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Ryan and I have been looking for the best mattress you can possibly buy for 13 years.  We are in a position to cut through all of the hype and nonsense that the mattress industry is plagued with. To put into perspective what you are now up against, you really do need to take the time to read a little about the basics of your purchase.

JR13Consider the fact that there are more than 4000 or so different mattress models out there and knowing how to reduce this number to a more manageable ten or so is pretty easy once you get to grips with what you should be looking for. Consider also that the most expensive bed costs in the region of £115,000 (Savoir Royal State) and the cheapest is around the £200 mark. What is it that creates a mattress that can be retailed for this particular price?

It’s not possible to break down this site into any organised manner. There is just too much to talk about and each discussion relates directly to a variety of other related topics. In order to help you, we have separated out the posts and placed the bare minimum information you require into the sections below. The following breakdown will give you a rough indication of the sheer size of the site and will also demonstrate the amount of information you need before considering your mattress purchase.

How much should you spend?
Setting your budget is absolutely key to your purchase decision. However, you can’t feasibly expect to do this if you do not know what your money can get you. This section breaks down what you can realistically expect to get for a particular budget.

Understanding your mattress purchase
Don’t expect your mattress to give you everything that you require for the money you are prepared to pay. You will have to tailor some aspects of the build to ensure what you get will be entirely suitable for your needs.

Quick tips on buying your mattress
A quick rundown on what you can expect to face.

Mattress construction
This section gives quite a comprehensive overview of what makes a good mattress. We have used real life examples to dissect what can be considered to be a well-constructed product and analysed each component to determine what makes one model better than the other.

Mattress detailing
This section will give you the confidence to walk into any mattress showroom and determine quite easily the products that are worthy of further investigation. The clues to a well-built mattress are quite obvious once you know what to look for.

Know your GSM timetable
Quite complicated at first glance but don’t be put off! Knowing the GSM (Grams per Square Metre) of upholstery is what the manufacturer does NOT want you to know about. Once you do grasp the essentials of this you will be able to tell which mattress is a complete bag of springs and which ones are worthy of further investigation.

How to do a mattress comparison
When faced with 4000 or so models you really do need to do like for like comparisons. This section guides you through the process of comparing like for like models. Not particularly easy when manufacturers or retailers do not give you the information you require to do this! We show you what to look for.

The best tip we can give you about buying a mattress
Once you know what makes the best mattress, you will be in a better position to evaluate the compromises you may need to make to get the best mattress that falls within your particular budget.

All about pocket springs
Absolutely essential reading. As you read through this site you will see that the upholstery elements that can be used within a mattress are quite minimal – there are only so many components that can be used. Springs, however, are the only real difference that can be used to separate one manufacturer from the other – but who has the ‘best’ springs? It’s unfortunately not as simple as that.

Understanding mattress upholstery
There are only two parts that go into making a mattress – the springs and the upholstery. Once you grasp the basics of upholstery your job is halfway done. Be warned, not all is as it seems.

Getting to grip with these basics will put you in a far better position to determine what will be the most suitable product for you.

We hope you find our site useful and feel free to browse our online handmade in the UK mattress shop. If you have any questions please contact our friendly expert team.

John & Ryan


View Comments
  • Andy Parris says:

    Having trawled through your site, had a brief chat with ‘the sales team’ and visited a local Furniture Village to test different Vi Spring beds, I have a question.
    Where are the details of how your sprung bases are constructed and what materials you use in their construction? (That might be 2 questions.)

    Hi Andy. Good question(s). We are currently updating our product pages and will certainly give a more complete breakdown of the construction of our bases possibly with a photo montage of the actual construction. All timber for Divan Bases used by the majority of manufacturers come from a handful of specialist suppliers in Kit Form. We will look into the various grades of timber available and post on what is actually available to the manufacturer. Will keep you posted. John and Ryan.

  • Guillaume says:

    I have been reading your website with great interest (thank you!) and, before i start shopping, there is a question which i not manage to get an answer to:

    I may well be in the wrong but for some reason it seems that the Contract Beds mattress are much cheaper than the one retailed to individuals, so my question is what is the difference between the two?

    Lastly, maybe you could help me with your experience I am currently looking for a superking mattress and was thinking about zip and link (so i can get it up my stairs) with a big topper to avoid the difference in feel in the middle. Is there any combinations you would particularly recommend for an all in price paid of no more than £1500?

    Thanks a lot in advance

    Hi Guillaume. Contract beds and Domestic beds. The only difference is that Contract beds have to be manufactured to Crib 5 (Domestic is Crib 3). This is the additional fire retardency applications required for Residential (contract) establishments. Apart from that there is no other difference. The prices that you see (cheap) will be in relation to the actual build. There are cheap contract mattresses and there are expensive contract mattresses.

    Your choice of topper(s) coupled with your mattress is quite personal (Read Here). It is good you are looking at this as a combined budget however, our Artisan Naturals in the Ziplink version comes in at around £1500 for the matts. Factor in about £200 for good toppers and your budget will be in the region of £1700 – a lot initially but you will get a good 10 years (0.46p per day) out of them if looked after.

    Feel free to speak to Gary at the office who will be able to help you further. Weight and preferences are extremely imortant and he will be able to match up a mattress to you and your partner. John and Ryan.

  • Sarah Garrard says:

    Hello John and Ryan,

    I’m really struggling to make a decision on a mattress for myself 5’3″ 8.5 stone and my partner 5’8″ and 11 stone.

    Our budget is about £700 fir a double, so right in between the lower and higher ends of your range.

    I trnd to heat up a lot at night so have been looking at the most natural fillings possible for the price. This has led us to the cotton 3000 (£599) and linen 4000 (£699) in the John Lewis Naturals range, but these are both one sided. I just wondered what your views were on one sided mattresses and whether there was anything rlse you could recommend.

    Please note that my partner has a latex allergy, so this needs to be avoided at all costs.
    Many thanks, Sarah

    Hi Sarah. There is a reason why our range has a noticeable price gap between them and this is where the best mix of natural and best mix of man made come into play – known as Hybrids. I have passed your comment on to Lee – our foam guy – who will be able to offer you some more alternatives. He is in the process of developing a separate site to demonstrate the sheer minefield that is foams and latex and we will shortly be able to offer a select range of Hybrid mattresses to cover the anomaly in the price gaps. John and Ryan.

  • Brian says:

    Hi John & Ryan

    Following on from earlier posts in other sections . [Read Here]
    Finally – I shall / should be jumping into a Artisan Naturals, some time late December.

    Having got as far as this ‘Leap of Faith’ …
    Further thoughts with regard to your trading since 2005 – seemingly without much in the way of a slapped wrist…

    Your early customers will now be in the supreme position of ‘Knowing’ and maybe considering a replacement.
    Would they buy from you again ?
    Was it worth it ?
    Did it last. ?
    What condition now ?
    How did you care for it ?
    Maybe a survey or an invite to comment … might be useful for future products and maybe the icing on your ‘Web Cake’ .

    I have another question that might be of interest – .
    Arises from my lifetime in the Aerospace Industry, where quality is never compromised. What is designed is what you get … Where you can and have to, question everything.

    How do we know / How do you know ? [You cant be everywhere ]
    That any mattress ordered is the mattress delivered ?
    Supplier and Manufacturing Differences – Labelling ? Shortages / Subsitutes ? Springing or Weighing errors ?

    Do you personally carry out any ongoing or snap inspections / How do you check content materials for supplier consistency.?

    Aerospace manufacturers issue Certificates of Conformity with every part made. [Covers material specs, dimensions, finishes & consistency]
    [Call it managing quality]

    Would love to hear your views on this.

    Regards, Brian

    Hi again Brian. I’m so glad you finally took the plunge and ordered. The actual ‘leap of faith’ is not really that high – our success rate for the year to date runs at just over 96% – so four people out of a hundred have had reason to return their mattress for one reason or another – The actual quality of the mattress has never been cited as the reason for return. The value of this Love It or Return It guarantee is priceless both in terms of your own peace of mind and the fact that the pride we have in all our products allows us to offer this. Obviously, we don’t get it right all the time, but the risk/gamble for all our customers is absolutely Zero.

    Ryan and I were the ones who openly pulled back the curtain on this particular industry and when that video of me cutting up the Silentnight mattress was published – a lot of doors were slammed in our face and barriers were instantly put up. We should not be telling you this sort of thing! Trying to find out about upholstery and springs and pretty much the entire contents of this site took many years of intense research trying to piece together the fact from the fiction. Even now, although this site contains more information than you could have possibly gleaned for yourself, we still have a long way to go and many more questions to be answered.

    Your question about quality control is spot on. Fortunately, we are now in a position where we work closely with our manufacturer from design to production and this process takes a level of trust that we are entirely happy with.

    Finally Brian, In a few weeks you will be getting your new mattress – Hooray!. The Artisan Naturals can be placed side by side to any other mattress for a similar price – from any manufacturer – and a dissection piece by piece will show that you have the best your money can buy. To justify this statement it takes the entire contents of this site and our commitment to only offer the best available. Keep in touch and feel free to leave your own feedback. John and Ryan.

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