Unwrapping your new mattress

Some mattresses are wrapped up and boxed before being sent out and this usually happens with toppers or foam mattresses. Sometimes knowing how to unwrap them can be tricky. We would advise caution with full sized boxed mattresses, as rolling and storing them for long periods of time can damage them. However, here is our guide to unwrapping any boxed mattresses you may come across.

boxed mattress v2

How to unwrap your new mattress

So your new mattress has arrived and you can’t wait to get the old one out and the new one in.  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, based on a topper, to show you.  The reason we have used a topper is simply due to size so you can clearly see in detail and close up the wrapping and packaging.

1.  When your new boxed mattress arrives it will be sent out rolled and in a tall box.

John Ryan unwrapping BoxesTopper wrapped John Ryan Contemporary

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, so why make things hard for yourself?! Once in the room please take the mattress out of the box. It could look similar to the image above.

3.  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.

Topper opening 1 John Ryan Contemporary

4.  The mattress will then start to unwrap as seen below.

Topper opening 3 John Ryan Contemporary

5.  Then moving down to the middle tape if present, please carefully cut this.

Topper opening 4 John Ryan Contemporary

6.  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.

7.   It will start to unroll fully. You can lay it out on the bed and remove any plastic outer packaging.

Topper opening 5 John Ryan Contemporary

8.  Once unrolled you will need to leave your mattress and topper for good 3-6 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. 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. Once aired and fully expanded, your new bed is ready to be dressed, covered and finally enjoyed!

Topper opening 6 John Ryan Contemporary

9.  Your finished unrolled and fully expanded mattress, topper in this example, should look firm and full.

Topper opening 7 John Ryan Contemporary

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. 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.

Does rolling a mattress damage it?

A very long time ago now, we used to roll and crush some of our foam mattresses as customers suggested it was more convenient for them. We were given assurances by suppliers of the machinery that can crush and roll mattresses, that it was fine to do so. However, there is a time limit of 3 months and after that the mattress is usually damaged beyond repair. 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.

For us, it wasn’t a problem as they went out within a week or so of being crushed, But we never really liked the idea and so stopped doing this a short while afterwards. Explaining to customers that with our white glove 2 man delivery service, crushing the mattress was kind of pointless. We don’t leave mattresses with neighbours or at a depot so rolling and boxing them was of no benefit to us or the customer!

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 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. 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. Then there is the issue with the One sided mattresses. So there is plenty to consider and we would rather you read the articles to make your own mind up on these models.

If you want to read some more detailed discussions on boxed mattresses, such as Eve, then please start with this comment here. 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.

Origins Pocket 1500

Origins 1500 Mattress By John Ryan By Design

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 give it a week or two to sleep on it to properly try it.  Lying on it for a night will not give you a true feel for the mattress.  If you think of a new mattress like a new pair of shoes you need to let it bed in slightly and allow our self 1-2 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 30 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 945 3757 or email for guidance.


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 4-6 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.

All of our mattresses are delivered full size, but mattresses bought elsewhere may be boxed. If you need any specific advice please get in touch.

We’re here to help

Speak to our small friendly team between 9am – 5pm and we’ll be happy to guide you through any questions you may have.

Call today 0161 945 3757

  • Mrs K Walker says:

    Hi, It’s so refreshing to see a site that’s so comprehensive and full of helpful pages such as this! One question I have is when my bed arrives how long should I leave it before I sleep on it? It is booked to arrive in the afternoon and wanted to check if I could sleep on the rolled hybrid mattress the first night? I can’t wait for my John Ryan Contemporary Mattress to arrive! Kathryn.
    Hi Kathryn, We recommend that most beds are left for 4-6 hours to fully expand. Each bed is slightly different and the expansion depends on the temperature of the room, the size of the mattress and the different foams used in each mattress. Some foams expand quicker than others etc What we do advise is that if you’re only unwrapping your John Ryan Contemporary mattress say when you get in at the evening, you should unwrap it and leave it over night. The reason for this is that it may not get chance to fully properly air and expand before you go to bed. Getting in a bed before its finished will effect the way it feels and could prevent the mattress from fully returning to form. Some people also like to open a window in case there is any ‘new bed’ smell. I’m glad you’re looking forward to your new mattress, let us know how you get on! Thanks. Lee

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