The 12 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to Rigorous Expert Testing

Good sleep comes in small packages.
By Jillian Mueller
Updated February 10, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
  • Best Overall:
    DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid
    $999
    SHOP IT
    dreamcloudsleep.com
  • Best for Side Sleepers:
    Puffy
    $1,150
    SHOP IT
    puffy.com
  • Best Memory Foam:
    Nectar
    $799
    SHOP IT
    nectarsleep.com
  • Best for Couples:
    Helix Midnight Luxe
    $1849
    SHOP IT
    helixsleep.com
  • Best for Hot Sleepers:
    Nolah Original
    $1149
    SHOP IT
    nolahmattress.com
  • Best Latex:
    GhostBed
    $1,150
    SHOP IT
    ghostbed.com
  • Best for Active Women:
    Bear Hybrid
    $800
    SHOP IT
    bearmattress.com
  • Best Hybrid:
    Brooklyn Signature
    $1080
    SHOP IT
    brooklynbedding.com
  • Best Flippable:
    Layla
    $1049
    SHOP IT
    laylasleep.com
  • Best on a Budget:
    Tuft & Needle
    $595
    SHOP IT
    tuftandneedle.com
  • Best for Back Pain:
    Casper
    $1095
    SHOP IT
    casper.com
  • Best for Back Sleepers:
    Purple
    $1149
    SHOP IT
    purple.com

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, below is a helpful guide showcasing the 12 best mattresses in a box based on materials, sleep preferences, and more. You can take comfort in the fact that these picks come highly recommended from the experts over at Mattress Advisor.

These are the best bed-in-a-box mattresses you can buy online right now:

With options available to suit virtually any sleep position and firmness level, you're sure to find a bed in a box that'll deliver your best night's sleep yet.

What is a bed 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 helps save 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 middleman markups, sales commissions, and showroom fees. Plus, bed-in-a-box mattress brands often have special sales and deals throughout the year to cut costs even further. 

From shopping to shipping, buying a bed-in-a-box 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.

The types of bed-in-a-box mattresses

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 like you're sinking into your bed. Innerspring beds often come with a lower price tag than other mattress varieties, but they can also be noisier and less durable.

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 12 best mattresses in a box

Credit: DreamCloud

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 Luxury Hybrid, 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’s dense base layer and superior edge support can make people with all body types feel secure. The brand is so confident that this bed will keep you happy for years to come that each mattress includes a lifetime warranty.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm 
  • Trial Period: 365 Days

To buy: DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress, $999 for a Queen, dreamcloudsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Puffy

This bed in a box feels just as its name suggests: puffy, soft, and cloudlike. These qualities fit with side sleepers’ need for pressure relief at their hips and shoulders. It’s important that these areas sink far enough into the mattress to allow for the spine to stay in proper alignment—and a well-supported back means less pain in the morning. The Puffy is made with three layers of foam: a gel-infused cooling memory foam, a climate-controlled transition layer, and a thick, supportive base foam. This construction produces a medium firmness that has just enough bounce to allow for easy movement.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium 
  • Trial Period: 101 Days

To buy: Puffy Mattress, $1,150 for a Queen, puffy.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Nectar

Memory foam mattresses are beloved for their squishy-soft feel and exceptional pressure relief. The Nectar has both of these qualities and more. The all-foam mattress softly contours pressure points to make you feel like you are resting in a cloud. This medium-firm mattress’s balanced combination of plush foam and durable edge support will hug you to sleep while preventing any sinkage. 

Testers were blown away by the Nectar’s motion transfer and responsiveness, making this bed well-suited for couples with different sleep styles. Responsiveness is also important for those times when you and your partner aren’t sleeping, so when things get steamy, you can move around on the bed with ease.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm 
  • Trial Period: 365 Days

To buy: Nectar Mattress, $799 for a Queen, nectarsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Helix

Are you and your partner in need of a new mattress? The Helix Midnight Luxe is made with durable pocket coils, a polyfoam support layer, and topped with high-quality memory foam to help prevent motion transfer so that you won’t be disturbed by another person’s movements during the night. As for sex, the cooling pillow top keeps you comfy and sweat-free—no matter how hot things get in the bedroom.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coil and foam)
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Trial Period: 100 Days

To buy: Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress, $1,849 for a Queen, helixsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Nolah

Getting hot in the middle of the night can cause you to wake up sweaty and uncomfortable, disrupting your sleep. But a cooling mattress like the Nolah Original is a top choice for hot sleepers. Although memory foam has a reputation for retaining heat, this mattress is made with a specially formulated airfoam that doesn’t contain the chemicals that trap in heat, and it’s ventilated with air pockets to further increase airflow throughout the bed. As an added perk, these air pockets are shock-absorbing and help relieve pressure and pain from your joints as you sleep. 

  • Mattress Type: Airfoam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 120 Days

To buy: Nolah Mattress, $1,149 for a Queen, nolahmattress.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: GhostBed

There are many reasons why people choose latex mattresses: They’re cooling, bouncy, and durable. The GhostBed Original 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.

  • Mattress Type: Latex with gel memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium 
  • Trial Period: 101 days

To buy: GhostBed Original Mattress, $1,140, ghostbed.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Bear

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.

  • Mattress Type: Foam and coils
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium 
  • Trial Period: 100 Days

To buy: Bear Hybrid Mattress, $1,390 for a Queen, bearmattress.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bedding makes about a half-dozen different mattress models, but its flagship bed is still a best-seller. With a generous 12-inch thickness, the Brooklyn Signature is chock-full of premium materials, such as individually wrapped coils and multiple layers of plush foams. Customers can also choose between three firmness levels—soft, medium, or firm. The overall feel of the bed combines the cushioning of a pillow top mattress with the bounciness of innerspring coils.

  • Mattress Type: Foam and coils
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Soft, medium, or firm
  • Trial Period: 120 Days

To buy: Brooklyn Signature Mattress, $999 for a Queen, brooklynbedding.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Layla

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. 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.

  • Mattress Type: Copper-infused memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium Soft and Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 120 Days

To buy: Layla Mattress, $1,049 for a Queen, laylasleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Tuft and Needle

This ultra-versatile “universal” mattress works well for a wide variety of sleepers and budgets. Tuft & Needle’s medium-firm foam bed supports all sleep positions and earned great scores across the board in 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 hybrid bed at a fraction of the price. But the low price tag doesn’t mean that this mattress skimps on quality. The 10-year warranty guarantees that it’ll last you for years to come.

  • Mattress Type: Foam blend
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 100 Days 

To buy: Tuft & Needle Mattress, $595 for a Queen, tuftandneedle.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Casper

Casper was one of the first bed-in-a-box brands to bring this convenient type of mattress to the mainstream, and it remains one of the most popular options on the market. The Casper mattress earned an outstanding 9.5 out of 10 in Mattress Advisor’s spinal alignment testing, making it a great pick for those who need a little extra relief. The zoned support layer helps to eliminate back pain while you sleep.

This supportive foam bed is also highly responsive,  scoring a perfect 10 in that category. Reviewers were impressed at how quickly the indentations in their bed sprung back into place after they shifted positions.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm 
  • Trial Period: 100 Days

To buy: Casper Mattress, $1,095 for a Queen, casper.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Purple

This uniquely designed hybrid bed from Purple contains the brand’s proprietary gel Grid that uses a stretchy polymer material to flex under pressure points. When combined with two underlying layers of memory foam, the mattress provides phenomenal support and relief for back sleepers. The medium-firm bed pushes back against your movements to keep your spine aligned—which is also helpful for stomach sleepers—and its mix of materials makes it durable enough to withstand years of wear and tear. Plus, you get free returns and a 100-night sleep trial to test out the mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.4/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 100 Days 

To buy: Purple Mattress, $1,149 for a Queen, purple.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

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

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