Mattress Guide - Fillings

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Did you know that we spend over a third of our lives in bed? That’s longer than we spend sitting on the sofa, sat in our favourite chair or in our cars. But we pay surprisingly little attention to the mattress that we will spend so much time lying on! A good mattress should support our bodies perfectly in the upmost comfort so we wake refreshed and ready to face the day. As we’re all different sleeping on the perfect mattress every night means selecting the correct one that suits your needs, this guide will help you do just that.

What is actually in a mattress?

Most mattresses have a combination of fillings, but most contain one or more layers of a structural filling (springs or foam)and several layers of fillings to make the mattress more comfortable. Some of these, like latex, horse hair and coir fibre, provide more support and others, like silk, wool and cotton provide more comfort. Let’s take a look at what materials it takes to make a mattress.


Bamboo is an environmentally friendly choice, because it is a sustainable natural resource. It is the world’s fastest growing plant and replenishes itself very quickly unlike many other products from which mattresses are traditionally made. If you suffer from allergies, a bamboo mattress may be a particularly good choice for you. Pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals are normally not used on bamboo, because it grows very well naturally, therefore you won’t have negative reactions that are often correlated with the use of these products. A bamboo mattress can help keep your sleeping environment comfortable, because it wicks away moisture and is about three to four times more absorbent than cotton.

Quick tips

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Hypo allergenic
  • Moisture wicking properties

Coir fibre

This fibre is extracted from the husks of coconuts and is the material that can be found between the hard shell and outer coat of the coconut. The coir fibres are removed from the coconut pulp of soaked coconut husks by a beating process which separates the fibres from the pith of the outer skin of the coconut. Coir provides great ventilation and adds to the spring of the mattress.

Quick tips

  • Great ventilation properties
  • Adds ‘springiness’
  • Naturally extracted from coconuts

Cattle hair

Cattle hair is still used today in mattresses and has the benefits of being naturally resilient and will bounce back well after compression. Cattle hair is effective in absorbing the heat and moisture from your body enabling natural ventilation to keep you cool and fresh.

Quick tips

  • Naturally resilient
  • Absorbs heat and moisture
  • Low cost

Silk, Cashmere and Mohair

These natural fibres are often added to premium and high end mattresses to add a luxurious level of comfort. They will be added as final ‘comfort layers’ and can be very expensive and more often than not will be added to an already very well constructed mattress as the ‘icing on the cake’.

Quick tips

  • Ultimate luxury
  • Upmost quality
  • Natural fibres


100% natural, Cotton is a hypoallergenic fibre that feels velvety soft against your skin. It is very strong, durable and highly breathable, drawing moisture away from the body for a comfortable, fresh and cool night’s sleep.

Quick tips

  • 100% natural
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Smooth and strong


Ecocell is permanently elastic material with a three-dimensional cellular structure, enabling efficient air circulation and offering excellent adaptability points. Ecocell® is anti-allergenic and antibacterial. It is environmentally friendly and recyclable. Because of its lighter weight and good adaptability its maintenance is simple and easy.

Quick tips

  • Permanently elastic
  • Anti-allergenic and antibacterial
  • Environmentally friendly


There are many different types of used in the construction of some mattresses, generally fitted as sheets within the mattress in various depths and grades. Often different combinations will be combined to achieve different levels of support and comfort. A high quality foam can sometimes be a good alternative to memory foam.

Quick tips

  • Different comfort levels
  • Alternative to memory foam
  • Value for money


A wool filling is incredibly soft as well as supportive, sitting underneath the mattress covering; it will provide a comfy and natural layer to sleep on. Natural wool will work well with your body temperature to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Quick tips

  • Incredibly soft
  • Works with your bodies temperature
  • 100% natural


A top quality material that comes from the sap of the rubber tree, latex foam has natural elasticity and recovers its shape quickly when pressure is removed. It conforms perfectly to your body's contours for comfort and back support. Latex is hypo-allergenic and its anti microbial properties inhibit bacteria, fungi and house dust mites, so it can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from respiratory problems

Quick tips

  • Hypo-allergenic and anti microbial
  • Contours to your body
  • 100% natural

Memory foam

Memory foam technology was originally developed by NASA it has its own individual feel and moulds to your body using your weight and temperature. It has good pressure relieving properties, is hypo-allergenic and is available in a variety of qualities and depths. You will not need to turn a memory foam mattress.

Quick tips

  • Moulds to your body shape
  • Ultimate comfort and support
  • Originally developed by NASA

Octaspring springs

Octaspring was born when designer Willy Poppe in a moment of inspiration designed a spring made of memory foam. Offering all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of a traditional open or pocket sprung mattresses and memory foam

Quick tips

  • Benefits of spring and memory foam
  • Cutting edge technology
  • Keeps you cool and fresh

Open springs

Open spring construction is very common the springs are positioned in rows and joined to each other at the top and bottom with a spiral wire or mesh. They come in a variety of tensions, each of which gives the mattress a different feel. This type of mattress is generally priced from budget to mid range.

Quick tips

  • Fantastic value
  • Wide range of comfort grades
  • Soft and deep fillings

Pocket springs

The construction of a pocket spring mattress houses individual springs that are cushioned in their own pocket of material and filling. Each spring will support your body on its own and won’t transfer it to another part of the bed. The springs are vertically positioned and distributed throughout the inside of the mattress, pushing against the sleeper’s body weight.

Quick tips

  • Superb support and comfort
  • Prevents 'roll together'
  • Huge range available


A man-made fabric that is relatively cost-effective to use it helps to protect the mattress against wear and tear because it recovers quickly when not in use.

Quick tips

  • Cost effective
  • Strong and hardwearing


A widely used, petroleum based foam which is used alone or in combination with other materials. As with Memory Foam the performance, quality, price and density of Polyurethane in a mattress can differ greatly so it is always worth trying them to assess suitability.

Quick tips


Tempur is a particular type of memory foam that conforms to the shape of the sleeper, offering great comfort and support. The unique benefits of Tempur products stem from the equally unique composition of Tempur material. Tempur Mattresses create a custom fit for your body, virtually eliminating painful pressure points and reducing your body's need to toss and turn in search of a comfortable, pain-free sleeping position.

Quick tips

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Eliminates painful pressure points
  • Conforms to your body shape

Did you know...

... the term “sleep tight” dates back to Tudor times, when beds were a wooden frame with a latticework of rope or leather to support the mattress. Occasionally these ropes of leather straps would have to be tightened to prevent the mattress from falling on the floor.