Saturday, July 22, 2017

Eve Mattress Review

We're on the Eve of a new mattress review, here . . .

I was pleased to be able to review the EVE Mattress recently! Eve gives the tagline of a mattress that is "beautifully simple, simply beautiful." So how will it stack up? Let's find out.

Click above to watch my video review, or read on for the
full, written review!

As you can see on the Eve website, the mattress is comprised of 3 foam layers surrounded by a fabric cover.

First, the cover -- the cover is a thin, flexible, polyester cover with good elasticity. It is a flat top mattress, there is no tufting or deep ridges in the top to contend with (I'm a fan of mattresses that keep the top nice and flat). In that regard, I say it's a good thing -- just let the top layer do what it's supposed to do. There is also a rope-like "ribbing" that goes around the top edge, which is a nice touch. The cover is removable, but they don't recommend machine washing (spot washing only). Of course, always use a mattress protector!

Next, the top layer of foam is a 2 inch layer of contouring memory foam. This is to provide pressure point relief and minimize motion transfer.

Next, the "middle layer" is a 1 inch reactive layer called the "active response layer." This has a little more bounce to it.

Last, the bottom layer is 6.5 inches of base foam. Total mattress thickness is 9.5 inches, maybe add fraction more to account for the cover, and they advertise it as 10 inches thick.

Eve has a distinctive logo.
In terms of firmness, Eve only offers one build. They don't explicitly state their intended firmness level (x out of 10, for example) on their web site, but just state that it's not too soft and not too firm. They also say that it has the comfortable and supportive qualities of memory foam, but with an added feeling of "bounce." After testing it out, I would say this is an apt description. Although firmness is highly subjective, and can be perceived differently based on an individuals weight and build, I would say it comes in at a 5 out of 10 on the firmness scale -- right in the middle.



I slept on a twin-size Eve mattress for 10 nights so that I could bring you this review. With that in mind . . .

HOW MANY STARS?

I will rate each category on a 5-Star Scale, where 5 is the best.

Construction: 3.5 stars

The construction was just fine, and unboxing was easy (see unboxing video HERE). I would rate it 4 stars based on build alone, but I found a couple loose threads over an inch long after I unboxed it, which isn't a big deal but does dock a 1/4 point.

Although I understand the marketing with the bright, cheerful yellow color, I'm not a fan of the yellow side-panels. If you use a thin, white protector and a thin, white sheet, it still shows through just a bit. Plain white, subdued gray, or another neutral color would have been better, but that's just one guy's opinion. I docked another 1/4 point for that.

I do like the cover, thin and breathable.

It's worth noting that my Eve took about 3-4 hours to fully expand after unboxing; but this was right in the description from the company, so no surprise there.

Noise: 5 stars

There is no noise. None.

Smell: 4.75 stars

Although the sample size isn't huge, of all the mattresses I've tried so far, Eve had the least amount of "new mattress smell" after it was unboxed. There was no "off-gassing." After leaving it to expand for a few hours, by the time I slept on it the first night the smell was completely gone. That's pretty impressive, considering that I'm both allergic to a lot of stuff and asthmatic. Needless to say, I have a moderately sensitive sniffer.

Feel: 4.25 stars

The feel is pretty nice. The cover is comforting and feels good through the sheet.

I felt a bit like I was sinking "down" but not sinking "in." (For reference, I weigh in the neighborhood of 200+ pounds). There is a bit of "hug" but not a lot. It's not a full-on tempurpedic memory-foam feel, but it does feel squishier than a hybrid mattress or fully innerspring mattress. It's something of a middle ground.


Motion Transfer: 4 stars

Since I tested out a twin, I was not able to gauge motion transfer with a real-live person in the bed with me, but had to rely on other methods like the bowling ball drop, sledgehammer of discernment, push-n-feel, etc. (see the video review). It feels like the motion transfer would be minimal, but not completely eliminated.

Support: 3.0 stars

"Support" does not mean the same thing as firmness. This gets into tricky-to-describe territory, but means things like keeping your spine in alignment; does the firmness feel even, as opposed to lumpy or firm in spots without being firm in other spots? Do you sink in too much and "overcome" the top couple inches? This is always subjective. I am a back sleeper primarily but also sleep on my side some.

In the FAQ section of the Eve website, they say that the mattress is suitable for sleepers weighing up to 252 pounds (not sure how they came up with 252, as opposed to "just" 250!), or a combined weight of 504 pounds. Recall that I weigh a bit over 200 pounds, so I felt like I was right on the edge of what was acceptable, so this statement is probably valid. When I slept on my back, I felt like my butt compressed down the top 2 layers enough that I was starting to feel the base support layer. Now, I have most of my weight in my middle, and I don't have the world's most athletic build (ahem . . .), so that's undoubtedly a contributing factor. There is no zoned support or anything like that, so just bear in mind that this mattress isn't designed for the heaviest sleepers.

I'm not saying that those over 252 pounds couldn't sleep on Eve, I just don't think it would be ideal. My personal thought is that if you are primarily a back sleeper, and you weigh over 225 to 230 pounds or so, this isn't the mattress for you. If you're a side or front sleeper who never or rarely sleeps on your back, you might be OK up to 250 pounds. (I very rarely sleep on my front, but I did a couple times on Eve, and it was fairly comfortable).

Also, note that this mattress is "fair" in the area of edge support, but when I sat on the extreme edge, I did collapse it down quite a bit. Don't expect to be able to sit on the edge and have it bounce you right back up unless you are pretty lightweight. Since it's not exactly ideal for heavy sleepers (both on edge support and in back sleeping), I don't feel comfortable giving more than a 3.0 in support.


Pressure Point Relief: 4.5 stars

Eve gets a hearty and healthy showing here! I felt like there were no pinch-points or anything like that. All-foam mattresses tend to do best here, so this isn't a surprise. If you are very lightweight (ie, under 110 pounds) you may not experience as much pressure point relief.

Conformity: 3.5 stars

What am I looking for in conformity? I want something that feels firm where it's supposed to feel firm, and soft where it's supposed to feel soft. That's a tall order (or a $5,000+ mattress), but let's at least get as close as we can. I want something that conforms to my body locally, but not globally. In other words, I want to sink into my mattress just a bit -- maybe an inch or two, but I don't want a giant valley to be formed while the mattress tries to accommodate my whole body.

As I mentioned in the "support" section above, my mid-section did sink in quite a bit, just a tiny bit more than I would have preferred, but it wasn't too bad. Therefore, the top of the mattress formed a bit of a valley extending out from my body enough that I would have a concern if I was sleeping in the bed with my wife. If you have a large weight disparity (for example, if one person weighs 70 pounds more than the other) I would have a little bit of a concern as it relates to this. Sleeping alone, no problem, sleeping with another person who weighs roughly the same as you, no problem. Again, see my video for an illustration.

Customer Service: 5.0 stars

My interactions with the folks at Eve where completely positive. Their website is easy to navigate, too, and has all the info you need, without feeling crowded.

It might be interesting to note that Eve is a U.K. based company, but they do business in the US, too. They must have warehouses in the states, because mine arrived only about 3 days after being shipped!

Shipping:

I don't give a star-rating to shipping, but shipping is free. It is delivered by UPS, FedEx, etc, and they say it should arrive within 5-7 business days (mine only took about 3 days!) As of the date of this post, they don't offer expedited shipping. It comes in a box, compressed. There is no cost to you if you decide to return it during the trial period.

Other info worth mentioning:

Eve has a 10 year warranty. The warranty kicks in with 1 inch or more of sinkage or indentations. This is pretty good (most warranties only kick in with 1.5 inches or more).

There is no proprietary foundation, you can place it on any solid surface, a sturdy foundation, or a bed that comes with slats like a platform bed. It's not recommended to be used with old-fashioned box springs (the kind with actual springs in a box - which are becoming quite rare). They have some recommendations of types on their web site, but don't recommend a specific brand. Might I recommend this platform bed?


OVERALL SCORE:
Closeup of the yellow side panel.


4.2 stars
(out of 5)

Summary:

PROS:
- Good pressure point relief
- Light; easy to move around/transport
- Ideal for solo sleepers
- Ideal for sleepers under 200 lbs.
- Good cover feel
- 100 night no-risk trial period with free shipping
- A very reasonable price point

CONS:
- May lack support for sleepers over 225 lbs.
- Not ideal for couples with a large weight disparity (more than 70 lb. weight difference)

Final Thoughts:

Eve would be a great mattress choice for a college student, young couple, or really anyone who wants a mattress that is slightly fluffy and slightly bouncy, but who doesn't want to go with a hybrid mattress. With the 100 night in-home trial, you're not out anything but time if you decide you don't like it. 100 days is more than enough to make that determination. While it is an all-foam mattress, it's not something you're going to get "stuck" in and it doesn't sleep hot.


Prices & Info:
If you decide to try out Eve, I would really appreciate it if you use one of the links on this page, as it helps out my blog and YouTube channel just a bit!

At present, I don't know of any discounts on Eve, but the price is very reasonable even without a discount:

Twin: $449
Twin XL: $499
Full: $549
Queen: $649
King: $749
Cal King: $749

(Note: Prices were updated as of 07/22/2017. Always check prices on the manufacturer's web site as prices can change.)

What do you think? Feel free to share any comments! If you have questions, feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer.




I was provided with an Eve mattress in exchange for my review. If you use one of my links to get to the Eve website, and subsequent buy (and keep!) the mattress, I earn a small referral fee which helps to support this blog and my YouTube channel. In addition, other links on this blog are considered to be "affiliate links" (such as the links to products through Amazon) and I am paid a small referral fee if you click one of these links and subsequently make a purchase. This costs you nothing. All opinions are my personal reviews and preferences, and do not represent the opinion of any particular company. Thanks for your consideration.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lucid Mattress Protector Review & Waterproof Test

I recently bought the LUCID Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector to use on a mattress I was testing out. Watch the video (below) to see how it went!




 . . . As you can see, it passed my simulated "accident" testing with flying colors!

It can be machine washed (just follow the care instructions carefully!) and machine dried on the lowest setting (like dedicates).

Water (with blue food coloring) on top of the Lucid.
A for comfort - it conforms nicely, and doesn't change the feel of the mattress.

A- for fit - It's just fine, and should work on very thick mattresses.

It passed both the basic and advanced waterproof tests!

Where you can buy it:

Amazon.com -- CLICK HERE

Jet.com -- CLICK HERE

WalMart.com -- CLICK HERE

This list is not exhaustive. Check around as prices can and will vary.

The Lucid Protector is available in all standard sizes and has a 15 year warranty.

Considering that it is generally one of the least expensive mattress protectors out there, I'm not sure it can be beat! I highly recommend it!

I paid full price for my Lucid Mattress Protector. The above links are affiliate links. Please see the disclosure a the bottom of this web page.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Zinus Folding Guest Bed Review


See my video review here, or read on for the full written review!


Last week I got the Zinus Guest Bed. (Sometimes called the "Zinus Sleep Master Traveler Premier
The Guest Bed comes folded up.
Folding Twin Guest Bed" -- if you're into long titles!) I also slept on it for three nights to try it out and share my impressions. Here's a quick review & my observations.

First Observation: It's an actual Twin-Size mattress! A lot of roll-away or temporary beds are more "cot" sized and are not quite as wide as an actual twin mattress, but this one is. So feel free to use your twin-size sheets, blankets, mattress protectors, etc. They will all work just fine! Also, you could use the frame with a twin-size mattress of your choosing. Say Aunt Esther is coming for a visit, and you want her to have a slightly better bed? You could take your child's mattress and put it on this platform, and have your kid sleep on the 4" mattress that comes with the guest bed. Lots of options.


Second Observation: It's rather firm. Maybe a better way of saying that is it doesn't offer lots of pressure point relief. I'm not saying it's horrible, just don't expect it to be as nice as a quality bed if you sleep in one of those every night. That's OK . . . the company doesn't advising using it as your all-night-every-night sleeper. But, in my 3 days of sleeping on it, I would describe it as "fairly good." To help out, I added a 2" thick gel memory foam topper, also from Zinus. That made a big difference! With the topper, I can say it's better than some motel mattresses I've been on.

Third Observation: What it's intended for, it does really well. The purpose is to use it for when you have a guest coming and you need a place for them to sleep for a couple days, maybe a week. It's not too hard to set up and tear down, and having it's own storage bag is a big plus. (Watch my video for how to set it up . . . there is a flipping over component. It would be fine for most people, but it is heavy enough that a frail person might have difficulty.) I suppose it could be a long-term bed in a pinch, but really, it's purpose is to be a better alternative than a sleeping bag on the floor or spending the night in a recliner. It would be great for those who live in a small home (such as an apartment), going camping/RVing, or if you had a rental home/cabin situation. As long as your expectations are for such a use, and not as a luxury every-night-mattress, it's well worth the price.
It comes with a storage bag which
has a zipper and handles.

Summary: The Zinus Guest Bed is a great guest bed! This may sound intuitive, and it is! When you're not using it, you can fold it up and put it away in it's own bag (with a zipper) that's about 40 inches by 40 inches, and 11 inches thick -- approximately. It rests on a frame that is a metal grid, not springs, so there is no noise or squeaking. I can recommend it.

Places to buy: (this is not exhaustive, I encourage you to shop around!)

- The Zinus Guest Bed on Amazon: Click HERE

- Order Direct from Zinus, the manufacturer: Click HERE -- there will be a 10% discount that's applied automatically if you follow this link (you won't see the discount until you get to the cart).

- Order from Walmart.com: Click HERE -- on the date I posted this, there was a very small discount if you shipped it site-to-store for pickup in a local Wal-Mart.

If you have Amazon Prime, the shipping from Amazon is 2 days, whereas the link from Zinus or Wal-Mart.com is about 5-6 days, at least where I live. Prices, discounts, and conditions vary, so click on the links. Since prices change frequently, I suggest looking around and finding what works best for you.


1 Year Warranty

Side view. Supportive enough for a "full size guy!"


I'd love to hear your comments and questions! Thanks for reading!


I won a gift card from Zinus as part of a "refer-a-friend" promotion, and I used that to buy my Zinus Guest Bed at a significant discount. The above links are affiliate links; please see the disclosure at the bottom of this web page. All opinions are my personal reviews and preferences. Thanks for your consideration.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ankeny Rain Barrel Reimbursement Program - 05/31/17 Deadline!

A note to my normal readers -- this post is aimed mainly at people who live in and around Ankeny, Iowa. However, rain barrels are rain barrels, so maybe you will see something you like in the links below! Just ignore the stuff about the reimbursement program.

Hey Ankeny Residents! (And residents of select other cities in central Iowa!)
This is an example of a rain barrel I like.
(See description later in the post.)

Did you know the city will reimburse you for 50% of the cost of a rain barrel, up to $75?

How do I get in on this "secret program?" you ask? (OK, not a secret. I just didn't know about it before now. It's public info, just not well advertised.)

Step 1 - Click this link to get the form. Print the form. Have it ready to send in as soon as you've completed the other steps.

Step 2 - Buy a rain barrel. You can buy any rain barrel, but I have some recommendations below! This includes the one I bought which is eligible for the program

Step 3 - Print / keep your receipt. Send the form from step 1 in to the city along with the receipt or invoice.

Mail to:

City of Ankeny
Stormwater Mgmt. Department
220 W. First St.
Ankeny, IA  50023

Because of the city's fiscal year timing, it must be RECEIVED by May 31st, 2017!

(Note: this is based on information available on the city web site. I had to kind of piece things together to get all the info. Although I made my best effort to provide accurate info [I even emailed a city employee to verify the deadline], I don't work for the city so can't guarantee the accuracy of this info. Read the materials yourself.)

Step 4 - Just be aware that the city reserves the right to send someone out to look to make sure you're actually using a rain barrel. My guess is they don't send a guy the exact same day, so you can probably buy the rain barrel online and send in the form and receipt/invoice as soon as it's shipped. Just don't wait a long time to set it up. Or at least set it out.

NOTE: My understanding is that you can only get one rain-barrel reimbursement per lifetime. So if you've done the program through Ankeny in the past, you are likely out of luck. Call the city if in doubt.

OK - Now the fun stuff! Shopping for a rain barrel!

Different folks have different reasons for buying a rain barrel. Maybe you want free water for the garden. Maybe you're big on conservation. Maybe you're a prepper. Or, maybe it's as simple as you don't have a good place for water from one of your downspouts to go (that's me).

Sure you can go to a store and buy one, but I think the selection is far better online, and I don't have to haul it home.

Each of the below 3 barrels met my criterion: I won't need a downspout divert-er kit (can just aim the downspout at the top of the thing), has an overflow that can be hooked up to an included tube (ie, can "aim" the overflow), has a removable lid and removable debris screen, and can be hooked up to other rain barrels for a "linked" system if I expand in the future. I also would prefer it look a little nicer than a trash can. Feel free to do your search differently, that's just what was important to me.

I didn't post prices, they seem to fluctuate a lot anyhow, so look around for the best deals.

Here are my 3 picks I narrowed it down to:

1. The Ivy Rain Barrel from Rain Water Solutions - 50 gallon capacity

You can find it at: Amazon.com, Hayneedle.com, Walmart.com, and Jet.com. With jet.com, I was offered a new customer incentive: there was a "spring15" code to save 15%.

This one is a nice green color (there is a black one too that's way more expensive, for no apparent reason???) and looks somewhat stylish. Plus, they have a very helpful setup video (below). This is the one I ordered, but I have not received it yet.










2. The Moby Rain Barrel from Rain Water Solutions - 65 gallon capacity

This is the big brother of Ivy, and is made by the same company. I imagine he's got a pretty deep voice and sounds like Jabba the Hutt. Basically the same as Ivy, just bigger. As far as I saw, only comes in the one color (black).

I'm really thinking of getting this one, too. Those extra 15 gallons might matter.

You can find it on: Amazon.com, Wayfair.com, and Walmart.com.




3. Enviro World Corp. Rain Barrel - 55 gallon capacity

This one is bigger than the Ivy, but smaller than Moby. It has a more industrial look obviously. In addition to the grayish/white color, there is also a terracotta version.

This one I only spotted on Amazon.com & HomeDepot.com, but it might be elsewhere.









Happy shopping! Feel free to comment or ask questions. I'm no expert (well, this is my first rain barrel), but I'll try to answer any questions.

Note that as of date of publication (05/03/2017) I have not tried any of these. I plan to, but have not yet. I bought the Ivy & it's on the way. I am recommending based on research, not (yet) experience. I wanted to get this out timely since the Ankeny rebate thing ends in 28 days.

OTHER RAIN BARREL REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAMS IN CENTRAL IOWA

(I will continue to update this list as I find them)

Des Moines - Only if you live in the Easter Lake Watershed. $100 rebate possible. Click here to see their Facebook page (you can message them through Facebook) or call 515-964-1883 x. 3 to get the rebate form. No specific deadline is listed.

Ames - Rebate up to $50. Click here to get the form. Instructions, address, and phone number are all on the form. No specific deadline is listed.

Johnston -- Will rebate up to 50%, up to a max of $75. All the details on the city's web site.  05/31/2017 is the deadline.

Pleasant Hill -- Will rebate up to 50%, up to a max of $75. All the details are on the city's web site. 05/31/2017 is the deadline. They will give out a max of $5,000 total in reimbursements, on a first-come-first serve basis, so you may want to call the city before committing.

Waukee -- Rebate up to $50, but they only approve the first 30 applicants each fiscal year, it appears (really?) Will want to call the city before committing. All details on their web site.


The above links are affiliate links; please see the disclosure at the bottom of this web page. Note that I paid full price for all products unless noted otherwise; all opinions are my personal reviews and preferences. Thanks for your consideration.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Voila Mattress Review

Voila!

It's the Voila Mattress!!!

I was fortunate to be able to recently review a Voila Mattress. Voila calls itself "The first showroom-quality hybrid performance mattress in a box." Will it live up to that description? Let's find out!


My Voila mattress review video! Watch this, and/or
read on for full details . . .

If you head on over to Voila's website, the first thing you might notice is layers! As in, the Voila has lots of them . . . 12 to be exact. The layout of these layers can vary a little based on the firmness level that you choose: plush, medium or firm. According to the company, the plush comes in at 3.5 on the firmness scale (where 10 is the most firm), the medium comes in at 6, and the firm comes in at 8.5. I personally reviewed the medium, and would say it rates at about 6 to 7 on the firmness scale.

It definitely comes in a box!
Regardless of firmness level, all Voila's have many things in common. They start with a thin, breathable cover with mesh sides. This allows for good air-flow, which is a feature you'll like if you sleep hot. We were never once hot! Next will be some combination of quality memory foam and Talalay latex (Talalay is also arguably the most breathable latex around). These provide great pressure relief and comfort.

Each Voila also has what they call the "triple layer edge support." This is an additional, very sturdy foam that runs all the way around the edges (thicker on the sides than the ends). The idea is to support you when sitting on the edge, and it does this well. In fact, I was told by a Voila representative that they had to design a special machine to compress it and get it in the box -- needing more compression that most bed-in-a-box mattresses! I can imagine it does take a lot of compression, with all those layers! Note that because of this, the coils do not run all the way to the edge of the bed. You will be perfectly well supported sitting on the edge, but it won't have as much of that "bouncy" feel if you sit on the edge.

The nice, white box was beat
up a little in transit, but the
product was just fine.
Finishing it off, of course, the bottom of the mattress has individually wrapped pocketed coils in a zoned structure so that the heaviest parts (such as hips) get the most support. This is the main thing that differentiates a hybrid from an all-foam mattress, and provides some bounce, but not as much as you would find in an all-coil mattress.

There aren't a whole lot of internet-only hybrid mattresses out there (I only know of about 4 or 5, not counting the budget mattresses on Amazon that really are in a different category.) Of this group of 4 or 5, Voila is the least expensive that I know of, as of the date of publishing (after using coupon code "dugroz10" to get a 10% discount).

My wife and I slept on it for over 2 weeks (almost 3 weeks -- I don't recall exactly how many days, but more than 14)! Here's how it stacks up.





Time for the rankings!!!

HOW MANY STARS???

I will rate each category on a 5-Star Scale, where 5 is the best.

Construction: 4.25 stars

The Voila mattress is very heavy! (130 lbs for a queen) That’s a good thing in some senses – good in that it won’t move around on the bed, though a little difficult to move room-to-room once out of the box (my wife and I got it up the stairs after it was unboxed!). It also means that the construction didn’t go cheap. Simple yet nice cover that is very flexible. The cover does have seams but they are well stitched.

The overall construction is very complex and robust with the 12 separate layers.

Noise: 5 stars

There is no noise. None.

Smell: 4 stars

There was no off-gassing or chemical smell, but the "new mattress smell" did last about 2-3 days after the unboxing.

Feel: 4.5 stars

The feel is quite nice. Laying on the top layer is pleasant and you feel like the mattress is taking good care of you.

It has kind of a “flat” feel but that’s not a bad thing. What I mean is that the "hug" is fairly minimal. If you prefer to "sink in," look elsewhere. I should mention that I tried the medium, but I would guess even the plush isn't something where you totally cave into the mattress.

Note with the Voila you should be using a thin, flexible mattress protector. If you use a quilted protector, you are actually taking away from one of the best aspects of what this type of mattress brings to the table.

Motion Transfer: 4 stars

There is some motion transfer across the surface of the mattress, but not all that much. I change positions frequently, and my wife, Debbi, said I didn't bother her during our time on the Voila.

Support: 4.5 stars

"Support" does not mean the same thing as firmness. This gets into tricky-to-describe territory, but means things like keeping your spine in alignment. Does the firmness feel even, as opposed to lumpy or firm in spots without being firm in other spots? This is always subjective. I am a back sleeper primarily but also sleep on my side some.

Voila has the support that  I would expect from a hybrid mattress. My spine feels well aligned, and the firmness is even. There is the “5-zone” layering of the construction, but this is done in a way that doesn’t detract from anything. It’s got the right balance of sink & support.

The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars here is because it doesn’t have quite as much responsive “push-backness” (my own, made up word) as it would need to in order to get the perfect score. I think if the top layer had been latex (the latex layer is the 3rd one down) this would have been better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really good in the support department, just not perfect. Of course, this is an area where different people will feel things differently.  

Check out the Voila's zoned coils and mesh sides.

Pressure Point Relief: 4.5 stars

I need my hips and shoulders to sink in some, but not too much. Voila does well here. It’s also a bonus that you can balance this with support by making your own choice of soft, medium, or firm (I reviewed the medium).

Conformity: 4.0 stars

What am I looking for in conformity? I want something that feels firm where it's supposed to feel firm, and soft where it's supposed to feel soft. That's a tall order (or a $5,000+ mattress), but let's at least get as close as we can. I want something that conforms to my body locally, but not globally. In other words, I want to sink into my mattress just a bit -- maybe an inch or two, but I don't want a giant valley to be formed while the mattress tries to accommodate my whole body. The goal is a happy medium between sinking in and floating on top.

This is a big deal for us because I weigh quite a lot more than Debbi.

Voila did fairly well here. I would say the area that the noticeable “sink down” extended away from my body was about 6-8 inches. This was minor enough that it didn’t bother her.

There was no unwanted rolling, she didn't roll into me during the night, and the “hug” of the mattress had a good balance between sinking in a bit, but not being enveloped. This is something of a preference item as well that will vary from person to person.

Customer Service: 5.0 stars

I was able to both email and speak with a very nice representative of the company. I didn't see any horror stories online about the return process, they all seemed fairly smooth.

It’s also worth noting that while the specific Voila brand is fairly new, the underlying company has been in the business of manufacturing mattresses for 25+ years. They actually have most of their experience in the world of medical mattresses. I only point that out because it adds comfort that it’s a company that should be around a long time.

Shipping:

I don't give a star-rating to shipping, but shipping is free (you can pay extra if you choose to have expedited shipping or delivery on a weekend or holiday). It is delivered by UPS or FedEx, it only took 2 full days to arrive in my case, and I just did the standard shipping! (I ordered on a Monday, and it arrived late afternoon on Wednesday). It comes in a box, compressed. There is no cost to you if you decide to return it during the trial period.

Other info worth mentioning:

The Voila has a 10 year warranty. The warranty kicks in with ¾ of an inch or more of sinkage or indentations. This is very good (most warranties only kick in with 1.5 inches or more – a few of the more forward-thinking companies have it at 1 inch, but to start the warranty at ¾ of an inch is great!).

There is no proprietary foundation, you can place it on any solid surface, a sturdy foundation, or a bed that comes with slats like a platform bed. We have ours on the Zinus Quicksnap Platform bed -- which I reviewed separately here.

OVERALL SCORE:

4.4 stars
(out of 5)

Summary:

PROS:
- The "hybrid feel"
- Heavy, sturdy quality
- Circulates air very well due to construction and mesh sides
- Good cover feel
- 100 night no-risk trial period with free shipping
- 3 choices for firmness
- One of the best prices in the hybrid world

CONS:
- Rather difficult to move the mattress around (for example, when rotating or moving to a new room) as it is quite heavy. This is likely the case with most hybrid mattresses.
- The mattress is not entirely made in the USA.

Final Thoughts:

The Voila Mattress strikes a nice balance between top-end quality and price. You can find cheaper mattresses (such as Amazon budget mattresses), but they won't be as nice or last as long. You can find slightly nicer mattresses, but they will be more expensive! Plus, with the 100 night in-home trial, you're not out anything but time if you decide you don't like it. 100 days is more than enough to make that determination.

If for some reason you don't feel like Voila can be your every-night mattress (and it certainly can!), it would make a killer guest-room mattress. After we tried it out for over 2 weeks, my father-in-law came to our home for a visit and slept on it for 4 nights. He really liked it and said it majorly increases the desirability of making our house a pit-stop in the future. It's also highly likely to hit a "sweet spot" that appeals to all different kinds of people, so would be great for a guest room, rental cabin, etc. that has many different folks coming through (assuming the medium firmness).

The Voila has a feel that is truly part memory foam, part innerspring. I guess that's what hybrid is all about! I can definitely recommend it.


Prices & Discount Info:
If you decide to try out the Voila, use coupon code "dugroz10" at checkout and you will get a 10% discount! In fact, not only will you benefit by getting a discount, it also helps out my blog and YouTube channel just a bit!

The first number below is the "raw price" and the number in brackets is the net price after the 10% discount -- coupon code "dugroz10"


Twin: $699 [net $629]
Twin XL: $799 [net $719]
Full: $999 [net $899]
Queen: $1,199 [net $1079]
King: $1,499 [net $1349]
Cal King: $1,499 [net $1349]

(Note: Prices were updated as of 06/10/2017. As of last update, all firmness levels have the same price. Always check prices on the manufacturer's web site as prices can change.)

What do you think? Feel free to share any comments! If you have questions, feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer.

Unboxing my Voila.

I was provided with a Voila mattress in exchange for my review. If you use my coupon code when buying a Voila, I earn a small referral fee which helps to support this blog and my YouTube channel. In addition, other links on this blog are considered to be "affiliate links" (such as the links to products through Amazon) and I am paid a small referral fee if you click one of these links and subsequently make a purchase. This costs you nothing. All opinions are my personal reviews and preferences, and do not represent the opinion of any particular company. Thanks for your consideration.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quick Review of 3 Mid-Priced Pillows

After my video-review of the "My Pillow" (spolier -- it wasn't my cup of tea!) -- see video here -- I thought it might be helpful to provide some less-expensive alternatives.

I have tried each of these pillows in person, in my home. Each are what I would consider to be "mid-priced," meaning in the $20 to $40 range. (NOTE: the prices were all in this approximate range as of the date of publication, 04/22/2017. Prices can, and will, change, so see the price in the widget below each listing.) In other words, more expensive (and nicer) than cheapo pillows at Wal-Mart or Target, but less expensive than so-called premium pillows that run over $50 each.

Each of these can also be purchased through Amazon (they might be available via other outlets as well, but I've only verified through Amazon).

Of course, pillows, like mattresses, involve a fair degree of personal preference. What one person loves, another might hate. Keep in mind that I'm an adult man, about 5'11", and "not skinny."

As always with Amazon stuff, you can return it within 30 days if you don't like it.

#1: The Classic Brands Reversible Cool-Gel Memory Foam Pillow
This one is kind of a big pillow -- it's roughly 5 to 6 inches thick (product says 5, I say more like 6). When I lay on my side, it fills the entire space between the bed and the side of my head. It's actually a perfect side-sleeping pillow for me. It's memory foam, but it's softer and a bit squishier than straight-up memory foam - maybe that's the "open cell" technology in the description.

Doesn't she look comfy? I do wonder if maybe she's a bit too
small for this pillow, though. I guess the 250 pound man didn't
make as good of a model.
Note that one side is firmer than the other, the firm side has "little bumpies" which you can just
barely, but not really, feel. The firm side is also the cooling side. At least in my experience, it is cool to the touch especially at first. This guy is also dense and heavy! Over 5 pounds! It's a "meaty" pillow.

For me, personally, this pillow isn't my all-night-every-night pillow but that doesn't mean it's bad. I don't use it at night exclusively because I sleep both on my back and my side, and it's too tall when I sleep on my back. Not by a lot, but by a little.

I also find it's a great under-the-knees pillow when back sleeping! (Not as great between the knees when on my side, because one side is cooler than the other - kind of a strange sensation when one thigh is cooler than the other!)

I could recommend this pillow for 2 situations:
1. You're a fairly big person and you sleep exclusively or almost exclusively on your side (would be great for this person!); or
2. You want something soft-yet-not-too-squishy for under your knees when back sleeping.



#2: Zinus Memory Foam Traditional Pillows (pack of 2) This pillow is totally, straight up, the very traditional memory foam feel. If you want that feel, look no further! Well, OK, look a little further down in this review, because you do need to consider size, as well.
No picture of model-on-pillow available!

This pillow also isn't my all-night-every-night pillow but that doesn't mean it's bad. This is the
opposite of pillow #1, in that it's a not quite tall enough for me (remember that personal preference thing?). Now, it does come in a set of two, so maybe you could put them together or layer them. This pillow is 4.8 inches thick according to the company, but of course memory foam compresses, so once compressed, to me it feels more like 3 inches. So it's too slim for me when I lay on my side.

I would recommend this pillow for a small to average sized woman, a child, or just someone who likes a thinner pillow.

Full disclosure: I won this pillow through a "refer a friend" contest with Zinus.




#3 Sleep Innovations 2-in-1 Ventilated Memory Foam Pillow As you may have guessed, I saved my personal every-night pillow for last! I like "a bit" of the memory foam feel with my pillow, but not completely. I do prefer the traditional down-like feel against my head. That's what this guy does. It's called 2-in-1 because one side has a memory-foam insert. So it's like sleeping on a half-and-half pillow!

The memory-foam insert is in a zippered pouch, so it
can be removed (like if you wanted to wash the rest of
it.)
I generally prefer to sleep with the "standard" side up. I like it because my head sinks in a bit but the
memory foam insert "catches my head" before it sinks in too much. It's a good compromise for back or side sleeping - and I do a lot of both.

I'm not saying it's the best pillow on the market, but I would venture to say it's the best in it's price point. At least, the best I've tried. Some day I might get into super-fancy pillows, but I haven't yet. I'm very happy with this one.

It says it is 6.5 inches, but bear in mind that half of it is easily compressed. I would say it squishes down to a perfect 4-5 inches when I lay on it. It might be too large for a petite person or a child.

Also note it does not sleep hot, but it's not really a "cooling" pillow either.




Questions? Comments? Would love to hear from you! Please comment, share on Facebook or Google+, and/or click on my links if you would be so kind. That helps me keep on blogging!

The above links are affiliate links; please see the disclosure at the bottom of this web page. Note that I paid full price for all products unless noted otherwise; all opinions are my personal reviews and preferences. Thanks for your consideration.






Sunday, April 2, 2017

Zinus Quicksnap Mattress Foundation (Platform Bed) Review

When we were asked by the good folks at the Voila Mattress company to review their mattress, we needed a place to put it. (See the unboxing of the Voila here; a full review will be coming soon!)

We needed an update to the bed in our guest room anyhow, so enter the Zinus 14" Quicksnap Mattress Foundation! This is a platform bed -- i.e., it is designed for mattresses that do not require a box spring. Pretty much most modern mattresses don't require a box spring, so this fits the bill in almost all situations -- but if it doubt, check with your mattresses manufacturer. (An 18" version is also available.)

The Zinus Quicksnap Mattress Foundation.
In our case, we will be using this platform bed with a mattress that is about 11 inches tall, so the surface of the bed will be about 25 inches off the ground. If you prefer your bed a little taller -- around 29 inches off the ground -- just buy the taller version (the price is the same as of the date of this writing).

This platform bed is so easy to assemble, it requires no tools outside of the rubber mallet that comes in the box (other than a box cutter or scissors to cut things open).

I wanted something that would be quick and easy to assemble, so this fits that bill perfectly. In addition, I wanted something that could be disassembled without too much of a problem, and this fits in that regard too. Something that has a good amount of clearance underneath? Check.

See my video for the assembly:



The assembly was literally what you see in the video (at "regular human speed," of course!!!). The assembly time was under 20 minutes, even with the pause in the middle to explain the instructions. Speaking of instructions, you could figure this one out without even looking at them.

Here is an unlisted video showing it post-assembly, and showing the dimensions:


(Don't you feel special? You got to see a top-secret unlisted video!!!)

Zinus has another hit on their hands here. Almost anybody can put this together. Note that the box it comes in is fairly heavy, so unless you're competing in strong-man competitions, you'll need a friend to help you carry it up or down stairs. (Thanks to my buddy Brian for his help in that department.)

7 days in, and it's holding up great, no squeaks, no shakes, and it is perfectly supportive. My father-in-law visited us for a couple days, slept on it and had no complaints. Note that the dimensions (depth and width) are about 1/2 inch less than the size of the mattress. I believe this is by design to prevent the banging of shins on it. You still could, of course, but it minimizes the pain somewhat!

I highly recommend it.

The slats attach via a very neat Velcro unrolling system --
but rest assured, they are still plenty sturdy! 


Vital Stats:
Available in King, Queen, Full, and Twin
Height: 13.75" based on my measurements
Under-bed clearance: 10.5" approximately based on my measurements
Wooden Slats? - Yes (they Velcro in place in a really neat way!)
Space between slats: 2 1/2 inches approximately based on my measurements

Click below to view it on Amazon now!





The above links are affiliate links; please see the disclosure at the bottom of this web page. Note that I paid full price for all products unless noted otherwise; all opinions are my personal reviews and preferences. Thanks for your consideration.