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The Best Mattresses in a Box of 2021

These boxed bed brands make shopping easier and deliver quality sleep.

best mattress in a box
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You spend a lot of time on your mattress, so choosing which to buy is a crucial decision. But online brands have changed the way we shop for this big-ticket investment with the rise of boxed mattresses: Unlike mattresses that get carried into your home in their normal position, mattresses in a box get compressed and rolled up so they can be shipped like mail. That means they get delivered for you to set up at your own convenience rather than waiting around for a delivery truck. What's more: Most brands let you try the mattresses out at home instead of guessing the best fit in a store — in fact, most companies now offer a trial period of at least 100 nights, so you can actually sleep on the bed for a few months with the option to get a full refund.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab evaluates mattresses of all kinds, including hybrid mattresses, memory foam mattresses, cooling mattresses and more by researching the brands, trying the beds out first-hand, having testers sleep on them for extended periods, and surveying our panel to get in-depth reviews from real users. Our latest survey had responses from over 5,500 mattress owners and our team reviewed over 126,000 data points to pick the best beds. You can read more about how to pick your perfect mattress at the end of this article, but first, here are the best mattresses in a box to buy, with prices listed for Queen sizes:

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Best Overall Mattress in a Box
Casper Original Mattress
Casper
Casper amazon.com
$876.00

 Height: 12"
 Firmness levelMedium Firm
 Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
 Trial period100 days

Casper is well known for making the mattress-in-a-box industry mainstream, and it's the most commonly purchased online brand by our panel, helping it earn the top spot on our list. The brand offers several different models with varying price points, but this one is the most popular and what we think is most worth the cost. It's made entirely of foam on the inside.

    Even though this model is the "original" from Casper, it still has had some updates along the way to improve breathability and support. And because it's available at popular retailers like Amazon, you can expect to have it arrive at your door within days.

    What it's made of: A stretchy knit cover that's made from recycled water bottles, a layer of Casper's signature AirScape (foam with thousands of small perforations throughout for increased breathability), memory foam with zoned support (meaning it's softer under your shoulders and firmer under your lower back and hips for proper spine alignment) and supportive base foam to prevent sinking and sagging.

    Tester notes:  Over 100 reviewers told us they love their Casper mattress, especially highlighting the price, ease of buying, good support and overall comfort. One user even told us, "It's the best one I've ever owned," while another explained liking it because "it conforms to your body." 

    • High ratings from our panel
    • Ergonomic design for alignment
    • Reputable brand with good customer service

    • Model upgrades are pricier
    Best Value Mattress in a Box
    Allswell Luxe Hybrid Mattress
    Allswell
    Allswell allswellhome.com
    $675.00

     Height: 12"
     Firmness levelMedium
     Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
     Trial period90 days

    Allswell's mattress is packed with features, but it's also one of the most affordable brands in our roundup. It's not the cheapest, but it stands out for its exceptional performance despite costing well under $1,000. This hybrid mattress is made with a mix of memory foam, coils and a pillowtop to offer a balance of comfort, pressure relief and support. 

      If you're looking to save even more, the brand also has a 10-inch hybrid mattress that's just $299 for a Queen. It has fewer features (there's less edge support and no cooling aspects), but reviewers told us it's comfortable and they're happy with it.

      What it's made of: A quilted top panel with plush foam, two inches of memory foam that are infused with cooling copper to prevent overheating, one inch of high-density foam for support and individual coils that help you move and provide more airflow.

      Tester notes: Our panel agreed this mattress was worth the price, and several even said it got rid of their neck and back pain. Users also told us the ordering process was smooth, delivery was quick and set up was easy. Besides its convenience, one tester told us: "It feels like sleeping on a real, plush hotel mattress, but at a fraction of the price."

      • Hybrid model combines foam and coils
      • Testers rate it higher than pricier brands
      • Easy ordering, delivery and setup

      • Some find it lacks edge support
      Most Innovative Mattress in a Box
      The Purple Mattress
      Purple
      Purple amazon.com
      $1,199.00

       Height: 9.25"
       Firmness levelMedium Firm
       Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
       Trial period100 days 

      This brand stands out for its grid-shaped elastic material in the top layer with its unique feel that's squishy yet firm, designed to provide both support and pressure relief. Below the grid is just memory foam in this original model.

        Purple also offers hybrid models with foam and coils for added support and airflow, but they're pricier and heavier. It's worth noting that the original model is still particularly heavy (a Queen weighs 110 pounds).

        What it's made of: A soft knit cover that purposely doesn't have any fillers so you can feel the elastic layer, two inches of the GelFlex Grid for pressure relief and spine alignment and two layers of foam for the base.

        Tester notes: Our panel describes it as the perfect combination of soft and firm, and users say they can't feel their sleeping partners move during the night. Reviewers also praised its comfort by telling us it feels like "sleeping on air" and "like floating in every sleeping position." Just note: unlike other models that can arrive within days, some told us their Purple mattress delivery took longer than expected.

        • Pressure-relief with support
        • Good motion isolation
        • Grid layer is breathable

        • Heavy to set up
        • Some said delivery took longer than expected
        Best Mattress in a Box on Amazon
        Tuft & Needle Original Mattress
        Tuft & Needle
        Tuft & Needle amazon.com
        $895.00
        $626.50 (30% off)

         Height: 10"
         Firmness levelMedium Firm
         Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
         Trial period100 days

        This no-frills mattress has a basic design yet is surprisingly comfortable and convenient. Because it's available on Amazon Prime, it has speedy delivery and you know exactly which day it'll show up at the time of ordering. This reliability is an important consideration given all of the delays in the mattress industry right now. Its simple model is made with two layers of memory foam inside.

          The brand highlights its T&N Adaptive Foam technology that's resilient and contouring, yet still supportive. It also uses graphite and gel in its foams to pull body heat, which can help prevent overheating that comes from memory foam. And while this model is most popular, Tuft & Needle also has an even more affordable 8" option as an Amazon exclusive, along with two more expensive options that have added features. 

          What it's made of: A knit outer cover that feels soft and smooth, softer cushioning foam on top for cradling comfort and firmer foam on the bottom for support.

          Tester notes: This mattress received a lot of praise in areas like comfort and support, it stood out among our panel for its motion isolation: Users told us they couldn't feel their sleeping partners move around throughout the night. They also raved that it feels supportive and firm. One survey respondent highlighted "My Tuft & Needle mattress is so much more comfortable than any mattress I've ever had in the past." The main complaint here is that the edges lack support, so if you're sitting on the side it may sag.

          • Fast and reliable shipping
          • Supportive
          • Good motion isolation

          • Memory foam can sometimes feel warm
          • Less edge support
          Best Luxury Mattress in a Box
          TEMPUR-Cloud Mattress
          Tempur-Pedic
          Tempur-Pedic tempurpedic.com
          $1,399.30

           Height: 10"
           Firmness levelMedium
           Sizes: Twin, Twin Long, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King
           Trial period90 days

          Most Tempur-Pedic mattresses cost over $3,000 and require in-home set-up, but this compressed version ships via UPS to your front door. It still uses the brand's signature Tempur material, which is a high-quality foam that conforms to your shape and reduces motion transfer.

          It's pricier than other boxed mattress, but the impressive material is known for its superior pressure relief — and was even developed by NASA initially to absorb the g-force of astronauts in space. The brand says that while it may feel a little firm when you first lie down on it, it'll slowly adapt to your body to feel like a personalized fit.

          What it's made of: A stretchy outer cover with built-in breathability and airflow, a layer of cushioning foam at the top, a layer of support foam that conforms to your shape, and durable base foam for long-term support.

          Tester notes: Users gave it high scores across the board, especially for comfort, support and overall sleep quality. One told us "I feel like my entire body is supported in a very gentle way," while others who have owned it for years are amazed at how well it's held up. Plus, a tester that slept on a more traditional mattress-in-a-box before this one said "it was definitely a major upgrade."

          Discount:
          30% for GHK readers with the code "CLOUD30" 

          • Made with popular Tempur foam
          • Good pressure relief and motion isolation
          • Quality materials for long-term use

          • Pricier than others
          Best Cheap Mattress in a Box
          Linenspa 8-Inch Hybrid Mattress
          Linenspa
          Linenspa amazon.com
          $243.99

           Height: 8" 
           Firmness levelMedium-firm
           Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, California King
           Trial periodN/A

          This best-selling, budget-friendly mattress is a total steal for under $300 and highly rated by our tester panel, making it a perfect choice for anyone on a budget. It has a low profile and won't feel as luxurious as the other models in this article, but it's convenient to buy with quick shipping and an easy setup. 

            While this 8-inch mattress is the firmest and least expensive, it's also available in two other versions with more foam: A 10-inch model with medium firmness and a 12-inch model that feels plusher. These taller versions are both still under $400.

            What it's made of: A soft knit cover with a quilted layer of memory foam, a 1.5-inch layer of memory foam for a comfortable surface and a base of 6-inch steel springs for durability.

            Tester notes: Dozens of users told us it was incredibly easy to order and set up, plus they unanimously agreed it was well worth the price. Some noted that it seemed a bit thin, but otherwise there were no major complaints. One user summarized her experience to us by saying, "You won't find a better mattress for the price. The company is awesome, the mattress arrived two days after I placed the order and was in perfect condition! Opening the mattress was easy and took less than five minutes until I had it on the bed frame."

            • Low cost
            • Popular among reviewers and our panel
            • Lightweight for easy set up

            • No trial period
            • Not as tall or substantial as others
            Best Mattress in a Box for Back Pain
            Nolah Evolution 15 Mattress
            Nolah
            Nolah nolahmattress.com
            $1,599.00

            • Height: 15"
             Firmness level: Plus, Luxury Firm, Firm
             Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
             Trial period: 120 nights

            The best mattresses for people with back pain typically have a medium firmness level and memory foam layers for pressure relief and to help promote alignment for side sleeping. Nolah's luxurious boxed hybrid is made with many layers for comfort and support.

              It comes in three firmness levels, but Luxury Firm will feel the closest to a "medium" option for those with back pain. Just note that this mattress-in-a-box is taller and heavier than others, so it'll be more difficult to set up. If you prefer, you can have it set up for you for an extra $125. You can also opt to forego the trial period to save $150.

              What it's made of: A cover with a cool-to-the-touch feel on top, handles on the side and a non-skid bottom so the mattress doesn't shift. Two inches of foam with cooling properties inside a quilted topper, a two-inch "heat escape gusset" (a border that helps draw excess heat away from the mattress), another two-inch layer of foam (this one for pressure relief and comfort infused with graphite to prevent overheating), two inches of resilience foam for support, one inch of high-density foam for durability and to act as a transition layer and a supportive coil system with added edge support with a bottom layer of cotton and wool to increase stability.

              Tester notes: Reviewers with back pain all told us it eased their discomfort. One tester told us, "I used to wake up with sciatic pain every morning, and it went away within the first week of using this mattress." Another user with pregnancy-related hip pain said the bed "saved" her and noted, "it helped me sleep really well." 

              • Reviewers swear it alleviates pain
              • Hybrid model with many layers
              • Three firmness levels

              • Heavier for DIY set up
              Best Soft Mattress in a Box
              Amerisleep AS5 Mattress
              Amerisleep
              Amerisleep amerisleep.com
              $1,899.00

               Height: 14"
               Firmness levelUltra Soft
               Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
               Trial period100 days

              Most bed-in-a-box brands describe their mattresses as medium firmness, but this one's noticeably softer for anyone that prefers a plush bed. It's all foam with several layers to provide both support and pressure relief, especially for side sleepers to take the weight off hips and shoulders. 

                This model is also noticeably taller than other boxed mattresses, which is ideal for those who want the height, but it may feel a bit heavier to set up on your own. The brand also offers a hybrid version for more responsiveness — i.e., a bouncier feel.

                What it's made of: A soft, breathable outer cover. Bio-Pur foam to relieve pressure points without sinking in too much, a layer of soft memory foam for cradling comfort, the brand's "HIVE" transition layer that promotes alignment through targeted areas (like more cushioning at your shoulders and hips with more support around your head, back and legs) and a durable foam base layer to prevent sagging and soft spots.

                Tester notes: This model is newer to our testers, but so far it's getting top-notch reviews. One user told us she likes that "the super soft foam molds to me, but it doesn't sink down completely – meaning it isn't difficult for me to get up in the morning." Other reviewers on our panel who prefer soft beds gave Amerisleep high ratings for its various models, but not surprisingly, there were mixed comfort reviews from those who preferred firmer feels or sleep on their stomachs. Plus, none of the users on our panel ran into any customer service issues during their buying and set up process.

                • Pressure relief for side sleepers
                • Taller than other boxed mattresses
                • Good customer service

                • Expensive
                Best Firm Mattress in a Box
                Avocado Latex Mattress
                Avocado
                Avocado Green Mattress avocadogreenmattress.com
                $2,699.00

                 Height: 9"
                 Firmness levelFirm
                 Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
                 Trial period365 days

                Most mattresses-in-a-box are made with memory foam, but this organic model uses latex that creates a firmer feel. In fact, Avocado says it's a 7.5 on a firmness scale of 1-10, which is among the firmest you can find. The bed is also certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). 

                  Its firmness makes it most suitable for back and stomach sleepers, or for heavier sleepers that need a firmer surface to prevent sinking. This is particularly due to the fact that you don't get the sinking sensation from latex that's common among foam mattresses.

                  What it's made of: An organic cotton outer cover with needle tufting to bind the layers without glue, a layer of naturally temperature-regulating organic wool and three layers of organic latex with proprietary wave cutouts to prevent motion transfer and provide contouring benefits for proper spine alignment. 

                  Tester notes: Our panelists rave about the Avocado brand in general, especially for being sustainable without sacrificing comfort or quality. Testers told us this specific mattress felt great to sleep on and made it easy to change positions because they didn't sink in too much. They also noted that it doesn't feel too firm in person, and one told us, "I like the edge support so it's easy to sit on the edge of the bed. I also appreciate the firmness level of this mattress."

                  • Firm latex instead of sinking foam
                  • Certified organic
                  • Generous year-long return period

                  • Expensive
                  • Not ideal for side sleepers
                  Best Reversible Mattress in a Box
                  Layla Mattress
                  Layla
                  Layla amazon.com
                  $949.00

                   Height: 10"
                   Firmness level: Soft and Firm
                   Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
                   Trial period120 days

                  Unsure if you need a soft or firm option? This foam style gives you both: Just flip the mattress to change the support level. Layla describes the soft layer as a 4 out of 10 and the firm layer as a 7 out of 10, so neither side is too extreme. It's ideal if your needs may change over time, or if you're simply unsure which firmness level to choose. 

                  What it's made of: An outer cover that's infused with copper to draw body heat away, three inches of soft foam for a plush feel infused with copper and gel for an added cooling benefit, two inches of supportive foam with built-in channels for airflow, a thick layer of supportive foam that provides durability while reducing bounce and motion transfer and one inch of firm foam for the firm side infused with copper and gel to prevent overheating.

                    Tester notes: Most reviewers said they love the mattress and gave it high ratings for support. Some specifically called out how nicely it conformed to their bodies and said they found it to be ideal for side sleepers. One user even commented, "I wish we had tried this one sooner." Just note that even though it has some cooling properties built in, there were mixed reviews from our panel about whether it actually affects body temperature.

                    • Reversible design
                    • Good support for side sleepers
                    • Fast delivery and simple set up

                    • Some users didn't feel the cooling effect
                    Best Personalized Mattress in a Box
                    Midnight Mattress
                    Helix
                    Helix helixsleep.com
                    $999.00

                     Height: 12" or 14"
                     Firmness levelSoft, Medium, Firm
                     Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
                     Trial period100 days 

                    If you're unsure how to pick out a boxed mattress, consider trying Helix's sleep quiz: You answer questions about your body and sleep habits, and Helix gives you a personalized match for your ideal mattress. There are soft, medium and firm options, plus picks for plus-size and tall body types as well as split firmness for when couples have different needs. This Midnight Mattress is the brand's most popular option with medium firmness.

                    What it's made of: A soft outer cover with light stretch for airflow, medium-firmness pressure-relieving memory foam, a transitional layer of polyfoam for ergonomic support, individually-wrapped coils for cradling comfort and a bottom layer of dense foam for durability. 

                        Tester notes: The brand got overall high ratings from our panel for comfort and support, and users told us it was super easy to order and set up. This Midnight Mattress is the brand's most popular option with medium firmness, but most of our panel was satisfied with a wide range of models.

                        • Quiz helps you find the best fit
                        • Options for multiple price points and preferences

                        • Two users on our panel noted indents after a few years
                        Best Organic Mattress in a Box
                        Happsy Organic Mattress
                        Happsy
                        Happsy amazon.com
                        $1,399.00

                         Height: 10"
                         Firmness levelMedium Firm
                         Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
                         Trial period120 days

                        Most bed-in-a-box brands use foam and synthetic fabrics, but this one uses natural materials like latex, wool and cotton with springs. The mattress is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and its latex is certified by the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), so you know the manufacturing process follows strict environmental standards. 

                          While most truly organic mattresses are very expensive, this one offers a much more reasonable price. Even though it's still over $1,000, it uses premium materials that make it well worth the price tag.

                          What it's made of: A cotton outer cover that's both soft and organic, a layer of organic wool for softness and temperature regulation, two inches of organic latex for pressure relief, eight inches of pocketed springs for breathability and reduction of motion transfer and an extra layer of organic cotton as filling.

                          Tester notes: Users appreciated the organic aspects, but also gave it rave reviews for comfort, support and convenience. It's less popular than the other models in this guide so we don't have the same volume of respondents, but one called it "SO comfortable" and told us "This is the best mattress I have ever owned!"

                          • Certified organic
                          • Combines latex and springs
                          • 120-night trial

                          • Expensive
                          What exactly is a "mattress in a box"?
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                          The main difference between a boxed mattress and a traditional mattress is how it gets delivered. Mattresses in a box are compressed, rolled up and shipped like mail. Not all are actually in boxes; some use bags or other packaging materials, but the bottom line is that you order it online and can expect it to arrive at your door like a package, and you can set it up in your own time.

                          Most boxed mattresses contain only foam or a hybrid of foam with small coils. This is because traditional innerspring mattresses aren't able to get compressed and rolled. The beds will vary in terms of weight and how easy they are to set up, but some will offer the option to have it set up for you for an extra cost.

                          How much does a mattress in a box cost?
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                          Most mattress-in-a-box models cost around $1,000 for a Queen size. If you're on a budget, you can find affordable options under $500 that are still worth it, and on the flip side, you can find luxury models closer to $2,000 if you're willing to splurge. In general, the more you spend, the more layers the bed will have.

                          How long does a mattress in a box last?
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                          Just like a regular mattress, a boxed mattress should be able to last 8-10 years. That being said, it's better to look for signs that your mattress needs to be replaced rather than following a timeline. Visual warning signs include lumps or indents where you sleep. And if you wake up feeling sore or you sleep better when you're not in your own bed, there's a good chance it's time for a new mattress.

                          If you're looking for a quick fix and not ready to replace your entire bed, you can try a mattress topper to add a layer of comfort. Toppers are typically several inches thick and can add firmness, pressure relief or plush softness with materials like memory foam, latex, down or fiberfill.

                          Is it safe to buy a boxed mattress online?
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                          Most of the time, yes. It may feel strange to buy a mattress without feeling it in person, but the truth is it's hard to get a sense of how comfortable any mattress will feel to sleep on without actually sleeping on it. Most online brands allow you to keep the mattress for around 100 days and if it's not a good fit, you can get a full refund. The companies will then donate or recycle your discarded mattress. Just make sure you read the fine print on the return process before you complete the purchase to avoid any headaches later on.

                          That being said, customer service varies greatly between mattress brands. It's something we asked our survey respondents about before selecting our top mattresses, and we always check company complaints before we recommend them. Even though some brands may earn rave reviews in other mattress guides, we avoid recommending any that have a high level of consumer complaints, outstanding lawsuits and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violations that mislead shoppers. As a quick check, you can try looking at consumer comments on the brand's social media pages.

                          What to consider when shopping for a mattress-in-a-box
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                          Delivery options: Most mattresses ship in a box (where you set it up yourself), while some offer the option for a white glove delivery service (where they do all the work and can even take your old mattress). Interestingly, most testers found the DIY set-up to be less of a hassle than scheduling a delivery. And with concerns around COVID-19, the idea of contact-free delivery is even more appealing.

                          Return policy: There should be a trial period so you can sleep on your new bed for at least a month to make sure it's a good fit for you. If you don't like it, most brands will pick up the mattress and donate it. Make sure you check beforehand whether there are any fees, and what the process is like to complete a return.

                          Materials: Foam mattresses offer pressure relief and contour to the shape of your body, while innerspring and metal coils have a firmer and bouncy feel. Hybrid models combine the two, though boxed hybrid mattresses tend to be softer than traditional models that can't be rolled up.

                          Certifications: Most boxed mattresses are made with foam, so look for legit certifications like CertiPUR-US (all of our foam recommendations have it) or GreenGuard to avoid unsafe levels of offgassing chemicals.

                          Your bed's base: Typically you don't need a box spring with boxed mattresses, but some mattress materials, especially foam, work better on a flat, hard surface. If you have a bed frame with slats, they should be close together to avoid mattress sagging. And don't forget to measure the frame to ensure the mattress will fit; while mattress sizes are typically consistent, there have been instances of fit issues in our tests.

                          Your sleep preferences: How you sleep affects what type of mattress you'll need; the goal is to keep your spine aligned. Side sleepers need a softer surface to take the weight off pressure points like hips and shoulders, stomach sleepers need a firmer surface for support, and back or combo sleepers can fall somewhere in between.

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