Simba Hybrid mattress review

Is Simba’s original and much celebrated Hybrid foam/spring mattress still the best? We put it to the test to find out…
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  • The Simba Hybrid mattress is the original mattress from the well known British sleep experts. It is also their cheapest offering so we wanted to see how it stood up to the test of time, and recent mattress innovations.

    With 12 industry awards under its belt, we were expecting a crowdpleaser, so we tasked Linda Clayton – our long suffering mattress tester – with testing it for several weeks. She has previously tested other Simba mattresses and those from other leading mattress in a box brands, so she had plenty of sources for comparison. Find out what this mattress reviewer thought and whether it earns a place on our list of the best mattresses.

    Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Verdict: The Simba Hybrid is a solid all-rounder aimed at the masses and with a committed fanbase, particularly amid those previously struggling with back pain. There are no wildly luxurious touches, but nor does it feel cheap. Zoned support cushions exactly were you need it, and it’s packed with stay-cool features, too.

    Reasons to buy:

    • Decent bounce
    • Good breathability
    • 200-night sleep trial
    • Good for a bad back

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Cover not removeable for washing

    Simba Hybrid mattress

    Simba Hybrid cutout Ideal Home approved logo

    Simba Hybrid Specifications:

    Type: Hybrid (open-cell foam and mini springs)
    Sizes: Kids (small single), single, small double, king, super-king, EU single, EU double, EU queen.

    Who will the Simba mattress suit?

    Anyone looking for medium-firm comfort and a bit more movement from a foam mattress.

    What is the Simba Hybrid mattress?

    This bed-in-a-box mattress combines layers of foam with conical springs. It sculpts to your body shape, offering good support on key pressure points, and is very popular with side sleepers and people who suffer from back pain. The Simba Hybrid isn’t the brand’s newest, or most high-tech model, but it has won multiple awards and inspires almost evangelical user reviews from fans. Pricewise, it’s at the top end of the popular Hybrid sector but you can usually bag a bargain by holding out for one of Simba’s regular sales – sign up to its Social Media for updates. Also keep an eye on Amazon Prime Day sales, when savings can range from 20–35% as well as regular discount events on the Simba website.

    Simba Hybrid mattress in a box in a bedroom ready to be opened

    Unboxing: how long before you can sleep on a Simba Hybrid mattress?

    Like all bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Simba Hybrid is squashed, folded and vacuum-packed for easy delivery. The box is a very manageable 107cm x 50cm x 50cm. However, the springs in the Simba Hybrid mattress means it recovers from compression far faster than a spring-free foam mattress. The official line from Simba is the mattress will be sleep-ready within three-to-six hours after unboxing, but our test mattress felt fully inflated within an hour or two, which is especially useful if your only other option is the floor or sofa! 

    Simba knife

    All Simba mattresses come with a safety knife to open the mattress plastic without causing damage

    How comfortable is the Simba Hybrid?

    The conical springs aren’t full-size, so you won’t get the luxurious height of a traditional pocket sprung mattress, but it definitely feels bouncier than all-foam. The official firmness rating is Medium-Firm (Simba’s score is 6.5/10), and our eight testers concurred that it is indeed the Goldilocks of mattresses – i.e. not too soft, nor too hard. They also found it extremely comfortable, especially when side-sleeping, which is handy.

    One of the biggest factors on how you experience firmness comes down to body weight. Lightweight sleepers will find it much firmer than heavyweight sleepers. Putting it as delicately as possible, if you are solidly built there’s a reasonable chance you will find the Simba Hybrid too soft and not supportive enough but if you are within a fairly healthy weight range it should be ‘just right’.

    Naturally the bounciness of the Simba Hybrid does have an impact on motion transfer – whereby one partner’s movements are felt by the other. However, the two layers of foam sandwiching the springs have a dampening effect. Although movement was more obvious than on some firmer mattresses we’ve tested, especially full-on memory foams, it didn’t actually disturb our sleep during the night. 

    What is the Simba Hybrid made from?

    Here’s the lowdown on layers. Starting from the top, you sleep on a hypoallergenic cover with integral airflow for temperature control. Under that lies a comfort layer, aka Simba-Pure foam, which has a modern, open-cell structure that’s geared towards swerving the sweatiness of traditional memory foam. Next comes a layer of mini conical pocket springs (2,500 in a King Size) that provide bounce and responsiveness. Then there’s a fairly decent wedge of Visco foam, which essentially contours the mattress to your body shape. Finally, a zoned support base helps reduce motion transfer and provides height. In essence, this all boils down to a well-supported, cool night’s sleep.

    Simba Hybrid layers

    Which Simba mattress is best? Hybrid v Hybrid Pro v Hybrid Luxe

    This review is focussed on the original, entry-level Simba Hybrid, but if you have extra pennies to spend, you might like to check out the Simba Hybrid Pro and Simba Hybrid Luxe. The best-selling Hybrid Pro boasts seven layers (compared to five), with an extra layer of springs and an additional wool comfort layer.

    The newest launch, the Hybrid Luxe, has a whopping 10 layers, making it a portly 31cm deep. This time you get three spring layers (two layers of 25mm-high and one of 40mm-high springs), an antibacterial bamboo/wool layer, and two layers of Simba-Pure support foam, on top of the basics. While the Simba Hybrid is an excellent mattress, you do get more bells and whistles for your money with the newer models, and the Hybrid Luxe in particular is a noticeably plusher and more sumptuous sleep experience. They all offer plenty of cooling technology, and there isn’t one that stands out as superior on the temperature control front, so it really comes down to working out how much you are prepared to spend.

    Which is better, the Simba Hybrid or Emma Hybrid mattress?

    Now this is a million-dollar question and, ironically, according to Google Search data it’s one that many people lose sleep over! We have tested both and can offer a few helpful take-homes. The main differences are the Simba Hybrid has one more layer than the Emma Hybrid, plus more springs in its spring layer, although it’s worth noting that they are both 25cm thick overall.

    In Emma’s favour, the cover is machine-washable and we found motion transfer less obvious – in fact the Emma Hybrid felt stabler all round. The Simba Hybrid requires rotating more frequently in the first three months but it has really decent grip points and is a little lighter than the Emma Hybrid, so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. We found the Emma Hybrid firmer and less bouncy than the Simba Hybrid but they are both very supportive and contour the body well – hugging without suffocating.

    They both come with 200-night sleep trials and 10-year warranties. Pricewise, it’s a close call, especially since both brands are generous with the special offers and mattress sale events. In a nutshell, we’d probably recommend the Simba Hybrid to side-sleepers who prefer a softer mattress and cosier feel, while the Emma Hybrid is likely to be better for back sleepers who benefit from a bit more stability.

    Simba Hybrid on a bed in a modern room

    Is the Simba Hybrid worth the money?

    It’s not the cheapest, nor the most expensive Hybrid, but you do get an impressive 200-night sleep trial. This is completely hassle free with no collection costs involved if it’s not for you, plus a 10-year guarantee. Oh, and a nifty knife for opening the heavy-duty plastic bag that it comes suctioned into. It’s the little things in life…

    Is the Simba Hybrid mattress any good? Final verdict

    While the Simba Hybrid isn’t ideal if you’re a front sleeper or want properly firm support, it is undoubtedly a decent all-rounder and will feel super comfortable for the majority of people. It’s not the most luxurious out there but we do think it represents good value for money.

    Delivery is fast and free, and the UK-based customer service department are very friendly and knowledgeable. If you want to return it, for whatever reason, you won’t need to prepare for battle.

    One final point, the Simba Hybrid is by far the least smelly mattress we have reviewed. All new foam mattresses suffer from a touch of off-gassing in the first few weeks. It’s not toxic and nothing to worry about, but sensitive souls do find it extremely obnoxious and hard to bear. Happily, the Simba Hybrid barely smelt at all. The very slight odour after unboxing was completely gone within a record breaking 24 hours.

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