How to Unroll a Mattress Safely

The convenience of boxed mattresses is incontestable. Simply order a mattress online, and wait for it to arrive at your door in a compact box.

There’s an art to unpacking your new memory foam mattress, however. While it’s hard to make unpacking a boxed mattress truly dangerous, there are plenty of ways to make this process inconvenient.

Using a few simple steps, you can unpack your new mattress so efficiently that you don’t have to fiddle with it once it’s time for sleep. Learn how to unroll a memory foam mattress the right way, and find out how to avoid common boxed mattress unpacking mistakes.

What is a boxed mattress?

A boxed mattress is a mattress that arrives in a box after you purchase it online. Due to their unparalleled convenience, boxed mattresses have become remarkably popular over the last few years.

Most boxed mattresses consist of memory foam, but others might be latex or latex-foam hybrids. Due to their rigid structures, it’s impossible to compress innerspring mattresses into boxes.

Are box mattresses any good?

Boxed mattresses you can buy online vary considerably in terms of quality. It’s no guarantee that a mattress is high-quality just because it’s sold online and arrives at your door in a box.

You’ll need to determine the quality of a boxed mattress you’re considering by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What materials is the mattress made from?
  • Does the mattress have any reviews?
  • Is the mattress heat-regulating?
  • Does it come with CertiPUR-US or OEKO-TEX certifications?
  • Does it come with a guarantee?

Can I use my new mattress straight away?

There’s nothing more convenient than buying a mattress online and watching it appear at your door a few days later. You’ll need to wait a little while before you sleep on your new mattress, however.

To fit inside reasonably sized shipping boxes, memory foam mattresses must be vacuum-compressed. They are placed inside airtight bags at the factory, and a high-powered vacuum removes all the air inside the mattress.

Mattresses that have been compressed don’t re-inflate right away. After puncturing the vacuum seal surrounding your mattress, you’ll need to wait for it to properly expand.

How do you decompress a mattress?

The convenience of receiving a new mattress in the mail will be accentuated significantly if you unpack it the right way. Follow these four simple steps to enjoy the most relaxed and straightforward mattress unpacking experience:

1. Put your mattress into position

We recommend carrying your mattress, box and all, into the room where you’ll be sleeping before you start unpacking it. Your new mattress is much easier to move in its box than it will be once it’s fully decompressed.

If you’ll be laying your mattress on a bed frame, we recommend placing the box at the base of the frame. Otherwise, simply place your mattress box in an open area in your bedroom.

2. Remove the plastic wrapping

Open the box, and remove the mattress inside. It’s easiest to do so by cutting open the top of your box, flipping it over, and then pulling the box off the mattress.

Your Panda mattress is boxed with multiple layers of protective plastic. Remove this outer plastic wrapping, but be careful to not puncture your mattress’ vacuum seal yet.

3. Start unrolling your mattress

With its outer plastic wrapping removed, your mattress will start to unroll on its own. Lift the mattress onto your bed frame (if you have one), and help the process along by gently unrolling your mattress into position.

4. Puncture the vacuum seal

Now it’s time for the fun part. Using a pair of scissors, puncture the vacuum-sealed plastic bag surrounding your mattress. You might hear a hiss as air whooshes in.

It’s up to you whether you entirely remove the plastic bag now or not. Either way, your mattress will have plenty of room to fully expand, and it will expand at the same pace even if it remains in its bag.

How long does it take a rolled-up mattress to expand?

Your boxed mattress may expand to its full size within an hour after you puncture its vacuum seal. Compressed memory foam mattresses expand fastest in warm temperatures.

Even after most of the mattress has fully decompressed, however, its corners may not be filled in entirely. In most cases, the entirety of your mattress will have decompressed within around eight hours.

How long should you wait to sleep on a boxed mattress?

You should wait at least eight hours after puncturing your vacuum-sealed mattress bag before sleeping on your new memory foam mattress. To give your mattress plenty of time to decompress properly, you might want to wait a full 24 hours before sleeping on it. 

Can you sleep on a decompressing mattress?

You can, but it won’t be comfortable. Your new memory foam mattress can only properly support your body once it has fully decompressed.

If you sleep on a mattress while it’s decompressing, it might shift during the night, leading to discomfort. Memory foam mattresses also offgas the most during their decompression period, making it even more preferable to allow your mattress to fully decompress before sleeping on it for the first time.

Can you damage a memory foam mattress by sleeping on it too soon?

Sleeping on a memory foam mattress while it’s decompressing might be uncomfortable. You won’t damage your new mattress, however, by sleeping on it too soon.

Your memory foam mattress has already been under intense pressure for quite some time as it was vacuum-packed and shipped to your home. If that pressure didn’t damage your mattress, being compressed under the comparatively minor pressure of your body weight won’t damage it either.

How long does it take a memory foam mattress to offgas?

Memory foam mattresses usually take around 2-3 days to offgas entirely. During this period, gases that naturally result from the memory foam production process will emerge from the mattress and enter the surrounding air.

Mattresses that contain high-quality components offgas quicker, and the gases they release are also less harmful. It’s still recommended, however, that you avoid sleeping on your new mattress until it has fully off-gassed.

As a result, you may wish to hold off from sleeping on your mattress even after it has fully expanded. Some people go so far as to allow their mattresses to expand outside or in garages to avoid VOCs entirely.

How do you stop memory foam mattresses from off-gassing?

Memory foam mattresses will naturally stop off-gassing within a few days. If you want to entirely defend yourself against VOCs and start sleeping on your mattress immediately, however, you can encase it in a zip-up hypoallergenic cover.

These covers are usually inexpensive, and they often create airtight seals around mattresses. Make sure that your mattress has expanded completely before installing a zip-up cover.

How long can you leave a memory foam mattress in its box?

You should remove your memory foam mattress from its box and puncture its vacuum seal within three days. While memory foam takes well to compression, leaving it in a compressed state for too long could damage your mattress.

Some estimates suggest that memory foam can remain compressed for around two months without any damage occurring. Instead of taking the risk of harming your brand-new mattress, however, it’s best to unpack it promptly.