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Best Mattress in a Box of 2024:
Top Beds Delivered to Your Doorstep

UPDATED

Written by David Rubin

Expert Tested

A mattress in a box is compressed for shipping and arrives at your home in compact packaging, making it easy to deliver through FedEx, UPS, or other carriers. With a mattress in a box, there’s no need to visit a store in person, have a bed delivered by professionals, or borrow or rent a truck for mattress transportation. 

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Best Overall Mattress in a Box

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DreamCloud

The DreamCloud is a versatile mattress that checks lots of boxes, from strong cushioning and pressure relief to sturdy support and breathability. The foam-and-coil design is a solid fit for a wide range of sleepers.

We’ll discuss our top picks and provide the details you need to choose the best mattress in a box for you. We’ll also provide in-depth information about the mattress-in-a-box delivery method and answer frequently asked questions about how the process works and why most shoppers choose this type of mattress.

Read on to see why the following five options made our top picks list of 2024’s best mattresses in a box.

Sleep Doctor’s Picks

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Best Overall Mattress

DreamCloud

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The DreamCloud Mattress pairs adaptive foam layers with a sturdy coil system, creating a balanced sleep surface that our tests show is particularly beneficial for back sleepers. Perks for shoppers include a below-average sticker price and a year-long trial period.

Buy From DreamCloud
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Great Value

Feel:

Plush Surface

Pros

  • Quilted foam surface offers excellent pressure relief
  • Sturdy coils ensure strong support for the lower back
  • Cashmere blend cover promotes breathability and wicks moisture

Cons

  • Stomach sleepers over 230 pounds may need a firmer bed
  • Foam may emit some off-gassing odors at first

Why We Like It

The DreamCloud Mattress is a medium firm (6) model that’s well suited for many sleep positions. The balanced hybrid design integrates plush cushioning layers and a strong support system that benefits couples, hot sleepers, and people with back pain. The highest ratings on our team came from side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, as well as back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds and stomach sleepers under 130 pounds.

Temperature control is another area where the DreamCloud performs well. This can be attributed to steady air circulation through the coils, as well as a breathable cashmere blend cover that helps the surface stay cool. Our temperature sensors picked up very little heat buildup.

How Does It Feel?

The DreamCloud is a hybrid model featuring a comfort system with several foam layers. A layer of polyfoam is quilted into the breathable cashmere-blend cover, giving the surface a plush feel. Underneath is gel-infused memory foam that contours to the body and alleviates pressure. Transitional polyfoam prevents your body from sinking too deeply into the mattress. We found that the combination of responsive polyfoam and adaptive memory foam results in noticeable cushioning without a lot of sinkage.

Individually pocketed coils make up the support core. These coils reinforce the bed well, but we didn’t notice too much motion transfer during our motion isolation tests. Thicker coils along the perimeter help boost support around the edges.

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Best Value Mattress

Nectar Mattress

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Nectar Mattress is a standout mattress in a box thanks to its balanced medium firm (6) feel and excellent performance in areas like pressure relief and motion isolation. The mattress also carries an approachable price-point and comes with a year-long trial period.

Buy From Nectar
Ideal For:

Side and Back Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Great Value

Feel:

Close-Conforming Foam

Pros

  • Adaptive comfort system helps reduce pressure buildup
  • Foams absorb most movement transfer and noise
  • Year-long sleep trial

Cons

  • May not provide enough support for people weighing more than 230 pounds
  • Foam layers can absorb and trap heat to an uncomfortable degree

Why We Like It

The Nectar provides excellent pressure relief and contouring for side and back sleepers weighing up to 230 pounds. Our testers in this weight category appreciated the gel-infused memory foam and polyfoam comfort layers, which responded to their bodies and cradled pressure-sensitive areas. Stomach sleepers under 130 pounds also gave the mattress favorable ratings.

While the lack of perimeter support was a negative for our testers who usually sleep close to the edge of their mattress, we noticed the 12-inch profile made getting in and out of bed easy. We found the mattress met the overall needs of a range of sleep and body types, and above-average motion isolation made it a good option for couples.

How Does It Feel?

The Nectar is an all-foam mattress that accommodates a wide range of sleepers across body types and sleep positions. Our tests also indicate the mattress is a good option for couples, people with painful pressure points, and those who generally enjoy the feel of an all-foam bed.

The mattress cushioned the hips, shoulders, and spine of our side and back sleepers, while the medium firm feel was sufficiently supportive to maintain lumbar support and overall healthy spinal alignment. The gel infusion in the foam is designed for temperature regulation to help offset some of the heat retention, though the bed overall ran fairly warm.

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Best Luxury Mattress

Saatva Classic

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

The Saatva Classic comes in multiple firmness levels, all offering excellent support without sacrificing the cushioning sleepers need. The luxury Euro-top design allows the perfect amount of cradling for people across a wide variety of sleep preferences.

Buy From Saatva
Ideal For:

Hot Sleepers

Firmness:

Soft, Medium Firm, Firm

Value:

Fair Value

Feel:

Responsive Surface

Pros

  • Available in three firmness levels and two profile options
  • Foam layers and dual coil design offers balance of cushioning and support
  • Free White Glove delivery and 365-night sleep trial

Cons

  • Above-average price-point for a hybrid
  • Returns incur a $99 fee

Why We Like It

The Saatva Classic is a foam hybrid model made in three different firmness options, so most sleepers should be able to find a compatible version regardless of sleep position and body type. You can choose a soft (3), medium firm (6), or firm (8) design, and you can also opt for a 11.5-inch or 14.5-inch thickness.

The soft and medium firm models are a good fit for side sleepers due to the excellent pressure relief, while back and stomach sleepers gravitate toward the medium firm and firm beds for the stronger support. In all models, the unique coil-on-coil design is responsive with gentle contouring on the surface.

How Does It Feel?

All of the mattress options offer cushioning in varying degrees, with the soft model producing a feeling of luxurious plushness. At the same time, you’ll receive plenty of support from the microcoils in the comfort system and sturdy coils in the core. The microcoils are zoned to bolster the midsection and help keep your spine properly aligned. The organic cotton cover is soft and breathable and air flows freely through the coils, so overheating is not a significant issue for most sleepers.

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Best Mattress for Side Sleepers

Helix Midnight

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

Side sleepers need a bed that cushions the hips and shoulders without giving up too much support in the midsection. The Helix Midnight’s middle-of-the-road feel checks off both boxes.

Buy From Helix
Ideal For:

Side Sleepers

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Good Value

Feel:

Close-Conforming Foam

Pros

  • Hybrid design offers strong balance of pressure relief and support
  • Foam layers minimize motion transfer
  • Reinforced perimeter coils enhance support along the edges

Cons

  • Side sleepers over 230 pounds may prefer a firmer bed
  • Some sleepers might notice off-gassing odors at first

Why We Like It

The Helix Midnight has a medium firm (6) feel that earned solid ratings from most of our testing team, but side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds gave it some of the highest reviews. Strong cushioning on the surface eases pressure off the shoulders and hips while the sturdy coils ensure plenty of support for the lower back. This is an area of the body which can sink excessively on some of the competing foam hybrids we’ve tested.

The foam comfort layers absorb a good deal of motion, so you won’t feel too much movement if you sleep with a restless partner. Reinforced coils around the perimeter boost support along the edges.

How Does It Feel?

Memory foam on the surface offers immediate cushioning, while a denser polyfoam layer underneath balances contouring with slight pushback. The bed feels just plush enough to cradle your body without inhibiting movement when you move around the surface. The coils allow strong airflow through the bed’s interior, so you shouldn’t feel overly hot despite some moderate heat retention from the foam.

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Best Cooling Mattress

BedStory Cool Gel Memory Foam Hybrid

Dr. Michael BreusReviewer Picture

Sleep Doctor’s Review

BedStory’s Cool Gel Memory Foam Hybrid combines the soothing comfort of adaptive foams with robust pocketed coils. The result is a mattress that cushions your body in all the right places without sacrificing stability — and the sticker price should be a major selling point for shoppers on a budget.

Buy From Bedstory
Ideal For:

People with Back Pain

Firmness:

Medium Firm

Value:

Excellent Value

Feel:

Plush, Supportive Surface

Pros

  • Convoluted top layer promotes airflow near the surface
  • Reinforced perimeter coils prevent excessive sinkage when you get in and out of bed
  • Sticker price is much lower than average for a hybrid

Cons

  • Strong off-gassing smells may persist for a few nights after unboxing
  • Short sleep trial and no warranty coverage

Why We Like It

As a medium firm (6) foam hybrid, this model fared well among our testing team’s side sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds. Back sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds also found the mattress comfortable and received adequate support. Some of our stomach sleepers under 130 pounds gave the hybrid favorable ratings, but most testers who favor this position and weigh more sank a bit too much into the mattress.

Thanks to the Cool Gel Memory Foam Hybrid’s thick comfort layers, the mattress performed well during our pressure relief and motion isolation tests. These are two areas where hybrids often falter. Other defining strengths include a sturdy perimeter and above-average cooling — we’ve attributed the latter to the convoluted top layer.

How Does It Feel?

The hybrid features three comfort layers encased in a Euro-top, resulting in a plush feel when you get into bed. Each layer is progressively denser, so you’ll notice some pushback as your body settles into the mattress. Since the top layer is convoluted and the second layer is infused with cooling gel, uncomfortable heat retention shouldn’t be a major issue.

The support core consists of pocketed coils and high-density base foam. Perimeter coils are reinforced to minimize compression when you sleep close to the edges or get in and out of bed. A knit polyester cover encases the mattress.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team has years of experience in the sleep product industry. We’ve reviewed a wide range of products, including mattresses, and we personally research and test each product before offering a fair and unbiased review.

To provide you with the best information, each mattress is tested by several sleep experts. Our team members have a variety of body types and preferred sleeping positions to help us give the most accurate feedback possible.

Benefits of a Mattress in a Box – Video

If you’re trying to decide whether to buy a mattress in a box or purchase one from a brick-and-mortar store, watch our video to explore the advantages of shopping online. We’ll offer some hands-on explanations of why mattresses in a box might be a better option for you.

What Do You Really Need to Know Before Buying a Mattress in a Box?

We’ll discuss everything you need to know to choose the best online mattress to suit your needs, covering a range of factors that could influence your buying decision.

What We Mean by a Mattress in a Box

A mattress in a box is compressed and folded or rolled for shipping. Once the shopper removes it from the packaging, it will decompress and return to its original shape. Most mattresses decompress within a few hours, though some may take up to 48 hours to fully expand.

Foam mattresses adapt best to this shipping method, and hybrid beds also work well. However, we don’t recommend purchasing a latex mattress, airbed, or traditional innerspring model in a box due to difficulties with shipping.

Why Would You Want to Buy a Mattress in a Box?

When shopping online, you have access to all types of mattresses at a wide range of prices, giving you almost limitless options. You can also take your time browsing online to find the best mattress in a box without sales staff hovering nearby, which makes for a more relaxing shopping experience.

However, if you need any help while shopping or have questions about a specific mattress or policy, customer service and chat support are typically readily available with online mattress companies. Additionally, most companies offer longer sleep trials for mattresses purchased online compared to in-store.

How Do You Shop for a Mattress in a Box?

Before purchasing a mattress in a box, research what mattress types are best for you and consider your price range.

Once you have a type of bed in mind, read mattress reviews to find out how specific models perform. Be sure to check each mattress’ warranty and sleep trial period, and read the fine print to ensure you know exactly what is included with your purchase.

Finally, look for sales and promotions, especially during the holidays, to get the best online deal.

opening quote icon With the sheer amount of direct-to-consumer mattresses on the market nowadays, I know it can be hard to find an option that meets your needs. Your ideal mattress will be one that feels both comfortable and supportive, which your body weight and preferred sleeping position often determine. opening quote icon
Dr. Michael Breus, Clinical Psychologist, Sleep Medicine Expert and Combination Sleeper

Tips Before Buying a Mattress in a Box

Most mattresses — especially all-foam beds — produce off-gassing, which is a chemical-like smell that typically fades after several hours or days. While this odor isn’t generally harmful, it can cause headaches or allergy-like symptoms for those with sensitivities.

To prevent an abundance of off-gassing, remove the mattress from the box promptly after delivery and allow it to air out in a room with good ventilation.

Bear in mind that most mattresses require a break-in period before they achieve their full comfort and support, which is why most companies won’t accept a mattress for return unless it’s been in use for at least a few weeks.

What Is a Mattress in a Box?

A mattress in a box refers to a package and delivery method in which the mattress is compressed, then rolled or folded and packed into a box. The company then ships the box directly to the customer, who removes and decompresses the mattress.

The following mattress types work well for this shipping method because they are easily compressed.

Foam Mattresses

Foam beds — and particularly memory foam beds — are an ideal option if you wish to purchase a mattress in a box. The memory foam compresses easily without compromising the integrity of the mattress and resumes its shape quickly when decompressed.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses typically contain both foam and coils. While this construction isn’t as ideal for the mattress-in-a-box delivery method as an all-foam mattress, it’s still possible to compress and ship a hybrid mattress in a box and have it return to its original shape in a short amount of time.

What About Innerspring Beds?

While hybrid beds generally include both coils and foam, most innerspring mattresses have a coil-only design, making compression difficult, if not impossible.

While traditional innerspring mattresses used to be popular, they aren’t as common now and are often associated with cheaper models that aren’t ideal for the mattress-in-a-box shipping method.

Latex Mattresses

While it’s possible to ship a latex mattress in a box, it’s not the most convenient method. Latex mattresses are often very heavy, which sometimes means they must be shipped in multiple boxes. The customer then assembles the mattress from multiple parts once they’ve unboxed it.

Airbed Mattresses

Airbed mattresses require similar assembly to latex models. An airbed mattress often ships in multiple pieces and the buyer must assemble the bed themselves once they receive all the boxes, making the process inconvenient for many shoppers.

Advantages to Buying a Mattress in a Box

While online shopping doesn’t let you personally test the feel of a mattress before making a purchase, there are definite advantages to the process.

How to Shop for a Mattress in a Box

While browsing for a mattress from your home offers greater convenience than driving to a brick-and-mortar location, it’s important to have a shopping strategy before diving into the myriad online options.

Do Your Research Online and Make a List of Top Picks

Before purchasing a mattress in a box, we recommend that you take time to research your options online and browse through popular models to get an idea of what’s available. Once you’ve done some research, make a list of your top mattress picks.

Read Customer Reviews of Your Top Picks to Get Firsthand Feedback

Once you have your list of top picks, you can use customer reviews to get personal feedback and details about the performance of the bed.

It’s also a good idea to search for reviews relevant to your specific needs. For example, if you’re concerned about durability, search for reviews from customers who have had the bed for a long time and are pleased with its performance.

Compare Sleep Trials and Warranties

When buying a bed online, it’s important to know if it includes a sleep trial and, if so, what its terms and duration are. Since you can’t test the bed in person, the sleep trial ensures that you get a chance to try it out before fully committing to the purchase.

Knowing the bed’s warranty information can also provide peace of mind. We urge you to read the fine print of the sleep trial and warranty before making your purchase.

Look for Holiday Sales and Other Promotions

It may seem like generic shopping advice, but we always advise that you look for holiday sales and other promotions when purchasing a mattress. Shoppers who find a mattress on sale can save significant sums of money.

What Are Some Last Things You Should Know Before Buying a Mattress in a Box?

Before you click the purchase button on a new mattress in a box, there are a few final considerations.

Off-Gassing and Other Boxed Mattress Smells

Many mattresses emit a chemical-like odor when removed from their packaging for the first time, with foam mattresses often producing the most off-gassing. However, the aroma should fade within a few hours or days and generally isn’t harmful.

If off-gassing bothers you, place the mattress in a well-ventilated room, with the window or door open if needed, until the smell fades.

Break-in Periods

While we all want a new bed to perform at its best the first night we use it, most mattresses have some sort of adjustment period. If you have trouble sleeping at first, know that it is normal and give it time.

Many online mattress companies have a break-in period and won’t allow customers to initiate a return for a bed that’s been in use for less than three or four weeks. This is to ensure that you’ve had time to get used to the bed and know for certain that it’s not working for you.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Unbox

While a mattress in a box ships conveniently, it shouldn’t be left in the box for a prolonged period of time after you receive it. Leaving a compressed mattress in a box for too long could damage it or reduce its lifespan.

About The Author

David Rubin

Certified Sleep Science Coach, Director of Product Testing


David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with a lifelong passion for well-being and health optimization. His interest in sleep developed with the arrival of his son, when sleep suddenly became a precious commodity.

  • POSITION: Side Sleeper
  • TEMPERATURE: Hot Sleeper
  • CHRONOTYPE: Lion

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