We all remember those mattress-buying trips. Our mom and dad would lie on dozens of beds, bickering about which was too firm or too soft or too expensive while us kids would hop from bed to bed, our hair growing wide with static. It was a ritual that was embedded in our upbringing. Which is why anyone over the age of, oh I don’t know, 30 years old is a bit skeptical when it comes to this new age way of shopping for a mattress…online!
That’s right, some genius came up with the idea that hey, maybe we don’t need to go and test dirty mattresses for a few hours and then stay at home for an entire day, waiting for the behemoth to be delivered and set up. Maybe instead, we could order a just-as-good mattress online and have it shrink-wrapped and delivered right to our door in a manageable box.
And so, mattresses in a box have become an online phenomenon, with thousands and thousands of people so satisfied with their online purchasing experience that they’ve officially switched mattress teams—buh-bye brick and mortar showrooms, hello one-click online shopping.
Buuut, there are caveats. Like, what if you don’t like the mattress? Thankfully the best brands have extended test-it-out timeframes and flexible return policies that allow users to return the mattresses as-is (Read: No trying to cram it back in that box). Given that you’re not going to be quality-testing these suckers yourself, you need to do some research ahead of time—discern what type of mattress is your preference (firm, firmer, or pillowy soft) and also do some digging to ensure that the materials in your mattress-of-choice are chemical-free. Of the dozens of options out there, nearly all are comprised of multiple types of foam—so you want to look for a CertiPUR-US certification for foam and Oeko-Tex for all the other materials.
We tested out the highest-reviewed foam mattresses in a box on the market and whittled the below list down to our favorites, based on quality, comfort and sleep-ability (is that a word?). In no specific order, these are the ones we think you’ll get the best night’s sleep on tonight, tomorrow and for the next third of your life (though the Better Sleep Council recommends you get a new mattress every seven to 10 years). The best part? Opening up your box, unrolling your mattress and watching it come to life. The second greatest part? Affordable pricing that is oftentimes half to a third cheaper than the showrooms' highly-marked up product.
Cocoon by Sealy Foam Mattress
Probably the most-recognized brand on our list, this mattress comes in two options, Chill (perfect for hot-body sleepers because the fabric cover absorbs and dissipates heat for a cool-to-the-touch feel) and Classic. Both versions are available in soft or firm, and are comprised of four layers—support and comfort layers provide a sturdy base, while a high-density memory foam doles out the coziest sleep ever and a cover encases the whole mattress. All in all, this CertiPUR-US-certified mattress is a solid bet for hot sleepers, and thanks to customization, those who prefer soft or firm comfort levels.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Sealy will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied
Probably the second most-recognized brand on our list, Casper is omnipresent—you hear about it on the radio, you see it in your social feeds, you can’t miss it on the subway. And for good reason, the grandfather of the mattress-in-a-box game has sold nearly 1 million mattresses since the brand debuted in 2014, and it’s backed by tens of thousands of positive customer reviews online. Comprised of four Oeko-Tex- and CertiPUR-US-certified layers—open cell foam, responsive memory foam, adaptive transition foam and durable support foam—the main selling point of this bed is its cool factor. Literally. That’s right, good news for hot sleepers everywhere, this is the most breathable foam mattress on the market, while also providing an almost buoyant sleeping surface. Note: The brand has redesigned its mattress three times in three years, so when researching reviews, be sure to note which year the one being referred to is from.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Casper will arrange for a local charity to pick up the mattress if you’re not satisfied
Lull Premium Gel Memory Foam Mattress
If you’re a Real Housewives fan you might have heard about this mattress from RHOC’s Meghan King Edmonds or Tamra Judge (or Lauren Bushnell and Tanner Tolbert of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette fame). But don’t mistake this mattress in a box as an influencer-hyped flash-in-the-pan.
Nope, it’s the real deal thanks to three layers of premium gel-infused memory foam, each contributing in the areas of pressure relief, cooling support, spine alignment and juuuust the right amount of bounce back. CertiPUR-US-certified, Lull is also the second most cost-effective mattress on our list with a twin coming in at $500. Bonus: The cover is removable for cleaning.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty; Lull will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied
Sapira by Leesa Mattress
Dubbed the only “luxury” mattress in a box—we were skeptical. That is, until we slept on the Sapira. Pure. Bliss. Comprised of five layers—1.5-inches of cooling, high density foam, 1.5 –inches of pressure-relieving memory foam and 1,000 pocket springs that are encapsulated between two 1-inch top and bottom layers of high-resiliency stabilizing foam—this CertiPUR-US-certified mattress is cool, supportive and seemingly contours to your body (and your many sleeping positions). And it’s the only one on the list that has springs and comes in a box. Feel good bonus: Each mattress is 100% American-made and Leesa donates one mattress for every 10 sold, and plants one tree for every mattress sold.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy 10-year warranty; Leesa will pick up the mattress if you’re not satisfied
Tuft & Needle: The T&N Mattress
This mattress is a fan favorite with nearly 11,000 4.5-star-or-higher reviews on Amazon and more than 500,000 mattresses sold (95-percent of which were kept). Comprised of three layers of T&N’s proprietary “adaptive” polyfoam, the heat-wicking mattress offers a ton of support for every weight and body size, and also something called “localized bouncing”—meaning if you’re tossing and turning all night, your partner won’t feel a thing. Bonus: This is the cheapest foam mattress on our list, with a twin costing just 375 bucks.
RETURN POLICY: 100-night sleep policy, 10-year warranty that the company promises “you can actually use…no gimmicks”; T&N will pick up the mattress and donate it to a local charity if you’re not satisfied
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