When mattress shopping, there’s a lot of companies in Australia that it can be hard to decide which to pick. This is especially difficult because the best way to know which mattress is right for you is to literally sleep on it. Not for 10 minutes in a showroom but for a fair number of days to potentially weeks.
Luckily, many mattress companies now do a 100-120 night trial with free returns to either metro only, or Australia wide.
I previously slept on an Ikea mattress for 2 years, an Ecosa mattress for 1 year, and a Koala mattress for 4 years. So this post will be discussing the pros, and cons of the two online only brands: Koala v Ecosa
Where are Ecosa mattresses made?
The Ecosa Mattress is made in China.
Where are Koala mattresses made?
The Koala mattress had been manufactured in Australia from 2015 until late 2020, and moving forward, Koala mattresses will be manufactured in China. This made news as in 2019, they did not renew their Australian Made license which is given to products that have been certified to be significantly, or completely manufactured in Australia.
According to the Australian Made website, the annual fees to have an Australian Made logo is based on the "actual sales of licensed products for the previous 12 months." For example, for 2018-2019's financial year, Koala reported a turnover of $67.8M which would make their Australian made logo cost around $22,500.
What are the Ecosa v Koala mattresses made of?
The Ecosa is made up of 5 layers:
Ergonomic Support Foam (bottom layer) to assist with proper spinal alignment. It’s the layer that absorbs impact to remove partner disturbance.
ECO-Tex Memory Foam (second layer) which is an open cell foam layer with similar bounce too latex but with more durability, breathability, and perfect for those who are allergic to latex.
G-7 Gel Memory Foam (top foam layer) which is infused with gel particles to keep mattress cool, and help regulate heat.
A Waterproof Inner Cover to make the mattress waterproof, and protect against dust mites
A Tencel Cover which is removable, and washable.
The Koala Mattress is made of 3 layers:
High Density Ecofoam (bottom layer) for optimal spinal support
Kloudcell (top foam layer) which is made of polyurethane open cell foam which acts as the Zero Partner Disturbance layer as it absorbs impact.
A Tencel Cover which is removable, and washable.
Is the Ecosa or Koala Mattress Firmer?
I like a medium firm mattress with proper back support, and not too much padding that I sink into the mattress.
The Ecosa Mattress has adjustable firmness which is great for when you’re trialling it as you can test different options or if you have guests that prefer their mattress a different firmness. To adjust the firmness you’ll need to remove the outer cover, remove the waterproof cover, and flip the inner foam layers to your desired arrangement.
I did find the Ecosa Mattress to be quite firm, and actually a lot firmer than the original Koala mattress from 2017 which had 3 foam layers, and was much softer than the current mattress iteration on the market. However I find the current Koala mattress to be slightly softer than the Ecosa mattress.
Koala’s research states their customers rate it a 6.1/10 on a firmness scale but I think it’s firmer than that. I actually need to use their free soft mattress topper to be able to sleep on it. Without the mattress topper I get a sore back, and my back ends up cracking like a glow stick!
To get the free Koala mattress topper you need to send a message to the Koala Customer Support team. Meanwhile if you want a mattress topper from Ecosa you’ll need to purchase it.
Do the Ecosa or Koala mattresses smell?
All mattresses have a smell when they’re knew which is called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are emitted as gases, and can have short, and long term health effects. These VOCs are emitted from nearly everything like paint, disinfectants, aerosol sprays, fuel, dry cleaned clothes, furniture, glue, and permanent markers.
Luckily, there are certifications mattress companies get to ensure their health, and safety of it’s customers. Ecosa’s mattress is certified by OEKO-Tex Standard 100 which means the entire mattress is safe for use “from the coating, the outer material and the stitching, to the application and zipper”.
Meanwhile, the Koala Mattress is CETEC certificated to mean the Green Building Council of Australia’s standards for total volatile organic compound emission rates, and it’s foam is certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) which means it has the highest environmental credentials.
The smell can be elevated by removing the outer cover, sprinkling some bicarb soda, and lightly vacuuming it off a few hours later.
How often do you need to rotate the Ecosa and Koala Mattresses?
As a general rule of thumb, you’re supposed to rotate a mattress every 6 months so body impressions aren’t created in the mattress.
According to Sleep Advisor, the less reliable a mattress' durability is, the more you need to rotate it.
Meanwhile, the Koala mattress has to be rotated every month which can be a pain especially when you have a king size like me. There’s a lot of customer reviews where Koala mattress customers have stated their mattress has sagged, and I’m guessing a lot of that is because it’s not very visible on their site that you need to rotate the Koala mattress monthly.
I’ve actually slept on 3 Koala mattresses as they keep sagging, and needing to be replaced or swapped out.
Both brands have a long return policy, long warranty period, and depending on the time of year, very different different discounts.
Ecosa has a 150 night trial, and a 15 year warranty for their mattresses. This means you have 150 days from the day you receive the mattress to decide if it’s right for you. If it’s not, you can contact them to return the mattress, and get a full refund.
Koala has a 120 night trial, and a 10 year warranty for their mattresses. Unlike Ecosa, Koala only provides covers the return mattress delivery if you live in a metro area. This means if you live outside metro areas, you’ll need to cover the cost to delivery the mattress back to one of their 5 return warehouses. Depending where you live, this can be potentially hundreds of dollars.
Koala used to have a landing page where you could check if where you live was classified as a metro area by the courier company so you could see if you were eligible for 4 hour delivery (metro only), and free returns. They’ve since removed that function (or I can’t see it anymore) probably to try to reduce the customers who don’t purchase for that reason so you wouldn’t know until after you put in your details so they can retarget you with ads, or after you’ve purchased so trying to get a refund.
As you need to replace your mattress every 8-10 years as they expire like any other product, you don’t really need a 15 year warranty as by then your mattress will be growing it’s own ecosystem.
Lastly, manufacturing costs greatly impacts the margin available for brands to provide discount incentives. As Ecosa is manufactured in China, and Koala is Australian made aside from it’s cover which is also made in China, they offer very different discounts. Koala usually does 15% off the mattress which means a queen mattress that is normally $1050 would be at most $892.50. Meanwhile, Ecosa usually offers 20% off which means their queen mattress goes from $1099 to $879.20.
In terms of cost, extended trial window, and not needing to pay for the return delivery, Ecosa is a better deal.
Meanwhile, Koala is made in Australia (support your local), supports environmental causes, and provides toppers if you think it's too firm or soft. However, I've had to replace my Koala mattress 3 times due to sagging, the cover is full of piling (the little white balls) but it is more comfortable than the Ecosa but only when I use a topper.