As usual, let’s start with a quick overview of the main points that we will be discussing in today’s review.
- Construction & Feel — The beds have a different design, and therefore they will feel different, although both use memory foam.
- Price — Bear is the more affordable mattress of the two, but Layla is still under $1,000 for the queen size (after discount).
- Special Features — Bear has a special cover and Layla, a special, flippable design.
- Firmness — Bear sits somewhere between a medium and medium-firm, while Layla has two different firmness levels.
So that’s just a quick list. Clearly there is more to know, which is why we have a beefy post below for you.
Background On Bear Mattress And Layla
As a heads up, both brands offer the following:
- Free Shipping: you won’t pay a dime extra for shipping inside the contiguous US.
- Risk-Free Trial Period: 100 nights with Bear and 120 nights with Layla.
- Free Returns: no catch—returns are 100% free.
- 10+ Year Warranty: Bear has a 10-year warranty and Layla, a lifetime warranty!
The entire Bear brand is centered around one thing: wellness. Their mattresses and other products all have been designed for individuals that live an active lifestyle, which part of the reason why they sponsor so many professional athletes (e.g. Bradley Chubb, Chris Hogan, and Jack Harrison). And Bear’s secret sauce is really in its cover, which has a Celliant textile woven in. We will describe Celliant in more detail below, but suffice it to say that it’s fairly rare to see on a mattress, and it’s been recognized by the FDA as a “general wellness product.” You will Celliant on their flagship foam mattress (covered in this review) and on the Bear Hybrid mattress, which has 8″ coils as its base.
Layla, on the other hand, as a brand, has really been built around the idea of creating versatile products. For example, their flagship mattress is double sided with a “Soft” and “Firm” side so that you get two bites at the apple, so to speak. There’s a similar story to the Layla weighted blanket, which also has two sides.
It Has A “Soft” And “Firm” Side
Of all of the mattresses that we’ve reviewed, only a handful have been doubled sided. Having two sides allows consumers two chances to get the right feel and firmness. One side too firm? Just flip it over, and vice versa. Here’s a look at the two-toned design of the Layla mattress.
The “Soft” side of the main is essentially the main side, and that is really where Layla sets itself apart. It’s fluffy, airy, and extremely comfortable. The “Soft” side is just about a true medium-soft on our soft/firm spectrum. It’s the reason why Layla has made many of our buyer guides, including the Best Mattress For Side Sleepers and Best Mattress For Hip Pain lists.
Now, Layla isn’t just about the “Soft” side. It also has a “Firm” side, which as you can see, is between a medium and medium-firm, a lot like Bear. While the “Soft” side is really just made for side sleepers, the “Firm” side is mostly suitable for all sleeping styles, so long as you know that it’s not truly soft.
The “Firm” side will also have a more mixed feeling in that it doesn’t only feel like memory foam. So, while the “Soft” side is a fluffy and airy memory foam, the “Firm” side is almost a mix between memory foam and neutral foam. It’s a really comfortable blend, but it’s a bit different from the “Soft” side. If you’re about 170 lbs to 230 lbs, we suspect that you’ll prefer the “Firm” side, unless you need a deep sink-in feeling and prefer a really soft or plush mattress.
What’s Actually Inside The Layla Mattress?
We’ve talked plenty about the firmness of Layla, but we should take at least a quick second to discuss the innards of the bed because that goes a long way in explaining why the bed feels the way it does. Layla has a four-layer construction, but the bed is made entirely of foam—just like Bear. As such, if you’re over about 230 – 250 lbs, we recommend that you look into a hybrid or innerspring mattress, which are largely accepted to be the more durable, long-term mattresses for heavy and obese people.
With that out of the way, let’s talk specifics with the Layla mattress. The bottom layer, thanks to the flippable design, can also be the top layer—and that is a thin strip of copper-infused gel memory foam. This the primary cushioning layer for the “Firm” side, but it’s pretty inconsequential for the “Soft” side since it’s at the bottom.
The main support core for the bed is the green foam in the image above. We call this “Support Foam,” but just like with Bear it’s a denser polyurethane foam. Pretty much every foam mattress we’ve reviewed starts with a 4-6″ thick layer of firm poly foam. You won’t really feel this layer through the “Soft” side, but you will definitely feel it on the “Firm” side, which is why we say that the “Firm” side is a mixed feeling—you get the memory foam and poly foam.
Next up is a transitional layer of poly foam again, but this time it’s convoluted foam or “Egg Crate Foam.” Supposedly, the reason that the foam has divots and mounts is to allow for better airflow. We aren’t total convinced since it’s in the center of the mattress. In any case, the main reason the bed has the transitional layer is so that you don’t feel the support foam underneath, thereby making the “Soft” side indeed soft.
And finally, that top layer is again copper-infused gel memory foam, only it’s a thicker slab. This explains why the “Soft” side has a softer, plush feel and you get more of that airy/fluffy memory foam feel.
You might then be asking yourself, “Why did they use copper-infused gel memory foam, as opposed to standard memory foam?” The main reason is heat retention. It’s basically the same story as to why Bear uses graphite-infused gel memory foam. The bedding manufacturer is trying to allow the bed to shed heat more efficiently than regular memory foam.
Design Of The Flagship Bear Mattress
Let’s take a look inside the Bear mattress before we start to discuss feel and firmness. Like Layla, it starts with dense poly foam—nothing really special there. Next is a transition layer of poly foam. Just to reiterate, that transitional layer exists so that sleepers do not feel the denser/harder support core underneath.
The main comfort layer is the charcoal grey foam that you see above. This is essentially a fancy memory foam with graphite infused to help with temperature regulation. Once you lay on the mattress, however, you will notice that this slab is dense and viscose, and will immediately feel different than Layla.
Perhaps the most well-know feature of the Bear mattress, however, is the Celliant cover. You can read more about Celliant on Bear’s website and on this press release, but the gist of what you need to know is that Celliant is not your average textile. It’s meant to help with circulation, restful sleep, and recovery times. Here’s a look at the cover.
To be clear, we do not have any data in-house to substantiate the claims made by Celliant’s manufacturer. All we can tell you is that we think there is something to it—or at least certain members of our team believe this.
Bear Is A Firmer Memory Foam Bed
This is perhaps the biggest distinction between Layla and Bear. At the end of the day, they’re both 10″ memory foam beds, but they do feel different. Layla has that fluffy feel and Bear has a denser, more viscose feel, a bit like the Nectar mattress. As such, you will float more on the top of Bear and will not get quite the level of pressure relief that you will experience with Layla.
This explains why we consider Bear to be between a medium and medium-firm on our scale. Again, reminds us of Nectar in more ways than one.
In terms of approved sleep styles, we say Bear is ok for all of them, but we should caution strict side sleepers that it’s not really a soft bed. If you’re looking for extra pressure relief, Layla is the clear winner. However, if you spend a good deal of the night on your stomach or back (or rotating positions), Bear should be a really nice fit.
Bear Will Cost You Less Than Layla
We don’t like to dwell on price when you’re talking about something as important as a bed, but the fact of the matter is that there is a $100+ difference between these two beds. Bear retails for about $800 for the queen and Layla, nearly $1,050. And, even after discounts, Bear drops down to about $650 and Layla, down to about $850-900.