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Construction and Layers
So, let’s begin our mattress comparison with a closer look at the construction. Both the Zinus and the LUCID are memory foam mattresses and feature three layers under the cover. But their construction is different.
I will start with the Zinus mattress:
- 2” memory foam. The Zinus uses its proprietary Biofoam infused with castor oil and green tea for better mold resistance. The foam has a good hug and is more breathable thanks to the open-cell structure.
- 3” comfort foam. This layer serves as a transition between the Biofoam layer and the base. Its main goal is to let your body weight through to the base and thus ensure proper spine alignment.
- 5” base foam layer. Made of high-density foam, this layer contributes to motion absorption and overall comfortable feel.
In addition to all of that, the Zinus has a pillow-top design, meaning its cover is quilted with an additional layer of foam. But we’ll talk about it a bit later. Check out our Zinus Green Tea Mattress Review to find more information about Zinus.
Now, the LUCID mattress:
- 3” ventilated gel memory foam. This foam, along with being infused with cooling gel, has small perforations for better airflow between the mattress layers. So, you’ll get a cooler sleep on this mattress.
- 1” charcoal-infused foam. Charcoal particles have great antimicrobial properties and prevent mold and mildew development inside the mattress. Also, this foam is a transition layer and helps the bottom layer adapt to your body shape better.
- 8” base layer. The core layer is dense and responsive but absorbs motion very well, ensuring a comfy sleep for both you and your bedmate.
As you can see, both mattresses have pretty decent construction given the price. And I can’t wait to test them to see how comfortable they are. If you also love comfortable mattresses, check out our top 10 most comfortable mattresses.
But before I tell you about different performance aspects of Zinus vs LUCID, let’s talk about the cover. It’s the element that not only holds all the layers together but also affects the feel of the mattress in the first place. Also, the cover fabric choice can impact certain mattress qualities, such as breathability, so it’s an important thing to consider.
Now, the Zinus has a cover made of polyester jacquard, a common fabric used for low-cost beds. However, as I’ve mentioned above, the cover has a pillow-top design and is quilted with foam and microfiber, so you can expect a really plush feel. Aside from that, both the jacquard fabric and the microfiber have a great moisture-wicking effect, which contributes to comfy sleep.
Also, the Zinus cover meets the OEKO-TEX 100 standards, which means that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and qualifies as eco-friendly.
The cover is non-removable, so I suggest you wrap your mattress in a waterproof mattress protector to avoid accidents and keep your warranty.
Now, the LUCID mattress is encased in the Tencel cover. Tencel is a semi-synthetic material derived from eucalyptus leaves. Along with being cozy and soft, this material can withstand years of active use and is very breathable. It even feels cool to the touch and can enhance the cooling effects of the mattress.
The LUCID cover comes with a zipper, so you may remove it and wash it. This makes mattress maintenance easy.
“Make sure to always read the law tag on your mattress, as most mattress companies upgrade their product line from time to time, so by the time you’d be reading this review, some materials might change (and hence, different cleaning instructions).”
Firmness and How It Feels
And here comes the most controversial part of my Zinus vs LUCID review — the firmness comparison.
I said ‘controversial’ because the firmness perception may significantly vary from person to person even if they are lying on the same mattress.
So I’ll try to be as unbiased as I can be here.
I will refer to the universal firmness scale which is used by most mattress brands. It has 10 points, and the mattress firmness is ranked from 1 (the softest surface you can find) to 10 (the firmest).
Note that not all mattress brands use the same ranking, so it’s better to look on their website for the firmness scale or ask the support staff just to be sure to choose the right firmness.
Now, let’s see what we’ve got here.
Having tested both mattresses, I found that they have almost the same firmness level, which is medium. The Zinus feels as 5 out of 10, and the LUCID is a bit firmer, so I would rate it as 5.5 out of 10.
This might not be noticeable for a regular user, but sometimes it can make a difference, for example, for individuals with back issues or sensitive sleepers. If you like extra firm mattresses, here are our top 5 picks.
“Medium-Firm mattresses typically suit most users, regardless of their preferred sleeping style. They have a good give and adjust to your natural spine curves without creating awkward curves.”
The ability to support and maintain your spine alignment is the main function of any mattress, regardless of its price and type. So, how do these mattresses perform here? The short answer will be: pretty well, but there are some nuances. Speaking of the Zinus mattress, it offers a uniform surface and adjusts to your sleeping style, but if you roll closer to the edges, you might feel that they are a bit weak. I’m an average-weight sleeper, but if you’re on the heavier side, you might want to look for something firmer.
The LUCID mattress, on the other hand, feels more uniform and sturdy. You can feel how it contours your spine and supports the alignment even closer to the edge. I can surely say that this mattress has almost the same levels of support on the whole surface as hybrid mattresses of the same price that I’ve tested earlier. Also, because the mattress feels a bit firmer, I can recommend it to larger sleepers. The LUCID will distribute your body weight properly and offer you just the right amount of sinkage and support.
“You can enhance the supportive properties of your mattress with a simple yet sturdy bed frame. Along with adding sturdiness, the right bed frame will also prolong the lifespan of the mattress and ensure proper airflow between its layers.”
Your partner’s movements coming from the other side of the bed can be very disruptive. If you have a restless sleeper by your side, you want to get a bed that will absorb their movements and won’t let them reach you. In this case, both you and your restless partner can sleep soundly and feel refreshed in the morning.
The good thing is, both the LUCID and the Zinus have low motion transfer. Foam comfort layers absorb motion pretty well and direct it towards the dense foam base.
I’m a pretty active sleeper myself and I tested these mattresses with my wife. She didn’t have any complaints and didn’t notice my position shifting throughout the whole testing period.
So, I think that these mattresses will make a good purchase for active sleepers and their partners.
Sinkage equals comfort to some extent.
The give of your mattress will define how closely it conforms to your body shape and hence, how well it will relax your muscles and relieve pressure in your pressure points.
Depending on your sleep position, too much or too little sinkage may not be good. But medium mattresses tend to offer a balance between sinkage and support.
Let’s check if it’s true for both of our beds.
In the Zinus mattress, the pillow-top layer and green tea memory foam are responsible for that hugging feel. They make a really deep layer to sink in, but denser foams in the foundation layer don’t allow them to create awkward curves and put your spine out of alignment.
However, for heavier users, the Zinus might feel too cradling, especially if they sleep on their stomach.
Now, the LUCID mattress features a gel memory foam top layer, which has an open-cell structure and feels more spongy because of that. Gel memory foam allows moderate sinkage, precisely contouring your body and relaxing pressure points. At the same time, the dense base layer of the mattress responds to pressure quickly, not allowing you to feel stuck in the upper layers.
Smell and Off-Gassing
The next part of my LUCID vs Zinus comparison is for sensitive sleepers. Yes, I’ll speak about odors. And here’s a little disclaimer I should make: Both the LUCID and the Zinus are mattresses in a box, which means they arrive in a compressed state and need some time to inflate to their initial volume after you open the seal. Molecules of smell are volatile, so when the air starts to fill the foam pores, it will push these molecules right into your bedroom air. So yes, you might smell something at first. The good news is, when the bedtime approaches, your mattress — be it the Zinus or the LUCID — is likely to be totally odorless and ready to sleep on. At least, these were the results of my test. Along with that, the Zinus mattress features green tea foam, which has a subtle scent that can mask the residual chemical odor so that it wouldn’t bother you.
The LUCID mattress initially was less smelly because of the layer of charcoal foam that can absorb other odors. It became completely odorless a couple of hours after we unpacked it.
Both the LUCID and the Zinus mattresses fall into a low-cost category, with the latter being a bit cheaper. If you’re buying through Amazon, you may catch a discount.
“Note that LUCID offers a wider range of sizes, including Twin XL and California King.”
Something Else to Note
The Zinus is available in three thicknesses. I was testing the 12-inch option, but you can also choose an 8-inch or 10-inch mattress. I think that this makes the Zinus a perfect purchase for a kid’s bedroom or a guest room.
The LUCID has two firmness levels: medium and medium-plush, so if you want more of that cradling feel, I suggest you go with the latter.
Recommendations and Takeaways
Since every mattress is made with a certain type of user in mind, I think it will be good to end my LUCID vs Zinus comparison with brief takeaways on whom each mattress will be the most suitable for.
So, let’s begin with the LUCID. You’ll more likely sleep great on this mattress if:
- You’re a hot sleeper. The layer of gel memory foam will dissipate heat, and the Tencel cover will help wick away moisture and enhance the airflow.
- You’re a combo side and back sleeper. The feel of the LUCID can ensure nice cradling and pain relief in any position. If you’re a mixed side and back sleeper, you’ll love this mattress.
- You live in humid climates. The layer of charcoal foam will ward off moisture and prevent mold development, and the Tencel cover will promote the airflow.
- You have joint pain. The LUCID has pretty good give, but it won’t make you feel trapped in the mattress layer. This means you’ll have no problem shifting positions, which is great for someone with joint pain or limited mobility.
As for the Zinus, I think this bed will be most suitable for:
- Side sleepers. The Zinus has a pillow-top and a really cushioning layer of green tea memory foam. It can create a soft cloud and relieve the pressure in your hips and shoulders in no time.
- Restless sleepers and their partners. The motion absorption of this mattress is on point. So, if you share a bed with an active sleeper, it will really help you get uninterrupted sleep.
- Sensitive sleepers. The green tea scent masks all the unwanted odors, including chemical memory foam smell, and feels pretty subtle and relaxing, which can aid you in falling asleep more quickly.
- Guest rooms. The Zinus is on the cheaper side but offers great comfort levels, so it makes a perfect pick for occasional sleep.
Despite having a similar foam construction, the Zinus and the LUCID mattress are made for different users. What I can surely say, though, is that they’re literally worth every dollar on the price tag and will support you for years to come. I genuinely enjoyed sleeping on both mattresses, but the LUCID bed feels a bit better for me. It’s breathable, more supportive for my weight and sleeping style, and deals with my active sleeping pretty well — no complaints from my wife. However, I would love to read your opinions on this comparison. Which mattress has your final vote? Write below!