Like a house, a mattress is only as good as the foundation it's built on.
But since the portion you’re sleeping on is up top, a good “roof” is also vital. And all that stuff in the middle? Yeah, you’re gonna want that up to snuff as well.
Constructed with care from the bottom-up, top-down and everywhere in between, each mattress that Helix Sleep produces is customized from three distinct layers that can be rearranged and modified to accommodate each sleeper's unique preferences and predilections.
The layers of a Helix are as follows: Dynamic Foam (a blend of memory foam and latex) on top, High-Grade Polyfoam (foam that provides firmness and comfort) on the bottom and middle, and Pocketed Microcoils (coils that distribute weight and pressure) also in the middle.
To determine how much of each you need (and whether to rearrange their order), Helix makes every customer fill out a brief survey that inquires about sleep positions, firmness preferences and how hot you get at night. If you don’t have an answer, Helix will suggest what most people prefer.
"The layering system is at the core of the way that we personalize each mattress,” Helix co-founder Adam Tishman tells us. “Depending on your quiz results, we change the density and order of the layers within the mattress to achieve the right feel, support, temperature regulation, and point elasticity (pressure relief)."
Once the mattress is done, it’s shipped to your doorstep in about a week. Then the fun starts.
The Helix arrives coiled up in a box that is best handled by two people (though it can be negotiated by one in a pinch). Opening it up is pretty straightforward, and all instructions sit right on top. Basically it comes down to unwrapping, unrolling, waiting and then getting ready for bed.
The biggest difference between a Helix mattress and others that your humble correspondent has tried is that it's responsive: soft to the touch, it will push back in the areas where you need support and give in at the spots you need less.
After a few nights, it felt good. After coming back to it following 10 days on the road sleeping in hotels, hostels and the middle seat of airplanes, it felt great. Given that Helix believes “one size fits one,” that’s just how it was supposed to feel.
"Helix is different from the other direct-to-consumer mattress brands in our belief that no single type of bed can possibly be the best, or even work for every type of consumer,” Tishman says. “Fundamentally, someone who is 6'4", weighs 225 lbs and sleeps on his back needs a different mattress than someone who is 5'9", weighs 160 lbs and sleeps on his side."
Starting at $600, Helix mattresses cost about a third of what you'd pay elsewhere, ship for free and include a 100-night guarantee that allows you to return ‘em for a full refund, no questions asked.
Don’t let the big-box store bugs bite.