Got any advice on horse hair beds and toppers?

Hi Maxie,

I would keep in mind that the price of a mattress doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with its durability of the useful life of a mattress and there would be many mattresses in much lower budget ranges that would be just as durable as a mattress that uses horsehair in it’s construction.

Mattress warranties only cover defects in the materials and they don’t cover the gradual (or more rapid in the case of lower quality comfort layers) loss of comfort and support that comes from foam softening that is the main reason that most people will need to replace their mattress. In other words warranties have little to do with the durability or useful life of a mattress or how long it will be before you need to buy a new mattress and longer warranties are more about marketing than anything else. If there is an actual defect in the material it will usually show up early in the life of the mattress. There is more about mattress warranties in post #174 here.

You can see some thoughts about some of the “ultra premium” brands in post #2 here.

I would also be very cautious about using other people’s reviews or experiences on a mattress (either positive or negative) as a reliable source of information or guidance about how suitable a mattress may be for you or the durability of a mattress and in many cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on or vice versa … regardless of the price (see post #13 here).

There is also more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here that can help you make more meaningful comparisons between mattresses. There is also more detailed information about the many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress in post #4 here.

There are many other types of mattresses and materials in lower budget ranges that may be just as suitable in terms of comfort and PPP and just as durable and maintain a suitable range of comfort and support for just as long as a mattress that uses horsehair. I would also keep in mind that mattresses that use natural fibers will tend to compress and become firmer over time (unlike foam that becomes softer). After about 10 years or so the weakest link in the useful life of a mattress may also be the person sleeping on it not the mattress itself so I would treat anything more than about 10 years as “bonus time” regardless of the quality or durability of the materials in the mattress or the length of the warranty.

The type of materials in a mattress is a preference choice and not a “better/worse” choice and the specific design of a particular mattress is always much more important than which “category” the mattress fits in or the type of materials inside it. The biggest reason to buy any mattress (as long as it doesn’t have any weak links in the design so you can reasonably expect a useful life in the range of 7 - 10 years or more) is because it’s a better “match” for you in terms of PPP and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you … regardless of the type of materials that are inside it.