The best mattress in a box 2022: top bed-in-a-box brands reviewed

best mattress in a box: The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a light wooden bed frame and dressed with a white comforter and pillows
(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

A mattress in a box is compressed with heavy weights, then vacuum-sealed and rolled into a box for shipping. Some of the best mattresses come from boxed bed brands like Nectar, Purple, and Helix – all of which are represented in this guide, too. Over the years, the quality of boxed mattresses has improved to match those of traditional beds sold in stores – often at a much lower price than their non-boxed counterparts.

So what's the best mattress in a box out there? Below are our top picks – which we've either slept on and reviewed ourselves, or plan to in the near future. We sleep on each mattress in a box for at least three weeks, testing them in terms of comfort, support, temperature regulation, pressure relief and motion isolation. The models we've yet to test have been thoroughly vetted by our expert team based on verified customer reviews. 

In this guide, you'll find the top-rated mattress in a box options for all budgets, with prices starting from under $200. And with mattress sales happening all year round, there are plenty of ways to score a bargain.

How we test mattresses

Our mattress testing process is editorially independent and we decide which mattresses to research, test and include in this guide. We test each mattress in a box for three weeks, rating it across key areas including comfort, pressure relief and support. Read our mattress methodology for more.

We also look at the length of trial offered, a vital aspect of boosting your confidence when buying a new bed online. The best mattress in a box brands offer trials of at least 100 nights, which is ample time to decide whether or not it's right for you. In most cases, you'll also avail of free returns so you won't have to worry about forking over extra cash if it doesn't work out, nor will you need to find a way to safely and legally dispose of a mattress.

Thanks to innovative packaging methods, a bed-in-a-box is compressed with a heavy weight then rolled and wrapped in tough plastic before being packed into a reinforced cardboard box. This makes it easier to ship, so all you have to do is unbox the mattress and let it decompress for a few hours on one of the best bed frames before sleeping on it. Head below for our list of the best boxed mattresses...

The best mattress in a box in 2022

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

best mattress in a box: the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a light wooden bed frame

(Image credit: Nectar)
The best mattress in a box for most people - it's incredible value

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Material: Memory foam
Height: 12 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online, and in 1,500 retailers
Trial length: 365 days
Warranty: Lifetime
Best for: All sleepers
RRP: $599 - $1,538

Reasons to buy

+
Usually comes with free gifts
+
Outstanding value for money
+
Comfortable and supportive
+
One-year trial period

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks bounce

Nectar's incredibly popular five-layer all-foam mattress has nabbed the top spot in our best mattress in a box guide because it's exceptional value for money, delivering premium materials at an extremely competitive price. 

We tested the medium-firm mattress for two months and loved it. The memory foam offers a fantastic balance of softness and firmness, providing luxury comfort without the feeling of sinking into the mattress. When our reviewers lay down, the mattress contoured to their bodies, providing full, tailored support and helping align their spines, while cushioning pressure points like shoulders and hips. We also noticed good edge support and very little motion transfer – making it a particularly good choice for couples.  

You're unlikely to overheat at night too, because this award-winning mattress has a quilted cooling cover on top, followed by a gel memory foam layer to help you sleep cool. There's then a layer of hi-core memory foam for extra support so you don’t sink into the mattress. Finally, a base layer helps stabilize the sleeper, and a bottom mattress cover keeps it from slipping on your bed frame or floor. 

Where the Nectar Memory Foam mattress really stands out, though, is value for money. It's often generously discounted – typically by $200 – making it considerably cheaper than rivals Casper and Purple. You'll almost always get a big bedding bundle thrown in for free too (worth up to $499). Add to that a generous one-year trial period to decide whether it's right for you, and a lifetime warranty. When it comes to sheer value for money, we think the Nectar is the best memory foam mattress (opens in new tab) you can buy. 

was (opens in new tab)

Nectar Memory Foam mattress: was $599 now from $359 at Nectar (opens in new tab)
The free bedding is missing here, but with a max savings of $508 after 33% off across the board, you'll be able to buy your own bedding if needed. Bonus points for offering an impressive 365-night trial and a forever guarantee. This Cyber Monday deal gets you a queen size for $669 (was $999).

The GhostBed Luxe mattress on a light gray fabric bed base

(Image credit: GhostBed)
The best mattress in a box for couples

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 5.5
Material: Memory foam
Depth: 13 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online
Trial length: 101 days
Warranty: 25 years
Best for: Side sleepers, hot sleepers, couples
RRP: $2,395 - $5,190

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent motion isolation
+
Superb cooling tech
+
Great for side sleepers

Reasons to avoid

-
Too soft for back sleepers
-
Temperature can impact firmness
-
Off-gassing can linger

The GhostBed Luxe mattress is a premium all-foam mattress that's jam-packed with cooling tech, making it one of the best mattress in a box options for anyone who overheats at night. GhostBed call it 'the coolest bed in the world' - and plenty of industry reviewers agree, voting it as the best mattress for hot sleepers. 

The cooling happens in two stages. On top, a luxurious quilted cover is made from cool-to-touch 'Ghost Ice' fabric and cooling fibres, with one-inch of gel memory foam to promote airflow and breathability. Under this, a two-inch layer of thermo-sensitive foam responds to your body temperature and adjusts to keep you cool all night long. The rest of the mattress is made up of responsive, contouring memory foam and supportive foam layers, which soothe pressure points and alleviate back pain, making you feel like you're floating.

We recently tested this one, and in our GhostBed Luxe mattress review, it passed our motion transfer test with flying colors – which couples will appreciate if they share a bed with a restless partner. Despite being billed as beneficial for back sleepers, we found the most relief when resting on our sides.  Also bear in mind that this otherwise medium-plush mattress tends to feel firmer in cooler temps and softer when it's warm.

As for temperature regulation, we can't verify GhostBed's lofty claim of being the world's coolest, but we did sleep quite comfortably and didn't overheat once. It's cool to the touch, and at times we even had to put on socks and long pants in order to warm up. If you're one to crank the AC when you go to bed, the GhostBed Luxe will likely help you save on your energy bills in that regard.

Bear in mind that the Ghostbed Luxe can take up to 24 hours to fully expand and adjust to your bedroom’s temperature. Also, prepare for some of the most potent off-gassing we've experienced in a full-foam mattress. Lately, GhostBed has been knocking 50% off the list price of its Luxe cooling model, but if it's still out of your price range try the Cocoon Chill Memory Foam mattress further down the page – or check out our best cooling mattress guide.

GhostBed Luxe mattress: was (opens in new tab)

GhostBed Luxe mattress: was $2,395 now from $1,198 + 2 free pillows at GhostBed (opens in new tab)
GhostBed is slashing 50% off its best-selling Luxe cooling mattress for Cyber Monday. That's the deal we always see at GhostBed, but it's still great value, taking this bed down into more of a mid-range tier (a queen is now $1,485, down from $2,970.) Also included are two free pillows plus 10 years of accident protection from spills and stains, a combined value of nearly $500. 

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress in a box

(Image credit: Helix)
The best hybrid mattress in a box

Specifications

Material: Memory foam and coils
Firmness (1-10): 5.5
Depth: 14 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king
Availability: Online and in show rooms
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 15 years
Best for: Side sleepers
RRP: $1,199 - $2,499

Reasons to buy

+
Zoned coils support hips
+
Great for side sleepers
+
Bouncier than all-foam mattresses

Reasons to avoid

-
Some find it too firm

The Helix Midnight Luxe is a side sleeper mattress, designed to provide pressure relief to shoulders and hips, to help you sleep comfortably throughout the night on your side. (Like most bed-in-a-box mattresses though, it's good for sleeping in all positions.) 

The Helix Midnight Luxe is two inches taller than the company's standard mattresses. It's a medium firmness, with zoned lumbar support for enhanced contouring, and a premium quilted pillow top with an ultra-breathable Tencel cover that aims to help aids airflow, so you sleep cool throughout the night. This hybrid bed-in-a-box mattress also boasts a layer of 1,000 wrapped coils for optimal spinal alignment and increased pressure relief. 

Users like that this top-rated hybrid mattress feels bouncy and balanced, and does a good job of contouring to the body. The Helix Midnight Luxe also gets high marks for its lack of motion transfer, and the extra support makes it a great choice for heavier people too. It isn’t cheap but users report that it is durable, so it should be a good investment. 

Alternatively, if you can't stretch to the Luxe, try the standard version instead. It's almost $400 cheaper and we loved it when we tested it – you can read our Helix Midnight mattress review for more.

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress: was (opens in new tab)

Helix Midnight Luxe mattress: was $1,199 now from $1,099 + 2 free pillows at Helix (opens in new tab)
As part of its Cyber Monday sale, Helix is cutting $150 to $300 off its Midnight Luxe mattress after applicable coupon. You’ll get two free down-alternative pillows with your order too. If you're a side sleeper who wants a firmer bed with cooling upgrades, then it's a suitable alternative to the pricier and softer GhostBed Luxe above.

The Cocoon by Sealy Chill boxed mattress shown with a woman sitting and smiling on top of it

(Image credit: Cocoon by Sealy)
The most affordable cooling mattress in a box

Specifications

Type: mattress in a box
Firmness (1-10): 6
Material: memory foam
Height: 10 inches
Availability: online
Trial length: 100 days
Warranty: 10 years
Best for: all sleepers
MSRP: $769 - $1,539

Reasons to buy

+
Great temperature-regulation
+
Luxury contouring
+
Fully supportive

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may it find too soft

The Cocoon Chill Memory Foam is easily one of the best budget cooling mattresses around. This mattress in a box is made by industry giant and household name Sealy - and it's the perfect option for anyone who liked the sound of the luxury Ghostbed above, but couldn't justify the cost. 

Designed to adapt to your body to provide tailored support all over, this medium-firm mattress has three different foam layers, including luxury memory foam for deep contouring, responsive comfort foam to reduce motion transfer and prevent you sinking into the mattress, and a durable support layer. 

However, the headline feature is Sealy’s advanced phase-change material, which is infused into a high-end, stretch-knit cooling cover. This does an excellent job of regulating temperature throughout the night - we slept on it for two weeks, and even our hot sleeper didn't overheat once - and helps this mattress stand out from similarly priced rivals. Its high performance is also confirmed by many of the over 5,000 customers who have given it five-star reviews on the Cocoon By Sealy website (it averages an impressive score of 4.7 out of 5 from over 9,000 user reviews). 

At 10-inches deep the Cocoon Chill is a decent height, but bear in mind that its memory foam layer is one inch thinner than the Nectar Memory Foam mattress above - if you weigh more than 230lbs you may sink through to the firmer support layers. For most people, though, this won't be an issue. 

Overall, we were impressed with the comfort and cooling abilities of the mattress, and gave it superior marks for motion isolation. There's no denying you get a lot for your money here. If you're looking for an affordable medium-firm memory foam mattress, there's a lot to like about the Cocoon Chill. It's also one of the best budget mattresses for hot sleepers seeking cooling comfort at night.

Cocoon Chill mattress:  was (opens in new tab)

Cocoon Chill mattress: was $769 now from $499 + free pillows and sheets at Cocoon by Sealy (opens in new tab)
For Cyber Monday, Cocoon has a deal on that knocks 35% off mattresses, with two free pillows and sheets bundled in. It's the same offer as we usually see from this brand, but it's still great value. A twin size is down to just $499 (was $769), whereas the queen is on sale for $799 (was $1,239). 

The Zinus Pressure Relief Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress in white shown on a dark bed frame

(Image credit: Zinus)
The best cheap mattress in a box for very tight budgets

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 5.9-6.6
Material: Memory foam
Depth: 6-12 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online
Trial length: 100 nights
Warranty: 10 years
Best for: All sleepers
RRP: $151 - $464

Reasons to buy

+
Best-selling mattress on Amazon
+
Charcoal particles minimize odor
+
Four different thickness options
+
Excellent value

Reasons to avoid

-
Some find it too firm

We'll make this clear from the start: the Zinus Green Tea isn't the best mattress in a box in our guide - it has few of the bells and whistles found in the other options here, and there are questions over its long-term durability. However, if you're looking for a budget option, it's one of the best low-cost mattresses out there.

The Zinus Green Tea is among the best mattresses on Amazon, with an average score of 4.4 out of 5 from over 100,000 user reviews. It uses green tea-infused memory foam and purified charcoal particles to neutralize odors, and comes in a range of different thickness options: 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches. 

The cheapest is the 6 inch: you could get a queen-size delivered to your front door for around $200. We tested the 10-inch version - which starts from $217 - for three months and found it to be very comfortable and supportive, with good edge support and minimal motion transfer, so you won’t be disturbed by a restless partner. (In case you’re wondering, no, it doesn’t smell of tea…)

There are a few questions about long-term durability: we don’t know how this mattress will perform after a few years of use. It’s not the best choice if you overheat at night, either - a few of our reviewers became uncomfortably warm. But the fantastic price is, of course, where this mattress really stands out. It isn’t often you can buy a quality king size mattress for under $300. If you're looking for a budget mattress in a box, the Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam mattress is worth considering. Before buying, read our how to return a mattress to Amazon guide to get clued up on the returns process so you know what to expect should you change your mind.

A woman with curly dark hair sleeps on her side on the The Purple Mattress

(Image credit: Purple)
The most innovative bed-in-a-box mattress in the US

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 6-7
Material: Foam
Depth: 9.25 inches
Sizes : 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online and in store
Trial length: 100 days
Warranty: 10 years
Best for: All sleepers
RRP : $799 - $1,998

Reasons to buy

+
Super responsive
+
Excellent temperature regulation 
+
Ultra durable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cover not machine washable 

The Purple mattress is one of the best-known mattresses in a box. It's extremely popular, thanks to its innovative 'Purple Grid' technology, which is designed to flex under your body’s pressure points, providing tailored support right where you need it most. The Purple grid doesn't just offer high-end support though. This hyper-elastic, gel-like grid (which looks like an empty ice cube tray) has thousands of air channels inside it, helping you sleep cool

Inside the Purple Mattress there are two inches of the Purple grid, followed by a dual-layer comfort base for support. Many users comment that it took them some time to get used to the unique feeling of the Purple mattress - especially if they were previously sleeping on an innerspring mattress. Though it proved very popular as a mattress for side sleepers. Purple itself advises giving the mattress 21 days to get used to it.

Still, the Purple mattress has an excellent average score of 4.4 out of 5 from over 30,000 user reviews on the Purple website as of November 2022. It’s rated similarly on Amazon, with 4.6 out of 5 (but from a much smaller user review pool). Many people report that it relieved their pressure points and eased joint pain, and lots of people say that since switching to the Purple mattress they've been sleeping far better than they were before. 

We think for couples, especially, and anyone who overheats at night, the flagship Purple mattress is one of the best mattress in a box options out there. Read our Nectar vs Purple breakdown if you can't choose between the brands.

The Purple Mattress: was (opens in new tab)

The Purple Mattress: was $799 now from $699 at Purple (opens in new tab)
Purple is taking $100 off any size of its Purple mattress for Cyber Monday (there are bigger discounts on pricier models). A queen goes for $1,299 in the current sale. Meanwhile, add an adjustable base for a total savings of $600. 

Best mattress in a box: The Birch Luxe Natural Mattress on a light wooden frame and dressed with white pillows and a green bed throw

(Image credit: Birch Living)

7. Birch Natural Mattress

The best mattress in a box for people with allergies

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 5-6
Material: wool, natural latex, cotton, and steel
Depth: 11 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Availability: Online and in store
Trial length: 100 days
Warranty: 25 years
Best for: All sleepers
RRP: $1,399 - $2,149

Reasons to buy

+
Natural and organic materials
+
Hypoallergenic
+
Comfy yet supportive

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too firm for lighter bodies

This eco-friendly hybrid mattress from Birch by Helix sits in our best organic mattress guide and features an organic cotton cover, plus a layer of organic wool and breathable natural Talalay latex to help maintain healthy airflow and keep you cool as you sleep. And with hypoallergenic non-toxic materials, this is a safe surface to sleep on too. 

A layer of hundreds of individual steel coils also work to cradle your body and offer plenty of support for your spine, while also keeping motion transfer to a minimum. The Birch mattress has a luxury medium-firm feel, making it perfect for all sleeping styles. 

Because the Birch is at the higher end of the market, the cost naturally reflects this. Prices start at $1,399 for a twin, but with generous discounts and sales available throughout the year, it’s easy to pick up one of these excellent mattresses for even less. For Black Friday, Birch is knocking $400 off its Birch Natural mattress and including two of its Eco-Rest pillows free with purchase, too. 

Handmade in the USA, Birch offers free shipping to US customers as well as a 100-night sleep trial. There is also a 25-year warranty on the mattress – an indication of the brand’s trust in this organic bed in a box.

Birch Natural mattress: was (opens in new tab)

Birch Natural mattress: was $1,399 now from $999 + 2 free pillows at Birch (opens in new tab)
The Birch Natural mattress is the least-expensive mattress that Birch offers. For Cyber Monday, there's a $400 discount, and you'll also get two Eco-Rest pillows ($550 value) for free. With this deal, a queen size drops to $1,449.

The Amerisleep AS2 shown with a blue base and placed on a light grey fabric bed base

(Image credit: Amerisleep)

8. Amerisleep AS2 mattress

The best mattress in a box for back pain

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 6.5
Material: Memory foam
Depth: 12 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online and in store
Trial length: 100 days
Warranty: 20 years
Best for: Back and stomach sleepers
RRP : $1,299 - $2,248

Reasons to buy

+
Very responsive
+
Ultra durable
+
Cooling

Reasons to avoid

-
Side sleepers may prefer the AS3
-
Some say edge support could be better

The AmeriSleep AS2 is a great mattress for back pain. This 12-inch medium-firm mattress is designed for back and stomach sleepers, and blends targeted, responsive support with contouring comfort to deliver enhanced pressure relief. 

Underneath a soft, ultra-breathable and cooling cover, the AS2 mattress uses a plant-based Bio-Pur foam to relieve pressure points. This open-cell foam is more breathable and responsive than traditional memory foam, so it’ll keep you cooler through the night while it supports your body. Next comes a layer of ‘Hive’ foam - lots of flexible foam hexagons grouped into comfort zones that ease tension and deliver extra support and cushioning under your head, shoulders, back, hips, knees, and lower legs. Finally, a durable base foam is designed to prevent sagging and keep you from sinking in. AmeriSleep puts its money where its mouth is here, with a 20-year warranty. 

The AS2 is highly rated on the Amerisleep site, with an average of 4.7/5 stars from over 3,000 user reviews, and 97% of respondents say they would recommend the mattress to a friend (November 2022). Some customers comment that they no longer have chronic back pain and many agree that it’s a high-quality product. 

If you’re a side-sleeper with back pain, you may find the AS2 doesn't offer quite the right targeted support - we'd recommend the Amerisleep AS3 (opens in new tab) or AS4 (opens in new tab) instead. And if you prefer a softer mattress, the AS2 may be too firm - again, the AS3 will be a better choice. But if you’re a back sleeper, or suffering from back pain, the Amerisleep AS2 could be just what you need.   

AmeriSleep AS2 mattress: was $1,299 now from (opens in new tab)

AmeriSleep AS2 mattress: was $1,299 now from $849 + free cooling cover at AmeriSleep (opens in new tab)
AmeriSleep’s AS2 mattress (all-foam or hybrid version) is $450 off for Cyber Monday. This is tied as the biggest discount we've seen on the AS2 boxed mattress for back support and cooler sleep. That reduces the price of a queen size to $1,099 (was $1,549) - a great price for a medium-firm mattress side and back sleepers. A Refresh Cooling Cover is also included free.

Bear Original mattress

(Image credit: Bear)
Best affordable bed-in-a-box for couples

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 7
Material: Gel memory foam, high-density support foam, memory foam
Depth: 10 inches
Sizes: 7 (twin - split king)
Availability: Online
Trial length: 120 nights
Warranty: Lifetime
Best for: Firmer support, people with restless partners
RRP: $748 - $1,622

Reasons to buy

+
Suits all sleep positions
+
Incredible motion isolation
+
Superior edge support

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too firm for some
-
Not the best at cooling

If you sleep with a restless partner but the GhostBed Luxe (number 2 on this list) is outside of your price range, opt for the more budget-friendly Bear Original memory foam mattress. A queen retails for $998, but you'll find savings of 30% off during regular sales – in addition to bundled freebies that typically include a pair of pillows, a sheet set, and a mattress protector.

When we tested the motion isolation in our Bear Original mattress review, we were thoroughly impressed with the results. Even when we dropped a 15lb weight 4 inches away from an empty wine glass (to mimic a partner moving on the bed), the glass barely budged. That bodes well if you share a bed with a fidgety sleeper, as you're unlikely to be disturbed by their movements. 

It may take your body a few days to adjust to the medium-firm feel of the Bear Original mattress. (You get 120 nights to try it at home.) Once you finally settle into it, you'll appreciate the contouring support of the Bear Original, regardless of your sleep position. No need to worry about falling off if you gravitate towards the edge while you sleep, either, as the Bear Original's edge support is among the best we've ever tested.

One area where the Bear Original mattress falls short is temperature regulation. Despite a Celliant quilt cover and cooling gel memory foam, we felt overheated on warmer nights. However, it was quite cozy for us in cooler temperatures so we'd recommend the Bear Original to anyone who lives in a temperate or cold environment. 

Bear Original mattress: (opens in new tab)

Bear Original mattress: was $748, now from $487 at Bear
(opens in new tab)The Bear Extended Black Friday Sale continues to take 35% off the Original mattress. Even better, you'll receive a free sleep bundle containing pillows, sheets, and a mattress protector. Not only does it suit any sleep style, but it's also excellent at isolating motion – in other words, you'll seldom (if ever) be woken up by a restless co-sleeper. 

A man and his baby relax on the Avocado Green Mattress

(Image credit: Avocado)

10. Avocado Green Mattress

The best eco-friendly mattress in a box

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 7
Material: Organic foam and coils
Depth: 11 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Availability: Online
Trial length: 365 days
Warranty: 25 years
Best for: All sleepers
RRP : $1,399 - $2,599

Reasons to buy

+
All natural materials
+
Very little motion transfer

Reasons to avoid

-
Some side sleepers find too firm
-
Expensive materials

If you're looking for an eco-friendly, all-natural mattress, we think the Avocado Green is the best mattress in a box you can buy. The company uses quality, organic ingredients - there's no polyester, polyurethane foams, or toxic fire retardants - to produce a premium mattress that's GreenGuard Gold Certified, which means that it meets high standards for low emissions. 

Made from 100% certified organic latex, wool and cotton, the Avocado Green mattress offers plush cushioning, and ranks highly amongst users for its strong support. A zoned, pressure-point support system gives proper back support, while recycled steel coils help align your back and distribute your weight. Plus, an optional organic wool pillow top version will help regulate your body temperature.

If you've got a higher budget and eco-friendly credentials are particularly important, then Avocado's Latex mattress (opens in new tab) is the company's most sustainable - it isn't just 100% organic certified and non-toxic, but it's biodegradable too. However, it's more expensive (a queen retails for $2,999 - that's $1,000 more), which is why, on balance, we recommend the Avocado Green as the best bed in a box in the all-natural category. The brand also makes the best mattress topper pick for you if you want all-natural bedding.

Avocado Green mattress: was (opens in new tab)

Avocado Green mattress: was $1,399 now from $1,349 at Avocado Green (opens in new tab)
Avocado is slashing 10% off all of its mattresses. If you're looking for an organic mattress, the Avocado Green Mattress is the best you can buy. Use coupon code SAVE10 to take 10% off the sale price of the company's Green Mattress. After discount, the twin is $1,259 (was $1,399), whereas the queen is $1,799 (was $1,999).

Best mattress in a box: The Layla Mattress in a box placed on a black bed frame and sat next to a wood and fabric chair

(Image credit: Layla Sleep)

11. Layla Memory Foam Mattress

The best mattress in a box for pressure relief

Specifications

Firmness (1-10): 4 and 7
Material: Foam, copper (cover – polyester, viscose, lycra)
Depth: 10.5 inches
Sizes: 6 (twin - Cal king)
Availability: Online
Trial length: 120 days
Warranty: Lifetime
Best for: All sleepers
RRP: $749 - $1,249

Reasons to buy

+
Relieves pressure on hips and back
+
Cooling copper technology
+
Choice of firmness

Reasons to avoid

-
The firm option is very firm

This versatile mattress in a box has twice the value for money with a soft side and a firm side to give you precise levels of comfort. Made in the USA, the Layla Mattress uses copper-gel infused foam to offer variable support as the copper reacts to pressure, delivering support where the body needs it most. The copper is also microbial and helps keep you cool, carrying heat away from your body for sleep that is not only more restful but refreshing too.

At the core of the mattress is a layer of Max AirFlow support foam and 4.5 inches of support foam for superb motion-transfer control and a little bounce too, no matter what side you choose to sleep on. The cover has reactive cooling that responds to your body temperature keeping it at a comfortable level for sleep. The cover is also removable and can be dry-cleaned, so whether you sleep on the firm side or the soft side you can stay feeling fresh. You can also buy replacement covers from Layla.

Layla offers a risk-free 120-night trial so you can try out the mattress on both sides to see which suits you best. Delivery is prompt and free within the lower 48 states. However, shipping charges to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada may apply at checkout. The Layla Mattress in a box comes with a lifetime warranty.

Layla Mattress: was (opens in new tab)

Layla Mattress: was $749 now from $599 + 2 free pillows at Layla (opens in new tab)
The Layla Cyber Monday mattress sale saves you up to $150 on the original Layla mattress in a box, with prices now starting from $599 (was $749). A queen size costs $949 (was $1,099), and there are bigger savings of over $600 (opens in new tab) on Layla memory foam mattress bundles. You'll also get two free Layla pillows with your purchase.

How we test mattresses

The Tom’s Guide mattress review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. Our expert mattress testers sleep on each mattress for at least three weeks - that's roughly how long it takes for your body to get used to a new mattress - and spend hours scientifically testing the performance of each product.  

Mattress firmness is subjective, so each lead reviewer also forms a trusted and experienced testing panel made up of people with different sleep needs and body types. We have side sleepers, back sleepers and stomach sleepers, with lighter, average and heavier bodies, who rate each mattress using a specific set of performance criteria. 

Together, these processes enable us to produce accurate, well-balanced and data-backed mattress reviews, to help you easily decide whether the mattress you’re interested in really is the best choice for you. Read our full mattress methodology for more.

Mattress in a box FAQs

How to choose the best mattress in a box

With more and more options available for buying a mattress in a box, it’s now easier than ever to find something that suits your sleeping position, body weight and any particular needs you might have when it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep. 

Things to look out for when buying a bed-in-a-box online include:

Features – If you need extra features from a mattress to help you sleep, then there’ll be something for you, whether you sleep hot, need more pressure relief, or extra support for backache. Plenty of mattresses now come with innovative tech and eco-friendly materials too, so whatever your concerns, it should be covered.

Firmness – just like standard mattresses, beds in a box come in a variety of firmnesses. If you know you will likely need a firmer mattress for instance, check before you buy to ensure you are getting the most comfortable choice for you.

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress, shown on a light wooden bed frame, is one of the best-selling mattresses in a box

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

Trial period and free delivery/returns – many top brands offer mattress trials on their mattresses, giving you the chance to try the mattress out for yourself. It’s always a good idea to take advantage of trial periods, and if you decide the mattress isn’t for you, check that you can get a full refund. 

This takes a lot of the stress out of buying a mattress online, especially if the mattress is expensive. Also check if the company offers free returns so there’ll be no surprises if you do need to send the mattress back.

Reviews – online reviews often give you extra information about the mattress, including feedback after a few weeks’ use and a closer assessment of the feel and comfort for different body weights. If you have decided on a boxed mattress, compare a few user reviews on the brand websites with those elsewhere too.

What is a mattress in a box?

A mattress in a box is a memory foam or hybrid mattress that has been machine-compressed into a smaller size, tightly rolled, then packed into a tough cardboard box for shipping to your home. Shipping times vary by brand, but you can get a boxed mattress as fast as within two working days.

Once that box arrives at your door, your job is to unbox it. Each mattress in a box is covered in a reinforced plastic cover, and many brands give you a tool to slice through that covering more easily. Once the mattress has been fully unpacked, pop it on your bed base where it will begin to regain its full shape. 

While they are the same as regular mattresses once fully decompressed, a mattress in a box takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days to be ready to sleep on. Emma mattresses, for example, are ready to sleep on in a few hours, while Nectar mattresses take up to 72 hours.

You may notice a bit of a smell at first, but this mattress off-gassing is normal. Just open the windows and it should soon pass, leaving you to enjoy your comfy new bed. To care for your new mattress in a box, cover it with one of the best mattress protectors to safeguard against stains.

Casper has been credited with making beds-in-a-box popular since its launch nearly 10 years ago, and now we also have the likes of Purple, Layla, Nectar, Helix and many others. 

In terms of warranty, coverage ranges from 10 years to a Forever Warranty (Nectar and DreamCloud), but we’d advise you to check the small print so that you know what will and won’t be covered. For further guidance, read our feature on how do mattress warranties work.

Are mattresses in a box any good?

Not all boxed mattresses are made equal, and some, such as those featured in our guide, are infinitely better than others. That’s why we put in the hours reviewing the best beds-in-a-box to help you quickly sort the great ones from the ones to avoid. 

It’s easy to look at the cheaper price tags of some mattresses in a box and dismiss them as being too cheap to be supportive or comfortable, but that simply isn’t the case. We have spent hundreds of hours sleeping on some of the top boxed mattresses and find them equally as comfortable as traditional mattresses sold in store. 

Some of them are just as premium too, with luxury materials and innovative technologies packed in to help you stay cool and to relieve pressure in your preferred sleeping position. So whether you’re after the best mattress for side sleepers, or one for back or stomach snoozing, you’ll no doubt come across a mattress in a box that does the job well and for a reasonable price. 

Image shows an Emma mattress packaging tool supplied with each mattress in a box so that you can cut through the plastic easily

(Image credit: Future)

How to open a bed-in-a-box

The best way to unbox your new mattress is to follow the instructions provided by the mattress manufacturer. As these guidelines are similar, we can provide you with some general guidance here. The main difference between brands is how long they recommend that you leave the bed-in-a-box to inflate before you sleep on it. 

For example, Emma Sleep says that its Original memory foam mattress is ready to sleep on within 60 minutes, while the Nectar Mattress can take up to 72 hours to decompress fully. 

Allowing your mattress in a box the time it needs to properly inflate (decompress) means that it will be in the best position to properly support your body. If you use the mattress before the manufacturer says it’s ready to sleep on, you may damage the materials and risk voiding your warranty.

In general, here’s how to open a mattress in a box:

  • Take it through to your bedroom of choice
  • Open the top of the cardboard box and remove any printed instructions or packaging cutting tools (see image above for an example)
  • Now lay the cardboard box on its side
  • Pull the rolled mattress out of the box so that it’s resting on the floor
  • If you have been given a packaging cutting tool, use this to carefully cut through the tough plastic covering the mattress. Some brands, like Avocado Green, wrap their mattresses in paper, which is easy to remove.
  • One the boxed mattress is out of its protective packaging, place it onto your bed frame because it will start inflating (decompressing) immediately.
  • Open a window to let the smell of off-gassing dissipate.
  • Leave the mattress to decompress for the number of minutes or hours stated by the brand you purchased it from.

When is the best time to buy a mattress in a box?

There are definitely key periods throughout the year when it’s better to buy a boxed mattress, and chief among these is the Black Friday mattress deals, where prices are at their lowest and discounts are at their highest. 

These often roll over into Cyber Monday mattress deals, which is the first Monday immediately following Black Friday, and you may even see some higher discounts on Cyber Monday when brand’s mount last-ditch efforts to attract your custom before Christmas.

Beyond that, the Memorial Day mattress sales in May are another key time to buy a mattress in a box for less than normal, with retailers looking to shift older stock before new ranges arrive. Labor Day mattress sales are also a good time to look, as they feature some of the lowest prices before Black Friday season. 

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Diana is a trained journalist and experienced editor in the health and wellbeing and lifestyle sectors. Diana has created content for a range of leading brands including Real Simple, Bloomberg, Headspace, and WebMD. For Tom’s Guide Diana currently focuses on sleep, mattresses, and fitness equipment. 

With contributions from