Best Mattress in a Box of 2020

Compare the best summer mattress sales on beds that are shipped right to your door.

Best for Couples

Amerisleep is a great option for couples due to its medium firmness and motion isolation.

Score:

4.7 / 5.0

Type:

Memory Foam

Trial period:

100 Nights

Warranty:

20-Year Warranty

Best Value

Nectar is a great option for people who are on a budget, but still want a high-quality product.

Score:

4.8 / 5.0

Type:

Memory Foam

Trial period:

365 Nights

Warranty:

Lifetime Warranty

Best Memory Foam

The Leesa mattress is a top-rated memory foam mattress that is especially great for side sleepers.

Score:

4.9 / 5.0

Type:

Memory Foam

Trial period:

100 Nights

Warranty:

10 Years

Special 3" Copper-Gel Memory Foam Layer provides rapid cooling and antimicrobial odor control.

Score:

4.7 / 5.0

Type:

Memory Foam

Trial period:

120 Nights

Warranty:

Limited Lifetime Warranty

The GhostBed is a great option for people who tend to overheat at night.

Score:

4.7 / 5.0

Type:

Latex & Gel Memory Foam

Trial period:

101 Nights

Warranty:

20-Year Warranty

Still have questions?

View our full list of reviews to narrow down your search.

What Is a Bed in a Box? 

A “mattress in a box,” also called “bed in a box,” is exactly what it sounds like– 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 (if not better) as mattresses sold at large retailers. You typically won’t find an 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 by cutting out the middle man.

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 box 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.

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 compared based 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. Some mattresses, like Casper, can arrive in as little as two days.
  • 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. Nectar, for example, lets you try out the mattress for a whole year risk-free!
  • 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, whether you sleep with a partner, and whether you sleep hot. Some mattresses, like GhostBed, are specifically designed to help regulate your temperature while you sleep. Others, like Casper, suit a wide range of sleepers (but we think side-sleepers will especially enjoy the Casper).
  • 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 describe 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.  If you still want a memory foam mattress without the smell, some brands seem to have less odor than others.  Layla, for example, tends to have very little off-gassing.

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.

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 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 (Nectar, for example, has a lifetime warranty). 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 it usually minimizes motion transfer. Our favorite foam mattress is the Leesa.

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. The GhostBed is a mix of latex and foam, so it might be a good option if you are looking for the best of both worlds.

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 10 being extremely firm. If you suffer from back pain, a firmer mattress, like Layla, 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.

As Featured On

We take a lot of naps.  It’s tough work, but someone has to do it!  In all seriousness, we put these mattresses through the wringer.  We evaluate on a myriad of different factors including pressure relief, spine alignment, motion transfer, and cooling/airflow.

Not only is the mattress itself important, but so is the purchasing process.  We take into account the ease of ordering, how shipping is handled, the ease of setup, and overall customer service.

We set try to make the mattress buying experience simple, stress-free, and maybe even a little fun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of mattress? See Answer

Mattresses are not one size fits all.  There are a lot of factors to think about.  What position do you sleep in?  Do you sleep alone or with a partner? Are you generally hot or cold when you sleep? Do you like to sink or prefer a firmer surface? The reality is, it’s going to come down to personal preference.  Luckily for you, there are tons of options to choose from.

How often should you replace your mattress? See Answer

That is a highly subjective question.  It really depends on the type and brand of mattress that you have.  Like most goods, mattresses range in quality.  A high quality mattress should last upwards of 10 years before it starts breaking down and losing it’s structural integrity.  Unfortunately, there are many mattresess that only last a few years.  Generally speaking, it may be a good time to start thinking about a new bed every 5 or so years.

Do I need a boxspring? See Answer

Well, you need to put the mattress on something. But you have options.  Anything that is sturdy and offers support may work, even if that is the floor!  A platform bed is another popular option, especially if you like a lower height of the mattress surface.  If you don’t mind spending some extra cash and want some flexibility, check out an adjustable base.  These will allow you raise one or both sides of the mattress to help find a comfortable position, or to making watching TV easier (although watching TV before bed is not recommended!).

Should I clean my mattress? See Answer

Yes. This is a piece of furniture that you spend a lot of time on.  So of course it’s a good idea to keep it clean.  The easy solution is to keep your sheets fresh.  It is recommended that you change sheets every week or so.  The mattress itself?  It may not be bad idea to give it a vacuum every now and then.  For more in-depth cleaning, refer to your manufacturer guide for best cleaning approaches.  Mattresses are made of a variety of different materials and require different methods of cleaning.  You can always consider a mattress protector too!

Still Have Questions? View our Best Mattress Guide.