companies are adamant that everything they produce is nothing short of perfect. In Jean’s case Vi-Spring did make amends to satisfy her concern and I am sure that there are many people who have purchased a mattress from lesser established companies who do not receive a similar level of customer after care that Vi-Spring offers.

    Ryan and I readily admit that at times we too fall short of the mark. Although annoying and frustrating, our customers are never left to foot the bill. It’s how it is put right that becomes the issue. John and Ryan.

  • Gena says:

    Have just found your forum after having a nightmare time with Tesco Direct and Sealy.
    We purchased a new Sealy latex topped pocket sprung purity mattress from Tesco but it has turned into a disaster. The mattress has sagged after just a few months and is causing back pain and stiffness for my partner and I. It is like sleeping in a hole.

    I informed Tesco and we had a FIRA inspection only to be told that the sagging was within tolerances and we would have to live with it. We were not informed that the mattress would sag and there is no way I would have gone ahead with the purchase if I had known. Tesco Direct are being really awkward and I am horrified that they do not care at all about customer service. They have had my money and obviously don’t give two hoots about what happens afterwards. They say they are not prepared to replace it or give a refund.

    Hi Gena. A recent article in The Guardian will make interesting reading for you Read here.

    I don’t really know what to say. Personally, I would want to know what they mean by ‘within tolerances’. FIRA are the furniture industry’s watchdogs and they are the ones who will have the actual data on ‘sag ratio’ of latex. However, this will have relevance to the actual depth of latex used in your particular mattress – which at this point is an unknown. Sealy use Innergetic latex (same as Silentnight, Rest Assured and the rest of the Silentnight family). This is a product from Latexco [I believe it to be a blend of natural latex and synthetic latex] I am not privvy to the actual data sheet [FIRA will most definitely have this] It may be entirely synthetic [!] who knows?

    I mention this because this may help in you getting some sort of recompense. The description on your particular mattress clearly states “ ..Incorporating a generous layer of Innergetic latex for outstanding comfort and pressure relief ..“. I am assuming that you were not told the actual depth of ‘latex’ used. Even though this phrase appears on many Sealy mattress models that use Innergetic latex – the depth is never divulged [!].

    As this was the reason for your complaint I would expect Tesco Direct / Sealy / FIRA tecnicians to proffer this information to you on request. Secondly, if the depth of Innergetic latex used in this particular model was a paltry 1-2cm or so, then obviously it would not have the durability property to last – and so, the sagging would indeed be ‘within tolerance’ for the depth used [!].

    The fact that you did not know the depth of ‘latex’ used / Tesco did not tell you / Sealy did not make this information available to you .. gives you an argument that the phrase “a generous layer ..” was misleading – but this rests on you knowing what the depth actually is. The OED definition of ‘generous’ is “(of a thing) larger or more plentiful than is usual or necessary”. I would expect a layer of latex as the primary layer on a mattress to be a minimum of 3-4cm (5-6cm would be considered generous).

    Sorry, I can’t be of much help here. Ryan and I constantly bang on about consumers asking these questions to ensure they know what they are buying by component weight, quality and depth. Manufacturers and retailers should be forced through legislation to supply this information the same way as ingredients on food items are. Please keep in touch and let us know what happens. John and Ryan.

  • Bridget Bryan-Brown says:

    John and Ryan
    This whole bed buying business is a nightmare.
    I purchased a king size maestro (Pocket Sprung Bed Company) from a local retailer in 2009, with a 5 year warranty. It has been wonderfull up until November 2011, when I started to develop lower back pain. It is of medium firmness, have used a memory foam topper since the purchase and its been rotated on a very regular basis. The central area of the mattress now compresses lower than the peripheral edges. The retailer has inspected it, saying it is natural settlement of the filling. If I knew this at the beginning I would not have purchased it. He is arranging someone from FIRA to look at it, but from what i have read so far on this site, this may be a waste of time. Who is responsible for paying FIRA? the purchaser or the retailer? When a mattress costing £900 does not even last 5yrs, chosing an alternative can be such a headache! My VW shock absorbers are much older than the mattress….its a joke!!!

    I am trying to find out more about the construction of sprung edged bases. In particular, what supports the springs?

    Hi Bridget. It would have helped me if you had mentioned the model name of the mattress you are currently having trouble with. I am asuming that because you mention the regular rotating (rather than turning) this is a one sided mattress and I assume further it may be a memory foam product.

    If this is the case, then their argument of “Natural Settlement” is nothing short of an excuse. If this is a memory foam product then the memory foam layer would obviously be the main component and therefore be the subject of the 5 year guarantee. Natural settlement does not mean component failure. When the FIRA technician comes to inspect – do not stand idly by. Ask him pertinent question regarding the mattress: What specifically are the components in the mattress? What is the expected lifespan of said component? Is it the springs that have failed or the component[s] or both? The upshot is: If you are sleeping in a permanent hollow then OBVIOUSLY something has gone wrong and there has to be a reason for it. If FIRA are holding themselves up as an INDEPENDANT arbitrator then the technician will know what has gone wrong. An answer of ‘I Don’t Know’ will not do. If he does not know then what will the point be of examining your mattress. A response of Natural Settlement is allowing the retailer / manufacturer to get away with responsibilities as you will have precious little room for recourse. Please give more detail and let me know what the FIRA technician says / does.

    For other readers, can you please include all relevant detail. I have had to second guess and speculate a cause on an unknown product. I could have answered this with a lot more clarification if a few basic details had been included. John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan
    Sorry for not giving exact details of the 5’maestro mattress (Pocket Spring Bed Company) £899 in 2009 with 5 year gaurantee.
    It has 3000 nested pocket springs and the label on the mattress says medium. The retailer has listed the filling of consisting of polyester quilting, gripflex, cotton cambic, lambswool, horsehair, cashmere, spunbond? and layered cotton, of unknown quantities.
    I cancelled FIRA because of the report in The Gaurdian and have emailed a company today called Furniture Reports, which I found on the web. Need to sort out an alternative mattress, as it is becoming unbearable. The last 2 nights I have resorted to sleeping along the head of the bed, where there is still some support. I am the main user of the bed during the week and my partner stays at weekends. So overall, its not had maximum usage during the 3years. Both of us weigh about 12st each and 6’tall.

    Hi again Bridget. I really would have let FIRA inspect the mattress, even though this is for the ‘benefit’ of the retailer in question at least the due process (however wrong that may be) would have taken place. This would have been at the expense of the retailer – not you.

    The official PSBC description of The Maestro 3000 is as follows [I have put Relevant parts in bold]:
    [Official Description] Maestro 3000: Sumptuous cotton, soft lambswool, resilient teased horsehair and luxurious cashmere fillings adorn 3,000 pocket springs. A crescendo of opulence. 3,000 springs, each responding independently for unsurpassed comfort.

    Premium quality nested pocket springs provide optimum support for your body, whilst a layer of mini-pocket springs contour gently to your individual shape for luxurious comfort. Sumptuous knitted mattress fabric and unique concealed tufting creates an exceptionally soft, smooth and comfortable mattress surface

    Finest quality natural fibre fillings: Cotton, soft lambswool, resilient teased horsehair and luxurious cashmere.
    The mattress border is finished with 3 rows of hand side stitching, securing the border to the springs for a supportive and comfortable mattress edge.

    Phew. A crecendo of oppulance is what you should be feeling! Unfortunately bridget, I think I know what has happened and despite me not even seeing the mattress, it may not be what you are expecting.

    This is a non turn mattress. And as the weights of the fillings are not given, all I can do is to make assumations. The height of the pocket spring unit (2000) I estimate at 6″ plus a minimum of 1.5″ for the mini springs – should leave the balance of mattress height for the fillings. I am going to assume also this is an 11″ high mattress.

    This leaves 3.5 inches for the vast array of fillings they have specified.
    1. I have a feeling that the bulk of the ‘mix’ will be the cotton – This is important as a recourse for a misleading description complaint – Cotton is not naturally fire retardent and so has to be mixed as a composite (usually polyester as a 50/50 blend. If this is the case [and of course I do stand to be corrected] I would see this as misleading.
    2. I would imagine the cashmere is used as the insulator on top of the springs. However, many manufacturers will use a recycled material polypad as an insulator to give depth and as a pliable surface for the forthcoming layers. This is visible on our video on home page [cutting a mattress open]. I personally think this is a vile product and we do not use this even in our cheapest mattresses. For the money you paid for your mattress it would be the last thing I would expect to see as an insulator. The retailer you say has mentioned spunbond – this is what would be expected as an insulator so I imagine this is what has been used.
    3. This just leaves Hosehair and pure new wool as the final specified components. If horsehair was used in any significant amount [and really this would be placed over the Cashmere] it is unlikely any undue deterioration would have taken place. But because you have bought this without them telling you the GSM [grams per square meter] – and you didn’t ask! – it could be a reasonable 900 GSM or a paltry 400 GSM.
    4. Same again with the wool – weights unknown. Although wool is there purely for comfort it has absolutely no support qualities and therefore it would be reasonable to expect this to be compressed through natural settlement. However, the level of discomfort you are feeling rules out any problems with this one particular component. Even compressed wool is comfortable.
    5. The final part worthy of consideration is the mini springs placed upon the main spring unit. These are extremely soft and if you are a sceptic you could say that these were included to gain additional loft rather than adding a more durable and equally comforting natural upholstery (such as a horsehair layer) after all, the price you paid for this particular mattress could have warranted it. Therefore, these mini springs could have failed (quite likely) which in my mind gives reason to claim off the guarantee. However, the caveat is, after three years a spring will not be in such a position as becomes entirely unsupportive – it’s wearing out – therefore the cause of the dips, but still [barely] doing the job it was designed to do.
    6. Another case of a posible misleading specification could be found in the 3 rows of Hand Side Stitching. It is not unknown for a manufacturer to use a machine stitch in the centre row and hand side stitch on the top and bottom level. Absolutely scandelous if this has happened (and machine stitching is so good you will not be able to notice the difference just by looking at it – it has to be opened up).

    Finally Bridget, I wonder if you have given PSBC a chance by reporting your dis-satisfaction direct to the manufacturer [Tel: Customer Service: 01282 813051]. This is Silentnight’s premium brand and after all the difficulty they have had in the last twelve months they are currently looking to repair some of their bad press. Hopefully you will speak to someone who actually has a little pride in what they churn out. My synopsis of all this is that there was minimal fillings which have fully compressed leaving no significant comfort layer on top of a mini springs that may have prematurely failed.

    Hope all this will help you. Please bear in mind that these comments represent our opinions and assumations only, based on the information we have been given to work with. Without actually opening the mattress for inspection will the actual truth be known. Keep in touch and please let me know the outcome. John and Ryan.

  • Sue says:

    Hi John, wonder if you can help. Visited our local bed store looking for a vi-spring mattress, ended up being sold a Raphael gel pocket and memory foam top layer (Kaymed) mattress as being equally good and more comfortable.

    It was great at the beginning, really comfortable but started deteriorating after about 18 months, now 20 months later has 2″ troughs down both sides and a ridge in the middle, despite turning it as instructed. It is now so uncomfortable it is causing sever backache. At roughly £3000 for mattress and divan base we are not happy and have complained to the seller.

    Can you tell me what tolerance for indentation is acceptable on such a mattress? It would be helpful to have an idea when it comes to be inspected.
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

    Hi Tracey. First of all, it is our opinion that any Kaymed mattress cannot be seen as comparable by any stretch of the imagination to any Vi Spring mattress. It comes down to your word against the word of the retailer in question that this comparison was actually said and of course your resultant complaint may not hold any justification to what was or was not said.

    No doubt you will receive a visit from a technician to assess the problem. You as a consumer are not bound to accept their findings as absolute final. There are many Independent technicians who have the consumers interests at heart. We always recommend DanCor UK [] as the one who we feel will fight your corner the best they can. Well worth an initial chat. They were able to get a previous correspondent of ours a full refund on their PSBC mattress after an independent inspection deemed her ‘complaint’ to be settlement (also after 3 years cared for use).

    I would also write to Kaymed to express your dissatisfaction [Kaymed Head Office. Bluebell Industrial Estate
    Naas Road. Dublin 12. Tel: 00 353 1 4192999 ] Enquire as to how long the Gel Nest on Memory Foam is deemed to last before ‘Settlement’ of this extent (include depth of settlement – see below) that has occurred.

    Settlement is gauged by a string test. This requires weighted string to be draped across the mattress and the depth of settlement measured. As an indicator – Tempur deem that impressions of less than 2cm does not warrant replacement. Bear in mind that just because Tempur allocates this depth of impression as acceptable it is not an industry standard.

    There is also another interesting comment on this site (Kate – About Memory Foam – read here) which may also prove useful to you in your claim.

    From what I can see ( I cannot track down the actual specification of the Raphael – so unable to even guess at what has happened) most of the Kaymed Gel mattresses have a ten year warranty on the product so you should be able to justify some sort of claim against this providing it really is a component part that has failed.

    Hope this helps Sue. Please let us know the outcome. John and Ryan.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi I suffer from a bad back and we have tried out a vi spring herald supreme. My partner and I are 12 & 16 was suggested by the store that we needed a medium and firm tension . When I said we had a slatted bed we were told we needed to select a soft and medium instead as slats make mattresses firmer. Please could you tell me is this correct? It was also suggested we could get a base topper to provide support.we are now confused what to do next as obviously we need to get it right. Many thanks.

    Hi Sarah. The Herald Supreme does not seem to be within Vi Springs core range and unfortunately I cannot find any reference to the actual breakdown of upholstery. Therefore I am unable to comment any further on this. If you are able to garner any of this essential information i would be happy to offer my opinion.

    Secondly, the ‘feel’ of any pocket sprung mattress will be different as to what base it is placed upon. The ideal base will of course be a pocket sprung edged Divan – which I assume you must have tried and would have been able to instantly tell the difference if you had done a comparison to a platform top divan. The spring edging acts as a shock absorber and a good way to prove how this works is to ‘plonk’ your bottom on to the mattress with a little bit of force (if that makes sense). On a sprung edged divan you will not feel any kind of ‘plateau’ – the suspension properties should be premium. Doing the same ‘plonk’ on a platform top divan or firm slatted bedframe, you will feel this plateau as there is nothing there acting as a shock absorber.

    Your consultants viewpoint on a base topper is correct. Not to be confused with a mattress pad. What you are trying to achieve are the properties of a sprung edge divan – but on a sprung slatted frame. I also have a sprung slatted bedframe – not overly keen on the limitations of design afforded to divan bases. Not ideal for my mattress, but it was the compromise I made. What I have done is to lay 2 small sheets of MDF (2′ x 3′) to bridge the central support bar, and on top of this I laid my old topper to act as a cushion 1, as protection to the upholstery on the underside of the mattress and 2. to act as some sort of dampener.

    Hope this helps Sarah. Obviously, the most important part is the mattress. I agree also with your consultant that a Soft and Medium split would be ideal for your weights if used on a sprung slatted bedframe. Upholstery will have an influence so if you can find out this detail I will be happy to comment further. John and Ryan.

  • Vivien says:

    Hi John?

    Bought a Vi Spring Realm King size from Furnture Village and took delivery three days ago. I was advised by the sales lady that by our weights, I’m 9 1/2 stone and my husband 11 1/2 stone that I needed soft and my husband medium so I followed that advice. I have had back problems for many years and recently had a back op so my reason for buying a new mattress is because the one I was replacing had a huge dip in it and made my back ache. After three nights, I am finding the soft side so painful that I cannot sleep on it, the pain woke me up at 2:30 and so I transferred to the medium side to try it out and managed to sleep the rest of the night on it. I phoned customer services at Vi Spring and they told me I have to suffer this mattress for a minimum of 30 days, preferably 90’days, are there any grounds that I can insist on them replacing this sooner with medium both sides?

    Many thanks

    Hi Vivien. You can look at this in two ways. 1. You are fortunate that you have purchased a Vi Spring mattress and they do offer you the opportunity to return / exchange if not completely satisfied. There are many readers of this site who are stuck with a mattress they have purchased from the Bed Sheds with absolutely no recourse for exchange.

    2. The thirty day wait period is there for a reason and incidentally, we also subscribe to this way of thinking. When you change from your old mattress to a new mattress it is usually quite a shock to the system and an element of time is required for your body to adjust. There are many anecdotes in the feedback section of this site to affirm this.

    The mattress you have purchased (I am assuming it is the Bedstead Realm) is quite a soft mattress build:

    [Official Description: 1,350gsm bonded British fleece wool and cotton, overlaid with 300gsm British fleece wool, 200gsm bamboo and finally 900gsm of blended British fleece wool and cotton. 1.52mm wire springs, 54mm in diameter]

    I would be in agreement with the sales person taking your weight into consideration and the spring tension and diameter it all points towards the soft for you and medium for your husband. However .., your recent back operation should have been brought into the mix and personal preference (firmer or softer) should override the weight v tension logic. I feel your initial discomfort may prove to be justification for an exchange to a medium tension – but I really would advise you wait out the thirty day period period to ensure your discomfort is not the new mattress syndrome.

    Finally Vivien, I would spend the final two weeks sleeping on your husbands medium side to ensure that this also is the correct tension for your requirements. You will soon know whether or not it is the mattress that is exacerbating your condition or an acceptance that your back will always be a source of discomfort no matter what mattress you sleep on. John and Ryan.

  • Susan says:

    Hi Guys,

    We bought a super king size bed and mattress from – they only have the 1 “most popular” kind in differing tensions – we bought a “firm”. 1700 individual pocket springs, British handmade, natural fittings like cotton and silk.

    After a very short time, the mattress settled quite severely on the areas we slept most with a large hump in the middle of the bed (over the steel support).

    These mattresses are “rotate” only (not to be turned over) – which we did religiously. We also use a high quality mattress protector. The bed was installed by their nominated people.

    The frame looks kind of like 2 singles fitted together – two large “rectangles” of steel, with 2 steel support legs in the middle. At sides, metal rests on wood bed. Inspection found all this to be level – only a problem with the sprung wooden slats.

    I made a complaint just shy of 6 months after we took delivery of the bed, however with all the back and forth, it’s now 8.5 months since taking delivery.

    FIRA came to inspect it and we are told the slats are useless / have failed (they are sprung slats – which now bow towards the floor, pop out of the supports if you sit on the edge of the bed) and must be replaced – to their credit, after the inspection, Loaf has offered to replace them. (note – we’ve been told that since buying the bed/mattress, loaf now has a new manufacturer of slatted frame)

    However, we are really very concerned that the mattress (which we believe to be a premium product from all the advertising etc) has been severely compromised. Settlement at time of measuring was 4cm – is this in line with what you’d expect after 6 months? What kind of settlement / dip allowances should one expect at 6 months / 7 months / 8 months and so on?

    Perhaps given the correct / more supportive slats, the mattress would have performed better? Or am I wrong?

    FIRA wont give me ANY information – even generic information like the table of allowances the tech’s work from – because they were contacted by loaf to inspect – so it seems that possibly they aren’t as “independent” as we were led to believe.

    If you can offer any expert opinion, we’d be very grateful – thanks in advance.

    Hi Susan. Interesting comment. First about the mattress – It is likely that the manufacturer of this particular model is Gainsborough (part of the Airsprung Group). Reading the description it states [April 2013] “..It’s packed with natural, breathable fillings like cotton so you won’t overheat ..

    Hmmm ..! For the price it is retailing at [£625. Superking: April 2013] it is completely unlikely that this is a mattress that “is packed” with natural fillings. It may contain cotton, and by that I am assuming it is RPC – Rebound Poly Cotton which by it’s very nature is blended with polyester. This aside, I assume again that the main element of this mattress will be polyester in one form or another – Polyester, no matter how you dress it up is can certainly not be described as a natural filling – thus it is completely misleading to offer the description it does.

    Of course we are not privy to their actual specification and I would be inclined to contact Gainsborough [01225 754411 or 01225 766341] and Loaf [0845 468 0698] to determine the precise composition of this particular mattress. What you need to find out is the breakdown of upholstery components used in this particular mattress – if you can get weights (GSM) then all the better. It may turn out that the mattress upholstery is just RPC – which if so means the combined upholstery weight will be in the region of 1500 gsm or so – very low indeed.

    If they do confirm that there is an element of polyester then I do think you will have recourse under trades description legislation that a description specifically stating “..It’s packed with natural, breathable fillings“ like cotton so you won’t overheat .. is completely and utterly deceptive.

    Secondly, settlement will vary with each individual model. On natural fibre mattresses this is an expected consequence and is not a sign that there is anything wrong with the mattress. Horsehair / Mohair and all hair pads / upholstery just cannot fail. The majority of all natural fibre mattresses will use wool or wool and cotton as the primary upholstery layer and during the bedding in period will ‘settle’ and you may notice the indents – but this should not have an effect on the comfort of the mattress as a whole. These ‘good’ mattresses will require rotating and turning, to give the upholstery an opportunity to relax on the side that is not being used.

    Polyester on the other hand has a certain life period. Under constant compression it will slowly refuse to bounce back and become permanently compacted, which reading your description of events gives me further reason to believe that this is what is used in your mattress.

    It is obvious that your bedframe was faulty and it is good to hear that amends are being made with this. Please let us know the outcome if this, and what you find out from Gainsborough. John and Ryan.

  • Colin Douglas says:

    My wife and I bought a high end Healthcare mattress and base total number of springs 7000 Natural materials . The reason for the purchase our old mattress had developed dips in the either side of the bed creating a mountain range in the middle. When we bought the bed we carefully explained to the retailer what we required and were assured that our new bed would be “fantastic”. The first mattress we got was mountain and valley in no time so we put up with it for a few weeks whilst we turned it round every week hoping that it would improve . In the end the mattress was sent back for inspection and replaced by a temporary mattress which we also had to turn round .

    Eventually a new mattress was supplied and guess what we are still having to turn it after three months and the valley and mountain is just getting worse. The retailer says that is what happens with this type of mattress and really does not want to do anything about it. If this was a cheap bed I think at this point I would just chuck it out and buy something cheap!!
    Have you got any Ideas as to what can be done. apart from taking a road roller over it to straighten it out!!.

    Hi Colin. I can’t seem to locate a Healthcare mattress that ties in with your description. Please let me know what make and model so I can evaluate what may have happened..

    Settlement and Indents is a tricky subject to address. It is so unlikely that the springs have failed and it is 99% always down to the properties of the insulator and upholstery. The first thing to acknowledge is that NO mattress will be able to stay pristine and new as the day you bought it. The nature of the beast is that settlement has to occur in one way or another as the mattress is rightly breaking in.

    I would hazard a guess at this stage that you have not implemented the use of toppers (Read Here). It’s not too late now and I can guarantee the difference in comfort you will feel will be amazing.

    Keep in touch Colin and let me know a bit more about these issues. John and Ryan.

  • James Menery says:

    Hi we bought a kaymed utopia 2000 pocket sprung mattress, and were told to rotate it, which we have done once a week the problem is we have such a crater, my partner is constantly rolling over to me, it looks as though the sides of the mattress are about to explode. It’s now 15 month old and we thought it would level itself out but has not I don’t know what to do please can you help.

    Hi James. I can’t seem to be able to find any detail on the Utopia 2000. The closest match I can find shows a pillowtop model and I wonder if this is the same as yours? By the by, I think your first course of action would be to contact Kaymed to see what they have to say about this. The model I saw came with a guarantee for just 12 months which may be the response you might get. Bear in mind also that Kaymed do have a good reputation and they may address your concern with empathy. Their contact details are on their site Please let us know what happens. John and Ryan

  • Toots says:

    Hi help please
    We have 2 x Vi Spring Tiara supreme 3ft single divans zipped together, have had them over 10 years and they are both starting to sag in the middle despite being effectively 2 separate mattresses.
    This set up replaced a double Vi spring divan which had to have the mattress replaced by Vi spring as the edges bulged, but because top and bottom a ‘marriage ‘ the double which is the spare room ‘walks’ off the base. As its only been used by grand children or a single adult in during those years we and they put up with it.
    However, recently we have had couples staying and the complaint is now of roll together and sagging in the middle
    Advice please.

    Hi Toots. I’m not particularly sure what you are asking here. Your Ziplink mattresses – now over 10 years old – will no doubt be due for replacement. The current guidelines are that you should be looking to replace mattresses at around the seven year old mark. Can’t quite understand what you mean when you say the double in the spare room is walking off the base. Please update. John and Ryan.

  • Andrea says:

    Hi we bought a superking silentnight moscow mattress back in february. Our bed has a slatted base. Both myself and my husband have been experiencing back pain for the last month. When we looked at the mattress there is quite a deep body impression on both sides. we have taken photo’s and sent them to the place we bought it from and they have forwarded it to silentnight. Is it acceptable for a mattress to sink so quickly? It is pocketsprung with a memory foam layer. Our previous silentnight memory foam mattress is nearly 3 years old and is now being used by my son and that has no impression at all it was a briliiant mattress. Thanks for any advice.
    Hi Andrea, The simple answer to your question is no, a mattress shouldnt sink noticably that quickly unless its not being maintained or the sleepers are over the weight tolerance for that particular mattress. I’m assuming neither apply to you in this case! What is more than likely is that the memory foam layer is a thin low quality foam. ie 2cm. This means that once it settled and compresses slightly your left with very little in terms of comfort.

    The cheaper memory foam degrades very quickly so can be a false economy. The body impression on both sides suggests this. With no turn mattresses you can only ever use one side meaning the life of the bed is reduced, for that reason at John Ryan Contemporary we have a dual construction method you can see more here. Please let us know what Silentnight respond with. Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Judy says:

    Hi I have just bought a brand new latex wool mattress which is padded on one side – as it has a summer and winter side. I have this mattress on a firm wooden slat bed – slats are not flexible. My mattress is a King Single. The mattress is called a Handcrafted Natural Rest – made in Waikato New Zealand. I tried several mattress in the factory and found this one, at the time comfortable but not too hard. I have a few discs in my spine which are degenerating and had cortisone injections done end of last year while I was living in London,UK. I have had this mattress since the 25/11/13 and today is the 8/12/13. This mattress is already dipping in the middle – is this normal? I have woken up with pain in the middle of my back and am concerned – is the latex too soft? Is it possible to make the latex or mattress a bit firmer? Please advise as soon as possible.
    Much appreciated. Judy

    Hi Judy, I’ve not seen a summer and winter side to a latex mattress, that is a first! We usually recommend a winter tog duvet is sufficient!! It’s an interesting marketing spin though. Right back to the matter at hand, sagging latex. Solid Core Latex by its very nature shouldn’t sag, it may compress like all foams over time but not really dip, unless your way over the weight tolerance, which I’ll assume is not the issue.

    Latex is incredibly robust and durable, so I’d rule out the latex, if its solid core that is, if it has a reflex foam base then this could be the issue. One of the biggest issues with latex is slatted bases. Latex will mould the the environment it is on be it the bed frame. Just like it moulds to the contours of your body it moulds to the bed base equally. If the slats are not close enough the latex will mould in between them and it can give the impression it is sagging. My advice would be to board over the slats and flip the mattress, it should, if solid core, return to its original state. If the bed is too soft, you can tweak it with toppers but as I always say, you can’t make a bad bed good with a topper or only tweak it. I hope this helps. Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

  • Jo Cass says:


    Wished I’d found this website a few weeks ago, but stupidly wanted to “support my local high street”! We bought a soft Super Kingsize with Memory Foam Layer, Pocket spring system, it has a Micro Quilted surface and is rotatable non turn mattress (£649). After 3 nights, there is a big dip where I have slept (I’m not that heavy), I have read all about settlement above, but am confused as surely with us rotating the dips just get swapped over? The shop do not want to know – so not sure where I stand – is this a mattress fault – should I push the guarantee and get a replacement? #matressminefield

    Hi Jo, I’m sorry to hear that your having issues with your mattress. Without knowing your weight I can’t give an exact diagnosis but can give you some advice. Firstly the sensation of memory foam. People often try a mattress in a store and it feels comfortable for the ten mins or so you wiggle around on it. The difference with any foam compared to a say a traditional bed is that the sensation is entirely different. The sensation of memory foam can be described as ‘pressure reliving’ ‘moulding’ to ‘quicksand’ or ‘blancmange’. Similar descriptions with hybrid foam may include ‘bouncy’ ‘flexible’ or ‘sinking’. As you can see some people use positives others dislike the sensation so the feedback is negative. It’s entirely subjective.

    You have chosen a soft mattress but maybe what you haven’t considered is that it contains a soft say 40kg memory foam. This is a soft material and will mould to your body quickly and along with the spring unit your sinking too much for your weight. Dips and sags are another matter, which we discuss in great depth here as not to bore you too much! Your new mattress however should not contain dips so soon. A dip is a 2cm or more compression that doesn’t return to its original shape. Memory foam is the slowest of the foams to recover and respond, hybrid is much faster and latex faster still. These are all at different price increments so it follows that memory foam is the cheapest but also has the most drawbacks in terms of its properties. That said many people absolutely love it, again its entirely subjective.

    What I would advise is that you give the mattress a shake, like shaking a big tray of cake, if that makes sense. This may help it recover a bit quicker. If the dips are permanent and none recovering I would say the foam has failed, but again this depends on your weight, sorry to keep labouring the issue. Each foam has a tolerance level you see based on weight not that manufactures will ever tell you this!

    Please get in touch via John Ryan Contemporary, [email protected], with any pictures or further details so I can provide more advice Jo. The only alternative if the bed has failed is to replace with a new one, maybe from a more suitable retailer. – Lee (John Ryan Contemporary)

    #buyingamattressshouldbeeasier# #Sorrytohearyou’vebeenstung#

  • Vicks says:

    Hi there,

    My husband and I recently inherited a mattress and divan from his grandparents. (They have both passed on and we’re receiving most of their furniture.) The set looks well cared for and I think are only a few years old. We used the mattress on the floor for one night before we received the divan. It was quite firm and had no dips or sags. (The firmness probably in part to being on a hard wood floor?) Yesterday the divan arrived and was assembled just fine, I can’t say I noticed anything wrong with it. When it was time to sleep I noticed the mattress itself seemed a lot squishier. After laying for a little bit, then turning on my side (how I usually sleep) I could definitely feel there was a sag in the middle. My husband seemed to be rolling to the middle more, not something he usually does. I slept poorly all night as the sag was causing a good deal of lower back pain. This morning when I woke up I could see the sides looked a bit higher up (even if just slightly) than the middle area.

    Now I’m not entirely familiar with divans. I’ve always owned frame beds with either box springs, or more commonly, just a mattress. Could the divan be sagging in the middle? I’ve tried finding information but have had no luck. My father-in-law seems skeptical saying, “The divan is as firm as they get”. The mattress didn’t seem to sag any on the floor. I’m not sure what sort of divan this is, it feels like it has wire bars, but I don’t feel springs. (that doesn’t mean they aren’t there of course) It has drawers and clips in the middle like this picture;


    The mattress itself is a Sealy Posturepedic Super Store 2000 (I’m guessing that’s some sort of store brand as I can’t find any info on it.) Looking on the Sealy site, I’d go with probably a classic. It definitely does not have memory foam or gel in it. And no pillow top.

    So the question, does this look like a divan issue? Could it be fixed by maybe using a board? Should we just replace the divan? They seem solid, look close to new, and really don’t look saggy…


    Hi Victoria
    I am a little confused too, I can only think that the divan must be sprung and has somehow failed in the middle. This is quite rare though, do you have another bed base you could try it on?
    Sorry I cant be more helpful but without inspecting the base I cannot think what would be causing the dip. I assume all the castors are present etc?
    John and Ryan

  • Sharon Cole says:

    I purchased a Sealy Toscana Mattress 1400 2010 posturepaedic for £670 which weighs 39kg and after a few months was replaced by the retailer as it began to have a dip in the middle. Now I’ve noticed the replacement has the same problem – I’ve had that about 14 months. I use it on a slatted base which have the recommended slat width. I am 9st and sleep on alternate sides. I get a lot of lower back pain and don’t know if this is the cause?

    The retailer says that it should have been used on a solid base but when I was purchasing it the sales assistant told me it would be suitable. They say it must be due to lack of care but i turn the mattress and sleep on both sides. Can I send you the photos to see what you think?

    the materials that make up my mattress are: Main panel 63% Polyester 37 % Lyocel? under panel 75% polyester 25% viscose
    Regards, Sharon

    Hi Sharon, Firstly, looking at the image it shows that this is a pillowtop mattress – and I am sure you have read our views on pillowtop mattresses [Here..] . This also throws up a question as the description and image shows a one sided mattress and you say tat you turn the mattress to sleep on both sides. Aside from this, the make up states:
    “1400 pocket spring system • Innergetic Latex • Patented Unicase design • Eco-friendly Tencel fibres • Hypoallergenic ”

    The materials you mention as being the make up of your mattress seems to be the fabric and not the upholstery. The inclusion of latex is nice to see which should go some way to inhibit the settlement – but, without a depth it could be 1cm or 3cm – we don’t know. I am going to assume there is also an element of polyester, which is not known to have a long lifespan and therefore the reason for the dips and therefore I would have been inclined to have used additional topper(s) to prevent the pillowtop from settling sooner than need be.

    I hope this helps Sharon, and sorry I can’t be of any more help. John and Ryan.

  • Sharon Cole says:

    Further to my last email the materials that make up my mattress are:Main panel 63% Polyester 37 % Lyocel? under panel 75% polyester 25% viscose



  • cheah says:

    My divan was smaller than the mattress by 3 cmd on each side, total 6 to 7 cm, will this affect the comfort and life of the mattress?

    Hi Cheah, for the best results and to obtain maximum comfort from a mattress, it should always be paired with a base of equal size. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • David says:

    I have just ordered a Silentnight Diamond 2800 “Latex Luxury” Kingsize mattress, which has a stitched-on Pillow Top. After reading your generally adverse comments, advising against pillow tops, and also reading of some customers regrets at buying a pillow top mattress because of rapidly losing resilience and shape, I am a bit concerned.

    Being top of Silentnight’s Diamond range, it is not a cheap mattress! I chose a mattress with latex because I believe it is more resilient, more hygienic, and “cooler” than memory foam or polyester.

    I have also ordered a slatted wooden king size bed frame as base for the mattress.

    However, you did also comment that pillow tops are not a problem if filled with natural latex, which I believe the Diamond 2800 Latex Luxury pillow top is. I weigh 80kg (12stone 8lbs) suffer from heart problems, and need a medium-firm mattress to get a comfortable night’s sleep. I definitely can’t tolerate memory foam, as it sinks too deeply under my weight and feels much too “hot”.

    What is your opinion of this mattress? Would a platform divan be a better base for this mattress than a slatted wood bed frame? I am a bit confused by all the technical hype – I just want a comfortable night’s sleep! Please help!
    Thank you.

    Hi David, Having looked at the Diamond 2800 on Silentnight’s own site I note that there are no details provided as to the fillings and construction of the mattress save for it having a Micropocket advanced pocket spring system and it contains “Innergetic” latex. This is, of course, very limited information and I dare say that the assistant in the shop could not elaborate if asked. We stand by our comments with regard to pillow topped mattresses as the description of this mattress does not state that the pillow top contains latex. Quite clearly, we are unable to provide advice as to whether this is a good mattress for you and note that on their site they offer the mattress with a divan base and do not mention a slatted base frame. So it would appear that they recommend the divan base option. I hope this has helped. Kind regards Mike.

  • kerrie says:


    I am afraid its a long one!

    We originally bought a bed from Bensons for Beds, for circa £1300 in April 2012, after 40 nights we weren’t happy, but they wouldn’t exchange. After many months of battling with customer service through email, the store manager agreed to exchange in August after we went back in to the store.

    We exchanged for the Sensaform Airflow Memory 7000 mattress with their base from Bensons for Beds in august 2012. The price of this bed was less, about £950, as we had to pay I think 20% for the process plus delivery. But over all our finance deal is for the initial amount of £1300.

    over the last 6 months my husband an I have suffered really badly with our backs, I am currently having physio it is that bad and sleeping in the spare room on our old bed.

    2 dips have formed, we know our bad backs are attributable to the bed, as when we stay some where else, we do not suffer.

    we rotated every 2 weeks for the first 2 months as they advise and have rotated every month or so since, which is more than they recommend, due to the bad dips that have formed, to try and make the bed more bearable.

    We have had an inspection by FIRA and it stated in the written report that the dips were only 0.5cm, however I was with the guy that carried out the inspection and saw that the dip was at least 1cm. I queried this with customer services and they say that the dip has to be at least 4cm to be deemed a fault.

    I have since measured it myself and got a 2cm dip. All these are without any pressure, I believe the memory foam to be faulty as I was aware that memory foam should return to its original state? (that’s if there is any real memory foam in the make up?

    They have emailed me to say that I will have to pay for a report myself, as it is over 6 months it is up to the consumer to prove the fault. I contacted Furniture Reports company and they quoted me £285 for the report (this includes pressure testing) and said that Bensons can not dictate who to use, however, I notified Bensons of my intention and they very quickly rang (in a matter of minutes!!) to say that they would not accept a report from them as they will always find a fault and that their fee is too much.

    I would be eternally grateful if you could advise on the materials used, if the mattress would be considered faulty or unfit for purpose and what route to go down? should I use another independent company, if so who as I am struggling to find another one.

    Kind regards

    Hi Kerrie. Sorry to hear of your troubles. I have had a look at the current Sensaform Airflow Memory 7000 specifications and cannot find any mention of attributed Memory Foam depths to see where the problem may lie. On the Airflow 5000 it does state “Double Depth Airflow Memory Foam” and on the 7000 which you have it states “Triple Depth Airflow Memory Foam”. Now without actually knowing what a single depth of foam used it is impossible to even guess what the total depth was used in your mattress.

    A small clue is given in the overall dimension where the Airflow 5000 is 31cm in depth and the 7000 is 33cm in depth. This could indicate that each layer of Memory foam is 2cm in depth – and presumably the 7000 could have a total depth of 6cm of Memory Foam. Although I can’t find a Sensaform Airflow model which uses a single depth which I would have assumed would have been the starter model.

    I’m not too sure if you can go down the unfit for purpose route. You do not mention your bodyweights which would have been a good indicator as to whether this particular model was ‘suitable for you’. (Please advise). All foams and their ilk like all materials, will have a tendency to compress (and not entirely recover) when subjected to a constant pressure night after night. In an ideal world this would have been imparted to you at the time of sale – In addition, all foams are not of the same quality – this is where knowing the density of the material used and the suitability to the user should come into play – hence the requirement of knowing the users bodyweight.

    Personally, I think you should request a specification breakdown of this particular mattress – which as you can now appreciate should have been included in the description. I would want to know;
    1. The depth of memory foam used.
    2. The density of the memory foam.
    3. The GSM of any backing material used on the fabric.

    Most fabrics used on MF mattresses will have a polyester backing of about 200gsm – (This is about 0.5cm in depth) it may be that it is the polyester backing that has compressed rather than, or in addition to the memory Foam. If it turns out that the memory foam depth is just 4cm – then their response of “a 4cm dip would be considered faulty” actually means a 100% collapse of the material. If 6cm has been used then it means a 66% collapse – well over 50% within 6 months.

    I’m not too sure if you have read this article in The Guardian about FIRA? I personally do not hold much stead on independent reports from retailers, however, if you do go down the small claims route their report will be taken in favour – unless you have a contradicting report which as you know will cost in the interim.

    In the meantime Kerrie I would suggest you make alterations to your mattress in order for you to get some sort of decent sleep. I’m talking here of the use of toppers and suchlike. If you are finding the mattress a little too soft then it is rather difficult to firm it up. However, if too firm – it is relatively easy to soften it up – Microfibre or polyester toppers etc.

    I want to finish this off by stressing the importance of knowing what you’re money can actually get you. Away from the glossy showrooms the money you have spent on a pocket memory mattress could have got you our 100% Natural Latex Fusion 3. No good to you now but maybe your bad experience will no doubt help many other readers.

    Please let us know how you get on with this and if there is anything we can do to help. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

    Submitted on 2014/10/03 at 20:59
    Hi John & Ryan,

    Thank you so much for your response and I will answer your questions in hope you can advise further?

    My partner weighs 14 1/2 stone and I weight 9 1/2 stone,

    1. the depth of foam is 65mm
    2. the density of foam is only 50s
    3. Not sure what GSM means, the spec sheet they sent me refers to posturex foam encapsulation and single quilted sleeping surface panel with a layer of memory foam (maybe I could send it to you?)

    Yes I had already read the article, this is why I want to get my own independent report done, but was looking to you for advice to see if you think it may be worth it?

    Bensons have said we can use Eco Master or Homeserve, but I have a funny feeling they will be as equally independent as FIRA!?

    we have tried a king-size topper from our old bed, but it is too soft.

    It may be an expensive lesson, but we have certainly learnt, and when we get the opportunity to replace our bed, we will certainly be in touch!

    Many thanks in anticipation of your response


    Hi again Kerrie – So very sorry for the delay in reply – too much gin!!.
    I take it from your reply that you have been in comms with Bensons – Good.

    As for completely independent reports there was a chap called ……..* however he recently went into administration probably due to offering his services for £99 or less. Shame, because his ethics were absolutely flawless and completely unbiased.

    GSM means grams per square meter (Read Here). The covering (fabric) may have had a backing material (polyester) of a weight that was so low – there was no way on Gods earth it would have survived a month – never mind any time more. Having said this, this alone (in my opinion) should not make the mattress uncomfortable to the extent you describe.

    Lets take as given the fabric is quilted to an underlying polyester backing – this is not a bad practice (we ourselves use it on or Contemporary range) 200gsm is an accepted weight – just enough to give the fabric some sort of substance. This alone – even if completely depleted – would not cause any effect in overall comfort.

    The depth of memory foam at 6.5cm is an acceptable depth. More than enough to do the job it is expected to do. Foam Encapsulated – again, nothing jumps out as being untoward for you both – ( except the price! )

    Bodyweights? Again. cannot see any reason why you are both waking up with bad backs! This construction should theoretically be fine for your hubby – but also with you – although I would have thought the topper would have made it more acceptable.

    Not too sure what to advise! If your mattress is stressing you out and making going to bed a bad experience then keep on at Bensons – no-one should agonise about going to bed. Rather than the unfit for purpose route (doesn’t work) you should be going down the mis-sold route. This has more impact as the adviser would have / should have .. been able to assess your requirements just by looking at you.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer more advice at this stage. If bed-time is agony then send the bloody thing back. I can’t understand this. If any of our customers are unhappy we do everything to keep them. Short term vision that’s what it is. Keep in touch Kerrie. Anything we can do, we will. John and Ryan.

  • Laura says:

    Looking for some advice please. My partner and I bought the Anniversary pocket sprung mattress with memory foam layer from Dreams in March this year (divan base).
    Having only had it 8 months, there are significant dips in both sides of the bed. We thought they’d disappear when weather got a bit cooler but they’re just getting worse. My partner is starting to find it unbearable to lie on. Neither of us are particularly heavy! But the state of the mattress seems to tell a different story! I personally think this rate of wear and tear for 8 months is unacceptable, would I be right? We have measured and the dips are up to 3cm in some places. It’s like sleeping in a hammock some nights.
    We have rotated as advised but it doesn’t make any difference. We paid £960 for mattress and base and really don’t think this is good value at all.
    I appreciate any advice you could offer.

    Hi Laura, I am sorry to hear of your issues with your Dreams mattress, however, you have not advised your body weights or crucially, what advice was provided at the time of purchase by the sales staff. All mattresses are subject to settlement, however, all mattresses have a tolerance for this and you really need to know what the tolerance is for the particular mattress you have bought. You haven’t advised whether you have in fact spoken to Dreams regarding your issues, previous experience with Dreams is that you may ultimately get them to accept the issue, but this is likely to result in them offering you a replacement from their ranges rather than a refund. I trust that this helps, regards Mike.

  • Dot says:

    Not all indents are ‘normal’. Our Somnus Chatsworth [cost £1500 ] was replaced by Somnus on 31st October 2014 because the fault was in the internal springs. They were collapsing.

    The replacement showed same problems developing after only 3 months and after 4 months we contacted the company again.

    Their inspection on 9th April showed that the same fault had occurred so we are now waiting for yet another replacement.
    There would seem to be a major problem with the springs, perhaps lower grade steel or just sloppy manufacture.

    Hi Dot,
    Thank you for sharing this with us and our readers, our comment regarding settlement and indents relates to most mattresses, although as you are now aware, it does not relate to faulty or inferior construction. Kind regards Mike.

  • Mickey Hunt says:


    We recently bought a Somnus Jewel king sized medium or regular. It was delivered in November and was an absolute delight, but after a week or so I started to feel like I was falling out of bed. I called the dealer who I had purchased from and he suggested that I should be rotating weekly and flipping it over every two weeks. He also said that the mattreses get compressed during delivery and they take time to settle. He then said if it is still like it in 3 months then I should give him a ring.

    Last year I suffered an attack of inflammation of the spinal cord and it has left me with impaired mobility and a number of other issues. The tablets I have to take and the inactivity caused by my being unable to undertake any exercise has made my weight shoot up to a weight of 19 stone. When we bought the bednit was very clear that I was large, but he did not mention anything about what we should go for in relation to my weight. My husband is 14 1/2 stone.

    We followed the advise and turned and flipped regularly. By February of this year the problem was so bad that I fell out of bed twice. There was a huge hump in the middle of the bed and it slanted down on both sides. I contacted the shop and they contacted Somnus who then sent an assessor to look at the bed. It was stripped down so he could see the matteress clearly. As we walked upstairs I asked if they had weight limits on their beds and he said no, added that he would always advise larger people go for the firmer matteres. I told him my weight and he said that he was nearly 17 stone and he had a somnus matteress. As soon as he walked into the bedroom he said that this was clearly a manufacturing fault and that his recommendation was to replace it. We went to the store as soon as he was gone and told the sales chap what had been advised. We went back upstairs to try the bed in firm and decided to go for a firm Marquise matteress, the next grade up and costing an extra £245 making our total spend on the matteress, divan and headboard £2400 with the bulk of thus (nearly 1800 ) just for the matteress. It arrived on Wednesday and is very very comfortable. I am however frightened of it happening again. The answer I need is am I to big for my bed or should the 12000 springs be able to support my weight.

    Thank you for any help
    Kind Refsrds

    Mickey Hunt

    Hi Mickey,
    I am sorry to hear of the issues you experienced with your Somnus Jewel mattress, but am glad to see that you have received confirmation that there was a manufacturing fault. As far as the Marquis in a firm tension is concerned, I would think that this will be suitable for your body weight, however, it may prove too firm for your husband. This could be resolved by using a topper.

    The good news is that your previous persistence paid off and should your new purchase suffer similar issues, you know that there is a way forward, although you live in hope that all will be ok, time will tell. What I would say is that you should adhere to any instructions provided with regard turning and rotating and any additional instructions supplied at the time of purchase.I hope that this helps, Kind regards Mike.

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