Sleeping Duck (6 of 7)

Sleeping Duck ‘bed in a box’ mattress review

Following our reviews of the Casper and Emma ‘bed in a box’ style mattresses, we have tried out the Sleeping Duck.

Sleeping Duck is a little different to the usual beds in this category. Firstly, you can choose medium or firm. This is largely unheard of in the bed in a box space, and furthermore, you can even opt for a half and half mattress; so if you prefer medium while your other half prefers firm, you’ll want to look at Sleeping Duck.

Read the full review below to find out more.

Interested in other ‘bed in a box’ mattresses? Read all of our reviews here.

Sleeping Duck

As always, we explore what the Sleeping Duck offers before going into the meat of the review.

The Sleeping Duck is a hybrid mattress, but with added modular design. Essentially, this means the base of the bed is primarily spring, with HD Foam (6cm) memory foam (2cm) and latex (2cm) sitting above. The HD foam is the modular element and allows for two people to experience two different firmness levels on the same mattress.

Made up of five materials, the Sleeping Duck uses bamboo fabric for the cover, memory foam and natural pinhole latex in the topper, and high-density foam in the middle, to deliver the firmness. The base is pocket spring, adding plenty of support.

The result is an incredibly thick mattress. Anyone who has spent close to, or more than, £1,000 on a mattress will have experienced a pretty thick mattress before, but the Sleeping Duck is on another level. Think of it is a premium mattress with a premium topper.


Once you see the size of the Sleeping Duck and start to consider the sheer volume of materials used on the bed versus something a little thinner, you would be forgiven for expecting it to cost an arm and a leg, or at least be around £1,000.

Surprisingly, the mattress we tested was £749. This was a UK king size, half medium, half firm. A king size with the same firmness rating all over is £100 less, at £649. That’s more than the Casper but less than the Emma, so very reasonable.

You’ll notice our score for ‘cost’ is higher than the Casper, despite costing more. This is because we believe the Sleeping Duck offers better value, considering you get far more materials for a similar price. You also get the option to – free of charge – change the firmness rating, should you find it too soft or too firm.

As a quick overview of other sizes and their costs, you’re looking at £399 for a single, £549 for a double and £749 for a super king. Half and half is only available on the King or Super King, both costing an extra £100 for the privilege.


Delivery was speedy for the Sleeping Duck, arriving a day after ordering. So in that respect, it was perfect. However, there is a downside when it comes to the sheer size of the Sleeping Duck mattress.

Due to its large size, especially in thickness, the weight of the package is rather a lot. The box the Sleeping Duck comes in is also less manoeuvrable than the smaller boxes the Casper and Emma came in, meaning the usual technique of flipping it up the stairs just didn’t work.

I still managed to get the bulky mattress up the stairs and on the bed on my own, but it was a serious workout, and I broke into quite a sweat doing so! I can’t bear to think what the Super King might be like.

However, there is a solution. Sleeping Duck offers a two-man delivery option, meaning you don’t need to break into a sweat as I did. I would strongly recommend choosing this option.


Comfort is king, and that’s why 80% of our review scores are based on our rating of comfort alone. The Sleeping Duck looks and feels like a premium mattress, so we had high hopes that it would be the most comfortable of them all.

So it was a little disappointing both the firm and the medium were a little too firm. Perhaps it is the sheer thickness of the mattress that makes it much more supportive (too supportive maybe) and not the most comfortable of beds, at least on the first night’s sleep.

Two weeks into testing, the firm still felt a little too firm for me. The medium, however, felt perfect. I like a firm mattress, and the medium felt just right.

Swapping sides with your partner isn’t easy, but swapping the firmness is. Sleeping Duck allows customers to change their firmness ratings, if unhappy with the level of comfort, within the first 100 days. So, if you have a firm but feel it is just too firm, no problem – you can swap it out for free.

I decided to take advantage of this ability to exchange – which is free of charge. If you swap, two new options become available; soft and extra firm. I asked for the soft, which was delivered in a couple of days, and once swapped over, turned the Sleeping Duck into the perfect mattress.

Since making the exchange, I have had the best nights sleep. Every. Single. Night. When we first reviewed the mattress, we based it on the experience with the firm and medium, half and half topper. It scored the lowest out of all the beds we tried.

Let’s find out how it fares now.


The Sleeping Duck is a premium mattress for a surprisingly reasonable price. On price alone, it is a true winner. The bang for your buck has a downside when it comes to delivery, however, and you should ask for a helping hand when getting the mattress on your bed, or pay for the two-man delivery option.

We initially scored the Sleeping Duck quite low, since the initial experience wasn’t great. But the Sleeping Duck has a secret weapon – the ability to change firmness and to do it for free.

Once we switched to the soft all over, the experience completely changed. A soft, welcoming bed, uninterrupted sleep, refreshed morning feeling and a desire for the day to be over just to get back in the bed again!

The Sleeping Duck, therefore, is the most versatile mattress there is. Its cost is extremely reasonable, the delivery is simple if you opt for two-man delivery, and the comfort level is incredibly high – and if it isn’t right for you, it can be easily changed.

That’s why the Sleeping Duck scores the highest of all the mattresses we have tested. The fact they offer an option to modify the firmness if it isn’t right for you is a bonus, and scores it extra points. While it may seem irritating at first, you do not get this option with any other bed in a box style mattress, nor with the traditional buying experience.

We fully recommend the Sleeping Duck. Still unsure? Check out our friends at Mattress Matchers review of the Sleeping Duck.

Try out the Sleeping Duck

Comfort is king, so it makes up 80% of the total score.

The Breakdown


There are 8 comments

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  1. Colin hendrie

    Hi David,

    You note the sleeping duck mattress only became the best after swapping to a “soft” firmness level but there is not option for “soft” on the sleeping duck website.

    How did u get the soft firmness? Is it available only during the trial?


    • David Clare

      Hi Colin,

      The soft is available to people who have bought the mattress, but who find it too hard. Only then does the soft option become available. I suppose it is their secret weapon to keep people from returning. It’s very good though – maybe you could contact them before purchasing to let them know you’d like to try soft first off?


  2. Matt

    We bought a Tempur Sensation 22cm mattress in 2016 (£2000!). Looking to replace it because of heat issues (well documented). I note the Sleeping Duck has top layer of memory foam. Are there potential heat retention issues with this mattress?

    • David Clare

      I’d recommend a mattress with cool blue gel infused into the memory foam. The OTTY mattress has this and it provides a much cooler night’s sleep. The HerdySleep is also nice and cool, due to its use of Herwick Wool.

  3. Emma

    If I went for the firm mattress then wanted to swap, would I be able to get the medium because you said you were offered “soft and extra firm”?
    Thank you

    • David Clare

      I’m sure you will be able to – have you contacted their customer service? It is the topper that controls how soft or firm the mattress is, so it will be this that they swap for you.

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