Guest Post:
The Kala Sleep Experience: by Dean Karnazes
Published February 23, 2017 by Dean Karnazes
Written by Dean Karnazes
Feb 23, 2017
  • Dean Karnazes
  • Guest Blog
  • Kala Sleep
  • Ultramarathon

Dean describes his experience with the Kala mattress, and it includes forklifts, the Incredible Hulk, bean sprouts, and the Virgin Airlines Dreamliner.

I must admit, the thought of having a mattress delivered in a box was a bit unsettling. Mattresses are substantial things. Big, bulky, hefty objects. Getting a new one requires legions of men. Union contracts. Eighteen wheelers. Forklifts. The idea of having my mailman drop off a mattress seemed somewhat implausible.

But that’s exactly what happened (technically he was a UPS driver, but you get my point). The box was indeed heavy, as I imagined it would be, though not unmovable. I hauled it to my bedroom and opened the box, which was the equivalent of handing the Incredible Hulk a protein shake. The thing sprang to life, bulging and expanding. It looked like one of my son’s Transformer toys (it even made strange noises as it grew). Watching the process reminding me of one of those time-lapsed videos you see on the Discovery Channel, one where a bean sprout hatches from its seedling and develops into a full-blown plant over the course of, like, three and a half seconds.

It looked like one of my son’s Transformer toys (it even made strange noises as it grew).

Once fully expanded, the aesthetics were unexpectedly pleasant to the eye. The mattress was covered in a plush, two-toned felt-like material with a vibrant pinstripe running full-length around its perimeter. This accent seemed to glow, like the aisle lights on Virgin Airlines new Dreamliner. The mattress looked so pretty I wanted to sleep on it just the way it was—without a mattress cover—but my wife said that would be gross.

Kala mattresses come in three firmnesses. I choose medium firmness, which pretty much felt like a medium firmness mattress should (i.e., not too pillowy and not too rigid). The construction of the Kala mattresses is what sets it apart. Structural memory foam provides the foundation. Covering that is something they refer to as an “AirString” top layer. This material looks like the exoskeleton of some prehistoric creature. The manufacturer claims that this complex AirString matrix gives the bed a higher degree of breathability than most other mattresses and provides for zero gravity body positioning when sleeping. Crowning this masterpiece is an ultra soft zippered top cover that allows for customizable firmness.

While all of this sounds well and good, “The proof’s in the pudding,” as the saying goes. It was time to take my Kala mattress on a test drive.

The mattress lived up to its promises. As an athlete, I take sleep seriously. High quality sleep matters to me. A lot. The Kala mattress kept my body cool and comfortable. There were no noticeable pressure points and the mattress naturally cradled my body without engulfing me. Overall I had a very favorable impression of the mattress and it outperformed many of the others I’ve slept on that are priced considerably higher. Now, I must disclose that I was paid by the company to attend their launch party, but this story was not part of that agreement, nor am I being compensated to write it (for what it’s worth). I honestly would have no reservations recommending a Kala mattress to a friend or colleague; I’m confident they would like it, too.

Whether the company can make a go of it or not is anybody’s guess. The shippable mattress world is becoming increasingly competitive. But Kala technology is superior to anything else I’ve seen or tested. They also offer an unconditional 100-night money back guarantee (though getting the thing stuffed back into the box may require the Incredible Hulks’ assistance).

Thankfully they haven’t asked for mine back yet. If they do, I’ll fight like the Incredible Hulk to keep it.


Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathoner living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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