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I slept on a severely busted IKEA mattress with springs popping up everywhere and a caved-in middle for years because that’s how much I HATE mattress shopping. It’s so awkward lying on all the beds while a salesperson creepily hovers. And in most mattress stores, sticker shock frequently had me heading for the door before I even test-drove a single pillow-top. So when a rep from Sealy asked me if I’d like to try out their new Cocoon mattress, a memory foam “Bed-in-a-Box” that ships right to your door, it was like a Christmas miracle in April.

Choosing my Cocoon was easy. They offer six sizes: (Twin-$549, Twin XL-$599, Full-$749, Queen-$849, King-$999, and California King-$999), and two types: Soft (for people who like sleeping in the bed) and Firm (for people who like sleeping on the bed). Anyone who knows me knows I’m a Firm Queen, so ordering was squared away in a jiffy. Not quite so simple, however, was getting the mattress of my dreams all the way from the good folks at Sealy to my boudoir.

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I’ll preface this bit by saying that 99.99% of consumers will have none of the issues I’m about to describe. But since the following was part of my whole “Bed-in-a-Box” experience, I would be remiss if I left it out. My living situation in New York’s East Village is charmingly...uhhh...authentic. A tenement with no doorman, no elevator, and no working door buzzer, my building is basically Fort Knox with a rodent problem, denying entry to anyone without a key—including UPS. For this reason, I always have packages delivered to BUST HQ. But I wasn’t about to drag a 72-pound Bed-in-a-Box home on the subway, so I called UPS, explained my situation, and was referred to five different perplexed associates until I was finally given the verdict. They could tell me what exact day my mattress would arrive, but not the time. So if I wanted my mattress delivered to my home and not re-routed to a holding facility, I would have to stand on the street outside my building and wait for it. Undaunted, I accepted the challenge and settled in on my front stoop on the appointed day with my iPhone and a copy of Wide Sargasso Sea for company. While I waited, I saw workmen gleefully demolishing the contents of a former sneaker store with sledgehammers, I saw a disagreement between my super and the sneaker store owner escalate into threats of violence that had to be refereed by New York’s Finest, I saw a gender-nonconforming person in a chicken outfit strut the block like it was a runway, I saw all my neighbors and gave them the up-nod, I saw teens sucking face outside the $1 pizza shop after school, and I saw a defiant dude in dreadlocks cruising on a hoverboard while blasting Kanye and smoking a massive spliff. But I didn’t see UPS until almost 5 p.m.

When the man in brown finally showed up with my giant Cocoon box, I told him the whole deal and he was impressed with my tenacity. But once he pulled the box into the lobby of my building with his hand truck and saw the steep staircase, he asked me, “Who’s bringing this upstairs?” I told him I thought it was his job to deliver it to my apartment, but he said he wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 70 pounds. “But...” he offered casually, “if you still need help after I get off work, you can call me on my cell.” It was a cute pick-up line, but not immediately helpful, so I sent him on his way and got busy heaving my giant 72-pound Cocoon, end over end, up to the third floor by myself.

12931046 1682517535332199 3817322764135871822 nThese product shots are a very far stretch from the writer's apartment

By the time I got the box into my bedroom, I was crying and sweating. But finally, it was time for the fun to begin. The Cocoon was curled up like a huge burrito inside the box. I slid the tightly compressed roll out, set it on my box spring, pulled the tab on the end that was holding the plastic shrink-wrap in place, and then watched in wonder as it slowly filled out and expanded over the course of 30 minutes into a big, sturdy, comfy-as-hell queen-size mattress.

I’ve never tried a memory foam mattress before, but one night sleeping on my Sealy Cocoon made me a total convert. Firm enough to support my back, but soft enough to feel ultra cozy, it was love at first snooze. For those wary about buying a mattress before testing it out, Sealy offers free shipping, a 10-year warranty, and a 100-night trial. If you don’t like one mattress type, they’ll exchange it for the other one for free. If you don’t like either, they’ll remove the mattress and give you a full refund (though I doubt many people take them up on that.)

Bottom line: if you don’t live in the N.Y.C. equivalent of Pioneer House, getting a Cocoon is quick, easy, affordable, and most-importantly, very comfortable. Find out more at cocoonbysealy.com.

Photos via Cocoon by Sealy


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Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.

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