We tried the Nectar memory foam mattress with a whopping 365-night trial

·7 min read
The sleep company launched in the US in 2016 and arrived in the UK two years later (The Independent/Istock)
The sleep company launched in the US in 2016 and arrived in the UK two years later (The Independent/Istock)

The USP on this bed-in-a-box mattress is the 365-night trial, which gives you an entire year to decide whether it’s right for you. With most vacuum-packed mattresses that are delivered to your door, you get a trial period of 60 or 100 – and occasionally 200 – nights, but never a whopping 365. If you don’t like it within that time frame, Nectar will pick it up free of charge and give you a full refund.

To top it off, there’s a lifetime warranty, which means Nectar will replace your mattress if it’s faulty in the first 10 years and it will repair and re-cover it there’s a fault after that.

Nectar also stands out for being the first and only mattress company in the UK to be climate neutral. All emissions are offset by various global schemes, including an Amazon forest protection programme.

But what’s it like to sleep on? Who does it best suit? And will it last well? While the long trial period and green credentials are a great starting point for standing out against the competition (of which there is masses), I decided to find out if the mattress has enough other features to make it worth the money.

So we put the mattress – which was launched in the US in 2016 and two years later in the UK – to the test over the course of a week.

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Nectar memory foam mattress

Buy now £454.35 (double), Nectarsleep.co.uk

  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king

  • Mattress depth: 25cm

  • Material: Memory foam

  • Trial period: 365 nights

  • Guarantee: Lifetime

Design and features

Most memory foam mattresses have three layers of foam – and this one is no different, but it is also topped and tailed with two additional layers of different materials.

At the bottom is a positioning base material – that’s the bit that ensures your mattress stays put on your bed frame. Then comes the foundation layer of foam, 16cm thick, which provides comfort combined with firmer support in the seven problem zones of the hips and under the shoulders. In the middle is a 5cm layer of soft visco memory foam that’s aimed at tackling pressure relief, and on top of that is a 4cm breathable visco layer aimed at regulating temperature. The soft quilted adaptive cooling cover helps to prevent you getting hot while you sleep.

The mattress, which is designed and manufactured in the UK, has no harmful chemicals and is certified by CertiPUR, a body that rates polyurethane foam used in furniture. This is important, because it means it doesn’t contain any ozone depleters, TDCPP (an organophosphate), mercury or lead.

Some mattresses suit some bed types more than others, but this one is versatile, and works just as well on a divan as a slatted base.

Comfort and performance

We gave this bonus points before we’d even tried it out simply because there’s no off-gassing. Unlike many foam mattresses, which have a chemical whiff, often for several days, the Nectar just doesn’t, meaning we were more than happy to sleep on it as soon as we’d removed it from the box and let it expand.

Comfort and support are what matter most with any mattress and the good news is this delivers on both fronts. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised to find that when we lay down, it actually felt more like a hybrid (a foam mattress that also has pocket springs) than a pure foam mattress. That’s high praise, given that hybrids are (a) generally more comfortable and supportive and (b) more expensive than pure foam mattresses.

With the Nectar, there’s impressive bounce, stability and that instant feeling of relaxation while also being supported right across the body, especially if you are average weight or less – and that goes for any type of sleeper. Not too soft, not too firm, it sits nicely in the middle, pushing ever so slightly towards the softer end of the scale. With excellent longevity, that’s likely to be the case for years to come – you’ll get no sagging or softening over time (and there’s always that lifetime warranty if you find you’re the exception to the rule).

As with many foam mattresses, you do sink in a bit, meaning that moving around in the night takes that little bit more effort. That said, by night three we were completely used to it and hardly noticed. And on the plus side, your partner won’t be disturbed when you move around. Rarely have we slept on a mattress that is so good at this.

Read more: The top mattresses for back pain: Sleep easy with added support

Also, like many foam mattresses, we found that when we woke up it didn’t feel it was quite the same mattress we had gone to bed on. That’s because the top layers become softer as they react to your body, slowly warming up through the night. However, it didn’t compromise the feeling of support.

On top of this, it did not make us feel clammy, probably thanks to the breathable top layer. And it was actually rather nice on colder nights. But if you’re on the heavy side or you are prone to feeling hot in the night, it is something to consider.

Our number-one niggle is that there is no washable top cover. It’s removable via a zip, but whereas you can put the top cover of many mattresses in the washing machine, you’ll need to wash this one by hand.

Also, why are there no handles? Thankfully, the Nectar mattress is not designed to be flipped or even rotated, making it very low maintenance.

The verdict: The Nectar memory foam mattress

We loved the complete lack of off-gassing, as well as the reassurance of the generous trial and warranty period, plus the overall eco-friendliness. Regardless of what type of sleeper you are, you should find the Nectar memory foam mattress both comfy and supportive, and it is exceptional at ensuring you don’t disturb your partner. It’s not quite so brilliant for heavier folk though, and we’d love the cover to be machine washable. Bear in mind the sinkage and the fact that the top layers warm up and soften slightly in the night – neither were deal breakers for us, though.

Buy now £454.35, Nectarsleep.co.uk

Nectar memory foam mattress FAQs

Nectar pricing in the UK

Single: £356.85, Nectarsleep.co.uk

Small double: £454.35, Nectarsleep.co.uk

Double: £454.35, Nectarsleep.co.uk

King: £519.35, Nectarsleep.co.uk

How long do Nectar mattresses last?

According to Nectar, memory foam mattresses such as this one can last for decades without needing a replacement. And, while the brand can’t guarantee this for every mattress it produces, it does offer a lifetime warranty – that is, as long as any faults or deterioration weren’t caused by misusing or mishandling the mattress.

Are Nectar mattresses good for side sleepers?

Side sleepers, you’re in luck. Owing to their ability to form to the body as you sleep, Nectar states that its mattresses are especially good for those who catch forty winks on their side.

On its website, the brand says: “The combination of plush, cloud-like top layers and adaptive, supporting bottom layers is perfect for those who enjoy sleeping on their sides, because this mix of materials and construction works to keep your spine lifted into its natural alignment, ensuring that you don’t sink into the mattress.” It’s this added support, the brand adds, that can help to reduce any soreness you may feel in the morning.

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