February 2020

The world’s finest mattress; The Legacy

The wait is finally over. We’ve spent years detailing the specifications we would need to craft the perfect mattress. With no compromise on comfort, quality or durability, it meant waiting for just the right British materials to become available. After all, perfection can’t be rushed.

The Legacy bed has been designed with 100% natural mattress components that contain the highest quality British fibres and craftsmanship all working in perfect harmony.

The story of the Legacy mattress

We have spent the last couple of decades detailing everything you could possibly need to know about mattresses and bed making. Explaining the often confusing world of bed retailers, misleading descriptions, fanciful claims and the sometimes-dubious latest technology. We have answered to date over 4000 online comments scrutinising other bed retailers and mattress models. Their claims of the best bed, the most luxurious, the splendid, the sublime, have all come and gone just like all marketing patterns. In with the new out with the old.

However, we as the mattress geeks knew that we could, if the materials were available, create the worlds finest mattress without marketing spin. Our quest to create the perfect mattress didn’t happen overnight (pun intended).

We wanted to make a luxury mattress that showcased:

  • The Best of British Natural Fibres
  • The Finest Craftsmanship
  • Use Traditional Manufacture Methods
  • The Worlds Finest Mattress

The Legacy Mattress Construction

The Legacy has been designed with the finest UK sourced natural fibres and exquisite mattress detailing. All working in perfect harmony. With the perfect blend of softer and more supportive natural fibres to provide a slow sink feel mattress. With absolutely zero synthetic fibres, chemicals or foams.

We use traditional techniques on our Legacy mattress such as hand side stitching to keep provide edge support in the mattress and hand teased upholstery fibres.

Mattress upholstery and support detail

The Legacy mattress detail could warrant an entire article alone. Not only have we sourced Britain’s finest upholstery, but we have sourced brand-new materials such as British Alpaca and Natural Plant Flax Fibre to take this mattress to the next level in terms of comfort and durability. This is a two-sided mattress available in a variety of exacting spring tensions depending on your bodyweight.

There are zero synthetic fibres in this mattress and each upholstery layer has been carefully chosen to be:

  • Breathable
  • High wicking
  • Sourced using the smallest carbon footprint possible
  • UK based wherever possible
The finest British sourced and handcrafted 100% natural mattress
The finest British sourced and handcrafted 100% natural mattress
Don't you deserve the ultimate bespoke nights sleep?
Don't you deserve the ultimate bespoke nights sleep?

Legacy Mattress Fibres

The soft top feel is achieved by using the finest British Alpaca wool in the very top upholstery layer. Renowned for its smooth fine silky fibres, this layer gives the softest sink before the support of the cotton and horsehair give careful resistance to the sleeper. There is no worry of excess heat building up as both the Alpaca, Horsetail and Flax are all incredibly breathable. This is our first mattress to include Organic Flax. This provides similar properties to horsehair but is a more durable insulator layer as has a lower loft in comparison. It’s one of only two natural plant layer fibres we have used in our mattresses.

John Ryan By Design close up of Legacy side handle

Yorkshire Wool Upholstery from Edward Clay

Our wool supplier first established in 1870 and are now a 4th generation natural fibre supplier based in Yorkshire. They started as a handloom weaver and have been in the specialist area of natural fibre production ever since. They still work from the historical original mill building which our British Wool is processed in.

Swaledale sheeps wool from Yorkshire is used in the Legacy mattress
We only use Yorkshire Swaledale Wool in our Legacy Mattress

The wool we have sourced is 100% British Swaledale sheep wool. It is sheered from Gold certification sheep accredited by the British Wool Board. It is then scoured, heated and then teased into pads for use in our mattresses.

The benefits of British wool are:

  • Incredibly breathable
  • High loft meaning it has great heat exchange properties, warm in winter, cool in summer
  • High wicking so moisture can be taken away from the sleep surface and distributed away from the sleeper
  • Natural fire retardant

Wool upholstery used in the Legacy Mattress

The Swaledale sheeps wool we are using for the John Ryan Legacy is at a weight of 1200 GSM. This Wool is sheered in Yorkshire and then scoured and cleaned before being needled. This wool has been certified Gold by the British Wool Board.

Blended wool and cotton1200

History of Edward Clay Natural Fibre Merchants:

The Swaledale Wool we have sourced for the Legacy upholstery comes from a traditional fibre merchant in West Yorkshire. Edward Clay has over 130 Year of experiencing cleaning and needling such fibres at their original premises. We have been working with them to source the highest grade of British Wool meaning all of our Wool upholstery in the Legacy is Certified Gold standard by the British Wool Board.

British Alpaca Fibre in the Legacy Mattress

Alpaca is one of the most expensive natural fibres in the world. It’s not only super soft but its incredibly resilient and high wicking. The softness comes from the size of the cuticles on each strand which are noticeably smaller than that of other Natural Fibres creating a much finer soft fibre. You can read more on the benefits of Alpaca in a Luxury mattress here.

The Alpaca fibre we use has been sourced from independent Alpaca owners from here in the UK. These micro-farms usually house anywhere between 2 to 20 Alpacas and they are sheered just once a year. Meaning that the supply of true British Alpaca is incredibly limited.

The delicate white fibre is then carefully processed and cleaned before it is then needled onto cotton in the North West of England ready to be used as upholstery in the Legacy mattress. Again, this is undertaken by a small independent Alpaca fibre processer here in the North West of England.

We are the worlds only mattress retailer to use British Alpaca in our Legacy mattress for the ultimate sleep experience.

Some of the girls that produce our Alpaca fibre

Support Layer

  • Calico Spring Layer vanadium coated (1.2, 1.4, 1.6 or 1.9 Gauge Vanadium Spring)

We offer the Legacy in 4 different spring tensions depending on your bodyweight and requirements. Meaning that the support is tailored to react perfectly to your specific body shape and sleep position

Calico medium

Our calico pocket springs are manufactured in Yorkshire by a bespoke machinist provides the perfect support level for sleepers. For the lightest of sleepers, the high loft and GSM of the comfort layers will provide more than adequate support and for the heavier sleeper the horsehair, hemp and pocket spring combination will provide a supportive yet forgiving sleep surface.

Spring TensionWire diameter (Gauge)Weight Range
Soft1.2mmBespoke Tension (Please Call)
Medium1.4mmUpto 16 stone
Firm1.6mm16 stone plus
Extra Firm / Orthopaedic1.9mm20 stone plus

Two-Sided Luxury

As with all of our Artisan mattresses, this is a 2 sided hand made model. The beauty is that you can turn and flip this mattress each month to even out settlement. The bonus being with 5400GSM of fibre, it will feel like a new mattress each month.

Mattress Detailing

They say the devil is in the detail and we pride ourselves in focusing in on the intricacies of mattress design. For the Legacy, we wanted to continue the Best of British theme even to the border padding. We have included an eye-watering 1000 GSM border filling of British Wool. Giving a plush padded sidewall to the mattress that contains 4 rows of genuine hand side stitching.

We have an article here on what exactly hand side stitching is, other than incredibly time consuming and very much essential for a mattress of this calibre! It ensures that each edge pocket spring is carefully sewn to the padded border, meaning no bulging or separation between the side wall and the main mattress. This is a true art form and takes hours to complete by skilled craftsmen.

Bonded wool and cotton

The mattress has 4 handles featuring the John Ryan insignia and is tufted again, using pure wool tufts fitted by hand in Yorkshire.

The mattress ticking features our John Ryan Monogrammed Cotton cover with a matt finish using plant-based Fire Retandancy, ensuring this is a synthetic chemical-free mattress.

Cream hand made uk mattress

The final part of the Legacy is that it can be matched up with any base. No need to bedsteads or unusual sized frames. This mattress can be paired up with the divan or bed frame of your choosing.

The Legacy Mattress Specification Sheet

We like to let the figures speak for themselves with the Legacy.

Legacy Data SheetUpholstery GSMSpring Count (Kingsize)


So there we have it, we have finally been able to create what we believe to be the world’s finest mattress. We have sourced as many UK fibres as possible to create the Legacy. Every previous niggle and design flaw has been eliminated in this model. It offers you the most luxurious nights sleep with the finest UK sourced fibres. Plus a 15 year guarantee.

We welcome you to get in touch to discuss the Legacy further with our small friendly team.

Don't you deserve a mattress tailored just for you?
Our small friendly team can help you choose a mattress specifically tailored to your needs. With our 60 Day Love it or Return it Guarantee its completely risk-free.

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  • We are the mattress experts! Ask us anything about any mattress by any manufacturer for honest advice and support.

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Alternatively speak to our small friendly team between 9am – 5pm and we’ll be happy to guide you through any questions you may have.
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