Mattress Unboxing Tips: Set Up Your New Mattress The Right Way!

Mattress Unboxing Tips

Curious about the steps involved in setting up a new mattress?

How to make sure that you setup your new mattress without any hassle?

Getting a new mattress can be an exciting experience, but it often comes with a few questions in mind. From the moment a mattress arrives at your door, there’s no doubt you’ll be stoked for your first night’s rest that evening. But slow down! Be prepared that from opening the package to sleeping on your mattress could be a multiday process.

Setting up your mattress may involve complications, like off-gassing, misalignment or unprecedented damages. Further, to prevent health hazards keep the new mattress for at least one night in a room other than your bedroom to breathe. This will ensure you get the most out of your new mattress starting the first night you actually sleep on it.

We, at SmartMattressBuy, are here to guide you through the entire process of mattress setup. So, join us as we delve into answering all your queries with our list of top 20 FAQs. Let’s uncover tips and tricks to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your new bedding investment!

Top 20 FAQs – Mattress Setup

Q1. What should I do when I get a new mattress?

Upon receiving a new mattress, particularly memory foam mattresses or mattresses in a box, it must be given some time to expand fully. Depending on the mattress size this duration may vary, typically taking a few hours to a week. We recommend opening a window and setting up the mattress without bedding to facilitate this process. This allows it to breathe and reach its optimal size and dimensions.

Q2. Is my new mattress supposed to feel stiff in the beginning?

Yes, when you get a new mattress, it might feel firmer in the beginning. But with routine use it eventually starts to get softer. Usually, it takes about 30 to 60 days of sleeping on it for the mattress to feel comfortable. Memory foam mattresses typically take the longest to expand, while innerspring and latex mattresses soften up a bit sooner.

Q3. How should I set up a new mattress?

Before you set up your new mattress follow these mandatory steps.

  1. Step 1: Allow the mattress to expand and let any odors dissipate.
  2. Step 2: Follow the unboxing instructions provided.
  3. Step 3: Ensure your room is spacious enough before opening the box.
  4. Step 4: Exercise caution when moving the mattress.
  5. Step 5: Confirm that the mattress is placed the right way up before removing the final layer of plastic cover.
  6. Step 6: If necessary, recruit a helper.
  7. Step 7: Take your time and use appropriate tools.
  8. Step 8: Plan your strategy for positioning the mattress once it’s ready.

Q4. How long should I wait to let a new mattress’s air out?

When you get a new mattress, it’s a good idea to unbox it and let it get some fresh air. Usually, off-gassing odors start to disappear in a few hours to a few days.  So, it’s best to open your mattress outside and let it breathe for at least two days to a week before use. This helps the mattress expand to its full dimensions.

Q5. What if I don’t let a new mattress’s air out?

If you don’t let a new mattress breathe, it can release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) inside your room. This is known as off-gassing. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), living in a closed room during off-gassing for an extended period of time can cause suffocation, allergies or health problems. That’s why choosing an organic mattress or a good-quality mattress with proper off-gassing time is important. It helps keep the air in your bedroom clean and safe for you

Q6. What is off-gassing?

When you unpack a new mattress for the first time, you might notice a strange smell. This smell is known as “off-gassing,” and it happens because the mattress can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when it’s removed from its packaging. Mattresses that come in a box can sometimes have a stronger odor because the vacuum-sealing process traps these chemical byproducts until you open the package in your home.

Q7. How can I help my mattress expand fully?

If your room has a cool environment, your mattress may take longer to expand. The good news is this is an easy fix. Just place your mattress in a warmer room. Now, it can expand to become its entire size.

Q8. Which mattresses take more time to expand?

Not all mattresses expand at the same speed. Memory foam and latex mattresses usually take longer to expand than polyurethane foam mattresses.

Q9. How long does it take for a rolled mattress to get to its full shape and firmness level?

As soon as you cut the last layer of vacuum-sealed plastic, your rolled mattress will start to expand right away. However, it typically takes about 24 to 48 hours to completely take its final shape and reach the right level of firmness.

Q10. Why isn’t my memory foam mattress expanding?

Your mattress needs a little more time. Usually, memory foam mattresses take up to 72 hours to expand completely, especially if it’s bigger. If your mattress has only been out of the box for a few hours, don’t worry if it’s not fully expanded yet. It is taking its time.

Q11. How can I help my memory foam mattress expand faster?

You can use a bit of warmth! Memory foam needs heat to expand faster. So, you can turn up the room temperature or use a hair dryer in a cool setting to help the foam expand to its original size. But remember not to overdo it; too much heat can damage the foam.

Q12. Do the corners of memory foam mattresses expand?

Yes, the corners of memory foam mattresses often take a bit longer to expand. So, if you’ve recently bought a bed-in-a-box memory foam mattress and notice the corners are taking time to expand, don’t worry. Just remain patient. The memory foam in the middle of the bed usually expands first before gradually opening outward towards the edges and corners.

Q13. Why are mattresses delivered in boxes now?

In the last 15 years, technology has transformed how mattresses are made and delivered. Now, machines can compress and roll-pack memory foam and hybrid mattresses and it’s much easier to send them through regular mail services to people’s homes. This has reduced the hassle and has made it more convenient for many customers.

Q14. How are new mattresses packaged?

Mattresses in a box are typically vacuum-sealed within durable plastic packaging. They are then folded width-wise and rolled up. Finally they are secured with an additional layer of sturdy plastic to ensure stable containment.

Q15. Can you sleep on a boxed mattress right away?

It is best to wait at least 24 hours before sleeping on your new mattress in a box. This gives it enough time to expand and thoroughly eliminate any packaging odor.

Q16. Do I have to unbox my mattress right away?

Different mattress brands have different recommendations. Some suggest opening the box within 72 hours, while others say it’s fine for up to 60 days. It’s best to follow the instructions from the company. However, we suggest opening it as soon as possible so you can try it out and make the most of your trial period.

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Q17. Does rotating a mattress help it last longer?

The parts of a mattress that support the most weight, like around the hips and shoulders, can wear out faster. Rotating a mattress at regular intervals helps to retain its structure and increases its durability. So, a mattress that’s rotated often might last a bit longer than one that isn’t, possibly by a year or more.

Q18. Is it okay to flip a mattress?

If you don’t have a flippable mattress, turning it over can make it less comfortable and not as effective for your sleep position. It may wear out faster, and you may wake up with body aches or back pain. However, some mattresses are flippable, so they’re an exception.

Q19. How can you detox a new mattress?

You can detox your new mattress using baking soda. Baking soda is a good option for neutralizing smells (off-gassing odor) and absorbing any leftover moisture. The longer you leave it on the mattress, the better it works! While the mattress sits with baking soda, open up the windows in the room to let in some fresh air and sunlight. This will help make your mattress feel nice and clean.

Q20. What does “white glove delivery service” mean?

Some mattress brands offer a special service called white glove delivery. This can be free or you might need to pay a fee for it. With white glove delivery, professional movers will arrive at your doorstep, set up your new bed in the room you want, and even take away your old mattress if you want them to. It’s like getting extra help for a hassle-free setup!

Top 5 Tips to Setup Your New Mattress!

To make the most of your new mattress setup and unboxing experience, consider these simple steps and smart tips.

1. Tip 1: Clear Space for Your Mattress

Before diving into unboxing your new mattress, it’s essential to make room for it. A new mattress may appear compact in their delivery box, but once open, they start to expand fast to reach their full size.

To avoid any mishaps, be sure to measure the available space in your room and compare it to the dimensions of your mattress. Here’s a quick reference of common mattress sizes:

  • Twin: 38” x 75”
  • Twin XL: 38” x 80”
  • Full (Double): 54” x 75”
  • Queen: 60” x 80”
  • King: 76” x 80”
  • Split King: 38” x 80” (each mattress)
  • California King: 72” x 84”

2. Tip 2: Recruit a Friend/Helper for Assistance

Unboxing a mattress can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with a large size mattress. We always recommend enlisting the help of a friend or family member. Mattresses can weigh a substantial amount—queen sizes can often reach around 100 pounds!

Even if you have a delivery agent to assist with moving the box, it’s wise to always have an extra pair of hands to ensure a smoother unboxing experience, especially when navigating stairs or tight spaces.

3. Tip 3: Bring the Box to the Right Bedroom/Open Space

Before you unbox your new mattress from its packaging, transport the box to the bedroom where it will reside or place it in an open space to remove any off-gassing odors before use. If you already have a box spring or bed frame in place, set it up accordingly. Place the mattress-in-a-box on top, aligning it horizontally on the bed frame.

4. Tip 4: Follow Unboxing Instructions

Your mattress should come with specific unboxing instructions that you should read and adhere to diligently. Gather the necessary tools, such as a box cutter, scissors, or any cutting device provided with the mattress. There’s no need to rush through this process; take your time to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Here’s a general step-by-step guide that works for most bed-in-a-box mattress:

  1. STEP 1: You and your helper need to stand at different openings of the box.
  2. STEP 2: Use a box cutter or scissors to open one end of the box.
  3. STEP 3: Have one person carefully pull out the plastic-wrapped mattress from the opened end of the box while the other holds onto the box from the other end, and then dispose of the box.
  4. STEP 4: Unwrap the outer layer of plastic from the mattress by unrolling it, allowing the bed to expand slowly.
  5. STEP 5: Position the mattress as desired on the bed frame or floor space.
  6. STEP 6: Cut through the remaining plastic, which will break the vacuum seal.
  7. STEP 7: Watch your new bed expand before your eyes!

5. Tip 5: Allocate Time for the Mattress to Fully Expand

Although your new mattress may look inviting immediately after unboxing, it may require an additional day or two to fully expand. If you encounter a strong smell or off-gassing odors during mattress unboxing, consider opening a window or running a fan in the room. Once your mattress takes its final shape and is freshened up, it’s ready for you to enjoy the ultimate sleeping experience!


This article has demonstrated a thorough understanding of mattress setup and unboxing. We’ve covered all the crucial aspects, from how to unpack your new mattress to how to get rid of off-gassing odors before use. You’ve learned about the time it takes for different mattresses to expand and how to speed up the process when needed. We’ve also addressed common questions about memory foam mattresses and how to care for them.

By following these helpful tips, you’ll be well-prepared to unbox and set up your new mattress for a rejuvenating sleep experience. Remember to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for your particular mattress. Here’s to a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep!

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