Sleeping Duck Vs Koala: Here’s My Pick

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Best Overall

Sleeping Duck Mattress

Most Customizable

Better Support

Better Sleep Trial

Runner Up

Koala Mattress

Thinner Overall

Weaker Trial Policy

Better Warranty

Feeling unsure about which mattress you’re going to buy? If you’ve narrowed your choice down to Sleeping Duck or Koala, you’ve got some thinking to do…these are quite different mattresses.

Don’t worry, I’ve been reviewing beds, particularly in NZ and Australia for 5 years now. I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about Sleeping Duck and Koala. By the end of this article, you’ll feel certain about your choice.

Brand Overview: Sleeping Duck And Koala

About Sleeping Duck

Sleeping Duck Mattress

Sleeping Duck started in 2014, and is the brainchild of two Melbourne-based engineers. To this day, Sleeping Duck maintains headquarters and a showroom in Melbourne (check it out in person if you can!).

Sleeping Duck pride themselves on their customizable mattress (which they claim is the world’s first), their customer service (for which they have won awards), and fast delivery. Sleeping Duck pour all their design ideas into one mattress. They also have a bed base and bedding range.

About Koala

Koala Mattress

Koala is also an Australian brand, founded in 2015, around the same time as Sleeping Duck. They originally made just one mattress, their “famous in Australia” Koala mattress, which was even made in Australia.

As Koala has grown in popularity, they’ve taken production off-shore and now have four mattresses in their range, along with a big range of household furniture. I see from their LinkedIn profile they employ an ex-Ikea designer, so they’re really trying to be strong players in the budget furniture space.

Side By Side: Comparing Sleeping Duck And Koala

Let’s delve into what’s similar about these two brands and more importantly, what the key differences are.

We’ll go through the mattresses layer by layer, so you can have a really good look at what you’re thinking of buying. We’ll also have a discussion about pricing.

For ease of comparison, we’ll compare the Sleeping Duck mattress with Koala’s most popular mattress: the Koala original.


These are two mattresses that are quite different. However, there are some similarities:

  • Both are Australian-owned companies offering generous sleep trials (100 nights for Sleeping Duck, 120 nights for Koala) with hassle-free returns
  • Both offer 10-year guarantees on their mattresses
  • Both use cooling comfort foams in the top layer of their mattresses
  • Both have adjustable firmness layers so you can make the mattress firmer or softer if you need to (Sleeping Duck is more customisable than Koala though)


With their different construction and feel, Sleeping Duck and Koala have more differences than similarities. These are the main ones:

  • Sleeping Duck is a hybrid mattress (meaning it has pocket coils as its support core)
  • Koala is an all-foam mattress
  • The Koala mattress contains their proprietary Kloudcell foam in the comfort layer
  • Sleeping Duck has a bamboo cover, Koala has tencel (both are soft-to-touch, plant-based fibres)
  • Sleeping Duck is 31 cm high, Koala is 23 cm
  • Sleeping Duck has been tested to simulate 10 years of sleep for 2 people, weighing up to 140 kg each. They’re the only company in Australia I’ve seen offering this sort of endorsement on their mattress
  • Koala the brand is more strongly committed to environmental causes. They are members of 1% For The Planet and have partnered with the WWF to help protect Koalas

Sleeping Duck Vs Koala: Close-Up On Their Construction

Sleeping Duck:

Sleeping Duck Vs Koala - Sleeping Duck Composition

The total height of the mattress is 31 cm, which is quite a lot deeper than many other mattresses in boxes you might be researching. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Sleeping Duck Mattress components:

  1. Breathetech Bamboo Cover (1 cm thick)
  • Breathable
  • Soft to touch
  • Naturally antimicrobial

Sleeping Duck is one of the few companies I’ve seen to use bamboo in their cover, and I think it’s a big win. It will feel nicer than the usual polyester blends you’ll find, which don’t have antimicrobial properties. However, the Tencel used in Koala will have similar properties so there’s no specific advantage here.

2. Anti Gravity Surface Foam

This is the blue layer you can see in the image above.

  • Porous design for breathability
  • Gives a weightless feel. I.e. you won’t feel like you’re sinking into the mattress when you lie on it, you’ll feel like you’re lying on top of it.

In my opinion, this is a similar foam to the Kloudcell foam you’ll see when we look at the Koala mattress next.

3. Component Adapt Customisation System

This is the cleverest and most innovative part of the Sleeping Duck mattress.

It’s another foam layer, but the foam is arranged in panels. You choose if you want medium or firm, and you adjust them however you like, to tailor your sleep experience.

While Sleeping Duck initially offer you medium or firm panels, these can be switched to soft or extra firm for free during your 100 night sleep trial.

Here’s a picture I took from Sleeping Ducks’ explainer video to show you what this panel layer looks like:

Sleeping Duck Customisation System

4. 5 Zone Pocket Springs (20 cm thick)

Sleeping Duck call this the “motherboard”. They’re really into their engineering! This is really just a fancy way of saying this is the support core of the mattress that has the important job of supporting the other layers.

It’s make of pocket coil springs for breathability and targeted support.

  • 5 zone support to ensure targeted support for your body
  • Pocket coils move independently of each other to minimize partner disturbance and ensure better support
  • Reinforced edges

The zoning you’ll find inside the Sleeping Duck is a feature that in-store brands often keep as an up-sell for luxury mattress models, so it’s really good to see it here inside a reasonably priced mattress in a box.


Koala Mattress Cross Section

The total height of the mattress is 23 cm, which is slightly thinner than other all foam mattresses, which typically stand 25 -27 cm tall. Koala is a whopping 8 cm shorter than Sleeping Duck, which has more foam and some extra height from the springs.

  • Cover: Tencel Lyocell, which is a plant-based fiber loved for its softness, breathability, and durability. Koala uses Tencel sourced from Eucalyptus trees. It’s a fabric that I think is best described as silky feeling, and is a very popular mattress cover material.
  • Foam 1: 6 cm of Kloudcell foam. Kloudcell is the comfort layer of the Koala mattress. It’s a proprietary foam exclusive to Koala. It’s an open-cell foam that’s breathable, a little bit bouncy, and pressure-relieving. This is similar to the first layer we saw in the Sleeping Duck mattress.
  • Foam 2: 17 cm of high-density polyfoam for the base. This is pretty standard and gives a nice strong foundation for the Kloudcell to do its thing. The standout feature of this layer is the zoning channels you can see in the image. These allow for targeted support and better breathability than just a solid block of foam.

You’ll find a lot of other mattresses in boxes have 3-4 layers, but Koala just has the two. However, the 6 cm of Kloudcell foam is generous and it’s a nice foam.

Want to compare the Koala mattress with the other 3 mattresses in the Koala range? You can do that here.

How Do The Trial Periods And Warranties Compare Between Sleeping Duck And Koala?

Trial Periods

Here’s how Sleeping Duck’s 100 night trial works:

  • You may return the mattress for a full refund within 100 days of receiving your mattress.
  • If you live rurally or outside of a main city, Sleeping Duck may ask you to donate your mattress to a local charity. If you incur any costs while making your return, Sleeping Duck will reimburse you.
  • Limit of two mattress returns per household
  • You can exchange the customization system foams for extra firm or soft foams for free during the trial period

This is a really solid trial policy. There’s absolutely no cost risk and you can change the feel of the mattress if you need to.

Here’s how Koala’s 120 night trial works:

  • You may return the mattress for a full refund within 120 days of receiving your mattress.
  • Unfortunately, if you’re outside of Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth or Melbourne, you will need to wear the cost of getting your mattress back to the nearest returns depot.
  • Mattress pick up is free in the 6 cities listed above.

It’s a bit disappointing that customers outside of the big cities may lose some money in the return process. I get that shipping bulky mattresses around a country as big as Australia is expensive, but this is a must when you’re an online brand so I’m disappointed.


Both Sleeping Duck and Koala offer a 10 year warranty that begins the day you recieve your mattress. You cannot transfer the warranty to anyone else, it’s only valid for the person who bought the mattress.

Sleeping Duck’s warranty states that the warranty will be voided if the mattress is not used on a supportive flat surface, or used by persons weighing more than 140kg. It covers mattress sagging if the sagging is greater than 3cm.

Koala’s warranty does not state any weight limit, and covers sagging of 2.5 cm.

Koala has slightly better warranty terms than Sleeping Duck.

Price Comparison

Mattress-in-box companies pretty much always have a deal going on, so I won’t give you exact prices. They’ll be different all the time depending on whatever deal is going on. Rest assured, my links will always take you to the freshest deal.

I’ve noticed that Sleeping Duck run less promotions than other brands, so you’re more likely to get a discount on Koala than you are on Sleeping Duck.

For a Queen size mattress you are generally going to find that Sleeping Duck is a few hundred dollars more than Koala. However, the price of both is substantially under what you’d pay in a store.

I think Sleeping Duck offers better value for money as it has more comfort layers, a better and stronger support core, and better customisations.

Customer Reviews and Feedback Comparison

At the time of writing, Sleeping Duck has an average rating of 4.81 out of 5 from 6,000+ reviews. Here’s a summary of what customers just like you think:

  • In the handful of 1 and 2 star reviews, some people said the feel of the mattress did not suit them. Unfortunately they did not elaborate on whether they’d taken Sleeping Duck up on the firmness exchanges available within the sleep trial.
  • Interestingly, some people who left 1 star reviews clearly meant to leave a better rating, because there are many that say things that are ver positive!
  • The biggest themes to come out of the positive reviews are that it’s really comfortable, it’s improved hip or back pain, it’s better than expected, customer service is great.

At the time of writing, Koala has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, from 1300+ reviewers. Here’s the summary:

  • It’s harder to find the negative reviews for Koala. You have to scroll right through all the reviews, you can’t just choose to read the negative ones like you can for Sleeping Duck.
  • People who weren’t happy either thought the mattress was not durable, or did not feel right for them.
  • Most people think the mattress is great value for money, is exactly as described, and they enjoy sleeping on it.

There isn’t really much to differentiate the two from the reviews. However, if you want to avoid feeling dissatisfied with the feel of your mattress, definitely go with Sleeping Duck, as it has more customisations and a stonger return policy than Koala.

Sleeping Duck Or Koala: Which Is Better?

Personally I would go for the Sleeping Duck because I think you’re getting more mattress for your money. I prefer coils for breathability and support, and you can customise the firmness with a lot more precision. Koala is a great mattress too though, and is one of Australia’s best rated.

Shop Koala If:

  • You want all foam (which is better for motion isolation and is lighter to maneuver)
  • You’re happy with a medium-feel mattress

Shop Sleeping Duck If:

  • You want coil support (stronger edges, better air circulation, more bounce)
  • You want to customise the firmness on each side of the mattress
  • You’d like the option to change the firmness after you’ve tried it for a while

Which Mattress Is Better For Back Pain, Sleeping Duck Or Koala?

I am not a doctor so this is purely my opinion. Both are going to do a great job of supporting your back. Both are made from foams that medical professionals generally say are good for your back.

Sleeping Duck is going to be better though, and here’s why:

  • More options to customize the feel of the foam to exactly how you need it
  • More zoning in the core of the mattress
  • Deeper layers of comfort foams

Making The Final Choice

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I believe Sleeping Duck is the best choice. After looking at the customer service and purchase policies, it’s easy to see that Sleeping Duck has the edge. Koala has a slight edge with their warranty policy, but it’s not enough to outshine the features of Sleeping Duck.

We delved into the mattress construction, and learned that Sleeping Duck is both more substantial and more customisable, for just a small amount of money more than Koala.

If you purchase one of these mattresses, please let me know what you think of it. I’d love to add your opinion to my review.

Best Overall

Sleeping Duck Mattress

Most Customizable

Better Support

Better Sleep Trial

Runner Up

Koala Mattress

Thinner Overall

Weaker Trial Policy

Better Warranty


Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.