I've slept on several different 'beds-in-a-box' - and this luxury hybrid mattress is by far the most comfortable
- With the competitive "bed-in-a-box" market, it has never been a better time for consumers to try out mattresses in the comfort of their own home.
- Launched in 2014, Leesa quickly made a name for itself with its excellent flagship memory foam mattress and commitment to making a positive social impact.
- I was impressed with how well Leesa's luxury hybrid mattress balances firm support with cloud-like softness.
- The Leesa Hybrid mattress is a hybrid that combines innersprings and memory foam so it carries a heftier price tag than its memory foam counterparts (it's currently $1,599 for a queen size on the Leesa website), but it provides more support while containing motion transfer.
- As a special, limited-time deal, you can take $200 off the Leesa Hybrid Mattress, plus get one free pillow ($80 value). The discount is automatically applied at checkout.
By some estimates, there are currently more than 100 brands that deliver compressed memory foam beds to your door. Though brick-and-mortar stores are still king, these "bed-in-a-box" companies are taking advantage of consumer dissatisfaction with the high-pressure sales environment offered by traditional mattress showrooms. The new online companies are even offering risk-free trials that allow you to spend several nights on a mattress to see if it's right for you.
One of the biggest names in the industry is Leesa. They recently sent me their luxury hybrid Leesa Hybrid mattress, the Leesa Foundation, and two hybrid pillows for free to test. Below, I will examine what you should look for when shopping for a mattress, share my experience with the Leesa Hybrid mattress and Leesa Foundation, and let you know who this bed is best suited for.
What to look for in a mattress
I have experience with several bed-in-a-box brands, and arguably the most important factor to look for when shopping for a mattress is the length of the trial period offered. When you go into a store to shop for a mattress, you can lay down on the actual bed before buying it. Though some online mattress retailers have showrooms in big cities, for the most part, you don't get the same brick-and-mortar experience shopping online.
To address this, online companies offer significant trial periods where you can return the mattress if you are not completely satisfied. There are some brands that will give you a full year to try their mattress but most offer a risk-free trial of about 100 nights. Check to make sure you get a trial of at least 90 nights with a mattress so you don't get stuck with something that doesn't meet your individual needs. Also, read the fine print to ensure you don't get stuck with a hefty return charge.
The most popular mattresses continue to be the traditional innerspring mattresses. They feature a steel coil core and a foam comfort layer. Their benefits are strong edge support and excellent bounciness, but they are prone to sagging, producing the classic squeaky bed sound, and they don't contour well to the body.
Some innerspring mattresses feature individually wrapped pocket coils. This construction helps to minimize motion transfer. Think of the old commercials where a bowling ball is dropped on a mattress. If you share a bed with a partner, you may want to consider individually wrapped coils to ensure they don't wake you up as they move in the night.
Memory foam mattresses keep growing in popularity. They consist of several layers of foam that conform to your body. Though they last longer than innerspring mattresses, they tend to trap heat.
Hybrid mattresses combine innersprings and memory foam. They have many layers of foam on top of a core of pocket coils. This combats the heat-trapping problem commonly found with memory foam while contouring to the body. However, hybrid mattresses tend to cost more than memory foam and innerspring.
Two other less common and more expensive options are latex mattresses and airbeds. Latex offers rounded body support and bounce, but it emits a long-lasting off-gassing odor. Airbeds combine foam comfort layers with air chamber support. An air pump lets you adjust your firmness, and airbeds are surprisingly durable.
Firmness is another important consideration. Firmness is rated on a scale of 1 - 10, where 10 is as firm as it gets. According to Sleepopolis's guide on firmness, 80% of sleepers prefer mattresses in the 5 to 7 range, regardless of sleep position. Therefore, many mattresses are right around 6. However, preference is incredibly subjective. In general, side sleepers should look for softer mattresses to avoid putting too much pressure on your joints. Back and stomach sleepers will typically benefit from medium-firm mattresses.
Why consider Leesa
If you regularly listen to podcasts, you have likely heard an ad for Leesa mattresses. They are perhaps best known for their social initiatives. For every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one mattress to a nonprofit. So far, they have donated over 30,000 mattresses to homeless shelters and other organizations that help at-risk men, women, and children. Additionally, they plant one tree for every mattress sold and volunteer within their community. They have earned B Corp certification for their social and environmental performance.
Based in Virginia Beach, Leesa was co-founded in 2013 by CEO David Wolfe and Chief Product Officer Jamie Diamonstein. Diamonstein already had decades of experience in the mattress industry when Wolfe contacted him about redesigning the mattress. Their goal was to make simple mattresses that improved the sleep experience, streamlined the buying process, and gave back.
What Leesa options are available?
With more than 13,000 5-star buyer reviews, the Leesa Mattress is by far the most popular product offered by Leesa. Their flagship mattress has three layers: a cooling foam top layer, contouring memory foam layer in the middle, and a 6" core support foam base. This is covered by the company's iconic four-stripe cover.
In 2016, Leesa introduced the Leesa Hybrid Mattress, which differs from the original in that it's a hybrid featuring individually wrapped coils. The 11-inch-thick Leesa Hybrid has five layers: the cooling foam top layer, contouring memory foam, and a 6" pocket coil system sandwiched between two layers of core support foam. The Leesa Hybrid is what I tested. Both Leesa mattresses come in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. I tried out a king.
Leesa also offers four different bed frames: a platform bed, adjustable base bed, a simple metal bed frame, and the Leesa Foundation, which I received. There are also several other accessories, including pillows and sheets. Other colleagues reviewed the Leesa Hybrid Pillow and the Leesa Adjustable Base.
Leesa offers a 100-night risk-free trial period. They just ask that buyers try their mattress for at least 30 nights. If you aren't satisfied, they will coordinate pick-up of the mattress or foundation. You don't have to worry about attempting the impossible task of fitting everything back into the box. There is no fee for returns unless you're in Alaska or Hawaii, in which case it will cost $100.
There is also a 10-year mattress warranty. The warranty is limited to physical flaws in the cover or mattress craftsmanship and mattress deterioration that results in an indentation of more than an inch. The warranty covers full replacement of the mattress, but the buyer has to pay for shipping.
Leesa offers a "white glove" delivery service in select locations. For an extra $100, a two-person team will deliver your mattress and foundation, unbox it, set it up, and remove the packaging. And, for $50 more, they will remove your old mattress and box spring, which is helpful since most municipalities charge extra for disposing of mattresses. I chose not to go with the white glove service because I wanted to get the full buyer experience.
My first experiences with the Leesa Foundation
My king-sized Leesa Foundation arrived in a long skinny box that weighed over 80 pounds. I recommend having a strong friend help you carry the box to where you plan on putting your bed. I advise against setting it up anywhere but where you intend on keeping it.
Upon opening the box, I was struck by the foundation's simplicity. There are essentially the four sides that fit together using thick plastic pins at each corner and two support rails that slide into place. Within the frame and on top of the support rails, you place two sets of slats. The slats are spaced about four inches apart inside of a fabric cover. Working alone, the whole setup process only took me 15 minutes.
My first experiences with the Leesa Hybrid mattress
Once the foundation was in place, it was time to unbox the Leesa Hybrid mattress. The box is a beast, and I encourage you to tip your delivery person generously. The king-sized mattress weighs 142 pounds, which you may want to have a couple friends help you with. My wife and I were able to carry it up a winding staircase to our second-floor bedroom, but it took at least a few cuss words.
Once the king-sized mattress is out of the box, do not plan on moving it. In other words, open it where you plan on keeping it. With this in mind, I opened the box alongside my foundation. I like to try to do as much of an assembly/installation as I can on my own so I can give a full report on what needs to be done. So, I did unbox this mattress, put it on the foundation, and removed the plastic without help. I don't recommend anyone do this on their own. The unboxing and positioning of the mattress took me about 15 minutes.
I was surprised by how odor-free the mattress was right out of the packaging. Since I was in the process of renovating my home when the mattress arrived, it sat in the box for over a month. Longer storage times usually worsen the memory foam odors, commonly called "off-gassing." You should allow the mattress to air out for a couple days before sleeping on it.
How the Leesa Hybrid mattress performed
The feature that stood out to me most was the pocket spring coil system. You can feel the springs along the sides of the Leesa Hybrid mattress. Why does this matter? When you have springs that go right up to the edge, you can count on excellent edge support, which allows you to make the most of the entire area of your bed without feeling like you're going to fall off. And, in my experience, the Leesa Hybrid did provide superior edge support.
Since I could feel the coils, I thought I might as well count them. There were 46 along the width and 50 along the length for an estimated grand total of 2,300. All factors being the same, the more coils there are, the more support and durability you can expect. The better innerspring mattresses have 600 to 1,000 coils.
The individually wrapped coils also kept motion transfer to a minimum. I'm a light sleeper. Whether it's sounds, odors, or something moving around on the bed, I will wake up. However, movement didn't wake me up with the Leesa Hybrid. If my wife had to get up early or our four-year-old jumped into bed with us, I would rarely wake up. To put the motion transfer to the test, I dropped a 20-pound weight from 3 feet above the bed approximately 12 inches away from a can of sparkling water. I did this several time, and the can did not move at all.
Before the Leesa Hybrid, I slept on a medium-firm mattress that would be about a 7 on the firmness scale. It was just a little too firm for my tastes. The Leesa Hybrid is closer to a 6.5, which provided the balance of comfort and support that I need as a side sleeper. Also, I'm a roller derby player, cyclist, and runner. I basically beat the crap out of my body. Often after roller derby bouts, I can't sleep because of the pain. This was not the case with the Leesa Hybrid. So far, I have not had any trouble falling asleep. My wife has had a similar experience.
Speaking of my wife, I should probably touch on the romantic aspect of using the Leesa Hybrid. Sleepopolis has identified five areas that make a mattress ideal for intimacy: comfort, edge support, minimal noise, bouncing, and ease of movement. I've already touched on the impressive edge support and comfort. When it comes to noise, the Leesa Hybrid mattress coupled with the Leesa Foundation is completely silent, a must when you have kids sleeping in the next room.
When applying pressure to the bed, it bounces back into shape, which aids in creating a bouncing motion. And, since the mattress is firm, you don't sink into it, and movement is effortless. Basically, the Leesa Hybrid checks all the right boxes for romantic intimacy.
Lastly, I did not find that the Leesa Hybrid trapped heat, a common problem for memory foam. I'm a hot sleeper, and we were using the mattress during the height of summer heat. Regardless, I did not experience night sweats, which are an occasional problem for me.
Some concerns about the bed
The Leesa Hybrid is outstanding and finding flaws was difficult. Yet, I was somewhat disappointed in the foundation. During assembly, I found that some of the screws used to mount the corner connectors to the ends of the frames were loose. And, the connectors didn't fit together smoothly.
With other frames I've assembled, the slats are held in place with Velcro, and sometimes, the slats feature sticky strips that loosely adhere to the mattress to prevent sliding. There isn't anything holding the Leesa Foundation's slats in place. That said, I have not experienced any slat-related problems.
My only other complaints about the foundation are really just a matter of preference. It's nice having some clearance under the bed for storage. The Leesa Foundation doesn't offer that, but they do sell a platform bed. Fortunately, there is no need to clean under the bed since there's little chance for debris to sneak in.
Though I think it is worth it, the Leesa Hybrid mattress is more expensive than the vast majority of online mattresses. However, it is a hybrid bed, which tends to run more expensive. And, when you consider that the mattress will last you for more than a decade, the added expense seems trivial.
Another concern is how incredibly heavy and unwieldy the mattress is. Fortunately, we just bought our first home and hopefully (knock on wood) won't have to move any time soon. But, if you are someone who moves frequently, you may want to enlist the help of professionals when it comes time to move this massive mattress.
What others are saying about the mattress
Sleepopolis recommends the Leesa Hybrid mattress to stomach and back sleepers due to its medium-firm support. The reviewer also noted that it's ideal for couples since it contains motion. This model actually performed well on each of his tests, including providing great edge support. The reviewer at GQ shared a story of sleeping through all of his alarms the first night he slept on the Leesa Hybrid. He was just that comfortable. He recommends the mattress because the combination of springs and memory foam made the bed soft and supportive.
There are more than 1,000 customer reviews of the Leesa Hybrid on Leesa's website, and over 70% of those are five-star reviews. But, though I trust Leesa, it's hard to tell how trustworthy reviews of any company's product are when they are published on the said company's website.
For a more objective customer experience, I turned to Amazon, where about 57% of the Leesa Hybrid reviews are five-star reviews. The most helpful review shared that the materials felt luxurious and high-grade. He noted it took about 24 to 36 hours for the mattress to decompress, and the off-gassing smell went away in about the same amount of time. He also appreciated that he got the support he needed no matter what sleep position he tried. Other buyers have tried various motion transfer tests that reveal excellent motion containment.
Other alternatives you may consider
As I mentioned in the opening sentence, there are over 100 brands to choose from in the online mattress space. However, most of these companies only offer memory foam mattresses. They don't have a hybrid alternative.
Bear is one company with a hybrid option that is priced about the same as the Leesa Hybrid. A fellow writer for Business Insider reviewed it and was floored by the comfort. The layering construction is pretty similar to the Leesa Hybrid, only there is a layer of gel memory foam instead of Leesa's patented LSA200 foam. Also, at 14.5", the Bear hybrid is much thicker. They also offer a 100-night trial.
Another hybrid option available online is the Allswell mattress backed by Walmart. I had the opportunity to test the Allswell before the Leesa Hybrid mattress and found it to be slightly firmer. The Leesa Hybrid fit my personal comfort preferences more closely. Although, at $585 for a queen size (the largest it comes in), the Allswell is much more affordable than the Leesa Hybrid.
Thanks to my job and my living arrangement, I have the opportunity to try several different bed-in-a-box brands. And, I choose the Leesa Leesa Hybrid as my main bed. The edge support is outstanding. There is very little motion transfer if my wife decides to get up early, which isn't really much of an issue because she rarely wants to leave the comforts of the bed before me. I have not had any trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.
However, if the Leesa Foundation were to break for some reason, I would not replace it. It looks nice and appears to support the mattress well, but I was not impressed with the construction of it, and I think there are better alternatives out there for the price.
As a special, limited-time deal, you can take $200 off the Leesa Hybrid Mattress, plus get one free pillow ($80 value). The discount is automatically applied at checkout.
Buy the Leesa Hybrid Mattress from Leesa for $899 (twin), $999 (twin XL), $1,299 (full), $1,599 (queen), or $1,799 (king/California king)
Buy the Leesa Foundation from Leesa for $239 (twin/twin XL), $269 (full), $299 (queen), $359 (king), $399 (California king)
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