The Nectar Memory Foam mattress uses five layers of foam to create an incredibly comfortable mattress in a box. Nectar classifies this CertiPUR-US-certified mattress as medium-firm, so it should work for a wide range of sleep positions and preferences. Though this is a foam mattress, Nectar boasts of improved airflow to keep sleepers cool throughout the entire night. With the 365-night home trial, buyers can try the Nectar and get an excellent idea of how well it works for their sleep habits. Nectar’s Forever Warranty will cover any defects in the construction, materials, or quality of the mattress for its lifetime.
The Best Mattresses You Can Buy in a Box
If you’re tired of being tired, rest your weary body on one of these top-rated direct-to-consumer mattresses.
BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
- Best OverallThe Nectar Memory Foam MattressCheck Latest Price
- Runner-UpLeesa Original MattressCheck Latest Price
- Best Bang for the BuckZinus 12-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam MattressCheck Latest Price
Almost all experts agree that sufficient sleep is a cornerstone of overall health. If you’re not getting enough Z’s, your body doesn’t have time to recover and start anew each day. Don’t let a lumpy, uncomfortable mattress stop you from getting the sleep you need to feel your best. Luckily, you can now buy a comfortable mattress in a box and have it delivered right to your door.
Whether you’re a back- or side-sleeper, or even if you overheat at night, the best mattress in a box for your sleeping style will solve the problem. Plus, read on to find out which mattress we tested and how it performed.
- BEST OVERALL: The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
- RUNNER-UP: Leesa Original Mattress
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress
- HYBRID PICK: Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress
- MEMORY FOAM PICK: Muse Sleep the Muse Mattress
- COOLING PICK: Puffy Mattress
- BEST FOR PRESSURE RELIEF: The WinkBed
- BEST FOR STOMACH-SLEEPERS: Layla Hybrid Mattress
- BEST FOR SIDE-SLEEPERS: Nolah Original 10
- BEST FOR COMBINATION: Purple Hybrid
Types of Mattresses You Can Buy in a Box
A mattress in a box might seem unconventional, but it’s part of an ongoing shift the mattress industry is making. Even long-lived brands are jumping on board. Packing these comfortable beds into a box makes them more accessible for shoppers who don’t want to pay delivery charges or strap a king-size mattress to the roof of their compact car. Here are some different styles of mattresses in a box that you can buy and have delivered.
Hybrid mattresses are made from a combination of materials, including foam, latex, gel, and innersprings. They come in various thicknesses, and the thickness of the layers also varies according to the type of sleeper for which the mattress is designed. For instance, mattresses with an emphasis on pressure relief might have thicker memory-foam sections, while those with a focus on cooling may use thick layers of latex or coil springs for the best airflow.
It’s important to choose a hybrid mattress that aligns with your sleeping style. Most mattresses in a box come with sleep guarantees, so if you find the hybrid mattress you purchased doesn’t work for you, you can send it back.
Memory foam is a soft layer of foam in a mattress that conforms to the sleeper’s body once it warms from their body heat. It provides a lot of support for those with achy joints or back pain, since it takes on the shape of the body.
For back-sleepers and side-sleepers, memory foam can be an excellent choice. It will conform to the shoulders, sides, and hips, creating a sort of cradle for the best possible sleep without creating pressure like a standard coil mattress.
Standard memory foam traps quite a bit of heat, so it might not be a great choice for sleepers who tend to run hot. Advanced memory foam is a better choice in this case because it retains less body heat and still provides excellent support.
Latex mattresses are an updated version of memory foam. Constructed of natural rubber compounds, they provide lots of pressure relief and support, and breathe relatively well. Though latex itself retains heat, the structure of a latex mattress often has tiny perforations to promote airflow. Natural latex is an excellent choice for sleepers who run hot and have back or hip pain since it doesn’t require body heat to conform to the body.
The downside of latex is that it’s not quite as comfortable as memory foam, though there are certain latex formulas, like Talalay latex, which are much plusher. Regardless of comfort level, latex tends to be a healthier choice due to its natural origins.
Standard polyurethane foam is a relatively low-quality and inexpensive filler product that some manufacturers use in their mattresses. Egg crate-style mattress toppers use polyurethane, for example. Polyurethane doesn’t offer much support, and it will also collapse and trap heat.
Be aware that memory foam is a form of polyurethane foam, but it’s far denser, allowing it to hold up for longer periods of time and provide real comfort. If you have the choice between polyurethane or memory foam, memory foam is far more comfortable and durable.
What to Consider When Buying a Mattress in a Box
Not all mattresses are one-size-fits-all. Some mattresses better suit certain sleeping positions, comfort levels, and even allergy concerns. It’s important to consider these things before choosing the best mattress in a box. Below are some key considerations to keep in mind as you shop.
One of the great things about mattresses in a box is that they’re relatively inexpensive to manufacture and ship. Not only does this save the customer money on the mattress, but the manufacturers can also better customize their products to certain sleeping styles.
For instance, stomach-sleepers won’t do as well on a memory foam mattress as a back- or side-sleeper will. Instead, mattresses geared toward stomach-sleepers have a thinner layer of foam on top. Side- and back-sleepers will benefit more from a mattress with a thicker layer of foam since it can conform to and support their bodies.
Density & Firmness
Some folks prefer a firm mattress, and others would rather sleep on a massive pillow. Depending on your preferences, your sleeping style, and possibly your medical needs, you might choose one density over another.
For those who prefer a soft mattress, memory-foam will essentially hug them around their bodies, creating the perfect soft, body-shaped envelope to pass the night away. For folks who like a firm sleep surface, latex foam will support their bodies nicely while collapsing less than a polyurethane-based foam.
Most mattress manufacturers list information about the firmness of their mattresses so buyers can choose the correct density for their needs.
Certified materials should matter to anyone looking for the most organic mattress they can purchase. There are many different certifications that a mattress can have. Here are some of the most important ones and what they mean:
- GREENGUARD Certified products will have low levels of volatile organic compounds.
- Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified products are organic.
- Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) Certified latex products are organic.
- Organic Content Standard is a guideline for supply-chain compliance since it pertains to organic materials.
- CertiPUR-US Certified means the foam is certified as non-toxic. This is the most popular certification in the mattress-in-a-box industry.
If you’re interested in a completely organic product, check to make sure it meets the standards of one of the certifications above.
In addition to the important factors and styles of mattresses, some optional features might appeal to those considering a mattress in a box. The following are popular options that might not be available with every mattress.
Contouring mattresses form to the shape of the body. There are a few different materials that manufacturers can use to do this, but the most popular are memory foam, latex foam, and coil springs. Memory foam takes a few moments for the sleeper to completely “sink” into the mattress, while springs compress right away. Latex foams tend to fall somewhere in the middle.
Pressure-relief mattresses are popular in the medical industry. They redistribute body weight throughout the mattress, reducing the amount of pressure felt on any one part of the body. Though pressure relief is most important for bedridden patients, the consumer mattress industry has taken note and now offers several beds with pressure-relieving qualities.
Not all sleepers head to bed at the same time. If your partner wakes you up when coming to bed or shifting during the night, you might want to consider a mattress that provides some motion isolation. These mattresses allow your partner to toss and turn or your canine companion to get comfortable without disturbing your sleep.
There’s no surer way to disturb your sleep than overheating in bed. Though many beds are extremely comfortable to lie on, they often trap body heat and create unfavorable conditions for a good night’s rest. Mattresses with temperature-regulating features increase airflow through the mattress to help ensure you stay comfortable throughout the night.
- Contouring: Forms to the unique shape of the body, providing excellent comfort.
- Pressure Relief: Takes the weight off of certain areas of the body and redistributes it throughout the mattress for the best possible sleep.
- Motion Isolation: Allows your partner to adjust throughout the night without disturbing you.
- Temperature Regulation: Increases airflow to keep body heat from building up in the mattress.
Tips for Buying the Best Mattress in a Box
It might seem daunting to purchase a mattress online without the opportunity to get a feel for it, but most mattress manufacturers try to ease buyers’ minds with sleep guarantees and free returns. Once you do your research and find a mattress that you think will work for you, you can try it out and see how it feels. If you don’t like it, you can send it back and try another brand.
It’s also important to check into a mattress’s warranty. If a mattress is made of low-quality materials, its usable lifespan will be considerably shorter than a quality product. For this reason, look for mattresses with longer warranties. If the manufacturer is willing to bet that its mattress will last longer than that period, it’s a good indication of the product’s quality.
Finally, check reviews to see what people are saying about the mattress you’re considering. Though not everyone’s opinion is worth the read, you may find that there are points and opinions that you hadn’t viewed from people with similar concerns or sleeping styles.
- Choose a mattress with a sleep guarantee that allows free returns.
- Look for mattresses that come with longer warranties (up to 10 years).
- Read product reviews for each mattress to get an idea of what others are saying.
Our Top Picks
Shopping for the best mattress in a box involves taking all of these important factors and tips into consideration, but this list can also help. These mattresses each excel in a particular area, such as specific sleeping style, overall value, or temperature regulation. Take a look at the one we tested to see if it lived up to its stellar reviews.
The Leesa Original mattress is a great choice for sleepers looking for an all-foam mattress with a good sleep guarantee and a long warranty. This three-layer mattress is for those who prefer a medium-firm mattress and some pressure relief. Leesa states that this mattress is perfect for all sleep positions, even stomach sleeping. The 2-inch top layer features Leesa’s cooling foam so you’re less likely to wake up feeling like you’re in a sauna—great for sleepers who tend to run a little hot through the night. It also comes with Leesa’s gray, twill fabric cover to protect the mattress and create an even cozier night’s sleep. Leesa covers its original mattress for up to 10 years, providing some peace of mind.
Zinus’s Green Tea Memory Foam mattress might seem a little different than the rest of the mattresses on the list, and that’s because it is. Zinus infuses this mattress with green tea and charcoal because the company says it wants to provide sleep-enhancing qualities in the most natural way possible. This 12-inch memory foam mattress features four layers of foam to provide as much support as possible. The 7-inch thick base layer is split between two layers, providing cooling and as much airflow as possible, especially considering the price. Zinus provides a 10-year warranty with its mattresses, so if the price is a concern, it helps to know the company backs its products.
For back-aching sleepers looking for a hybrid mattress, the Casper Wave is an excellent choice. This mattress features five layers, including coil springs, gel pods, and three layers of cooling foam for a low-temperature, highly comfortable night’s rest. The gel pods are distributed above waist level and below the hips for excellent support, while the shoulders find pressure relief with softer foam. For those who are environmentally conscious, each Casper Wave mattress uses 121 recycled plastic bottles, helping to keep landfills clear and creating a great product. Casper offers a 100-night risk-free trial, free shipping, and a 10-year warranty. If you need to return your mattress within the trial time, they’ll pack it back up and take it free of charge.
If 100 nights isn’t enough to decide whether a mattress fits your sleep needs, Muse Sleep has you covered. The Muse Mattress comes with a 120-night sleep guarantee to give purchasers a little extra time to decide whether this memory-foam mattress is the best for them. This four-layer mattress comes in three different firmness levels—a rare option for mattresses in a box. Muse Sleep uses a gel-infused foam and cooling wool fabric to resist heat transfer. It also comes with a 10-year warranty and uses only CertiPUR-US Certified foams, so it’s low in volatile organic compounds and adds no harmful chemicals.
The three-layer Puffy Mattress takes cooling and temperature regulation seriously. Puffy’s Cooling Gel Cloud Layer provides airflow, reducing trapped body heat, and keeping sleepers cool. The Climate-Adaptive Regulation layer prevents quick changes in temperature from waking up sleepers as well, ensuring comfort under nearly any sleep conditions. Puffy also provides a 101-night trial guarantee and a lifetime warranty for as long as you own the mattress. The Puffy Mattress is designed to work for all sleeping styles, whether that’s lying on the back, stomach, or side. It also comes with a stain-resistant cover to keep the mattress in great shape for as long as you have it.
When it comes to pressure relief in a box, The WinkBed rises above the competition. The WinkBed uses a seven-zone system of individually wrapped coils to provide optimal support and pressure throughout the body. It also uses breathable micro-air springs to create a stable temperature with plenty of airflow. Buyers can test out The WinkBed for 120 days before deciding whether it relieves enough pressure, but it’s also backed by the company’s lifetime warranty. They also offer the mattress in four different comfort levels, giving buyers plenty of flexibility. If the first 120 days don’t work with one level of firmness, the company lets you try another.
It’s rare to find a mattress that addresses the needs of stomach-sleepers so well, but the Layla Hybrid Mattress does a great job of it. This five-layer mattress combines comfortable foam and individually wrapped coil springs to provide the ultimate support and flexibility for any sleep position, especially stomach-sleeping. It also has a 2-inch foam layer meant to promote airflow, keeping sleepers cool throughout the night. Also unique to the Layla Hybrid is copper-gel memory foam. It helps the mattress to cool quickly while also adding an antimicrobial barrier so the mattress is less likely to develop any odors. Layla uses two layers of this gel foam, sandwiching the coils and airflow layers between them.
Anyone looking for a mattress specializing in providing the best support for side-sleepers should check out the track record of the Nolah Original 10. The mattress has won several awards, including best mattress for side-sleepers, best mattress for shoulder pain, and best mattress for hip pain. This three-layer, all-foam mattress uses a bottom layer of high-density foam, a middle layer of high-resilience foam, and a top layer of the company’s cooling Nolah AirFoam. They provide a combination of excellent cooling and support—a big plus for side-sleepers. The Original 10’s medium firmness also allows side-sleepers to sink into the mattress a bit without misaligned hips and shoulders.
The Purple Hybrid Premier stands out from the crowd with a five-layer system of support that includes an innovative, hyper-elastic polymer grid. The mattress consists of a breathable fabric top, the Purple grid, and individually wrapped stainless steel coils that are sandwiched between two layers of transition foam.
But it’s the responsive, supportive grid that makes the Purple Hybrid Premier mattress a great choice for combination- and back-sleepers. In our months of testing, we noted that it cushions pressure points, like hips and shoulders, and evenly supports the rest of the body, regardless of position. We also noticed how quickly it adjusts to movement, making it easy to get comfortable right away and get a good night’s sleep.
The Advantages of Choosing a Mattress in a Box
The idea of walking into a mattress store and dealing with a salesperson can turn off some mattress shoppers. Instead of letting your sleep suffer to avoid an awkward negotiation, you can purchase a mattress from the comfort of your home.
Since there are no middlemen, many mattresses in a box are considerably less expensive than the models available at furniture or mattress stores. Buyers can save quite a bit of money by choosing the best mattress in a box directly from the manufacturer’s website.
Sleep trials are one of the greatest benefits of the mattress in a box trend. There’s very little risk involved with buying a mattress now. The buyer simply removes the mattress from the box and lays it out on their bed. If you don’t like the way it feels, how well it regulates your temperature, or anything else about it, most companies will come and pick the mattress back up. You don’t even have to deal with shipping it back.
- You don’t have to deal with pushy salespeople.
- Cutting out the middleman saves the consumer money.
- Thanks to sleep trials, there’s very little risk in trying out a mattress until you find the right one.
With five layers of medium-firm comfort and 365 days to test it out, The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is well-suited to help most people sleep soundly through the night. For those who want to relax the back on a budget, the Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress offers a comparable amount of comfort with a unique, soothing infusion of green tea.
How We Chose the Best Mattresses in a Box
With dozens of bed-in-a-box brands, we balanced brand reputation and longevity with average customer satisfaction rates. Then we looked at mattress types, features, and sleep styles to determine which beds stood out in each category. Finally, when we compared similar mattresses we used additional characteristics, such as eco-friendliness or warranty, to help us determine which mattress would come out on top.
Now that you’ve collected all the important information about shopping for the best mattress in a box, you might still have some questions. That’s OK; there’s a lot to know. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about buying a mattress in a box.
What is a bed in a box?
A bed in a box is a direct-to-consumer mattress that is collapsed and shipped using common delivery companies like UPS and FedEx. All the buyer has to do is remove it from the packaging and allow it to decompress.
How long does it take for a box mattress to expand?
Some mattresses take a few hours while others can take up to three days. The denser the mattress, the longer it takes to expand.
Do you need a box spring with a mattress in a box?
It depends on the mattress, but generally, the answer is no. Many manufacturers design their mattress to lay on any flat surface, such as bed slats, the floor, or a platform bed. Some even take the shape of chaise lounges.
How long do boxed mattresses last?
This depends completely on the quality of the materials used. The best boxed mattresses can last a lifetime thanks to top-quality materials and manufacturing practices.