Best Bed in a Box Mattresses of 2023
Jul 24th, 2023 •
Getting a new mattress can be an all-day hassle unless you decide to think outside the box—or inside the box, actually. It’s easier than ever to go online and buy a ready-to-deliver bed in a box compressed into a neat package without stepping foot into a crowded showroom (or planning how you’ll haul it home).
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, along with sharing advice in our buyer’s guide.
Our Picks for Best Bed in a Box Mattress
- Best Mattress for Back Pain – Nectar
- Best Mattress for Side Sleepers – Casper
- Best Mattress for Couples – Puffy Cloud
- Best Firm Mattress – Layla
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Helix Midnight
- Best Cooling Mattress – GhostBed
- Best for Customizable Firmness – Brooklyn Signature Hybrid
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – Amerisleep AS3
- Best Budget Mattress – Tuft & Needle
- Best Mattress for Neck Pain – Purple
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Best Mattress for Back Pain
- Back pain sufferers
- Budget shoppers
- People who need good edge support
What’s great about it: The multiple layers of memory foam combine to deliver great pressure relief, making the Nectar one of the top mattresses for back pain. In fact, we gave this mattress an 8.5/10 in our Mattress Advisor pressure relief test, which indicates that it’s a good choice for side sleepers and those with shoulder pain, as well. Shoppers looking for a memory foam bed on a budget will find a lot to love with this one—the Nectar earns high marks in most of our key ranking categories, including edge support and responsiveness, which make it easy to get in and out and move around on the bed.
The Nectar mattress offers superior edge support (we score it 9/10, especially good for a foam mattress). Edge support is 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.
Although Nectar says it’s designed for the hot sleeper, we give this mattress a middle-of-the-road cooling score of 7.75/10. Also, people above 250 pounds might find that the Nectar lacks the firmness and depth (12″) to properly support them.
Read our full Nectar mattress review.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
- Side sleepers
- People with back or shoulder pain
- Sleepers who toss and turn
What’s great about it: The original Casper mattress is Casper’s most popular model, with good reason. The memory foam layers work together to provide excellent spine alignment (9.5/10 Mattress Advisor score) and pressure relief (8.5/10 score). It’s an essential combination for side sleepers, whose position puts more strain on their hips, lower back, and shoulders. It also works well for combination sleepers, and those who tend to change positions throughout the night.
Related: Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers
In addition to a perfect score for responsiveness (good news for restless sleepers), the Casper receives a 9.5/10 for edge support. This quality makes it a great option for seniors or anyone who has trouble lifting themselves out of bed or lowering themselves into bed.
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. By comparison, Nectar and Nest are among the companies that currently offer a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty.
Read our full Casper mattress review.
Best Mattress for Couples
- People who sleep with a partner
- Side sleepers
- Anyone who loves memory foam
What’s great about it: When we tested the Puffy Cloud in our mattress lab, it performed very well in motion transfer (9.25/10 score). This property is something you really need to help keep the disturbance to a minimum every time your partner, your kids, or your pets move around or hop into the bed. The Puffy Cloud is also a great mattress for couples simply because it works for so many different types of sleepers—its medium-firm firmness is the level most people prefer; and side sleepers, back sleepers, and combination sleepers should all get a comfortable night of sleep from its body-cradling memory foam.
Related: Best Mattresses for Couples
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.
As a memory foam mattress, the Puffy Cloud 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 Cloud mattress review.
Best Firm Mattress
- Back sleepers or stomach sleepers
- Anyone who shares a bed
- People unsure of what firmness level they prefer
Soft side: 4-5/10; Firm side: 7/10
What’s great about it: Layla is a dual-sided, flippable mattress with a firm side and a soft side. The firm side (7/10 on the firmness scale) is a good option for back and stomach sleepers or people with back pain who need a firmer feel. That said, if you find yourself in need of a more forgiving surface for side sleeping—or during changing life circumstances like pregnancy—you can simply flip it to the soft (4.5/10) side. In our testing we found that both sides provide great pressure relief for all sleep positions.
The Layla is a great product in terms of set-up—in fact, we gave it a near perfect score (9/10). 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.
This isn’t the coolest mattress you’ll find—we scored it a 7.5/10 for cooling. Also, the spine alignment could be better, although it’s still quite good at 8/10.
Read our full Layla mattress review.
Best Hybrid Mattress
- People who like an innerspring/foam combo
- Edge support
- Any sleeping position
What’s great about it: This versatile foam/innerspring hybrid has the pressure relieving-qualities, spine alignment performance, and medium firmness to match up well with just about any sleeping position. A polyfoam Transition Layer and innerspring Body Shape Layer help the Helix Midnight adapt to your contours and provide all-around support. It’s also a cool-sleeping mattress, which should come as good news for hot sleepers—not only does it coil construction help promote breathability, but you can also add a GlacioTex Cooling Cover if you want an even more crisp surface feel.
Related: Best Hybrid Mattresses
The Helix Midnight scores 9/10 for motion transfer in Mattress Advisor testing, so couples and co-sleepers can move around with less chance of disturbing one another. It also provides outstanding edge support (9/10), which makes it a strong choice for people who want to spread out and enjoy the entire mattress surface.
The Helix Midnight’s 8/10 score in cooling is a disappointment for a hybrid with an innerspring coil layer. The coil layer also adds to the Midnight’s weight and makes unpacking a two-person job.
Read our full Helix Midnight mattress review.
Best Cooling Mattress
- Hot sleepers
- Combination sleepers
What’s great about it: 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. We also recommend this mattress to heavier shoppers due to its high-quality latex foam construction and excellent score for durability, which suggests it will maintain its structure and support for years to come.
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.
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 Hybrid
Best for Customizable Firmness
- Choice of firmness levels (3)
- All sleep positions
- Hot sleepers
Choose your preference: Available in soft, medium or firm
What’s great about it: 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. The Brooklyn Signature Hybrid is also Brooklyn Bedding’s best-selling mattress, a product that offers many premium features while being competitively priced. Sleepers with shoulder pain will appreciate that it earns a stellar 9.5/10 in our testing for pressure relief, which is a testament to how effectively its foam layers cradle your pressure points and disperse tension.
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.
Since it scores only 7.25/10 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 Hybrid mattress review.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Couples with different sleep positions
- People with hip and back pain
- Those who want a durable mattress
What’s great about it: Amerisleep claims to be on the cutting edge of sleep technology, using its approach to memory foam as Exhibit A. The Amerisleep AS3 mattress features the company’s plant-based BioPur foam, whose-open cell design is engineered to be more breathable than traditional memory foam. We found that it sleeps relatively cool and provides above-average support for couples, with motion transfer and edge support scores that suggest you can spread out to the far reaches of this mattress and don’t have to worry about disturbing your partner.
Like all Amerisleep mattresses, the AS3 model has a 20-year warranty (twice as long as the industry standard). It’s also a winner for easy set-up, with a 9.5/10 score, and the 8.5/10 score for durability indicates long-lasting value.
This mattress may not give you the responsiveness you’re looking for if you toss and turn at night or you’re a combination sleeper who changes positions. We scored the Amerisleep AS3 only a 7/10 for responsiveness.
Read our full Amerisleep AS3 mattress review.
Tuft & Needle
Best Budget Mattress
- Value shoppers
- All sleep positions
- Those who are unsure of what they want in a mattress
What’s great about it: 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 mattress for anyone who needs a bed but doesn’t want to break the bank to get one. But don’t interpret that to mean the Tuft & Needle feels cheap—the mattress is comfortable, high-quality, and supportive, with a medium firmness that suits nearly all sleep positions. It also incorporates an Adaptive foam layer designed to give you the responsiveness and cooling of latex without latex’s premium price tag.
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.
The Tuft & Needle’s edge support is not what it could be, with a 7.25/10 Mattress Advisor score. 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.
Read our full Tuft & Needle mattress review.
Best Mattress for Neck Pain
- Sleepers with neck pain
- Back sleepers
What’s great about it: The original Purple mattress mixes high-density foam with hyper-elastic polymer, which is the key to Purple’s Grid feature. This material in the top layer is designed to relieve pressure in your most sensitive areas, including the neck. The bed has a unique, slightly bouncy feel that can give the sensation that you’re floating comfortably above the mattress instead of sinking into it, the way you might with traditional memory foam.
Spine alignment is one of the hallmarks of a great mattress for neck pain, and the Purple earns a near-perfect 9.5/10 spine alignment score in Mattress Advisor testing. Coupled with the pressure-relieving qualities of the Purple Grid, this mattress has a lot of potential to reduce aches and pains in the neck and shoulder.
While there was no strong odor when we unboxed this mattress, we gave the Purple only a 6/10 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.
Buyer’s Guide to Bed in a Box Mattresses
What is a bed in a box? “A bed that comes 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 advice on how to choose the best mattress in a box for your needs and your budget.
- History of the Bed in a Box
- Pros and Cons of Buying a Mattress in a Box
- Types of Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses
- What to Consider Before Buying
- What’s the Right Mattress for Your Sleep Position?
In the mid-2000s, businessman Bill Bradley developed a machine that compressed and rolled foam mattresses to the point where they could fit easily into cylinder-shaped boxes. He founded bedinabox.com in 2007, and the mattress-in-a-box business was off and running. The concept really started to take off when brands like Casper and Tuft & Needle jumped into the mix.
Today, well over 100 companies offer mattresses that arrive at your door in boxes roughly the same size as a mini-fridge—about 42 inches high, 20 inches wide, and 20 inches deep. You can simply carry the box to your bedroom, remove and unroll the mattress, and let it expand to its 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.
Some bed-in-a-box brands are online only, while others operate pop-up stores or partner with traditional retailers. Companies such as Mattress Firm and Ashley Furniture also offer boxed mattresses in their online stores to keep up with the competition.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Mattress in a Box
Like any mattress, or any product in general, a mattress in a box has advantages and disadvantages. They include:
- 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.
- 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 and the dreaded “pivot.” A compressed bed-in-a-box is easier to carry from doorstep to bedroom, where you can simply unbox it, unroll it on your foundation, and let it expand to full size.
- 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 compressed and packed 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, the online shopping experience just isn’t the same as talking to a salesperson face-to-face—asking questions, negotiating price, etc.
Just about any type of mattress is available as a bed-in-a-box option. Although memory foam has an edge due to its shape-retaining qualities, any mattress that can be compressed, rolled, and put inside a box qualifies.
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 traditional memory foam has a tendency to sleep hot, innovations like gel-infused foam can improve cooling performance.
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 for hot sleepers. Areas where they tend to fall short include motion transfer and pressure relief.
Latex mattresses feature latex foam as their main layer. Latex foam can be all-natural , synthetic, or a natural-synthetic blend, but each type offers pressure relief, cooling, and responsiveness. Many organic mattresses use natural latex because of its hypoallergenic properties.
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.
Related: What is a Hybrid Mattress?
Mattresses are ranked along a firmness scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ultra-plush and 10 essentially being a hardwood floor. Most mattresses fall into the 5 to 7 range of medium to medium-firm firmness, which is the firmness most sleepers prefer. However, this can also depend on your preferred sleep position. Side sleepers tend to prefer a softer mattress (4 to 6). Back sleepers and combination sleepers frequently opt for a medium to medium-firm mattress (6 to 7). And stomach sleepers are best served by a medium firm to firm mattress that prevents hips from sinking too far. Of course, this can all depend on your body type, as well—heavier people tend to prefer a slightly firmer mattress than lighter ones.
Overheating can be a huge problem for many sleepers—no one wants to lie awake all night struggling with night sweats and battling their sheets. If you tend to sleep hot, you’ll want a mattress that has features to increase breathability and regulate heat. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to sleep the coolest because their coil layers allow for better airflow, while mattresses made exclusively of memory foam often retain warmth. That said, cooling covers, gel and copper infusions, and other added features and technology can offset this effect, so look for those features—and our recommendations—if you tend to sleep hot and want a memory foam mattress.
If you suffer from back, neck, or joint pain, a bed with good pressure relief is essential. This means the mattress will absorb some of that pressure and keep it from building up in one spot, often by cradling your body or otherwise allowing for some give. Side sleepers need good pressure relief the most because of how our shoulders and hips stick out in a sideline position. Back sleepers also need some pressure relief against the tailbone and legs, but not nearly to the same extent. We often recommend memory foam mattresses and slightly softer mattresses for side sleepers due to that increased need for pressure relief. Back and combination sleepers are good with a hybrid, memory foam, or latex mattress in a medium-firm firmness.
Motion transfer is a measurement of how effectively a mattress isolates the effects of movement. If you’re a light sleeper and you sleep with a partner or pet, a high score for motion transfer is essential to limit wakeups every time your bedmates toss and turn. We measure motion transfer by putting a glass of water on a mattress and testing how much movement and pressure we can create nearby without spilling the glass. Throughout our testing, we’ve found that memory foam tends to isolate motion best; however, hybrids often do a good job, as well. Due to their bouncy nature, innerspring mattresses are not always the best at isolating motion.
What kind of bed in a box is good for people who sleep on their back? What about stomach sleepers and side sleepers? Here are some tips to help you decide based on firmness, materials and design.
- Side sleepers need a mattress that can keep their spine in a healthy alignment and provide pressure relief for their hips and shoulders. These needs make memory foam and latex the primary option for side sleepers, usually at medium or medium-firm (5/10-6/10 on the mattress firmness scale).
- Back sleepers typically need a medium-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.
- Stomach sleepers use what’s considered the worst position for spine alignment, but the fact is that some people just prefer it. Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress to help keep their spine aligned with a soft top layer for their hips and shoulder to sink into, which usually means a hybrid.
- Combination sleepers typically spend part of the night on their side and the other part on their back. Whatever combination of positions they use, these sleepers need a responsive mattress that accommodates their movements. A medium-firm latex mattress or latex hybrid usually works best.
How to Unpack a Bed 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 bed frame. 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
- Giving the process anywhere from several hours to a few days
How Long Does a Bed in a Box Last?
A well-made bed in a box mattress can typically last seven to 15 years. One reliable indicator of longevity is warranty coverage. Ten-year warranties are fairly standard in the boxed mattress industry, but some brands offer 25-year or even lifetime warranties. In fact, three of the featured mattresses on this page have lifetime warranties.
The lifespan of a mattress depends a lot on the materials. High-density foam and latex beds lead the way in longevity, along with hybrids that use primarily foam or latex layers. (Keep in mind that memory foam’s defining characteristic is its ability to retain its original shape.) All-innerspring mattresses usually have the shortest lifespans, since metal coils tend to degrade and lose their springiness more quickly.
A high-quality bed in a box should last about as long as a comparable showroom mattress or an unboxed mattress ordered online. Skeptics might use terms like “squashing” and “stuffing” to describe the process, but in reality it involves high-tech precision machinery designed to compress and box the mattresses without damaging them.
Recap: Our Picks for Best Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses
|Nectar||Best Mattress for Back Pain||8.7/10|
|Casper||Best Mattress for Side Sleepers||8.7/10|
|Puffy Cloud||Best Mattress for Couples||9/10|
|Layla||Best Firm Mattress||8.8/10|
|Helix Midnight||Best Hybrid Mattress||8.7/10|
|GhostBed||Best Cooling Mattress||8.5/10|
|Brooklyn Signature Hybrid||Best for Customizable Firmness||8.8/10|
|Amerisleep AS3||Best Memory Foam Mattress||8.4/10|
|Tuft & Needle||Best Budget Mattress||8.7/10|
|Purple||Best Mattress for Neck Pain||8.4/10|
What is the best bed-in-a-box for side sleepers?
The Casper, Purple, and Brooklyn Signature Hybrid perform particularly well in testing categories important for side sleepers: spine alignment and pressure relief. We think Casper and Brooklyn Signature have a slight edge over Purple, and the tiebreaker is firmness.
|Spine Alignment||Pressure Relief||Firmness|
|Brooklyn Signature||8.5/10||9.5/10||4/10, 6/10, or 8/10|
Side sleepers need a firmness level that allows their hips and shoulders to sink slightly into the mattress, reducing the buildup of pressure on those areas. The Casper is just a bit less firm than the Purple, and the Brooklyn Signature’s firmness options include 4/10 and 6/10. With mattress firmness for side sleepers, even a small difference can make a big difference.
What is the best bed-in-a-box brand?
Three of the mattresses profiled here—Brooklyn Signature Hybrid, Puffy Cloud, and Casper—have Mattress Advisor scores of 8.7/10 or better, so you can make a strong case for their respective brands as industry leaders. Other top brands include Nectar, Helix, and Layla.
Of course, the bed-in-a-box market offers so many quality products nowadays that you no longer have to limit your choices to a handful of brands. Our advice is to compare top-rated mattresses based on your needs and priorities—your sleeping position, whether you’re a hot sleeper, your budget, and so on.
What is the best thickness for a bed-in-a-box?
As a general rule, we recommend that any mattress (bed-in-a-box included) be at least 10″ thick. A mattress thinner than 10″ is less likely to provide adequate support for the most comfortable night’s sleep.
Possible exceptions include mattresses that don’t get regular nightly use, such as mattresses for guest rooms and RV mattresses, in which case you can safely go a few inches thinner.
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