Need to know
- Aldi is selling its cheap mattress range on Wednesday 2 August – queen, double, king single and single mattresses are available from $159–$259
- Buying a 'mattress-in-a box' is an alternative to buying a traditional mattress from a bricks-and-mortar retailer
- We look at the pros and cons of Aldi mattresses compared to popular online retailers
Need a new mattress? Aldi is selling its bargain mattress-in-a-box range on Wednesday 2 August as part of its Special Buys sale.
At just $159 for a single mattress, $189 for a king single, $219 for a double and $259 for a queen, the low prices are certainly enticing, so expect a few shoppers to get out of bed early to line up for this sale.
CHOICE hasn't reviewed these particular mattresses, as Aldi products sell out as quickly as they pop up, but we have been testing and rating mattresses for years. For our most recent mattress review, our experts put 43 mattresses to the test, including 21 mattress-in-a-box models.
To help you decide whether you should pick up one of these Aldi buys, we speak to CHOICE mattress expert Peter Zaluzny about the pros and cons of mattress-in-a-box mattresses and how to weigh up Aldi's offer compared to other brands on the market.
Mattress-in-a-box mattresses: What you should know
Mattress-in-a-box mattresses are deoxygenated – enclosed in vacuum-sealed packaging – making it possible for them be transported in a box, earning them their nickname.
Here are some things we've noticed over the years we've been testing mattress-in-a-box products.Price
This type of mattress first entered the market in response to the often eye-watering mark-ups made on traditional mattresses sold in bricks-and-mortar stores.
Bed-in-a-box prices have been creeping up over the last couple of years
But although they used to be cheaper than conventional mattresses, usually costing no more than a thousand dollars for a queen-size mattress, we have noticed that bed-in-a-box prices have been creeping up over the last couple of years.
There are still some affordable products available, however the Aldi mattresses are significantly cheaper than any of the models we've tested (the cheapest mattress-in-a-box we review is $389 for a queen size).
"The bed-in-a-box industry has exploded since we first started looking at these mattresses. While there are still plenty of good products out there, we're starting to come across a few average performers as well," says Peter.
In our most recent test however, mattress-in-a-box products outperformed standard retail mattresses overall.
"We tested 21 mattress-in-a-box models versus 22 standard retail mattresses and the mattress-in-a-box products outscored the standard retail mattresses overall, receiving an average score of 74%, versus 69% for standard retail mattresses," says Peter.
"This is mostly due to the mattress-in-a-box products having better stabilisation scores and fewer signs of sagging over time."
We've found that a mattress that costs $1000 or less can be just as comfortable, and perform just as well over its lifetime as one priced at $6000Peter Zaluzny, CHOICE mattress expert
Some of the most well-known bed-in-a-box brands that we've tested include Sleeping Duck, Koala, Emma and Noa.
"Bed-in-a box mattresses generally represent good value, although they may not be for everyone," says Peter.
"One person's idea of the perfect comfy mattress may differ from another's, but we've found that a mattress that costs $1000 or less can be just as comfortable, and perform just as well over its lifetime as one priced at $6000."
One of the key advantages of buying a bed-in-a-box is being able to buy them online (without having to deal with a pushy salesperson in store) and trying them at home.
The free trial period often lasts up to 100 nights, with some running to 120 and even 365 nights. If you don't like the mattress, you can usually return it easily at no extra cost if you live in a metro area. (Unfortunately if you live in a rural area you may have to pay to return it.)
"Mattresses-in-a-box tend to use more foam and foam-like materials than spring mattresses, so they may not be for you if you prefer the feel of a traditional spring mattress. But that's what the free trial period is for," says Peter.
Returning the Aldi mattress to store if you aren't satisfied with it will be much more difficult, however (see below).
The Aldi mattress-in-a-box (shown here) is significantly cheaper than other brands offering this type of mattress.
While the mattresses-in-a-box market used to be dominated by just a handful of brands, there is now much more competition in this category.
"We're now seeing a couple of traditional mattress retailers with bricks-and-mortar stores jumping onto the bed-in-a-box trend," says Peter.
"For example, Ikea now sell their own versions that you can buy instore (alongside regular mattresses that aren't vacuum packed), as opposed to online which is where most bed-in-a-box mattresses are sold."
The online retailer advantage
The online-only mattresses-in-a-box retailers still have the advantage over instore retailers with their home trial offers.
Many mattresses that are sold in bricks-and-mortar stores don't offer a trial period, or if they do, it's quite short: many are around 30 days.
And some mattresses-in-a-box offer adjustable firmness, allowing you to customise your mattress at home by adding or removing foam layers that are included in the box.
We haven't come across any retail models that have this level of customisation yet.
Become a CHOICE member to access our full reviews and test results of mattresses-in-a-box brands and see who comes out on top.
The Aldi mattress comes in single, king single, double and queen sizes.
What's to like about the Aldi mattress-in-a-box?
So how does Aldi's bed-in-a-box compare with those we've tested?
Although we haven't tested Aldi's version, we asked several CHOICE staff who have purchased Aldi bed-in-a-box mattresses in the past what they thought of them – you can see their feedback below.
But here are our thoughts based on our expertise in these types of mattresses:
With the Aldi queen mattress-in-a-box coming in at just over $250, it's one of the cheapest mattresses on the market. And it's more affordable than the cheapest bed-in-a-box we have tested (the Breeze Firm Queen Mattress, which is $389).
So, if you're on a tight budget, it's a tick. And no haggling with a salesperson required.
If you happen to get it home and you're not happy with it, Aldi has a 60-day returns or refunds policy on Special Buy items. You must have your receipt though and the original packaging is preferred, which is a bit of a problem with this one (see 'What's not to like' below). Keep in mind that it takes at least a few nights to adjust to a new mattress.
The Aldi mattresses combine a memory foam pillow top comfort layer with pocket springs, which some people prefer over a spring mattress as it moulds to the body for added comfort.
But comfort is obviously subjective and some people don't like that 'sinking in' sensation. The benefit of these types of bed-in-a-box mattresses that combine both spring and foam is that it can be said you're getting the best of both worlds.
What's not to like?
Potentially limited availability
Snapping up one of these mattresses involves heading instore and hoping that your local Aldi has stock in the size you are after, and it's often a case of first in, best dressed.
You can't try before you buy
This is a big one as you can't trial it in-store. You'll have to save the 'lie down and see how it feels' test for when you've already bought the mattress, taken it home and unpacked it.
It's bulky and heavy, and Aldi doesn't deliver
The queen mattress weighs 41kg so you'll need a friend to help you transport it, and an appropriate-sized car. The box does come with wheels and a carry handle though.
Returning it will be a pain
The product is a compressed mattress that expands when unpacked so it can't be repacked into the box, and you'd have to lug it back to the store yourself. Other online retailers such as Koala, Sleeping Duck and Eva will come and collect your unwanted mattress for no extra charge within the trial period.
Limited one-year warranty
When you consider the fact that many mattresses (admittedly at a much higher price point) usually have a minimum 10 years' warranty, one year seems short, and could be an indication of the manufacturer's faith in their own product.
Similar bed-in-a-box offerings have a 10-, 15- and even 25-year warranty.
What CHOICE staff say
Although this product hasn't been formally reviewed by CHOICE (see How we test mattresses), we spoke to two of our staff who bought the Aldi mattress when it was on sale in previous years, and here's what they say.
On getting the mattress home:
- "Getting the queen mattress home wasn't too difficult. It was quite heavy, but nothing my partner and I couldn't handle. It fit nicely into the back of our small sedan once we put the seats down. Opening the mattress was kinda fun. We'd never bought a bed-in-a-box before, so it was quite remarkable that the manufacturer was able to pack a plush mattress into a much smaller box. Watch out for the rapid expansion and leave enough space, as the mattress becomes large and heavy surprisingly fast."
- "I'd organised to borrow a van to transport the mattress home in, but I didn't consider how heavy it is. We got some help instore thankfully, but definitely don't try to buy this and get it home on your own."
- "We have it on our guest bed, so I've only slept on it a few times myself and I liked it. All my guests have thought it was comfortable, even one who stayed for three months (I made sure to check!)."
- "I sleep on it every night and I never really think about it being uncomfortable. There are no lumps and it fits to the contour of my body. It feels plush and soft without being wishy-washy. I always get a good night's sleep. I normally prefer harder mattresses but I like this one. Considering how much we paid for it, this is fantastic. My only small gripe is that the edges are quite soft, which can make moving around on the bed slightly more cumbersome over a mattress with hard edges."
Would you recommend it?
- "Definitely. For price, convenience and quality."
- "Yes I would. Who knows what it'll be like in a few years time, but for the price, it's been perfect for our needs."
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.