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Otty Essential mattress review: Save 45% on the Aura

Edward Munn Matt Breen
1 Oct 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
525

The Otty Essential does nearly everything as well as the Otty Hybrid, but some will be better off with the original

Pros 
Supportive
Cool and comfortable
Inexpensive
Cons 
Feels less supportive on a sprung slatted base
Not much cheaper than the Original Hybrid
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Save 45% on Otty mattresses

Otty is offering discounts of 45% on all of its mattresses. The Aura, previously called the Otty Essential, is the brand's cheapest mattress. But now you can get it for even cheaper: a king size Aura, for instance, is down from £800 to £520.
Otty
Save 45%

Update: Back in 2018, I proclaimed the Otty Hybrid to be one of the best hybrid mattresses we’ve ever tested. My opinion hasn’t changed – the Original Hybrid (as Otty is now calling it) offers an unmatched combination of support, comfort and temperature control for the money.

Since then, though, Otty has introduced a cheaper model, the Essential (now known as the Otty Aura), which boldly promises to make “quality sleep more accessible to people than ever before”. So how does it stack up against the Original Hybrid and what is it like to sleep on?

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Otty Essential mattress review: What you need to know

The Essential is £75 cheaper than the Original Hybrid in all sizes. That’s not a huge saving, but it’s not bad when you consider it uses the same materials as the more expensive model.

Indeed, each mattress has a four-layer construction that comprises “cool blue” gel-infused memory foam, pressure-relieving “HD reflex” foam, 140mm pocket springs and “HD base” foam. The main differences, then, are that the Essential has half the number of pocket springs – 1,000 versus 2,000 in king size – and also uses slightly thinner foam layers, resulting in a bed that’s 50mm less deep overall.

Both models have “air-flow” side supports that increase the surface area that can support your weight as well as improving ventilation, and both also have hypoallergenic top covers that are removable and machine washable.

The Otty Essential comes with the same 100-night trial as its stablemate, so if there’s anything you don’t like about the mattress inside those first few months, you can return it for a full refund. And, like the Otty Hybrid, you’re protected by a 10-year warranty.

Otty Essential mattress review: Price and competition

Following a £75 price increase, the Otty Essential now starts at £400 for a single (was £325), rising to £600 for a double and £700 for a king. 

Despite this, it’s still Otty’s most affordable hybrid mattress, undercutting bed-in-a-box rivals such as the Emma Hybrid (£919 for a king), and the Eve Original Hybrid (£869). In terms of budget hybrids, however, the Otty Essential is beaten on price by the likes of the Silentnight Studio Eco (£509 for a king), as well as the Eve Lighter Hybrid (£679).

Nevertheless, like many bed-in-a-box brands, Otty runs regular promotional discounts, meaning you can often save up to 40% on the Essential.

Otty Essential mattress review: Comfort and performance

Along with the smell that’s typical of mattresses containing memory foam, the first thing I noticed about the Otty Essential was how much thinner it is than some of its more expensive bed-in-a-box rivals. At just 200mm deep, it feels considerably less substantial than the Otty Hybrid. Although that in itself isn’t a bad thing, it can make mattresses less stable when used on a sprung-slatted foundation.

The Otty Essential isn’t severely lacking in support when used on this kind of base – I never woke with my hips dropping uncomfortably low – but the increased flexibility compared to the Hybrid is noticeable. For heavier people, there’s a chance it could feel more akin to a camp bed than a serious mattress that you’d expect to deliver a solid night’s sleep every night.

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Fortunately, any such problems are eliminated by simply using the mattress on a solid base, where the Essential feels much more akin to the Original Hybrid. As advertised on Otty’s website, it’s slightly less firm – perhaps a seven out of ten where ten is the firmest – but it strikes a superb balance between support and comfort. In fact, where the Hybrid is best suited to those who sleep on their front and back thanks to its firm tension, you can easily make the case that the Essential is better suited to a range of positions, including sleeping on your side.

Although it never impaired my comfort, I was also more aware of the springs than I ever was with the Original Hybrid. Depending on your preference, that could be a good or a bad thing, but Otty’s decision to halve the number of springs certainly does have an effect on the overall feel of the mattress.

One of the principal benefits of the Otty Hybrid compared to its all-foam rivals is its temperature management – it kept me comfortable even during a summer heatwave. As it uses largely the same materials, the Essential also performs very well in this regard. I haven’t had a chance to test it under quite the same extreme conditions, but the mattress did feel cooler and more aerated than the Eve Premium I tested only a few nights before. That’s really impressive when you consider it costs almost half the price.

Otty Essential mattress review: Verdict

The Otty Essential is a great-value mattress that delivers almost everything you could ask for. I say almost because it’s only £75 cheaper than the Hybrid – and that kind of saving simply isn’t enough to make it the must-buy budget alternative.

If you’re on a tight budget and using a solid bed base, there’s no reason you won’t sleep happily on it for years to come. The flipside to that argument, though, is that if you can afford the Essential, then spending £75 more on the improved Otty Hybrid is a much better bet.

When you consider that the Essential is also more expensive than budget models from Casper and Eve, then there’s only one conclusion: this isn’t quite the budget Otty Hybrid we were hoping for.

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