Best Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses of 2021

By Loren Bullock

Dec 1st, 2021

Mattress shopping used to be a time-consuming chore, until someone decided to think outside the box—or inside the box, actually. Today you can go online and buy a ready-to-deliver mattress compressed into a neat package without stepping foot into a crowded showroom (or borrowing a friend’s pickup truck).

Bed-in-a-box mattresses make it easy to get a new mattress delivered to your front door, ready to unpack and enjoy. We’ve made it easy to find your dream bed by selecting the best bed-in-a-box mattresses available today.


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Our Picks for Best Mattress in a Box

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Nectar Mattress

nectar original lifestyle updated
Nectar

Best Bed in a Box for Back Pain

Best for:

  • Budget shoppers
  • Side sleepers
  • People who need good edge support
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 5.5-6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

365 days

Best Bed in a Box for Back Pain

The memory foam provides great pressure relief, making the Nectar a good choice for people with hip pain and back pain. In fact, we gave this mattress an 8.5 out of 10 for pressure relief.

Pros

The Nectar mattress offers superior edge support, something you’ll want if you sleep on the edge or need support when you get out of bed. We also liked it for its responsiveness, which means it is a good choice for sex and the sleeper who tosses and turns.

Cons

Although this mattress is designed for the hot sleeper, we’ve found customers who say the Nectar can sleep hot. Also, this product is manufactured overseas, which might be a turnoff for the USA-only shopper.

Read our full Nectar mattress review.


Casper Mattress

casper original hero
Casper

Best Bed in a Box for Side Sleepers

Best for:

  • Combination sleepers
  • People with back or shoulder pain
  • Sleepers who toss and turn
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

9.1

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Bed in a Box for Side Sleepers

The Original Casper mattress is its most popular model in addition to being one of our favorite beds in a box, and it is easy to see why. The memory foam layers work together to create a mattress that is responsive, offers motion isolation, and features pressure relief—a good combination for one of the best mattresses for side sleepers.

Pros

In addition to a perfect score for responsiveness and a strong score for pressure relief, this Casper product received a 9.5 out of 10 for both edge support and spine alignment, making it a great option for seniors.

Cons

When you purchase a Casper mattress, you get a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty—the standard combination for most online mattress brands. If you’re an indecisive shopper, you can do better with the trial; Nectar offers 365 days. Also, WinkBed Luxury Firm offers a lifetime warranty.

Read our full Casper mattress review.


Puffy Mattress

puffy mattress main product 2 700x
Puffy Mattress

Best Bed in a Box for Couples

Best for:

  • People who sleep with a partner
  • Side sleepers
  • Anyone who loves memory foam
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 nights

Best Bed in a Box for Couples

We found in our mattress lab that the Puffy mattress performed well with motion isolation, something you’ll want to be mindful of if you share your bed and you don’t love the idea of being disturbed every time your partner, kids, or pets jump into bed.

Pros

This product did well in our testing of edge support, which matters for the sleeper who rests on the side of the bed or the senior who needs a little support getting up. It also did well in our tests on spine alignment.

Cons

As a memory foam mattress, the Puffy mattress might sleep a little hotter than you’d like, although this mattress works well for a cooling experience when compared to others in its genre.

Read our full Puffy mattress review.


Layla Mattress

Layla room 1
Layla

Best Firm Bed in a Box

Best for:

  • Those with joint pain or arthritis
  • Anyone who shares a bed
  • People unsure of what firmness level they prefer
CUSTOMER RATING

4.5

/

5

MA SCORE

8.8

/

10

FIRMNESS

Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best Firm Bed in a Box

Layla is a dual-sided, flippable mattress. The difference between each side is firmness, with a soft side and a firm side. The plush, soft side is a great choice for side sleepers or those who want their mattress to hug them. The firm side is a good option for back and stomach sleepers or people with back pain that prefer a firm feel.

Related: Best Firm Mattresses

Pros

The Layla is a great product in terms of set-up—in fact, we gave it a near perfect score for that with 9 out of 10. We found that one person can set up a smaller sized mattress. Also, we liked it for both responsiveness and motion isolation, which is a rare find.

Cons

This isn’t the coolest mattress you’ll find—we scored it a 7.5 out of 10 for cooling. Also, the spine alignment could be better, although it’s still quite good at 8/10.

Read our full Layla mattress review.


Helix Mattress

helix midnight hero e1586201496371
Helix

Best Hybrid Bed in a Box

Best for:

  • People who like an innerspring/foam combo
  • Those who sleep hot
  • Side sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Customizable: Varies based on selection

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Hybrid Bed in a Box

Helix offers a variety of models with varying firmness, from Helix Sunset to Helix Dawn. All Helix models score well in our mattress lab for cooling, with the Helix Midnight Luxe (9.5 out of 10) earning a spot as one of our best mattresses for hot sleepers.

Pros

The Helix Midnight is their most popular model, and for good reason. It allows virtually no motion transfer, so couples and co-sleepers can move around with little chance of disturbing one another. Its breathable foam allows Helix to sleep cool. On top of that, its responsiveness adjusts to your movements and works for all types of sleepers.

Cons

While all models of Helix have their advantages, you’ll find the softer versions, such as the Helix Sunset, may not offer the edge support you are looking for. Although firm, the Helix Plus actually scores 4/10 for edge support.

Read our full Helix mattress review.


GhostBed Mattress

ghostbed luxe mattress lifestyle 2
GhostBed

Best Cooling Bed in a Box

Best for:

  • Combination sleepers
  • Seniors
  • People who sleep hot
CUSTOMER RATING

4.8

/

5

MA SCORE

8.6

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

101 days

Best Cooling Bed in a Box

Thanks to its breathable cover, cooling gel memory foam, and aerated synthetic latex, the GhostBed mattress regulates temperature quite well. This means that the GhostBed can help you from getting uncomfortably hot throughout the night, if that tends to be a problem for you.

Pros

If you often switch sleeping positions, the GhostBed’s high responsiveness score (8.5/10) may be of interest to you. A good responsiveness score indicates a mattress that keeps up with and supports your movements rather than resisting them. 

Cons

The GhostBed scored quite poorly in our pressure relief test (6.5/10), so if you suffer from shoulder or hip pain you may want to consider other options. Check out our best mattresses for side sleepers for some products that excel in this area.

Read our full GhostBed mattress review.


Brooklyn Signature

brooklyn signature mattress
Brooklyn Signature

Best for Customizable Firmness

Best for:

  • People who want to choose their firmness level
  • All sleep positions
  • Hot sleepers
CUSTOMER RATING

4.7

/

5

MA SCORE

8.9

/

10

FIRMNESS

Choose your preference: Available in soft, medium or firm

TRIAL PERIOD

120 days

Best for Customizable Firmness

If mattress shopping makes you feel like Goldilocks, here’s a hybrid bed-in-a-box that lets you choose a firmness level that’s just right. It also comes from a company that receives perfect scores for shipping, trial period, and return policy in our testing process.

Pros

You can choose one of three options on the 1-10 firmness scale: soft (4/10), medium (6/10), and firm (8/10). The innerspring/foam design provides support, pressure relief, and responsiveness, while a top layer of gel-infused foam promotes cooling.

Cons

Since it scores only 7.25 out of 10 for motion isolation, the Brooklyn Signature might not be the right choice for couples or restless sleepers. Since its materials include foam, the mattress will need to air out at least a few hours after unpacking until the mild chemical smell fades.

Read our full Brooklyn Signature mattress review.


Amerisleep AS3

amerisleep as3 1
Amerisleep AS3

Best Memory Foam Bed in a Box

Best for:

  • Couples with different sleep positions
  • People with hip and back pain
  • Those who want a durable mattress
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.4

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Memory Foam Bed in a Box

Memory foam mattresses are known for their ability to isolate motion while in bed, and the Amerisleep AS3 doesn’t disappoint. We ranked this product an 8.75 out of 10, meaning that your partner’s movements likely won’t disturb you in the night.

Pros

As you may have guessed with a name like Amerisleep, the AS3 mattress is made in the USA. This allows the company to cut out the middleman and keep costs low for customers. And not only is the AS3 comfortable, it’s affordable as well.

Cons

As a memory foam product, this mattress may not give you the responsiveness you are looking for if you toss and turn at night, changing your sleeping positions. We scored the Amerisleep AS3 only a 7 out of 10 for responsiveness.

Read our full Amerisleep AS3 mattress review.


Tuft & Needle Mattress

tuft and needle
Tuft & Needle

Best Budget Bed in a Box

Best for:

  • Value shoppers
  • All sleep positions
  • Those who are unsure of what they want in a mattress
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.7

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Budget Bed in a Box

The Tuft & Needle mattress is a great option for most types of sleepers and it comes at a very wallet-friendly price. We recommend the Tuft & Needle mattress for anyone who needs a bed but doesn’t want to break the bank to get one.

Related: Best Cheap Mattresses for Your Budget

Pros

This mattress works well with any body type thanks to Tuft & Needle proprietary foam; the more pressure that is put on the bed, the more the bed reacts to the pressure and provides support. The CertiPUR-US certification ensures that a mattress has been tested for durability, content, performance, and emissions, meaning minimal off-gassing effects.

Cons

Edge support is not what it could be with this mattress. If you sleep on the edge or need a little extra support getting out of bed, you may want to look elsewhere. Also, we have scored a number of other mattresses higher than this one for cooling properties.

Read our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.


Purple Mattress

purple mattress update
Purple

Best Bed in a Box for Heavy People

Best for:

  • Side sleepers with back pain
  • Back sleepers
  • People who sleep hot
CUSTOMER RATING

4.6

/

5

MA SCORE

8.4

/

10

FIRMNESS

Medium-firm: 6.5/10

TRIAL PERIOD

100 days

Best Bed in a Box for Heavy People

Heavyweight sleepers often have a difficult time with a mattress’s durability because the materials wear down more quickly. The Smart Comfort Grid™ is resistant to weight as well as wear and tear—they literally backed over it with a semi truck in an advertisement—so, body weight won’t make a dent.

Pros

Purple is a unique online mattress brand, both in advertising and in construction. What makes Purple different is its hyper-elastic polymer mixed with high-density foam. The hyper-elastic polymer is made into their Smart Comfort Grid™, which is the key to relieving pressure from your most sensitive areas.

Cons

While there was no strong odor when we unboxed this mattress, we gave the Purple only a 6 out of 10 for set-up in part because of the multi-step process for unpacking, which includes  cutting away surrounding plastic.

Read our full Purple mattress review.


Beginner’s Guide to Bed in a Box Mattresses

What is a bed in a box? “A bed in a bed-sized box” might seem like the obvious response, but the real answer is a bit more complex. In this section, we’ll examine the concept and explain how it has been a game-changer not just for the mattress industry but also for consumers. We’ll also offer guidance on how to choose the best bed-in-a-box mattress for your needs and your budget.

Quick Links

The History of the Bed in a Box

A bed-in-a-box mattress is a mattress that’s been compressed and rolled into a box so it can be easily shipped to your home. You simply pick up the box, carry it to your bedroom, and unroll it to full size. For even more convenience, some brands offer white glove delivery service where the delivery person will also set up the new mattress for you.

The mind behind the mattress-in-a-box concept is Bill Bradley. In 2007, he founded bedinabox.com, where you could buy foam mattresses compressed and put into a box. The concept really took off when brands like Casper and Tuft & Needle jumped into the mix.

Nowadays, mattress retailers such as Mattress Firm and Ashley Furniture also offer boxed mattresses in their online stores to keep up with the competition. Some brands are online only and others operate pop-up stores or partner with retailers.

Types of Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses

Just about any type of mattress is available as a bed-in-a-box option, including:

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a material that contours to your body and reverts to its original shape when you get out of bed. This mattress type is great for couples, people who wake up with aches and pains, and side sleepers, although memory foam’s tendency to retain your body heat makes it problematic for those who sleep hot.

Innerspring

At their core, innerspring mattresses use rows of coiled springs surrounded by cushioning foam. Innerspring mattresses are good for support and responsiveness, and they provide airflow to hot sleepers. They aren’t so great for couples and pain relief.

Latex

Latex mattresses feature latex foam as their main layer. Latex foam can be either natural or synthetic, and both offer pressure relief, are naturally cooling, and are responsive. A mattress that uses natural latex can include cotton or wool layers to make a 100% organic mattress.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine different materials to utilize the best qualities of each one. Memory foam provides motion isolation, innerspring provides responsiveness, and latex provides cooling and pressure relief. Hybrids typically use two or even three of these materials.

Mattresses in a Box for Sleeping Positions

What kind of bed in a box is good for people who sleep on their backs? What about stomach sleepers and side sleepers? Here are some tips to help you decide based on firmness, materials and design.

Side Sleepers — Less Firm, Memory Foam or Latex

People who sleep on their side need a softer mattress that can keep their spine straight and ease pressure on their hips and shoulders. These needs make memory foam and latex mattresses the primary option for side sleepers. If you sleep hot or you’re a side sleeper who also tosses and turns, latex is usually your best bet.

Related: Best mattresses for side sleepers

Back Sleepers — Medium-firm, Foam, Latex or Innerspring

Those who sleep on their back need a medium-firm to firm mattress that can help with spine alignment. Memory foam, latex, and innerspring mattresses are good choices for back sleepers, thanks to their contouring abilities.

Related: Best mattresses for back sleepers

Stomach Sleepers — Very Firm, Foam or Hybrid

Stomach sleeping is considered the worst position for spine alignment, but the fact is that some people just prefer it. Stomach sleepers need a firm foundation to help keep their spine aligned with a soft top layer for their hips and shoulder to sink into, which usually means a hybrid.

Related: Best mattresses for stomach sleepers

Pros and Cons of Buying a Bed in a Box

Like any mattress, or any product in general, a boxed mattress has advantages and disadvantages. They include:

Pros

  • Convenience. Online mattresses save you the hassles of crowded showrooms, overeager salespeople, and figuring out how you’re actually going to get your new mattress home. Should I pay extra for delivery or ask my brother-in-law if I can borrow his van? What if I just strapped it to the roof of my car—will I get a ticket? And so on.
  • Price. Because it takes sales commissions and other brick-and-mortar staples out of the equation, buying a bed-in-a-box is usually less expensive.
  • Selection. Buying a boxed mattress online gives you the ability to check out hundreds of brands and models without stepping foot into a showroom. You can also order pillows, a foundation, and other accessories online.
  • Easy Set-up. Imagine not having to worry about narrow doorways, sharp angles, and the dreaded “pivot.” With most mattresses in a box, carrying it to the bedroom and unpacking it is a one-person job.

Cons

  • No pre-purchase tryout. Of course, you can’t test-drive a mattress in a virtual setting the way you can in a physical showroom. One way that online sellers compensate is by offering lengthy sleep trials that typically last 100–180 days.
  • Compression vs. quality? Bed-in-a-box critics claim that compressible mattresses are, by design, less sturdy. Their argument is that regular mattresses can use more durable springs and thicker density foam because they don’t have to be squeezed into a box.
  • Delivery times. A mattress you buy online often takes several business days to arrive. A mattress that’s in stock at your local furniture store could be yours the same day.
  • Personal touch. For some consumers, an online chat or phone call doesn’t compare with talking to a salesperson face-to-face.

Unpacking a Mattress in a Box

Unboxing a bed-in-a-box mattress is usually a simple procedure. You’ll take the cylinder-shaped box into your bedroom, open it, take out the rolled-up mattress and put it on your bedframe. After removing the plastic wrapping, you’ll unfold the mattress and let it decompress to its original shape.

Before sleeping on it, you should give your new mattress time to air out. Why is airing out important for mattresses in a box? The reason is that the materials sometimes carry a faint odor. Memory foam might have a chemical smell, for example, while wool sometimes has an earthy smell.

Mattresses made with foam or synthetic latex are often subject to off-gassing. Short-term exposure to “new mattress smell” from certain compounds isn’t considered harmful, but play it safe by:

  • Opening your new mattress as soon as possible
  • Letting it air out in a well-ventilated room (or even outside)
  • Giving the process anywhere from several hours to a few days

If you’re very concerned about off-gassing even after you’ve aired out your mattress, you can try sleeping on polyethylene sheets or a polyethylene mattress cover.


Recap: Our Top Picks for the Best Mattresses in a Box

Mattress Award MA Score
Nectar Best for Back Pain 8.7/10
Casper Best for Side Sleepers 9.1/10
Puffy  Best for Couples 9/10
Layla Best Firm Mattress 8.8/10
Helix Best Hybrid Mattress 8.9/10
GhostBed Best for Hot Sleepers 8.6/10
Brooklyn Signature Best for Customizable Firmness 9.1/10
Amerisleep AS3 Best Memory Foam Mattress 8.4/10
Tuft & Needle Best Budget Mattress 8.7/10
Purple Best for Heavy People 8.4/10