What Is a Roll-up Mattress and Why Should I Get One?

Roll-up mattresses are mattresses that arrive rolled up in a box rather than flat like a traditional mattress. They have become a customer favourite for their quick and easy transportation and affordable prices.

If you’ve been looking into roll-up mattresses but you’re not quite sure what they are, we have all the answers below, including how they’re different to a standard mattress and whether they’d be a good match for you.

Browse our roll-up mattresses today

The SleepSoul Balance 800 Pocket Memory Mattress in a blue bedroom in a black metal bed frame. The mattress box is next to the bed.
Rolled mattresses arrive in a box similar to the SleepSoul Balance.

What is a rolled mattress?

As explained above, rolled mattresses are exactly the same as normal mattresses but they are rolled up and put in a box before being delivered to your door. All you have to do is carry the easy-to-transport box to the room of your choice,  take your mattress out of the box, put it on your bed and let it expand - simple!

There are many different names for roll-up mattresses, so you may have heard any of the following to describe them:

  • Bed-in-a-box mattress
  • Mattress in a box
  • Rolled mattress
  • Vacuum-packed mattress
  • Pre-rolled mattress
  • Roll-out mattress
  • Compressed mattress
  • Expanding mattress
  • Ready-rolled mattress

All of these names just refer to a mattress that arrives pre-packaged in a box.

What is the difference between rolled and flat mattresses?

The only difference between bed-in-a-box mattresses and traditional flat mattresses is that bed-in-a-box mattresses come pre-rolled and packaged in a box.

Rolled mattresses have the same 7-year life span as standard mattresses. There is a common misconception that most roll-up mattresses contain only foam, but this is not the case. Whether you prefer pocket springs or natural fillings in your mattress, there is a rolled option to cater for your needs.

Shop all rolled mattresses now

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Are roll-up mattresses good?

Roll-up mattresses are a great option to consider when looking for a new mattress, especially if you’re looking to have your mattress delivered or if you’re moving house. Below we explain their main benefits. Rolled mattresses are:

  • Easier to move to your room of choice
  • Perfect if you live in a flat or building where access is limited
  • More eco-friendly as we can fit more mattresses into each delivery, reducing your carbon footprint
  • Often more affordable 
  • Able to be stored for up to three months, which is great if you need to store a new mattress while moving house
The SleepSoul Luna 1000 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress box on a white background. One of our top 10 recommended mattresses 2023.
The box may look slightly different, but this is how rolled mattresses arrive. This is the SleepSoul Luna mattress box.

You should remember that when you first unroll a bed-in-a-box mattress, it may have a slightly synthetic smell. This is just because the smell of the fire retardant substance that all mattresses contain has built up in the vacuum sealed packaging. This will wear off within two days, but airing out your mattress in a bedroom with the window open can help speed up this process.

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How do they put a mattress in a box?

Here’s how manufacturers manage to get full sizes mattresses into a box. The mattress is:

  1. Initially constructed the same as a flat mattress
  2. Placed in a protective bag
  3. Flattened in a compression machine
  4. Vacuum packed and heat sealed
  5. Rolled using a tumbler and sealed again
  6. Placed in a box ready to be delivered to your door

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How to open a rolled up mattress

Rolled up mattresses are super easy to set up! Here’s how to unpack your mattress from its box:

  1. Take the mattress out of the box
  2. Place it on your bed
  3. Open up the packaging
  4. Unroll the mattress
  5. Leave the mattress for as long as possible to expand - we recommend leaving it for 8 hours if possible
  6. Once fully expanded, your mattress is ready to sleep on!

Here’s a quick video from Silentnight showing how to open your bed-in-a-box mattress:

How long should you leave a rolled mattress before you sleep on it?

You should not sleep on your bed-in-a-box mattress straight away.

Almost all roll-up mattresses will expand within the first 1 to 2 hours of being unrolled; however, they usually take up to 8 hours to be fully ready to sleep on.

In some circumstances, some mattresses can take up to 24 hours to regain their original shape. You should always check the manufacturer’s guidance for how long to leave your rolled mattress before sleeping on it.

Leaving your mattress for the recommended time allows the comfort fillings and support systems to expand and settle. If you sleep on your brand new roll-up mattress before it’s suitable for use, you risk damaging the fillings inside, which could impact the look and feel of the mattress.

How long can you leave a mattress in a box?

You can leave your mattress-in-a-box for up to three months, but we recommend unrolling them within the first few weeks of being delivered so that your mattress is as comfortable and supportive as possible.

This just eliminates the potential for any fillings, foam or springs inside to become misshapen or damaged.

This guidance can change between mattress brands, so you should check the manufacturer's care guide to see how long you can leave your mattress in its box for.

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Can you re-pack a mattress in a box?

No, you cannot re-roll a mattress in a box, they are designed to be unrolled only once.

Attempting to re-roll any kind of mattress can severely damage the fillings and will change the look and feel of your mattress. When roll-up mattresses are made, they are specially designed to be rolled and packaged by machines to be unrolled only once in their lifetime.

If you need to store or move your mattress for any reason, you need to keep the mattress flat to avoid damaging it. Our guide on how to safely store and transport your mattress has more information on the topic.

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Which mattresses come rolled up?

Almost every type of mattress you can think of is available as a rolled mattress, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to find a mattress that suits your preferences.

The following mattress types have rolled options for you to browse:

We also sell roll-up mattresses in all UK standard sizes and European sizes, so you can be sure we have a mattress to fit your bed.

Whether you prefer a standard flat mattress or would like to try out a rolled mattress, we have plenty of options for you to choose from, no matter what you decide.

Simba Hybrid 2500 Mattress
Simba’s hybrid bed-in-a-box mattresses are a customer favourite - especially the Hybrid 2500!

Browse all of our rolled up mattresses

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Roll-up mattress FAQs

We realise that you may have many more questions about roll-up mattresses, so here we’ve answered as many as possible for you:

How long do rolled mattresses last?

Rolled mattresses have the same life span as standard mattresses, which is 7 years.

Can you sleep on a mattress in a box the same night you set it up?

If you have left the mattress to expand for at least 8 hours, or the recommended time frame from the manufacturer, then yes.

Do mattresses in a box smell?

When you first unroll your bed-in-a-box mattress it may smell a bit synthetic. This is just the smell of the fire retardant substance that is used on most mattresses and builds up in the sealed protective bag. The smell will disappear after one or two days, but leaving the mattress to air out in a room with a window open can help.

Do all mattresses come in a box?

No, not all mattresses come in a box, but most mattress types do have a rolled mattress option. We have a huge selection of mattresses in boxes for you to browse and choose from.

How big is a mattress in a box?

The size of the box that the mattress is delivered in will be determined by the size of the mattress you have ordered and the brand you have ordered it from. But the mattress itself will be the size you have chosen.

To get a better idea of the box size that the mattress is delivered in, a double size of one of our SleepSoul mattresses is 148cm tall and 38cm wide.

How heavy is a mattress in a box?

This depends on the size of the mattress you have ordered and the mattress type and brands.

How to return a mattress in a box?

If you have purchased your bed-in-a-box mattress from us, all you have to do is contact our Customer Service team who will be more than happy to help with any exchange or return requests.

You don’t have to worry about trying to re-roll your mattress or putting it back in the box because our delivery team will take it away for you flat.

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The best bed-in-a-box mattresses

Here are our best-selling rolled mattresses and our strong customer favourites! All of our bed-in-a-box mattresses are available with a free 60-Night Sleep Trial and Free Next Day Delivery.

Luna Memory 1000 Pocket Mattress

1. The Luna Memory 1000 Pocket Hybrid Mattress

  • Mattress type: Memory foam & pocket sprung hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Price: From £199.95
  • Review score: 4.6/5

Here’s what one happy customer had to say about the Luna 1000:

The description of the matress isn't hype, it really is as good as described. It's worth every penny that I spent on it. I often used to wake up because I was in pain during the night, and so far after about a month using it, that hasn't happened. I absolutely love it.

The Horizon Odyssey 800 Pocket Memory Mattress in a white modern bedroom - one of our top 10 recommended mattress 2023

2. Horizon Odyssey 800 Pocket Memory Mattress

  • Mattress type: Memory foam & pocket sprung hybrid
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Price: From £319.95
  • Review score: 4.7/5

Here’s what one customer had to say about the Horizon Odyssey:

I love this mattress. Very comfortable to sleep on. We have never bought a mattress online without having seen or felt it. Bit risky but we are pleased. Its certainly good value for money.

The SleepSoul Cloud 800 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress in a mint green bedroom on a black metal bed. The mattress box is to the right of the bed.

3. SleepSoul Cloud 800 Pocket Memory Pillow Top Mattress

  • Mattress type: Memory foam & pocket sprung hybrid with pillow top
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Price: From £209.95
  • Review score: 4.7/5

Here’s what one customer had to say about the SleepSoul Cloud:

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best things I've ever purchased… This mattress has that high-end hotel bed feel, is incredibly supportive and divine.


We hope we’ve been able to answer your questions about everything to do with roll-up mattresses! If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to get in touch with our helpful Customer Service team who can give you all the information you need.

Why not check out our collection of roll-up mattresses and find the perfect one for you today? It can be with you as soon as tomorrow with our Free Next Day Delivery.