The Best Mattresses in a Box for All Kinds of Sleepers, According to Expert Testing

·11 min read
Layla hybrid mattress
Layla hybrid mattress

laylasleep.com

Best Overall

realsimple - 1298 Available at Nectar

Best for Back Pain

realsimple - 1598 Available at DreamCloud

Best Hybrid Mattress

realsimple - 1099 Available at Helix

Best for Side Sleepers

realsimple - 1799 Available at Leesa

Best Mattress in a Box for Hot Sleepers

realsimple - 1699 Available at Layla

Best Memory Foam Mattress

realsimple - 995 Available at Bear

Best Luxury Mattress in a Box

realsimple - 2399 Available at Purple

Best Budget Mattress in a Box

realsimple - 895 Available at Tuft & Needle

Best for Stomach Sleepers

realsimple - 1095 Available at Casper

Sleeping on the right mattress is important for overall health, but that doesn't mean searching for the best bed has to be a time-consuming process. Shopping online for a bed-in-a-box mattress lets you easily find the right bed for your sleep style, material preferences, and budget.

To find the best mattress in a box for you, consider the following factors: the variety of materials in the mattress (some are more cooling for hot sleepers than others), the areas of pain within your body that a mattress could help relieve, the range of mattress firmness options, and your favorite sleep position, as well as the basics like mattress cost and sleep trial offers. Since these beds are sold online and ship for free, you can save extra cash—bed-in-a-box mattresses come directly from the manufacturer, cutting out the middleman to bring the cost down.

RELATED: The Best Queen Mattresses for Every Type of Sleeper

To help you with your search, the team of experts at Mattress Advisor have made the selection process easy. They've tested hundreds of bed-in-a-box mattresses to help you choose the perfect one for your sleep needs.

Our recommendations:

What Is a Mattress in a Box?

Unlike a traditional innerspring mattress that you buy in a store, a bed-in-a-box mattress comes compressed or folded in a box shipped directly to your door from the manufacturer, which often saves money and time—and offers a greater selection of product features.

Why Choose a Mattress in a Box

Typically, bed-in-a-box mattress shoppers make their purchases online—without ever actually testing the beds—based solely on word-of-mouth, product descriptions, and mattress reviews. Because of this, mattress companies offer generous, risk-free trials ranging from 100 to 365 nights. If shopping for a new mattress from the luxury of your sofa sounds more appealing than roaming from one brick-and-mortar mattress store to another, you are not alone.

After all, a mattress can be an expensive investment that deserves thoughtful consideration. Make a wrong decision and you may have to sleep with it for years. Another perk of buying a mattress online? Most bed-in-a-box mattresses don't require a box spring, just a platform bed frame with slats.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best Mattress in a Box

Edge Support

Pay attention to the amount of resistance a mattress provides around the edges. More edge support means less sagging, reducing the potential for sleepers to roll off the mattress. If you're a stomach sleeper who hangs near the edge of your bed, this factor is key.

Motion Isolation

Mattresses with motion-isolating coils or memory foam reduce motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other when you move. For couples who sleep together, this makes or breaks whether you get uninterrupted sleep.

Firmness Level

A mattress's firmness level determines the degree of firmness you feel when lying on the mattress—it can range from a firm, supportive feel to a plush pillow top. Back and stomach sleepers fare better with firmer mattresses, while side sleepers need something softer for pressure point relief.

The 9 Best Mattresses in a Box

Best Overall: Nectar

$1,298 FOR A QUEEN, NECTAR.COM

With a medium-firm feel that works for all sleep positions and perks that help this bed stand out from the bed-in-a-box crowd (one-year sleep trial, anyone?), the Nectar bed-in-a-box mattress truly has it all. The Nectar scored an 8.5/10 for pressure relief, with its thick memory foam layers cushioning pressure points like the hips and shoulders, which are often prone to aches and pains. Mattress Advisor testers told Real Simple that when they were lying on the Nectar, they instantly sank into the surface of the mattress, leaving them with a weightless sensation that made it all too easy to drift off to sleep. Side sleepers will especially love how the soft foam cradles their sides, and testers also noted how easy it was to transition between positions on this mattress. This helped it earn an impressive 8.5/10 responsiveness score in the lab—an important consideration for sleepers who tend to disturb their partner by changing positions throughout the night.

If you often sleep on the edge of your bed, you'll like how the Nectar's sturdy edge support keeps you from rolling off. Plus, the Nectar's sleep trial period is a full calendar year, and the lifetime warranty lasts as long as you own the memory foam mattress, which exceeds (by far) the usual 10-year warranty. That says a lot.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights

Nectar Memory Foam mattress
Nectar Memory Foam mattress

Best for Back Pain: DreamCloud

$1,598 FOR A QUEEN, DREAMCLOUDSLEEP.COM

There's nothing like a good night's sleep, but for back pain sufferers, it can be hard to come by. The five-layer DreamCloud earned almost-perfect scores for spine alignment, pressure relief, and durability—all key factors for relieving aches and pains. Plus, individually wrapped coils actually adapt to your body to avoid pressure points, particularly in your back. To top it off (literally), the DreamCloud comes outfitted with a top layer of cashmere and quilted foam, perfect for cushioning your back and joints.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coils and foam)

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 365 nights

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress
DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress

Best Hybrid: Helix Midnight

$1,099 FOR A QUEEN, HELIXSLEEP.COM

With a hybrid mattress, you reap the benefits of multiple types of mattresses to get the best balance of support and comfort. Hybrids typically combine layers of memory foam, latex and innerspring coils. The Helix Midnight scored an 8.5/10 in the testing lab for providing pressure point relief for the hips, knees, shoulders, and the lower back, while also keeping the spine straight. The layers of foam are even CertiPUR-US certified, which guarantees healthy sleep with no harsh chemicals. Bonus: If you sleep hot, the Helix Midnight's combination of coils with a breathable cover leaves plenty of room for air to flow, keeping you cool while you rest.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coils and foam)

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.9/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (5.5/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Helix Midnight mattress
Helix Midnight mattress

Best for Side Sleepers: Leesa Hybrid

$1,799 FOR A QUEEN, LEESA.COM

Dedicated side sleepers will appreciate how the Leesa Hybrid's signature memory foam relieves pressure by gently contouring to the body. It also features a top layer of perforated foam and more than a thousand pocket springs that actively respond to your movements, so you sleep cool and comfortable no matter what position you're in. Plus, side sleepers with back pain can rest easy knowing they're getting the support they need—Mattress Advisor testers told Real Simple that the Leesa Hybrid kept their spines in total alignment, earning this mattress a perfect 10/10 in spine alignment.

And for couples who side-sleep, or who are looking for a mattress that satisfies both of their preferences, this bed complements all sleeping positions, while also excelling at motion isolation and cooling. This means you won't be disturbed while your partner tosses and turns, and if things heat up in the bedroom, the coils that lie beneath the memory foam layers will help to circulate air flow through the center of the mattress.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coils and foam)

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.4/10

  • Firmness: Medium (5/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Leesa Hybrid mattress
Leesa Hybrid mattress

Best for Hot Sleepers: Layla Hybrid

$1,699 FOR A QUEEN, LAYLASLEEP.COM

Hot sleepers typically stay away from memory foam beds, but the Layla Hybrid is worth making an exception. Its memory foam layers combine with breathable innerspring coils to prevent trapping body heat. Plus, its flippable design gives you two mattresses in one: Simply flip the mattress to the medium-firm side for more support or to the medium-soft side for a plush feel.

If you're worried about how long a mattress that comes in a box will hold up—have no fear. Mattress Advisor testers told Real Simple that the Layla Hybrid felt ultra-durable thanks to the sturdy coils embedded at its base and the sewn-in handles that come on the sides, which come in handy whenever you wish to flip the mattress. This helped it earn a 9/10 for durability, one of the highest scores on this list for that category.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (coils and foam)

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Soft side (4.5/5) and firm side (7/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 120 nights

Layla hybrid mattress
Layla hybrid mattress

Best Memory Foam: Bear Original

$995 FOR A QUEEN, BEARMATTRESS.COM

The Bear Original bed earned the title "best memory foam mattress" for a reason: It scored an 8.5/10 score in the Mattress Advisor spinal alignment test, where it kept testers' spines nearly straight in all sleeping positions. Combined with its medium-firm feel, the Bear Original is able to accommodate back and side sleepers alike. And while some memory foam can feel like sinking into quicksand, the Bear Original's expert responsiveness helps it easily adjust to your movements.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.6/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Bear Original mattress
Bear Original mattress

Best Luxury: Purple Hybrid Premier

$2,399 FOR A QUEEN, PURPLE.COM

What makes the plush Purple Hybrid Premier the most luxe mattress on this list? First, there's a deep gel coil system that delivers the most pressure reduction of any of the mattress-in-a-box beds. Plus, you're getting the cushioning of memory foam combined with the exceptional support of Purple's proprietary 'grid' layer, which springs back against your movements effortlessly. For these reasons, the Purple mattress earned a nearly perfect score of 9.5/10 for spinal alignment. A durable base of individually wrapped coils combined with the indestructible Purple grid and the generous 10-year warranty lend peace of mind for this more expensive, luxe investment.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid (foam and coils)

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.8/10

  • Firmness: Soft (4/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Purple Hybrid Premier mattress
Purple Hybrid Premier mattress

Best on a Budget: Tuft & Needle Original

$895 FOR A QUEEN, TUFTANDNEEDLE.COM

The Tuft & Needle Original is a budget-priced bed-in-a-box made with high-quality foam you wouldn't expect from a less expensive mattress. Its medium-firm feel satisfies most everyone, and its 3-inch comfort layer offers all the support and alignment of memory foam, bolstered by a special layer of breathable support foam. The best part? The Tuft & Needle Original mattress is priced well under $1,000, ringing in at just $895 for a queen-size, which is comparable to the price of a twin bed, making it a great choice if you're shopping for the kids.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 8.7/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Tuft and Needle T&N Original mattress
Tuft and Needle T&N Original mattress

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Casper Original

$1,095 FOR A QUEEN, CASPER.COM

The Casper Original is one of the most well-reviewed mattresses in a box, especially for stomach sleepers. Designed to relieve high-pressure areas in your core, hips, and shoulders, the Casper mattress features an innovative zoned support layer that contours to these areas and provides extra support. Stomach sleepers benefit from this sturdy layer that keeps the hips raised for neutral spine alignment. Plus, the Casper Original also offers solid edge support that helps keep stomach sleepers secure no matter where they rest.

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam

  • Mattress Advisor Score: 9.1/10

  • Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

  • Trial Period for Returns: 100 nights

Casper Original mattress
Casper Original mattress

Mattress Advisor's Review Process

Each mattress on this list was put to the test (literally) in Mattress Advisor's lab, which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Bedding experts spent over 1,200 hours evaluating and comparing mattresses using a 14-point testing methodology to find the best mattresses in a box on the market.

While some of the factors tested are tied directly to performance, like responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief, others are based around brand operations, such as customer service, shipping policies, and trial period. The Mattress Advisor team combines this proprietary methodology with in-depth interviews and customer experience to arrive at a weighted score out of 10.

Laurie Buckelew Burt is a lifestyle writer who specializes in sleep health and wellness.