Editor’s note: When we first published this story in March 2020, the Zinus Green Tea mattress was under $300. Now it’s around $410 on sale and $600 at full price. But even at that price, we’ve still found it to be one of the best affordable mattresses on the market, so we’ve changed the price below and left the writer’s original review as is.
Look, I am not blind to the various problems with e-commerce conglomerate, Amazon. However, four months ago, I found myself in a frustratingly unique position when I decided it was a good idea to have knee surgery the same week that my partner was moving into my apartment. He is six-foot-four. I was going to be in a full thigh-to-ankle metal brace. My creaky, ten-year-old queen-sized mattress wasn’t going to cut it for us. I needed a new bed that would come in a box and fast. The kind of fast that only Amazon would be capable of.
As a tech-savvy millennial with a combined social media following of some 1 million people, the idea of physically leaving my house to go to a mattress store seemed archaic. I’d much rather crowdsource the opinions of 1 million strangers from the comfort of my living room. The three most suggested mattresses were, as follows: (1) the one named after a ghost that they advertise to death on every podcast and streaming service (marketed to the point of suspicion if you ask me), (2) the one named after a color and costs more than my rent, and (3) the Zinus Green Tea mattress.
“Green tea? Doesn’t green tea keep you awake?” I asked my cat, who was digging his claws into my box spring. A quick Amazon search revealed something startling: the Green Tea mattress had OVER 40,000 REVIEWS, strong four-star ratings, and cost only $246. Two hundred and forty-six dollars! Split between me and my partner, that would bring the cost of the mattress down to $123 each. I scrolled down to find that the thing was comprised entirely of foam: seven inches of high-density base-support foam, layered with two inches of comfort foam, and topped with three inches of memory foam. But what sealed the deal for me was the fact that I could get the mattress delivered to my doorstep faster than I could say, “I’m having anterior cruciate ligament replacement surgery in three days.”
Two days later, my Green Tea mattress arrived in a box half the size of my boyfriend. The unboxing was a breeze, and the mattress unfolded smoothly onto my new bed frame (which, frankly, was also purchased via Amazon Prime). The instructions let me know I’d have to allow it to expand for at least 48 hours, meaning the first time I’d get to sleep on it was the night I got home from my surgery. The timing couldn’t have been better: I attribute my quick recovery to this blessed, Twitter-recommended mattress.
The foam isn’t so dense that you can’t roll out of bed in the morning because you’ve fallen into the sunken place — rather, it hugs and gently lifts you. Usually I am woken up by my very tall partner, who tends to roll around in his sleep. This stopped when we started sleeping on this mattress — the foam seems to act as a very effective shock absorber. It helped me stay comfortably passed out even when my leg was strapped very uncomfortably into a CPM knee recovery machine. Not convinced this thing changed my sleep entirely? I have cold, hard evidence: Just before I changed mattresses, I’d purchased a costly little smart ring that measures and records your sleep each night. My overall REM sleep went up 30 minutes after I bought the Green Tea.
I love this mattress so much that after my boyfriend was all moved in and my knee had healed, I ordered another one for our small loft area. I turned it into a heavenly reading nook and I nap there often just for funsies.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.