We put Nemo's eco mattress, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, to the test

·4-min read
Photo credit: Photography Oliver Perrott
Photo credit: Photography Oliver Perrott

If worrying about the future of the planet is keeping you up at night, you're not alone. According to recent stats, almost half of all UK adults have reported rising anxiety levels of late, largely due to the climate crisis. And when we're under stress, sleep is often the first thing to suffer.

But while it's always worth lobbying your local MP to improve sustainability and eco-efficiency in your neighbourhood, there are plenty of things you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint and boost your sleep quality, before running away to join Extinction Rebellion.

The best way to improve your shut-eye and cut down on eco-anxiety in the process is to invest in a sustainable and planet-friendly mattress. Step in Nemo: the world's first mattress made from 100% recycled materials, offering a planet-friendly alternative to memory foam.

Your mattress and the planet

Did you know that a whopping 7.5 million mattresses end up in UK landfill every single year? That's enough abandoned beds to cover half the planet!

Nemo is the world's first mattress made entirely from repurposed plastic bottles, and it's recyclable too. The brand even promises to recycle your Nemo mattress for you once it comes to the end of its life in roughly seven years' time.

What's more, for every sale of the mattress, they will plant five new trees in the UK through Millbrook’s DreamTrees initiative. But while we can only praise such ambitious eco-benchmarks, we were keen to see if the brand could live up to its claims in the style and comfort stakes too.

Nemo eco mattress aesthetic

While eco-credentials are high on the checklist, the fact is you still have to sleep on your mattress of choice every single night, so you'll want a bed that ticks your comfort boxes too. Made by British bedmakers Millbrook Bed Company, we are ordinarily big fans of the brand's classic design. So, did the Nemo mattress pass muster?

As well as being made from repurposed materials, the Nemo mattress doesn’t contain a single staple or stitch and is 'consciously' designed to ensure that every single element can be broken down and reused or recycled, reducing the amount of mattresses in UK landfill. But you'd never guess any of this just by looking at it. In fact, it looks exactly how you'd want your kingsize mattress to look: unassuming, comfortable and welcoming after a long day.

Nemo eco mattress assembly

Following in the footsteps of brands at the forefront of the mattress-in-a-box revolution including Simba and Emma, our Nemo mattress arrived fully rolled up. But it did look suspiciously small, which left us wondering if we'd ordered the wrong size.

However, following a few snips of its plastic wrapping (which we have been informed is made from sustainable sugar-cane and recycled plastic – that can also all be fully recycled!) after a couple of hours' breathing space, the Nemo revealed itself to be a substantial mattress that fitted perfectly onto our kingsize wooden bed frame.

It was, in fact, really rather heavy, so we recommend pairing up when you first unfurl your new mattress to make your bed, as we would have struggled to move it without help.

Nemo eco mattress feel

Having tried memory foam in the past and found it a touch too soft and curiously heat retaining, we were concerned that this hybrid mattress might not work for us. Manufactured in the New Forest, the recyclable mattress is made from a mix of recycled polyester fibres, 300 recycled plastic bottles and renewable English steel pocket springs. As it boasts elements of both sprung and memory foam mattresses, it could have gone either way.

However, we needn't have worried. After after several weeks we can confirm that Nemo has hit the spot. This medium-to-firm support mattress has been the ideal compromise for a couple that consists of one wriggly back-sleeper and one snoring side-sleeper, and has provided just the right level of support to keep us cosy without sinking into the foam or getting too hot.

Nemo eco mattress review: the verdict

The team behind the Nemo mattress have officially raised the bar. With every single aspect of waste production and development taken into consideration, it wins gold stars for being ambitious, clever, and made using top-quality engineering. But best of all, it manages to deliver maximum comfort without sacrificing its ambitious eco-principles.

Our only complaint: why isn't every other mattress on the market made to such important and exacting eco-standards? We salute you Nemo! Fellow bed brands, take note. The climate is in crisis and this is how it's done.

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