June 12, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

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Best Mattress in a Box for 2023

20 min read
Best Mattress in a Box for 2023


$1,099 at Layla

the Layla memory foam mattress in a bedroom with two people sitting on top of it.

Layla Mattress

Best mattress in a box for side sleepers

$150 off Memory Foam Mattress + 2 FREE Pillow

$1,549 at Amerisleep

Amerisleep AS2 memory foam mattress in a bedroom with a gray headboard.

AS2 mattress

Best mattress in a box for back pain

$450 off any mattress with promo with code:

If you hate coordinating renting a U-Haul or truck to pick up a bed and haul it into your home, then there’s good news: you never have to do it again. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are delivered right to your door in manageable boxes.

The market is filled with bed-in-a-box mattresses. They’ve grown so popular that the market segment alone is now valued at $1 billion. The difficulty with boxed beds is knowing which one will be the best for you. Luckily, my team and I have collectively tested over 200 mattresses, including some of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses (and the not-so-good). This list includes our top picks, including the best bed-in-a-box mattress overall.

All of the beds mentioned on this list come with free shipping and returns, and risk-free trials, which lowers the stakes of blindly making a purchase online.

What is the best mattress in a box?

Team member testing the DreamCloud mattress for back sleepers.

The DreamCloud mattress has an accommodating firmness and feel that suits most sleepers.

Jon Gomez/ CNET

The title of best mattress in a box overall goes to the DreamCloud mattress. Not only does it have a premium look, but it’s really comfortable; the pillow top feels like sinking into a cloud. With a medium to medium-firm profile and a neutral foam feel, it’s widely appealing to most people. Any sleeping position should be able to sleep comfortably.

Note all prices shown below are for queen-size mattresses. You can also check out new deals on the best beds on our best mattress deals page. 

Video: Best mattress in a box

Watch CNET video producer Owen Poole review the best mattresses in a box.

Best mattress in a box for 2023

Mattress price scale:

$ = Budget: $799 and below

$$ = Average: $800 to $1,699

$$$ = Premium: $1,700 and up

These reflect MSRP or list prices. Sales might make a mattress less expensive, but are always changing.

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness Medium to medium-firm or 6Trial 365 NightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$

Like

  • Supportive
  • Suitable for any body type
  • Responsive

Don’t like

  • Might be too much for someone under 150 pounds
  • Doesn’t have a true memory foam feel that some people might want

DreamCloud is a premium hybrid mattress with a plush pillow top that provides plenty of pressure relief. Thanks to the foam layers, it has plenty of pressure relief, and the coil system ensures responsiveness and support. When you lay on it, it won’t have the slow-moving feel many associate with memory foam. Instead, it has a neutral foam feel that appeals to most people.  

When we tested the DreamCloud mattress, we found it medium or medium-firm. It’s soft enough to cradle your shoulders and hips while supporting enough to promote spinal alignment. Medium firmness is the most accommodating to every sleeping position. The average person will be happy with the quality and comfort of the DreamCloud mattress. It’s also available in an all-memory foam construction.

Read more on this bed in our full DreamCloud mattress review.

DreamCloud Hybrid

Bear Mattress

Like

  • Celliant-infused cover helps boost circulation and improve sleep
  • It’s a great bang-for-your-buck
  • Ideal for back, stomach and combination sleepers

Don’t like

  • It’s a little too firm for strict side sleepers, especially under 150 pounds
  • The all-foam Bear mattress isn’t as durable or supportive for heavier sleepers

The Bear Original is a bed-in-a-box mattress unlike most others, and at the same time has a price tag lower than most of its competitors. This memory foam mattress is fitted with a Celliant-infused cover, a type of material that’s meant to boost blood circulation and promote muscle repair. It was one of the first mattresses to use this technology and is popular among athletes like runners, weight lifters and swimmers.

You don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy this mattress. It offers great value; it’s a quality mattress at a real wallet-friendly price tag. It’s also comfortable. It has a mixed memory foam feel that nestles your body and offers pressure relief to your joints without giving you a sink-in feel. It’s a bit more springy like neutral foam is. Its firmness level makes it great for back and stomach sleepers, but some side sleepers can get away with it if they’re more like combo sleepers. 

The Bear Original mattress is available in all standard sizes. Prices start at $748 for a twin and go up to $1,284 for a California king. Bear and most online mattress brands run promos often so you can get the mattress for even cheaper.

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Type Flippable memory foam mattressFirmness Firm: Medium to medium-firm or 6 | Soft: 3 or medium-softTrial 120 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$

Like

  • Good for all sleeping positions, especially side sleepers
  • Two firmness levels in one mattress (flippable design)

Don’t like

  • Heavy sleepers should consider the Layla Hybrid model for more support

For most side sleepers, there’s nothing like the feeling of a plush, pressure-relieving Layla mattress. A firm mattress in a box can push into your side and throw off the natural curvature of your spine, so if you primarily sleep on your side (or sides), you typically want a softer mattress for your bed that’ll cradle and contour your body’s curves. 

Laying down on the Layla bed-in-a-box mattress makes soft, memory foam mattress lovers sigh in relief as they sink into the light and airy top foam comfort layer, which is why I had to add it to the best mattress-in-a-box list. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out it was flippable; both sides were meant to be slept on. One side of the bed has a softer profile, while the flip side has more of a medium-firm or middle-of-the-road feel. This gives you two chances to find your perfect sleep firmness level; if you don’t like one side, all you have to do is flip it over. I preferred the “firm” side because I’m a combo sleeper, but the “soft” side is extra plush for strict side sleepers or lightweight body types looking for a softer mattress. 

The Layla bed-in-a-box mattress is available in sizes twin to California king, and its retail prices range from $1,099 to $1,699. 

Layla Memory Foam

$150 off Memory Foam Mattress + 2 FREE Pillow

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Type Latex HybridFirmness 7 or medium-firm with the pillow top (9 or firm without)Trial 365 nightsWarranty 25-year limited warranty Price $$$

Like

  • It’s made with eco-friendly and organic materials
  • Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and it doesn’t off-gas
  • Good for back, stomach and some combination sleepers
  • Suitable for all body types

Don’t like

  • Strict side sleepers will want a softer mattress
  • If you want the topper for added soften, it costs a few hundred dollars
  • The mattress is on the expensive side

Like organic produce or cosmetics, you can also find natural and organic mattresses that are safer for your body and manufactured more sustainably. The Avocado Green mattress made this list as the best mattress in a box made with organic materials and it’s perfect for eco-friendly mattress brand shoppers. It also has a more organic, outdoorsy smell than other bed-in-box mattresses I’ve tested, which have an off-gassing odor right when you pull them out of the box. 

The bread and butter of this mattress in a box is its certified organic materials. You can find organic Dunlop latex foam in Avocado’s comfort layer, which is made from the baked sap of a Brazilian rubber tree. It may sound strange, but this latex mattress foam is bouncy, supportive and breathable — essentially the exact opposite of traditional memory foam. It also has up to 3,136 pocketed coils made from recycled steel, and the pocket spring layer tends to promote good airflow.

It’s a firm bed in a box, so it’s the most ideal boxed mattress for people who favor their back or stomach when they sleep. I think it’ll be supportive for any body type, whether you weigh 110 or 240 pounds. Read more in our full Avocado Green mattress review or check out our list of the best organic mattresses to see more options. The Avocado Green mattress is available in sizes twin to California king and its retail prices range from $1,199 to $2,299.

Avocado Green

Amerisleep

Type Memory foam hybridFirmness 7 or Medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 20-year prorated warranty Price $$

Like

  • Its firm mattress profile is good for back, stomach and combo sleepers
  • Celliant-infused cover is meant to help enhance quality of sleep

Don’t like

  • Not ideal for heavier sleepers over 230 pounds

The AS2 mattress is a firm mattress specifically designed with support in mind and is great for people who suffer from back pain for that reason. The AS2 lands on the firmer end of the scale around a medium firmness. It dubs it the best for back sleepers on its website and I’d have to agree. I’d also include stomach sleepers. Its foam-comfort layers mold around the curves of your body, but this hybrid mattress still feels firm enough to keep your spine in neutral alignment. 

The cherry on top of the AS2 Hybrid mattress in a box is its Celliant-infused and machine-washable cover. Celliant is woven into the cover’s fabric, and it’s meant to help boost blood circulation and increase sleep quality. Besides the Bear mattress, many of the bed-in-box mattresses I’ve tested don’t boast this technology. I wouldn’t say the cover and mattress are cooling, as it infers on the website. 

Overall, if you’re a back or stomach sleeper with back pain, the AS2 Hybrid might be a good memory foam mattress option for you. Read more in our full Amerisleep mattress review. The AS2 Hybrid bed in a box is available in sizes twin to split king and its retail prices range from $899 to $2,048.

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Type Memory foam hybrid mattressFirmness 7 or medium-firmTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price $$

Like

  • It’s designed with extra supportive pocketed coils
  • Great for back, stomach and combination sleepers
  • Good value for such a durable, long-lasting bed

Don’t like

  • It’s too overkill for those under 230 pounds
  • Might be too firm for strict side sleepers

There are a lot of hybrid mattress-in-a-box models out there that suit larger and taller sleepers, but Helix Plus stands out as one of the best for a number of reasons. For one, this hybrid mattress bad boy is one hefty memory foam mattress bed, standing at 13 inches tall with extra supportive coils in the foundation layer. If you weigh over 230 pounds, support and durability are characteristics that should be high on your mattress type list. The Helix mattress checks both of those boxes. 

Often, thick and supportive hybrid mattresses get a little pricey. This bed-in-a-box mattress has an amazing value (especially if Helix is running a promotion). The feel was also really comfortable and neutral; it wasn’t like memory foam where you slowly sink into the layers and create a body impression. It’s bouncy, responsive and pressure-relieving, making it easy for combination sleepers to switch positions without feeling “stuck” in the foam mattress layers. 

Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews or check out our list of the best mattresses for heavy sleepers to see more options. It’s available in sizes twin to California king and its retail prices range from $849 to $1,899.

Helix Plus

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Type Poly foam hybrid mattressFirmness 5 or mediumTrial 100 nightsWarranty 15-year limited warranty Price $$$

Like

  • Medium firmness level accommodates all sleeping positions
  • Strong hybrid construction suits all body types
  • Helix has its own quiz that matches you with a bed

Don’t like

  • It’s more expensive than your average online mattress

Finding a mattress in a box that’s perfect for you is hard enough, let alone a bed that accommodates two different sleepers. The trick is to find a comfortable, widely-accommodating mattress like Helix Midnight Luxe. Helix Sleep set out to make a mattress for everyone and even has its own Sleep Quiz to match you with one of its 10-plus beds. This model contains six layers and stands at 14 inches tall. This makes it a comfy mattress for any body type, regardless of how much your significant other weighs.

The Helix Midnight Luxe hybrid bed in a box mattress has a middle-of-the-road firmness level that will appeal to all sleeper positions: back, side, stomach and combination. I’m in love with the feel of this Helix mattress bed. It’s not like memory foam, which some couples don’t find mutually agreeable, but it’s responsive and soft. The large pillow-top on Helix Midnight Luxe gives it a fluffy, luxurious feel and look that you just want to dive into. Read more in our full Helix mattress reviews.

The Helix Luxe is available in sizes twin to California king and retail prices range from $1,099 to $2,299.

Helix Midnight Luxe

GhostBed

Type Memory foam hybrid mattressFirmness 5 or mediumTrial 101 nightsWarranty 25-year limited warranty Price $$

Like

  • It sleeps cool (a big plus for hot sleepers)
  • Its medium firmness level suits all sleeping positions
  • It’s thicker and more supportive than many of its foam mattress competitors

Don’t like

  • Although it’s thick, it’s not quite as supportive as a hybrid mattress
  • It’ll cost over $1,500 for a queen size

When you are a hot sleeper, there’s almost nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with a moist shirt and a sweaty forehead. It also doesn’t help that a significant number of mattress brands falsely market their mattresses as cool-sleeping. I’m happy to report that the GhostBed Luxe is actually a cooling mattress. When I touched the top of the mattress for the first time, it felt definitively cold. Your sheet on top will neutralize the feel a little, but that cooling sensation still peeks through.

Aside from its cooling abilities, this is one of the thicker foam mattresses on the market, sitting at 13 inches high. This means most people (including heavier sleepers over 230 pounds) will get more longevity and support from this than other foam mattresses, which are typically 10 to 11 inches tall. I also believe it has a medium firmness level, because it offered good pressure relief for my hips and shoulders when I slept on my side, but it also felt supportive enough when I was on my back or stomach. 

The top layers are made with memory foam so you do get that conforming, quicksand-like feel on this bed. Unlike a lot of traditional memory foam mattress models, this top-layered foam mattress should keep you feeling much cooler. Check out our list of the best cooling mattresses to see more options. The GhostBed Luxe bed in a box is available in sizes twin to California king and retail prices range from $1,198 to $2,595. 

GhostBed Luxe

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Type Memory foam mattressFirmness 5 or mediumTrial 365 nightsWarranty Forever warranty Price $$

Like

  • It has a hugging memory foam feel
  • Accommodating firmness level good for most sleeping positions
  • It’s a thick foam mattress

Don’t like

  • Not quite as supportive as a bed with coils
  • Might be too firm for petite side sleepers

I know some die-hard memory foam mattress fans love the hugging, conforming feel that memory foam provides. Nectar Premier, the brand’s upper-level foam option, does just that. This Nectar mattress is dense and takes a few seconds for your whole body to be cocooned by the material. While this Nectar mattress is not as soft as Nectar Lush, the bed that Nectar Premier was designed to replace, it feels really pressure-relieving against your joints. 

The Nectar Premier is 13 inches thick, made entirely out of foam, and it’s one of the thicker foam beds we’ve tested out (the average is around 11 inches). I think this foam mattress is best for individuals who weigh under 230 pounds, but with that said, some larger body types can get away with it if a foam bed is what you’re after. It’ll also suit most sleeping positions, including back, stomach, side and combination. It’s supportive, but that contouring memory foam feel gives it a cozy, plush feel we didn’t necessarily expect.

The Nectar Premier is available in sizes twin to split king and retail prices range from $799 to $1,698. Keep in mind, Nectar is usually running a promotion that adds free accessories and drops the price around $500. Read more in our full Nectar Premier mattress review or check out our list of the best memory foam mattresses to see more options.

Editor’s note: The US Product Safety Commission recently issued a recall for Nectar Premier king and queen-sized mattresses manufactured on Sept. 24, 2021. Look for a model number CHILL and Prototype ID:ECS2003RHCH on a tag on the bottom of your mattress to find out if yours has been recalled. We have reached out to Nectar for comment and will update the story if they respond.

Nectar Premier

Slumber Yard

Type Hybrid mattressFirmness 3 firmness levels | Medium-soft or 3 | Medium or 5 | Medium-firm or 7Trial 120 nightsWarranty Lifetime warranty Price $$$

Like

  • WinkBeds are ultra durable mattresses
  • Sleepers can pick between three firmness levels
  • Good for all body types

Don’t like

  • It’s a luxury mattress, so you can expect a higher price tag

Aside from being one of the most beautiful beds I’ve ever seen, the WinkBed is also very comfortable and reminiscent of a luxury hotel mattress. It combines two mattress characteristics everyone wants: support and pressure relief. The foundation layer is made with strong pocketed steel coils with zones meant to be softer and firmer where you need it. Then, the several foam layers and fluffy pillow top make it feel plush and incredibly inviting. 

There are three firmness levels to choose from, giving each sleeping position a chance to cater to their specific needs. Side sleepers can opt for the “Softer” option, which feels more like a medium-soft, while back and stomach sleepers will probably find the “Luxury Firm” or “Firm” models more comfortable. The firmer the mattress, the more support it’s going to offer. Whichever you choose, your bed will come with a lifetime warranty, an impressive offer that speaks to the durability of the mattress. Read our full WinkBed mattress review.

WinkBed Mattress

Other mattresses we’ve tested

Our CNET Sleep editors put together this list by rounding up their favorite picks from the more than 100 mattresses they’ve tested. While this list highlights some of the best, several quality mattresses were close to making it and deserve an honorable mention. 

Purple mattress: One of the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market is the (non-hybrid) Purple bed. Most people either love it or it’s a little too different for them. Its main comfort material is hyper-elastic polymer, which is gel-like and extremely springy. It makes you feel like you’re floating, but you can slightly feel the grid of small squares shifting underneath you as you move. It feels pleasant and comfy, and appeals to most sleeping positions, but it’s unlike any mattress you’ve slept on before. Feel free to reach out to Purple for a sample of its special hyper-elastic polymer material. 

Tuft & Needle mattress: Like Casper and Purple, Tuft & Needle started off as a bed-in-a-box brand but has since become so well-known and well-received that you can find the brand’s products in popular brick-and-mortar bedding stores. It’s a simple and affordable two-layer mattress with a generally comfortable neutral foam feel. It’s great if you’re looking for a safe pick that won’t break the bank. 

Brooklyn Bedding Signature mattress: Brooklyn Bedding manufactures its own mattresses, something many mattress brands don’t do. It’s for this reason I think it’s able to sell its beds at such great prices. Its Signature mattress is a basic but quality hybrid mattress with a supportive pocketed-coil base layer. This makes it ideal for all body types. In addition to that, its three firmness level options make it appealing to all sleeping positions.

DreamCloud mattress: DreamCloud offers luxurious mattresses you can barely believe came out of a box. I personally know two people who sleep on a DreamCloud mattress and they love it. It’s made with pocketed coils in the base layer for added support and memory foam that’s more responsive than the typical material. Not to mention, it’s made with premium materials that make it up to par with luxury hotel mattresses.

How we test mattresses in a box

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about based on editorial merit. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. 

We test bed-in-a-box mattresses the same way we test any mattress. In fact, most of the beds I’ve personally tested are online beds. Some of the primary features we look for when testing are:

  • Firmness: After testing the mattresses, we can determine how hard or soft we think a mattress feels. We use a one to 10 scale with 10 being the firmest and mattress industry terms to describe the firmness. This includes the soft-to-firm scale, including medium, medium-firm and medium-soft. Firmness helps determine the type of sleeping position the bed is best for. 
  • Feel: Feel is different than firmness. This refers to the way you perceive a mattress when you lay down; what do all the materials together feel like? Many beds boast a slow-responding memory foam feel, while others have more of a neutral feel. Some beds have a mixed foam feel that offers the best of both worlds. Whatever it is, we’ll describe it in detail for you considering you can’t feel the bed over the internet. 
  • Construction: We take a deep look at the construction of each mattress and the materials it uses. This helps determine how durable a mattress will be and the kind of body type the bed will be most suitable for. 
  • Motion isolation: Nobody wants a mattress where you can feel your partner’s every move. We test motion isolation by lying on a mattress with our partner or placing a glass full of water at the end of a mattress to see how much it moves when we bounce around. 
  • Edge support: If you co-sleep with somebody, you want a strong mattress edge so you don’t feel like you’re going to roll off if you end up near the side. We lay on each edge and bounce to see how sturdy it feels. 
  • Temperature: We test how hot a mattress sleeps by using our own experience on the mattress. We utilize hot sleepers who offer their knowledgeable perspective and will even pull out the temperature gun if we have to. Materials largely influence how hot a mattress is going to sleep. 

Read more on how we test mattresses.

Factors to consider when choosing mattress

When you’re looking for a new bed to replace your old mattress, there are a few key things to consider: your favorite sleeping position, your body type, relevant health conditions, materials and your budget. Your most dominant sleeping position should help dictate your best bed mattress type and firmness level of your bed. Your weight, on the other hand, should help you determine whether you’d be OK on a foam mattress, or if you should opt for the extra support of a hybrid mattress bed. Your budget will help you narrow down the best mattress in a box type you have the means to spend money on. Lastly, different health conditions require different mattress needs, and materials help determine whether or not you’ll find the bed comfortable.

Sleeping position

  • Side sleepers usually sleep best on medium to soft mattresses. They typically need a bed that gives underneath the shoulders and hips to prevent joint pain and offer pressure relief. 
  • Back and stomach sleepers may want to consider medium to firm beds that provide back and spinal support. Soft mattresses that give may cause back pain.
  • Combination sleepers should cater to their dominant position, or go for a bed with a medium profile that offers both support and pressure relief. 

Body type

  • The heavier you are, the softer a mattress is going to be and the more support you’ll need. Hybrid mattresses tend to be the best for individuals over 230 pounds because steel is stronger and more durable than foam. Foam mattresses, on the other hand, won’t be as supportive or long-lasting.
  • Average to petite individuals can sleep just fine on a foam or hybrid mattress. Just remember, the lighter you are, the firmer a bed is going to feel. 

Health conditions

  • Hot sleepers or women suffering from menopause should opt for a cool sleeping mattress. Either a bed like a Purple mattress which is made with a special gel-like material that offers airflow and doesn’t retain heat, or a bed like GhostBed Luxe that has special cooling tech throughout the bed. 
  • Those with arthritis or joint pain should consider a pressure-relieving mattress on the medium to soft side that cradles the pressure points and offers relief.
  • People who suffer from back pain may sleep most comfortably on a medium-firm mattress profile. It offers ample support and pressure relief at the same time, to prevent the back from sagging and cradle pressure points. 

Materials

  • Memory foam is typically a pressure-relieving material and responds slowly to pressure for a hugging, conforming feel. It can be hard to switch positions, especially if you’re a combination sleeper.
  • Latex foam is either synthetic or naturally sourced from the sap of tropical rubber trees. Latex foam beds are bouncy, durable and supportive. They are also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The downsides? Natural and organic latex mattresses can be pricey, and they aren’t as good as memory foam at isolating motion.
  • Poly foam is a synthetic foam that bounces more than memory foam but is softer than latex foam. Most comfy couch cushions are made with this foam. it’s breathable and affordable, but may not be as durable as other foams. 
  • Innersprings or coils are found in traditional and hybrid mattresses. They make a bed more supportive and durable. 

Budget

  • You can find mattresses at just about any price point. Cheap bed-in-box mattresses can go for a few hundred dollars. 
  • The average bed in a box is around $850 to $1,200. 
  • Premium beds that are of the highest quality or designed with extra bells and whistles usually go for over $1,200. 

Mattress in a box FAQs

The term “bed in a box” encompasses mattresses that are compressed and rolled up inside of a cardboard box. The concept has blown up in the last five-plus years because of how much more convenient the online process is. 

Some of the best mattresses that come in a box include the Casper mattress, Purple mattress, Nectar mattress, Helix mattress and Avocado mattress. These are some of the biggest names with the most popular mattresses, and for good reason. 

Just because your bed is delivered inside a box doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. Your average mattress in a box should last around seven to eight years, and even longer if you have a hybrid mattress with coils.

If you’re waking up with back pain you didn’t go to bed with the night before, that’s a good indicator. Also, keep a lookout for sags, deep imprints, body impressions and the overall quality of your bed. If you bought your mattress a decade ago, it’s probably time to replace your original mattress with a new bed.

You can wait a few days to a week to unbox your new mattress, but brands suggest you unbox within one to two months to avoid damage. You should also give it a few days to fully decompress and inflate, but you’re able to sleep on it in the meantime. 

Most bed-in-box mattresses are sold online through the different brands’ websites, but the most popular brands like Casper and Purple can be purchased in popular retail stores such as Target or Costco. 

There’s a wide spectrum of bed-in-a-box mattresses prices from budget to luxury. Most fall within these ranges:

  • Budget: around $200 to $600 
  • Average: around $700 to $1,200
  • Affordable luxury: around $1,300 to $1,800
  • Luxury: around $1,900 and up





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