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Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review: A competitively priced, eco-friendly mattress

Edward Munn
27 Aug 2020
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
900
£900 in king size

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly alternative to the ubiquitous bed-in-a-box, the Velocity 4250 is a great option

Pros 
Very supportive
Cooler than synthetic rivals
Eco-friendly credentials
Cons 
No money-back guarantee
Natural fillings can feel firmer than foam
Lacks edge support
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Unlike its disruptive bed-in-a-box rivals, Harrison Spinks is known for handmade, luxury pocket-sprung mattresses. Now, however, the British bed manufacturer has taken a leaf out of the books of its new-age rivals – such as Eve and Simba – and produced the Velocity range of mattresses, to which the Velocity 4250 belongs.

Although this is still a pocket-sprung mattress with all the usual natural fillings, the Velocity 4250 arrives rolled and vacuum packed on your doorstep within a day of ordering. It’s a product that brings traditional, handmade mattresses into the modern world.

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Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review: What you need to know

Sadly, there's no 100-night trial as most bed-in-a-box mattresses offer but Harrison Spinks offers arguably the next best thing: a 60-day "comfort" guarantee. With this promise, you can swap the Velocity 4250 for another model in the range if it's not the one for you, although you’ll have to pay the difference if it’s more expensive.

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As for its construction, the Velocity 4250 comprises 4250 pocket springs (in king size) that the manufacturer says deliver a "medium" level of support. This includes a layer of “Posturfil” pocket springs at its base, a layer of full-size “Cortec Quad springs” making up the bulk of the mattress’ depth and, finally, a layer of “HD 2500” micro pocket springs.

On top of the springs, the Velocity 4250 has comfort layers of cotton, wool blended with viscose and wool blended with flax and hemp. Including its woven cover, Harrison Spinks claims the mattress is 230mm deep overall, although I measured it at closer to 250mm.

Because of the order of its layers, the Velocity 4250 is a turn-free model that you'll never need to flip, which is handy since it's very heavy and noticeably less rigid than most pocket-sprung models when placed on its side. To improve its longevity, however, Harrison Spinks recommends rotating it head-to-toe regularly for the first three months and just twice a year after that. It has handles on each side (but not the ends) to help you to do this.

It's possible to use the mattress on solid foundations and slatted beds, although you must ensure the gaps are no greater than 7.5cm if you opt for the latter. Impressively, Harrison Spinks claims the whole Velocity range is made from sustainable, natural materials. In plain English, that means all the mattresses are free from glue, foam and free radical chemicals, and, thanks to their recyclable pocket springs, no waste materials from manufacturing should end up in a landfill site.

Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review: Price and competition

The Velocity 4250 is one of nine models in the range, which includes five turn-free models and four dual-sided mattresses. The third cheapest overall, it starts at £600 for a single, with prices rising to £800 and £900 for double and king sizes respectively. That's not cheap, but is roughly on par with popular bed-in-a-box mattresses including the Simba Hybrid and the Brook and Wilde Lux (both £850 in king size).

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The latter are both regularly discounted and at the time of writing this review, the Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250, too, was reduced in price by 20%, bringing it down to a more palatable £720 in king size.

There are endless other pocket sprung mattresses with natural fillings you could compare the Velocity 4750 with but most don’t come with free next day delivery or a 60-night comfort guarantee. One such model, coincidentally manufactured for the retailer by Harrison Spinks, is the John Lewis Natural Collection Hemp 2500. At £700 in king size, it’s a little cheaper than the Velocity 4250 but has a different construction and comes without the aforementioned perks.

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Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review: Performance and comfort

After cutting away the Velocity 4250’s plastic packaging, it quickly began expanding to its full form as air rushed in, much like its many foam-and-spring rivals do. Somewhat surprisingly, however, given there’s no foam in this mattress, I also noticed a rather distinct odour. It’s nothing like as pungent as the “offgassing” associated with typical bed-in-a-box mattresses – I’m not sure I’d even describe it as unpleasant – but it’s worth taking note that the hemp and flax fillings are not entirely odour-free.

When I first sat on the mattress, it was notably less firm than my own probably-too-firm pocket-sprung mattress, and it certainly accommodated more of my hips when lying on my side, as you might expect from a mattress that’s described as having “medium” tension. Encouragingly, however, considering I first tested it on a yielding sprung slatted base, the Velocity 4250 felt plenty supportive for my 70kg frame when lying on my front and back.

In fact, unlike many bed-in-a-box mattresses that feel softer the longer you spend in them (usually as they warm up), I’d argue the opposite is true with the Velocity 4250. That is to say that once you’ve laid on the mattress for a while and your full weight has largely compressed the top comfort layers and microsprings, what you become most aware of is the rather firm, supportive layers below.

Compared to the soft foam layers in some bed-in-a-box mattresses, this can make the Velocity 4250 initially feel a little lacking in luxury. Indeed, the comfort layers are definitely more taught and firmer to the touch than the enveloping, marshmallow-like foams used in mattresses such as the Sealy Hybrid Fusion and the Emma Original.

I'm so accustomed to testing foam mattresses that this was the most obvious difference with the Velocity 4250 but it's something I quickly grew used to. What’s more, although the mattress might still benefit from additional comfort layers, I'd argue that once you've become used to natural fillings, they can offer a more comfortable sleeping experience.

Indeed, those who find foam too warm should find the natural upholstery of this mattress much cooler and more breathable by comparison. It’s in this regard, in particular, that fillings such as wool and hemp really do take some beating. They're not only very good insulators, keeping you warm when it gets cold but they're also breathable, meaning you shouldn't wake feeling hot and clammy in the middle of the night.

If there’s any real gripe I have with the mattress, it’s that it doesn’t offer much edge support. This is likely a symptom of its rollable design - the lack of sturdy frame is certainly noticeable when trying to move it - and although it wasn’t a major problem for me, not being able to use the whole sleeping surface can certainly make a bed feel smaller than it is.

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Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 review: Verdict

Overall, though, the ways in which the Velocity 4250 performs well are characteristic of a well-made pocket-sprung mattress. Whether the Velocity 4250 is the mattress for you, then, likely comes down to personal preference.

If you're keen on memory foam, you may be better off looking at a foam-based hybrid such as Simba or the Brook and Wilde Lux. If, however, you've not had a good experience of new-age bed-in-a-box mattresses, or perhaps you’re not overly enthralled by their environmental impact, you really can't go too far wrong with the Velocity 4250.

It's supportive, cool and comfortable in a full range of sleeping positions; in other words, it delivers in all the areas that matter most. And even if it isn’t quite right for you, there are plenty of other options in the Velocity range you can consider instead.

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