Shopping for a sustainable mattress

Shopping for a sustainable mattress

After years of thinking about it, we recently decided to become real adults and upgrade to a queen-sized bed — and it was a journey, my friends. We tried three brands over six months to finally find one that we loved. Not just good for our backs, but with eco-creds to match, so we could finally sleep well at night. Hopefully this helps someone else shorten their Goldilocks search for the perfect mattress!

The ones we tried:

  1. Koala
  2. Peace Lily
  3. King Koil


I’ve heard and seen so much I love about Koala. They deliver in just a few days, give you a three-month trial, and all their options are reasonably priced. We ordered ours with a Koala base as well, which was really easy to put together, looked just the right side of simple, and fit well within our room.

The good

  • Customer service is amazing; they’re very quick to respond and really helpful
  • The mattress is really light, easy to unpack, and move into place
  • The ‘silent technology’ meant you can’t feel/hear your partner’s movements in the night (a-mazing)
  • The base is really easy-to-assemble

The bad

  • The mattress was too firm for comfort, especially as a side sleeper
  • The base is MDF with veneers, and part was damaged on arrival. Not a great vote for quality
  • The mattress is vacuum sealed, so came wrapped in plastic
  • It has a really bad smell when you open it, apparently due to the polyester layer inside

Our verdict 👎

The service Koala offers is great, but the mattress itself wasn’t comfortable, and the more we looked the less of an eco-choice it was. Having polyester materials in the mattress was the last straw for us, so we returned this one (in its original plastic wrapping!) and tried Peace Lily...

The one we tried: Koala Mattress


Peace Lily

Now with my keen researcher eye, checking for polyester, and just how eco the brands are under the initial surface, I found Peace Lily. This brand looked like it ticked all my boxes and had a softer option compared to the Koala, with a plush topper you can add if you need even more softness. They also had the 120-day trial, with the mattress going to a charity if it ends up returned, so we pulled the trigger, and bought their mattress and topper to give it a spin.

The good

  • The material of the mattress feels nice to the touch
  • It really is the most sustainably-made mattress on the market

The bad

  • The mattress is SO heavy! Even with two of us it was horrible to move about
  • It was a lot thinner than the Koala, much less comfortable, more like a futon than a mattress
  • The mattress casing itself felt loose, and our bedsheets never quite sat well on it
  • It was also vacuum sealed in plastic

Our verdict 👎👎👎

We were really rooting for the most sustainable mattress, but Peace Lily was far from a peaceful night’s sleep for us, unfortunately. The cost of this was a lot more expensive than the other choices too, but even if it was comfortable, it just didn’t feel like a mattress that would hold its shape more than a year. The returns process is more complicated and took a lot longer to get sorted. We went back to the sleepless drawing board…

The one we tried: Peace Lily Latex Mattress


King Koil

We had joked about this being like Princess and the Pea, but as the months went on the joke was getting a lot less funny. We loved our original mattress, which was going 10-years strong, and if not for the size we realised it was still our best option — enter King Koil! With Koala and Peace Lily all returned, we walked into an ever-empty mattress store to try some in real life.

The good

  • Reflex spring technology supports any size, shape, and position (IT IS SO COMFY)
  • 10-year warranty, approved by the International Chiropractor Association
  • Australian-made and owned, creating mattresses for over a century
  • Stitched by hand (instead of glue), so the components can be reused at the end of its life

The bad

  • They had a much shorter trial period, and only for credit with that mattress brand
  • You have to pretend to sleep on the mattress in front of the person selling you the mattress
  • Depending on your preferences, it can be on the higher end for cost
  • Sadly all mattresses come sealed in plastic

Our verdict 🤩

We were anxious about not having a trial like the other beds, but we committed and couldn’t be happier. Going into the store also helped us learn about the specifics that we needed to know, (like different kind of spring configurations for side sleepers or if your partner is a mover — yes to both, lol) and feel confident we were buying quality. King Koil is also Australian-made and owned, and ticked all the sustainability boxes — if only we’d found them first!

The one we brought: King Koil from Forty Winks

A new mattress really is a personal choice – especially if you have any back, joint, or neck concerns. I really recommend going into a mattress shop to try them out for yourself. They’ll be able to find you the most comfortable mattress for exactly the way you sleep.

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