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Koala Mattress Review (2021 Update)
Note: Since our review, Koala has upgraded the mattress and now calls it “New Koala Mattress”. The main difference is that the mattress now features a flippable layer that allows you to choose between the soft side (6/10) and the firm side (7/10). While the review stands correct for the most part, we’ll be updating the article shortly.
Koala is quite a rage in the Australian market and its mattress — its only mattress — even more. Why and is it worth the hype?
We put the Koala mattress through its paces in areas that matter for a good night’s sleep — firmness, feel, support, motion isolation and more. Let’s tell you what we found.
Mattresses are a matter of personal preference because what’s comfortable or firm for you might not be for others. So our review is a sum of what we found while testing the Koala mattress and our expert analysis and customer reviews available online. We believe it’s a wholesome way of judging a product.
Koala Mattress Review Summary
Unlike a majority of bed brands, Koala offers one mattress albeit in six sizes. A medium-firm all-foam mattress, it’s good enough for most Aussies, the company claims and we agree to a great extent.
The Koala mattress blends the slight sink of the memory foam and the responsiveness of the latex to bring you a bed that’s soft yet cushiony. So you feel you are sleeping “in” as well as “on” the mattress and this results in a good balance of comfort, pressure relief and support.
Koala claims its mattress is medium (7 on the soft-to-firm scale) but we think it’s slightly on the softer side of the medium at around 6. A quick note. At the time of writing this review, Koala was providing free-of-cost firm or soft mattress topper to buyers who weren’t satisfied with the default firmness of the mattress. This goes to show how much Koala values its customers.
We feel the Koala mattress is an effective and affordable option for most light to average-weight people under 110 kg in all sleeping positions. The top comfort layer is soft and is well-suited for lightweight folks (under 60 kg), who may find other mattresses a bit firm to their liking.
That said, it may not be for everyone. As mentioned earlier, the mattress is slightly on the softer side of medium-firm, so if you want more support or firmness in bed, look elsewhere. The edge support is average too but it’s expected out of an all-foam mattress.
Below is a checklist of factors that make the Koala mattress a yay or nay for Aussies.
Who might like the Koala mattress?
Who might not like the Koala mattress?
Tl;dr: The Koala mattress is a well-rounded product, which offers middle-of-the-road features to please most buyers. The excellent after-sale support, friendly returns policy and transparent warranty terms further make the Koala mattress a solid contender.
However, if you want a firmer mattress or a bit more support, the Ecosa mattress may serve you better. You can read our in-depth coverage of the Ecosa mattress here.
- Inner core is made from GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) certified dunlop foam layers, which have low VOC emissions and which are free from heavy metals and chemicals.
- Outer fabric is a mix of polyester and TENCEL.
- It’s made of two foam layers — the top Kloudcell provides comfort and the Ecofoam base lends support.
- Koala claims the mattress is fire retardant and vegan too.
- Free mattress removal option (Only in Sydney & Melbourne).
- Free Australia-wide shipping with 4-hour delivery in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
- 120-night risk-free home trial.
- Free returns for metro areas. For remote pockets, buyers need to ship the mattress to the nearest warehouse, which may cost them anywhere from $100 to $250.
- 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects or sag over 2.5 cm.
Koala Mattress Firmness & Feel
So what does it feel like to sleep on the Koala mattress? Read our first-hand experience below.
How was my sleep experience?
I’m 5’8” and I have an average weight of about 72 kg. In terms of my sleep style, I like to sleep on the side but I switch to back or stomach once in a while. Now I will share how it felt to sleep on the Koala mattress in different sleeping positions.
I feel the Koala mattress is an excellent match for side sleepers but not so much for heavier folks. The top comfort layer conforms to the body curves pretty well and prevents the pressure from building up along the shoulder and hip regions.
Back sleepers too will find a good balance of comfort and support on the Koala mattress. While the lumbar area sinks into the softer comfort layer and you get a fair bit of contouring, the firmer base layer keeps the spine supported at all times.
I did find decent support while sleeping on the stomach but the habitual belly sleepers may want to go for a slightly firmer and supportive mattress like the Ecosa.
With all that said, the Koala mattress is one of the most comfortable mattresses I’ve reviewed.
How firm is Koala mattress?
The Koala mattress was softer, not plush. So we’d go with a rating of 6/10 on the soft-to-firm scale, a touch lower than Koala’s own rating of 7/10. The Kloudcell layer is soft and cushiony while the base of Ecofoam offers good support.
What does the Koala mattress feel like?
The mattress is soft yet responsive to touch. The custom foam blend offers a neutral feel — it’s neither too squishy like the memory foam nor too bouncy like the latex. And the comfort layer hugs you in a cuddle.
As you lay down on the Koala mattress, you first sink into the comfort layer slightly and then experience pressure relief. When you have settled in, the base kicks into action to keep your body steady and supported through sleep.
You tend to sleep “on” the mattress rather than sink in. Which means, you don’t have to fight that stuck-in-the-mud feeling and you can change positions easily.
The mix of memory foam, latex and medium firmness makes the Koala mattress highly accommodating and comfortable for most sleepers. In that sense, it’s a safe pick.
Average-weight sleepers — 58 to 110 kg
Average-sized sleepers should find the Koala mattress comfy in all positions. During side sleeping, the comfort layer conforms to the body and relieves pressure off the shoulders and hips. On back sleeping, you should experience support and comfort in the lumbar region. Most stomach sleepers should find their hips well-supported but daily stomach sleepers may crave a slightly firmer bed.
Lightweight sleepers — Under 58 kg
The firmness and feel of the mattress are directly proportional to the weight of the sleeper. Petite folks put little pressure on the mattress and as a result, they find most mattresses firm. However, Koala is an excellent choice for smaller folks in all sleeping positions, we believe. The comfort layer is soft, cushiony and accommodating.
Heavyweight sleepers — Over 110 kg
Heavier folks usually find foam mattresses soft as they exert more pressure on the surface than folks with petite or average bodies. So I don’t think Koala, or for that matter, any foam mattress is not a good fit for large folks.
In general, heavier people should look for a hybrid or innerspring mattress wherein the metal coils offer greater support and resilience.
Koala Mattress Construction
The Koala mattress has a straightforward design, comprising two layers of custom-blend polyfoam that size up to 10″. Now let’s see how each layer impacts the overall performance of the mattress.
Cover: It’s made from sustainable TENCEL-blend fabric, which is breathable, cool to touch, antimicrobial and repels moisture. The cover can be removed and machine-washed easily.
Koala recommends cleaning the cover with a mild detergent every month. As for the mattress core, you spot-clean it with hands, by rinsing and squeezing out the water thoroughly and then drying away from direct sunlight. See the instructions below.
Comfort layer: The top layer is made of a 3-inch open-cell foam, which the brand calls the “Kloudcell” and which is superior than the memory foam, it claims. Designed for comfort, it’s soft, bouncy and responsive. It’s also more breathable and traps lesser heat in comparison to regular foam.
Support layer: The base of the Koala mattress is a 7-inch high-density polyfoam or Ecofoam, as the company calls it. This layer is firmer than the comfort layer above it. It stabilises the bed, prevents excessive sagging, especially around the edges, and supports the sleepers at all points uniformly.
Thickness: At 10 inches, the Koala is a medium-profile mattress. This 10-inch thickness is pretty much standard across all-foam mattresses.
Koala Mattress Size Options And Price Chart
|Single||188 x 92 x 23 cm||13.7 kg||$780|
|King Single||203 x 107 x 23 cm||16.7 kg||$950|
|Double||188 x 138 x 23 cm||19.7 kg||$1000|
|Queen||203 x 153 x 23 cm||23.6 kg||$1,050|
|King||203 x 183 x 23 cm||31.5 kg||$1,050|
* Koala offers 10% to 25% discount from time to time, especially during EOFY sale, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year, and Valentines day.
Koala Mattress Performance
While firmness and feel are the most critical factors, it’s also important to assess a mattress for edge support, durability, breathability and more. Let’s see how the Koala mattress fares on these fronts.
In my opinion, the Koala mattress is temperature-neutral — it neither sleeps hot nor cool. The open-cell foam promotes airflow and wicks away the heat, which typical memory foam mattresses fail to do. I did not wake up hot or sweaty but habitual hot sleepers may want to try a hybrid or pure innerspring mattress as it sleeps cooler than all-foam mattresses.
Motion isolation for couples
Motion isolation means how well a mattress can absorb the cross-bed motion. If you sleep on a mattress with good motion isolation, you will not realise when your partner rolls out of the bed to answer that chocolate craving or nature’s call. Generally, all-foam beds excel in motion isolation and the Koala mattress is no different. It absorbs and minimises the motion transfer better than an innerspring or a latex or a hybrid mattress.
A robust edge support has many benefits. For one, you can sleep closer to the edges without the fear of falling off. Two, it holds up the shape of the mattress. Three, it prevents sagging around the edges. In that respect, the Koala mattress offers above-average edge support when compared to all-foam beds but the edge support is less than that offered by innerspring or hybrid mattresses. Overall, I think the Koala mattress offers decent edge support.
The Koala mattress is responsive and offers decent bounce, making it easy to switch between positions during sex. And since it’s an all-foam bed, you are spared off those creaking or squeaking sounds that are common in innerspring mattresses.
The Koala mattress was launched in Australia in 2015 and re-designed in 2018. Since the mattress is still relatively new, we’re basing its durability on the materials used, the quality of construction, the brand reputation and buyer reviews. Considering these, we estimate that the Koala mattress should have a lifespan of seven to eight years, more than other all-foam beds.
Like all-foam mattresses, the Koala mattress has slight off-gassing (chemical smell) but nothing overwhelming. In our trial, the smell dissipated completely after 24 hours.
Koala Mattress Company Policies
The devil is in the detail, especially if you are shopping for products online. So do the due diligence.
Currently, Koala offers free of cost mattress removal in Sydney and Melbourne area in partnership of Soft Landing.
Like most online mattress brands, the Koala mattress is rolled, wrapped and compressed in a box that’s compact and easy to lug around.
Setting up the mattress is a breeze. Simply remove the outer packaging and let the mattress self-inflate. As per the company, the mattress can take up to a week to fully expand.
The delivery is free Australia-wide. You can also opt for a 4-hour delivery for metro areas, again free.
The Koala mattress comes with a 120-night trial period. However, you can’t return the mattress unless you have tried it for two weeks. The logic here is, your body will take at least two weeks to get fully accustomed to the mattress.
Like all online bed-in-a-box brands, you can return the Koala mattress during its trial period and get a full refund. However, the return pick-up is free only in the metro areas — Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
For remote or non-metro areas, the buyer has to arrange and pay for the freight to the closest Koala warehouse. This can set you back by $100 to $250 because once the mattress is out of the box, there is no way to deflate and put it back in.
Booking Airtasker would be relatively cheaper. And if you can, drive down to Koala’s warehouse to return the mattress yourself.
Free topper — what’s the deal?
The most common reason for returning a mattress is firmness. Likewise, some buyers could find the Koala mattress too firm or too soft to their liking. If you are one of those dissatisfied buyers, don’t worry. Koala offers a free-of-cost mattress topper in both the soft and firm versions. This speaks highly of Koala’s customer-first approach.
The Koala mattress is covered under a 10-year warranty, covering manufactured defects, sagging, and body indentations measuring 25mm or deeper.
Note: Only original buyers can claim the warranty.
Common Koala Mattress Complaints
The Koala mattress is good overall but it does not offer the best support for overweight or larger folks. Similarly, it may not suit those who like resting on firmer beds. So the complaints were over the fact that the mattress is soft. But please note, these were less than 2% of all the reviews we analysed.
How Does Koala Mattress Compare To Others?
It’s always good to compare products in the market before putting your money and trust in something. So here we have pitted the Koala mattress against its biggest competitor: Ecosa mattress.
Koala vs. Ecosa mattress
Koala and Ecosa are all-foam beds and they are quite similar in terms of feel and price offering. But Ecosa is an adjustable firmness mattress while Koala offers single firmness and that’s where the biggest difference lies. With Ecosa, you can enjoy three levels of firmness (medium, medium-firm and firm) by simply shuffling the individual layers.
The other significant difference is that even in the softest setting, Ecosa is firmer than Koala. And so, Ecosa might be a better choice for stomach sleepers, those looking for a more supportive bed or those who aren’t sure what firmness they like. On the other hand, Koala comes with a soft and thick comfort layer and is a better pick for side sleepers.
Ecosa has a leg up on Koala in regards to warranty. It comes with a 15-year warranty while the latter offers a 10-year warranty.
Who should get Koala mattress
- Side, back and combination sleepers.
- Those who prefer a softer mattress.
Who should get Ecosa Mattress
- Those who prefer a slightly firmer mattress.
- Sleepers who are unsure what firmness they like.
- Committed stomach sleepers.
Summing It Up
Koala lives up to Steve Jobs’ famous saying ‘Do not try everything. Do one thing well’. Its solo mattress covers a whole lot of sleepers. Plus it’s reasonably priced and backed by Koala’s much-feted after-sales support.
Overall, the Koala mattress is a safe and well-rounded pick that should work well for most Aussies. If you don’t like it for some reason, remember you are covered under its 120-night risk-free trial.
Koala Mattress FAQs
We think Koala is an excellent mattress but some may like it more than others. Light- and medium-weight folks who sleep on the side, back and stomach and those who like their bed not too soft not too firm would mostly enjoy snoozing on this. Heavier people (above 110 kg) or those who like their mattress a touch bit firm might have to look elsewhere.
Yes, the Koala mattress is non-toxic. It’s GECA-certified (Good Environmental Choice Australia), which means, it’s environmentally safe and low on volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The company claims their mattress contains no heavy metals, fire retardant chemicals, phthalates, formaldehyde, ozone-depleting substances, CFCs, and their production is almost free of emissions. The mattress is also vegan and completely recyclable.
No, the Koala mattress isn’t designed to be flipped. The comfort layer goes at the top and the support layer needs to be at the bottom Flipping the mattress would negatively impact the structural integrity of the mattress and its function, firmness and feel.
Possibly because the Koala mattress offers a good balance of lumbar support and comfort. But we feel the Ecosa mattress is a better choice in this department. It’s a bit firmer than Koala’s and offers greater support that people with back pain really need.
Medical disclaimer: If you have pre-existing pain, we recommend you contact your GP first.
Yes. Like most all-foam mattresses, the Koala mattress should be compatible with most adjustable bases. But it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer on this matter.
The returned mattresses are donated to one of the 68 charities in Australia. Some of those charity partners are The Salvation Army, Vinnies, and Lifeline Australia.
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