The triathlon community, endurance athletes in general and other ‘active lifestylers’ don’t need any explanation as to why good sleep is a necessity for recovery and improved performance. It’s an all-too-common occurrence that injuries, under-performance and agonisingly-slow recoveries coincide with periods of poor sleep; and on the flip-side it’s likely that when you’re sleeping well you feel great and perform to the best of your abilities.
So, considering the simple fact that sleep offers indisputable benefits for recovery, and that well-recovered athletes can train more effectively, it makes good sense to look at the virtues of a good night’s sleep a little more seriously…
We set about looking into what’s currently out there and quickly came across Ergoflex, a memory foam mattress brand that’s been generating something of a buzz amongst various sports communities recently. Ergoflex has been active in the UK and a number of international markets for a few years now, but, along with competitors such as Mammoth Technologies, the company seems to have found a particularly enthusiastic market in the multisport sector, thanks to the undeniable links between sleep, recovery and performance.
Where the work-life balance permits, sleep should be a key part of our training regimes, so it follows that we’d be on the lookout for a mattress that can deliver not just a good night’s sleep but provide the body support we need in the process.
All shapes and sizes
Ergoflex sells a range of memory foam mattresses – from a standard single size all the way up to super king size. These mould to the contours of the body to give ‘optimum support and comfort, meaning restful and more comfortable sleep.’ We acquired an Ergoflex European King Size (one size down from super king size) and put it through its paces for our trial review… well, tried to get some sleep!
Mattress in a box
Having gone through a seamless delivery process with a courier company that delivered on the day and time specified (and who called ahead to say they were nearby and that delivery was imminent), Ergoflex appeared keen to ensure swift and efficient product shipment.
The first thing we noticed was the minimalist nature of the packaging. While the mattress in its box is heavy, it is tremendously compact. The boxed European king size mattress measures a mere 39cm x 39cm x 163cm.
Once out of the box, the mattress is wrapped in a multi-layer plastic sheet and continues the impression of being somewhat minimalist. The mattress in its plastic packaging is compression packed and rolled at a depth of 10cm. Having been removed from all packaging, the mattress simply rolls out to cover the bed frame.
Turning to the instructions provided with the Ergoflex European king size mattress, these note that ‘the mattress will spread out and take shape by itself upon opening.’
Helping to allay any fears that the Ergoflex mattress experience could be comparable to sleeping on a thin camping mat, the instructions point out that after a few hours of opening, the mattress will reach full size and be ready for use.
So, an apparently ‘wafer thin’ mattress starts to expand slowly, increasing in depth to more than double; and reach a fully expanded 21 cm depth.
The instructions also note that the mattress may have an ‘unpleasant smell’, but that this new foam odour should dissipate quickly when exposed to air. The foam odour itself is a faint chemical smell. While it did actually take a few days to leave the room entirely, it was not too unpleasant and did at least reinforce the impression of being ‘fresh out of the box’.
Once the mattress is fully expanded, the overall impression is of a well-produced product. The Ergoflex brand is imprinted on the removable mattress outer cover, which is a nice touch. The mattress cover can be machine washed (on a gentle cycle at a low temperature) and has a sturdy zip that sits out of the way on the underside.
The mattress itself doesn’t have any carry handles. Once unravelled, and expanded to full size, the product is somewhat unwieldy. Although this poses no issues if the mattress is staying put – a carry handle or cradle for those moving home (or moving the mattress to another room) would be a useful extra feature.
Lie down and be counted
Lying down on the mattress it is firm and supportive. While it does mould to the body, there’s no sense that the mattress is enveloping in any way. It simply absorbs body weight, providing the necessary support according to body position.
Having slept on the Ergoflex for a few weeks:
- The quality of sleep (and thus recovery from tough training days) has been high. The memory foam provides firm support where needed and sleep has appeared better than via a previously used spring mattress.
- In a recent spell of hot weather in the UK (very out of character!), the mattress has not felt too hot – which has been another pleasant surprise.
Ergoflex notes that by using visco-elastic memory foam, its ‘mattresses are temperature sensitive and are designed with billions of spherical shaped open cells. These cells are designed to respond to body temperature and pressure points.’ The company continues to point out that ‘Unlike standard foams, as well as its temperature-sensitive qualities, a memory foam mattress has an open cell structure which allows air to circulate freely through the material.’
If sleep is the cheapest and one of the most effective forms of recovery, the price of a memory foam mattress therefore appears a worthy investment.
10 year guarantee
Ergoflex warrants its Visco-Elastic mattresses for a period ten (10) years. Through its website, any mention of the 10 year guarantee is followed by an asterisk, yet there’s no apparent small print to clarify what the ‘*’ refers to – and thus the full range of guarantee conditions.
In summary, the guarantee appears to cover against defects in workmanship and materials; and the mattress will be replaced or repaired, at Ergoflex’s option, should it be found defective due to faulty workmanship or structural defects.
Should an improper bed base be utilised by the consumer, causing the product to default, the warranty may be voided. Ergoflex also advises that its mattress products are suitable for individuals up to 18 stone in weight (approximately 114kg or 252lbs) and couples with a combined weight of 30 stone (approx. 190kg or 420lbs).
This should suit healthy individuals, notably the typically leaner endurance sport athlete. Although, bulkier individuals (perhaps a rugby playing family) should take note of their weight and thus any impact this may have on the Ergoflex warranty.
- Size: European Kingsize
- Dimensions: 160cm x 200cm – 5ft 3″
- Total depth: 21cm
- Memory foam depth: 9cm
- Memory foam grade: 3rd Gen 85kg/m3 ACPT
- Firmness: medium / firm
- Guarantee: 10 year
- Earliest delivery: next day
- RRP: £1,499
- Online Ergoflex price: £939
- Current sale price (at time of writing): £539
With an RRP of £1,499 the Ergoflex European Kingsize mattress may not be so tempting. After all, an endurance sport enthusiast could pick up a respectable training bike or a set of deep rim carbon wheels at this price.
Yet, a current sale price of £539 is more enticing, particularly if an existing mattress needs replacing; and the 10 year guarantee provides further reassurance about Ergoflex offering a quality product.
The true test of quality though comes down to a good night’s sleep – and, with this in mind, it does deliver.