Though Helix Sleep has been around since 2014, the brand recently unveiled a new line of mattresses aimed at providing its customers with a wider range of sleeping options. For this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Nightfall model, which has been specifically designed with heavier sleepers in mind.
But is this bed actually well-suited for those Big & Tall dreamers among us? I won’t know until I put it to the test, sussing out its firmness, feel, motion transfer, and sinkage to determine if it just might be the mattress of your dreams.
Continue reading below for my full review of the Helix Nightfall mattress. Don’t have time to read it all? Click here to skip to the bottom and check out my review summary.
Helix was at the forefront of the bed-in-a-box boom and rose in prominence with its wide range of mattresses, including adjustable and split firmness options. In the years since, it’s branched out into pillows, duvet covers, sheets, bases, frames, and more.
When it comes to the Nightfall — which, again, is built specifically for heavier sleepers — its most direct competition is either the Big Fig or WinkBeds Plus. Like the Nightfall, these beds are designed for plus-sized folks and use foams and coils to achieve optimized support. Later on in the review, we’ll dive into the specifics that set all three of these mattresses apart.
It’s worth noting that at $1,190 for a Queen, the Nightfall is significantly less expensive than either the Big Fig or the WinkBeds Plus, which come in at about $1,700 and $1,500 respectively.
But let’s turn our attention back to the Nightfall, a 12” tall hybrid model that combines pocketed coils with an array of foams to create a pressure-relieving and supportive sleeping experience for those who weigh between 250-300 lbs.
Helix claims the bed is built with “maximum support” and is designed to provide targeted body contouring across different sleeping positions. The Nightfall is one of nine new mattresses from Helix, which span the spectrum from plush softness to supportive firmness. The brand also boasts two “split firmness” options, which are ideal for couples with different sleeping preferences.
But enough chat! Let’s dive into this bed.
Cover – All Helix mattresses come standard with the same 100% polyester cover, which is stretchy, thin, and breathable. However, you do have the option to swap this one out for the brand’s UltraCool cover if you so choose. That’s what I did, and found its phase change material produced a cool hand feel and helped to draw heat away from my body.
Comfort Layer – The comfort layer is built with Helix’s Dynamic Foam, a latex-like alternative that’s got a quick response to pressure. It gives the mattress some initial bounce, creating a medium firm feel that’s likely to keep the sleeper positioned on top of the structure. Like latex, this material is great at dispersing body heat and will help to regulate temperatures throughout the night.
Contour Layer – Below this buoyant material, you’ll find a layer of gel memory foam, which has a much slower response to pressure than the Dynamic Foam above it. This allows the sleeper to sink into the structure for some pleasant body contouring and pressure relief. However, its placement beneath the comfort layer ensures that you won’t feel too “stuck” in the bed. Additionally, the gel infusion helps to mitigate the overheating properties of memory foam.
Transition Layer – Next up, you’ll find a transitional layer of poly foam. This material is included to help gradually ease the sleeper into the firm support center of the mattress.
Support Layer – The bulk of the Nightfall is made up of a pocketed coil system intended to support the sleeper while giving the mattress its stability and shape. These coils are not only incredibly bouncy, but also individually wrapped, which helps to promote breathability and control motion transfer throughout the structure.
Foundation Layer – At the very bottom of the bed, you’ll notice a thin layer of high-density poly foam, which essentially just acts as a base upon which the pocketed coils can react.
After taking a look at the construction of the Nightfall, let’s chat about its firmness and feel. To start, I pressed into the mattress with some light hand force and was struck by just how bouncy it is. The pocketed coils and Dynamic Foam layers worked in tandem to keep me positioned on top of the bed. Pushing in further, I could really feel the foundational support system working to meet the force of my hand.
Since folks of different body types and sizes are going to feel firmness differently, I decided to bring in three other testers to check out the Nectar Bed. We all took a turn lying on the mattress, gave it a personal rating, and then compiled them on the graph below.
While feel is always going to be a personal thing, our responses should provide you with a good idea of the firmness range you can expect from the bed.
My testers were pretty much in agreement about the firmness of the Nightfall, landing on an average rating of 6.9. When compared to the industry standard of 6.5 for medium firmness, it seems as though this bed is just a touch firmer than medium firm.
I personally gave the bed a 7 as I found its combination of foam and pocketed coils to produce a firm, supportive feel. Stretching out on the bed, I felt bolstered by the various materials, even as I experienced some slight contouring from the top foam layers. Heavier folks will likely enjoy this feel, as it keeps the sleeper firmly positioned on top of the mattress as opposed to sinking in it.
Keep in mind that if this isn’t the ideal feel for you, Helix offers a wide array of other mattress options, including the Moonlight and Midnight, the former of which is more gentle and the latter of which is more neutrally medium firm.
Another important component of a new bed’s feel is pressure, or more specifically where pressure points are likely to form while lying on top of it.
To help you visualize where these tension spots might crop up, I placed a pressure map on top of the mattress and lied on my back, side, and stomach. You can see the results on the image below where pressure is represented from blue (low pressure) to red (high pressure).
At 5’10”, 190 lbs., I’m not necessarily Helix Nightfall’s target demographic, which is why I brought in my pal Paulie to also test it out. He’s a powerlifter who weighs around 295 lbs., so can paint a much more accurate portrait of how it’ll feel for big & tall sleepers.
Back – Lying on my back, I felt pretty comfortable. You’ll notice that the pressure field was almost entirely blue in this position, demonstrating that you’re not likely to feel a lot of tension along your spine while stretching out on the Helix Nightfall. Given the bounce of the mattress, I also found it easy to move around and change positions.
Side – I continued to feel some satisfying support and pressure relief as i turned onto my side. Though this bed is super bouncy, it was still able to provide some nice comfort to my shoulders and hips, typical problem areas for side sleepers.
Stomach – This comfort translated nicely onto my stomach. Here, the pocketed coils worked to keep my hips in a straight line with my shoulders, an important thing for stomach sleepers to take note of as they generally prefer firmer mattresses that promote this kind of quality spinal alignment.
Back – Paulie also felt comfortable in this position, and noted that the top layers of foam did a good job of filling in the space at his lumbar region.
Side – Though he’s a not a side sleeper, Paulie enjoyed the comfort he experienced when turning onto his side. He also mentioned that his arms usually fall asleep in this position, but didn’t feel as though they would on the Nightfall.
Stomach – And finally, things continued to feel good once he got onto his stomach. You’ll notice that the pressure field remained blue, indicating that Paulie’s weight was evenly distributed across the surface of the mattress.
HELIX NIGHTFALL VS.
Now that we’ve assessed the specific details of the Helix Nightfall, let’s chat about some of its biggest competitors. While every mattress is going to feature unique specs that make it a distinct product in the space, it can be useful to contextualize these differences against other models. Plus, who doesn’t love a good compare/contrast before making a big purchase?
While both the Big Fig and Helix Nightfall employ a diverse array of foams in their respective constructions (latex and poly foam and memory foam, oh my!), the ordering and characteristics of their individual layers contributes to two divergent feels.
- First and foremost, I’d say the Big Fig is a little firmer than the Helix, having received an 8/10 from me as opposed to the 7/10 I gave the Nightfall.
- I’d attribute this extra firmness to the layer of edge support wrapping around the Big Fig’s pocketed coils, which could also make it a stellar mattress for heavier couples.
The WinkBeds Plus only features latex, poly foam, and pocketed coils, which gives it a bouncier and less balanced feel than either the Big Fig or Nightfall.
- The thick layer of pocketed coils brings some great, buoyant support to the structure, lifting the sleeper on top of the bed.
- That being said, the WinkBeds Plus evokes a classic innerspring feel, which could be great for those looking for something a bit more traditional.
Up next, let’s take a look at motion transfer. This test will demonstrate the amount of disturbance detectable from one side of the bed to the other, which could be especially important for those of you who share your bed with a partner.
To illustrate this motion transfer, I dropped a 10 lb. steel ball from heights of 4 inches, 8 inches and 12 inches and measured the disturbance it caused: the bigger the lines, the bigger the disturbance.
FYI: Each drop is meant to symbolize a different movement you’re likely to experience in bed, from tossing and turning (4”) to getting out of bed (8”) all the way to full on jumping (12”).
I’m actually quite impressed with these motion transfer results! It’s true that the spikes do appear pretty dramatic in the graphic above, but I actually felt as though the foam top layers did an excellent job of dampening motion across the structure. At the end of the day, this is a bouncy mattress, so you’re likely to feel some disturbance, but it shouldn’t be too bad.
When buying a new bed, most people want to know whether they’ll feel like they’re sinking “into” the mattress or lying “on top” of it. To visualize this sinkage, I placed four balls of varying sizes and densities (a 6 lb medicine ball, a 10 lb steel ball, a 50 lb medicine ball, and a 100 lb medicine ball) on the mattress and measured how much they compressed the surface.
The variations in size, weight and density are meant to simulate different body parts and different sized sleepers.
- 6 lb medicine ball: 1 inch of sinkage.
- 10 lb steel ball: 1.5 inches of sinkage.
- 50 lb medicine ball: 3.5 inches of sinkage.
- 100 lb medicine ball: 5 inches of sinkage.
This isn’t very much sinkage at all, which isn’t that surprising when you consider how bouncy the structure is. What this tells me is that you’re likely to sink through the thin foam layers up top, but that this will all but stop once you hit the pocketed coils. That being said, you’ll probably feel as though you’re sleeping on top of the mattress as opposed to in it.
- Sleep Trial: 100 nights.
- Warranty: 10 years.
- Shipping: Free, arrives compressed in a box.
Just getting started? Start by taking a look at my full mattress reviews breakdown.
SIZE AND PRICING INFORMATION
If you’re convinced the Helix Nightfall is the right mattress for you, the size and pricing information for the mattress are below. Please note that these prices reflect standard pricing, but use the code SLEEPOPOLIS125 to save $125 on your purchase of a mattress with one other item!
|Twin||39" x 75" x 12"||53 lbs||$700|
|Twin XL||39" x 80" x 12"||56 lbs||$850|
|Full||54" x 75" x 12"||71 lbs||$995|
|Queen||60" x 80" x 12"||84 lbs||$1,190|
|King||76" x 80" x 12"||103 lbs||$1,440|
|California King||72" x 84" x 12"||103 lbs||$1,440|
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the mattress, I want to provide you with a few recommendations and some of the most common Nightfall complaints:
- First and foremost, I’d recommend the Helix Nightfall for anyone who wants a bouncy mattress as the Dynamic Foam and pocketed coils really do produce a buoyant structure.
- Additionally, I’d say a big selling point for the Nightfall is how cool it sleeps, which could be great for those who tend to overheat at night.
- And finally, I think this could make a great bed for heavier side sleepers who need cushiony pressure relief at the shoulders and hips.
- If you’re in the market for some deep body contouring, you’re not likely to find it with the Helix Nightfall.
- I’d also add that if you weigh over 300 lbs., you’ll find other mattresses on the market to be a bit more supportive. .