Review – PacDown PacBed Memory Foam Mattress

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Update for January 2017: After sleeping on my Bed in the Box for a few months, I started experiencing dead arm, back problems, and other issues. I no longer sleep on it and eventually gave it away. I went back to a cheap inner spring mattress. It gave me less issues than the memory foam mattress, but I still would get better sleep in hotel rooms.

On Dec 27, 2016 I ordered a Purple mattress. The “bed in the box” mattress industry has grown immensely since I wrote the article below, almost 4 years ago in Jan 2013.

Casper, Leesa, Ghostbed, and Purple are just a few of the large players in the multi-billion dollar mattress industry. I will write a review of my Purple after a few months of sleeping on it.

I read a great maxim the other day:

Never skimp on things that separate you from the ground.

Now that's some great advice. I don't believe that just because you pay more for something you're going to get a better quality product. But I do believe that spending the extra money for a quality product or service is noticeable and can even be better for you in the long run (e.g., buy a widget for $1000 that lasts 5 years versus buying a $500 widget that lasts a year).

To me, this maxim implies that you should invest in high quality shoes, socks, tires, airplanes, and beds. Today, let's talk about beds.

One third of your life will be spent sleeping. Shouldn't you invest in a bed that you find comfortable and supportive, that doesn't cause back, shoulder, or neck pain? I've always thought so. But after living in college and military dorms for 6 years, it was never something I really had to think about.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough that my parents bought me a Sleep Number from Select Comfort when I was in high school. I remember it being very comfortable and supportive. Fast forward 6 years…

Sleep Number versus Bed in a Box

overpriced air mattress

In July 2012 after our recent PCS, I bought a Sleep Number c2 Bed from Select Comfort. We paid almost $900 for it. After using it for a month, I started developing neck and shoulder pain and stiffness when I'd wake up in the morning.

The bed was so uncomfortable that we would never lie in it other than to sleep at night. It was not working for us.

I called Select Comfort and their solution was to send me a 2″ thick egg crate cheap foam mattress topper. Thanks…I guess? They even charged me $60 for it. It didn't help the situation at all.

Bed in a Box Review

bed-in-a-box-reviewSo now we had an overpriced air mattress and were not getting comfortable, restful sleep at night. I thought I wanted a Tempur-Pedic. I mean, after all, if you pay $3000 for a mattress, it better be the most comfortable mattress in the world right? But right now we are in no financial position to be blowing 3 grand on a mattress.

What to do? Go to the Internet, of course! (What we should have done in the first place…)

Sleep Like the Dead is an awesome site to see how beds compare in terms of customer satisfaction, price, durability, whether the bed is good for sex, and over a dozen additional categories. I noticed right away that memory foam mattress category had the highest level of satisfied customers, at 81% satisfied.

One company,, had the highest customer satisfaction of all mattress companies at 86%. And I had never heard of them before! After poking around on their site, I came away with the following:

  • The company is real, has great customer service, and offer a well reviewed product at an affordable price
  • They offer a 120 day no hassle, $0 return policy that is absolutely necessary for buying an untested mattress online
  • They offer fast (4 days at the most) free shipping anywhere in the US
  • They offer Tempur-Pedic quality mattress for 50-75% off of the price of Tempur-Pedic

I was intrigued. Was this the Holy Grail of mattresses? A low cost, low risk, memory foam mattress?

My Bed in the Box Experience

It showed up in a box!

So I gave it a shot. I figured if the bed was crap, I could return it for a full refund after 120 days.

Bed in a Box only produces one type of mattress: the PacBed. It's a memory foam mattress which has between 6-8″ of base support foam and 3″ of topper foam, which can be regular or gel infused.

tightly wrapped mattress

I ordered the queen sized PacDown with the gel infused top for $919, free shipping and tax free (because I'm not a Tennessee resident). The PacDown is just their PacBed with a down fitted sheet on top to aid in keeping the bed cool. I thought this was the best value for the money. I also picked up two Earth Pillows, which are much nicer to sleep on than our $2.50 AAFES pillows.

It arrived in a large, 100 pound box after only a few days of shipping. It was definitely a two man operation getting it upstairs. After carefully cutting it from the plastic wrap, the bed began to inflate to it's full size. It took about 10 minutes for it to completely even out and fully inflate.

I let it air out for a bit before testing it. My initially reaction upon laying down was “oh my goodness…”

It was so soft and yet also supportive. It sleeps very cool and I notice that I don't toss and turn as much at night now. Even after just a week of having it my shoulder and neck pain are 10x less than they were previously on the Sleep Number.

Conclusion – was it worth it?

after it's all set up

Yes. For the price you pay and the product you get, I would say that the PacDown from Bed in the Box was definitely worth the price I paid. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable memory foam mattress.

Is it better than Tempur-Pedic?

I honestly can't say. I haven't tested Tempur-Pedic enough to know. I have laid on a few though and I would say just from a 5 minute test it's about the same in terms of softness and support. The price though is killer.

My PacDown cost 1/3 of the price of the comparable Tempur-Pedic mattress. Sleep Like the Dead says Tempur-Pedic has about the same to less customer satisfaction than Bed in a Box. So judge for yourself.

Bed in a Box Complaints

tightly packed earth pillows

After a week of sleeping on this Bed in a Box mattress, my wife and I have no complaints. Some people have complained about “off-gasing” or a sweet, chemical like odor coming from the bed when it's brand new.

We definitely noticed this for the couple days. It's not an unpleasant smell, but it's definitely a smell. It went away after 48-72 hours. We didn't get any headaches or even really notice it after the first hour or so.

Bed in a Box Coupons and Discounts

Whenever I purchase something online, before I click “buy” I always Google “ coupon code” or check Retail Me Not. I've saved up to 75% by finding coupons.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an coupons. If you find one, let others know in the comments. I'll update this section as well if I find any. I believe the site occasionally has sales, so you may be able to get a discount if you wait for a sale.

I also couldn't find an available military discount, but if they start offering one I will let you know!

Anyone else have a good experience with BiaB? Ever find that perfect bed or mattress for a great price?

32 thoughts on “ Review – PacDown PacBed Memory Foam Mattress”

  1. Always curious when someone gives a great review of a product and then changes their opinion with no explanation at all. It was intitally a positive thorough review. This changed to a ” no” recommendation offering no explanation and no follow up since late 2014. Myself and others would sure love to hear what changed your opinion, as it’s difficult to find others that have changed their initial impression. Thanks

  2. I purchased a Tempur-Pedic Cloud Supreme in 2010, I do not regret one penny I spent on that mattress. I do not have any aches when waking up and completely rested. Yes, you have to adjust the sleep temperature but it was not a big deal at all. I believe in investing in your mattress and shoes, after all that’s where you spend at least 6-8 hours in the same spot. The quality sleep can actually make a difference in your day and attitude. You feel resting, your not tired and sluggish all day, just waiting to go home and take a nap. I’m now ready to purchase another mattress for another bed and will be visiting our Bed in the Box store. I have to let you know how these compare.

  3. My husband and I needed a new bed and were looking at Tempurpedic. I was doing some research and found your site here. We ended up getting the Natural Silk Comfort Adjust. We’ve had it for almost a week and OH MY GOD is it heavenly! We both have Fitbits that track our sleep and it’s like night and day, the difference. Also, they do have military discount. I placed my order and had a question for them after so contacted them. I mentioned that we were a military family and they told me that they have a 5% military discount. You would just need to contact them to get them to apply it. They gave me a credit almost immediately. Couldn’t ask for a better bed or service.

  4. Thanks for the update Spencer. So why did you stop using it? What inparticular didn’t work about it by the end of your first year? Really interested in the change of heart.

  5. I have now read a lot of mixed reviews on Bedinabox so I’m not sure whether or not the mattress is a risk worth taking. I am a college athlete and I’m living on my own so the price is right, but is it still worth it? do you still like your mattress?

    • Hey Faith, we’ve actually stopped using the mattress after a year and purchased another one. My recommedation: no. But my father and mother loved it when they came to visit for two weeks. So, sorry, but mixed reviews. Buyer beware!

  6. I’m also curious like Sandy – do you still like it? I’m in the market and just trying to get a good idea on the longevity of the mattress and if people are really still happy with it over the years.

  7. Came across your review for bedinabox. It has now been a year…what do you think about your bedinabox mattress? Is it still as great as when you bought it?

  8. I contacted them and they told me they offer a 5% military discount! Either call and order and they will apply it or in the instructions block when ordering let them know your military.

    • Don’t buy the one from Costco if you’re a side-sleeper! We’ve had ours just over 2 years and I’ve had back pain for more than 6 months, but it took me that long–and a lot of medical bills–to figure out it’s from the Novaform Costco bed. I figured it out because when I was traveling I had no back pain, My husband is not a side sleeper and he has no problems.

  9. I actually desperately need a new bed and I have never even heard of bed in a box! I’m going to check out their website now :)

  10. They do offer a military discount – just not online.

    When developing back issues at 21 – I knew I needed something for the barracks bed. A BIAB 3″ memory foam topper solved that.

    A year later – moving out on my own there was only one solution, a PacDown Queen bed. I had it for five years – 5 moves across country before I have it to a college student (I was deploying for a year so everything was going into storage, why not RAK)

    For the deployment I went with a 3″ gel infused topper for the ship bunks.

    Now that I am back, I will be purchasing a new PAC bed.

    I fully support these Made in America Beds.

    Oh and the dog likes it too.

  11. Just thought Id drop a comment and say thanks for the awesome review! A+… you should ask BIAB to become an affiliate with your blog. You just sold me!

  12. My wife brought a Sleep Number bed into our life while I was in the desert training to deploy to Afghanistan. I hate it. You might have inspired me to finally pony up the cash to replace it.

    And I’m resisting every urge to wisecrack on an Air Force guy talking about sleeping on the ground! Ha!

    • Yuck, yuck, laugh it up about us Air Force guys sleeping on the ground! Seriously though, I couldn’t stand my old Sleep Number bed and I’m so happy I finally got rid of it. Do yourself a favor and take some of that new found passive income and invest it in an awesome bed that you won’t hate!

  13. I just bought the Natural Tencel Gel Tranquility. I have been trying to figure out which mattress to buy for about 2 weeks now. I guess I will get it sometime this coming week!

    • Mindy, Can you let us know how you like the Natural Tencel Gel Tranquility? That’s the one we were thinking about ordering, so would be really interested in a specific review of that mattress. Thanks!

      • Mindy, please (ASAP) let me know how it is as we need a new mattress…..desperately! We bought a Novafoam from Costco and after a year there are two distinct furrows in the bed! Needless to say, both of us are having hip pain and me………back pain! So, thanks all for your input and Mindy, good luck on your purchase! I’m really tempted to call this morning and order anyway……..I’m desperate! Another good site to read is! It lets you know about all the bad stuff…chemicals…they put in mattresses! Very important thing to know especially if you have children!

  14. I narrowed down a purchase between BIAB and one other company. This recent review on the PacDown has just inched out the competition–thanks!

  15. Thanks for an informative review . We have tried the gel pillows and like them so well that we are seriously considering a mattress.


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