Helix vs Novosbed

I have been on the Helix bed for 85 days now. I am really comfortable on it, but I am noticing that it is getting softer where my hips rest than it is in the rest of the mattress. I got a fairly firm configuration because it bothers my back when a mattress sinks at my hips as it ages, so I was hoping a firmer one might last longer before it breaks down. I have their topper on top of it. I have tried several other brands and am definitely the most comfortable on the Helix, but I am concerned that if it is already feeling less supportive under my hips after 85 days, what will it feel like in 3 years? Because I ordered the firmer configuration, it is not latex but their other foam. Since they have only been around a year I am wondering if they even know how durable their product will be over time.

I am trying to decide whether to keep it or to try something else, perhaps Novosbed. I have not tried a memory foam mattress and am considering this one which I found on your list of good memory foam options. I like that they have been around for awhile.

Any feedback or insight would be appreciated!

Hi jsuehl,

While there is no way to specifically quantify how long any mattress will last for a specific person or predict exactly when they will decide to replace it because it is no longer suitable or comfortable for them to sleep on (because this is the only real measure of durability or the useful life of a mattress that really matters) and because there are too many unknowns and variables involved that are unique to each person … if a mattress is well inside a suitable comfort/support range and isn’t close to the edge of being too soft when it is new (see post #2 here) and you have confirmed that it meets the minimum quality/durability specs relative to your BMI range that are suggested in the durability guidelines here then it would be reasonable to expect a useful lifetime in the range of 7 - 10 years regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label… With materials that just barely meet the minimum guidelines (in the upper layers in particular) it would be reasonable to expect a useful life in the lower end of the range and with higher quality and more durable materials like latex or higher density memory foam or polyfoam (again in the upper layers especially) it would likely be in the higher end of the range or even longer and the chances that you would have additional “bonus time” beyond that would be higher as well.

You can see my comments about the type and quality/durability of the materials in the Helix mattress along with many of the other what I call “simplified choice” mattresses (including Novosbed) in post #2 here in the simplified choice mattress topic and post #1 in the same topic would be well worth reading as well.

The Helix mattress includes 2" of 1.8 lb polyfoam in the comfort layers which is the minimum polyfoam density I would suggest for those that are in a BMI range under 30. They also use 1.5 lb polyfoam in the base layers of the mattress which is a little under the minimum density I would normally suggest in the guidelines and that I would normally like to see in a mattress in this budget range and is also a little lower density than many of the other simplified choice mattresses but with 5.5" of materials and components above it the deeper layers would have less effect on durability for someone that is in a lower BMI range. I don’t know the density of their topper and since this is the top layer of your “sleeping system” it could also play a significant role in the durability and useful life of your sleeping system as well (again depending on your BMI).

I would also keep in mind that there will also be a break in and adjustment period for any new mattress or sleeping system as the mattress loses any of it’s “false firmness” and the cover stretches and loosens a little and the materials settle and your body gets used to a sleeping surface that is different from what it is used to (see post #3 here). This would typically be a few weeks but it can be shorter or longer depending on the specifics of the person and the mattress (higher density materials can take longer) and it can be surprising to many people how much their sleeping experience can change over the course of the first month or so.

Assuming that the materials in a mattress you are considering are durable enough for your body type and meet the durability guidelines I linked earlier in this reply relative to your weight/BMI range … the choice between different types and combinations of materials and components or different types of mattresses are more of a preference and a budget choice than a “better/worse” choice (see this article). Different people just prefer different types of materials or mattresses but the only way to know which types of materials or mattresses or firmness levels you tend to prefer in very general terms will be based on your own local testing or your own personal experience.

I would also keep in mind that each mattress category can include hundreds of different mattresses with a very wide range of different designs, different “feels”, different characteristics, and different firmness levels. Individual layers and components in a mattress (including the cover and any quilting material) can vary widely with different thicknesses and different firmnesses and every difference will affect the feel and response of every other layer and component both above and below it and the mattress “as a whole” so each mattress category will generally include some mattresses that have an overall design that will be a good “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) and others that use the same type of materials and components and are in the same category and may be just as durable but have a different design or firmness level that may be completely unsuitable for you to sleep on … even if it uses the same general type of materials and components. Again though … the only way to know how you like memory foam mattresses in general terms will be based on your own personal experience.

When you can’t test a mattress in person then the most reliable source of guidance is always a more detailed phone conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced retailer or manufacturer that has your best interests at heart and who can help “talk you through” the specifics of their mattresses and the properties and “feel” of the materials they are using (fast or slow response, resilience, firmness etc) and the options they have available that may be the best “match” for you based on the information you provide them, any local testing you have done or mattresses you have slept on and liked or other mattresses you are considering that they are familiar with, and the “averages” of other customers that are similar to you. They will know more about “matching” their specific mattress designs and firmness levels and the options they have available to different body types, sleeping positions, and preferences (or to other mattresses that they are familiar with) than anyone else.

Every good online retailer or manufacturer will generally make suggestions that they honestly believe have the best chance of success based on the information you provide them when you talk to them on the phone because this is in both your own and their best interests but again … at the end of the day the only way to know for certain whether any specific mattress is a good match for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP will be based on your own careful testing and/or your own personal experience so if you can’t test a specific mattress in person then the options you have available after a purchase to either exchange the mattress or individual layers or components or return the mattress for a refund (and any costs involved) would generally become a more important part of your personal value equation just in case a mattress you purchase doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for.

In its simplest form choosing the “best possible” mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then …

  1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or “fine tune” the mattress and any costs involved if you can’t test a mattress in person or aren’t confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

  2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

  3. Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.


Thanks for your feedback Phoenix. I called Helix and they said the top layer is a density of 26 but they can’t reveal the density of the other foams (including the topper) as it is proprietary information. Then I found on their website the specs that you mentioned, so I’m not sure why she couldn’t tell me the specifics. I still don’t know which layer is on top, which you said might be a concern if the lower density is on top… My BMI is 24 (I am 6’ tall and weigh 170), but most of my weight is in my middle so that is where I break mattresses in fastest. Also last time I called in I was told my bed had no latex since I ordered the firmer option it was all polyfoam but this time they are saying that it still has latex, but the latex layer has been moved down and the polyfoam is on top because it is more supportive. So I’m not sure what I have. Now I feel like I don’t really know what I am getting, so how can I make a good evaluation of how it will endure over time? I don’t really want to start over with another mattress as I have tried quite a few and am the most comfortable on this one, but I am concerned that it has already lost some support in my mid-section.

Hi jsuehl,

I’m guessing that the number they gave you for the top layer was the ILD of the material (which isn’t important to know) and not the density. All the different congfigurations of the Helix mattress use the same top 3 layers (1.8 lb polyfoam, a microcoil, and latex) they are just in a different order and in the case of the latex and polyfoam layers can have different firmness levels. All of these are durable enough for someone in your weight/BMI range. The 1.5 lb polyfoam is a little lower than the minimum density for polyfoam that I would normally suggest but it’s also in the base layers of the mattress where it will have much less effect on the durability and useful life of the mattress because the weakest link in a mattress would normally be in the top layers of a mattress not the deeper layers.

All their mattresses use the same layers but they are in different configurations so your mattress would have a latex layer.

The information I included in my last reply would give you a reasonable expectation about the durability and useful life of the mattress as long as it isn’t “on the edge” of being too soft for you when it is new…

Again all mattresses go through an initial break in and adjustment period when they are new so what you are feeling is the firmness and the suitability of the mattress … not the durability. You haven’t owned the mattress for nearly long enough yet for the durability of the materials to be a factor.

.“Support” is often misunderstood because the goal of a “supportive” mattress is to keep the spine and joints in neutral alignment in all your sleeping positions and this requires the type of contouring support that allows some parts of the body to sink in more (softer) and some parts of the body to sink in less (firmer) and this will vary on an individual basis based on body type and sleeping style. There is more about primary or “deep” support and secondary or “surface” support and their relationship to firmness and pressure relief and the “roles” of different layers in a mattress in post #2 here and in post #4 here that may also be helpful in clarifying the difference between “support/alignment” and “comfort/pressure relief” and “feel” and how they interact together.

Unfortunately I can’t feel what you feel on a mattress so there is no way for me to know whether a mattress is “good enough” in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP for you to keep it and you are really the only one that can decide whether to keep it or to return it and choose a different mattress.


I feel good on the bed in terms of comfort, firmness and PPP - my only concern is longevity. Based on all of your feedback it sounds like there are no major concerns about the materials. Since I do feel quite a bit better on this mattress than any other I’ve tried, I think I will stay with them and hope for the best. Thanks for your help!

Hi jsuehl,

Yes … the top 5.5" of the mattress (excluding the topper) meets the minimum durability guidelines I would suggest for your weight/BMI range and the only layers that are a little bit lower density than I would suggest in the guidelines are the deeper layers which will have a less significant effect on the durability and useful life of the mattress.

If you are sleeping well on the mattress without experiencing any “symptoms” of pain or discomfort after about 90 days or so then the initial break in and adjustment period would be over and any further changes in firmness will be more gradual over a longer period of time.

I’m glad I could help :slight_smile: