Have you just ordered a brand new memory foam mattress after years of sleeping on a terrible surface with dips, valleys, and other signs of indentations? This could be an exciting period in your life.
You’re raring to go on the new mattress only to suffer disappointment after opening the box and read the manufacturer’s instructions stating that you have to wait 24-48 hours to allow full expansion.
But what if you decide to sleep on the memory foam right away? Could that decision cause any form of damage to the mattress or void its warranty? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.
Why Are Memory Foam Mattresses Shipping Compressed in a Box?
With the advancements in technology, consumers are finding online shopping more convenient than walking into traditional brick and mortar stores. Mattresses have become one of the most popular household products people prefer to buy on the Web.
Gone are the days when you had to walk into a mattress showroom and pay over-the-top prices for even average quality models. Many mattress-in-a-box brands have sprung up in the last two decades or so, offering models at amazing prices as well as additional perks such as 100-night free trials and quick shipment.
These brands operate with a host of innovations including compressing, rolling up, and shipping their mattress models in small boxes. The good news is that memory foam expands fully upon arrival in the consumer’s home without losing its quality, size, or other built-in properties.
Additionally, expanding the mattress is easy. The consumer just has to remove it from the box, pop the airtight seal, unroll it and watch the expansion process begin in full swing.
How Long Does Memory Foam Take To Expand?
The majority of memory foam mattresses expand up to 90 percent of their overall size within 4-6 hours. The final 10 percent of expansion occurs within 24 to 72 hours. Often, it is important to listen to the manufacturer’s claims of how long it takes for their models to expand and plan accordingly.
Some brands even state that their memory foam models reach full size within 2 hours. Whatever the manufacturer’s claims, note that the maximum amount of time it takes for the memory foam to expand fully should be no more than 72 hours.
Drawbacks of Sleeping On A Memory Foam Mattress Right Away
It is technically possible to go against manufacturer recommendations by sleeping on a brand new memory foam mattress less than 24 hours after the arrival. However, there are a few issues you may encounter including:
1. The Off-Gassing Smell
The biggest drawback to sleeping on a memory foam mattress immediately it arrives in your home is the strong off-gassing smell. The manufacturing process involves the use of chemicals that can be extremely uncomfortable to inhale.
Typically, it takes about 48-72 hours for a memory foam mattress-in-a-box to off-gas sufficiently. Failure to wait for the recommended period before sleeping on the mattress can lead to inhaling toxic gases resulting in headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems.
Mattresses yet to off-gas can also cause dizziness, skin irritations, and other health complications that may affect the sleeper’s quality of life significantly.
Have you read the article we wrote on How To Speed Up Mattress Off-gassing? Click here to read some cool tips that can allow you to get rid of the “new mattress” smell quickly.
2. Reduced Plushness
One of the outstanding properties of memory foam is the plush feeling and amazing support it offers for the body. Regardless of what the manufacturer says, memory foam may not feel too plush until it is completely expanded.
This means if you decide to sleep on your mattress on the first night after arrival, minimum plushness should be expected. Comfort levels will only improve in the subsequent nights as the mattress continues to expand.
So be careful not to judge the new purchase based on the first night’s performance. This is one of the reasons why manufacturers advise that you allow the mattress 2-3 days of expansion after arrival.
3. Might Not Expand Fully
Sometimes, sleeping on a memory foam mattress less than 24 hours after arrival can interfere with the expansion process. Ordinarily, these mattresses are compressed and boxed under the condition that they are allowed to expand slowly after arrival in the consumer’s home.
Sleeping on your order on the same day can even speed up the expansion process but that may not be the case in defective models. The pressure from the sleeper’s body can inhibit the expansion process instead of having the opposite effect.
In most cases, it is the expansion of the corners of the mattress that may get stifled by sleeping on memory foam too early. Since memory foam has relatively weaker edges compared to latex and innerspring models, spending the night on your mattress before 24 hours can lead to lots of discomfort in the morning.
4. Any Defects May Be Hidden
Defects are common in the mattress industry despite the advanced technologies used by manufacturers. From brand new memory foam models with sagging spots to others that appear unevenly shaped, it is important to inspect your mattress thoroughly after full expansion.
This can help you notice any obvious defects for a quick return before the trial period expires. Sometimes, sleeping on memory foam right away can mask some of these physical and structural problems.
By the time you realize, the sleep trial has ended and you’re stuck with an expensive piece of mattress that fails to provide comfort or support at night.
5. Uneven Surface
Memory foam offers customized body contouring thanks to its natural responsiveness. However, you can only gain these benefits after full expansion. Failure to allow enough time for the mattress to achieve that can lead to an uneven surface.
This can have the same effect as a sagging mattress including sleep discomforts as well as aches and pains in the morning. An uneven mattress surface can also make it harder to get out of bed in the morning.
Unfortunately, this can ruin the sleeping experience right from the beginning and inhibit the ability to get maximum comfort throughout the lifetime of the mattress.
Have you noticed dips and valleys in your mattress? Check out the article we wrote on How to Fix and Prevent Sagging In A Mattress.
6. Voids The Warranty
Some manufacturers explicitly forbid sleeping on their memory foam models before the first 24 hours after unboxing. This information is usually boldly stated in the warranty fine print that ships with the mattress.
Going against this warning can void the manufacturer’s warranty meaning the chances of seeking redress becomes next to zero. After spending a couple of hundred or even thousands of dollars on a brand new memory foam model, the risks may not be worth your while.
Have you read our article on How Mattress Trials Work? Click the link to find out how mattress trials and warranties work and the best ways to ensure you can file for a claim in the future.
How To Set Up Your Memory Foam Mattress For Sleep Right Away
The majority of bed-in-a-box companies recommend waiting for 24-48 hours before sleeping on an unboxed memory foam mattress. However, there are times when following those recommendations is impossible.
Here are a few ways to set up a memory foam mattress to sleep on right away.
1. Unbox It Immediately
One of the cardinal sins any consumer can commit with memory foam is to leave it rolled up in the shipping box for too long. If you intend to sleep on the new mattress within a few hours after arrival, it is important to remove it from the box immediately after the delivery person knocks on your door so the expansion process can start right away.
The truth is memory expands up to 90 percent of its full size within 4-6 hours. Thus, seeking a head start will always be a great idea. By bedtime, the mattress should have expanded quite sufficiently for a good night of rest.
Unboxing the mattress also begins the off-gassing process meaning reduced exposure to potentially toxic chemical fumes by the time the consumer retires to bed.
2. Give It The White Sock Treatment
Need to sleep on your memory foam right away? Why not just give it the white sock treatment after removal from the box. This process involves jumping up and down the entire length and breadth of the mattress to speed up the expansion.
Kids and other members of the household can join in on the fun as everyone contributes to ensuring the mattress is ready for sleeping. The good news is that the white sock treatment may also ensure that the mattress off-gases quicker which can add more comfort at bedtime.
To avoid inhaling the toxic off-gassing fumes, we recommend jumping around the brand new mattress for no more than 10 minutes at a time before leaving the room.
Have you checked out the article we wrote on How to Break In A New Mattress Quickly? Click the link to discover tried and tested techniques that can help you loosen up the firmness of a brand new mattress.
3. Let it Expand In The Sun
If the weather is clear enough with little chance of rain and you live in the suburbs with lots of backyard space, why not let the new memory foam mattress expand in the sun? This can be beneficial in a variety of ways.
Firstly, memory foam is extremely temperature-sensitive meaning allowing the sun’s rays to hit its surface directly can improve the expansion process significantly. Besides, the natural deodorizing properties of the sun coupled with the airy nature of the outdoors can supercharge the mattress off-gassing process.
The toxic fumes can dissipate quickly while the speed of the mattress expansion process also improves – a double win for the consumer. If you decide to go down the airing-out-in-the-sun route, make sure the mattress stays protected from dirt and dust.
4. Leave It In A Room With Lots of Air
If letting the brand new memory foam mattress expand outdoors is not an option, why not just leave it in a room with lots of air? This can mean opening all the doors and windows in the bedroom while turning on the fan.
The excellent air circulation in the environment can lead to quicker off-gassing while the mattress is allowed to expand fully. Make sure the newly arrived memory foam is placed directly under the fan or near a window for maximum effect.
5. Turn On Your Air Purifier
Are you struggling to stay in the same room with an expanding new memory foam mattress? Why not turn on the bedroom air purifier?
These electronic appliances improve the quality of the air in the environment by removing toxic fumes and replacing them with purified air. They feature built-in fans that trap bad odors, clean them up, and release the purified air into the environment.
For maximum efficiency, experts recommend HEPA-certified purifiers to get the job done as they trap up to 99.97 percent of foreign particles from their operating environment.
The Winix Air Purifier With True HEPA, PlasmaWave, and Odor Reducing Washable AOC Carbon Filter from Amazon is the number-one Air Purifier for sale today. It blocks 99.97 % airborne pollutants such as mold spores and bad odors from the bedroom environment. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough because it has transformed the quality of my sleep.
What To Do When Memory Foam Mattress Is Not Expanding
You may have every intention of sleeping on your brand new memory foam mattress immediately upon arrival. But, there are instances where the mattress may fail to expand even after unboxing and following the manufacturer’s manual.
Here are step by step instructions to follow when a brand new memory foam mattress-in-a-box fails to expand:
1. Leave It On The Floor For 72 Hours
Manufacturers quote 72 hours as the maximum amount of time it takes for memory foam models to expand fully. Sure, that may be a deliberate overestimation as many compressed memory foam mattresses reach their full size within the space of a couple of hours.
But why not give the mattress the benefit of the doubt by allowing it to go untouched for 72 hours.
Also, if memory foam is showing signs of struggling to expand, pushing it from the box spring or foundation onto the floor can be a major first step.
Hard surfaces like the floor can even speed up the expansion process to reach the full size within the stipulated time-frame.
2. Turn up the Thermostat
Did you order a brand new memory foam mattress during winter or another cold period of the year? If it is struggling to expand or the process seems too slow, why not crank up the heat in the bedroom?
The heat sensitivity of memory foam is legendary and this can be exploited to ensure the mattress reaches full size during expansion. Turning up the bedroom heat to 68 degrees can be a defining moment in the quest for the new arrival to reach its full size.
Within 24 hours, you should see a remarkable transformation in the size of the mattress. However, if the mattress still seems to be expanding sluggishly after 48-72 hours, it is time for a little bit of action.
Have you seen the article we wrote on How to Keep You and Your Bedroom Cool Without An AC? Click the link for some insane tips.
3. Lie Down and Roll On The Mattress
Sometimes, movement is what a memory mattress needs to kick start the expansion process. This is why lying down and rolling up on its entire length and breadth can be such an effective tactic.
Rolling up on the brand new mattress for about 30 minutes can soften the component memory foam meaning the expansion process may pick up significantly.
The trick is to switch between different positions, sticking to a particular one 5 minutes at a time so the memory foam can warm up and adjust to that position before moving onto another.
This tactic can also even out the entire surface of the memory foam to prevent the dips and valleys associated with sagging.
4. Lie Down On It For a Week
Sometimes following the tactics listed above can lead to significant improvements in the expansion process. While the mattress may not have expanded fully, this can be a sign of progress.
Lying down on the mattress for up to a week should correct any deficiencies in the expansion process by allowing the necessary adjustments to your body heat and weight. Once you get completely comfortable on a mattress, even if it hasn’t expanded fully, it may no longer be a concern.
5. Return The Mattress
If you’ve tried all of the tactics above and nothing seems to have worked, it may be time to return the mattress. The good news is that the majority of mattress-in-a-box brands offer 100-night sleep trials for consumers.
This means the ability to experience everything the mattress may have to offer before deciding as to whether to keep it or not. If your mattress failed to expand then that could be a sign of a defect.
Thus, returning and asking for a replacement should not be a problem if you still think that a particular model is the best for you. Alternatively, you can seek a refund and order another model from the same brand or a different one.
Sleeping on your memory foam mattress right away may be possible as long as you’re willing to take the necessary precautions such as unboxing and popping the airtight seal immediately the package arrives to begin the expansion process.
Additionally, you should allow the mattress some room to breathe so it can off-gas sufficiently enough to sleep well without problems. However, be aware that failure to allow the mattress at least 24 hours of expansion before sleeping can affect the quality of your shuteye.
Thankfully, your experiences should improve significantly in the subsequent nights. Just make sure sleeping on the mattress right away does not void the manufacturer’s warranty terms and conditions.