The bed-in-a-box mattress industry is not so much crowded as heaving. Even if you narrow it down to the hybrid bed-in-a-box mattress industry, it’s easy to be blinded by the sheer number of options.
Still, hybrids are a good place to start if you’re seeking a new mattress. While the two main mattress types used to be foam or springs, these clever mattresses combine the best of both worlds for optimum comfort, support and longevity. Yet they can still easily fit in most cars or up narrow stairways before you roll them out to their full size.
The British brand Simba is so sold on the concept that it produces nothing else. Its signature mattress – the Simba Hybrid (there’s also a fancier version, the Simba Hybrid Pro) – makes some bold claims, not least that it’s produced using the insights from 10 million sleepers.
The brand also says that pretty much every layer has been designed to promote airflow and cooling – a biggie when you consider that getting overly hot at night is one of the most common niggles around mattresses containing foam.
A third claim – that it suits all body types – is also brave given that certain mattresses tend to suit lighter or heavier, taller or shorter, people better than others.
So we decided to put the mattress, which was launched in 2016, to the test over the course of a week to see whether it really does have the power to revolutionise your sleep.
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Simba hybrid mattress
Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king
Mattress depth: 25cm
Material: Open-cell foam and micro springs
Trial period: 200 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
Design and features
As with most hybrids, there are a lot of layers – five, to be precise – to get your head round.
At the core is a zoned foam support base – this is the part that gives the mattress its thickness, shape and stability, as well as being zoned to give the right support for each area of your body.
Next up is the high definition foam layer that moulds to the shape of your body and is designed to provide edge-to-edge support.
In the middle is a layer of patented conical pocket springs – 2,500 in a typical king size – which flex to your individual movement and provide the bounce, ridding it of that strangely flat feeling you can get with pure foam mattresses.
Then comes the open-cell Simbatex. Unlike memory foam which can retain heat, leading to overheating and sweating, Simba developed this in 2017 using graphite particles which help filter heat away.
And finally there’s the soft, breathable and (take note, allergy sufferers) hypoallergenic sleep surface that’s also zip-off and washable.
Comfort and performance
First impressions count, so we felt we were off to a good start with the heavy-but-easy-to-move box, clear instructions and supplied safety cutter. And within just a few hours (many mattresses require longer), it was ready to use – particularly handy if you’ve just moved into your new home.
“Oh yes!” we thought as we lay down on what immediately ticked our personal preference box of being on the slightly firmer side of medium. Be warned, however, that there’s a faint chemical whiff you have to live with for a few days – not unusual in mattresses containing foam.
The sinkage is spot on – you don’t feel like you’re descending into the mattress itself or that it’s a battle to move positions, as is the case with some pure foam mattresses. And unlike some pure sprung mattresses, you don’t wind up with an agitated sleeping partner if you have a restless night or shift around in your sleep.
That said, we’d stop short of recommending this model if your sleeping partner is hypersensitive, as they are likely to feel a smidgeon of movement. In other words, it’s impressive on this front, but we’ve tested better.
If you get hot during the night, this is definitely a purchase worth considering. Even in summer or when you have the central heating whacked up, it seems to keep sweat at bay – both from your body and the mattress itself. The company’s focus on air flow and breathability has, we’d say, well and truly paid off.
As for Simba’s claims about it being an all-rounder, despite your body size and shape, we’d say they’re on safe ground here too. But it’s definitely better for side and front sleepers.
Back sleepers – who are a rarer breed – are notoriously difficult to please, and we think there are others they’d be better suited to.
If you’re prone to waking up with aches and pains, especially in your back, you’ll really notice the spinal support – and even if you’re practically hanging off the side of the bed, that doesn’t wane. Importantly, this should be the case even years later.
Most of us have bad memories of trying to turn a heavy mattress over at one time or other, so it will come as good news that there’s no need to enter such territory with this one. But you do need to rotate it regularly 180 degrees once a month for the first three months, then every three to six months thereafter – helped by the four grips, although it did take two of us.
Buy now £704.25, Simbasleep.com
The verdict: Simba Hybrid mattress
The Simba hybrid mattress is one that gives an instant and cloud-like balance of comfort and support right up to the edges. I’d recommend it to medium firmness fans, side and front sleepers, back pain sufferers, people who get hot at night and people whose bedrooms are difficult to reach. It’s definitely up there with our favourite hybrids.
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