Whether you want to feel like you’re being embraced by a marshmallow or are tired of waking up sweaty, there’s a mattress in a box designed just for you.

By Megan Falk
April 25, 2020
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When you’re on the hunt for a brand-spanking-new car, you spend hours combing through reviews, watch 20-minute YouTube masterpieces that detail all of its unique features, take your top options for a test drive, and finally lay down your credit card and sign the next five years of your paycheck away on the perfect match.

This methodical investigation is clearly a necessity when making this kind of major investment—so why not apply it to your search for a top-notch, hassle-free mattress, too? After all, you'll be sleeping on it for hours every single night for the foreseeable future. (Related: Can a Specialty Mattress Actually Help You Sleep Better?)

To quicken the process and help you get your best slumber, stat, this guide breaks down all the details you need to choose the best mattress in a box, whether you’re a side sleeper, an environmental advocate, or a budget-shopper.

Best Mattress in a Box Overall: Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $1,198 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King
  • Trial period: 1 year
  • Firmness: 6.5/10 (1 being the softest, 10 being the firmest)

With its year-long trial period, 11-inch height, and cooling features, Nectar’s Memory Foam Mattress takes the cake as the best mattress in a box. Unlike traditional memory foam mattresses that are notoriously known for sinkage, Nectar’s offers top-to-bottom support, starting with a high-density foam base. From there, you’ll find a three-inch layer of durable Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam that keeps cool and contours to your pressure points, followed by two layers of gel memory foam, designed to disperse weight and body heat. The cherry on top, though, is the TENCEL cooling cover, which circulates air. Say goodbye to restless, sweaty nights between the sheets. (Hold on, what does a 'good night's sleep' mean, anyway?)

Best Mattress in a Box Made of Memory Foam: Casper Original Mattress

  • Price: $1,095 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Firmness: 6/10

The OG bed in a box is made of three layers of foam to give your body the support it needs while you catch some ZZZs. The top layer of Casper's Original Mattress' is made of polyurethane foam that's perforated with tiny holes to encourage airflow, and the memory foam underneath varies in firmness to provide maximum comfort. Soft foam is used around the shoulder area to cushion the upper body, while rigid foam is used around the hips, waist, and lower back to help align the spine. This mattress in a box even has an eco-friendly element too—each bed is made with up to 57 recycled water bottles

Best Mattress in a Box for Memory Foam Haters: The Purple Mattress

  • Price: $1,099 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, and Split King
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Firmness: 6.5/10

Purple’s mattress is shaking up the foam-focused industry with its Purple Grid, a two-inch layer of the company’s patented Hyper-Elastic Polymer material. The stretchy material is formed into a 3D grid, which encourages airflow and contours to your body. When a high amount of pressure (think: the weight of your hips) is placed on an area of the mattress, that localized portion of the Grid will sink in to relieve pressure without easing support on other parts of the body. This best mattress in a box is rounded out with two layers of high-density foam for additional support. 

Best Mattress in a Box on a Budget: Zinus Pressure Relief Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $238 for an 8-inch Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Short Queen, Queen, King, and California King, with 6 to 12-inch height options
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Firmness: 6.1/10

At just $238, Zinus’ Pressure Relief Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is the bed you need to replace your guest room’s air mattress. This best mattress in a box is topped with a layer of memory foam followed by two additional layers of comfort foam that relieve pressure. Aside from the low price point, the mattress stands out from the crowd with the green tea and purified charcoal that’s infused into the memory foam to neutralize and minimize odor. Give your current 10-year-old mattress a whiff, and you’ll understand the need for this feature. (These easy tips will help you save even more $$$ after you buy a low-cost mattress.)

Best Mattress in a Box for Hot Sleepers: Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress

  • Price: $995 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King
  • Trial period: 100 nights 
  • Firmness: 6.5/10

Tuft & Needle's Mint Mattress puts a stop to sweltering nights under the sheets. The top layer of foam boasts graphite to draw heat away from the body, while the second layer contains cooling gel beads that wick away heat and moisture. To top it all off, the mattress cover is made of knit fabric to promote airflow. The producers of this best mattress in a box didn't forget about comfort, either: Its adaptive foam strikes the ideal balance between support and give. (If you're a hot sleeper, you'll definitely want this cooling weighted blanket too.)

Best Mattress in a Box for Side Sleepers: Helix Midnight Mattress

  • Price: $999 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King
  • Trial period: 100 nights 
  • Firmness: 5.5/10

With Helix’s Luxe Mattress, you’ll never wake up with nagging shoulder pain again. The bed is designed entirely with the side sleeper in mind; the top memory foam layer cushions the most common pressure points for this sleep position and the middle Polyfoam layer prevents you from sinking. And thanks to the underlying coils, your entire body will feel like it’s being spooned. 

Best Mattress in a Box for the Indecisive Sleeper: Layla Memory Foam Mattress

  • Price: $999 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King, with 6 to 12-inch height options
  • Trial period: 120 nights
  • Firmness: 4/10 or 7/10

If your ideal mattress texture flip-flops between “so soft it feels like a constant cuddle” and “so firm it feels like you’re floating,” the Layla Memory Foam Mattress is made just for you. Each side of the mattress has a different level of firmness and can be flipped to give you the support you’re craving at the moment. Underneath each top layer is memory foam infused with copper gel, which helps pull heat away from the body and fight odor-causing bacteria. Hey Alexa, play “Best of Both Worlds” by Hannah Montana.

Best Mattress in a Box for the Environmentally Conscious: Avocado Green Mattress

  • Price: $,1399 for a Queen
  • Sizes available: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King
  • Trial period: 365 nights 
  • Firmness: 7/10

Inside and out, the Avocado Green Mattress is an all-around eco-friendly pick. The latex rubber foam is certified organic and made from sustainably harvested sources, while the breathable mattress cover is constructed from organic cotton. You won’t find chemical fire retardants here either, as organic, ethically-sourced wool works double duty as a natural fire barrier and moisture-wicking fabric. And this best mattress in a box isn’t lacking on the comfort front, either: More than 1,400 steel coils are arranged in five ergonomic zones to keep your spine aligned and distribute your weight. Ready to catch some ZZZs yet?

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