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How Koala’s mattress technology innovations are unlocking better sleep

In an exclusive interview, James Whitta, Vice President of Product & Design shared insights into Koala's journey, ethos & the latest advancements in mattress technology

Founded just eight years ago by childhood friends, Mitch Taylor and Dany Milham, Koala the revolutionary mattress start-up, has swiftly risen to prominence. A trusted, customer centric manufacturer and supplier, the company is redefining the standards of comfort, sustainability, and design in the bedroom.

At the helm of Koala’s ground breaking developments is James Whitta, the Vice President of Product & Design. Currently the longest-serving member of the Koala executive team, he is responsible for the physical product range expansion and transformation. His illustrious career spans more than two decades in furniture design.

This article was published in the new Autumn edition of AccomNews available now. Read it HERE

In an exclusive interview with AccomNews, Mr Whitta shared insights into Koala’s journey, ethos, and the latest advancements in mattress technology. A visionary approach to comfort and sustainability An innovative mattress company, Koala designs and builds high quality products that will last, made as much as possible, from sustainable materials.

James Whitta, Vice President of Product & Design, Koala

This clear vision and product strategy have been instrumental to the company’s success. Part of Koala’s stratospheric rise was achieved by providing its retail customers with convenient delivery windows, live tracking on delivery, and a 120-day trial of its mattress.

Koala’s promise to its customers that, “If you’re not sold by 120 nights, you can return your product, and even if you’ve used it you’ll get a full refund on your purchase,” is aimed at achieving customer satisfaction, as well as gathering constructive criticism of the products. If returning a mattress, customers are invited to complete a questionnaire detailing their experience with the product.

Koala values this feedback and considers it to be essential information that continues to provide insights into what their customers want and how their product is developed. The questionnaire makes sure the company is always aware of what its customers are looking for and can work to address any shortfalls in the designs.

Koala was founded with a vision to provide unparalleled sleep comfort. Equally important, though, is a commitment to environmental sustainability, and focus on social responsibility. That is why the mattress company is named after the koala, the iconic Australian animal that is in a lot of trouble in New South Wales and Queensland due to the removal of its habitat. Koala (the company) donates one percent of sales towards environmental causes, and donates to wildlife adoption programs with customers “adopting” a koala.

Mr Whitta explained: “At Koala, the environment is at the centre of why it exists. Our pledge to protect the koala and remove it from the endangered list by 2030 is a crucial part of our agenda.

“However, it is also a very small part of our sustainable story.”

A commitment to excellence and eco-consciousness permeates every aspect of Koala’s operations. Not content with merely rafting exceptional mattresses, Koala integrates sustainability into its core business model, from ethical sourcing to end-of-life recycling.

“Our mattresses are not just designed for comfort; they’re crafted with a conscience,” Mr Whitta said. “We take a holistic view of sustainability, starting with an ethical supply chain and sourcing, including low water usage and no nasty chemicals, but just as important is what happens with our mattresses at the end of life. We are very proud that Koala’s returned mattresses are recycled.” Koala’s innovative recycling initiatives are leading the charge toward a greener future. Indeed, 95 percent of all Koala’s returned products avoid landfill. Mr Whitta explained: “If we can’t resell the product, it can be broken down and used as carpet underlay. Furthermore, we have a long-term goal to keep it all out of landfill.”


Innovating for better sleep

Koala’s dedication to innovation extends beyond sustainability to the very fabric of its mattresses. “We’re constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to unlock better sleep for our customers,” Mr Whitta said.

At the forefront of this is Koala’s relentless pursuit of emerging technologies and materials. “We’re not content with the status quo, our mattresses are designed to adapt to the body’s needs, providing the perfect balance of support and comfort,” he said.

From advanced cooling technologies to zero disturbance features, every element of Koala’s mattresses is meticulously crafted to enhance the sleep experience. Recognising the importance of quality sleep in the hospitality industry Koala has now expanded its reach to accommodate the needs of hotels and accommodations.

“Guests deserve the same level of comfort they enjoy at home,” Mr Whitta said. “B partnering with hotels, we’re bringing the Koala experience to a broader audience.

“Koala has successfully unlocked better sleep for its customers, it is a beloved Aussie mattress brand, and it made perfect sense to expand our reach.

“It is a win-win for the accommodation industry, guests, and Koala. Guests ar a captive audience, they seek a luxurious night’s sleep, and hotels can give them the gift of a Koala sleep experience.”

Mr Whitta explained. “At Koala, we want as many people to try our mattresses as possible. We stand behind what we do and are confident that when they try our mattresses, they will love them!

“Then they can order the mattress they love and have it delivered to their home, just in time for their return.”

He says it’s the design and build of the mattress that sets Koala apart. “From the basic mattress to our commercial range and bespoke models, we are always looking for new materials to unlock better sleep. In fact, I have just returned from a global innovation summit, discovering exciting new technologies.

“Our business model and ambitious mindset make us more responsive than many other bed manufacturers. We are always building on technology, and we love being thrown curveballs.” The range of Koala’s mattresses for the accommodation industry includes an upgraded commercial version of th most popular and most loved Koala mattress, one of the most 5-star reviewed mattresses in Australia. This mattress is budget-friendly but with all the major features of a commercial mattress. Koala has also launched a new luxury mattress, with “dialled up luxury credentials,” Mr Whitta said.


Koala’s latest creations

Building on its legacy of excellence, Koala has unveiled the Koala Plus Mattress and a yet-to-be-revealed product born from two years of intensive research and development. The Koala Plus Mattress epitomise luxury and comfort, boasting a seasonal topper for year round cosiness and innovative heat-adaptive technology.

“Koala mattresses aren’t just products; they’re experiences,” Mr Whitta told us.

“With features like CoolThread™ technology and superior support zones, our mattresses elevate sleep to an art form.”

A sustainable choice for hospitality

Globally, there is an increased guest demand for more sustainable ways to travel and places to stay. Hotels and accommodations are under pressure to reduce their property’s impact on the environment. Increasingly, guests look behind the marketing rhetoric of hotels and accommodations and want to see concrete examples of sustainability in action. Koala provides this with GECA (Good Environmental Choice Australia) certification, Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector sustainability and environmental certification program, alongside a commitment to ethical manufacturing.

The company provides sustainable bedding solutions without compromising on quality or comfort.

Looking ahead

As Koala continues to innovate and redefine the boundaries of sleep technology, what remains constant: is an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and its environmental stewardship.

“We’re not just selling mattresses; we’re selling a promise of better sleep and a brighter future,” concluded Mr Whitta.

In an industry plagued by conformity, Koala stands as a beacon of innovation and sustainability, reshaping the way we sleep, one mattress at a time.

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