The 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Bed-in-a-Box

6 min read

Last Updated on

The 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Bed-in-a-Box
5 (100%) 3 votes

Most of us are buying everything online nowadays from clothes to toothpaste to food. 

However, there are some who are still wary, skeptical and hesitant to purchase an item over the internet. Especially something that should be tested physically in-person and at this price point.

As a first-time online mattress buyer, here are 10 things you should think about during your journey.


Most bed-in-a-box brands have a generous trial period ranging from 100 to 120 days. The countdown typically begins the day it’s delivered.

A select few offer 365 days – this is awesome because a mattress is quite the investment, but read the fine print to see what can void this – Eg. pets sleeping with you, losing paperwork, cutting off the label – and be aware of any potential restocking fees.

There is an adjustment period for just about anything, the same goes for a new bed. So, they may ask you to keep it for 30 nights first before returning, which is a fair length of time to form an accurate assessment of the mattress.

If I don’t like it, how do I return it?

No need to stuff it back into the tiny box – you’d need to have a commercial-sized vacuum seal to do that!

The company, or a third-party contractor, will come and pick up the mattress for free within your trial period. You should probably check to see if you will be charged a mattress removal fee.

Some socially conscious-minded brands will donate your returned mattress to people in need (major brownie points), and some will just let you keep the mattress while issuing a full refund.


If you get any freebies thrown into your purchase, you may have to return these items too. Make sure it’s the bed that you want and plan on keeping before taking the freebie items out of their plastic wrapping.

What’s the warranty like?

It’s not uncommon to see companies offering 10, 15, 20-year warranty. A select few even offer a lifetime warranty.

Lifetime sounds nice and all, but your mattress needs will evolve as your body changes, and there are certain restrictions like you must be the original owner, and it only covers damage resulting from sagging, dipping, or other manufacturer defects.

Also, the duration refers to the lifetime of the PRODUCT, not YOUR lifetime.

For your claim to be valid, most will require you to have used some sort of sturdy foundation, even if the mattress itself may not need one. It’s one of those old-school rules that have yet to change.

Can I try it out at a local store first?


If you can find a store that carries it.

Most bed-in-a-box brands exclusively sell online for good reasons! This way they can cut overhead costs – like renting a retail space, paying salespeople to stand on the floor, and other expenses that a physical location demands – and pass on the savings to their customers, like you and me.

Some partner up with existing physical stores – like Target, West Elm, Pottery Barn, & Indigo (in Canada) – and a few have their own showrooms in major metropolitan cities, so the shoppers can try before they buy.

This goes without saying, but absolutely test it out if there is a physical location close to home!

With the advanced technology these days, your friend who lives close to a showroom can probably to take you mattress shopping via live video chat!


Why should I buy online if I can buy it in the store?

I don’t think anyone would stop you from buying a bed-in-a-box in the store, but you might want to consider just using the in-store mattress models to test out and purchase online instead.


Because there may be exclusive deals online that are not offered at the store.

For example:

When I was shopping online for a new internet provider, and called into one for more information.

When I asked the agent about the $100 credit stated on their website, he apologetically said he cannot offer me that promotion, the only way to unlock that deal is to sign up online myself. And, so I did!

Here are other reasons why buying online wins:

  • Easier to comparison shop
  • No annoying salespeople
  • No awkward, fully-clothed sleep test in the store
  • Avoid paying sales tax – this depends on where you live
  • FREE shipping!

Is it comfortable? Does the mattress offer enough support?

Oh, this is a tricky one!

Honestly, it’s tough to gauge before you get the product.

If you’re lucky enough to find a store-front with the bed-in-a-box mattress you want, go lie down for 10-15~ minutes and see how you feel.

You can look at user reviews online – they are quite helpful, but our bodies are different, which means our preferences for the level of support and comfort likely won’t be the exact same.

A Few Misnomers

1 – Firmness and support is the same thing
2 – The harder the mattress, the better it is for your back

Firmness refers to how hard the surface of the mattress is when you immediately lie down, while support means how well the mattress is able to keep your spine in neutral alignment while you sleep.

It is entirely possible to have a firm mattress that doesn’t support well, and a soft mattress that supports you very well.

I’m hoping that one day someone will invent a mattress where you don’t need a pillow because the bed will re-adjust itself according to your shape and weight, so you can sleep in the most optimal and ergonomic position.

Let’s keep dreaming together!

What kind of mattress should I choose?

Hopefully, you know what you like by now.

If not, no worries. We can figure it out together!

Do you like innerspring, memory foam, latex, or hybrid? Do you like a soft or firm mattress? What kind of sleeper are you – stomach, side, back or combo? Do you sleep alone or with other co-sleepers? What mattress size are you looking for?

Knowing your preference will help you quickly narrow down the millions of choices out there for you.

Most (if not all) bed-in-a-boxes are made of foam because it’s difficult to fold coil springs into a small box and ship it across the country.

Quick History Lesson

Memory foam was actually invented by NASA – yes, the place where astronauts come from – back in 1966 to be used as seat cushions to absorb shock and relieve pressure during take-offs and landings. Cool, right?

It wasn’t until the 80’s did the foam material became available to the public. Since then, it has gotten more mainstream and been incorporated into everyday products like mattresses, helmets, and shoes among other things.

Memory foam is actually made of polyurethane with “open cells” so air can move through, hence why it can mold to any shape and bounce back to its original form in seconds.

Yes, memory foam is known to retain body heat more easily, but most mattresses have a special top layer or coating that keeps it cool.


If you always sleep hot, go for a memory foam that has more of an “open cell” structure. You can test this out by pressing into the foam and see how long it takes to reshape – the faster it takes, the more open it is!

How much is shipping?

$ Free $ 

I’d be really surprised to see a bed-in-a-box that doesn’t offer complimentary shipping within the contiguous states.

Another story if you’re in Hawaii, Alaska or outside of America! Some companies may subsidize a portion of the cost and charge cheaper shipping rates, so they can stay competitive.

Typically, logistics is contracted out to a third-party company, like FedEx or UPS.

While you will get a tracking number with an estimated date for delivery, they probably won’t take it upstairs to your bedroom for you. Some may be nice and will help you if you ask, but definitely don’t expect it. They are a distribution company – not a moving company – so they only need to deliver it to the property.

How do I unbox it?

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!

Depending on how heavy the mattress is, you may want a friend to help you take it to the bedroom.

Step 1 – Carry the box to the bedroom, take the mattress out from the box, and unfold or unroll onto your foundation.

Step 2 – Cut away the plastic wrapping – careful not to damage the goods!

Step 3 – Let it decompress and off-gas. It takes just a few hours to regain its shape, and 1-2 days for the (possible) odor to fully go away. Cracking open a window or putting it in direct sunlight will help dissipate the scent faster.

Step 4 – Put on some fresh bed sheets, and – voila, enjoy your sleep!

See how easy it was for Jane Yumul to unbox by herself 🙂

How much does it weigh? Can I carry it to the room myself or is it a two-person job?

It’s time to start lighting weights!

Just kidding – it depends on the size of the mattress, what it’s made of, and your own body strength!

A bed-in-a-box can weigh anywhere from 60 to 150 pounds. The company should be able to tell you exactly how much the mattress of your choice weighs.

If you have an injury or know you can’t lift it yourself (Hey, I can’t move 150 pounds by myself!), either pay extra for white glove delivery or get a friend to help.

Note that delivery companies are not required to lug it into your home for you; they only need to deliver it to your property – usually the front door.

White Glove Delivery is a premium, add-on service that will run you an extra $150-300, but it can come in handy if you don’t have to manpower or time. Not every company offers it, so you’ll have to check.

This service typically includes: telling you the exact day/time for delivery, bringing the mattress to the bedroom, setting it up and even taking your old mattress away.

Is it worth it to buy a bed-in-a-box?

Sure, why not!?

With the generous, 3+ months sleep trials, free shipping, and a typically lower price tag than retail stores, it’s pretty much risk-free.

Let’s play out the worst case scenario: you hate the bed.

That’s OK! Send it back, get a full refund and try another mattress. Doesn’t sound like too big of a hassle to achieve the ultimate sleep, does it?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment