Keeping Memory Foam Mattresses Boxed (How Long Before Damage?)

Mattresses that come packed in a box seem like a nifty idea.

Traditionally, bulky items such as mattresses involve some heavy lifting to get them into the homes and into the bedrooms. The amount of work increases exponentially when you have to drag them up a staircase.

A memory foam mattress in a box changes that. Not only do you get a type of mattress that feels plusher than the traditional innerspring mattress, but all the handling of a mattress from unpacking to re-packing (when you need to) also becomes a lot easier, flexible, and convenient.

But do not let its handiness fool you. It is not designed to stay in the box forever and there is a time frame within which you should unbox it and let it inflate.

So, how long can you leave the memory foam mattress in the box after it’s been delivered to you?

It is advisable to unbox, unroll and inflate the memory foam mattress within 1 week from the time you receive your purchase. However, for reasons of moving house or the unexpected change of plan, inflating the mattress within 2 months will typically do just fine – but check the fine prints on the packaging for any such instruction.

How Long Can You Leave a Memory Foam Mattress in the Box?

Receiving a new purchase is always exciting and you cannot wait to start using it.

The decision to buy a replacement mattress often mean you’ve decided that the old one must go and you’re simply looking forward to using the new memory foam mattress for all the benefits that you’ve understood it can provide.

You Have Not Inflated the Mattress

However, even the best-laid plans can change.

For some reason that may not have been apparent at the time of purchase, you’re now thinking of putting off using the new mattress. You do not want to inflate it, and to have to deal with the space it takes up when not in use.

It is best then to keep the mattress in the box the way it came.

Should the situation persist beyond a month, continuing to have the mattress rolled and compressed in the box could cause damage.

How long can a memory foam mattress stay in the box? The precise answer ultimately depends on the manufacturer that produced it.

Mattresses in a box typically have a printed stipulation on the box that you need to unbox and inflate them within a fixed time period from the date of purchase or receipt. Failure to do so could void the warranty

That being said, 2-month wait time is usually fine.

Your new memory foam mattress had probably been sitting in the warehouse for a few months, rolled and compressed in the box. Your extending the wait by a few extra weeks isn’t going to be catastrophic.

If inflating the mattress a month from purchase unveils a defect, then chances are it was defective, to begin with, and you’ll be eligible for an exchange or refund anyways.

But What If You’ve Inflated the Mattress

That you can return the mattress (and free returns are the norm now) is common knowledge.

But before you proceed to compress and roll the memory foam mattress by yourself, check with the seller if their free return policy includes free pickup and compressing the mattress for you.

If they do, let them carry out the compressing and packing instead. They have all the tools they need to do a quick job.

But by any chance that you need to compress the mattress yourself, check out this linked post on how to compress a memory foam mattress.

Beyond the considerations pre-unboxing, you may have slept on the new mattress but found it not to your liking. Simply contact your seller to arrange for a return, and an exchange or refund.

What Is the Potential Damage If You Leave It in the Box for Too Long?

A memory foam mattress is made up of layers of foams of varying density.

You’ll typically only find a layer of memory foam at or near the top of the mattress for comfort, and a high-density foam at the bottom layer for core support and integrity.

Foams are lightweight materials that perform well in heat and pressure absorption. When the stress on the foam is released, it recovers to its original form, ready for its next application.

As the foam compresses and de-compresses repeatedly, it starts to wear and lose its ability to regain its original form and shape. In other words, it loses its ‘elasticity’.

For a memory foam mattress that stays compressed in the box for a long period of time, you risk:

  • The mattress not inflating to its full foam once de-compressed and laid flat on the bed base.
  • Uneven surfaces forming on the mattress that cannot fully mold to the contour of your body as it should.
  • The top layer of memory foam becoming unresponsive and thus uncomfortable to sleep on and losing the intended benefits.
  • Voiding the warranty.

How Do You Compress and Roll a Memory Foam Mattress Yourself?

In order to make the process of compressing and rolling a memory foam mattress a little easier, watch the video below to see how it’s done in the factory. The principle behind it is the same.

Pay particular attention to the 1-minute 50-second mark:

When you’re compressing and rolling the memory foam mattress manually, follow these steps:

  • Bag the mattress when it is fully inflated using a heavy-duty mattress bag. Buy a new mattress bag from a mattress shop or a local hardware store that is large enough to encase the mattress when inflated. The bag that came with the mattress is too small for the task. If you can get your hands on a plastic vacuum bag large enough for your mattress, all the better.
  • Use a helper when you vacuum the bag and compress the mattress. Hold the open end of the bag tightly as you vacuum and as the other person walks and steps on the mattress to push the air out.
  • Once compressed, tie and tape up the bag using duct tape. Or, seal the valve if you’re using a vacuum bag.
  • Slowly roll the compressed mattress from one end to the other where you made the seal on the bag. This allows you to force out the remaining air at the end of the rolling.
  • Use duct tape to tape around the roll and hold down the compression.
  • Place the compressed and rolled mattress back in the box.

How Long Can You Store a Memory Foam Mattress?

Outside of returning the mattress in a box for whatever reason, there may be times when you want to store it so you can still use it another time.

If the memory foam mattress is still within its warranty period, you should keep it compressed and rolled in the store for a maximum of 2 months or any time period as specified by the manufacturer. If it is an old mattress outside of its warranty coverage, you can store it for as long as you want but you assume the risks of deformity and loss of performance once it is re-inflated.

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