Koala Mattress In-Depth Review
Great service, but not the mattress for me
Queen mattress, single sleeper, sprung ensemble base, living in Sydney.
Coming from: 25 years on a "Supporta" inner-spring mattress.
Too firm for me, and too hot. Would be a great mattress for a cool climate but I couldn't sleep on this mattress in Sydney's hot weather. Excellent customer service.
The ordering process
Dead easy. Don't order as soon as you get on the website though, because if you do, you'll pay 'full price'. Nobody needs to pay the full advertised price for any online mattress because after a few minutes' browsing you'll get a popup with a $100 discount code which lasts for 24 hours (there'll be a countdown timer). Again, no need to rush, as you can easily get the discount again just by clearing your cookies or using an incognito browser. Or sign up for their email newsletter and the code will be emailed to you for use even after the 24 hours :-)
Better still, google for a $150 discount code, use it instead, and save an extra $50. (Occasionally $200 codes are available - worth googling and trying them out!) I used the $150 discount code SPOOKSUN
I ordered late at night and got to choose a range of delivery times over the next 2 days. I chose the first available, which was between 10am-2pm next day.
The delivery process - 14th March 2017
Smooth. You even get to track the delivery vehicle on a google map in real time. It was delivered before noon. Only hitch was, the driver said he was not allowed to bring it up any steps unassisted, and there are several steps that lead to my front door. This wasn't optimal, as I'm not exactly a body-builder, so bear in mind that the Queen package weighs 34kg, and if you have steps and feel unable to help lifting and carrying a box of that weight, ensure someone else is home who can.
Unpacking and First impressions This was quite tricky. It's VERY tightly wound up in a roll of heavy shrink-wrapped plastic sheeting, and it's impractical to simply unroll it. They supply a 'box-cutter' tool, with instructions to make an insertion and then carefully pull the tool towards you to cut through all layers of plastic in one go – it broke as soon as I tried to use it. So I used scissors instead, which was tough going and I had to be very careful not to cut into the mattress. Once unfurled, the mattress regains its shape and appears ready to use straight away. Pleased to report that there was NO toxic smell at all (which I think some others have complained of). I have a very sensitive nose, and if there had been, I would know.
1st Night! 15th March 2017
I had of course hoped for a restful night's sleep... but sadly, 'twas not to be. While the Koala mattress felt softer to sit on the edge (eg. to tie shoelaces) than my old inner-spring mattress, when actually lying on it, it felt much firmer. I only weigh 61kg, but the impression I got lying on this mattress was that I weighed much more. I tend to vary throughout the night through all the sleeping positions - back, stomach, side - but however I lay, it just felt too firm.
The night was a steady 22-23 degs (though very humid) and in that temperature I normally use a thin doona without blankets. I awoke really hot in the middle of the night and had to shed everything. But then I was cold until I pulled the doona back on. But then the bed heated up quickly again...
The warmth underneath me felt like I had laid down on the bed where someone else had been lying and I could feel their body warmth - except in that situation, the feeling goes away after a minute or two - but the feeling just wouldn't go away. If it's like that on a mild autumn night, I feel there's no way I will be able to stand this mattress in summer.
Also, at 25cm, this is a tall mattress, and my regular Queen size top sheet (2.55m wide) quickly became untucked, which was annoying.
2nd night - 16th March 2017
Slept better. Still a 22-23 degree humid night. Still had to ditch the doona during the night. The firmness didn't bother me quite as much – maybe I'm getting used to it? Still concerned at how I will fare during an actual hot night. This morning they emailed me a nice certificate confirming that I've officially adopted a sick/injured koala.
5th night - 19th March 2017
Having slept five nights on this mattress, I am starting to feel that it's a little less firm than it was initially, eg. when I lie on my back, I can no longer feel the excessive pressure on the back of my legs now. It's still firmer than my old mattress though. I'm wondering if perhaps it takes a few days for the mattress to fully decompress? The temps over the last week have been very steady, but the excessive heat is still bothering me. Lying on my back, it feels constantly sweaty, as though there's nowhere for my body heat to escape. This could of course be due to Sydney's excessive humidity at the moment, but that's not a feeling I've ever had with my old inner-spring mattress.
9th night 23rd - March 2017
The mattress is still too hot for my liking. I'm constantly trying to find the 'cool spot' in the bed, and when I do, it heats up too quickly. Last night I received an email from Koala asking me to rate them (presumably for publication on their own website). No monetary or other incentive was offered.
10th night - 24th March 2017
Last night, for the first time, the heat wasn't an issue. Indoor temp was a little lower than previously, at 21-22 degs. Previous nights have been 22-25 degs.
17th night - 31st March 2017
There have been a few cooler nights recently (around 20 degs) and the extra heat of this mattress has actually made it quite comfy. But I still can't help feeling that it's too firm.
20th night - 3rd April 2017
With the indoor temps 18-19 degs overnight last night, the mattress has proved its worth as a great winter warmer!
24th Night - 7th April 2017
The new OneBed mattress has arrived, which I will also be reviewing in detail (though an interim comparison is below) so this was the last night I'll be testing the Koala, which I will be returning. I rate the mattress 3 stars - taking off a star each for the heat and for the firmness.
The Return Process
Very easy. I went onto their website and initiated a live chat, they gave me a link to fill out a survey on my impressions of the mattress, how I sleep, how I rate the mattress on various aspects, etc.
Received an email within 2 days "Please ensure that the mattress is folded in half and secured with some rope, tape or material so it fits on the pickup vehicle."
No, this is not a joke! I emailed back asking for any suggestions as to how I might be expected to achieve this feat, and fortunately they replied that if I couldn't fold it in half, that's actually OK, they'll just send a bigger pickup vehicle.
The pickup was booked for a day I could specify, and within a 4-hour window which I could also specify, and the driver turned up on time.
I received the refund 2 days later - so I really have no complaints at all about the customer service!
How do the Koala mattress and the OneBed mattress compare?
They are very similar. For a direct A to B comparison, both mattresses were placed on the floor (although it's not recommended that you keep mattresses on the floor long-term, as it will promote the growth of mildew underneath).
Which mattress is bouncier?
The Koala is noticeably bouncier.
Which mattress is softer?
The OneBed seems just a little softer - but there really isn't much in it, and it may even be more to do with the feel of the mattress cover supplied. I would still describe both mattresses as firm, not soft.
Which mattress is hotter?
This is a difficult comparison, as the weather cooled down a lot by the time I ordered the OneBed. Whilst I only suspect that the OneBed would be too hot in summer, I do know for sure that the Koala is too hot for me.
How do they each compare with the old inner-spring mattress?
The inner-spring mattress is noticeably bouncier than both, but also firmer than both.
Does the "wine glass test" work?
This refers to the videos on each brand's website, showing that you can bounce on the bed without a wine glass on the bed tipping over. Well, when the mattresses were placed on the floor - yes, it worked. But I would make two observations: 1) I was surprised to find that even the old inner-spring mattress passed the test, when the mattress was on the floor 2) The test was not so successful when the mattresses were placed on my sprung ensemble base. Fortunately I'd used an empty glass...