We all remember those mattress-buying trips. Our moms and dads would lie on dozens of beds, bickering about which was too firm or too soft or too expensive while us kids would hop from bed to bed, our hair growing wide with static. It was a ritual that was embedded in our upbringing. Which is why anyone over the age of, oh I don’t know, 30 years old is a bit skeptical when it comes to this new age way of shopping for a mattress … online!
That’s right, some genius came up with the idea that hey, maybe we don’t need to go and test dirty mattresses for a few hours and then stay at home for an entire day, waiting for the behemoth to be delivered and set up. Maybe instead, we could order a just-as-good mattress online and have it shrink-wrapped and delivered right to our door in a manageable box.
And so, mattresses in a box have become an online phenomenon, with thousands and thousands of people so satisfied with their online purchasing experience that they’ve officially switched mattress teams — buh-bye brick and mortar showrooms, hello one-click online shopping.
Buuut, there are caveats. Like, what if you don’t like the mattress? Thankfully the best brands have extended test-it-out timeframes and flexible return policies that allow users to return the mattresses as-is (Read: No trying to cram it back in that box). Given that you’re not going to be quality-testing these suckers yourself, you need to do some research ahead of time — discern what type of mattress is your preference (firm, firmer, or pillowy soft) and also do some digging to ensure that the materials in your mattress-of-choice are chemical-free. Of the dozens of options out there, nearly all are comprised of multiple types of foam — so you want to look for a CertiPUR-US certification for foam and Oeko-Tex for all the other materials.
We tested out the highest-reviewed foam mattresses in a box on the market and whittled the below list down to our favorites, based on quality, comfort and sleep-ability (is that a word?). In no specific order, these are the ones we think you’ll get the best night’s sleep on tonight, tomorrow and for the next third of your life (though the Better Sleep Council recommends you get a new mattress every seven to 10 years). The best part? Opening up your box, unrolling your mattress and watching it come to life. The second greatest part? Affordable pricing that is oftentimes half to a third cheaper than the showrooms' highly-marked up product.
Running with the tagline, “The last mattress you’ll ever buy,” Nectar might be just that. How confident is the brand that you’ll love it forever? They back it up with an unheard of one-year trial period and a lifetime warranty. Pretty bold, if you ask us! While Nectar arrives at your home in a plastic bag rather than a box, it’s shrink-wrapped just like all the other mattresses on our list. Why do we like it? It’s comprised of five scientific layers, including a removable “Tencel cooling cover” that does the job of circulating air and wicking away heat and moisture, keeping your night sweats at bay. Among the four layers of foam is a quilted gel memory layer — note: most mattress makers skip quilting due to the added expense — that adds to the mattress’ medium firm density while contouring your body with an extra bit of loft. The result? A sleep so comfortable the 11-inch mattress is one of the top brands in the country, having sold more than 100,000 units so far. CertiPur-US-cerified, Nectar is one of the most affordable mattresses on our list, and it also comes with a dust mite protection layer that will keep bed bugs far, far away.
RETURN POLICY: 365-day trial, lifetime warranty; Free shipping and returns via FedEx.
MLK DAY SALE: $125 off a mattress, plus two free pillows
Wayfair has entered the bed-in-a-box game this fall with Nora, a four-layer premium mattress designed exclusively for the mega e-tailer. Thicker than most of its competition — Nora comes in at 12-inches — the mattress is also super plush thanks to two layers of gel-infused memory foam, followed by a 3-inch layer of comfort foam that regulates temperature (Read: Keeps you cool), and two more layers of 3.5-inch high-density support foam that relieves pressure and provides support. The jade-infused cover is a nice touch … literally! It’s super soft and actually cool to the touch, thanks to jade’s natural cooling properties. Bonus: Financing options are available when you sign up for a Wayfair credit card.
RETURN POLICY: 100-day trial, 10-year warranty; Free two-day shipping.
Like your mattresses custom? Then this is the direct-to-consumer, arrives-in-a-box option for you! Made to order in the U.S., mattress-seekers fill out a quick online survey to personalize a bed that serves all their sleeping needs. Sample questions: “Do you toss and turn at night?” and “Do you ever wake up with pain in the morning?” Couples will especially appreciate Helix, as the company has two solutions for those in a relationship—one, you can settle on the happy medium “blended” mattress that does just that, blends both of your needs into one happy bed. Or two, couples can choose the “hybrid” option that literally divides the mattress in half, putting each of your preferences on the left or right side. Once Helix has the survey information, they build your bed by varying the densities and the order of the mattress’ materials, which include a proprietary “Helix foam” that cools sleepers, microcoils for pressure relief and less bounce and good ol’ polyfoam for support. The result? A mattress that isn’t too soft, isn’t too hard, but is juuust right…for you.
New from the brand is Nightfall, a specialty mattress that was designed specifically to provide more support in all the right places for plus-size and big and tall sleepers. Aimed to correct the issues typically experienced by this community (sagging, soft mattresses!), Nightfall is two inches thicker than Helix’s traditional mattresses and it comes with a cooling zip-on cover that will have hot sleepers yelling, “Praise be!”
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep trial, 10-year warranty; Financing available, delivered in six-10 business days.
MLK DAY SALE: $125 off a Luxe mattress with code LUXE125, $75 off any Helix mattress with code WINTERFLASH75
If you’re a Real Housewife at heart (us, too), then Luxury is your middle name. Enter Allswell, a luxe mattress and bedding brand that practically comes with butler service. They’ll deliver your new mattress (which, starting at $495, thankfully doesn’t have Real Housewife-sized price tag) and take away your old one at the same time. You have 100 nights to cozy up to your new bed — if you’re not obsessed, they’ll come back to take it off your hands. But why wouldn't you be obsessed with the 12-inch memory-foam layered sleep haven that has the perfect medium-soft feel?!
Our favorite part of this brand, though, has to be the all-in-one approach. While you’re shopping for your new mattress, you’re definitely going to want some luxurious bedding to go along with it. Allswell has you covered there too. From a cool-to-the-touch Percale Sheet Set to a gorgeous cotton waffle weave throw to the chicest collection of decorative pillows, you’re well on your way to the most Instagram-worthy dream bed ever.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night trial period on all mattresses during which you can return it no questions asked. (You can waive your free return to receive complimentary mattress removal during white glove delivery or retain the 100-night trial with the option for free return at checkout). Bedding can be returned within 30 days of purchase.
Still not sold on this whole online mattress concept? Then Tulo is the brand for you. One of the newest bed-in-a-box options on the market, this one is being rolled out by retail giant Mattress Firm, and the company allows customers to test out the Tulo at any of their 3,400 locations nationwide and then have it shipped in a box to their home. Understanding that all mattresses are not created equal, Tulo is also differentiating itself from the competition by offering three density options: Soft, which is recommended for side sleepers, Medium for tummy sleepers and Firm for back sleepers. Not sure how you snooze? A nifty online survey will point you in the right direction. All of the mattresses, however, are 10-inches thick and feature four layers of foam — cooling memory foam, breathable foam, responsive foam, and a foundation layer — that are wrapped in a cozy knit fabric that looks much more expensive than it actually is. Which brings us to another selling point: Price. Mattress Firm has priced Tulo competitively, with twins starting at just $375. Bonus: The company sets up your new mattress for you and takes away your old one. Done and done!
RETURN POLICY: 120-day trial, 10-year warranty; Free two-day shipping; Free returns and exchanges.
Starting at just $89 (yes, you read that correctly), Zinus' products are the most affordable on our list — without sacrificing the luxury feel. What's so special about Zinus is their huge selection of mattress kinds, and that each mattress is completely customizable to fit your needs. Choose from eight different mattresses — including a pressure-relieving memory foam mattress with green tea extract for a fresh scent, a cooling gel memory foam mattress, or a cooling hybrid gel foam mattress — and then you can choose how thick you want each one, from 6 inches all the way up to 14 inches! (The thinner mattresses are for a firmer feel, while those looking for a more plush option will like the thicker selection.)
Like the other brands, Zinus delivers its selections shrink wrapped and in a box, but did you know it offers spring mattresses, too? For instance, the label's Cooling Euro Top Pocketed iCoil® Spring Mattress has over hundreds of iCoil® springs hugged by pressure-relieving foam and a quilted Euro Top cover.
RETURN POLICY: Return within the first 100 days for free; they'll send you a prepaid return label and instructions for arranging a FedEx pick up.
As we’ve discussed, us discerning sleepers have very clear opinions about what we want and don’t want in a mattress, buuuut, um, sometimes we change our mind. And then we change it again. You know what mattress is totally okay with our vacillating preferences? The Layla. A dual-sided mattress — firm on one side, soft on the other — that you can flip when you, well, flip your mind. We know what you’re probably asking: “Is it a total pain in the a$$ to flip?” Big news, it’s not! Here's how it works... turn over the mattress, lol. Yes, really! Done and done, the process takes less than a minute to execute. When it came time to sleep, our reviewer’s husband legit had his best sleep ever on the soft side, which was fluffy but supportive all at once. The next evening, they flipped ol’ Layla over and guess what? Our reviewer loved it even more than the previous night, mainly because they’re often co-sleeping with a child and the firmness made tossing/turning/rotating sleep positions much easier. Both of them tend to be hot sleepers and they found that regardless of firm or soft, the mattress delivered an incredibly cool night’s sleep, thanks to its copper composition. (Did you know that copper cells absorb heat? Well, they do, and this mattress is full of them, which means no more night sweats!) More good news: Copper has powerful antimicrobial properties, which can kill fungi, mold, viruses and more. Our reviewer added that the Layla pillow was the best she’s ever had, saying, “The pillow makes your sleep even more comfortable.”
RETURN POLICY: 120-night sleep policy for the mattress, pillow and foundation; a lifetime warranty on the mattress, 10-year warranty for the foundation and five-year for the pillow.
MLK SALE: $100 off/one free premium pillow when you buy a mattress; $30 off a pillow purchase, $40 off a topper purchase; $60 off a foundation purchase; $40 off a bed frame purchase through midnight on 02/07/19
Cocoon by Sealy Foam Mattress
Probably the most-recognized brand on our list, this mattress comes in two options, Chill (perfect for hot-body sleepers because the fabric cover absorbs and dissipates heat for a cool-to-the-touch feel) and Classic. Both versions are available in soft or firm, and are comprised of four layers — support and comfort layers provide a sturdy base, while a high-density memory foam doles out the coziest sleep ever and a cover encases the whole mattress. All in all, this CertiPUR-US-certified mattress is a solid bet for hot sleepers, and thanks to customization, those who prefer soft or firm comfort levels.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Sealy will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied.
MLK SALE: $100 off all Cocoon Chill mattresses plus two free pillows and a free set of sheets ($337 Total Value)
Probably the second most-recognized brand on our list, Casper is omnipresent — you hear about it on the radio, you see it in your social feeds, you can’t miss it on the subway. And for good reason, the grandfather of the mattress-in-a-box game has sold nearly 1 million mattresses since the brand debuted in 2014, and it’s backed by tens of thousands of positive customer reviews online. Comprised of four Oeko-Tex- and CertiPUR-US-certified layers — open cell foam, responsive memory foam, adaptive transition foam and durable support foam — the main selling point of this bed is its cool factor. Literally. That’s right, good news for hot sleepers everywhere, this is the most breathable foam mattress on the market, while also providing an almost buoyant sleeping surface. Note: The brand has redesigned its mattress three times in three years, so when researching reviews, be sure to note which year the one being referred to is from.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Casper will arrange for a local charity to pick up the mattress if you’re not satisfied.
MLK DAY SALE: Save $100 when you spend $1,000 (plus get $25 off a future order) with the code WINTER
Lull Premium Gel Memory Foam Mattress
If you’re a Real Housewives fan you might have heard about this mattress from RHOC’s Meghan King Edmonds or Tamra Judge (or Lauren Bushnell and Tanner Tolbert of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette fame). But don’t mistake this mattress in a box as an influencer-hyped flash-in-the-pan.
Nope, it’s the real deal thanks to three layers of premium gel-infused memory foam, each contributing in the areas of pressure relief, cooling support, spine alignment and juuuust the right amount of bounce back. CertiPUR-US-certified, Lull is also the second most cost-effective mattress on our list with a twin coming in at $500. Bonus: The cover is removable for cleaning.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Lull will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied.
MLK DAY SALE: $150 off any size mattress purchase
Sapira Hybrid Mattress
Dubbed the only “luxury” mattress in a box—we were skeptical. That is, until we slept on the Sapira. Pure. Bliss. Comprised of five layers—1.5-inches of cooling, high density foam, 1.5 –inches of pressure-relieving memory foam and 1,000 pocket springs that are encapsulated between two 1-inch top and bottom layers of high-resiliency stabilizing foam—this CertiPUR-US-certified mattress is cool, supportive and seemingly contours to your body (and your many sleeping positions). And it’s the only one on the list that has springs and comes in a box. Feel good bonus: Each mattress is 100% American-made and Leesa donates one mattress for every 10 sold, and plants one tree for every mattress sold.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy 10-year warranty; Leesa will pick up the mattress if you’re not satisfied.
MLK DAY SALE: $150 off a Leesa mattress plus a free pillow; $200 off a Sapira mattress, plus a free pillow
Who’s this mattress for? Someone with an active lifestyle. Designed with input from professional athletes (in addition to sleep experts and engineers), the Bear mattress specifically aims to provide a super supportive sleep that helps your body recover from the rigors of the day. How does it achieve that? With a top layer of premium graphite-gel infused memory foam that cools throughout the night, which lays is on top of another layer of 2.5-inch quick-response foam that reacts to all that tossing and turning you do, supporting your body every step (er, toss) of the way. The mattress also boasts something called “celliant,” which is sourced from natural minerals, activates the body’s natural heat and reflects it back as infrared energy, which in turn reduces inflammation and help the body recover faster. Bonus: CertiPUR-US-certified, Bear donates one percent of all revenue to help children in the United States have access to athletic equipment, footwear and apparel.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy (returns can be made after a mandatory 30-day trial), 10-year warranty; Bear will pick up and remove the mattress if you’re not satisfied, and the company aims to donate those that are in good condition.
MLK DAY SALE: $150 off orders over $500 plus a free pillow with code NAP100; $200 off orders over $1,200 plus a free pillow with code NAP200
Dubbing their product the “perfect mattress” and also the “world’s first no-pressure mattress,” Purple had a lot to live up to—and it passed our litmus test. If you’re someone who wakes up feeling sore and achy, this is the mattress for you. Does the name sound familiar? Maybe you recognize it from those viral video the brand released last year showcasing the raw egg test—if you haven’t seen them, you need to ASAP. Designed to cradle your hips and shoulders, support your back and align your spine, the Purple mattress eliminates pressure points during your sleep sessions thanks to a top-layer “hyper-elastic” polymer grid that is, naturally, the color purple. Two additional layers of foam (both CertiPUR-US-certified, neither are of the memory variety) round out the 9.5-inch thick mattress, which is made in the U.S. and arrives at your door in a plastic bag with handles rather than a box. Feel-good bonus: Purple is totally green, thanks to all-recycled materials and recyclable packaging. Now that makes for a good night’s sleep!
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep trial (returns can be made after a mandatory 30-day trial), 10-year warranty; Purple will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied.
MLK DAY SALE: Purchase a mattress and get a free gift, choose from bamboo sheets, a dual-sided blanket, a mattress protector or the brand's own Purple pillow
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