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How Long Can You Leave a Memory Foam Mattress in the Box?

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 6 minLast updated on November 4, 2021

Buying a mattress in a box is very convenient.

And yes, sometimes shoppers can’t start using their new mattress right away. Whether they are waiting to move into a new home or, let’s say, for the reconstruction to be over, the mattress has to stay somewhere in the corner compressed in a box.

Today’s guide will help readers figure out how long they can leave a memory foam mattress in a box. Additionally, readers will learn about the risks that come with late unpacking.

Why Shop Online for a Mattress in a Box?

Before answering the question “How long is it okay to leave a memory foam mattress in a box?”, readers might need to understand the point of purchasing a mattress in a box in the first place. After all, instead of worrying about the potential damage of leaving a mattress compressed, maybe it would be easier to get a mattress delivered in full size? 

Well, here’s the deal: mattresses in a box have one huge benefit – they are easy to transport. These days, even a multi-layered, comfortable mattress (like the ones we have shared here) can be compressed and put into a relatively small box. This would come in especially handy for shoppers who live in apartment buildings.

Another reason is that mattress-in-a-box companies offer lower prices in most cases. And buying a mattress online isn’t that risky these days. Most models come with a free in-home trial. Therefore, shoppers get all the perks: reasonable price, free returns, and fuss-free transportation.

When Is the Best Time to Unpack a Mattress?

Most manufacturers recommend unpacking a mattress right after it arrives or at least within the first 72 hours. This is the safest option that can help shoppers avoid any potential damage. Additionally, by unpacking the mattress sooner, users can check whether it has any manufacturing defects. 

This would also allow shoppers to start testing their mattresses sooner. If they realize the mattress doesn’t work for them, they can send it back, receive a refund, and buy a more comfortable one. In other words, unpacking a mattress sooner would mean no time wasted on one’s way to restful sleep.

By the way, shoppers often exchange mattresses for a firmer model, as not all models labeled “firm” actually feel supportive enough. We have prepared a selection of truly firm mattresses here in case readers need something extra-sturdy.

How Long Can You Keep a Mattress in a Box?

Naturally, there are many potential scenarios when shoppers might not be able to unpack their new mattress-in-a-box right away.

But how long can they wait exactly?

The answer would depend on the brand and the mattress type. Generally, the duration can vary from 1 week to around 3 months. The best solution would be to contact the mattress company and inquire about the maximum recommended period before unpacking. 

For example, the Casper mattress can remain compressed in a box for up to 3 months without risking its structural integrity.  And the Purple mattress, for instance, can stay in a box for up to 2 weeks. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to contact the mattress company to ensure the mattress doesn’t stay compressed in a box for too long.

Risks of Keeping a Mattress in a Box

While circumstances may call for it, keeping a mattress in a box for an extended period can lead to unpleasant consequences. They may include:

  • Damage. This one is simple: memory foam mattresses are not designed to be compressed for a long time. They have multiple layers of different densities that need to expand properly. By staying compressed in a box, the foam may lose its cradling and adaptive properties. In other words, it may become thinner, especially lower-density foam. As a result, the mattress may turn out to have a different feel after expanding. Needless to say, this can make one’s mattress feel much less comfortable than expected.
  • Issues with expanding. After staying compressed for too long, foam might not expand fully. Or, the corners may remain flat while the rest of the mattress expands. Naturally, this can also affect the sleeper’s comfort. 
  • Warranty issues. Since leaving the mattress compressed for too long can lead to material damage, this could also void the manufacturer’s warranty. So, if the mattress turns out to be uncomfortable or the foams end up damaged, it will be the shopper’s responsibility and not the company’s.

A quick note: when unpacking the mattress, shoppers need to be extra careful (especially when cutting the plastic wrap). Puncturing the mattress cover can void the warranty. This could also cause the fiberglass to escape into the air (a fire barrier commonly used in memory foam mattresses). Fiberglass can be dangerous when inhaled, and it’s nearly impossible to get rid of once it settles on the furniture. So, shoppers need to handle scissors with extra care. There are also fiberglass-free memory foam mattresses available as a safer alternative.

F.A.Q.

How long can the Casper mattress stay in a box?

Casper advises shoppers to keep the mattress in a box for no longer than 3 months.

How long can you leave a hybrid mattress in a box?

The answer would depend on the manufacturer. Usually, it is recommended to leave hybrid mattresses in a box for no longer than 1 week. In some cases (Leesa hybrid, for example), shoppers can keep a mattress unpacked for up to 2 months.

How long can the Zinus mattress stay in a box?

Guys at Zinus recommend unpacking the mattress immediately after arrival. However, if needed, shoppers can leave the mattress in a box for up to 1 week.

Wrapping Up

Needless to say, it’s better to get one’s mattress out of the box as soon as possible. However, that’s not always a suitable option. Shoppers need to remember that different mattresses have different “unpacking due dates.” Therefore, it’s always a good idea to contact the mattress company and learn how long exactly a specific mattress can remain compressed without getting damaged.

What’s keeping you from unpacking your new mattress? How long do you have to wait before you can start using it? Let us know in the comments!

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