Mattresses in a box have become one of the easiest ways to buy a new bed since you can order it from the comfort of your couch and test the mattress for about 100 nights (on average) before making a full commitment. With an odd exception, all the top-rated picks in our best mattress guide are either memory foam mattresses or hybrid mattresses.
Even better, this year’s best mattress in the box is much cheaper than similar models sold in stores, yet of the same high quality. Here we answer your main questions about this modern type of bed, including what is a mattress in a box, how is it made and how do you use it?
What is arranged in a box?
Packaged mattresses get their name from the way they are packaged for shipping. Regardless of the material used to make them, they are usually pressed with a heavy weight and then rolled up tightly and covered with a heavy-duty protective plastic.
The wrapped mattress is then placed inside a hard cardboard box to be shipped to your door. This is very convenient, but some online mattress manufacturers will ship their mattress flat and move it to your bedroom, ready to sleep on. This is called White Glove Delivery and is offered for free by a few premium brands, including luxury manufacturer Saatva.
While the mattresses in the box vary in terms of construction, materials, and benefits, the one thing they all have in common is the trial period. This is the length of time you can test your new bed at home to make sure it is the right choice for you. Most mattress trials last for 100 nights, but Tempur-Pedic is slightly shorter at 90 nights, compared to the one-year trials offered by Nectar Sleep, Saatva, DreamCloud, WinkBeds, Avocado Green, and Awara Sleep.
How much does a mattress in a box cost?
The price of a packed mattress depends on several factors. These include the materials used to make them, the size you buy (read our guide to mattress sizes if you’re not sure), the manufacturer you made them and the time of year you buy them.
Premium materials usually add up to premium prices. For example, because they use only certified materials, organic mattresses designed for natural, non-toxic sleep command a higher price tag than most other types of beds. The exception to this is cooling mattresses because they contain a lot of cooling technology. Both types come boxed and flat (traditional).
Bigger sizes also cost more, and the time of year has an effect as well because summer is the time when we typically see price increases compared to other prime periods for good mattress sales. These include Black Friday bedding deals and Labor Day mattress sales in September.
The cost of a budget mattress in a box can start at as little as $150, and many of the best cheap mattresses made by Zinus, Lucid, and Linenspa sell for around $350 for a queen size. At the other end of the scale, a packed premium bed can cost over $1,700 for a queen, so there’s a significant price range.
What are packed mattresses made of?
Boxed beds come in several different types: These include memory foam mattresses, hybrid (made with a type of foam plus coils or springs), and organic (made with certified natural and organic materials).
The mattress is made of different layers of materials (usually three to five layers), and the main components are:
breathable cover – To help dissipate heat faster.
Comfortable Layer – the layer on which it rests directly; They can be made of body-hugging memory foam, latex, or gel-infused foam for cooling.
core support – This is the deepest part of the mattress where you will find the densest layer of foam or (for hybrid) individually wrapped coils.
Edge support Not all packed mattresses have good edge support, but their main role is to help you get in and out of bed easier and sleep and sit on the edge while supported.
base layer It lives at the bottom of the mattress and works to keep the entire bed stable while sleeping on top of it.
Are they comfortable with sleeping?
We have tested a lot of filled mattresses over the years and many of them are very comfortable. However, this question is still difficult to answer because comfort, just like mattress firmness, is subjective and influenced by the following factors:
- What support do you need and where (which areas of your body)
- Whether you like soft, medium or firm mattresses
- Your body type, height and weight
- Your favorite sleeping position
- Whether you share a bed with someone else or a pet
A good mattress in a box is made of multiple layers to enhance your comfort in bed, in addition, it will rely on different cooling materials to enhance ventilation to help you sleep more comfortably.
How long do mattresses stay in the box?
When we talk about how long a mattress lasts, we often say that the average life span is six to eight years. This mostly applies to mattresses in the box, but again the type and quality of materials used to make them will affect their longevity and durability.
Cheaper models can last up to five or six years, or a little longer if you pair them with one of the best mattress toppers to add durability, support, softness, or cooling as needed. That’s because the top covers act as an extra barrier between the mattress and the body, so more wear and tear is absorbed.
A mid-range family in a box lasts an average of seven to ten years, and most will be guaranteed for 10 years. There are some exceptions, however, with the Nectar Mattress, a great mid-range option, that comes with a lifetime warranty (read our Nectar Mattress review to learn more).
Premium models, sold by brands including Purple, Casper, and Nolah, can easily last 10 years or more if you take care of them properly. This includes covering her with a good mattress protector and learning how to clean the mattress to prevent it from aging prematurely.
Who Should Buy a Mattress in a Box?
This type of mattress has become synonymous with online shopping and is a good choice for all sleepers, especially if you want:
- Well made mattress at a lower price
- Convenient delivery to the front door or bedroom
- Your choice of a hybrid, foam, cooling or organic mattress
- Wide range of mattress firmness and height options
- A suitable trial period (at least 100 nights) to test your rank
- Free shipping and, in most cases, free returns
- Warranty for at least 10 years
- Option to return the mattress for a refund after a few months
Who wouldn’t buy a mattress in a box?
While mattresses in a box are suitable for all types of sleepers thanks to their versatility and tremendous price, there are scenarios that may not work for you. This is the case if:
- Prefer to shop in person in the store
- She loves traditional spring and feather mattresses
- You don’t want to take your own mattress out of the box and set it up (although some companies do this for free or for a small fee)
- You need a mattress with special hygiene features to help you sleep better when you have a medical condition
Overall, a bed-in-a-box is an excellent way to quickly improve your sleep comfort, at low cost and with minimal risks. But to enjoy all these perks, we recommend buying from a trusted brand or retailer and only if they offer a minimum 60-night trial, plus free shipping (and ideally free returns), with a clear return policy and warranty so you know your rights and what to expect if You changed your mind and wanted the mattress back.
Good brands to consider include Nectar Sleep, DreamCloud, Helix Sleep, WinkBeds, Cocoon by Sealy, Purple, Casper, Nolah, Emma Sleep, Brook + Wilde, and Simba.