Given how much of your life you spend in bed, and the importance of sleep to mental and physical health, it makes sense to spend as much on a mattress as you can. But once you start moving up in price, what will you get in return?
Well, you'd expect higher quality materials and a more luxurious feel. But some of the best mattresses go beyond that, and offer innovative approaches to design that combine both foam and springs in clever ways, to maximise the benefits of both.
This is exactly what Sealy promises with the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco and its other mattresses that feature its proprietary 'Posturepedic' system. This is based on springs that are squared off at the top and bottom, and connected via a coil that runs the whole length of the mattress. Consequently, each spring is able to move in a way that moulds to your body.
Sounds nice, right? I thought so too, particularly as I suffer from back problems. So I decided to test out the latest in the range, the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco. Read on to find out how I got on.
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: Unboxing
The Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress arrived enveloped in robust plastic packaging, which I needed a strong pair of scissors to open. This only took a moment, though, and then the mattress was ready to use.
This was a welcome diversion from the usual routine with bed in a box mattresses, which are all or mostly foam. That means they typically come with an unpleasant smell, which can take a while to dissipate, plus the mattress can take up to 24 hours to reinflate. The Elevate Ultra Antuco, in contrast, was smell-free and ready to go.
Even though I opted for the smallest mattress in the range (a single), it still weighed a meaty 24kg. A double, meanwhile, weighs 35kg, a king 41kg and a super king 49kg. On one hand, that's a sign of quality construction and durability, but it does mean that these mattresses are pretty hefty things to drag around. On the plus side, they come with four vertical handles, which makes doing so a lot easier.
Also, you don't need to flip the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress. Sealy does, however, recommend you rotate it from head to toe, weekly, for the first three months, then just once a month after that (see how often you should flip/rotate your mattress for more details).
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: Design
The Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress is a generous 34cm (13 inches) deep, and is made up of seven layers in total.
On most hybrid mattresses, the bottom layer is usually the least interesting; often, it's merely a big slab of base foam. On the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco, though, this is where the magic happens: a coil spring base created using Sealy's patented system. These steel springs have been twice-tempered, making them extra-responsive and supportive. Note that they form an entire unit, so Sealy doesn't offer a number for individual springs like other mattress manufacturers do.
Above the base layer are a combination of different layers, some made from memory foam and some with other types of foam, to provide zoned support for your body.
Finally, the mattress is encased in SmarTex Plus fabric: a special blend of fibres designed to regulate temperature by wicking away heat and moisture. This material also incorporates Sealy's ProShield technology, which helps protect you from allergens, and is endorsed by Allergy UK.
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: Comfort & support
This all sounds very impressive in theory, but what's the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco actually like to sleep on in practice?
I'll be honest: I was worried about sleeping on a mattress that feels soft to the touch and is described as a medium. I have longstanding back problems, and generally prefer a firm mattress; the firmer, the better in fact.
However, the moment I lay down on the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco, my fears began to dissipate. I've reviewed a lot of mattresses, but this was unlike any I'd experienced before. You get the lovely sensation of 'sinking in' to what feels like a soft mattress, but at the same time, you realise your body is being well supported.
It's like a magic trick, and I can't quite work out how Sealy has done it. But there's clearly something about this specific combination of multi-layered foams and tempered steel coils that really worked for.
Over time, the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco has continued to be both comfortable and supportive, and I've had no problems with overheating at night either. The only real issue I have is feeling less inclined to leave my bed in the morning. I really like this bed!
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: Pricing
The Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress is sold exclusively at Dreams in the UK. At time of writing, a single (2'11 x 6'3) costs £1,899, a double (4'5 x 6'3) costs £2,399, a king (4'11 x 6'7) costs £2,699 and a super king (5'11 x 6'7) costs £3,099.
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: The small print
Dreams can deliver to most postcodes in mainland England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Wight and the Highlands and Islands. However, they cannot deliver to Guernsey, Outer Hebrides, Isle of Man, Jersey, Orkney Islands, Scilly Isles or Shetland Islands.
Delivery is free and straight to your room of choice, between 7am and 6pm from Monday-Saturday. Mattresses are usually delivered within seven to 10 working days, and you'll get sent an email and text message on the day of delivery to within a two-hour time slot. For £29, you can specify a morning delivery or afternoon delivery (noon-6pm) on weekdays. For a small fee, Dreams will pick up your old bed or mattress directly from your home when they deliver your new one.
Dreams offers a 100 night sleep guarantee with all its mattresses. [Note: this was just 40 nights when I initially wrote this review, but has since been upgraded, which is great news for buyers.] This means that if you're unhappy with your mattress, they'll exchange it for another mattress of the same size.
Note, though, that there is a collection and re-delivery charge of £49, and you need to have used a mattress protector to qualify for the guarantee.
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: Verdict
I love the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress. It's very well constructed, and while it's on the heavy side, that just points to the fact it's made with premium, durable materials. Admittedly, if you weigh 20 stones or above, and/or sleep on your stomach, then you'll probably want something firmer. Otherwise, though, it's my experience that it offers a brilliant balance of comfort and support, without needing to compromise on either.
If there's one small niggle with this mattress, it's that while the 100-night trial period is generous, the £49 fee if you wish to return it may stick in the craw.
Most people's main concern, however, will be the overall price of this mattress. This is a very expensive mattress compared to the average mass-market model, and some people just won't be able to afford it. If you can, though, I'd urge you to consider it because it really does offer a great sleep experience.
Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress review: alternatives to consider
If you're looking for more affordable alternatives, then consider the Simba Hybrid Pro mattress, which features a sophisticated hybrid design and the combination of a soft top layer with underlying support. Or, if you'd rather pick your firmness level, then consider the Brook + Wilde Elite, a premium hybrid model that comes in soft, medium and firm varieties.