Is the Helix Dusk mattress any good?

Helix Dusk mattress
(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)

The Helix Dusk is a hybrid mattress with a medium sleep feel. It's the cheapest and most basic of the brand's three Dusk models, and all three are designed especially for back or stomach sleepers.

The 11.5" tall, hybrid mattress is handmade in the USA, and includes a layer of springy foam (called a 'latex alternative'), other foams and a layer of coils. At full price it's an upper mid-range model, but there's almost always a discount that'll take it down into the mid-range bracket.

Helix Dusk mattress specs

Helix Dusk mattress

(Image credit: Helix)

Type: Hybrid
Firmness (1-10): 5-6
Height: 11.5"
Trial period: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 year limited
Price bracket: Mid / upper mid-range
Materials: Latex foam, other foams, coils

In the full Helix lineup there are two soft mattresses, two medium mattresses, and two firm mattresses. One of each pair is aimed at side sleepers and one is aimed at back or stomach sleepers. In the medium band, alongside the Dusk there's also the Midnight. We rate this as the best mattress for side sleepers – you can find out why in our Helix Midnight mattress review

Each individual model is available as standard, Luxe and Elite variants. These get thicker, more advanced and more expensive as you go up the range. We're focusing on the standard model here.

We haven't slept on this mattress, but we have had a chance to inspect it closely, lie down on it, and run our usual mattress tests to assess pressure relief, motion transfer and edge support. To supplement this, we've also researched existing user reviews and assessed the company's claims based on our own extensive experience of testing mattresses, to build a well-rounded view of the Helix Dusk and how might compare to the rest of today's best mattresses. Scroll down on for our full hands-on review. 

Should I buy the Helix Dusk mattress?

You'll find loads more detail, and the results of our tests, in the article below. But if you're in a hurry, here's a super-quick rundown of who we would, and would not, recommend this model to, based on our hands-on time with it.

Buy it if...

You sleep on your back or front: The firmer-than-advertised sleep feel is perfect for these positions, offering plenty of support to stop the lumbar from dropping too low and keep the spine nicely aligned.

You prefer a responsive sleep surface: There's no memory foam here, but instead a springy latex-alternative foam, which gives the Dusk a responsive surface that's easy to move about on.

You share a bed: Despite that more responsive sleep surface, the Dusk performed well in our motion isolation tests, which means you shouldn't be disturbed by a wriggly partner on this mattress.

Don't buy it if...

You sleep on your side: We think some side sleepers – and especially those who are on the lighter side – might find this model too firm, creating pressure on the shoulders in this positions. These sleepers might prefer the Midnight, which feels softer (despite having the same official firmness rating) and features cushioning memory foam.

You want the most luxurious option: While the Helix Dusk feels good quality, it's the simplest and least fancy-feeling of the lineup. Consider upgrading to the Luxe version, which has a pillow top, if you want more of a hotel-bed feel. 

Helix Dusk mattress: Price

  • Upper mid-range at MSRP, but rmid-range with regular 20% off discount
  • Cheapest of the Dusk lineup

Discounts are a regular occurrence in the bed market. While events such as the Black Friday mattress deals and Presidents' Day mattress sales can yield some especially good prices, it's not uncommon to see discounts running constantly, year-round. 

The regular Helix mattress sale knocks 20% off MSRP, but the brand has been known to bump that up to 25% off over major sales events. At full price, it'd be an upper mid-range mattress, but with a 20% discount that drops into the mid-range bracket. You'll usually get two free pillows bundled in with your purchase, to amp up the value. 

Here's a look at the list prices for each size of the Helix Dusk mattress, and how much you can expect to actually pay:

  • Twin size: MSRP $936.30 (usually on sale for $749)
  • Full size: MSRP $1,248.80 (usually on sale for $999)
  • Queen size: MSRP $1,373.80 (usually on sale for $1,099)
  • King size: MSRP $1,748.80 (usually on sale for $1,399)

If you happen to be mattress-hunting in the run-up to a big national sales event, it might be worth holding off to see if the discount increases.

Note that prices are consistent across the standard, Luxe and Elite varieties of each mattress (so those price above are what you'll see for the standard Midnight, for example). That takes price out of the equation when deciding which mattress model to opt for. 

If you bump up to the Luxe version, a queen size costs $2,373.80 (but is usually on sale for $1,899), while the top-end Elite in queen size is $3,436.30 but usually available at $2,749. 

Helix Dusk mattress: Design

  • 11.5-inch tall hybrid mattress with springs and foam
  • No memory foam, instead a responsive latex-alternative 
  • Option to upgrade to cooling GlacioTex cover

The Helix Dusk is an 11.5-inch tall hybrid mattress that's made in Arizona. The internal structure is made up of five layers, plus a stretchy soft-touch cover (which can be upgraded to a GlacioTex Cover if you want a bit of extra cooling – that'll cost you an extra $199 based on queen size). 

The top layer is made with Helix Dynamic Foam. This is described as a 'latex foam alternative', which just means that it has a similar bouncy, responsive feel to latex. This is followed by two layers of high-grade polyfoam for cradling, contouring and cushioning. These sit on top of the spring layer. As with all the best hybrid mattresses, the coils are individually wrapped to help isolate movement within the mattress as well as providing space for air to circulate, boosting breathability. The coils are sturdier along the long sides of the mattress, to bolster the edges. Finally, there's a dense foam base layer.

Exploded diagram showing different layers inside the Helix Dusk

(Image credit: Helix)

Helix Dusk mattress: Comfort & support

  • Uniform, springy, responsive sleep feel 
  • Rated 5-6/10 by Helix, we'd say more like a 7-8
  • Best for back or stomach sleepers, some side sleepers may find too firm

The Dusk is rated by Helix as 5 or 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, officially making it a medium mattress. However, we judge the Dusk to be much firmer than Helix's official rating. We think it's more of a 7 or even an 8 out of 10, making it a medium-firm. This was borne out by our tests – when we placed a 15lb weight in the middle of the mattress, it sank 1.8" inches, which is in our 'firm' bracket.

The Dusk is marketed as being geared specifically towards those who like to sleep on their stomach or sleep on their back. We'd typically suggest a medium-firm or firm mattress for these positions, to ensure the back is adequately supported and the sleeper's hips don't drop too low into the mattress and put a strain on their spine.

We were skeptical going in (a rating of 5-6 is typically too soft for these positions) but in fact but in our tests we found this mattress perfectly suitable for back or front sleepers, with good support under the hips in this position. 

Helix Dusk mattress, with Sleep Editor lying on her front on it

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)

Those who like to lie on their side can get away with a slightly softer mattress (medium to medium-firm), to offer some give around the shoulders and hips and relieve any potential buildup of pressure in these areas, while still keeping the spine correctly aligned. We found the Dusk comfortable when lying on our sides, although we suspect some side sleepers might prefer something softer. 

This is especially true if you're a lightweight side-sleeper (in general, heavier people will need to err on the firmer side when it comes to mattresses, while lighter people will often find more effective support with something a little softer). 

Helix Dusk mattress, with Sleep Editor lying on her back on it

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)

Specifically, we'd probably recommend checking out the Midnight. This is the other 'medium' mattress in Helix's range, but has a very different sleep feel. When you press on the Dusk, it offers a springy, responsive feel, thanks to that latex-alternative layer. It's uniform in softness, rather than being squishy on top with a firmer lower level. 

The Midnight uses a memory foam rather than that latex-alternative, which means the sleep surface is much more slow moving, with that contouring 'hug' feel around the joints. It also feels softer than the Dusk.

Helix Dusk mattress: Motion isolation

Motion isolation is the measure of how well a mattress absorbs movements. This factor is important to consider if you share a bed with a partner and don't want to be disturbed by their movements. If you're a restless sleeper who's prone to tossing and turning, a mattress with good motion isolation might also help you sleep more soundly.

To test the motion transfer on the Helix Dusk, we placed an empty wine glass on the sleep surface, then dropped a 15lb weight at distances of 4, 10 and 25 inches away from it. It stayed standing (just about) at all distances, which equates to excellent motion isolation.

We also roped in a fellow sleep journalist to help assess motion isolation in a more natural way, by getting in and out of bed and changing position. We felt a little motion transfer across the sleep surface, but not a problematic amount. You might feel some movements, but they don't reverberate across the bed, and will only disturb the lightest sleepers. 

Close-up of Helix Dusk mattress

The GlacioTex cover (pictured) combined with waterfall edge, does make the edges feel a bit slippery (Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)

Helix Dusk mattress: Edge support

A mattress with good edge support has a sturdy perimeter that you can confidently sit on. The benefits are that this enables you to use the whole sleep surface, and push up off the edge of the bed when getting up in the morning. 

We tested edge support by placing our 15lb weight on the side and end edges of the Midnight Dusk mattress and measuring how far it sank in – usually, you'd want edge sinkage that's equal to or less than the centre sinkage. 

The weight sank 2" on the edges of the Dusk, which is more sinkage than we saw in the centre of the mattress (1.8"), so it's not a perfect result. However, there's a bit of leeway if the overall feel is firmer, which is the case here. 

To sit on, the edges feel pretty sturdy. However, our test model had the GlacioTex cover upgrade, which is notoriously slippery. This, combined with the fact that this mattress has a 'waterfall edge' (i.e. the fabric runs down to the edges), means you might slide off anyway.

Helix Dusk mattress: Delivery & extras

All of Helix's mattresses comes with a 100-night trial period. This is about the shortest you'll find at any of the big bed brands, although still fine for a mattress of this price. If it immediately feels too soft or too firm, you can contact Helix to request an extra topper to adjust the sleep feel. If that still doesn't help, you can return the mattress after you've slept on it for the required 'breaking in' period of 30 nights.

For the standard models, there's a 10-year limited warranty that covers all manufacturing defects. This goes up to 15 years for Luxe and Elite versions. (Realistically, you should be replacing your mattress every 7-10 years anyway, if you're using it every night.)

Helix Dusk mattress

(Image credit: 3Z Brands for Tom's Guide)

Delivery is free within the US, and typically takes between six and 10 days. Like all bed in a box mattresses, the Dusk arrives vacuum-packed and rolled. There aren't a ton of details about delivery on the brand's website, but it looks like that box will be deposited at the door to your building, because it's described as 'no contact'. There are no upgrade options – for example if you wanted the mattress set up or your old bed removed. 

Once unwrapped, Helix says the mattress will be ready to sleep on in 30-45 minutes, which is super quick.

Helix Dusk mattress: Customer reviews

Because we've only gone hands-on with the Dusk but haven't actually slept on it, we've also consulted existing customer reviews to gain a more rounded view, and see if any recurring themes – good or bad – became apparent.

On the Helix website, the Dusk has an average of around 4.6/5 over ~2,350 reviews (April 2023). Overall the comments are hugely positive, with a number of people saying this mattress helped improve their sleep or ease aches and pains. As is common across almost all mattress comments pages, there are almost equal numbers of people complaining it's too soft as those who find it too firm. 

We spotted a handful of complaints about it sleeping a bit warm, and a few from couples who found they both ended up rolling towards each other in the night. There are also some comments that the edge support could be improved.

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor, TechRadar

Ruth is currently Homes Editor on Tom's Guide's sister site TechRadar, where she reviews and writes about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was Tom's Guide's Sleep Editor. A certified Sleep Science Coach, she has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest.