Leesa Original mattress review: Cool, cushioning and surprisingly stylish

We put this medium-firm memory foam wonder through its paces in our Leesa mattress review

Leesa mattress review
(Image credit: Leesa)
T3 Verdict

Two things help the Leesa Original stand out from its memory foam brethren: its firmer sleep surface and its impressive cooling tech. This mattress balances medium-firm support with a cushioning top layer and packs neat cooling properties, making it a great all-rounder.

Reasons to buy
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    Good looking (for a mattress)

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    Mix of foams for support and comfort

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    Cooling top layer works well

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Reasons to avoid
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    Lots of plastic packaging

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    Can smell a bit at first

The Leesa original is a memory foam mattress that claims to better those spring-based antiques found in most bedrooms. Three types of foam make up the basic structure. These combine, Leesa claims, to offer a supportive-yet-soft surface that you won't sink into, and which won't overheat (a common issue with memory foam mattresses). 

At time of writing, Leesa had recently ceased operations in the UK, but it's still available in the US. Like many other online retailers, it’s pretty confident of how much you’ll enjoy using its product, so offers the same return and guarantees as its competitors: that means you get 100 nights to sleep to decide if you like it, and a 10-year warranty. 

We put the Leesa Original to the test to see how it compares to the rest of our best mattress ranking. This is the cheapest of Leesa's four mattresses (and if you're bargain-hunting, a Leesa mattress Black friday deal can knock the price down further), and the company refers to it as its 'fan favourite'. Read on for our full Leesa Original mattress review.

Leesa Mattress: The set-up process

Leesa mattress review

(Image credit: Leesa)

Getting things setup is no more or less annoying than any other foam mattress purchased online, arriving inside the same sort of cardboard box and sealed away inside plastic. Getting it out of the box is  a bit of a pain if you’re short on space, especially since the sealed mattress itself weighs 27kg. It’s not the worst offender in terms of bulk, but it's still not exactly light.

The set-up process involves removing the outer layer of plastic that keeps the whole thing rolled up tight, unravelling it out onto the bed, then removing the final protective layer and letting it air out. Getting it off can be a bit of a challenge, but thankfully the outer plastic is a lot thinner than the remaining packaging. As for the inner plastic, make sure you have a pair of scissors handy.

Pong-wise, there are no surprises. The plastic wrapping is pretty pungent stuff, though that nasty notes dissipate pretty quickly. The smell from the foam itself lingers a little while, and after a week I was still getting whiffs while trying to sleep. Sadly this seems to be typical of many foam mattresses, and thankfully goes away eventually.

Unfortunately, the unboxing leaves a lot of plastic and packaging to get rid of – more than Simba or Casper – so make sure you have room in your recycling bin before collection day.

Leesa mattress review


(Image credit: Leesa)

How comfortable is the Leesa Original mattress?

Buoyant is the word that comes to mind to describe how lying on the Leesa mattress feels to sleep on. It’s soft and comfortable, but if you’re lying on your back, there’s no sinking whatsoever. Turn on your side and the upper layers of foam do their bit to support pressure points on the hips, but this is definitely a mattress that manages to offer plenty of support without ever feeling too firm.

The 5cm layer of latex-like Avena foam also does its job well. Even during fairly warm weather, it was noticeably cool to touch, though the intensity of that effect changes with the ambient temperature. It’s never going to replace a fan or air conditioner, but it can help take the edge off a hot summer's night and make a bout of warm weather more bearable. 

Unfortunately, Leesa wasn’t so comfortable that it helped me get over my usual issues getting to sleep at night, but it was comfortable enough that I could lie down and try to go to sleep without hating every second of it and dwelling on the fact that I miss my usual sleeping apparatus.

Bad mattresses also have a habit of screwing up my back, but that didn’t happen with the Leesa. Even with some recurring back pain from the gym, the Leesa was comfortable enough to avoid exacerbating the problem.

Leesa Mattress: The verdict

Overall, there’s nothing much bad to say about the Leesa mattress. It’s comfortable, soft enough, and does what it can to keep the heat at bay. It even has unique grey patterned design, rather than the standard cream cover, which is a nice touch

If you’re the kind of person that likes to sleep on something firm, then the Leesa is definitely worth thinking about – especially since that firmness doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. However, if you want something soft or squishier to sleep on, then it’s probably not what you’re looking for – check our best mattress guide for less firm options. The cooling layer on top is a massive bonus, as it was the first of its kind that produced tangible benefits during muggy summer nights. 

Tom stands six feet and four inches tall and weighs between 20 and 21 stone, so it can be challenging to find a bed suitable for his weirdly proportioned build. 

Before testing these mattresses he’d been stuck with a terrible spring mattress for about two years, which required a 3-inch memory foam mattress topper just to be tolerable.