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, coming in at $999 for the queen size (before the discount -- $899 after using coupon code "dugroz10").

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
- 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 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.

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.


King or Cal King: $1,159 [net $1,043]
Queen: $999 [net $899]
Full: $959 [net $863]
Twin or Twin XL: $709 [net $638]

(NOTE: Price varies slightly based on the firmness. I tested out the medium, so those are the prices I listed. Firm is slightly cheaper, and Plush is slightly more expensive, as the actual construction and materials used differ based on firmness.)

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.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sapira Mattress Review

If you'd like to see my video review, you can see that here, or click this link to watch directly on YouTube. Read on for the full written review . . .



USE DISCOUNT CODE "DUGROZ" FOR $200 @ CHECKOUT IF BUYING A SAPIRA!

We have spent the last 70 days (roughly) trying the Sapira Mattress - a newer offering in the online-only mattress space, which is "Created by dreamers, and built by experts for connoisseurs of life" (trademark!). Well, that sounds pretty fancy . . . would it live up to this slogan?


The Sapira Mattress comes in a spiffy black box.
Sapira is made by the Leesa company and is the hybrid cousin of the very successful Leesa Mattress. They bill the Sapira Mattress as "the first luxury pocket spring and performance foam (ie, Hybrid) mattress delivered in a box." It is 100% made in the USA. The 100 night in-home trial period (with a full refund if you don't like it) & free shipping gives you the ability to try it out risk-free.



There is only one firmness level. Although the company does not say exactly what the firmness level is on their website, they state that it has "bounce when you need it, support when you don't." In an email with a customer service agent from Sapira, I was given the following information: "Based on our materials and customer feedback, the Sapira mattress ranks as a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale, providing a responsive sleep surface that reacts to your body as you move and adjust positions."

I concur with this assessment.


I love the diamond-shaped pattern on the cover! It feels so soft and nice.


So . . . with the introductions out of the way . . . time for the rankings!!!

HOW MANY STARS???

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

Construction: 4.5 stars

Sapira Mattress: The Layers
The Sapira mattress is very heavy! The queen weighs over 115 pounds. I say this as a (mostly) good thing, as I think that means the quality of the foam layers is high and of a proper density, and the springs are solid. It does come across as a high-end product based on "look and feel." There's no cheaping out that I can see. 100% made in the USA. The cover is very nice looking and well formed, and seems expensive. I found no flaws. The tag is classy. The cover is made from one solid piece of material, with a zipper that would allow you to remove the cover if desired (although they do not recommend machine washing). Because the pocketed coils go right to the edge, the edges don't feel quite as nice to the touch as it would if you had foam encasement (though I think this helps in the support area), but that's no big deal. As with any hybrid mattress, it's a bit difficult to control and move the mattress from room-to-room, but it stays in place on the bed perfectly.

Noise: 5 stars

There is no noise. None.

Smell: 3.75 stars

There was no off-gassing or chemical smell, but the "new mattress smell" did last about 4-5 days after the unboxing. Admittedly, I did not allow for any designated airing out time and put on the mattress protector and a sheet & slept on it the first night.

Feel: 5 stars

If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. The feel is amazing! Words like luxurious, pleasant, tactile, and comforting come to mind. I don't know what the cover is made out of, but it has a bunch of little diamond patterns. It's not tufted (it is still a "tight-top"), but you can feel these little diamonds with your hand through the sheet. I don't do it justice here, so watch my video review where I try to describe how much I like the feel of the cover! Note with the Sapira 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 Sapira 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 Sapira.

Support: 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.

Sapira shines brightly in the support department. When they say, "bounce when you need it, support when you don't," they mean it. The support goes all the way to the edge. You can see in the pictures that they use more tightly packed coils along the edge so you can sleep all the way to the edge just fine. It's also a bed you can sit on super easily, and get in-and-out of with ease. The top layer (somewhat bouncy, and hole-punched to stay cool) is something akin to latex - though not actually latex - as it is just bouncy enough, but can also give way to allow your body's curvature to be maintained.

The Sapira Mattress provides 5-star support.

Pressure Point Relief: 4 stars

I need my hips and shoulders to sink in some, but not too much. Sapira does well here. I held back from giving 5 stars because they only offer one firmness level; there is no choosing between "soft, medium, or firm." It would be cool if you could choose where you want to fall on that scale.

Conformity: 4.5 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. 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. Sapira again did very well here. It was almost perfect here -- if the conformity was just a hair more sensitive, I would have given 5 stars, but, then it likely would have lost some of it's bounce, so it's got to be a compromise thing.
The Sapira's coils. Notice how the coils are smaller and more
tightly packed near the edges for enhanced support.
There was no unwanted rolling (she didn't roll into me during the night). The conformity is mostly "localized" but does not spread across onto her side of the mattress. This is something of a preference item as well that will vary from person to person.

Customer Service: 4.5 stars

I didn't ever have a need to call the company, but I did email a couple times. The first email I sent took about 5 business days to get a reply, which is a little longer than I would prefer, but after that it was faster. Sapira piggy-backs on the good reputation of the Leesa Company, which has been around for about 4-5 years. I didn't spot any horror stories online about the return process, they all seemed fairly smooth.

Shipping:

I don't give a star-rating to shipping, but it's worth mentioning that shipping is free (as long as you are willing to set it up yourself). It is delivered by UPS or FedEx, it took about 4-5 business days from order to arrival in our case. It comes in a box, compressed. If you want, you can pay an extra $99 for "white-glove" delivery -- in other words, someone will set it up for you on your bed and take away the box, plastic, etc. There is no cost to you if you decide to return it during the trial period.

Other info worth mentioning:

The Sapira has a 10 year warranty. The warranty, I noticed, kicks in with 1 inch or more of sinkage or indentations. This is better than most (most warranties only kick in with 1.5 inches or more).

There is no proprietary foundation, you can place Sapira on any solid surface, a sturdy foundation, or a bed that comes with slats like a platform bed (make sure the slats are no more than 3-4 inches apart). I have been using Sapira on the Zinus Low-Profile foundation, which I reviewed separately. The representative from Sapira told me that this particular foundation would "work fine" and it does.

OVERALL SCORE: 

4.5 stars
(out of 5)

Summary:

PROS:
- Luxury, heavy, sturdy, quality
- Excellent cover feel
- Balances support, motion transfer, and conformity very well
- Great for a couple, even with a large weight disparity
- Sapira has mastered what a hybrid mattress should feel like (best of both worlds - foam and spring)
- 100 night no-risk trial period with free shipping

CONS:
- Cost. More expensive than most bed-in-a-box mattresses. Still, likely $1,000 less than similar in-store offerings.(Compared, for example, to the BeautyRest Black series.)
- Somewhat difficult to move the mattress around (for example, when rotating or moving to a new room) as it is quite heavy.
- Only one firmness level

Final Thoughts:

The Leesa Company has found a niche with the Sapira, offering a high-end hybrid mattress at a price that gives them a clear edge over traditional in-store competitors (though on the top-end of the bed-in-a-box market). Call it the Audi of the bed-in-a-box world, but at Kia prices!

I can wholeheartedly recommend Sapira. Bear in mind that in general, you get what you pay for. If you choose to invest in a Sapira mattress, I think you'll find it to be worthwhile. And, with a 100-night in-home trial, there's no risk. 100 nights is more than enough to decide if it's for you or not.

Of course, you have to be someone who is looking for a certain feel or style. Looking for some of the benefits of an all-foam mattress, but don't want to feel quite so "sunk?" This is for you. Or, maybe you want something that is supportive and firm while still allowing for a fair degree of pressure point relief? Here you go, you found it.

If the biggest flaw is that they only offer one firmness level, that's not too bad. Debbi and I paid full price (with a $150 discount - at the time, that was the discount for everyone) for our Sapira. Even though my blog and channel are starting to gain a little attention, and I will be reviewing more mattresses moving forward, I'm guessing my Sapira will be very hard to beat.

Another note is that for every 10 Sapiras purchased, the company will donate one to charity.


Prices:
As far as I have seen, Sapira (their website here) always offers a discount of $200 off your Sapira purchase. To be sure that you get the discount, enter my promotion code "Dugroz" at checkout!

The first number is the "raw price" and the number in brackets is the net price after the $200 discount.

King or Cal King: $1,775 [net $1,575]
Queen: $1,475 [net $1,275]
Full: $1,275 [net $1,075]
Twin XL: $1,075 [net $875]
Twin: $975 [net $775]

(Prices are current as of the date of this posting. I make strong efforts to keep the prices current, but always double check Sapira's web site!)

If you decide to give Sapira a try, it would mean a lot to me if you would go out of your way to use my discount code at checkout, "Dugroz" (you may have to erase the default discount code and enter this one). -- I know there is a default discount, and other bloggers have them, too, but if you found mine most impactful, please consider it. This will provide me with some means to keep reviews like this coming!


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.

The Sapira has top-notch edge support.

I paid full price for my Sapira. We bought our Sapira because we wanted to try it out just like anyone else, but, several months later I was offered a chance to participate in their affiliate program. I will earn a referral fee if you buy (and keep!) a Sapira. Other links on this blog are considered to be "affiliate links" as well (such as the links to products through Amazon) and I am paid a 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.




Monday, January 16, 2017

Best Budget Mattresses On Amazon, All Under $300


There is that old saying "You Get What You Pay For," which is generally true in the world of
mattresses, too. However, sometimes you just can't afford a $700+ mattress. Whatever your reason (maybe for a college student, guest room, or you're just on a limited budget), if you need an inexpensive mattress, here are four of the best I found on this MLK day 2017, considering price, reviews, and other info.Some of these prices may (should?) last beyond today but I found these as discounted items today.I feel these are the best mattresses under $300 on Amazon. (The mattresses in this blog post are under $300 [based on queen size] as of 01/16/2017, the date of the original posting. Of course, prices can, and will, change.)

Below I will also list a topper that I would pair with any of the Mattresses (esp. #2), as well as a few items in the "bed and mattress" realm at the very end of the post that are worth  considering just because they're on such a good sale!

Please note that although I have personally researched all of these options, I have NOT personally
tried any of these products.

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"Best Price" Brand  8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
1. Best Price Mattress 8-Inch Memory Foam Mattress
(4 1/2 star average)
Note: "Best Price" is the name of the brand. I'm not necessarily saying it is the "best price." :)




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Sleep Master Pocketed Spring (Coil) 8-Inch Classic Mattress
by Zinus
2. Sleep Master Pocketed Spring 8 Inch Classic Mattress (by Zinus)
(4 1/2 star average)





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LinnenSpa 8-Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
3. LINENSPA 8 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress - Dual-Layered - Medium Firm - 25 Year Warranty
(4 1/2 star average)




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Classic Brands "Decker" 10.5-Inch Hybrid Mattress
4. Classic Brands Decker 10.5 Inch Hybrid
(4 star average)




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For any budget-friendly mattress, I would strongly consider getting a mattress topper to improve comfort.

If I were going the "build your bed" route (ie, choose a sturdy-yet-cheap mattress then add a topper from the beginning), I would choose #2 above -- the SleepMaster pocketed spring, then add a topper like this one below. I like it because not only is it well reviewed, it also has a built-in cover and straps to prevents sliding around. Couple this with a nice mattress protector and sheets, and you have "built" a decent hybrid mattress.


The ViscoSoft 3-Inch Gel Mattress Topper can help a
Budget-Friendly mattress feel even more "friendly!"


ViscoSoft 3" Gel-Infused Memory Foam Topper
 (4+ star average)
Multiple sizes avialable


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Thus ends the section on mattresses. Below are a few additional items that I would consider just because they're such a good deal.(Again, remember that prices can and will change frequently.)

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Simpli Home Dover Rectangular Storage Ottoman Bench (Multiple Colors)
(4 1/2 star average with lots of reviews)

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Simmons Beautyrest Curv 3-inch Flat Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper

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Essence of Bamboo Gel Fiber Pillow - Down Alternative, Hypoallergenic .9 Micro Denier Filled Pillows with Bamboo Derived Rayon / Poly Cover


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Balichun Waterproof Mattress Pad Protector Cover
(Twin, Twin XL, and Full size only available as of 01/16/2017)

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Sleep Calm Mattress Protector with Stain and Dust Mite Defense
(4 star average)


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If you appreciate this review, would you consider using the above links to support my blog and YouTube channel? This post contains affiliate links, and Amazon will reward me with a very small referral fee if you use the link and subsequently buy the product. Please note that I paid full price for my Zinus BoxSpring through Amazon; all opinions are my personal reviews and preferences. Thanks for your consideration.