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Simba Hybrid Essential mattress review: An entry-level mattress with a high-end price tag

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £700
inc VAT

Delivers a comfortable night’s sleep when used on a solid foundation but its price tag is out of keeping with the relatively basic design


  • Comfortable and supportive when used on a solid base
  • 365-night money-back trial


  • Too expensive
  • Diminished support on sprung slatted base
  • No handles

The Simba Hybrid Essential mattress is the cheapest in the brand’s lineup but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that means it’s affordable. At £999 in a king size, it’s notably more expensive than equivalent models in its rivals’ lineups.

It’s not a bad mattress – on the contrary, you’ll likely get a very good night’s sleep if you use it on a solid base – but with Simba’s regular Hybrid mattress costing only £150 more in king size (and even less if you buy it during a promotion), you’re better off spending a bit more if you’re set on buying a Simba mattress.

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If you head to Simba’s site now, you can bag a free mattress protector when you buy the Simba Hybrid Pro.

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Simba Hybrid Essential mattress review: What you need to know

The Simba Essential lacks only one layer compared to the regular Simba Hybrid: its “edge to edge support” layer. Otherwise, it has a very similar design. On top, there’s a breathable cover, below which there are two comfort layers: graphite-infused open-cell foam, followed by a layer of Simba’s “Aerocoil” micro springs. Unlike the regular Hybrid, which has up to 2,500 of these springs, the Essential has up to 1,500 micro springs. With no edge-to-edge support layer, the Essential also has only a single base layer, made from supportive foam.

This design makes for a mattress that’s notably thinner than its stablemate at 200mm deep versus 250mm for the original Hybrid. While a thicker mattress doesn’t automatically make a better one, in my experience, thinner models usually feel less supportive and stable when used on a sprung slatted bedstead, which I’ll come on to in more detail below.

Otherwise, the Simba Essential differs very little from its pricier stablemate. Both use only Certipur-certified foam, meaning they’re free from CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances. And whichever model you choose, you’ll have a 365-night trial, at the end of which you can return the mattress for no charge if you’re not entirely satisfied.

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Simba Hybrid Essential mattress review: Price and competition

Starting at £700 for a single and rising to £829 and £1,000 for a double and king, respectively, the Hybrid Essential is notably more expensive than entry-level models from other bed-in-a-box manufacturers, as I’ve already touched on. By comparison, Eve’s Lighter Hybrid will set you back just £568 and £658 in a double or king size. It comes with a 365-night trial.

If you’re not fussed about lengthy money-back guarantees, you can pick up a basic but brilliant all-foam mattress such as the Dormeo Memory Plus for in king size for just £309 Meanwhile, John Lewis’ Classic Eco 800 pocket sprung mattress is a little more pricey at £430 in king size.

So pricey is Simba’s entry-level model that it’s in the same price range as premium offerings from many of its rivals, such as the Nectar Hybrid (£999), Eve Original Hybrid (£819) and Otty Pure Hybrid (£999).

It’s a tricky pricing structure to understand, because the Essential is only £150 cheaper than the regular Simba Hybrid in king size when there’s no discount.

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Best alternatives and where to buy them

Simba Hybrid Essential mattress review: Performance and comfort

As with its pricier stablemates, the Simba Hybrid Essential arrives vacuum packed and boxed on your doorstep. Because of its thinner design, it doesn’t expand so much when you cut away the plastic packaging but there’s still an unmistakable chemical smell that you get from most foam-based mattresses. As such, it’s worth leaving it to air for a few days if you have a very sensitive nose.

Contrary to the pictures on the Simba website, there are no handles on the Hybrid Essential mattress sample I was sent for review. However, thanks to it being thinner and therefore lighter than its stablemates, I found it relatively easy to manoeuvre. Between two adults, moving a king size onto the bed shouldn’t be a problem, although handles wouldn’t go amiss.

In terms of firmness, the Hybrid Essential is not drastically different to the more expensive models in Simba’s range, which is to say that I’d describe it as medium-firm. However, that comes with the caveat that you’ll need to use it on a solid base if you want to benefit from the maximum level of support.

As can often be the case with thinner mattresses, when I used the Simba Hybrid Essential on a sprung slatted base, I noticed the levels of support diminished substantially when lying on my back. I weigh around 75kg so, if you’re lighter, that might not be such a problem for you, but for heavier people, it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.

If you sleep mainly on your side, the softer feel you get from this type of bed might go unnoticed, as its yielding nature means it’ll better accommodate the shape of your hips. However, when used on a solid foundation, I found the Hybrid Essential both comfortable and supportive in all sleeping positions.

As for temperature control, I thought the Essential coped relatively well, especially when you consider it doesn’t have the temperature-regulating wool layers of the premium Simba Hybrid Pro and Simba Hybrid Luxe. Better still, the mattress didn’t excessively change in the support that it delivered as the comfort layers warmed up.

When used on a solid base, I had very few complaints about the mattress, except that it lacks some of the subtlety you get from pricier models. That isn’t altogether surprising, though, given that this is pitched as an entry-level mattress.

READ NEXT: The best mattress for side sleepers

Simba Hybrid Essential mattress review: Verdict

In many ways, then, the Hybrid Essential performs just as you’d expect an entry-level model would. Despite the thinner design, it delivers a decent level of comfort and support when used on a solid foundation. There’s just one problem, and that’s the price. At £1,000 in king size, it’s prohibitively expensive for anyone looking for a truly affordable mattress.

With a price tag that’s only £150 higher, the regular Simba Hybrid is clearly the much better value offering and an all-round better choice. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a competitively priced hybrid with a lengthy trial period, you can do much worse than the Eve Lighter Hybrid.

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