We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.

Greatist only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.

In years gone by, picking out a new mattress involved going to a department store and jumping sitting on a showroom-ful of options. But today’s mattress shopping experience is a bit different. More and more, buyers are flocking to a bedding trend that’s cheaper, simpler, and a heckuva lot easier to transport: the mattress in a box.

While removing your sleeping materials from a cardboard rectangle may not offer all the tactile experience of traditional shopping, it can be a great option for finding the mattress of your dreams.

We’re going to the mattresses to find the box that rocks (or rocks you to sleep, at least). Here are our top 12 picks.

We know everyone has different preferences when it comes to the perfect night’s rest. That’s why we’ve compiled a well-rounded list with something for every sleeper, based on the following criteria:

  • User reviews. Every mattress on our list has user reviews (on the brand’s own website or on Google) averaging 3.8 out of 5 or higher.
  • Trusted brands. Sorry, brand-new mattress-in-a-box companies — ya didn’t make the cut. Instead, we chose brands that have been around long enough to establish a respected reputation.
  • Variety. One person’s dream bed is another’s nightmare. Below, you’ll find a wide variety of mattresses to suit every sleep need, including different materials, heights, price points, and firmness levels.
  • Company policies. You should be able to return a mattress if it doesn’t work for you. We chose companies that offer generous trial periods, return policies, and warranties.

Best queen mattress in a box

Casper Original Mattress

  • Price range: $895 to $2,095
  • Type of mattress: all-foam or hybrid
  • Firmness level: medium
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 11 inches (in.)

For a mattress fit for a queen, check out the original Casper mattress. It’s an all-around sleep star with its three-zone ergonomic foam designed to keep your spine in place as you rest. Plus, itty-bitty perforations in the mattress keep air flowing for a cooler night’s sleep.

Casper scores a 4.4 out of 5 in its Google reviews, but some say its cooling technology isn’t as chill as it’s cracked up to be. One of our editors tried this mattress and loved its medium firmness — she says it felt soft and supportive at the same time.

Pros

  • 3-zone ergonomic design
  • designed to prevent heat from becoming trapped
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • higher price point
  • only one firmness level

Shop now at Casper.

Best twin mattress in a box

Helix Kids

  • Price range: $549 to $799
  • Type of mattress: hybrid
  • Firmness levels: medium-soft and medium-firm
  • Sizes available: twin, full
  • Height: 8 in.

Kids can enjoy the mattress-in-a-box trend just like grown-ups (because you know they’re gonna love watching the mattress magically expand after unboxing). Helix Kids gets our vote for the best mattress for child-size beds.

Its hypoallergenic, nontoxic materials mean you can rest assured it’s safe for your kiddo to sleep on. And stain- and water-repelling technology make nighttime accidents less of an issue.

It’s even flippable! One side provides firmer support, while the other is softer. The brand says the firmer side is for younger kids and the softer side is for older kids, but there isn’t any research on which firmness is best for kids based on age (except when they’re infants) — so let your little one follow their heart.

Of course, adult sleepers can also try Helix, but keep in mind that this mattress currently comes in only twin and full size.

Pros

  • flippable design with two firmness options
  • stain-resistant
  • comes with two free pillows
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year limited warranty

Cons

  • available in only two sizes
  • short height

Shop now at Helix.

Best king mattress in a box

Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price range: $1,099 to $2,099
  • Type of mattress: hybrid (latex foam)
  • Firmness level: medium-firm (gentle-firm with optional pillow top)
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 11 in. (13 in. with pillow top)

Want a big-ass bed that won’t make a big-ass impact on the planet? Avocado’s Green king mattress is a great option.

This brand is heavily focused on sustainability — it’s extremely transparent about its production process, its mattresses are certified organic, and it has vegan mattress options. (The brand even has its own podcast about environmental issues!)

And it’s not just for the hell of it — these high quality materials make for an extra-durable mattress. The brand backs it up with a **25-year warranty**.

The 17,000+ reviews on Avocado’s website average a score of 4.7 out of 5. Users say the mattresses are supportive, cool, and def worthy of their splurge-level price tag.

Pros

  • certified organic
  • handmade
  • 1-year sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 25-year warranty

Cons

  • expensive

Shop now at Avocado.

Best-rated mattress in a box

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price range: about $500 to $1,300
  • Type of mattress: foam
  • Firmness level: medium-firm
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Height: 12 in.

Every mattress in a box will have some naysayers, but with a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on the Nectar website from more than 42,000 reviewers, this foam option is as well reviewed as it gets.

This mattress is on the thicker side for an all-foam mattress, thanks to five layers of different foams designed to keep you cool and relieve pressure points. Peeps rave about its top-notch comfort, high quality, and reasonable price.

Nectar sweetens the deal by throwing in $500 of accessories with your purchase, including a cooling pillow, sheet set, and mattress protector.

If you plan on using white or light-colored sheets on your Nectar, you may want to make sure they’re thick enough to conceal the mattress’s black sides. And take note: Though most reviewers seem super satisfied with Nectar, a handful warn that the materials have a tendency to sag after a relatively short time.

Pros

  • excellent reviews
  • thick for an all-foam mattress
  • 1-year sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • black perimeter might show through sheets
  • some complaints of sagging

Shop now at Nectar.

Best hybrid mattress in a box

Puffy Lux Mattress

  • Price range: $1,749 to $2,449
  • Type of mattress: hybrid
  • Firmness level: medium-firm
  • Sizes available: twin, twin, full, queen, king California king
  • Height: 12 in.

With a name like Puffy Lux, it has to be good, right? Reviewers say this one truly is like sleeping on a cloud … or a marshmallow … or a cotton ball (take your pick).

A six-layer sleep system features strata of climate-controlling, gel-infused foam to keep you cool and a firm coil-based core for added support — a combo that makes Puffy Lux our top choice for a hybrid mattress.

Besides its innovative blend of materials, Puffy Lux has some other significant advantages. Its mattresses are hypoallergenic and made in the United States and come with a lifetime warranty. You also get free pillows, a mattresses protector, and a sheet set when you buy.

Pros

  • free pillows, protector, and sheet set
  • 101-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • sleep trial period not as long as some other brands

Shop now at Puffy.

Best memory foam mattress in a box

Layla Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price range: about $600 to $1,100
  • Type of mattress: foam
  • Firmness levels: one soft side, one firm side
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, California king
  • Height: 10.5 in.

Attention, memory foam lovers! Layla’s mattress offers the classic memory foam feel with a secret weapon: copper-infused foam to enhance its cooling properties.

This flippable mattress lets you choose your own sleeping adventure with one soft side and one firm side, while the sturdy foam boosts motion control (so your sleeping partner won’t get annoyed at your every move).

Layla’s prices are pretty moderate, too, with most options clocking in under $1,000.

Reviewers seem generally happy with this mattress (it’s got a 4.2 out of 5 rating on Google reviews), but some cite potential downsides. Support may be lacking on the mattress’s edges, for one thing, and if you like a bed that offers a bit more bounce, this isn’t it.

Pros

  • flippable design
  • copper-infused foam
  • moderate price
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • minimal edge support

Shop now at Layla.

Best soft mattress in a box

Helix Sunset

  • Price range: about $700 to $1,400
  • Type of mattress: hybrid
  • Firmness level: soft
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, California king
  • Height: 12 in.

Some like ’em firm, some like ’em soft. If you’re the type who wants to sink into bed like it’s a bowl of pudding, the Helix Sunset might be for you.

Its plush soft-touch top cover creates maximum cushioning while staying breathable. And since it’s a hybrid with a coil base, it still offers a good amount of support. Reviewers say it has helped them say goodbye to back, hip, and joint pain.

Helix Sunset offers just one firmness level, which is a 2 to 3 out of 10. This soft, sinkable feel might not be best for stomach sleepers or those who need extra support. It has the potential to be a side sleeper’s dream, though!

Pros

  • super soft
  • includes two free pillows
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year limited warranty

Cons

  • only one firmness level
  • not ideal for stomach sleepers

Shop now at Helix.

Best firm mattress in a box

Brooklyn Bedding Plank

  • Price range: about $600 to $1,275
  • Type of mattress: hybrid
  • Firmness levels: firm and extra-firm (flippable)
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, short full, queen, short queen, Olympic queen, king, short king, California king, split California king, RV king
  • Height: 11.75 or 13.25 in.

Can you guess why it’s named Plank? Brooklyn Bedding’s hybrid mattress is perfect for those who want to feel like they’re sleeping on a literal board of wood. (Its slogan is “for those sleepers who say a typical firm is never firm enough.”) Reviewers say it’s the real deal, delivering all the firmness you won’t find elsewhere.

Depending on your preference, you can flip BB’s product to one of its two sides — either firm or extra-firm. And if you’re looking to luxuriate on a Plank on your next camping trip, you’re in luck: Plank comes in sizes compatible with RV beds.

Pros

  • extremely firm
  • flippable design
  • RV sizes available
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • might not work well for side sleepers

Shop now at Brooklyn Bedding.

Best cheap mattress in a box

Serta EZ Tote

  • Price range: about $350 to $600
  • Type of mattress: foam
  • Firmness level: medium-firm
  • Sizes available: twin, full, queen, king
  • Height: 8 in.

Serta’s EZ Tote may be cheap, but if you’re on a budget, it’s a sleeper hit (*wink*). Starting at just $349 for a twin, this gel memory foam mattress is one of the lowest-priced boxed mattresses on the market.

Granted, it doesn’t come with fancy features like organic materials or multiple firmness levels, but for a standard something-to-sleep-on, reviewers say it’s quite comfortable. It would def work well for kids, guest rooms, or Murphy beds.

It’s also packed up nice and small, arriving in a compact box you can lift all by yourself.

Pros

  • very affordable
  • comes in a small box
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year limited warranty

Cons

  • small range of sizes
  • lacking special features

Shop now at Serta.

Best mattress in a box for back pain

The WinkBed

  • Price range: about $850 to $1,900
  • Type of mattress: hybrid
  • Firmness levels: Softer, Luxury Firm, Firmer, Plus (made for people with higher body weight)
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 13.5 in.

Folks with back pain may finally find relief with the WinkBed’s mattress in a box. With a hybrid of individually wrapped coils and a gel-infused pillow top, it’s engineered to keep your head, neck, and back in alignment as you sleep.

It has four firmness levels to choose from: Softer (a 4.5/10), Luxury Firm (6.5/10), Firmer (7.5/10), and Plus (8/10). The Plus firmness is supposed to be more durable and provide better support for people weighing more than 250 pounds.

Research suggests that medium-firm mattresses are ideal for promoting spinal alignment and reducing back pain. So if you’ve got nagging back pain, we recommend opting for the Firmer or Plus (depending on your weight) for optimal support.

Reviewers are pretty stoked about this mattress, rating it an average of 4.8 out of 5 on WinkBed’s website. It’s also hard to argue with 3- to 5-day shipping and sustainably produced materials.

On the other hand, you might find WinkBed’s plethora of options overwhelming as you shop — its website is littered with pop-up boxes and has a very busy interface. Some reviewers also complain that their WinkBed sagged or indented quickly — but a lifetime warranty may cover problems like these.

Pros

  • multiple firmness levels to choose from
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • lifetime warranty

Cons

  • website is somewhat overwhelming
  • some say mattresses sag quickly

Shop now at WinkBed.

Best mattress in a box for side sleepers

Purple Mattress

  • Price range: about $800 to $2,000
  • Type of mattress: foam (“GelFlex Grid”)
  • Firmness level: medium-firm
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king, split king
  • Height: 9.25 in.

The Purple Mattress’s secret to giving side sleepers a comfy night’s rest? A flexible grid layer that cushions and cradles specific points of your body, like your shoulders and hips. Purple’s proprietary grid material is designed to be more durable and sleep cooler than memory foam while still providing killer pressure point relief.

There’s a soft cover over the Purple grid material, so even though you’re sleeping on a cool/funky material, it looks like any other mattress. (It’s worth noting, though, that some reviewers say they can feel the grid as they sleep.)

Reviewers looove this mattress and say it has improved their sleep and pain. A few Greatist editors own Purple mattresses and are big fans. They say they’re great for side sleepers and stay cool throughout the night.

Pros

  • unique materials designed for pressure relief
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year warranty

Cons

  • only one firmness level
  • many users complain of difficulties with customer service

Shop now at Purple.

Best mattress in a box on Amazon

Nod by Tuft & Needle

  • Price range: about $200 to $600
  • Type of mattress: foam
  • Firmness level: medium
  • Sizes available: twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
  • Height: 6 or 8 in.

You already use Amazon for everything else. Why not buy your mattress there too? Though Tuft & Needle has its own website, its Nod mattress is available only on Amazon (for a pleasingly low price), and you *still* get a 100-night in-home sleep trial.

The Nod is a classic foam mattress that comes in one firmness level (medium) and two relatively low heights (6 or 8 in.). Despite its shorter stature, reviewers say the Nod is supportive AF. More than 3,300 Amazon reviews average 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pros

  • very affordable
  • available on Amazon
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • free shipping
  • 10-year limited warranty

Cons

  • low height
  • only one firmness level

Shop now at Amazon.

A mattress in a box is, well, a mattress … in a box. (Shocking, we know.) But the question you’re probably really asking is, how the heck does that work?

When you order a mattress in a box, it arrives rolled up and compressed in an airtight bag, which is usually packed into a cardboard box (some aren’t — Purple mattresses come rolled up without a box).

Because these mattresses have to get squished into a tight roll, they’re usually made of memory foam, latex foam, or a hybrid of other compressible materials.

Box sizes vary, but you can expect your mattress in a box to clock in somewhere in the mini-fridge to medium coffee table size range. Once your shipment arrives, you’ll remove the mattress from the box and bag and allow it to expand to its full size. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a day or two.

A mattress in a box can work for just about anybody, but it’s an especially great solution for people who’d like to save a little money, don’t have a means of transporting a hefty mattress home from an in-person store, or don’t have the time to spend bouncing on every bed in a showroom.

As long as you know the size, firmness, and other specs you’re looking for, you should be able to find a mattress in a box that meets your needs.

Still not sure whether a mattress in a box is right for you? Consider these pros and cons.

Pros

  • Cost. Mattresses in a box tend to be less expensive than traditional mattresses.
  • Convenience. Don’t feel like hitting the mall for in-person shopping? You don’t have to. With a few clicks, you can have bedding delivered right to your doorstep.
  • Variety. Mattresses in a box have been around long enough that, by now, there’s ample variety. You can find just about any specification you’re looking for from the companies on our list.
  • Trial period. Most manufacturers allow a generous trial period for getting friendly with your chosen mattress. If you don’t dig it after a few weeks (or even months, depending on the company) you can simply return it, no questions asked.

Cons

  • You can’t try before you buy. There’s no getting around the fact that, before purchasing, you can’t actually lie down on a mattress via your computer screen. Some brands have showrooms, but if you don’t live near one, you’re out of luck.
  • Boxes can be bulky. A mattress in a box can be difficult to maneuver without help. Some weigh up to 150 pounds.
  • Materials may not suit your needs. Not everyone loves the motion isolation of memory foam or the feel of a pillow top. Some people also find that foam mattresses sleep hotter than traditional mattresses.
  • Mattress might have an odor. As your mattress expands from its compacted state into a bed-size rectangle, it may give off an unpleasant smell (the lovely industry term for this is “off-gassing”).

Mattresses in a box have to be cushy enough to get vacuum-packed into a pretty tight squeeze. For this reason, you’ll find two types of mattresses: all-foam and hybrid. Here’s what to know about each.

Foam

Foam mattresses aren’t as simple as they may sound. Various types of foam can be stacked in multiple levels to create a comfortable sleeping experience. In foam mattresses in a box, you may find any (or all) of the following:

  • Poly foam. This is the classic stuff you probably picture when you think of foam (like the egg crate foam toppers you used in your dorm room).
  • Memory foam. The “memory” in memory foam means that it conforms to — and then retains — the shape of your body. Many people find its softness super comfy, but it’s not the best material for cooling airflow. And some people don’t like that sinking-in feeling.
  • Latex foam. Made from natural or synthetic latex, this foam offers plenty of pressure relief while retaining some bounce. It’s also usually really durable … and expensive.
  • Gel-infused foam. Nope, it’s not a mattress filled with toothpaste. Instead, gel-infused foam contains gel beads or pockets, which are engineered to trap less heat.
  • Proprietary foams. Some mattress brands feature their very own foams intended for extra comfort, cooling, or firmness. You’ll know these by their trademarked names, like Purple’s Grid.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are the reverse mullet of sleeping surfaces: comfort in the front, support in the back. The idea is that a mix of foam and coils offers the perfect combo of squishy softness undergirded by sturdiness.

Because they contain a greater variety of materials, these mattresses are typically somewhat more expensive than foam alone, but they are also typically more durable.

You’re the only one who can say which mattress will help you float away to dreamland. Before you take the foamy (or springy) plunge, think through these considerations.

Firmness level

The best firmness level is somewhat subjective, but research has weighed in on the subject.

One 2015 research review suggests that medium-firm mattresses are the best for spinal alignment, reducing back pain, and overall comfort.

A small 2010 study with 27 participants found that people with lower back pain benefited from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress made of foam and latex. And a small 2011 study in 25 men found that a too-soft or too-firm mattress wasn’t helpful for spinal alignment.

A 2021 journal article validates older studies stating that mattresses should be individualized for each person so that the spine is aligned during sleep.

So, while medium-firm mattresses might have a good track record in the limited research that exists, you might just prefer something super soft or super firm — and that’s totally fine.

Materials

Foam, latex, coils — oh my! Are any mattress materials actually superior? Possibly. A small 2017 study with 20 participants found that latex mattresses reduced pressure on the body and allowed for a more even distribution of pressure.

However, some people feel that a mattress supported by coils or infused with gel provides better rest. Ultimately, the choice of materials is up to you.

Temperature

Research suggests that the sleep microclimate (the temperature of your surroundings, including your mattress) strongly affects sleep quality. If you feel especially susceptible to temperature fluctuations, consider a mattress engineered for cooling.

Company policies

Warranties, return policies, and trial periods matter a lot when you’re buying a mattress sight unseen. Check the company’s policies so you don’t (permanently) get into bed with a mattress you don’t really like.

Pain considerations

It would be pretty awesome if less back pain were only a few nights of sleep away — and some research indicates that the right kind of mattress could really reduce aches and pains.

In a 2015 review, researchers concluded that medium-firm mattresses could reduce back pain by 48 percent. They also found that soft mattresses were helpful for cushioning joints, while firm ones helped maintain a healthy posture during sleep.

Researchers in a 2021 review also noted that a medium-firm mattress is often a good choice to prevent and reduce back pain.

Which bed in a box is best?

To get a reliable product, you can’t go wrong with well-established mattress-in-a-box brands like Casper and Tuft & Needle. But just like Goldilocks, you may want to do a little more research to land on the bed that’s just right. Before purchasing, give some thought to your top priorities, like firmness level, cost, and sustainability.

What is the best thickness for a bed in a box?

The best mattress thickness will depend on a few key factors. How tall do you like your bed? Do you want a pillow-top layer of cushioning or do you prefer a firmer, single-layer feel? Most mattresses stack up at around 8 to 14 in. tall, so you have about 6 in. of leeway to make your decision.

In general, the thicker the mattress, the more plush it feels, and vice versa.

What is the longest-lasting bed in a box?

Hybrid mattresses have a reputation for holding up longer than all-foam mattresses — but no matter what kind you get, you can expect to need a new mattress about every 7 to 10 years.

That said, some brands offer some pretty impressive guarantees. Nectar, for example, offers a “Forever Warranty,” which promises to recover, repair, or replace your mattress if its materials fail.

Is a mattress in a box better?

Today’s direct-shipped bedding options ain’t your granny’s saggy, trampoline-like mattress.

Mattresses in a box offer different materials than traditional coil mattresses, which not only make them a dream for shipping but also mean they can be lower in price and (sometimes) more sustainable. For people who want less cost and more convenience, a boxed mattress can be a good buy.

How much is a mattress in a box?

Naturally, there’s a wide range of prices for boxed mattresses, based on their size, materials, and features. If all you need is a no-frills twin, you can find a mattress in a box for as little as about $90. On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve spotted prices up to thousands of dollars.

Do you need a box spring with a mattress in a box?

Another way boxed mattresses can save you some cash: These firm-but-foamy sleeping surfaces typically don’t require box springs.

Then again, you can’t go wrong underlining your boxed mattress with a box spring or a bunkie board, especially if you’d like to add height to your bed or if your bed frame is designed to accommodate both elements.

How long can a mattress stay in a box?

The length of time you can safely leave your mattress in its box varies from brand to brand. Some manufacturers recommend their products stay boxed for as little as a week, while others say their mattresses can stay in their cardboard homes for up to 3 months.

Read the fine print on whichever mattress you purchase to make sure you don’t leave it boxed too long.

If you want to sleep tight without the hassle of store-hopping, a mattress in a box might be your best bet.

Before you add a mattress to your digital cart, though, be sure to check out its reviews and consider its pros, and cons — all of which you can do from the comfort of your couch (or, better yet, your bed).