Mattress start-up Koala broke onto the Aussie scene a few years ago with a single product that has since become one of the most well-known mattresses in Australia. It’s highly likely you would have seen a Koala 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 on mattresses.
The Koala Mattress follows a one-design-fits-all mantra – the company has just the one design in the usual sizes, which 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?
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Need a new mattress? You can try a Koala Mattress for 120 nights risk free. This mattress-in-a-box is arguably the most popular in Australia while also being budget friendly. And our Aussie T3 readers will get AU$150 off the RRP of the Koala Mattress by using 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.View Deal
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:
|Sleep Republic (hybrid spring)||AU$629||AU$1,039||AU$1,249||AU$1,449|
|Eva (hybrid spring)||AU$600||AU$800||AU$900||AU$1,000|
|Emma Original (foam||AU$499||AU$699||AU$799||AU$899|
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).
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, but of course there’s no better way to decide if a mattress is right for you or not than by trialling it at home. With Koala, you don’t need to worry about delivery fees or paying extra for the privilege.
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, and 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.
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 and you’ll get a full refund.
The mattress also comes with a 10-year warranty that includes protection against sagging of over 25mm.
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.
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 around 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.
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 and after that our backs thanked us for it. We found our body supported evenly. 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 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.
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 means 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 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), 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.
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.