We bought 3 foam “bed-in-a-box” mattresses online – from Koala, Napp and Ecosa – and put them to the test against a traditional store-bought inner-spring mattress.
Bed-in-a-box mattresses are enclosed in vacuum-sealed packaging so it’s possible to transport them in a box straight from the warehouse to your door.
Bed-in-a-box mattresses only offer 1 comfort level: there’s no choice between soft or firm. But online shopping, free delivery, competitive pricing and the security of a generous trial period (at least 100 days) make it a convenient, low-risk way to buy a mattress.
Are they worth trying? To find out, we selected 3 queen size bed-in-a-box mattresses from Koala, Napp and Ecosa, and compared them with a mid-range inner-spring mattress from Sealy Posturepedic’s Aspire range.
To test how well the mattresses would last, a 140kg cylindrical roller traversed back and forth 30,000 times over each mattress, recreating the wear they’re expected to endure over a lifetime of use. A further 5000 impressions were made using a 100kg prop along the edges to simulate conditioning caused when sitting down on them (as you might when putting on shoes).
As part of our test, we cut each mattress open and photographed the interior. Knowing what’s inside determines if two mattresses are identical or based on different technologies.
The Sealy Posturepedic Aspire chosen was the “Vogue Deluxe” model manufactured in Australia (where our test was carried out) and available from Harvey Norman stores in Australia. The spring system, core and edge support in the Sealy Posturepedic Aspire mattresses manufactured and sold in New Zealand are identical. However, different retailers in Australia and New Zealand each have their own unique outer fabric and variations in comfort layers. Our test method focused on how the mattresses changed over a lifetime of use rather than comfort (that’s subjective) so we didn’t expect differences in the outer layers would have a significant impact on test results.
The bed-in-a-box mattresses we tested offer trial periods of at least 100 days and can be returned for a full refund. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get it back into the box – it’ll be collected for free. Again, terms and conditions vary and you must own the mattress for a set amount of time before initiating a return. Napp, Koala and Ecosa donate returned mattresses to charities where possible.