Does Amazon’s Top-Selling Budget Memory Foam Mattress Live up to the Hype?
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Buying a mattress online can be a scary thought—and buying an inexpensive version from Amazon can be even scarier. We tested the Zinus mattress to see if it's worth the leap of faith.
Courtesy Megan Mowery
There are certain items I love buying on Amazon, like the shampoo I can’t be bothered to make an in-person trip to buy and the only garbage bags that fit my oddly shaped trash can. But other necessities seem downright daunting to buy online, let alone from a sell-it-all mega-retailer like Amazon. Mattresses are one such purchase. So we put one of Amazon’s top-selling budget mattresses, the Zinus mattress, to the test.
When shopping for a mattress, it’s common to want to test a wide variety of options in-person to determine your favorite material and firmness. But with your in-store purchase comes all sorts of hassles—how will you get your mattress home, through the door, and up the stairs? Will you have to arrange and then pay for delivery, plus figure out how much to tip? Are you sure you’re getting the best price when you shop in-store?
Buying a boxed mattress sight-unseen from Amazon can suddenly become an appealing choice. It comes freshly boxed, conveniently arrives at your door, and cuts all middleman fees from the transaction. As an added bonus, lots of mattresses come with thousands of reviews attesting to experiences from real customers.
Sometimes, like in my case, you just need a dependable mattress quickly. I tested one of Amazon’s top-selling budget memory foam mattresses, the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress, to see if it’s really all it claims to be.
What is a Zinus mattress?
The Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress boasts over 55,000 ratings on Amazon, with an impressive 4.5-star average rating. It comes in twin, full, queen, king, and even short queen sizes, plus your choice of 6-, 8-, 10-, or 12-inch heights. You can even add matching bedding and bed frame options if you’d like. Talk about one-stop sleep shopping.
The mattress’s main selling point is that it’s made with supportive memory foam infused with green tea and gel for a cooling experience. It starts with a base of high-density support foam, topped with a layer of comfort foam, and its top layer consists of cooling gel-infused memory foam. That top layer is designed to enhance airflow and allow body heat to escape.
And since it’s a bed-in-a-box, it’s easy to bring into your home without much hassle. Perhaps what makes it the best mattress, though, is the price, which runs anywhere from $175 to $700 depending on which configuration you choose. Sales are frequent, too.
Zinus mattress first impressions
Courtesy Megan Mowery
When the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress arrived at my door, I was pleased to find that its tall, thin box carried relatively easily up the stairs and into my apartment. At just shy of 50 pounds, it was a manageable lift for two people. The mattress was tightly wound within the box and took the work of two people to pull out, but I was impressed by how efficiently packed it was.
After removing the layer of plastic protecting the mattress, I left it lying flat on the floor to decompress. The instructions said to let it expand for up to 72 hours, and it definitely took the full amount of time before it was ready for sleep.
To my surprise, there was no noticeable smell, which is a common complaint with boxed memory foam mattresses. Since the only space in my studio apartment to let the mattress decompress was right at the foot of the bed, I was pleased not to have to sleep with fumes in the air. If you want an organic non-toxic mattress, our Deputy Affiliate eCommerce Editor tested the Avocado Green mattress.
Once the mattress had fully expanded, I was impressed by its 12-inch height (though you can also buy it shorter) and its soft yet firm feeling. It’s covered in an attractive jacquard patterned cover, too, and though the design is concealed by bedsheets once you’ve made the bed, it’s still a nice touch.
How we tested the Zinus mattress
While I’m not a mattress expert, I am a shopping expert, and I’ve slept on my fair share of comfortable and not-so-comfortable beds of all kinds. My previous favorite was a traditional box spring mattress combined with a memory foam mattress topper, so I was interested in seeing how an all-foam mattress would fit my tastes. I slept on the Zinus mattress for over two months to see how it held up over time.
The Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress is described as firm on its Amazon listing, though the Zinus website notes that the taller the mattress, the softer it will feel. With lots of layers comes a more noticeable “sinking” feeling, which I found to be true. That’s a plus for me, though others may prefer the firmer experience of a shorter mattress.
Is Zinus a good mattress?
I found this mattress to be the perfect blend between the softness of my favorite memory foam topper and the firmness of a more supportive mattress. No matter which sleeping position I’m in—I alternate between stomach and side sleeping—I feel supported and comfortable. My back and joints are in good condition when I wake up in the morning, no stiffness or soreness at all. (Psst, our home editor reviewed the Helix Luxe mattress for back pain sufferers.)
I tend to be a warm sleeper—I sleep with a fan on even deep into the winter—and found that the Zinus mattress kept me cool. I woke up in a sweat less often than with my previous mattress.
Another factor in Zinus’s favor is that it limits transferring movements across the bed—something you usually don’t find with budget mattresses. I toss and turn frequently, and my partner often gets out of bed before I do. On the Zinus, neither of us can feel the other’s movement. The mattress’s memory foam molds to whatever’s on it, reducing vibrations elsewhere to minimize disruptions.
I’m even guilty of working from my bed on days without meetings, and where my hips formerly ached after a full day of sitting in bed, I have noticeably fewer issues on the Zinus mattress. A few stretches every now and then, and I’m good to keep going without interruption.
I will note that my partner’s body took some time to adjust to the mattress, and he dealt with an achy back and hips for the first few weeks of testing. But those issues were resolved after the breaking in period, and he’s a fan of the mattress now. He sleeps soundly through the night and appreciates the firm-but-soft feeling it provides.
What an expert said about the Zinus mattress
Dr. Michael Breus, a PhD with subject matter expertise in sleep, explains that memory foam mattresses can help support your body. He also says that the layer of the mattress the memory foam is placed in can change how the bed feels.
He warns, though, that hot sleepers or those with thermoregulatory issues may find memory foam uncomfortable. Breus also notes that the use of green tea in beds lacks concrete research. “I am unaware of any data on having green tea infused into a bed, having any sleep benefits,” Breus explains.
I personally found that the cooling layer of foam on top of the Zinus mattress prevented heat distribution, but it’s something to keep in mind as every sleeper is different.
Zinus mattress pros and cons
Things we liked:
- Inexpensive price
- Easily available to buy on Amazon
- Cooling memory foam
- CertiPUR certified for high standards of durability, performance, and materials
- Firm-but-soft feel
- Reduced motion transfer
- Comes conveniently in a box
- No off-gassing smell on arrival
- Lots of customization options for the perfect size and fit
Areas to improve:
- May not be cooling enough for some hot sleepers
- Green tea infusion lacks research
How much does the Zinus mattress cost?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $175 to $700 for a Zimus mattress on Amazon depending on the size and height you choose, though discounts are frequent. On the Zinus website, you can purchase the bed for $207 to $746.
Is there a return policy or sleep trial?
A 10-year limited warranty is included with purchase. If it’s purchased on Amazon, the mattress can be returned for a full refund or replacement within 30 days if it’s in its original condition. If you’re buying on the Zinus site, you’ll have a 100-night trial to decide whether it’s right for you.
How does it compare to other related mattresses?
In mid-October, Zinus launched a premium version of the Green Tea Memory Foam mattress called the Green Tea Luxe Memory Foam mattress. It boasts green tea in every memory foam layer (as opposed to only in the top layer), plus airflow ventilation, pressure zones, and a more breathable knitted cover. Zinus claims that this results in an enhanced cooling experience.
The ventilation and pressure zones mean you’ll experience pressure relief in key areas like the shoulders, hips, and knees. And there’s no denying that this mattress is intended to look like an upgraded version of the original, with more obvious branding and a sleek design. But the Luxe is only available at a 12-inch height, making it less customizable.
At prices ranging from $337 to $627, you may find the Green Tea Luxe a more affordable option for the value than even the original Green Tea Memory Foam mattress.
Where to buy the Zinus mattress
You can find the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress online only. Shop it on Amazon or at Zinus.com, where you’ll find resources on choosing the best Zinus mattress for your sleep style and specifications.
Source: Dr. Michael Breus, PhD and subject matter expert on sleep, www.thesleepdoctor.com