Choosing the Best Mattress In a Box For You

Mattress shopping isn’t what it used to be. The days of driving from store to store comparison shopping are over. No more salesmen droning in your ear. No more testing out row after row of mattresses under harsh fluorescent lighting. Thanks to the bed in a box, a growing number of consumers are shifting their search to the internet. Online mattress manufacturers now offer durable, luxurious mattresses that can be delivered straight to your door in a compact box. These days, the best bed in a box and a good night’s sleep are only a click away.

Lull Mattress in a Box

The mattress in a box movement feels relatively new, having not gained much attention until 2012. That’s when two ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneurs created Tuft & Needle, the bed in a box start-up that began it all. But the idea wasn’t theirs. In fact, the concept has been around since 2006, when Bill Bradley invented a machine that could compress mattresses. With this new technology, it became easy to ship a product that was previously a handling nightmare. What he never understood, that later start-ups did, was that with the right marketing, this product could rule the game.

Today, the bed in a box concept has grown into a $1.5 billion industry, accounting for 12% of all mattress sales. Thanks to millennials and their penchant for online shopping, those figures are only continuing to grow. It’s no wonder, either. With high-quality mattresses at such a reasonable price point, you’ll never bother wasting time in a mattress store again.

Recommended Mattress in a Box Brands

These are some of the most recommended mattress in a box brands:

What Separates a Bed In a Box from a Traditional Mattress?

The mattresses most people are used to shouldn’t come in a box. It doesn’t make sense. Mattresses are huge, cumbersome, and awkward to move. They’re loaded with springs that making folding impossible. And yet, bed in a box companies have managed to squeeze their products into cardboard boxes no bigger than a coffee table. They’ve made this possible by challenging the way mattresses have traditionally been constructed.

Most bed in a box companies have done away with springs and coils, opting for specialized foams and gels. More porous materials make it easier to compress mattresses down to a portable size. Multiple densities of memory foam, along with latex, are stacked to create an ideal sleep experience for all kinds of sleepers. Many companies, like Naturepedic have even taken an eco-responsible stance, sourcing organic, sustainable, and chemical-free materials.

Not All Mattresses Are Made Equally

Before you begin your online mattress hunt, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The construction materials are not the only factor separating a traditional mattress from a bed in a box. The other main difference is the sales method. Traditional beds come in various models that often differ in name and composition depending on region and retailer. Most bed in a box companies, on the other hand, make a single model, or very few models. This means you have to be extra vigilant when online shopping for mattresses and be open to exploring different brands. Just because a mattress receives consistently high ratings doesn’t mean it’s the best bed in a box for you.

Each mattress in a box company has a specific focus. Some are all about being organic, some manufacture “smartbeds,” some have a luxury angle, and some are all about affordability. You need to know what you’re looking for in a mattress. Keep in mind the qualities that are most important to you: support, relief, overall comfort, etc. Remember that as easy as it was to ship and install your bed in a box, returning it isn’t always so simple.

Should You Purchase A Bed In A Box?

A mattress is an investment – you shouldn’t rush into it. Before you decide whether or not a bed in a box is right for you, take a moment to consider the pros and cons.


  • Affordability. Because compressed mattresses are smaller and easier to handle, shipping costs are lower than for traditional mattresses. Because of the low overhead of online businesses, bed in a box companies can offer their products for cheaper.
  • Good quality. Despite the lack of various models for most bed in a box companies, they are consistently well-reviewed. Most boxed mattresses receive high marks for stability, durability, and firmness.
  • Hassle-free comparison shopping. Shopping for mattresses at brick and mortar mattress shops is exhausting and boring. Reading descriptions and reviews online makes comparison shopping much easier.
  • Risk-free. Even with extensive research, online shopping is still a gamble, and online mattress companies know this. That’s why nearly all bed in a box manufacturers offer generous trial periods, usually 100 days, but sometimes more. If in the end you decide its not for you, you can organize a return and, in most cases, receive a full refund.


  • Fewer models. Each bed in a box company focuses on one model or a select few models. Unlike a mattress retailer, where all brands are lined up next to each other, you have to shop around.
  • Can’t try before you buy. This can be an issue for shoppers who have trouble making a commitment. Most companies make up for this with long trial periods. Nectar trial periods are a full 365 days!

What to Expect Now that You’ve Found the Best Bed In a Box For You

Most mattresses will arrive from a few days to a few weeks after ordering. On the day it arrives, it will come in a cardboard box about 1.5 by 3.5 feet. Don’t be fooled by its small size, though. Depending on the size of mattress you ordered, it can weight anywhere from 50 lbs to 150 lbs. If moving this weight is a concern for you, be sure to look for a company that offers white-glove delivery. For a fee, some companies will offer free unpackaging, installation, and even old mattress removal.

Next is the exciting part: unwrapping the mattress. Before packaging, the mattress will be compressed, folded, and rolled, then wrapped in multiple layers of plastic. Use a pair of sharp scissors or a knife to cut through the wrapping. You’ll notice the mattress immediately begin decompressing. If you have just bought a bedframe, be sure to assemble it before decompressing the mattress, as moving it will be difficult. It can take between 30 minutes to several hours for the mattress to decompress completely.

You may or may not also notice a plastic-y smell coming from your mattress as a result of a process called off-gassing. This happens when the volatile organic compounds found in memory foam begin to break down. It may be unpleasant, but the smell will usually disappear in a few hours, or at most, a few days. And don’t worry, it’s non-toxic – just stinky. You may want to open a window to help the smell dissipate more quickly. It’s important to note that not all bed in a box mattresses have this off-gassing effect.

Brands to Consider

Nectar – for temperature control technology

Nectar mattresses are specially designed to provide you with a comfortable sleep temperature. People sleep better when they’re cool, and Nectar mattresses feature breathable and cooling layers including a Tencel cooling cover, two layers of gel memory foam, and a breathable base layer. Prices range from $399 to $1,024, and each mattress boasts free shipping and returns, a lifetime warranty, and an extra-long 365-night sleep trial.

Puffy — for cloud comfort

Puffy and Puffy Lux mattresses are 100% made in the USA and feature such layers as Cooling Cloud Foam, Body Adapting Dual Cloud Foam (in the Lux mattress), ClimateComfort Foam, and Firm Core Support Foam. It is CertiPUR-US certified and has a 101-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty. This mattress in a box comes at prices ranging from $595 to $1,795, and shipping is free throughout the continental US.

Lull — featuring 3-layer sleep technology

Lull’s 10-inch memory foam mattress is made of three unique layers to provide comfort and support. The prices are quite reasonable — $500 to $900 — and you can even choose to pay with financing for as low as $28 per month. The Lull mattress in a box is CertiPUR-US certified, and Lull is a Sustainable Furnishing Council Member as well as a Mattress Recycling Council Member. It’s shipped free to your door within 1-4 days of ordering and comes with a 100-night risk-free trial.

Ecosa — for adjustable firmness

Ecosa mattresses feature a unique, adjustable firmness design by changing the order of the three interchangeable internal layers. The result is that you can choose medium, medium-firm, or firm for your mattress any time you want. Ecosa mattresses are shipped free in the USA and come with a 100-night trial. This mattress in a box is CertiPUR-US certified. This mattress is priced at $600-$950, depending on the size that you choose.

Don’t Rush To a Decision

The bed in a box has completely revolutionized the way we choose our mattresses. What was once such a hassle to buy and install had become infinitely more manageable, and even fun! Though you may be eager to tear open your new mattress and watch it decompress right away, remember that online mattress shopping requires research and consideration. Before you decide which is the best bed in a box for you, explore our site to learn more. With articles on purchasing a mattress, brand reviews, and our handy comparison tool, everything you need to know is here!

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