Simplify Your Mattress Search With the 13 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to The Sleep Doctor

What if there was a way for you to get a brand new mattress without having to leave your home? That’s the main selling point of the best mattress in a box brands on the market today. No longer do you have to trek down to a furniture warehouse to select your next new bed. Instead, you can conveniently browse the options at online mattress companies, pick the product that’s best-suited to your needs, and have it compressed in a box and shipped directly to your house. Some companies will actually send someone to come to your home and set up the mattress on your bed frame or box spring!

It’s an easy way to go mattress shopping, but with so many options to choose from, it may also be overwhelming. Luckily, The Sleep Doctor has already done the heavy lifting for you. Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D. (aka, the Sleep Doctor) partnered with the expert review team at Mattress Advisor to compose a list of the 13 best mattresses in a box. With the help of their combined expertise, you can use this easy-to-follow guide to find the mattress best-suited to your sleeping position, comfort preferences, and budget.

We’ll start with a round-up of 13 top-rated bed-in-a-box-mattresses.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Best Overall:

Honorable Mentions:

What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Mattress in a Box

As you seek the top mattress to meet your needs and your budget, there are a handful of shopping considerations to keep in mind.

Sleep Position

How do you tend to fall asleep at night? Lying on your back? Curled up on your side? Different sleep positions all have their pros and cons, and in order to achieve the healthiest posture, it’s important to pair your sleep position with the best mattress. Keep in mind that there isn’t one perfect sleep position that works for everyone; rather, it varies from person to person based on your mental and physical characteristics.  

And, according to Dr. Breus, “Your primary sleep position will often be determined by the health and strength of your back, your age, your weight, and the mattress type you choose. If there is a mismatch, it can be a problem.” 

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers tend to prefer mattresses that cushion and cradle them to sleep. Two important considerations are achieving a neutral spine position (which helps prevent aches and pains), and getting enough pressure relief for the neck, shoulders, and hips. When you lie on your side, most of your weight falls to your hips and shoulders, which is why it’s important for side sleepers to rest on a mattress that gently contours to these pressure points, helping to relieve undue strain and stress.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers want a mattress that supports their natural spine curvature, and provides some cushioning without too much sinkage. Note that those with sleep apnea or acid reflux may also benefit from a slight elevation, which can be achieved with pillows or a bed wedge.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers are more likely to have their neck and spine out of alignment due to the amount of pressure placed on joints. Because of this, belly sleepers typically benefit from a firmer mattress feel, which allows them to feel supported and not like they’re sinking into their own mattress. When stomach sleepers sink too far into their mattress, their spine can curve inwards. This is why it’s crucial for stomach sleepers to receive proper support and spine alignment to ensure a healthy posture and pain-free sleep.

Multi-Positional Sleepers

People who change position during the night usually want something that’s responsive, meaning it adjusts and adapts to their movements during the night, and provides supportive comfort no matter the position. 

Mattress Type

Bed-in-a-box brands are available in a number of material types, all of which have their strengths and their drawbacks.

Memory Foam

The best memory foam mattresses are known for offering an optimal blend of comfort and support; they are often advertised with the promise that you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud Memory foam excels in pressure relief and motion isolation, but sometimes falls short in body temperature regulation and has slow responsiveness. This is because foam tends to trap body heat and cause overheating. Once the heat dissipates the foam begins to expand back to its original shape, and only once at the final shape will it provide support.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress is simply any product that combines multiple materials, such as polyfoam, innerspring coils, or latex.

Learn more about the best hybrid mattress for you.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is made with a system of coils, which generally makes it durable, responsive and supportive. Coils tend to hold up over time better than foam. And, unlike memory foam, innerspring coils don’t retain as much body heat,  helping you maintain a comfortable temperature. In most cases they can come individually pocketed.

Latex

A latex mattress will likely offer a springy feel that’s well-suited for combination sleepers. Additionally, latex is naturally breathable, which means it runs cool. Naturally-sourced latex mattresses provide an excellent option for the eco-conscious shopper.

Mattress Firmness

Different firmness levels can impact your overall level of comfort depending on your sleep position. For example, the average side sleeper prefers something in the medium or medium-firm range that allows for cradling and contouring, while back sleepers and stomach sleepers may need something slightly firmer for more durable support. Some of the mattresses on this list offer multiple firmness options, or even let you flip back and forth between a firm side and a soft side

Learn more about the best firm mattresses for your sleep needs.

“Matching your firmness level, type of support and your initial starting most comfortable sleep position, sets you up for a great night’s rest based on three of the most important components understood to help with sleep.” says Dr. Breus.

The 13 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to The Sleep Doctor

1. Best Mattress in a Box for Back Pain: Casper 

Casper mattress

Casper is one of the best-known brands of memory foam mattresses, and its signature model, the Casper Original, doesn’t disappoint. The main draw of the Casper is the supportiveness it offers for those who suffer from back pain; by evenly distributing your body weight, this mattress prevents your joints and lower back area from undue strain. And, with a uniquely designed support layer, the Casper provides more give under the shoulders and reinforced support for the hips and lower back. It should come as no surprise that the Casper earned a spot on our list of best mattresses for back pain for having the best total score, coming in at an impressive 9/10

But that’s not all– back pain sufferers will also appreciate this bed’s near-perfect spine alignment that ensures a healthy, neutral sleeping posture while you rest (it earned a 9.5/10 score!). And the mattress’s middle-of-the-road firmness level hits that sweet spot of not too soft, and not too hard, which is ideal for alleviating back pain because it’s supportive enough to prevent sinkage, but soft enough to cushion your head and neck. 

Besides being a great mattress for mitigating back pain, the Casper also excels in adapting to your movements, earning a perfect 10 out of 10 in responsiveness. The best part–– this mattress ships straight to your doorstep, packed in a box, and comes with a 100-night sleep trial to boot.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-year Limited

Buy it, Casper Wave Hybrid, $1,095 (Queen), casper.com

2. Best Memory Foam Mattress in a Box: Puffy

Puffy mattress

Puffy’s three-layer, medium-firm memory foam mattress is one of the pillars of the online mattress space. It’s not necessarily a flashy product, but its utility is deep and broad; this is a universal mattress, meaning it offers ample comfort and support for many different sleepers. The Puffy falls at a 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale, meaning it rests on the firmer side of medium-firm, providing great support for back and stomach sleepers.

Excellent pressure point relief makes the Puffy another good option for those with joint pain. The Puffy features an innovative ClimateComfort foam layer that’s impervious to contractions caused by extreme temperatures, meaning it works to melt away pressure through the coldest of winters and warmest of summers. Couples would also fare well on this mattress thanks to the Puffy’s near-perfect 9.25/10 motion transfer score. It’s not recommended for those who want something super plush, or for those who prefer innerspring coils; but for memory foam enthusiasts, however, it has much to offer. And with a lifetime warranty that ensures quality for as long as you own the mattress, it’s hard to turn down this memory foam knockout.

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, Puffy, $1,150 (Queen), puffy.com

3. Best Value Mattress in a Box: Nectar

Nectar mattress

One of the great things about the breadth of the bed-in-a-box mattress industry is that discerning shoppers don’t have to break the bank just to get a high-quality sleep experience. The Nectar is the gold standard in overall value, priced below $1,000 and bolstered by a year-long sleep trial and a lifetime warranty. Financial considerations aside, it also happens to be a solid product, testing well in many major categories. Made with gel memory foam, the Nectar is a supportive and pressure-relieving option that fits all sleeping positions, and works well for couples. It’s medium-firmness and high pressure relief score makes this budget-friendly mattress a good pick for side sleepers especially. The Nectar is soft enough to offer deep contouring and cushioning for pressure points, but still supportive enough to keep you from sinking into the mattress. If you love the huggable feeling of memory foam, and appreciate a good bargain, then the Nectar is a nice match for you.

  • Mattress Type: Gel Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, Nectar, $799 (Queen), nectarsleep.com

4. Best Hybrid Mattress in a Box: Helix Midnight Luxe

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress

A hybrid made from durable innerspring coils and supple foam, the Helix Midnight Luxe is recommended for couples, for hot sleepers, and for plus-sized sleepers alike. Start with its innovative cooling technologies, including a proprietary pillow top that allows the bed to feel cool to the touch, even months after you’ve unboxed it. This is due to the phase change material used in the pillow top that works to absorb excess heat, and when paired with the breathable coil system, the result is an ultra-cool mattress. It nearly earned a perfect score for cooling, mitigating hot sleeper’s night sweats. 

Also take into account the individually wrapped pocket coils, arranged to provide zoned support and targeted pressure relief. Composed of 1,000 coils, this strong support system works to maintain spine alignment by offering a firmer feel under the hips. And with high-density memory foam layered on top, your pressure points are cushioned and catered to. This blend of materials helped the Helix Luxe earn an impressive 9 out of 10 for pressure relief, and an 8.5 for spine alignment, making this bed a great choice for both back and side sleepers. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 15-Year

Buy it, Helix Midnight Luxe, $1,799 (Queen), helixsleep.com

5. Best Luxury Mattress in a Box: DreamCloud Premier

DreamCloud Premier mattress

Many mattresses are described as “luxury” products, a term that can sometimes feel ill-defined. With the DreamCloud Premier, however, it’s clear that you’re getting a premium sleep experience. The mattress is made with six layers of high-end materials, including both durable coils and contouring foam. A Cashex cashmere blend and pillowy soft euro top starts off the hotel-quality sleep experience, delivering unmatched softness and body conforming. What’s more–– a white-glove setup and delivery service is available if you’d really like the red carpet experience. And, between the innerspring coils and a layer of gel foam, the DreamCloud is designed to draw heat away from your body. Throw in the micro coil compression system encased in foam, and you’ve got one of the most durable, supportive mattresses on the market today. It comes as no shock that the DreamCloud earned high scores across the board in edge support, pressure relief, responsiveness and cooling, earning an 8.5/10, 9/10, 9/10, and 8.5 respectively, and the 1-year sleep trial and lifetime warranty complete this top-of-the-line mattress experience. 

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Buy it, DreamCloud, $1,399 (Queen), dreamcloud.com

6. Best Firm Mattress in a Box: Cocoon by Sealy

Cocoon by Sealy mattress

Back sleepers and stomach sleepers typically find comfort in firmer mattresses, which allow them to maintain healthy, neutral spine alignment and not feel like they’re sinking too deep into their own mattress. The Cocoon by Sealy is a commendable option in this regard. Actually, it’s a flippable mattress, meaning you can alternate between a couple of firmness options and determine which one feels right to you. The extra firm model in particular offers superior support, especially for those who sleep face down. The Cocoon mattress also earned a near-perfect score of 9/10 in our Sleep Doctor edge support testing, which keeps you in the middle of the mattress, and helps you get out of bed in the morning without worrying about sagging or sinkage. And with a 9 out of 10 score in spine alignment, this firm mattress fulfills its promise of delivering excellent lumbar support.

  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium Soft and Extra Firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year

Buy it, Cocoon by Sealy, $930 (Queen), cocoonbysealy.com

7. Best for Athletes: Bear Hybrid

Bear Hybrid mattress

Those who lead an active lifestyle will naturally want a mattress that promotes sound sleep and expedient muscle recovery. Consider the Bear Hybrid, which is made with an FDA-approved fiber known as Celliant. Celliant takes your body’s energy and redirects it, which can speed along muscle recovery and also help your body to more effectively regulate its internal temperature. The result is a cool and therapeutic sleep experience that’s won rave reviews from athletes, seniors, and those who simply want the feel of a traditional mattress with innerspring coils.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 20-Year

Buy it, Bear Hybrid, $1,390 (Queen), bearmattress.com

8. Best Cooling Mattress in a Box: Brooklyn Signature

Brooklyn Signature mattress

There are several aspects of the Brooklyn Signature that many shoppers will admire. For one, this hybrid mattress offers three options on the firmness scale; take your pick between plush, medium, and firm. As such, it functions well as a universal mattress, meaning that it can be a good fit for all sleeping positions, including combination sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers would appreciate either the medium or firm options for more support and spine alignment, while side sleepers would fare well on the plush option that offers deeper contouring and pressure relief. Speaking of pressure relief, Sleep Doctor vetting finds that the Brooklyn Signature helps keep the strain off sensitive joints, a claim that’s backed by an impressive pressure relief score of 9.5 out of 10. 

But more than anything, it’s recommendable because it sleeps cool. breathable The top comfort layer features an infusion of patented Titanium gel, which helps disperse heat and keeps you cool as you rest. Also, the Brooklyn Signature’s hybrid design also supports cool sleep as the coils don’t retain as much heat as an all-foam bed would. Cooling mattresses usually run pretty pricey, but hot sleeper’s will be happy to know this hybrid mattress is available for less than $1,000 in a Queen size.  

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Plush; Medium; Firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year

Buy it, Brooklyn Signature, $999 (Queen), brooklynbedding.com

9. Best Flippable Mattress in a Box: Layla

Layla mattress

The Layla mattress is akin to having two beds in one; it’s flippable design offers a medium-soft feel on one side and a medium-firm option on the other. The medium-soft side registers at a 4 out of 10 on the firmness scale, while the medium-firm rests at a 7 out of 10. Side sleepers would enjoy the medium-soft side for more of that huggable foam feel, while the medium-firm option fits back and stomach sleepers better by offering more durable support. The Layla also scores well in many of the top Sleep Doctor testing categories, including responsiveness, edge support, and pressure relief

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium soft; medium-firn
  • Warranty: 10-Year

Buy it, Layla, $1,049 (Queen), laylasleep.com

10. Best Organic Mattress in a Box: Birch

Birch mattress

What about mattress products for eco-conscious shoppers? Several mattress companies offer all-natural options, and the Birch is one of the most renowned examples. Its foams are made entirely of non-toxic ingredients, and processed in compliance with the most rigorous environmental standards (including CertiPUR-US). It’s also made with organic wool, sourced in New Zealand, then carefully assembled by hand. Not only is this a great “green” option, but it offers a contouring feel that many sleepers will appreciate, and scores high in spine alignment, guaranteeing a healthy sleep posture. And, it’s durable, with a 25-year warranty to prove it.

  • Mattress Type: Hybrid
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 25-Year

Buy it, Birch, $1,499 (Queen), birchliving.com

11. Best Mattress in a Box for Couples: Nolah Original

Nolah Original mattress

What should couples look for when shopping for a bed they can share together? One key feature is motion isolation, which measures the extent to which the mattress material insulates one sleeper from their partner’s tossing or turning. The Nolah Original fares well in this field with a solid 9 out of 10 score, so you can sleep soundly through your partner’s midnight bathroom breaks. Also note that it’s made with AirFoam, which is a more supportive alternative to memory foam; it’s also more responsive and leaves more room for air to pass through, compared to dense memory foam that tends to trap heat.   This helps to keep the mattress cooler, which is important for couples who stir up more body heat than single sleepers. An all-around good pick, especially for a couple that plans on sharing their bed together.

  • Mattress Type: Airfoam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 15-Year Limited

Buy it, Nolah Original 10”, $969 (Queen), nolahmattress.com

12. Best Mattress in a Box for Side Sleepers: Leesa

Leesa mattress

For side sleepers to get a comfortable night’s rest, it’s crucial to find a mattress that promotes neutral spine alignment, and keeps the shoulder and hip from too much pressure. The Leesa is the Sleep Doctor pick in this category. It provides just the level of comfort side sleepers crave, helping them feel like they are being hugged to sleep at night. A contouring layer of memory foam helps to melt away strain surrounding your pressure points, and a base layer of dense core support foam provides exceptional spine alignment. And, you can feel good about purchasing a Leesa thanks to the company’s commitment to social good; for every 10 mattresses sold, they donate a bed to those in need. 

  • Mattress Type: Memory foam
  • Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium-firm
  • Warranty: 10-Year Limited

Buy it, Leesa, $999 (Queen), leesa.com

13. Best Mattress in a Box for Combination Sleepers: Tuft & Needle Mint

Tuft & Needle Mint mattress

The Tuft & Needle Mint mattress packs a lot of benefits into a small package: Its advanced foam blend provides phenomenal spine alignment and overall comfort, plus the graphite infusion helps  wick away heat.. But for combination sleepers particularly, the Tuft & Needle Mint really shines. With a high score in responsiveness, the Tuft & Needle Mint’s adaptive foam layer responds and adapts to your movements with ease. And yet, the Tuft & Needle is also available in a competitive price range, and backed with a 100-night trial period plus a robust 10-year warranty. It adds up to a smart option for savvy shoppers and combination sleepers alike.

  • Mattress Type: Foam blend
  • Customer Rating: 4.9 out of 5
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Warranty: 10-Year Limited

Buy it, Tuft & Needle Mint, $995 (Queen), tuftandneedle.com

Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Right Mattress for You

You’ll notice that these 12 Sleep Doctor recommendations don’t even cover popular brands like the Purple, or the original Casper mattress… evidence of just how vast the online mattress space is. There are a number of outstanding products to support all kinds of sleepers, so before you shop, check out an individual mattress review of the bed you have your eye on. Make sure it offers the perks you need, and that it fits your preferred sleep position

Sources for this Article:

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020. “Effects of sleep posture on upper airway stability in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.” https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/citedby/10.1164/ajrccm.155.1.9001312

Avocado Green. 2020. “Support: Our Innerspring Unit.” https://service.avocadogreenmattress.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024056791-Tell-me-more-about-the-innerspring-support-unit-How-many-coils-are-there-What-gauge-are-they-

CertiPUR-US. 2020. “A Health Checkup for Foam.” https://certipur.us/about-the-seal/

Comfort Option. 2018. “Cooling Technology, For Your Best Night’s Sleep.” https://www.comfortoption.com/mattress-engineering#kulkote-cooling

John Hopkins Medicine, 2017. “Choosing the Best Sleep Position.” John Hopkins Medicine, June 15, 2017. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/choosing-the-best-sleep-position

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2009. “Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (Vol. 8, Issue 1), March 8, 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2697581/#:~:text=Jacobson%20et%20al%2C29%20in,efficiency%20with%20medium%2Dfirm%20bedding

Leggett & Platt. 2020. “Open Coil” Kansas State University Institute of Environmental Research. https://beddingcomponents.com/open-coil#:~:text=Much%20of%20their%20success%20is,University%20Institute%20of%20Environmental%20Research.

The post Simplify Your Mattress Search With the 13 Best Mattresses in a Box, According to The Sleep Doctor appeared first on Your Guide to Better Sleep.

from Your Guide to Better Sleep https://thesleepdoctor.com/2020/09/17/best-mattress-in-a-box/

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