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Leesa Original mattress review (2021)

The Leesa Original mattress provides ample support for most sleepers and is the ethical choice

Leesa Original Mattress in a bedroom with a man sitting on the side
(Image: © Leesa)

Our Verdict

If you prefer a firmer sleep, the Leesa Original is a good choice. This all-foam mattress is at the higher end of the medium-firm scale, but provides the right amount of give to securely cradle your body. It's well priced, and while similar mattresses are available for less, Leesa's ethical credentials held weight for us. Just be prepared to put up with some initial off-gassing: the smell is potent, but it's only temporary.

For

  • Great support
  • Sleeps cool
  • Ethical purchase

Against

  • Potent initial off-gassing smell
  • Foam prone to indentations
  • Edge support could be better

The Leesa Original Mattress is Leesa's entry-level option, and the company's most popular offering. Since entering the market in 2015, Leesa has made it a point to use its business for good. It's a Certified B Corporation, which means it balances purpose and profit, and for every 10 mattresses sold, Leesa donates a mattress to one of its many charity partners.

Leesa's altruism is admirable, but how good is the quality of its best-selling Leesa Original mattress? After weeks of careful testing, we've arrived at a verdict, and in our Leesa Original mattress review we'll help you decide whether it's the best mattress for you.

What is the Leesa Original Mattress?

Leesa Original mattress review

(Image credit: Leesa)
  • Medium-firm comfort level
  • 10 inches deep, with three layers 
  • Made from memory foam and foam

The American-made Leesa Original mattress is a memory foam mattress, and it's designed to provide comfort and support for all types of sleepers. It features a two-inch top layer of breathable foam, two inches of contouring memory foam in the middle, and a six-inch core support foam base - all capped by a seamless twill fabric cover.

The Leesa Original mattress follows US sizing conventions. It comes in six sizes, ranging from twin to California king. Like all Leesa mattresses, it's made-to-order and ships within one to three business days. Opt for free ground shipping to have the mattress delivered right to your doorstep. (Note that delivery times may be delayed due to COVID-19.)

It's a mattress in a box, which means the Leesa Original mattress arrives vacuum-sealed in a conveniently sized box. Unroll it onto your bed frame, remove the plastic, and within seconds it’ll shape itself into a full-fledged mattress. 

Setup can be done solo, but it’s less cumbersome with the help of another person. Alternatively, you can spend an extra $150 for two Leesa reps to set up your new mattress and take away your existing one.

The Leesa Original mattress comes with a 100-night trial and 10-year limited warranty, which is on par with what the best mattress in a box brands offer. One caveat: you’re required to try the mattress for at least 30 nights before initiating a return. That's the case with most leading mattresses, though, because it can take up to three weeks for your body to adjust to sleeping on something new.   

If you’re not happy with your purchase, Leesa will administer a full refund and donate the mattress to one of its charity partners at no additional cost to customers in the continental United States. 

Leesa mattress: price and deals

  • Priced competitively for a mid-range bed-in-a-box
  • Regular deals cut up to $200 off the price

At full price, the Leesa Original mattress costs from $799 for a twin size, and maxes out at $1,299 for king and California king. It's the cheapest Leesa mattress you can buy, and sits comfortably within the mid-range mattress market.  

If we use the MSRP of a queen size - $1,099 - as a benchmark, the Leesa Original costs within $50 of many of its mid-range memory foam rivals, including the entry-level Casper Original mattress ($1,095), the Layla Memory Foam mattress ($1,049) and than the Purple mattress ($1,149). 

When it comes to value for money, though, the Leesa Original - like all the mattresses above - is undercut by the Nectar Memory Foam mattress. Although a queen size Nectar is officially priced at $1,198, it's consistently sold at just $799 and comes with an extra $399 of free sleep accessories, making it very tough to beat. However, for some, Leesa's ethical credentials will hold a value of their own.

Here's the official pricing for all sizes

  • Twin: $799 
  • Twin XL: $849 
  • Full: $999 
  • Queen: $1,099 
  • King: $1,299
  • California King: $1,299 

Leesa regularly runs discounts on its mattresses, though, and it's often possible to get up to $200 off the price of the Leesa Original - usually with two free pillows thrown in. 

If you're looking to save the most money possible, then the two best times of year tend to be during the brand's Memorial Day mattress sale in May, and in November, via a Black Friday mattress deal, but realistically there's virtually always an offer of some sort. 

Amazon regularly discounts the Leesa Original mattress, too. Sometimes the prices there will be cheaper than buying through Leesa directly, but you don't get the free accessories, and not all sellers offer the risk-free 100-night trial, so read the small print carefully. Leesa mattresses are also available at West Elm and Pottery Barn stores, which gives you the chance to check out the mattress at their retail locations before buying.  

Leesa Original mattress: performance

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Leesa Original Mattress rolled up

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Leesa Original Mattress sunlight

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Leesa Original Mattress closeup

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Leesa Original Mattress plush

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Leesa Original Mattress height

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Leesa Original Mattress made bed

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Leesa Original Mattress instructions

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Leesa Original Mattress review photos

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  • Reaches peak firmness in a couple of days
  • Minimal motion transfer
  • Sufficient heat wicking

Leesa says its Original mattress is medium-firm, with a range between 5-7 out of 10 (firmest) on the comfort scale. To me, it sits at the higher end of that range.

It took about an hour for the Leesa Original mattress to fully expand. The mattress reached its peak firmness level after a couple of days, but I was able to sleep on it immediately without any issues.

I slept on the Leesa Original mattress for three weeks. What impressed me most about the Leesa mattress is how supportive it was. I fell asleep each night feeling comfortably cradled by the mattress. I experienced the most support and pressure relief on my side and back. While I wasn't uncomfortable on my stomach, my hips did begin to sink slightly in that position.

Despite shifting in my sleep and occasionally having to share the bed with a restless tabby, there was no obvious motion transfer with the Leesa Original mattress - which bodes well for couples.

The top cooling layer, combined with the twill fabric cover, makes for a comfortable night’s sleep. Granted, it was winter here when I tested the mattress, but even when I cranked up the heat and wore multiple layers, I didn't wake up in a sweat once.

A minor quibble: I seemed to set up the Leesa Original mattress upside-down. The four-stripe design is meant to be at the bottom of the bed per promo photos, not up by your head. But take it from me - it’s comfortable either way.

Leesa Original mattress: what we didn't like

  • Potent initial off-gassing smell
  • Lack of edge support

The Leesa Original mattress had a potent off-gassing smell. While it’s far from the worst I’ve whiffed, it’s still not a pleasant smell to fall asleep to. It took three nights before the off-gassing totally dissipated. Proper ventilation will help mitigate this.

Also, relative to the rest of this medium-firm mattress, edge support is lacking. This seems to be the case for many basic or entry-level foam mattresses, however. (If you're looking for outstanding edge support, try the Saatva Classic mattress instead - it's a foam/innerspring hybrid, rather than pure foam, and the edge support is superb.)

Leesa Original mattress: user reviews

  • Average score of 4.5/5 stars from over 20,000 reviews
  • Majority like the support and heat wicking
  • Some found the foam is prone to sagging 

In this Leesa Original mattress review, I’m sharing my experience as a side sleeper of average build, who's prone to waking up in a sweat. Mattresses are subjective though: your shape, size, weight and sleeping style all affect how comfortable you find a mattress. So, to give you a more rounded view, we’ve combed through hundreds of Leesa Original mattress reviews from customers to look at what this mattress does well...and where it falls short.

This mattress has 4.5 stars out of 5 from over 20,000 customers on the Leesa site (March 2021). At Amazon, it averages 4.1 stars out of 5 from over 950 reviews.

Favorable user reviews praise the Leesa Original's support, lack of motion transfer, and cooling properties. Several satisfied sleepers even credit this mattress with alleviating their back and shoulder pain. Leesa’s customer service also received high marks for a quick turnaround to queries.

Many of the Leesa Original’s critical reviews regard the initial off-gassing smell. Even customers who were happy with their mattress have knocked off a star for that alone. Another common theme among the negative reviews is the degradation of the memory foam. Sleepers of various sizes and builds said that their Leesa mattress developed indentations and dips within a year. (Leesa says its mattress supports individual weights up to 300 pounds.)

Should you buy the Leesa Original mattress?

Leesa Original mattress review

(Image credit: Leesa)

The Leesa Original mattress does many things well for its price - and knowing that one Leesa mattress is donated to charity for every 10 purchased may well help you sleep better at night. Certainly, if you're a back or side sleeper who likes a firmer mattress, the Leesa Original mattress is worth your consideration. 

For most people, it should provide the right amount of give without creating too much movement if you (or your partner) shift positions during the night. Its top layer of breathable foam and twill fabric cover sufficiently wick away heat - which is good news for hot sleepers.

It's common for memory foam to soften over time, but not within a year like some Leesa customers say. Fortunately, Leesa's limited 10-year full replacement warranty covers indentations of at least one inch that are not a result of improper use. Of course, you hope to not have to use your warranty, but it's good to know it's there. 

Alternatively, if you're looking for the most bang for your buck, or prefer a slightly softer mattress, try the Nectar Memory Foam mattress instead (from $499), which includes a lifetime warranty and 365-night trial. Or, if you have a little more to spend, we'd recommend the luxury memory foam Saatva Loom & Leaf, which starts from $899.

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Alison is a freelance writer and editor from Philadelphia, USA. She's been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't hunting for deals, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, reviewing mattresses, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking.