Ordering a new memory foam mattress always brings a new level of hype and excitement. If you recently moved home and you’re bringing in new furniture, it’s likely you also shopped for a new mattress. It’s no secret that people are easily falling in love with the contouring and hugging of memory foam mattresses, so they often decide on a mattress in a box option.
However, not all mattresses can be kept in a box for too long. That’s why we wrote this article to help you learn about how long you can leave a memory foam mattress in the box, without damaging it and potentially voiding the warranty.
What Is a Mattress in a Box?
Mattress or bed in a box, which is how many call it, is a convenient way to ship a mattress without damaging it or having it take too much space. When a company is large, they will see to ship the mattress as soon as possible. To make the shipping process easier, faster, and more convenient, many memory foam mattresses are compressed and rolled.
After being compressed and rolled, the memory foam mattress is put in a box that it ships inside. Many companies refer to this shipping option because it allows customers to unite with their new mattress in no time. Unlike them, hybrid and innerspring mattresses can’t be compressed and rolled and they take more space, and with that, more time to ship out.
Mattresses in a box are a great way to preserve the shipping space, while also preventing the mattress to take damage. With that in mind, the manufacturers fold and roll it and pack it in the box.
After the mattress arrives, you need to unfold and unroll it and leave it for 24-72 hours until it fully expands. There are, however, certain gases used to keep the mattress compressed. The off-gassing process can also take up to 72 hours, so you may encounter some sort of unpleasant smell that dissipates over time.
Do note that, the expanding of the mattress that was previously in a box can take even longer than 72 hours if you live in a humid climate and environment.
Read More: Can You Roll Up A Memory Foam Mattress?
You Should Unpack Your Mattress As Soon As It Comes
It’s just a mattress, where’s the harm of leaving it unpacked for days. If this is something that you wonder about, perhaps you should think about it again, from a more educated perspective.
When people buy a mattress, there are a few situations where they’re not ready to use it yet. Those situations can vary from moving into a new place, or buying a new bed frame that will sit nicely with the new mattress.
In other situations, you may just not be ready to give up on your old mattress just yet, for different reasons. However, you should see to unseal the box and release your memory foam mattress to expand as soon as possible.
Leaving the mattress in a box for an extended amount of time can lead to the mattress being damaged and the warranty voided. That means that the manufacturers and the company that sold your mattress won’t be held accountable for your mistake of not unpacking it earlier.
Moreover, the product label usually holds information about how soon you should open the mattress and let it expand.
Although different mattress manufacturers estimate different timelines during which you can open the mattress, and those timelines vary, it’s best not to gamble with the quality of a mattress that you may have paid well over $1,000 just for it to be damaged.
Some general estimations suggest that it’s best the unpack the memory foam mattress from a box anywhere between 24 hours and 3 days.
Keep in mind that some mattress makers allow the mattresses to stay encased in the box for a longer time. Although some keep them in a box from 3 days to 1 week, some companies keep the mattresses in nylon casing and the box for well over 3 months.
If you ever visited a physical mattress store, other than the presented and featured models, you’ve for sure seen some rolled up and folded models.
How to Know How Long You Can Keep Your Mattress In a Box?
The general rule of thumb is to simply not take any risks and unpack your mattress as soon as it comes to your doorstep. That means 24 to 72 hours, or one week at most, as we mentioned.
But, that’s not the only option. There are a lot of ways to find out which timeline different manufacturers suggest. Some manufacturers will allow you to keep a mattress in the box for well around 3 months. Some others will tell you that you can keep it in for one week at most.
Manufacturers list these times on different product labels, instructions, and oftentimes on the website itself.
We did some digging to find how much each manufacturer estimates and have listed our findings below.
- Nectar Mattress – 90 days (FAQ)
- Casper Mattress – 90 days (Manual)
- Layla Mattress – 2 weeks (Help)
- Zinus Mattress – 72 hours (Blog)
- Tuft & Needle – 2-4 weeks (Blog)
What Will Happen If Memory Foam Mattress Stays in a Box for Too Long?
Memory foam mattresses have a certain time under which they should be unboxed, as said earlier. But, what are the consequences? Here we review the potential risks of leaving a mattress in the box for too long.
1. Damage to Mattress
Memory foam mattresses usually consist of multiple foam layers. Some include support foam, gel foam, comfort foam, base foam, and others. All these layers together form a memory foam mattress and make it sit together nicely.
If the mattress spends too much time encased, folded, and rolled, the memory foam inside of it may start losing its contouring properties and not feel so comfortable once you start laying on it.
Companies that allow for longer enclosure of memory foam mattresses usually use a better quality foam that is more durable and can last longer in such conditions. Still, not all companies can guarantee that.
There’s a good reason why we don’t wash memory foam products. For example, it’s not advisable to wash memory foam pillows in the washing machine, as the material could degrade. The same goes for compressed memory foam. It could start losing its properties and qualities over time.
2. It Won’t Expand
As we said earlier, memory foam sits compressed for more convenient shipping and placement at home. That also makes it easier to carry and store, unlike innerspring mattresses that feel huge. However, if you keep it rolled and compressed for too long, the memory foam quality will not only degrade but also disallow the mattress from expanding.
Usually, after getting a memory foam mattress, it can take between 24 hours and up to 3 days for it to completely expand. It may either take a ridiculously long time to expand over your bed’s frame or expand only partially, leaving other parts of the mattress either too soft or degraded.
3. You Risk to Lose Warranty
Memory foam mattresses come with a warranty. It can be anywhere between 3 years and over 25 years. Some companies may even offer a lifetime warranty. However, what many consumers don’t know that the warranty is limited, meaning it works only under certain conditions.
Poorly expanded mattress or damage due to keeping it in the box for too long don’t belong to those conditions.
Make sure to read the terms and conditions of limited warranties. A mattress could expand fully due to a variety of reasons. But, if you kept it in the box for too long, claiming the right to warranty sounds nearly impossible.
Sleeping on A Memory Foam Mattress Before The 24 Hours
If you’re one of those people who unpack their mattress right after it comes, congratulations. You won’t have to risk the warranty-voiding or decay in the quality of the mattress.
However, it’s important to let the mattress get its volume throughout time. Usually, it takes a mattress from 4 to 8 hours to take back its original volume. However, it can take up to 3 days to fully expand over your bed.
Many manufacturers recommend that you shouldn’t sleep on your new mattress 24 hours after the arrival. Instead, you should leave it in a dry room where it can fully expand. Once it expands, make sure that you open the windows to let the off-gassing odor to dissipate.
If you choose to sleep in the first 24 hours of the mattress arrival, keep in mind you’re potentially shortening its lifespan. Also, if it hasn’t expanded to its full volume, you may be risking it to lose its firmness and start sagging before its time is over.
With that in mind, here are our final tips:
- Make sure to unbox your mattress as soon as you can.
- Read the product label that states how long the mattress can stay in the box
- Give it time, usually up to 3 days, to expand fully.
- Don’t sleep on it in the first 24 hours until it regains its full volume.