5 Surprising Things That Can Happen When a Mattress Is Stuffed Into a Box

When a mattress is compressed, folded, and rolled into a box, it can compromise the safety, break the foam, destroy the coils, reduce the lumbar support, and decrease the lifespan of the mattress. At Saatva, we handcraft all of our mattresses with premium materials that can't be compressed and offer white glove delivery and an industry-leading warranty.

Here at Saatva, we don’t sell mattresses compressed into boxes. Based on our years of experience in the mattress space, we don’t think they offer the best quality for your money.

After all, any mattress that can be rolled up and stuffed in a box is never going to offer the same long-lasting performance as a premium product delivered intact. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at this video to see what can happen when a mattress is crushed:

Can a mattress that’s been flattened down to an inch so it can be folded, rolled, vacuum-sealed, and packed into a small shipping box really give you the comfort and support you need to get a good night’s sleep for years to come?

Our experience tells us that it can’t. That’s why we handcraft all of our mattresses with premium materials that can’t be compressed. Watch this video to see how a Saatva mattress gets made:

Over the years, we’ve cut open countless mattresses in boxes to study how compressing, folding, and rolling can affect the materials inside. Here’s what we’ve learned.

The following information is up-to-date as of April 29, 2022.

5 things that can happen to a mattress when it’s stuffed into a box

This is what compressing, folding, and rolling can do to a mattress:

1. It can compromise safety

All mattresses are required by law to have a flame barrier. At Saatva, we use natural thistle, which is a product derived from wood pulp, as well as organic New Zealand wool. But many compressed foam mattresses use a fiberglass sock underneath the outer cover as the flame retardant.

When you flatten a mattress, fold it in half, and roll it through a compression machine, this can damage the sock and reduce the safety of the product. The fiberglass shards could even penetrate through the cover and escape into the room.

There’s been more than one class-action lawsuit in recent years against brands that use fiberglass socks in their mattresses.

The issue in these cases is that while the mattresses usually have a removable outer mattress cover, consumers aren’t warned that removing the outer cover exposes the inner layer of fiberglass.

Once the cover is removed, fiberglass particles can be released into your home, where they can negatively impact your health. The potential risks of exposure to fiberglass shards include itchy skin, eye injuries, upper respiratory infections, and lung scarring.

2. It can break the foam

Foam mattresses usually contain base support layers made of polyurethane foam and upper comfort layers made of memory foam. The denser the foams, the more durable and supportive the mattress. Bed in a box companies use less dense foams so the mattresses can be flattened and crammed into a shipping box.

The memory foam comfort layer in one leading bed in a box is 3.5-lb density, for example, while

our Loom & Leaf memory foam mattress
loom and leaf memory foam mattress
Loom and Leaf

Our ultra-premium 5-lb memory foam mattress for a body-hugging feel

has two memory foam comfort layers—one made of 5-lb viscoelastic memory foam and the other made of 4-lb convoluted memory foam infused with cooling gel.

Foam is like a sponge, and it has tiny cells that can break when you compress them. Not all of the cells will be broken during compression, but enough of the cells will break that the lifespan, and support, offered by the mattress will be reduced.

3. It can destroy the coils

Some boxed mattresses contain a layer of innerspring coils. Typically, these coils are made from thinner wire than the coils in traditional mattresses so they can be more easily compressed, folded, and rolled.

The coils in one leading bed in a box are 15-gauge, for example, while the two layers of coils in

our Saatva Classic innerspring mattress
saatva classic innerspring mattress
Saatva Classic

America’s best-selling online luxury innerspring

are 13-gauge and 14.5-gauge (the lower the gauge, the thicker and more durable the coil).

When the mattress is folded and roll packed, two to three rows of coils in the center of the mattress, where it folds at the crease, are usually destroyed. This can reduce the support and lifespan of the mattress.

4. It can compromise the back support

The center third of a mattress is the most important for lumbar support because it’s where most of your body weight lies.

Folding the mattress can compromise the lumbar support in the center third of the mattress, leaving you with less support for your back. As a result, you could wake up with aches and pains.

5. It can reduce the lifespan of a mattress

While the average lifespan of a mattress is seven to 10 years, most mattresses in a box will have a reduced lifespan because of what happens to the materials inside when they’re compressed, folded, and rolled. That means you’ll have to spend money sooner to replace your mattress. And some mattresses in a box cost well over $1,000!

Plus, sleeping on a mattress that’s past its prime can come with its own set of issues—think aches and pains, being able to feel your partner move around in bed, and just not being able to get comfortable overall.


How long does a mattress in a box last?

The average lifespan of a mattress is seven to 10 years. However, most mattresses in a box may have a reduced lifespan due to what happens to the materials inside when they’re compressed, folded, and rolled.

Do beds in a box sag?

Beds in a box use less dense foams and thin coils so they can be flattened and crammed into a shipping box. This can reduce the support of the mattress and cause it to sag over time. Not to mention, folding the mattress can compromise the lumbar support.

Improve your sleep with these handcrafted Saatva mattresses

Saatva Classic Innerspring Mattress

Our flagship luxury mattress is expertly engineered with coil-on-coil construction for durability, a layer of memory foam for enhanced back support, and a cushiony Euro pillow top for extra comfort.

Contour5 Mattress

Luxurious body-hugging feel and pressure relief with 3” of ultra-premium, high-density 5-lb memory foam.

Zenhaven Latex Mattress

Natural latex responds to every curve for pressure-free support and responsive comfort. Natural latex is supple, resilient, and durable, for the ultimate in elevated sleep. (It's naturally hypoallergenic too.)

How Saatva differs from mattress in a box brands

Saatva mattresses never come stuffed in a box—instead, they’re handcrafted and made to order, then delivered and set up in the room of your choice. When you purchase a Saatva mattress, whether online or at one of our Viewing Rooms, you get a factory-fresh, American-made mattress that’s been manufactured just for you.

Our mattresses all contain high-quality materials that could never be compressed. And our flame retardants are made from natural materials, like plant-based thistle and wool, that are free from harmful chemicals.

White glove delivery is also standard with every Saatva order. We deliver and set up your mattress so you don’t have to worry about lugging a heavy box up to your bedroom.

We give you plenty of time to enjoy any Saatva mattress in the comfort of your home before deciding if it’s right for you. All of our mattresses come backed by an industry-leading warranty because we stand behind the quality of our products.

Check out our selection of premium mattresses and take our mattress quiz to find your perfect match. At Saatva, we believe you deserve better than a bed stuffed into a box.

Was This Article Helpful?
Yes No

Related Stories