Considering A Bed In A Box Here Are The Pros And Cons
Selecting and buying a new mattress is a serious undertaking. After all, you spend about a third of your life on your mattress, so it needs to be comfortable, supportive, and long-lasting.
Traditionally, buying a new mattress means visiting furniture and mattress stores, lying down on different models, crossing your fingers that youve chosen the right one, and hoping it will be comfortable for longer than 15 minutes at a time. Over the last few years, though, youve likely noticed a sudden influx of companies selling whats come to be known as a bed in a box. Unlike traditional mattresses, which are sold and delivered in ready to sleep form, a bed in a box is just that: a mattress made of memory foam, compressed and rolled up so it can be shipped and delivered in a box. When it arrives on your doorstep, you simply need to unroll it and wait for it to reinflate. Then, voila! You have a bed.
Although traditional innerspring mattresses still account for the lions share of the $15 billion mattress market, the bed-in-a-box market is quickly gaining ground. Between 2014 and 2019, the percentage of direct-to-consumer sales as part of the overall mattress industry doubled from 6% to 12%, and it will likely continue to grow. The question is, though, is this type of mattress right for you? Here are some pros and cons to consider.
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When To Replace A Mattress
Knowing how long a mattress should last is useful, though ultimately, these are just guidelines. Figuring out when its time to replace your mattress is a personal decision that involves several factors. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you sleeping well?
- Do you find that you sleep better at hotels or when visiting family?
- Does your mattress feel saggy or unsupportive?
- Do you wake up with aches and pains?
- Do you or your partner toss and turn through the night trying to get comfortable?
- Do you feel your partners movements at night more than you used to?
- Have you noticed an increase in allergies or asthma symptoms?
- Has it been 7+ years since you purchased your bed?
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, it may be time to replace your mattress.
If youre still sleeping soundly, and your mattress appears to be performing well, then perhaps you can squeeze a few more years out of it. That being said, we recommend replacing your mattress regularly, as its absolutely worth the investment in your health and well-being.
Before you go shopping for a new mattress, its worthwhile to check the warranty details for your mattress. If an issue you are having with your mattress is covered under the manufacturers warranty, its possible that you can get your bed repaired or replaced.
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Memory Foam Mattress Price
Memory foam mattresses start for as low as $200 and go up to over $2,000. At the entry-level, between $200 and $700, youre looking at models with less dense foams because less dense foams are inexpensive to produce. Some of these models will be as comfortable as higher-end mattresses, but they wont last nearly as long. And, others may not make it to the average six-year mark before indentations or sagging begin to show.
In the mid-range, from $700 to $1,200, theres a wide selection of mattresses that balance the quality of materials with the price. Youll see higher density foams throughout these models, which gives them better durability. These models may also have extra cooling features like gel, copper, or graphite to enhance breathability.
At the high end of the memory foam market are $1,200 to $2,000 mattresses and some that are close to $3,000. These models may have more layers with varied firmnesses and densities that extend the life of the mattress.
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Does Memory Foam Last Longer Than Other Mattress Types
Memory foam mattresses are some of the more durable mattress types you can buy, and they will typically last longer than an innerspring mattress or hybrid mattress. That being said, theyre not quite as durable as latex mattresses, which are both eco-friendly and long-lasting.
The durability of memory foam can be impacted by a variety of factors. Here are the factors which will influence the overall lifespan of your memory foam mattress.
How Do You Know When Your Mattress Needs Replacing
The surest sign that you need a new mattress is when youre no longer getting a good nights sleep on it. Maybe youre waking up with a sore back, or perhaps you feel tired after sleeping for 8 to 9 hours. Your mattress is supposed to help you recover, so if you feel worse instead of better when you wake up, then the beds not working as it should. Another sign that your mattress is ready to be replaced is extensive sagging.
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So Should I Buy A Bed In A Box
Take it from mattress makers who have decades of experience creating and selling mattresses nothing replaces high quality components and craftsmanship that you just cant get with a one-size-fits-all bed in a box mattress.
Yes, we have created dozens of online guides, including a guide to how to choose the best mattress for your body type, how to shop for a mattress, and our Texas Mattress Makers Quiz that can point customers in the right direction. These guides are perfect for gathering information about your preferences and needs . But at the end of the day, we almost always encourage our potential customers to come and try our mattresses in the store.
Texas Mattress Makers carries budget-friendly mattresses that are of great quality but wont break the bank. Some of our recommendations are the Memory Foam Special, Berlin Mattress, 5000 Mattress, and the Amsterdam Mattress.
How Long Does A Mattress Last
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A good mattress, like a good shirt or pair of shoes, wears well. Not only does it feel amazing from the get-go, but it gets even more comfortable with time. Mattresses start to gradually soften and conform to your body with every use. And once the initial adjustment period is over, you and your mattress are a perfect match.
This is when your bed is at its best perfect for sleeping, reading, watching TV, and all-around relaxing.
But just how long does a mattress last? Fortunately, mattresses have a reasonably long lifespan. While there is no firm rule for when to replace your bed, the best mattresses usually last between seven and 10 years thats about 2,500-3,500 sleeps! Of course, this depends upon the mattress type, materials used, and total time spent in bed.
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Looking For Stick Vacuums
Do you need to flip or rotate my mattress?
Most manufacturers agree that you should rotate your mattress at least every:
Spring : three to six months.
Foam, memory foam, hybrid and latex: six months.
This extends the life of the mattress as it evens out wear and tear. It can also help keep your body aligned while you sleep as it stops a single sagging point from forming over time.
The days of flipping mattresses appear to be numbered as most models have some sort pillow top, or specific top and bottom layers. In this instance it’s best to refer to the manufacturer’s website but as a rule of thumb, foam mattresses and spring mattresses with a pillow top do not need to be flipped as they have designated top and bottom layers . The bottom layer is not designed for sleep. Spring mattresses without a pillow top and/or bottom layer can be flipped at least every six months.
Our test has cross sectional diagrams that indicate which models are flip friendly. If you decide to flip your mattress, ask someone for help as it’s a heavy, awkward and often difficult task.
Do you need a mattress protector?
A mattress protector is essentially a fitted sheet designed to help protect the bed to keep it feeling “fresh” for longer. It can prevent damage and stains from things like dirt, skin flakes and hair from being absorbed into the mattress, and most also have material to stop sweat and spills from seeping through. Some claim to stop dust mites and allergens as well.
What If Your Memory Foam Mattress Is Not Inflating Fully
If you leave your memory foam mattress in its box for too long, it may take a lot longer to expand to its full length.
If youve packed your memory foam mattress in its original packaging correctly and it hasnt fully expanded by 72 hours, then heres what you should do:
Roll around on it for 10 30 minutes, slowly.
The movement combined with body heat should help the mattress to relax, which may help the mattress decompress fully.
Standing on the mattress isnt recommended because this sort of concentrated weight may cause indentations to form in the mattress.
If the rolling technique has not worked, then sleeping on it for several nights may help.
It can take a few days to a couple of weeks for the memory foam mattress to adapt to your body weight and contours.
If your mattress has not yet been fully expanded and you have not left it in the box for longer than recommended by the manufacturer, then you may have a defectively made memory foam mattress.
If youre having trouble with your product, you should check the manufacturers warranty to see if you can get a replacement.
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Can I Put My Mattress On The Floor
Some people mistakenly believe placing their mattress on the floor helps it last longer because theres no chance of it being damaged by a frame or sagging down through the slats. However, placing your bed on the floor leaves it more susceptible to dead skin cells buildup, pests, dirt, fluids, and other things that can damage your mattress very quickly. Always use your bed on a proper frame or foundation.
About the author
McKenzie Hyde is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and a full-time writer focused on sleep health and the mattress industry. She currently writes articles on a variety of topics, ranging from sleep hygiene to the newest trends in the mattress and bedding industry. Just some of the topics she has covered include best sleep practices for students, the consequences of going without sleep, and choosing the right bed if you suffer from back pain. McKenzie Hyde holds a Master of Arts degree from Utah State University where she studied literature and writing. While there, she taught argumentative writing and wrote a variety of articles and analyses for literary and academic journals.
Bed Bugs & Dust Mites
Without the protection of a mattress protector, dust mites and other allergens can accumulate inside your mattress over time, even with proper cleaning and care. Bed bugs can happen at any time, and are extremely hard to remove. If youve tried DIY methods for getting rid of the infestation and it doesnt seem to be going away, its time for a new mattress.
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The Actual Age Of Your Mattress
The standard mattress will start showing telltale signs of age anywhere between seven to 10 years. So once your mattress starts hitting these numbers, its best to start observing any changes to how it looks and feels. Are there spots which arent as firm as they used to be? Are you unable to sleep as well as you used to? While your mattress may still have a few solid years left, being able to catch the trouble spots before they get worse can save you a lot of backaches and sleepless nights.
Can You Sleep On A New Mattress Straight Away
Many bed in a box mattresses include instructions that suggest you wait between 8 to 24 hours before you sleep on your new bed. This recommendation is mostly to let the bed fully expand after unboxing, which is when the bed feels most comfortable.
You can sleep on your mattress sooner, but dont be surprised if you dont sleep that well the first night. Once your bed has finished expanding and youve adjusted to your new mattress, you should be sleeping well. If not, you might want to see about returning or exchanging your bedthats why we always recommend buying a bed with an attached sleep trial.
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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, thats 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
- Casper Mattress 90 days
- Layla Mattress 2 weeks
- Zinus Mattress 72 hours
- Tuft & Needle 2-4 weeks
Is A New Mattress Worth It
Is getting a night of good sleep worth it? is what you should be asking yourself. Sleeping on a worn-out mattress likely means losing out on precious hours of rest and recovery. You might wake up with a sore back, a stiff neck, or a headache. Perhaps you find that you feel sluggish because you didnt get a full nights rest.
Buying a new, high-quality mattress means that youre investing in a good nights sleep for many years to come.
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Even Out Wear And Tear
If you lie on the same spot on your mattress every night, youll eventually create a dent in your mattress. To prevent indentations in your mattress, you should rotate it every three to six months. Your mattresss manufacturer may specify exactly how often you should rotate it.
Whether or not you should flip your mattress depends on its type. You can flip an innerspring mattress, but memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses should not be flipped you would end up lying on the support layer and compressing the comfort layer.
If you can, avoid setting items on your bed, aside from what you need to sleep. Your laptop may not weigh that much, but leaving it on your bed will still exert pressure on your mattress.
Your body weight also affects how much pressure you put on your mattress, with more weight wearing it out quicker. Staying in shape will help your mattress keep its shape.
More Than 7 Years Old
After 7 years have passed since your last purchased a mattress, take the time to evaluate its current comfort level and support. If you find yourself with more sleep disruptions due to pain or sleep better in other beds, its time for a new mattress. Guest beds are an exception to this rule, since theyre not used as often and can last longer.
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Body Type And Number Of Sleepers
Third, consider your body type and whether or not you sleep with a partner. If you have a large body type, are tall, or overweight, how long you should keep a mattress will noticeably decrease. The more pressure that is applied to the mattress, the faster it will start to show wear and tear. The materials deteriorate as they are used and the more pressure that is applied, either by yourself or with the additional weight of your partner, the faster it breaks down.
The breakdown of materials happens the fastest in the top comfort layers. They are the softest and most responsive layers but are unfortunately the most susceptible to compression and deterioration from excessive weight as well. When this happens the inner layers of the mattress may remain firm and supportive but without the top comfort layer or layers functioning properly, you will start to notice some of these negative side effects over time: improper back and spine alignment, less comfort, decreased pressure point relief, and increased firmness overall.
If you have a large body type or are overweight, you may want to consider purchasing the best mattress for heavy people as these cater specifically to your requirements. Buying a more specific mattress will enable you to keep it for much longer without sacrificing comfort or longevity.
How To Have Many Happy Returns
As the old saying goes, you cant put the genie back in the bottle. The same is true for mattresses-in-a-box. Return policies vary, but if you decide you dont like your mattress during the trial period, you can usually get your money back. You wont have to put the mattress back in the box.
Some sellers provide a full refund but dont want the mattress back. Instead, theyll help you donate it to a charity or nonprofit in your area. Casper and Tuft & Needle say they will help you find a charity that will pick it up. If theres no group in your area that will take it, these companies and others will arrange for the mattress to be picked up.
Many mattress-in-a-box companies observe similar trial periods of 100 days or more, but some, such as GhostBed and WinkBeds, require you to keep the mattress for at least 30 days before arranging a return.
In the end, only 7 percent of the beds-in-a-box that are purchased are returned, according to 1010data, a data analytics company. Thats more than the 2.2 percent returned at Mattress Firm but an indication that most consumers are pleased with their purchase.
In case youre not one of them, be sure you understand the companys return policy before you buy. And if you have the space and really want to be on the safe side, hang on to your old mattress until youre sure that youre going to stick with your new one.
Editors Note: This article also appeared in the March 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
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