Some of the best things in life come in a box: chocolates, jewelry, wine… OK, maybe not all the best things.

One thing’s for sure, though: Bed-in-a-box mattress popularity is on the rise.

It may seem a little strange — how do they squish an entire mattress in a reasonably sized box? Mattresses in a box can actually be pretty high quality and super comfy.

Sold on the idea? We’ve rounded up some of the best options. Plus, we chatted with Sarah Moe — founder and CEO of Sleep Health Specialists — to learn more about them.

Along with meeting tight standards set by our medical team (like that companies meet federal flammability requirements and don’t make phony health claims), here are some other things we took into consideration when rounding up our winners:

  • Ratings. We only included boxed mattresses that scored high with online reviewers.
  • Comfort. Our picks are comfortable and cozy, according to reviewers.
  • Ease of setup. We combed carefully through reviews to find choices reviewers say are quick and easy.
  • Intended use. We included picks for a few different scenarios, preferences, and lifestyle choices like firmness, sleep style, and price point.
  • Warranty. Most of these mattresses come with at least a 10-year limited warranty.
  • In-home trials. Most of our picks all include free trial periods so you can test out the mattress before you give two thumbs up.

Pricing guide

Prices will differ depending on the size of your mattress. We based our pricing guide on a standard queen mattress.

  • $ = under $800
  • $$ = $800–$1,150
  • $$$ = over $1,150

Best custom mattresses in a box

Helix Plus Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 12 inches

It can be tough to pick a mattress that keeps you and your sleep partner happy. Helix offers a match for your specific sleep needs like firmness options and size through their sleep quiz.

This mattress seems to work well for couples with varying preferences, like side or back sleep preferences and size needs (tall, short, etc.). You can also choose from features like soft, medium, or firm feel (medium is the most popular pick), body contouring, pressure relief, and more.

Reviewers say it’s comfortable and easy to set up, while some have noticed a chemical odor that they’re less than pleased with.

Helix mattresses come with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.

Buy the Helix Plus Mattress online.

Best all-foam mattress in a box

Casper Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 11 inches

This mattress in a box is both supportive and soft. Casper’s CertiPUR-US certified foam is developed to conform to your body, relieving pressure points. In fact, this mattress has different “zones” of support to promote proper alignment of your spine.

For example, the foam around the shoulders is softer, providing more support to the upper body while the foam under the waist, hips, and lower back is firmer, helping your spine into better alignment.

This mattress has a slew of positive reviews, from everything like “easy to purchase” and comfortable, while a sliver of the unsatisfied reviewers say they need something firmer.

Casper offers a 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty.

Buy the Casper Original Mattress online.

Best mattress in a box for all sleep types

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 11 inches

Whether you prefer to sleep on your side or back, the Nectar Mattress is said to satisfy all sleep types. It’s especially great for those who prefer the soft comfort of a foam mattress without the “sinkage” they tend to come with.

Nectar goes the extra mile with other benefits too. It offers one of the longest mattress trials at 365 nights and a “forever” warranty.

Although boxed mattresses are known for how easy they are to set up, Nectar also offers a white glove service if you prefer that it’s set up for you. They can even drag away your old mattress if you’d like. To make this pick a more budget-friendly choice, finance options are available as well.

It was tough to dig up a less than satisfactory review on this mattress, but one reviewer mentioned wishing it kept them a bit cooler throughout the night.

Buy the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress online.

Most supportive mattress in a box

The Purple Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 9.25 inches

Reviewers with back pain swear by this durable mattress. Its grid design is developed to flex under pressure, so hips and shoulders are embraced as your back is totally supported. The Purple Mattress is made in the United States and ranked first place in customer satisfaction for bed-in-a-box mattresses by J.D. Power in 2019.

This mattress lands toward the top of our price guide, but the company does offer financing options as well as a 100-night trial and 10-year limited warranty.

Buy the Purple Mattress online.

Best mattress in a box for stellar customer service

Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 10 inches

This humble mattress boasts just two layers of foam. They’re open-cell foam layers infused with graphite and cooling gel to allow for even temps throughout the night.

This mattress is a lower-cost pick that comes with a 10-year limited warranty and a 100-night trial. However, there doesn’t seem to be free shipping available, which others on our list seem to offer regularly.

The mattress is made for durability and all sleep types, although some complaints about the edges have surfaced, with some noticing that they could offer a bit more support.

Customer service is where this pick truly shines, with very few issues reported and honorable mentions given to the friendly representatives.

Bonus: This mattress is free of harmful chemicals and is Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certified, meaning the mattresses are third-party tested and certified to be free of dangerous chemicals, materials, or substances.

Buy the Tuft & Needle Original Mattress online.

Softest mattress in a box

Leesa Original Mattress

  • Price: $$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 10 inches

This handcrafted,all-foam mattress has a soft twill cover designed for a cozy night’s sleep. The mattress also offers body contouring and pressure-relieving support.

Leesa says that it also provides a base layer that gives both support and durability for all sleep positions and body types. Its mattresses are made-to-order in the United States and come with a 10–year warranty, 100-night trial, as well as financing options.

While reviewers seem to be satisfied overall, chemical smell is a criticism that several box mattresses have a hard time dodging. This mattress is no exception, with a few complaints from reviewers.

Buy Leesa Original Mattress online.

Best rated mattress in a box

Puffy Lux Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Foam
  • Height: 12 inches

This mattress is made in the United States, and it’s best described by reviewers as “like sleeping on a cloud.” Its supportive foam layers — all CertiPUR-US certified — are said to adjust to your pressure points.

The mattress is also designed for all types of sleepers and is cooling thanks to its gel foam layer.

It comes with a stain-resistant OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified cover, which you can zip off and throw in the washing machine. Plus, you’ll get a 101-night trial and a lifetime warranty.

Buy the Puffy Lux Mattress online.

Best hybrid mattress in a box

Sealy Mattress-in-a-Box

  • Price: $
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 8, 10, or 12 inches

This Sealy mattress offers a combo of responsive coil support and body contouring memory foam comfort. This pick features a top layer of foam made to adapt and respond to your shape, while still offering traditional support from coils.

Reviewers do mention a chemical smell and also point out that because of the coil layer, it can’t be flipped (although it can be rotated). This mattress comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty.

Buy the Sealy Mattress-in-a-Box online.

Most eco-friendly mattress in a box

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Height: 11 or 13 inches

This comfy, pillow top hybrid mattress has 1,414 pocketed support coils between two layers of organic certified latex rubber foam.

It’s made using organic wool and cotton and topped with a plush, bouncy surface layer. This mattress is covered with organic fabric as well and is made without polyester, polyurethane foams, or toxic fire retardants.

Avocado offers a 1-year trial, a 25-year warranty, and financing. Each mattress is handmade in the United States.

One thing to note: These mattresses fall on the firmer side, which disappointed a few reviewers.

Buy the Avocado Green Mattress online.

Sarah Moe — founder and CEO of Sleep Health Specialists — tells us the quality of most bed-in-a-box mattresses are quite impressive.

“The technological advances in the last decade have led to these being a truly comfortable game-changer when it comes to a good night’s sleep,” Moe says.

Moe says the stigma around boxed mattresses is misleading.

“Don’t assume that they are of lesser quality just because it came from a box,” she says.

Moe tells us that all mattresses that come in the “online in a box” format are going to have their pros and cons.

“It’s important to understand what matters most to your body and comfort when shopping,” she says.

For example, consider your favorite sleeping positions.

What to look for if you’re a side sleeper

For side sleepers, Moe says to look for a mattress that will adjust to support your hips. Side sleepers also usually do well with a softer mattress to ease pressure points.

What to look for if you’re a back or stomach sleeper

If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you’ll want a mattress that aligns your spine and supports your neck. You might want to look for a medium-firm or firm mattress.

What to look for if you’re a combination sleeper

“If you flop around all night,” Moe says, “consider a memory foam to help cradle and comfort your body.”

Survey your options

One way to pinpoint your preferences if you’re not sure is to do some research in person.

“There are plenty of showrooms in malls and such that will allow you to try out different types of beds before committing,” Moe says.

Be sure to try them all and keep an open mind. “Just because you’ve been a ‘firm mattress’ sleeper your entire life doesn’t mean your body still agrees with you!” Moe says.

“As we age, other factors such as sleep apnea and acid reflux can be damaging our sleep. Consider a mattress that is adjustable to elevate the head of your bed, as this may alleviate some of these issues,” she says.

Finally, Moe explains that if you’ve tried countless mattresses and are still having nonrestorative sleep, consider getting a sleep study. “Your mattress may not be the problem!”

There are four main types of mattresses. Although many boxed mattresses are made entirely of foam, you can find some other options on the market as well.

Foam

These are commonly made of memory foam or latex. Memory foam has great motion isolation, meaning you won’t feel much movement from the other side of the bed. It tends to conform to your body, which some people like and some don’t.

Latex tends to be springier than memory foam. It’s also more eco-friendly since natural latex is made from rubber trees. Memory foam is made from crude oil.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are the old-school style of mattress. They consist of a layer of steel coils or springs with a thin layer of foam or other cushioning materials on top. They’re usually pretty springy and tend to have less motion isolation than foam mattresses. Depending on the springs, they can also be noisy.

Learn more about the differences between foam and innerspring mattresses.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are a cross between foam and innerspring mattresses. They’re usually a good choice for people who like the cushioning of foam but still want the support of springs.

Learn more about the differences between hybrid and foam mattresses.

Air adjustable

These mattresses are filled with air chambers that can be inflated or deflated until you reach your desired firmness level.

Generally, these are the steps you should take as you unbox your new mattress:

  1. Open the box.
  2. Slide the package out of the box, letting the mattress stay in its plastic wrap.
  3. Set the whole mattress on your bed frame or wherever you’d like the mattress to be.
  4. Carefully open the plastic cover, preferably without using scissors or any other sharp item to avoid damaging the mattress.
  5. Allow 1 to 2 days for the mattress to take full shape.

Keep in mind that it may take time for your new mattress to fully take shape.

“Remember this when you set up your delivery date, so you don’t get rid of your current mattress too soon and end up sleeping on the couch,” Moe says.

Are boxed mattresses comfortable?

Yes, boxed mattresses can be very comfortable. Just be sure to give them enough time to expand fully before you sleep on them.

Are boxed mattresses as good as traditional mattresses?

They can be! Don’t let the packaging fool you — you can get a quality mattress in a box just like you can get a quality traditional mattress.

Since you usually won’t be trying these mattresses in a store before you make a purchase, be sure to choose a brand that allows you a free sleep trial. That way, if you don’t like the mattress, you can return it.

Why do boxed mattresses off-gas?

Many boxed mattresses are made of memory foam, which is responsible for that “new mattress” smell. The smell comes from the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Even though they still have a definite smell, mattresses made with CertiPUR-US foam are certified not to contain harmful chemicals.

The popularity of mattresses in a box is on the rise for good reason — many are comfortable, customizable, and affordable.

Consider your needs, do your research, and test some out safely if you can.


Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle, and entertainment.