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Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress review: Simba’s most affordable bed-in-a-box

simbatex essential foam mattress image feature
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £549
inc VAT

Simple but effective, Simba’s entry-level foam mattress offers great value


  • Competitively priced
  • Supportive
  • 200-night home trial


  • Limited depth
  • Not ideal for side sleepers

The all-foam Simbatex Essential is Simba’s most affordable bed-in-a-box mattress to date. Indeed, at just £549 in king size (£439 at the time of writing), the Essential is half the price of Simba’s cheapest hybrid mattress offering.

As you might expect, at this budget-focused price point, the Simbatex Essential isn’t quite as well appointed as Simba’s pricier mattresses: it comprises just two foam layers, with a rather minimal depth of 19cm. However, it does benefit from the same practical perks as Simba’s premium mattresses, including a 200-night, risk-free home trial and convenient, vacuum-wrapped delivery.

For those on the lookout for an affordably priced foam mattress, especially for occasional use in a spare bedroom, the Simbatex Essential ticks a lot of boxes.

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Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress review: What you need to know

The Simbatex Essential occupies the entry-level position in Simba’s lineup and is relatively simply constructed. The body of the mattress comprises two foam layers: a supportive open-cell, graphite-infused layer of Simbatex, with a seven-zone foam base. The mattress is 19cm deep and comes wrapped in a hypoallergenic knitted cover. The cover can’t be removed for washing, so Simba recommends using an additional cover on the mattress.

Like most foam mattresses, the Simbatex Essential doesn’t need to be flipped. However, Simba does advise rotating it head-to-toe once a month for the first three months, then every three months from then on. Unlike some of Simba’s more expensive mattresses, the Simbatex Essential doesn’t come with any external handles to make this process easier; but since the mattress is thin and relatively lightweight, it’s reasonably easy to move.

The Simbatex Essential can be used on all bed bases, but Simba recommends pairing it with a sprung or slatted frame, or a divan. For slatted bed frames, the slats should be no more than 7.5mm apart.

Like all Simba mattresses, the Simbatex Essential is offered with a full 200-night home trial, enabling you to try it out risk-free. Should you decide at any point during those 200 nights that the mattress isn’t right for you, Simba will collect it and issue a complete refund.

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Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress review: Price and competition

Prices for the Simbatex Essential start at £399 for a single, going up to £499 for a double, £549 for a king and £599 for a super king. Simba frequently runs sales and promotions, though, so it’s always worth checking out the current pricing if you’re looking to buy.

Simba’s standard Simbatex Mattress features an additional foam support layer and is slightly loftier at 25cm deep. Pricing for the standard Simbatex Mattress starts at £679 for a single, moving up to £799 for a double, £899 for a king or £999 for a super king. The Simba Hybrid Essential is the firm’s most affordable hybrid mattress, with prices starting at £749 for a single, going up to £1,099 for a king size.

For those in the market for something more affordable, the Dormeo Memory Plus can be picked up for £295 in single, £343 in double or just £420 in king size at the time of writing.

READ NEXT: Best mattresses for side sleepers

Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress review: Performance and comfort

The Simbatex Essential is a bed-in-a-box mattress, so – as the name suggests – it ships vacuum-sealed, rolled and boxed for ease of delivery. Its compact shape makes it far easier to manoeuvre than a traditional mattress. Once it’s in your bedroom, simply remove the plastic wrapping and wait for the mattress to expand.

It will take about six hours before the mattress is ready to sleep on – Simba says that it can take up to 72 hours for it to expand fully, though. Note that there’s also a slight chemical smell to the foam on first unpacking. If you have a particularly sensitive nose then you may benefit from letting it air out in a spare room for a day or two before sleeping on it.

Immediately noticeable is the Simbatex Essential’s depth. While it isn’t the thinnest mattress I’ve tested (that accolade is held by the 15cm John Lewis & Partners Anyday Rolled Mattress), at 19cm it isn’t too far off. Its stature could potentially make it a little trickier to get in and out of bed, if you’re more accustomed to a loftier pocket spring mattress. This is something you should take into account when deciding upon the type of bed frame you’ll pair it with.

Simba advertises the Simbatex Essential as offering a medium-firm feel, which in my opinion is accurate. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest, I’d put the Simbatex at around a 7.5 when used on a sprung slatted base, and just a touch firmer when used on a solid base.

Lying on my back, I found the Simbatex offered a firm – but supportive – experience. Its simple two-layer construction means it isn’t the most nuanced-feeling mattress I’ve tested; more complex mattress constructions will often feel like they’re providing more targeted levels of support across your body. In comparison, the Simbatex feels a little more one-dimensional. However, it does provide enough comfort and support for back and front sleeping. It wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice for side sleeping, though, since its limited depth meant there just wasn’t enough give to properly accommodate my hip or shoulder.

Foam mattresses, especially more budget-focused models, have gained a (not entirely unwarranted) reputation for sleeping rather warm. I’m pleased to report that I encountered no such issues with the Simbatex Essential. While it may sleep a little warmer than a more traditional pocket-sprung mattress, I didn’t feel that the foam here was holding onto an uncomfortable amount of heat.

I did notice the mattress softening slightly as it warmed, though – a fairly common characteristic for foam mattresses; but it wasn’t significant enough to alter the overall character of the mattress.

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Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress review: Verdict

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the Simbatex Essential Foam Mattress. While it can’t rival the complete comfort offered by deeper, more premium memory foam mattresses, if you’re a back sleeper looking for a simple, supportive option at a decent price, then the Simbatex is hard to fault.

Considering it comes with the same convenient bed-in-a-box delivery and a 200-night trial available with Simba mattresses that can cost four times the price, there’s certainly a decent amount of value on offer here.

If you’re shopping for the master bedroom – and your budget can stretch to it – then the deeper standard Simbatex Foam Mattress is likely to be the better all-around option (especially when it’s on sale). However, for those purchasing for a spare bedroom or simply on a strict budget, the Simbatex Essential is well worth a look.

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