If you want a top quality bed, buy a pocket spring mattress. Each spring is put into a fabric pocket that allows it to move independently from the others. Don't be influenced by the number of springs as jamming more and more springs in is counterproductive. What is more important is the quality of the springs. Spring ‘count’ is calculated on a kingsize mattress, the optimum is around 1200 springs in this size, which allows each spring space to move freely and independently from others around it. Springs are all made from tempered wire but the best springs are individually heat treated after they are made to lock in the shape and response. It also allows the spring to be ‘tuned’ to give the response required. Machines that sew springs into calico pockets generally cannot be heat treated. Always insist on heat treated springs (as we use) for quality, response and long life.
(The layer between the spring and the fillings) - The best mattresses use horsehair. Some use ‘white horse hair’ an industry nickname for cattle hair which is not horse hair at all. Horse hair tends to settle a lot and can be noisy, especially if wrapped in a hair proof fabric. If it is not encapsulated the hair can work its way through to the surface. We use only genuine horse hair which is ‘needled’ ( a type of stitching process ) so it does not settle as hand teased hair will, then we encapsulate it in a way that is silent and it cannot reach the surface.
Try to avoid man made fillings such as foam (even latex) and polyester as these materials do not handle moisture from perspiration as well as natural fibers such as cotton and wool which regulate the sleeping environment much better. Wool is the best by far and contrary to what some think it does not make the bed feel hot. Wool is the king of fibers because of the way it handles moisture from perspiration keeping you dry and cosy both in summer and winter. Some ‘wool’ mattresses have only a thin layer of wool, or cheaper grades of wool. All natural fibers will experience settlement and there are two ways to counter this. Some blend the product with polyester which is resilient but you then have a lot of polyester - which is far from natural. The other is to simply use a lot of wool or cotton etc and pre compress it (with a similar process to the ‘needling’ of the horse hair as above) so it does not flatten much more, --- which is what Pure Rest Beds do. All the fillings in the Ultima, Heritage and Kensington ranges are nothing but pure new wool.
The comments above for mattress fillings apply to toppers as well. The topper is the part closest to us and we believe it is very important to make this in the best way possible. To produce our really sumptuous toppers we put in layer after layer of top grade pure new wool. Depending on the model there is over 3 kilos in each square meter of topper. With a topper filling of this density even the big sewing machines cannot stitch the topper together. We therefore developed a special machine to put in lots of small ties that are just perfect as they cannot be felt when laying on the bed and each tie creates a micro vent for better breathing. If a topper is sewn together it cannot contain the same density of fillings, it may contain polyester, or it may settle unacceptably. We do offer the option of a horse hair layer in the middle of the topper but our firm favorite is 100% wool, you just cannot beat it.
Divan Bases(and base springs for bedsteads)
It is very important to put your mattress on a good base, it will transform the feel and comfort of the bed. Putting a good quality mattress onto a solid or slatted base will ruin the feel and comfort. Our bases all contain a carefully designed spring system (so there is no room left for drawers). These give such perfect support they cannot be surpassed even by bases made with hand laced springs. They are all split North/South instead of the common East/West split as this gives better support. We have a range of bedstead bases which drop into a bedstead frame and closely mimic the response of a deep divan, and, if you have a favorite bedstead with slats we supply what we call a foundation spring that goes under the mattress to do the same thing.