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13 Best Mattress in a Box for 2024

Best Mattress in a Box
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updated: July 3, 2024
edited by Amber Katz

The innovative mattress-in-a-box concept has become so popular—between a generous at-home trial period, speedy delivery to your front door, and cheaper prices due to the lack of a brick-and-mortar storefront, it’s a shining example of modern-day shopping convenience. No matter how easy they are to order and set up in your bedroom, it can be difficult for buyers to find the best mattresses in a sea of deluxe memory-foam models, ergonomic back pain-relieving hybrids, and options at seemingly every price point. We spent countless nights researching, assembling, and testing an array of mattress in a box offerings to hand-pick the top 12 mattresses of 2024 for side sleepers, environmentally-friendly snoozers, dreamers on a budget, and everyone in between.

Our top picks for the best mattresses in a box

Most comfortable mattress in a box: Helix Midnight Luxe

Most comfortable mattress in a box
Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix’s Midnight Luxe is a comfortable experience from top to bottom. It starts with either a breathable Tencel cover or–for an extra $249– a cooling GlacioTex cover, which draws heat away from the body. Under this, you’ll find three layers of foam (one of gentle, contouring, Helix Responsive foam, one of cooling and antibacterial copper gel memory foam, and a transition layer of stabilizing Memory Plus foam). Beneath this is a deep layer of individually wrapped coils for stability and air flow, resting atop a final layer of stabilizing DuraDense foam. All in all, you’re in for one very comfortable night’s sleep.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 13.5 inches
  • Firmness level: Medium
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King, RV King
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Warranty: 15 years
  • Price: $1,099-$2,299

What we like:

  • Great balance of comfort and support
  • Zoned lumbar support coils for cradling hips and shoulders while supporting the spine
  • Cooling

What we don’t like:

  • GlacioTex cover costs extra

Best cooling mattress in a box: Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Cooling

Best cooling mattress in a box
Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Cooling

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Luxe Cooling

Sweaty sleepers and those living in warmer climates will appreciate the long-lasting, breezy comfort and ability to fall asleep much more quickly of a premium cooling mattress, and the Brooklyn Aurora Luxe is hands-down the best option available today. As with all the best hybrid mattresses, the Aurora’s foam layers rest atop a supportive layer of coils that also help air to flow within the mattress, helping with cooling. The foam itself–so often a culprit in modern mattress overheating–is also working against the heat, with a layer of foam infused with thermoregulating phase change material, and another that’s infused with cooling gel. Top it all off with a GlacioTex cooling cover, and you’re in for a cool, cool night.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 13.25 inches
  • Firmness level: Soft, Medium, Firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King, Split California King, RV King, RV Bunk
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price: $1,199-$2,665

What we like:

  • Copper-infused material runs extremely cool
  • Plush and reliably comfortable feel
  • Excellent motion isolation for couples

What we don’t like:

  • Arrives with a strong chemical odor, but it dissipates quickly

Best mattress in a box for back pain: Bear Elite Hybrid

Best mattress in a box for back pain
Bear Elite Hybrid

One of the best mattresses for back pain, the Bear Elite is another hybrid mattress that expertly layers its foam and coil sections to provide the right amount of lumbar support, while still remaining comfortable enough to stay asleep through the night. Since you get the option of either soft, medium, or firm, you can choose whichever is right for your particular needs (anyone with back pain will tell you, no two back problems are exactly the same).

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 14 inches
  • Firmness: Soft, medium or firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $1,231-$2,548

What we like:

  • Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified
  • Three firmness options
  • American Chiropractic Association-approved

What we don’t like:

  • May be too firm for more lightweight sleepers

Best mattress in a box for side sleepers: Nolah Evolution

Best mattress in a box for side sleepers
Nolah Evolution 15"

Nolah Evolution 15"

Side sleepers need a mattress that will take pressure off their hips and shoulders while aligning their spines, and the Nolah Evolution fits the bill perfectly. With its comfortable, cradling layers of memory foam for cushioning your pressure points, sitting on top of a deep layer of supportive, individually wrapped coils, your body will be in an optimal position for rest without the aches and pains. It’s also available in three different firmness levels, so you can get exactly what you feel your body needs.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 15 inches
  • Firmness: Plush, luxury firm, or firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Trial period: 120 days
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $974-$2,079

What we like:

  • Three firmness options (plush, luxury firm, firm)
  • Supportive but soft
  • Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified

What we don’t like:

  • Might be too soft for stomach sleepers

Best hybrid mattress in a box: Leesa Sapira Hybrid Mattress

Best hybrid
Leesa Sapira Hybrid Mattress, Twin XL

Anyone considering a hybrid mattress for the superior body support that comes with lying on inner springs and the cool feel of memory foam should consider the Leesa Sapira. We were pleased by this sturdy mattress’s cooling top layer of dense foam, the body-contouring and pressure-relieving support that comes with sleeping on over 1,000 springs, and its perfectly balanced feel of comfort and support that feels cozy in all sleeping positions.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 11 inches
  • Firmness level: Mid-level firmness
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
  • Price: $1,199-$1,899

What we like:

  • Especially cool mattress
  • Medium firmness for all sleep-types
  • Fairly priced hybrid mattress

What we don’t like:

  • Those who need an extra-firm or soft mattress may not appreciate this medium firmness option

Best mattress in a box for plus-sized sleepers: Helix Plus Mattress

Best for plus-sized sleepers
Helix Plus Mattress

Helix Plus Mattress

Heavier and larger sleepers will appreciate this ruggedly made and firm, yet cozy mattress for its especially dense foam layers, cooling hypoallergenic topmost layer, and rock-solid supportive coils, which work well to support your body without feeling as firm as an actual rock. With its impressive level of motion isolation, total weight limit of 1,000 pounds, and 15-year warranty, the Helix Plus is also a top pick for couples looking for a bed made to last.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 13.5 inches
  • Firmness level: Medium firmness
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 10-15 year warranty
  • Price: $649-$1,449

What we like:

  • Reliably breathable and cool
  • Thick foam for maximum body support, yet not extremely firm
  • Durable construction

What we don’t like:

  • A fairly heavy boxed mattress, but a snap to set up

Best value mattress in a box: Essential Tuft and Needle Original Mattress

Best value
Essential T&N Original Mattress

Essential T&N Original Mattress

Getting more for less: Tuft and Needle’s Original Mattress features a dependably cool, airy, and plush design that feels more luxurious than you would expect at this lower price point. We were also impressed at the spine-aligning, full-body support side-sleepers will appreciate, excellent motion isolation for couples, and extra-cushioned cradling effect that caters to all sleeping styles. If you’re in the market for a cooling and especially soft, yet affordable mattress, we highly recommend Tuft and Needle.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 9.5 inches
  • Firmness level: Especially firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 10-Year limited mattress warranty
  • Price: $745-$1,395

What we like:

  • Quality comfort without overspending
  • Cooling breathable material
  • Excellent couple’s bed

What we don’t like:

  • Annoying chemical smell upon opening the box, but it dissipates in a few days.
  • Not the top choice for larger and heavier sleepers

Best cheap mattress in a box: Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Best cheap
Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

It’s natural to expect little from a bargain-priced mattress, however Zinus flipped that notion on its head with this affordable, yet plush and supportive memory foam mattress. For far less than $600, a Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress will contour to your body while providing plenty of pressure point and edge support alongside a soft upper layer that you’ll slightly sink into for a cuddly cloud-like feel. With its green tea-infused triple layer of dense foam that ensures the mattress will smell and feel fresher for longer, durable construction, and rock-bottom price, this memory foam option is the top choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 6-12 inches
  • Firmness level: Softer firmness
  • Available sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, Twin XL, California King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty
  • Price: $169-$549

What we like:

  • Remains fresh and clean-feeling for a very long time
  • Extremely affordable
  • Plush, pain-relieving memory foam

What we don’t like:

  • May be too soft for some sleepers
  • Its thicker versions feel noticeably better

Best soft mattress in a box: Amerisleep AS5

Best soft
Amerisleep AS5

Amerisleep AS5

While many soft beds sacrifice body support for a plush and pillowy feel, the Amerisleep AS5 features the best of both worlds. Not only does this mattress have the squishy texture and sensation of being cradled by a marshmallow, it provides more back and joint support than you may expect, as well as excellent motion isolation for couples and an airy, cool feel for more restful sleep. With its durability, cooling technology, and enhanced support, it’s easy to see why the AS5 was met with high praise as the best soft mattress on the market ever since its debut in 2021.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 14 inches
  • Firmness level: Extremely soft
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 20-year warranty
  • Price: $1,649-$3,398

What we like:

  • Surprisingly soft, plush feel
  • Quality pressure point relief
  • Breathable cover and cooling foam

What we don’t like:

  • Its unusual height makes it a little more difficult to find fitted bed sheets that will stay in place

Best memory foam mattress in a box: Cocoon The Chill Mattress

Best memory foam
Cocoon The Chill Mattress

Cocoon The Chill Mattress

With a budget-friendly price, a cozy and body-supporting feel, and consistently cool feel due to its breathable design and head absorption, the Cocoon Chill is a well-made and value-packed memory-foam mattress. We were also impressed at how well this model isolates motion to ensure sleeping partners stay asleep as you move. It offers high-end pressure, back, and joint relief, as well as how it included a free bonus gift of Cocoon’s best pillows and sheets—a welcome money-saver for this quality memory-foam model.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 10 inches
  • Firmness level: Medium-soft firmness
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 100-night trial
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty Y
  • Price: $399-$899

What we like:

  • Balanced of softness and firmness for high-end comfort
  • Reliably breathable and cool feel
  • Includes pillows and sheets with purchase

What we don’t like:

  • A bit softer than you may expect

Best luxury mattress in a box: Nectar Premier Copper Mattress

Best luxury
The Nectar Premier Copper Mattress

The Nectar Premier Copper Mattress

You deserve the best, and for those of us who understand how important a restful night’s sleep is will get their money’s worth from this mattress’s advanced cooling design and luxurious body-cradling foam layers that suit every sleeping style. Its namesake comes from the copper fibers woven into the topmost layer of polyester and nylon which actively wick away moisture and absorb body heat for a dependably cool sleep. Other standout points include its high-end motion isolation that couples will appreciate, its soft and supportive firmness level, as well as a generous lifetime warranty to ensure that your high-end investment is in top condition for as long as you own it.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 14 inches
  • Firmness level: Medium firmness
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
  • Trial period: 365 days
  • Warranty: Forever warranty
  • Price: $999-$2,198

What we like:

  • Excels at wicking body heat into the mattress
  • Premium pressure point support
  • Optimized for all sleep styles

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive

Best mattress in a box for couples: Winkbeds GravityLux

Best for couples
Winkbeds GravityLux

Winkbeds GravityLux

Nothing is worse than investing in a bed that wakes up your partner every time you get up in the middle of the night, but the Winkbeds GravityLux sports high-end motion isolation and minimal bounce. This ensures you’re far less likely to wake them up when you move about at night. We were impressed by how its four foam layers efficiently minimize movement being felt on the other end of the mattress, how they relieve pressure points for reliably more comfortable sleep in all positions, and how they absorb body heat for a cool feel. With so many sizes and firmness levels available, it’ll be easy to find a GravityLux mattress that will please both sleepers.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 11 inches
  • Firmness level: Soft, Medium, Firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 120
  • Warranty: Forever warranty
  • Price: $899-$1,699

What we like:

  • High-end motion isolation to keep couples from waking each other
  • Gel layer efficiently pulls heat from the sleeper
  • Quality foam provides well-cushioned back and body support

What we don’t like:

  • A bit firmer than expected

Best organic mattress in a box: Avocado Green Mattress

With its organic design made with all-natural wool, latex, and cotton, this is easily the best organic mattress for anyone avoiding models that include potentially harmful chemicals and toxic materials. Firm without feeling stiff, and a cozy fit for back or stomach sleeping, these premium hand-assembled Avocado Green Mattresses sport an impressive 25-year warranty. The company also includes up to 1,438 steel coils for relieving pressure points and back pain, and even offers a wool-free vegan model for those avoiding animal-based products. Good to know: Avocado also made our list of the best pillows, with their Green Pillow.

Specifications:

  • Mattress height: 13 inches
  • Firmness level: Medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
  • Trial period: 1-year
  • Warranty: 25-year limited warranty
  • Price: $1,299-$2,299

What we like:

  • Certified completely non-toxic organic mattress
  • Hand assembled in the United States
  • Comfortable and supportive for sleepers of all sizes

What we don’t like:

  • Not suited for comfortable side-sleeping

How to choose the best mattress in a box for you

Materials

Most mattress-in-a-box options are either purely made of memory foam or a hybrid of memory foam and an innerspring base. Memory-foam mattresses are best suited for warm sleepers who need that breezy cooling effect to fall asleep more quickly and those who are looking for a softer mattress. Generally speaking, hybrid mattresses are optimized for those looking for additional body support, relief from back and joint pain, and heavier sleepers.

Price

Whether you’re on a tight budget or money is no object, there are quality mattresses for all price points. Don’t be discouraged by mattresses that are on the pricey side, as mattresses are regularly sold at a significant discount throughout the year. For example, buyers who are able to wait until days like Black Friday, Memorial Day, and late winter through early spring will have access to impressive mattress sales.

Trial period and warranty

No matter how much you research online, sometimes the mattress in a box you buy just isn’t right for you, and that’s ok—practically every mattress brand provides a lengthy trial period to let buyers sleep through multiple seasons, allowing you to be certain this is the best mattress for you. Mattress trial periods may last anywhere from a few months to an entire year, but many insist on a 30-day minimum trial period before returns are even allowed. This is because your body may take up to a month to adjust to the feel of a new mattress. So don’t worry if the luxury model you just purchased doesn’t feel quite right after the first few nights.

If you thought that the trial period was generous, you may be surprised to learn that mattress brands provide lengthy warranties that last from anywhere between 10 to 15 years, or for the lifetime of the mattress. Anyone considering splurging on a high-end mattress should consider a long warranty to ensure their investment lasts for years to come.

Sleep style

Some sleep like a rock, while others toss and turn all night long, but many of us have a natural sleep style that makes it much easier to fall asleep—and being aware of this is one of the most important factors when you’re wondering how to choose a mattress. Although a mattress with a medium level of firmness is suitable for all sleeping positions, side sleepers will get the most out of a softer mattress that will cradle their body while relieving pressure points, and both back and stomach sleepers will feel coziest on a firm mattress that will keep their spine aligned overnight. Note: Medium-firmness levels are also recommended for the best mattresses for back pain.

How we selected the best mattresses in a box

We reflected upon a number of factors as we thoroughly researched, compared, and tested a massive selection of box mattresses both in-store and at home to find the 12 best models available today. Taking into account our personal preferences, awards received for product excellence, reviews left by customers, some of the most important considerations we looked for included:

  • Trial period and warranty
  • Number of variants offered (hybrid, memory foam, etc.)
  • Firmness levels
  • Range of sizes available
  • Features, such as motion isolation, cooling properties, etc.
  • Price

What is a mattress in a box and how does it work?

A mattress in a box is literally that, but there is a bit more to the concept; the mattress within has been tightly rolled, compressed within an air-tight plastic bag, and placed in a box that is much smaller and easy to carry than a normal full-size mattress.

This makes it much easier for businesses to ship and deliver a mattress directly to your home, and a breeze for you to move the slim, relatively lightweight and manageable box to your bedroom.

You may be surprised at how simple and convenient it is to set up a box mattress, as it’s rarely more complicated than removing the coiled mattress from the box, laying it on your bed’s box spring or on a clean, flat surface, and carefully removing the plastic. Once the mattress has fully unrolled, expanded, and decompressed, it’s ready for you to sleep on.

Some bedding brands may suggest you let the box mattress air out and completely settle before you use it to remove unappealing chemical odors and to ensure the bed is totally decompressed prior to bedtime.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do you return a mattress in a box?

Although it varies among brands, if you initiate a return during the trial period, the manufacturer or retailer will schedule for a representative to take back the mattress while walking you through the process of refunding or exchanging your mattress for another model better suited for your sleeping needs.

Note that it may take up to 30 days for your body to adjust to a new mattress, and some brands will not allow you to return a mattress until that 30-day period has passed. Don’t worry if you’ve already thrown out the packaging; you will not be able to put the mattress back into its original box, and the mattress you are returning will probably be recycled or donated to a charity.

How long can a mattress stay in the box?

While the exact time period varies between manufacturers, usually between one week and two months, it’s a good rule of thumb to remove your new mattress from its box as soon as you can because a mattress may develop irreversible damage if it’s been compressed for too long.

How do you open a mattress in a box?

Keep in mind you probably won’t be sleeping on the mattress on the first night, so be prepared to unbox it in another area until it is ready for your bed. Since larger boxed mattresses can be heavy and unwieldy to move through your home, consider asking someone to help you unbox and set up your mattress.

Carefully unseal the box and remove the vacuum sealed mattress. Check inside the box for unboxing instructions and follow those to the letter to ensure that your mattress is set up properly.

If you can, place the wrapped mattress directly on the bare bed frame or box spring with the right side up before you carefully rip the plastic apart with your hands or cut it with scissors. It’sessential to be cautious when cutting the shrink-wrapped plastic to ensure you don’t damage the mattress or worse, accidentally cut yourself.

Recycle the plastic wrap and cardboard box if possible, because even if you need to return the mattress, the manufacturer won’t need the original packaging anyway.

How long does a mattress in a box take to expand?

Each boxed mattress is different, but on average it may take between 24 and 72 hours for a new mattress to completely decompress and air out. We recommend waiting at least a full day before sleeping on a new mattress, however if your mattress hasn’t fully expanded after three days, contact the manufacturer for troubleshooting help or to order a replacement for the defective mattress.

When is the best time to buy a mattress in a box?

If your current mattress is in poor shape, it may be tempting to buy a replacement right away, but patient buyers will save a lot if they can wait for major shopping holidays. These are the best times to buy a mattress during the year due to the deep discounts from mattress manufacturers and retailers:

  • Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving
  • Cyber Monday—the Monday after Thanksgiving
  • Memorial Day—the last Monday of May
  • Independence Day—July 4th
  • Labor Day—the first Monday of September
  • Amazon Prime Day—Its date jumps around at random, from July 11th in 2023, to October 13th in 2020, so while Prime Day is usually in July, check Amazon for the latest details.
  • Late winter through early spring—New mattresses hit the market in this timeframe each year, and retailers are happy to unload last year’s models at a significant discount to make room for the latest mattresses.
  • At random—This may sound counterintuitive, but a mattress in a box you’re considering may be on sale right now! Some online stores may offer an overstock sale, others may slash prices on discontinued models they need to offload, and retailers going out of business will offer serious discounts on their mattresses, so do yourself a favor by shopping around. You never know what deals you may find!

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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