Below are a few of our most frequently asked questions. We hope they will answer any questions you have, but if there is anything else you'd like to know please either use our chat service or call us on 01395 239832.
Are there ANY fire retardants in your mattresses?
Absolutely not – not in our cover fabrics or in our fillings.
Are your products completely organic?
No. Whilst our Cottonsafe® covers contain organic cotton they also contain British wool which is not organic.
We believe that there are great advantages in using organic cotton because organic cotton is free from pesticides or chemical treaents, uses far less water in its production and is eco-friendly. This justifies the relatively small additional cost.
As part of the Campaign for British Wool run by the British Wool Marketing Board, we feel confident that British sheep have a high standard of husbandry, health and environmental standard, living free-range. British Wool has undergone a fully independent Life Cycle Analysis to ISO 14040-2006 and ISO 14044-2006. All wool, including organic wool, is dipped.
Organic wool is expensive because of the certification required. As we want to make our products available at a price point which most people can afford, we do not believe that the additional benefits justify the cost.
However, following increasing requests for items with organic wool we have developed some new products – The Hatherleigh adult bed mattress, the Organic Wool Children’s Mattress and an Organic Wool Cot & Cot Bed Mattress. Our organic wool comes from a highly reputable wool supplier who produces the best grade organic wool in the UK, and are themselves GOTS and Soil Association accredited for this product. However, if we were to use accreditation logos we would have to add a further 20% onto the price, so we choose not to.
What's the difference between Pure Choice, Vegan Choice and Appledore?
The main difference is between the cover materials. The Pure Choice and Vegan Choice have a man-made super soft polyester quilted cover and the Appledore has our own patented natural organic cotton and wool blended fabric, Cottonsafe®. Neither fabrics use chemical fire retardants to pass the fire regulations.
Some customers, including those with allergies, look for mattresses with a cover which is highly breathable and has excellent ventilating properties. Polyester is the ideal material for this. As you will be aware polyester has been used for many years in clothing such as fleeces and outdoor wear because of these its breathability and venting properties. When it comes to a mattress cover this is important to help reduce dust mites, mould spores and damp.
For those people preferring a natural cover our Appledore is the perfect combination between organic cotton and wool. It has the soft feel of a top quality cotton without the prickliness of wool. Due to its hygroscopic nature the wool dramatically increases the breathability of the fabric allowing good ventilation. This keeps the fibre warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The increased ventilation also reduces the growth of bacteria and therefore reduces odour.
But isn't organic cotton by itself fire resistant?
No, it's not. We know that organic cotton alone will not pass the fire regulations when tested as it does not go out - it just smoulders even if you have wool underneath it (despite some manufacturers claims!) Cottonsafe® material does not even smoulder. Have a look at our Fire Test video. This completely new material has been independently tested by a UKAS accredited test laboratory and has not only passed the legislation for bedding and upholstery but has even past the much higher Contract Standards.
Do you use the OEKO-TEX certification?
Whilst the OEKO-TEX certification bans over 300 nasty chemicals used in mattress manufacturer that they consider dangerous. It needs to be borne in mind, however, that there are over 700 types of chemical fire retardants alone (and new ones are being developed on a daily basis) - some which are considered under the OEKO-TEX standards as "safe". So Oeko-Tex certification DOES NOT mean that the material is completely natural and it DOES contain fire retardant chemicals.
As far as we are aware, Cottonsafe® is THE ONLY mattress fabric containing organic cotton which can meet the UK fire safety standards up to contract level for hotels WITHOUT the use of any fire retardant chemicals.
Do you use polyester in your mattresses?
Most natural mattress manufacturers keep very quiet about any man-made products in their fillings including polyester - we believe in honesty.
The Aspiro which uses natural latex and wooden springs has no polyester.
The Widecombe, Budleigh, and Topsham mattresses have no polyester in the inner or outer fillings including the fabric but we do use polyester as a cover for the inner pocket spring, as cotton is not hardwearing enough to contain the spring over a long period of time.
In our Appledore mattress we use a cotton layer as many people find this cooler than wool. To this cotton filling we add some polyester, there a very good reason for this. In our 30 years of experience with dealing with cotton filling we have found that pure cotton wadding mats down very quickly. When this happens it prevents the cotton from breathing and increases the moisture content. The polyester we add to the cotton helps to keep the fibres apart and reduces matting so allowing the cotton to breath.
If you take any fabric (man-made or natural) and search on the internet you will always be able to find something that claims it may not be completely safe. Each lobby group will try and panic people into buying their product.
We think of it this way - Polyester is a simple polymer and one of the first man-made fibres produced. It has a low carbon footprint and recycled polyester is listed in the GOTs (Global Organic Textiles) listings. It is also an important material in the Circular Economy. Polyester has also been used for very many years as an excellent product in clothing used next to the skin. Consider the fleece jacket you use when walking or the tea shirts worn by children and adults alike. We also use recycled polyester because it has the lowest off gassing of any man-made fibre.
Is the wool you use chemically treated?
All wool, including organic wool, is dipped. But, apart from dipping, there are no additional chemicals used in British reared wool. It is pure and natural.
The Dartmoor wool we use in some of our mattresses (The Budleigh & The Topsham) is sourced from Okehampton and washed naturally in Launceston, Cornwall. It is then hand-teased to make it super soft and add a natural bounce-back to the mattress surface.
Which firmness rating should I go for?
The feel and firmness of a mattress depends on your definition of medium and firm. It's highly subjective. Also, your body type, weight, size, and other factors makes a big difference to the feel of the mattress.
A lot of times customers confuse support with firmness. Just because a mattress is firm does not mean it provides support. If a mattress is too firm this can lead to painful joints and even arthritis later in life. A good quality pocket sprung mattress, with no mini springs on top (these are sometimes used by manufactures to up the spring count of their mattress), will allow each spring to act individually. This allows the shoulders and hips to sink deep enough into the mattress so that the mattress supports the waist, keeping the spine straight. If the mattress is too firm, pressure points build up on the hips and shoulders, lifting the body and causing a dipping or bridging effect of the spine. A mattress that provides good support simply means that it keeps your spine in proper alignment without creating pressure points.
The mattress support level depends on how many full-size springs are in the mattress.
As a general guide, most people prefer a medium spring. If you are a heavier build you may want to look at a firmer mattress spring.
Please note the mattress can also be affected by the type of frame it is placed on. A solid slat will make the mattress feel firmer while a sprung slat will make it feel softer. A cheaper sprung slat can badly affect a mattresses support. The same goes for a solid top or sprung divan - a sprung top will make the mattress softer and a hard top to will give mattress more support.
If in doubt please contact us, we would be happy to help.
The very best option would be to come to our factory showroom to try them for yourself. As this is not possible for everyone we do offer the "40 Night Reassurance Guarantee" in-case it's not the right support level for you. Terms and conditions apply so please click here to see the details.
What are your delivery times?
Delivery timescales vary, but are usually as below:
- Futons, Futomats and Toppers - up to 1 week
- Cot, Cot Bed and Children's Mattresses - up to 1 week
- Pure Choice, Vegan Choice, Appledore and Widecombe - 2-3 weeks
- Budleigh and Topsham - 4-8 weeks
- Asprio - 2-3 weeks
Our deliveries are flexible, so if you need something urgently please call to check availability.
What is hand side stitching?
Hand side stitching is a highly skilled and labour intensive process in which sides of the mattress are sewn in rows to hold the fillings in place. Our craftsmen, with many years of training and experience in the art, have perfected the skill. Our mattresses are side stitched right through the border and around three springs depth. This technique is only used on top quality mattresses, due to the long and specialist process that is required to make it. Don't be fooled by machined pre-stitched borders which create the "look" of side stitching but give none of the support.
Using a long, sharp upholstery needle and a natural high tensile twine, our experienced craftsmen stitches the perimeter edge of springs, the fillings and the fabric border of the mattress together. This is a traditional process that can take hours to complete, as it must be done by hand.
By creating a firm edge the mattress does not sag out the sides or droop, but stays contained in the perimeter and giving it a firmer and rigid support right up to the edge. So, side stitching can extend the sleeping surface of the mattress.
What is hand tufting?
Hand tufting is the process which secures all the fillings and the spring unit together through the depth of the mattress. Once the body of the mattress has been assembled the mattress is put into the mattress press. Long tufting needles are then driven through the mattress by hand, inserting cotton popins, which are then secured either side with wool felt tufts.
Tufting is the best method of ensuring the spring units and mattress layers remain in position and is necessary to prolong the durability of the mattress.
What is hand teased wool?
This is labour intensive process and is a method of separating the fibres of the natural fillings used in the layers of the mattress by hand. It is necessary to tease the natural fibres of our Dartmoor wool and silk when used carefully by hand, working through the strands to remove any impurities in order to achieve an even layer of soft and natural aeriated filling.
Do you make a 4' (small double) sized mattress?
Yes we can make a 4' sized mattress in most of our range. We aren't able to make the Aspiro, Exeter, Sidmouth or Vegan Luxury mattresses in a 4' size at the moment. As a cheaper alternative we also make our Futomats in a 4' size.