In the era of the tiny house and Millennial minimalism, finding maximum value in a budget mattress is no simple feat! But the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress makes it look easy, with an affordable price tag and an array of interesting fabrications, including green tea-infused memory foam and an ActivCharcoal complex. So… what’s all this tech about? Well that’s what we’re here to find out.
Below, we’re going to analyze every aspect of this mattress, from how it’s built, to how it feels, and how it performs on my series of rigorous tests. By the end, you’ll know without a doubt if it’s the bed for you!
So, without further ado, let’s dive into my full review of the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress. Short on time? Feel free to skip to my review summary.
Zinus sells a full range of bedroom accessories, from mattress toppers to foundations. The mattress price points are quite low, even for the budget mattress market. Zinus also categorizes its mattresses based on the major selling feature of the bed. The Green Tea Memory Foam is a “pressure relief” product that comes in four different thickness levels: 6”, 8”, 10”, and 12”.
This review will focus on the 12” version of the Green Tea, which is the thickest version Zinus sells. I will test this mattress for its performance (including pressure relief) and also see how it holds up against two similar competing mattresses from Tuft & Needle and Nectar.
Now that we know what Zinus is all about, let’s take a closer look at the Green Tea 12” specifically. I’ll start by peeling back the layers and showing you what I see.
What is the Zinus Mattress Made of?
The 12” Zinus mattress is built with four layers of memory foam, poly foam, and high-density poly foam. This combination of materials is intended to create a gentle structure, full of deep sinkage and body-contouring. But is the bed as pressure-relieving as this design would have us believe it is? Let’s dive into the layers to find out!
Cover – The Zinus starts off with a relatively standard polyester cover. It’s very thin, so it should help with the overall breathability of the bed.
Comfort – After the thin cover, the Zinus moves straight into a 3” layer of memory foam. The material has a slow response to pressure, which allows for plenty of sinkage and body-contouring. The slow response to pressure provides good pressure relief, but the thin cover doesn’t provide much of a barrier to stop memory foam’s tendency to sleep hot. To counter this, the Zinus infuses green tea and ActivCharcoal into the foam to absorb moisture and neutralize odor.
Transition – After the soft memory foam, a 2” layer of firmer poly foam helps to keep the sleeper from sinking right into the firm support base of the Zinus. This layer of poly foam is not as firm as the layers below, so it still allows some contouring (but not nearly as much as the comfort layer).
Support – Underneath the transition layer, the first layer of 3.5” high-density poly foam begins to provide foundational support.
Base – Finally, the second layer of high-density poly foam gives shape to the Zinus and supports the first layer. Using HD poly foam is a fairly standard thing for bed-in-a-box mattresses, and the Zinus seemingly takes the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude here.
Thoughts: The most unique features of the Zinus are in the memory foam comfort layer. The bed does all that it can to create a classic memory foam feel without overheating the sleeper. The ActivCharcoal and green tea help to neutralize odor, but they don’t necessarily make the Zinus a “cool” mattress.
Now that we know what the Zinus is made of, I will take a closer look at what sleepers can expect to feel out of this mattress.
How Does the Zinus Feel?
The first test I run on the Zinus is for firmness. The scale for this test ranges between 1 (the softest) and 10 (the firmest). The “midpoint” is 6.5, which is the industry standard for medium firmness. It is important to note that firmness is a subjective measure to a degree. To represent the variance that different people might feel, I test it with colleagues of different body shapes, types, and sizes. The number you see below is the average of our responses.
I gave the Zinus a firmness ranking of 5/10. This is quite a bit softer than the industry standard. The soft profile of the mattress could make it a good fit for strict side sleepers, who usually need to sink into a mattress to avoid creating pressure points in the hips and shoulders.
Even on my back, with my body weight evenly distributed, I could feel myself sinking into the mattress. This isn’t uncomfortable, but you definitely have to enjoy that sinking feeling for the Zinus to work for you. The sink in the Zinus also makes it somewhat difficult to change positions. Moving onto my side and stomach took a bit of work. Combo sleepers may want to consider the effort this will require depending on how much you move around during the night.
Testing the Zinus
After I run the Firmness test, I run three other important tests for Pressure Relief, Bounce, and Motion Transfer. These three tests tell me how the Zinus will likely perform in different situations. First, I will go into Pressure Relief, explain what this test means for your sleeping experience, and then move into the other two.
To test for Pressure Relief, I lay out a color-coded map on top of the Zinus. Blue, green, yellow, and red represent low to high pressure. High pressure areas (light green, yellow, and red) often coincide with areas on the body that will become uncomfortable over the course of a night.
I test pressure in three positions: back, side, and stomach. I will also consider the combination sleeper who switches positions often during a sleep session.
Back – The pressure map shows nearly all blue on the Zinus in this position. This is fairly common because the weight of my body is evenly distributed on my back. However, it’s good to see that this product keeps up with its competition here.
Side – When I moved onto my side, I saw only a little bit of dark green in sensitive areas (the shoulders and hips). Dark green is closer to blue (no pressure) than it is to yellow (light pressure) or red (highest pressure). Strict side sleepers and back-side combo sleepers should have no problems here.
Stomach – I once again saw a mostly blue map when lying on my stomach. This is not the entire picture in this position, however. Yes, we see no areas of high pressure based on harsh contact points between the mattress and the sleeper. I also have to check for support in the hips. If they are not properly supported, uncomfortable back bowing may occur. This spinal misalignment can cause some problematic aches and pains in the morning. Because my hips sank into the mattress quite substantially, I have to conclude that the Zinus is likely not a good choice for strict stomach sleepers.
After Pressure Relief comes Bounce. If you are used to innerspring or firmer hybrid mattresses, then you understand how a bit of bounceback can improve mobility on the bed. It’s also good to keep sleepers from feeling “stuck” in the mattress. Changing positions is easier with an appropriately bouncy mattress. For the actual test, I use a 10 pound steel ball, dropping it into the Zinus to observe the bounceback.
The Zinus is definitely not bouncy. The soft firmness rating gave me a clue, but I had to see for myself. The slower response to pressure of the memory foam is not offset with any springs or coils! If you are a combo sleeper who changes positions often, feeling stuck in the mattress makes switching positions harder and may leave you feeling more tired in the morning.
My Motion Transfer test helps me find out how well a bed isolates motion to protect one partner from a restless sleeper. I want to see motion isolation, meaning that movement from one side of the mattress does not affect the other side. I use the same 10 pound steel ball as the Bounce test, dropping it from heights of 4”, 8”, and 12”. A seismometer on the other side picks up the waves.
The Zinus gave me some really good motion isolation. The thick, soft memory foam comfort layer dulls a lot of the motion on the mattress. We can probably thank the foam’s naturally slow response to pressure for that! This is definitely a thumbs up for all of the couples out there.
The Zinus vs
All-foam budget mattresses challengers from Tuft & Needle and Nectar! These are both well-known brands in the value mattress market with similar features. However, there are some differences you should know about to make a more informed buying decision.
Tuft & Needle
- The Tuft & Needle is an all-foam bed-in-a-box, just like the Zinus.
- Instead of memory foam, the T&N uses a proprietary alternative that sleeps cooler and has a quicker response to pressure.
- As a result, the T&N has a firmer profile than the Zinus. Overall, I can recommend this bed for back sleepers.
- The Tuft & Needle’s price range ($350-$750) is higher than the Zinus ($209-$410).
- Check out my full Tuft & Needle review here!
- Like the Zinus, the Nectar is also an all-foam mattress that features memory foam.
- Overall, the Nectar has a very similar build to the Zinus — 3” of memory foam, a transition layer, and 6” of high density poly foam.
- The Nectar allows the sleeper to sink deep into the comfort layer, similar to the Zinus as well.
- The good motion isolation in the Nectar makes it an attractive choice for couples.
- The Nectar’s price range ($399-$899) is higher than the Zinus ($209-$410).
- Check out my full Nectar review here!
The Zinus review is coming to an end! Almost. I’d like to sum up the major points about this bed so that you can make the most informed decision possible about it. Here are the pros and cons that all of our poking and prodding brought about.
Zinus Mattress Recommendations
- The soft overall profile of the Zinus provides strict side sleepers with plenty of pressure relief in the hips and shoulders.
- If you love to sink into your mattress with a classic memory foam feel, the 3” memory foam comfort layer of the Zinus should be right up your alley.
- The Zinus isolates motion very well, which is great for couples (especially those with restless sleepers).
Zinus Mattress Complaints
- After you sink into that memory foam, the Zinus doesn’t have much bounceback. If you need a bouncy mattress, you may want to look for one of the Zinus hybrid mattresses.
- The softer profile of the Zinus means that strict stomach sleepers probably won’t get the support they need in the hips for good spinal alignment.
- Memory foam tends to sleep hot, and the Zinus follows this trend because it puts a lot of memory foam right next to the sleeper.
- Trial – 100 Nights
- Warranty – 10 Years
- Shipping – Free + Compressed
How Much Does the Zinus Cost?
|Twin||39” x 75” x 12”||$209|
|Full||54” x 75” x 12”||$278|
|Queen||60” x 80” x 12”||$344|
|King||76” x 80” x 12”||$410|
|California King||72” x 84” 12”||$410|
Low price, Good quality
- Edge Support
The Zinus memory foam pressure relief mattress is a great choice for any sleeper who enjoys a true memory foam feel and wants to save some money. At a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale, this mattress was designed to meet the needs of a wide range of sleepers. Low motion transfer, good pressure relief, and solid support makes for a well rounded mattress all together.
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