Your Cart

  • No items in the cart
Knowing the Science.
At Helix, we try to make our personalization and tailoring process simple and easy to use, but there’s actually some pretty robust science behind our technology. Here we’ll walk you through some of the key factors we consider when we determine and build the best mattress for you, and only you. We get pretty jazzed about mattresses here, and judging by the page you clicked on, so do you.
  • Density
    Density is a measure of the weight of a given material (typically a foam) by cubic foot. It is a benchmark for the quality, durability, and longevity of the foam. Although, polyurethane is considered to be high density at weights of 1.5 pounds per cubic foot and above, Helix uses a minimum of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot throughout the mattress. Somewhat unintuitively, density is not directly correlated with the feel of the material - it is possible to have a highly dense, soft-feeling material and vice versa.
  • ILD
    ILD (Indentation Load Deflection) is a measure of how firm or plush a material feels. (Specifically, ILD refers to how many pounds of force it takes to compress a 4 inch piece of foam by 25% with a 50 square inch plate). Here’s a video of how ILD testing is completed on polyurethane foam. In the upper layers of a mattress, the ILD determines the feel of the bed - how firm or plush it feels when you lie down or run your hand across the mattress. In the middle and lower layers, the ILD determines the support of a mattress - how far your body sinks into the mattress and how your spine is aligned uniformly across your body. Helix uses foam with ILDs that range from 10-36 ILD.
  • Coil Count
    Coil Count.
    Coil count is a number commonly cited in the industry that simply refers to the number of springs in a mattress. Referencing a high coil count is a common sales technique in the retail mattress world, but it is mostly deceptive. What’s more significant is the design of the spring and the quality of the steel. Our springs are individually wrapped and pocketed, so that they can move independently, thus minimizing motion transfer from side to side. Each spring is individually heat treated during the manufacturing process, making them incredibly durable and resistant to degradation. Our springs will never lose strength or rust.
Spinal Alignment and Personalization.
The ultimate goal of designing your ideal mattress construction is to keep the spine aligned during sleep, while also balancing other preferences and needs like temperature, feel, and pressure relief. Research has found that you optimize sleep quality, back health, and overall comfort when you achieve spinal alignment during rest.
Sleeping position plays a surprisingly key role in determining the best personal mattress design. Researchers have found that stomach sleepers simply require a higher level of support, while back sleepers require less, with side sleepers falling somewhere in the middle. In addition, studies have shown that there are gender-based factors (the natural differences between the male and female body) that require adjustments to maintain performance. Most notably, men with pronounced shoulders and women with pronounced hips require higher point elasticity in order to achieve spinal alignment.
Haex, Bed and Back: Ergonomic Aspects of Sleeping.
Spinal alignment is unsurprisingly one of the key factors in sparking restorative REM sleep. One study found that people sleeping on a bed which kept their spine properly aligned throughout the night, particularly side and stomach sleepers, spent 49% more time in REM vs. those with a misaligned or curved spine.
KU Leuven
In a study of sleep quality among individuals of different body sizes and shapes, researchers at University of Gothenburg found that sleep quality was optimized not only by accommodating individual feel preferences, but at different levels of support determined by body type and size, concluding that “the choice of a firm or a soft mattress is not only a matter of likes or dislikes but that individual subjects can indeed have specific needs.” Another study found that a customized mattress is the most effective sleep surface for achieving spinal alignment during sleep, particularly for men with a more pronounced body type.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University.
Mattress Performance Characteristics.
  • Feel
    The feel, or comfort level, of the mattress is typically the most familiar property to mattress shoppers, and it ranges from soft, or plush, to firm. This property is determined by the ILD (softness or firmness) of the very top layers of the bed. A common misconception is that a firm mattress is more supportive and vice versa. However, it’s entirely possible to have a soft, plush feeling mattress that allows your body to sink into the mattress while still maintaining proper support, and aligning your spine while you sleep.
  • Support
    Support is, arguably, the most import consideration in choosing a mattress. The support properties determine how far, and how evenly, your body sinks into the mattress. Ultimately the goal of finding the proper level of support in your mattress is to keep the back’s natural curvature stable while you sleep at night. A mattress that has support that is too light will allow your body to sink too far into the mattress, curving the spine from the center of your torso. If a mattress has support that is too strong, your body will simply sit on top of the mattress, and the natural curves of your spine will not be accommodated.
  • Point Elasticity
    Point Elasticity.
    Most mattress shoppers have never heard of this metric. At Helix we like to call it the mattress nerd's metric. Put simply, point elasticity is a measure of the ability of the materials in the mattress to compress at a specific point, without affecting the rest of the mattress.

    Point elasticity goes hand in hand with support to keep your spine aligned as you sleep. For side sleepers, and for people with broad hips or shoulders, these parts of your body push much further into the mattress than your waist or legs. To keep the back straight and maintain an even level of support, the mattress needs to be able to mold along the natural curve of your body. A mattress without the appropriate level of point elasticity will bow in on these points of pressure, curving the spine.
  • Temperature Regulation
    Temperature Regulation.
    Your mattress plays an often overlooked role in your temperature regulation at night. The level of airflow through the different layers within a mattress can both positively, and negatively, affect your body temperature as you sleep. By including materials which provide strong airflow, and by moving these materials higher in the mattress (and thus closer to your body), more air will flow through the mattress, ultimately dissipating heat and wicking away moisture.

    Some materials, like springs, are naturally conducive to air flow because they take up relatively little volume, and air can freely pass through. Foams vary in their air flow capabilities. Open cell polyurethane foam, like the High-Grade Polyfoam used in Helix Mattresses, have an open cell structure which allows air to flow through the material. Latex and Memory (or visco-elastic) Foam have a much denser cell structure which restricts airflow and can lead to issues with heat retention.
    Open cell polyurethane foam (Gibson, 2005 J. Biomechanics)
Our Approach.
At Helix we took these findings to heart. They inspired our idea, and later helped to mold and develop our product. We believe, based on years of scientific research, that a mattress must be personalized to your specific body type, sleeping style, and personal preferences in order to provide the best night’s sleep. The idea that one size, one mattress, could fit all different, unique, individual sleepers is completely glossing over the complexities of sleep, at the expense of the customer.

We built our personalization technology in coordination with a team of PhD researchers with years of experience in biomechanics, sleep ergonomics, and mechanical engineering. We wanted to understand the data to better understand the effects of body types, posture, and material properties on sleep quality.

Through our R&D process, we have found that a human body can be accurately modeled with just a few key metrics: height, weight, and body contour, which is defined as the relative width at the waist, hips, and shoulders. By capturing the key inputs in our Sleep Quiz, we are able to design a mattress which is optimized across all four mattress performance metrics specifically for you - making sure you’re well supported, well-rested, and ultimately, comfortable, while you sleep.

We’re taking a different, more personal approach to bedtime, and we hope you’ll join us.
We're here for you.