Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: an almost-perfect modern hybrid

The Simba Hybrid Original mattress is a class act, nailing the brief of a modern hybrid and catering to a wide range of sleepers

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

After six weeks sleeping on the Simba Hybrid Original mattress, I can safely say it's one of the most comfortable mattresses I've ever had. It offers great temperature regulation, absorbs movement well, and hits that sweet spot of support and softness. Only those seeking deep contouring should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • +

    Quality materials

  • +

    Supportive from edge to edge

  • +

    Lightly cushioned comfort

  • +

    Excellent temperature control

Cons

  • -

    No deep sink-in feel

  • -

    Lightweight people might find too firm

  • -

    Minor motion transfer

  • -

    There are cheaper options

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Simba Hybrid Original mattress: Two-minute review

The Simba Hybrid Original is one of the more affordable mattresses from Simba, but it doesn't skimp on quality materials or cutting-edge features. In fact, it's so good it might very well find a place in the TechRadar best mattress buying guide. I would recommend it to those who want a medium firm mattress of superior quality. However, as with every mattress, it won't be perfect for all sleepers so there are a few things you need to know before you buy. 

First the positives. The Hybrid Original has excellent temperature regulation, thanks to what Simba calls a layer of Simbatex foam. Read on for all the details, but the bottom line is that this mattress does an excellent job of dissipating body heat, so sleepers are less likely to wake up in a hot sweat (an unfortunate side-effect of some foam-heavy mattresses).  

Another great feature of the Original is its solid structure – made from six separate layers – that provides excellent edge support. That means every inch of the mattress is usable, and you can get right up to the edge of the bed and feel comfortable and confident that you're not going to fall off. It also aids with a comfortable and confident movement out of bed, giving your legs and hands a solid surface to propel yourself off. 

Got a fidgety partner? Motion isolation is great, too.The Original's 2,000 pocket spring layer, localises movement, meaning you won't get the brunt of every midnight toss and turn. 

I'd say this mattress, with its medium-firm feel, is suitable for all types of sleepers. However, if you're seeking the squishy, sink-in feel of memory foam, you won't really find it here. This is a mattress you mostly sleep on top of, rather than sinking into. That lack of squishiness isn't a problem for me, however; I still think the Simba Hybrid Original is really comfortable, and provides excellent pressure relief thanks to its quality construction.

Price-wise, it sits in the upper mid-range, and I think it's well worth that price point. We've also tested cheaper and pricier models (read our Simbatex mattress review and Simba Hybrid Pro mattress review for more on those respectively), and our expert testers are consistently impressed with this UK-based, B-Corp certified brand. I'll explore all this in more detail in my full review, but I think the Hybrid Original probably hits the sweet spot between price and performance if you're looking for maximum value for money.

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SectionNotesScore
ComfortMedium-firm feel (7.5/10), cushioned but no sink-in feel, suits a wide range of sleepers.N/A
ValueUpper mid-range, ideal balance of quality and cost.4.5/5
Design25cm tall hybrid with foam and lots of coils, 2 cover options.4.5/5
TemperatureCoil-heavy design keeps things breathable, no issues with trapping heat.4/5
Motion isolation Mattress absorbs movements effectively, but some minor motion transfer.4/5
Edge supportGood support around the entire perimeter, no sagging edges.4.5/5
Customer serviceFree delivery, option to upgrade, 200 night trial, free returns. 4.5/5

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Design

  • 25cm tall hybrid mattress, with foams and springs
  • 100% recyclable materials, made in a zero-waste UK factory
  • 2 cover options, both removable

The Simba Original is a 25cm tall hybrid with five internal layers. There are two cover options: the regular version (reviewed here), and the version cooling 'Stratos' material. Both are removable for easier cleaning. The base cover has handles for easier maneuvering.

Simba Hybrid Original

(Image credit: Simba)

The upper comfort layer is made from foam, but instead of memory foam, this is 'Simbatex' foam, that's designed to be cooler, thanks to a more open structure. This layer is also infused with graphite.

Then comes the layer of 2,000 titanium pocket springs, which are spread across 13 zones, offering pressure relief, body support and further airflow. They also localise support and weight distribution, to provides great motion isolation (more on that below). 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Then, sandwiched between two layers of CertiPUR certified foam is the 'no roll-off' supportcore layer, which provides further support uniformly across the mattress, with a further 1,000 or so springs. This further promotes edge support, and that you don't fall out of bed if you sleep up close to the edge.

Simba's mattresses are made in a zero-waste factory in Manchester, using UK-sourced materials (titanium alloy micro springs from Leeds, foams from Middleton). All the materials that go into the mattress are theoretically recyclable at the end of the mattress' life. 

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

How does it compare to the other Simba Hybrids?

If you opt for the pricier version – covered in detail in our Simba Hybrid Pro review – you get the addition of a layer of wool right at the top. Wool is naturally breathable and temperature regulating, as well as being cushioning. That pricier model also has an extra layer of mini-coils in the top section. We've taken a closer look at whether the Pro is worth the price upgrade in our Simba Hybrid Original vs Simba Hybrid Pro mattress comparison.

Opt for the cheaper Simba Hybrid Essential, and the design is far simpler. There are just three internal layers: the graphite Simbatex foam, Aerocoil mini-springs, and a zoned foam base. 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Price & value for money

  • An upper mid-range mattress
  • Never sold at RRP, expect 40% off or occasionally more
  • Not the cheapest, but good value for money

The ticket price of the double mattress of the Simba Hybrid Original is £1,079, or £1,089 for the version with the upgraded Stratos cover (which, at time of writing, hadn't been around long). The evergreen Simba mattress sale knocks 40% off – taking the price of a double down to around £650. That's in the upper mid-range of the market overall.

Based on what we've seen so far, Simba is alternating that same discount between these two versions – so one will be full price, and the other 40% off, and then they'll switch. Bigger discounts than that are rare, but Simba does usually offer a better sale over Black Friday. 

  • Single size: RRP £809 (usually sells for ~£485)
  • Small double size: RRP £1,089 (usually sells for ~£650)
  • Double size: RRP £1,089 (usually sells for ~£650)
  • King size: RRP £1,259 (usually sells for ~£755)
  • Super king size: RRP £1,409 (usually sells for ~£845)

Assuming no one is going to be buying the full-price option at any given time, and using that discounted price as a benchmark, it's around the same price as the Emma Luxe Cooling mattress (that brand's priciest option) and the Brook + Wilde Elite. There are cheaper hybrid options (the Nectar Essential Hybrid, the Emma NextGen Premium) but also pricier ones (the Panda Bamboo Hybrid, TechRadar's #1 rated mattress).

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

You’ll get a 200-night trial to test this mattress out and make sure you love it, and if you change your mind during that time you can contact the brand for a refund. There's also a 10-year warranty. 

Although it's towards the pricier end of the market, I think the Simba Hybrid Original is worth it. The materials used are high quality and UK-sourced, and the mattress feels like it's built to last. Also note that Simba does more than most to operate using ethical and sustainable practices, including having a B-Corp certification (more on this in the Customer service section).

  • Value score: 4.5 out of 5

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Comfort & support

  • Medium-firm sleep surface with cushioning (I'd rate 7.5/10 on firmness)
  • Most comfortable for back and side sleeper positions
  • Maybe uncomfortable for lighter people

I really enjoy the feel of sleeping on the Simba Hybrid Original. The feel is lightly cushioned rather than having that full sink-in memory foam feel, and for me it delivers an excellent balance of softness to overall support. I'd say that the medium-firm rating that Simba gives this mattress is spot on – I think it's around a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of firmness, with a 10 being a plank of wood.

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

I placed a 5kg weight in the centre and the edge of the Original to see how much it sunk in. When I placed the weight in the centre, the dip was roughly half an inch, and when I took the weight away, it regained its shape immediately. That's a good representation of what it's like to lay down on this mattress. There's a layer of memory foam that cushions you, then the other layers of springs and supporting foam provide a solid support. 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

As a primarily side-sleeper who weighs around 175lbs, I found the Original really comfortable, and felt my back, hips and shoulders all aligned. There is no unwanted pressure on any part of my body when sleeping on the Hybrid Original for several hours. My partner, who weighs a little less than me, also found this model to be comfortable. Primarily a back sleeper, she found the comfort top notch, even though she prefers mattresses with a deeper sink to them.

I think the Simba Hybrid Original will suit a wide range of sleep styles and body types. However, some lightweight individuals might prefer something softer, with more contouring, and especially if they sleep on their side. 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Performance

  • Excellent temperature regulation and breathability
  • Effective motion isolation, but not as complete as with an all-foam model
  • Good edge support around the perimeter of the mattress

As well as assessing the mattress' comfort and support, I also tested for a range of other key factors that impact on how good a night's sleep you're going to get. Namely: temperature regulation, motion isolation and edge support. Here's what I learned...

Temperature regulation

One of the major negatives of hybrid mattresses that feature a layer of foam on top, is that it can trap the sleeper's body heat, disturbing their sleep. However, all that lovely memory foam is often what provides the deep sink-in feel that so many people love. Simba has attempted to solve this issue by creating its own Simbatex foam, which provides cushioning and heat absorption without trapping heat. And it does a really great job of it.

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

The claim is that this foam has a more open structure than normal memory foam, not only allowing more airflow through the mattress, but also providing more elasticity and cushioning. Add to that it's infused with graphite – a natural heat conductor – and you have a nicely regulated primary sleeping surface. 

In reality, I experienced a fresh, regulated sleep every night. Sleeping through a changing UK October that brought heat and cold, I never felt overheated or stuffy in bed. If you're used to mattresses with no foam at all, you might find this mattress sleeps marginally warmer than that, but for the vast majority of people, it will be the perfect temperature.

  • Temperature regulation score: 4 out of 5

Motion isolation

If you share a bed with someone, especially a fidgety person, you will know all too well the experience of being woken up when they rumble around beside you. But with the use of thousands of pocket springs and quality foam, hybrid mattresses aim to cancel out much of this movement.

Simba's Hybrid Original does a pretty good job of this – not the best, but really good. For context, the last mattress that I reviewed came with much more memory foam as its top layer. What this meant was my partner's movements were hardly noticeable. However, that came at a price, and that mattress really slept warm, which at times wasn't pleasant. 

I don't want to overstate this. The Simba Hybrid Original still provides great motion isolation. My partner moves plenty at night time, and I'm easy to wake, and yet the Original noticeably reduced the disturbance that I felt. It's just not the best out there. 

  • Motion isolation score: 4 out of 5

Edge support

Me and my partner have a 10-month old who often ends up joining us in our bed during the night. So, safe to say that every inch of the mattress surface is important to me! Luckily, the Simba Hybrid Original provides excellent edge support with the Hybrid Original. 

As seen when I placed a 5kg weight on the side of the mattress, the edge doesn't sag at all, and instead the full circular weight imprinted uniformly into the surface. That's a good indication that the two layers of pocket springs that lay within the Original are doing their job. 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Another test that I performed was simply to sit on the side of the mattress, all around its edge. What I found was it was just as supported on the sides as it was down at the bottom, and up the top (I turned the mattress around to test that part). I didn't slip off, and importantly, I felt fully supported when moving from a sleeping position to sitting, and finally pushing myself up and out of bed. 

  • Edge support score: 4.5 out of 5

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Customer service

  • Mattress delivered vacuum-packed, rolled and boxed
  • Delivery and returns are free, optional old mattress recycling
  • Simba is B-Corp certified 

Getting the Simba mattress delivered and installed was a hassle-free experience. Although I got the Hybrid Original sent to my home through the company, once the order was placed by them, the mattress was delivered the next day, with clear communication from the delivery company – as advertised to consumers on the website. 

When the boxed mattress was delivered, it was easy to get it indoors, thanks to the in-built handles on the box. However, although I managed to get the box upstairs to my bedroom, I would strongly suggest that two people do this, as it turns out all those layers of foam and pocket springs result in a pretty hefty weight. 29kg for the double mattress to be exact.

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

The box has handles to help with moving, but it's heavy (Image credit: Future)

If you don't have a second person available to rope in, you can upgrade to VIP delivery, which includes setup and packaging removal. That costs £50. If you have an old mattress you want rid of, Simba offers a not-for-profit, mattress removal and recycling service. Unusually, you don't need to actually be buying a mattress from Simba to use this service.

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

The Simba arrives vacuum-packed and rolled (Image credit: Future)

Out of the box, there are clear instructions as to how to go about getting your mattress out of its vacuum-packed casing. I have seen other companies provide a plastic and metal cutting device to easily get the plastic casing off, and that would have been appreciated here. Getting scissors out to cut through is a daunting task, especially considering how much these things are. 

Simba Hybrid Original mattress in reviewer's bedroom

The Simba starting to re-inflate on my bed frame (Image credit: Future)

Once on the bed, the Hybrid Original needs a couple of hours to inflate and be ready for sleeping on. The accompanying literature said it would be ready to use after three to six hours, but I felt no difference after an hour and a half. 

Sometimes when you get a brand new mattress out of its packaging, and while it inflates, there can be gases let off. This is called off-gassing, and although not harmful, it can produce a noticeable smell in the room, so it's advised to open a window. I purposefully did not open my window to gauge how strong the off-gassing was, and can report that I barely smelt any gases at all. 

Simba includes a free, 200-night trial with all its mattresses. During this time, if it's not right for you, you can return it for a refund. Returned mattresses are recycled, refurbished or donated, and the process is free. 

  • Customer service score: 4.5 out of 5

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Specs

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Materials'Simbatex' foam, innersprings, other foam
CoverRegular or 'Stratos heat control' cover, both removable
HandlesYes
Firmness (1-10)Medium-firm (I rate 7.5)
Height25cm
Trial period200 nights
Warranty10 years
Price bracketUpper mid-range
Double priceRRP £1,089 (usually sells for ~£650)
SizesUK single, small double, double, king, super king; EU single, double, queen
DeliveryFree
ReturnsFree

Simba Hybrid Original mattress review: Other reviews

  • This mattress has '250,000+ five-star reviews'
  • A lot of mention of comfort and bettering sleep

Simba boasts that its Hybrid Original mattress has received more than 250,000 five-star reviews from customers, and any way you look at that, it's impressive. However, poking around review sites, it has been noted that when a new consumer gets their mattress, Simba follows up with an email offering the chance to 'win back' the money of the mattress the person has just bought, simply by leaving a review on the site. This will no doubt influence the type of user review that's left on the site, though I'm not trying to invalidate all the positive reviews. On the site a common theme is supreme comfort, and that the mattress has helped improve the quality of the customer's sleep. 

Seeking user reviews outside of the Simba site, this sentiment is generally echoed, with a few more dissenting voices. Over at Amazon, the mattress receives four stars out of five over 949 reviews – though 60% of those are five star reviews. Chief amongst the complaints were comments on the mattress being too firm, though I would say that that is clearly advertised by Simba. After that, detractors cover every angle – from a malfunction of the springs to an excess of a chemical odour – but there are not enough repeated complaints to constitute a theme. 

It's also worth noting that a lot of the customer reviews will be for last year's model of the Simba Hybrid Original. Its design has been recently changed – the previous model had a foam base, replaced in the current version by coils. The 2023 customer reviews that I found were generally more positive than the older ones. 

Should you buy the Simba Hybrid Original mattress?

Buy it if...

✅ You run hot: Simba's own-brand foam doesn't trap heat like traditional memory foam can. Factor in the high proportion of springs, and you're getting a breathable mattress that I found stayed comfortably cool, whatever the weather was doing.

You're looking to invest in a quality mattress: It's not the cheapest mattress on the market, but for that upper mid-range price, you're getting high quality materials and a more ethically-focused brand (it's B-Corp certified). 

 You like a more responsive feel: Rather than sink-in foams, the Simba Hybrid Original uses bouncier foam and lots of springs. That gives this mattress a bouncier, responsive feel, and it's nice and easy to change position on.

Don't buy it if...

❌ You want a deep, sink-in feel: The Simba Hybrid Original offers comfortable cushioning, but if you want lots of contouring, look for a mattress with higher proportions of memory foam – TechRadar's best memory foam mattress guide has plenty of recommendations, but our #1 pick is the Emma memory foam mattress.

❌ You're on a budget: You can pick up good hybrid mattresses for cheaper. Within the Simba range is the simpler Simba Hybrid Essential, or if you really need a bargain pick, head to TechRadar's best cheap mattress guide for options under £400 for a double.

You're a lightweight side-sleeper: The medium-firm feel and lower amounts of contouring mean lightweight side sleepers might find the Simba Hybrid Original a bit uncomfortable. 

Alternatives to consider

Emma Next-Gen Premium mattress

Emma Next-Gen Premium mattress
If you want something slightly different to the usual hybrid, this Emma mattress puts the focus on deep, 18cm pocket springs. It still has foam, but this focus on springs means excellent airflow making it one of the best temperature regulated mattresses in its price range. And that price range is pretty much on par with the Simba Hybrid Original. Read more in our Emma NextGen Premium mattress review.

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Nectar Hybrid Essential
This mattress option is the brand's cheapest option, and comes with a slightly lower price tag to the Simba Hybrid Original (deals dependent). Again, lighter people may find this one a little firm, but our reviewer noted that it's particularly good for back sleepers. Its quilted cooling cover also helps with temperature regulation. Read more in our Nectar Hybrid Essential review.

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DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid
Want something a little more, well, luxury? The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid offers a similar medium firmness to the Simba, but with ramped up motion isolation and supreme edge support. You also get a lifetime guarantee, which is pretty rare. The only downside? It apparently sleeps a little warm. Read more in our DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid review.

How I tested the Simba Hybrid Original mattress

I tested the Simba Hybrid original over a one and a half month time period. I received the mattress at the beginning of October in the UK, and used it as my only mattress for the whole testing period. 

During this time, the UK experienced a warmer-than-usual October, but things settled into a colder, wetter climate at the end of October and beginning of November. So I was able to test the mattress through different night temperatures, to better review the temperature regulation. Throughout the testing, I used a winter duvet, cotton sheets and slept on the mattress with my partner (and sometimes our baby boy). This gave me a good idea of motion isolation. 

As well as using the mattress to sleep on, I performed some standardised tests that I've used on other mattress reviews, to objectively rank the Simba's motion isolation, edge support, and general softness and comfort. 

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed: November 2023
Beren Neale

Beren has been a design and tech journalist for over a decade, covering everything from the best digital drawing software to the most ergonomic office chairs. He is currently on the hunt for the perfectly designed mattress, allowing him and his partner to get through their newborn's first few months with minimal sleep deprivation and maximum comfort.