Can a Comfortable Mattress Really Come in a Box?

Can a Comfortable Mattress Really Come in a Box?

Danielle Blundell
Apr 24, 2017
(Image credit: Tuft and Needle)

Mattress shopping used to be such a pain. You'd go to a showroom or store, lay down on a few beds (while being creepily watched by a salesman) and pretty much choose one on the spot, despite having no clue what it would feel like overnight let alone long term. And then getting it home posed yet another problem. Strap it to your car? Pay for white glove delivery and take a day off from work to wait for it? No, thank you. It's no wonder the bed-in-a-box foam mattress movement has taken off—it really makes bed shopping convenient, affordable and pretty much risk free, since many companies offer trial periods that literally let you sleep on it.

So, if you're in the market for a mattress (and you really should be every seven to eight years), consider these 10 options. We've ranked them by price, but keep in mind, even the high end beds here all come in under $1,000 for a Queen size. Talk about a dream come true!


Tuft & Needle's proprietary foam was developed to wick heat away from sleepers. There's also a sturdy support layer to prevent that uncomfortable, sinking too deep into the mattress effect, though some reviews note it's quite firm. Sleep Like the Dead notes it received a 79% owner satisfaction rating (with a B grade).


Cocoon by Sealy focuses on firmness (with two models) and lets you choose your own adventure—"Soft" as a cloud or "Firm" as a rock.


Dust mites give you the creeps? Hyphen's foam and fabric are antimicrobial, a definite plus for anyone who suffers from allergies. If you're looking for a not too firm, not too soft foam mattress, Sleepopolis reports that it's a solid 6/10 on the firmness scale and gives the mattress a 4.6 out of 5 overall rating.


Leesa's the do-gooder of the crowd. They'll donate one mattress for every 10 they sell. The Classic offers three layers of foam: Cooling, pressure relief and core support. And if it's good enough to lull Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps to sleep, then it's probably good enough for the rest of us. We checked out what Sleep Like the Dead had to say about it, and they reported that it has a 78% owner satisfaction rating, and noted that it may be too firm for some side sleepers.

BedInABox's Pacbed Original has three inches of gel memory foam that promises your best rest by keeping you cool and cradling your body. It clocks in at nearly a 4.5 rating out of 241 reviews on the BedInABox site.


The Lull focuses on proper spinal alignment and also has a removable cover for easy spot cleaning. Definitely an upgrade from that hand-me-down, floral covered coil mattress that was sinking in and couldn't be cleaned! From Sleepopolis: "The Lull is a great mattress choice for sleepers looking for a medium to slightly firm feel, but especially for couples who are on opposite ends of the firmness spectrum and are looking for a balanced compromise in the middle."



Can't decide if you're a soft or firm sleeper? OSO features all the feels in one mattress, literally. Soft is at the top end, but you can rotate the bed 180 degrees to see if firm is more your speed. And if you're a slow decider, don't worry, you have 101 nights to figure out if either side is right for you.


Sleep startup Casper was one of the OGs of the bed-in-the-box movement. They're still going strong with their one firmness fits all memory foam mattress, which features an open-cell top layer that regulates body heat production. It's important to note that the compay has redesigned its mattress three times since it launched in 2014, so if you're reading reviews, or asking friends of friends, it would be good to ask what year they bought their mattress as it might not be at all what you'd be purchasing currently.

With Novosbed, you can choose from soft (like, really really soft), medium and firm. Each model features a washable cover. If your mattress isn't feeling quite right, Novosbed will also send you a "Comfort+ kit" for free, so you can unzip your mattress cover and add an extra soft or firm top layer when it suits you. From Sleepopolis: "As an extremely moldable mattress, the NovosBed is a great option for the average sleeper looking for a deeper sinkage and hug. While the hug of this mattress in not overwhelming, it is enough to provide a sharp contour comparable to that of the Tempurpedic Cloud mattresses."


Another best-of-both-worlds option, this mattress has a grid-like foam design that's developed to be gentle under your shoulders and hips while super firm under your back. Sleep Like the Dead reports that it's a rather thin mattress (at 9.5 inches rather than the standard 11), quite heavy, and that most owners reported it took longer than expected to break in.

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