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Helix Nightfall Mattress Review (2019)

Last updated on August 9, 2019

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The Helix Nightfall mattress is made for heavier sleepers, but how does it stack up against your needs?

Short on time? Click here to jump down to the review summary

Note: This review is for the Helix Nightfall, a hybrid innerspring-and-foam bed that's designed for plus-size and big/tall people and couples.

If you’d prefer to watch rather than read, check out our full Helix Nightfall mattress video review above.

Table of Contents

Nobody does more in-depth mattress reviews than GoodBed — which means there's a lot of information here! Use the links in this table of contents to quickly jump to the sections of this review that interest you most.

Summary Overview of GoodBed's findings and conclusions about this product
Materials & Construction Mattress Type, Layers, Cover
Comfort & Feel Ratings Softness, Cushioning Depth, Memory Feel, Bounce
Back Support + Pressure Relief Ratings By sleeper weight and sleep position
Feature Ratings Motion Isolation, Temperature, Edge Support, Ease of Repositioning, Natural vs Chemicals, Adjustable Base Compatibility
Price, Value & Longevity Cost, Discounts, Durability, Overall Value
Other Factors to Consider Delivery, Returns, Warranty
Bottom Line Who is the best/worst match for this mattress?


Summary: Is the Helix Nightfall a Good Mattress?

Designed with support and durability for plus-size people in mind, the Helix Nightfall enters the ring with a growing number of mattresses seeking to fill a niche. As we always say at GoodBed, choosing a mattress is a highly individual decision that involves factors like your preferred sleeping position and pressure-relief needs. Body shape and size makes a difference too; a mattress that feels soft and supportive to a 300-lb. stomach sleeper will likely feel way too firm for a 150-pound back sleeper. In short, the heavier you are, the softer a mattress will feel.

In our testing, the Helix Nightfall was a bit softer than we expected, and softer than some other mattresses we've tested for plus-size people. We thought it might be a good choice for couples of different sizes, where a lighter/smaller person and a heavier or much taller person need to find a mattress than can work for both of them.

The Helix Nightfall is made of foam, memory foam and pocketed coils, but with just three inches of foam on top, the pocketed coil unit makes up most of the bed's width. And while an inch of that foam is memory foam, there really isn't any of that slow melting-into-the-bed feeling you get with slow-responding memory foam.

Strengths of the Nightfall in our testing include excellent edge support and very good motion isolation. We thought that it would suit a wide range of individuals, particularly side sleepers and back sleepers.

Price-wise, we thought the Nightfall presented a very good value, costing no more than hybrid mattresses that aren't particularly aimed at the big and tall market. From a durability standpoint, we were impressed with the quality of the coil unit, and with the quality of its comfort foams. Its warranty stands to back up the mattress's durability claims with a 1" body-impression warranty; that's better than the standard industry warranty of 1.5" for innerspring mattresses.

You can place the Helix mattress atop the support of your choice, including a separately purchased box support, a bed frame, platform bed, or adjustable bed frame. Helix sells its own foundation and adjustable frame, but they are not required purchases. Free shipping to your door is included.

Read on for our detailed report, and be sure to check out the video to see this mattress in action as we put it through our tests.

Bottom Line: Who is the Best Match for a Helix Nightfall Mattress?

BEST if you:

  • Like a mattress with a traditional feel
  • Sleep in several positions
  • Are a heavier back or side sleeper
  • Tend to sleep on the edge of your bed

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Prefer a slow-melting memory-foam feel
  • Are a lightweight side sleeper
  • Are a very heavy stomach sleeper

 

Comfort & Feel

These are the "preference-based characteristics" of a mattress. No classification here is better or worse – they are strictly a matter of your personal preference.

Softness Level
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
4 Medium Firm
Cushioning Depth
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
3 Shallow cushioning than most
Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
8 Quick responding with some bounce

 

Back Support (by Sleeper Type)

No mattress will provide equally good spinal alignment (a.k.a., back support) for every sleeper. Here's what to expect in terms of spinal alignment on this mattress – by sleeper weight and sleep position.

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 7 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 8 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9 8
Heavier >250 lb 9 9 7

 

Pressure Relief (by Sleeper Type)

The pressure relief offered by a mattress – especially important for side sleepers – will vary based on a sleeper's weight and body shape. Here's how we size up the pressure relief capabilities of this mattress.

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 9 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9

 

Other Features

These are the "priority-based characteristics" of a mattress. Ratings here indicate where this mattress has strengths or weaknesses – however the importance of these features will depend entirely on your personal priorities.

Motion Isolation 8 Very Good
Stays 'Cool' 9 Excellent
Edge Support 10 Exceptional
Ease of Repositioning 9 Excellent
Green Features 6 Has some safety certifications
Adjustable Base Compatibility 8 Good compatibility
Overall Value 9 Very good

 

Key Facts

Mattress Type

Foam over Pocketed Coils

Price (queen)

$1,190

Delivery

Free delivery to door

Return Policy

100-day trial, full refund and pickup

Warranty

10 years. Indentation coverage: 1"+

Country of Manufacture

United States

Thickness

12 inches

Weight (Queen)

110 pounds

Materials & Construction

What's in a Helix Nightfall Mattress?

Overall, we classify the Helix mattress as a "Foam over Pocketed Coils" construction type. It  is a 12″ thick mattress comprised of 5 total layers (listed below from top to bottom):

  • 1" polyurethane foam, 3.7 lb. density
  • 1" gel memory foam, 4 lb. density
  • 1" polyurethane transition foam
  • 8" pocketed steel coils with edge-support coils
  • 1" polyurethane base foam

The Nightfall mattress from Helix has three one-inch layers of comfort foam on top; the middle foam layer is a gel memory foam, though there's not enough of it to give the mattress that slow melting feeling memory foam is known for. The main story is the bed's pocketed coil unit. We were especially impressed with its stronger/smaller coils around the perimeter of the bed, which provide super-sturdy edge support while not impeding air flow.

Finally, at the bottom of the mattress is a small layer of foam, serving as a base for the coil unit.

Cover

The layers of the Helix Nightfall are wrapped in what amounts to two covers. The uppermost cover is a lightweight, machine washable, zip-off cover that felt like a nice, ribbed t-shirt to us. That's a nice features -- very few mattresses feature covers that zip off at all, let alone are washable.

Under that zip-off cover is a heavier quilted cover that's a permanent part of the bed.

Comfort & Feel

There are three aspects that make up our assessment of comfort and feel. We call these "preference-based characteristics" because no rating here is better or worse – rather, the attributes that are most desirable to you will be determined solely by your personal preferences. We apply the same classification standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

Softness ( what’s this )

Keep in mind that what mattress companies call “firm” or “soft” is a purely a preference. All mattresses should be supportive and promote healthy spinal alignment. Whether a mattress is fluffy and squishy (what mattress companies call soft or plush), or less so (what companies call firm), is purely down to your personal needs and preferences.

We found the Helix Nightfall to be a Medium Firm mattress on our scale, and that overall, it was softer than we expected it to be (keep in mind that the heavier you are, the softer a mattress will feel). We thought the Nightfall might be an interesting choice for couples where one person is much larger than the other; there's enough softness on the Helix Nightfall that the lighter person won't feel as if they are sleeping on a super-hard surface.

Not sure what softness is best for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz and find out.

Softness Level
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
4 Medium Firm

 

Cushioning Depth ( what’s this )

This refers to how deeply you sink into the mattress or feel cradled or hugged, versus a feeling of floating on top of the bed. The Helix Nightfall felt very interesting to us; while the top certainly has some surface softness, the firmer coils below prevent sinking in too much.

The Helix Nightfall has quite shallow cushioning; this is not a mattress with a lot of conformance, and you get more of a floating-on-top feeling than one of sinking deeply into the bed.

Cushioning Depth
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
3 Shallower cushioning

 

Responsiveness ( what’s this )

Responsiveness refers to how quickly a mattress recovers its shape after being compressed. When you press your hand into the mattress, for instance, then remove it, does it take several seconds for the mattress to return to flat, or does it recover immediately?

While the Helix Nightfall does contain a small 1" layer of gel memory foam, there isn't enough of it to give that slow, melting into the bed feeling that memory foam is known for.

We also tested the bed for bounce. Unsurprisingly, since most of this bed is made of steel springs, we did find a healthy amount of bounce.

Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
8 Quick responding with some bounce

 

Back Support & Pressure Relief

The two things that you should always be sure to get from your mattress are spinal alignment (commonly thought of as "back support") and pressure relief. Unfortunately, no mattress will deliver these two things equally well for all sleepers. In particular, spinal alignment and pressure relief capabilities will vary across sleepers with different weights, body shapes, and sleep positions. To help you determine how this mattress will perform for you, we break down our spinal alignment and pressure relief assessments by sleeper type.

Our tester weighs 200 pounds, right about the average for a male in the United States. Since this mattress is intended for much heavier people, we are using our overall testing experience to make some best guesses as to who this mattress might be best suited for.

In our evaluations, we thought the Nightfall would especially suit back and side sleepers of a wide range of weights, along with stomach sleepers of average weight.

Spinal Alignment

The key to good back support is maintaining proper spinal alignment while you sleep. This means that the mattress should hold your spine in roughly the same position it's in when you're standing. The ability of a given mattress to do this will generally depend on your weight, sleep position, and body shape.

Here is how we break down the spinal alignment of the Nightfall mattress:

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 7 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 8 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9 8
Heavier >250 lb 9 9 7

 

Back Sleepers:

Our tester really enjoyed the Nightfall mattress in this position; the combination of the soft top foams and the firmer coils beneath felt extremely supportive; we thought this mattress had a great feel for those that sleep primarily on their backs. Our tester experienced excellent spinal alignment and felt that most others would have a similar good experience. For lighter weight individuals, there's enough softness and to balance the firm coils below. And even for those significantly heavier than our tester, any potential hammocking effect is taken care of by the firm support coils.

Side Sleepers:

In our evaluation, side sleepers would also be well supported by the Helix Nightfall. Our 200 lb. tester’s hips and shoulders sank into the bed just enough to create a neutral spinal position. We also felt that those heavier than our tester would be well supported. If we had any concerns, it would be for very light side sleepers, who might need more conformance and softness to enable their hips and shoulders to sink into the bed.

Stomach Sleepers:

We also felt that stomach sleepers would enjoy this mattress. For stomach sleeping, a firmer mattress is generally needed to support the hips from sinking too far and creating arching in the back. The Helix Nightfall, for our tester, had plenty of support, but still felt soft and cushioned thanks to the soft foam on top. We did have a slight question about stomach sleepers who are much heavier than our tester, who might find the surface softness of this bed could cause some over-arching. But for occasional stomach sleepers, even those significantly heavier than our tester, would feel supported.

 

Pressure Relief

When a mattress pushes back against your body with too much force in a concentrated area, the result can be pain, soreness, loss of circulation, excessive tossing, and other problems. In general, such "pressure points" are of greatest concern for side sleepers, since that's the position in which your body's weight is distributed over the smallest surface area. To find the right mattress for your needs, keep in mind that the pressure-relieving capabilities of any given mattress will vary depending on the sleeper. Factors like your weight and body shape (e.g., broader shoulders and/or hips) will determine how far you sink into the mattress, and the pressure relief offered by that mattress will vary widely at different depths.

Here's how we sized up the pressure relief of the Helix Nightfall mattress:

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 8 8
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9

 

Overall, we found the pressure relief offered by the Helix Nightfall mattress to be very good, with no sense of bottoming out on the firmer coils below. And we felt that both lighter as well as heavier individuals would also do well in terms of pressure relief, with the same concern we had above for very light side sleepers, who might need more conformance/cushioning.

Other Features

Beyond the preference-based characteristics of comfort and feel, and the body matching for spinal alignment and pressure relief, a mattress will have a number of other attributes that can make it a better or worse choice for you. We call these "priority-based characteristics" because they are areas in which a mattress can be better or worse, but that will have differing amounts of importance to each sleeper. So, determining how much importance to give to these features will be entirely a matter of your own personal priorities. As always, we apply the same ratings standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

 

Motion Isolation ( what’s this )

If you are easily disturbed by a partner's movements in bed, or perhaps you and your partner go to bed and get up at different times, then motion isolation may be a priority for you. Innerspring mattresses in general are not the best choice,  but the springs are pocketed in the Helix Nightfall (as they are in many modern mattresses), so the movement of each spring is isolated.

We test for motion isolation by positioning a bowling pin upright on one side of the bed, then dropping a bowling ball on the other side and observing what happens with the pin. Next, our tester drops his whole weight on the bed. In both tests, our pin wobbled, but never fell.

Motion Isolation
8 /10 Very good

 

Temperature ( what’s this )

For most people, we do not think the Helix Nightfall mattress will feel hot, not so much because it has specific cooling features, but because it's physical characteristics have advantages.

Spring and coil mattresses in general will naturally provide greater air flow than foam, allowing for lots of air flow. The Nightfall has edge-to-edge coils, so there's no edge foam that could potentially inhibit airflow.

Also, this is not a deeply cushioned mattress, so most of your body is exposed to the air.

If overheating in bed is an issue for you, we think the Helix Nightfall would be a very good choice.

Also of note, Helix offers an accessory "Ultra Cool Cover" ($125 queens size) that can be zipped on in place of the top mattress cover. This cooling cover includes phase-change material -- a chemical treatment that's supposed to help the fabric feel cooler, and channel heat from the body. While we were unable to specifically measure any cooling benefits, phase change materials in general are becoming more and more common, and could be a solution for those concerned about sleeping hot.

Stays "Cool" Rating
9 /10 Excellent

 

Edge Support ( what’s this )

Edge support is important if you like to sit on the side of the bed, or if you tend to sleep along the edge. We found the Nightfall mattress to be excellent in this respect. Our tester felt exceptionally stable both sitting on the edge of the and laying right on the edge. He didn't feel like he was rolling off at all.

If your pets or kids tend to push you towards the side of the bed, we think the Nighfall is an excellent choice.

Edge Support Rating
10 /10 Exceptional

 

Ease of Repositioning ( what’s this )

If you tend to move and change positions a lot over the course of a night, ease of repositioning will be a priority for you. The Nightfall mattress  posed no hindrance to movement. Our tester had no trouble at all moving around or rolling into another position.

We did note, however, a slight crinkling sound when our tested moved around on the bed, presumably from some of the material around the coils within the mattress. It's something to consider if you are highly sensitive to noise.

Repositioning Rating
9 /10 Excellent

 

Green Features ( what’s this )

For mattress shoppers concerned with the use of natural materials, sustainable manufacturing practices or the like, we offer our subjective evaluation of any efforts taken by the company to make the mattress more green, healthy, or safe.

Helix makes no claims that this mattress is natural, but the foams utilized are certified to the CertiPUR-US standard, which verifies that a material has low VOC off-gassing as well as a lack of chemicals and other substances regulated by the CPSC.

And steel coils are not known for issues with off-gassing at all.

The entire mattress has also been certified to the OKEO-Tex standard, which means that all materials used have been tested for more than 100 harmful substances including formaldehyde, lead, and petrochemicals and is deemed safe.

Green Rating
6 /10 Has some safety certifications

 

Adjustable Base Compatibility ( what’s this )

We tested the Helix mattress on our standard adjustable base, looking for whether using such a base could damage the mattress or create any issues like bunching or bulges.

The Nightfall mattress is made to be used on an adjustable base, and in our test, the mattress conformed well to the base in its fully articulated position. When our tester got out of the bed, the midsection did pop back up a bit, but we expect that over time, the mattress would break in and relax. We noticed no uncomfortable bunching of fabric when on our adjustable base.

Adjustable Base Compatibility
8 /10 Very good compatibility

 

Price, Value & Longevity

How Much Does a Helix Nightfall Mattress Cost?

Prices shown are list prices. Remember that GoodBed keeps our site current with the best available discounts on online mattresses, many of which are exclusive discounts for our readers.

Note that Helix offers former and current members of the military a 15% discount (cannot be combined with other discounts).

Size Dimensions Mattress Foundation / Adjustable Base GoodBed Discount
Twin 39" x 75" x 12" $700 $200 / NA Yes
Twin XL 39" x 80" x 12" $850 $225 / $850 Yes
Full (Double) 54" x 75" x 12" $995 $250 / NA Yes
Queen 60" x 80" x 12" $1,190 $275 / $895 Yes
King 76" x 80" x 12" $1,440 $325 / $1,395 Yes
California King 72" x 84" x 12" $1,440 $325 / $1,395 Yes

 

What Are You Getting?

The Helix Nightfall is a 12" tall hybrid mattress that aims to fill a niche, for plus size and big/tall individuals and couples.

 

How Long Will the Helix Nightfall Last?

In our evaluation of the Nightfall, we saw no red flags that might indicate premature breakdown. We were impressed with the quality of the steel coil unit, with its stronger coils around the edge. The two top foams are 3.7 lb. density and 4.0 lb density, respectively; these are solid measurements that help indicate foam quality. While we don't often put much stock in mattress warranties, Helix does back this bed with a guarantee against body impressions of 1" and deeper -- that's a better term than the industry standard of 1.5".

 

Overall Value

The Helix Nightfall ives is a fairly small part of the mattress market, aimed to support plus-size people and offer enhanced durability. As such, it's harder to compare it to mattress that don't offer these characteristics.

Based on its materials, construction and features, we do think it compares very well to beds you would find in a traditional mattress store or department store, and even compared to standard hybrid mattresses sold online, it's right in the same ballpark price-wise. Certainly if you are a heavier person or couple, or just someone that wants a very durable and long-lasting bed, we do think the Helix Nightfall is an excellent value.

Value Rating
9/10 Excellent value

 

Other Factors to Consider

Delivery

  • Free delivery to door

Helix includes free delivery, which is not particularly unusual among its competitors. Delivery is by common carrier like FedEx, who will deliver the box to your door. You're responsible for getting it to your bedroom, or wherever you want to place it.

 

Returns

  • 100-day trial period
  • Full refund with pickup

Helix offers buyers a 100-night trial period, and requires buyers to give the mattress at least 30 days before initiating a return. Should you decide to return it, the company will send someone to pick it up from you, saving you the hassle of shipping it back yourself. See: Helix returns policy.

 

Warranty

  • Warranty Length: 10 years
  • Indentation Coverage: 1” and above

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest complaints about any mattress from consumers regards body impressions — the inability of a mattress to spring back, eventually creating a low spot/sinkhole in the mattress. As such, mattress warranties all contain a term defining how big a sag or ‘body impression’ (measured when no one is on the mattress) is considered a defect, and thus covered under the warranty.

The industry standard for hybrid and innerspring mattresses is 1.5". Helix has chosen to cover indentations that meet or exceed 1”substantially better than the average. Practically speaking, that means any softening or sagging would need to be at least that deep before the warranty would offer you protection.

This warranty extends to the original owner for as long as they own the mattress and assumes it has been placed upon an appropriate foundation. See: Helix warranty policy

 

Bottom Line: Is the Helix Nightfall Mattress Right for You?

The Helix Nightfall features heavy-duty materials and construction for durability and to accommodate higher weight individuals. Here’s who we think the mattress is best for, based on our evaluation:

BEST if you:

  • Like a mattress with a traditional feel
  • Sleep in several positions
  • Are a heavier back or side sleeper
  • Tend to sleep on the edge of your bed

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Prefer a slow-melting memory-foam feel
  • Are a lightweight side sleeper
  • Are a very heavy stomach sleeper

Is the Helix mattress right for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz to find mattresses that fit your needs, based on your preferences and price range.

Looking for more on the Helix Nightfall? Visit HelixSleep.com.

 

Final Note

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