The 11 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to Rigorous Expert Testing

Good sleep comes in small packages.
By Jillian Mueller
August 14, 2020
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 Premier
    $1399
  • Best for Side Sleepers:
    Puffy
    $1150
    SHOP IT
    puffy.com
  • Best Memory Foam:
    Nectar
    $1198
    SHOP IT
    nectarsleep.com
  • Best for Back Pain:
    Casper
    $1095
    SHOP IT
    casper.com
  • Best for Couples:
    Helix Midnight Luxe
    $1849
    SHOP IT
    helixsleep.com
  • Best for Hot Sleepers:
    Nolah Original
    $1019
    SHOP IT
    nolahmattress.com
  • Best Hybrid:
    Brooklyn Bedding Signature
    $999
    SHOP IT
    brooklybedding.com
  • Best Latex:
    Avocado Green
    $1399
    SHOP IT
    avocadogreenmattress.com
  • Best Flippable:
    Layla
    $1049
    SHOP IT
    laylasleep.com
  • Best for Active Women:
    Bear Hybrid
    $1390
    SHOP IT
    bearmattress.com
  • Best on a Budget:
    Tuft and Needle
    $595
    SHOP IT
    tuftandneedle.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 finding the right mattress doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive: Buying a bed-in-a-box mattress allows you to conveniently shop online and browse high-quality mattresses without middleman markups, so your new bed is easy on your budget and delivered straight to your doorstep. What could be better 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 11 best mattresses in a box based on mattress materials, sleep preferences and concerns, and more. You can also take comfort in the fact that these picks came 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 sleeping position, firmness level, and sleep preference, you’ll surely find a bed in a box that’ll deliver your best night’s sleep yet.

What is a bed in a box?

Unlike a mattress 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. The compact size of the box allows you to carry your new bed into your home and upstairs on your own or with the help of another person.

Unboxing 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. For heavier queen and king-size mattresses, you may want to recruit a friend for help, unless you’re confident you can strong-arm it on your own.

The benefits of a bed 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. Bed-in-a-box mattress brands often offer no-contact and white glove delivery options, so you can choose the method that is most comfortable for you. 

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 respond to your movements, so you don’t feel stuck in your bed. If you enjoy the feeling of sleeping “on” and not “in” your mattress, then an innerspring would suit you nicely. Innerspring beds also often come with a lower price tag than other mattress varieties, but know that they can be noisy and less durable than other beds. 

Memory foam

Memory foam mattresses are silent and extra durable. These mattresses are made of layers of polyurethane 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 can tend to retain heat, however, and may not provide adequate support for larger sleepers or those that prefer to sleep on top of their mattress instead of cuddling into it. Memory foam mattresses are silent and extra durable. These mattresses are made of layers of polyurethane 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 can tend to retain heat, however, and may not provide adequate support for larger sleepers or those that prefer to sleep on top of their mattress instead of cuddling into it. 

Latex

Latex mattresses are responsive and bouncy like innerspring beds, but silent as you move around on them. They 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. However, latex mattresses are some of the most durable beds on the market, so if you can afford the investment, it’s well worth it.

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 Goldlocks sleepers of the world who enjoy gentle contouring and a supportive feel.

What to look for in a bed-in-a-box mattress

Pressure relief

Your sleep posture can put pressure on areas such as the hips, shoulders, low back, chest, and neck depending on how you like to lay. A mattress with good pressure relief will cradle these pressure points to relieve stress without allowing them to sink too far into the mattress, which could disrupt your body’s natural posture as you sleep. 

Firmness  

Mattress firmness is mostly a personal preference, but different firmness levels also work better for certain sleeping positions. The best mattresses for side sleepers have a medium firmness level that can cushion hips and shoulders while still keeping the spine propped up in a healthy posture. Stomach sleepers also need support to keep their torso from sinking too far into the bed, but they should sleep on a softer mattress that will cushion their chest and neck. A firm mattress works best for back sleepers, who need extra pushback to keep their spine in a neutral alignment.

Temperature regulation 

If you live in a warmer climate or tend to sleep hot, the right mattress can help keep you cool so you can sleep through the night without being interrupted by night sweats or hot flashes. Choosing a bed made of an aerated material, such as latex or innerspring coils, will facilitate airflow to help cool you off. If you want the memory foam feel, choose a memory foam infused with gel or graphite, or one that is formulated with air pockets to make your mattress more breathable. (If you’re not in the market for a new mattress altogether, consider trying out a cooling mattress pad, which can provide the same cooling benefits at a fraction of the cost.)

Company reputation

Before you order a new mattress, it’s worth looking into the reputation of the mattress companies you are interested in. You can tell if a company is reputable by skimming the company’s website, perusing customer feedback comments, and reading mattress reviews from independent third parties. Trusted companies usually offer fair return and warranty policies, and some brands (like Nectar) even offer generous lifetime warranties and full-year sleep trials.

What to know about 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. 

Look at the top picks

When you review roundup articles (including this one), take note of the beds you see most often. In order to stand out from the crowd and be featured in these articles, mattresses will have earned their reputations over time with positive customer reviews, expert testing, and a high-quality product. 

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, are 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 and the Fourth of July

Policies 

Most online mattress brands come with lengthy sleep trial periods and lenient return policies, so you can make sure that your mattress is fully broken in before you truly commit. All the beds included in our roundup have at least a 100-night trial, 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.

When you decide to keep your bed, it will come with a warranty. Look for a mattress with a minimum five-year warranty (but ideally more than 10 years) to guarantee that your purchase is high-quality and will be a solid investment in your sleep. 

The 11 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 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. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (memory foam and innerspring coil) 
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm 
  • Trial Period: 365 Days

To buy: DreamCloud Premier Mattress, $1,399 for a Queen, dreamcloudsleep.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Puffy

Side sleepers need a bed that can cradle their hips and shoulders while still being supportive enough to keep those pressure points from sinking too far into the mattress, which can cause you to wake up with aches and pains. While most memory foam beds provide adequate pressure relief, the integrity of the foam can be compromised when the temperature changes, as the foam contracts in the cold and expands in the heat. The Puffy mattress, however, is made with specially formulated climate-controlled foam, so this bed’s pressure-relieving qualities aren’t hindered by temperature changes. This equates to consistent high-quality pressure relief year-round.

Although memory foam beds have a reputation for sinkage, the Puffy mattress’s medium-firm firmness level and excellent responsiveness will allow you to move around comfortably. It’s sturdy enough to keep you from feeling stuck in your bed throughout the night, so you can enjoy all the coziness of memory foam without sinking. And with a lifetime warranty, your Puffy mattress is here to stay. 

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • 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 mattress has both of these qualities––and more. The Nectar is a high-quality all-foam mattress that softly contours pressure points and will make you feel like you are 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. The Nectar also comes with a lifetime warranty and 365-day sleep trial period, so you can rest on this bed for a whole year before you commit.

  • Mattress Type: Gel memory foam 
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm 
  • Trial Period: 365 Days

To buy: Nectar Mattress, $1,198 for a Queen, nectarsleep.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 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 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 they shifted positions.

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

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

Credit: Helix Midnight

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 Luxe, 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 Luxe can easily support the weight of two people, even if they are heavier sleepers. The Helix Midnight Luxe also absorbs the movements from another body by vibrating it to the other side of the bed, so you can sleep soundly even if they’re restless at night. 

To top it all off, this mattress is covered with a cooling pillow top that keeps you comfy on toasty nights, even with the body heat of two people under the covers. As for sex, this feature is ideal for keeping the both of you cool—don’t ruin the mood with uncomfortable sweating.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coil and foam)
  • Customer Rating: 4.5/5
  • 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. The Nolah Original mattress comes with many features to help you stay cool and sleep through the night. Although memory foam has a reputation for retaining heat, the Nolah Original mattress is made with a specially formulated airfoam that doesn’t contain the chemicals that trap 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 joints as you sleep. 

  • Mattress Type: Airfoam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 120 Days

To buy: Nolah Mattress, $1,019 for a Queen, nolahmattress.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Brooklyn Signature

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 just $1,000—a steal as far as hybrid mattresses are concerned.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and innerspring coils)
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Choose from Plush, Medium or Firm
  • Trial Period: 120 days

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

Credit: Avocado

Breathable, responsive and supportive, the Avocado Green is a great latex mattress. This hybrid mattress features a supportive coil layer that helped earn it a near-perfect spinal alignment score in testing and two latex layers. The Avocado Green is a firmer mattress and provides ample support for your whole body, but if you like your bed on the soft side, you can add an extra pillow topper for plush comfort that won’t hinder the bed’s ability to support your body night after night. (This mattress does not have the strongest motion transfer score, so it may not be the best pick for couples.) 

Although this bed comes at a higher price point, Avocado offers financing options to help you fit this premier mattress into your budget, plus a year-long sleep trial to make sure the bed is perfect for you before you commit. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (latex and innerspring coil)
  • Customer Rating: 4.6/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm to Firm
  • Trial Period: 365 Days

To buy: Avocado Green Mattress, $1,399 for a Queen, avocadogreenmattress.com (Click to see exclusive offer)

Credit: Layla

If you can’t decide which mattress firmness option works best for you, the Layla flippable mattress is a great pick. Each side of the Layla bed is a different firmness level, so you can have both a medium soft and medium firm mattress in a single bed—simply flip your mattress over if you want to switch things up. The memory foam in the Layla mattress 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 and reduce inflammation as you rest. 

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

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

Credit: Bear

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7/5
  • Firmness: Medium Firm
  • Trial Period: 100 Nights

Exercise enthusiasts and other active people should look for a mattress that helps you wake up feeling rested and restored after tough workouts. The Bear Hybrid  is a medium-firm mattress made from encased coil springs and memory foam that comes wrapped in a celliant mattress cover, which absorbs your body heat while reflecting infrared light to help your body recover as you sleep. This bed’s foam layers offer pressure point relief and a high level of responsiveness to keep your body comfortable and supported as you rest. Additionally, the mattress features cooling gel memory foam to help reduce trapped air that can make hot sleepers uncomfortable.

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

Credit: Tuft and Needle

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

This ultra-versatile “universal” mattress works well for a wide variety of sleepers and budgets. Tuft & Needle’s foam bed has a medium-firm firmness level that supports all sleep positions and earned great scores across the board in testing for expert 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 the 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. 

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

Jillian Mueller is a wellness and lifestyle writer for Mattress Advisor. As a former insomniac, she is passionate about the health benefits of a restful night and helping you get a good night’s sleep.

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