Koala Mattress

Does the most popular foam mattress-in-a-box in Australia live up to the hype?

Koala Mattress
(Image credit: Koala)
T3 Verdict

It’s easy to recommend the Koala Mattress – it’s comfortable, supportive and great value for money. It is, however, slightly on the firmer side, which may not suit everyone, but a 120-day trial period gives you ample opportunity to give it a whirl.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    120-night trial period

  • +

    Incredibly comfortable and supportive

  • +

    Suits different types of sleepers

  • +

    Excellent value for money

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    May be too firm for some

  • -

    Relatively less edge support

The Koala Mattress broke onto the Aussie scene a few years ago – the only product from a homegrown startup with the same name. And it quickly gained a massive fan following. 

It’s highly likely you would have seen a Koala Mattress ad on Facebook, or heard about it from a friend, colleague or family member who’s bought one. It’s also highly likely you’ve read about it on the internet if you’ve done any research to find the best mattress right now. 

The Koala Mattress' popularity not only stems from brilliant marketing (like posting exciting videos about it on YouTube as mentioned further along this review) but also from the fact that despite its simple design, the product is comfortable and relatively affordable. 

Koala follows a one-design-fits-all mantra – the company has just the one mattress in the usual sizes that promises to offer a good night’s sleep to any type of sleeper... even those lying beside restless partners.

While the company has taken away the guesswork when it comes to making a choice, it can be easy to dismiss the foam-mattress-in-a-box concept as something that would be uncomfortable and not particularly durable. However, Koala has done well here – three writers at T3 Australia have purchased Koala mattresses and, between us, have been using them for over 2.5 years now… and all of us still find it hard to fault them.

So, does Australia’s most popular foam mattress-in-a-box live up to its hype?

Koala Mattress | save AU$150 on any size

Need a new mattress? You can try a Koala Mattress for 120 nights risk free. This foam mattress-in-a-box is arguably the most popular in Australia while also being budget friendly. Let's not forget that it's very comfortable too. And Koala is also offering our Aussie T3 readers a discount of AU$150 off the RRP of the mattress with the use of the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout. Moreover, those who buy a Koala Mattress will also be able to have their old mattress picked up and sent off for recycling free of charge. So what are you waiting for? Click on the green button and try the Koala Mattress for yourself.View Deal

(Image credit: Koala)

Koala Mattress: price

Koala’s ethos as a company is to make products that are affordable and sustainable, and if you can get a mattress that promises comfort and support for a roughly three-figure AUD price tag, that’s a great bargain in our books.

The starting price of a Koala Mattress is just AU$750 for a single. Working your way up the size chart, a king single will set you back AU$850, a double AU$950, while the queen- and king-sized mattresses are AU$1,050 and AU$1,250 respectively.

These are reasonably competitive prices, sitting around the middle of the pack in terms of  Australian mattress-in-a-box products, as you can see in the table below:

Price comparison of popular mattress-in-a-box options in Australia
NameSingleDoubleQueenKing
Sleep Republic (hybrid spring)AU$629AU$1,039AU$1,249AU$1,449
Eva (hybrid spring)AU$600AU$800AU$900AU$1,000
Ergoflex (foam)AU$899AU$1,299AU$1,499AU$1,749
Emma Original (foamAU$499AU$699AU$799AU$899
Koala (foam)AU$750AU$950AU$1,050AU$1,250

However, it’s possible to get Koala mattresses for considerably less than their ticket prices – the company periodically has sales, such as during Black Friday, while first-time Koala customers can save AU$75 at any time by just signing up for the company’s newsletter (which you can unsubscribe from whenever you wish).

And let's not forget, T3 readers in Australia will also get AU$150 off your purchase when you use the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout on the Koala website.

Koala Mattress: trial, delivery and returns

If you live in Sydney, you can visit the Koala display centre in Alexandria (called the Treehouse) if you want to try the mattress (although this is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic). But, of course, there’s no better way to decide if a mattress is right for you or not than by trialling it in the comfort of your own home. And, with Koala, you don’t need to worry about delivery fees or paying extra for the privilege.

Koala has a 120-night risk-free trial period, which is more than the usual 30-night option you get from some other brands. If, after the four-month trial you’re not happy with the Koala Mattress, the item will be picked up from your home at no extra cost to you and you’ll get a full refund.

If you live in metro areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, you can get your mattress delivered to your door (or even into the bedroom as was the case with us) within four hours (provided you order before 2pm Australian Eastern time), and there’s free express delivery Australia-wide with estimated delivery within 1-5 business days. 

Koala also has the option of ‘premium delivery’ for metro customers, which will set you back AU$90 and includes having the mattress brought into your room of choice, unpacked and set up without you having to lift a finger. This service also includes having the packaging material carted away. However, premium delivery doesn’t include the four-hour drop-off; instead your purchase will be brought to you in 2-3 business days.

The mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty that includes protection against sagging of over 25mm.

(Image credit: Koala)

Koala Mattress: design

When the mattress arrives, it’s vacuum-compressed and shrink-wrapped in a box that can be managed by a single person, although it’s advisable to get help if you’ve just bought a larger size. Once the plastic has been removed, the Koala Mattress takes mere seconds to settle into its expanded state.

One thing to note is that there’s no indication on the packaging of which side is up, but don’t worry if you get it wrong – the white fabric should face upward. We inadvertently got it wrong and ended up with the grey side on top (in fact, we slept on that side as well and did so very soundly indeed!).

Koala says its mattress is entirely Aussie-made, with a foam that has been custom-designed for better support and breathability. The foam used is GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) certified, meaning it doesn’t contain environmentally harmful substances.

When it first launched in 2015, the mattress had a three-layer design that’s no longer available. Instead, the current design consists of two layers, both using high-grade polyurethane foam that, Koala claims, is more supportive and more breathable than memory foam and latex.

(Image credit: Koala)

The top layer – measuring 6cm – has been dubbed ‘Kloudcell’ and is made up of a softer, breathable open-cell foam for a comfortable and cooler sleep. Even at the peak of the Aussie summer, the mattress feels comfortable and we’ve not felt overheated at any time.

Below that is a thicker 16cm ‘Ecofoam’ layer for support and durability. Both layers are then encased within a removable and washable cover made from hybrid polyester and eucalyptus fibre – a material called ‘Tencel’. To wash this cover, though, you’ll need to flip the mattress over to have the grey side facing up, as that’s where the zipper is, and it’s a two-man job to get the cover back on again if you have a queen- or king-sized mattress. And even though the cover fits like a glove, it's surprisingly easy to get on, slipping around the foam pretty much like a fitted sheet does.

Koala claims its mattress is capable of zero disturbance – i.e. you won’t be disturbed when lying beside a restless sleeper – as the Ecofoam layer distributes weight vertically instead of horizontally, thus absorbing impact. This feature has added to the brand’s popularity, in part thanks to YouTube videos showing people jumping on the mattress without spilling a drop of wine from a glass placed on it.

While we’ve been apprehensive about trying the jump test shown in the video above, we have been less disturbed by our partners’ movements at night. One of our colleagues, who regularly has hypnic jerks just when he’s dozing off, says his wife hasn’t felt the twitches since they started using the Koala Mattress. Zero-disturbance mattresses are great, but there’s nothing you can do about pulled sheets and covers.

Koala Mattress: firmness and comfort

Koala claims it’s got the mattress firmness “just right”. According to customer feedback, the Koala Mattress has been rated 6.1 (on a scale of 1-10) for firmness, which isn’t too far off the Australian ‘medium firm’ ideal of 6.3 (the latter score is based on Koala’s own surveys). Personally, we’d rate the firmness at around 7.

Coming off a pillow-top spring mattress, it took us a few nights to adjust to the firmer Koala, but after that our backs thanked us for it. We found our body supported evenly, and there’s no sink or bounce to speak of. However, each person will obviously have a personal preference in this area and we suspect the Koala Mattress may be too firm for some users.

Despite it being further up the firmness scale, the Koala Mattress is extremely comfortable. Once our (let’s face it, ample) behinds got used to the mattress, we found a dramatic decrease in back pain. Like many of our readers, this humble reviewer usually has a hard time falling asleep, but ever since switching to Koala that’s gotten a lot easier. In fact, I find myself falling asleep quicker than I did before.

Talking about the Koala experience with the other colleagues who own one, we’re all in agreement that we sleep more soundly, with less disturbance at night and wake up feeling fresher than when we were using our old spring mattresses.

Even though the mattress is relatively firm, it’s comfortable in pretty much any position, even when lying on your front – but we acknowledge that firmness is a personal preference and may not suit everyone.

Edge support, while decent, has a bit more sag to it than traditional mattresses and this can take some getting used to if you sit on the edge of the bed to get your slippers on.

When you first receive and unfurl the Koala Mattress, you’ll also want to air it out to minimise the chemical smell of the foam, although rest assured that none of the chemicals used are harmful and the smell dissipates really quickly.

(Image credit: Koala)

Koala Mattress: user reviews

We love the Koala Mattress. But, as we mentioned before, mattress choices are personal – our different body shapes and sleeping styles mean this is very subjective, so don’t take our word for it. 

Over 93% of Koala's customers have given the mattress a 4- or 5-star review, and it’s received high praise from many other independent expert reviewers.

The most common customer complaint was that the mattress was too firm. Koala reckons it takes us about 14 days to adjust to a new mattress and if, after that period you still find the mattress too firm (or too soft as the case may be), the company will send you a free mattress topper to make the product more comfortable. The topper isn’t available to buy but users can get in touch with Koala’s customer service to request one within 14 days of purchasing the mattress.

We also found many users complaining that the mattress began to sag after a couple of years of use, with body indents visible. Despite using one for over 2.5 years, we’re yet to see this occur on our mattress, perhaps because we’ve rotated it periodically. If, however, this does become an issue, it’s covered in Koala’s 10-year warranty, provided the sagging exceeds a depth of 25mm.

(Image credit: Koala)

Verdict: Should I buy the Koala Mattress?

In one word: yes. I’ve personally been using my Koala Mattress for almost a year now, while another colleague has had his for over 2.5 years, and so far neither of us have found cause for complaint. Not only is it comfortable and cool (even on a hot summer’s night), it’s affordable as well.

We also found it to be very low maintenance, having turned it only once in the last year. If you use a mattress protector under the sheets, then you likely won’t need to wash the original cover at all.

It suits most sleeping positions, distributes weight evenly to reduce back and spinal issues, and offers excellent bang for your buck. And the fact that you can try it risk-free for 120 nights – that’s four months – shows Koala’s confidence in the product. So if you’re looking for a new mattress, there’s no real reason not to give Koala a whirl.

Koala Mattress | From AU$600 (get AU$150 off with exclusive checkout code)

Need a new mattress? You can try a Koala Mattress for 120 nights risk free. This foam mattress-in-a-box is arguably the most popular in Australia while also being budget friendly. Let's not forget that it's very comfortable too. And Koala is also offering our Aussie T3 readers a discount of AU$150 off the RRP of the mattress with the use of the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout. Moreover, those who buy a Koala Mattress will also be able to have their old mattress picked up and sent off for recycling free of charge. So what are you waiting for? Click on the green button and try the Koala Mattress for yourself.

FOR END OF PRICING SECTION: And let's not forget, T3 readers in Australia will also get AU$150 off your purchase when you use the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout on the Koala website.View Deal

Koala Mattress | From AU$600 (get AU$150 off with exclusive checkout code)

Need a new mattress? You can try a Koala Mattress for 120 nights risk free. This foam mattress-in-a-box is arguably the most popular in Australia while also being budget friendly. Let's not forget that it's very comfortable too. And Koala is also offering our Aussie T3 readers a discount of AU$150 off the RRP of the mattress with the use of the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout. Moreover, those who buy a Koala Mattress will also be able to have their old mattress picked up and sent off for recycling free of charge. So what are you waiting for? Click on the green button and try the Koala Mattress for yourself.

FOR END OF PRICING SECTION: And let's not forget, T3 readers in Australia will also get AU$150 off your purchase when you use the exclusive discount code AFFFUTUREM at checkout on the Koala website.View Deal