Cheap Mattress in a Box Showdown: HipVan vs Noa vs Haylee vs Baton vs Woosa
There’s a whole slew of online startups in Singapore selling cheap mattresses with free returns. At last count, there’s HipVan, Noa, Baton, Haylee, Woosa and Sonno.
By “cheap mattress”, I don’t mean those $150 slabs of styrofoam passing off as mattresses on Qoo10. These brands have a more premium positioning, and they try to provide high-end comfort (think King Koil or Sealy) at low-end prices (usually less than $1,000).
The more important bit is that you can return your mattress for free within a trial period (usually 100 days). So it’s also super low-risk; you can road-test these cheap mattresses at no cost at all.
So far, so good. But the real problem here is deciding which one to try first. Because they’re all clones. Almost all of these companies use the same boring-ass:
- Website design (a lot of empty space and pastel colours)
- Reviews (obviously fake, e.g. “Life changing! I quit my job because I never want to wake up!”)
- Mattress models (straight couple in their 20s, almost always Chinese)
I look at their websites until damn pek chek. So, in the name of public service, I’ve put together a comparison guide to help you better compare the options side-by-side.
Cheap mattresses in Singapore – a quick & easy comparison
|HipVan (Downtime)||$299||20.5cm||10/10||Pocketed spring + foam|
|HipVan (Sleep)||$499||24cm||9/10||Pocketed spring + foam|
|Haylee||$599||25cm||6/10||Foam + memory foam|
|Baton (Regular)||$680||23cm||9/10||Pocketed spring + foam|
|Noa||$799||27cm||6-7/10||Pocketed spring + memory foam + latex|
|HipVan (Dream)||$799||25cm||8/10||Pocketed spring + memory foam|
|Sonno||$899||23cm||6-7/10||Foam + memory foam + latex|
|Baton (Hybrid)||$950||28cm||8/10||Pocketed spring + memory foam|
|HipVan (Levitate)||$1,299||30cm||7/10||Pocketed spring + memory foam + latex|
|Woosa||$1,499||25cm||7/10||Foam + memory foam + latex|
A mattress is a mattress is a mattress, and once you take away the marketing gimmicks, all you really need to compare are a few factors.
Price: Duh, the reason why you’re here is because you saw the headline “cheap mattress”. If you can afford a $10K mattress, please check out my colleague Eugenia’s magnum opus on mattresses. Given the prices of mattresses in Singapore, I’d consider $1,000 for a Queen size mattress to be “affordable”, while those under $700 would be ”cheap”.
Thickness: This may or may not be important to you (thin mattresses can also be comfortable), but it’s good to know because price usually goes up with thickness. If there’s something that’s very expensive but only 20cm think, then it’d better be made of some damn good material. Also, these mattresses are shipped to your house all rolled up in a box, so as a buyer you should at least know the expected thickness after it’s out of the box and fully decompressed.
Firmness: Most of these mattress brands unhelpfully advertise themselves as “medium firm” or even “the perfect firmness” – thanks a lot, guys. If you prefer firm mattresses, you may rule out quite a few of them.
Materials: A firm mattress isn’t necessarily the most supportive. What matters more is the materials that make up the mattress layers, especially the base (either pocketed coils vs foam). The materials also tell you if you’re getting good value for money; for example, latex foam is a lot more premium than generic “foam” which can very well just be recycled packing peanuts.
Free trial: All of these mattresses come with free 100-day trials, except for Baton Sleep which only offers 30 days. During this period you can arrange for the company to collect the mattress for free. (Mattresses are not re-sold but are given away to charity or disposed of.)
Mattresses by HipVan – pocket spring-based ($299 all the way to $1,299)
|Material||Pocketed spring + foam||Pocketed spring + foam||Pocketed spring + memory foam||Pocketed spring + memory foam + latex|
|Price (Super Single)||$239||$399||$599||$899|
Online furniture store HipVan probably doesn’t need any introduction. It’s not exactly a purveyor of cheap furniture, but it does sell stylish, designer-looking furniture at relatively affordable prices.
In the past year, HipVan has also started selling house brand mattresses, and they come in four varieties, listed below in ascending order of premium-ness and price.
Downtime: This is the most basic HipVan mattress and they don’t even try to pretend it’s premium. It’s basically a thin (20.5cm) slab of foam-encased pocketed springs. There’s no comfort layer on top, which is why the firmness is rated 10/10. Prices are commensurate with this level of basicness: It starts at $199 for a single bed and $299 for a Queen. The fact that you can return it for free within 100 days is a definite bonus at this price point.
Sleep: Presumably, this mattress is more comfy than Downtime since you can actually go to “Sleep” on it. It’s got the same base as the Downtime, but HipVan has added a comfort layer of high density foam on top. The 24cm thickness is decent for the price, but note that it’s still rated 9/10 for firmness.
Dream: The Dream mattress is an upgraded version of Sleep, with a similar construction and thickness. Instead of plain ol’ foam for the comfort layer over the springs, the Dream mattress has a memory foam topper for a plusher feel (8/10). It’s also over 1.5x the price of the Sleep, which seems to me a pretty steep price to pay. You might be able to get away with the cheaper Sleep mattress if you already have a memory foam mattress topper or the like.
Levitate: While the rest of the HipVan mattresses range from “dirt cheap” to “pretty affordable”, we’re going into premium territory here with the Levitate mattress, which goes above the $1,000 mark for a Queen size. Specs-wise, it’s almost the same as the Dream mattress, except this time the comfort layer has both memory foam for softness and latex for bounce. (Latex, as you’ll come to realise, is an extremely expensive mattress material, which explains the price.)
I’d love to be able to test these mattresses out, but sadly the HipVan showroom has closed down, so you’ll have to order a mattress to test it yourself.
Delivery is free, and you also get a free trial for 100 nights for all 4 mattresses. There are no hidden fees if you ask for a full refund. However, HipVan has the right to refuse the return if your mattress is “damaged beyond normal wear and tear” so please don’t start treating it as an adult trampoline.
Haylee mattress – cheap but comfortable foam mattress ($599)
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|Material||Foam + memory foam|
|Price (Super Single)||$479|
They only sell the one product – the Haylee mattress – and it’s shipped to you in a box, which you would unbox and watch expand to full size. (You can also ask Haylee to send someone to help you unbox the mattress, but where’s be the fun in that!?)
The two main strengths of the Haylee mattress are its low, low prices (less than $600 for a Queen!) and impressive 2 hour delivery courtesy of Lalamove.
Apart from these, the Haylee mattress itself isn’t much to shout about. It’s all-foam – a base of high density foam, plus a cooling gel memory foam on top, and a layer of perforated ventilation foam.
Lack of premium materials aside, the Haylee mattress has pretty decent reviews. It’s definitely on the soft side (6/10 firmness) compared to the other mattresses, but if you’re relatively lightweight, support shouldn’t be an issue.
Like almost everyone else on this list, there’s no showroom, so you’ll have to take the plunge and rely on their 100 day free trial. Both delivery and returns are free, and you’ll get a full refund minus any extra delivery or assembly fees you paid.
Noa mattress – pocketed spring + thin latex mattress ($799)
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|Material||Pocketed spring + foam + latex|
|Price (Super Single)||$599|
If you prefer to sleep on a spring bed rather than a slab of foam, you may consider the Noa mattress. Like Haylee, Noa just sells the one mattress.
Between Haylee and Noa, the key difference is in materials. The Noa mattress has a body of pocketed springs rather than high density foam, and also a thin layer of latex foam on top of the cooling gel memory foam for added bounce.
This makes the Noa mattress the cheapest latex mattress you can buy online, although I must stress that the latex layer is only 2cm thick.
Another close competitor of the Noa mattress is HipVan’s Dream mattress, which is a similarly premium pocketed spring mattress that costs the same price. But the Dream is slightly firmer and also thinner (25cm). It also lacks a latex layer, so it’s a little poorer value (if these things matter to you).
Note, though, that some reviews of the Noa mattress say that the mattress softens after sleeping in it for some time (can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months). According to Noa’s T&Cs, it’s natural for the foam comfort layer to soften, but this is understandably annoying.
Noa Sleep has a 100-day trial, so if you experience any softening or the mattress is not up to scratch, you can still get a full refund. However, it’s unclear whether Noa Sleep will include free collection, so you should email them to check. It’s possible, though, to get a refund without physically returning the mattress, but only at their discretion.
Baton Sleep – for firm mattress lovers ($680 to $950)
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|Baton Sleep mattress||Regular||Hybrid|
|Material||Pocketed spring + foam||Pocketed spring + memory foam|
|Price (Super Single)||$550||$690|
Similar to what FortyTwo is doing with Haylee, Scandinavian-style furniture store Comfort Design has a mattress sub-brand called Baton Sleep.
As far as I know, Baton Sleep is the only online mattress company with a showroom. You can test their mattresses at the Comfort Design Building which is at 110 Eunos Ave 7, Singapore 409573. Opening hours are 9am to 6pm from Mon to Sat, and 10am to 6pm on Sun and PH.
Unlike the other mattress startups, Baton Sleep has two mattresses to choose from. Both are pocketed spring-based.
Looking at some online reviews, the Hybrid mattress seems to be the more popular of the two. It’s a lot thicker (28cm vs 23cm) and has a plush memory foam layer (instead of plain foam) on top of the springs. But it’s also quite a bit more expensive, with a Queen mattress pushing the $1,000 mark.
The much cheaper Regular mattress doesn’t sound great. It’s thinner and the firmness rating of 9/10 makes it seem like concrete. So I was prepared to hate it, but after checking it out at the showroom, I actually liked it a lot – it feels like an orthopedic “back care”-type mattress. If you like firm mattresses, this is probably your best bet among the cheap online mattress competitors.
One huge negative is that Baton Sleep’s free trial is only 30 days – barely enough time to get used to sleeping in a new mattress. In any case, they guarantee a full refund and collection is also free.
Sonno mattress – pretty thin for the price ($899)
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|Material||Foam + memory foam + latex|
|Price (Super Single)||$699|
Sonno sells the highly coveted latex mattresses, or more accurately, mattresses with latex layers). I’m not sure I’d consider these “cheap mattresses” exactly, but for the sake of completeness I will touch on their offerings.
Sonno has just one mattress, and it’s all foam with no springs. The base is basic foam, and then there’s a layer of memory foam on top for cushiness, and finally the topmost layer is latex foam.
In terms of specs and price, I think the closest to the Sonno mattress is the Noa mattress ($100 cheaper). The latter is pocketed spring-based rather than foam-based, though, and it’s also 4cm thicker.
Unfortunately there’s no info on the Sonno website about the thickness of the latex, so it’s hard to tell if it’s better than the Noa mattress’ 2cm latex. But since the total thickness of the Sonno mattress is just 23cm, I’d assume the latex layer isn’t significantly thicker.
Like everyone else (except Baton Sleep), Sonno offers a 100-day free trial, so it’s still virtually risk-free for you to try it out.
Woosa mattress – atas Belgian latex mattress ($1,499)
|Material||Foam + memory foam + latex|
|Firmness||“Medium-firm” (assume 7/10)|
|Price (Super Single)||$1,299|
While the previous few latex mattress clones hovered just shy of the $1,000 mark, the Woosa latex mattress starts at $1,199 for Single and costs a whopping $1,499 for a Queen size mattress.
Clearly we’re not in “cheap mattress” territory anymore, although $1.5K is still a lot cheaper than latex mattresses from traditional retailers, where you’d expect to pay a few thousand dollars at least.
But why is there such a jump in price? One reason is that the Woosa has an extra-thick latex layer – 4.5cm. I’m not sure the extra thickness will do anything for you, really, but at least there’s an explanation for the price. Latex is an extremely expensive material for mattresses after all.
Also, the Woosa mattress is “100% made in Belgium” so you know you’re paying for, uh, quality Belgian craftsmanship? I dunno. Last I checked, Belgium was known for fine chocolate and craft beer, not so much mattresses.
If you want to find out what sleeping on 4.5cm of Belgian latex feels like, Woosa has a 100-day free trial so you can try it out risk-free.
Woosa also has a $149 pillow that’s also made in Belgium (at that price, it’d better be handmade by Dries van Noten). There’s actually a 30-day trial for this pillow, too.
Also try: IKEA mattresses ($149 all the way to $1,199)
|IKEA mattress||Price (Queen)||Thickness||Materials|
|BEITO||$149||17cm||Bonnell spring + foam|
|HAFSLO||$199||18cm||Bonnell spring + foam|
|HAMARVIK||$299||21cm||Bonnell spring + foam|
|HOVAG||$499||24cm||Pocketed spring + foam|
|HYLLESTAD||$699||27cm||Pocketed spring + foam + latex|
|FILLAN||$699||28cm||Pocketed spring + latex (3cm)|
|HOKKASEN||$899||31cm||Pocketed spring + foam + latex|
|HIDRASUND||$1,199||33cm||Pocketed spring + coconut fibre + latex + wool|
If you’re more interested in the low-risk free trial aspect of these online mattress companies than anything else, it’s also worth looking into IKEA mattresses. They have a 365-day return policy, during which you can return your used mattress, as long as it’s not dirty, damaged or abused.
The reason why I mentioned IKEA is that their mattresses are really very affordable, even compared to the cheap mattresses offered by online companies.
For comfort, I wouldn’t recommend the thinner foam mattresses or the Bonnell spring mattresses, but even after ignoring the cheaper options, you can still get a very comfy pocketed spring + foam HOVAG mattress for under $500.
IKEA also has some really cheap latex mattresses. Of note is the new FILLAN mattress, which is a 28cm pocketed spring + latex mattress. It costs only $699, cheaper than even the Noa mattress. Even the plusher HOKKASEN costs $899, which is cheaper than some of the mattresses above.
The main drawback is that logistics both ways (delivery and returns) are all at your own cost. Bringing home a roll-packed mattress is possible with a car or taxi, but if you want to return the mattress, you’ll probably have to engage a delivery company like Lalamove and Gogovan. Rates may be pretty competitive these days, but you should factor the cost into your purchase decision nonetheless.