Meet the Helix mattress! Helix Sleep is a new mattress start-up company and one of the first online companies to offer a 100% customizable sleep experience. Helix Sleep is moving away from the one-size fits all model and instead allows sleepers to fill out a short list of questions designed to identify their ideal mattress.
But does a personalized mattress design actually make a difference? Sleepopolis decided to put it to the test! Continue below for my full review of the Helix mattress.
Because Helix is a customizable mattress, the layers can differ from mattress to mattress, depending on your needs and desires. As a result, this review is going to be a little different than my normal review, where I look at a single mattress. Instead of just one mattress I will be looking at 4 different Helix mattress configurations, each with a unique feel and unique layer design.
Although the Helix mattress layer design can change depending on your configuration, the materials used to create these layers are similar. For the purpose of this section I wanted to take a closer look at one of the layered breakdowns in-depth, but I will discuss each unique configuration down in the firmness, comfort, and support section below (click to jump down).
The Helix mattress is a 10″ foam combination mattress built from three layers of poly foam and a layer of microcoils. Each Helix mattress is customized based on the specific needs of the sleeper(s). The order of the layers, along with their firmness and density, vary depending on the personalized needs of the sleeper. The following diagram and information is based on one of the custom mattress designs that I tested for this review.
- Top layer (comfort) – This is a 2″ layer of responsive poly foam. It’s a proprietary foam created for Helix called Helix Dynamic Foam. It’s designed to feel very similar to latex, but without the drawbacks. It has great bounce, cooling, and responsiveness. This foam comes in varying firmness levels (ILD 10-30) depending on the needs of the sleeper. ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) is a measure of firmness. For more info on ILD check out Sleepopolis’ mattress glossary. Lastly, this foam has a density of 3.0 PCF (pounds per cubic foot).
- Second layer (support + pressure relief) – This is a 2.4″ layer of microcoils. Microcoils are miniature coils that provide softness, pressure relief, and a nice bounce. There are 1,350 individual coils. These help to round out the feel of the mattress, improving cooling and aiding in the transitional support. The ILD of the microcoil layer is always 18.
- Third layer (support) – This is 2″ poly foam transitional support layer. It helps the comfort layers and base layer work together, while also providing support and deep compression support. It has an ILD of 20-26. This layer has a density of 1.8 PCF.
- Bottom layer (foundational) – This is a 4″ layer of high-density support foam (typically split into two separate foam layers). It simply acts as a strong foundational support base for the above comfort layers. The ILD densities range from 26-33. This layer has a density of 1.8 PCF.
The Helix mattress cover is built from 100% polyester. The top white piece of fabric is soft to the touch and the blue side panels have a sturdier feel that will help to protect the mattress. The cover has a modern aesthetic, with a subtle checkerboard pattern on the top piece of fabric. Additionally, it’s quite thin and has no padding. This allows air to flow more easily, improving cooling, while also allowing sleepers to engage directly with the foams and microcoils.
Aesthetically, the cover uses a relatively common design for many online mattress companies, employing a two tone style with navy and white. Overall, the cover feels very well put together.
Every Helix mattress is made to order based on the sleeper’s specific requirements, needs, and desires. Before you place your order for a Helix mattress, you need to complete the company’s short mattress quiz. The Helix mattress quiz covers mattress size, number of sleepers, gender, height, weight, body type, sleeping positions, cooling needs, firmness preference, medical issues, and any sleep-related pain.
After you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll see your results. Your results are based on four major pillars: point elasticity, support, feel, and temperature regulation.
- Point Elasticity – How does compressing a single point on the mattress impact other surrounding areas on the mattress? This is important as it dictates how the mattress contours and conforms to the shape of your body.
- Support – How much support do you need for your spine to remain in alignment? Your sleeping position, height, and weight determine the level of support you’ll need for optimal alignment, without creating pressure points.
- Feel (aka firmness) – How soft or hard is the mattress? This is determined by your preferred firmness level (your weight also plays into this, as it will change the ILD of the materials required to deliver that firmness level).
- Temperature Regulation – How cool does the mattress sleep? Some people sleep extremely hot and will need a different construction to accommodate those needs, others just need something that doesn’t warm up.
Regarding Firmness – Helix mattresses can be customized to be as soft as a 3 or as firm as a 9 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm.
For the purpose of this review, I received two Twin XL mattresses and one split King mattress (customized with two different feels on each side). These are four of the most popular Helix configurations. That said, these are just four of hundreds of potential configurations. Your mattress configuration could be very similar to one of these or very different, depending on your needs and desires.
Helix Configuration #1 – Slightly Softer Feel, Side Sleepers
This mattress is built for two styles of sleepers: lighter sleepers who prefer a slightly softer mattress and side sleepers. With more of a medium-soft feel, this Helix allows sleepers to sink into the foams, creating great contouring support and pressure relief, without going too deep.
This configuration has a firmness of 5 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm.
Helix Configuration #2 – Medium-Firm Feel, All Positions
As a medium mattress, this version of the Helix is a good fit for most sleepers. Helix compares this version of its mattress to the single firmness bed-in-a-box mattresses. Average weight sleepers who like the idea of a medium to medium firm mattress will find this to be a good fit. Additionally, this mattress is ideal for sleepers of all positions, with a moderate contour.
This configuration has a firmness of 6-6.5 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm.
Helix Configuration #3 – Medium Feel, Lighter Weights
With a medium feel, this Helix is designed to offer balanced levels of sinkage and hug. Sleepers of lighter weights will find this build most beneficial, as will side and back sleepers who really enjoy a medium feel mattress. It has a balanced type of a hug and contour.
This configuration has a firmness of 5.5 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm.
Helix Configuration #4 – Firm Feel, Heavier Sleepers
With a much firmer feel, this Helix is designed to provide a high level of support. Sleepers who love the feel of a very firm mattress will find this to be an appropriate fit, as well as sleepers of heavier weights. Lighter weight sleepers will find more of a floating feel on this mattress.
This configuration has a firmness of 8.5 out of 10, where 10 is the most firm.
Each iteration of the Helix mattress is unique in its own way. That said, they tend to act and perform in a similar manner for the most part. Of the four versions I tested, all offered a very fast response time (as opposed to slow response, that you would get with memory foam). Each Helix did an excellent job of responding to the pressure my body created, regardless of how deep I sank into the foams.
Additionally, each one of these mattresses had very good levels of pressure relief and support. As a lighter sleeper (140 pounds), I was a little hesitant to test the firmer model of the Helix. Yet, I was surprised to find out that even this version was able to offer some pressure relief. While I did find the support of some designs better in certain sleeping positions as compared to other sleeping positions, I would still say each Helix is able to provide good support.
GUIDE: How to choose a mattress
As noted above, each of these mattresses was created for different weights and sleeping styles. That said, I still wanted to test each of them and see if Helix’s customizations made sense. After sleep testing all four mattresses, I would agree with Helix regarding whom each mattress was designed for and why it was designed that way.
For example, as a stomach sleeper who prefers a medium feel, Helix #2 (see above) was a perfect fit. I felt as if the mattress allowed me to sink in a comfortable amount and was still able to provide me with the level of support I needed. After going back to see what type of sleeper this specific Helix was built for, I was happy to discover that it was designed with my body type and sleeping style in mind.
In other words, if I had taken the Helix Sleep quiz, my customized mattress would have been virtually identical to Helix #2. While I was still a fan of the other Helix models, I did not find them to be as ideally suited to my needs as configuration #2. That said, I am confident that each one of these mattresses would be a good fit for the style sleeper it was designed for.
Cooling was another area where each Helix performed quite well. The combination of the microcoils, breathable foams, and a thinner cover all helped create a cooler sleeping surface on all four Helix mattresses.
Finally, bounce and motion transfer. Bounce was one of the most notable attributes about all of these Helix mattresses. The use of responsive poly foams and microcoils gave each mattress an enjoyable level of bounce. This is a plus for those engaging in amorous activities, as well as the sleeper who struggles to get in and out of bed. Motion transfer was not quite as good as a memory foam mattress, but it was certainly better than an all coil mattress.
Blended & Split Mattress Types
Helix offers both a “blended” and a “split” mattress. A blended mattress simply means that Helix takes into consideration the needs of both sleepers (assuming you sleep with a partner) and creates a mattress you’ll both love. It isn’t an average of your needs, but instead looks at the higher priority needs of each sleeper to make construction specifications.
Helix also offers a split design version. If you select split design two separate mattresses will be designed and customized to the specific needs of each partner. These two mattress halves will be affixed and cured in the final stages of construction, forming one seamless mattress with a completely different feel on each side. Note that this extra curing process does add 2-3 days onto the manufacturing time for your mattress. Additionally, it’s only available on Queen, King, and California King sizes.
All mattress reviews on Sleepopolis goes through a short series of sinkage tests. I created these tests to help give my readers an idea of the sinkage, hug, and feel they can expect from each mattress. A special note on the Helix sinkage tests: since Helix is a customized mattress, the sinkage tests will vary depending on the customization specifications of each mattress.
The table below indicates the specific sinkage for each of our positional tests for all 4 of the Helix configurations I tested.
|Sinkage Tests||Helix #1||Helix #2||Helix #3||Helix #4|
|Lying on back||3"||2.5"||2.25"||1.25"|
|Lying on side||3.5"||3"||3.25"||2.25"|
|Sitting on edge (conservative)||4.25"||3"||4"||2.25"|
|Sitting on edge (aggressive)||5"||4.5"||5"||4"|
|Standing in middle||6"||5"||6"||4.5"|
Below is an explanation of what each position test means:
- Lying on back – In a normal lying position on my back with my weight evenly distributed
- Lying on side – Lying on my side with arms extended along the front of my body
- Sitting on the edge (conservative) – A conservative sitting position, where I was sitting a bit further back on the mattress, but still had my feet on the floor
- Sitting on the edge (aggressive) – A more aggressive sitting position, where I was sitting directly on the edge of the mattress
- Standing in the middle – Standing in the middle of the mattress with all of my weight focused on a single point
Think you want to give the Helix a try? Make sure to grab the Sleepopolis promo code. Use the following link and you can save $50 instantly on any Helix mattress.
Helix also offers simple financing options. If you need to, you can split your mattress purchase into 3, 6, or 12 payments, a nice option in case you’re tight on funds. On the checkout page, you’ll have an option to pay via financing.
- Shipping – Free shipping on all US orders. $150 CAD shipping to Canada. Takes 7-10 days for a single or Blended Helix and 9-12 days for a Dual Comfort.
- Trial Period – 100 nights
- Refunds – 100% money back guarantee within the trial period. However, the company does ask you try it for at least 30 days before deciding to return
- Warranty – 10 year
- Made in the USA
- Weight – A Queen size Helix mattress can weigh anywhere between 80-90 pounds (due to customization).
- Discounts – $50 discount link
BEST: Best mattress 2017
The Helix mattress is a well-built mattress that offers some of the best customization you can find in any mattress online or offline, but especially at this price point. The company uses a custom-designed comfort responsive poly foam, microcoils, and quality transition / base foam to deliver good support and great comfort.
Lastly, the option to have a split mattress is another key differentiator. The technology isn’t unique, but you won’t find the split mattress feature many other places at this price point.
I would recommend the Helix mattress to sleepers who:
- Want a customized mattress -The biggest and most important selling point for this mattress is customization. At $945 for a Queen, the Helix is incredibly affordable for the level of customization offered. I’ve seen other customizable foam mattresses and they typically are incredibly expensive.
- You aren’t 100% sure what you need – If you just don’t know what type of mattress you really need, the Helix mattress customization quiz can easily walk you through the process. The questions are simple and intuitive. You don’t have to try to think your way through marketing speak to understand if it’s the right mattress for you. The quiz walks you through your needs and preferences, resulting in a mattress that’s designed for you.
- You sleep with a partner and you have very different needs – Helix’s split mattress allows you to get two completely different customized mattress halves in the Queen, King, or California King sizes. The split mattresses are affixed together with glue and other bonding agents. The end result is two customized mattresses that look cohesive for a seamless aesthetic.
- You want foam + cooling – Helix Sleep makes a point to deliver your ideal level of cooling. The company’s personalized design and material selection help to prevent heat retention and improve air flow in every customized mattress.
For more information on the Helix mattress, visit HelixSleep.com. Also, if you decide to give the Helix mattress a try, make sure to use the Sleepopolis promo code. You can save $50 instantly with this link.