Unwrapping your new mattress
Updated 2022: There has recently been a massive influx of boxed mattresses to the market. The reason why has been to reduce the delivery costs, logistics and manufacturing to maximise profits.
We are yet to be convinced of the benefits to you the customer with these models given the drawbacks we’ve uncovered (read on to find out more). Most of these boxed beds are cheaper layers of synthetic memory foam and have been created by venture capitalists rather than mattress experts.
The reason we have created this detailed guide is due to the number of enquiries we have about opening mattresses such as Eve, Simba, Casper, Herdy and Emma mattresses. We know opening these boxed mattresses can be tricky and if you damage the beds you will void your guarantee.
We also provide advice on what to do if you need to send your boxed mattress back under their 30-100 day returns process if you’re not getting on with your new boxed internet mattress.
How to unwrap your new mattress:
We would advise caution with buying a boxed mattress, as rolling and storing them for long periods of time can damage their flimsy foam layers. However, if you’ve recently bought a boxed mattress this guide will give you all the details you need to know.
- What is a boxed mattress?
- Does rolling a mattress damage it?
- Are boxed mattresses like Simba any good?
- How to unwrap your mattress?
- Why does my new Eve mattress smell?
- My Emma mattress is not expanding?
- How long does it take to get used to your mattress?
- Returning a Boxed mattress if you’re not happy with it
What is a boxed mattress?
A boxed mattress is usually a foam mattress that has been vacuum packed and rolled to save on storage and delivery space. They have been marketed as NextGen and given different fancy covers. However, in reality, all of these mattresses are variations of the basic memory foam layered mattress.
There are a few exceptions such as Herdy but in effect, they are layers of foam, glued together then crushed & rolled to fit into a box. At John Ryan, we don’t sell any rolled mattresses. Our mattresses wouldn’t fit and we wouldn’t subject them to the damages of being rolled and crushed. We did some tests when rolled mattresses entered the market, more on that later.
Boxed mattress brands you may see online:
- Eve mattresses
- Casper Beds
- Emma mattress
- Leesa mattress
- Nectar bed
- The One by Made (Memory Foam Bed)
- Herdy mattress – Wool and synthetic pocket springs
The mattress enters a big roller which crushes the air out of the foam reducing its size drastically, putting it under stress it is then sealed in a bag, usually heat sealed, and then boxed. It means that a normally large sized mattress can be reduced to fit more on a lorry and make delivery easier for the customer.
However, these mattresses are under great stress when in this position. They want to return to their regular shape and are constrained. Foam can tear, springs can deform and fabric can become stretched and rippled when you unroll them.
Does rolling a mattress damage it?
A very long time ago now, we trialled rolling a sample Hybrid foam mattress, mainly to see what happened. We were given assurances by suppliers of the machinery that can crush and roll mattresses, that it was fine to do so.
There is a time limit of around 6 weeks and after that, the mattress is usually showing some form of stress or damage. However, after 6 weeks we unrolled our two samples. One was Hybrid foam layered up, the other was a FEPS spring unit with a hybrid foam layer.
The Results of Boxed Mattresses:
- The Layered foam mattress came out with micro tears all across the foam layers when removed the cover off it (Most Eve, Simba, Casper or Leesa mattresses have non-removable covers so you can’t see inside or inspect them)
- The FEPS spring unit had become stuck to some of the foam and then was slightly distorted once it worked its way loose
The best way to think of it is that the mattress has been suppressed in its packaging, desperately trying to get back to its original shape. Over time cracks and defects can occur in the foam as its stressed beyond its normal tolerances.
Having a rolled mattress means you have to wait hours for it to come back to its original shape which can be frustrating for you the customer.
Are boxed mattresses like Eve and Simba any good?
We have extensively written about some of the newer boxed mattress brands such as Eve, Simba, Casper etc. The issue with these models is they try to be a one size fits everyone, which we disagree with completely.
The biggest drawback with these mattresses is they are all one-sided so can never be turned to even out natural settlement. This can lead to excess wear and a far shorter mattress lifespan.
They also don’t always give you the full breakdown of what exactly is in the mattresses. We have talked at length about the differences between 100% natural latex and synthetic, and why you need to know the blend and density of hybrid foams to truly know what you are getting. So there is plenty to consider and we would rather you read the articles to make your own mind up on these models.
There was a really interesting article in the Telegraph on Eve mattresses posting a record loss in 2018 whilst simultaneously spending an eye-watering £17.2m on advertising these types of mattresses.
Are they really just a clever marketing trick?
What’s baffling is they only have one product, a basic foam layered mattress and a huge marketing budget only to report a loss?
These manufacturing methods have been around for 20 years. So why are they spending so much on marketing and not developing the product? Eve doesn’t give the exacting details for us to be able to compare their mattresses. It does beg the question is this more marketing over quality?
If you want to read some more detailed discussions on boxed mattresses, such as Eve, then please start with this comment here.
What is the best alternative to an Eve, Simba or Casper Boxed Mattress?
We would always recommend a two-sided pocket sprung well-upholstered mattress over a one-sided foam bed. If the price is your deciding factor, then we would ask you to look at our Origins 1500 which is at a similar price point to Eve, Simba and Casper as a basis for comparison to a non-rolled mattress.
However, the upholstery and spring unit far of the Origins Pocket 1500 mattress exceeds the quantities and GSM of the boxed mattresses available. This mattress cannot be boxed, there are simply too many fibres inside it to be easily crushed.
We understand it can be convenient to have your mattress arrive in a box, even though you need to wait around 6 hours for it to fully ‘inflate’ again and return to its original shape. We would also suggest that having two men deliver it to a room of choice with it fully assembled is a far more convenient option!
If you have bought a Simba, Eve, Emma or Casper mattress the rest of this guide will show you how to unwrap it correctly.
How to unwrap your new mattress
So your new boxed mattress has arrived but before you start, we’ve provided this handy guide to show you the easiest and most effective way to unwrap your bed. It may sound simple, but it will save you any damage or scratching your heads! We’ve provided a step by step instruction guide to show you how a Casper, Eve or Simba mattress may arrive.
When your new boxed mattress arrives it will be sent out rolled and in a tall box.
We advise that you remove the old mattress and make sure you have some room ready to unwrap the new one. We recommend that you move the boxed mattress to the room of choice before unwrapping it. This is because once unwrapped the mattress will quadruple in size and start to expand.
This means handling it becomes somewhat harder and it can be a right fuss if you’re not careful. Once in the room please take the mattress out of the box. It could look similar to the image above.
Once out please use a pair of scissors and not a knife. Whilst knives can be used, we warn against it as it’s far easier to slice and damage your mattress with a knife than it is with scissors. Also, we find scissors easier to put down and less dangerous if you stand on them!
Turn the mattress until you can see the start of the roll, a bit like looking at the end of the sticky tape. Once you have found it using scissors carefully cut the first piece of tape and wrapping.
The mattress will then start to unwrap as seen below. Be careful as sometimes it can start to expand rapidly!
Then moving down to the middle tape if present, please carefully cut this.
Then moving down to the last piece of tape at the bottom, please again cut through this. This is where the mattress shall be free to unroll and expand, so again just make sure you have some clear space.
Position the mattress near the bed base. It will start to unroll fully. You can lay it out on the bed and remove any plastic outer packaging.
Once unrolled you will need to leave your mattress and topper for good 6 hours as they start to expand and fill with air. This is because during rolling the air is compressed out of them.
It may be a good idea to open a window and let the mattress ventilate as they offgass.
Just like a new sofa or car, there will be some ‘new bed’ smell that comes off the mattress. If your mattress after 6 hours is still not looking fully expanded a quick shake and then another few hours or so should be enough.
Why does my new mattress smell?
Boxed foam mattresses, such as the brands above, are also well known for having a very distinct synthetic plastic or chemical smell when you unwrap them. This is not surprising given they have been off-gassing in their bags for who knows how long. We have a really detailed article on off-gassing which may be of interest.
Offgassing is where a man-made or synthetic product off-gasses and omit smells (as VOC’s or volatile chemical compounds) as they leave the product. Think of fresh paint or new plastic.
Offgassing tends to be worst in products that have been factory sealed with no air flow before they reach you. However, with a non-rolled Natural fibre mattress, you don’t get this onslaught of chemical smells when you’re mattress arrives.
What to do if my Emma mattress or other does not expand?
You may have read reviews online that boxed mattresses like Emma, Leesa or Nectar fail to fully unwrap. For most boxed mattresses they should have fully expanded within 12-24 hours once unwrapped. This is because they need to allow air back into their foam layers which have been crushed and extracted during the packaging process. This air allows them to fluff back up as it were.
If your Emma mattress – or other boxed foam bed – does not fully unwrap/expand in 24 hours it may be that adhesive has bonded the layers together before rolling.
Meaning they are stuck together permanently.
This can also be the case if your boxed mattress has sags or dips that don’t reform like the rest. This is usually due to a manufacturing fault where the adhesive has been allowed to come into contact with the covers or layers just before crushing/packaging. Meaning it sets in position and is impossible to revive unless you cut through the covers to then manually cut away the adhesive. Which no one wants to do!
If your mattress doesn’t expand then we advise you to get in touch with the manufacturer and send them photos of the mattress. They can then advise on a replacement or course of remedial action with your boxed mattress.
How long does it take to get used to a new mattress?
Once you have let your mattress settle for a few hours, we then advise you to give it a week or two to sleep on it to properly try it. Lying on it for a night or two will not give you a true feel for the mattress.
4 weeks: If you think of a new mattress like a new pair of shoes you need to let it bed in slightly and allow yourself at least 4 weeks to truly get used to it before deciding if it is right for you or not.
Especially if you have had your previous bed for a number of years you will have been used to its feel and profile, a new bed will feel different at first.
Our 60 day love it or return it guarantee gives you this peace of mind. If there are any questions once your new John Ryan mattress arrives please don’t hesitate to call us, 0161 437 4419 or email for guidance.
Returning a Boxed Eve, Casper or Simba mattress if you don’t get on with it
Any new mattress will take 2-4 weeks to get used to it. Which is why the decent mattress brands and retailers will give you a no quibble returns policy like our 60 Day love it or return it. Quite often people find foam mattresses incredibly hot during the night or that they get stuck in one position which can aggravate bad backs or aches during the night.
Our advice would be to give any new mattress a minimum of 4 weeks and then if not suitable get back in touch with the retailer. The boxed mattress companies are usually really good at collecting your bed. Make sure you’ve saved the box and packaging as some companies will require you to also send this back.
If you really don’t get on with a boxed foam mattress don’t be tempted to just ‘try another one’. Given they all follow the rough construction principle of being one-sided it is highly unlikely based on our experience that you will get on with any foam mattress.
It can be really inconvenient having to replace your bed every few weeks so if you don’t get on we would advise you to look at a Pocket Sprung 2 -sided mattress instead. Especially one that’s breathable and responsive if you need to turn over during the night. You’ve got a higher chance of sleep success rather than just picking another ‘next day delivery’ mattress.
You’d be surprised at just what you can get for your money when compared to the synthetic boxed foam companies so it’s best to shop around.
Our Origins Pocket 1500 is a great contender to use as a comparison model to the boxed mattress companies based on price. Why settle for a one-sided foam mattress when you can get something much more bespoke and hand made for your money?
Please be aware that after unwrapping any rolled mattress will take anywhere between 4-8 hours to expand to 90% of its full size. It can take further 6-8 hours to reach its maximum. We advise that you don’t sleep or sit on it during this time to ensure it has time to fully expand to its correct size. Always take care when using scissors as not to cut your mattress.
If you’re still scratching your head as to whether to buy into the boxed mattress phenomenon then why not have a look at our Handmade British Mattresses here. All of our mattresses are delivered full size and there are no flimsy glued foam layers to be found!
If you need any specific advice please get in touch or call us on 0161 437 4419
Find out why we are the most trusted bed retailer
Ask us a question.
There are over 6000 questions and answers submitted by you on all questions about mattresses and bed problems. Enter a keyword such as Vi Spring, John Lewis beds, bad back or Memory Foam and see if your question has already been answered.
You can filter popular questions by the categories below. If you can’t find an answer, ask a new question below. We aim to respond to all questions within one working day.