How Long Does It Take For A Mattress To Expand?

Understanding Mattress Expansion Time

When you purchase a new mattress, especially if it is made of memory foam or comes compressed and rolled up, knowing how long it will take to expand to its full size is important. In a straightforward answer, most mattresses take anywhere from a few hours to 72 hours to fully expand. However, the precise time can vary based on the type of mattress, the method of packaging, and the room conditions.

Types of Mattresses and Their Expansion Times

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are among the most popular types sold today. These mattresses are typically compressed and rolled tightly in plastic for shipping. Memory foam is temperature-sensitive and uses your body heat to mold to your shape, creating a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. After unboxing, it generally takes about 4 to 6 hours to expand to about 90% of its full size. Fully expanding, however, might take up to 48 to 72 hours.

Factors such as room temperature and air circulation can influence this process. Warmer rooms may speed up the expansion, whereas colder rooms may slow it down.

Latex Mattresses

Natural and synthetic latex mattresses are known for their durability and comfort. These too may come compressed and packed. Latex generally expands faster than memory foam. After unboxing, a latex mattress could reach its almost full size within a few hours and may take an additional 24 to 48 hours to fully expand and settle.

It’s worth noting that latex mattresses have a distinct smell, often described as “rubbery,” which most people find less intrusive than the chemical smell sometimes associated with memory foam.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses combine layers of memory foam, latex, or other materials with innerspring coils. These are gaining popularity due to their balanced comfort and support. Hybrid mattresses usually take about 24 to 48 hours to fully expand. Similar to other types, factors like room temperature and ventilation can affect the expansion time.

Innerspring Mattresses

Typically, innerspring mattresses are less commonly compressed and rolled compared to foam and hybrid mattresses. When they are delivered in their original shape, they can be used almost immediately. However, if compressed, they will require some time to regain their full form, possibly around 24 to 48 hours. The metal coils do help the mattress spring back to its original shape faster than foam-based types.

Factors Influencing Expansion Time

Room Temperature

One of the most influential factors is the room temperature. Memory foam, in particular, is temperature-sensitive. A warmer room helps the foam become more pliable and expand more quickly. Conversely, a colder room will make the foam firmer and slow down the expansion process.

Air Circulation

Proper air circulation around the mattress can significantly benefit the expansion process. Make sure the mattress is placed on a flat, well-ventilated surface to experience the best results. Opening windows or using fans can expedite the process.

Quality of Materials

The quality of the foam or other materials used in constructing the mattress can play a role in how quickly it expands. Higher-quality foams tend to have a more consistent cell structure that allows for quicker and more even expansion.


The way the mattress is packaged can also influence expansion time. Double packaging for extra protection may extend the expansion period slightly, as it takes longer for the tightly compressed layers to ‘breathe’ and inflate fully once unboxed.

The Initial Unboxing Process

Once your mattress arrives, the unboxing process is simple yet crucial for adequate expansion. After cutting the outer plastic and rolling the mattress to lay flat on the bed frame or floor, you should remove the inner plastic wrap as quickly as possible. This helps the mattress start expanding right away and minimizes the time the foam stays compressed.

Be cautious with sharp tools during this process to avoid accidentally cutting the mattress. It’s always best to have another person assist you, especially if the mattress is large. Unboxing in the room where the mattress will be used can save effort and make the process smoother.

Dealing With Initial Odors

Many people notice a particular smell when they first unbox their memory foam or latex mattress. This is often referred to as “off-gassing.” It’s a result of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in the manufacturing process. Opening windows to increase air flow can help reduce the odor more quickly.

While initial off-gassing usually isn’t harmful, it’s best to let your mattress air out in a well-ventilated room for a few days before sleeping on it, especially if you are sensitive to smells.

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When Can You Sleep on It?

A common question is: When can you start using your newly expanded mattress? While some companies indicate you can sleep on it within a few hours, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours. This gives the mattress enough time to expand adequately and ensures you are getting the intended comfort and support levels.

Initially, you may notice some differences in firmness or dimension. These typically settle within the first few days as the mattress fully expands and adjusts to its new surroundings.

Potential Issues During Expansion

In some instances, your mattress may face issues while expanding. One side might expand quicker than the other, or you might notice uneven areas. If your mattress hasn’t fully expanded after 72 hours, check for the following:

Temperature Issues

Ensure the room is at a suitable temperature conducive to mattress expansion. If the room is too cold, considering a space heater might help.

Improper Placement

Make sure the mattress is on a flat, well-ventilated area. If the surface is uneven, the foam might not expand uniformly.

Contact Customer Service

If the mattress still isn’t fully expanding after all considerations, contact the customer service department of the mattress retailer or manufacturer. They often provide guidance or solutions, including possible replacements.

Proper Mattress Care Post Expansion

After your mattress has expanded, proper care and maintenance are crucial to prolong its lifespan and maintain comfort:

Use a Mattress Protector

Invest in a high-quality mattress protector to shield your investment from spills, stains, and allergens. This adds to the hygiene and durability of your mattress.

Regular Cleaning

Regularly vacuuming your mattress every few months helps remove dust, dead skin, and allergens, keeping it clean and fresh.

Rotating the Mattress

Memory foam and hybrid mattresses benefit from being rotated periodically (every 3 to 6 months) to ensure even wear and tear. This can help maintain the mattress’s integrity for a longer period.

Adequate Support

Ensure your mattress is on a sturdy, supportive bed frame or foundation. Proper support minimizes sagging and helps your mattress retain its shape and comfort over time.

Finishing Thoughts

Understanding the expansion time for different types of mattresses helps set realistic expectations when you make a new purchase. While most mattresses, especially memory foam and hybrid types, typically take about 24 to 72 hours to fully expand, several variables such as room conditions, materials, and packaging can influence this time frame. Ensuring you follow proper unboxing procedures, allow adequate airing out, and give the mattress time to expand maximizes comfort and satisfaction with your new sleeping surface. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results and don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance if needed. Happy sleeping!


  • Ollie Lane

    My name is Ollie Lane, the zestful spirit and sleep enthusiast editor at GoodSleepHub. Blending my expertise in Sleep Technology with a dash of whimsy, I'm all about transforming your nights from blah to ta-da! I believe great sleep is a blend of science, art, and a bit of fairy dust. When I'm not knee-deep in the latest sleep gadgetry or jotting down notes for my next blog post, you can find me strumming on my ukulele or chasing after my mischievous beagle, Benny. My approach to sleep is like my music: playful, innovative, and always in tune with your needs.

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