Helix is a bed in a box company that builds individually personalized, custom-made mattresses based on how you sleep. By answering a few questions about your sleep habits in a sleep quiz, Helix customizes each mattress based on your body type, sleeping position, and mattress preference using proprietary sleep technology. I’m interested to see how the mattress turned out based on my responses.
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As I mentioned before Helix customizes mattress based on answers to a sleep quiz. For this review I took a look at a solution based on my personal answers to the questions posed on their website which provided me with the following mattress attributes
Each Helix mattress is built based on the following:
- Feel preference – whether you prefer a firmer, medium, or softer mattress
- Support needs – driven by your body height and weight plus your sleeping position
- Temperature regulation – whether you got hot or cool at night
- Point elasticity – the amount of pressure relief needed based on sleeping position
To create a mattress that aims to fit my preferences, Helix combined a mix of dynamic foam, polyfoam, and microcoils to create a supportive, responsive mattress with some good bounce and cooling thanks to the microcoils.
Another interesting option from Helix mattress is their offer of “Dual Comfort” solutions for mattresses that are Queen sized and up. This means that if you are sharing the mattress, and you and your partner have different sleep preferences, Helix can construct a mattress with different firmness levels and constructions for each side of the mattress. They can also blend you and your partner’s responses to give you an even feel throughout the mattress.
Sleeping with a partner? Check out my top mattress picks for couples.
Cover – The cover is made of polyester and is extremely thin, making it pretty breathable. A thin cover also means that it will not interfere with the feeling of the top layer of the mattress.
Top Layer – This layer is Helix’s propetary dynamic foam layer that is very springy and responds quickly to pressure. With a layer like this you can expect to feel more like you are sitting on top of the mattress than sinking into it. The dynamic foam here should allow me to change positions pretty easily without feeling like I’m getting stuck in the mattress.
Transition Layer – This layer sits directly beneath the dynamic foam layer and is made of Helix’s proprietary dynamic foam. It’s feel is meant to be somewhere between latex and memory foam and responds quickly to pressure. It does a good job of cooling to defend against sleeping too hot and acts as a transition into the coils below.
Micro Coils – Microcoils are great for cooling of the mattress because of the increased airflow as compared to a foam layer. This layer lends good support to the layers above and provides some springiness to the mattress. The microcoils also do a good job of motion transfer and contour to the body.
Base Layer – This layer is a dense polyfoam meant to form the foundation of the mattress. It’s a pretty standard layer for bed in a box mattresses and it’s job is to lend support to both the sleeper and the layers above.
*Update: Helix has recently changed the materials used in the construction of their mattresses and the comfort layer is now almost always Helix Dynamic Foam. Along with this, the transition layer is made of a high grade polyfoam.
Even though you selected a preferred firmness level in the Helix sleep quiz, due to different sizes and weight distributions, everybody feels firmness a bit differently. In hopes of giving you a better idea of what to expect from this Helix firmness leveI, I enlisted three other testers to give their opinion on this mattress.
My questionnaire responses caused Helix to construct a Medium to Medium Firm mattress and that is what all of our testers found when lying on the mattress. With a range of six to seven on the firmness scale, this mattress is squarely in the medium firmness zone. Note that the firmness options of the Helix obviously spans a wide range, and the testers just tested one version of the mattress. Helix says they make mattresses that range from very firm (10) through very soft (2).
When pressing into the mattress I feel the polyfoam top layer combined with the microcoils beneath to create a responsive, springy mattress. When lying on the mattress I found that I could move around and change positions without feeling stuck. With a medium firmness level and the responsive material used should be a good combination for most sleeping positions.
If you are a bit bigger or sleep on your side pressure relief can be a very important part of a mattress. To give you an idea of where pressure points may form while lying on a Helix mattress, I placed a pressure map on top and lied on my back, side, and stomach. On the image below you can see the results represented from blue (low pressure) to red (high pressure)
When lying on my back I found that the dynamic foam top layer kept me on top of the mattress. In this position my weight is pretty evenly distributed so I didn’t feel any concentration of pressure and the pressure map shows that with results mostly in blue. The mattress also did a good job of keeping my back in line and allowing me to shift positions easily.
Once onto my side I noticed that I didn’t sink into the mattress much, even with my weight concentrated more over a smaller surface area. This can cause issues for side sleeper and pressure points often arise at the shoulders and hips, as you can see on the results above. If you are strictly a side sleeper you will want to say so in the sleep quiz so Helix can construct a plusher mattress that allows you to sink in a bit further.
Rolling onto my stomach I felt supported on top of the mattress and that my back was in line. Stomach sleepers can often have issues with softer mattresses as their hips will sink in, putting pressure on the lower back. The pressure map shows no added pressure in this area as the mattress does a good job of keeping my hips up.
When sharing the mattress with a partner, you will want to know how much disturbance you will feel on your side of the bed when they get into and out of bed or toss and turn during the night. The next test is helpful in showing the intensity of the motion that is detectable from one side of the mattress to the other.
For this test I dropped a 10 lb steel ball from heights of 4 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches and measured the disturbance on the other side of the mattress. This should be pretty intuitive: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
The motion transfer test shows low levels of disturbance for the 4 inch ball drop. Microcoils are known for isolating motion and that holds true here as there is very little felt on the other side of the mattress when the ball is dropped from low height.
The mattress also performs well from heights of 8 and 12 inches when compared to other bed in a box mattresses. There are higher levels of disturbance, which is to be expected, but these are well within reason. Another thing that stands out when looking at these drops is that there isn’t a huge spike when the ball is dropped, meaning a much more muffled disturbance to the sleeper on the other side as opposed to a sharp response.
In order to get a good idea of how someone might sink into a mattress, I use four balls of varying sizes and densities (a 6 lb medicine ball, an 8 lb medicine ball, a 10 lb steel ball, and a 50 lb medicine ball) and place them on the mattress to measure how much they compress the surface.
These different sizes, weights, and densities help to imitate different body parts or different sized people to show how far into a mattress you may sink.
- 6 lb medicine ball: Less than 1 inch of sinkage.
- 8 lb medicine ball: 1 inch of sinkage.
- 10 lb steel ball: 2 inches of sinkage.
- 50 pound medicine ball: 3 inches of sinkage.
If you’re going to share a mattress and need to use the entire surface then edge support is something you are going to want to take a look at. Foam mattresses sometimes struggle to live up to the edge support of traditional innerspring mattresses, so I wanted to have a look at how I would feel near the side of the mattress.
When lying near the edge I was evenly supported from the center of the mattress to the edge and didn’t feel as if I would roll out of bed. The image above shows that even when lying near the edge I was fully supported and didn’t sink into the mattress too much. Also, even when hanging off the mattress a bit I felt a little compression but still felt supported.
When sitting with my legs over the side of the bed, think putting your shoes on in the morning or getting into bed at night, we start to see some compression. This type of compression is pretty normal for a bed in a box, and the Helix performs pretty well on this front when compared to others in the market. I should also note that I believe this will be pretty consistent regardless of your answers to the Helix sleep quiz.
- Made in the USA – Helix mattresses are made in and ship from factories within the USA
- Sleep Trial – Helix offers a 100 night sleep trial. If, for any reason, you don’t feel like the mattress is a good fit then you can return it within the 100 night window for a full refund.
- Warranty – Helix offers a 10 year warranty.
- Shipping – Shipping is free within the USA and the mattress will arrive compressed in a box.
Size and Pricing Information
If you do decide that the Helix mattress is right for you, be sure to click the following link to save $50 on any Helix mattress using the promo code SLEEPOPOLIS50 or $100 on a mattress + other Helix item with code SLEEPOPOLIS100.
*The weight of the Helix can vary slightly based on materials used in the construction of the mattress.
Now for the most important question of the review, is Helix the right mattress for you? I think you should look into purchasing a Helix if:
- You’re not sure what you are looking for – Helix’s online sleep quiz does a good job of asking basic questions about your sleep habits and preferences to construct the mattress for you based on your preferences and needs. This way you don’t have to be an expert to get the correct construction for you.
- You’re looking for a mattress that accommodates a wide range of preferences – By customizing the mattress for a specific sleeper Helix has the ability to make mattresses that fit for a wide variety of sleepers. Along with this, they can blend the responses from two sleep quizzes, to create an even mix that will appeal to a variety of positions and preferences.
- You and your partner have different preferences – Helix’s ability to split mattresses into different firmness levels and constructions is a great advantage if you share the mattress with a partner. This way, one of you doesn’t have to put up with a mattress you hate because of the preferences of the other.
- Are worried about sleeping too hot – Helix has customizations available to alleviate this problem. The microcoils in my customization did a great job of allowing airflow for temperature regulation.
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 promo code Sleepopolis50 for $50 a mattress or SLEEPOPOLIS100 for $100 off a mattress + other Helix item (mattress protector, foundation, etc).