Best-Mattresses-In-A-Box

The 10 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to Rigorous Expert Testing

Good sleep comes in small packages.
By Jillian Mueller
Updated September 16, 2021
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Your mattress can have a huge impact on your sleep and health. The right bed helps to improve the quality of your sleep, which provides a boost to everything from your attention span to your immune system. And searching for the right mattress doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive: You can find the best bed-in-a-box mattress for you and avoid middleman markups by shopping high-quality beds online. What could be easier than that?

Because bed-in-a-box mattresses have become increasingly popular over the past few years, there are a number of mattress brands to choose from. To narrow down your search, the experts at Mattress Advisor selected the 10 best mattresses in a box below based on mattress materials, sleep preferences and concerns, and more using a 14-point testing methodology to arrive at their top choices.

Our recommendations:

What is a mattress in a box?

Unlike beds that you buy from a mattress store, a bed-in-a-box mattress is compressed into an easy-to-carry box and delivered to your front door. Unpacking and setting up your new bed is a cinch. Simply open the box, unroll the mattress onto your bed frame or box spring, remove any plastic wrapping, and wait for the mattress to puff up to its full shape.

The benefits of a mattress in a box

Buying a bed-in-a-box mattress saves you time and money. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are often less expensive than traditional versions: By buying your new bed straight from the manufacturer, you save on the middleman markups, sales commissions, and showroom fees that often come with retail mattress stores. Plus, bed-in-a-box mattress brands have special sales and deals throughout the year to cut costs even further. 

From shopping to shipping, buying a bed-in-a-box mattress is a far more convenient process than purchasing a traditional mattress. You can take your time exploring mattress reviews to find a bed that meets your needs without a salesperson hanging over your shoulder. Then, with the click of a button, your new mattress will arrive on your doorstep. Bed-in-a-box mattress brands typically offer sleep trial periods that allow you to test the mattress for at least 100 nights, giving you ample time to decide if the bed is a good fit for you.

Bed-in-a-box mattress types

The four most common bed-in-a-box mattress types are innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid.

Innerspring 

Innerspring mattresses are a traditional mattress type made from layers of steel pocket coils. These beds are breathable—air can easily flow between the coils—and they respond to your movements, so you don't feel stuck in your bed. Innerspring beds also often come with a lower price tag, but know that they can be noisy and less durable than other beds.

Memory foam

Memory foam mattresses are made with layers of foam that provide excellent pressure relief and make you feel hugged by the surface of your bed. Whereas innerspring beds are great for those who like to feel elevated on their mattress, memory foam is ideal for those who prefer to feel cradled. Memory foam beds tend to retain heat, however, and may not provide adequate support for larger sleepers or those who prefer to sleep on top of their mattress instead of cuddling into it. But by topping your foam bed with a cooling mattress pad, you can rest more comfortably.

Latex

Latex mattresses are responsive and bouncy like innerspring beds, but provide a pressure-relieving contouring feel similar to a memory foam bed. Latex is also hypoallergenic and a great mattress material for hot sleepers since it is naturally aerated, meaning it is full of tiny holes that allow air to flow through the mattress to help keep you cool. These benefits can come at an additional cost, though, so a latex bed might not be the best pick for those on a budget.

Hybrid

If you want the benefits of more than one mattress type, consider looking into a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress combines layers of two or more mattress materials, like foam and coils, in a single bed for a unique sleeping experience. Hybrid mattresses are great for the Goldilocks sleepers of the world who want a bed that feels just right.

Things to consider before buying a bed-in-a-box mattress

Research

As bed-in-a-box mattresses have become more popular, there are many great (and some not-so-great) online mattress companies out there. Make sure to take the extra time to think about your sleep preferences, scope out your options, and read mattress reviews to find the bed that is the best fit for your unique needs. 

Certifications

Mattresses can earn third-party certifications to demonstrate that they are non-toxic, organic, or natural. For example, if you want a mattress that has low chemical content or minimal off-gassing, look for a CertiPUR-US certification. CertiPUR-US mattresses are tested by a third party, proven to be durable, and have minimal levels of VOCs and other air pollutants. Other popular certifications include GreenGuard, which guarantees that a mattress has low emission levels, and USDA Organic, which confirms that a bed was made with organic materials. 

Sales and promotions

Keep an eye out for sales and promotions from your desired mattress brand—even the most reasonably priced online mattresses will go on sale throughout the year. Check mattress brand websites for extra discounts around special occasions, like its anniversary, and holidays, such as Memorial Day, Black Friday, and the Fourth of July

Policies 

Most online mattress brands come with lengthy sleep trials and lenient return policies so you can make sure that your mattress is fully broken in before you commit. All the beds included in this roundup have at least a 100-night trial period, and since it takes no more than 30 days to break in a mattress, you'll have ample time to try out your pick and make your decision.Look for a mattress with a minimum 5-year warranty (but ideally more than 10 years) to guarantee that your purchase is high-quality and will be a solid investment.

The 10 best mattresses in a box

Related Items

Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: DreamCloud

Best Overall: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid

BUY IT, $1,598 FOR A QUEEN

It can be tricky to find the right mattress if you are a combination sleeper or have a partner that rests in a different sleep position than you. The DreamCloud Premier mattress, however, has a middle-of-the-road firmness level and balances comfort and support to suit all sleeping positions. This hybrid bed is also a great pick for larger sleepers: Some memory foam beds can't fully support sleepers with more body mass, but the DreamCloud mattress's dense base layer and superior edge support can keep sleepers with all body types comfy.

DreamCloud is so confident that this bed will keep you supported for years to come that each mattress comes with a lifetime warranty, extremely generous for a bed in a box. For a more affordable price point and a softer firmness level, check out their flagship model, the DreamCloud original.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (memory foam and innerspring coil)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period: 365 Days
Nectar
Credit: Nectar

Best Memory Foam: Nectar

BUY IT, $1,298 FOR A QUEEN

Memory foam mattresses are beloved for their squishy-soft feel and exceptional pressure relief. The Nectar mattress has both of these qualities––and more. The Nectar is a high-quality, all-foam mattress that softly contours pressure points, making you feel like you're resting in a cloud. This mattress's balanced combination of plush foam and durable edge support will hug you to sleep while preventing any sinkage. And with a medium firmness level, this bed works great for all sleep positions. 

Testers were blown away by the Nectar's motion transfer and responsiveness, making this bed well-suited for couples who want to enjoy uninterrupted sleep. Responsiveness is also helpful when you and your partner aren't sleeping, so if things get steamy, you can move around on this bed with ease. Nectar also offers a lifetime warranty and 365-day sleep trial period—a rarity among bed-in-a-box companies.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam 
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10) 
  • Trial Period: 365 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Casper

Best for Back Pain: Casper

BUY IT, $1,095 FOR A QUEEN

Casper was one of the first bed-in-a-box brands to bring this convenient type of mattress to the mainstream years ago, and it remains one of the most popular options on the market. The Casper mattress earned an outstanding 9.5 out of 10 score in Mattress Advisor's spinal alignment testing, making it a great pick for those looking for extra back support for every sleep position. And with a zoned support layer that provides targeted support for spine alignment, back pain will melt away in no time.

This supportive foam bed is also great at adapting to those that move around throughout the night—the Casper mattress earned a perfect 10 in responsiveness testing. Reviewers were impressed at how quickly the indentations in their bed sprung back to place after shifting positions. Unlike average foam mattresses, the Casper contains foams that are designed to be universally comfortable for all sleep positions. And coupled with its lumbar support system, it's hard to beat when it comes to minimizing back pain.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam 
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 nights
helix midnight mattress
Credit: Helix Sleep

Best for Couples: Helix Midnight

BUY IT, $1,099 FOR A QUEEN

No matter how much you love your partner or pet, it can place a strain on your relationship when they wake you up in the middle of the night to get a midnight snack, change sleep positions, or go to the bathroom. A mattress with good motion isolation, such as the Helix Midnight, can help save your sleep and love life. Made from durable pocket coils and a polyfoam support layer topped with high-quality memory foam, the Helix Midnight can easily support the weight of two people, even if they are heavier sleepers.

The mattress absorbs the movements from your co-sleeper, so you can sleep soundly even if they're restless at night. In the Mattress Advisor testing lab, the Helix Midnight scored an 8.5/10 for motion transfer—proof of its excellent design for couples. While it's the most popular model in the vast Helix Sleep portfolio, be warned that the Midnight might not work well for stomach sleepers who require more support.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coil and foam)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5.5/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Layla

Best Flippable: Layla

BUY IT, $1,099 FOR A QUEEN

If you can't decide which firmness level works best for you, the Layla gives you options. All you have to do is flip the mattress over to switch things up. Each side is different, so you have both a medium-soft and a medium-firm mattress in a single bed—a quality that sets it apart in the bed-in-a-box market. The memory foam is extremely responsive to keep you supported in any sleep position, and both sides of the bed have a breathable copper-infused top layer to help keep the surface of the mattress cool.

Scoring it a 9/10 for pressure relief, Mattress Advisor told Health that the Layla mattress works extremely well for side sleepers by comfortably cradling their hips and shoulders into the mattress. However, its memory foam construction may make it too warm for hot sleepers. Those who require extra cooling should check out Layla's newest model, the Layla Hybrid, which contains pocketed coils for additional airflow.

  • Mattress Type: Copper-infused memory foam 
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.8/10
  • Firmness: Medium soft (4/10) and medium-firm (7/10)
  • Trial Period: 120 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Brooklyn Bedding

Best Hybrid: Brooklyn Signature

BUY IT, $1,124 FOR A QUEEN

Hybrid mattresses bring together the best of different mattress types for a balanced feel. This rings true for the Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress, which has consistently been revered as a top-rated hybrid bed. The construction includes rows of innerspring coils that respond to your movements and keep your back supported throughout the night, plus layers of foam that add durability and extra cushioning. The Brooklyn Signature also offers three different firmness levels and boasts superior pressure relief and spine alignment. Because of this, it's a great choice for all sleep positions.

To top it all off (literally), a cooling gel memory foam comfort layer at the surface of the bed provides a cushy contouring feel while also regulating the surface temperature to keep you from overheating throughout the night. And you get all these perks for under $1,200—a steal as far as hybrid mattresses are concerned.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and innerspring coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10
  • Firmness: Soft (4/10), medium (6/10), or firm (8/10)
  • Trial Period: 120 nights
Bear mattress
Credit: Bear

Best for Active People: Bear Hybrid

BUY IT, $1,695 FOR A QUEEN

Exercise enthusiasts and other active people should look for a bed that leaves them feeling rested and restored after tough workouts. The Bear Hybrid is made up of foam and coils, and comes wrapped in a cooling cover that absorbs body heat. This bed's foam layers offer pressure point relief and a high level of responsiveness to keep your body comfortable and supported as you sleep. In addition, the innerspring coils increase the mattress's breathability and edge support along the perimeter, resulting in a cooler night's sleep and more secure feel.

In the Mattress Advisor testing lab, the Bear Hybrid scored exceptionally high in spine alignment (great for back sleepers) and durability (great for long-term use), both coming in at 9.5/10. Still, stomach sleepers may not find adequate support on the Bear Hybrid and may want to look for a firmer mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: GhostBed

Best Latex: GhostBed

BUY IT, $1,295 FOR A QUEEN

There are many reasons why people choose latex mattresses: They're cooling, bouncy, and durable. The GhostBed Classic stands out because it's constructed with synthetic latex, making it a more budget-friendly option (all-natural latex can be expensive). Layered with latex over memory foam, and supported by a sturdy foam base, this mattress is very responsive. It also comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a 20-year warranty—above average for beds in a box.

While the firmness level in the GhostBed works well for back and stomach sleepers, it may feel too firm for side sleepers who require cushioning at their hips and shoulders. In this case, the brand's newer model, the GhostBed 3D Matrix, provides excellent pressure relief and should keep side sleepers resting comfortably all night long.

  • Mattress Type: Latex with gel memory foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6/10
  • Firmness: Medium (6.5/10) 
  • Trial Period: 101 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Tuft and Needle

Best on a Budget: Tuft & Needle

BUY IT, $895 FOR A QUEEN

This ultra-versatile "universal" mattress works well for a wide variety of sleepers and budgets. The Tuft & Needle Original foam bed has a medium-firm firmness level that supports all sleep positions and earned great scores across the board in expert testing for pressure relief, spinal alignment, and edge support. Its specially formulated adaptive foam mimics the springiness of latex and provides a high level of responsiveness—it's like a luxury foam bed at a fraction of the price. But the low price tag doesn't mean that this mattress skimps on quality: A 10-year warranty guarantees that it'll be durable for years to come. 

Of course, this is a memory foam bed, so it may sleep too warm for hot sleepers. For extra cooling, try the newest models, the Tuft & Needle Hybrid with pocketed coils for additional airflow, and the Tuft & Needle Mint, with both graphite and gel infusions for a refreshingly cool sleep.

  • Mattress Type: Foam blend
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 nights
Mattress Lifestyle Photos
Credit: Leesa

Best Memory Foam for Hot Sleepers: Leesa Original

BUY IT, $1,099 FOR A QUEEN

Those who love the feel of a memory foam mattress but still want to stay cool during the night should consider the Leesa Original. Its cover is made of a soft twill fabric that's breathable, and its proprietary foams sleep cooler than traditional memory foam beds. In the Mattress Advisor testing lab, this bed scored an 8.5/10 for cooling—quite a high score for a memory foam mattress. Plus, your mattress purchase comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, and a 10-year warranty.

  • Mattress Type: Foam
  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.3/10
  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)
  • Trial Period: 100 nights

Mattress Advisor's review process

Each mattress on this list was put to the test (literally) in Mattress Advisor's lab, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bedding experts spent over 1,200 hours evaluating and comparing mattresses using a 14-point testing methodology to find the best mattresses in a box available online. 

While some of the factors tested are tied directly to performance—like responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief—others are based around brand operations, such as customer service, shipping policies, and trial period. The Mattress Advisor team combines this proprietary methodology with in-depth interviews and customer experience to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

Jillian Mueller is a wellness and lifestyle writer for Mattress Advisor.

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