Mattress in a Box Buying Guide

Finding the appropriate mattress in a box requires weighing your wants and preferences. Each mattress is different, and some people like it. Your optimum mattress will affect body type, sleep position, and local environment. Our expertise suggests that a firmness level is a decent beginning point for a mattress. A softer mattress may be best if you weigh less than 130 pounds, sleep on your side, or have back strain. Our heavier testers who sleep on their back and stomach prefer a firmer affordable fiberglass free mattress, whereas those 130 to 230 pounds prefer medium to medium firm. Then, consider other factors. You may require a mattress that isolates motion if you sleep with a companion. Hot or humid areas might also consider a cooling mattress. Once you’ve determined your specific criterion, take these steps to buy: 


  • Top choices after research, customers should choose one or two mattresses. Take a few minutes to reevaluate these models. Online product information, photos, and mattress-in-a-box reviews might be useful. 
  • Most online mattress companies provide live web chat with customer care. They can answer mattress inquiries without web chat, email, or phone customer support. 


Boxed mattresses may be unpacked at the customer’s home. How to unbox a bed: 

Bring the package into the bedroom. Even if the mattress is compressed, the package may be hefty (a queen mattress can weigh at least 75 pounds). Two individuals may be required to bring the package into the bedroom. Unroll the roll-packed mattress. We suggest placing it on the foundation or base it will be used on, as it may be difficult to relocate after it expands. Cut plastic layers using scissors. Thin plastic means the blade shouldn’t touch the mattress. Plastic will be layered. Before cutting the last layer, unroll the mattress and set the head and foot on the base. Ensure the mattress isn’t inverted. Finalize the plastic. The mattress will expand quickly, but it’s not ready. Mattress form recovery takes 6 to 48 hours. If the mattress seems sagging at first, it needs longer recuperation time.


When unboxed, most new mattresses off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are safe but have an unpleasant chemical odor. Usually, mattresses cease smelling after a few days. Some mattress materials are odorous and persistent. Foam models off-gas more. Memory foam and all-poly foam mattresses are the most odorous. Innersprings, hybrids, and airbeds may off-gas owing to foam in their comfort and transitional layers, but their coil systems generate powerful airflow to eliminate odors fast. Our study shows latex mattress users experience the fewest off-gassing odors.


Many owners support their mattresses with a foundation rather than the floor. Support systems include: 

  • Box springs have a hardwood frame and cloth-covered steel springs. New versions feature metal frames. Thinner box springs are available. The springs absorb stress from sleepers to sustain the mattress and prevent deterioration. 
  • Bed frames contain metal or wooden slats to hold the mattress and sturdy bars to prevent slippage. We’ve found that foundations give better overall support than box springs. 
  • Platform beds have slatted bases with headboards. These beds may be fancier than others. Panel beds have slats, a headboard, and a footboard. Canopy and four-poster beds are also common.