How do I choose and care for a new bed?

Your bed is used more than any other piece of furniture in your home. If your bed is no longer providing proper support and comfort, it can affect the quality of your sleep.

If your spine doesn’t get the support it needs, muscle fatigue can set in, resulting in a poor night’s sleep. A good mattress will allow you to maintain a natural spinal alignment. Then your muscles become relaxed and sleep is deeper, more refreshing and much more beneficial.

If you are not sleeping as well as you used to, it might be time for a new bed. You should also consider replacing your pillows when you buy a new mattress.


How do I choose the right bed?

Decide your priorities and concerns in advance. For example, your priority might be: price, storage, access to the bedroom, or ease of getting in and out of bed.

Try a selection of beds so that you can establish your preferred one. Set aside enough time to do the job properly so you can appreciate the differences.

Buy for correct support and comfort for your weight and build – your old bed may now be too soft but firmness will not necessarily provide comfort.

Wear comfortable clothing, remove any outdoor gear and lie on the bed for quite a long time – at least 10 minutes. Lie down in your normal sleeping position and make some turns, too.

Try it together, if the bed’s for two. You both need to feel comfortable.

Don’t forget a bed is a mattress and a base working together – don’t consider them in isolation.

Think big – larger beds are more comfortable. Being disturbed by a sleeping partner is one of the most common complaints. With a larger bed you are less likely to disturb one another.

Check dimensions. Bed sizes are not standardised and even if they have the same name (eg King size) they may not be the same size – especially if the mattress and base are not from the same manufacturer.

You get what you pay for – both in product and service – so spend as much as you can afford.

What is inside a mattress?

There are essentially two main types of mattress contruction – those with and those without springs.

The majority of mattresses in the UK have a core support of springs. The spring construction, the number of springs, their height and the gauge of the wire will each affect the comfort of the mattress and the area over which your weight is distributed.

The type of springing, the various layers of padding, and the supporting base are elements which each affect the feel of the bed in a different way. Users will often disagree about which is the firmer of two beds, because each person will be more influenced by one or other of these elements. Some suppliers have attempted to give their beds a “firmness rating” but this can only be reliably achieved if the beds being compared are of a similar basic specification.

Open coil springing, also known as the Bonnell spring, is a long established construction. The springs are aligned in rows and connected to one another, top and bottom by horizontal helical wires, with an outer rods strengthening the perimeter. The gauge of the wire will determine the spring tension. This system is used for mattresses priced from budget to mid-range.

Continuous springing uses a continuous length of wire, which is “knitted” into a series of interwoven springs which run throughout the mattress. The effect of this is to give a larger number of smaller springs, using a softer gauge of wire to provide the equivalent amount of support. This will normally give a more responsive feel and is normally found at a mid-market price.

Pocket springs are small, softer springs housed in individual fabric pockets. They are able to work independently of one another, profiling the body shape to prevent pressure points. There is little or no transmission of movement from one sleeping partner to another. In a mid-market pocket spring construction, the spring pockets are often formed from a non-woven nylon fabric. Each pocket is then welded to the ones around it. Sometimes the edge of the springing is strengthened by a rod. A welded pocket spring unit can be formed into a mattress just as easily as the open coil type.

Honeycomb or nested pocket springs are considered to give the most luxurious feel. The lines of springs are arranged next to each other in a honeycomb formation, rather than a parallel grid. This way, they are packed as densely as possible, so that the sleeper is supported by the maximum number of springs, which can follow every contour of the body. The pockets are sometimes made of synthetic fabric but traditional cotton calico, machine stitched, is more flexible. The columns of springs may be retained by twine, passed through at the waist, or (as in a Vi-Spring mattress) held in place only by the surrounding upholstery, so their movement is not at all restrained.

Hand side stitching is a essential feature of the most luxurious pocket spring beds. The deep dimples in the border panel of the mattress are not there for decoration. They are the visible sign of the hours that have been spent, stitching the pocket springs to the border, to produce a strong, long-lasting mattress – whilst still allowing the comfort-giving free movement of the springs. Some mattress makers attempt to imitate this effect on a cheaper mattress which contains an inferior spring unit. Don’t be fooled – look for the tiny loop of flax twine in the dimple!

The comfort layers – the materials used to upholster a mattress – are many and varied. They contribute greatly to the comfort and also differentiate one mattress from another in terms of price. Above are the all-natural fillings used in Vi-Spring beds. Natural fibres have a proven track record of being cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

All sprung mattresses have an insulator pad of fairly dense material, next to the springs, to prevent you from ever feeling them. Immediately under the cover is a soft layer, which, as well as feeling comfortable, must also be good at absorbing body moisture during the night and releasing it when you air the bed each day. The amount and type of fillings used in between will vary according to the bed. Foam and hollow-fibre layers play an important part in the comfort of many mattresses.

Foam mattresses are of three main types. Latex is a premium product derived from the sap of the rubber tree. It is very resilient and has anti-microbial properties which can be of benefit to allergy sufferers. Polyurethane foam is petroleum based and is available in many different grades. Visco elastic (commonly known as memory foam) has a unique feel: it slowly responds to both temperature and weight, forming the shape of the user – and slowly recovers when pressure is removed. It has good pressure-reliving properties but some people dislike the feel of a “nest” which is created round the sleeper. All these types of foam are also used as components of a sprung. mattress.

Do more springs make for a better mattress?

There is no single feature that makes one mattress better than another. The entire product – materials, amount of materials, construction processes and tailoring methods has to be taken into account.

The core of a mattress is what actually provides the support. A better quality sprung mattress will have more steel at its core. But it might have taller springs with many turns of wire, or shorter springs in multiple layers. The spring unit works together with the layers of padding materials to support the hollows at the small of your back and the back of your knees. This allows the muscles to relax, as they don’t have to work overtime to keep the spine straight. The result is a more restful and peaceful night’s sleep.

“Counting coils” is not a reliable indicator of quality. It is easy for sales people who know very little about the product to talk about the number of coils in a mattress. It might sound authoritative but you really need to know about all aspects of your new mattress in order to appreciate its quality.

Turn or non-turn?

Some mattresses are produced with only one side fully padded – and sold with the supposed benefit that you will never need to turn the mattress. In the case of a foam mattress, this is a consequence of using firmer foam at the base of the mattress and softer grades for the sleeping surface. But a non-turn spring interior mattress has probably been made that way to save money for the manufacturer.

A two-sided mattress can be turned over to even out wear and tear. Any bed will show a body impression where you lie. In the same way that fine shoes mould to the shape of your feet, a fine bed will show the shape of the sleeper. When you turn your mattress, the impressed side regains an even appearance while you are using Side 2. If a mattress is one-sided, it is a good idea to rotate the mattress head to foot – but the impression will still be there.

It is true that no one enjoys the chore of mattress turning. It is also true that more resilient fillings are now available, which mean that comfort can be maintained, despite some settlement being visible. There are non-turn mattresses available which will give you good service – but we still say that two-sided is best!

Some manufacturers have used the more resilient fillings on a two-sided mattress, with the message that frequent turning is not necessary – and that can only be a good thing. Your aim should be to choose a good quality bed, with a two-sided mattress if possible.


What types of divan base are there?

Sprung edge divans have springs all over, rather like the springs in a mattress. They are made of a heavier gauge wire and serve as a shock-absorber for the mattress. This has the advantage of providing a perfectly level supporting surface, with equal comfort across the full width of the bed. The springs tend to be smaller and more numerous in a luxury bed.

Firm edge divans have a firm, wooden border, with springs in between. The springs are generally quite large and widely spaced, with webbing stretched across the top to provide all-over support. If you sit on the edge of the bed (something we do not recommend – because it damages the mattress – but it may be a necessity to do so) a firm edge divan will feel much more secure than a sprung edge one. When offered with a top-of-the-range bed, the firm edge divan will probably be made with the same type of smaller springs as used in a sprung edge divan.

Solid or platform top divans give the firmest feel. A ventilated board top is covered with just a thin layer of padding and fabric. This is most often chosed with a firm mattress. Remember that, because your mattress will be doing all the work, it may need replacement sooner than if used with a sprung divan.

Slatted bases are particularly popular in a bedstead frame. They provide good ventilation for the mattress but it is important that the slats are not set too far apart. If the gap between slats is greater than 65 cm (2.5 inches) it is desirable with most types of mattress to place a sheet of perforated hardboard (pegboard) over the slats. This avoids undue strain on the mattress and will also improve your comfort.

Motorised, adjustable beds are often made with a slatted base. With a motorised, adjustable bed you can easily raise your upper body or legs for the most comfortable position. If you need the assistance of a motorised, adjustable bed, for reasons of health or mobility, we are allowed to supply you without charging VAT. There is a simple self-certification form. Two 2’6 or 3’0 single beds can be linked as a double. We also offer a 5’0 double bed which incorporates two separately-controlled motorised units.

Beds with storage come in various forms. Most popular is a drawer divan with two large drawers at the side of a single bed, or two large drawers each side of a double bed. A variation on this is a “2 plus 2” drawer divan, which has smaller drawers in the head half of the divan, which can be easily opened next to a bedside chest. Sometimes an “end drawer” is offered as an alternative, at the foot end of the bed. Platform top and sprung edge drawer divans are offered: a sprung divan may have shallower springing, and a firmer feel, than the equivalent non-storage version.

The Hypnos Hideaway divan, offers maximum storage, accessed by lifting side and end flaps on the divan. An ottoman divan has a lid which opens, lifting the mattress with it, so you have the complete interior of the divan available for storage. With any storage divan arrangement, you must bear in mind the supplier’s recommended weight limits and not overload it. The general intention is to provide space to store spare bedding.

How do I care for my bed?

  • Never roll, fold or bend the mattress, as this will distort the spring unit.
  • Do not overload divan bed drawers. They are designed to take the weight of spare bedding.
  • Sitting on the edge of your mattress will affect its shape.
  • Never allow children to use your new bed as a trampoline.
  • Use mattress handles only to adjust the position on the bed. To move, support it fully, on its edge, between two people – using tapes or a strong cloth passed underneath will help.
  • Check that the legs and castors are tightened fully from time to time.
  • Use a mattress cover, on sale at Julian Foye showrooms, to protect your mattress. If the mattress is used on a slatted base, a felt pad (also on sale at Julian Foye) or doubled blanket should be placed over the slats to avoid damaging the fabric.


Regular care and maintenance

Turn down the bed clothes every morning to allow the bed to cool down and breathe.

Follow the manufacturer’s advice on turning your mattress. For a normal mattress, turn after the first two weeks and once a month thereafter. This will help to equalise wear and plump up the fillings. Some mattresses are described as “no need to turn” or “seasonal turn”. They are upholstered with layers of padding specially chosen to maintain comfort in use and will benefit from being turned about twice a year.

A good rule of thumb is to turn your mattress four times a year, alternating between end-over-end and side-over-side rotation. You can rotate every three months starting in January, or rotate at the start of each new season.

To help you remember which way is what, attach a label to each end of your mattress: on one end that reads “January” (right side up) and “April” (upside down), and at the other end that reads “October” (right side up) and “July” (upside down). Whenever one of these months rolls around, rotate the mattress so that the current month’s name appears right side up at the foot of the bed.

Settlement or softening occurs with all mattress fillings. It is normal to be able to see the place where you lie.

Some “No Turn” mattresses do not require turning but should be rotated end-for-end so that you use more of the surface area. It is inevitable that, this type of mattress, you will see the difference in plumpness between used and unused areas of the surface – when a normal mattress is turned, the unused parts are evenly flattened whilst on the underside.

Take care when turning a heavy mattress – do it with someone else to help you.

Where fitted, headboard bolts and legs may need to be tightened at regular intervals in order to prevent causing damage.


How can I clean my mattress?

  • Regularly clean your bed with a soft brush or lightly vacuum using an upholstery attachment.
  • Never wet clean your mattress.
  • If your mattress does become wet, stand it on its side to minimise the penetration of moisture. Dry it as well as possiblle by pressing with a towel. Use a cloth wrung out in plain water to soften the edges of the water-mark and blot again with a towel. Leave it to dry in an airy place, away from direct heat.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and care label instructions.


Vi-Spring Beds – Life Changing

Vi-Spring beds are hand made today with the same care and to the same standards of quality which were established in the time of our grandparents. There are Vi-Spring displays at Truro & Wadebridge. Please contact us for the best price on your chosen bed. Free delivery in Cornwall and West Devon.


Small, closely-placed pocket springs are at the heart of the finest beds, following your form for complete support. Vi-Spring and Hypnos beds combine pocket springs with super resilient fillings and avoid the chore of frequent mattress turning. A pair of linked and zipped 3ft beds gives you more space for a better sleep.


  • A 5’0 mattress contains 1440 springs produced from 1.32mm wire, 48mm in diameter, sewn in individual calico pockets and hand-formed into a honeycomb-nested unit.
  • The mattress border is 21cm deep, with three rows of genuine hand side-stitching. There are eight horizontal handles on King Size and above. Air vents on all sides. Borders upholstered in protective wool, finished with piped ticking.
  • The mattress is upholstered with 600gsm, softly needled, British fleece wool, then 950gsm hand-teased, real Shetland Isle fleece wool, overlaid with two layers of 300gsm British fleece wool.
  • Finally, it is covered with your choice of fine worsted wool upholstery fabric from the Vi-Spring collection. Hand tufted with hand-tied woollen tufts and twine.


  1. Try a number of beds. Vi-Spring makes a range of beds, offering different spring tensions, fillings and sizes. Try a few to determine which is the one for you.
  2. Do not rush your purchase. Finding your ideal level of support and cushioning takes time. Test each bed for at least 10 minutes, with your partner if you share a bed. Lie in the position that you usually sleep in and turn over a few times.
  3. Check the support. If the mattress is too firm, you will be able to slide your hand easily between the mattress and the hollow of your back. If the mattress is too soft, you will not be able to slide your hand beneath your back.
  4. Measure your room. Buying the largest bed you can accommodate will reduce sleep disturbance. Vi-Spring can make divans in sections to negotiate small entrances and tight staircases.
  5. Make an investment. You will spend a third of your life in bed and a good night’s sleep will contribute to your long-term well-being, so it is worth investing in the best bed possible.


Hypnos beds

Hypnos, the award winning family-owned bed makers, have been practising and perfecting the art of making customised, made to measure beds since Edwardian days – these British luxury beds can be found in the finest homes, palaces and hotels around the world.

With over 100 years of bedmaking experience, Hypnos’ philosophy focuses on the pursuit of perfection and the delivery of a deep, energising night’s sleep, helping to fulfil dreams for a healthy life.

Combining pressure-relieving pocket springs, layers of the finest natural materials and Royally Approved British craftsmanship ensure Hypnos earns its reputation for making the most comfortable beds in the world – a view also shared by Condé Nast Johansens, who exclusively recommend Hypnos to the very best luxury hotels in the world.

Sleeping Beauty

Hypnos beds have been designed to immediately recognise your body’s unique imprint, providing pressure relief, comfort and support exactly where you need it, seamlessly adjusting to your every move. Natural fillings like wool, cotton, cashmere and silk regulate body temperature. The result, a relaxing and undisturbed night’s sleep, body and mind renewal and a kick-start to a productive and enjoyable day.

Each Hypnos bed is a bespoke creation, handcrafted to perfection, a masterpiece. Hypnos beds are individually made to measure, made to order and made by hand. Our craftsmen place the elements of quality, comfort and exquisite hand tailoring above all else, guaranteeing years of sumptuous and comfortable sleep.

Caring for your Hypnos bed

By taking a little extra care of your bed in your waking hours, you can be confident that your bed will continue to take care of you while you sleep. We strongly recommend the use of a good quality cotton-faced mattress protector under your bed linen to avoid mattress stains and to promote hygiene.

In order to maximise consistent shape and support around the perimeter of your mattress please avoid regularly sitting on the edge in the same position for long periods. Please do not stand on your bed or allow children to treat it as a trampoline – this applies equally to the mattress and the divan base.

Turning and rotating your mattress

 Do not worry if slight body impressions appear in the sleeping surface of the mattress. This is quite normal and is caused by the generous layers of fillings compacting under your body weight and shape. Turning and rotating the mattress as described below will aid this process.

The majority of Hypnos mattresses are upholstered with fillings on both sides hence require a Seasonal Turn. Turning the mattress over and rotating end-to-end periodically will allow even settlement on both sides of the mattress. It is recommended to turn and rotate your mattress once a week during the first 3 months and thereafter with the Seasons.

  • In the case of ‘No Turn’ mattresses it is sufficient to simply rotate the mattress seasonally to ensure equal wear and tear.
  • A Hypnos mattress can be heavy, so seek assistance when turning and rotating your mattress.
  • In the case of zip and link mattresses, please unfasten the mattresses before turning or rotating.


Airing, cleaning and handling your mattress

Give your mattress a good airing on a daily or weekly basis – simply leave the bed linen turned back for a few hours each time and allow air to circulate around and through the mattress.

Clean your bed every other month with a soft brush to keep it clear of dust and fluff – avoid the use of a vacuum cleaner as this may unduly disturb the upholstery fillings.

Treat stains and spills immediately using dry towels or paper towels. Do not use detergents or chemical cleaners as this may bleach or disintegrate the fabric.

Never attempt to fold or roll your mattress, even for a short period of time. Your mattress is designed and constructed for use only in a flat position. The exceptions are sofa bed mattresses and adjustable bed mattresses – please always store your mattress in a flat position.

Get in touch with us today or come and pay us a visit at one of our many stores throughout Cornwall.

Contact us