Is the MOLECULE 1 the future of sleeping? The name certainly markets the product as a futuristic experience. The company promotes MOLECULE Air-Engineered™ comfort, improved recovery, and a cool sleep, all at a good price point.
I can’t wait to dig into what all of this really means for your personal sleeping experience. Starting below, I have my full review of the MOLECULE 1, which includes a comparison to its big brother, the MOLECULE 2. Don’t have time for the whole thing at once? Click here for the summary and bookmark the page. The information will be waiting for you when you come back!
Molecule focuses its marketing on sleep recovery through temperature regulation and adaptable support and pressure relief features. The company sells a full range of bedding products from mattress toppers to pillow cases and even pet beds. If you like what you feel with the mattress, Molecule could be your one-stop shop.
Molecule also says the MOLECULE 1 comes with adaptive support through a zoned reflex layer, and it is made from eco-friendly materials as well. All of this is endorsed by its Molecule Sports & Science Team, made up of gold medalist Nastia Liukin, pro soccer forward Alex Morgan, and Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Tom Brady (among others).
Does the price point allow for the R&D necessary to back up a high flying campaign full of elite athletes and tech talk? I will pull back the layers of the MOLECULE 1 one by one to find out.
What is the MOLECULE 1 Mattress Made of?
The MOLECULE 1 is an all-foam mattress with three layers. Below, I will describe the materials in each of these layers in depth and how they feel on first contact.
Cover – The cover on the MOLECULE 1 is a fairly common polyester. However, I felt it was thicker and cozier than most covers at this price point.
Comfort – After the cover, sleepers will sink into 2” of memory foam. Memory foam is known for its ability to contour around the body. Its slow response to pressure lets the sleeper sink into the mattress and usually relieves pressure in troublesome areas like the shoulders. It also tends to trap body heat, which may be a concern if you know that you overheat during the night.
Transition – After 2” of memory foam comes 3” of poly foam. This layer has a quicker response to pressure and is firmer than the layer above. The result is a level of cradled support that keeps the sleeper from sinking too far into the mattress. Most notably, this layer is also zoned for pressure relief and firmness in different regions of the body. The mattress uses diamond—shaped zones for a softer feel in the head and feet while providing more support in the lumbar region with a hexagon—shaped center zone. This profile should help strict side sleepers maintain good spinal alignment while in the side position.
Base – The support core of the MOLECULE 1 comes from 7” of high-density poly foam, a relatively common material to use in the base of an all-foam, bed-in-a-box mattress. This is the layer that provides support to the layers above as well as to the sleeper.
Thoughts: The most unique feature of the MOLECULE 1 comes from its zoned support layer of poly foam. Back—side combo sleepers and strict side sleepers enjoy hip support and shoulder relief that helps with spinal alignment.
So how does it actually feel to sleep on a molecule? I will attempt to answer this question with the four tests below.
How Does the MOLECULE 1 Feel?
Firmness is an essential part of how a mattress feels. However, firmness is subjective, so the test I ran for the MOLECULE 1 involves testing for different body types, sizes, and shapes. With my colleagues, we came up with an average firmness score between 1 and 10 (10 is the firmest). 6.5 represents industry standard medium firmness.
The MOLECULE 1 earned a 6.5/10, placing it squarely at what most would consider the industry standard for medium firmness. On first contact lying on my back, I felt myself sink into the comfort layer with decent support from the mattress base. I believe that strict back sleepers will have enough support over the course of a night to comfortably sleep in that position with good hip and spinal alignment.
I felt that changing positions was a bit difficult when moving to my side or stomach. The initially comfortable sink into the mattress did make me feel a bit stuck over time. The mattress also sleeps a bit hot, so keep this in mind if you are a restless type of sleeper! There is also zoned support (that I will talk about more later) that gives sleepers a more personalized balance between support and relief for troublesome areas (usually the back, hips, and shoulders).
Testing the MOLECULE 1
After Firmness, I also have a test for the important metrics of Pressure Relief, Bounce, and Motion Transfer. Putting these tests together gives a good profile of a bed that you can use to simulate many situations that occur during the night (e.g. a partner jumping out of bed or a restless sleeper feeling the need to switch positions often).
My Pressure Relief test involves resting a color-coded pressure map on top of the MOLECULE 1 cover. The map’s colors represent the pressure my body feels in response to the firmness of the MOLECULE 1 in real time. This test helps me understand how the body reacts to the MOLECULE 1 over time, not just on initial contact.
Blue means no/low pressure and is ideally what I want to see all the time. Green and yellow mean that an area of the body is feeling medium pressure. Red is high pressure and is a cause of concern, because it may represent serious aches and pains upon waking.
Back – The MOLECULE 1 gave me all blue on my back. This is a good sign, although I expected to see this. The medium firmness of the MOLECULE 1 keeps the back aligned while providing for a level of comfort as well.
Side – Based on my tests, strict side sleepers will have a similar level of comfort on the MOLECULE 1 as strict back position. The map did slide into dark green at the shoulders, which is no cause for immediate alarm. Combo sleepers and strict side sleepers should look out for light green and yellow, which I saw none of.
Stomach – My weight was evenly distributed across the mattress when laying on my stomach, giving me blue across the board. This is good news, but I must also make sure that the hips don’t sink too far into the mattress. Too much sink still gives blue on the pressure map (because the mattress is sinking with your hips), but too much give arches the back in an uncomfortable way. Fortunately, the MOLECULE 1 gave me good hip support—enough for a combo sleeper. Heavier sleepers and strict stomach sleepers may prefer more support, however.
Testing for bounciness comes after pressure relief. Why? Bounce in a mattress represents mobility. I want to see the 10 lbs. ball that I drop straight down onto the MOLECULE 1 bounce back and not get stuck in the mattress. If the ball gets stuck, a person would likely feel stuck as well.
The MOLECULE 1 gives a slower response to pressure because of its memory foam top layer. This results in a lack of bounce that doesn’t necessarily mean being stuck in the mattress, but isn’t necessarily optimized, either. If you are used to bouncier mattresses (perhaps those with coils), you may want to look for one with a bit more spring in its step.
I bounce the same 10 lb. ball from the previous test bounces yet again for Motion Transfer. I pre-measure heights—4”, 8”, and 12”— to represent movements in a bed you might feel during the night with a partner. I place a seismometer directly across to measure the motion that gets transferred across the MOLECULE 1.
For instance, a 4” drop represents a partner as they slowly get into bed. An 8” drop could simulate a restless partner having a bad dream. I want motion isolation here, not movement on the seismometer. The less the seismometer moves, the less you feel your partner during the night.
The MOLECULE 1 is not a bouncy mattress, and this characteristic actually comes to its rescue during the Motion Transfer test. The MOLECULE 1 tends to isolate motion on each side of the mattress, which is something that couples may want to consider.
The MOLECULE 1 vs
Its big brother, the MOLECULE 2! Molecule offers a luxury version at a higher price point with some important differences that you should consider before finalizing a decision.
- The company took more time to help the MOLECULE 2 sleep cool, counteracting the natural tendency of memory foam to trap body heat. The Molecularflo™ in the MOLECULE 2’s comfort layer is an open cell memory foam that is even more aerated than the open cell memory foam in the MOLECULE 1. The MOLECULE 2 cover also features a heat and moisture wicking polymer that draws heat away from the sleeper.
- The transition layer has five hexagon—shaped individual support zones (head, shoulders, lumbar, hips, and lower body). Sleepers get more pressure relief in the shoulders and hips and more support in the head, lumbar, and lower body regions. The MOLECULE 1 features three zones with diamond—shapes for pressure relief and hexagons for more support.
- The MOLECULE 2 price range ($1,099—$1,949) is higher than the MOLECULE 1 ($599—$999).
I’ve listed the most important features of the MOLECULE 1 and tested its most important characteristics. Here, you get the summary that should help you finalize a buying decision. No one can tell you the mattress to buy, but I can certainly make it easier for you!
MOLECULE 1 Mattress Recommendations
- The medium firmness and zoned support of the MOLECULE 1 works well for combo sleepers. There is a good balance between support and pressure overall, and zoned support means more personalization in multiple positions.
- The classic memory foam feel of comfort and contouring is in full effect on the MOLECULE 1.
- Motion is well isolated on the MOLECULE 1. If you sleep with a restless partner, this is something that you should be quite interested in.
MOLECULE 1 Mattress Complaints
- The MOLECULE 1 tends to sleep hot. Memory foam has a reputation of trapping body heat, and there is no cooling material around the comfort layer to counter this.
- The mattress is not a bouncy mattress. If you change positions a bit or you simply prefer bounce, then the MOLECULE 1 may not be the one for you.
- Trial – 100 Nights
- Warranty – Lifetime
- Shipping – Free and Compressed
How Much Does the MOLECULE 1 Cost?
|Twin||39" x 75" x 12.5"||$599|
|Twin XL||39" x 80" x 12.5"||$699|
|Full||54" x 75" x 12.5"||$799|
|Queen||60" x 80" x 12.5"||$899|
|King||76" x 80" x 12.5"||$999|
|California King||72" x 84" x 12.5"||$999|