Need to know
- Aldi is selling its cheap mattress range next Wednesday 4 August
- The bed-in-a-box industry has exploded in recent years. They can be cheaper than mattresses from traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers and some perform well in our tests
- We look at the pros and cons of Aldi mattresses compared to popular online retailers
Need a new mattress? Aldi is selling its 'Mattress in a box' range as well as bed frames and furniture next Wednesday 4 August as part of its latest Special Buy sale.
At just $149 for a single mattress, $199 for a double, $249 for a queen and $299 for a king, 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.
To help you decide, we speak to CHOICE mattress expert Peter Zaluzny about the pros and cons of bed-in-a-box mattresses and how to weigh up Aldi's offer compared to other brands on the market.
Bed-in-a-box mattresses: The pros and cons
This type of mattress first entered the market in recent years in response to the often eye-watering mark-ups made on mattresses sold in bricks-and-mortar stores.
The internet was relatively slow to disrupt the mattress industry due to the logistical challenges in shipping bulky mattresses. However, bed-in-a-box mattresses are deoxygenated – enclosed in vacuum-sealed packaging – making it possible to be transported in a box, earning them their nickname.
They're generally cheaper than conventional mattresses, costing around a thousand dollars for a queen-size mattress (compared to many thousands for a regular instore mattress).
To combat the uncertainty many might feel about buying a mattress online without being able to physically try it out to see how it feels, these bed-in-a-box brands also offer trial periods that can extend up to 100 days, and warranties up to 15 years. If you don't like the mattress, you can usually return it easily at no extra cost.
They're generally much cheaper than conventional mattresses, costing around a thousand dollars for a queen-size mattress
Brands that have had success in this market, and whose products we've tested, include Sleeping Duck, Koala, Ecosa and Avatar.
"These 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 can be just as comfortable and perform just as well over its lifetime as one priced at $6000."
"They tend to use more foam and foam-like materials than spring mattresses, so beds in a box 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."
Are bed-in-a-box mattresses any good?
We haven't reviewed these Aldi mattresses (due to limited availability), but we've tested a lot of beds-in-a-box from other brands. While the bed-in-a-box market used to be dominated by just a handful of brands, we are seeing more competition in this category, which can only be a good thing for consumers.
"The bed in a box industry has exploded since we first started looking at those 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.
"We've also noticed a gradual uptick in the price of these mattresses, to the point where we can't really say that bed in a box is always the most affordable alternative. They're more on par with retail in many cases.
"However, bed in a box still has the try before you buy advantage (which obviously does not apply to the Aldi version). Some also offer adjustable firmness which you can do 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.
"The performance of some retail models is matching bed in a box as well. But even the worst bed in a box in our test is still much better than the lowest-scoring retail options."
The Aldi bed in a box is significantly cheaper than the cheapest bed in a box we have tested (the Brosa Firm Favourite, which is $799). Although we haven't tested them, we asked several CHOICE staff who have purchased Aldi bed in a box mattresses in the past what they thought, so see below for their feedback.
Become a CHOICE member to access our full reviews and test results of bed-in-a-box brands and see who comes out on top.
The Aldi mattress comes in single, double, queen and king sizes.
What's to like about the Aldi mattress in a box?
With the double mattress coming in just under $200, it's one of the cheapest mattresses on the market (the closest in price we tested was the Ikea Hövåg which is $349 for a double mattress). So, if you're on a tight budget, it's a tick. And no haggling with a pushy 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, it takes 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.
However, 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?
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 and taken it home.
It's bulky and heavy, and Aldi doesn't deliver
The queen mattress weighs 40kg 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, Ecosa or Avatar will come and collect your unwanted mattress for no extra charge within the trial period.
Limited one year warranty
When you consider many mattresses (admittedly at a much higher price point) usually have around 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 from Koala have a 10-year warranty and Ikea has a 25-year warranty on their mattresses.
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." - Doug
- "I'd asked my elderly parents to pick it up for me as they have a van, but I didn't consider how heavy it is. They got some help instore thankfully, but definitely don't try to buy this and get it home on your own." - Rachel
- "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!)." - Rachel
- "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." - Doug
Would you recommend it?
- "Definitely. For price, convenience and quality." - Doug
- "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." - Rachel