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A Bed In A Box | Sloom

A Bed In A Box?

Nov 4, 2018 | By Rudo

Why Compress our Mattresses?

Gone are the days where your only option to buy a bed is to visit a store where the beds are all lined up next to each other begging for a test drive. Consumers can now purchase their beds online and have it shipped to their doorstep compressed inside a box. Hence, bed in a box. Innovative packaging technology allows mattress manufacturers to reduce the packaging size of a mattress drastically. A Sloom mattress’s volume is reduced by around 70% of its original volume. This allows us to ship the bed in a box across South Africa cost-effectively. The bed in a box concept, however, isn’t new, as the industry booms overseas with brands like Casper and dozens of other dot-com start-ups that have arrived on the scene over the past four years. The model of distribution in the bedding industry has seen significant disruption so much so that conventional mattress brands are also gearing themselves similarly to compete. In South Africa, the adoption of these technologies has not been that significant, with a few start-ups coming and going. Mainly because cheap mattresses make the bulk of the South African market, and cheap mattresses can’t be compressed because they will not recover. As we see more and more customers getting used to shopping online, we can expect the online retail industry for beds to pick up as well with the bed in a box concept that’s perfect for eCommerce.

How Does Mattress Compression Work?

The mattress is placed on the conveyer belt of an industrial machine and then encased in a thick plastic bag before being compressed by a heavy press and sealed. The machine presses all present air out of a mattress before folding. The mattress now looks more like a duvet than a mattress with all the air pressed out.

It continues down the conveyer belt where it’s then rolled up tightly and placed into the tightly packed cylinder which the consumer takes out of the box.

Does Compression Damage The Mattress of the Bed in a Box?

The integrity of the mattress and its cover is perfectly preserved and will recover fully when taken out of its compressed state. It’s important to note that only high-quality foams can be compressed in this fashion. Many manufacturers use low-density foams or foams with fillers in their mattress construction. These types of foams will not recover to their original state after being compressed. A different kind of foam that can’t be compressed is reconstructed foam or rebonded foam. This type of foam is used widely as a core for mattresses even on some high-end mattresses.

Sloom uses only High-Density Pure Foam with no fillers to artificially increase the density in our mattresses. This guarantees that the product will arrive at your door in the condition it has been designed for.

Another essential aspect to note is how long the mattress has been in a compressed state for. Even with the best foams on the market, the mattress can’t stay in a compressed state forever. After about two months the foams do lose some of its firmness. Therefore, it’s imperative to instead buy from a local brand. With imported brands, there is no way to tell how long that mattress has been in that state.

What About the Base of a Bed in a Box?

Seeing that a mattress is not complete without its base, the challenge comes in to reduce the shipping volume of the base for economical eCommerce. Since the base cannot be compressed like the mattress, it takes a design approach to the base itself to overcome that challenge.

A flat-pack base that you assemble at home reduces the shipping size significantly while offering a modern look to your bedroom. These types of bases are prevalent overseas with stores like IKEA popularising it even further.

In South Africa, there isn’t any local manufacturer, except Sloom, that manufactures these types of bases; mainly because it’s so much cheaper to make a standard base. All the flat pack bases that are available in retail stores are imported and usually not very sturdy. We spend many hours developing a flat-pack base that looks good and can support the same weight as the mattress.


In the past three years of designing and creating Sloom’s products, there were many opportunities just to import all these products. Local manufacturers were reluctant to create something new and many manufacturers implementing ridiculous minimum orders made it very difficult to get the product to what it is now.

But thankfully, today, we can offer a proudly South African brand that is on par with global innovation and technology.

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