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It’s the age of the internet, and shopping for a new mattress has never been easier. Not only are there loads of options out there to choose from, but many mattress companies will ship it right to your front door, and take care of your old mattress for you.
That means no more awkwardly testing out beds in a department store or heaving your old mattress down the stairs and into a dumpster. And if you’re worried about how comfortable a boxed mattress will be, you might be pleasantly surprised. Bed-in-a-box mattresses have grown so popular that the industry alone is now valued at $1 billion.
The difficulty with boxed beds is knowing which one is going to be the best mattress in a box for you. There are so many brands and materials to choose from. This is why, as your friendly online mattress adviser, I set out to curate this list.
The title of best mattress in a box overall goes to the Casper Original mattress. It’s arguably the bed-in-a-box mattress that popularized the craze, and for good reason. It has a generally comfortable feel most people can enjoy, an accommodating medium firmness level and a zoned support layer that provides added pressure relief and support where you need it. But I’ve also included other recommendations for the best mattress in a box for all types of sleepers, fromover 230 pounds to the best in a box.
All of the beds mentioned on this list come with free shipping and returns, and risk-free trials, which lowers the stakes of blindly making a purchase online. We’ll update this best bed list periodically.
Note all prices shown below are for. You can also check out new deals on the best beds on our page.
Video: Best Mattress in a Box
Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best mattresses in a box.
Poly foam mattress
6 out of 10 or medium
10-year limited warranty
Casper is one of the best-known bed in a box brands in the mattress game. It’s become such a popular mattress company that it’s broken out of the online box mattress market and into the aisles of popular retail stores like Target. One of the best things about the Casper Original is its neutral, nonconforming feel. It’s not like memory foam, which takes a few moments for the foam mattress to bounce back to normal after applying pressure to it. If you’re a combination sleeper, like me, this Casper mattress makes it easier to switch positions throughout the night.
Another plus about this mattress in a box is its “zoned support” construction. The middle layer of the foam mattress bed is split into three sections; the top and bottom sections are soft to offer pressure relief, while the middle section is more firm to support your back and promote proper spinal alignment. Most 11-inch foam mattresses don’t come with this feature and it helps set it apart from the sea of other bed in a box mattresses.
I also appreciate the firmness profile of this mattress. It’s not too soft, nor is it too firm. There is ample support for my back, but at the same time, this mattress type is soft enough to cradle my shoulders and trunk. With that said, I think this foam mattress is ideal for every sleeper position whether it’s side, back, stomach or a combination of them all. Read more in our full Casper Original mattress review or check out our list of the best budget mattresses to see more options.
The Casper Original is available in sizes twin through California king and its retail prices range from $805 to $1,520.
The Bear Original is a bed in a box mattress unlike most others, and at the same time has a price tag lower than most of its competitors. This memory foam mattress is fitted with a Celliant-infused cover, a type of material that’s meant to boost blood circulation and promote muscle repair. It was one of the first mattresses to use this technology, and is popular among athletes like runners, weight lifters and swimmers.
However, you don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy this mattress. It offers a great value; it’s a quality mattress at a real wallet-friendly price tag. It’s also comfortable. It has a mixed memory foam feel that nestles your body and offers pressure relief to your joints without giving you a sink in feel. It’s a bit more springy like neutral-foam is.
I’d rate the Bear Original bed in a box in between a medium to medium-firm, or a six out of 10 on the firmness scale. It’s great for back and stomach sleepers, but some side sleepers can get away with it if they’re more like combo sleepers.
The Bear Original mattress is available in all standard sizes. Prices start at $748 for a twin and go up to $1,284 for a California king. However, Bear and most online mattress brands run promos often so you can get the mattress for even cheaper.
Flippable memory foam mattress
Firm: Medium to medium-firm or 6 | Soft: 3 or medium-soft
For most side sleepers, there’s nothing like the feeling of a plush, pressure-relieving Layla mattress. A firm mattress in a box can push into your side and throw off the natural curvature of your spine, so if you primarily sleep on your side (or sides), you typically want a softer mattress for your bed that’ll cradle and contour your body’s curves.
Laying down on the Layla bed in a box mattress makes soft memory foam mattress lovers sigh in relief as you sink into the light and airy top foam comfort layer, which is why I had to add it to the best mattress in a box list. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out it was flippable; both sides were meant to be slept on. One side of the bed has a softer profile, while the flip side has more of a medium firm or middle-of-the-road feel. This gives you two chances to find your perfect sleep firmness level; if you don’t like one side, all you have to do is flip it over. I preferred the “firm” side because I’m a combo sleeper, but the “soft” side is extra plush for strict side sleepers or lightweight body types looking for a softer mattress.
It’s a foam mattress, so it’s best for people who weigh under 230 pounds. However, Layla does offer a hybrid mattress model that offers similar features with a more supportive construction.
The Layla bed in a box mattress is available in sizes twin to California king and its retail prices range from $1,099 to $1,699.
7 or medium-firm with the pillow top (9 or firm without)
25-year limited warranty
Like organic produce or cosmetics, you can also find natural and organic mattresses that are safer for your body and manufactured more sustainably. The Avocado Green mattress made this list as the best mattress in a box made with organic materials and it’s perfect for eco-friendly mattress brand shoppers. Right away, the mattress material has an earthy vibe with its natural, beige-colored cover and green trim. It also has a more organic, outdoorsy smell than other bed-in-box mattresses I’ve tested, which have an off-gassing odor right when you pull them out of the box.
The bread and butter of this mattress in a box is its certified organic materials. You can find organic Dunlop latex foam in Avocado’s comfort layer, which is made from the baked sap of a Brazilian rubber tree. It may sound strange, but this latex mattress foam is bouncy, supportive and breathable — essentially the exact opposite of traditional memory foam.
Allergy sufferers can also rejoice because the material is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. Materials like organic latex foam, organic cotton and organic wool are naturally resistant to microbes, meaning household allergens like dust mites, mildew or mold are unable to grow inside. There are up to 3,136 pocketed coils made from recycled steel and the pocket spring layer tends to promote good airflow.
It’s a firm bed in a box, rated a medium-firm with the pillow top and firm without. So it’s the most ideal box mattress for people who favor their back or stomach when they sleep. Though, I think it’ll be supportive for any body type, whether you weigh 110 or 240 pounds. Read more in our full Avocado Green mattress review or check out our list of the best organic mattresses to see more options.
The Avocado Green mattress is available in sizes twin to California king and its retail prices range from $1,199 to $2,299.
Memory foam hybrid
7 or Medium-firm
20-year prorated warranty
If you primarily sleep on your back and/or stomach, you typically want a medium to firm mattress that provides proper support. Otherwise, you risk waking up with back pain because your lower back was sagging into a mattress that was too soft. The AS2 Hybrid is a bed in a box specifically designed with support in mind, and is great for people who suffer from back pain for that reason.
The AS2 Hybrid comes from Amerisleep, which has eight memory foam mattresses ranging from soft to firm. The AS2 Hybrid lands on the firmer end of the scale around a medium-firm. It dubs it the best for back sleepers on its website and I’d have to agree. I’d also include stomach sleepers. Its foam-comfort layers mold around the curves of your body, but this hybrid mattress still feels firm enough to keep your spine in neutral alignment.
It’s also reinforced with additional support from the pocketed coil foundation layer below, making it accommodating for all body types (lightweight to 230 pounds plus). Not to mention, these coils are extra dense on the left and right sides to improve edge support for couples.
The cherry on top of the AS2 Hybrid mattress in a box is its machine-washable cover. Surprisingly, many of the bed-in-box mattresses I’ve tested don’t come with removable or machine-washable covers. Though I wouldn’t say the cover and mattress are cooling, as it infers on the website.
The AS2 Hybrid bed in a box is available in sizes twin to split king and its retail prices range from $899 to $2,048.
Memory foam hybrid mattress
7 or medium-firm
15-year limited warranty
There are a lot of hybrid mattress in a box models out there that suit larger and taller sleepers, but Helix Plus stands out as one of the best for a number of reasons. For one, this hybrid mattress bad boy is one hefty memory foam mattress bed, standing at 13 inches tall with “XL Wrapped Coils” in the foundation layer. If you weigh over 230 pounds, support and durability are characteristics that should be high on your mattress type list. The Helix mattress checks both of those boxes.
It seems it wanted to make it comfortable for all sleeper positions whether it was back, side, stomach or combination. If you have a plus-size body type, this mattress will likely feel like a medium on a soft-to-firm rating scale, whereas it feels more like a firm mattress for lighter individuals.
The feel was really comfortable and neutral — it wasn’t like memory foam where you slowly sink into the layers and create a body impression. It’s bouncy, responsive and pressure-relieving, making it easy for combination sleepers to switch positions without feeling “stuck” in the foam mattress layers.
Another great thing about this bed in a box mattress is its price. Often, thick and supportive hybrid mattresses get a little pricey. This bed in a box mattress, however, has an amazing value (especially if Helix is running a promotion). Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews or check out our list of the best mattresses for heavy sleepers to see more options.
It’s available in sizes twin to California king and its retail prices range from $849 to $1,899.
Poly foam hybrid mattress
5 or medium
15-year limited warranty
Finding a mattress in a box that’s perfect for you is hard enough, let alone a bed that accommodates two different sleepers. This is the trouble some couples face during their mattress hunt: One person is a petite side sleeper looking for a plush mattress, the other is a heavy firm mattress bed lover who’d rather sleep on the floor than a fluffy bed. The trick is to find a comfortable, widely accommodating mattress like Helix Midnight Luxe.
Helix Sleep is similar to Amerisleep in that it wants to make a mattress for everyone and Helix has its own Sleep Quiz to match you with one of its 10-plus beds. The Midnight Luxe model is its thick, premium hybrid foam mattress offering, which contains six layers and stands at 14 inches tall. This makes it a comfy mattress for any body type, regardless of how much your significant other weighs.
The Helix Midnight Luxe hybrid bed in a box mattress has a middle-of-the-road firmness level that will appeal to all sleeper positions: back, side, stomach and combination. I’m in love with the feel of this Helix mattress bed. It’s not like memory foam, which some couples can disagree about, but it’s responsive and soft. The large pillow-top on Helix Midnight Luxe gives it a fluffy, luxurious feel and look that you just want to dive into. Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews.
The Helix Luxe is available in sizes twin to California king and retail prices range from $1,099 to $2,299.
Memory foam hybrid mattress
5 or medium
25-year limited warranty
When you are a hot sleeper, there’s almost nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with a moist shirt and a sweaty forehead. It also doesn’t help that a significant number of mattress brands falsely market their mattresses as cool-sleeping.
I’m happy to report that the GhostBed Luxe is actually a cooling mattress. When I touched the top of the mattress for the first time, it literally felt cold. Your sheet on top will neutralize the feel a little, but that cooling sensation still peeks through. As someone who sleeps hot every night, the GhostBed Luxe mattress brand was definitely able to provide hot sleeper relief.
Aside from its cooling abilities, this is one of the thicker foam mattresses on the market, sitting at 13 inches high. This means most people, including heavier sleepers over 230 pounds, will get more longevity and support from this than other foam mattresses, which are typically 10 to 11 inches tall. I also think it has a medium firmness level, because it offered good pressure relief for my hips and shoulders when I slept on my side, but it also felt supportive enough when I was on my back or stomach.
The top layers are made with memory foam so you do get that conforming, quicksand-like feel on this bed. Though unlike a lot of traditional memory foam mattress models, this top layered foam mattress should keep you feeling much cooler. Check out our list of the best cooling mattresses to see more options.
The GhostBed Luxe bed in a box is available in sizes twin to California king and retail prices range from $1,198 to $2,595.
Memory foam mattress
5 or medium
I know there are some die-hard memory foam mattress fans out there who love the hugging, conforming feel that memory foam provides. Nectar Premier, the brand’s upper-level foam option, does just that. This Nectar mattress is dense and takes a few seconds for your whole body to be cocooned by the material. While this Nectar mattress is not as soft as Nectar Lush, the bed that Nectar Premier was designed to replace, it feels really pressure relieving against your joints.
We rated this Nectar memory foam mattress around a medium to medium-firm, making it a good mattress for most sleeping positions including back, stomach, side, and combination. It’s supportive, but that contouring memory foam feel gives it a cozy, plush feel we didn’t necessarily expect.
The Nectar Premier is 13 inches thick, solely made out of foam and it’s one of the thicker foam beds we’ve tested out (the average is around 10 inches). I think this foam mattress is best for individuals who weigh under 230 pounds, but with that being said, some larger body types can get away with it if a foam bed is what you’re after.
Some memory-foam mattresses are known for sleeping hot, but Nectar Premier is designed with a cool cover. Admittedly, it doesn’t sleep cold, but we do think this Nectar mattress helps regulate temperature better than your typical memory foam bed.
The Nectar Premier is available in sizes twin to split king and retail prices range from $799 to $1,698. Keep in mind, though, Nectar is usually running a promotion that adds free accessories and drops the price around $500. Read more in our full Nectar Premier mattress review or check out our list of the best memory foam mattresses to see more options.
Editor’s note: The US Product Safety Commission recently issued a recall for Nectar Premier king and queen-sized mattresses manufactured on Sept. 24, 2021. Look for a model number CHILL and Prototype ID:ECS2003RHCH on a tag on the bottom of your mattress to find out if yours has been recalled. We have reached out to Nectar for comment and will update the story if they respond.
3 firmness levels | Medium-soft or 3 | Medium or 5 | Medium-firm or 7
Aside from being one of the most beautiful beds I’ve ever seen, the WinkBed is also very comfortable and reminiscent of a luxury hotel mattress. It combines two mattress characteristics everyone wants: support and pressure relief. The foundation layer is made with strong pocketed steel coils with zones meant to be softer and firmer where you need it. Then, the several foam layers and fluffy pillow top make it feel plush and incredibly inviting.
There are three firmness levels to choose from, giving each sleeping position a chance to cater to their specific needs. Side sleepers can opt for the “Softer” option, which feels more like a medium-soft, while back and stomach sleepers will probably find the “Luxury Firm” or “Firm” models more comfortable. The firmer the mattress, the more support it’s going to offer. Though, whichever you choose, your bed will come with a lifetime warranty, an impressive offer that speaks to the durability of the mattress. Read our full WinkBed mattress review.
Purple has sent shockwaves through the bed in a box industry with its one-of-a-kind Purple mattress (the material inside is really purple). It’s made with a gel-like material called hyper-elastic polymer, which is soft, supportive and extremely durable all at the same time.
Laying down on the Purple Hybrid mattress makes you feel like you’re floating. You can slightly feel the little gel-like squares shifting under your body, but it’s something you get used to because the bed is so comfortable. It’s definitely best for people who have more of an open mind, but Purple is popular for a reason. I personally know several people who sleep on the Purple who really love it.
Not only is it comfortable, but it’s also a cool-sleeping mattress. It doesn’t have any material actively cooling you down, but the Purple Grid’s hyper-elastic polymer doesn’t retain heat and promotes a ton of airflow. It’s rated around a medium-firm on the firmness scale, making it a great pick for stomach and back sleepers who need a firmer bed. It’s also accommodating for all body types.
Prices for the Purple Hybrid start at $1,899 for a twin and go up to $2,899 for a California king. However, that’s without discounts applied. Read more in our Purple mattress review.
Other mattresses we’ve tested
Our CNET Sleep editors put together this list by rounding up their favorite picks from the more than 100 mattresses they’ve tested. While this list highlights some of the best, there are several quality mattresses that were close to making it and deserve an honorable mention.
: One of the most popular bed in a box mattresses on the market is the (non-Hybrid) Purple bed. You either love it or it’s a little too different for you. Its main comfort material is hyper-elastic polymer, which is gel-like and extremely springy. It makes you feel like you’re floating, but you can slightly feel the grid of small squares shifting underneath you as you move. It feels pleasant and comfy, and appeals to most sleeping positions, but it’s unlike any mattress you’ve slept on before. Feel free to reach out to Purple for a sample of its special hyper-elastic polymer material.
: Like Casper and Purple, Tuft & Needle started off as a bed in a box brand, but has since become so well-known and well-received that you can find the brand’s products in popular brick-and-mortar bedding stores. It’s a simple and affordable two-layer mattress with a generally comfortable neutral foam feel. It’s great if you’re looking for a safe pick that won’t break the bank.
: Brooklyn Bedding manufactures its own mattresses, something many mattress brands don’t do. It’s for this reason I think it’s able to sell its beds at such great prices. Its Signature mattress is a basic but quality hybrid mattress with a supportive pocketed-coil base layer. This makes it ideal for all body types. In addition to that, its three firmness level options make it appealing to all sleeping positions.
: DreamCloud offers luxurious mattresses you can barely believe came out of a box. I personally know two people who sleep on a DreamCloud mattress and they love it. It’s made with pocketed coils in the base layer for added support, and memory foam that’s more responsive than the typical material. Not to mention, it’s made with premium materials that make it up to par with luxury hotel mattresses.
How we test
CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
We test bed in a box mattresses the same way we test any mattress. In fact, most of the beds I’ve personally tested are online beds. Some of the primary features we look for when testing are:
- Firmness: After testing the mattresses, we can determine how hard or soft we think a mattress feels. We use a one to 10 scale with 10 being the firmest and mattress industry terms to describe the firmness. This includes the soft to firm scale, including medium, medium-firm and medium-soft. Firmness helps determine the type of sleeping position the bed is best for.
- Feel: Feel is different than firmness. This refers to the way you perceive a mattress when you lay down; what do all the materials together feel like? Many beds boast a slow-responding memory foam feel, others have more of a neutral feel. Some beds have a mixed foam feel that offers the best of both worlds. Whatever it is, we’ll describe it in detail for you considering you can’t feel the bed over the internet.
- Construction: We take a deep look at the construction of each mattress and the materials it uses. This helps determine how durable a mattress will be and the kind of body type the bed will be most suitable for.
- Motion isolation: Nobody wants a mattress where you can feel your partner’s every move. We test motion isolation by lying on a mattress with our partner, or placing a glass full of water at the end of a mattress to see how much it moves when we bounce around.
- Edge support: If you co-sleep with somebody, you want a strong mattress edge so you don’t feel like you’re going to roll off if you end up near the side. We lay on each edge and bounce to see how sturdy it feels.
- Temperature: We test how hot a mattress sleeps by using our own experience on the mattress. We utilize hot sleepers who offer their knowledgeable perspective and will even pull out the temperature gun if we have to. Materials largely influence how hot a mattress is going to sleep.
Read more on.
What to consider when buying a bed in a box mattress
When you’re looking for a new bed to replace your old mattress, there are a few key things to consider: your favorite, your body type, relevant health conditions, materials and your budget. Your most dominant sleeping position should help dictate your best bed mattress type and of your bed. Your weight, on the other hand, should help you determine whether you’d be OK on a foam mattress, or if you should opt for the extra support of a bed. Your budget will help you narrow down the best mattress in a box type you have the means to spend money on. Lastly, different health conditions require different mattress needs, and materials help determine whether or not you’ll find the bed comfortable.
- Side sleepers usually sleep best on medium to soft mattresses. They typically need a bed that gives underneath the shoulders and hips to prevent joint pain and offer pressure relief.
- Back and stomach sleepers may want to consider medium to firm beds that provide back and spinal support. Soft mattresses that give may cause back pain.
- Combination sleepers should cater to their dominant position, or go for a bed with a medium profile that offers both support and pressure relief.
- The heavier you are, the softer a mattress is going to be and the more support you’ll need. Hybrid mattresses tend to be the best for individuals over 230 pounds because steel is stronger and more durable than foam. Foam mattresses, on the other hand, won’t be as supportive or long-lasting.
- Average to petite individuals can sleep just fine on a foam or hybrid mattress. Just remember, the lighter you are, the firmer a bed is going to feel.
- Hot sleepers or women suffering from menopause should opt for a cool sleeping mattress. Either a bed like which is made with a special gel-like material that offers airflow and doesn’t retain heat, or a bed like that has special cooling tech throughout the bed.
- Those with arthritis or joint pain should consider a pressure-relieving mattress on the medium to soft side that cradles the pressure points and offers relief.
- People who suffer from back pain may sleep most comfortably on a medium-firm mattress profile. It offers ample support and pressure relief at the same time, to prevent the back from sagging and cradle pressure points.
- Memory foam is typically a pressure-relieving material and responds slowly to pressure for a hugging, conforming feel. However, it can be hard to switch positions on, especially if you’re a combination sleeper.
- Latex foam is either synthetic, or naturally sourced from the sap of tropical rubber trees. Latex foam beds are bouncy, durable and supportive. They are also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The downsides? Natural and organic latex mattresses can be pricey, and they aren’t as good as memory foam at isolating motion.
- Poly foam is a synthetic foam that bounces more than memory foam but is more soft than latex foam. Most comfy couch cushions are made with this foam. it’s breathable and affordable, but may not be as durable as other foams.
- Innersprings or coils are found in traditional and hybrid mattresses. They make a bed more supportive and durable.
- You can find mattresses at just about any price point. Cheap bed-in-box mattresses can go for a few hundred dollars.
- The average bed in a box is around $850 to $1,200.
- Premium beds that are of the highest quality or designed with extra bells and whistles usually go for over $1,200.
Frequently asked questions
The term “bed in a box” encompasses mattresses that are compressed and rolled up inside of a cardboard box. The concept has blown up in the last five-plus years because of how much more convenient the online process is.
What is the best mattress in a box?
Some of the best mattresses that come in a box include the Casper mattress, Purple mattress, Nectar mattress, Helix mattress and Avocado mattress. They’re some of the biggest names with the most popular mattresses, and for good reason.
How often do mattresses in a box last?
Just because your bed is delivered inside of a box, it doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. Your average mattress in a box should last around seven to eight years, and even longer if you have a hybrid mattress with coils.
How will I know when I need a new mattress?
If you’re waking up with back pain you didn’t go to bed with the night before, that’s a good indicator. Also keep a lookout for sags, deep imprints, body impressions and the overall quality of your bed. If you bought your mattress a decade ago, it’s probably time to replace your original mattress with a new bed.
How soon do I need to unbox my new mattress?
You can wait a few days to a week to unbox your new mattress, but brands suggest you unbox within one to two months to avoid damages. You should also give it a few days to fully decompress and inflate, but you’re able to sleep on it in the meantime.
Where do I buy a ‘bed in a box’ mattress?
Most bed-in-box mattresses are sold online through the different brands’ websites, but the most popular brands like Casper and Purple can be purchased in popular retail stores such as Target or Costco.
How much does a bed in a box cost?
There’s a wide spectrum of bed in a box mattresses prices from budget to luxury. Most fall within these ranges:
- Budget: around $200 to $600
- Average: around $700 to $1,200
- Affordable luxury: around $1,300 to $1,800
- Luxury: around $1,900 and up
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.