So-called "mattress-in-a-box" retailers have made purchasing a new mattress easier than ever, replacing the mattress stores and transport logistics with online shopping and straightforward deliveries. Nevertheless, finding the perfect mattress for you can be a substantial commitment. If you get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, you'll spend about one-third of your life on a mattress. Plus, a new mattress is likely to be in your life for years to come.
"Mattresses will last five to 10 years, with higher-quality ones tending to hold up better," says Joshua Roland, MD, a board-certified sleep medicine physician. "The chance of satisfaction with your choice can be improved with some research on the product beforehand, as well as a bit of self-reflection on what type of sleep conditions you prefer."
We've spent the last two years testing a wide range of mattress-in-a-box options, evaluating each for comfort, quality, durability, and value. In consultation with experts like Dr. Roland, we looked for mattresses with multiple layers of support, CertiPUR-US-certified foam, and other features that will help you get a good night's sleep.
Here are the best mattresses in a box.
Casper Original Mattress
Encourages air circulation
Takes up to 72 hours to expand
Slight odor out of the box
Our favorite bed-in-a-box is the Casper Original Mattress. Our home tester appreciated the fuss-free delivery, easy setup process, and 100-day risk-free trial period. She loved Casper's balance of cushioning and firmness, calling it "a soft, cloud-like sleeping experience."
The Casper Original Mattress is made of three layers, beginning with a top layer of breathable polyurethane foam that has thousands of perforations designed to keep sleepers cool and the mattress well-ventilated. This substantially mitigates one of the most common complaints people have with all-foam mattresses: They get hot.
The second layer is made of memory foam that's divided into three ergonomic "zones," which provide different support to different parts of the body. These zones allow your shoulders to sink further into the mattress and provide additional form-fitting around the hips for optimal spinal alignment. "We didn’t notice any apparent differences in various areas of the mattress, but we woke up without stiff joints in either our hips or shoulders, so we’d say it works," said our tester. Finally, The Casper Original has a base of polyurethane foam.
All of the foam used in the Casper mattress is certified by CertiPUR-US, a nonprofit that ensures certified foam is free of mercury, lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and emits a minimal amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that contribute to unhealthy indoor air quality.
While our tester loved her Casper Original Mattress—awarding it a nearly perfect score—she did note that it had a slight odor out of the box, which quickly faded. Also, like many other mattress-in-a-box options, the Casper takes time to fully expand after unboxing, which means you'll have to wait 72 hours before using the mattress.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,295
Type: Foam | Material: High-density foam, perforated foam, memory foam | Thickness: 11 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 10 years
Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress
Slight odor out of the box
Memory foam doesn't have a great reputation when it comes to breathability—but, as with Casper's Original Mattress, the Tuft + Needle Mint Mattress stands as another exception. This is a multi-layered foam mattress that's topped with a 3-inch layer of adaptive foam, which is infused with a combination of ceramic cooling gel and graphite. Graphite is a conductive carbon that's proven to pull heat away from the body, and our tester found this to be true. "As a sleeper who easily overheats, you can bet breathability and heat retention were high on my radar," she said. "The Mint slept wonderfully cool and offered excellent cushioning."
To accommodate different sleeping positions, The Mint has an adaptive, medium-firm feel that offers the perfect balance of cushioning and support. It's also designed with multiple sleepers in mind, featuring edge support that will keep the mattress from deforming when one person sits on the edge or gets up. "I didn’t disrupt my husband nearly as often, nor did his restless nights wake me, said our tester. "That alone made the Mint worth every last penny."
Like many options on this list, there's a slight, temporary odor out of the box, but the Mint is CertiPUR-US certified to ensure it doesn't release potentially harmful chemicals. For added convenience, it also comes with a machine-washable cover.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,295
Type: Foam | Material: Graphite-infused adaptive foam, gel beads | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 10 years
Best for Side Sleepers
Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress
Slight odor out of the box
If you're one of the people who doze on their sides, the Helix Midnight Luxe is for you. With a medium-firm feel, this thoughtfully designed mattress has zoned support to accommodate your different needs from head to toe. It's softer at the shoulders and firmer at the hips, with pressure-point relief in both areas. This makes the mattress great for anyone with back pain, as well as for stomach and side sleepers. "After a couple of weeks of sleeping on the Helix Midnight LUXE, I woke up with fewer aches," said our tester, who's a side sleeper. "[I]t was faster to get out of bed."
This hybrid mattress features pocketed coils under support foam and memory foam, which lends the mattress more bounce than all-foam offerings. The memory foam is infused with copper and gel for a cooling effect, while a Tencel cover ensures moisture-wicking breathability. There's also edge support on all four sides. You can expect a slight odor out of the box, but it dissipates quickly.
Helix offers soft, medium, and firm mattresses and a range in pricing from its more affordable core options to its pricier “Luxe” models, so it’s easy to customize according to your comfort level, budget, and sleep habits. Their site includes a quiz, so it’s easy to determine which model might be best for you.
The Helix Midnight Luxe comes with a 100-day trial period and enforces at least a 30-day trial to give it a real try before returning.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,849
Type: Hybrid | Material: Copper-gel memory foam, support foam, pocket coils, Tencel | Thickness: 14 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 15 years
Conforms to the body
No handles, making moving it around a challenge
No edge support
Our tester was especially impressed with the Purple Mattress's "GelFlex Grid," which is a 2-inch layer near the top of the mattress that has a waffle-like pattern that's designed to relieve common pressure points, allowing your hips and shoulders more give while keeping your spine properly aligned. While it doesn't have any edge support, the slightly buoyant, sinking-in sensation worked well edge-to-edge.
Considering it's made of a combination of hyper-elastic polymer and foam, it's surprisingly breathable, allowing maximum airflow while you snooze. Our tester also appreciated that it doesn't make any noise, and the soft feel minimized motion transfer and made her feel supported. "The first time we laid on this mattress we were immediately impressed with how it conformed to our body," she said. "We sunk into it without feeling trapped, as we have with other memory foam models."
Just note: Since this mattress doesn't have handles, moving it can be challenging, so keep this in mind when unboxing.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,399
Type: Responsive grid | Material: Hyper-elastic polymer, foam | Thickness: 9.25 inches | Firmness: Soft | Warranty: 10 years
Lucid 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
No edge support
If you're on a budget or don't want to spend a fortune on a mattress for a guest room or kid's room, Lucid is a great choice. As the name suggests, the brand's 10-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress features responsive, CertiPUR-US certified memory foam with a layer of temperature-regulating gel on top. The bottom layer is also ventilated for all-night breathability.
We appreciate that there are nine sizes and three firmness levels to choose from. Unlike many others, you can expect this mattress to fully expand within a few hours of unboxing it. We wish it had edge support, but otherwise, no complaints.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $229
Type: Foam | Material: Memory foam, gel | Thickness: 10 inches | Firmness: Plush, medium, or firm | Warranty: 10 years
Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress
No twin size
For those willing to splurge on a truly amazing sleeping experience, we recommend the Leesa Legend Mattress. The 12-inch hybrid design features a sturdy base, followed by a spring system with individually wrapped coils, support foam, another layer of pocketed micro-springs, then pressure-relieving CertiPUR-US certified memory foam and perforated comfort foam on top.
What's more, the cover is a blend of breathable organic cotton and temperature-regulating merino wool. This high-end mattress also has edge support around the entire perimeter, so you won't sink down if you sit on it. Aside from the very fancy price tag, the only other potential drawback is that it doesn't come in a twin size.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $2,400
Type: Hybrid | Material: Memory foam, perforated foam, pocket springs, high-density foam, organic cotton, merino wool | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 10 years
Best Memory Foam
Layla Copper-Infused Memory Foam Mattress
Good for hot sleepers
Reversible, with each side offering a different level of firmness
A little on the soft side for people who prefer a firmer mattress
Memory foam mattresses have many benefits. They offer pressure relief to joints and heavier areas of the body and help maintain neutral alignment in the spine. Memory foam also tends to be cheaper than hybrids, quieter than mattresses with springs, and better at cutting down on motion transfer, making them a good option for couples that have partners who move more during their sleep. Our favorite memory foam mattress is made by Layla. This copper-infused memory foam mattress is certified by CertiPUR-US, meaning it’s made without ozone depleters; PBDEs, TDCPP, or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants; mercury, lead, and other heavy metals; formaldehyde; or phthalates.
The memory foam in the Layla is infused with copper, which helps keep this all-foam option cool by drawing heat away from your body with the naturally conducive metal. There's also a layer of Max Airflow support foam underneath to ensure breathability—extra points for the lifetime warranty.
The mattress arrives rolled up in a box about the size of a mini-fridge and takes about 24-48 hours to decompress and air out. This 10-inch memory foam mattress is flippable and double-sided, offering you the option of a medium-firm side or a medium-soft side.
Layla offers a 120-night in-home trial period with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,099
Type: Foam | Material: Copper-infused memory foam, Max Airflow support foam | Thickness: 10.5 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: Lifetime
Bear Luxury Hybrid Mattress
Can't decide between foam or springs? The Bear Hybrid offers the best of both worlds. It boasts a foundation of individually wrapped coils, then a thick layer of copper-infused, pressure-relieving memory foam. In addition to helping draw heat away from your skin, copper is naturally antimicrobial, meaning it doesn't harbor odor-causing bacteria.
On top, there's a layer of quilted plushness, plus Feran Ice, a patented moisture-wicking fabric that feels cool to the touch. We also love that this mattress has edge support to prevent you from sinking. It's pretty cumbersome (the queen is 110 pounds), so just make sure you unbox it in the room where you plan to use it.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,732
Type: Hybrid | Material: Copper-infused memory foam, fabric-encased coils | Thickness: 13 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: Lifetime
Best Motion Isolation
Nectar 12 Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
Takes 24 hours to expand
Motion isolation is a top priority for those who sleep with a partner, and Nectar's Memory Foam Mattress doesn't disappoint. With high-density foam at the base, support foam at the core, and pressure-relieving memory foam up top, your partner shouldn't be able to feel you getting in and out of bed or tossing and turning at night.
The top layer is also infused with cooling gel to help regulate your body temperature and keep night sweats at bay. And all foams are CertiPUR-US certified. This 12-inch mattress will take about 24 hours to expand, but this is about average for a bed-in-a-box.
We think Nectar’s king-sized mattress is one of the most comfortable and affordable on the market. They offer a 365-day trial (which is about 265 days more than average!) and are one of the few memory foam mattress companies that offer a durable option for heavier customers (250+ pounds) that prefer memory foam over hybrid or coil.
The mattress is 12 inches thick and consists of four layers. The base is foam, the second layer is a breathable premium support foam and the third layer is a gel memory foam. The top layer is an additional layer of gel memory foam that’s quilted into the cover. This is a highly supportive, firm mattress with a distinct, dense memory foam feel.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $799
Type: Foam | Material: Gel-infused memory foam, support foam, high-density foam | Thickness: 12 inches | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: Lifetime
Dreamcloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress with 6 Premium Layers
Takes up to 72 hours to expand
The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress boasts 14 inches of comfortable, body-conforming support. At the base, you've got high-density foam for sturdiness, followed by an innerspring system with individually wrapped coils that minimize motion transfer and provide edge support while encouraging breathability. Then there are two more inches of standard foam to ensure you don't feel the springs. Just above is cooling gel-infused memory foam, then soft pressure-relieving foam, and a cashmere-blend quilted cover.
Although this mattress may take up to 24 hours to expand, the price is very reasonable, and it's backed by a lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish (Queen): $1,399
Type: Hybrid | Material: Gel-infused memory foam, soft foam, high-density foam, pocket coils, cashmere blend | Thickness: 14 inches | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: Lifetime
Best Zoned Support
Puffy Royal Hybrid Mattress
We also like the Puffy Royal Hybrid mattress. This extra-thick bed-in-a-box features seven layers of body-conforming, adaptable comfort. There's a reflexive innerspring system with contour-adapt coils, plus various types of foam that promise to keep you cool and alleviate pressure.
What's more, the Puffy Royal is endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association due to its targeted full-body support, which reduces back pain and relieves joint strain. We wish the price was a little more accessible, but the durable design is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Type: Hybrid | Material: Gel-infused memory foam, encased coils, high-density foam, perforated foam, soft foam | Thickness: 14 inches | Firmness: Plush | Warranty: Lifetime
Our top choice is the Casper Original Mattress. Suitable for all sleeping styles with zoned support and ample air circulation, this all-foam model is made of CertiPUR-US certified materials. For something more affordable, we recommend the temperature-regulating Lucid Gel Memory Foam Mattress, which comes in three firmness levels and nine sizes.
How We Tested the Mattresses
We sent some of the top mattresses in a box on the market to our team of dedicated home testers, who assessed the quality, comfort, breathability, and overall value of each option. Following weeks of sleeping on the mattresses, our writers and editors used their insights to inform our top recommendations for your home.
What to Look For When Buying a Mattress in a Box
If there's one purchase worth splurging on, it's your mattress. "You spend one-third of your life in bed, and a good night's sleep is the foundation for health and well-being," says Mary Helen Rogers, VP of Marketing and Communications at Better Sleep Council.
When browsing, you'll find various brands that have jumped onto the boxed mattress train—and with options, come plenty of different price points. Typically, all-foam mattresses are more affordable but may lack features like edge support, which keeps the mattress from deforming when you sit on the edge or get in and out. Hybrid mattresses often come in at a higher price point but may be worth it for anyone who finds foam mattresses too hot or too saggy.
When buying a bed-in-a-box, you'll want to pay attention to the material. Most are made at least partially from foam, whether it's memory foam, high-density support foam, or breathable perforated foam. This allows it to be compressed for shipping, then expand when you open it. Some foams are infused with copper or gel to provide a cooling, temperature-regulating effect.
"Foam mattresses tend to be soft but may retain heat," says board-certified sleep medicine physician Joshua Roland, MD. "Spring-based [models] tend to be more firm and bouncy and may retain their shape a bit more, and hybrid options can be a balance of the two."
Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid
Hybrid mattresses combine innersprings with foam. This combines the additional support offered by traditional spring mattresses with the body-conforming cushioning of foam. A typical hybrid mattress has internal coils topped with several layers of foam—typically some combination of memory, latex, or cooling gel-infused foam.
Non-hybrid mattresses come in a variety of all-foam designs. Many use polyurethane foam as a firm base material, then top it with malleable, body-shaping memory foam, natural latex foam, or memory foam infused with gel for its additional cooling properties.
Your comfort level and potential backaches often play a factor in what level of firmness you require. While plenty of boxed mattresses offer a variety of levels, these levels can differ between companies. What is firm to one brand may not be for another. Also, some brands can only offer certain options, so it's worth it to see what is available before purchasing.
Are you a light sleeper? Chronic aches and pains? Need more support to sleep through the night? Your sleeping habits and preferences should certainly be taken into account when selecting the type and style of boxed mattress to invest in.
"Think about the last time or place you slept great," says Rogers, adding that the mattress type might offer clues. "Use your self-inventory to search for features that are important to you (cooling, firm, size, price, materials, etc.)."
One of the positives of purchasing a boxed mattress is the convenience; you don't have to go to a store and wait on a delivery truck to bring it to your home. However, this means you won't be able to test the mattress in person to see how it feels. Check to see if the mattress has a free trial (most typically do) that will allow you to get the full experience of the mattress.
"If you are buying a mattress sight-unseen, you want to be very clear on their return policy, and this includes noting any fees," says Rogers.
It's also worth checking to see if there's a mattress store carrying your preferred mattress-in-a-box brand. Large cities, in particular, often have showrooms where it's possible to try out an online mattress retailer's offering before committing to a purchase.
High-quality mattresses in a box are usually backed by warranties of at least 10 years. Some are 15 to 25 years, and others offer a lifetime guarantee. Just keep in mind a lifetime guarantee doesn't necessarily mean your lifetime but rather the typical lifespan of the mattress. In any case, be sure to read the fine print before buying one.
Keep an eye out for certifications as well. CertiPUR-US is the leading organization that certifies foam. The label ensures a mattress is free of formaldehyde, ozone depleters, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which could impact your indoor air quality.
A fabric mattress cover might also carry an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification. This tells you the material is made without upwards of 100 materials known to have risks to human health.
What does mattress-in-a-box mean?
Mattress-in-a-box means exactly as it sounds: A mattress is compressed, rolled up, and delivered in a box to your front door. This allows for convenience and flexibility on your end to not have to visit a store or haul a mattress onto a truck to bring it home.
How does a mattress in a box work?
The mattress is compressed in an air-sealed bag, rolled tightly, placed in a box (roughly the size of a mini fridge), and shipped to your home. Once unboxed, the mattress retains its original shape and size.
How long can you leave a memory foam mattress in a box?
Time frames vary depending on the manufacturer (some allow for anywhere from one week to a few months), but ideally, unbox your mattress within three days to prevent any damage.
How long do mattresses in a box last?
Generally speaking, a mattress-in-a-box should last as long as a model that's not compressed for shipment. Most mattresses have a lifespan of between five and 10 years.
"Foam options may also last slightly longer than spring or hybrid options," Dr. Roland noted.
Periodically flipping and rotating your mattress might help it last longer. However, this may not work with models featuring zoned support.
How long does it take to set up a mattress in a box?
Mattresses in a box usually take anywhere from 24 to 74 hours to expand to their full size. However, all-foam models are often quicker, sometimes taking form within just a few hours. Since they can be hard to move once fully expanded, we recommend opening yours in the room where you plan on using it.
Can you sleep on a mattress in a box the first night?
We have noted typical expansion times throughout our recommendations, but in most cases, you should anticipate sleeping on your prior mattress for a night or two while your new mattress expands.
"It is important to note that a mattress-in-a-box can require up to 48 hours to fully expand," Dr. Roland told The Spruce.
If you must sleep on your mattress the first night, you're unlikely to damage it, though it probably won't be as comfortable until it reaches its full size.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a product reviewer and commerce writer specializing in home goods, wellness, and lifestyle. She interviewed two experts for this story, including Joshua Roland, MD, FAASM, a board-certified sleep medicine physician, expert, and consultant, and Mary Helen Rogers, VP of marketing and communications at Better Sleep Council. After researching today's top-rated options, including several tested by The Spruce, she chose comfortable, supportive, durable models with certifications signaling quality and sustainability.
Holland has first-hand experience with many of the brands included on this list. She sleeps on a Tuft & Needle mattress with Layla pillows, and has a Lucid mattress in her kid's room. You can read more of her stories on Travel + Leisure, MyDomaine, Byrdie, and People.
What is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.