It refers to the actual weight of a particular upholstery component used within the mattress. It is a measurement used by all mattress manufacturers when purchasing upholstery and used as a basis to establish the quality of a particular mattress.
This is the weight in One Square Metre of all upholstery used in your mattress. If you know this GSM figure — you would be able to tell which mattress is better than another without even lying on it. Take wool as an example. You see two mattresses advertised as having wool upholstery.
One has GSM wool as the upholstery. The other has just a miserly GSM. Unless you know which mattress has the GSM wool, you will never know which was the better-built mattress for the same price.
Is it really important to know GSM? In fact, so important for you to know it is very rarely mentioned in any mattress description you will see in the store or on the internet. This is the one thing manufacturers do not want you to know or ask about, and they rarely divulge this to the retailer never mind the consumer! So what is GSM in simple terms?
Let us look at a typical real life example. This is a description and specification of a mattress sold by Dreams [May Made exclusively for Dreams with superior craftsmanship and high-quality materials, our Lincoln mattress offers you extra firm ergonomic support with pocket springs, generous pure new wool and cashmere upholstery and finished with the finest quality Belgian damask.
Our Lincoln mattress is double sided and features stitched handles to allow you to prolong the life of your mattress with regular turning. We know that it contains springs fair enough, but what about the upholstery as the fillings? The above is all the information this particular retailer decides to give you.
How can I tell what is in a mattress? What is the combined upholstery weight? The combined upholstery weight is the total weight of all the fillings used in a square metre of the mattress upholstery. If we take for granted that for this retail price you should be looking at around GSM of premium upholstery this description tells you very little.
What is the GSM of the polyester? Polyester is amongst the cheapest mattress components you can get. If this component forms the bulk of the upholstery you are paying top whack for a cheap mattress.
What is the GSM of the cotton? Take note that on the description given, the cotton is forward slashed with the polyester. What is the GSM of the pure new wool? Pure new wool is amongst the most expensive components within a mattress. The description has again forward slashed this with cashmere.
Wool is often used as a blend usually with cotton on high-end mattresses and GSM is an acceptable weight obviously if backed up with other substantial fillings.
Because natural duvets have better thermal properties than synthetically filled ones, they need less filling to achieve the same level of warmth, making their weight misleading. Our staff are proud of their craftsmanship and this is evident in each uniquely handcrafted product made by Devon Duvets.
This weight is neither use nor ornament unless again it is supplementary to a substantial level of upholstery. If you see the description of wool, silk and cashmere on a product description you can assume it is there to make the mattress look as though it is packed with premium components. However, without a gsm weight attached the actual weight could be so minimal it is worthless.
What is the GSM of the cashmere? Cashmere is a premium component and this is more than likely part of a blend. The description is a little misleading as like the pure new wool above it is forward slashed with another product.
Being part of a blend, say with pure new wool you will then have to know the ratio.
As with the Dreams Lincoln example above you have to know how to do comparisons between different models to see which is giving you the best mattress for your money. The fact that it can legally be included within a product description has more value than the component itself.
The fact that it can legally be included within a product description has more value than the component itself. This is a classic example of why you are going to find purchasing a mattress so ridiculously hard, frustrating but completely unnecessary.
Summary There is no legal requirement for a manufacturer or retailer to divulge the contents by weight to you but that does not make it right. And this is the sole reason why this shameless practice is carried on. The moral to all of this is not to take any description at face value.
This is just the starter post on understanding what it will take to find your perfect mattress. As with the Dreams Lincoln example above you have to know how to do comparisons between different models to see which is giving you the best mattress for your money. For us, it has now become second nature, and we know this will be a considered exercise for you.
There is absolutely no need to panic!
Once you understand what to look for you will be skimming through descriptions like a demon and quite enjoy spotting the misleading and dubious specifications you come up against.
There really should be no reason why you should go to these extraordinarily long lengths having to play Sherlock Holmes and phoning manufacturers to ask the necessary detail on upholstery before you hand over hundreds or even thousands of pounds for your mattress.
We hope that manufacturers and retailers will eventually tire of the calls and questions and list their products the same way as food manufacturers do with a completely itemised summary showing component and weight.
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