The Brook + Wilde Ultima is the latest range-topping mattress from the premium British sleep brand. It launched in December 2020 and sports a completely new design from the others in the range, with 10 layers engineered to deliver the ultimate cool, comfortable, luxurious sleep surface. One of Brook + Wilde's USPs it that it lets you pick your firmness preference – so each model is available in soft, medium or firm variants (we tested the firm version).
The Ultima is the fanciest, and priciest (by far), of three mattresses from the brand. Below it is the Brook + Wilde Elite with eight layers, followed by the popular Brook + Wilde Lux mattress with five. While the price tag might make you eyes water, there are regular Brook + Wilde mattress deals that knock not-insignificant amounts of money off – right now, enter the code T345 for 45% off.
We tested this top-end model out to see how it matches up against the rest of the entries in our best mattress ranking – do those 10 layers really add up to the ultimate night's sleep? Read on for our full Brook + Wilde Ultima review.
Brook + Wilde Ultima review: design
Brook + Wilde Ultima: specs
Firmness: choose soft, medium, firm
Sizes: double, king or super king
Material: foam and springs
Needs flipping? No
Delivery: Free (inc set-up)
Trial: 100 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
First up, let's take a quick look at that complicated design. While the other Brook + Wilde mattresses are also impressively multi-layered, the Ultima has a completely different design, with a specific focus on cooling.
So what will you find in those 10 layers? At the top, there's a temperature-regulating cover that can be removed and washed at 30C. Beneath this, a layer of woven fabric provides a buffer to reduce friction between the cover and the next layer.
At this point we move into the foams. The top layer of 'Aurora' memory foam has zoned perforations to encourage airflow to the sleep surface, Next, another layer of open cell foam is also designed to cool the body.
There's a brief interlude for some springs (2,000 2cm pocket springs, to be precise) before we return to foamland again. Layer 6's foam is the bit that changes the firmness of the mattress depending on which comfort level you've chosen. Beneath that there another layer of... we're not quite sure what, but probably also foam, this time designed to draw air into the core of the mattress to keep the air moving.
We're at layer 8 (hang in there guys) and it's time for more springs – a double layer of 2,000 larger pocket springs brings support and overall durability. Finally a layer of high-density Ecotex support foam provides a stable base, and there's a non-slip layer to keep your mattress in place on your bed frame. Phew – it's a lot, isn't it?
Looks-wise, it's undeniably stylish, with smart white textured top cover that fits snugly, navy base and a silver border. The robust feeling handles feature an embroidered B+W monogram, and the whole look is certainly more premium than the Elite. In fact, it's almost a shame to cover it all up with a sheet.
Brook + Wilde Ultima review: comfort and cooling
It's difficult, when lying on the mattress, to fully appreciate all those layers. That said, we have absolutely no complaints about the comfort levels on offer here. For the Firm, there's very little give in the sleep surface – we'd say it's a 9 out of 10 for firmness. Having tested both the Elite Firm and the Ultima Firm, we found the Ultima noticeably firmer than the Elite, although an 'Extra Firm' option has been sporadically available on the B+W site, so it could be that the ratings have shifted.
We'd probably recommend the Firm more to those who like to sleep on their back, as it can cause slightly achy shoulders if you lie on your side – although it's all up to personal preference really, and of course there's also medium or soft versions available. (Remember too, if you pick the wrong firmness level, Brook + Wilde will swap it out for a different one during the 100 night trial period.)
The top surface is pleasantly cushioned, and the overall feel is nice and buoyant. It has more of a feel of a pocket-sprung mattress than a memory foam one – you definitely sleep 'on' rather than 'in' it, and the top surface doesn't really mould to your form at all.
Like the Elite, this mattress includes zoned foam that directs extra support to the areas that need it most – the neck, shoulders, hips and legs. You can't feel a variation in the firmness on the mattress surface, but the Ultima feels like it provides the right amount of support all over, from edge to edge.
The Ultima is designed to channel the air through the mattress for a sleep that's 2C cooler than the Elite. The science seems solid – Brook + Wilde has run tests recording the temperature of each mattress after someone had lain on it for 10 minutes. Having slept on both the Elite and the Ultima, we were perfectly happy with the temperature regulation on both.
Our main complaint here – and it's one that could be levelled at any number of new top-end mattresses – is that it feels a bit like at this point, brands are just adding layers for the sake of it, and at least some of them could surely be removed without having any real effect on what the sleeper feels.
The knock on effect of so many layers is that these mattresses are not only very thick (28cm – you'll need a deep sheet) and also weigh an absolute ton. While the delivery team will wrangle the Ultima into place initially for you, shifting it around to get the sheets tucked in is a bit of an ordeal, and best of luck to you if you ever have to move it to a new room.
Brook + Wilde Ultima review: delivery and small print
Like all of Brook + Wilde's mattresses, the Ultima is made to order, which means you'll need to wait 2-3 weeks for delivery. The brand offers a free premium delivery service, which essentially means that 'expert couriers' will bring the vacuum packed, rolled and boxed mattress and set it up in a room of your choice (be thankful for this, it's extremely heavy), then take away the packaging for you.
The website also promises a "small luxury gift, such as a scented candle, to thank customers again for their support for the brand". We didn't receive such a gift, but then it was a review model, so that's probably fair enough.
In line with the market standard, you have a 100 night trial to test the Ultima out. During this time if you don't get on with it, Brook + Wilde will switch to a different firmness level or a different mattress for free, or refund you completely. There is also an old mattress recycling option, which costs £25. Finally, there's a 10-year guarantee, which is again in line with what most brands offer.
- Check out two more luxury hybrids: Simba Hybrid Pro vs Eve Premium Hybrid
Brook + Wilde Ultima mattress: price and alternatives
The Ultima has an RRP of £1,799 for a Double, £2,099 for a King and £2,499 for a Super King. There's no Single option. That puts it above other top-end hybrids at full price. 2021's Simba Hybrid Luxe is in almost the same ballpark, but still quite a bit cheaper at £1,599 for a double (we think this mattress offers a similar build quality and sleep feel – although at 31cm deep it's absolutely mammoth – so it's also worth checking out).
The model down, the Elite, is £1,199 for a double (we've crunched the numbers and that's 46.7% less). Also in the 'luxury' sphere but again cheaper are the Simba Hybrid Pro and Eve Premium Hybrid, which cost £1,119 and £978 respectively for a Double.
However, this is all slightly moot because, as you'll know if you've been shopping for a mattress for any amount of time, bed brands flipping love a sale, and you'd be very unlucky to pay full sticker price for any of these we've just mentioned. Head to our Brook + Wilde mattress deals page for the best current offer, or check out the best cheap mattress deals in general to see what other brands are offering.
Brook + Wilde Ultima review: verdict
There's no doubt about it, the Brook + Wilde Ultima is an outstanding mattress. It's reassuringly supportive, the cooling properties work a treat, and it's stylish and high quality. The option to choose (and swap) your firmness level is a genius move that we're always impressed by. The British-designed name is often overshadowed by the likes of Eve and Simba, but is absolutely part of that top tier of mattress brands in our eyes.
Where the Ultima falls down a little is in that price tag. Because even though we have absolutely no complaints with the quality or comfort on offer here, we also got on really well with the Elite, and that's almost half the price. The look of the Ultima is more stylish, and it does (perhaps?) sleep slightly cooler. Want the best of the best, and got cash to splash (or found a good deal to take the price down)? Go for the Ultima. But for most people, we'd say the Elite offers better bang for your buck.