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Product Review: The Ritz Paris by Airweave Travel Mattress Topper

April 29, 2018
10 min read
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When I first started carrying the Ritz Paris Collection by Airweave Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad with me, I'd joke about "accidentally forgetting it." To be honest, I was skeptical about the worth of carrying a mattress pad — regardless of its quality — around the world.

I've lived on the road full time since July 2017. As someone who travels a lot and has chronic back pain, I'm a great candidate to use and benefit from a travel-friendly mattress pad. Here's my take after trying out the Ritz Paris Collection by Airweave Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad for about two months.

The Specs

Airweave offers two Ritz Paris Collection products for travelers: the Traveler DUAL MODE and the Portable DUAL MODE. The Portable DUAL MODE is a one-size mattress topper for home or hotel use while the Traveler DUAL MODE is a specially designed mattress pad for airline seats. Both come with blue carrying cases. For this review, I tested out the Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad that's specifically designed for use with airline seats.

The Ritz Paris Collection. Traveler in front, Portable in back.
The Ritz Paris Collection. Traveler in front, Portable in back.

According to Airweave's website, the Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad is 19.7 inches by 66.9 inches by 1.18 inches when flat and 10.6 inches by 20.9 inches when rolled. However, I noticed no width difference between when it was rolled and flat — perhaps they're accounting for the carrying bag when rolled.

Together with the carrying bag, the Traveler weights 5.5 pounds. The cushion is 100% polyethylene and the quilt mesh is 55% polyester and 45% cotton. The batting and lining are both 100% polyester.

The Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad features firmer airfiber density at the lower back for added support when seated. The DUAL MODE terminology means that users can choose between a soft and firm surface by deciding which side to face upwards. Additionally, since this product is designed to be used onboard aircraft, the bag and product meet TSA standards for carry-on luggage.

The Story

Before we go any further, I should mention that this mattress pad is constructed differently than most mattress pads. If you unzip the quilt mesh, you'll find looped and intertwined fibers. This is an integral part of the Airweave brand and story.

Airweave was founded in 2004 when Motokuni Takaoka took over his uncle’s fishing line company. After experimenting with different applications of the resin fiber that’s used to create fishing line, Mr. Takaoka discovered that this material could "reinvent the mattress industry and revolutionize the way we sleep." The first line of Airweave top mattresses became a hit in Japan in late 2007.

Since then, Airweave has produced additional products. These products are used by numerous well-respected organizations and brands including:

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  • The Ritz Paris: guests can request an Airweave top mattress for their room
  • Andaz 5th Avenue in New York: Airweave top mattresses are outfitted within select suites and available upon request in other rooms
  • The Kitano Hotel New York: Select suites are outfitted with Airweave mattresses and top mattresses while guests in any room may request an Airweave top mattress
  • British Olympic runners: British runners are supplied an Airweave Portable top mattress
  • Japan Airlines: Custom-designed Airweave top mattresses, pillows and blankets are available in business class and first class on select Japan Airlines international flights
airweave products in JAL First Class.
Airweave products in JAL First Class.

Airweave also supported the US Ski and Snowboard team at the 2018 Winter Olympics as the team's Official Bedding Supplier. In total, 120 Airweave DUAL MODE Portables (not currently for sale, but similar to the Portable or the Ritz Paris Portable DUAL MODE), 40 mattresses and 100 pillows made their way with the team to the winter Olympics in South Korea.

Bronze medalist Arielle Gold with airweave products.
Bronze medalist Arielle Gold with her Airweave products.

The Look

The Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad is light gray on both sides with a small blue tag on each side indicating whether the surface is soft or firm.

If you unzip the mattress pad, you can see the Airfiber technology and material that makes up the core of the mattress pad.

airfiber construction inside the Traveler.
Airfiber construction inside the Traveler.

The mattress pad easily rolls up and can be secured using two straps before stowing it away in its carry bag. I was initially worried that it would be difficult to repack the mattress pad, but it was never problematic.

The carry bag is blue with white lettering. There's a handle and a shoulder strap to make carrying easy.

The Road Test

I carried the Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad while traveling for about two months. The mattress pad is designed for use on airplane seats. The pad provides extra comfort when in lie-flat mode, but not significantly more than the mattress topper I've been provided in business class on American Airlines between Dallas (DFW) and Hong Kong (HKG). Granted, passengers often aren't provided mattress pads in business class.

When sitting up, the mattress pad is comfortable enough until you shift or get up. Then, it has a tendency to fall out of place. Adding something to keep it in place against the seat back would be a big improvement. At a width of 19.7 inches, the Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad is too wide to use in all economy and some premium economy cabins since it'll overflow into the aisle and/or a neighbor's seat.

Admittedly, my main use of the mattress pad wasn't on airplanes: since I was already carrying it, I decided to start using it as a mattress pad on hotel beds. Using it in this manner was reminiscent of camping — the mattress pad is about the same width and length as a camping sleeping pad — but I found that I did sleep better and my back was less painful. Indeed, the mattress pad turned a very soft torturous-to-my-back bed into a bed I could sleep in and not be in pain the next day.

After it sat in the corner for a few days, I decided to use it in the hotels too.
After it sat in the corner for a few days, I decided to use it in the hotels too.

However, using the Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad on hotel beds isn't ideal. It's too narrow and if you aren't perfectly still all night it doesn't remain flat. Additionally, the zipper can be uncomfortable. But even with these complaints, I continued to prefer using the hard surface on the mattress pad instead of sleeping directly on the hotel beds because my sleep and back pain were both improved.

The Traveler on a twin bed. Photo by the author.
The Traveler on a twin bed at a hostel in Sydney, Australia. Photo by the author.

At the end of two months, the exterior quilt certainly isn't as crisp. But the inner fibers held up well and seemingly provided the same support the first night as the last. The carry bag performed excellently, showing no noticeable wear in the two months.

The Details

Airweave products are made in Japan but US customers can buy products at The Ritz Paris Collection by Airweave Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad sells for $590. Although this price tag hurt my budget-friendly heart, the Traveler DUAL MODE is easy to carry and does make uncomfortable and soft beds bearable. When planning to stay at a hotel, AirBnB or friend's house, it can be difficult to gauge the softness and quality of the bed before arrival. After ending up in urgent care after sleeping in a particularly soft bed at a friend's house, the Traveler allowed me to sleep in this bed pain-free on my next visit.

Shipping is free to the 48 contiguous states for this product and you can expect it to arrive within 7 business days after placing an order. Each Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad comes with a free 100-night trial and a three-year warranty. If you decide to purchase an Airweave, make sure to use a credit card that has extended warranty purchase protection to get a warranty extension.

The Takeaway

The Airweave Traveler DUAL MODE mattress pad is one more thing to carry while traveling. I mainly didn't use it as intended, but I did use it almost daily for two months. I would've continued carrying and using it if I didn't now have my hands full carrying my pet around Europe.

The author with the Airweave Traveler in Australia. Photo by JT Genter.

If use on the aircraft and carry-on size aren't important to you, the $570 Portable or $1,060 Portable DUAL MODE might be better. Either of the Portable models would likely be more comfortable than the Traveler for sleeping during trips and at home. This being said, those who don't have back pain and aren't picky sleepers may not see the value in purchasing and taking either product with them.

Except as noted, all images courtesy of Airweave.