In 2007, Tennessee machinist Bill Bradley founded the first bed-in-a-box company. He created a way to compress foam mattresses and roll them small enough to fit into a shipping box.
Today, bed-in-a-box mattresses are gaining in popularity. Available in foam and hybrid options, the cool gel memory foam mattress and other choices are often cheaper than traditional mattresses and easier to move. And with the opportunity to try this type of mattress in your home for up to 120 days, you can truly experience the difference a good mattress can make on your sleep quality. Here’s how to make an informed decision about which bed-in-a-box is right for you.
Choose a Mattress
Typical bed-in-a-box mattresses are available in foam or hybrid materials with various features like cooling gel, motion control and washable covers. The options are almost endless, so take your time and decide which type of mattress you want.
The right mattress accommodates your side, back or stomach sleep position, offers supportive firmness and is big enough for both you and your sleeping partner. Also, note if the mattress provides stability, motion control and temperature regulation throughout the night. It should be durable enough to withstand the general mattress lifespan of seven to 10 years, too.
Take the Test and Rest Challenge
Gone are the days of comparing a dozen mattresses in a showroom as you decide which one’s right for you. Even if you lay on prospective mattresses for 10 to 15 minutes, you still may be uncertain about which option will offer all-night support for the next several years. Then after you make your decision, you must find a way to get the bulky mattress to your house and assembled in your bedroom. The return window is often short, too, if you decide this mattress isn’t right, and you may owe a restocking fee.
Bed-in-a-box mattresses are delivered to your door. Simply carry the box to the bedroom, unpack the mattress and spend 120 nights sleeping on it. The convenience simplifies your life, reduces the pressure to make an instant decision and gives you plenty of time to choose the option that will transform your rest.
Set up the Mattress Properly
A bed in a box mattress generally arrives within a week after you order it. The box may measure the size of a coffee table, but it could weigh 60 to 150 pounds depending on the material and size of the mattress inside.
The manufacturer will include mattress setup instructions in the box to simplify the process and to ensure the mattress performs to specifications. Or pay for white-glove delivery and setup if that’s an option.
To set it up yourself, carry the mattress box to the bedroom and assemble the bed platform or frame before opening the box. You’re then ready to place the compressed, rolled or folded mattress onto the frame and carefully remove the layers of plastic wrap.
Your new mattress will be ready to test in a few hours. It first must expand to its full shape, and odors from the foam need time to dissipate.
For best results, most manufacturers recommend that you unpack this mattress within a month or two.
Maximize the Trial Period
Once you set up your new mattress, you have a full 120 days to try it. Your body may experience an adjustment period as it gets used to sleeping on a supportive surface. Be sure to sleep on your mattress for at least two weeks to test it adequately.
Focus solely on the mattress at first. Use familiar sheets and pillows until you get used to your new sleeping surface. Then, you can try a different type of pillow or sheets to see if one of these factors affects your quality of sleep.
Return With Ease
The generous trial period for many bed-in-a-box products means you have plenty of time to make an informed decision. The company may require you to sleep on the bed for at least 30 before you request to return it, though.
Only about 12% of users return their bed-in-a-box mattress. The process is easy and usually free. It may be nearly impossible to squish your unwanted mattress into its original box, but the company will help you donate it to charity or arrange for it to be removed from your home.