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(Update: This review is dated. Please refer to my updated review here: https://www.mattressnerd.com/leesa-review-2017/)
Of all the direct-to-consumer mattresses that have come out (and who have offered to send me mattresses for review), Leesa® is the one I chose to make my primary mattress. This is a great alternative to shopping around in mattress stores, haggling with salesmen for prices and so on. You just order the mattress, try it out, if you like it, you’re done. If you don’t like it, you get a full refund.
In this article, I will go into what the mattress is made of, how it feels, the pricing, and other things to keep in mind with the mattress.
(Update: You can read my updated review for 2017 here: https://www.mattressnerd.com/leesa-review-2017/)
Overview of the mattress
The Leesa is a 10 inch foam mattress with 4 inches of specialty foam up top and 6 inches of a dense support foam as the base. The top two inches are a new type of foam called Avena (more on that later), which is a breathable, resilient, yet soft layer. The Avena layer is “convoluted” (meaning egg-crate shaped) for additional breatheability. Underneath is a medium-density memory foam layer, also 2 inches thick. This provides good pressure relief and transitions a bit into the support layer (it feels more “viscous” than the top layer, which makes sense since it’s viscoelastic memory foam).
The Leesa comes rolled up in a box. It really is quite impressive how it starts off compressed and then pops open when the plastic comes off. The card that came with the mattress says to wait an hour for it to “inflate” before sleeping on it, which I did, but it puffed up to regular size seemingly immediately.
The Leesa comes with a 100 night return policy. That means if you don’t like the mattress, you can return it for a full refund within 100 days. It also has a 10 year full replacement warranty, which means you’ll get a new mattress for free if it sags more than an inch from the surface within 10 years. It’s moderately-priced at $940 for the queen size mattress ($840 if you use my $100 coupon). This is more expensive than the cheap Chinese-made foams you’ll get from Amazon, but less expensive than the luxury foam mattresses you’ll find in stores. The mattress does not come with a foundation, so you’ll need to find a boxspring and frame, platform bed, platform with built-in headboard or adjustable base to support the mattress. I’d go with the adjustable base if I were you and had the money for it, but any of those solutions will work.
My thoughts about Leesa
On paper, the Leesa looked like an excellent mattress, so I was happy to get a chance to try it for myself to confirm that in real life. I am pleased to report that the Leesa lives up to expectations. That’s why I made it my main mattress. I’ve been sent a lot of mattresses to review, and this is the one I chose to sleep on every night. In short, of all the direct-to-consumer mattresses out there, Leesa is my favorite.
It is a medium firm mattress (on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 feels like concrete and 10 feels like a marshmallow, the Leesa clocks in around a 3.5) that doesn’t have that “quicksand” feel that some other memory foam mattresses have. It feels pretty firm on the surface, but it has good “contourability,” meaning it is good at taking the shape of my body to keep me aligned.
My favorite part about the Leesa is the top layer. Let me explore that a bit more.
As mentioned before, the top layer of the Leesa is a foam called Avena. It is a new type of foam that feels a lot like latex foam. In fact, if you had told me that the Leesa uses latex, I would’ve believed you (and I love latex bedding. I have four latex pillows and a latex mattress in my house.) It feels maybe slightly softer to the touch than latex, but it feels just as resilient and bouncy. However, as a foam mattress, it is still great at separating motion. The “bounce” doesn’t really transfer horizontally across the mattress. Additionally, Avena foam is breathable and doesn’t get hot easily. Like I said, I sleep on it every night, and neither me nor my wife have any heat issues with it.
This means the Leesa gets rid of the two biggest complaints about memory foam mattress:
- Memory foam mattresses can feel like “quicksand”
- Memory foam mattresses can sleep hot
Despite the fact that Leesa uses 2 inches of memory foam, since it is deeper down in the mattress, you don’t really get these downsides.
I made a short video to demonstrate the difference between my Leesa mattress and a memory foam pillow that I have. The memory foam is a bit more “dead,” while the Leesa bounces back a little more like what you might be used to.
Leesa vs more expensive foam mattresses
The Leesa compares favorably to mattress 2-3 times the price that you might find in the store. The Leesa retails for $995 for a queen mattress ($895 if you use my $100 coupon), and it feels fairly similar to my last mattress which retailed for over $2000 in a queen. (In fact, the Leesa felt a little better, which is why I switched.)
Leesa vs Tempurpedic
If you’ve ever tried a Tempurpedic mattress, you’ll know it has a very specific feel. It has a VERY slow response, meaning if you try to change position, you have to fight the mattress. Some people don’t mind that, and others hated it. Tempurpedic tries to mitigate this with a line of “hybrid” mattresses, which use an innerspring unit instead of a foam base layer. This is to give it more “bounce.” Leesa achieves this by using the Avena foam layer on top instead.
These Tempurpedic Hybrids will start off at $2000 in a queen and only go up from there, which is over double the price of the Leesa.
Leesa vs Comforpedic, iComfort, and Optimum
When people complained about Tempurpedic’s slow response (and heat issues in the older models), Simmons, Serta, and Sealy seized the opportunity to make a foam mattress with a little more “bounce” to it that wouldn’t retain heat (sound familiar? That’s what Leesa does as well.) So, Simmons came out with Comforpedic, Serta came out with iComfort, and Sealy came out with Optimum.
I’ve tried those three brands, and in each case, the Leesa compares favorably to the mid-range models of these brands at anywhere from half to a third of the price.
As mentioned above, the Leesa is priced fairly low in comparison to the more expensive foam mattresses of a similar quality. Because of this, they don’t have any big 50% off sales or anything crazy like that; it’s fairly priced from the start (again, $995 in a queen). However, they have given me a $100 off coupon code for my readers which you can get by clicking here.
Leesa has a free return policy, which mitigates the main downside to buying a mattress online (i.e. you can’t try it first). You get to try out the mattress for 100 days in your home (instead of 100 seconds in a store), and if you don’t like it, it’s easy to return. You do not have to send the mattress back yourself. Leesa aims to donate mattresses to local charities, and if they can’t find a local charity willing to take your mattress, they will arrange a pickup with their recycling partner.
The Leesa customer service department is very good from what I’ve seen, and their reviews reflect that. I’ve even seen reviews on their website in which people who ended up returning the mattress gave it a 5 star rating.
Because of this, getting a Leesa is a low-risk purchase. Even lower risk than buying one you’ve tried in a showroom.
Leesa has a very big focus on the social impact of their company. They donate 1 mattress to homeless shelters for every 10 they sell. They have donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And as mentioned before always seek to place returned mattresses with charities before disposing of them. They really do believe that everybody should sleep well, and that’s refreshing to see in a company.
Possible reasons to not buy the Leesa
Despite the fact that I think the Leesa is a great mattress, and good for most people, it is not for absolutely everybody. Everyone’s body is different, and there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” mattress. Here are a few reasons a Leesa might not be right for you:
- You like an ultra-firm, Japanese-style mattress. I would probably argue with you that you don’t need a super-hard mattress and that such mattresses cause pressure to your body and interrupt your sleep. But, if I can’t talk you out of it, then you probably won’t like this mattress.
- You need an ultra-soft, pillow-y mattress. If you like your mattress to be very soft (this is typical of very light, bony side sleepers), this mattress might not work for you. It’s a bit on the firm side of medium, which is what most people like and need anyway. Judging by the reviews, more people have returned this mattress for being too firm than too soft.
- You’re a 300+ pound stomach sleeper. I weigh in at 240, and I feel properly supported in this mattress in all positions. But at one point I was nearly 300 pounds and I tried mattresses similar to this that didn’t quite hold me when I was on my stomach. So I might be leery of getting this mattress if you’re very heavy and sleep on your stomach. (Side sleepers should be okay, since the extra pressure relief is good for your shoulders. Back sleepers are fine too, since it’s not that harmful to be arched forward very slightly. Stomach sleepers tend to need firmer mattresses, though, because our bodies aren’t designed to be bent backwards, and if you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it might be too much.)
- You’re completely broke. This is NOT a cheap, low quality mattress. Leesa compares favorably to luxury mattresses and is an excellent value at $995 in a queen (and an even better value at $895 after applying my $100 off coupon). However, if you simply don’t have the money, well… you don’t have the money. In that case, consider getting a Love & Sleep as a lower-cost alternative with a similar story.
A lot of people are asking me about a boxspring recommendation, so I have a few for you.
The cheap option: If you want to get away with spending as little money as possible, this foundation on Amazon is an inexpensive option. I haven’t used this product personally, so I can’t vouch for how good it is, but it should work and it gets good reviews.
Adjustable foundation: I don’t have one particular recommendation for this, because there’s a huge variety of adjustable foundations at different quality levels, but you can see an overview of adjustable bases here. This is the most expensive option, but it is also the coolest.
Platform bed: Instead of a boxspring, you can buy a platform bed. Here’s a selection on Amazon.
To summarize, I believe that the Leesa mattress is an excellent value for your money, and will be a good mattress for a large portion of people reading this. For those it doesn’t work for, they have a no-hassle free return policy in the first 100 nights, so it’s a low-risk purchase. This is a way to short-circuit the mattress buying process which can be time-consuming and frustrating. So, if you have unlimited free time to shop around from store to store to find the right mattress, and then make retailers compete for your business both in store and online, I think you’ll find the perfect mattress at a great price. And much of my site is centered around on helping you through that process.
However, if you lack the time or patience to do all of that (and most people don’t have that kind of time), order a Leesa and give that a try first. If you sleep well on it, great. If you don’t, return it and get all your money back and THEN go the other route. You really have nothing to lose.
To buy a Leesa and get $100 off, click here and enter coupon code MATTRESSNERD at checkout.
If you have any other questions about my experience with Leesa, let me know in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer.
Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: This site receives a payment from Amazon, Leesa, US Mattress, Wayfair, or Nest Bedding, when you purchase a product using any links to that company in this review (or use my coupon code)