Once upon a time, buying the best mattress was pretty simple. Now, it's becoming a little baffling to many consumers. The Simba Hybrid Ultra Mattress, for example, has 13 different layers, 8,500 springs and a generous depth of 34cm. Those stats may sound impressive. But are they really going to make much of a difference when it comes to getting a good night's sleep?
Well, Simba thinks so, and they've clearly ranked their mattresses in order of quality and comfort to make things clear. Bottom of the range is the Simba Hybrid Essential, followed by the Simba Hybrid Original, Simba Hybrid Pro and Simba Hybrid Luxe in order of superiority. Finally, right at the top of the tree sits the Simba Hybrid Ultra. It is, the company says, the best Simba mattress your money can buy you today.
But is that money (which is considerable) a wise investment? I've spent the last two months putting one to the test, so I can give you my honest opinion, in terms that the ordinary person, with no deep knowledge of mattress manufacture, can understand.
Simba Hybrid Ultra Mattress review: Design
Before I get into my personal mattress experience, let's deal in some facts. Firstly the depth of the Simba Hybrid Ultra is 34cm (around 13.3 inches), which is a huge 6cm (around 2.3 inches) deeper than the Simba Hybrid Pro, and 3cm (around 1.1 inches) deeper than the Simba Hybrid Luxe, both of which we gave enthusiastic reviews to.
Is mattress depth important? Our answer to that is: heck, yes! A deeper mattress provides more cushioning and support, which can be especially beneficial for side sleepers who need to sink in to relieve pressure on their joints. It will also have a stronger support core, which can help to align your spine and prevent back pain.
Deeper mattresses tend to be more durable than thinner mattresses over time. And they just look more luxurious too. So overall, yes: the 34cm of the Hybrid Ultra is a big deal.
But what's inside is also, obviously important. And here, Simba have come up with another impressive number. Thirteen is the number of distinct layers in this mattress, which compares favourably to the Hybrid Pro's seven layers and the Simba Hybrid Luxe's 10.
In itself, more layers doesn't necessarily mean more comfort, of course: you need to know what those layers consist of. In the case of the Simba Hybrid Luxe, it starts with an extra thick, breathable cover with a zip-off top surface. That compares nicely with the Simba Hybrid Pro, whose cover is not removable.
Inside the mattress, you'll find a top layer made up of wool, bamboo, charcoal and kapok (a light, woody plant fibre); another layer constructed from latex with coconut fibres; three layers made with up to 7,500 titanium alloy/high carbon steel Simba Aerocoil micro springs; two layers of graphite-infused, ‘open-cell’ Simbatex foam, a layer of 1,000 pocketed, barrel springs, and a base made from suitable, surplus foam. You also get a mattress protector included in the price. All these materials, Simba says, are 100% recyclable.
One thing you'll notice from this voluminous list is that this mattress contains 8,500 springs in total. Sounds a lot, doesn't it? Well, for the record, it actually is. Most hybrid mattresses have around 3,000; the Hybrid Pro has 4,000, and the Hybrid Luxe 5,000; so this is again a considerable step up, on paper at least.
Beyond that, Simba claims that their particular arrangement of luxurious and sometimes unusual materials offer the ultimate in comfort, support and airflow, not to mention an allergy-free experience. But quite honestly, there's no real way of telling whether this is true… other than to spend two months sleeping on it. Which is exactly what I did.
Simba Hybrid Ultra Mattress review: Comfort
Most of us who earn middling wages love the idea that spending a large sum on something like a mattress is a fool's errand. It would make life so much simpler if I could tell you there's no real benefit from stepping up from a decent mid-range model, and paying what looks like silly money.
But given my experience with the Simba Hybrid Ultra Mattress, that would be a lie. Because, honestly, you really do get a superior experience with this mattress. I've been lucky enough, over the years, to stay in a number of posh hotels at my employers' expense, and sleep on a number of expensive beds. I've also had the opportunity to review a range of mattresses for T3 and its sister titles. And quite simply, this is the best sleep experience I've had to date.
As I have long-term back problems (most of us journalists do), I'm especially sensitive to the amount of support I'm getting. And this mattress, more than any other, gets it spot-on. It's not an over-the-top, floating-on-a-cloud experience. It's simply that when I lie down on the Hybrid Ultra it feels like everything's perfectly balanced.
Simba says the mattress "hugs every point of the body and pivots and flexes to distribute your weight fully for pressure relief". And while that might sound like typically marketing hype, in this case I'd say it's basically true. In my experience it's never felt too firm, nor offered too much sinking, but in the grand tradition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, been just right. And the proof of the pudding is in the waking. When the morning comes, I feel more a spring in my step than I have from sleeping on any previous mattress.
Every sleeper is different, of course, but I can say that as a combination sleeper, I've put this mattress through its pace. 'Combination sleeper', by the way, is mattress industry jargon for 'restless bloody idiot'. So I've been on my back, on my front and turning from side-to-side, night after night. And my spine has felt fully supported whatever position I lunge into, and there's always been enough 'give' in the mattress for my head and shoulders to sink into place too.
In short, there's not really much nuance to this review. All I really have to say is that this mattress is pretty darned marvellous. And if you can afford it, you should definitely consider it.
Simba Hybrid Ultra Mattress review: Delivery and small print
Unlike other Simba mattresses, the Hybrid Ultra does not come rolled up but fully formed. That makes it pretty big and bulky, and a single person will struggle to carry one upstairs. So it's great news that Simba's VIP mattress delivery service, which normally costs £50, is free of charge with the Simba Hybrid Ultra. This is a bespoke service by a specialist team who will install your mattress or bed for immediate use, and remove all packaging.
Once you've ordered your mattress from the Simba website, you’ll be contacted directly by a courier, usually within 48 hours, to schedule a delivery time that’s convenient for you. You’ll receive a live tracking link via email, to keep you informed of the driver’s schedule on the day, plus a call from the driver within an hour of delivery. For a small extra fee, paid at time of checkout, the delivery staff will also take away your old mattress or bed for recycling.
Simba offers a 200-night trial for testing your mattress. If you decide not to keep it, they'll collect it from you for free within the trial period, and give you a full refund. Your trial starts when your bed arrives, and you don't need to keep the packaging. Returned beds are recycled, refurbished or donated; never resold. Simba mattress also come with a 10-year guarantee.
Simba Hybrid Ultra Review: Price and alternatives to consider
The standard price for a Simba Hybrid Pro is £2,599 for a single, £3,799 for a double, £3,999 for a king and £4,499 for a super king. However, at time of writing, there is a 40% discount if you buy from the Simba website. That means the current prices are actually £1,559.40 for a single, £2,279.40 for a double, £2,399.40 for a king and £2,699.40 for a super king.
An alternative choice at a broadly similar price is the Sealy Elevate Ultra Antuco mattress, which offers the feel of a soft mattress but with the support that normally comes from a firm one. Another good choice at the high end of the market is the Brook + Wilde Perla Mattress, with 14 layers offering an opulent level of comfort, plus the chance to choose your own firmness level.