Helix Midnight mattress review 2024: a winner for side sleepers

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Updated: February 2024. The Helix Midnight mattress remains much the same as it was when we reviewed it back in 2022, but with one intriguing adjustment. In our original review we reported its height as being 12″, but checking now it’s listed as being 11.5″, and it would seem that Helix has lopped half an inch off most of its mattress range. That half-inch really shouldn’t trouble you, and aside from the inevitable price increase over the past year that means you’ll likely pay around $100 more than when it was reviewed, the Helix Midnight still an excellently-performing mattress at a great price.

Helix Midnight mattress: two-minute review

In this Helix Midnight mattress review, I’m taking a look at Helix’s most popular mattress, aimed at side sleepers, to see if it’s worthy of inclusion in TechRadar’s best mattress guide. The Helix Midnight is one of seven main mattresses (excluding upgrades within specific models) in this brand’s range.

I’ll dig into it more in our full review, but the short version is that I think this is the best mattress for side sleepers, bar none. Depending on your body type and preferences, it might also be suitable for back sleepers and combination sleepers. The hybrid design offers four layers, each of which provides different benefits in terms of durability, motion transfer, ergonomic support, pressure relief, and more.

The Midnight was softer than I expected when I first slept on it. Helix describes it as medium feel mattress (rated 5-6 out of 10 on firmness), and after a period of adjustment, I judged that to be about right. With that said, the most common complaint about the Helix Midnight is that it’s too soft for some people’s preferences, and it lacks adequate support that stomach sleepers and heavier sleepers require.

Overall, I found the Helix Midnight mattress to be a great value for the price and most impressive for pressure relief and cooling properties. It offers a great balance of sink and support while side sleeping, though it also performs well for those who sleep on their back. I believe it to be a safe bet for co-sleepers who sleep in either of these positions, as well as if your bed partner tosses and turns throughout the night.

Helix Midnight mattress review: Materials & design

The Helix Midnight is a hybrid mattress made of foam and coils (if you’re not sure what this means, this memory foam vs hybrid mattress explainer will help clarify). The standard version of this mattress is 11.5 inches deep with five layers (whereas the Helix Midnight Luxe is 13.5 inches deep with six layers).

From the bottom up, DuraDense Foam provides solid base support and durability; approximately 950 individually wrapped eight-inch steel coils in the next layer adjust to your body and reduce motion transfer, with lengthwise-only edge support for structural reinforcement; high-grade polyfoam in the transition layer gives the mattress its bounce while offering ergonomic support and medium-feel cushioning; and Helix’s own memory plus foam blend, which is also medium feel, helps to relieve pressure along the shoulders, hips, lower back, and knees.

The foam used in the Helix Midnight is CertiPUR-US Certified, meaning it passes safety standards and is confirmed to contain no harmful chemicals including but not limited to formaldehyde, phthalates, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.

The Helix Midnight is topped off with a soft, stretchy, knitted cover for breathability and additional comfort; if you want more in the way of cooling or comfort, there’s the option to upgrade to a GlacioTex Cooling Cover for an extra $199.20, or a GlacioTex Pillow Top for an extra $299.

Helix Midnight mattress review: price & value for money

Costing just over the $1,000 mark for a queen size, the Helix Midnight sits in the mid-range mattress market. Price-wise, that puts it roughly in line with the original DreamCloud (see TechRadar’s DreamCloud mattress review for more on that one) and the Casper Original mattress.

Helix makes a range of seven mattresses, each of which is available in a regular or a significantly more expensive Luxe version. It’s a bit unusual in that each has exactly the same pricing – at time of writing, MSRP $1,373.80 for the regular queen size, $2,373.80 for the Luxe queen for every mattress line.

If you’ve been looking at beds for any amount of time, you’ll know that this market is very competitive. There are regular mattress deals and sales throughout the year, but especially around national holidays. The standard Helix mattress sale is a 20% discount, but this tends to rise to 25% around major sales events, including the Presidents’ Day mattress sales in February, Memorial Day mattress sales in May, 4th of July mattress sales, Labor Day mattress sales in September and of course Black Friday mattress deals, which is when the biggest discounts usually appear.

Helix’s 25%-off promotions are when you get the lowest price, so if you’re set on saving you should hold out until the next big sales event. Whenever you buy, you’ll usually get two free Dream pillows included, too.

Helix Midnight mattress review: comfort & support

Helix says that the Midnight mattress is neither too firm nor too soft, purporting that this middle ground is great for co-sleepers with varying preferences for feel. The brand classifies its best-selling mattress broadly between 5 and 6 on the firmness scale (with 10 being the firmest). From my experience and compared to other medium-feel mattresses I’ve tested, I’d gauge it more precisely at the average of 5.5.

During the first few nights of testing, I found it to be noticeably softer, bouncier, and more plush than I’d expected – especially compared to other mattresses advertised as offering a similar level of firmness (it’s worth noting however, that firmness is subjective and will vary based on your height, weight, personal preferences, and history of mattress use). However, it’s not so soft that you feel a lack of support or think you ordered the wrong model. In addition, as each night passed, I began to feel it work its magic for support and comfort along the body while side sleeping.

I was impressed to discover that the Helix Midnight lived up to its claims – not to mention accolades and awards – as being one of the best mattresses for side sleepers. Within just a few days, I experienced noticeable relief for aches and pains along my neck and shoulders, which I credit to the well-balanced levels of sink from the top two foam layers and support from the lower base and body shaping layers.

To gauge the pressure relief of the Helix Midnight, I placed a 55-pound kettlebell at the center of the mattress. The level of sinkage clocked in at just over 3 inches. (The amount of sinkage from your own body may be less, given the distribution of your body weight; I also found that it will sink more in some denser areas of the body than others, such as around the hips.) The mattress also returned back to form within seconds of removing the kettlebell.

I primarily tested this mattress for side sleeping, and I enjoyed how well it contoured the body in this position and gave an adequate amount of sink – particularly along the shoulders and hips – while still providing support.

The Helix Midnight also offers noticeable pressure relief for back-sleeping. It cushions and contours the body (especially by the hips), so I have no complaints about its ability to hold up for those who primarily sleep on their backs or for combination sleepers. Based on my experience, I can see why this model is also marketed for co-sleepers with varying preferences – so if you’re a side sleeper and your partner is a back-sleeper (or vice versa), this claim holds up.

With that said, this mattress is not ideal for stomach sleepers or people of heavier weights (from 230-300lbs and above), as the amount of give may be excessive and the sinkage can prove to be uncomfortable. In these cases, firm models would be more suitable. If you’d like to stay with this brand, the Helix Twilight and Helix Dawn are safer bets since they won’t sink or give. In addition, while it’s medium-firm, the Helix Plus is made for taller and heavier sleepers.

Overall, I experienced greater body contouring and pressure relief particular to side sleeping than other medium-firm, memory foam-only mattresses we’ve tried.

I tested the Helix Midnight mattress for just under four weeks, and as well as taking its design, comfort and value for money into consideration, I also reviewed it on key performance metrics: its temperature-regulating properties, its effectiveness in absorbing motion, and the quality of its edge support. Here’s how it performed.

Temperature regulation

Within only a few days of testing, I was pleased to discover how breathable the Helix Midnight is – without even opting for the GlacioTex Cooling Cover (which you can upgrade to at checkout). The cooling properties of the standard Midnight mattress can be credited to both its breathable cover as well as its hybrid composition. While it doesn’t necessarily remain cool to the touch, it doesn’t trap body heat, which is a common issue of all-foam mattresses.

I used linen bedding (fitted sheets and a duvet) and a light down comforter to further promote airflow, as I tend to run warm at night. Within this testing period, I experienced a notable reduction in night sweats and heat-related discomfort compared to other non-cooling medium mattresses on the market.

To gauge how well the Helix Midnight holds up in terms of motion transfer, I placed an empty wine glass near the top edge of one side of the bed and dropped a 10-pound kettlebell 25 inches away from the glass. Whether I dropped it from heights at four inches, eight inches and 12 inches, and while the glass wobbled slightly more with each higher increment, it stayed upright the whole time.

The same went for when I dropped the weight at these intervals 12 inches away from the glass – though dropping the kettlebell from higher points almost did knock the glass over.

All things considered, I credit the limited amount of motion transfer to the hundreds of individually wrapped coils. If you or your bed partner tend to toss and turn throughout the night, based on this test, I don’t believe that the other’s sleep will be significantly disrupted on account of excess movement.

While I wouldn’t say that the Helix Midnight underperforms in the edge support department, I found this element to be less impressive than other markers of performance.

I first tested edge support by placing the 55-pound kettlebell four inches from the side of the mattress. To the naked eye, the amount of sinkage appeared to be greater than that from the bed’s center, so I wasn’t entirely confident about leaving the weight there unattended or for too long.

Next, when I tested the edge support with my own body weight by sitting upright along the side of the bed, the give wasn’t too drastic. However, testing the edge support while reclining at night, I did experience a notable amount of sinkage. Again, I didn’t find this to be drastic in my case (i.e. I never feared rolling off the bed), though co-sleepers with limited space and especially heavier sleepers are likely to desire and require a bit more support on this front.

Helix Midnight mattress review: customer experience

The Helix Midnight comes with free shipping within the USA via FedEx Ground; if you’re in a hurry you can opt for expedited production at the cost of $49 per mattress, which guarantees that your mattress will be shipped within two business days of your order.

I opted for the queen-sized Helix Midnight mattress, which weighs 100 pounds. Packed in a relatively compact box measuring 46 x 17 x 17″, I was grateful it was delivered directly to my floor. Even for a relatively petite tester (at 5′ 2″ and weighing slightly above the mattress itself), I was able to push the package into my apartment, unbox it, unroll it, and unwrap it solo – though it would inevitably have been less laborious with two people.

Once I slid it out of the box, it was simple and hassle-free to unroll it from the first layer of plastic packaging. From there, it took some shifting and shimmying to get the mattress straight onto my bed frame. (While the Helix Midnight doesn’t require a foundation, the brand advises that your slats should be no wider than five inches apart, as bigger gaps may cause sagging and potentially void the 10-year warranty). From there, I cut the second, thicker protective plastic layer off. These two steps took no more than 10 minutes, which would likely be cut in half with four hands instead of two.

The unboxing guide recommends allowing one to two hours for the Midnight to fully unwind and expand before sleeping on it.

Despite living in a studio apartment and sitting directly next to the Helix Midnight as it expanded over the next two hours, I was pleased that I didn’t pick up on any odors, or even wheezing sounds for that matter. (At the same time, I do note that the mattress was situated next to a half-open window with the ceiling fan on.)

In all, I felt confident in this mattress while it decompressed and continued to feel safe sleeping on it thereafter. Things don’t always go quite so smoothly, though, so it’s useful to know that Helix Midnight comes with a 100-night trial as well as a 10-year warranty that covers all manufacturing defects.

User reviews for the Helix Midnight mattress are generally positive, with an average rating of 4.5 out of stars across 6,600+ reviews on the Helix Midnight product page as of February 2024. Many reviewers call out its comfort and support (highlighting its balance between plushness and sturdiness), as well as quality and value for the price and ease to set up. Others have mentioned that the Helix Sleep Quiz, which matched them to the Midnight mattress, proved to be helpful in their decision to buy this particular model – even more so among side sleepers.

The most impressive benefits that users have reported include help with chronic postural problems and even reductions in blood pressure, plus immediate relief from back pain and improvements in sleep quality. Users have also commented on quick shipping times (despite widespread supply chain issues elsewhere) and excellent customer service.

The majority of users who rated the Helix Midnight less favorably reported that they found it to be too soft for their preferences. However, many of these reviewers called out their satisfaction after reaching out to Helix customer support, as team members solved their issues by facilitating exchanges to a firmer mattress (like the Twilight, which is also designed for side sleepers) or shipping them a free mattress topper.

All of these ratings and reviews considered, both the Midnight mattress itself and Helix as a brand were commented upon in a positive light; firmly negative reviews and reports of poor experiences and regrets were few and far between. (Again, reviews of firmness and thus comfort are subjective and particular to one’s body composition and personal preferences.)

✅ You sleep on your side: The Helix Midnight is designed specifically for side sleepers, so you can order with confidence that it’ll provide enough contouring and sink-in comfort to keep your body comfortable and aligned in the night.

✅ You wake up with sore joints: The pressure relief you get from the Helix Midnight is seriously impressive; this means that when you’re sleeping on your side, your shoulders and hips will receive plenty of cushioning and support, and you’ll wake up feeling a lot less achy.

✅ You share with a restless partner: Thanks to its combination of contouring foam and individually-wrapped coils, the motion isolation in the Helix Midnight is remarkably good, so nobody should be disturbed by a night-time fidget.

Don’t buy it if…

❌ You like a bit of bounce to your bed: The Helix Midnight excels at contouring and pressure relief, but the downside of this is that if you enjoy a responsive mattress, you may find that it feels a little dead. The Saatva Classic could be a better alternative if that’s the case; it has less hug but its innersprings give it more bounce.

❌ You need good edge support: The edges on the Helix Midnight aren’t exactly squashy, but there’s more give to them than you might be comfortable. For sturdier edges, check the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid, which holds its shape much better when you sit on the sides.

❌ You’re a front sleeper: If you’re a front sleeper then the Helix Midnight really isn’t for you, as you’ll sink in too much to get the support you need. The Helix Dusk Luxe has a similar (but more luxurious) feel, is designed to support stomach and back sleepers.

I slept on the Helix Midnight mattress for a period of just under four weeks, sleeping on my side and in other positions to get a full impression of just how this mattress feels over an extended period.

To get a objective measurements of the Helix Midnight’s comfort, support, motion isolation and edge support, I also ran a series of standardized tests using kettlebells. I used a 55lb kettlebell to rate the Midnight’s pressure relief and edge support, and a 10lb kettlebell to evaluate its motion isolation.

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