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Koala Pillow Review 2021 — Buy or Avoid?
Are you eyeing up the Koala Pillow as your next sleep accessory? Good choice. Even we have been advocates of this socially-conscious Australian brand and its supremely comfortable products for years now. And going by the wealth of glowing reviews out there, it seems the rest of Australia would like it too.
Even though the Koala Pillow has been our top pick for the best pillows in Australia, we’ve never actually dedicated a review on it. That is, until now. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it feels, who it is ideal for and more.
TL;DR: The Koala Pillow is designed intelligently to suit most body types and sleeping positions. It sleeps cooler than most traditional pillows and offers good support and pressure relief. However, if you’re looking for a soft plush pillow or you prefer the feel of a down or feather pillow, this might not be for you.
- Price: $150.
- Designed to be breathable and promote airflow.
- Dual-sided pillow with firmer (higher loft) side and softer (lower loft) side.
- The pillow essentially lies in the medium firmness range. The firm side is more like medium-firm and the soft side is more like medium-plush.
- The cover is made from the blend of polyester and TENCEL™ Lyocell.
- The filling is Polyurethane Gel Foam (memory foam).
- The cover is removable and washable.
- It comes only in one size – Standard (74×40.5×15.5 cm).
- The pillow comes with a 120-night trial and a 5-year warranty.
- Designed in Australia, made in China.
On paper, the Koala Pillow has some unique features to win you over, including a flippable design and a gel-infused core. But how does it feel to sleep on?
I tested the pillow on behalf of my team at WhatASleep for a week and this is what I think of it.
I’m primarily a side sleeper but I often drift to the back or stomach in sleep. I liked the firmer side of this pillow more. My head felt supported at just the right height and the neck and spine aligned. On the softer side, I felt my neck sunk in a bit more than I usually prefer.
How Firm is the Koala pillow?
In either configuration (Firm or Soft), the Koala Pillow isn’t super firm or super plush. The firmer side is definitely more supportive and I would say it’s on the firmer side of the medium while the softer side is towards medium-soft. That said, the feeling of firmness is quite subjective and it also depends on the body type of an individual.
Based on my sleep trials, I feel the Koala Pillow is suitable for most average-sized folks in all three sleeping positions (back, side and stomach). Stomach sleepers may find their sweet spot on the pillow’s ‘soft’ side while back and side sleepers may prefer the ‘firm’ side of things. Of course, if you’re a toss-and-turner, just flip the pillow over to settle on the firmness you like!
However, petite or folks with a smaller frame sleeping on the stomach may find the pillow a bit taller to their liking. Larger or individuals with broad shoulders may find the pillow a bit short in the side sleeping position. That said, you have a full 120-night trial to see if it’s the right pillow for you.
The sleeping experience may also differ from one weight group to another. Refer to the table below.
|Under 58 kg||58-104 kg||Above 104 kg|
How Does the Koala Pillow feel?
The Koala Pillow strikes a good balance of comfort, support and pressure relief. Here, you neither get a plush feeling of a down pillow nor the squishy feel of memory foam. What you get is a pillow that’s dense yet adaptable and one that keeps your head supported without feeling too firm.
The pillow contours like a typical memory foam would but you don’t feel stuck or trapped in one position. The inner foam core offers contouring support to the head and helps keep the neck and spine naturally aligned in most sleeping positions. Sleepers who suffer from back or neck pain may particularly benefit from the Koala Pillow.
If you’re transitioning from microfiber or cheaper pillows, you would find the Koala pillow quite dense and you may take some time to get used to. But with time, you may start appreciating its weightless feeling that many have likened to “sleeping on the cloud”.
Convinced? Get Koala Pillow
Pillow Construction & Design
Koala is well-known for its quirky and witty marketing but has also gone an extra mile to make its product packaging memorable. The Koala Pillow comes in a rectangular box with an easy-to-carry handle which also doubles up as a storage later. When you open the box, you’re welcomed with a sweet lullaby. How lovely!
Here is a short unboxing video:
Koala Pillow is a traditional-shaped pillow. It comes only in standard size and fits a standard-size pillowcase.
As Koala is a dual-firmness pillow, it comes with a tab marked on each side to indicate the firmness level — S stands for soft and F for firm. However, once you take the outer cover out, there is no way to know which side is what. So here’s the hack. The side with larger holes is the softer side, and the one with smaller holes is the firmer side.
The highlight of the Koala pillow is the CertiPUR-US certified dual-sided polyurethane memory foam core. One side is firmer with a higher loft, while the other side is softer with a lower loft, making this pillow versatile for most type of sleepers. Additionally, Koala has smartly provided a firmer rim around the edge of the pillow, which offers more support to the neck, while the centre of the pillow creates a ‘floating’ feeling for the head.
We found the foam core to be more responsive and lighter than the traditional memory foam. It does have sinking and contouring properties like the memory foam but it responds faster, allowing you to change your position with ease without feeling stuck. Further, the foam core is perforated to promote airflow and is infused with cooling gel to keep sleepers cool through the night.
Please note that the inner core isn’t machine-washable — its should be spot cleaned with hands only.
Here is a video from Koala, showing how much both sides sink under the weight of a watermelon:
Is the Koala Pillow durable? Is it good for hot sleepers? Let’s tell you how it performed.
The Koala Pillow sleeps cooler than the memory foam pillow and perhaps equal to or slightly cooler than the microfiber or down pillow. The cooling gel and air-hole core combination works effectively.
So sweaty sleepers or those who suffer from hot flashes will particularly feel at home on this pillow. That said, those who sleep cold should not feel deterred either. The pillow wicks away the sweat and promotes airflow, so it won’t necessarily leave you cold at night.
From the look and feel Koala Pillow seems quite durable, thanks to the solid construction and high-quality materials used. While Koala offers an industry-leading 5-year warranty on the pillow, we feel if the pillows are cared for properly, they can last several more years.
There is a very slight amount of off-gassing, which dissipates as quickly as the pillow is opened. Those with a sensitive nose can leave the pillow for a few hours to air out before use.
How does Koala Pillow compare to other pillows?
Let’s look at how the Koala Pillow stacks up against its counterparts in the Australian market.
Koala Pillow vs. Ecosa Pillow
Koala and Ecosa are the two biggest mattress brands in Australia. Both are excellent pillows in their own right but comparing them is like pitting apples against oranges.
While Koala and Ecosa are both memory foam pillows, they differ in so many ways — from size to design, price, and more. The Koala pillow comes in a traditional shape with a flippable dual-firmness design. In contrast, the Ecosa pillow is a contour-shaped pillow that closely follows the head-neck shape and comes with an adjustable height option and fixed firmness.
Both pillows are designed to suit all sleepers but the Ecosa pillow offers more in terms of height customisation while Koala offers the flexibility of choosing the firmness. The Koala pillow comes with a warranty of 5 years and a 120-night trial whereas the Ecosa pillow comes with a warranty of just 100 days and a 100-day trial. Price-wise, the Ecosa pillow is about $25 cheaper than Koala.
Being a contour pillow with an option to adjust the height, the Ecosa pillow helps to achieve neutral neck and spine alignment effectively when compared to traditional-shaped pillows. Sleepers may find the Ecosa pillow more supportive and pressure relieving, especially in the side sleeping position.
We feel the Ecosa pillow is more of a specialty pillow and may be better suited for:
- Those who tend to sleep in the same position through the night.
- Folks looking for a more supportive pillow.
- Sleepers looking for a pillow to ease up back or neck pain.
- For side or back sleepers with a larger frame or broad shoulders.
However, being a traditional design pillow, the Koala Pillow would work out well for most sleepers. It’s more cooling than the Ecosa pillow and offers a better warranty and better customer support.
Warranty, Terms of Sale & Pricing
Koala has been leading the way for other mattress-in-a-box brands with its efficient customer support and its offering around this pillow is no different, starting with free delivery within four hours to metro areas in Australia. Elsewhere, you will get your order in 1 to 10 days.
On top of that, with a 120-night risk-free trial you’ll have ample time to decide whether the pillow is a good match for you. The return pick-up is free for most metros (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide) while they may levy a nominal charge for remote areas.
Finally, a 5-year warranty on the pillow’s foam core means that you don’t have to worry about any manufacturing defects whatsoever.
While working on the review, my team also skimmed through the Internet to see what buyers are saying and talking about their Koala pillow.
With an aggregated rating of over 4.5/5 stars across different product review platforms, most customers seemed to be happy with their purchase. Few buyers highlighted how durable and versatile the pillow was while some sulked about its $150 price tag. It’s another story that they become ‘Koala converts’ after using the pillow.
In terms of complaints, some buyers found it a bit tall to their liking, some found it short, and some found it firm. But we would like to point out that the firmness and feel are subjective things and that’s the beauty of the 120-night trial — if you don’t like the pillow, return it and get your money back.
I think the Koala Pillow is a great option for those looking for a traditional-shaped pillow that is supportive, cooling, and comfortable. While it’s expensive but considering the versatility and cooling features of the pillow plus the 5-year warranty, it is worth considering.
Personally, I liked it best sleeping on my back and side but it should work well in all sleep positions. Petite folks may find the pillow a bit high to their liking — but with the 120-night trial, there’s no risk.