The Helix Dawn is a firm hybrid mattress made with contouring memory foam and supportive pocketed coils. It’s one of six different options in the standard Helix line and is also offered in a luxury model called the Helix Dawn Luxe. Today, I’m going to review both Helix Dawn models to help you decide if they’re good fits for your sleeping needs.
Read on to learn exactly what these beds are made of, how they feel in various sleeping positions, and how they perform in my specialized tests for pressure relief, edge support, and motion transfer.
In a hurry? Skip down to my review summary to save time.
Is the Helix Dawn a Good Mattress for You?
The Helix Dawn is the firmest model in the standard Helix and Helix Luxe lines. If you want more information about the other standard or luxe models Helix offers, check out the Helix mattress review or the Helix Luxe mattress review. You can also head to the Helix Sleep website to take a sleep quiz that will recommend one of their mattress models to you! In the meantime, take a look below to see who the Helix Dawn and Dawn Luxe mattresses might work for.
Who I recommend the Helix Dawn mattress for
- Stomach sleepers should like the standard and Luxe Dawn model. Stick with the standard Dawn for an extra-firm feel, or go with the Luxe for a little bit of a pillow top feel.
- Heavy people (over 250 lbs) should get the support they need on these mattresses. If you’re looking for softer feeling support, check out the Helix Plus mattress, which was designed for plus size folks.
- Back sleepers who like a firm feel should like the feel of either Dawn model.
Who I don’t recommend the Helix Dawn mattress for
- Both Dawn mattresses are too firm for strict side sleepers. I’d recommend these sleepers check out the softer Helix Sunset mattress or visit our best mattresses for side sleepers page to find a better fit.
- Light sleepers who share a bed might prefer a mattress with better motion isolation to avoid feeling disturbed by a partner’s movements.
- Budget shoppers should stick to the standard Helix Dawn model. The Dawn Luxe is on the more expensive side.
How Firm is the Helix Dawn Mattress?
Next, let’s get into how these beds actually feel! Before we get into the details, I should stress that firmness is subjective. How firm or soft you find a model will depend on variables like your body type and preferred sleep position. To give you a frame of reference, I am 5’10”, 190 lbs, and a strict stomach sleeper.
I rate mattress firmness on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being incredibly plush and 10 being the firmest possible. After lying on the standard Helix Dawn, I gave it a firmness rating of 7.5 out of 10, which means it was a firm mattress. The Dawn Luxe also felt firm, but its added pillow top provided a little bit more initial pressure relief. I gave the Dawn Luxe a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale.
Because these beds are firm, I would recommend them for strict stomach sleepers like myself. A firm mattress helps prevent the hips from sinking down into the mattress, keeping them in line with our shoulders, which is exactly how we want to keep our spine aligned while we sleep. If you prefer an extra-firm feel stick to the standard Helix Dawn. If you like a little more pressure relief, opt for the Dawn Luxe. If you’re looking for something softer, several of Helix’s other models, like the Helix Midnight, use the brand’s Memory Plus foam to offer a more pressure-relieving feel.
Helix Dawn Mattress Performance
Now, while firmness is an important consideration, it’s certainly not the only thing to keep in mind when you are picking out a new mattress. When I’m reviewing a mattress I like to run a few experiments so I can evaluate how a bed might perform for different types of sleepers. Take a look below to see how this bed performs for different body types, sleepers with pain, and couples.
Testing the Helix Dawn Mattress in Different Sleeping Positions
The Dawn beds will feel different to you depending on your weight and preferred sleeping position. Read on below to learn more about how each sleeper might like these beds.
Is the Helix Dawn a Good Mattress for Light Sleepers (Under 130 lbs)?
- Light Back Sleepers – This mattress is pretty firm due to the supportive foam layers, but the Helix Dawn Luxe includes a pillow top layer that offers extra cushion. If you prefer a less firm feel or suffer from back pain, I’d recommend choosing the Luxe model.
- Light Side Sleepers – I would not recommend either Dawn model to these sleepers. They’re quite firm, and could cause some uncomfortable pressure around the shoulders and hips.
- Light Stomach Sleepers – Most strict stomach sleepers need a firm mattress, and both of these models are firm enough to fit the bill. I like that they help support the hips and pelvis, preventing them from “sinking” into the mattress below the shoulders.
Is the Helix Dawn a Good Mattress for Average Weight Sleepers (130 – 250 lbs)?
- Average Weight Back Sleepers – These sleepers should like either Dawn model. If you like a little more pressure relief, the Dawn Luxe is the better fit. If you prefer an extra firm feel, stick with the standard model.
- Average Weight Side Sleepers – Like light side sleepers, these folks will find both Dawn mattresses too firm to meet their pressure relief needs.
- Average Weight Stomach Sleepers – These sleepers should stick with the firmer standard Dawn model to get the support they need to keep their hips and shoulders aligned.
Is the Helix Dawn a Good Mattress for Heavy Sleepers (over 250 lbs)?
- Heavy Back Sleepers – The Dawn models might feel a little softer to these sleepers than to sleepers of other weights. But, both offer plenty of support for heavy back sleepers (and should offer some nice pressure relief).
- Heavy Side Sleepers – These sleepers will likely find these beds a bit too firm to be comfortable when side sleeping.
- Heavy Stomach Sleepers – These sleepers should stick to the standard Dawn model to ensure they get firm enough support to keep their hips and shoulders neutrally aligned.
Helix Dawn Mattress Pain Relief Performance
The last thing you want out of a mattress is to wake up each morning with aches and pains because there’s too much pressure on certain parts of your body. That’s why it’s important to choose a mattress that cushions your specific pain points.
To get a sense of how a mattress relieves pain in potentially sensitive spots like your joints and lower back, I use a pressure mat, which I roll out on top of the mattress and lie down on. The mat creates a pressure map which is color-coded to show areas of low pressure (blue) and high pressure (red). Take a look below to see what the standard Helix Dawn’s pressure map looked like.
Back Pain — The blue in the back area suggests that the Dawn could work for sleepers with back pain. I’d personally recommend the Dawn Luxe to sleepers with back pain, since its zoned support layer was designed to help them find relief.
Shoulder Pain — Looking at the pressure map, it seems like the Dawn could work for folks with shoulder pain. But after testing both Dawn mattresses, I’d recommend one of our best mattresses for shoulder pain instead. I think these beds are too firm to feel comfortable to sleepers with stiff shoulders.
Hip Pain — Based on all the green on this map, I’d say the Dawn is not a good choice for sleepers with hip pain. It will create too much pressure around the hips, leading to soreness. Check out one of our best memory foam mattresses instead.
Helix Dawn Mattress Performance for Couples
Couples need a mattress that reduces motion transfer, is good for sex, has good edge support, and is cooling. Read on below to learn more about those terms and find out how the Dawn stacks up.
If you are lying on your side of the bed, and a partner (or pet!) moves around on the other side, how much will that movement disturb you? That’s what my motion transfer experiment measures.
To test motion transfer, I put a seismometer on the side of the bed where one person would be sleeping, then dropped a 10 lb. steel ball from three different heights on the other side to mimic the movements of a partner rolling over or getting out of bed. The seismometer measured exactly how much disturbance this caused on the opposite side of the mattress.
I would say that the Helix Dawn does an average job when it comes to motion transfer. Other Helix models contain Memory Plus foam, which really absorbs movement, but the latex foam in this model has a bit more bounce to it. This certainly wasn’t the worst result I’ve ever seen, but the mediocre motion absorption is something couples should think seriously about, especially if one or both are light sleepers. The Helix Dawn Luxe got similar results on this test.
The best mattress for sex is usually pretty bouncy, which makes it easy to move around. Both Dawn models are easy to move around on, which makes them great for sex.
Both Dawn models sleep cool thanks to their breathable pocketed coil layers. Though the Luxe sleeps a bit cooler thanks to a special cooling cover. This is a bonus for couples, who often overheat more quickly than solo sleepers.
Edge support measures how sturdy the edges of a mattress are, which dictates how much of the surface area you can use — an important consideration for couples! I found that both the standard and Luxe Helix Dawn had great edge support, likely thanks to the reinforced layer of pocketed coils at the edge of these beds. If you’re someone concerned about durability, this is also a good indicator that they won’t start to sag prematurely.
What is the Helix Dawn Mattress Made Of?
I always like to break down exactly what’s inside a mattress, as the specifics of the materials help explain why a bed feels a certain way. The Helix Dawn is a hybrid mattress, which means it contains memory foam and a layer of pocketed coils. Take a look below to see what the standard and Luxe models are made of.
Cover — The Helix Soft Touch Design cover is made with a light fabric that’s soft to the touch. This material is designed to be breathable, promoting airflow to help keep you cool at night — a big consideration for people who sleep hot.
Comfort Layer — Next up comes a layer of Helix Dynamic Foam. This is a firm, latex-foam hybrid alternative, which contours to your body. Because latex is a bouncy material, it creates the feeling that you’re sleeping “on top” of the bed rather than “inside” it.
Transition Layer — Next up is a layer of high-grade poly foam. This foam layer offers extra support for your body, relieving pressure on areas like your hips and shoulders.
Support Layer — Beneath the layers of foam is a body shape layer made of pocketed coils. These wrapped coils limit motion transfer, and provide the mattress with a bit of bounce and lift. They also help support your body weight, making it easier for you to roll around and switch positions at night.
Base Layer — Finally, the base layer of DuraDense foam keeps the mattress supported and structurally sound.
Cover — The Dawn Luxe’s mattress cover is made of Tencel, an eco-friendly material that’s even better at temperature regulation than Helix’s Soft Touch Design fabric.
Pillow Top — The Dawn Luxe features a pillow top made of high-density Gel Visco. This layer has a firm feel, but offers a bit of extra pressure relief.
Comfort Layer — Next up comes a layer of Helix Dynamic Foam like the one in the standard model.
Transition Layer — Next up is a layer of high-grade poly foam like the one in the standard model.
Support Layer — Beneath the layers of foam is a pocketed coil layer like the one in the standard model. However, these coils are zoned for support. This means they’ll feel softer at your shoulders and firmer at the lower back. Zoned support is an especially nice feature for sleepers who deal with back pain.
Base Layer — Rounding things out is a base layer of DuraDense foam like the one in the standard model.
Helix Dawn Unboxing and Off-Gassing
Both the Dawn models do release a strong off-gassing scent after they’re unboxed. But, any odor should dissipate within 48 hours as long as you leave your mattress in a well-ventilated room to decompress and off-gas. You may also want to ensure you have a friend on hand to help you unbox your new Helix Dawn Luxe, because it is a heavy mattress.
The Helix Dawn is the firmest model Helix Sleep offers and both models use strong support to provide a great feel for back and stomach sleepers. The hybrid builds provide good bounce and mobility so you’ll be able to change positions easily too. Take a look below to see my favorite things about these mattresses!
My favorite things about the Helix Dawn mattress
I really appreciate how supportive these mattresses are. Stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and heavy people could all benefit from the firm feel of this bed. No matter which model you choose, the Helix Dawn really delivers on lumbar support.
I also think these mattresses will be quite durable. Their firm coil layer and reinforced edges make me pretty confident they won’t sag early. If you’re on the hunt for a mattress that will last you several years, the Helix Dawn models are both worth a second look!
My Helix Dawn mattress complaints
Both Dawn models are quite firm (though the Dawn Luxe does offer some extra cushion), so if you’re someone who prefers some more pressure relief you’re not going to like the Dawn mattresses. Similarly, if you’re looking for some sinkage and body-contouring I don’t think the Dawn mattresses are the best choice for you.
How Much Does The Helix Dawn Cost?
Price is a huge factor when choosing a new mattress! Take a look at the table below to see what the Dawn and Dawn Luxe cost. And be sure to visit our Helix mattress coupon page to get a good deal on these beds!
Helix Dawn Mattress Policies and FAQs
Does the Helix Dawn come with a sleep trial?
Yes, the Helix Dawn and Helix Dawn Luxe both come with a 100-night trial period.
Does the Helix Dawn come with a mattress warranty?
Yes, the standard Helix Dawn comes with a 10-year warranty. The Helix Dawn Luxe comes with a 15-year warranty.
How does the Helix Dawn mattress ship?
All Helix mattresses ship for free. They will arrive compressed in a box.
Do I need a box spring with the Helix Dawn mattress?
No, any hard flat surface will work to support the standard Helix Dawn and Helix Dawn Luxe mattresses. That includes box springs, platform bed frames, and even adjustable bases!
Where are Helix mattresses made?
Helix mattresses are made in the USA.
Helix Dawn Mattress Vs
It’s always a good idea to compare a bed you’re considering to a few different mattresses on the market. Below, I’ll compare the standard Helix Dawn model to two other popular beds, the Casper and the DreamCloud.
Helix Dawn vs Casper
- The Casper original comes in an all-foam and hybrid model, while the Dawn is only offered as a hybrid.
- The Casper feels a little softer than the Helix Dawn, but it’s still a firm mattress.
- The Casper mattress features zoned support like the Helix Dawn Luxe.
- Want to learn more? Check out the full Casper mattress review.
Helix Dawn vs DreamCloud
- The DreamCloud is also a hybrid mattress.
- The DreamCloud has a more medium-firm feel than the Dawn mattress.
- The DreamCloud is more expensive than the standard Helix Dawn mattress (when it’s not on sale).
- Find out more in the DreamCloud mattress review.
Other Models from Brand
As I’ve mentioned, Helix Sleep offers several other bed-in-a-box hybrids. You can find out more about all of Helix’s models in the Helix mattress review and the Helix Luxe mattress review. Below, I’ll compare the standard Helix Dawn model to the standard Helix Dusk and Helix Moonlight mattresses.
Helix Dawn vs Helix Dusk
- The Dusk is a hybrid mattress and is built with the same materials as the Dawn.
- The Dusk has a medium-firm feel.
- Back and side combination sleepers might prefer the softer Dusk model.
- Learn more in the Helix Dusk mattress review.
Helix Dawn vs Helix Moonlight
- The Moonlight is one of the softest Helix models.
- It’s built similarly to the Dawn, so it still has a responsive, bouncy feel.
- Side sleepers should prefer the softer Moonlight mattress.
- Check out the full Helix Moonlight mattress review to find out more about this bed.
Still not sure if the Helix Dawn is the right mattress for you? Check out how we rated the standard model below!
- Edge Support