May 2020

What can you expect for your money in a new mattress?

It is a fact that no matter how clued up you think you are, it is unlikely you really know what you can expect for your money when buying a bed. After all, how often do you shop for a new mattress? This post will give you an indication of what you can reasonably expect in relation to your budget when buying a new bed. Saving you time and effort when trying to navigate the world of bed sales!

Updated 2020: Firstly, there are a few things that you should know in relation to retail mattress pricing. All components used in mattresses cost the manufacturer relatively the same price. Just because ‘Brand X’ uses a container full of springs on a weekly basis does not necessarily mean that they are paying substantially less for them. It then follows that it will be the same for fabrics, waddings and fillings.

Vegan mattress on Midnight Hopsack Base
Knowing exactly whats in a mattress enables you to work out whether its good value for money

The raw cost price of a mattress will generally be the same, for a ‘like for like’ model, for all manufacturers. You are then quite right to wonder why there are such huge price differences for essentially the same mattress. Well, once the mattress has been manufactured, additional costs have to be added by the manufacturer to the raw cost such as advertising, promotion, transport, logistics and so on.

How much is a decent mattress?

Depending on the size of the manufacturer depends on how high these additional costs can go. The bigger the manufacturer, the higher the costs. After all, these have been added, and the mattress is in the shop, there is then the retailer’s costs to consider. Shop costs of rent, rates, staffing costs to sell the bed, delivery costs to get the bed to you, and so on. After all that the retailer adds on his mark-up, or share of the profit in order to keep his business growing or to divide between the shareholders.

The entry-level price for a quality kingsize mattress (the mos popular UK size) is around £550.

When you find your “like for like” mattress, virtually tear them apart to see where all your extra money is going!  Is it on the mattress or on the advertising?

What fillings should you have in your mattress?

Even though there are well over 4000 models of mattress out there you really don’t have much of a choice. How so? For a budget of around £550, the main upholstery will be either/or polyester or visco-elastic foam nothing more.

When I say nothing more, I mean any other waddings added that can offer the slightest significant improvement to the mattress, other than having it contained in the specification and this inclusion could be relatively worthless.

Layers of natural mattress fibres
Getting the most fillings for your money is key to a quality mattress. Don’t be fooled by space-age covers or spring technology gimmicks.
Mattresses that contain natural fibres (lambswool, cashmere, hair, cotton, mohair etc) in such a quantity for them to be beneficial, ie 50% plus or to make up the mattress completely, just do not exist for budgets less than £800. You may be mis sold a mattress that 'contains' natural fibre but did you know this can be just 1% of the overall fibres?
Natural Fibre mattresses do not exist for budgets less than £800.

What your money will get you in a mattress

Take a quick look through the models we have on offer to get an idea of the benchmark to expect in a new mattress. Use this as a starting point as I think it would be difficult to beat.

Let us say for example your budget is around £550 (Kingsize). This amount can get you:

This is our minimum standard, we do not sell a lower quality than this.

Origins comfort mattress on Cocktail Walnut Base
Check out our Origins Comfort 1000. The minimum specification for a quality high comfort mattress. Click to view the specifications.

Using the main comparison details of 1000 pocket springs, reflex foam (25mm) and polyester (1250 GSM) you should then search each shop or site looking for a similarly built mattress for a similar price. When you have your list of possible candidates for comparison you then look at all the additional details such as fabric quality, detailing, service, guarantee etc

Use the same initial principle no matter what your budget find out what it can get you and then try to match it or beat it for comparison.

How much should I spend on a new bed?

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.

How much are High-end Luxury mattresses?

If you are looking at high-end mattresses with premium weight natural fillings as the main components then prices will indeed be in excess of the £1250 plus ballpark more realistically it will cost you around £3000 to get a 100% Natural fibre mattress in a retail shop. This is because they have huge overheads and advertising campaigns to cover. If shopping online then £2000 should enable you the equivalent model using premium heavyweight upholstery.

However, if you don’t have thousands to spend then how do you pick the best mattress for your budget?

The rule of thumb is to get the best ‘components’ your budget can buy.

Someone ordering a next day mattress online
By asking questions and doing research you will be able to compare side by side your mattress options. Or use our comparison tool by clicking here.

If £500 can get you a pocket sprung mattress why settle for a cage sprung mattress for the same money? When a budget is an issue it is better to complement an average pocket sprung mattress by adding your own comfort layers. Do not expect to be able to get everything you need to be included.

For example, you have found a 1000 pocket sprung mattress. The fillings used will no doubt be polyester (1200 GSM should be expected at the very least). You will then have to add a supplementary comfort layer in the form of mattress topper or enhancer to give you an additional comfort layer. Combine all this together with a decent mattress protector that has fitted side panels to keep everything in place.

Polyester is the cheapest most used fibres in mattresses
Polyester is the cheapest most used fibres in mattresses
Natural fibres are outlast synthetic fibres but command higher price point
Natural fibres are outlast synthetic fibres but command higher price point

Cheap Mattresses all use polyester or white fibre

Bear in mind that as polyester is the most basic component of mattress upholstery – hence the cheap price it really does not have a very long lifespan. Without taking the above measures of care, it will not be too long for the mattress to develop dips and indents where the polyester refuses to spring back to life. Bear in mind that we all perspire through the night and this is the mattress worst enemy. It is better to replace the topper or whatever every so often than it is to change your mattress.

Polyester cross section

How expensive are natural fibre mattresses?

Natural fibre mattresses provide a far cooler and resilient sleep surface compared to synthetic foams. Due to the limited availability and the processing costs, they do have a higher price point than a man-made polyester or foam that’s made in a factory. With a Natural fibre mattress, you are getting a higher quality product with a far longer shelf life. To help you see where your money is going we have a handy table below to show you how each natural fibre compares in terms of cost.

Natural fibreCost / Availability
AlpacaVery expensive (low supply chain)
Bamboo Average price (good supply chain)
CamelVery expensive (low supply chain)
CashmereExpensive (good supply chain)
Cattle HairAverage price (good supply chain)
CoirAverage price (good supply chain)
CottonVery expensive (good supply chain)
FlaxAverage price (good supply chain)
HempAverage price (good supply chain)
Horsetail Very expensive (low supply chain)
Horsehair Less expensive (good supply chain)
MohairExpensive (low supply chain)
SilkVery expensive (low supply chain)
VicunaVery Expensive (Most expensive natural fibre in the world)
WoolModerate to expensive (good supply chain)
Grey bedroom rug
Natural fibres are breathable and far more responsive than synthetic chemical foams

How to compare mattresses

Make sure that you are comparing like for like and component by component.  After visiting a few sites without them, you will become lost and forget the important specification details. However, and unfortunately, you will soon see that these basic fundamental details are missing from many descriptions.  If they are vague then phone or email the retailer or manufacturer and ask.

These missing details are done purposefully so you just end up through sheer frustration, sticking a pin into a long list of potentials and hoping upon hope you have made the right choice. Don’t be embarrassed by asking what the mattress is composed of by weight!

Handmade tufted mattress
By knowing what’s inside each model you will be better equipped to choose the best value suitable mattress.

GSM is the only way you will be able to tell the construction build quality of any mattress. Have a look at Vi Springs site (and ours) as a good example of how descriptions should be listed. They tell you and show you in great detail what is inside their mattresses, how the components are put together, and you are in a better position to see exactly and without any shadow of a doubt where your money is going.


This is how every mattress online and in-store should be described in order for you to sort out the chaff from the wheat. If the adequate description is not there, and you are confronted with a list of dubious and superfluous pseudo terms that mean absolutely nothing then start asking questions.

Why is that there? What is the weight of? What weight are the upholstery layers? How much of that is used? Is it better than?

Need more information? Then get in touch with our team of expert mattress specialists.

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