When you move house as much as we’ve done in the last 8 years (7 times to be exact, to 4 different countries), having your own furniture isn’t probably your first priority in life. Moving abroad usually means getting rid of a lot of clutter and taking only the bare essentials with you.
In Nick’s case this is underwear and a notebook, in my case it’s underwear, 75 notebooks, 25 dresses and my sand collection. Because, priorities.
This week, we’re celebrating our 3rd London-versary and so we decided it was finally time to have a serious conversation about acquiring some proper adult-style furniture and no longer settle for whatever happens to be in our rental apartment.
We both agreed that especially when it came to two big purchases, our couch and our bed, we would invest in our future and not choose cheap over style and function anymore.
The couch we soon found at Habitat, a brand that used to be part of the company Nick works for as an architect, so we knew that was design-approved (and guest approved, because it folds out, almost a must when you live in a city popular among friends and family).
But then there was the bed. Not so much the frame, because we found one we liked right away, but specifically the mattress. It’s an item you will use extensively for quite a few years of your life, so you better want to pick one that’s of good quality.
What we'll cover in this article
LEESA MATTRESS REVIEW
standing lamp [IKEA] * couch [Habitat] * pink blanket [Kathmandu, Nepal] * nested tables [John Lewis] * Fuji tissue holder [Okinawa, Japan] * NYC map poster [Greenwich Letterpress, New York] * tv-furniture [IKEA] * spy book stand [gift] * kangaroo book stand [Smiggles, Sydney] * geisha doll [Japan] * cactii [IKEA]
I’m not sure if it’s because I stay in so many nice hotels when I travel, but mattresses on beds is something I’ve become quite picky about. I’m not really a fussy eater, but definitely a fussy sleeper, if that is a thing.
It’s not because I just want to feel like a princess when going for a sleep (okay, that too), but also because I inherited my family’s signature rheumatic lower back –Hurrah for DNA! There is no pea needed under my mattress for me to twist and turn all night and not being able to put my socks on in the morning because I can’t reach my feet. Yes, it’s that bad.
So we needed a good mattress. But that is easier said than done when you work and travel all the time. Nick doesn’t get home before 8, sometimes 9 or even later and on the weekend we’re usually too tired to get anything done apart from groceries and vacuuming the place. When would we be able to go out and properly test a mattress? This is a purchase you don’t want to make hastily.
The upgrade was clearly needed!
While we were navigating our way through the magical world of mattress brands in the UK, we got an unexpected, but very well-timed, email from Leesa. This brand makes luxury, but affordable (no store, no salespeople, so premium product without premium price tag) mattresses that suit every type of sleeper. You can order them online and they deliver directly to your door, for free, with a 100 night risk-free trial.
In the email, they asked if we would like to test one of their products.
When a brand can read your mind this well, there must be some good karma hanging around them, right?
We ordered online, which was the easiest thing ever, and then we waited for the King-size mattress to arrive. Meanwhile we crossed our fingers that the massive mattress would fit in tiny elevator and through our narrow hallway…
As we were counting downs the days to delivery, our obsession with a proper night’s sleep soon became real. We started seeing mattresses everywhere in London.
And I mean everywhere.
I don’t know if this is because there are so many people in London that rent furnished apartments, but seriously, on pretty much every corner of the street, you can see piles of mattresses lying around if you start paying attention. I guess we did that a bit too much.
When we met up with old friends from Australia on the weekend, one of them was a bit late because two people were moving this massive mattress and she just couldn’t get past. Can you believe that? True story. We couldn’t even make this up if we wanted too, haha!
THE TRAVEL TESTER IN ACTION
Soon enough, the fear of our gigantic mattresses blocking the traffic of London and taking a life of its own turned out to be completely unnecessary, because Leesa turned out to have amazing design skills.
In contrast to a regular mattress, we received ours compressed, all rolled up in plastic and shoved in a tiny box (well, at least tiny for a King Size mattress), brought straight from the van onto a small trolley and pushed all the way into our bedroom by the UPS guy. How great is that?!
As with all the product reviews here on The Travel Tester, we subjected the un-boxing and testing to our rigorous 5-senses test and love to share the results with you now:
1. What does it SOUND like?
The unwrapping part is a lot of fun, because when you put the roll on the bed and cut the plastic away, the mattress almost begins to ‘come alive’. You can hear it gasping for air as it begins to take shape and in just a few minutes there is no chance of you getting it ever back into that box.
2. What does it LOOK like?
Once the roll has flattened, this lovely grey mattress appears ‘out of nowhere’. The mattress is made in the UK, but the cover comes from The Netherlands (we like!). The cover is a polyester-Lycra blend with soft and seamless edge fabric.
It has no nasty labels anywhere, just a little blue Leesa tag in the corner. At the head-size of the bed (or the feet-side, however you choose to turn it I guess), there are a couple of white stripes, which we believe are just decoration.
3. What does it TASTE like?
To us, the look of the mattress definitely tasted like more and so we couldn’t wait any longer to apply the best mattress-test known to man: taking a long run… and jumping on the bed!
These are our best shots:
4. What does it FEEL like?
With a memory foam mattress, we expected to sink deep into the foam after jumping on it, but this wasn’t the case at all. With a bad back, this is great news for me.
Now, I am not a doctor and I can’t give you any medical advice, but I’ve done tons of research on the best mattresses for people with lower back pain and almost everywhere, I read that a medium-firm one is the best choice. Apparently, a mattress that is too soft is just as bad for low back pain as a mattress that is too firm. As I am also a side sleeper, a mattress with a slight softness is necessary to cushion my shoulders and hips, which this Leesa mattress does perfectly.
The mattress is made of three layers of high-quality foam: a bottom layer (15 cm dense core support foam for strength, durability and structure), a middle layer (5 cm memory foam for body contouring and pressure relief) and a top layer (5 cm cooling Avena(R) Foam to allow air-flow for a cooler night’s sleep).
And then we realised that our bed was too small …so we quickly bought a new one (see next photos!)
5. What does it SMELL like?
If there is anything we didn’t like about the mattress, it is perhaps the initial smell. While I have a year-round cold and don’t usually smell a lot, Nick said that he didn’t enjoy the so-called ‘off-gassing’ smell that is common to come off compressed mattresses when you unwrap them.
I suppose that if you are a person with a sensitive nose, you just leave the mattress a day or so out of the packaging in another room before sleeping on it. I must say that now, after a few days, we don’t really smell anything anymore.
So, after our 5-senses test, we’re ready to answer our final (and perhaps most important) question in our Leesa Mattress Review:
6. Does this product make us happy?
I always think that the best thing of traveling secretly is coming home again. Your own family, your own space, your own bed. Bliss! With our new mattress and new bed frame, we have definitely upgraded our bedroom into our own little sanctuary. The best place to unwind after days on the road… and of course to dream of new destinations to travel to!
With a bad back, it’s so important to invest in a good mattress and while it’s too soon for me to tell you if Leesa will make all my pain go away (there are also changes I need to make in my exercise and workspace habits to truly solve everything, for sure), I do believe that we’ve made the right decision in choosing Leesa.
Besides the comfort of the mattress, we support Leesa’s business ethos in donating one mattress to charity for every ten mattresses they sell (part of their ‘One-Ten’ social impact program). Leesa also just started their ‘One Earth’ program, which plants a tree for every mattress sold to help offset their carbon footprint. This is clearly a company with a heart!
Leesa motivated us to upgrade other parts of our bedroom as well and below you can see the end result. Let us know what you think! In return, we like to offer you a £50 discount if you’re interested in trying the Leesa mattress yourself as well.
Finally we can let our bed spread from India shine!
lamp [IKEA] * dress [GAP] * socks [Finland] * camera [Sony NEX-3]
GET YOUR OWN LEESA MATTRESS!
What is it? UK King Mattress (150 cm x 200 cm x 25 cm) by Leesa
How Much? Check the website for current prizes. And Get £50 discount with this link!
More Good News
- Mostly made in the UK, so low carbon footprint (only the cover is from The Netherlands)
- If you’re not sure about ordering such an important item online, no worries. You can try any Leesa mattress 100 days risk-free, any returned mattresses will go to charity, so you’ve got nothing to lose!
- Free shipping in the UK
Disclaimer: We worked in partnership with Leesa to do this Leesa Mattress Review, all photo’s, opinions and obsessions about London being filled with mattresses are 100% our own.