Leesa Review: Is the Foam Mattress Hype Worth it?

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*Editor Update* Leesa appreciated Evan’s review so they reached out and offered a discount code for our readers, click here Leesa.com for $160 off.

First off, thanks to Jonas for letting me use ArmchairEmpire as a platform for one of the best mattress reviews ;). I hope you’re able to get as much out of this as I do his other reviews, in particular, the star wars lego reviews, my kid loves’em. I digress, back to the point. Here is my REAL, non-bias review of my new Leesa mattress.

One of the hardest products to research and buy these days is undoubtedly a new queen mattress. Sure, you could go into a store and plop on a bunch of beds until you find one that you think feels good at that particular moment in time but often that doesn’t translate into a better night’s sleep when you take it home. Nevermind the fact that you have to deal with salesmen constantly badgering you.

There was no way I was doing that. The mattress buying experience in retail stores has traditionally been less than pleasant and I just couldn’t subject myself to that whole process again, so what was I left with? Buying a bed-in-a-box from the Internet or alternatively I could buy a new pocket sprung mattress from the dozy owl, they have some great offers online so I was sure I would find the perfect one.

It’s 2020 and buying things on the Internet is not a new concept but I know many people hesitate at the thought of buying something like a mattress sight-unseen/felt online. Don’t get me wrong, it would probably be far easier to find the best mattress for back pain online, but some people don’t like to come out of the norm from buying a mattress in-store. The thought crossed my mind and I’ve even purchased 2 cars via Carvana in the same manner, so I know the average Joe has had the same thoughts regarding buying a bed online. The hesitation is natural.

Hopefully, a little insight into my thought process and my buying process will help you out in your quest for a better sleep.

The Research

The options for a foam mattress are endless and finding a review you can trust or relate to is nearly impossible. So many of the mattress review sites claim to be “honest” when they are shamelessly just pushing a brand that pays them the most. This makes filtering out the noise a monumental task. Why else would Forbes or Business Insider put out articles about their favorite mattress? There are countless other shady mattress company happenings like a certain company ‘wiretapping customers’ so I filtered those company’s that I’d rather not support right from the get-go.

After that, I looked for established brands with enough reviews on both their site and on reliable 3rd party sites like Trust Pilot. While there are plenty of startups in the mattress space, I chose to avoid them because you don’t know how long they’ll be in business. They could have a great product but if they aren’t around to support a 10-year warranty claim, that seems to be pretty standard, then that value is lost for me.

I sorted through Leesa, Purple, Nectar, Tuft & Needle, Casper, Ghost, Nuvanna, Amazon, Lull, Zinus, Ikea, Costco, Loom & Leaf, and a few others that I’ve forgotten already because they didn’t make the first cut. I’ll be honest it was difficult. When you boil it down there are actually very few differences between the mattresses, so much of it comes down to marketing. As a marketing guy, Purple’s marketing, especially for the pillow almost got me. I found myself thinking about wanting that pillow at random times through the days after my research. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the egg-crate looking portion of a Purple mattress. I can’t see how it would stand up to the test of time and something I was concerned with was sagging.

That reminds me, let me mention why I was concerned about sagging. A while back I did some work for a local mattress company and they sent me this fancy $3,000 latex mattress that was supposed to be the next generation of mattresses (this was 2010ish). I didn’t love it and neither did my wife, but we used it and over time it began to sag and form noticeable indentations where we slept. And with me being bigger than her my side was lower and we ended up with a hump in the middle between us, not a great experience.

The other thing I was concerned with was support. The aforementioned latex mattress did not provide enough support, in fact, I think it made my lower back problems worse over the years. I suffer from spondylolisthesis which comes from a genetic issue called Pars Defect and I believe since I did not have enough support it put an increased strain on my back and exaggerated my pain.

Basically, the only good thing about that mattress is that it is sitting on the floor in my dining room and my kids love jumping on it.

Why I Chose Leesa

After all the research and trying to decipher who I could rely on, I narrowed it down to Leesa and Nectar which are two of the biggest players in the foam mattress market so I was confident I couldn’t go wrong. Leesa appealed a bit more to me. They’ve been around longer and a large percentage of their reviews mentioned support which given my back issues was an important factor for me. I could have gone to West Elm in the mall to try it out but as I said earlier in the post, I wanted to avoid the traditional mattress-buying experience like the plaque.

Arrival and Setup

My mattress (a king) came in about 5 days and was still a bit amazed how a mattress could fit in a box. It’s not really a new concept but it is still a bit wild to think about. My parents in their 70s were blown away when they saw it in the box.

Initially, I was surprised at how heavy it was at first. I grabbed it thinking “oh it’s just foam, I’ll bring it inside easy” but I was quickly put in check. The damn thing was heavy but I was able to drag it inside.

I cut open the box and looked around for some sort of instructions or what to do next. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s a mattress why do you need instructions?” but I just wasn’t sure if there was a particular way to open it up so I did what most people would do, headed to Youtube. I found a setup video that basically said:

Here’s how you set up your Leesa Mattress in 4 easy steps:

1. Take out of the box

2. Put on your bed

3. Unroll It

3. Cut off the plastic. Done

Yea, it was as easy as you’d think but I still feel like a note or something from Leesa would be useful in the box. Maybe I’m just special.

In a matter of seconds, the mattress sucked in air and rose into place. For anyone doing this, I would recommend doing this process in the morning and letting it air out during the day. It did have a bit of a gassy smell that you read about but it quickly dissipated. I never really smelled it but my wife did.

After the mattress rose into place, I tested it like any parent of a toddler would, by using the tossing toddler test!

As you can see, he didn’t bounce. The Leesa mattress has some serious motion-transfer absorption!

But How did you Sleep?

I kept a log of how I slept so I could be sure it wasn’t just the excitement of having a new toy but in summary, I love it and my wife loves it. The first night I slept on it was the first night that I can remember waking up from without any pain in my back. I couldn’t believe it but it made that big of a difference for me with a chronic back issue. We’ve all seen these images of someone laying on the mattress and it absorbing the body perfectly so everything is inline and I’m sure no one believes them, I sure didn’t, but you can actually feel it happening. Wild!

I highly recommend this mattress. I’m not a mattress expert but I’m a guy who loves to sleep and now has less back pain because of it.

Sleep Log

Day 1: I can’t believe it. I slept great but more importantly woke up without any back pain. I can honestly say this is the first time in years that has happened. Wife slept ok, I think she could still smell the gassy-ness.

Day 3: Woke up from day 2 with a little pain but I did go hard the day before playing with the kids 15,000+ steps according to my fitbit. Slept well. Wife slept well, she’s coming around

Day 5: Sleeping great. Wife really likes it now. She gets up early to go to the gym and I haven’t felt her get out of bed once but to be fair, I normally don’t but she often hears me get up.

Day 7: Saturday, I get up before the wife on the weekend but she didn’t move. I’m still sleeping well. I wonder if the ‘cooling features’ that the other mattresses claim are stronger? I have a pillow with some cooling properties that my mom gave to me and I really like it.

Day 8. I can really feel the difference in support. I am waking up with less and often no back pain with very little change in my routine. I’m a bit amazed, to be honest.

Day 10: I recommended the mattress to a friend who was looking around. I think that about says it all.