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 7 to 7.5 on the firmness scale (I'd imagine that the "firm" is very firm!).

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 Quick Snap 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.