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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

Review: the Whisper mattress-in-a-box service is quick and comfortable

Does the risk of buying a bed online pay off in the end? 

The Whisper team delivers the mattress in a 45cm x 45cm box. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The Whisper team delivers the mattress in a 45cm x 45cm box. Chris Whiteoak / The National

I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of a 200cm x 200cm mattress fitting in a square box with barely 45cm a side to its credit. My obsession with home-­improvement blogs means I’ve certainly heard about this phenomenon; and it seems like every decor blogger in the world has received a mattress-in-a-box to review in recent years. Their photos indicate that, yes, a mattress really can fit into a box of a manageable size, but I was still sceptical. It won’t possibly be comfortable; it’ll be lumpy and disfigured; it won’t feel deep and luxe like a mattress should: these were the thoughts going through my head as I bit the bullet and agreed to welcome a Whisper mattress into my home.

I scheduled a delivery time for 3pm one afternoon, and almost fell off my seat when I heard a knock on the door at 3 to the minute. Outside stood two pleasant, no-nonsense men with a box between them – a box that was smaller than me both in terms of height and width. How in the world?

They carried the box upstairs with no fuss, a feat in itself. Anyone who has carried a traditional mattress up a flight or two of stairs knows they are heavy and unwieldy. They asked me if I’d like my old mattress removed and stored elsewhere in the house, and after doing that, they began to unbox the new one.

The mattress comes rolled up like a sleeping bag and is wrapped in an outer layer of plastic. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The mattress being unfurled. Chris Whiteoak / The National

It comes rolled up like a sleeping bag and is wrapped in an outer layer of plastic, which they snipped to allow the mattress to unfurl. At this point, it is still vacuum-sealed and flat, like a thick pancake. After putting it in place on my bed’s box spring, they carefully cut the vacuum-sealed layer of plastic off. What ensued carries major cool factor points, and I wish I had filmed a time-lapse video of the mattress expanding – it took less than a minute to go up to 90 per cent of its ­complete size.

The mattress looks and feels high-end. It comes in a white and navy colour scheme; the overlying fabric is soft to the touch; and it has hidden zippers to allow you to wash parts of it. The team asked me if I prefer a firmer or softer support, because they can customise this based on how they place and arrange the mattress. They showed me the silver coil thread running throughout, and how to plug a wire from the mattress into the electricity socket near the bed to charge the silver matrix. This creates a zone around the mattress that wards off ­electromagnetic waves, thus ensuring a safer, more comfortable sleep, even with phones or laptops placed on the nightstand.

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My final verdict? The ­mattress is amazing. It is supportive but soft, and has a nice give to it. It runs cool, so no more dreaded night sweats. A week after using it, my husband and I agree that we’ve been sleeping better, with less tossing and turning.

The only downside I can think of is that for the first day or so, the fabric emitted a hint of a synthetic factory smell, which I thought wouldn’t dissipate. However, my worries were unfounded – it just needed to be aired. I especially loved the ­convenience of ordering online and having the mattress delivered to my door so quickly. In a world that sells and buys pretty much everything on the web, a mattress feels like the next logical step.