The Real Story Behind The Bed In A Box

The Real Story Behind The Bed In A Box

June 17, 2021
Sleep Products

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Beds In Boxes “All That Glitters Is Not gold”

This very well-known saying tells us not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so. Can it be true that we simply open the small bed in a box, remove the compression packaging, and viola… there it is and there you are… out comes a large mattress? In fact, that is exactly how it works. But is this new mattress concept the ticket to the golden night of sleep or just ingenious marketing? 100 plus years of mattress industry experience and lessons have taught us that some of these clever and inventive new ideas may not be so bright.

We thought it would be important to interject some much-needed pessimism to balance the overwhelming excitement and industry hype. It’s important that consumers don’t fall victim to industry opportunists who seem to be taking advantage and profiting from today’s boxed bed gold mine.

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In 2007 the square peg in the round hole mattress concept was born by Bill Bradley founder of Bed in a Box. He revolutionized the idea of how huge mattresses would be sold and packed into mini boxes. He was ahead of his time and short of the kind of money that venture capitalist Casper Mattress would bring to the table 7 years later. Casper Mattress the new “bed in a box” on the block recently revolutionized how mattresses would be bought and sold.  Casper awakened a nightmarish and broken mattress industry.

The trademarked “Bed in a Box” concept was simple and it may very well be the next Xerox or Kleenex in terms of names. His simple idea of compressing, folding, and rolling a mattress to fit in a minuscule box is quickly becoming the new normal in terms of selling mattresses, but is that really the best thing for the consumer?

The How Long Can You Leave Your New Mattress Rolled Up?

That’s a great question and it shows up often in search results when it’s Googled, but are potential boxed bed buyers really paying attention to the answers that are there right before their eyes? We don’t think so, in fact, one only has to look at the increase in sales of these boxed compressed mattresses and it’s easy to see big industry marketing is working and working well. So, is there evidence that there are issues with a bed in the box, especially in this new and strange manner?  We think so and the first piece of evidence seems to be one of the most obvious.

Could The Unique Packaging, Storing, And Shipping Concept Be Damaging Brand New Mattresses?

Are beds in a box coming damaged?

Nearly all the mattresses within this group of bed in a box ask that you remove your new mattress from the box as soon as possible. Some companies go so far as to include veiled statements of warning. The “warning” says that they cannot guarantee the mattress will fill out (fluff back up) to 100% if the packing time limit is exceeded.

We included some samples of website jargon that we believe makes the case and contributes to irreparable mattress damage. In simple words, your brand new mattress is damaged and it is impossible to rectify or repair that damage. You can research for yourself the brands that interest you to see if they make the same or similar claims. We found that most of them do. Read the following and you to will see the problem is not openly addressed and in fact is hidden and disguised but is as obvious as the noses on our faces.

  • Tuft & Needle “In some cases, it may take up to about 5 days to properly fill out”.
  • Leesa mattress can stay in the box up to 30 days from the date the order was placed. Their Sapira mattress can stay in the box for up to 60 days
  • Lull Mattress says “no more than 3 weeks”
  • Others say, “We do not recommend keeping your new memory foam mattress rolled up for longer than 2 months”.
  • Linenspa- We loved this, one. Their exact words: “we ask you to allow up to 48 hours for your mattress to fully expand. In other words, they’re saying it’s not okay to lay on your mattress before it fully expands. They also say your mattress could be finished expanding in less than 48 hours and maybe you can sleep on it. Read their article called Unboxing Your Mattress: Do You Really Have To Wait 24 to 48 Hours? When I read it the answer seemed to be a definite maybe… LOL

The fact is that nearly all of the boxed type mattresses including Casper have some kind of disclaimer similar to this, “Please note that some mattresses may take longer to expand”. While researching time limits for leaving a mattress compressed in the original packaging, we were unable to find any that exceeded 90 days from the purchase date. Most disclaimers were 30-60 days from the purchase date.

Why Do Mattress Makers Package Them Like This?

It’s simple, it benefits manufacturers. The typical bed in a box mattress is 8 -12 inches thick. They can package all the usual recognizable sizes up to and including king which measures 76 x 80 inches in width and length. With new technology and very expensive state-of-the-art machinery, mattress makers can compress and then roll/fold them to fit inside a very small box compared to previous industry box standards.

In fact, the current typical boxing for one of the larger Casper bed boxes measures 19 x 19 x 41 inches. To fit this mattress into its packaging, it must be squeezed down to approximately 15% of the mattress’s original size. That’s right 15%. The question is does it do permanent damage to the layers of mattress foam. Rather than get all technical we will share with you long-time industry standards to get the most life out of your mattress purchase.

Have We Have Forgotten The “Dos And Don’ts” Of Mattress Ownership?

In The Last Century These “Dos And Don’ts” Were Just Plain Common Sense:

  • Don’t sit on the mattress. The edge, the foot, and even reading and watching TV. Remember most of us didn’t even have TVs in the bedroom. Try to recall how long beds used to last?
  • Don’t fold or bend your mattress
  • Don’t play on the mattress. As kids we were was told to go outside or go downstairs. Your bed wasn’t a place to horse around.
  • Don’t kneel or jump up and down on a mattress. It’s not a trampoline
  • Don’t place a board between a mattress and a box spring – We were told it interfered with the function and support of the box spring.

 Why Do We No Longer Seem To Care How Long Our Mattress Will Last?

What happened to mattresses built the way they used to be built? It’s simple money. There are big players in the online mattress game. Casper, Amazon, Nectar, Purple, and Walmart are just the shortlist. Shipping such an unbelievably large and heavy product hundreds and even thousands of miles by semi-truck. Mattresses historically take up to 70 cubic feet for a king-size set and a twin set as little as 40 cubic feet. 

The final determining factor of cost can cost is the travel distance from the factory to your home. Cost for sellers can be as little as 150.00 up to 500.00 dollars and sometimes more depending on the services. Large companies wanted an easier and significantly cheaper way to ship their goods and meet the needs of today’s consumers. Introducing the bed in a box.

 Why Do We No Longer Seem To Care How Long Our Mattress Will Last

Today’s new compressed bed in a box product usually measures around 8.5 cubic feet and can be shipped by UPS or FedEx. They have been smashed into the smallest boxes possible allowing them to ship to consumers for a mere  50.00-60.00 dollars. Additionally, mattress builders reap more cost-saving benefits from not having to purchase extremely expensive and gargantuan-sized shipping boxes to protect them during transit. 

Instead, manufactures have opted to make a one-time investment into a piece of equipment that can roll pack or fold pack the product. This one-time investment pays for itself many times over. In the end, they only needed to convince you the consumer that this is the best and most convenient way to buy a bed. They romanced the idea with a package that glitters like gold. They intentionally left out the parts that could stifle the product’s sales potential and worse yet are potentially causing long-term damage to your expensive new investment.

What Mattress Builders Don’t Tell You.

Did they leave something out? Of course, they did. Mattress builders conveniently forgot to mention that they put your brand new mattress into a mechanical vice of sorts, squeezed it down to mere inches, and then rolled it, and or folded it to fit into a box about 1/10th of the mattress’s original size. They conveniently forgot to mention that the foam in your mattress is made up of vulnerable air cells. 

Remember the list of  “dos and don’ts”? We feel the exact same damage can and will occur in the compression process of assembling the bed in a box. During this process, the air cell structure can be permanently damaged.

They tell us this packaging won’t hurt the mattress and then feed us lines as you read in the manufacturer’s disclaimers listed above. They forgot or no longer feel the need to mention the important “do’s and don’ts” of mattress ownership. There is plenty of evidence showing that irreparable harm to your mattress foam is taking place if we simply pay attention and get beyond the hype. Need more proof?

Can I Put This Mattress On A Power Adjustable Base?

Power adjustable bases are the industry’s latest meal ticket and whatever you call them hospital beds, lifestyle beds, or adjustable beds they are the hottest bedroom accessory to be had. Cost can be prohibitive especially when you add one of these bad boys to an already costly mattress. In fact, most adjustable beds double the average sales ticket something that delights manufacturers, retailers, and salespeople. Seeing a pattern here? Profits dictate industry direction.

Power Adjustable Base.

They don’t talk about the fact that they are encouraging you to do what the industry has been saying is a big no-no for over 100 years. Take the act of sitting in your bed. Using your mattress for a chair concentrates body weight into one spot and will shorten mattress life. Customers want to do it, but do they understand the importance of not doing it? As a reminder sleeping on a bed distributes body weight and helps them last longer, apparently the industry has forgotten this important little detail.

Now they are have cheapened up the beds with lower grade foams and encourage us to sit on them in our new lifestyle adjustable beds.  It’s important to note that this kind of excessive wear won’t be covered by your warranty and buying a new one only puts more money in the mattress builders’ pockets.

Bed In A Box And The Goldilocks Standard?

Is there one bed that works for everyone? Walk into brick and mortar stores and you’ll typically have 50 different mattresses to choose from. Would you believe us if we told you there is “one perfect mattress for everyone?” This is the claim of one such online company with a selection of one mattress.

We at STL Beds do not believe there is one perfect size shoe for everyone. One perfect size tire for every car, or one perfect food that everyone will eat and like the taste.  Remember Goldilocks in the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears? At least had the choice of two other beds to select from. One was too firm and one was too soft. With online companies, it is not a try it until you like it to purchase.

Brick and mortar mattress stores have a wide variety of sleeping surfaces to choose from the side by side for a reason. Shoe stores have different types of shoes for different activities, styles and they even come in different sizes. This is why grocery stores have isle after isle of foods to fit everyone’s needs, diets, and tastes preferences.

Many boxed bed companies offer only one bed and some have gone to two or three beds. What happened to the selection, firmness options, support options, and choice? Do you believe in the square peg in the round hole mattress concept? A bed in a box company seems to…

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