The 11 Best Mattresses in a Box of 2024

The 11 Best Mattresses in a Box of 2024

You can buy everything online these days—even your next mattress. Thanks to the concept of a mattress in a box, you can press the “add to cart” button and expect your mattress on your doorstep in no time. So, how do they squeeze a large mattress in a box? It’s not that the mattress is special—these are real, regular mattresses—but they’re compressed, rolled tightly and boxed up for shipping. They’re often made with foam, which is easier to compress than springs. 

Generally, buying a mattress in a box is a more convenient, simplified and affordable route than the in-person shopping experience, and they can be easier to set up. Simply remove the packaging and allow the mattress to expand and take shape over the course of several hours or a couple of days. Despite the ease and convenience of buying and setting up a bed in a box, online mattress shopping isn’t something you want to rush. Just like visiting your local mattress store to try out the best one for you, you want to take your time understanding the ins and outs of what you need in a mattress. After all, sleep health is a vital but often overlooked part of overall well-being.

Sleep is not only essential to feeling rested and energized, it’s also associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease. The body recovers and repairs itself during sleep, Karena Wu, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City told Health, adding that it’s crucial to select the right mattress to get the best sleep.

While everyone’s mattress needs can differ, we took a first-hand, in-depth look at more than 50 mattresses in a box. A team of our editors sleep-tested them over a four-week testing period, analyzing each one on attributes like comfort, support, sleep quality, and more. We also spoke to experts throughout the process. A physical therapist from our Medical Expert Board reviewed the content in this article about choosing a mattress in a box for accuracy.

Our Top Picks

Our Mid-Range Mattress in a Box Picks

Our Luxury Mattress in a Box Picks

Our Budget Mattress in a Box Picks

  • Targeted Support for Active Lifestyles: Bear
  • An Eco-Friendly Pick on a Budget: Earthfoam
  • Our Favorite Under $500: Sweetnight

What to Know About Mattresses in a Box

When shopping for any new mattress, there are a few key factors to consider. Since you won’t be able to lie on the mattress until it arrives, it’s even more important to do your research ahead of time. 

Here are a few considerations:

  • Type: Many mattresses in a box are memory foam mattresses, but that’s not to say they can’t contain innersprings. Memory foam conforms to your body, so if you’re looking for cushion, comfort, and pressure relief, they may be worth looking into. Those who need a bit more support may prefer the traditional firmness of a spring mattress, though a hybrid mattress can provide the best of both.
  • Firmness: The firmness of a mattress plays a huge role in whether it’s a good fit for you. The firmer the mattress, the more supportive it is, especially if you sleep on your stomach or back or experience back pain. The softer the mattress, the more your body sinks into it. If you sleep on your side, this allows proper spine alignment and takes pressure off the hips and shoulders.
  • Comfort: Comfort is subjective, but it’s one of the most important parts of choosing a mattress, says Rahul Shah, MD, a board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon in Vineland, New Jersey. If you’re not comfortable at night, you’ll feel it in the morning.
  • Delivery: Traditional retail stores have more overhead, so their prices might be higher. But online retailers have the burden of shipping, and sometimes that cost is passed along to customers. Look for options with free shipping. You’ll have to bring in the box yourself, which can be heavy. If you want someone to deliver your mattress inside your home and set it up in your bedroom, some options offer a white glove delivery service at an additional cost.
  • Trial policy: You usually need to give a new mattress a 30-day adjustment period. That’s how long it can take before you know if it’s the right fit. If not, you’ll need to return it, which can be costly and inconvenient. Look for mattresses in a box with flexible trial and return policies. Some allow you to try out the mattress for up to 120 days, though there may be a fee to return it.

Buying a Mattress in a Box

Per our experts, comfort and support are among the most important qualities when choosing a mattress. Given the online nature of buying a mattress in a box, these factors can be difficult to predict. When your mattress is a poor fit, your body will continue to search for the optimal comfortable position, making it difficult to achieve restful sleep, Dr. Shah says. This is why it’s so important to buy a mattress in a box with a trial period or return policy, he adds.

Other preparations include choosing a suitable bed frame and arranging for your old mattress to be removed. A special bed frame isn’t needed for a mattress in a box, but you do need to plan for the support needed, such as a box spring or bed frame with a supportive foundation. A platform bed frame often accomplishes this, though you’ll want to check with your warranty to know whether you need a box spring. If your purchase doesn’t include white glove delivery, you might also have to arrange for your old mattress to be removed on your own.

Assuming your new bed in a box meets your needs, you can expect it to last for many years. Mattresses typically last seven to 10 years, and boxed mattresses are no different. Depending on the quality and durability, mattresses in a box can have a lifespan of up to a decade.

Our Mid-Range Mattress in a Box Picks

Winkbeds The Winkbed

Winkbeds


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Luxury Firm (3/5)

Delivery: Arrives In a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: Free returns during the 120-night trial period; lifetime warranty

Who It’s Best For

With its medium firmness, this is a pick for side sleepers and those looking for back pain or pressure relief.

Who Should Skip It

Despite being listed as a medium-to-firm mattress, we didn’t find it particularly firm, which may not provide enough support for back or stomach sleepers.

Why We Like It

The Winkbed is a hybrid model, combining the support of an innerspring mattress with the comfort of memory foam. Since it’s a hybrid and has more support at the edges, it helps with motion transfer, Dr. Wu says. During our testing, we found this to be true. It’s easy to get in and out of this bed, and if you sleep with a partner, his or her movements are unlikely to wake you (unless you’re a very sensitive sleeper, of course). 

This mattress could also be supportive enough for those with back pain, Dr. Wu adds. While firm mattresses have been the go-to recommendation for back pain relief in the past, a mattress with medium firmness like this one might actually be equally effective.

What It’s Made Of

The Winkbed is made from several layers, starting out with a Tencel cover. It’s a soft fabric that’s more sustainable, though we found it a bit warm after lying directly on it for several minutes. The next layer is a gel-foam pillow top followed by flexible steel springs, which didn’t feel stiff or hard at all.

How It Performed

This is the only mattress we tested for one day in the Lab rather than four weeks at home. It provided excellent pressure relief, especially under the shoulders and hips when side sleeping. When our editor’s partner shifted, the movement was hardly noticeable. We’d guess you could even sleep through it. 

It’s Worth Noting

When we lay directly on the mattress, it’s surprisingly warm. This could be rectified with some cooling sheets, but may be worth considering if you’re a hot sleeper.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a side and back sleeper who tested this mattress with a partner.

Nolah Evolution 15 Inch Mattress

Nolah


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King

Firmness Level: Luxury Firm (3/5)

Delivery: Arrives in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 120-night trial; $99 fee to return; lifetime warranty

Who It’s Best For

A plush foam topper and several foam layers make this a mattress best suited to side sleepers.

Who Should Skip It

Be prepared for pillowy comfort—if you’re used to firm mattresses, you may be in for a surprise.

Why We Like It

This mattress feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud, which may sound like it’s not supportive, but that isn’t the case. In true hybrid fashion, the bottom part of the mattress is made up of supportive springs. They’re individually wrapped for flexibility, says Dr. Wu, making them far less stiff than a traditionally firm mattress. Wrapped coils are also great for supporting movement, both for combination sleepers and those who sleep next to a partner. It’s also a cooling mattress, which we our testers—who run hot at night—appreciated. The top felt cool and breathable, and though the mattress felt soft overall, we never experienced pain from lack of support.

What It’s Made Of

This mattress contains seven layers, and most of them are foam. The topmost layer is a breathable foam mattress topper in a cooling cover. More foam layers provide pressure relief while 8-inch coils provide support and durability. It also includes a foundation, making a box spring optional and allowing you to use it with any bed frame.

How It Performed

This mattress took less than 30 seconds to expand fully and there were no strange smells or gasses, so our first impression was a strong one. We instantly noticed how soft the mattress feels—likely thanks to the many foam layers—but found it plenty supportive at the same time. After sleeping on it for a month, our editor raved about the plush pillow top and cooling cover. One of our editors even noticed a reduction in back pain by the end of the testing period.

It’s Worth Noting

At times, we felt like we were sinking into this mattress. The plushness certainly helped provide pressure relief, but this could contribute to aches and pains if you’re not a combination or side sleeper.

Meet Our Tester

Two editors tested this mattress. Both are combination sleepers as well as hot sleepers.

Leesa Legend Hybrid Mattress

West Elm


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Medium Plush (3/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night trial period; free returns in most states; 10-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

Somehow soft and firm at the same time, this mattress is best for side sleepers but could work for anyone seeking pressure relief.

Who Should Skip It

If you’re expecting a plush mattress, it’s firmer than expected.

Why We Like It

A good mattress should feel comfortable enough to cradle your body yet supportive enough to prevent pain in the shoulders, hips and back. We found this mattress lived up to our expectations here and then some. It’s soft to the touch but surprisingly firm for a medium-plush mattress (in a good way). 

What It’s Made Of

The Leesa Legend Hybrid is made with eco-friendly materials, such as recycled plastics and steel. It contains seven layers, including a mix of foam and spring. The higher foam layers provide comfort and pressure relief, while the lower spring layers create a foundation for support. The outermost cover is made from a blend of organic cotton and wool.

How It Performed

We noticed improvements in their sleep. The mattress made it easier to fall asleep quicker and have more solid sleep overall. It also excelled at motion transfer; our editor’s pets can cause a stir in the night from coming and going, but motion was practically undetectable when sleeping on this mattress. We also found it well-built, comfortable and noticeably higher in quality than some others we tried in the past.

It’s Worth Noting

The mattress was firmer at the start of the testing period, but by the end of four weeks, it had softened considerably. This reminded us of the importance of giving your mattress at least a 30-day trial.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a combination sleeper who sleeps on their back and side. They also toss and turn, have trouble falling asleep and wake frequently in the night.

Plank Firm Mattress

Plank Mattress


Type: Foam

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King, Short Full, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, Short King, RV King

Firmness Level: Extra Firm on one side (5/5); Firm on the other (4/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 120-night trial; $99 return fee; 10-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

This mattress is for anyone looking for very firm support, such as back and stomach sleepers or those who experience back pain.

Who Should Skip It

Though it’s made of foam, it’s probably too dense for most side sleepers.

Why We Like It

Side sleeping is the most common, but if you’re a stomach or back sleeper, you likely need more support than the typical medium-firm mattress. Enter Plank, who claims to make the world’s firmest mattress. When we laid on it, we were surprised at how firm it actually was. But if you’re not ready to commit to a super firm mattress, simply flip the mattress over—the other side is a 4 out of 5 on our firmness scale to provide a bit more cushion.

What It’s Made Of

Plank offers both hybrid and foam mattresses, but this one is 100% foam. We were surprised at how firm a foam mattress could feel, but the high-density foam is exactly that—dense enough to provide a supportive foundation. A cooling cover is optional for an additional cost.

How It Performed

After sleeping on the less firm side of this mattress for weeks, our editor’s back pain had decreased; it’s less common than before the test, and when it does happen, it’s not as bad. While we found the extra-firm side too hard for our liking, the less firm side was just right. It conformed slightly to the body to support the spine, and we slept in any position, we felt immediately supported and experienced some pressure relief.

It’s Worth Noting

The cooling cover isn’t included, and we wished it was—we got hot when sleeping on this mattress.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a combination sleeper who mostly sleeps on her side. She’s a hot sleeper who’s prone to back pain, and she tosses and turns in the night.

Health / Rachel Abraham


Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

Tuft & Needle


Type: Foam

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Medium (3/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night sleep trial; free returns; 10-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

The foam is very responsive but also absorbs shock, so it’s ideal for combination sleepers and those who sleep with a partner.

Who Should Skip It

If you’re used to the support of an innerspring mattress, you may not find this foam mattress firm enough.

Why We Like It

Many people are hot sleepers, and research suggests that temperature regulates sleep. Typically, cooler temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit can help improve sleep quality. While sleeping on a cooling mattress isn’t the same as turning down the air conditioning, it could help hot sleepers. We particularly like that this mattress has a cooling top made with breathable materials—ceramic and cooling gel help you stay cool while graphite wicks away heat. It also has reinforced support edges, eco-friendly certifications and an easy-to-clean cover.

What It’s Made Of

The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress is made entirely from foam. Three of its five layers are foam, and the others include extra edge support and a removable, washable cover. The foam layers contour to your body for pressure relief and are also breathable.

How It Performed

Upon arrival, this mattress expanded within an impressive five-minute period. It also arrived free from any chemical smells. We got to testing it right away, and our first impression was how soft the cover was. It’s also removable for easy cleaning, which was a unique and nice touch. For a spring-free mattress, it provided just the right amount of support. It cradles your body, and we didn’t feel any movement when going from one sleeping position to another—great for sleeping with a partner who tosses and turns in their sleep. It felt especially supportive of the spine and didn’t cause any aches or pains—just better, deeper sleep.  

It’s Worth Noting

There aren’t handles on the side of the mattress, which can make it difficult when you need to move it to a new location.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a combination sleeper who sleeps on his stomach occasionally but mostly on his side and back.

Helix Midnight Luxe Mattress

Helix


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Short Queen, RV King

Firmness Level: Medium (3/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night trial; free returns; 15-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

The perfect balance between soft and firm, this mattress is best for side sleepers, and if you add the cooling topper, it’s perfect for hot sleepers.

Who Should Skip It

If you’re averse to a plush, cushiony mattress, you might find this one too soft for your liking.

Why We Like It

While comfort is subjective, two of our editors raved about the comfort of this mattress—and the improvements they experienced in their sleep quality. Helix designed this mattress for side sleepers and describes it as having a medium firmness, which we found accurate, though we found it suitable for all sleepers. We likened it to the kind of mattress you’d sleep on in a 4-star and above resort—it’s just that comfortable. The way it cradles the body allowed for perfect spinal alignment, which our editors credit for waking up with fewer aches and pains.

What It’s Made Of

Between the foam and coils, this mattress has several layers. It’s a hybrid mattress, so steel coils at the base provide support while the memory foam layers add comfort and pressure relief. The standard mattress comes with a Tencel cover, which is soft and breathable, but a plush cooling topper is available for an additional charge.

How It Performed

This mattress is tailored to side sleepers—it keeps the spine aligned and doesn’t cause any shoulder or hip pain. However, our editors who favor combination sleeping felt perfectly supported in any sleeping position. In that sense, we found it quite neutral and suitable for all sleepers. 

It’s also improved our editors’ sleep quality. In fact, one of our editors often woke up in the same position they fell asleep in, which was an improvement from before. The other was able to fall asleep faster and woke up with fewer kinks from having proper spine alignment throughout the night.

It’s Worth Noting

We noticed a slight chemical smell when we first opened the box, but it quickly dissipated.

Meet Our Tester

Two of our editors tested this mattress. Both are combination sleepers. One sleeps on their stomach and back, while the other is a side and back sleeper.

Our Luxury Mattress in a Box Picks

Helix Midnight Elite Mattress

Helix Sleep


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Medium (3/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night trial; free returns; 15-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

This mattress is a match for those looking for a plush but supportive option.

Who Should Skip It

This is the most expensive mattress we tested, and it may not fit everyone’s budget.

Why We Like It

It’s hard not to like this mattress. It’s incredibly soft and comfortable, but it’s also versatile. The pillowtop is removable, and while it’s cloud-like and pillowy, we slept better without it. The firmness fell right in the middle between soft and firm, providing a supportive surface for side and combination sleepers alike.

What It’s Made Of

Most hybrid mattresses follow a similar formula—the bottom half is made of steel coils, while the top half consists of several foam layers. This mattress’ unique design alternates between foam and coils, allowing the mattress to conform to your body while providing support and durability.

How It Performed

Our tester has had little success finding the perfect mattress, but this one might make the cut. It provided the perfect amount of support for a larger body, though we had to remove the mattress topper to come to this conclusion. The topper was simply too plush for a larger body, causing us to sink right in. Without the topper, we felt supported and comfortable. It wasn’t until sleeping on this mattress for weeks that our tester experienced joint and muscle relief and better quality sleep.

It’s Worth Noting

At 16 inches tall, this mattress won’t work with regular sheets, so you’ll have to shell out for deep ones that won’t slip off the corners. 

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a combination sleeper who tosses and turns, runs hot, and wakes up with low back pain.

Helix Dawn Elite

Helix


Type: Hybrid

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Firm (4/5)

Delivery: Arrives in two boxes with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night trial; free returns; 15-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

This mattress’ level of firmness is best suited to back and stomach sleepers, especially those prone to back pain.

Who Should Skip It

This isn’t for anyone looking for a mattress that conforms to their body—it’s pretty firm, and as such, there isn’t much give.

Why We Like It

This mattress is on the firmer side, making it an excellent choice for back and stomach sleepers, says Jordan Duncan, DC, a doctor of chiropractic at Silverdale Sport & Spine in Silverdale, Washington. A firm mattress like this one can promote neutral spine alignment, which could help relieve back pain, he adds. We also like that this mattress sleeps cool. The cover and pillow top dissipate heat, which is helpful for hot sleepers.

What It’s Made Of

This 16-inch-deep mattress has many layers, and though it’s on the firmer side, several of them are foam. Both foam and coil layers are mixed throughout this mattress to find a middle ground between support and comfort. Some of the coils are micro-sized to support proper spinal alignment, making it ideal for back sleepers. With the foam layers taking pressure off the hips and shoulders, we felt comfortable even when side sleeping.

How It Performed

Our editor, who often wakes up with back pain, saw huge improvements while testing this mattress. It eliminated back pain and soreness from poor sleep and supported proper alignment when sleeping on your back. While it’s firm, it wasn’t so firm that it caused soreness or stiffness. We could side sleep without waking up to hip pain.

It’s Worth Noting

A box spring for support won’t cut it. You’ll need to purchase a foundation or platform bed frame to set up this mattress properly.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a side and back sleeper who runs hot, tosses and turns and wakes up with back pain.

Our Budget Mattress in a Box Picks

Bear Original Mattress

Bed Bath & Beyond


Type: Foam

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King, Split King

Firmness Level: Medium firm (4/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 120-night trial; free returns; lifetime warranty

Who It’s Best For

The Bear Original Mattress is best for back sleepers looking for a firm mattress on a budget.

Who Should Skip It

This is a medium-firm mattress, so side sleepers or anyone looking for a plush pillow top may not find what they need in this mattress.

Why We Like It

Dr. Duncan recommends this mattress for people with back pain, and after testing it ourselves, we agree. Our editor with back pain noticed quite the improvement after switching to this mattress. What’s more, it’s one of the more affordable options we tried, but Bear doesn’t cut any corners. It’s free from fiberglass and has some eco-friendly, non-toxic certifications. For the price, we felt that this mattress is a steal. It has a quality build and comes with two free pillows, so it’s a great value.

What It’s Made Of

This Bear mattress is proof that memory foam can be firm. It’s made from three layers of dense memory foam and has a 10-inch depth. It’s not a tall mattress, but it’s tall enough for most people and leaves room to add a topper if needed.

How It Performed

After sleeping on this mattress for four weeks, our editor experienced a handful of improvements, including reduced lower back pain and improved sleep quality. Our editor used to wake up feeling hunched over in the morning, which is now a thing of the past since acquiring this mattress. It also effectively absorbs movement, so when our editor’s partner or pets would move, it was hardly noticeable.

It’s Worth Noting

Though it’s made from foam, it’s quite firm and dense. If you’re not prepared for the level of firmness, you might need a mattress topper.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a side and back sleeper who sleeps next to a partner who tosses and turns a lot. Our primary tester is also a hot sleeper prone to waking up to back pain and body aches. Additionally, our tester is active and does several rigorous workouts per week.

EarthFoam Organic Mattress

EarthFoam


Type: Foam, rubber

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King

Firmness Level: Firm (4/5)

Delivery: Arrived in a box with free shipping

Warranty and Return Policy: 100-night trial; free returns; 10-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

This mattress is best for people who appreciate the advantages of a memory foam mattress with added support—it conforms to your body, cradles your joints but provides plenty of firmness.

Who Should Skip It

This mattress is plenty supportive—more than we anticipated—but it’s no innerspring or hybrid, if that’s what you prefer.

Why We Like It

Since we spent a third of our lives sleeping, your mattress should be a safe place. We like that this mattress goes the extra mile to ensure eco-friendliness and non-toxicity, making your bed the ultimate retreat when you need to rest and recover. It’s made entirely from foam, including foam rubber and other natural materials like cotton and wool, so it’s soft, supportive, and conforming. 

What It’s Made Of

As the name suggests, this is a high-density foam mattress. The outer surface is made from cotton and layers of fire-resistant wool. The base is a firm layer of foam rubber, which acts as a supportive foundation, followed by a softer, more comfortable layer of foam for pressure relief and that conform-to-your-body feeling. The ingredients are sustainably sourced and organic where possible, making this mattress a more environmentally conscious choice.

How It Performed

Our editor has owned this mattress for six months and, since then, has experienced relief from back, neck, and joint pain along with other benefits. We noticed that it’s on the firmer side but in a good way. It’s not stiff or uncomfortable but rather the opposite. We like that it’s comfortable yet supportive, especially around the edges, which feel reinforced and extra supportive. Plus, it comes in at under $1,000 for a Queen, which is a great price for a quality mattress of this caliber.

It’s Worth Noting

Since this mattress is firmer than you might expect from a foam option, it may take a few days to get used to. Being that it’s firm and dense, it can also be difficult to move.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a side sleeper who tosses and turns, sometimes has trouble staying asleep, and wakes up with neck and back pain.

Amazon SweetNight Breeze Mattress

Amazon


Type: Foam

Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen, King

Firmness Level: Medium-Firm (3/5)

Delivery: In a box

Warranty and Return Policy: Free returns for 30 days; 10-year warranty

Who It’s Best For

It’s ideal for those looking for a memory foam mattress on a budget.

Who Should Skip It

This mattress doesn’t provide excellent edge support to assist when getting in and out of bed or sleeping near the edge, which may be a deal breaker for some.

Why We Like It

Mattresses can be expensive, but this Sweetnight mattress is testimony to the fact that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, our editor is sleeping better on this mattress—waking up to fewer aches and pains. Like you’d expect from a memory foam mattress, it conforms to your body and provides pressure relief.

What It’s Made Of

Though it’s a budget-friendly mattress, this option has several layers similar to some of the more premium ones we tested. Three of its layers are memory foams of varying densities for support and comfort, all wrapped in a breathable cover.

How It Performed

This mattress arrived quickly and was easy to set up. Since it came in a box, our editor didn’t have the inconvenience of maneuvering a large mattress up a flight of stairs. It also arrived with no chemical odors and expanded quickly when removed from the box. Our editor has been sleeping on this mattress for one year and has noticed less neck and back pain. It’s comfortable, supportive, and quality at a fraction of the price of its more premium competitors.

It’s Worth Noting

This mattress only comes in a few sizes, so it may not fit every bed frame. We also felt on the warmer side when sleeping on the mattress, so it’s safe to say it’s not a cooling option or the best fit for hot sleepers.

Meet Our Tester

Our tester is a true combination sleeper who sleeps in all sleep positions—side, back and stomach. Our tester is also a hot sleeper who can have trouble falling and staying asleep and sometimes wakes up with neck and back pain.

Our Testing Process

We tested more than 50 mattresses in a box for four weeks. We gave each mattress enough time to fully air out and expand, which could take up to 72 hours but was much quicker in our experience. We then slept on the mattresses for a month, collecting insights along the way. At the end of the testing period, we evaluated the overall experience of using the mattress, paying close attention to attributes like Comfort, Support, Sleep Quality and Value.

We also spoke to experts along the way, including:

  • Jordan Duncan, DC, a doctor of chiropractic at Silverdale Sport & Spine in Silverdale, Washington
  • Angelie Mascarinas, MD, a board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) doctor with fellowship training in interventional spine and musculoskeletal care, who practices at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
  • Rahul Shah, MD, a board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon in Vineland, New Jersey
  • Karena Wu, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City

Health’s Firmness Scale

At Health, we have our own firmness scale, where we rate mattresses from 1 to 5, from soft to extra firm. While you might see a mattress rating out of 10 when browsing manufacturer websites, we measure out of 5 because, in practice, there’s not much difference between all 10 levels of firmness. More importantly, you won’t see many mattresses at either extreme of the 10-scale. We’ve decided to keep our scale to the middle of that scale and rate them out of 5 so you know what to expect.

Firmness at a Glance
Firmness Level Description Who It’s Best For
 1 Soft: These mattresses offer the lowest level of support and the highest level of “sinking in” Potentially back and side sleepers; these may work for people in smaller bodies, but ultimately they won’t provide much support 
 2 Soft Plus: A soft sink with some added support for alignment, typically from coils  Sleepers looking for a lot of pressure relief around the shoulders and hips; people in smaller bodies 
 3 Medium: You’ll still have some level of sink, but your spine should be in alignment and well-supported Side sleepers; will also work for most sleepers, aside from those who sleep exclusively on their stomachs 
 4 Firm: These offer sturdy support with very little sink People with back pain who need a little extra alignment; stomach sleepers 
 5 Extra Firm: The highest level of support. You’ll find little to no conforming. People with larger bodies or anyone who likes a firm sleeping surface

Boxed Mattresses That Didn’t Make Our List

We tested more than 50 mattresses in a box to find the best options. While every mattress we tested had its pros and cons, we didn’t feel as confident including these picks in our final list. If the disadvantages aren’t deal breakers to you, they may be worth exploring since every sleeper is different.

  • Sweetnight Hybrid Coil Mattress: We’d recommend this mattress, but we wouldn’t rave about it. For the price, it’s a good value and certainly made us feel supported at night, but it didn’t blow us away like others did.
  • T+N Mint Hybrid: This mattress is listed as having a medium plush feel, which wasn’t our experience. It was soft and flexible but ended up feeling firmer than we expected, which could explain why our editor experienced aching shoulders during the first week of sleeping on it.
  • Avocado Green Mattress: We’d recommend this mattress due to its ecological credentials and pillow-like gripe, but we had one gripe that affected its overall rating. It had a very strong wool smell upon arrival, which took a couple of weeks to air out fully. We’ll take this over off-gassing from chemicals, but we’ve had better first impressions.
  • Nectar King Mattress: Per our testing, this mattress was durable, comfortable and supportive. It helped alleviate our editor’s shoulder pain but there was a deal breaker. Our editor found herself waking frequently in the night because she was able to feel her husband’s every move.

How to Unbox a Mattress in a Box

Buying your mattress online usually means that the set up is a DIY effort. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple, though you’ll likely need an extra set of hands and a bit of patience.

Here’s how to to unbox a mattress in a box:

  1. Bring the boxed mattress into the bedroom you plan on using it in. You may need a second person to relocate the mattress to the correct place. Be sure there’s plenty of space for it to open and expand.
  2. Open one end of the box with a box cutter or knife, taking care not to puncture the mattress itself.
  3. Hold onto the closed end of the box while another person pulls the mattress out of the open end.
  4. Discard the box and maneuver the mattress to where you’d like it to go, such as on a bed frame.
  5. Remove the plastic covering from the mattress. You may need scissors to cut through the part that’s airtight.
  6. Once the vacuum-sealed part is broken, the mattress will start to expand. Your work here is done, but you may need to wait a day or two before the mattress resumes its full shape and any smells air out.

Setting up your bed in a box requires some time and effort, which can be a con for some. The box can be heavy and difficult to move, for example. There’s also a waiting period while the mattress decompresses. Most manufacturers recommend waiting 24 hours before sleeping on your new mattress, though it can take up to 48 or even 72 hours before it’s fully expanded.

In some cases, white glove delivery is available and optional, which includes delivery, moving the mattress to your room of choice and setting up your mattress. This service also includes the removal of your old mattress, which is a perk since you’d otherwise have to remove it yourself. Not every manufacturer offers this service; if they do, it can come at an additional cost.

Who We Are

Lacey Muinos is a side sleeper and commerce writer for Health. She researches and reports on the best wellness products, including skin care, women’s health, sleep and more. To find the best mattresses in a box, she interviewed experts, spent hours on product research and waded through weeks’ worth of tested insights from her editors.

This article was edited by Jaylyn Pruitt

Jaylyn Pruitt is an associate editor for Health who oversees sleep content. She has tested over 50 mattresses, helped to oversee mattress testing in our lab, and even toured a mattress factory to learn more about how mattresses go from raw materials to your bedroom.

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