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The Best Mattresses in a Box To Order Online in 2022

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Buying a new mattress or new bed can be a stressful experience. Most people spend about a third of their lives in bed. If that time is uncomfortable or unpleasant, the other two-thirds will probably not be much fun. Luckily, you can order a high-quality yet affordable bed-in-a-box online and toss your uncomfortable old mattress to the curb.

A mattress in a box may not sound super comfy. However, the best mattress in a box is a high-tech, space-age piece of technology designed to be as comfortable as possible. The best option we found was Layla mattresses. However, several other brands with various features, price ranges, and more are available.

Best Mattress in a Box

We’ve found the best mattress-in-a-box brands for you and broken down the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you make the best choice.

1. Layla - Best Mattress in a Box Overall - Ranking 4.9/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping in continental 48 states.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Hybrid and memory foam options.
  • Each side of foam mattresses has different firmness.
  • Copper provides antimicrobial and temperature-regulating properties.

Cons

  • The lifetime warranty only applies to foam mattresses.

Who Should Try Layla?

Layla is a great all-around option for many different types of sleepers. You’ll find a mix of the best mattress-in-a-box options, including hybrid and memory foam mattresses. Layla adds copper gel to the mix, adding benefits like an antimicrobial effect and temperature regulation.

Some mattress companies provide options for firmness, but Nolah gives you two mattresses in one. The mattresses are double-sided, with one side offering more firm support than the other. As a result, you can simply flip your bed to find the right firmness for your needs.

You can also wholly outfit yourself with bases, pillows, and whatever you need. If you live in the continental US and order your Layla mattress online, you can also benefit from free shipping and their 100-night warranty.

Who Shouldn’t Try Layla?

Layla is great for many options, but we might not recommend this mattress company if you struggle with chronic injuries. They don’t offer latex mattresses, which are better for relieving pressure points and pain.

Additionally, the double-sided firmness of Layla mattresses is the only firmness option available. They top out at medium-firm, so you may want to look elsewhere if you’re after a genuinely supportive mattress.

Layla Ranking: 4.9/5

Size - 5/5

Layla offers a full range of sizes in memory foam and hybrid mattresses.

Durability - 5/5

When well cared for, both options should last you for years.

Comfort - 4.75/5

It’s a comfortable mattress, though some customers mentioned problems with temperature regulation.

Price - 5/5

Layla’s mattress price range is similar to other mattresses in a box.

Summary

Layla offers a great mixture of options for all types, whether you’re buying for hot sleepers or like to sleep under a pile of blankets. It may not be the best option if you’re concerned about pressure points. However, you can also find sheets, covers, bases, and other accessories for your new comfy bed.

>>Check the best price for Layla

2. Nolah - Best Mattress in a Box for Side Sleepers - Ranking 4.8/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping.
  • Two free pillows with each order.
  • Latex, memory foam, and hybrid mattresses are available.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Natural and organic mattresses are available.

Cons

  • More expensive than some options.

Who Should Try Nolah?

Side sleepers may want to give Nolah mattresses a try. They offer several options, including a hybrid bed with a latex topper and memory foam layers helping to relieve pressure points associated with sleeping on your side. Free shipping and a warranty mean you can order online without worry.

They only offer a handful of choices, but those choices provide a wide range of options. You can find a bed in a box for children and adults with Nolah. The kid’s mattress, Nurture, offers different firmness on either side. Some other mattress options allow you to choose your firmness, but not all of them.

Several options, like the Nolah Evolution, come with zones of increased support for your back, reducing back pain. Nolah offers pillows, bed frames, and other accessories, including two free pillows with the order of a mattress.

Who Shouldn’t Try Nolah?

Many of Nolah’s mattresses include latex, so we wouldn’t recommend this mattress company if you have a latex allergy. Even their organic option uses natural latex. In particular, you may want to find another option for your kids, as regular exposure can lead to an allergy developing [1].

Nolah Ranking: 4.8/5

Size - 5/5

Nolah offers a complete range of standard sizes.

Durability - 4.8/5

Using a mix of materials, Nolah beds are well-made and should last years.

Comfort - 5/5

The combination of materials allows good support, relief of pressure, and temperature regulation.

Price - 4.6/5

Nolah’s mattresses have a higher price range than others on our list.

Summary

Nolah mattresses use natural latex and other materials like natural cotton to offer absolute comfort. In particular, latex mattresses can relieve the pressure associated with sleeping on your side. Nolah provides a soft, luxury firm, and firm mattress option. Hot sleepers may want to pay for more expensive options to get the temperature-regulating Euro topper.

>>Check the best price for Nolah

 3. DreamCloud Sleep - Best Budget Mattress in a Box - Ranking 4.7/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping and delivery.
  • 365-night guarantee.
  • Two pillows, mattress protector, and sheets with each purchase.
  • Gel memory foam layer to relieve pressure.

Cons

  • DreamCloud Sleep lacks some options, like latex and split mattresses.

Who Should Try DreamCloud Sleep?

DreamCloud Sleep supplies mattresses for Resident, a brand that offers all sorts of products for your home. Its products are affordable, and financing is possible. DreamCloud even gives you some financing options, letting you choose between Affirm and SplitIt, depending on your budget and needs.

Additionally, DreamCloud Sleep offers three options at different price points. Each mattress option is a hybrid comprising several layers, each layer providing a different set of benefits. There are foam layers providing support and temperature control, while individually pocketed coils keep you from disturbing your partner’s rest.

Consider DreamCloud Sleep if you’re looking for a mattress-in-a-box on a budget. They provide high-quality mattresses at several price ranges and offer two reasonable financing options.

Who Shouldn’t Try DreamCloud Sleep?

DreamCloud Sleep offers high-quality hybrid beds, but they may lack some more expensive or high-tech options. Latex isn’t on the menu of options, so if pressure relief is a concern, you may want to look elsewhere. Likewise, anyone seeking an eco-friendly or organic mattress may wish to skip DreamCloud Sleep.

DreamCloud Sleep Ranking: 4.7/5

Size - 4.5/5

DreamCloud offers most basic mattress sizes, ranging from Twin to California King. They don’t offer split mattresses or some other options, however.

Durability - 4.5/5

Hybrid mattresses are more complicated and may be more likely to fail.

Comfort - 4.9/5

DreamCloud Sleep combines several different types of foam with separate coils to offer pressure relief and cooling in an affordable hybrid mattress.

Price - 5/5

DreamCloud Sleep offers some of the most affordable options on our list, particularly when combined with free shipping and returns.

Summary

You can choose between three DreamCloud Sleep mattresses, each offering a higher degree of comfort than the last. Despite offering free shipping and a 365-night trial, DreamCloud Sleep’s mattress are budget-friendly. However, you won’t find some fancier or eco-friendly options with DreamCloud Sleep.

>>Check the best price for DreamCloud Sleep

4. PlushBeds - Best Full-Size Mattress in a Box - Ranking 4.5/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping.
  • 100-night sleep trial.
  • Options include latex, memory foam, and hybrid mattress.
  • California and split king and queen-sized mattresses.

Cons

  • No lifetime warranty.

Who Should Try PlushBeds?

PlushBeds is an excellent option if you’re interested in a big bed in a box. They offer a range of mattresses in most standard sizes, including California King and Queens. If you share space with a more active sleeper, PlushBeds can also provide Split Kings and Queens. Most mattresses are latex-based, though some hybrid options include pocketed coils and memory foam.

While other brands may offer just the standard sizes, PlushBeds provides a full range of beds, including specialty sizes you may not find elsewhere. They can provide regular mattresses, child and crib mattresses, and even mattresses sized for your RV right to your door.

PlushBeds also offers some more customization options than you may find with other brands. For example, PlushBeds allows you to specify the firmness and height of most of their mattresses. The options are expensive, but Plushbeds offers financing and regularly offers discounts.

Who Shouldn’t Try PlushBeds?

Most options include a latex base, which means it may aggravate anyone with a latex allergy. We also wouldn’t recommend this mattress company if budget is a concern, as their mattress options are at the higher end of the price range.

Less breathable latex may also not be the best option for stomach sleepers. Note also that the firmest option is medium firm.

PlushBeds Ranking: 4.5/5

Size - 5/5

PlushBeds offers the widest variety of mattress sizes and options. In addition to the best big beds, they also provide mattresses for kids, sofa beds, and RVs.

Durability - 4.5/5

PlushBeds beds will last years if treated well.

Comfort - 4.5/5

The combination of latex and other materials makes for comfortable mattresses for almost any sleep position.

Price - 4/5

Mattresses from PlushBeds are more expensive than other options. However, financing is available, and you can keep an eye out for deep discounts, particularly around the holidays.

Summary

Check out PlushBeds if you’re interested in having a vast bed in a box shipped directly to your home. They have all standard sizes, including California Kings and Queens, Split Kings and Queens, and Split California Kings and Queens. You can also find child-size and RV-sized mattresses. Most options are built on a latex base and may not be suitable for folks concerned about a latex allergy.

>>Check the best price for PlushBeds

5. Diamond Mattress - Best Hybrid Mattress in a Box - Ranking 4.4/5

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Pros

  • Risk-free 120-night sleep trial.
  • Dozens of foam and hybrid mattress options.
  • Bed frame, pillow, and mattress protector options.
  • Free shipping in the contiguous US.

Cons

  • The lifetime warranty only applies to specific options.

Who Should Try Diamond Mattress?

Diamond Mattress hybrids combine the varied benefits of memory foam with the support of a hi-tech innerspring. They offer temperature-regulating fabric, memory foam to conform to your sleep position, and pocketed springs so you don’t disturb your partner.

Diamond Mattress offers almost as many options as PlushBeds. However, where PlushBeds offers specialty and standard mattresses, Diamond provides a broader array of standard-sized mattresses. Most options are hybrids of some type, including memory foam, innerspring, and temperature-controlling materials.

Free shipping and a risk-free trial take much of the stress out of ordering from Diamond Mattress. Additionally, you can fit out your whole bed in one order. With Diamond mattresses, you can bundle bases, comforters, pillows, and whatever else you need.

Who Shouldn’t Try Diamond Mattress?

A hybrid mattress can provide many benefits, but some materials are better at spreading pressure. Diamond mattresses don’t have any latex elements, depending on the combined effects of other materials to manage pressure/pain points.

Diamond Mattress Ranking: 4.4/5

Size - 4.5/5

Diamond provides all the basic mattress sizes up to California King. It doesn’t offer a split mattress, however.

Durability - 4/5

Diamond mattresses are sturdy, but more complex hybrids may not last as long.

Comfort - 5/5

The combination of different materials makes for a comfy bed. Choose options like temperature control, back pain relief, pressure relief, and more.

Price - 4.3/5

The price range of Diamond mattresses is at the higher end of our list.

Summary

We’d recommend this mattress company to anyone interested in the mix of benefits provided by a hybrid mattress. Diamond combines several different mattress types, including memory foam and traditional innerspring, to provide comfort while not disturbing your partner. However, the high quality does add to the price.

>>Check the best price for Diamond Mattress

6. SleepOvation - Best Memory Foam Mattress in a Box - Ranking 4.3/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping.
  • 100-night sleep trial.
  • A hybrid mattress of foam layers and pocketed coils.
  • Removable, machine-washable cover for a clean mattress.

Cons

  • More expensive price range than some options.
  • 10-year limited warranty.

Who Should Try SleepOvation?

SleepOvation offers a simple innovation that nevertheless massively improves memory foam mattresses. Rather than single-layered sheets that trap heat, SleepOvation uses towers of foam over individually wrapped coils. The results offer the support of memory foam without trapping heat, making it perfect for hot sleepers.

In contrast to companies like PlushBeds and Diamond, SleepOvation has put everything into perfecting this one design. It’s intended to provide a great mix of support, pressure relief, and temperature control. The modular design also allows the proper support to keep your spine straight, helping relieve back pain.

Who Shouldn’t Try SleepOvation?

SleepOvation may not be the best option if your partner is an active sleeper. Despite the separate coils and foam, a split bed is the gold standard for comfort when sharing space. SleepOvation is one of the more expensive options, and we wouldn’t recommend this mattress company to those shopping on a budget.

SleepOvation Ranking: 4.3/5

Size - 4.2/5

SleepOvation offers most standard sizes but does not offer split beds.

Durability - 4.8/5

The sealed core and washable cover mean a SleepOvation mattress will stay clean for longer.

Comfort - 4.4/5

The combo of memory foam and innerspring coil provides a great deal of comfort. However, choices are limited, so they may not have the perfect option for your needs.

Price - 4.2/5

SleepOvation is one of the more expensive options on our list.

Summary

SleepOvation’s simple improvement of memory foam technology helps regulate your temperature in bed. They continue to innovate with their removable mattress cover that’s machine-washable, allowing you to clean your mattress effectively. The quality comes at a somewhat higher price range, however.

>>Check the best price for SleepOvation

7. Awara Sleep - Best Green Mattress in a Box - Ranking 4.3/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping and returns.
  • 365-night sleep trial.
  • Organic latex, cotton, and wool hybrid mattress.
  • No toxic chemicals or flame retardants.

Cons

  • These mattresses contain several different allergens.

Who Should Try Awara Sleep?

Awara Sleep uses eco-friendly and ethical materials, including organic and minimally processed latex. The latex layer is combined with pocketed coils in this hybrid to allow you to sleep comfortably even if your partner tosses and turns.

Natural latex provides pressure relief, while organic cotton offers absolute comfort. Wool material also helps prevent mites and mildew from collecting.

With your purchase, you’ll get two free pillows, a mattress protector, and sheets for your new bed included.

Unlike many green alternatives, Awara Sleep provides eco-friendly options at budget-friendly prices. Their organic mattresses are less expensive than some other options.

When you buy from Awara Sleep, you’ll sleep easier knowing you’re being kind to the earth. You can also rest well knowing you save money on shipping and the 15-year warranty.

Who Shouldn’t Try Awara Sleep?

While organic and ethical, Awara Sleep’s mattresses contain several allergens that many people may want to avoid. We don't recommend this mattress if you have an allergy to latex, wool, or cotton. Awara Sleep tops out at medium-firm, so if you’re looking for a fully firm mattress, you may also want to look elsewhere.

Awara Sleep Ranking: 4.3/5

Size - 4.4/5

Awara Sleep has all the basic sizes available, up to a California King.

Durability - 4.4/5

Awara Sleep uses a single layer of seamless latex and high-quality construction methods to create a durable mattress.

Comfort - 4.4/5

You can relax comfortably on an Awara Sleep hybrid mattress with the pressure-relieving powers of latex and genuine support from innersprings.

Price - 4.2/5

Organic and eco-friendly products are often more expensive, but Awara Sleep is an affordable, green option. You can also split up payments with Affirm.

Summary

Awara Sleep offers an entirely ethical and organic mattress. The hybrid design includes natural latex, wool, cotton, and individually pocketed coils. It does not contain any synthetic blends or chemical additives. Shipping the mattress costs you nothing, and you have 90 nights to try it without risk.

>>Check the best price for Awara Sleep

8. Bonus Mattress Accessory: U.S. Box Spring - Best for Firmer Mattresses - Ranking 4.8/5

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Pros

  • Free shipping.
  • Natural wood supports for your bed frame.
  • No tools are needed for assembly.
  • Ethically sourced wood.

Cons

  • No mattresses are available.
  • No lifetime warranty.

Who Should Try U.S. Box Spring?

Box springs serve several purposes, chiefly supporting you to provide a firm mattress. It’s often best to get a new foundation when getting a new bed to ensure it’s still intact and of the correct size. A solid foundation from U.S. Box Spring can protect your bed from shocks by absorbing impacts.

Finding a fully firm mattress in a box can be challenging, with most brands only going up to medium firm. If you find more support more comfortable, you can put a U.S. Box Spring under the mattress to provide additional support and firmness.

The Rainforest Alliance approves all the materials used by U.S. Box Spring, so you can use them confident you’re not hurting the environment. Despite that, they are inexpensive, costing only a fraction of a mattress.

Who Shouldn’t Try U.S. Box Spring?

Box springs can help raise a bed’s level and provide additional support. However, they aren’t perfect for every situation, mainly when space or money is in short supply. Additionally, if you prefer a softer mattress, you may not want to use a box spring.

U.S. Box Spring Ranking: 4.8/5

Size - 5/5

U.S. Box Spring provides box springs for all standard mattress sizes, with two different height options.

Durability - 5/5

The wooden box springs are made from sturdy materials that should last years. Even better, they easily assemble with no tools required.

Comfort - 4.5/5

A high-quality box spring can provide excellent support and additional firmness.

Price - 5/5

U.S. Box Spring has a very affordable price range, depending on the size.

Summary

U.S. Box Spring offers sturdy mattress foundations to provide additional support for your bed. While a box spring may not be necessary, one can help you protect your new mattress and lift it to a more comfortable height. U.S. Box Spring will ship the bed in a box right to your door, with no tools required for assembly.

>>Check the best price for U.S. Box Spring

What Is a Mattress in a Box?

A mattress in a box is precisely what it sounds like: a mattress shipped to you in a box rather than one you pick out at a store. The bed is usually folded up, vacuum-sealed, or compressed for more accessible transportation. A boxed mattress usually includes more advanced materials such as memory foam.

A mattress in a box can also combine several different materials into a hybrid mattress. Hybrids might include memory foam, latex, and innerspring technology. Each provides additional benefits. For example, latex often allows for a softer mattress, while memory foam might be a better option for hot sleepers.

Any new mattress can provide a bump in comfort as it offers more support than the worn-out bed you’re replacing [2]. The best mattresses will continue providing that additional comfort for years to come while providing other benefits like temperature control and pressure relief.

On average, the best mattress for your health would be medium firm [3]. There is a lot more to modern mattresses than just firmness, however. You spend a third of your life in bed, so it’s worth finding the one that best meets your needs.

Mattress in a Box vs. Traditional Mattresses

Most traditional mattresses are of a type called innerspring. These use a grid of steel springs to provide support while remaining comfortable. Over the top of the springs is a pad of fabric or other materials. The best mattresses that follow this traditional design often use modern and synthetic materials like memory foam.

A mattress in a box may include an innerspring. Boxed mattresses are usually compressed for shipping, but innerspring is challenging to pack. As a result, memory foam mattresses or boxed mattresses made with latex and other soft materials are more common. A hybrid mattress, combining several materials, may be the most common boxed mattress.

The range of options and combination of materials means you can find the perfect mix of benefits you want. While a medium firm is ideal for health, you can find firmer or more relaxing options. Some materials diffuse heat more efficiently for those that like to sleep hot or cold. However, it’s essential to keep the price range in mind.

How to Choose the Best Mattress in a Box

Your old mattress is starting to put a crick in your neck, leaving you worn out in the morning. Rather than rushing to the mattress store, you can find the best mattress in a box from the comfort of your home. Buying a mattress can be a deceptively important choice, affecting sleep and, therefore, the rest of your day. Keep a few things in mind to find the right one.

Trusted Brand

Boxed mattresses are relatively new, but they’ve been around long enough that several mattress brands have built up reputations for quality products and good service. As you’re unable to inspect the mattress before you buy it, you depend a lot on that good reputation to ensure you’re getting a good product.

A lifetime warranty can also be reassuring, though checking the terms is always important. Most warranties, even if they last the product’s lifetime, will be limited to manufacturing problems or flaws in the mattress. Additionally, check to see who is paying for the return if necessary, as it can be expensive.

Mattress Features

The mix of materials and construction methods used in mattresses in a box allows them to offer many more features than a traditional innerspring. In particular, a hybrid mattress is designed to provide different benefits, though the specific features depend on the hybrid type.

For example, the best mattresses that include sprung coils are more likely to provide optimal medium-firm and edge support. Hot sleepers may want to look into cooling mattresses that include memory foam gel while avoiding latex-based mattresses. On the other hand, latex is the best choice for pressure relief [4].

The more features a mattress offers, the higher the price range is likely to be. However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay a bunch to get what you want. Some brands specialize in certain types of beds or types of needs. DreamCloud Sleep, for example, offers hybrid beds that both cool and relieve pressure.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews should be one of the first things you check whenever shopping online. What’s the difference between a medium-firm and firm mattress?

The only way to know before you buy a box mattress is to check customer reviews. They can also help you decide if it provides the pressure relief side sleepers need and the right features for combination sleepers.

Checking customer reviews is essential in finding the best mattress for you.

Trial Period

Most mattress brands offer a trial period, allowing you to use the new mattress for a few months before committing to buying. You probably shouldn’t get a mattress in a box unless it has a trial period that includes free returns. lt’s an important purchase, and you don’t want to get stuck with a firm mattress when you really want a medium-firm one, and you can’t know until you lay down.

It can also help you determine if a memory foam bed or hybrid is the right choice for side sleepers, combination sleepers, or your preferred sleep style.

Free Delivery/Returns

Many of the best mattress-in-a-box companies offer free shipping, as that can otherwise be a substantial cost. If the mattress comes with a lifetime warranty, it’s important to consider who pays for shipping returns and replacements.

That can be a particular issue as most mattresses require special machinery to compress them down into the box they arrived in. As a result, returning a mattress you don’t want can quickly become complex and expensive. Ideally, it’s the company’s job to handle all of that.

Coupons/Promotions

The price range might shock you if you’re investigating the cost of a new mattress. They can often cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. One way to make it a more manageable purchase is to look for promotions, sales, or coupons. Many brands offer deals around holidays, for example, and most companies also offer free shipping all year round.

Most mattress brands will also offer an installment payment plan of some sort. Many work with online lending companies like affirm or Klarna that offer 0% plans if you can qualify.

Types of Mattresses Sold in a Box

While they may still just look like a big rectangle of comfiness, there has been a great deal of innovation in mattress materials and construction. Mattress brands have begun using advanced materials and mixing them to provide benefits like temperature regulation, support, and pressure relief.

Innerspring

When most people picture a bed, they imagine a traditional innerspring mattress. An innerspring mattress uses a grid of steel springs to provide support and pressure relief. The springs are usually topped with a thick pad of some kind. Traditional innerspring mattresses used a pad of thick cloth. Modern mattresses may use a whole range of other materials.

Innersprings usually make for a firmer mattress, a medium firm or firm mattress. They also typically have good edge support. However, they may not be the best for certain people, specifically stomach sleepers, side sleepers, and hot sleepers. Managing body heat and pressure relief depend on the pad on the springs, which can be of various materials.

Foam

Memory foam is a synthetic material that is used in many modern mattresses. It is a polyurethane foam that conforms to pressure to provide all-around support. Many of the first mattresses in a box were memory foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses frequently include several foam layers.

Traditional memory foam usually makes for a softer mattress without much edge support, topping out at medium firm. As a result, it can be a good option for support and pressure relief. However, you may be able to get an all-foam mattress with more support. Additionally, improvements have been made, such as cooling gel memory foam.

Latex

We usually think of latex as being a synthetic material, but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to boxed mattresses. Many of the options use natural latex. Latex mattresses are the best option if your goal is pressure relief. Even science says they provide a great mix of support and pressure relief [4].

A latex boxed mattress can provide a firmer mattress than a memory foam bed, but it may not be as firm as the original mattress, an innerspring. The design and construction of the mattress can also play a role. Some brands glue together several latex pieces, making for a less comfortable bed. Higher quality options use a single, seamless sheet of latex.

An essential aspect of natural latex beds is that the latex will eventually start to break down [5]. However, that process can take decades, with most latex mattresses lasting between 10 and 20 years.

We may not recommend this mattress type if you prefer not to sleep hot. Latex tends to retain body heat, so it’s not the best option for hot sleepers.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress combines several different material types. It isn’t an all-foam mattress but may contain foam layers. It may also include individually wrapped coils in a high-tech redesign of an innerspring mattress. In addition to traditional memory foam, hybrid beds also include foam with additional properties like cooling gel.

Most hybrids are made in layers, with a base of springs and then layers of latex, foam, and other materials providing different types of support. However, some beds are now designed with the human body’s dimensions in mind. These mattresses use zoned support.

Zones divide the bed into different areas to best support different body parts, as opposed to the traditional one-support-fits-all approach. However, that can mean that the life of your mattress is shortened. With zones of support, there is a definitive head and foot of the bed. Rotating a mattress to prevent divots and extend its life is impossible.

Hybrids are great for combination sleepers, as they allow you to mix benefits and features to suit yourself. A luxury hybrid mattress is one of the fanciest options available.

Airbed

An airbed probably isn’t anyone’s idea of a luxury mattress, but it can nevertheless be your best option for a new mattress in some situations. The original mattress in many first-time apartments was an airbed. You may not need free shipping, as you can usually find an airbed in a nearby store.

Airbeds are not a great option if you’re looking for pressure relief. They use air pressure to provide support, so there’s no way to reduce it without dealing with a less firm mattress. As a result, they may not be an excellent choice for side sleepers. Like foam, air beds won’t be super firm, topping out at medium firm.

We might recommend this mattress type for hot sleepers, as the air filling the bed can make for a cooling mattress.

What to Look For in a Mattress in a Box

It can be hard to know what to look for when ordering a mattress online. You have to choose based on pictures and advertising, which isn’t easy. While free shipping and a trial period can be reassuring, there are a few points to consider that will save you time and money.

Quality Materials

Any quality product begins with high-quality materials. This can be particularly important with foam mattresses, as they can be vulnerable to damage. The best memory foam mattress may include some form of mattress protector.

The quality of materials is also important with hybrid mattresses, as well as how those different elements are combined. The materials used are also very important with latex mattresses. In many cases, the latex used is natural, meaning it was taken from trees and not produced synthetically.

The materials used to make your mattress will determine how comfortable it is, how it handles heat, and what other benefits it may provide.

Firmness

One of the most important factors in determining sleep quality is the firmness of your mattress. While medium firm is optimal in terms of your health, many people prefer softer or firmer mattress options. Additionally, some medical conditions require specific types of mattress and firmness levels to help manage symptoms.

Modern mattresses aren’t just simply more or less firm. A hybrid memory foam mattress may provide some pressure relief while still remaining fairly firm. That can make it a good option for side sleepers that still like firm mattresses, for example.

Also, keep in mind that firmness can vary over the surface of the bed. Many mattresses in a box don’t have great edge support, for example.

It’s also possible to have a mattress with multiple degrees of firmness. A split mattress is an option that divides a larger mattress into two halves. Each half can have somewhat different properties. They can be ideal for couples who don’t share mattress preferences.

Some mattresses may also have different degrees of firmness in different areas; an idea called zoned support. Your head probably needs more support, while areas around the hips and shoulders will be more comfortable if they relieve pressure.

Sleep Positions

Some people fall into one sleeping position and more-or-less stay there for the whole night. Others move and turn, finding each position comfortable for only a short time. Either way, there is a mattress that can help side, back, and stomach sleepers get a better night’s rest.

Side sleepers have one of the most problematic sleeping positions, as all their weight is concentrated in a smaller area. Latex mattresses are the best at relieving that kind of pressure, but you may want to avoid latex if allergies or sleeping temperature are an issue. Hybrid mattresses are a good second option.

Pillows and other accessories can also be important to your sleeping position. Many of the best mattress-in-a-box companies also provide pillows, covers, and more specialized accessories. Some may even provide them free or discounted when you order a mattress, which is another factor to keep in mind.

Bodyweight

We don’t often consider how our health and physical well-being impacts our sleep, but truthfully few factors have a greater impact on your sleep quality. When it comes to mattresses, your body weight is an important consideration. It can affect your sleeping position, as well.

Heavier people may want to avoid an all-foam mattress. A hybrid mattress that combines the support of innerspring with other materials, on the other hand, can provide enough support.

Additionally, side sleepers that are heavier may want to opt for a latex mattress, as pressure relief is going to be a bigger issue.

Temperature Regulation

Few things can ruin your sleep, like being too cold or too hot. Your mattress can make all the difference between maintaining a comfortable body temperature, a tortuous night of sweating, or a miserable night in the cold.

Mixing materials such as cooling gel with hybrid mattresses can help with managing body heat. However, the layer that is in contact with your body is going to be the most important. Latex mattresses are generally the worst at dealing with higher temperatures. Airbeds usually are a poor choice if you’d rather be warmer at night. A mattress cover may help, however.

Coil Type

The defining feature of innerspring mattresses is the metal coil spring. Most coils are pretty straightforward, consisting of a simple metal spring. In cheaper mattresses, the coils are simply held together in a grid. More expensive options or a hybrid mattress will have the coils each separate. As a result, movement on one part of the bed doesn’t disturb other areas.

Coils provide the most support, particularly edge support, in contrast with a memory foam mattress which will have the least support around the edge. Coils aren’t a good option for pressure relief, though they are one of the best ways to get a medium firm mattress or even a firmer option.

Edge Support

Most people neglect the importance of edge support in their mattresses. However, without enough edge support, you may end up feeling like you’re about to roll off your bed. Stomach sleepers may benefit from plenty of support on the edge, while it may be less vital for side sleepers.

Better edge support can also help your mattress last longer. Insufficient support around the edges will eventually cause it to sag so that you really may end up rolling off your bed. Enough bracing on the edge can also be important when you’re not sleeping, for example, just sitting on the edge.

Traditional innerspring coils may be the best option for edge support, while a memory foam mattress will probably provide the least.

Health Condition

Health conditions can play an important role in determining the best mattress for you. Old injuries, chronic pain, excess body weight, and other problems can all be either improved or worsened by your mattress.

For example, side sleepers who develop arthritis or joint injuries should consider a latex mattress. They are the best choice for pressure relief and therefore are less likely to aggravate your condition.

Your sleeping position and mattress can also play a role in other types of health conditions. Back and stomach sleepers experience sleep apnea and snoring at different severity levels. The right mattress can help encourage you to a more healthy sleeping position and relieve pressure.

How to Unbox a Mattress in a Box

When you order a mattress in a box, you’re probably not going to get a big box, six feet on a side, delivered to your door. Instead, a mattress in a box is compressed into a smaller space for easier shipping. However, that does mean you will need to open it, place it, and allow it to expand. The several steps we recommend for opening and placing your mattress are below.

The process isn’t complex, and there’s no risk to your mattress. However, it’s helpful to think everything through before starting. A bed in a box is usually fairly large and almost always easier to move in its compacted form. Ideally, you can unbox it in your bedroom for an easy setup.

1. Remove Original Mattress

The first step is to get rid of the mattress you’re replacing. That can often be a task in itself. If you’re also replacing your bed frame, you’ll want to remove the original frame as well.

Some mattress stores offer to remove your mattress as a service. Even the best mattress-in-a-box companies don’t offer a similar option. You’ll have to figure out what to do with your old mattress yourself.

2. Place Frame

Once you’ve removed your old bed, you’ll need to decide where to put your new one. The bed is the centerpiece of your bedroom and often the largest piece of furniture in the room. Putting it in the right place can be as important as the choice of the mattress itself. Set up the bed frame or base where you want your new bed to be.

3. Read Instructions

Most mattresses-in-a-box brands include instructions for unboxing. While you might skip the instructions on the flat-pack bookcase you’re also setting up in your bedroom, you’ll probably want to spend a few moments studying the instructions for opening your new mattress. There may be specific steps to follow or even just advice on how to make things easier.

4. Move Box to Bedroom

Once the frame is in place, you can bring in the still-boxed mattress. If space is limited, you can open it on the bed frame. However, that may be awkward, and if space is available, you may want to start with it on the floor.

As the name implies, the mattress will be in a cardboard box. However, vacuum sealing is often part of the compression process, and the mattress may be sealed in a plastic bag as well.

5. Open Mattress

If everything is in place, you can open the box and mattress bag and take your mattress out. The process may be difficult, and you’ll need to cut the vacuum bag in order to remove the mattress. It’s important to be careful when doing so, as you could easily cut the mattress itself as well.

You can make a single cut in the bag and slide the mattress out there. Alternatively, you could place the mattress, still in its bag, on the frame and cut the bag away. However, there is a higher risk of cutting the mattress also in the process.

6. Allow Bed to Expand

As the mattress is compressed, it will have to expand before it should be slept on. The expansion time can vary depending on a number of factors. It’s possible that your mattress could be ready to sleep on in a few hours. On the other hand, it may not fully expand for a day or two.

You’re unlikely to damage the bed by using it too soon. However, laying on it may lengthen the time it takes for the bed to expand fully. Usually, judging by eye is good enough. Once the bed looks like it’s ready to be used, it probably is.

Off-Gassing from New Mattresses

Many of the materials used to make a bed in a box are synthetic and release excess chemicals in gas form when new. It’s actually very common and is the source of a “new car smell,” for example. Additionally, the bed arrives vacuum-sealed in a bag, which traps the gas with the mattress and prevents it from escaping in transit.

While most people like the smell of new cars, off-gassing isn’t always pleasant. Some people may also be more sensitive than others. If you find that your new mattress smells kind of funky, it’s not dirty or used. It’s just an aspect of the materials used.

If you do find the smell unpleasant, you may want to find other sleeping arrangements for a night or two. However, it should fade before too long. A memory foam mattress or hybrid containing memory foam are the options most likely to off-gas.

Some options are less likely to, however. Natural latex mattresses won’t off-gas, for example. Only synthetic materials should off-gas, as it’s a result of the manufacturing process. However, if a hybrid mattress combines both latex and synthetic materials, you may still end up with a smelly mattress for a few days.

Mattress in a Box Prices

The price of a mattress can vary widely depending on the size, materials, quality, and a number of other factors. The same goes whether you got your bed in a box or picked it out in the store. Additionally, the price range of a box mattress is going to be broadly the same as buying one in a store, particularly as free shipping is a common feature.

A full-size memory foam mattress can cost around $800. A hybrid mattress of the same size, on the other hand, can cost twice as much depending on the materials used. A latex mattress may be even more expensive, particularly if it’s natural and organic latex. While latex is great for pressure relief, it’s an expensive material for beds.

A bed frame is usually a fraction of the cost of the mattress. Even a fancy split bed frame with features like integral USB charging stations may only be around $1000.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about buying a bed in a box and their straightforward answers.

Is a Mattress in a Box Better Than a Traditional Mattress?

They may be, depending on your needs. A bed in a box is usually comparable in price to a traditional mattress, particularly as free shipping is usually offered. As a result, which is better depends on the features of the mattress and what you’re looking for in a bed.

Medium-firm is usually considered the optimal firmness, but modern mattresses in a box aren’t so simple. The best hybrid mattress may use a combination of hi-tech materials to offer firm support while also supplying the pressure relief side sleepers need, for example.

However, you’ll find a lot of those options in a mattress store also. The chief advantage of a mattress in a box is that you can order online and have it delivered straight to your door with a lot less hassle than transporting a Queen or King-size mattress across town.

What’s the Cheapest Mattress in a Box?

The cheapest bed in a box on our list was from DreamCloud Sleep. However, there are companies that offer good value for money, such as Layla, which offers durability, a money-back guarantee, and lots of advanced features.

What’s the Best Mattress in a Box for Side Sleepers?

Side sleepers will usually need a mattress that can help with pressure relief. Lying on your side concentrates all your bodyweight in a narrow silhouette. In particular, pressure can be concentrated on your hips, elbows, shoulders, and other joints. To relieve that pressure and, in the process, relieve pain and prevent injury, a latex bed in a box may be the best option.

There are several latex options on our list, including PlushBeds and Awara Sleep. Each can help with pressure relief and will also offer the optimal medium-firm support. Pressure relief isn’t just for side sleepers, of course. People who prefer other sleeping positions, such as stomach sleepers and combination sleepers, can also benefit from reducing pressure.

What’s the Best Bed in a Box for Couples?

Couples face some special challenges when it comes to finding a bed. Unfortunately, a successful relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner won’t toss and turn, keeping you up at night. To ensure you sleep well, whatever midnight gymnastics your partner performs, get a bed in a box with two characteristics:

  • A hybrid mattress with individually wrapped coils.
  • A split mattress.

Hybrid mattresses include spring coils to provide support. Traditional innerspring may have all the springs linked in a grid, which is simpler and cheaper to make. However, that means that any disturbance will shake the whole bed. Individual coils allow the same support in one area without also disturbing the rest of the bed.

A split mattress is just as it sounds. The mattress is divided into two parts, taking the idea of individual coils a step further. With a split mattress, one partner moving shouldn’t disturb the other. Note that split mattresses are usually only available in Queen-size and larger mattresses. Side sleepers, back, and stomach sleepers can all benefit.

How Long Do Mattresses in a Box Last?

The lifespan of a bed in a box will depend on a number of factors, including the materials used and how it’s treated. For example, a foam mattress may be more likely to be damaged, as the foam can be torn or pierced. Some foam mattresses are within a cover and may be more durable, however.

When you buy a mattress online, there may be some concern that it is of lower quality or more liable to be damaged. However, the best mattress-in-a-box options usually come with a lifetime warranty, allowing for the mattress to be replaced in some circumstances.

Is It Worth Buying a Bed in a Box?

The bed-in-a-box concept has become so popular because it is definitely worth it in many situations. Of course, the ability to have a bed delivered directly to your door is very convenient. Additionally, it’s possible to get the features of a luxury mattress at a more affordable price.

With the best mattress-in-a-box, you can combine the features of a cooling mattress, a memory foam mattress, and an innerspring mattress. The price is comparable to a store-bought mattress, particularly as many brands offer free shipping.

Ranking Methodology Explained

We’ve assigned ratings to each product to help give you an idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses. Those ratings aren’t an exact science, so it can be helpful to understand how we graded the brands and why we thought each feature we rated was important.

Size

The sizes of mattresses are close to standard, even for a bed in a box, so it’s not usually necessary to check if a Queen-size mattress is really a Queen. However, not every brand has a full range of options available. We rated each brand by the range of sizes available and options for those sizes, such as making Split Kings and Queens available.

Durability

On average, traditional mattresses can last as long as a decade. A bed in a box can only really replace and compete with store-bought mattresses if it can last just as long. Generally, a foam mattress will be less durable. However, its durability can be improved by mixing it with other materials.

If a mattress appears on our list, you can be confident we recommend this mattress as being high quality and durability.

Comfort

Every other feature of a mattress is in service of this single, most important aspect: comfort. While you may not think it, a bed in a box can be very comfy. The mixture of high-quality and high-tech materials provides a far more comfortable night’s rest than a traditional innerspring.

Those materials can provide benefits you won’t find in a traditional mattress. For example, mixing latex and innerspring can provide relief from the pressure side sleepers deal with while also providing real support.

Price

Comfort is important, but the cost will probably play a bigger role in your choice. A bed in a box can have a similar price range to a store-bought mattress, though you probably won’t be able to find a truly high-end bed in a box. In general, a foam mattress will be less expensive, while hybrids are more expensive.

Remember to consider expenses that may not be included in the base price. For example, most beds in a box come with a lifetime warranty. Free shipping is also standard.

Conclusion

A bed in a box may not sound like a very comfortable way to spend your night. However, you may find that the cardboard box contains a comfortable, restful night’s sleep. The best mattress in a box can help stomach sleepers, combination sleepers, side sleepers, and everyone else sleep better.

If you have a hard time getting to sleep or have special needs, chuck your original mattress to the curb and check out a Layla Sleep or other mattress-in-a-box brand. They may have just the options you need.

References:

  1. Chardin, H., et al. “Protein and Allergen Analysis of Latex Mattresses.” International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, Karger Publishers, 14 June 2011, https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/24200.
  2. Jacobson, Bert H., et al. “Grouped Comparisons of Sleep Quality for New and Personal Bedding Systems.” Applied Ergonomics, Elsevier, 26 June 2007, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000368700700035X.
  3. Caggiari, Gianfilippo, et al. “What Type of Mattress Should Be Chosen to Avoid Back Pain and Improve Sleep Quality? Review of the Literature - Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.” SpringerLink, Springer International Publishing, 8 Dec. 2021, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s10195-021-00616-5.
  4. Low, Fan-Zhe, et al. “Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, Elsevier, 21 Oct. 2016, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1556370716300116.
  5. Merton, Amber. “Do Latex Mattresses Sag? Discover the Resiliency.” PlushBeds, 2 June 2021, https://www.plushbeds.com/blogs/green-sleep/do-latex-mattresses-sag.
 

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