Thursday, July 18, 2019

How to Save 9% on Any Mattress on Amazon (and 5% on everything else)

Want to save 9% on any mattress on Amazon? (And 5% on everything else?)

Yup. It can be done.
Let's cut to the Chase (pun intended) -- the first step is opening the Chase Prime VISA credit card. Officially called the "Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card," this credit card (issued by Chase Bank) gives cash back of 5% on anything purchased on Amazon. (Well, almost anything. There are a few excluded items, like gift cards.)

It probably goes without saying, but you should ONLY use this method if you have the money on hand to pay off your purchase right away. If you use this to finance the purchase, the interest quickly wipes out any cash back you earn. I will also mention that you have to be an Amazon Prime member to take full advantage of this card. You can still use it, but the rewards are smaller if you're not a Prime member.

The way this savings is accomplished is by the Prime Visa card effectively counting every $1 of spending at Amazon as $5 for rewards purposes (obviously you don't PAY 5 times as much!). In the picture below, you can see that I spent $19.07 on Amazon, but the Prime Visa rewards calculated my points based on $95.35.

When cashing out your rewards, every rewards point is worth 1 cent. Therefore, my $19.07 purchase earned me $0.95 -- which comes out to 5% cash back!


You can then redeem your points for a variety of things, but I find the best value to be simply putting it into your checking or savings account.  (Click here to look into the Prime Visa Card!)

So where does the 9% come in you ask??? If you want to take your value to the next level, you need to also use the popular rebate portal known as Rakuten (until recently known as Ebates). This is a completely free browser plug-in that you can get for free here along with a $10 credit after your first purchase! It can be used for a bunch of websites (drug stores, car rentals, etc.), but we're focused on Amazon for this article.

Just make sure you don't have a ad blocker turned on, then shop on Amazon as normal with your Rakuten plug-in enabled. Rakuten doesn't earn cash back in every category on Amazon, but furniture (which includes mattresses!) is their 2nd most rewarding category at a whopping 4% cash rebate! -- only Amazon Exclusive Apparel is higher.

Your Rakuten cash rebate will accrue over time and they mail you a "big fat check" once per quarter (yes, they actually call it a "big fat check," and yes, it does actually come as a check in the mail!).

So, you can also put your BFC in your checking account, and congrats! You saved 9%!

My last "Big Fat Check" was worth $9.33
I have had no problem using Rakuten, but, as with anything of this nature, -- YRMV -- that is, "your results may vary." I can't guarantee that your computer won't do something funny and not track the reward. I know there is also an app that lets you use this on smartphones, but I've only tried the version on my Google Chrome browser on my computer.



What do you think? Have you ever used Rakuten for any large purchases before? Have you used the Amazon Prime Visa for any large purchases? Share your comments and success stories in the comments section!!!


I do not receive any compensation from Chase Bank in any way. Since the credit card is issued by the bank, and not directly by Amazon, I also don't get any referral fees or commissions if you open the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. However, if you clicked on one of the links to Amazon on this blog and then bought something else on Amazon (like a mattress!), I would receive a referral fee. This costs you nothing.

I used a refer-a-friend link in this blog post to get to Rakuten's website. If you use this link, sign up, and make a purchase within a reasonable amount of time, I get a $25 referral bonus. This also costs you nothing -- actually, you get $10!!!

I am an Amazon Associate - I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DreamCloud Mattress Price Drop!


Great news! Last week (June 11th 2019), DreamCloud announced that they are lowering the price of
all their mattresses! See the handy chart below:


As you can see, the price of every size except Queen went down by $200. The price of the Queen size went down by a whopping $300!

(The prices above are the "net" prices after the automatic $200 discount is applied. See my comments
below about that $200 discount.)

In my judgement, this now makes the DreamCloud extremely competitive. You probably already know that the DreamCloud is my personal favorite mattress, and the mattress that my wife and I sleep on every night (except when I'm reviewing another mattress). If you've not yet heard of my favor for the DreamCloud, watch my videos below or click here to see my full, written review. We've been sleeping on our DreamCloud for at least 6 months . . . maybe more.





I wanted to take a moment to discuss the $200 discount that applies to all DreamCloud purchases. Some bloggers and reviewers say they have a "special" $200 discount -- however, everyone gets the $200 discount. I don't want to insult your intelligence -- you know (or probably assume) that whoever refers you to DreamCloud gets a referral fee if you buy (and keep!) a mattress by using their link. If you think that my review is the most valuable, please use one of my links on this page or on YouTube! (which could be this one!) If you think someone else does a better job, use theirs! Thanks!

Amazon Suggestions:


I was provided with a DreamCould mattress in exchange for my (original) review. If you use one of my links to get to their website, and subsequently buy (and keep!) the mattress, I earn a 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.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Zinus 14 Inch Lisa SmartBase Review

I'm always on the lookout for new or different ways to support a mattress. Enter the Zinus Lisa 14 inch SmartBase! This is a platform bed -- i.e., it is designed for mattresses that do not require a box spring.

(You could also get a very similar 18 inch one from another company.)

Sometimes this kind of thing is called a "box spring replacement" -- I don't love that name, because it's replacing both the box spring and the frame.
All you need is this product and a mattress.

Nearly all mattresses made within the last 10 years don't require a box spring, so this fits the bill in almost all situations -- but if it doubt, check with your mattresses manufacturer.

The most common mattress thickness is 10 inches, so the combined height would be around 24 inches -- a very normal, comfortable height for getting in and out of bed. It goes without saying that if your mattress is 12 inches thick, the combined height would be 26 inches (well, but I just said it anyhow, didn't I???).

Assembly is very easy. There are no tools needed, everything goes together with small bolts and wingnuts. You may wish to wear gloves while assembling simply to prevent finger pain. It comes in a box (see the video for dimensions) which weighs almost exactly 40 pounds for the queen size.

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? Yep.

See my video for the assembly:

Mobile user? You can also click here to view directly on YouTube.


The assembly time, my first time, was just over 12 minutes. I think I could assemble it in less than 10 minutes now.


With a Mattress on the Lisa SmartBase


Almost everyone could assemble this, unless you have severe arthritis, neuropathy, or a similar condition.

I used it for 4 days (sleeping on it) and never heard any squeaks.

The version that I tried was the standard version. There is also a deluxe version and an elite version if you need a little more support. (The elite version has been renamed the "Demetric" recently.) If I were planning to use it on a semi-permanent basis, I'd strongly consider either the elite or the deluxe if for no other reason to have the legs recessed slightly. It would make the odds of stubbing your toe smaller.

If you want something with no "edge-center" support leg, consider the QuickSnap platform bed instead, which I reviewed here.




Vital Stats:
Available in King, Queen, Full, Twin XL, Twin and Narrow Twin
Height: 14" (just under)
Under-bed clearance: 12.5" approximately based on my measurements
Cross-support: Metal wires
Space between wires: 4"











Click below to view the Zinus Lisa 14 inch SmartBase on Amazon now!

You can also view it directly on the Zinus website.


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, January 13, 2019

Zinus Hybrid Green Tea Foam and Spring Mattress Review

Will I like it???
The Zinus Hybrid Green Tea Foam and Spring Mattress is a very "budget friendly" mattress -- one of the least expensive on Amazon! (I got the 8" variety) -- In this post, I'll give you my impressions!


Watch My Video on YouTube, or read on for more details!

Composition

Under the cover (a "knitted jacquard cover"), we find the top layer, which is a whopping 0.5" of high
density foam. The next layer down is 1" of visco-latex foam (I'm not sure if that means it's actually latex, or just latex-like), and then under that we have 6" of springs. These are not pocketed coils, this is just good old fashioned springs. The kind that's all pretty much just one big interconnected base.

Next up is a 2" comfort layer that is likely intended to be a transition layer. It really squishes down and helps with responsiveness a bit.

I should mention the "Green Tea" in the name indicates that the bed is infused with "Green Tea extract and castor natural seed oil" for odor elimination. I didn't notice any benefit to the freshness/smell from this aspect, but maybe it's present after several months.

Overview

I'll be quite frank here . . . is this a good mattress? Well, it wasn't for me. At best it's "fair to middlin'," and that might be speaking kindly.

The only outstanding thing about this mattress is it's price tag. It's one of the least expensive ones on Amazon, and the least expensive one I've personally reviewed.

My childhood goes back to the 80's and this reminds me of the type of mattress my peers and I would have had as kids. The kind you could bounce on and catch air. Before most average folks had even heard of memory foam.

They call it a "hybrid," but let's be honest -- this is an innerspring mattress.

Check out those layers!


With all of that said, you're probably wondering . . .

HOW MANY STARS?

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

Construction: 1.75 stars

The whole thing just felt somewhat cheap to me. Right away, upon unboxing, there were several loose threads around the edges. The sides feel kind of plastic-ish.

Noise: 3 stars

Loose Threads
There is some noise. It's not overwhelming, but it's there. Not "squeaky," but when I first sat down, I could hear the springs moving around. If I changed positions suddenly, I could hear that too. There is zero foam or sound dampener around the edges.

Smell: 1.75 stars

While the reports of some reviews on Amazon of the smell seem to be greatly exaggerated, it does smell pretty "not good" when you first unbox it. I let it air out for a full 3 days before sleeping on it, and it was a very mild period of winter days in the 50's, so I left the window open a crack for most of 2 of those days. By the end of the 3rd day it was tolerable, but it was a full week before the smell was really gone.

At first it smelled like a chemical smell, but after 3-4 days it just smelled kind of rubbery.

If you are at all sensitive to smell, don't plan on sleeping on this mattress for the first 3-4 nights.

Feel: 3 stars

The cover doesn't feel too bad, but nothing special, either. It's just kinda functional.




Motion Transfer: 1 star

There's no way to sugar coat it -- don't plan on sleeping in the bed with someone else unless you want to hate them by morning. It's so stiff you will feel each and every thing they do. It's really just a big bed of springs, and the 1.5 inches of comfort layers just isn't enough to absorb motion. My wife and I laid on it together for just a couple minutes, and her comment was "it feels like a swaying ship!" (anytime I moved).

Support: 3 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.

I can only talk about it from my point of view -- as a full-sized guy - and I have a fair bit of curve in my back.

This is a firm mattress. The 1.5" of padding above the springs just isn't enough to "fill" the space in my lower back, so it had too much of my support being transferred to my hind end when I sleep on my back. Sometimes people equate firmness to supportive, but that's not really accurate. This is firm, but not like sleeping on the floor firm -- it's like sleeping on a thin piece of wood that's held up by lots of springs and a little bit of fabric.

Although "firmness" doesn't do a lot of justice to describe things, if you were to ask me how firm it is on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most firm), I'd say this is in the 8-9 range.

The edge support is very lacking.

Pressure Point Relief: 1.50 stars

There's just not enough there for a 200+ pound person in the comfort layer. My body sinks through that top 1.5" of comfort layer like it's nothing.

And this is what caused me to truncate my sleep test. I intended to sleep on it for 3-5 nights, but I only made it 2. When I slept on my back, my hind end and the shoulder blades would hurt. When I slept on my side, it was a little more tolerable, but my shoulders and upper arms would hurt. I woke up in the middle of the night both nights uncomfortable and took a couple ibuprofen to get back to bed. At the end of the second morning, even my armpit area - kind of wrapping back around to the shoulder blades - was sore. I'm never sore there.

Conformity: 3.0 stars

Conformity is the idea that the mattress is even -- without lumps -- and is locally conforming to your body without it being a global conformity.

Actually, this aspect was better than I thought, it did stay pretty level with my wife and I laying on it, despite our weight disparity. And, the little bit of dip there was didn't spread out too much. Just kinda medium.

I would have liked to have sunk in a wee bit more, though. I don't want to feel enveloped, but I felt too much like I was just laying "on" the surface.

Customer Service: 2.5 stars

In full disclosure, I didn't interact with customer service at all (I ordered it online and never spoke any humans and never had to email anyone). I had no issues with the delivery, it came in the usual 2-day time frame. So, I had to rely on online opinions and Amazon reviews.

There are a large handful of "major complaints" out there on the interwebs about people who wanted to return the mattress but could not reach anyone, never got a reply to their emails, etc. I guess I need to balance the good with the bad, and I'll go right in the middle here at 2.5. If I get comments about people with good experiences for exchanges, returns, etc., I'll be happy to raise that later.

Shipping:

Shipping is free regardless of a purchase via Amazon or via the Zinus website. My purchase was on Amazon, and since I'm a prime member, it arrived 2 days after my order.

On 01/11/2019, I wasn't able to find the mattress on the Zinus Website. However, I know I've seen it there before. Maybe it just sells out frequently.

Other info worth mentioning:

All Zinus mattresses are covered by a 10-year limited warranty, per the manufacturer's website.

Return Policy?

- Via Amazon:

As you likely know, on Amazon you can return almost anything. I've seen a few reviews from people who returned a mattress. You have to buy a very large mattress box (you're not getting it back in the original box!) and then send it back the "regular way" with a pre-paid label. You will have to notify UPS or FedEx it's a large item, then arrange pick-up. Some places I've seen have said they will reimburse you for the special box, others said they won't, so I'm not sure on that. Obviously, most people just give up and don't bother. This has to be done within 30 days.

- Via Zinus.com

On the date I wrote this (01/10/2019) I was not able to find return info on the Zinus website.

OVERALL SCORE:

2.3 stars
(out of 5)

One Big Disclaimer about Thickness:

It was a full 8" thick.
This mattress comes in 3 thicknesses on Amazon: 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. (Of course, the
price goes up the thicker you buy, with the most dramatic jump between the 8 and 10 inch variety.) There is one Amazon listing for all three sizes, which you can toggle, just like you can toggle the size (full, queen, etc).

It seems that in general, the thicker ones get better reviews. To me, this is pretty obvious. I'm guessing adding 2 or 4 inches of comfort layer makes a BIG difference. In fact, the #1 Amazon review is a lady just raving about how much she loves the 12 inch she and her husband bought!

So, maybe if I tried the 10 inch or 12 inch I would have a much better impression. I probably would. But I bet most people are buying the 8" because of the much lower price. Who knows, maybe if my YouTube video gets a lot of views and this blog gets a lot of clicks, I might try the 10 or 12 inch in the future?

Summary:

I'm not going to go over a list of pros and cons, because, you've likely already picked up on the fact that I didn't really get a favorable impression of this mattress. There are really only two groups of people that I would recommend this mattress for:

1) People who have been sleeping on a bouncy, innerspring mattress for so long that they just can't envision going to an all-foam or hybrid mattress. If you just like really old-fashioned, spring mattresses, then this is for you.

2) People who are shopping on price alone. It doesn't get much cheaper than this, with the queen size being under $200 (and, on the day I bought it, quite a bit under $200!)

I understand that budget it a legit concern for a lot of people, so I don't want to "poo-poo" spending an extra $45. However, if you are looking for a highly inexpensive, mostly spring mattress, might I suggest the Signature Sleep Contour Mattress instead? I did a previous review of that one (see it here!), and would deem it to be a much better mattress for roughly $45 more. Again, prices can and do vary, so always check for yourself.

If you do go with it, I would give strong consideration to adding a memory foam or latex topper to this mattress to allow a little more "give" and pressure point relief.


Prices & Info:
If you decide to try out this mattress through Amazon, 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! You can also buy it on the manufacturer's web site, and there may be other options as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I have seen this mattress for sale on Zinus.com directly, but it appears to be sold out there at this time.

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 paid full price for my Zinus Hybrid Green Tea Foam and Spring Mattress. Some 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. I also participate in a refer-a-friend program through Zinus that allows me to earn gift cards if certain purchases are made. All opinions are my personal reviews and preferences, and do not represent the opinion of any particular company. Thanks for your consideration.