A pillow with springs inside? I found this Simba pillow a game changer for side sleeping

If you're a side sleeper who loves a firm pillow, then, like me, you might find the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow worth the investment. Here’s why it's one of the best pillows I've slept on

A white Simba pillow with a blue branded label on apink background
(Image credit: Future)
Ideal Home Verdict

The Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow is a firm and supportive pillow with a high loft that's great for side sleepers who want a pillow with stability. Its clever removable inner pads also mean you can customise it to suit your sleep style. It's just a shame it costs quite so much to invest in...

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Firm and supportive

  • +

    Easy to customise

  • +

    Good for allergies

  • +

    Utilises recycled materials

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Synthetic fill still sleeps a little warm despite cooling technologies

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    Hard to fit in a pillow case

Why you can trust Ideal Home 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.

Simba is perhaps one of the best known sleep brands, with its mattresses proving very popular with consumers and regularly scoring highly in our mattress testing process. But does its Simba Hybrid Pillow stand up as one of the best pillows around for side sleepers? 

Firstly, let’s cover why getting the right pillow is so important. After all, it’s an often overlooked sleep tool. Studies have found the ‘optimal pillow’ for you can have an effect on your quality of sleep, while the Sleep Foundation says ‘your pillow plays as much [of] a role in your overall sleep quality as your mattress.’ 

One-third of our lives are spent sleeping, so in our view, it’s worth making sure you make the most of that time with a good set of pillows.

And that’s where we come to the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow. The only specifically firm pillow in the Simba pillow range, it promises extra stability at a premium cost. But is it worth it, especially for side sleepers who need that extra support when sleeping? Over several months, I put the pillow to the test.

Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow review


  • Construction materials: Recycled polyester and titanium alloy springs with cotton outer
  • Product size: H adjustable x W70 x D45cm 
  • Care instructions: Machine washable at 40°C (cover and filled pads only). Tumble dry on low heat (cover and filled pads only). Spring pad is sponge clean only. 
  • Manufacturer sleep trial: N/A 

The white rectangular Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow with grey mesh side panels and blue branded labelproduct badge

(Image credit: Simba)

How I tested

A man with dark hair wearing a blue and white jumper standing outdoors next to a building
Richard Jones

I’m Richard, a writer and editor who specialises in health and wellness. I’m especially interested in sleep, and how it affects general health. For this review, I tested a single Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow have slept on it for the past 3 months, testing it for comfort, support, breathablity, ease of care, and its impact on my overall sleep health in that time. 

My sleep stats:

  • As a 6 foot tall side sleeper I tend to need a high loft pillow that matches my shoulder width in order to keep my head and neck well aligned
  • Prefer to sleep with two firm pillows and on an incline due to allergies (hayfever, dust) and breathing problems
  • Can get neck and back pain if pillows aren’t firm enough 


The main construction of the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow – and its unique selling point that we’ll get onto later – is the three inner pillow pads.

These layers include one firm layer that contains titanium alloy ‘Aerocoil’ springs designed to keep your head perfectly supported. This layer is perfectly weighted in my book – firm and supportive with a bit of give. Some firm pillows can feel like you’re sleeping on a brick. This isn’t one of them.

The other two layers are softer and filled with 'Simba Renew fibres' that are designed to mimic a feather or down pillow while holding their shape rather than flattening down over time. Simba Renew is a polyester fill made from recycled PET plastic bottles, while the Simba-Pure foam in the pillows is made to be free from environmentally damaging pollutants. 

While feather and down is thought to be the more premium option, it’s worth keeping in mind this synthetic filling will help those – like me – who suffer from allergies brought on by dust or feather and down fills.

The pillow covers are made from 100% cotton and is approved by the Better Cotton Initiative, while Simba is a B Corp – a group of companies dedicated to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. (Which might just help you sleep a bit easier with your purchase).

The Simba Hybrid Firm pillow being tested on a bed with a green and white checked duvet

(Image credit: Future / Richard Jones)

Unique selling points

As already mentioned, one of the key features of the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow is the three inner pillows that allow you to layer and personalise your pillow according to your sleep preferences.

Some similar customisable pillows can be a faff, but this keeps it really simple. If you want a lower loft pillow, just take a layer out. If you want a firmer, taller pillow, keep all three layers in with the firm layer at the top. Some evenings, I would just flip the pillow around depending on if I wanted a softer pillow or a firmer pillow that night.

The other main USP is the titanium alloy micro springs contained in one of the Hybrid Firm pillow's three layers. There aren't many pillows on the market that have actual springs inside them, but this is a key component that helps the Hybrid Firm maintain its height throughout the night without becoming compressed.

There’s also body heat regulating technology in the pillow cover that’s meant to draw heat away and provide an instant cooling sensation. This was somewhat noticeable on really hot evenings, but arguably not as much of a selling point as the three layers.

The Simba Hybrid Firm pillow unzipped to show the three inner layers on a bed with a green and white checked duvet

(Image credit: Future / Richard Jones)

What type of sleeper does it suit?

While billed as a firm pillow – and therefore aimed at side sleepers – the inner layered system means this is actually a really versatile pillow that can also be used by back sleepers.

If you’re a back sleeper, you’ll likely want to drop down to just the two layers, or try with the three layers and see how you go. If you wake up with neck pain because you're over extending your neck just remove one of the layers.

How comfortable is it?

I prefer a firm pillow, so for me the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow is about as comfortable as it gets. As a side sleeper, I also appreciated the height that the micro spring layer offered which meant my head didn't slowly sink lower during the night. And, thanks to those two inner layers filled with soft polyester, this pillow isn't rock hard – I found it had enough softness to relax into, whilst still offering the height and support I need as a side sleeper with wider shoulders.

However, it's worth noting that a couple of other testers on our review team found this pillow too firm for their liking – even in 'medium firm' mode with the two inner comfort layers on top of the spring layer. In fact, one reviewer reported this pillow giving them earache as they found it much too firm, so, like in many things, comfort is subjective and does come down to personal preference.

A man with short dark hair lying on his side on a bed with a green and white check duvet and his head resting on the Simba Hybrid Firm pillow

(Image credit: Future / Richard Jones)

How breathable is it?

This is a predominantly synthetic pillow that uses polyester fibres within two of the inner pillow layers. Polyester is a form of plastic which tends to lack breathability and can reflect heat back twards the sleeper leading to a hot and sweaty head if you sleep warm. 

However, Simba employs a few tricks in the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow to help to combat overheating. The pillow's cover is made from cotton, a natural material that offers better breathability than a polyester cover would, and one side of this outer cover also features Simba's 'Stratos® technology' which is meant to support heat diffusion. 

The side of the pillow with this technology has a subtle meshed cube pattern. Whilst I was testing I certainly found this side felt a lot more breathable than the other side of the pillow which is just normal cotton. 

If you want to take advantage of this breathability you do have to keep track of what side the pillow is on though – beware of the pillow flip. I'm not quite sure why this cover couldn't have been added to both sides of the pillow, but, if you tend to sleep warm on a synthetic pillow you may find this technology offers some relief. 

The springs inside the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow will also likely help with breathability as they increase airflow within the pillow a little, and the mesh sides of the pillow will help air to circulate so any head heat can dissipate more easily.

However, I didn't find this pillow slept as cool as my Woolroom Deluxe Washable Wool Pillow – the cotton outer paired with its naturally temperature regulating wool fill meant I slept a lot cooler on the Woolroom option. Sadly, as a side sleeper with wider shoulders the loft of the Woolroom pillow is just a little low for me.

The Simba Hybrid Firm pillow being tested on a bed with a green and white checked duvet

(Image credit: Future / Richard Jones)

Is it good for those with allergies?

Generally, synthetic bedding fillings are better for people with allergies so this is a good option if you’re someone who can suffer from allergies. 

I’m firmly in that allergies camp, and regularly suffer from excess dust in the house and hayfever. I definitely noticed my allergies were kept relatively at bay during testing the pillow – even if other factors might have been at play here.

Pillows can trap allergens, like dust mites, setting off allergy symptoms so the fact the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow is relatively easy to throw in the washing machine – just take the filled pads out of the cover and wash them separately at 40°C (the only part you can't wash is the pad with the springs in) – adds to its allergy-proof credentials.

Will it help with snoring?

Snoring happens when you can’t easily move air through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissue vibrate leading to that familiar snoring sound. 

Studies have shown that sleeping on your side – rather than your front or back – reduces compression on the airways, helping ease the snoring issue. So it makes sense that a pillow that promotes side sleeping like the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow can target snoring, with the added firmness helping align your head and shoulders to kеер your airways as open as possible 

Care instructions

As mentioned in the section about allergies, the pillow is machine washable at 40°C. However, it is only the cover and two polyester filled pads that can be popped in the washing machine. The firmer spring pad inside the pillow is sponge clean only, which can be a pain to remember. 

The Simba Hybrid Firm pillow unzipped to show the three inner layers

(Image credit: Future / Richard Jones)


As a side sleeper who has wider shoulders I found this an extremely effective pillow for me. Over the months of use I found a noticeable improvement in the back and neck pain I sometimes suffer from, while I haven’t seen any allergy flare-ups or had any breathing issues whilst using the pillow. 

It was really simple to get the firmness level I needed and the pillow has stayed firm and plump over time.

However, many of our side sleeping testers with smaller frames than mine found this pillow a little too high, which is why I couldn't give this pillow full marks. You can remove one, or both, of the comfort layers if this is the case, but that will then make the pillow firmer, and, unlike me, some of our testers did find this pillow too firm for comfort.

That said, if like me, you're a side sleeper who wants a high loft pillow that won't compress overnight and you prefer a firm feel rather than a pillow you sink into, I think you'll enjoy sleeping on this pillow.

One thing to note is that this is quite a large pillow, and when reviewing it I found it was a tight squeeze fitting it into our usual pillowcases. Not the be-all and end-all, but something to keep in mind if the way a pillow looks on the bed is important to you.

Beyond that, the only real downside in that case is this pillow's premium price point. At full retail price this pillow is currently £159, which is very expensive. However, there aren't many other pillows on the market that offer this unique mix of springs and adjustable comfort layers, so if you’re a side sleeper who really values their sleep and wants to make the investment, I would recommend the Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow. 

Thankfully Simba deals are also a regular occurence, so shop when bedding deals are in full swing and you could be able to snap up this pillow with a decent discount.

Richard Jones

Richard is a writer, editor and content strategist, who has bylines with The Telegraph, The Independent, and The Evening Standard, as well as work with brands such as Marks & Spencer, Reiss, and Huel. He takes pride in his ability to craft engaging reads on pretty much any topic imaginable, while specialising in health and wellness content. He's especially interested in sleep, and how important it is for overall health.