Helix Dawn Mattress Review

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Helix is known for their high-quality, bed-in-a-box mattresses, and they are consistently ranked as some of the best for sleepers of all types. If you’re after a firm mattress in particular, the Helix Dawn is the firmest model in the brand’s standard mattress line. 

The Helix Dawn has the added firmness, but how does it stack up in other important categories like cooling, motion isolation, support, and pressure relief? We’ll get into these details and share who we think are the best sleepers for this bed in our in-depth review of the Helix Dawn Mattress.

Product image of Helix Dawn
Get the Helix Dawn Mattress
This hybrid mattress was specifically designed for those who love a firm but contouring mattress.
Click the button below to get the Helix Dawn.

Who We Recommend The Helix Dawn For:

  • Back and stomach sleepers – This bed is firm enough to support people who sleep on their backs and sides.

  • Couples – The Helix Dawn has good motion isolation, meaning you shouldn’t be able to feel your partner move on the other side of the bed.

  • People with back pain – The Helix Dawn does a great job contouring to your spine’s natural curve, so it should keep your spine in neutral alignment. This helps relieve back pain by taking pressure off of your lower back.

  • People who prefer a firmer mattress – This mattress is a 7.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, so it works best for those who prefer a firm mattress.

  • Heavier sleepers – People who weigh more should feel well-supported by this firmer mattress.

Who We Don’t Recommend The Helix Dawn For:

  • Side sleepersSide sleepers need pressure relief around their shoulders and hips, which means they benefit from a softer mattress that contours along their sides. This mattress is likely too firm for most strict side sleepers.

  • People who prefer a soft mattressSome people prefer the feel of a softer mattress. If that’s you, this firm mattress is probably not the one for you. Instead, go for a mattress that is rated plush or soft.

  • People under 130 poundsUnless you prefer a very firm mattress and sleep strictly on your stomach, this mattress might be too firm for petite sleepers who tend to sink into the mattress less than other sleepers.

First Impressions: Firmness & Feel

Firmness Scale: 7.5/10

Please remember that firmness is a subjective characteristic and your shape will dictate how you experience a bed. A heavier person whose weight can more easily push through softer comfort and support layers may experience a bed as softer than a lightweight person. The way you are shaped could also play a role here. Consider your weight, shape, and size when evaluating firmness scores.

Mattress Firmness Level 7.5

The Helix Dawn rates at a 7.5 out of 10 on the Sleep Advisor firmness scale, which is considered to be a firm mattress. This is a hybrid mattress, so it’s made from both coils and foam. The coils give this mattress firm support and the foam comfort layers give it some cushioning. While the firmer feel is ideal for stomach sleepers and some back sleepers, this bed won’t offer as much pressure relief to those who sleep on their sides. 

If you’re craving something a bit softer, you can upgrade to the Helix Dawn Luxe, which includes a pillow top layer. This will still be a firm mattress, but due to the plush pillow top layer, it feels a little softer than the standard.

How Does It Feel?

The Helix Dawn is a bed-in-a-box product, which means when you order it, the mattress will be delivered in a box. As a result,there will be an initial waiting period for the mattress to decompress and offgas. 

Once it does that, though, the mattress feels firm, responsive, and supportive. The Helix Dawn feels the most comfortable when lying on your stomach and back and feels less comfortable lying on your side. This bed is also relatively bouncy, making it easier to change positions.

What We Like About the Helix Dawn

  • Very supportive – This is great news for heavier sleepers and those with back pain.

  • Durable – The firm coils and reinforced edges of this mattress mean that it won’t likely sag and should last a long time before it needs to be replaced.

  • Cooling – This bed has a breathable cover, thin layers of foam, and a support layer of coils, which allow for plenty of air flow and cooling. The upgraded Luxe version has even more cooling features.

Our Helix Dawn Complaints

  • Lack of pressure relief – This mattress is firmer, and therefore,, it won’t provide as much pressure and pain relief to the shoulders and hips, especially for side sleepers.

  • Not great for all sleepers – Side sleepers, some back sleepers, and lighter weight sleepers will not get the same benefits from this bed as those who are heavier or sleep strictly on their stomachs and backs.

  • Not especially contouringOther Helix models, like the Helix Midnight, feature memory foam, which does an excellent job of contouring to the body. This mattress features latex and layers of poly foam, which gives the sensation of sleeping ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ this bed.

Testing the Helix Dawn: How it Performed

When we tested the Helix Dawn Mattress, there were specific features we were measuring so we could determine who this mattress is best for. These include cooling, motion isolation, bounce, and edge support. Additionally, we lied on the mattress in different sleeping positions to see how the bed performs in terms of support and pressure relief in each position.

Sleeping Positions for Different Body Types

According to Helix, their Dawn mattress is designed to comfortably support up to 500 pounds on each side of the bed for sizes Twin, Full, Queen and larger (so 1,000 pounds total). While the Helix Dawn can support this much weight, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good fit for you just because you’re a heavier sleeper. You’ll also want to consider your go-to sleeping positions to see if this mattress is a good fit.

WeightSide Sleepers
Side Sleeping Icon
Back Sleepers
Back Sleeping Icon
Stomach Sleepers
Stomach Sleeping Icon
Lightweight Sleepers (-130 lbs)☆☆☆★☆☆★★☆
Average Weight Sleepers (130-230 lbs)☆☆☆★★☆★★★
Heavyweight Sleepers (+230 lbs)★☆☆★★★★★★

Side Sleepers

  • Lightweight SleepersLightweight side sleepers will find this mattress far too firm to be supportive of their spine’s natural alignment or comfortable on their shoulders and hips.
  • Average Weight SleepersAverage-weight side sleepers will also find this mattress too firm to relieve pressure on their hips and shoulders.
  • Heavyweight SleepersThis bed will likely feel too firm for heavyweight side sleepers as well, though they might feel better supported by the Helix Dawn Luxe, which is a bit softer.

Back Sleepers

  • Lightweight SleepersLightweight back sleepers will probably find this mattress too firm and will not sink comfortably into its foam layers. The upgraded Luxe will be a bit softer, but not much.
  • Average Weight SleepersAverage-weight back sleepers should feel supported by this mattress, especially those who prefer a firm-feeling bed.
  • Heavyweight SleepersThe Helix Dawn offers plenty of support and pressure relief for heavyweight back sleepers. If you prefer a little more plushness, you can upgrade to the Luxe and still get plenty of good support.

Stomach Sleepers

  • Lightweight SleepersStomach sleepers of any weight need a firmer mattress to keep the spine and hips in alignment. This mattress will be most supportive for lightweight stomach sleepers, but may not feel the most pressure-relieving for smaller bodies. In other words, lightweight stomach sleepers will get plenty of support for healthy spine alignment but not as much pressure relief or contouring.
  • Average Weight SleepersThis is an excellent mattress for average-weight stomach sleepers, whose hips will be supported and spine kept in alignment.
  • Heavyweight SleepersHeavyweight sleepers should stick to the standard (rather than the upgraded Luxe version), which offers a bit more support and firmness for stomach sleepers.

Pressure Relief & Pain

Overall, the Helix Dawn provides great pressure relief for those who are heavier or of average weight, or those who sleep on their stomachs and backs exclusively. For those who are lighter or who sleep on their sides, this mattress will be a bit too firm to provide much pressure or pain relief. In fact, for these sleepers, it might cause more pain. 

If you are someone who needs extra pressure relief and softness, you might be better off with a more plush mattress like the Helix Sunset.

Back Pain – This mattress can be great for sleepers with back pain, depending on your sleep position. Stomach sleepers with back pain will feel very supported by the Helix Dawn, while back sleepers might want to upgrade to the Luxe version for its zoned support layer. Side sleepers with back pain should opt for a softer mattress entirely.
Hip Pain – Back and side sleepers with hip pain should probably avoid this mattress due to its level of firmness and lack of pressure relief. Stomach sleepers with hip pain, though, should feel their hips propped up and well-aligned with this firm mattress.
Shoulder Pain – People with shoulder pain should avoid this mattress, no matter their weight, preferred firmness level, or sleep position. Instead, opt for a mattress that is better designed for relieving pressure on the hip and shoulder.

Support

While the Helix Dawn might not be to everyone’s taste since it is so firm, in general, it is an excellent mattress for support — especially for heavyweight sleepers and those who prefer a firm mattress. 

The Helix Dawn’s high level of support comes down to the materials used. It includes a hybrid layer of latex-foam which contours to the body and provides some bounce, a layer of high-quality poly foam for extra support, and then a layer of pocketed coils to help support your body weight evenly and make it easier to move around on the bed. 

For those looking for more specific zoned support, the Luxe upgrade is an excellent option.

Motion Transfer

Motion transfer describes how much you feel somebody moving on the other side of the bed. You want a mattress with good motion isolation, especially if you are a light sleeper

This hybrid mattress has good motion isolation because of its layers of foam. However, because it does have a layer of pocketed coils and a latex-based layer ( a rather bouncy material), if you are a very sensitive sleeper, you’ll probably still feel some level of motion transfer on this bed. 

All in all, though, the Helix Dawn’s motion transfer is pretty minimal for a bed with coils.

woman sleeps on a helix dusk mattress

Temperature Regulation / Cooling

The Helix Dawn works well for those who sleep hot. This starts with its breathable Soft Touch cover, followed by latex-infused foam layers which is  a naturally cooling material. Beneath that lies a layer of individually-wrapped, pocketed coils. These give the mattress excellent airflow. 

If you are still worried about overheating, the upgraded Luxe version of this mattress has even more cooling features like a cool-to-the-touch cover designed to pull heat away from the body.

Performance for Couples

Overall, the Helix Dawn is a good mattress for couples. The mattress has good motion isolation (though not the very best), which is important for sleeping through the night. This bed is also cooling and has good edge support, so couples should be able to sleep comfortably and the entire surface. Plus, it has a good amount of bounce to it, which can be preferable for some sexually-active partners.

Preference-based Features

Excellent Edge Support

This firm mattress is not just supportive in its center; it also has great edge support due to the reinforced layer of pocketed coils at the edges of the mattress. This means the mattress is durable and its entire surface can be used comfortably.

Made in the USA

If you like to shop locally, you’ll appreciate Helix’s US-based manufacturing. All Helix mattresses are custom-made in the US.

Great Durability

The Helix Dawn mattress is supported by a sturdy bed of coils, topped with two dense layers of foam. Its firmer feel also helps ensure the foam doesn’t sag or break down over time. If you’re looking for a bed that can stand the test of time, the Helix Dawn is a great option.

Construction: What’s Inside the Helix Dawn?

The Helix Dawn measures 11.5 inches tall, no matter the size you get. (The upgraded Luxe ise a bit taller at 13.5 inches.) The Helix Dawn is a hybrid mattress because it combines a layer of pocketed support coils with three layers of foam and latex. 

  • The Soft Touch Design Cover is made with a light, breathable, and cooling polyester fabric. 
  • Next, the comfort layer contains a mix of latex and foam, which contours to the body. And unlike memory foam, latex has a bouncier feeling.  
  • Then comes the transition layer, which is made of high-quality poly foam. This layer provides some pressure relief and contouring, though it is still firm.  
  • Beneath that is the support layer, which is made up of hundreds of individually-wrapped coils. These create bounce and support your body weight evenly.  
  • Finally, there is the base layer, made of DuraDense Foam to keep the entire mattress supported and structurally sound.

If you upgrade to the Helix Dawn Luxe, know that there are some slight differences in construction starting with the cover, which is made from Tencel rather than polyester. There’s also an additional pillow top layer made from gel memory foam, which provides a bit more pressure relief than the standard model. 

The rest of the layers are the same, except the support layer, which features Zoned Support, meaning the coils are more densely distributed at the lower back and less so at the shoulders.

helix dawn layers

Unboxing & Off-Gassing

The Helix Dawn will arrive in a box and takes about 10-15 minutes total to completely unwrap and unbox with the help of a friend. Like many mattresses made with foam, the Dawn does have a strong chemical smell upon unboxing, so be sure to leave it in a well-ventilated room. The smell should dissipate within about 48 hours. 

If you can, we recommend recruiting a friend’s help during the unboxing. Even though itis a simple mattress to set up (just place it on the foundation and wait for it to decompress), it is heavy. The Queen weighs 100 pounds, and the upgraded Luxe version weighs 115 pounds.

Certifications

  • CertiPUR-US® certified – The foams in this bed are CertiPUR-US® certified. CertiPUR-US® is a third-party program that ensures the foams meet rigorous health and safety standards. This means they don’t contain harmful substances like ozone depleters, PBDEs, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and phthalates. They should also have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

Noteworthy Updates:

  • The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recently approved several of Helix’s mattresses for endorsement following reviews, analysis and testing. Read more here.

Coupons, Trials, Warranties, and Shipping

  • ShippingHelix ships their mattresses for free within the U.S. Canadian orders will incur a customs tax and a shipping fee of 250 dollars per mattress.
  • Trial You can keep this product for 100 nights to make sure it’s your dream mattress, and if it isn’t, the company will refund your money.
  • WarrantyThere is a warranty on this mattress for 10 years.
  • Return PolicyHelix asks that you try out your mattress for 30 nights. If you don’t like it after that, you can return it for a full refund before your 100-night trial expires. You’ll just need to contact the company to pick up your mattress and receive a refund.

Sizes & Prices

SizeDimensions (inches)Price (w/o discount)
Twin38” x 75” x 11.5”$849
Twin XL38” x 80” x 11.5”$949
Full54” x 75” x 11.5”$1,099
Queen60” x 80” x 11.5”$1,249
King76” x 80” x 11.5”$1,549
Cali King72” x 84” x 11.5”$1,549
Product image of Helix Dawn
Get the Helix Dawn Mattress
This hybrid mattress was specifically designed for those who love a firm but contouring mattress.
Click the button below to get the Helix Dawn.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Helix Dawn mattress weigh?

The Helix Dawn has different weights depending on what size you get. 

Twin: 65 pounds
Twin XL: 65 pounds
Full: 85 pounds
Queen: 100 pounds
King: 120 pounds
CA King: 120 pounds

Why does my Helix mattress smell?

There’s no need to worry because itis perfectly normal for foam mattresses to smell when first unboxed and unwrapped. This “off-gassing” is more noticeable with bed-in-a-box mattresses like the Helix because when they are vacuum sealed, the chemical byproducts are trapped inside the packaging until you open them at home. 

The odor is generally considered to be harmless and should fade within a few days.

What is the most popular Helix mattress?

The Helix Midnight is the most popular Helix mattress. The Midnight has a medium-firm feel and is rated a 6-7 out of 10 on our firmness scale,, which means it provides a nice combination of pressure relief and support. This works well for a variety of sleepers.

Does the Helix Dawn mattress need a box spring?

Helix doesn’t recommend using a box spring for any of their mattresses unless you use a bunkie board in between the mattress and the box spring for support. Instead, they recommend you use a firm, durable base like an adjustable bed frame, platform bed frame, or a slatted base.

Do Helix mattresses sag?

Helix mattresses are well-constructed and generally designed to be durable, resilient, and not to sag or develop impressions for a very long time. In order to guarantee this, Helix recommends you use a mattress base that is either solid or has slats no wider than five inches apart.

Helix Dawn vs Other Brands

Helix Dawn vs DreamCloud

Product image of Helix Dawn
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  • Hybrid
  • Firm
  • Less than $1,500
DreamCloud Product Image HYBRID LUX
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  • Hybrid
  • Medium-firm
  • Over $1,500

Who We Recommend the Helix Dawn For

  • Those who want a firmer mattress
  • Stomach sleepers
  • Those on a tighter budget

Who We Recommend the DreamCloud For

  • Back sleepers
  • Combination sleepers
  • Those who want a lifetime warranty

Helix Dawn vs Bear Star Hybrid

Product image of Helix Dawn
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  • Hybrid
  • Firm
  • 11.5” tall
Bear Star Hybrid mattress product image updated
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  • Hybrid
  • Medium-Firm
  • Eco-friendly

Who We Recommend the Helix Dawn For

  • Those on a tighter budget
  • Sleepers who prefer a firm mattress
  • Stomach sleepers

Who We Recommend the Bear Star Hybrid For

  • Sleepers who prefer a medium-firm mattress
  • Those who want to buy eco-friendly
  • Fans of emerging technology

Helix Dawn vs Other Helix Models

Helix Dawn vs Helix Sunset

Product image of Helix Dawn
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  • Hybrid
  • Firm
  • Very supportive
Product image of Helix Sunset mattress
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  • Hybrid
  • Medium-plush
  • Very pressure-relieving

Who We Recommend the Helix Dawn For

  • Heavyweight sleepers
  • Stomach sleepers
  • Those who want more bounce and support

Who We Recommend the Helix Sunset For

  • Lightweight sleepers
  • Side sleepers
  • Those who want more contouring and pressure relief

Helix Dawn vs Helix Dusk

Product image of Helix Dawn
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  • Hybrid
  • Firm
  • 11.5” tall
helix dusk product image
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  • Hybrid
  • Medium-firm
  • 11.5” tall

Who We Recommend the Helix Dawn For

  • Stomach sleepers
  • Back sleepers
  • Average and heavyweight sleepers

Who We Recommend the Helix Dusk For

  • Back sleepers
  • Side sleepers
  • Lightweight, average-weight, and heavyweight sleepers

Overall Summary

The Helix Dawn is the brand’s model, giving it an edge over other Helix beds, especially among shoppers who prefer the feel of a more rigid mattress. Made with quality latex foam, poly foam, and coils, this bed stands out for its impressive support, which should help sleepers achieve a neutral, healthy spine while they sleep.

Side Sleeping Icon

Side Sleepers

2/5

This bed is considered to be firm because it lands at a 7/10 on our firmness scale. Side sleepers will need something medium-plush to medium firm in order relieve the pressure on their shoulders and hips in that position. This mattress is too firm and not recommended for side sleepers of any weight.

Back Sleeping Icon

Back Sleepers

4/5

Most back sleepers should benefit from this mattress’s firm support; especially those who are average or heavier in weight. Those who are lighter might find this mattress too firm, and it might exacerbate, rather than relieve, pressure. However, for most sleepers this supportive mattress will help keep the spine in neutral alignment.

Stomach Sleeping Icon

Stomach Sleepers

5/5

This is an excellent mattress for stomach sleepers of any weight, who will need a firmer mattress than other sleep positions. This is because the hips tend to dip down on a softer mattress when lying on the stomach, throwing the spine out of alignment. This mattress is firm enough to prevent that.

Combination Sleeping Icon

Combination Sleepers

4/5

This mattress has the benefit of firmness and some bounce, which makes it easierto move around on and change positions — a great feature for combination sleepers. For those who switch between stomach and back sleeping, it’s a great fit. For those who also sleep on their sides, it might be too firm.

Couples Icon

Couples

4/5

In general, the Helix Dawn is a great mattress for couples. The bed has a good amount of motion isolation but also some bounce, which can be preferable for some sexually-active couples. Additionally, it sleeps cool, which can also be good for couples sharing a bed, and you can upgrade it for even more cooling features.

Heavy Sleepers Icon

Heavy Sleepers

4/5

The Helix Dawn has a firmer feel and highly supportive coils, making it an excellent mattress for those who weigh 230 pounds or more. The bed also has good edge support, meaning the edges shouldn’t sag. However, the bed doesn’t rate as well for heavier side sleepers.

Light Weight Sleepers

Lightweight Sleepers

2/5

A person who weighs 130 pounds or less will not sink into this mattress’s comfort layers as intended. Instead, a lightweight person should feel very “on top” of this mattress and may find it too firm when lying on their backs or sides. On their stomachs, however, lightweight sleepers who prefer a firm mattress would appreciate the Dawn.

Light Weight Sleepers

Average Weight Sleepers

4/5

Average-weight sleepers who prefer a firm-feeling mattress should appreciate the Helix Dawn. The mattress is a great fit for back and stomach sleepers, though it may feel too firm for average-weight side sleepers. For those who want to soften it up a bit, the upgraded version comes with a pillow top — a good option for most average-weight sleepers.

Overall Value

4/5

Compared to some other hybrid bed-in-a-box mattresses with similar features, the Helix Dawn is a great value. The Dawn comes with a 10-year warranty. While this warranty is less than some lifetime warranty offerings from other brands, it should be good for the lifespan of the bed. If a lifetime warranty isn't a must-have for you, the Helix Dawn is a great value.

Our Verdict

The Helix Dawn is an excellent mattress for stomach sleepers and average or heavy-weight back sleepers, who typically benefit more from firmer beds that deliver more support than contouring. With its hybrid design, the Dawn has a good amount of bounce and mobility, so you shouldn't feel stuck “in” this bed. The mattress also has temperature-neutral materials to help keep you cool at night, which is great for hot sleepers and couples. 

On the other hand, it’s not the best bed for side sleepers, who need something softer and more pressure-relieving, or for those who weigh less than 130 pounds.

Product image of Helix Dawn
Get the Helix Dawn Mattress
This hybrid mattress was specifically designed for those who love a firm but contouring mattress.
Click the button below to get the Helix Dawn.
Natalie G.
Natalie G.
Writer

Natalie is a content writer for Sleep Advisor with a deep passion for all things health and a fascination with the mysterious activity that is sleep. Outside of writing about sleep, she is a bestselling author, improviser, and creative writing teacher based out of Austin.

When she's doing none of these things, you will most likely find her outdoors, at the gym, or... asleep.

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