Back and stomach sleepers looking for a firm, organic mattress – rejoice! The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress is made with organic latex and can biodegrade in three years. The height options may be a bit short at a maximum of 10in, but this contouring mattress supports your lower back and mid-section so well, you'll wake up without those aches and pains.
Superb motion isolation
120-night sleep trial
Free shipping in US and Canada
Great for back and stomach sleepers
Removable cover that’s machine washable
100% certified organic and vegan mattress
Designed to help you sleep five degrees cooler over eight hours
Noticeable smell lingers
Only 8- and 10-inch height options
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Since I started testing mattresses, I’ve been fascinated with those that are made with organic materials. Whether it was through the testing process or in my research of the mattresses, I discovered just how important and beneficial an organic mattress can be to your overall health and sleep experience. That’s exactly why I wanted to test the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress.
Essentia Classic REM5 At A Glance
Firmness: Firm, 7.5 out of 10, also available in medium and soft-fior
Type: Organic latex
Construction materials: Organic cotton cover, Kevlar liner, Patented Beyond Latex Natural Memory Foam, Natural Hevea Latex Support Foam
Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King
Thickness: 8 and 10 inches
Backed by a host of sustainable and organic certifications, the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress is one of the best organic mattresses on the market, for those looking to live life greener.
As part of their Performance Organic Mattress collection, the company has taken so much care to create the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress, from using only organic and vegan materials to extensive quality testing. It's available in eight-inch and 10-inch depths, three firmness options, and you have the option to add EMF protection. The REM5 gets its name from its use of five out of the seven Key Elements of Regenerative Sleep that Essentia advises: active cooling, allergy-friendly, posture support, optimized oxygen, certified organic, and bonus, radiation-free, if you choose the EMF protection.
That’s the kind of care I want going into my mattress because it conveys that Essentia cares about me and my sleep, which overall affects happiness, relieves stress, relieves anxiety, and improves focus, along with optimizing physical recovery.
I tested the mattress under its original name, the Classic 8, but the specs and experience are nearly identical, save for extra cooling technology and the option to have EMF protection.
Read on to learn about my sleep experience with the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress and in what areas the mattress excels.
Alex Temblador is one of Homes & Garden's mattress experts – which is a good role for someone who needs over 8.5-hours of sleep each night. The Dallas-based freelance writer has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Artsy, Neighborhoods.com, Culture Trip, among many others.
The Essentia Classic REM5 was generously supplied to us by Essentia and has been tested first-hand in Alex's home for over a month. For more insight into our editorial process, our review guidelines get into more detail about how we test.
Who will the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress suit?
- Back and stomach sleepers: This mattress does a great job of supporting the mid-section, which is an important feature for back and stomach sleepers.
- Sustainable, organic, and environmentally friendly buyers: Buyers who invest in the Essentia Class 8 Organic Mattress will be buying a mattress that was constructed in a GOTS-certified factory and made with GOLS-certified organic latex and a GOTS organic cover. All organic components were sourced from sustainable 100% certified organic farms.
- Couples who want to sleep soundly: You’ll barely feel your partner move at night thanks to excellent motion transfer.
Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress: Construction
The Essential Classic 8 Organic Mattress’ four layers begin with a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover that can be removed and washed. Beneath the organic cotton cover is another liner made of Kevlar which holds all the memory foam elements together.
Within the Kevlar liner is a two-inch layer of Beyond Latex Natural foam, a slow response GOLS-certified organic latex made with 100% natural latex rubber. It’s followed by a six-inch support foam layer made of Havea milk, a sap that is sourced from rubber trees in Indonesia and shipped to Essentia’s factories to be turned into Dunlop latex.
The Essentia Classic 8 Organic Mattress was tested by the John Hopkins School of Medicine which found that the mattress is allergy-friendly and does not allow for dust mites.
As part of Essentia's Performance Mattress Collection, the Essentia Classic 8 Organic Mattress is the brand's original organic mattress. Made with a proprietary latex blend that results in an organic memory foam, this mattress provides physical benefits like "pressure redistribution for unobstructed blood circulation, posture support, spinal support, [and] sleeping on average three degrees cooler over an eight hour time period." This is also why Essentia is known to have the "World’s Only Natural Organic Memory Foam Mattress."
The Classic REM5 model also introduces Activated Quartz Foam, which incorporates activated quartz into the patented organic latex foam formulas to enhance the cooling effects from three to five degrees.
You also have the option to choose foams with EMF protection that blocks the effects of EMF radiation from 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular waves. This radiation can affect your body and blood cells, and oxygen levels. Note, we did not test the mattress with this optional configuration, which adds about $1,000 to the cost of the mattress.
Setting up the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress
A queen-sized, 8-inch-tall Essentia Classic 8 Organic Mattress arrived in a long, skinny box on my front porch. I had no issue moving it into my house on my own, though removing it from the box was a bit difficult. The box was well sealed with glue and large staples that weren’t easy to pry open. Eventually, I was able to open one end of the box and pull the mattress out.
After setting it on my bed, I removed the plastic wrapping and let the mattress unfurl. It took less than an hour for the mattress to reach its full height. The eight-inch height was something that immediately stood out to me as this is the first eight-inch-tall mattress I’ve ever tested. Essentia also offers this mattress in a 10-inch height, which seems like a better option as it’ll offer more height to get in and out of the bed and could assist in preventing your bedding from touching the ground.
The brown and tan striped exterior of the mattress is a bit retro and a good indicator as to how to place the mattress on your bed. The brown side goes on the bottom and the white at the top. The organic cover is very soft and slightly cool to the touch. I noticed the cover’s zipper right away and appreciate that I can remove the cover and wash it if need be.
Unfortunately, I noticed a smell emanating from the mattress as soon as I opened it. The Essentia Classic 8 Organic Mattress is an organic mattress made of natural materials so there shouldn’t have been an off-gassing smell. However, from my research, it seems that organic mattresses (even those with the large amount of sustainable and organic certifications that Essentia has) can have low VOC emissions, which is typically what causes the off-gassing smell that people notice when opening a new mattress. Even on the Essentia website, the brand noted, “This nontoxic mattress creates a clean air environment, reducing VOC exposure.” By saying “reducing VOC exposure,” Essentia may be conceding that there are slightly low traces of VOCs.
So, was I smelling the off-gassing of VOCs? I’m not sure. On their website, Essentia says there may be a slight smell to their mattresses, and that it’s likely to be a latex odor. I wouldn’t necessarily describe the smell as that of latex, but rather a sweet, cloying almond scent. The only other time I’ve smelled this scent on a mattress was when I tested the Ghostbed Luxe which is not made with latex. I should also note that I’ve tested a latex mattress as well – the Plushbeds Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress – and it did not have any scent.
I received the mattress right after I started testing a different mattress, so I was able to track the smell for a month. (The mattress sat on my guest bed for two weeks before I was able to test for another two weeks.) The smell was quite strong the first three days, and then became a medium-strength scent for about a week and a half. By the time I started to test the mattress, the smell was still there, but only noticeable when I tried to sleep on my stomach. Sometimes I could ignore it and other times it bothered me so much I had to turn onto my back. After four weeks, the smell is now almost imperceptible. I think a mattress protector might dampen the smell for those who have a nose such as mine.
What is the Essentia Class REM5 Organic Mattress like to sleep on?
Comfort and Firmness
When it came to lying on the mattress, it was clear that the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress in firm is a firm mattress that’s best designed for back and stomach sleepers. I’d describe it as a 7.5 on a 10-point firmness scale, making it one of the firmest mattresses I’ve ever tested. It took my body about a week to get used to the mattress, particularly as it related to falling asleep.
The mattress’ foam lightly contoured around my body and seemed to push against my mid-section, preventing it from dipping into the mattress. When your back or stomach dips into a mattress it can cause lower back pain, so I was glad I did not have to worry about that with this mattress. Although I could sleep on my stomach considerably well, when I slept on my back I found that I moved and awoke less throughout the night. Sleeping on my side wasn’t as comfortable because it felt like my hips were unable to sink into the mattress enough to align my spine.
The mattress is also available in medium and soft firmness offerings for back and side sleepers, respectively
In terms of pressure points, the mattress did a great job of relieving stress and aches in my shoulders, neck, and upper back. While it took a while for my lower back, stomach, and hips to get used to this mattress, I never had any pain in those areas when sleeping on the mattress.
Breathability and Cooling
According to Essentia, the Classic REM5 Organic Mattress is supposed to actively cool your body down as you sleep. In fact, Essentia claims it will make your sleep experience up to 5 degrees cooler than your internal body temperature over an 8-hour sleep cycle. I’m not sure how Essentia tested their claim or even if I experienced what they claimed because I don’t have a way to test it.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the way they have worded that claim. “Up to five degrees” indicates that your sleep experience could be zero to five degrees cooler – or alternatively, warmer than your internal body temperature. And that’s because they tested it over an eight-hour cycle which means there may be points in the night where the mattress doesn’t make your sleep experience cooler.
All of that said, I don’t typically feel hot when I go to sleep at night on any mattress. I didn’t notice this mattress being cooler (or warmer) than any other mattress I’ve slept on in the past. Temperature-wise, I felt comfortable each time I slept on this mattress and I think most people will too.
We know that motion transfer is incredibly important to couples because no one wants to be constantly awoken throughout the night by a simple movement from their partner. Because I don’t have a partner, I decided to test the motion transfer with a 15-lb. dumbbell weight and wine glass. I placed the wine glass in the center of the mattress and dropped the dumbbell weight 25, 10, and four inches away from the wine glass.
The wine glass didn’t shake when I dropped the dumbbell 25 and 10 inches away. However, it shook considerably, though didn’t topple, at a 4-inch difference. In my opinion, the motion transfer is quite excellent, especially when comparing it to the many other mattresses I’ve tested. If your partner is only four inches away, you might feel them move, but I’d expect that to be the case with most mattresses.
The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress holds up decently when it comes to edge support. I didn’t feel myself slipping off the mattress when sitting on the edge. Yes, I dipped about three-to-four inches into the eight-inch-tall mattress, but I still felt secure. As for sleeping near the edge of the mattress, my arms and feet were always supported and never slipped off.
Essentia ordering and delivery
The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress is available directly through the Essentia website and is delivered for free throughout the U.S. and Canada by FedEx in boxes made from 100% recycled paper. You do have the option for in-home delivery with old mattress removal for $249. The Classic REM5 in king and California king size ship via complimentary In-Home Delivery as there is some assembly required. Orders take 2-3 business days to process. Because the mattress is made-to-order, it can take up to 15 days for Essentia to put your mattress together. Shipping may take 3-10 business days. With those estimates, it could take up to a month (or slightly longer) to receive your mattress.
Essentia trial and warranty
Essentia offers a 120-night mattress sleep trial to buyers, which means you get 4 months to test the mattress. You can return or exchange your mattress within those four months, as long as you take 30 days to sleep on the mattress. (This is typical because it usually takes a body 30 days to adjust to a new bed.) Unfortunately, all returns or exchanges will cost you a return fee of nine percent of the listed retail price plus taxes.
The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress has a 20-year warranty that will cover deterioration of the foam if it’s more than 3/4th of an inch deep. Essentia came up with the 3/4th inch measurement by testing the mattress for height change over a 10-year period. They did this by using a 250 lb. hexagonal shape roller to roll over the mattress 200,000 times which is meant to simulate 10 years of use. According to Essentia, the mattress experienced only a quarter-inch loss of height by the end of the test. Talk about impressive!
How does the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress rate online?
The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress only has 22 reviews on the Essentia website. Those 22 reviews have resulted in a 4.9-star rating.
There were a handful of reviewers who noted that this mattress improved their upper back, neck, and shoulder pain. Many noted that the mattress is firm, with one saying that it softened up (but was still considerably firm) after a few weeks.
Only two reviewers gave it four-stars. The first said her rating was reflective of the mattress' expensive price, while the second one noted that their sleep hadn’t improved, despite the comfortable feel of the mattress.
Is the Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress worth it?
The Essentia Classic REM5 Organic Mattress is the ideal mattress for back and stomach sleepers who enjoy a firm bed, though other sleep types will likely find comfort with the soft-fior or medium options. This isn’t the kind of mattress that’s going to break down or soften up quickly either. The construction and materials are designed in such a way as to provide the essential support you need to keep your body aligned and free of back, shoulder, or neck pain.
I can’t deny that I noticed a bothersome cloying almond smell emanating from the mattress. This may be an off-product of the latex, and while I’m glad to know that all the materials are organic and that it’s likely not an off-gassing smell, it still made getting used to the mattress a bit difficult. (I should note that the 22 reviewers on the Essentia website did not mention any smells.)
I’d like to see this mattress available in a larger height than 10 inches, but the excellent motion transfer and superior edge support are enough for me to overlook that factor. Once your body gets used to this mattress, it will surely serve you well over a long period of time. Do I think that this mattress is overly priced? Absolutely. But if you can afford the cost and you enjoy an extra firm mattress that contours around your body and is made with organic materials, this may be the right buy for you.