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This all-foam mattress by Zoma may seem similar to many popular models.
However, it does have a somewhat unconventional design.
In today’s Zoma Start mattress review, we will discover what makes this model stand out from the crowd and whether it’s worth investing in. We will also find out how this mattress sleeps and who it can be best for. I’m excited to share what we’ve learned about the Zoma Start mattress, so let’s dive right in!
Read more about how we rate and test here.
Weight (Queen Size)
Compressed and rolled in a box
3-7 business days
The first aspect this Zoma Start mattress review will focus on is the cover, as this part of the mattress is extra-close to the sleeper’s body. Such close contact means you should be aware of the fabric’s properties and how they may affect you.
The first great thing about the Zoma Start's cover is its color. The fabric is dark, which means stains will be less visible on this mattress. You won’t have to wash the cover very often, and, consequently, the fabric will be more durable.
Just like many famous mattresses (the Nectar, for example), the Zoma Start uses polyester for the cover.
However, what sets this model apart is adding a bit of spandex to the fabric. This makes the Zoma Start's cover more adaptive. When the pressure is applied, the cover fabric stretches and springs back to its shape fast when the sleeper gets up. As a result, I did not notice any body impressions when testing this mattress.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Zoma Start's cover has an aerated design. In other words, there are tiny air holes all over the fabric. Such a design is meant to help with thermoregulation and wicking moisture. So, it’s worth mentioning that the Zoma Start mattress didn’t cause me to overheat, and the cover had a lot to do with that. I think that the air channels somewhat counteracted the polyester fabric (which isn’t very breathable itself).
You should also know that the Zoma Start's cover is removable. However, once you take the cover off, the mattress layers will be protected only by a thin layer of fabric. This means the mattress materials will be exposed. That’s why it’s better to keep the Zoma Start mattress out of kids’ or pets’ reach while the cover is being washed.
On the bright side, a removable cover means that it’s easier for allergy-prone sleepers to maintain a clean environment. You can easily get rid of dust, pet fur, pollen, and other allergens by removing the cover and throwing it in a washing machine.
Construction of Zoma Start mattress
The next section of our Zoma Start mattress review will be dedicated to the construction of this model.
The Zoma Start uses three foam layers, each of which has unique properties:
- Zoned comfort layer. This layer uses gel-infused memory foam. It has the traditional hugging feel memory foam is famous for, which helps with pressure redistribution. The gel particles do their job well, as I didn’t experience night sweats even when lying on one side and sinking a bit deeper into the mattress. However, what sets the Zoma Start apart from most memory foam models is its zoned design. The top layer has three sections that respond differently to applied pressure. The middle area is slightly firmer, offering more support for the body’s midsection. It helped my hips align properly with the rest of the spine, resulting in zero back tension (even after a long day of slouching at my desk).
- Transition Reactiv™ layer. The transition layer feels more like latex than memory foam, in my opinion. It responds to applied pressure quite fast and nicely balances out the slow-moving top layer. The transition foam also makes shifting in bed much easier. Memory foam mattresses tend to feel somewhat restricting (especially softer models like the Puffy), which can be an issue for combination sleepers. However, I did not have such an issue with the Zoma Start mattress. Moving and changing positions was effortless, thanks to the resilient transition layer.
- Support layer. The support base of the Zoma Start mattress uses extra-dense foam to deliver reliable performance. This thick layer gives extra stability to the whole mattress. I also noticed that it helped absorb shock from motion, making the Zoma Start mattress suited for couples.
- Inner cover. All of the Zoma Start's layers are wrapped in thin, see-through fabric (which reminded me of gauze). This inner cover sits under the main outer cover, adding a light layer of protection when the out cover is being washed.
I would also like to add that the Zoma Start mattress turned out to be considerably lighter than many memory foam competitors I’ve tested. This model also took significantly less time to expand. While most memory foam mattresses take around 12-24 hours to expand fully, the Zoma Start was ready for use in about an hour.
When I first received the Zoma Start, I only noticed minimal off-gassing once taken out of the box, which is better than most other models I’ve tested, so I rated it 10.
Another important part of this Zoma Start mattress review is the level of firmness that it offers. Now, firmness is subjective and often depends on the sleeper’s weight. Nonetheless, this aspect is crucial, as it may affect both the comfort and support the mattress provides.
As an average sleeper, I would rate the Zoma Start mattress 6.5-7 on the firmness scale (with 10 being the stiffest). The top layer delivers soft cradling, while the bouncy transition and sturdy base layers offer reasonable support. Such a construction makes the Zoma Start a medium-firm mattress.
To me, an average sleeper, the Zoma Start mattress seemed very balanced. I would say it can offer an optimal firmness level and a very comfortable sleeping surface. However, this model may seem a tad too soft for heavier sleepers or those who prefer stiffer mattresses.
Lying on the Zoma Start felt like a 6.5 on the firmness scale, soft enough for pressure relief but still supporting the spine. So, I give it a rating of 9.5.
Edge support is something many users underestimate. However, stronger edges can offer more sleeping space and a little boost when getting out of bed.
Now, most memory foam mattresses lack edge support. That’s why I didn’t expect much from the Zoma Start mattress.
To my surprise, this model showed decent results. Yes, the foam compressed significantly when sitting on the edge, but I didn’t feel like I was going to fall or slide forward. Additionally, when sleeping near the edge, I received adequate support and didn’t feel like I was about to roll off. This means the Zoma Start can offer more sleeping space, which is especially handy for couples.
At the same time, I think heavier sleepers might not get enough support when lying near the edge, so they should be careful and not get too close to prevent rolling off the bed.
When I was sitting, I measured the compressions of the mattress at around 4.4 inches. This compression level is a little bit too much, but not enough to interfere with getting in and out of bed. For heavier sleepers, the compression level increased to about 5.2 inches, which may not provide enough support for heavier sleepers lying on the edge.
The Zoma Start comes with a quite good edge support as an all-foam mattress, which I measured at 4.4 inches, earning it a rating of 9.
Motion Transfer of Zoma Start mattress
The next crucial characteristic of any mattress is motion transfer. Excellent motion isolation is especially important for couples. After all, no one wants to wake up every time their partner moves in a bed.
Now, I was happy to discover that the Zoma Start mattress managed to absorb shock from motion very well. Even though the transition layer is pretty responsive, the soft comfort layer and the extra-sturdy support base allow the Zoma Start to prevent motion transfer.
I tested the Zoma Start mattress with my wife, who is smaller than me and usually wakes up when I move in bed. The Zoma Start allowed me to shift as much as I wanted without disturbing her, which says a lot about this mattress’s motion-absorbing properties.
The Zoma Start had the glass of water shaking at around 5 inches, which is quite close to the average, so I’ve rated it 9.
Zoma Start has moderately good sinkage, although it does feel softer than other mattresses I’ve tested, such as Plank and Puffy; I measured Zoma Start's compressions at about 2.07 inches. This means that although Zoma Start has enough give to deliver pressure relief, I never felt like I would sink too deeply into the layers and become unsupported.
The Zoma Start has about 2.07 inches of sinkage from our tests, which is enough for pressure relief while being a little less than the average for our tests, earning a rating of 9.5.
When reviewing Zoma Start, I found it never exceeded uncomfortably hot temperatures and only reached a max temperature of 84.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This was mainly due to its breathable cover and partially due to the gel memory foam below with cut channels, meaning that Zoma Start is fairly good at dispersing heat and helped me stay comfortable and sweat-free.
To better understand how we get our numbers, we’ve laid out exactly how we test mattresses so you can choose your mattress confidently.
The Zoma Start sleeps a bit cooler than other models we’ve tested, which I’ve measured at 84.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and have rated it a 9.
Despite being an all-foam model, Zoma Start provides a moderately fast response time. I measured Zoma Start's response time to be about 0.35 seconds for a mainly recovered shape, and 0.8 for a fully recovered shape. This means you’ll feel a bit of a hug and body compressions in the foam when you change sleeping positions, but nothing will feel like you’re getting stuck in the bed.
With a measured bounce-back from compressions at 0.8 seconds, the Zoma Start is slow enough to cradle the body but will still give you support, earning it a rating of 9.
Bounce is a critical factor in whether a mattress will support you, or feel like quicksand for fast movements. From my bounce tests, I recorded about a 2.5 inch gap between the mattress and my testing object. The top of my testing object reached a max height of around 8.45 inches from its compression value of about 6 inches. That means Zoma Start is a suitable candidate if you want the ease of movement in bed, especially for fast movements.
With a bounce measured at 8.45 for the Zoma Start, 8.5 is the rating I gave, as this is enough bounce for fast and easy movement across the mattress surface.
Mixing my previous bounce, cooling, and edge support tests, I gauged whether or not Zoma Start would work for couples. With a decently high bounce value of 8.45 inches, along with a moderately cool temperature of 84.5 degrees, and edge support measured at about 4.4 inches, Zoma Start would be a suitable option. There is enough bounce to allow for fast movements; however, the edge support is a bit lacking, which may be something to keep in mind.
Putting together the scores for Bounce and Edge Support, the Zoma Start would be a suitable option for couples at a rating of 9, as it also has a reasonably good cooling effect.
Zoma Start offers 4 inches of comfort material and 8 inches of supportive material underneath. That means there are four inches of cushioning comfort to sink into, along with a zoned support top layer, and I felt a generous hug while testing this mattress in various sleeping positions. Sleeping on my side was exceptionally comfortable, and I didn’t feel any pressure build up in my shoulders or hips.
How Zoma Start mattress Feels for Different Types of Sleepers
The next aspect I want to discuss is how the Zoma Start mattress performs for people with different sleep position preferences. The thing is, many people don’t realize that one mattress cannot work for all sleeping styles. And even if a mattress is considered perfectly comfy, it might not work for some people.
Now, here’s how the Zoma Start mattress works for different types of sleepers:
- Back sleepers. This mattress felt very balanced when I was lying on my back. The center zone of the comfort layer is slightly firmer, so it didn’t allow the hips to sink in too deep and, thus, kept my spine relatively straight. I didn’t experience any tension build-up and felt perfectly comfortable overall. Therefore, I believe the Zoma Start would be an excellent choice for back sleepers.
- Side sleepers. The Zoma Start offers a great deal of a hug when lying on one side. It adjusts to the body’s curves and helps the pressure to spread out evenly. I also appreciate how gently the top layer cradled my shoulders. I didn’t feel any sharp pressure points and slept like a baby on one side.
- Stomach sleepers. Because the middle section of the Zoma Start's comfort layer is firmer, it made me feel supported enough when lying on the stomach. It might seem a bit soft for heavier individuals, but overall, the Zoma Start can deliver decent support in this sleep position. So, it’s really a matter of preference, whether you want a firm sleeping surface or don’t mind something plushier.
- Combination sleepers. Despite the hugging top layer, the Zoma Start doesn’t feel restricting and allows combination sleepers to switch positions without much effort.
Sleeping Positions: Summary
|Side Sleepers||I felt properly cradled while on my side; Zoma Start would work great for side sleepers.|
|Back Sleepers||The center zone of the Zoma Start gave me better spinal support while lying on my back, making Zoma Start a good choice for back sleepers.|
|Stomach Sleepers||I felt supported enough while lying on my stomach, but if you prefer a firmer surface, Zoma Start may be a bit too soft for this position.|
Other Important Information
Now, I would also like to mention a couple of technical details in this Zoma Start mattress review. After all, they all can affect one’s shopping experience.
First of all, it’s worth noting that the Zoma Start mattress comes with a 10-year warranty. Such coverage is relatively standard on the market, but it’s not the best warranty duration. Just to compare, the Nectar (which is also an all-foam mattress) comes with a lifetime warranty and an extended sleep trial (365 days compared to Zoma’s 100 days).
At the same time, shoppers should remember that the Zoma Start mattress is more affordable than many similar competitors. This model costs only $799 for a Queen, which is $100 cheaper than the Nolah and $150 cheaper than the all-foam Puffy mattress.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Zoma Start is made using CertiPUR-US certified foams. That’s probably why this model had only minimal off-gassing upon arrival. As a matter of fact, I noticed it only when moving my nose close to the mattress’s surface. Otherwise, I couldn’t detect the off-gassing.
The Zoma Start mattress isn’t perfect, and it has its drawbacks. Nonetheless, this model has a lot to offer, including adaptive support, effective pressure relief, and durable construction. Additionally, it’s a medium-soft model that will work for a wide variety of sleepers and different styles.
- Zoned top layer for adaptive comfort;
- Removable cover for easy cleaning (plus, the cover is dark and more durable, as it won’t show stains that much and, consequently, won’t require frequent washes);
- Excels at tension alleviation;
- Absorbs shock from motion well;
- Isn’t likely to sleep hot;
- Excellent value for money (cheaper than many competitors but can boast of exceptional quality);
- Good edge support.
- Might not be supportive enough for heavier individuals (especially stomach sleepers);
- Some slight off-gassing might be present upon unpacking (however, it should dissipate within around an hour).