Best Bed in a Box Mattresses of 2022
May 12th, 2022 •
Getting a new mattress used to be an all-day hassle until somebody decided to think outside the box—or inside the box, actually. Today you can 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.
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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
- Best Firm Mattress – Layla
- Best Hybrid Mattress – Helix Midnight
- Best Cooling Mattress – GhostBed
- Best for Customizable Firmness – Brooklyn Signature
- 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
The multiple layers of memory foam combine to deliver great pressure relief, making the Nectar a good choice for people with hip pain and back pain. In fact, we gave this mattress an 8.5/10 in our Mattress Advisor pressure relief test.
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
The original Casper mattress is its most popular model in addition to being one of our favorite bed in a box products, and it is easy to see why. The memory foam layers work together to create a mattress that delivers solid spine alignment and pressure relief—a good combination for one of the 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
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.
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 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.
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
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
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
The Helix Midnight is the most popular Helix model, and for good reason. The foam/innerspring hybrid has the pressure relieving-qualities, spine alignment performance, and medium firmness to match up well with any sleeping position.
The Helix Midnight scores 8.75/10 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, which makes it a strong choice for restless sleepers who toss and turn away from the center of the mattress.
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
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 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.
Best for Customizable Firmness
- Choice of firmness levels (3)
- All sleep positions
- Hot sleepers
Choose your preference: Available in soft, medium or firm
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.
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 mattress review.
Best Memory Foam Mattress
- Couples with different sleep positions
- People with hip and back pain
- Those who want a durable mattress
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 8.75/10, meaning that your partner’s movements likely won’t disturb you in the night.
As you may have guessed with a name like Amerisleep, the AS3 mattress is made in the USA. 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
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.
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
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 relive pressure in your most sensitive areas, including the neck.
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 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.
- History of the Bed in a Box
- Pros and Cons of Buying a Bed in a Box
- Types of Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses
- What’s the Right Mattress for Your Sleep Position?
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.
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:
- 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? 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.
- 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, an online chat or phone call doesn’t compare with negotiating with a salesperson face-to-face.
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 memory foam’s tendency to retain your body heat makes it problematic for those who sleep hot.
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 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 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.
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 need a softer 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 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.
- Back sleepers 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Unpacking 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 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
- 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.
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 Top Picks for Best Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses
|Nectar||Best Mattress for Back Pain||8.5/10|
|Casper||Best Mattress for Side Sleepers||9.1/10|
|Puffy||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||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, and Casper—have Mattress Advisor scores of 8.8/10 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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