Best Mattress Guides

Best Bed in a Box Mattresses

See our top picks of beds in a box, who they are best for and the benefits of sleeping on this type of mattress.

By Tyler Moyer

Several years ago, a handful of companies started compressing mattresses, squeezing them into cardboard boxes, and shipping them straight to buyers’ homes. Buying a bed-in-a-box takes the mattress shopping experience entirely into the virtual realm, allowing shoppers to bypass mattress stores and their sometimes pushy salespeople.

If you’re considering purchasing a mattress from an online bed-in-a-box company, you may be faced with a challenge. What was once an industry with just a handful of competitors is now flooded with companies offering mattresses with every size, style, price point, and special feature imaginable. Between the sheer amount of options, compelling advertising campaigns, and mattress industry jargon, the choice can feel overwhelming.

We created this guide to help you, the overwhelmed bed-in-a-box shopper. Below, you’ll find our top 10 bed-in-a-box mattresses and why we recommend them as well as a buyer’s guide to purchasing the best mattress-in-a-box. Be sure to check out our top picks for the best mattresses of 2020 overall as well.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Best Mattresses in a Box

  • Best Budget Mattress in a Box – Nectar
  • Best Bed in a Box for Side Sleepers – Helix Midnight Luxe
  • Best Hybrid Mattress in a Box – Idle Sleep Hybrid
  • Best Bed in a Box for Couples – Leesa
  • Best Luxury Bed in a Box – DreamCloud
  • Best Firm Mattress in a Box – Bear
  • Best Mattress in a Box for Back Pain – WinkBeds
  • Best Cooling Bed in a Box – Layla
  • Best Mattress in a Box for Back Sleepers – GhostBed
  • Best Memory Foam Bed in a Box – Casper

Nectar

Best Budget Mattress in a Box

The Nectar mattress is perfect for those on a budget. Get all the advantages of a bed in a box without a hefty price tag.

Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

365

Reason to buy

Best Bed-in-a-box on a budget

The Nectar balances comfort and support nicely in its memory foam mattress, which features a Tencel cotton cover that encases layers of quilted gel memory foam, adaptive core memory foam, and a breathable base layer. The bed is 11” thick overall and feels medium firm.

If you like the deep, melting hug of memory foam and are looking for the best value, the Nectar may be the best mattress-in-a-box for you. The medium-firm feel will accommodate all sleeping positions for sleepers at a variety of body weights and sizes. The soft quilted cover and top layers of foam offer the slow sinking feel lovers of memory foam look for, but the quick-responding, firmer base layers offer support to keep your spine in alignment. The Nectar is available in sizes Twin through California King and comes with a 365-night trial, free shipping, and a forever warranty. White glove delivery is available for an additional fee.

Read our full Nectar mattress review to learn more!

Helix Midnight Luxe

Best for Side Sleepers

Helix makes buying a new mattress easy. With so many options, their online quiz will point you in the right direction.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

Customizable

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Luxury zoned support made for side sleepers

Helix offers a wide variety of thickness and firmness options in their foam hybrid mattresses, ensuring that they have a mattress for your needs. We particularly love the Helix Midnight Luxe.

If you’re unsure what your mattress needs are or haven’t shopped for a new mattress in the past, Helix offers an online sleep quiz that will match you with a suitable option for your sleep style, height, weight, and preferences. You’ll have an informed decision along with control over the final firmness and support level. The Helix comes with free shipping, a 100-night sleep trial, two free pillows, and a 10-year warranty.

Read our full Helix Midnight Luxe review for more info!

Idle Sleep Hybrid

Best Hybrid Mattress in a Box
The Idle Hybrid mattress combines the support of 1,000 coils with proprietary Buoyancy foam to bring you an exceptionally supportive mattress. Boasting an 18-month sleep trial, the mattress is dual-sided, meaning you can flip it to get twice the life out of your mattress.
Warranty

Lifetime

Warranty

Lifetime

Warranty

Lifetime

Warranty

Lifetime

The Idle Sleep Hybrid mattress combines supportive coils and pressure relieving foam appealing to a large range of sleepers’ needs. In addition to being two-sided mattress with two firmness levels to choose from, it is known to be a long last mattress and comes with an 18 month trial period.

Individually encased coils decrease motion transfer to help couples sleep undisturbed and increase airflow to keep the sleep cool. The contouring and transitional layers provide the necessary support and contouring for back, stomach and side sleepers. It has the hugging feeling of memory foam to protect pressure points but may make it hard for combination sleepers to move around with ease.

 

Leesa

Best Bed in a Box for Couples
The Leesa mattress adapts to all sleep positions and most body types. With its cooling foam and additional layers that both hug and support you, it's no wonder customers love sleeping on their Leesa.
Score
4.9 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 days

Reason to buy

Great for most everyone! Excellent all-around mattress.

The Leesa is an affordable, mixed-foam mattress that features two comfort layers, a support core, and a cover woven from polyester and Lycra spandex. It’s considered medium-firm and measures 10” thick.

The Leesa is a great foam option for all types of sleepers. In 2018, the company added a new top layer of foam (LSA200) to make it even more soft and comfortable. The comfort layers cushion sleepers’ bodies without sagging, and the Leesa also does well isolating motion. It has a below-average price point when compared to other soft, all-foam beds, making it an excellent choice for sleepers who want a soft mattress but are on a budget. The Leesa is available in sizes Twin through California King and comes with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping in all 50 states, and a 10-year non-prorated warranty. White glove delivery is currently not available for the original Leesa mattress. See: Best Affordable Mattresses 

Read our full Leesa mattress review to learn more!

DreamCloud Mattress

Best Luxury Bed in a Box
This hybrid mattress mixes memory foam and individually pocketed innerspring coils to deliver pressure-relieving support, especially for back and stomach sleepers. At a generous 15 inches tall with a quilted foam and cashmere cover, the DreamCloud exudes a plush, luxury hotel feel.
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

365 Days

Reason to buy

A great mattress for pain relief and all-around comfort

The DreamCloud is a luxury hybrid bed-in-a-box with five layers. The breathable fabric cover encases layers of medium- and high-density foam, a pocketed innerspring coil system, and a stabilizing foam base layer.

The DreamCloud features a luxurious construction for a relatively low price (a queen is just $1,009). This thoughtfully designed bed offers many advantages, including temperature neutrality, a medium-firm feel, and a supportive, durable core. With five layers, the DreamCloud uses more material than other luxury hybrids, meaning it may work well if you’re heavyweight or tall. If you’re looking to sink into your mattress, the DreamCloud won’t be your bed-in-a-box; it’s best for average to heavyweight sleepers who need support, enjoy floating “on” the mattress rather than sinking into it, and want luxury at a reasonable price. The DreamCloud is available in sizes Twin through California King and comes with a longer-than-average 365-night trial, free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and a lifetime warranty. Check out our other luxury mattress picks.

Read our full DreamCloud mattress review to learn more!

The Original Bear Mattress

Best Firm Mattress in a Box
Designed for people with active lifestyles, the Original Bear mattress is Bear’s flagship model. It features foams that work well for sleepers of all positions and sizes. The bed's standout cover includes Celliant, which converts body heat into infrared energy to promote muscle recovery.
Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Promotes muscle recovery

The Bear mattress is designed with athletes in mind, especially with a Celliant cover and pressure-relieving memory foam that promotes quicker recovery. It is a firm memory foam mattress because of the combination of a gel memory foam top layer and more taut polyfoam underneath.

Because of this structure, the Bear will evenly distribute the weight of back or combination sleepers without letting their hips sink or get stuck in the mattress. Side sleepers might not opt for the Bear because it may not contour around their hips and shoulders and lead to painful pressure buildup.

See our full Bear Mattress Review to learn more.

WinkBed

Best Mattress in a Box for Back Pain
WinkBeds is a family-owned operation that focuses on details to attract customers to their luxury mattresses, which are made to order in Wisconsin. The company believes so strongly in their mattress quality, that they attach a lifetime warranty to them.

The WinkBeds mattress is a luxury hybrid mattress with individually wrapped coils and multiple support zones to provide targeted back support. The tencel cover wicks away heat to keep sleepers cool while supporting the spines of back and stomach sleepers.

The seven layers of the hybrid mattress include a “lumbar support pad” made of dense cotton to support the lower back while the top layers curve around your body and the supportive pad. The supportive layer is made of dense memory foam that keeps average and heavier sleepers from sinking into the mattress, reducing the risk of back pain.

Read our full WinkBeds Mattress Review for more information. 

Layla

Best Cooling Bed in a Box
The original Layla memory foam mattress features two sides with different firmness options: one soft and one firm. Its copper-infused foam helps to cool the mattress and increase recovery times.
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

0

Trial period

120 days

Reason to buy

Dual-sided design.

This memory foam mattress features two sides (soft and firm), is copper-infused to improve airflow, and provides pressure points with relief. The cover design allows for flipping with ease. It is an excellent option for side sleepers and couples who are looking to get the most out of their bed in a box. 

Layla updated its mattress in late 2018, and we’ve fallen in love with it. This memory foam bed is double-sided, has a fluffy, airy feel, and is below average in price. If you spend most of your night on your side and are petite, you’ll enjoy the soft side. If you’re an average weight or slightly heavier, you’ll enjoy the firm side. It’s available in sizes Twin through California King, comes with a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime, non-prorated warranty, and ships free in the contiguous U.S. White glove delivery is currently not available.

Read our full Layla mattress review to learn more!

GhostBed

Best Mattress in a Box for Back Sleepers
GhostBed is a medium-firm, affordable latex mattress that suits most sleepers. Featuring cooling gels and excellent responsiveness, this mattress is a great catch-all option.
Score
4.7 / 5.0
Firmness

6.5

Trial period

101 nights

Reason to buy

High-Density Memory Foam Core

The GhostBed combines bouncy latex and body-hugging memory foam for a balanced mattress that supports the pressure points of sleepers. Gel-infused memory foam provides body-contouring around the hips and protecting the spine, while keeping the sleeper cool.

Best for back sleepers, this firmer mattress will evenly distribute the weight of the sleeper across the mattress. The latex also provides additional bounce and ease of movement for combination sleepers to shift positions while preventing sleepers from feeling stuck in the layers.

Read our full GhostBed Mattress Review to learn more. 

Casper Original

Best Memory Foam

If pressure relief is what you’re after when you turn in for the night, The Casper mattress’s comforting layers can accommodate you.

Score
4.8 / 5.0
Firmness

6

Trial period

100 nights

Reason to buy

Affordable mattress made for all sleepers

The Casper is a memory foam mattress that offers close conforming, a medium-firm feel, and pressure relief. It features triple-layer memory foam and polyfoam comfort system that sits atop a high-density foam support core. 

The thick foam comfort layers in the Casper make it ideal for sleepers who struggle with back, neck, or shoulder pain when they sleep. Its medium firmness makes it suitable for sleepers who are average weight, and it isolates motion well for couples. Most sleepers will experience excellent comfort and close conforming from the three top layers, and the mattress is lightweight, making it easy to move and rotate throughout the year. The Casper comes with a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping in the U.S. and Canada, and a 10-year non-prorated warranty. It’s available in sizes Twin through California King.

Read our full Casper mattress review to learn more!

What Is a Bed in a Box? 

A “mattress in a box”, also called “bed in a box”, is exactly what it sounds like. It is literally a mattress that has been vacuum-sealed, rolled up and put into a box that ships directly to your home. These mattresses range from memory foam to a more traditional feeling, hybrid mattresses, and perform just as good as mattresses sold at large retailers. You typically won’t find a strict innerspring mattress in a box, but you can find some innersprings with added comfort layers, making them a hybrid. Bed in a box mattresses allow customers to save money, cutting out overhead costs and additional fees.

While shopping for mattresses online is becoming more and more popular, there is still the question that looms in the minds of many consumers; “Does rolling up my mattress cause damage?” The short answer is no. The process allows the integrity of the bed to be maintained during its travel. Most brands do recommend not leaving your bed in a box in the nbox too long after receiving because the longer it remains rolled up, it obviously becomes more compressed. When your mattress arrives, simply pull the rolled up mattress out of the box, and watch it expand.

Who a Bed in a Box is Best For?

Thousands of people wind up happy with their bed-in-a-box purchase, but that isn’t to say it’s for everyone. If you enjoy in-store browsing and the experience of seeing and lying on mattresses, you’ll probably gravitate toward the traditional mattress shopping experience of finding a brick-and-mortar retailer. However, if you’re up for the challenge of finding the best bed-in-a-box mattress without ever seeing it in person, shopping online could be enjoyable for you. Here’s a shortlist of who we think a bed in a box is ideal for:

Those with little time or desire to shop mattresses at a brick-and-mortar retail store

Individuals who already know the brand and style they want to purchase

Millennials and Internet-savvy shoppers who aren’t intimidated by the idea of making a major investment by shopping online

Shoppers who prefer to do their own research and reading about comfort, warranties, sleep trials, shipping and return information rather than be guided by a mattress salesperson

  • Shoppers who have their sights set on specific mattress company or mattress qualities, like eco-consciousness, innovative designs, and certified materials, as the online mattress space has more options at large

Benefits of a Bed in a Box

When deciding whether to buy online or in-store, it can be helpful to consider the benefits of purchasing a bed-in-a-box.

    • Easily comparison shop—Purchasing a mattress online is just as convenient as it sounds. It can be done anywhere and at any time. While there are more than 200 mattress-in-a-box manufacturers out there today, we recommend browsing the top players in the game (there are roughly 25). Most of these companies offer a handful of models that can be easily comparedbased on your sleep position, budget, material preferences, and more.

Quick shipping—A mattress sold in a box or bag will typically arrive within one week after your order has been placed.

Extensive sleep trial periods<—To lessen the blow of the fact that shoppers can’t try the mattress prior to purchase, the majority of bed-in-a-box companies offer generous sleep trials with free returns.

Cost savings—You’ll find everything from affordable, basic mattresses to luxury, multi-thousand dollar beds that come in a box. The variety is nice, but the cost savings are even nicer. The majority of these companies pass the cost savings they receive from eliminating a middle man onto their customers.

No pushy salespeople – Instead of being swarmed by salespeople as you step into a traditional mattress showroom, you can calmly scroll through your computer and buy on your own terms.

How To Buy a Bed in a Box

  • Start Your Research – We know! It can feel overwhelming starting to shop online for a mattress in a box. The best place to start is to consider what is important to you. Some of the top things to consider are; Your sleeping position, Do you sleep with a partner? Do you sleep hot? How firm do you like your mattress? Do you have pain concerns?
  • Look at Roundups – We have done a lot of the research for you! If you have a specific sleeping position, we have detailed the top mattresses that you will sleep well on. Same for temperature and firmness level. We also have a great mattress comparison tool, in which you can put two mattresses side by side to see how they will perform for you if you can not decide.
  • Customer Support – Once you have decided on a brand, we always recommend contacting the band directly to see how responsive their customer support team is. A mattress is a large investment, and you want to make sure that your mattress is backed by a team that will be helpful, should you have any problems down the road.
  • Keep Your Eye Out For Sales – Online mattress brands run a lot of promotions throughout the year. Here at Mattress Nerd, we always round up the best sales throughout the year, as well as have exclusive deals for our readers even when sales are not live. Some of the best times to buy a new mattress online is during the following holidays; Memorial Day, Labor Day, Presidents’ Day, 4th of July, Veterans’ Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Unboxing Your New Mattress 

When your new mattress arrives at your doorstep, you will likely be shocked that your brand new bed is in such a small box! There are few steps to keep in mind to ensure that you and your mattress make it to your room safely and efficiently!

Get Help – The mattress box can be deceptively heavy (especially if you are dealing with a King or California King mattress). We recommend getting someone to help you move the box inside, and to whatever room, the mattress is going to be in. The box really is only big enough for two people to carry, but if you have a hand truck or other tool it may come in handy!

Wait to unbox – We know it is exciting to get your new mattress in the mail, but it will be much easier to move to the desired room if it is still in the box! Once you and your helper have moved the box into the room, cut the top of the box open, then lay the box on its side on top of the foundation.

Unfold, then cut open! – Have one person pull the mattress out of the box, while the other pulls the box in the other direction. Putting the box on the floor, unroll the mattress, ensure the bottom of the mattress is in the correct direction, and then unfold. After the mattress is laying flat, grab a pair of scissors and cut the plastic from the side and bottom of the bed, being careful not to cut the fabric.

Watch it expand! – After the plastic is removed from the mattress it will immediately begin to expand. Most beds in a box brands recommend waiting a few hours to a day before sleeping on it.

Off-Gassing

When you cut the plastic off of the mattress, you will likely experience a smell that some described as “chemically.” This is the mattress releasing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), these are harmless, but the odor can range from very faint to very powerful. The smell should go away within a few hours. If your mattress has a very strong off-gassing smell, you can crack a window and turn on the fan to increase airflow.
These smells come most often from the polyfoam (polyurethane foam) used in memory foam mattresses. Since foam of some type is used in almost every bed in a box mattress, most will have some odor. If you are very concerned about off-gassing, going with a latex mattress is your best bet. Since they are made with organic, all-natural materials, they do not produce any VOCs.

Foundation Requirements

While some mattress companies make models that require the use of a specific bed frame (often their own), most mattresses in a box are compatible with any foundation, be it a box spring, wooden slats, adjustable bed, or even the floor in some cases.

Inability to try before you buy

    —Visiting a furniture or mattress store and lying on different models is the obvious benefit of buying in-person. When purchasing a mattress-in-a-box, you’re placing trust in reviews, online ratings, and the company’s description of the product rather than your tactile experience.

How to Know You’re Getting the Best Bed in a Box

Originally pioneered by Casper, the first well known bed-in-a-box company, the boxed mattress market has evolved into a heavily populated industry in the last decade. Hundreds of online mattress retailers now compress and roll their mattresses into tall cardboard boxes or bags in order to ship them quickly to customers in the United States and beyond. In order to help you narrow down the best mattress-in-a-box for your bedroom, here’s a list of what to look for.

Shipping Policies 

Most mattresses in a box ship to customers in the U.S. for free. Some brands do charge to ship to Hawaii and Alaska for a flat fee. If you are looking for expedited shipping or overnight that will cost you extra. Some brands offer white glove delivery, most is at an extra cost (around $100). White glove delivery means the mattress will not be left at your door, but will be carried in your home, unboxed and unwrapped. They will also take your old mattress and dispose of it if you want. Most mattresses are delivered within two weeks of the time you order.

Returns

The ability to try out a mattress and return it is one of the many benefits of buying a mattress online. These are often referred to as “sleep trials” by a bed in a box brand, they are usually very easy to find on the brand’s website. Most returns are free and do not worry, you aren’t expected to shove the mattress back into the box. Typically, someone will come to your home and remove the mattress and handle the return for you within your trial period. Occasionally, the brand will ask you to simply donate the mattress and issue you a refund upon proof of donation. After your sleep trial ends, returns will likely not result in a full refund or even a partial one at that. Unless the mattress is defective, you are likely stuck with your bed until you are ready to buy a new one.

Warranty

In short, warranties protect against defects in a mattress. Most mattresses sold online have generous warranties ranging from 10 years to lifetime. This means that within the warranty period if a mattress stops performing or becomes defective, the company will replace it. The most common coverage includes; sinking/sagging, lasting impressions, materials becoming broken or damaged, or flaws that existed when you purchased the mattress. There is an equally long, if not longer, list of things not covered by your warranty. These lists are usually easy to find on the brand’s website. Some warranties are prorated, meaning you are fully covered for a certain amount of time, and as the years increase, the amount of things covered, or the cost which they are willing to replace decreases. Other warranties simply end after x amount of years. One last thing you should know about a mattress warranty is that they are only applicable to the original owner. This means if you buy a mattress from a non-reputable place, you have voided any warranty that once was attached to that product.

Types of Bed in a Box Mattresses

Foam – A foam mattress is one of the most common types that you will find as a bed in a box. They are easy to compress and have become a popular option for athletes, side sleepers, and those who like contouring feel when they sleep. Memory foam will not get as firm as some other mattress types, so that is something to keep in mind if you have concerns about a very straight spine. Foam is also great for couples, as long as it is not too soft. It usually minimizes motion transfer, but if you sink too much it can be hard to move around on.

Hybrid – Hybrid mattresses are popular due to their combination of coils and comfort layers of different materials, typically foam. Hybrids are good for every type of sleeper. If you are a heavier stomach sleeper, you still may experience some sinking in your hips. However, if you are average weight side, stomach or back sleeper, you can find a hybrid that is perfect for you.

Innerspring – Traditional innerspring mattresses are the least common to be rolled in a box. These are what usually come to mind when you think of an “old-school” mattress. Constructed with coils, these mattresses are more bouncy than hybrid and foam mattresses, making them great for heavy sleepers and those who need a lot of support.

Latex – Latex mattresses are made of all-natural materials, meaning they have no off-gassing and are the safest option for sleepers with allergies or eco-friendly shopping habits. They vary in their firmness from very soft to very firm and are more supportive than foam mattresses. Latex mattresses are typically more expensive than other mattress types, but sleepers agree they are worth the splurge. These mattresses perform especially well for back and stomach sleepers, as well as those who do not want their body heat to be trapped since they combine comfort, support, and airflow. Latex mattresses are extremely durable and will last you longer than just about any other mattress.

More Considerations For Buying a Mattress in a Box

  • Positive reviews—Since you can’t try before you buy, positive reviews on industry publications, like Mattress Nerd, and consumer review websites, like Consumer Reports, can serve as a guard rail when making your decision.
  • Firmness Level – Depending on your concerns or personal preferences, the firmness level is one of the most important things to consider when buying a mattress. We talk about mattress firmness on a scale of 1-10, 1 being very soft and cursing, with 10 being extremely firm. If you suffer from back pain, a firmer mattress will be better for you.
  • Clear details—Since you’ll be buying directly from the brand (unless you buy on Amazon.com) and won’t have the chance to test the bed before buying it, the company should have clear descriptions about the product and purchasing process online. Keep an eye out for details regarding construction, material certifications, and policies.
  • Size variety—Ideally, a bed-in-a-box company should be able to offer the same range of sizes that a brick-and-mortar retailer does.

Conclusion

Shopping for the best bed-in-a-box can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. We hope this guide was helpful for narrowing down your choices from a couple hundred to ten or so. Use the buyer’s guide as you get started on your shopping journey for a mattress-in-a-box, and we hope you find the bed that’s perfect for you!

If you still need guidance in your mattress buying journey, check out our ultimate mattress buying guide

Recap of the Best Beds in a Box Mattresses

Mattress Award
Nectar Best Budget Mattress in a Box
Helix Midnight Luxe Best Bed in a Box for Side Sleepers
Idle Sleep Hybrid Best Hybrid Mattress in a Box
Leesa Best Bed in a Box for Couples
DreamCloud Best Luxury Bed in a Box
Bear Best Firm Mattress in a Box
WinkBeds Best Mattress in a Box for Back Pain
Layla Best Cooling Bed in a Box
GhostBed Best Mattress in a Box for Back Sleepers
Casper Best Memory Foam Bed in a Box

 


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