Panda London is a relatively new name in the mattress world and there’s good reason behind its cute name. The most obvious one is that its mattresses use bamboo, both in the foam and as a fabric to top the mattress. Now bamboo might not be the first fabric that comes to mind when thinking of soft, luxury finishes for the best mattresses but as it turns out, it’s rather good. It’s also very eco-friendly, which is something that Panda London is all about.
The firm offers a range of products on its website, from mattress toppers, duvets and pillows to bedding, towels and rugs – all incorporating bamboo fabric. There’s just one mattress on offer here: the Hybrid Bamboo, but it comes in a wide range of sizes. You can have it in five UK sizes, from single to super king, as well as European sizes (which are slightly longer) and even Emperor (which is the same size as a US super king).
Panda London’s eco-friendly luxury doesn’t come cheap but the prices are still comparable with higher-end models that make it a viable option for those who are sustainability conscious. I’ve spent the last month testing out the mattress to see how it compares to other hybrid models and if it’s worth the investment.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Design
All sizes of the Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress are 27cm deep – or 10.6 inches – which is deeper than the standard 25cm in the UK and only beaten by a few luxury 28cm ones, like the Simba Hybrid Pro. US mattresses tend to go deeper still but in UK terms the 27cm you get here is more than enough for most beds, giving you plenty of height over your base.
This mattress is made up of six main layers. The top layer, and the bit you’re actually sleeping on, is the bamboo cover. This is thick and extremely soft with a patterned texture that you can feel through your bed sheets. If I didn’t know this was made from bamboo, I would never have guessed. This cover also has a zip, which means you can easily remove it for cleaning if needed.
Beneath the cover is a layer of biocell foam that is infused with bamboo. This is designed to be breathable and odour resistant. Then there’s the high density, orthopaedic grade, OrthoAlign Foam, which gives firmer support to the mattress. Under that are the springs, divided into seven zones and designed to reduce motion transfer. Under the springs is a layer of memory foam that forms what Panda London describes as the comfort base and on the bottom is the anti-slip base made of fabric to stop the mattress from sliding around – for those beds without supportive sides.
Despite the springs, this all comes vacuum-packed and rolled in a box, making it easy to deliver and set into place. While heavy, it’s possible to remove it from the box, place it on the bed and remove the packing so that it expands with just one person – though the instructions suggest two is better.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Comfort
The Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress is rated as a seven in the firmness scale, or medium-firm. When you first lie on it, it does feel on the firmer side. Perhaps more so than others I’ve tried – especially compared to foam mattresses. However, as the bed moulds around you it’s clear that the firmness is not restricting. In fact, unless you like your beds super soft, the added support here is actually far comfier to sleep on than slightly less firm varieties.
Even for a side sleeper like me, this bed has enough give to allow for my shoulder and hip, while not letting me sink too far in. Those that sleep on their back or front will also like that it keeps you pretty flat, aside from any real pressure points.
One big gripe I have with foam mattresses is a lack of edge support. Sleeping near the edge of the bed I often feel I’m going to roll out on foam mattresses. The same is even true on some hybrids. On the Hybrid Bamboo though, there’s a much firmer edge that supports you, even if you’re practically hanging from it.
Then there’s the motion transfer. Hybrids tend to do better at controlling movement from one side to the other, and here is no exception. You can stand on one side of the bed and have absolutely no effect on the other. Certainly a major benefit if you share the bed with someone that goes to bed later or gets up earlier than you.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Price
The full list price on the Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress starts from for a £950 single mattress, £1290 for a double, £1390 for a king and up to £1750 for the emperor size. However, current discounts bring these prices down to £665 for a single, £903 for a double, £973 for a king and £1225 for the emperor.
Even with the discounts, it’s not a cheap purchase but it does sit close to other premium models. A king-size Simba Hybrid, for instance, lists for £1649 but is currently selling for £906.
Part of what you are paying for with the Panda London mattress, besides the operating costs of a smaller, UK-based company and the premium materials, is the more environmentally friendly approach. On the website you can see, not only the ethical manufacturing process and material sourcing but the use of packaging, low-emission delivery and free recycling for old mattresses.
You expect to pay a little more when this much detail is given to environmental impact, and when that difference is less than 7% of the total cost, it’s not a deal breaker.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Delivery and warranty
When it comes to delivery, Panda London offers a white glove delivery service to a room of your choice, so you don’t actually need to lift a finger. I was in the process of moving when mine arrived though, so I unpacked it myself. If you wish, the delivery team can also take away your old mattress to be recycled, free of charge. If you’ve ever had to dispose of a mattress yourself, you’ll know how handy that is. And delivery times (at time of writing) are from about two weeks.
Then, once you’ve got your new mattress, you have a 100-night trial. Importantly, there’s also no cost to return it if you decide you don’t like it within that time. There’s also a 10-year guarantee with each mattress that it will retain the same level of support over that period – so long as you register the mattress within the first 12 months.
There are companies that offer longer trials on their mattresses, but I feel even after a month, you’ll know if this mattress is right for you anyway. Having all the delivery and recycling options for free is a big bonus though, as some charge extra for this.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Verdict
The Panda London Bamboo Hybrid is not just a mattress with a conscience, it’s an extremely well-made, and comfortable luxury mattress that provides you with the reassurance that it has been ethically created.
The only room for criticism here would be that there isn’t a softer option available for those that prefer to sink into their mattress. As long as you want a mattress that supports you, this is a great option.
It’s not the cheapest option on the market, nor is it the most expensive, but for what it costs, it delivers a great product that you will be pleased with for many years to come.
Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress review: Also consider
A natural competitor to the Panda London Hybrid Bamboo mattress is the Simba Hybrid Pro, our current top choice of mattress. Prices are comparable here, depending on the size you choose, and the current level of discount on offer, though list prices are slightly higher. One disadvantage of the Simba is that the cover is not removable.
If you are looking for something a little cheaper, the Otty Hybrid Bamboo and Charcoal mattress is a good option. As the name suggests, this also infuses bamboo into the memory foam and cover, as well as charcoal. However, the mattress isn’t quite as deep and doesn’t offer the same degree of edge support as the Panda London.