Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: add extra height & softness to your existing bed

Is this budget alternative to Simba's premium topper a good buy? Our Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review reveals all...

Product shot of the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper
(Image credit: Simba)
T3 Verdict

We were blown away by the craftsmanship, quality materials and clever design of this hybrid mattress topper from Simba. With a generous depth, it's a great way to add height to your mattress, soften a firm mattress, and/or give new life to an old mattress. It's slightly less springy than its sibling, the Simba Hybrid Mattress Topper, but still did the job just fine, and at a more affordable price.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Generous depth

  • +

    Removable cover

  • +

    Very comfortable

  • +

    Well constructed

  • +

    Quality materials

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Simba Hybrid Mattress Topper has more springs

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Mattress toppers are a good way of prolonging the life of your mattress, and give you an extra level of comfort and support that adds up to a good night's sleep. They're also useful if you need to revive an ageing mattress, without having to buy a completely new one.

So, is the Simba Hybrid Essential Topper a good investment? The signs were good, given that we were already big fans of its sibling, the Simba Hybrid Topper (opens in new tab). That model's luxurious 4 layers of extra support and soft feel earned it 4 stars in our review, and it's currently number 3 in our best mattress topper (opens in new tab) guide. The only problem is its high price.

The Simba Hybrid Essential Topper has a similar design, but costs less. So, does it still provide the kind of quality design and comfort boost that we expect from this popular brand? I spent some time with the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper to find out...

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: Unboxing

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper, rolled up and wrapped in plastic film

(Image credit: Tom May)

Much like a bed-in-the-box mattress (opens in new tab), the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper was delivered in a large cardboard box. Inside, the topper was compressed, rolled up and wrapped in plastic. This was not possible to tear off by hand alone: the plastic is pretty robust, and required proper kitchen scissors to break through. 

The topper is so thick that it's basically a mini mattress, and came with the same smell you'd expect from a bed-in-the-box mattress. However, unlike a full mattress, it did not require time to inflate, and was ready to go immediately.

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: Design & construction

Closeup on Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper, sitting on mattress

(Image credit: Tom May)

The Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper is 6.5cm (around 2.5 inches) deep, and almost as complex as one of Simba's full mattresses, being made up of four layers in total.

The top layer is a hypoallergenic, breathable, cotton cover, which is zipped and removable, and feels soft and smooth to the touch. Pity, then, that it's going to be wrapped in a bed sheet most of the time, but it's nice all the same.

The second layer consists of Simba's proprietary, open-cell 'Simbatex' foam to help keep you cool at night. The third layer consists of 1,500, 20mm Aerocoil springs for responsive support. And the fourth layer is a non-slip support base of high-density, CentiPUR foam. Finally, the topper comes with thick, adjustable straps on each of its 4 corners, making it easy to secure to your mattress.

It's almost identical in construction, then, to the more expensive Simba Hybrid Mattress Topper. The only real difference, as far as we can tell, is that the latter has 2,500 springs to this model's 1,500.

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: Comfort

Closeup on stitching of the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Tom May)

I favour a firm, sprung mattress, which I've found provides the best support for my ailing spine. But as a combination sleeper, I've recently found that my current mattress doesn't offer quite enough pressure relief on my shoulders and hips when I roll onto my side. So, I've been having to change position a lot in the night.

One night with the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper and I could instantly feel an improvement. The softness of the foam gave me that extra bit of 'dip' when I slept on my side and meant I felt more cradled and comfortable during the night. 

One other unexpected boon was that there was less motion transfer between my partner and I, meaning we are now less likely to wake each other in the night when shifting position. In total, this mattress topper has really made a difference to the quality of my sleep.

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: Washing & maintenance

Closeup of zip of Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Tom May)

The top cover of the Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper is easily removed by unzipping it, and can be washed at 40°C on a reduced spin cycle. Simba cautions against using chlorine bleach, and you should not tumble dry, iron or dry clean the cover. The base fabric, however, can only be cleaned with a soft, damp and clean cloth using small circular motions. For more on this topic, see our guide to how to clean a mattress topper (opens in new tab).

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: The small print

The Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress topper comes in the following sizes: single, small double, double, king and super king. (See our mattress size guide (opens in new tab) for more on these).

All Simba toppers are made in the UK, and Simba offers free, carbon neutral delivery as standard to most of the UK. In most cases, they deliver seven days a week when you pick a date at checkout. They can also deliver to Ireland, for a charge that will be revealed at checkout.

The Simba Hybrid Essential Topper comes with a ten year guarantee. It also comes with a 200-night trial offer. If you decide it's not for you, they'll arrange a free collection as-is (you don't have to get it back in the box) and refund the cost of your mattress or any financing payments made. Returns are free in most of the UK, and your topper will be refurbished or recycled.

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper review: Verdict

Closeup on label of Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper

(Image credit: Tom May)

The Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper is an excellent product, well constructed from quality materials, and with a clever hybrid design. But does that justify its price? Well, that really depends on what you need it for.

There are number of good reasons to invest in a mattress topper. One is simply to add extra height to a slim mattress, and the 6.5cm (2.5 inches) of the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper really does make a contribution here, raising the height of your bed considerably. That will make a particularly big difference to heavier people, for whom a thin mattress can be quite uncomfortable.

A second reason is to revive an old mattress, and my assessment is that this topper would perform that task well. It is pretty expensive, though, so you may want to do some math first and work out (if you can afford it) whether you'd be better off buying a new mattress altogether.

A third reason is to soften a mattress that's too firm, and give my personal experience with this specific problem, I'd say the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper is an excellent choice for this purpose.

Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper: alternatives to consider

The obvious alternative to the Simba Hybrid Essential Mattress Topper is the aforementioned Simba Hybrid Mattress Topper, which is identical other than including an extra 1,000 springs. That makes a good choice for anyone seeking maximum bounce, and for whom money is not a huge issue. 

Otherwise, if you're seeking a firmer topper, we'd recommend reading our Eve Topper review (opens in new tab). Conversely, if you want to soften up your existing mattress, check out our Panda Bamboo Topper review (opens in new tab).

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.