Simba Mattress Review

Disclaimer: This is my personal honest review of my Simba Mattress. I bought this mattress direct from the Simba website and it was not supplied to me free or discounted, I paid the full price. Please note that the links back to the Simba website are affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you buy via my link (you pay no extra). This is no way affects my objectivity. Just making this clear!

The Company

The Simba mattress is sold by simbasleep. They very unusually do not disclose details of the actual website registrant via the public whois database. The company was co-founded by James Cox and Andrew McClements in 2015, and started selling in 2016. They are based in London. It is Andrew McClements family who have been in the mattress industry since 1979 and this is why the website talks about their many years of past mattress history. The mattress is manufactured in Derby, UK. Simba is named after the pet name for James Cox partner.

The Headlines:

bed-in-a-box, 100 night trial. Free pickup if you don’t want to keep it. Certipur certified for the polyfoam layers, 10 year warranty. Hybrid mattress using conical springs and foam (including synthetic latex).

Regional Differences

At the time of this article only one version of the Simba mattress is being sold.

The Mattress

Simba truly is something different, compared to the majority of online companies who use all poly foam layers, Simba brings more to the table. Number one is the use of tiny micro pocket springs. Be under no illusion though when you read 2500 conical pocket springs, these are small micro springs and 2500 is the number in a King size mattress. Conical refers to their cone like or tapered shape which gives them a consistent spring throughout the range of movement.
Now having slept for some time on a Simba mattress I can say it does lend the mattress a somewhat spring like feel, but how much of that is down to these thin springs is hard to say. Given their size its best to think of the spring layer as a mesh type layer of small individually moving springs. The mattress has a 100% polyester cover, a synthetic latex top comfort layer, next layer is the micro springs, next is the memory foam layer and then the solid base layer.
The norm with many online mattress companies is little to no information as to the technical aspects of each layer in terms of density and ILD (as is the case with Casper). Kudos to Simba for openingly stating the technical specs on the website and which I quote below.

Simba mattress
Simba Mattress - EU Single

Cover:

This is 100% polyester, thin and stretchy. Simba say this has been made in such a way as to make it breathable. Not sure what they mean by that (it is a phrase used by most mattress companies) but its thin and stretchy nature will make it cooling friendly. Breathable is normally a term used to mean the material is highly wicking. That is to say it lets air in and sweat out via evaporation. It will allow air to circulate to the layer beneath. The colour is ubiquitous white or off white top cover with grey or black sides. Personally I really do not like the colour combination but really it means nothing, the bed will be covered. Branding is via the label attached to the side saying Simba in blue letters. The sides of the cover have a nice textured feel, this is a quite unusual feature that I have not seen before and is pleasing on the eye. The Simba mattress does not have any handles. The top section of the cover can be unzipped and machine washed at 40 degrees. The grey base fabric can be cleaned with a soft, damp and clean cloth using small circular motions. The cover is an all in one piece that unzips from below making removal awkward. The cover is a one piece cover which unzips from the bottom making removal awkward.

Top Layer:

4 cm (1.6 inches) Synthetic Latex (Simbatex). Density: 60 kg/m3 (3.7 pcf)
The top and first comfort layer is something that Simba call Simbatex. The reality is it is 100% synthetic latex with some added soybean oil and a natural balm to aid cooling. This is the lower end of densities for a latex mattress which can go as high as 90 kg/m3. However this is quite normal for synthetic latex which has a lower density than natural latex. It also makes it quite soft, ideal for a top comfort layer. it is important to understand the difference between a natural latex and a synthetic latex (Simbatex). As mentioned the densities are lower but it also has a duller, less bouncy or springy feel than natural latex. Although quite different from memory foam, especially in terms of sleeping cool and responsiveness it does have that sticky feel to the touch in memory foam fashion. Synthetic latex is normally derived from Styrene Butadiene Rubber and isn’t quite as good in terms of being hypoallergenic and non-heat retaining. However it is still a premium product especially when compared to a normal polyfoam. Synthetic latex can also be used by people normally allergic to natural latex. Simbatex is a good choice for those looking to sleep cool, especially when compared to memory foam.

Second Layer:

2500 micro conical pocket springs (in a King size), 2cm deep (0.8 inches)
The second layer is the USP of the Simba mattress, the conical pocket springs are encased in 2cm of foam around their edges. This boxing is called encapsulating and is done to help improve edge support. The downside of springs is how poor they are for edge support leading to the falling off the edge feel when laying near the edge. Foam is used instead which improves this. The springs start from 14 cm in at the ends and 9 cm in from the sides. Despite being encapsulated the edge support is still not great compared to other online rivals and is in line with the fact that this is overall a softish mattress (relatively to the ones I have tried). In the details on the Simba website it mentions how the springs move horizontally & vertically, however it should be noted that while true all pocket springs will move in this fashion to a certain extent. The big thing about the micro pocket springs is that they are conical. This means they have a cone like shape with the thinnest end facing up. The advantage to conical springs or tapered springs is that they can collapse to the height of the actual wire itself as each section collapses inside of the one below. So conical springs collapse further than non-conical. This is a big advantage when the springs are this small. The conical micro pocket springs used in Simba have only a slight taper, just enough to allow it to fully collapse. Note that micro pocket springs are used for comfort, not support. They will collapse fully with only slight pressure, this is how they are designed to work. They add some spring and long term durability to the comfort layers above. However while you certainly get a spring like sensation laying on the Simba mattress I have to say the mattress does not have a lot of bounce overall.

Third Layer:

3 cm (1.1 inches) Memory Foam. Density: 55 kg/m3 (3.4 pcf)
The third comfort layer and partly a support layer is the Visco memory foam layer. According to the website this is a Certipur certified foam. While this is how it is described on the website it is worth noting that this is normal memory foam, all memory foam is Visco elastic foam. So this layer has a low response time but high molding properties in line with properties of a memory foam. Density is 50 kg/m3 (3 pcf) which is the standard for this type of layer and range of mattresses. Density for memory foam can be as high as 85+ kg/m3 (5.3 pcf) in a mattress. The firmness is given as 60N, that is 60 newtons (the amount of force required to compress it to 40% of its original height). This gives it a softer feel with firmer memory foam being 70+ newtons. Placing memory foam lower down the layers means the heat is less of an issue and the amount of conforming is less than if it was on the top layer and retainer your body heat. using memory foam this way also adds some dullness to the overall feel of a mattress.

Base Layer:

UK: 16 cm (6.3 inches) polyurethane foam. Density: 33 kg/m3 (3 pcf)
Base layers dont really change much with this type of mattress and again with have the typical 33 kg/m3 (2 pcf) base layer. According to the website this is a Certipur certified foam. Low density but very firm at 140N (newtons). However Simba have zoned their base layer which is great and means there is more give at the hip and shoulder area. They call it 7 zones but only four zones have cuts and they then include the 3 areas with no cuts. Additionally they have cut grooves into the top portion of the layer across its entire length which will help with airflow and hygiene. Cutting channels in this way is called castellated.

Total Height:

10 inches (25 cm)
Simba Mattress layers
Weights of the mattresses as provided by Simba: The containing box will weigh about 2kg.

Mattress weights:

  • Single  24kg
  • EU Single 24kg
  • Double  34kg
  • EU Double  36kg
  • King  38kg
  • EU King  41kg
  • Super king  45kg
These are the weights as given by the Simba website, however there is clearly an issue here since the EU and UK single are shown as the same weight. This cannot be the case since the EU single is 5% bigger than the UK single. Weighing my own Simba EU single with cover has it at 20kg. This would equate to the following weights.
UK single 19.5 kg
EU single 20.5 kg
UK double 29 kg
EU double 32 kg
UK king 34 kg
EU king 36.5 kg
UK super king 41 kg

Simba Mattress Overview

I found the online chat facility quite helpful. Companies are often reluctant to reveal too much technical detail and fall back to marketing speech such as “it will feel like sleeping on a cloud” when pushed. Simba chat team were open and helpful and worked hard to find information they did not have on hand. Their technical knowledge wasn’t that great (verging on poor) but they did try to get the information and get back to me. I was reasonably happy with the online chat but I have learned not to rely on information gleamed from chat from these mattress websites and to double check everything. The Simba Mattress offers above average materials, innovation and good design attributes. Its use of Latex for the top layer is great to see but you should note this is synthetic latex which is less preferable than natural latex. While this is 100% synthetic latex it still offers benefits over high elasticity polyurethane foam. This includes better longevity, better for cooling and better for allergies. The micro conical pocket springs is the unique selling point here and makes the mattress standout from the normal poly foam only offerings. Use of springs with foam makes this a hybrid mattress but it not the only online company offering this. The springs are 2 cm high pocket springs so they move individually. How much difference do such small springs make? Its hard to say, you can’t actually feel the springs even laying on the mattress or indeed pinching the layers together. But the mattress itself does have a spring like feel in a subtle way, it is by no means bouncy. The third layer is the memory foam layer memory foam and the bottom layer is the standard base. However Simba have added zoning in the bottom layer to improve spinal alignment and give at the shoulder area which is really important for side sleepers. The polyfoam layers are said to be CertiPur certified which means they are certified to be low in volatile organic compounds which is also known as off gassing and gives a mattress that chemical smell.  The latex layer however is not certified and being synthetic will have a smell for a a few days before it dissipates.

Tests and Analysis:

Edge support:

Edge support is a little behind other foam mattresses I have tried. There is some considerable dip but enough to allow you to sit on the edge and say put your shoes on.

Score: 7.5/10

Firmness (sinkage):

This tells us the main feel of the mattress and perhaps the single most important factor for determining your personal preference in feel. Simba is definitely one of the softer feeling mattresses for one described as suitable for all sleepers (of the ones I have tried). It is in line with HÜGGE however which are two of the softer mattresses I have tried. Surprisingly soft given the use of latex and pocket springs to that one might expect. However remember this is synthetic latex with different properties to natural latex and the springs are 2 cm micro springs. The softness of Simba and HÜGGE makes them what I describe as more comfortable mattresses but with a trade-off in support. Note that while I prefer a supportive mattress for my lower back this requires a trade-off between comfort and firmness. Simba is still firmer than the Emma Hybrid and just behind Leesa in firmness.

Firmness 6.5/10

Cooling:

Simbatex being synthetic latex has less heat retention than poly foam. The top cover is also thin to allow for air flow. Some latex have holes in the layer as part of the manufacturing process which further aids cooling but Simbatex does not have this, again as it is synthetic. Simba is a good option compared to polyurethane foam or memory foam if heat retention is an issue for you.

Score: 8.5/10

Spot Relief (point elasticity):

This is the amount of foam outside the area of contact that is affected by the area being depressed. Less area of affect is better for actual body contouring. Very high density memory foam for instance is used in orthopedic mattresses because there is little area of affect outside the points of contact. Simba is good as you would expect for a foam mattress but behind most of the other mattresses I have tested apart from Leesa and Emma Hybrid. This is an effect of being on the soft side which by its nature means more foam is giving for the same amount of pressure. So by no means bad but not the best option if this is a primary concern.

Score: 7.5/10 for spot relief

Mattress for Sex/Bounce:

Of course this is highly subjective and will vary according to your requirements. In general a good mattress for sex will have good bounce while still having some conforming properties. You don’t want a trampoline (assumed) nor do you want a concrete floor. Simba does not have a lot of bounce, neither for the top layer or the mattress as a whole. It has some bounce but not a lot in comparison to others and is on a par with Leesa and Emma Original and ahead of HÜGGE but behind all the other mattresses I have tested so far.

Score: 7/10

Weight Capacity:

18 stone (114 kg). This is just a guide. This about the weight they think the mattress loses its supportive properties.

Motion Transference:

The flip side of the bounce score is that low bounce lends itself to low motion transference. I also test this in combination with a vibration recording dropping a weight at one end of the mattress and recording how vibration make sit to the other end. The Simba mattress is excellent for low motion transfer, one of the best I have tested and only just behind the 7.5 cm memory foam on HÜGGE.

Score: 8.5/10

Type of Sleepers this mattress suits:

The Simba is a good option for anyone with shoulder issues due to its softer than average feel and molding properties. However this also makes it not a great option for stomach sleepers where too much sag in the middle can lead to lower back ache and stiffness. Again a good choice for medium to light back sleepers who like a softer but still supportive feel.

Back sleepers 8/10 Side sleepers 8.5/10 Stomach sleepers 6/10

Price:

This is tough to compare because most companies have permanent money off offers. I have to go by the advertised list price with no discount. Here Simba is a little pricier than some alternatives but then it is also a more premium mattress. As price is so closely tied to the quality of materials it is a little unfair to score on price because some companies are more open about what they use than others. For this reason I simply give the average price from its mattress offerings and where it ranks compared to the other mattresses I have reviewed.

Average price: £670, rank: 8th of 9

Materials and Design:

Use of latex is a big plus albeit of lowest density for this type of mattress and fully synthetic. However this is a nice setup from polyfoam as often used on the top layer. The use of pocket springs again albeit micro springs is a plus. The memory foam and base layers are a standard 50 kg/m3 (3 pcf) and 33 kg/m3 (2 pcf) respectively. However the polyurethane layers (3rd and 4th) are CertiPur certified. Above average for materials.

Score: 8/10

Off-gassing/Smell:

There is a strong chemical smell from the top synthetic latex layer when you first expand the mattress. This is normal for synthetic latex. Although strong it does disipate in a few days.

Score: 7.5/10

Comfort:

I can only tell you how I found the mattress as a 65% back 35% side sleeper and at 13 stone (82 kg, 182 lbs). I found it comfortable, supportive and on the softer side. If you are lighter than me it will feel firmer, if you are heavier it will feel softer. You can also change the feel with a firmer base, I use sprung slates which gives some added bounce. I can recommend this mattress if this is the feel you are after.

Zoning:

There are 7 zones which Simba call seventh heaven. They have cut groves through the base layer in four sections of the mattress which will match with your hips and shoulders and provides a little more give at these sections. Not all mattresses come with zoning which helps to tailor the mattress a little more to the human body. This is a good thing!

Summary:

Itemout of 10
Edge Support7.5
Firmness6.5 (soft)
Cooling8.5
Spot Relief7.5
Sex/Bounce7
Motion Transference8.5
Back Sleepers8
Side Sleepers8.5
Stomach  Sleepers6
PriceAverage: £670, rank: 8th of 9.
Materials8
Smell/off-gassing7.5
Zoning:Yes, 7 zones in base layer

Full Retail Prices:

TypePrice
Single£449
EU Single£499
Double£649
EU Double£699
King£749
EU King£799
Super King£849

General Mattress Notes:

Buy in the High Street:

Several companies that started as online only have branched out at the very least to have the mattress in stores where you can give them a try. Simba are not online only and have a deal with John Lewis where you can go to try before you buy. Indeed you can also buy direct with John Lewis in-store as well as AIS independent retailers and furniture Village. You can also buy via Amazon, Ocado and Argos.

Base

These type of mattresses come with their own incorporated base, that solid low density layer on the bottom. This means you can place it just about anywhere however on the floor is a bad idea for hygiene reasons. Slated bases should be have their slates close together, too big a gap with allow the mattress to sag over time. Simba actually sell their own bed base which is a sprung slate base.

Website:

They say: We created our mattress after extensively testing it with The Sleep to Live Institute whose research is based on profiling more than 10 million people and 180 million body profile data points. Sleep to live is an organisation that has a huge database of peoples preferences in regards to sleeping patterns and preferences. Simba paid for access to the database and referenced it in terms of the mattresses feel so it suited as many people as possible recorded in that database. They say: our loyal customers include elite athletes, such as Gareth Bale, who need quality sleep to perform I don’t know if Gareth Bale actually uses a Simba mattress but his involvement seems to be as an investor and ambassador of the plane seats they are designing called the air-hybrid.

Simba vs Bruno

Simba is one of the softer and least bouncy mattresses I have tried, Bruno one of the firmer and bounciest. They are opposite ends of the scale for feel. This is surprising given they both have a latex top layer. Bruno however has a natural latex top layer while Simba is fully synthetic.

Simba vs Casper

Two very different mattresses. Simba has some notable design elements such as the top synthetic latex comfort layer, use of microcoils and certiPur foam. Casper is a standard polyurethane/memory foam hybrid mattress. They both are softer feeling mattresses. Casper also has a tad more bounce and would be a slightly better option for a mattress for sex. Simba on paper offers a little more longevity because of the latex and pocket springs.

Simba vs Emma Original

Simba is softer than Emma Original and the latex top layer promises to sleep cooler. Both are great for motion transfer. Emma has a little more bounce and better spot relief. Simba has micro pocket springs which aid longevity in the mattress. Emma has received top scores for durability from Which magazine.

Simba vs Eve

Very different mattresses. Eve polyurethane on top, Simba synthetic Latex on top. Eve quite firm, Simba quite soft. Both have zoning while Simba has a layer of micro pocket springs. Simba costs more. Eve better spot relief and edge support.

Simba vs Leesa

Leesa is an all polyurethane foam/memory foam mattress. Simba is a true hybrid combining mini pocket springs, memory foam and latex. Both have a soft feel but Simba is definitely softer than Leesa. Simba is not the best for most stomach sleepers due to its softness in my opinion, Leesa would be preferred. Simba is a better option for side sleepers who have shoulder pain issues due to the extra softness and zoning. Latex and springs makes Simba potentially better for cooling. Simba advertised prices are higher. Leesa has more bounce than Simba.

Simba vs Leesa Luxury Hybrid

Sapira is firmer with full size pocket springs. Simba is softer with micro pocket springs. Simba has a synthetic Latex top layer while Sapira uses polyurethane foam on top. Sapira has better edge support, similar point elasticity, more bounce and both CertiPUR and Oeko-tex certification. Simba has slightly better motion transfer and certiPUR certification.

Simba vs Nectar

Both Nectar and Simba are soft mattresses. Nectar slightly softer than Simba. Simba uses synthetic latex for the top layer and micro pocket springs below that so may be better for cooling. Nectar has 9 cm of memory foam as its comfort layers offering better pressure relief. Nectar is better for motion transfer by a tad and has better point elasticity. Simba has a little more bounce.

Simba vs Otty

Both use springs but Otty has full size pocket springs (14 cm) to give support and add bounce. Simba has 2 cm micro coils for better comfort so the springs are very different in each of them. Simba has a latex top layer (Simbatex) so offers cooler sleeping and better hypoallergenic properties. Otty is much firmer than Simba and cheaper. Simba has zoning and is more shoulder friendly. All the foam details are known with Simba so we know it is of high spec, Otty is unknown.

Simba vs Una

The only thing Simba have in common is the fact that Simba uses latex for its top layer. However note that while Una is totally made from natural latex in terms of its foam, Simbatex is entirely a synthetic latex made from petrochemicals. In terms of firmness they have a similar amount of sinkage when Una has the soft layer in the middle.