A Vispring mattress is not cheap.
However, they are amongst the best you can buy in the UK. They’re made with high quality materials and they come with long guarantees. Of course, they also have a prestigious reputation which you’re paying for.
Prices vary significantly between the cheapest Vispring mattress and the most expensive mattress. The price of a double Vispring mattress at John Lewis & Partners ranged from about £1000 to £4000 when I checked.
We’ll attempt to explain what the difference is between the cheapest and most expensive models.
Buying a Vispring mattress is a big investment and I wouldn’t encourage you to spend more than you can afford. However, it is worth mentioning that there is some science behind the salesperson’s claim that you ‘get what you pay for’ with a mattress.
The science of buying the best mattress on the market
The question was explored by Enck, Walten and Traue in 1999. They swapped a hotel’s mattresses for three different mattresses which covered a range of prices and qualities. They then asked guests (who were unaware of the trial taking place) to say how well they had slept.
The guests using the most expensive mattresses said that they slept better than those on the cheaper mattresses (‘the three qualities of the mattresses correlated significantly and positively with the perceived quality of sleep’). The difference was bigger amongst those guests who had ‘chronic’ problems with back pain and sleeping in general. Those guests found that having a more expensive mattress made a smaller difference to those who usually slept well.
Here are the good and bad points about Vispring mattresses, followed by our top five.
Pros and cons of Vispring mattresses
- Impressive history as pioneers of pocket sprung mattresses
- Luxurious natural materials such as wool, bamboo and alpaca
- Clarity about what materials are used in their mattresses
- Clear advice on choosing firmness levels
- Entry level models are not as expense as you might imagine
- Very long warranties of 20-30 years
- Most models are prohibitively expensive
- Using genuine Vispring bases adds a lot to the price compared to alternative brands
- No trial periods
We’ve picked out five of the best Vispring mattresses by looking at specifications, reviews and awards. Prices are correct at the time of writing and are for a double mattress but keep an eye out for discounts and deals which appear from time to time, such as on Black Friday and Boxing Day.
1. Vispring Plymouth Supreme 1200 – medium or firm tension – £1099
The Vispring Plymouth Supreme 1200 is the joint cheapest Vispring mattress in our top five. However, it’s still a very high quality mattress and it’s currently scoring 4.4/5 from customers.
As with all Vispring mattresses it is made with pocket springs. Some cheap and nasty mattresses use ‘open coil’ mattresses which wobble around and aren’t as supportive. A company like Vispring wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.
This model has 1200 springs on the king size model. Generally you want at least 1000 springs on a high quality mattress and somewhere nearer to 2000 if you’re much heavier than average. This model will provide plenty of support for most people.
Other good signs are that it’s double sided so you can flip it over to extend its life a bit. It also has something called hand-side stitching. That means it is strong right to the edges so won’t collapse if you sit on the edge.
So why is this one cheaper than most Vispring mattresses? It is a little thinner than more expensive models at 21cm. Posher models are packed with extra layers for extra comfort and use some luxurious materials. This one uses a simple design of springs, wool and cotton.
What a warranty!
It comes with a whopping 30 year warranty which is the biggest in the mattress industry. The exceptions are a couple of mattresses which offer a ‘forever’ warranty (Nectar Sleep and Dreamcloud). Of course, it’s worth reading through the smallprint of a warranty.
You can pick firm or medium tension. One Vispring guide suggested that a medium Vispring mattress is best for people who weigh 11-16 stone. A firm mattress is for people who weigh 16-20 stone. If you’re somewhere on the borderline keep in mind that if you sleep on your side you need a slightly softer mattress than someone who sleeps on their back or front.
Getting the right firmness for you is important in a mattress. Researchers in Iran examined this topic in some detail in a paper called ‘Spine alignment in men during lateral sleep position: experimental study and modeling’ (Leilnahari, Fatouraee et all, 2011). Their research looked at people who sleep on their side and concluded that ‘a too soft or too firm mattress is no good choice for most men’.
They explained that ‘Soft surfaces cause the increase in low back pain due to incorrect support of vertebral column…(whilst)…mattresses with high stiffness lead to shoulder pain, and cause the decrease in sleep quality and improper distribution of body loads’.
2. Vispring Maristow Supreme 1700 – medium tension – £3099
This Vispring Maristow Supreme mattress costs about three times as much as the cheapest model in our list but it comes with a number of upgrades.
Most significantly, the spring count is much higher with a total of 1700 springs on the king size version. A higher number will give a bit of extra support, although for most averaged sized people 1200 springs will be perfectly adequate.
It also uses a much more luxurious mix of expensive materials on top of the springs including bamboo, alpaca, horsetail and Shetland fleece wool. Natural materials tend to be more breathable than synthetic materials.
There’s some disagreement online over whether natural materials are a good choice for people who suffer from dust mite allergies. For example, Mattress Next Day says that ‘Traditionally, foam styles tend to be the most popular choice for anti-allergy mattresses’. The reason is that their ‘tight structure makes it difficult for any allergens to get into the mattress filling’.
However, a study of Norwegian children’s mattresses in 2002 found the opposite and suggested using a sprung mattress instead:
“The risk of finding mite faeces was four times higher in foam compared to spring mattresses…and eight times higher for the foam mattresses without cover’.Schei, Lund and Hessen, 2002
They found that there were several factors which correlated with the presence of dust mites, besides the mattress material. These included ‘dampness, age of mattress, cleaning of mattress, frequency of vacuuming the bedroom, mechanical ventilation, bedroom temperature and bedroom relative humidity’ (Schei, Lund and Hessen, 2002).
Overall the Vispring Maristow Supreme is the same depth as the cheaper Vispring Plymouth Supreme 1200 (see above). They can both be turned over to help avoid sags and dips over time. They both come with a remarkably long 30 year guarantee.
3. Vispring Elite Pocket Sprung Mattress – soft, medium or firm – £1099
The Vispring Elite mattress is similar to the Vispring Plymouth 1200 mattress, featured earlier in this guide.
It has a similar number of pocket springs and uses a similar design with a simple layer of wool and cotton on both sides of the mattress for comfort. More expensive Vispring mattresses use lots of fancy materials which are more expensive. It’s also the same depth as the Vispring Plymouth 1200.
Softer than average
The main difference is that the Vispring Elite is available as a soft mattress, so it is more suited for lighter people. A Vispring guide I found online suggested that their soft mattresses are ideal for people who weigh less than 11 stone. Also bear in mind that side sleepers need softer mattresses than people who sleep on their back or front.
Another difference is that this one comes with a ’20 Year Structural Guarantee’. The Vispring Plymouth 1200 has a 30 year guarantee. Guarantees with mattresses usually included a bit of smallprint about what’s included. Have a read before you make a big purchase.
There’s an argument that a mattress such as this which uses natural materials has a smaller environment impact than one which combines springs with foam. Of course, there are many ways to measure how ‘green’ a product is.
It’s worth mentioning a study by Mason, Stringer et al in 2012 which suggested that ‘natural ﬁbre (biomaterial) pocket spring mattresses are shown to emit marginally less greenhouse gasses (GHG) than foam (petrochemical) pocket spring mattresses.’ They also said the difference between natural fibres and foam was potentially greater once disposal of the mattress was taken into account.
4. Vispring Axminster Supreme – medium tension – £4999
This is what you get if you really push the boat out with a Vispring mattress.
The Vispring Axminster Supreme has a higher spring count than cheaper models. However, it’s worth realising that it’s actually got two layers of 1250 springs rather than 2500 springs on one layer. This is because there’s a limit to how many springs will fit on one layer.
It also has several layers above and below the springs. With a luxury mattress they make a point of telling you where in the world the materials came from. It’s much the same way that your neighbours like to tell you how well travelled they are. This one has Shetland fleece wool and New Zealand wool, as well as fancy things like alpaca, cashmere and silk.
Not as deep as some
With all those layers and springs you might expect it to be massively deep but it’s actually 23cm which is fairly normal for a good quality mattress. Really deep mattresses often have a pillowtop layer of memory foam or a natural material which makes it appear a lot deeper. The downside of a pillowtop mattress it that you can’t turn them over, so there’s a risk they will lose their shape quicker than a turnable mattress (Ed: are you sure ‘turnable’ is a word?).
5. Vispring Sapphire II Adjustable Bed With Elegance Mattress – soft, medium or firm – from £7520
If you have deep pockets, take a look at Vispring’s adjustable beds and mattresses. The top of the range models cost more than my car but they’re pretty swanky (and my car isn’t).
They come in the unusual size of a ‘long single’ which is the same width as a standard single but slightly longer (as you may have guessed). The idea is that you buy two of them and use them side by side to make a super king size bed. That means one person can raise their side of the bed and watch Match of the Day in bed whilst the other person falls asleep.
I’ve picked out the cheapest option in Vispring’s adjustable bed and mattress range. The bases are the same on all the models but the mattresses have different specifications.
Pricier models have higher spring counts, but this ‘Elegance’ model has plenty of support for most people (heavy people might want a higher spring count). It’s listed as having around 700 pocket springs on the single sized version, but that’s the equivalent of about 1200 springs on a king size mattress which is what is usually listed when comparing different models.
You can choose from loads of different colours for the base and from soft, medium or firm for the mattress. Heavier people and people who sleep on their backs need firmer mattresses than lighter people and people who sleep on their sides.
In depth research – do Vispring mattresses with more springs cost more?
Elsewhere on this site, we’ve explored the question of whether mattress depth determines the quality and the price that you are paying. We’ve found once you get past a certain depth of mattress (about 20cm), the correlation between price and depth becomes much less obvious. To explain it another way, a 35cm deep mattress may well cost less and be less supportive than a 22cm deep mattress. Depth is only one factor and whilst it shouldn’t be ignored, it isn’t a definitive predictor of price or quality.
However, we do have a separate theory that we wanted to test out. Is there a clear correlation between the price of high quality mattresses and the number of springs? We think that this would only apply within a specific brand rather than across brands as some mattress brands inflate the number of springs through using lots of layers of tiny springs which only have a minimal benefit.
To test this out, we took a small sample of the mattresses featured in this guide to Vispring mattresses and looked at the price (at the time of writing) and the spring count on a king size version of the mattress. For the fifth mattress in our study we swapped for the Woolacombe model as the other model is an adjustable bed with a base which isn’t a fair comparison.
More springs = higher prices
As you can see, the correlation is very clear – the more expensive mattresses made by Vispring have a higher number of springs. This might seem like an obvious assessment but when we’ve done comparisons between brands we have failed to see such a clear pattern. The real world application for this is that spring count is a key question to ask if you are comparing two mattresses of the same brand in a showroom. However, if they are different brands then it is only one indicator and is a much less useful piece of information.