Best Bed in a Box Mattress

The best mattress in a box depends on your sleep style and other needs. Find the best option for you with our comprehensive roundup.

The Best Mattresses in a Box

1 Casper Mattress Reviews

Casper Mattress Reviews

✓Save 15% on mattresses. ✓Free, no-contact delivery* ✓100-night risk-free trial* ✓10-year limited warranty*
9.8
1 Nectar Mattress Reviews

Nectar Mattress Reviews

✓Get $399 worth of free accessories with every mattress purchase. ✓365-Night Home Trial ✓Forever Warranty™ ✓Free Shipping & Returns ✓Financing Available
9.7
1 Helix Mattress Reviews

Helix Mattress Reviews

✓Up to $200 OFF + 2 FREE Dream Pillows ✓100 Night Sleep Trial ✓10 Year Warranty ✓Free US Shipping
9.6
1 Bear Mattress Reviews

Bear Mattress Reviews

✓Hibernate & Save – 20% off + 2 Free Cloud Pillows ✓100 Night Risk-Free Trial ✓Free Shipping & Free Returns ✓20 Year Warranty ✓Environmentally-Friendly Materials
9.6
1 Layla Mattress Reviews

Layla Mattress Reviews

✓UP TO $200 OFF MATTRESSES + $300 IN FREE ACCESSORIE ✓FREE SHIPPING ✓120 NIGHT MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ✓LIFETIME WARRANTY ✓MADE IN USA
9.5
1 Idle Sleep Mattress Reviews

Idle Sleep Mattress Reviews

✓30% Off Store-Wide ✓18-Month Home Trial ✓Warranty Without End ✓Free Shipping ✓Free Returns
9.3
1 Leesa Mattress Reviews

Leesa Mattress Reviews

✓Up to $400 off mattresses + FREE no-contact delivery ✓10-year warranty ✓free shipping icon ✓100-night, risk-free trial icon
9.3

What is a Bed-in-a-Box?

A bed-in-a-box is a rolled and compressed mattress that is shipped to a buyer in a cardboard box or in some cases, a bag. After unpackaging, the mattress unrolls and expands to its full size. Though a bed-in-a-box does not arrive ready to use, it is often less expensive and easier to transport, making it a convenient and affordable option for many sleepers.

Mattresses were once the domain of brick-and-mortar department or specialty stores. Before the Internet, information about mattresses was available only through salespeople or company literature. The buying process consisted of trying out mattresses in person and taking one home or having it delivered. But since the advent of the Internet, times have changed. These days, more than 12% of mattresses sold show up on the buyer’s doorstep in a box, ready to unpack and unroll.

So, how did the bed-in-a-box trend catch on? It started in the mid-2000’s when direct-to-consumer sales of mattresses became more common and the popularity of mattress stores began to wane. Then in 2004, a machinist from Tennessee invented a contraption that could roll a foam mattress into a tight cylinder and fit it into a box. He and his partners called the company BedInaBox, and a new industry was born.

Now, many mattress buyers skip the store altogether and browse a myriad of options online. Bed-in-a-box company websites usually offer in-depth descriptions, reviews, and pictures of their products as well as live chat with customer service specialists. Purchasing a mattress has never been easier, and can take a fraction of the time it once did.

Best Budget Mattress in a Box

1 Nectar Mattress Reviews

Nectar Mattress Reviews

✓Get $399 worth of free accessories with every mattress purchase. ✓365-Night Home Trial ✓Forever Warranty™ ✓Free Shipping & Returns ✓Financing Available
9.7

Nectar

Budget shoppers, listen up! If you’ve been avoiding buying a mattress in a box because of the intimidating price points, then take a gander at the Nectar mattress. Built with plush layers of foam, this bed gives off a luxury vibe at a price that won’t break the bank. 

While memory foam isn’t going to be the right material for all sleepers, it could do wonders for folks who struggle with shoulder pain, sleep on their side, or simply enjoy a deep sink and cuddly hug from their bed. It’s also excellent at transferring motion, which makes it a fantastic material for sleepers who share their beds with a partner, kids, or furry best friends. And of all the high-quality memory foam options available on the market today, you’re not likely to find one that’s as affordable as the Nectar. 

Best Innerspring Bed in a Box

1 Helix Mattress Reviews

Helix Mattress Reviews

✓Up to $200 OFF + 2 FREE Dream Pillows ✓100 Night Sleep Trial ✓10 Year Warranty ✓Free US Shipping
9.6

Helix

Suffering from an achy back? Helix mattresses can help you avoid back pain by dialing in on the firmness, materials, and level of support that best suit your specific sleep style. To do that, the brand has developed a range of hybrid mattresses that cater to the needs of various sleeping positions. The standard Helix line includes six mattresses ranging from soft to firm, while the Luxe line upgrades each of these standard models with a more luxurious feel and zoned support. This gives sleepers tons of options to choose from! 

The standard line’s softer options (such as the Moonlight) incorporate materials such as Helix’s Dynamic Foam, a latex-like memory foam alternative that’s super soft, and responds quickly to pressure. Meanwhile, firmer Helix beds (such as the Midnight) incorporate a mixture of pressure-relieving memory foam, firmer poly foams, and supportive pocketed coils. The brand also offers the Helix Plus, which is designed to accommodate heavier sleepers by offering more durability and support. Bottom line? Helix should offer a mattress option to help most types of sleepers enjoy pain-free sleep. 

Best Cooling Bed in a Box

1 Idle Sleep Mattress Reviews

Idle Sleep Mattress Reviews

✓30% Off Store-Wide ✓18-Month Home Trial ✓Warranty Without End ✓Free Shipping ✓Free Returns
9.3

Idle Sleep

If you are someone who tends to sleep hot at night, you know how necessary cooling features in a mattress are. Idle sleep has a collection of mattresses, ranging from gel foam to latex, that are known for their ability to support a wide variety of sleepers and keep them cool all night. 

Most of their mattresses also give you the option to pick between medium and luxury-firm, and in some instances, you ca get a two-sided mattress so you don’t even have to pick. The all-foam options are cooled from gel infusions and I really like the way these mattresses feel. There are more bouncy than normal all foam beds and are the perfect balance of support and comfort. The latex models and hybrid are naturally breathable due to the coils in the base of the mattress and use more materials to increase circulation. 

Best Foam Mattress in a Box

1 Leesa Mattress Reviews

Leesa Mattress Reviews

✓Up to $400 off mattresses + FREE no-contact delivery ✓10-year warranty ✓free shipping icon ✓100-night, risk-free trial icon
9.3

Leesa

Some people might hear “foam mattress” and think that they’re all the same, but depending on the materials used and the position those layers are placed in, foam beds can be really different from one another. The Leesa Original is an all-foam bed in a box that combines the pressure relieving benefits of memory foam with the cool sleeping, quick response of their proprietary comfort layer. This combination means you get the best aspects of memory foam, without the stuck feeling or heat trap that can cause people discomfort.

I would say that the Leesa Original is the best foam mattress in a box because it will appeal to a wide range of sleep preferences. When it comes to feel, I would say the Leesa has a medium firm support level that’s nice for back sleepers, and combinations that tend to roll around at night.

Best Firm Mattress in a Box

1 Bear Mattress Reviews

Bear Mattress Reviews

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9.6

Bear

Looking for an all-foam mattress that offers more support than, say, the Nolah? Then take a look at the Bear. This mattress features memory foam for comfort and firmer poly foams to achieve a firm feel. That balance of comfort and support does a great job of promoting proper spinal alignment by preventing the hips from sinking too far into the mattress. For this reason, I think the all-foam Bear could be a great option for back sleepers, who need plenty of spinal support mixed with some cozy body-contouring. 

A firm feel isn’t the only thing going for the Bear. It also features a graphite infusion in the memory foam comfort layer to help draw heat away from the sleeper and help them sleep cool. And it uses a cover made with Celliant, a unique material that could potentially support athletic recovery. The Bear also makes two slightly softer mattresses, the Bear Pro and Bear Hybrid, but the standard Bear is most likely to provide the level of support that’s generally best for back sleeping.

Best Memory Foam Mattress in a Box

1 Layla Mattress Reviews

Layla Mattress Reviews

✓UP TO $200 OFF MATTRESSES + $300 IN FREE ACCESSORIE ✓FREE SHIPPING ✓120 NIGHT MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ✓LIFETIME WARRANTY ✓MADE IN USA
9.5

Layla

Memory foam is a common component of bed-in-a-box mattresses, but the memory foam used in the Layla is anything but common. Not only does it feature all the great sinkage and body-contouring properties of the material, but it’s also infused with copper. This infusion helps draw heat away from the sleeper and keeps the mattress sleeping cool.

The Layla is also unique in that it’s a flippable mattress — meaning one side of the mattress is firmer and the other is softer. The firmer side has a 1” memory foam comfort layer as well as a medium firmness that might be ideal for back sleepers, who need a balance of comfort and support. Meanwhile, the softer side has a thicker (3”) memory foam comfort layer that’s better suited to side sleepers, because it offers decent body contouring and pressure point relief in sensitive areas such as the shoulders and hips. 

Best Mattress in a Box for Side Sleepers

1 Casper Mattress Reviews

Casper Mattress Reviews

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9.8

The Casper’s design could help side sleepers enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep. It features a zoned support system that offers more firmness at the hips and more pressure relief around the shoulders. This construction serves two purposes: It helps relieve pressure around the shoulder and maintains spinal alignment. Side sleepers should be able to avoid feeling “jammed up” around the shoulder, which is common on firmer mattresses. At the same time, side sleepers should still benefit from proper spinal alignment thanks to the firmer support at the hips, which keeps the hips elevated and aligned with the spine. 

While there are a lot of bed-in-a-box models that could satisfy the needs of side sleepers, the Casper stands out because of its balanced construction. The open-cell foam in the comfort layer is bouncy and responds quickly to sleepers’ movements — much like latex does. It also sleeps cooler than conventional memory foam thanks to the open-cell construction, which allows for more airflow through the mattress. If you’re interested in the Casper but wary of all-foam beds, you might consider the Casper Hybrid, which combines foam and coils. 

Bed-in-a-Box Purchasing Guide

With dozens of bed-in-a-box options to choose from, how do you decide which one to buy? Below, we guide you through the process of buying a bed-in-a-box mattress, from selection to delivery and set-up.

  1. With dozens of bed-in-a-box options to choose from, how do you decide which one to buy? Below, we guide you through the process of buying a bed-in-a-box mattress, from selection to delivery and set-up.
    1. Know your material – Bed-in-a-box mattresses are made of materials that can expand without damage after being rolled and compressed. Most are constructed from memory foam, latex, and/or high-density polyfoam, and may contain internal coils for additional support. Each material has unique features and a distinct feel. The most popular bed-in-a-box materials are:
      • Memory foam – Memory foam conforms to the body and has a plush feel. It allows for gradual sinkage and may sleep warmer than other materials. Memory foam is a great choice for people who like to feel cradled by their mattress.
      • Latex – Latex is a natural material derived from the rubber tree. It has a bouncy, medium to medium-firm feel and less sinkage than memory foam.
      • Pocketed coils – Some bed-in-a-box models combine a foam or latex layer (or both) with internal coils. Coils can offer supportive internal structure to a bed-in-a-box mattress but must be small and light enough to be compressed for shipment.
    2. Factor in firmness – Bed-in-a-box mattresses range from soft to very firm. As a general guide, memory foam mattresses are softer to medium-firm, and mattresses that contain coils are firmer. Firmness is important when it comes to sleeping position, as well. A soft to medium-firm mattress is generally recommended for side sleepers to relieve pressure in the shoulders and hips, whereas a firm mattress can help support the neck and spine of stomach sleepers. Back sleepers typically do best on a medium firm mattress that supports the spine while cushioning the shoulders and pelvis.
    3. Don’t forget thickness – Most bed-in-a-box models run from about 6-14 inches thick. Typically, the thinner the mattress, the firmer it will feel. Thickness also helps to determine base support. If your mattress is on the thicker side, a platform alone may be sufficient, while a thinner mattress may feel best on a box spring or other elevating layer.
    4. Consider support – Most bed-in-a-box models that utilize coils offer additional structural support but are not as supportive as traditional steel coil mattresses. Sleepers who weigh over 200 pounds will need more support in a mattress than those who weigh less. Support becomes even more crucial if you and/or your partner weigh over 250 pounds. Check mattress weight limits to be sure your new bed-in-a-box is designed to support you without sinking or sagging over time.
    5. Determine size – Bed-in-a-box mattresses range from crib size to California king. Some sellers don’t offer exchanges for a smaller or larger mattress, so be sure to measure your bed frame, box spring, and bedroom before buying. And remember — larger may be better if you share a bed with a partner, children, or pets.
    6. Compare brands – Each bed-in-a-box company offers its own design, blend of materials, and unique mattress feel. Know your preferences and price range before you comparison shop to help narrow down your options. And don’t forget to check out customer reviews, shipping rates, trial periods, and return policies. Here at Sleepopolis, we specialize in comparing mattress options to help take the guesswork out of the purchasing process.
    7. Take advantage of promotions – Mattress companies frequently offer coupons, holiday discounts, or short-term promotions that can significantly reduce the original price of their products.
    8. Decide on delivery – Most bed-in-a box mattresses are shipped free in the contiguous U.S. and typically arrive by ground delivery. Shipping times vary according to manufacturer and stock levels of a particular product. Expedited shipping is often available for an additional charge. Buyers can also pay extra for White Glove delivery, which usually includes unboxing and setting up the new mattress and removing the old one if necessary.
    9. Check the bill – To avoid hidden fees or surprises, check carefully before completing your purchase. Some buyers may need to pay sales tax or recycling fees in addition to the cost of the mattress.
    10. Track your order – Once you purchase your bed-in-a-box, you should receive an estimated shipping date. A tracking number usually is available as soon as the mattress ships. Buyers who pay for White Glove service may be able to contact the mattress manufacturer with questions after shipment. Otherwise, delivery-related questions are typically directed to the courier (eg. UPS or the Postal Service).
    11. Plan for delivery day – Most couriers deliver to the doorstep or to a doorman, but not inside a residence. White-Glove delivery does include bringing the mattress inside, setting it up, and taking away the packing materials.
    12. Let your mattress expand – Allow your new bed-in-a-box to expand before sleeping on it. Full expansion can take 24-48 hours.

Certified vs. Non-certified Materials

Most bed-in-a-box models are made of memory, latex, or poly foams. In a nod to consumer concern about mattress safety, many foams are now certified by the Certi-PUR foam certification program. Certi-PUR is a non-profit organization that guarantees that materials used in certified foam mattresses adhere to certain standards for durability, content, and emissions.

Certified foam mattresses are made without the following:

  • Ozone depleters
  • Mercury, lead, and other heavy metals
  • Formaldehyde
  • PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP flame retardants
  • Phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Non-certified foam mattresses may contain any of the above compounds. Certi-PUR verification does not guarantee that foam mattress materials won’t release certain gases as they degrade over time. Even certified foam mattresses are typically made from petroleum byproducts, though some are made at least partly from plant materials. The foam industry and EPA state that foam mattresses are cured, which makes their chemical compounds inert.

If potential toxicity of your bed-in-a-box is a concern, consider these tips:

  • Look for a mattress made from plant-based materials, which contain fewer chemicals.
  • Choose a certified foam mattress or one made from natural latex.
  • Find a mattress made with variable pressure foaming, a more environmentally friendly technique for blowing foam during the manufacturing process.
  • Buy a mattress made in the US or EU, where regulations are more rigorous and foam is generally safer.
  • Check the manufacturer’s anti-flammability standards. Kevlar fabrics and silica treated with rayon are safer than many other fire retardants.
  • Look for other safety certifications in addition to Certi-Pur, such as Greenguard Gold, OEKO-TEX, and GOTS, or the Global Organic Textile Standard.

Bed-in-a-Box Packaging and Shipping

True to their name, most bed-in-a-box mattresses are shipped in a cardboard box that varies in weight depending on mattress size and materials. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are usually shipped via UPS, Fed-Ex, or the Postal Service, and shipping is typically free. A boxed queen-size mattress weighs around 75-80 pounds, while a king can weigh over 100 pounds. Box dimensions can range from around 18x18x42 to 20x20x44 inches.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses usually come wrapped in vacuum-sealed plastic sheeting along with additional binding material to keep the product from unrolling. Once the plastic packaging is removed, the mattress begins to expand. When opening the packaging with scissors or a knife, care should be taken not to cut or damage the mattress.

Setting Up Your Bed-in-a-Box

Some mattress companies offer White Glove service to unpack and set up your new bed-in-a-box. Many buyers avoid the additional fee that comes with this service by setting up the mattress themselves.

Because even a partially expanded bed-in-a-box can be heavy and cumbersome, most manufacturers recommend taking it to your bedroom before unboxing it. Place the mattress on the box spring or platform before removing the plastic packaging. The expansion will begin immediately as the mattress regains air pressed out during the compression process. A bed-in-a-box can take up to two days to fully expand, though many expand in less time.

Some mattresses give off a scent when first unpackaged. The odor is also known as off-gassing and is caused by the release of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the mattress materials. Other sources of VOCs include paint, gasoline, and plants. Some VOCs are hazardous, whereas others are relatively harmless. Studies are needed to determine whether VOCs released by bed-in-a-box mattresses are harmful over the long term.

To help minimize the odor from your new mattress, ventilate the bedroom as much as possible during the expansion process. Waiting until most of the odor is gone before sleeping on the mattress can help prevent headaches and breathing issues.

Returns, Exchanges, and Warranties

Returns

The return policy is crucial for bed-in-a-box mattresses, which are typically purchased based on reviews and descriptions rather than personal experience. Most bed-in-a-box manufacturers offer a 100-night trial period, which allows buyers to try out a mattress for more than three months before returning it. A few manufacturers offer a full year trial period. Return shipping is usually free.

Before buying a bed-in-a-box, make sure you understand how returns work. In some cases, you may be required to box up your mattress and prepare it for shipment, while in others a company representative will take care of the process. Keep careful track of how long you’ve had your mattress to avoid missing the return or exchange window.

Some bed-in-a-box companies require buyers to keep the mattress for a certain period to “break it in” and allow adequate time to adapt to the feel of the materials. Once this break-in period is over, a return can be initiated if necessary.

Exchanges

Many companies offer exchanges during the trial period in addition to returns. The exchange process will vary according to the manufacturer, but will often require contacting a customer service representative by phone, email, or chat to make arrangements for pickup or return shipping, delivery of the new item, and additional payment or partial refund.

Warranties

A warranty is important for both traditional and bed-in-a-box mattresses. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a warranty guarantees that a manufacturer stands behind a product’s performance for a set period of time.

Most bed-in-a-box companies offer a 10-year limited warranty that covers flaws and defects in materials and workmanship. Some higher-end mattress manufacturers offer generous warranties that last for 20 years or even a lifetime. Examples of defects covered under warranty can include sagging, broken coils, torn seams, and bunched material.

Many bed-in-a-box companies divide warranties into a non-prorated and prorated section. A non-prorated warranty covers the entire cost of replacement or repair for the full length of the term. A prorated warranty usually kicks in after a certain period of use and requires the mattress buyer to pay for some of the cost of repair and/or shipping.

FAQs

How will I know when I need a new mattress?

Most mattresses last about seven years. Mattresses that are less supportive or made of less durable materials can sag or flatten in less time. Signs that it’s time to replace a mattress include the following: 

  • The mattress becomes uncomfortable, lumpy, or loses support along the edges
  • You wake up feeling achy or stiff 
  • Rotating the mattress no longer helps
  • You’re heavier or lighter than you used to be, or your mattress needs have changed (Yay, you got married! Or divorced.)
  • Your bed has a different odor or causes eye or respiratory irritation

Will a bed-in-a-box last as long as a traditional mattress that arrives in ready-to-sleep condition?

It depends on the mattress. Many bed-in-a-box mattresses are made of durable material and strong support layers that can last as long as a conventional mattress. A hybrid bed-in-a-box may be more likely to last than one made exclusively of foam, but may not be as durable as a traditional coil mattress that doesn’t need to be compressed or rolled for shipment. 

How quickly do I need to unbox my new mattress?

Most bed-in-a-box manufacturers recommend taking your mattress out of the box within 30 to 60 days to prevent damage from long-term compression.

What do bed-in-a-box manufacturers do with returned mattresses?

Federal law does not allow manufacturers to resell mattresses once they’ve been used. Most bed-in-a-box mattresses that have been returned are donated or recycled.

PROS
  • Choice – With nearly 200 bed-in-a-box brands to choose from, buyers have more options than ever before. There’s a model for almost any budget and personal preference.
  • Price – The majority of bed-in-a-box brands are available exclusively online. The few that make their products available to try out typically do so through the brick-and-mortar stores of other companies. Without the expense of showrooms, salespeople, and other overhead expenses, bed-in-a-box mattresses often cost less than traditional models.
  • Convenience – Browsing bed-in-a-box mattresses, accessing detailed product information, and reading reviews online can be done anytime, and is typically less time-consuming than traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.
  • Privacy – Shopping for a bed-in-a-box online lets buyers bypass the usual sales process and browse in privacy. This can be preferable for people who like to shop without the presence of salespeople.
  • Risk-free trial period – Bed-in-a box brands typically offer a generous trial period for testing out their products. Trial periods can range from a few months to a year.
  • Free shipping and returns – Most bed-in-a-box companies include free shipping and delivery of their products in the United States. Buyers in Alaska and Hawaii may need to pay an additional shipping charge.
CONS
  • No try-before-you-buy – The majority of bed-in-a-box models aren’t available to test out before purchasing, which may be a downside for some people, especially those trying out a new brand or type of mattress.
  • Support – Bed-in-a-box mattresses may not be appropriate for heavier people, couples of above-average weight, or others who need more durable support.
  • Off-gassing – Some bed-in-box models release volatile organic compounds when first unboxed. This odor can take days or weeks to fully dissipate and cause respiratory or eye irritation.
  • Heat – If your bed-in-a-box is made from conventional memory foam without gel or other cooling properties, it may sleep hot. A bed-in-a-box made from latex or a cooling memory foam may be a better choice for warm sleepers. See my top picks for the best mattress for hot sleepers.
  • Base layer – Many bed-in-a-box warranties require a supportive base layer to prevent premature sagging or damage to the mattress. Bed-in-a-box buyers may need to purchase a platform bed, box spring, or another base layer to properly support their new mattress.
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