Why buy from John Ryan by Design?

This site contains over 4000 questions and answers on all things mattresses and beds. It’s a confusing world out there and no doubt after trawling through all the bed sites and stores you will end up just pure frustrated and probably be no better off than when you started. Let us help you.


1. We are John and Ryan fondly known by customers as The Mattress Geeks!

There is nothing we do not know about the manufacture and composition of all mattresses. This site was started in 2005 and over the years has become the most trusted and informative mattress site on the internet. About us 

2. GSM  ‘Grams per square metre’ is the one thing manufacturers and retailers do not want you to know about

Understanding and reading between the lines of sales jargon will also save you considerable time and sanity. Knowing this one thing alone will instantly identify to you which mattress is overpriced or a can’t be missed bargain. Know your GSM times table

3. You really do need to know ‘who owns what’ in order for you to make an informed purchase

The mattress industry is a multi-billion pound Goliath with many well-known brands belonging to the same investment company. We tell you the current state of the marketplace and what to look for. Who owns which mattress brand?

4. The budget you have available to spend on a mattress will influence what you can feasibly expect to get

Knowing what you can get for a particular amount of money will save you days if not weeks. Understanding your mattress

5.  There are over 4000 mattresses out there

The first thing you need to do is whittle down this huge choice into a more manageable set of options. This is easy enough once you know what to look for we show you how. How to compare mattresses

6. Every mattress out there can only be manufactured with one of three spring types and about a dozen or so upholstery materials

Bear in mind that the most expensive bed in the world retails at around £115,000 (The Savoir Royal State) Despite the price it can only be made to contain a certain composition and amount of materials. The same applies to all sprung mattress manufacturers. Once you know what these are your choice becomes considerably easier. We tell you what these materials are. Mattress construction basics

7. This site will give you as much or as little information that you may require

This is a compilation of our personal notes, thoughts and findings over the years and there is no other place on the internet that has this wealth of information. However,  If you just want quick,  honest, no-nonsense advice all you need to do is pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 437 4419.  Get in touch with our small and expert team

8. 60 days love it or return it guarantee on all our mattresses

No collection charges, no small print or any of that nonsense. You will be refunded entirely in full but also with the apology that this time we may have got it wrong. Our current success rate in helping people choose the perfect mattress consistently runs above 96%, without our customers seeing the mattress, touching the mattress it or even lying on the mattress. Although enviably good our ultimate aim is to get this to 100%. Guarantee

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9. This  site is entirely free to use

Advert and spam free. We do not require your email address (unless commenting) or any details whatsoever. This industry is a passion of ours and we want to share this knowledge with you in order to break the ludicrous rules of secrecy and confusion so prevalent in this industry.

10. We are extremely proud of the quality and value of  all the products we have designed

To be able to confidently offer you “the best mattress you can get for your money”. This is, of course, a bold claim and, therefore, the contents of our site have to go a long way to prove the validity of this statement.

Artisan Bespoke 002


There is no easy way of putting all this information in any sort of order. Our ethics dictate that you should be entirely confident in your purchase from us  and we want to demonstrate and prove as best we can how to achieve this. Our small friendly service team have complete specialised knowledge of this industry between them, and can easily help you with your queries whether you are buying from us or not.

Use our understanding beds information section to read articles or Ask us to ask a question and get a tailored answer.

Our Mission

To challenge the way that people traditionally buy a bed by making the whole process fuss and risk-free.

We aim to make premium quality goods affordable and accessible to all by being transparent, fair and providing unbeatable value.

Our Vision

To be recognised and valued by our customers as the most trusted online bed retailer.  In order to achieve our mission and realise our vision, we abide by the following values.

1. Reliability – We deliver our promises on time and right first time with high quality and superior performance.

2. Quality – A measure of our performance as experienced by our customers. Our success depends on our ability to always provide our customers with products and services that exceed their expectations.

3. Respect – By delivering and excelling in our values, we will earn and build the respect of our customers.

4. Integrity – We take care and pride in earning our customers trust through the integrity and reliability of the services we provide and the outcomes we deliver.

5. Innovation – The key to staying ahead of our competition by delivering great service to our customers. We invest in the development of our people and our products to ensure we are able to offer the most up to date and efficient service to our clients.

6. Educate – We educate our customers so that they make an informed choice when buying our products. We educate our people in leading technical knowledge to ensure we maintain our position as a trusted service provider.

Every decision we make in the business is measured against our Goal, Mission and Values. This ensures that we remain focused on what we set out to do. To provide the very best products, at the best price and with the very best service.

Enjoy our work!
John and Ryan.



View Comments
  • Kurt says:

    Hi there
    A seriously interesting site, and alot of knowledge. a lifes work i would say!!!!!!!!!!!

    anyways im looking for a mattress to replace my worn out crap, its never been right for me but i got the bed cheap thinking i would replace the matress after a couple of years, and tourchered myself for 5 lol, So basicaly my requirements I sleep on my side! I get bad problems in my shoulders to compensate, I use pillows sometimes it works sometimes it don’t good sleep bad if you know what i mean, I cannot sleep on my back so its important for me to find a matress that will compensate my upper body weight, im 15 stone 5,7 high stocky up top lighter below.

    lol sounds like im on a dating site lol. Please could you help me!! Maybe even just point me in the right direction, my idea is this and based on what I have worked out for myself, a pocket sprung matress around maybe 1000 springs. above that memory foam to stop too much movement in the springs once my body has settled and above that top layer latex to give depth for my upper body weight to align to lower body, thus allowing my shoulder to sink into bed properly while drop off to sleep, so im sinking in sleep weight, then when im of to sleep the memory foam will give me support and stop the sinking feeling then springs will give the comfort and support. am i on track and if not please could you help me!! thanks Kurt

    Hi Kurt, Thanks for your comment.

    Firstly I would say look at more than 1000 springs considering you sleep mainly on your side – more springs offer more individualised support. In your case you are looking for a combination of support and comfort in equal measures – to take the extra pressure from your hips and shoulders. So a 1500 to 2000 pocket unit would be more beneficial. As for the comfort layers – We don’t sell memory foam.

    Of course it depends on your budget and how much you are willing to spend. A good mid range model that will help your sleep pattern will be The Origins Latex 1500 as a starter point. Hope this helps, John and Ryan.

  • Laura-Jane says:

    Hi John,

    We are searching for a double sided mattress, king sized with 2000 pocket springs and 7.5cm memory foam on top. We’ve seen an ICON 2000 in a carpet place – sleeprightuk.co.uk for about £700, which we like but has gone from being double sided to only one sided no turn before we actually got around to buy it.
    Can you suggest something similar? Its the double sided bit that is most important as our current SilentNight Miracoil is a joke after 4 years of use….
    Thanks for your help and for the great website!

    Hi Laura, I would hazzard an educated guess that this model is made by Breasley from their Salus factory for Sleepright – so I would also investigate the Salus 2000 Memory range for comparisons.

    The RRP at Sleepright (stated at well over £1500) is an absolute joke so dont be fooled! As for being double sided I dont think this model ever was. Can you enlighten me?
    I would suggest you also consider our Origins Pocket Latex 1500 as an alternative. John and Ryan.

  • Karen & Andy says:

    Hi John I’m hoping you can help, I’ve been to sleepmasters today and found the perfect mattress. I think it is their own make and is called the Highgrove, the following is some of the description.

    To make this mattress as refined, luxurious and comfortable as it possibly could be, we turned to nature. Sumptuous layers of the finest natural materials, including cotton, lambs wool, hand teased horsehair and mohair, cashmere and silk give this bed an amazing feel. With 2400 springs.

    The mattress was amazing but we could only try the medium firmness we felt we would maybe need the soft one. The main propblem is their price was £1899.99 and the sales guy said he could do a deal when we came back!!

    Can you give us any ideas or do you have anything matching this description as we’ve trawled the internet with no joy.
    We also feel the price is well over the top. My husband suffers with numbness in his arms as he lays on his side mainly any ideas to help with this too.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best Wishes
    Karen & Andy

    Hi Guys, On the face of it you have the ingredients to what would constitute an excellent well made mattress. The price? Nearly £2000 for a mattress is a lot of money unless you can get the same from the likes of Savoir or any other respected bespoke tailor made bed manufacturer. But to do this you will have to know EXACTLY how much of these ‘sumptious layers’ are inside a £2000 mattress – layer by layer – and most importantly weight by weight. Therefore getting a truer idea of the actual build quality.

    In this case, total disregard of the manufacturer has to be made (it dosn’t matter) and your comparisons can only be made by content [which you have] – and to find an even better mattress out there for the same price – [which there is] then you will also need to know the weights.

    You say that this mattress is amazing, and even without trying it I’m sure I would certainly agree – The contents specification even though they are generalised indicate a high level of composition. But is it worth the £2000?

    To find that out, all you need to do is bring your ‘shopping list’ to other retailers and ask them to match it – or better still – BEAT IT – by quality and not price. Never forget for this kind of money the guarantee (expect min 10 years) and service should be without question or compromise – Don’t expect it or pay for it – Demand it.

    With regards to numbness – there is no simple authoritive answer but logic dictates that if the numbness is because of a trapped nerve triggered by his sleeping position it cant be the mattress causing it. Excepting this, the firmness level could be too high and therefore a softer layer could be applied to cushion his arm.

    This is a very interesting comment. Your budget range [est £1500 based on the model you are considering] is well above the average and therefore you will find it relatively easy to find comparable and alternative models for less. Please let me know how you get on. Also, please feel free to comment further. John.

    Hi John thanks for the indepth reply, we’ve been looking around for a mattress of similar quality and have found the
    Millbrook Siesta 3000 Mattress approx £750 if you shop around however we have been unable to find it in any stores to try it, do you have any of these or can you get any and could you comment on the comfort levels.
    Thanks Again
    Regards. Karen & Andy

    Hi Karen, cannot comment on this model, not familiar with it at all. I cant seem to find out exactly how it’s made and therefore unable to offer any kind of comparison. If you know what the contents are please forward these on. John.

    Hi John these are the details for the Millbrook Siesta.
    Experience the utmost luxury and support with the Millbrook Siesta 3000 Mattress, a top of the range pocket sprung mattress featuring 3034 individually nested pocket springs in the Kingsize and 2590 pocket springs in the Double. It also has a unique zonal edge spring system for extra stability.

    The Millbrook Siesta 3000 Mattress also has luxurious layers of silk, wool and cashmere to give you even more comfort and higher levels of relaxation when you sleep. Plus the mattress has 4 rows of hand stitching to the borders and 16 brassed ventilators to extend the durability and breathability of the mattress.

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Karen & Andy
    Hi Guys, Remember the price being asked for this mattress is nearly £800 for a kingsize. So what are you getting for your money and more importantly is it worth it?

    The waddings of Silk, wool and Cashmere sounds glorious – I wonder how much of these fine natural fillings are actually in the mattress. .. and this is where my sceptism comes in. The waddings you list are all soft – so what is in there that is aiding the support?

    Lets take a similar model also by Millbrook – The Neptune 3000 (Nearly £1000 King). Same spring system and count but the waddings are described as; Layers of resilient polyester give this mattress extra durability, while sumptuous silk, wool, and pashmina padding and a layer of lambswool provide added softness and comfort [end].

    The resilient polyester is a component I would not expect to find in a mattress within this price range. And, if this is being used as the foundation (supportive) layer then it stands to reason there will be little room left for the natural fillings to be included in any great quantity to justify this selling price.

    The four rows of HSS is premium detailing – but two rows would have been just as good if it meant that because of this compromise you could have got more fillings.

    I keep reiterating that because you are not being told what is inside the mattress – in some basic level of detail – then there is no way on earth you can posibly make an informed decision as to whether it is a good buy or not. I have no gripe against Millbrook as a manufacturer – I use them as an example because you made reference to The Siesta. Most manufacturers are equally guilty of not telling you what you want / need to know.

    Finally, I want to give you something to think about. All natural fibres are graded and obviously the best grades will be the most expensive. Best grades are not used in mattress construction – no need to be – they are reserved for clothing. The absolute finest Cashmere for example has a wholesale price of £8000 per kilo and if you think this will be in a mattress that retails at less than five grand then you will be sorely mistaken. This is the same for Hair, cotton, silk, wool and most other natural fibre waddings. Hope this helps and feel free to call Ryan or myself to discuss further. John.

  • A. says:

    Hi John,
    I recently bought a matress from Dreams:

    The Minstrel Posturepedic mattress made by Sealy for Dreams: ‘The Minstrel is a micro quilted mattress with a pressure relief inlay that offers five zones of support. Combined with Posturetech springs to provide support where you need it most this mattress helps eliminate the need to toss and turn at night’.

    The firmness grade is 2 = firm (1 is orthopaedic, 5 is soft). I weigh between 7 and 8 stone. I went back and tried the mattress several times and felt it would give me good support. The sales assistant said this bed would give most people good support.

    The mattress was delivered a few days ago and now I’m wondering if it’s too hard for me. The surface feels quite soft but sleeping on it is rather hard (I didn’t sleep that well). I was expecting more support, but perhaps I need to give it more time and get used to it?

    I detest memory foam and don’t like soft beds, hence I went for comfor grade 2 (grade 1=orthopaedic is too hard for me).
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,

    Hi A.
    Unfortunately, but not that unexpected, apart from telling you that the comfort layer is a five zone supersoft foam, there is absolutely no indication on the build of this particular mattress. The spring system is posturetech (I am assuming 620) which for all intents and purpose is a glorified cage sprung unit – apologies for my scant disregard for Sealy.

    With your bodyweight at 7-8st, you will be unlikely to be utilising the spring unit at all, and because Sealy does not give any indication whatsoever on the steel gauge of spring used it is imposible to tell whether it is a firm or soft gauge. If firm, [which I suspect it is] then there will be no movement when you are lying on it and therefore a block of wood would have sufficed. All you are utilising from this mattress is the comfort layer – which based on the information so forthcoming and generously given by Dreams – is just foam.

    I thought Dreams had a Comfort Guarantee whereby you can exchange if not suitable. have you tried this?
    Keep in touch and let us know how things progress. John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Thanks for the email regarding the Sealy Minstrel mattress from Dreams. Yes, I can exchange the mattress within 30 days (I am getting used to it though!). If I exchange it, which Dreams open spring or pocket spring mattress would you recommend? I sit up and read in bed a lot so don’t want anything that sags. I never liked memory foam. My budget is £550-£600 and my exact weight is 7.5 stone.

    Thank so much you for your help so far! I should have come to you in the first place!
    Best wishes, A.

    Hi A. First of all as a sidenote, for people who read in bed a topper/comforter should be an important consideration. The constant pressure on one particular part of the mattress (where your bottom is placed) really will take the toll out of the mattress in one area. I admit this is generalised and positions may of course vary but it is something to be aware of and measures taken to reduce.

    I personally think a Sealy Posturetech was a wrong choice for your bodyweight. you are a slip of a thing and will be utilising the comfort layers more than the spring unit. A pocket sprung unit which gives more flexibility and individualised support with adequate comfort layers should have been the recomendation for you.

    From our range we would have recomended the Origins Reflex which at less than £400 would have seen you with the perfect mattress for you and your budget.

    From Dreams [if we must] – The Attlee looks like a good mattress which fits into your budget (£549 – Double) and worthy of a look. Of course this is absolutely NOT a recomendation but posibly far better than the Sealy posturetech you currently have. Let us know how you get on. John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try to sell the mattress, so that I can buy your Origins Reflex instead. I don’t want to make any more wrong choices. I might not succeed, but watch this space!
    All best, A.

  • Vicky says:


    We currently have a Silentnight Miracoil 3 Diamond double mattress (which I have discovered is made exclusively for Paul Simon), and we really like it. Our bed is too small though and due to a medical condition (where I kick my partner in the night!) we need to upgrade to a Super King Size bed – with zip and link mattresses. Silentnight don’t do zip and link mattresses.

    Can you recommend zip and link mattresses that would be similar to the Silentnight miracoil 3 diamond? Silentnight say their Micracoil 3 Indulge is the closest to the Paul Simon diamond…but as I have already said they don’t make zip and link mattresses anyway…

    Your advice would be much appreciated!
    Thank you, Vicky

    Hi Vicky. Firstly and foremost, I would not recommend anything similar to or comparable to ANY Silentnight mattress. And with respect, it is beyond me that you actually want to replicate your current M3 model.

    For the benefit of other readers the Silentnight Indulge is a Miracoil 3 continuous coil spring unit with just 3cm of memory foam. This sells for an approx price of £340 for a double.

    This very basic specification is easy to find in a ziplink combination but I would urge you to at least try some of the better bult mattresses utilising pocket sprung systems at retailers such as John Lewis etc. If you let me know your budget and bodyweights I will be able to give you some viable alternatives. John and Ryan.

  • ann mahony says:

    Hi, it’s been lovely reading your helpful advice to people. We are looking for a replacement for our 10 year old Sealy posturepedic Ultra- Tiffany .We hadn’t even realised back then that we would feel each other getting in /out of bed turning over etc.That, and my lower back pain (experienced after being in bed for hours , but better during day ) have led us to look for a better quality mattress .

    We have a king size bedstead with flexible beech slats .My husband is 15 stone and sleeps on side (plus back and front ). I am 10 stone and favour my front but am trying to reform to a side sleeping position to help my back.We are looking for a pocket sprung mattress, do not like the idea of too hot memory foam and have a budget of £500-£1000.

    On visiting a good quality local store the sort of mattress we found most comfortable was a Harrisons pocket sprung .I think he said it had cashmere/ wool cotton etc in it and it was £1000 in an offer. This seemed a lot of money to spend without knowing how it compared with others available and your website struck a chord with me.

    Can you advise us as to what may be most suitable for us .(My husband tends to like a firmer feel than me , and I am concerned that as I switch to side sleeping I need more softness not less) best regards Ann

    Hi Ann. If you can find out the model name of the Harrisons mattress you like We will be able to break it down to its core components. If this is falling within your budget I would reccomend you have a look at The Artisan Naturals. Because of your weight differences I would have one half made with soft springs and your hubbys side with firm. Please feel free to give us a call and we can go through the options in a bit more detail. John and Ryan.

    Hi John , Thank you for your reply. Difficult for me to phone with work (unless u are there Sundays ?) I went back to try again the Harrison Explorer and lay there for a while and still found it pretty comfortable. Its £999 there but £800 on line. Can you advise how this mattress compares to the Artisan mattress you suggested and probably also the one below that in price too.
    Much obliged, Ann

    Hi Ann. If we disect this model we can see how to compare the two side by side:

    [Official Description]

    [START] The superb EXPLORER contains 3998 Revolution and Posturfil pocket springs topped with our unique Contura system – small particles of HR foam and natural latex that form a fluid cushion. A Mohair, Silk and Wool blend, sumptuous wool and a natural cotton blend sit on top of this to provide a soft, supportive sleeping surface.

    Three rows of side stitching ensures full use of the sleeping surface and 16 vents aid breathability of the mattress. The mattress sits on our 1000 spring count True Edge base which provides a firm edge to your bed so you can make full use of the mattress and aids your transition on and off of the bed. This turn free mattress is also suitable for bed frames. [END]

    Firstly, to do any kind of comparison you will need to phone Harrisons Customer Service dept on 0113 205 5214 and ask them what the precise specification is:
    What weight [GSM] Mohair, Silk and Wool blend?
    What weight [GSM] Wool and natural Cotton Blend?

    They say that the mattress contains 3998 Revolution and Posturfil pocket springs
    How many ‘revolution’ springs are in the mattress? Are they counting a single revolution spring as 1 [spring in spring] or are they counting the main pocket spring and joey (spring in spring) as 2 springs ?
    Is the posturfil [mini pocket springs] on top of the main spring unit AND below the main spring unit?
    If so how many posturfil springs are incorporated?
    Is this a full two sided mattress?
    Side Stitched or Hand Side Stitched?
    If Hand side stitched – are they ALL ‘genuinely’ HSS?

    If you [and anyone else] is handing over short of a grand for a mattress then you really need to know exactly where your money is going. When you are armed with this information you will be better placed to make informed comparisons. John and Ryan.

    Hi John
    persistence paid off and I was able to find out the below info .
    The spring count is 3998, this is broken down as two layers of Posturfill (1000 springs in each) and the basic unit of revolution spring at 998 springs (this is a mixture of the outer spring and outer spring with a Joey spring) the base also has 1000 springs.
    Springs are counted as one for the outer and one for the Joey.
    The revolution spring unit is always in the centre the fillings are built up around this unit, however as this model is one-sided the basic revolution spring unit is at the bottom, followed by two layers of Posturfill, then the fillings on top.
    The manufacturers were not prepared to divulge about the fillings weight though.
    Are you able to say any more about how does this Explorer mattress compare to your Artisan mattress ?.Also as we liked the spring system on the Explorer, is this more similar to your other mattress options?
    Regards Ann.

    Hi Ann. Sorry for delay in replying. You’ve done well in gettting this far. However, without knowing what the fillings are there is no way that we, or you, or anyone else can say what you are spending your money on., There is no legal requirement for manufacturers to tell you what is inside. Includes Horsehair can legally mean one gram. Ethically and morally wrong – but legally right. We tell you the details because we think it is the right thing to do.

    Unless we have something substantial to work with it is impossible to even guess at a comparison. I think we’ve come to a standstill and wonder what you as a consumer thinks?. John and Ryan.

  • Kevin says:

    Hi John,
    I am on a tight budget and not sure what to buy, I have tried our daughter’s cheapish foam mattress and quite like it but my other half isn’t keen on the heat it holds. I was looking into kozeesleep and the kaymed 7000 foam mattress in a standard double. We both weigh in at the 10 stone mark. I have stumbled across the company named beautysleep and like the look of the memory pocket model with foam and 1000 pocket springs, reason for this choice would be due to price as I can’t and afford a pocket/foam at £450+ mark. On ebay item *** someone is selling the above mattress and base for £309 which appears to be a steal if it is decent quality, I just can’t find any feedback or info on the company who produce these. Other companies have the mattress alone for £300+. PS I had a rest assured ortho 1000 pocket but found it too firm and couldn’t sleep well on it. I prefer to sleep on my tummy :). Was wondering how the memory pocket deal would compare with your origins reflex.
    Thanks in advance. Kevin.

    Hi Kevin. A mattress and base for £309 is cheap. There is no point whatsoever in deducing whether it will be good quality or not because all you have to compare it with are similar models for the same price. However, if you have found a second hand Vi-Spring, Harrisons etc for the same selling price then you will be getting a lot more mattress for your money.

    Your bodyweights are quite light and this is in your favour. Spring support composition becomes secondary to comfort. i.e. your weight will be utilising the primary layers before you even reach the springs. As budget is key, I would try to find a pocket sprung mattress (800 – 1000) as the support – no need to go to any great expense, and provide your own separate comfort layers to suit your own preferences by means of toppers / comforters. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Martyn says:

    Do you have anything similar to Harrison paradise
    Hi Martyn. Sorry But No.

  • Jamie says:

    Hi John or Ryan
    I have just renovated my beach house in Cornwall and am going to holiday let it, all I need to buy now are the beds. I need one king size, one double, 4 single (all divan beds).

    I want guests to have a really good holiday and hopefully return, so I want to buy beds that will be memorable for their comfort. I suppose the weights of individuals will vary.

    I’ve been reading that pocket sprung plus memory foam is good and have been told that the more pocket springs the better the comfort, i.e. 2000 better than 1000 etc, but I have no practical knowledge of memory foam and if this is a good idea to have on top of the pocket springs or just have a pillow top on top of the springs.

    Basically it’s the comfort factor I’m looking for and good well made storage drawers for clothing or extra bedding/pillows etc at a reasonable price
    Can you recommend a bed product that will satisfy this criteria please. Jamie.

    Hi Jamie. First of all do not confuse support with comfort! Springs offer support – upholstery (what’s on top of the springs) offers comfort. Obviously, what you can reasonably expect to offer will depend on how much you are prepared to spend. In my mind, I think our Origins Reflex will be more than adequate. As with all lettable rooms I would expect you to add additional comfort / protection by means of mattress enhancer / topper. See The White Company Replacing toppers are far more economical than replacing mattresses. Proper care should leave the mattress looking and feeling like new for a lot longer.

    As these will be used for holiday lets, your choice should be based on the following criteria:
    1. How often do you plan to replace?
    2. What would be the potential usage?
    3. Your rates should reflect the quality of mattress.

    I would also reconsider storage. Divan construction from all manufacturers is rather basic on a guideline price of less than £1000. As an example our construction methods start to increase from our Artisan Naturals model upwards. I would personally consider a bedding box as part of the furniture / or Ottoman bedframe.

    Jamie, I would give Ryan a ring (he deals with all contract enquiries) Once you know what the compromises are, or what the alternatives are you will be in a better position to make the right choice based on sound judgement. John and Ryan.

  • julie davies says:

    Hi, i have spent days & night reading all your very informative literature. I am now stuck between the origins 1500/2000 pocket unit or origins 1500/2000 latex spec. Or indeed going the whole hog and buying the Artisan Naturals.

    I am after a superking. By all accounts it sounds like you would prefer not to sell the latex spec but due to popular demand you have too. It sounds like you don’t particularly approve of 1 sided/no turn mattresses. If im right in thinking (which i may not be because all this searching is sooo tiring – I even looked up what your talalay latex is!!) I should go for the Origins 1500/2000 pocket unit and add my own topper, this way it would last a lot longer and possibly be cheaper and i can just change toppers rather than whole mattress.

    Would you say your Artisan Naturals are on par with the Harrison bed of 4000 pocket springs, I ask because i have been offered one of those at similar price to yours. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

    Hi Julie. The one thing missing from your question is your bodyweight(s). Please do not ever underestimate how important this is to your choice of mattress.

    Going the whole hog to The Artisan Naturals is not the way to look at it. The Artisan Naturals is the best built mattress currently out there and you just cannot get a better mattress for this particularly low retail price! Don’t believe me?
    Consider first of all that the spring unit used (Calico encased etc) is only used by less than five [of the best] manufacturers in this country – Vi Spring / Savoir Beds / Us / Relyon? (top of range maybe) and I can’t say with absolute authority who the other is, perhaps Burgess in their top of range? the usage really is that rare, and for good reason – they are horrendously expensive to produce. I see mattress descriptions that say ” ..encased in a calico pocket” and nothing could be further from the truth – If it mentions calico, then it has to be on a par with the aforementioned manufacturers – otherwise they are just run of the mill polyprop pocket springs.

    Then you need to consider the upholstery used on top of these absolute premium springs – a whopping 3950gsm [Grams per Square Meter] is an amazing amount. What gives this additional credence is the fact that only 625grams of this is polyester and this is blended with cotton NOT used as a separate layer.

    We list our components in such extreme detail because we are proud to do so, and we do so with such intent and vigour, full in the knowledge because we know other manufacturers including Harrisons, will be hesitant to do likewise.

    Phone Harrisons product info line direct on 0113 205 5200 and ask them to tell you exactly what it is in the 4000 mattress you are considering. Without me even knowing the model name I can hazzard a well educated guess that it will most certainly not be on a par!

    Finally, we believe our Artisan Luxury is the best mattress you can possibly buy for the price asked. The nearest equivalents are more than double this particular price. The price may be above many peoples budget which is why we have the secondary choice of The Artisan Naturals. All the models you refer to BELOW the Artisan Naturals are nothing special, it would be wrong of me to suggest otherwise. They are of course very good value products for the money and you really would be hard pressed to find better (from anyone) but nevertheless, real quality comes at a price and unless you are prepared to pay for it, all you will be getting is something that will do – not something that will do you good. John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Many thanks for your quick response as i am desparate to get the stress out of the way by the weekend of a new bed. I am roughly 11stone and Alan is 12/13stone, he is 6ft 4 and i am 5, 4. I did have a Harrison bed at a sale cost of £1000 for a few weeks but found we both had aching backs, so my daughter now has the bed. I think my feelings were that it was ever so slightly soft for us although in the showroom it felt perfect!!
    Be grateful for your recommendation on the bed you would choose for me. (I apologise for unintentional insult over your bed being on par with Harrison or not, at least i have a straight answer!) Many thanks

    Hi again Julie. Apologies to you as well. I re read my comment and it reads worse than how it sounded in my head..! Good to speak with you today and I’m sure between us we will find the right mattress for you. John.

  • Lisa & Andrew says:

    Very informative website, so glad I found it before committing to a bed purchase.

    We currently have a 14 yr old super king pocket sprung, sprung edged divan. The lable says it is “The Pocket Collection. Brittania 1000”. Which we currenlty use with a feather and down topper, because the matress is old and to help me stay cooler in bed! We have been very happy with this bed, other than now it is well past its use by date.

    For a replacement bed we wanted to move away from a divan and buy a sliegh type bedframe and matress. Your section on which matress for slats has given me some great advice on what to look for here. We are not commited to this and would go back to a divan if as a combination with a particular matress it would be better for us.

    Yesterday we visited the local bed retailers and identified the following as being comfortable for us both and within our budget:
    Staples Venus Elegance Pocket 1400 £899,(regular tension) which we tried on both a hard edged sprung divan base and slatted base.
    Harrison Haven £799 regular or firm tension (king size price as on sale)on a slatted base
    Hypnos Pillow comfort 1600 £999 regular tension on a hard edge divan base- although having read your common sense about intergral pillow toppers, whilst we like the Hypnos range we have discounted this particular one, the others locally were out of our price range!

    My husband is 6″ and 13st, I am 5″7′ and 15st I sleep predominatly on my side, my husband sleeps on both his back and side. Niether of us like too soft a matress.The matress budget is about £1000. We like the pocket sprung matress and like the idea of natural fibres, and definitly don’t like the idea of memory foam or latex etc.

    We would be grateful for any advice or comments you have on our choices so far or alternatives you could offer.

    Thank you for such a comprehensive website, and thank you in advance for any additional advice you are able to offer.

    Lisa & Andrew.

    Hi Lisa and Andrew. Firstly regards your choice of base: I am of the mind that design and look of your bedroom should not be completely influenced by what is deemed ‘right’ for your mattress. I also have a sleigh bedframe used with a pocket sprung mattress. The slats are sprung slats but they are cushioned with an old duvet to prevent them digging into the underside of the mattress upholstery. Ideally, I would have liked the slats to be rigid to give the mattress the even support I know would not be too detrimental to the mattress springs – But, the bedframe I liked only came with sprung slats. Knowing that the sprung slats MAY have a tendency to create the hump back bridge effect to the mattress was a risk I was prepared to take (there is only anecdotal evidence that this may happen and usually on cheaper one sided mattresses). I know the weight of my mattress fully compresses the slats so the likelihood of this happening is at best minimal.

    As for your choice of mattress I’m glad you concur about pillow tops, and for your budget you really do have a considerable amount of choice of well upholstered two sided traditional built models.

    Taking into account the models you mention, it seems that you have been looking at mattresses that fit your budget and accepting that this is all you can expect to get. Not necessarily so. Try the other way around – Look for the mattress that you both fall in love with but falls WAY out of your budget. The Vi Spring Herald Superb for example is a model I think would be ideal for your bodyweights and requirements, has an RRP of £2520 (you can find this for considerably less) but compare that to our Artisan Naturals (£895) and you will see that the differences between these two models are arguably nominal. There are only four main constituent components:
    1. The Spring unit: Both Calico encased – Undeniably similar.
    2. Insulating Layer: Herald Superb use 1000 GSM Bonded Wool and Cotton – We use 1500 GSM Mohair – We think our Mohair is a better insulating layer in quality of product and weight.
    3. The core layer of the Herald Superb is 1200 GSM Horsehair – our core layer is 1200 GSM Poly cotton (50% Polyester and 50% Cotton). Undeniably horsehair is a premium component.
    4. Primary layer on Herald Superb is 1200 GSM Blended Wool and Cotton – We use 1200 GSM Blended Wool and Cotton.

    Using this one example you are able to determine where to make your compromises. It would be an interesting argument for someone to come forward and say that the Herald Superb represents a better purchase pound for pound when compared to our Artisan Naturals when the only major difference is the 1200 GSM core layer.

    You have £1000 to spend on a mattress! Make absolutely sure you know where your money is going. Although it is a considerable sum, it will not get you most manufacturer’s mid to high ends using natural fibres as the main components. Incidentally, your mention of the Harrisons Haven (various models) was quite amusing as a key component in these particular models is “Contura” a mix of memory foam, high density foam and Latex.

    Finally, a good tip is not to completely disregard high end stores as a source for your mattress research. John lewis, Feather and Black, Barker and Stonehouse, Furniture Village etc, will put into perspective what your £1000 can realistically get you. Once you know what is available from high end manufacturers will give you a better view of what your dream mattress will consist of and then all you have to do is to find the equivalent. John and Ryan.

  • Fiona says:

    Hi There;
    I am looking to purchase a double mattress to go onto a slatted wood frame, for my 17yr old daughter. She has been sleeping on a John Lewis single for 13yrs, which is firm. She is 5’11 and weighs 9.stone= very long and boney! She tried a few mattresses in JL and found the Classic ortho 2 double the best for comfort in two seconds as she was embarrassed! What do you recommend from your selection for her needs, she also suffers from allergies and asthma. Although I have purchased an anti allergic cover as I was going to just order a mattress from JL until I discovered your site.
    Kind regards
    Fiona, for Olivia.

    Hi Fiona. I am well familiar with the John Lewis Ortho’s. I think you will be better off opting for The Origins Comfort for your 13 year old and The Origins Reflex for the 17 yr old. John and Ryan.

  • Jan Mahoney says:

    I have been looking for a mattress for the past 12 months my older bed is 15 years old. I am 13 stones with a bad back and i have tried and tried all sort of bed from £200 to £1200 and i am total confused with the choice i have. My problem is all the beds i tried all seem wonderful but it is not until you get it home and sleep on it that you then decide if it suits. this is the problem i have. Any sugestion would be helpful.. I found the pocket spring ones seem to suit the best for me. Help Jan Mahoney

    Hi Jan. Pocket Spring mattresses are indeed the best. I think you are casting your net a little too wide. Your budget or what you are prepared to pay is obviously the main starting point. Lets say you would be happy spending £500 on a mattress: This is not considered expensive and all you can realistically expect is a mattress with a predominantly polyester upholstery. If this does not meet your expectations, increase your budget to say £600 and see what that can get you. And so on ..,

    As a good starting point have a look at our range of mattresses and see what we can offer you for your budget. It then becomes an easy task to see if there is anyone else there who can give you more mattress for the same money. We have added over the top details to all of our products to enable you make an informed and educated choice – unfortunately, not many manufacturers are as open as this but do not be embarrassed to phone them direct and ask them outright about the detailed specification by weight. John and Ryan.

  • Nathalie says:

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Thank you for your website. I have found it to be by far the most informative on the subject of mattresses.
    I am looking for a good quality mattress for my 9-year old son (soon to be 10) who weighs 32 kg. He has been complaining that his open-spring mattress (which I purchased seven years ago from Marks&Spencer) was too hard and uncomfortable. Some companies, such as Next, sell “kids’ mattresses”. These are quite cheap (£250 for the luxury version, which is described as a medim, 480 pocket-spring mattress with 4 layers). Would this type of mattress be supportive enough in a few years’ time or should I better invest in a more substantial mattress? I am also concerned that this mattress might be too firm again, despite being described as medium.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,

    Hi Nathalie. Out of all the hundreds of mattresses we have access to we would not sell any with a lower specification than our Origins Comfort or Origins Reflex. I think The Comfort will be the one to opt for for your son. However, be warned that the height of this particular mattress is between 11 and 12 inches so may be too high for your son and current bed base. John and Ryan.

  • Claire says:

    Hi, I contacted you before regarding our nightmare with a mattress from FV which sagged after a few months… well that’s all over, they would not budge and the mattress was taken to tip! We’re now on our 4th mattress in 3 years and are losing the will to live!

    We’ve been to F&B today to look at a new mattress for our SKS bed frame which is from Sofa.com

    We liked:
    1. Owen Luxury Pocket Sprung with 4000 pocket springs (tension 8 – firmest) £1,721
    2. Tennyson Luxury Pocket Sprung with 3000 pocket springs (tension 8-firm) £1,355

    Both in the zip & link options.

    As you can imagine we are extremely apprehensive at buying a new mattress as we’ve just wasted a fortune and also had shocking service from FV!

    Do you know of these mattresses? We’ve looked through your website to check which these may correlate to in your stock and think it may be the Artisan Natural? Is this right? Could you advise any further?

    I am 5ft 7″ and 12.8st, my husband is 6ft 3″ and 15st. I like a firmer mattress and he likes medium to firm.

    We would both love to get out of bed in the morning (the same bed hopefully!) and not ache! Surely this is possible? We’re looking to spend £1,500 or thereabouts.

    Many thanks

    Hi Clare. So sorry for the delay in replying – this response did require extensive research.

    It’s worth knowing that Feather and Black’s mattresses, even though they carry the Feather and Black name are in most cases manufactured by Harrisons Beds. The giveaway is when the spring system is identified by “Revolution pocket Springs” within the description.

    As you have earmarked two mattresses for consideration, it becomes a good exercise to now see if there are any similar models available for a similar or better price. Perhaps there are models made for another retailer (such as John Lewis) or indeed under the Harrisons own label which could offer additional considerations.

    The two models you mention above have a £400 variance and so the first questionable step should be why?

    In order to find this out, you could ask the retailer direct .. or, instigate as best you can your own comparison data.

    The Owen [Official Description]
    Luxury begins here with responsive high density springs and thick natural fillings. An exceptionally comfortable and durable mattress. Available in tensions 4-8. 2 rows of side stitching for edge-to-edge support.
    Revolution pocket springs. HD pocket springs. Hempure fibres. Horsehair. Wool blend. Mohair, wool and Egyptian cotton surface fillings. Spring Count: 4000

    The Tennyson [Official Description]
    Posturfil technology equalises the weight of the user, reducing pressure points and eliminating frequent turning of the mattress. Available in tensions 4-9. 2 rows of side stitching for edge-to-edge support.
    Revolution pocket springs. Posturful springs. Hempure fibres. Wool and cotton blend surface fillings. Spring Count: 3000.

    Putting these two side by side instantly shows the variance. The Owen seems to have additional upholstery in the form of Horsehair and the Wool Blend (blended with what? you may ask) and it is clear that the surface fillings have Mohair as a component.

    To gain any more than this from the comparison is not possible as the information you actually require is not here. The Owen for example seems to have an abundance of upholstery but without any actual weight assigned to this, you have no idea whether it is 6 grams, 600 grams or 6000 grams. It’s as ludicrous as that!

    As a comparably priced model (and only used as an example) the Vi Spring Traditional Bedstead Zip and Link mattress (<> £1469) has a combined upholstery weight of 3150 GSM. You are completely unaware of the combined upholstery weight of The F & B Owen or indeed The Tennyson to draw any kind of comparable data.

    To put weights (GSM) into some sort of perspective our Artisan Bespoke model has a combined upholstery weight of 5100 GSM – quite a considerable amount, and our retail price of £2125 (SKS Zip and Link) reflects this. If you knew what the upholstery weight of The Owen was for £400 less (the difference between the Owen and the Tennyson) you would be in a better position to see which mattress offered the most value for money.

    To offer you a couple more Harrison models that fall into your price range for you to do some more comparisons, it may be worth your while looking at The Fuschia Collection (<>1350 SKS mattress) The Begonia (<> £930 SKS Mattress) or the much lower priced President at <> £969 (SKS Ziplink mattress).

    Finally Claire, we are shortly adding a couple of new models to our site (week 3 September) that will be equivalent to The Vi Spring Regal Superb and The Vi Spring Tiara Superb. Our equivalent to The Regal Superb will fall slightly outside your budget but perhaps may be of interest to you. Keep in touch. John and Ryan.

  • Eva says:

    I am moving from rented accommodation to a new house and am bed hunting. I am 8 stone and my husband is 17 stone and 6ft 6. I have found latex beds more comfortable as I have curvature of the spine, would these be suitable for my husband?

    Hi Eve. As curvature of the spine affects people in varying degrees it will be best to speak with us direct in order for us to find out what exactly your own personal requirements are. I am assuming you are looking for a product that has a high degree of soft upholstery that is also supportive and with that in mind my initial inkling would indeed be latex.

    Your husband also comes with a special set of requirements. The weight difference between the two of you indicates quite strongly that you will need a ziplink set with a firmer support for him and a lesser support for you. We can do this to some extent on the Origins Latex 1500 (we can have your husbands side made with a 2000 spring count).

    One thing to point out, and we will discuss this further when we speak, is that the level of upholstery in The Origins latex is quite high at 8cm deep (6cm Latex and 2cm Reflex) sitting directly above the spring unit. You at 8st will barely be compressing these layers enough to utilise the spring unit which means you will be getting comfort and support from just the primary layers – and you may find this mattress to be on the firm side. Your husband will find this build just right. John and Ryan.

  • Damian says:


    I am looking to buy a mattress and have up to €1000 to spend for a king size bed. Was looking at the ‘Jolene’ Slientnight at argos for €579 from €1679!!What are your thoughts on these beds as it seems like a good deal.

    I was also looking at ‘The natural sleep company’ as they are a local product (dublin) but really unsure which mattress to buy. We like a med-firm mattress and other than that i am not sure as to the comfort difference between foam/spring? I sleep on my stomach and my wife on her back, at present i wake with pins and neddles and more often than not also with dead arms. If you could PLEASE give me advice that would be great as my back is in bits due to our old sagging mattress and my job as a firefighter. Thanks a mill.

    Also deal at argos finishes soon and i dont want to miss out if you could get back to me asap that would be great.

    Thanks again
    Tired and sore

    Hi Damian. This deceptive practice should be made illegal and it absolutely frustrates the hell out of us. If anyone can ever justify how the Jolene from Argos could ever have an original worth of £1679. then I would eat Ryans pants! Just by offering for sale a mattress with an over inflated price to then reduce it by almost two thirds is nothing short of scandalous.

    £1600 or thereabouts can get you a decent Vi Spring or Relyon mattress – and at the risk of being accused of showing off our Artisan Naturals with a worth of just over £1000 puts this particular model into perspective.

    However, will it be worth the £579 you have found it for? Note: I have tried to look for this product on the Argos website but I think the model has been removed so I am unable to do a virtual dissection for you.

    As a point of note Damian. It’s not possible to pick one mattress and decide whether it is worth the money – you have to have a selection of about three based on a similar price. For example, if £600 is your budget then see what that £600 can get you. Use the three starting points for your comparisons – Support (Springs) – Upholstery (Comfort) – Price. Only when you are using these benchmarks will you ever be able to decide which one is giving you the most mattress for your money.

    Finally, I’m sorry for the delay in my reply – severe backlog of comments waiting to be replied to. I can promise you you haven’t missed out on a ‘deal’. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • James says:

    Hi we have an old Sleepeezee Senator pocket sprung (says over 1000) king size.
    Stayed at a friends recently for 2 nights with a Gainsborough Kensington (might be called Knightsbridge now?) 1350 pocket sprung, marked firmer springing, super king on solid base. We slept very well and are thinking of getting a new mattress/base.

    The model we slept on seems to only be available from 2 outlets and although is can be ordered, is not listed as a current model on Gainsbourgh website, not sure why.
    I am not sure where the Gainsborough sits in the specification of mattresses?
    What do you have that is similar spec to the Gainsborough model please?
    (We are 15st 3 and 11st11).
    Thanks, James.

    Hi James. Unfortunately like you, we cannot find any specification about the gainsborough Kensington or indeed Knightsbridge, and so are unable to do any like for like comparisons. I do think you should contact Gainsborough direct to see what they say is the most equivalent model – try to get as much specification detail as you can.

    Incidentally, Gainsborough are part of the Airsprung Group of companies. Their website only provides a contact form for you to address all enquiries and no direct telephone number (bit naughty) but here is a direct line – not too sure where it takes you though [01225 754411].

    If you can actually find out the specification of this particular mattress (I’m not going to hold my breath) I will be able to direct you towards alternative models. Hope this helps. John and Ryan.

  • Clive says:

    Without trying first, and basing our choice on website reviews, we bought online a set of bedroom furniture from M&S, including a “firm” Comfort 2200 mattress at a discounted £649. The mattress is anything but firm and had we looked more closely when it was delivered would have seen that it was marked “medium”. The kingsize bed is of the slatted base variety and we find ourselves rolling towards each other so I’ve put a plank of wood between it and the feeble mattress to little effect. After any night on this mattress we still wake up with aching backs.
    The rest of the bedroom furniture is great and we want to keep it (including the matching bedstead) but as far as the mattress is concerned we’re inclined (literally!) to ditch it and replace it with a Harrison Ruby 8000 or Sapphire 12000, which we know is firm from our brief try out in the store.
    I’m 5’10” & 13 stone and my wife is 5’7″ & eleven stone and we have some understandable reluctance to buying again without trying despite the explanations on your own very informative website.
    Any advice?

    Hi Clive. I’m guessing that the mattress you have is the Fresh 2200 from M&S (correct me if wrong) and looking at the product info tells me it is a one sided, predominant polyester based mattress (machine side stitch as well). What you paid for this £650 for a KS mattress was not overly excessive – but as you have found out – the joy of handing over not too much money soon loses it’s appeal after a few nights of disturbed sleep.

    I must admit to being a bit taken aback with your decision to seek out a ‘firm’ mattress – based on your bodyweights I would have steered you towards a medium tension in our Artisan range – the diameter of the actual wire (gauge) holds the bearing on tension – and even though your current mattress was in fact a medium there are no indicators on the description as to why this has this particular tension tag.

    So what can you do? Firstly, I would explore the possibility of M&S taking return of your current mattress – the fact that it was ‘medium’ and not the requested ‘firm’ should be enough for a return. Secondly, taking your reluctance to buy without trying – which incidentally would have been a very different outcome if M&S had an unequivocal return policy – take a look around John Lewis (Harrisons make some models under JL label) also Feather and Black – again Harrisons manufacture for this outlet, also Furniture Village and look at Vi Spring as an alternative to Harrisons.

    Finally, it would be amiss of me if I did not point you towards our Artisan Bespoke [Here] Fully detailed in specification will give you a starting point in your search. John and Ryan.

    Hi John & Ryan

    Thanks for the helpful advice. I’ll probably pm you after today’s bank holiday, but in the meanwhile I’ve got to say that our medium-tensioned mattress does not seem to suit me or my wife even though our body weights would suggest we’d get best support from that.

    Despite its many springs, pillow top and considerable thickness, it seems to be much less substantial and is definitely responsible for poor sleep and backache when compared with any other bed we sleep in (and we travel quite a bit.) When away from home we seem to find ourselves in “firm” beds, which invariably suit us much better. Maybe it’s an orthopaedic thing? Do you ever supply beds to people who are fixated on a tension that their body-weights suggest is not best?

    Btw, our M&S mattress is definitely a Comfort 2200, which we got at a 30% or 50% discount but it’s no longer listed on their website. (I wonder why?) We still have the invoice stating it to be “firm support” but the label shows it as “medium” so they have an explanation to give at least and we’re contacting them to see what they say, but I’m not hopeful.
    We live in the sticks and are miles away from any JL or Furniture World store, but we’ll try a few more before we commit but, as you say, a two-minute laydown in the showroom is hardly going to be representative of a proper night’s rest.

    Thanks again for your advice and best regards,

    Hi again Clive. Did a little digging and found details of The Comfort 2200. It seems that this was manufactured by Relyon and seems to be a very similar model to their Emerald Pocket 2200 – same depth at 38cm – pillowtop – foam and fibre upholstery, same spring count and same perimeter support.

    As for people being fixated on a particular tension, yes, it does happen but we do try to explain why the particular choice could be wrong. In your case, the majority of upholstery on your current mattress is predominantly foam and fibre – the overall weights are an unknown but, if you look at our Artisan Bespoke, the upholstery weight is a massive 5100gsm. This amount of upholstery will also have it’s own support properties as well as the springs and so the combination of a firm spring plus this upholstery indicates that the overall support of this particular mattress will be too firm for your bodyweights.

    I do understand your reluctance to buy without trying but our success rate currently runs at 97%. Please feel free when you are ready to chat to Marie or Gary who will be able to go through your own personal requirements and make suggestions. John and Ryan.

  • michelle robinson says:

    Hi there I’m after a new mattress we like the Simmons Naturelle prestige from carpet right at 500 pounds I am 6ft 15stone my wife is 5foot 11 stone any advise please thanks Terry.

    Hi Terry, My advice would be Don’t do it!
    For £500 or so this model does not seem to have a great deal of upholstery contained. The pillowtop is a flawed design [Read Here] and visually it seems that the bulk of the upholstery is contained in this one layer. The term used for their upholstery is “Reactaflex Fibres” and goes on to say “..similar properties to memory foam but without the requirement for heat. They control temperature, remove moisture and keep the mattress dry which are all essential for great night’s sleep.

    Being the cynic I am I would be inclined to question further and ask them to explain what the core material is used in their “Reactaflex fibres” – I would stake a hefty sum of this being majority polyester product and/or a similar product to I-Fibre. I would also be interested in knowing how this material can indeed “Control temperature and remove moisture” ..

    The price range of £500 or thereabouts is the most popular price range and therefore there are literally hundreds of models you can choose from. Our offering is our Origins 1500 and feel free to use the specification we provide to show you what you can reasonably expect to have for this level of budget. John and Ryan.

  • Pamela says:

    I have a question. I am looking for a new mattress as my 12 year old relaxsan waterlattex is not giving me good sleep any more.
    I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and consequently suffer a great deal of aches and pains in various areas of my body.
    I cannot stand springs! That may well be because I’ve slept on cheaper sprung models in the past but they’ve left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak.
    I have tried my parents tempur mattress (now 20 years old) and find it quite hard and my brothers new latex mattress (similar to my current one) and this also feels hard.
    I am approx 12 stone and use a double bed, slatted base.
    Any advice would be excellent. I haven’t tried beds in stores so far since this seems pointless, it’s not like they’ll let me sleep in it! I have a budget of £1000 maximum.

    Hi Pamela. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition where any kind of pressure on the body is excruciatingly painful. I would agree with yu that in this instance a spring support is not the way to go down. As you have had your Relaxsan mattress for 12 years or so it is obvious that it is time for replacement. I would go down a similar route for replacement looking at enhancing the firm but cushioning foam with extremely soft elements to inhibit any undue pressure on your body.

    I am passing this to Lee (our foam guy) to see what he is able to come up with. Leave it with us for the time being. John and Ryan.

  • Mick T says:

    I have spent hours reading your superb website. I’m pretty much at the end of my tether. A year ago we purchased a new sprung slatted bedstead and paired this with a Westminster Chelsea 1500 pocket sprung and memory foam double sided mattress from Monster Beds. We tried the mattress in the showroom for about two minutes and it felt great, as it was the most expensive in the showroom we thought we couldn’t go wrong. How wrong we were! The mattress has huge dimples in, i seem to toss and turn all the time now, and the heat! Well that is something else, we have a 4.5 tog quilt, the radiator in our room is off, and still i wake in pools of sweat.
    I work night shifts and this mattress is having a real detramental effect on my health and well being.
    I’m 14 stone 5 ft 11″ tall and my wife is 13 stone. I’m seriously thinking of ditching the mattress and buying your Artisan Naturals King size.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind Regards, Mick

    Hi Mick. It seems a shame to go to further expense without at least trying to remedy what you already have. I had a quick look at the spec and all I can garner is that it is 2.5cm of memory foam (each side) on top of a 1500 spring unit. Personally, I cant imagine that this low depth of MF is sufficient enough for an adequate comfort layer. However, the spec indicates that there is use of a cotton and wool upholstery (unknown weight) but does not indicate whereabouts this is utilised.

    I also cannot seem to work out where the heat you describe would be coming from. The low depth of MF is not enough to retain the body heat as say a 5cm layer – baffling!

    So what can you do? First of all, I would address the comfort properties. Try a wool topper (such as the Luxury Australian Wool Topper from Duvet and Pillow Warehouse: about £70) this will help to alleviate the heat build up between your body and the mattress. You will notice the difference this makes and if so, you can improve further by using a further topper such as the Ultimate Microfibre to balance out the dimples in your mattress. The wool topper should always be used as the sleep surface [Read here about the benefits of toppers]

    If any of this does not improve on your sleep then do not consider it as an unnecessary expense. They will always be of use to any new mattress you get in the future. Please let me know how you get on. John and Ryan.

  • Peter Williams says:

    Hi John & Ryan,
    I have been reading your website with interest and have tried lots of beds out. The only bed I have tried and liked has been the ‘Harrison natural choices 3’. My wife does not have any preference other than it being a super king. there was one other bed I tried and loved and that was the Vi-Spring bed that was in the same shop (Stokers Chester) which they had on show as their ‘top of the range’ bed, it was a superking, soft and I think was the ‘Sublime Superb’.What bed would you recommend from your range and what cover? Peter

    Hi Peter. The Sublime Superb retails around the ten grand mark so it is no wonder you fell in love with it. I am going to assume that your budget is around the £1500 mark taking into consideration the Harrison’s Natural Choices 3 you like. Our comparitor based purely on price would be The Artisan Tailored Pocket [Here]. As there are no details on upholstery used within the NC3 it becomes quite impossible to do any further measures of comparison. John and Ryan.

    Hi John and Ryan,
    Thank you for your very prompt reply to my question, your guess on my budget of £1500.00 is not bad but I would be prepared to spend more ( up to £2500.00) if you feel you have a bed to fit my Requirements. I realize you need more information so if it helps, I’m 16 stone and 6’0″ I like to feel as though I’m sinking into the mattress but also get very hot. I also have back problems and have found (from a video on youtube) that putting a folded blanket under my hips really helps ! As long as it’s a super king my wife would be happy with a table, so all you need to do is satisfy me. The option of the Artisan Tailored pocket sounds good but if I’m going to invest in a bed for the next 10-15 years I want the best I can afford.I know also from what you have said in your website that just spending money is no guarantee that I will be getting the best for me, I am just interested to see what you offer and if you could, give me a comparable bed for me to try. many thanks, Peter

    Hi again Peter. Sorry for delay in replying.
    Despite the obvious and blatant confusion that exists in this mattress world the formula is rather quite simple – Decent Support and decent upholstery layers = Decent Mattress. Your extra money that you are willing to spend (thank you very much) will be going on components that may not necessarily offer anything more in terms of either of these two factors. For example, there is no discernible difference in terms of comfort between 1200 gsm British Fleece Wool and 1200 gsm Shetland Fleece Wool – yet the price difference of this one component alone can be in the hundreds. If you have money to spare to get these superior components then all well and good – if you haven’t then you are not particularly missing out.

    If we take a look at The Sublime Superb you liked – and again no small wonder; We can see what it is that makes this mattress so special and equally, we can use this information to see what alternatives will give you the closest match.

    The Sublime Superb [Official Specification: Nov 2013:]
    Mattress Springs:
    1.32mm wire springs, 51mm in diameter, sewn in individual calico pockets and hand-formed into a honeycomb-nested unit. Constructed with two layers of springs.
    23cm deep with four rows of genuine hand side-stitching.
    Mattress Upholstery:
    Upholstered with British fleece wool, then 1,525gsm hand-teased long-stranded horsetail blended with real Shetland Isle fleece wool, silk and mohair, enclosed in a hair-proof cambric cover and overlaid with 1,200gsm blended real Shetland Isle fleece wool and cotton.

    [Dissection] The springs in this particular mattress are double tiered. Do you actually need a double tiered unit? I don’t think so. At 16st there is no good reason for it. You can get enough support from a single tiered unit. 1.32mm wire is within the soft to medium range. The calico housing is the best you can get but will there be a significant difference to what you will feel compared to if they were housed in Spunbond? Unlikely – although personally, I do think a few hundred pounds for a Calico unit rather than spunbond is money well spent (more on this reasoning later).

    The upholstery on this particular model comes in at a combined weight of around 3725 gsm (I have had to estimate the insulator of British Fleece Wool at 1000 gsm as no weight was given). Breaking this down a little further shows me where the comfort you experienced comes from; The support layer of 1525 gsm blend of Horsetail, wool, silk and Mohair is a nice mix and will produce a layer that gives a nice cushioning feel to the mattress. The LS Horsetail is the most expensive part of this mix but personally I would have been inclined to use this as a standalone component with sandwiched layers of the wool to give a more durable aspect to this build (as in The Classic Superb).

    The final layer of 1200 gsm Blended Wool and Cotton is the Ultimate component as a primary layer – hence it being used in all Vi Spring models. In this case the wool (estimated at 600gsm with 600 gsm Cotton) is Shetland Isle Fleece Wool – among the most expensive wool due to the rarity of this product.

    And that’s it. This is precisely how the mattress is made up without the romance of marketing and it is up to you to decide whether or not you have over eight grand to spend on it (Superking). Not many people do, and so by compromising slightly on some of the components you will be able to get as close as you possibly can for a lot less. And this is where we come in. We do not ever say we are ‘better’ than Vi Spring – but we can produce comparative mattresses at a more affordable price.

    From what you say, and based on the spec above, I would point you towards our Artisan Bespoke 004. This is not a copy of The Sublime Superb, but an equally well made mattress with a similar range of component as described below;

    [Artisan Bespoke 004: Official Specification: Nov 2013]
    Mattress Springs:
    1974 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm Diam ] [1.28mm gauge] Sewn in individual calico pockets and hand-formed into a honeycomb-nested unit.
    Mattress Upholstery:
    1000 gsm Bonded Wool and Cotton (as insulator). 1200 gsm Horsetail. 200 gsm Bamboo. Overlaid with 1200 gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton.

    [Dissection] Single tiered unit: Calico encased. For your bodyweight I would be inclined to recco the medium gauge spring (around 1.35mm).
    The upholstery comes in with a combined upholstery weight of 3600 gsm – The wool insulator can be deemed to be similar. The support layers of Horsetail and Bamboo weigh in at 1400 gsm which will feel more supportive than the SS (more hair and less wool). The final layer can also be deemed similar – British Fleece Wool and Cotton rather than Shetland Isle Fleece Wool and Cotton (no significant difference in feel).

    ..And once again that’s it. There is a price difference of around seven grand between these two models and sorry to say I cannot see how this can be justified. Will you be getting seven grands worth more comfort from the Sublime Superb? Absolutely Not!

    Your comment re Heat – sinking in to the mattress can be tailored by yourself. Everyone’s perception and tolerance of heat is entirely subjective and obviously a mattress cannot be made to be cool or indeed be warm. This has to be adapted by room temperature and bedding. The same is true with primary comfort. The use and adaption of toppers [Read Here] is not only critical to the longevity of the mattress but also can provide 100% of the ‘feel’ you are after – soft as a cloud or supportive and cushioning etc.

    Going back to the Calico v Spunbond spring housing this compromise should be the first of your decisions. Your available budget will get you Calico and that significantly trumps Spunbond. Although the diference in overall support can be seen as negligible I do think the ‘overall’ quality of the spring unit warrants it. Calico units are entirely hand formed whereas spunbond units are mass produced. The calico will give the individual springs a lot more flexibilty for the sleeper than any spunbond unit – hence it only being utilised in all high end mattresses (Vi Spring / Savoir Beds etc).
    Hope this helps Peter. John and Ryan.

  • Andy says:


    Very interesting site.

    I’m just about to purchase a kingsize bed and – after deciding to spend (bur not yet purchased £700 on a handmade iron frame (the Victorian from nightsiniron.com) this leaves me with about £800 for the mattress

    I have tried out a few in local shops near me and the one that seemed to be best was the Albion from Marquis & Moore (Google it for details) … apparently that is exclusively supplied to one local chain (so in reality it is probably a white label from another company?) I can get this for a fraction over £800.

    Just wondering your opinion and whether there are alternate options better for me.

    I am around 14st and am torn between going for a medium or a firm … tbh up until now I have always had sub £500 mattresses (and am temporarily sleeping on a horrible Silentnight Miracoil 3)

    I sleep either on my back or my side – probably more on my side tbh

    Oh and just to add – as I turned detective after reading your site – Am almost certain that the Marquis & Moore Albion is made by Harrison (label is identical style and they use Postufil, Revollution and HD springs)

    Hi Andy. Had a quick look and yes I agree – more than likely made by Harrison’s. However, from the image (..and not a good representation of Harrison’s workmanship ) it is a one sided mattress which I think for £800 can be deemed to be overpriced (determined by the given description with no attributed upholstery weights). Equivalent models from Feather and Black (The Bronte) is also a one sided mattress with a similar retail price – The John Lewis 4000 Linen is also a similar (as far as the description goes) mattress for a similar price. The omission of any weights / types of upholstery from all of these models is glaringly obvious by their very absence. It would have been incredibly easy for you to do some basic comparisons between all of these models if this information had of been given. From this very quick browse, you can take it that for the £800 price point, this is what can be duly expected. It was disappointing to see that all of these were just one sided! I would have expected more.

    I would spend a little more time looking around for matts that fall within the £800 mark and use our spec for our Artisan 1500 as the basis of your comparisons. Also feel free to speak to Marie or Gary at the office both of whom have extensive product knowledge about the vast array of offerings from many manufacturers. John and Ryan.

  • Peter Williams says:

    Hi John and Ryan,
    After much deliberation I have bought your ‘Artisan luxury’ superking with base and headboard. It was with the advice of your sales team that I eventually made my decision, as I told them it was the ‘Vi-Spring Shetland’ I had tried and fell in love with. I have had the bed for 3 weeks now and I have to say it’s transformed my life!
    The whole experience has been first class from me placing a question on your website, ordering, special request(to make the bed as low as possible) delivery and now sleeping on what I can only describe as the most comfortable bed I have ever had the good fortune to lay on. It was I think you will agree it was a substantial purchase how ever a fraction of what the ‘Shetland ‘ would have cost. I’m sure people reading this will look at how much it cost and think I should be pleased for that price but having done as much homework on buying a bed as I have, I can say that it was money well spent. I mentioned when enquiring that I have back problems, they have reduced significantly and my wife doesn’t hear me snore anymore! It sound as though I’m your biggest fan at the moment but I just wanted to say thank you.

    Hi again Peter. I remember your original line of questioning [Below] and we are all absolutely thrilled to read such positive feedback from you. Please read this post on the importance of toppers and this addition will enhance your sleep experience even further.

    Reallly grateful you have taken the time to write this. John and Ryan.

  • Annie Tansey says:

    I have a mattress that is 3 and half years old which we bought from the odd mattress company based on a sleeping on it in a hotel on a few occasions. Since then I’ve been waking up with tingling hands which has got a bit better with physio. I went on holiday in February and slept on a much firmer mattress and no tingling. My question is if I buy a firmer mattress from you and the tingling doesn’t stop, can I return it? My husband isn’t convinced it’s the mattress and naturally is reluctant to fork out more money when we can’t be sure it’s the mattress that’s causing the problem.

    Hi Annie, We offer a 30 day “love it or return it guarantee”, however, this should not be viewed as a “try before you buy” scheme. This is because we endeavour to match the mattress to the customer having regard for body weights, preferred feel and budget. We would always suggest contact with us by telephone to discuss these requirements before placing an order. Because of our attention to these factors and the experience of our advisors, we feel confident in offering this guarantee. It also takes away some of the anxiety from making a costly purchase on-line. I trust that this helps and we look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Mike.

  • James says:


    My wife and I bought a mattress a year ago from Benson’s http://www.sleepmasters.co.uk/memory-foam-mattresses/airflow-2000-plus-mattress-24676.html

    Despite constant rotating the mattress has 2 dips where we both sleep. I am 12 stone and the wife is 11 stone.

    I am guessing after reading this site that the mattress is full of cheap materials. It is supposed to be pocket sprung with memory foam topper!

    Hi James, We cannot make any comment regarding the contents of your current mattress, however, we would advise you to seek clarification from Bensons as to the tolerance for dips, usually around 2-3 cm. and then seek clarification regarding the warranty provided. I am sorry we cannot offer more, regards Mike.

  • Margaret says:

    Having tried some mattresses in local stores, I found what I think was the most comfortable for me, but I cant find any reviews and I would like to find out other peoples experience. The mattress is a Highgrove Eco Radiance Desire. I have a spinal problem and need a memory foam topped mattress so I get support with comfort and this was the most comfortable one that I tried. Have you any information on this type of mattress please?

    Hi Margaret, We have no knowledge of this mattress and are unable to provide a specific recommendation, but the real test is whether you find it comfortable particularly with your spinal problem. Regards Mike.

  • Veronica says:

    Hello – a bit at the end of my tether regarding sleep. I’m a 5ft lady who weighs just under 9 stone, but my husband is 6ft 2″ and weighs 15 stone. For years we have had what seems to me to be a very firm dense latex foam mattress with a ligher weight latex as a mattress topper – but my shoulders and hips seem to be in constant pain. A couple of years ago I had surgery on my shoulder to try and release it, as it had completely jammed up -it hurts most mornings when I wake up. Having read your site, I think our current mattress is just too hard for me, but my husband is really likes a firm mattress. I am thinking of perhaps a dual tension mattress with firm for him, moving to medium for me. As he is quite tall our
    bed is 7ft long. Any advice welcome.

    Hi Veronica, Given the weight differential, I would agree that a dual tension mattress is likely to be the solution, however, these are only available in our Artisan range. In addition to this, I note that you require a mattress to fit a 7ft bed. This would mean you require a bespoke size mattress for which there is an additional cost and it would not be covered by our 30 day love it or return it guarantee.

    Please view the Artisan range on our site and if you then require further advice as to the suitability of a particular mattress in that range, call our office. Kind regards Mike.

  • Sheila says:

    Sareer Gel pocket sprung king size mattress. I was going to buy this mattress for my daughter and her partner, I have read and reread most of your site but cannot find out what you think of mattresses incorporating gel. I was going to buy them this mattress but got to reading your site and wondered if I would be wasting my money. I could possibly afford your cheapest kingsize mattress at a push but given that my daughter is about 9 stone and her partner 6ft 3 inches and about 14 stone, I was not sure if it would be suitable. I would appreciate any help you can offer. best regards. Shela

    Hi Sheila,
    We have another site which retails Hybrid Foam and Latex mattresses https://johnryanbydesign.co.uk/ and there is a wealth of information there regarding Gel products, which may assist you making a decision. If not please call our Office and speak to Gary or Lee and they may be able to provide some additional information. Kind regards Mike.

  • Lizz says:

    We currently have a mammoth health mattress which after a year of use is absolute rubbish, the foam is not recovering after use and there is ridge down the middle of the bed, despite following the turning instructions and only being used 99% by one person. We are now looking to replace this as neither the manufacturer or the retailer are interested in the issue. I really liked the feather and black Byron mattress with a tension of 8 but can’t really justify the £3k plus price tag for a kingsize. What would you recommend from your range that would be similar to this? Regards Lizz

    Hi Lizz,
    I am sorry to hear of the issues you have experienced with your Mammoth mattress. Having viewed the details your preferred replacement, the Feather & Black Byron, I am afraid to have to advise that as they do not disclose the specific details of the upholstery layers by way of GSM (grams per square metre)it is not possible to do a comparison. Having said that, they do indicate that it comprises pocket springs with natural fillings and on that basis I would refer you to our Artisan range, some of which are comparable in feel to Vi-Spring mattresses. Once you have viewed the details of the Artisan mattresses on our site, please call our office to obtain more specific advice as to the suitability of your preference. Kind regards Mike.

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