The Best Mattresses in a Box Scoot Right Through Your Door and Onto Your Bed
No white-glove delivery required.
Published May 26, 2022 6:30 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
If you wake up with aches or pains or it has been more than 10 years since you’ve replaced your mattress, it’s probably time to start looking for a new one. Another giveaway, says Sarah Elizabeth Benjamin, M.D., instructor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, is “if you’ve recently slept somewhere else, and you feel like you were more comfortable there than in your own bed at home. Then it’s likely that your mattress isn’t what it needs to be.”
And why shouldn’t the mattress of your dreams arrive directly at your door, neatly packaged in a box? “Choosing your mattress is really individualized,” Benjamin notes, “but the most important thing is to try it out.” Shopping online can make this aspect more challenging, but that’s why, when scouring the Internet for the best mattress in a box, we opted for brands that have 90- or 100-day trial periods, so you can send it back if it’s not up to par.
There are plenty of options to consider in the world of boxed mattresses, whether it’s the materials (memory foam, spring coils, or both), firmness (which Benjamin says is up to personal preference), size (no shame in sleeping on a twin), or price (budget seekers, we’ve got you covered). Benjamin also recommends aligning with your partner before making any mattress purchase (of course!), and ensuring that the trial period and return policy will allow for proper testing, because other than trying it, “there’s no way to know how a mattress will perform over time.”
Below, find our picks for the six best mattresses in a box, from a luxe-feeling hybrid that’s under $700 to a cooling one made from an innovative gel grid that helps relieve pressure on the body.
- Best overall: Casper Original Mattress
- Best value: Allswell The Brick
- Best hybrid: Leesa Original Hybrid Mattress
- Best traditional: Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress
- Best luxe: Tempur-Cloud
- Best cooling: Purple Hybrid Premier 3
Best Overall: Casper Original Mattress
Type: Memory foam | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Trial period: 100 days | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- Perforated foam keeps you cool all night
- Simple packaging and easy setup
- Different zones of memory foam support different areas of the body
- Takes a few days for chemical smell to dissipate
- Costs extra to add spring coils
Why we chose it: One of the most popular bed-in-a-box options because it’s tried and true, supportive, and easy to set up.
Casper is a household name for a reason; the company makes well-designed mattresses in a range of prices, materials, and sizes, all shipped directly to your door. We chose the Original Mattress because it’s the platonic ideal of a bed in a box: perforated memory foam that keeps you cool throughout the night and simple, straightforward packaging. You can also add spring coils to the original mattress for more edge support and bounce, but it will cost $400 extra for a queen bed.
There are three ergonomic zones on the mattress, which make it ideal for couples with different sleep positions or people particularly concerned with spinal alignment. There’s a layer of softer foam around your shoulders and legs, while a middle layer of firmer foam around the hips, waist, and lower back helps support these areas and keep your spine aligned. Reviewers do mention that it takes a few days for the chemical smell to dissipate (this process is called off-gassing), but it won’t last longer than that.
Best Value: Allswell The Brick
Type: Hybrid memory foam and spring coils | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Trial period: 100 days | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 20 years
What we like:
- 20-year warranty
- Hybrid construction provides edge support and conforming foam
- Arrives within days of ordering
- Possibly too firm for those used to a traditional mattress
Why we chose it: This highly reviewed mattress arrives at your door in mere days and is under $700 for a queen.
Among the rest of our top picks, Allswell’s The Brick mattress is the most affordable, coming in at $699 for a queen. It’s just as highly rated as the others, though, and combines fan-favorite memory foam with spring coils for an ultra-supportive, body-conforming mattress. While the brand defines it as medium-firm, lots of reviewers comment that it’s pretty darn firm, so if you’re more of a soft, sinking mattress fan, this might not be the one for you.
The company offers expedited two-day shipping for an extra $75, so if you need a mattress in a pinch, this is a great bet. It also has a 20-year warranty (10 years more than the other brands in this lineup), so you’re covered for quite a long time should something happen to your mattress.
Best Hybrid: Leesa Original Hybrid Mattress
Type: Hybrid memory foam and spring coils | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Trial period: 100 days | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- Great for all sleep positions
- Springy coils offer edge support and an airy, bouncy feel
- Comes with 2 free down-alternative pillows
- Longer period of chemical smell reported
Why we chose it: Cushy memory foam and bouncy spring coils combine for superior edge support and comfort for sleepers of all kinds.
Leesa, along with Casper, was one of the leaders of the mattress-in-a-box movement, and its original memory foam mattress has now been combined with more traditional spring coils for an airy, bouncy feel and additional edge support. The medium-firm hybrid construction also makes it great for all kinds of sleepers—side, back, stomach—because there’s cushiony foam and spring support all throughout.
Some reviewers note that it took up to a week for the mattress to finish off-gassing, so the chemical smell does linger a bit longer than others. This is normal for memory foam mattresses, though, and will certainly go away. One lovely bonus of ordering this mattress is the inclusion of two free down-alternative pillows, which are both supportive and hypoallergenic.
Best Traditional: Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress
Type: Wool and spring coils with cotton cover | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Trial period: 100 days | Firmness: Medium-firm | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- More traditional mattress construction with wool and spring coils
- Free of foams, adhesives, petrochemicals, and chemical flame retardants
- Every component is recyclable
- Heavy and requires 2 people to set up
- More expensive than most
Why we chose it: Made from all recyclable materials like steel, organic cotton, and wool, this traditional mattress is also eco-friendly.
Popular home brand Parachute (known for its buttery-soft linen sheets, among other things) also has a direct-shipped mattress for sale, which is ready to be ground shipped in one to three days—record time for a mattress with bespoke details such as this. If you’re not a memory foam lover and instead prefer a more classically constructed mattress (without the hassle of in-store purchasing), this is an excellent, well-made option that’s softer at the top and bottom and firmer in the middle for support and spine alignment.
It’s made without any synthetic foams, adhesives, petrochemicals, or chemical flame retardants, so you can breathe easy knowing exactly what’s coming into your home. There are only three materials used to construct this mattress, and they’re all fully recyclable: wrapped steel spring coils for edge support and bounce, multiple wool layers for cushion and protection from the coils, and an organic cotton cover. The mattress and all its materials are naturally breathable, which makes this a great choice for hot sleepers as well. All these layers do make the mattress quite heavy, though, so Parachute recommends at least two people to set it up.
Best Luxe: Tempur-Cloud
Type: Memory foam with optional spring coils | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king | Trial period: 90 days | Firmness: Medium | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- Tempur-Pedic quality at an accessible price and doorstep delivery
- Ability to add spring coils for added support
- Available in a split king for separate side-by-side beds
- Not compatible with a box spring
- Not as cooling as other Tempur-Pedic mattresses
Why we chose it: The quality of brand-name Tempur-Pedic memory foam, but with the convenience of doorstep delivery.
Among all the memory foam mattress brands, Tempur-Pedic is widely regarded as one of the best quality beds you can buy—and the cost certainly reflects that. This mattress is the most affordable way in on the classic Tempur material, and it comes with the added benefit of direct-to-door shipping for total convenience. You can also choose to add spring coils if you want more edge support and the classic bouncy feel.
It’s available in a wide range of sizes, including a split king for couples with different sleep needs, and compatible with a range of smart bases. But unlike the other Tempur-Pedic mattresses, this one doesn’t come with a cool-to-the-touch cover, so you’ll likely want to invest in a cooling mattress topper if you run hot at night.
Best Cooling: Purple Hybrid Premier 3
Type: Spring coils, memory foam, flexible gel grid | Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, split king, California king | Trial period: 100 nights | Firmness: Medium-soft | Warranty: 10 years
What we like:
- Breathable layers and flexible gel grid make this the coolest of the bunch
- Softest of our picks
- Available in split king for separate side-by-side beds
- Some reviewers say they can feel the grid underneath them
- Not for those who don’t want to sink a bit into their mattress
Why we chose it: A soft, sink-right-in mattress that’s also super-breathable.
Purple mattresses have an unusual proprietary layer that sets them apart from the other mattresses in this lineup: It’s a flexible gel grid that is purple (naturally) and has a similar effect to memory foam in that it cushions and supports but is also ultra-breathable. This mattress is also the softest of our picks, because this gel grid gives quite a bit more under one’s body than a thick memory foam or wool-and-spring mattress would. Some reviewers did mention that they didn’t like that they could actually feel the grid construction underneath them, but for a vast majority, the benefits outweighed this.
Another plus of the Purple Hybrid Premier 3 is that it’s available in a split king, so couples with different sleep needs can pair it with one of the smart bases to separately control their own sleep experience.
How We Chose These Products
All of the mattresses we chose are from long-standing, reliable companies that have a history of great customer service, positive reviews, and quality mattresses. While there are countless mattress-in-a-box brands, we went with those that set the industry standard and are highly reputable. We also only chose mattresses with sleep trials of at least 90 days, since most of the brands do not have widely available showrooms, and testing them out in your home is crucial to finding the best product for your sleep style. Each mattress brand offers a minimum 10-year warranty on its products, so you can literally sleep soundly that if anything should happen to your mattress, you can get it repaired or replaced for free. In terms of materials, we included a range of all–memory foam mattresses; hybrid models with spring coils and memory foam; and a more traditional option made from wool, cotton, and steel springs. We also checked in with Benjamin for tips on choosing the best mattress for the best night’s sleep.
Our Shopping Checklist
Design and Materials
Many of the best boxed mattresses available now are made from memory foam, because it’s easy to vacuum-seal and ship in boxes much smaller than the mattress itself. Most of the mattresses we picked do have memory foam, but many of them also have spring coils for added edge support and bounce. Memory foam is typically quite dense, and therefore not super-breathable on its own, so a lot of these mattresses are perforated or have cotton covers, flexible grid layers, or individually wrapped spring coils. Memory foam, by and large, is usually medium-firm, which suits a large majority of sleepers. We also included one mattress (the Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress) that’s constructed with wool, steel spring coils, and cotton, which provides a firm, more traditional feel that’s also very breathable.
Contouring and pressure relief: One of the key factors of a quality mattress is its ability to conform to your body and support it well enough to relieve pressure. Memory foam is famous for its contouring properties, and mattresses like the Original Casper use multiple firmnesses of foam to contour specific parts of the body and relieve pressure.
Edge support: This is the ability of a mattress to retain its shape on the edge, so if you roll over to one side or sit down on the side of the mattress, it won’t squish to the point of you rolling off. Spring coils are added to many mattress models for this reason.
Temperature regulation: Since many people tend to run hot when they sleep, mattress brands go to lengths to ensure that their products are breathable (perforated foam, flexible gel-grid construction, cotton and wool covers).
Packaging and Delivery
Because they’re shipped right to your door in a single box, these mattresses are usually vacuum-sealed in a plastic or reusable bag, and once you remove them from the packaging, they take time to settle and “reinflate.” This also means that they’re relatively heavy to lift or scoot into your door or up a flight of stairs, so you might want to grab a buddy to help with setup.
Sleep Trials and Returns
All the mattresses we picked have sleep trials of at least 90 days (but most are 100 days!), with free pickup to ensure that you get a solid testing experience before making a final decision.
Q: Can a mattress in a box be used on any bed frame?
Typically, memory foam mattresses are not recommended for use with box springs, and instead should be used on a firm, flat surface like a platform bed or sturdy slats.
Q: How long do I let a mattress in a box inflate after opening?
In general, vacuum-packed mattresses will take between four and 10 hours to fully expand, but many manufacturers will recommend waiting a full 24 hours before dressing or sleeping on your new mattress.
Q: How long can a mattress in a box be left unopened?
Most manufacturers would suggest leaving your mattress rolled up and unopened for no longer than 24 to 48 hours to prevent the memory foam from sustaining permanent damage, but if you happen to be away when it’s delivered, in most cases, you can leave it up to a week or two (indoors) without worrying too much.
Q: How heavy are mattresses in a box?
While they’re packed into boxes much smaller than the full mattress, expect the box to weigh anywhere from 60 to 150 pounds, depending on the mattress size, and plan to have a buddy on hand if you need to lug it up a set of stairs or far into your house.
Q: Does a mattress in a box need a box spring?
Nope, and most of the manufacturers would actually suggest you not use a box spring at all. For memory foam mattresses, the companies recommend a sturdy, flat surface like a platform or slat bed. The Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress, however, can be used on a box spring, though the company says it’s not necessary.
The Last Word
Mattresses in a box are a great option for those who need a bed shipped quickly, right to their door, and now come in a variety of materials and constructions like memory foam, spring coils, and hybrids of both. They’re also available at a wide range of prices with a number of added luxuries like extra padding, cooling covers, and split constructions for couples. If you’re looking for the best that mattresses in a box have to offer, we’d recommend the Original Casper, which has zoned and breathable memory foam with the option to add spring coils for edge support and bounce.