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What are the Best Natural Mattress Fillings

To make sure you’re equipped with all the right knowledge when shopping for your new mattress, take a look at our guide covering what you need to know about theist natural mattress fillings and how much goes into a mattress.

Choosing your ideal mattress filling

Selecting the right filling for your mattress is about more than just ensuring it fits your room. The materials inside directly influence the mattress’s comfort, support, temperature regulation and breathability.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the overload of mattress options available? Don’t lose sleep over it! Dive into our straightforward guide to identify the perfect natural filling tailored to your sleeping habits.

Are you seeking further knowledge on sleep and comfort? Explore our guide on the contents of a natural mattress.

Before diving into the nuances of various mattress fillings, many manufacturers and retailers often withhold GSM details to prevent direct mattress comparisons. However, at Winston’s, we believe in empowering our customers. Purchasing a new mattress is a significant decision and we ensure you have all necessary details, including the GSM ratings, to make an informed choice.

Delving deeper into gsm

Why gsm matters

  • GSM, standing for grams per square metre, is more than a technical term. It’s the very essence of what makes a mattress supportive, comfortable and durable. A higher GSM denotes denser, often superior quality filling. This density directly relates to the mattress’s longevity, settling resistance and overall comfort. In essence, GSM directly indicates the quality and quantity of the filling inside a mattress.

The cost factor: Understanding the value of fillings

  • It’s essential to note that the fillings within a mattress typically account for the most significant portion of its cost. Premium fibres and materials, naturally, come with a higher price tag. So, when you come across a mattress with a high GSM that utilises premium fibres, it inherently costs more to produce. Consequently, it should also retail at a higher price. On the flip side, a mattress with a lower GSM, especially if not using premium materials, should never be exorbitantly priced. If it is, you’re likely looking at an overpriced product.

Transparency in gsm: A must-have

  • Manufacturers who don’t disclose the GSM of their mattresses should be approached with caution. Think of it this way: would you purchase a tin of food without knowing its contents? Likely not. Similarly, why invest in a mattress when you’re in the dark about its primary component?

Estimating gsm: A practical approach

  • For those keen on figuring out the approximate GSM of fillings, consider the weight of the mattress. Take, for example, the “Dreams Flabby Nature’s Finest 14450 Pillow Top Mattress. According to the Dreams website, the king size version weighs about 60kg. This mattress has a core pocket spring unit and additional micro springs. Drawing from our experience with Harrison Spinks micro springs, we can estimate the weight of these components.
  • The core spring unit likely weighs around 25kg and each layer of micro springs (four in total) weighs roughly 6kg, totalling about 24kg. This gives us an approximate spring weight of 49kg. Subtracting this from the overall weight, we’re left with 11kg, or 11,000 grams, of fillings.
  • Considering a king size mattress has an area of 3.06m^2, you’d divide the 11,000 grams by 3.06 to get an approximate GSM of 3594gsm.

Spring count vs gsm: Which matters more?

Understanding spring count

  • When in the market for a mattress, a common question arises: is a mattress with a higher spring count better? While a mattress should ideally have no fewer than 1500 springs, pushing beyond 3000 doesn’t necessarily guarantee enhanced support. In fact, research indicates that any spring count beyond 3000 doesn’t add appreciable benefits in terms of support.

The significance of gsm

  • Contrastingly, the GSM (grams per square metre) of fillings is paramount when considering comfort, support and durability. A mattress’s GSM signifies the density and quality of its fillings. Simply put, a higher GSM translates to a mattress that’s more plush, supportive and built to last.

Our quality-driven decision

  • Our unwavering commitment to offering unparalleled quality led us to a defining choice: phasing out our mattress range that went up to 23000 spring counts in favour of mattresses with a more substantial GSM. Being a family-run business, this decision held financial implications, given our prior investment in the previous range. However, our aspiration was straightforward: to craft the world’s most luxurious mattresses. To realise this vision, we integrated the world’s finest fillings and ensured the maximum GSM at each price bracket. Instead of the conventional spunbond springs, we now use the exquisite hand-tied calico springs.

The bottom line: Gsm vs spring count

  • In the world of mattresses, a higher GSM unequivocally stands out as a marker of superior quality. While higher spring counts might sound impressive, they often indicate a cost-saving approach by manufacturers. Using micro springs, which are cheaper than premium fibres, allows for a higher spring count but may skimp on the overall GSM. In essence, opting for mattresses with more micro springs and a lower GSM might save manufacturers money, but it’s the higher GSM, indicative of dense, premium fillings, that truly defines a mattress’s comfort, support and longevity.

Now that you’re in the know, let’s unravel the mystery of pre-manufactured pads versus hand-teased fillings!

Understanding mattress fillings: A deep dive

Pre-manufactured filling pads

  • Pre-manufactured filling pads are factory-made layers that are uniformly created to fit mattresses. These pads are typically consistent in terms of thickness, density, and quality. Their uniformity ensures a consistent feel across the mattress. They are often used because they are cost-effective, easy to handle during the manufacturing process, and provide a reliable level of comfort and support.

Hand-teased fillings

  • Hand-teased fillings exude luxury. This method involves meticulously layering and arranging natural fibres by hand. The artisanal process ensures each mattress has a unique feel, tailored to perfection. The fibres are teased apart and layered to provide optimum loft, resilience, and breathability. Hand-teasing allows for a more nuanced distribution of fillings, resulting in enhanced comfort, support, and longevity.

The perfect blend: Pre-manufactured pads and hand-teased fillings

  • While both pre-manufactured pads and hand-teased fillings have their merits, combining the two creates a natural mattress that offers the best of both worlds. The consistency and reliability of pre-manufactured pads provide a solid foundation, while the hand-teased fillings add a touch of luxury, contouring perfectly to the body’s shape. Together, they harmoniously work to deliver unmatched comfort, support, and durability.

Discover the magic inside our mattresses

Unveiling our premium natural mattress fillings

Shropshire Wool

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Providing a plush feel while ensuring optimal temperature regulation, making it ideal for those seeking comfort without overheating.

Alpaca Wool

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Offering pressure relief for joints while maintaining optimal body temperature, ensuring a luxurious and restful night.

Cashmere

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Cradling the body with a sumptuous feel while wicking away moisture, ensuring a regal and dry sleep.

Silk

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Creating a gentle barrier against allergens while promoting even weight distribution, excellent for those with sensitivities.

English Lambswool

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Delivering consistent cushioning for pressure points and natural insulation, ideal for cool and comfortable rest.

Merino Wool

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Regulating body temperature while providing plush support, ensuring year-round comfort.

Bamboo

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Offering a hypoallergenic experience with contouring support, perfect for those with sensitive skin and back issues.

Mohair

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Medium
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Balancing between firm support and plush comfort, ideal for maintaining spinal alignment.

Organic Flax

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Firm
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Offering a firm support structure while wicking away moisture, ideal for back sleepers and those in humid climates.

Horsehair

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Firm
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Providing sturdy support that adapts to body movements, great for those needing orthopaedic attention.

Horsetail

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Delivering buoyant support that contours to body curves, ensuring a rejuvenating sleep.

Coir

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Firm
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Providing a natural firmness that supports the spine and hips, ideal for those seeking orthopaedic benefits.

British Highland Wool

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Medium
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Offering a balance of cushioning and support, ideal for side and back sleepers.

British Fleece Wool and Cotton

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Medium-soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Combining the adaptive support of wool with the soft resilience of cotton, ensuring a snug yet supportive sleep.

Cotton

  • Type: Hand-teased
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Absorbing body weight evenly while allowing skin to breathe, making it perfect for all-year-round comfort.

Pashmina Wool

  • Type: Pad
  • Feel: Soft
  • Breathability: High
  • Best For: Offering a delicate embrace to the body with its luxurious softness, while ensuring optimum airflow. This ensures a comforting sleep experience, especially for those valuing gentleness and a breathable sleeping environment.

Navigating mattress fillings: What to avoid

In the quest for the perfect mattress, understanding the materials used is paramount. Here’s a guide to help you discern genuine quality from marketing ploys:

Cashmere, Silk, and Wool

  • Alert: Retailers and manufacturers might promote these luxurious materials to give an impression of high-end mattresses. But here’s a reality check: A mattress priced under £2000 is unlikely to contain a significant amount of cashmere. Given the expense of cashmere, a blend of cashmere, wool, and silk often consists of about 95% wool with perhaps 1% cashmere.
  • Takeaway: Don’t be swayed by the mere mention of cashmere or silk. Their benefits are diluted if they aren’t present in significant proportions.

Rebound Wool

  • Alert: This is essentially a blend of wool and polyester. Some manufacturers and retailers employ this mix as a cost-cutting measure. By adding wool, they can market it as a ‘natural’ mattress despite the synthetic components.
  • Takeaway: Always check the blend ratio. Genuine natural mattresses don’t cut corners with synthetic blends.

Poly Cotton

  • Alert: Similar to rebound wool, poly cotton is a blend of cotton and polyester. It’s another tactic to offer a ‘natural’ mattress at a reduced cost by integrating synthetic elements.
  • Takeaway: For a truly natural mattress, ensure the primary fillings are authentic and not masked by blends.

Coarse Cashmere

  • Alert: While coarse cashmere can serve as a decent support layer above the springs, it’s essential not to mistake it for the superior comfort provided by pure cashmere. The cost difference is substantial, with coarse cashmere being less supportive and durable than organic flax and coir.
  • Takeaway: Know the distinction. Pure cashmere offers unmatched comfort, while coarse cashmere is more about support.

The final word on mattress fillings

Navigating the world of mattresses can be intricate, but here’s the distilled wisdom to guide your choice:

  • Quality over hype: The type of fillings and their GSM (grams per square metre) are pivotal in gauging a mattress’s value for money.
  • Natural is best: If you’re investing £800 or more for a king-size, ensure it’s filled with 100% natural materials.
  • High gsm is key: A greater GSM indicates denser fillings, offering more support, comfort, and longevity.

In essence, when parting with your hard-earned money, opt for a high GSM mattress filled with authentic natural materials. It’s a decision your future well-rested self will thank you for.

Ready to make an informed choice? Dive into our detailed guides and secure the perfect night’s sleep.

Published: 4th April 2021 (Updated: 24th October 2023) | Isaah

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