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May 2021

Vispring Pillowtop Mattresses Uncovered & Reviewed

Vispring are one of the world's finest mattress manufacturers. They have used natural fibres and traditional mattress manufacturer methods since 1901. After global expansion to the USA, they have now started to sell pillowtop mattresses. We delve deeper to uncover why they have made this startling change to their range.

If you’ve read any of our 6000+ mattress guides or answers you will know we hate pillowtop mattresses. We have never made them nor ever will due to their questionable construction method and tens of thousands of complaints online about them. So why have Vispring released a range of one-sided pillow top mattresses?

Vi Spring Countess pillowtop mattress review
We uncover what’s beneath the new Vispring Pillowtop range

Let’s take a closer look.

Why are Vispring using pillow tops?

Vispring has always made high-quality natural fibre tufted mattresses. From their initiation back in 1901, they have always used natural fibres, high-quality springs and the finest of detailing.

However, Vispring are now part of the Flex group of home furnishings. They have now moved into the markets in the USA. The USA primarily focus on one-sided mattresses for the most part. This is because they have been early adopters for the memory foam generation back in the late 90’s. Which by its very nature demands that these mattresses are made as one-sided models. Putting the foam on both sides damages the mattress as the underneath side of memory or hybrid foam is crushed. A fundamental flaw of such mattress models.

Close up of pillowtop mattress on John Ryan By Design website
An example of a Hypnos pillowtop shows how they adhere to the core mattress

This trend for one-sided mattresses continues. That’s not to say there are no 2 sided mattresses sold in the USA, but their entry and midpoint mattresses do seem to focus on incredibly deep one-sided pillowtop style mattresses. Vispring are looking to break into this by offering natural fibres. Hopefully, if they get a foothold they can then start to offer the much more suitable two-sided natural fibre mattress models. Which have a far longer shelf life.

There is another reason for Vispring creating pillow tops. That is the price. It means they can offer some of their mattresses for sub £2000 price points in keeping with the majority of midpoint mattresses. Whereas their more traditional ranges cost from £3000-£50,000! However, there is an exception with the Duchess, more on that further on!

What is Visprings Airflow Memory Wool?

Airflow memory wool is new to the Vispring range and it certainly got people talking. However, the term wool needs to be used loosely with this fibre because it’s actually a blend of wool and also recycled PET ie plastics. This is how the ‘wool’ gets its high loft and ‘memory rebound’. That’s because it is akin to blending wool with polyester to reduce its sag and keep its loft. This is essential with a pillowtop mattress that is known for sagging quickly, as you cant turn them over.

This means that Visprings mattresses that contain Airflow Memory Wool can’t be deemed to be 100% natural but a blend of perhaps 80-90% natural to 20-10% synthetic man-made fibres.

Pillowtops result in one sided mattresses. They cannot be turned over.
Pillowtops result in one sided mattresses. They cannot be turned over.
Many criticisms come from when they settle and dip early in their lifespan
Many criticisms come from when they settle and dip early in their lifespan

Vispring Baroness Pillowtop Mattress Review

The Vispring Baroness pillow top mattress measures up at 31cm deep. Made up of a 21cm core mattress and 10cm pillowtop. It retails for £2400 for a kingsize. Sadly Vispring has stopped providing the GSM of their mattresses like they always have done. This makes it incredibly difficult for you as the consumer to accurately compare and contrast this mattress with other models.

The one we trialled feels very soft in the top layer due to the mix of micro springs and soft wool in the top layer. It must be noted that all pillowtops have a very soft feel in the top layer.

Vispring baroness pillowtop mattress review
Image from Furniturevillage.co.uk

This is why there are so many complaints online about them sagging and dipping. The pillowtop permanently adheres to the mattress so it cant be turned or flipped over to help even out the mattress settlement. This is the biggest flaw with a pillowtop mattress. Once the pillowtop sags, which there is a high chance of, then it’s game over for the mattress. You can rotate these mattresses but you’re still using the same side night after night for years.

  • Springs: 1326 hand-nested, six-coil steel pocket springs in king size.
  • Pillow top: Yes, with micro springs, real Shetland wool, Airstream Memory Wool and Cocolok.
  • Fillings: British wool, British cotton.
  • Borders: Wool-upholstered, 2 rows of hand side-stitching, horizontal handles, air vents.
  • Edge support: Hand side stitched to create edges that support just the same as in the middle of the bed
  • Cover: 100% viscose damask ticking.
  • Requires turning: No.

The niggle we find with this mattress is the fact that the core mattress is just 21cm deep, with the pillowtop taking up 1/3 of all the fibres and fillings. Especially given the pillowtops the least stable part of the mattress. The core has just two rows of side stitching compared to the majority of other Vispring models using 3 or 4 rows for stability.

Vispring offers this mattress in dual tensions, though it is worth bearing in mind that if you rotate the mattress each month you will also need to swap sides of the bed. Which is a drawback for most sleepers. After all, we are creatures of habit!

If you’re looking for a very soft mattress then this may be suitable. However, for the price, you could easily choose a two-sided mattress that removes the potential issues from the pillowtop and can provide a mattress with a far longer shelf life.

What else can I get instead of the Vispring Baroness Pillow top?

Take a look at the Artisan Luxury mattress below for an alternative in both the price point and the soft feel.

Artisan luxury mattress with roaring fire

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Luxury
11200 GSM British Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Hairproof Cambric Cover
31200gsm Pure Horsehair
4500gsm Pure Wool
51200gsm Pure Horsetail
6500gsm Pure Wool
71476 Calico encased Pocket Springs [51mm] [1.42mm]
Total GSM4600gsm

Vispring Duchess Pillow Top Mattress Review

The Vispring Duchess Pillowtop mattress is the most expensive of their pillowtop range. Costing £6249 for a king size. Which is priced up there with their traditional 2 sided mattress models. It has a slightly firmer feel compared to the Baroness due to the two layers of micro springs topped with the Cocolok which is a coir and latex bonded. Cocolok is a firmer feel fibre often used in cot mattresses and mattress pads. It’s an incredibly deep mattress, we found it almost too deep when paired with a standard divan. Very difficult to get on if you are short in height like one of our testers!

Cocoloc Natural Fibre Latex from John Ryan Website
A sample of Cocolok a Coir & Latex pad made for firmer mattress elements

Again there is no GSM or weight given for the fibres contained within this mattress making it very difficult to compare or work out the contents. Which is a real shame.

The main mattress is a dual spring or twin up construction method. This provides a livelier progressive feel in the main mattress, similar to our Artisan Bespoke 002. It’s much deeper than the Baroness coming in at 38cm. A mega deep mattress that may require a reduced height base to get into easily. So consider that if looking at this mattress.

Vispring duchess pillowtop mattress reviewed
Image from Furniturevillage.co.uk

The pillowtop uses Airstream Memory wool which is new to the Vispring range however this is a synthetic blend fibre so bear that in mind. Used to help keep the pillowtops loft to reduce the issue of sagging often found with these types of mattress.

  • A double layer of 2812 supportive six-coil steel springs hand nested in calico pockets.
  • Pillow top: Yes, with micro springs, real Shetland wool, Airstream Memory Wool and Cocolok.
  • Fillings: British wool, British cotton.
  • Borders: Wool-upholstered, 4 rows of hand side-stitching,
  • Pillow top has 2 micro spring layers and resilient fillings for softness that helps to reduce sagging.
  • Natural wool and cotton fillings are hypoallergenic.
  • Cover: 100% viscose damask ticking.
  • Requires turning: No.
  • Depth: 38 cm including a 10 cm pillow top.

Alternatives to the Vispring Duchess pillowtop mattress

We would recommend looking at our Artisan Bespoke 002 as a comparison model to compare to.

Artisan Bespoke 002 Luxury Mattress

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 002
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Hairproof Cambric Cover
3200gsm Soft Bamboo
41200gsm Pure Horsetail
51000 gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
62508 (2 tiers) Calico encased Pocket Springs [56mm] [1.40mm]
Total GSM3600gsm

Vispring Countess Pillowtop Mattress review

The Vispring Countess mattress sits in between the Baroness & Duchess pillow top models in their range. It’s a medium to soft feel mattress based on our trial. It’s really tricky to differentiate this and the Duchess given its near-identical construction method other than the fact it’s 5cm shorter on overall depth. It’s priced at £4470 for a kingsize.

Vi Spring Countess pillowtop mattress review
Image from Furniturevillage.co.uk

Due to the fact Vispring doesn’t disclose the GSM or layer order of the fibres it is really difficult to see where the £3k price difference comes from. There are 600 fewer springs but given it’s a dual-layer and over 2000 to begin with this is negligible in terms of feel or quality. Watch our guide to spring numbers below which explains why after a certain point the spring count is academic.

  • Depth: 33 cm including a 10 cm pillow top.
  • Springs: 2244 hand-nested, six-coil steel pocket springs in king size.
  • Pillow top: Yes, with micro springs, real Shetland wool, Airstream Memory Wool and Cocolok.
  • Fillings: British wool, British cotton.
  • Borders: Wool-upholstered, 3 rows of hand side-stitching, horizontal handles, air vents.
  • Edge support: Hand side stitched to create edges that support just the same as in the middle of the bed
  • Cover: 100% viscose damask ticking.
  • Requires turning: No.

In terms of feel, it’s marginally softer than the Duchess and more responsive than the Baroness, however, it is still a lot of money for a one-sided pillowtop mattress. Given what you can expect to buy for a £2000 mattress.

Alternatives to the Vispring Countess Pillow Top Mattress

For a medium feel in the upholstery and a wool top layer then have a look at our Artisan Bespoke 004. A 100% Natural fibre hand made 2 sided mattress.

Artisan Bespoke 004 luxury mattress on base

 John Ryan By Design Artisan Bespoke 004
11200gsm Blended British Fleece Wool and Cotton
2Hairproof Cambric Cover
3200gsm Soft Bamboo
41200gsm Pure Horsetail
51000gsm Bonded British Fleece Wool and Cotton
61600 Calico encased Pocket Springs [ 49mm ] [1.28mm]
Total GSM3600 gsm

How much to spend on a mattress?

If you’re scratching your head at the different costs of the mattresses above. How they can be £2-£3k more expensive than each other don’t fear. It’s a common complaint as mattress companies refuse to reveal what’s inside them so you can compare as we do.

Below is a guide to enable you to gauge what to expect for your money.

How much to spend on a double mattress?What can I expect for my money?
Under £500Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil/cage sprung with a thin polyester layer or a solid foam mattress.
£500Entry level spunbond springs with some form of synthetic upholstery. Usually one sided mattresses.
£750The beginnings of a basic pocket springs unit with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials. Two sided models.
£1000Should get you away from most low ranges and into the mid-range pocket spring models.
£1250Should get you a decent pocket sprung mattress with some Natural Fibre content.
£1500Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models with Natural Fibres
£1500-£2000Should get you a Hand Made primarily Natural Fibre Quality Mattress
£2000+You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and Traditional Hand Made Construction Method.
£5000+A Bespoke Hand Made Sleep System, High-end Spring Units & Featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres.

It’s important to compare based on your price point between mattresses. The mattress buying guides below will help you see what you can expect for each price point with some of the best industry mattress models available.

  1. What to expect from a £500 Mattress
  2. What to expect from a £750 Mattress
  3. What to expect from a £1000 Mattress
  4. What to expect from a £1250 Mattress
  5. What to expect from a £1500 Mattress
  6. What to expect from a £2000+ Mattress

 

 

Summary

We’re a little bit underwhelmed and disappointed that Vispring have moved into pillowtop mattresses. We thought that they may have created these with removable toppers so they can be turned and rotated. This would have been the sensible route to go down to appeal to the American market whilst also avoiding the pitfalls of the dreaded pillowtop mattress.

Maybe over time they will consider this as they further develop these products. For us though, we simply can’t bring ourselves to offer such a flawed construction method. You’re better off with a 2 sided mattress and a separate topper, that way you can turn both and get the maximum life span out of the mattress.

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