Sleep – what to consider when buying a new bed

I had a wonderful stay in Leeds on behalf of Harrison Spinks. A company that makes some of the finest mattresses in the UK and around the world. How do you sleep? With a little given knowledge, it’s surprising how much you should consider before buying a mattress.

I had a wonderful stay in Leeds on behalf of Harrison Spinks a company that makes some of the finest mattresses in the UK. How do you sleep?

Dee and I purchased a new mattress a couple of years ago. It’s by a good reputable brand, but when we went to choose our mattress I made the biggest mistake of talking Dee into buying a firmer mattress due to her Fibromyalgia.

Always waking up in agony I thought something firmer would help with support etc. We’ve both lived to regret not taking more consideration over our choice. I mean, do you know exactly what your mattress is made of? I remember looking around showrooms, laying down on them and just thinking about how they felt.

I was asked by Harrison Spinks to document how I slept for seven nights and share on Instagram my thoughts. Then I was invited to their factory in Leeds to see how a bed is made. Now you might think this would be a boring thing to do, but when I tell you about how their mattresses are made, then you will understand how I found the whole experience really interesting and wonder how many people really do think about what I’ve learned about buying a mattress and why the options are so important.

Where a good night’s sleep begins

Arriving in Leeds after a quick stay in London to break the journey we were greeted by a very plush showroom with lots of information about the mattresses and beds that Harrison Spinks creates.

Flicking through all the brochures after a much-needed cuppa is where it all started to get interesting. Do you know how many springs are in your mattress? Do you know what each layer of your mattress is made of? How long is your mattress going to last and also important, how is your mattress disposed of?

Harrison Spinks has been a family run business since the 1800s. Now grown into a massive business that most probably employs a fair amount of Leeds. I wish I had asked how many employees the company has.

The feature wall was interesting to read. All about how it’s become the fine company it is today. Supplied with a high vis, protective glasses and ear protection I started the tour of the factory.

You may think this is a boring photo. Not like the usual fashion photo that I post here on the blog but I think this is one of the most important photos of this post. Let me tell you why.

Harrison Spinks make their luxury mattresses from the absolute beginning. From farming all that is contained in the mattresses right to sewing the handles on the sides. Here the material is being spun from the flax that they farm. Take a look here at how it all begins and watch snippets of how Harrison Spinks Make their mattresses. Wool, Horsehair and Angora from the goats that they farm too.

The main filling of a Harrison Spinks mattress is Hemp. Yes, Hemp! Fields of Hemp are cultivated and cropped by the Harrison Spinks farmers. So everything that goes into these mattresses are grown and produced right from the beginning.

Even the springs are made in the factories. Smaller micro springs are produced in Harrison Spinks factories. compared to other manufacturers to make your sleep perfect.

Here’s what Harrison Spinks says about Micro Springs

“Micro Springs have been designed as a foam replacement technology. They sit under layers of natural and sustainable fillings and no foam or glue is used in the construction of our mattresses.

We were the first to develop the Micro pocket spring. Since then we have continuously developed them making them smaller, and fitting more in each layer. We’re always questioning convention and that’s why we have developed them without the use of glue. This makes them easy to disassemble and recycle at the end of life.”

I had a wonderful stay in Leeds on behalf of Harrison Spinks a company that makes some of the finest mattresses in the UK. How do you sleep?

The factory tour took around 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. What surprised me was that every part of the mattresses apart from the springs and the weaving of the materials is all done by hand. Every mattress is hand stuffed, sewn by a machinist and tufted by hand. The whole lot.

No glues, chemicals or any harmful substances are used and what I have to write is what a good friendly environment it is. You could feel the family type atmosphere vibe. Training for Harrison Spinks can take a long time and a lot of the staff have been there for years.

So When asked what type of mattress I’d like to sleep on in the factory showroom, I had a good idea by the end of the tour. Wool, cashmere, angora, mohair, alpaca and silk are all used in Harrison Spinks mattresses. Then there’s the impressive amount of micro springs, double the amount compared to a normal mattress.

Alpaca is known for hypoallergenic properties, so that would be good for us. Cashmere for softness and warmth but apparently it’s highly resilient too.

We laid on many mattresses in the showroom and it was also explained to us that a firm bed isn’t necessarily a good thing for bad backs and aching joints.

You can purchase Harrison Spinks beds from John Lewis, Furniture Village and other specialty stores. trained sales assistants can help you create the bed of your dreams to get the best night’s sleep. Each mattress doesn’t start production until ordered. Obviously because of the choices you make. I’m very excited to sleep on my new mattress when it arrives.

And if I did ever need a new mattress then all Harrison Spinks mattresses are 0% degradable and 100% recyclable. So I’m doing my bit for mother earth too. Just like this fabulous brand is.

Heading off to our stay in Yorkshire. To sleep on a Harrison Spinks Mattress

We’re staying at Hornington Manor. Acres of farmland with a big Manor house that’s a very popular wedding venue with stunning accommodation. Set alongside the farmland are huts that were to be our accommodation for the night.

It’s such a shame that the weather wasn’t better. It wasn’t cold but very overcast and I can imagine how even more beautiful a place this would be to stay. I’m having a farm tour the next day to see the animals that will help produce my mattress!

I was wondering what to expect when I was told that I would be staying in a hut but as you can see, the place was beautiful. well equipt And so peaceful.

We had dinner and sat on the veranda watching the sheep in the field before diving into the bed looking forward to seeing what a Harrison Spinks mattress is like to sleep on. It had been a very long day and I went out like a light. Listening to Dee going on about how lovely the mattress was and that she should never have let me bully her into buying such a firm mattress!

In the morning this happened!

I had a wonderful stay in Leeds on behalf of Harrison Spinks a company that makes some of the finest mattresses in the UK. How do you sleep?

After a tour of the Hemp factory, which was very interesting but this post is already way long. So do have a read here about the cultivation to bed stages. I got to meet some furry friends. Newborn ones!

So this is where that luxury mohair comes from that goes into the mattresses. The horns on the Angora goats look daunting but they were all so friendly.

Some of the sheep came to say hello. What surprised me was how the farmers knew them all by name. How do you keep track? By the different markings. It really is a fabulous family run business.

Friendly Alpacas that I fed carrots to. Well, it wasn’t so friendly when one of them spat straight into the face of one of the farmers. I’m glad it wasn’t me that got picked on!

As it says on the Harrison Spinks website. The animals outside are what provide the materials. I found the whole two days really interesting and nowhere near as boring as you’d think it would be to see what goes into and how a very good quality mattress is made.

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  1. May 24, 2022 / 9:24 pm

    That sounds like a really interesting trip and tour of the factory. These mattresses sound incredible with so much hard work and craftsmanship going into each one. It’s so important to get the right type of mattress given how much time we spend sleeping on them. I would love to cuddle newborn lambs and pet the alpacas! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

  2. May 21, 2022 / 6:57 am

    Very interesting post Laurie. The mattress buying model these days seems to be the lightweight mattresses sold online that pop out of a box. I do wonder how people get on with them – most can be returned after quite a lengthy period. There’s no comparison with trying out beds in a showroom, and understanding how a mattress is made and what works for your back and the way you sleep. Thanks for linking x

    • laurie
      May 23, 2022 / 12:27 am

      Yes Gail. Lots of beds can be found online like that. Memory foam, filled with chemicals and not bio-degradable either! xx

  3. May 20, 2022 / 2:18 pm

    Totally fascinating! And what a fantastic business model. It looks like you had such a wonderful experience throughout. I hope the new mattress is a big help to Dee. As a fellow fibromyalgia sufferer, I understand her struggles.


    • laurie
      May 23, 2022 / 12:29 am

      Thanks, Michelle. After sleeping on a Harrison Spinks mattress in the hut Dee is very much looking forward to receiving one. I will keep everyone updated xx

  4. May 19, 2022 / 11:48 am

    How cool that you get the visit the factory! I love where you stayed. Yes to comfy beds!

    • laurie
      May 23, 2022 / 12:30 am

      A very fast paced visit Nancy but very enjoyable and interesting xx

  5. May 19, 2022 / 10:38 am

    It’s not that you do every day, visiting the mattress factory. Thank you for sharing the insides of this industry Laurie. I always love to sleep in the hotel’s beds, they are so comfortable. Our mattress is rather firm and know I am thinking maybe we should change it for the softer one. The cottage looks lovely and the animals are simply adorable

    • laurie
      May 23, 2022 / 12:42 am

      Not my usual Anna but a very enjoyable experience. It’s good to get out of the box sometimes xx

  6. May 18, 2022 / 8:06 pm

    Looks and sounds so interesting Laurie, we bought a new mattress a couple of years ago and we really needed it! I’m so pleased with it and although I laid on it in the shop I still took a chance with how comfortable it would be! Glad you got sorted & had a nice stay in Leeds. Jacqui x

    • laurie
      May 23, 2022 / 12:43 am

      Thanks Jacqui xx

  7. May 17, 2022 / 1:02 am

    What a great trip, a lovely place to visit and oh my goodness, the lamb you are holding, reminds me of the one I raised, so sweet! Thank you for sharing on Wonderful Wednesday!

  8. May 16, 2022 / 12:11 pm

    Great thoughts on the mattress, but, really, the red jammies stole the show!

    • laurie
      May 16, 2022 / 8:59 pm

      Yes Michelle. They’re comfortable too! Thanks for stopping by Michelle xx

  9. May 15, 2022 / 4:55 pm

    I find factories so interesting in finding out how things are made. Really interesting – we need a new mattress at some point soon. The lambs are so sweet – my son name’s his few cattle, and the bulls have names, but the rest of the cattle are just known by their numbers or characteristics (the friendly ones), and the sheep are just a flock. Too many of them to worry about names #pocolo

    • laurie
      May 16, 2022 / 9:07 pm

      Hi Emma. That sounds like you have a lovely place there. xx

  10. Chickenruby
    May 15, 2022 / 9:01 am

    I must admit I had no idea what the process was making a mattress. We bought ours 11 years ago, it’s the most comfortable thing we’ve ever slept on. Rotating and turning every month helps with it keeping so good. Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

    • laurie
      May 16, 2022 / 9:08 pm

      I can’t wait to try the new mattress Suzanne. It felt like heaven in the showroom and the one in the hut was lovely too xx

  11. Kathy Luff
    May 14, 2022 / 1:58 pm

    How interesting, thank you. We actually bought a Harrison Spinks mattress from John Lewis a few years ago. They talked us through the firmness issue, persuading us not to get too firm a mattress and they were so right. Our mattress is like sleeping on a cloud. I’d definitely go for that next time, it’s wonderful.

    • laurie
      May 14, 2022 / 9:56 pm

      Hi Kathy. I couldn’t believe how different they feel.I can’t wait for my first nights sleep on mine when it arrives. I loved how everything was produced from start to finish.xx

  12. May 13, 2022 / 6:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Laurie, I think this was a very interesting and informative read. I hadn’t realized that a firm bed isn’t necessarily a good thing for bad backs and aching joints, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind when we’re due to buy a new mattress. Loved your “hut” by the way! xxx

    • laurie
      May 14, 2022 / 9:59 pm

      You would love the hut Ann. Maybe when you’re in the UK next? Yes, it’s surprising isn’t it about firmness for aching joints.The Harrison Spinks site is well worth looking at for information xx

  13. May 13, 2022 / 3:42 pm

    I always sleep awful in a hotel because our bed and mattresses are very good quality. And also the pillow are chosen with care. That must have been a lovely experience.

    • laurie
      May 14, 2022 / 10:00 pm

      It was really eye-opening Nancy. I didn’t realise how important a little know-how is for choosing a bed. Loved going through the production xx