What Is A Bed In A Box?
What is a bed in a box? It sounds strange doesn’t it! The short answer is, it’s a mattress that comes rolled up in a box, which you then open, let expand, and sleep on!
I think it’s name is a play on that classic children’s’ toy: the Jack in a Box, which springs out of its box to give giggly children a surprise. Mattresses in a box tend to pop out of their boxes and start expanding quickly, so that’s why it draws the comparison. Further down the post, you’ll see a fun action video of a mattress expanding.
Back before we were even really aware of the concept of a bed in a box, (and long before I started this site) we ordered our oldest child his first “big bed” online. We bought from a local company that had great prices, free delivery and a great reviews from other parents. We went ahead and ordered him a bed frame, and a mattress to go on top. We assumed the mattress would just be delivered as a big bulky piece, just in plastic and ready to go into place as it was.
We were more than a little surprised to discover that the mattress actually came rolled up inside a box! We had never conceived of that, and worried that it might not be a good mattress. How could it be, after being rolled up in a box like that?! Turns out the mattress expanded to it’s expected size quickly, and our boy absolutely loves sleeping on it.
What Kind of Mattresses Are Sold In Boxes?
Thanks to the evolution of the roll pack machine, most mattress types can compacted down for shipping in a box. The three most popular types for every day use are:
- memory foam mattress
- latex mattress
- hybrid mattress (this mattress type contains both coils and memory foam/latex)
These mattress types all have their pros and cons, and most people can find a mattress that works very well for them within this range.
My personal preference is a hybrid mattress, because I prefer the support of coils over foam, but like the feel foam or latex can give as a comfort layer. They are also good air circulation and strong edges.
Where Can I Buy A Good Mattress In A Box?
Rather than being sold in traditional stores, you’ll find mattresses in boxes online.
The industry has really exploded lately, and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
I recommend you look for the following basic criteria when buying a mattress online:
- A good warranty of at least 10 years
- A sleep trial of more than 30 nights (it is important for you to be able to try a mattress risk free to see if it works for you: this article compares a memory foam mattress and a hybrid mattress that BOTH have a whole year sleep trial)
- Good customer service: it can feel impersonal buying a mattress online, it is a product we really feel we need to interact with when we purchase, and there is a human element to that. Look for a company that is very responsive to their customers and goes above and beyond to help them out (the best example from my reviews is SnugglePedic: even the small handful of customers who don’t end up liking their mattress can’t help but rave about how great their service is).
Amazon can be a great place to buy a mattress, we trust them when we make many purchasing decisions, and they have a great range of mattresses. Read my article about buying a mattress on Amazon here.
How Do I Use My Mattress In A Box?
It’s really simple, but these key steps will help you get the most from your mattress:
- Open it up to expand as soon as you can (leaving the mattress in its box for more than a few days can lead to decompression issues where the mattress does not expand evenly – if this did happen you’d get an instant replacement though)
- Ventilate the room the mattress is expanding in to get rid of any odor (most will have a slight odor from both the packaging and from the mattress materials expanding, this is normal and harmless)
- Use a breathable mattress protector (this will help keep your mattress clean, which you will need to do for warranty purposes, and allow you to make the most of the technologies within your mattress: a non-breathable protector will negate any cooling properties your mattress may have)
- Rotate your mattress regularly to allow even wear and to maximize its life
- Don’t be afraid to contact the company you bought it from if you have any issues. I see many people complaining that because the mattress won’t fit back in its box that they can’t return it. This is not the case at all. If you need to return your mattress within its trial period, the company must help you with this. If you find the mattress uncomfortable they might even help you to make it more comfortable for free (SnugglePedic, who I referenced above, are particularly awesome for this)
Here’s a short video from popular mattress manufacturer Zinus to show you how to unbox your new mattress:
Lots Of People Enjoy Buying Beds In Boxes
People have fun with their beds in boxes. They are (generally) MUCH cheaper than mattresses you buy in store, and can be more comfortable. Many mattress in box companies use high quality materials to make their mattresses, but you get a great price still, because you are not paying for the upkeep of a store.
I have seen loads reviews where people have delighted in getting the mattress out of the box and watching it expand, watch the video above to see this in action!
If you think a bed in a box sounds like something that could work well for you but want to do more research, I recommend you read my article about buying a mattress online or my mattress buying guide. Alternatively, you can go straight to my bed in a box reviews (the good and the bad) here.