Recent years have seen a proliferation of new mattress companies that operate exclusively online. The mid 2000s saw the rise of memory foam and other advanced materials, and the current wave of sales is bringing this new construction to the masses in accessible and affordable formats. In this post, we will review one of these new companies: Hyphen. We will go over the most important things to know about shopping for a new mattress and place the Hyphen on the context of the current market so that you know if you are getting a good deal or not. You’ll learn about the Hyphen and about mattress shopping at large.
What To Look For In A Mattress
First, it’s important to talk about the most important characteristics of a mattress. Then we can discuss how the Hyphen measures up. There are several key points to keep in mind, and many of them depend on your personal preference, not an objective measurement.
First, comfort. Mattresses have different attributes that determine how comfortable they feel. Firmness varies a lot. In contrast to big box stores that have many different firmness levels, companies like Hyphen tend to make just one mattress with one firmness level. You can make it a little softer with a pad or cover. Comfort also depends on things like how supportive the edges are and how well the mattress stays cool.
You should also look into the materials used in the mattress. Many modern mattresses have pulled back from pure memory foam because that tends to cause people to feel like they are sinking in too much. Instead, they develop their own foam formulas with more resistance and build layers of materials. This affects whether you feel motion when someone else in the mattress moves, back support, and the sleeping experience. Depending on the materials, the mattress will also take some time to break in after delivery, and it may outgas over the first 24 to 48 hours.
Once you know what you prefer in terms of firmness and other key features, then you should examine price. Mattress costs can range from a few hundred dollars up to much more. Don’t spend more than you need to, because you can find high-quality construction and durability without reaching the upper tier of pricing. It comes down to knowing what you want and understanding the market for those particular attributes, which you can learn through a little market research. The focus of this post will be key attributes for Hyphen, and you can apply this knowledge to other brands as well.
As mentioned above, Hyphen only sells one product, which is fairly typical for online mattress sales. The company offers their mattress in multiple sizes: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. Each one uses the same construction with the only difference being the size.
The mattress is delivered in a box. There is some outgassing over the first day as a result of the packaging, but this should dissipate quickly. The mattress itself has a trial period of 100 nights, during which you can return it for a refund if it does not meet your needs. Moreover, once you decide that you want to keep the mattress, it has a 10-year warranty.
The Hyphen product works with just about any support surface. You can use it with a box spring, a platform, slats, an adjustable frame, or the floor. The weight depends on the model you order. For example, the queen is 66 pounds. Coupled with the size of the mattress, that can make it a little hard to maneuver and unpack if you are working alone. Make sure that the mattress is where you want it to be.
It can be hard to decide how to evaluate a new company that does not have an established reputation yet, but Hyphen is currently averaging about 4.5 stars out of 5 on the sites where it sells its mattress. That doesn’t mean everything, but it certainly helps build some trust in the quality of the product and the ability of the company to deliver what it promises. This is particularly relevant for a company offering a long-term warranty, because you have to be able to trust that it will be willing and able to honor the guarantee.
Materials and Build Quality
As with most other contemporary mattresses, the Hyphen is composed of several layers. Each layer has a specific role to play. The first is the antimicrobial covering. It preserves the lifetime of the mattress and keeps you healthy by blocking out bacteria. You can remove this layer and wash it in a machine on a cold setting, which you should do regularly.
Below that is the layer of proprietary foam. This is a unique formula that is designed to provide the same cushioning as memory foam, but without the sinking effect that many people find irritating. This layer is 2 inches deep. It is the one that has the largest effect on your comfort. In addition to the firmness and softness, it also determines support and the temperature of the mattress. Having airflow affects how well the material stays cool and conducts heat away. In this case, the foam is of high quality- it is an appealing compromise between feeling soft and being supportive.
Under that comes a layer of polyurethane. This is also two inches thick. The goal of this layer is to transition from the soft foam to the harder bottom support layer. It is firmer than the foam while still providing some buoyancy.
The last layer is a firmer, thicker polyurethane. This is six inches thick and provides most of the support for the mattress. You need support for your back and muscles, and this layer ensures the support is strong enough and is evenly distributed across the mattress. Both of the bottom layers are certified with CertiPUR-US. That means they are free of ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, formaldehyde, phthalates, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. This layer system is typical of online mattresses- soft foam on top followed by supportive material underneath.
In general, most people prefer for mattresses and pillows to feel as cool as possible. In the summer and when it is warm, a cool mattress makes it much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. On the other hand, when the weather is cold, you can simply pull over a blanket to stay warm. That is why mattress design is centered around conducting heat away.
This comes in two main approaches, and mattresses rely on both of them. The first is promoting airflow by using small holes and bubbles. This lets warm air escape from the mattress and lets cooler air circulate in. As a side effect, these tiny gaps also contribute to softness. The other main approach is by using materials that conduct heat away. The foam and the supportive layers have to allow heat to pass through them and away from the sleepers to keep you feeling cool throughout the night.
The Hyphen does a fairly good job at cooling. There are other mattresses in this price range that are able to do a slightly better job, but it probably is not enough to convince you to switch unless there is something else you are interested in. If you decide to add a mattress pad, they can sometimes impede air flow and make it harder for a mattress to stay cool. You can help the cooling process by keeping windows open and turning on a fan, and of course an air conditioner will make a big difference as well.
Firmness is one of the most obvious attributes a mattress can have. At the same time, it is also one of the most divisive ones because people tend to have strong preferences on how they like their mattresses to feel. With the exception of a Sleep Number or similar adjustable mattress, once you make a purchase, you are committed to a certain firmness level. It is possible to slightly reduce firmness by adding a mattress pad designed for that purpose, but as the other sections in this post show, that can have other impacts.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most firm, Hyphen’s product is about a 7. It is noticeably firm. Due to the aforementioned pad idea, it is usually better to go a little too hard than the other way around. The hardness is consistent across the whole mattress with no soft spots or missing zones.
The advantage of firmness is that it provides some resistance and support for your body as you sleep. However, the key measure is whether or not it feels comfortable. You can try the 100 day trial of the Hyphen, which is an industry standard. It is a good idea, however, to try out some mattresses in person before you have to put down any money. Try to arrange a visit to a local mattress store and ask to see a range of firmness levels for foam mattresses. The foam won’t be exactly like Hyphen’s, but you will get close to the feel of it. A 100-day trial sounds good, but it can be a hassle to repack and send back a mattress so that you can order a new one, so few people actually take advantage of it. This way, you can be prepared.
Edge support is a characteristic that only become significant with the arrival of foam. With a traditional mattress, the edges tend to be quite strong and supportive. With foam, especially earlier memory foam models, the edges of the mattress have a strong tendency to collapse inward or sink when you sit on them. This can make it hard to get out of bed or cause you to slip out unexpectedly.
On the one hand, having edges without enough support is uncomfortable. On the other hand, if there is too much extra support at the edges, it will create uneven firmness and the mattress will become too hard at the edge, causing you to roll towards the middle or sleep unevenly.
The Hyphen mattress is successful at keeping the edge just strong enough to have definition, but not enough to interfere with sleep. It’s something that is starting to be less of a concern as mattress companies adapt their formulas to the problem, and it is a big part of why pure memory foam is less popular than it used to be. In any case, Hyphen has designed the support layers and the foam to work together to maintain good edges without compromising the sleep surface.
Motion sensitivity does not affect everyone. It only matters if you have another person or pets who will occupy the mattress with you. Furthermore, some people tend to be heavy sleepers who are not affected by the movement of other sleepers no matter what. However, if you are a medium or light sleeper, then it is important to find a mattress that will suppress the ripples that this motion can cause.
Motion suppression comes from the quality of the material in the top layer. If it is too giving, that leads to sinkage and motion waves. If it is too hard and tight, it will be hard to sleep on it with comfort. The happy medium is the point that leaves enough sink to let your body relax and conform to the material without allowing motion waves to spread.
That is the point that Hyphen has achieved. As mentioned above this mattress is on the hard side. Part of what that means is that it does an excellent job at keeping motion waves isolated. You should never be able to tell if someone else has moved around in the bed. Moreover, if you choose to get a softer feel by adding a mattress pad or cover, then the underlying foam will still be able to suppress motion. You get the benefit of motion reduction without having to sacrifice a softer surface.
Motion can vary in its impact. Someone turning in their sleep is a much gentler motion than a person getting into the bed, for example. The Hyphen is capable of suppressing all types of motion, so even light sleepers with active partners won’t have any problem staying asleep. In the rare case where you do still feel motion, then you may need to opt for a specialty mattress that has stronger suppression.
Hyphen has put together a strong mattress product. It still has some flaws- the air flow could be better and the price is a little higher than some of the competition. However, it does have high points like the firmness and washable outside covering that make it inviting. In terms of the market, this is a solid midrange mattress. You can find models for one or a few hundred dollars cheaper depending on the size, but they will tend to have worse build quality or other flaws. If you want, you can spend a little more and stay within the middle of the market or a lot more for an advanced model.
If you have not yet ordered a mattress online for delivery before, then the Hyphen model would be a good place to start. In many ways it is a jack of all trades that delivers good value. Keep in mind that you do have the right to return it within 100 days, because plenty of people never follow up on that warranty.
Ordering and opening the mattress is quite simple and easy. Just open the box, free the mattress, and lay it down on the bed. It will expand slightly and outgas some packing plastic. Then you are done.
The Hyphen comes with a good recommendation, and it is certainly a better buy than just about anything you can find in a physical mattress store. Give it a try- you might be surprised by how good it feels.