Best mattress in a box: 6 tried and tested beds for comfier sleep, without the stress

Get one from the comfort of your couch

Best mattress in a box casper blue bedroom
(Image credit: Casper)

Gone are the days of lugging your brand new mattress up the stairs to your third-floor apartment. We are no longer settling for a pivot moment like Rachel and Ross. Nope, these mattresses in a box equal convenience and comfort, and we've tested them to confirm just that. Yes, mattresses that come in a box are just as good as — if not better than — their fully expanded counterparts. Buying the best mattress for your needs has never been easier, no matter where you live and what your budget is.

Before you ask, mattresses that come in a box aren't any more expensive than regular mattresses. They're super common nowadays, which is probably why you can pick one up for just $499 without a discount. Similar to a regular mattress, you'll want to tailor your bed in a box to the way you sleep, so there are a couple of things to think about before you make your decision.

Quick Menu:
1. Mattresses in a box reviews
2. What to consider
3. FAQs
4. How we test

We've tested more than 20 mattresses at Real Homes, but these seven mattresses in a box are our highest-rated, as confirmed by our expert reviewers. Before you get to it, think about your sleep position — back, front, or side — and whether you are a hot or cold sleeper (or neither). Also, consider whether having an organic mattress is important to you, and what kind of budget you have for a new mattress. This should help narrow down your choices out of the seven options just below. 

You can order a new mattress from the comfort of your couch and once it's delivered, roll it out flat on your bed frame and watch it expand to its full mattress potential. Talk about convenient.

The best mattresses in a box you can buy in 2024

Why you can trust Real Homes 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.

First thing's first, you'll want to know which type of matttress to buy (and which firmness it needs to be), right? Well...

If you are a side sleeper, then opt for a soft-medium mattress.

If you are a stomach sleeper you want to go for a firm or medium-firm mattress.

If you are a back sleeper, then go for something in the middle that's not too soft or too firm.

Here are our seven favorite mattresses that you can buy, that come in a box.

The best mattress in a box

The Casper Original Mattress side viewReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)
This memory foam mattress ticks all our boxes and more

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 10"
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Firmness: Medium
Trial period: 100 nights
Price: $895–$1,695

Reasons to buy

+
Good for all sleep positions, especially side sleepers
+
Great motion transfer
+
Handles for easy moving
+
Removable cover for cleaning

Reasons to avoid

-
High price tag

Casper is the OG when it comes to mattresses in a box. The Casper Original, an award-winning memory foam mattress lands as our top choice as it scores BIG on comfort and coolness and is bound to be loved by any side sleeper who suffers from joint pain or stomach sleepers seeking proper spinal alignment. That being said, it is spendy and starts at $895. It does come with a 100-night trial and a 10-year limited warranty, and if you buy direct from Casper, you might be able to find it on sale or get some freebies (like pillows) thrown in. Our reviewer Linda rated it five out of five stars.

Buy this mattress if:
You want a memory foam mattress with a bit of bounce, or of you prefer a medium mattress (when it comes to firmness). It's also great if you're a hot sleeper, thanks to its breathable cooling layer. Linda claims it's the softest memory foam mattress on the market, but notes that the motion transfer technology is incredibly impressive. If you share a bed with a fidgeter or roller, get this mattress. It's suitable for all types of sleepers, particularly side sleepers and joint pain sufferers. Also, unlike most other mattresses in a box, it has handles for full maneuverability.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You like a mattress you can really sink into. We've also featured cheaper mattresses if you are on a budget. If you really can't stand the chemically mattress smell this might not be the one — the odor does fade though.

Read our full Casper memory foam mattress review.

The best affordable mattress in a box

Nectar MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Nectar)
A medium firm mattress for all sleepers

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 12"
Type: Memory foam
Firmness: Medium-firm (6.5)
Trial Period: 1 year
Price: $399–$1,138

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money 
+
Good for all kinds of sleepers 
+
Offers both comfort and support
+
Great motion transfer

Reasons to avoid

-
No handles

If you are searching for a trustworthy memory foam mattress that won't lose its shape (even after many years of use), then this Nectar mattress is your match! It's top-rated for providing support and a great choice for anyone who's after a mattress for back pain. The best part is it's suitable for all sleep positions. It's rated our best mattress overall because it's also affordable, starting at $399 for a twin size. You also get a 365-night trial and a forever warranty included in that price. Plus, as with other mattress brands, when you buy direct from Nectar you might find there's a sale happening or that you can grab some freebies.

Buy this mattress if:
You want a mattress in a box that's nice and affordable, as well as comfortable for all types of sleepers. It's great if you sleep hot, too, as its adaptive cooling cover is designed to draw heat away from your body and circulate fresh air every time you move. It will cushion your joints where needed, and if you sleep with someone who moves around a lot, or with a dog on your bed, then its motion transfer prevention is excellent.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You want something that's super soft, as it's rated 6.5/10 on the firmness scale, with 10 being super firm. Just know that it doesn't have any handles for easy moving. It's two inches deeper than our first pick from Casper, so if you're using it with a topper and a mattress protector, then check if you'll need to buy deep-fitted sheets.

Read our full Nectar mattress review.

The best medium-firm mattress in a box

Emma original mattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Emma)
Rated 7/10 on the firmness scale, it's perfect for back and side sleepers

Specifications

Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 10"
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Firmness: Medium-firm (7/10)
Trial Period: 365 nights
Price: $699–$1,599

Reasons to buy

+
Best for back and side sleepers 
+
Great temperature control
+
Good motion transfer
+
Great price point 

Reasons to avoid

-
No handles 
-
Not for front sleepers

Price-wise, the Emma sits in between our other two top picks from Nectar and Casper. It's a happy medium in price and firmness, ranking a 7/10 on the firmness scale. This fully foam mattress is best for back and side sleepers, as discovered by our reviewer Linda. It comes with a 365-night trial and a 10-year guarantee and prices start at $699 but it's often on sale at Emma.

Buy this mattress if:
You like memory foam but it tends to be too soft. This mattress is comfortable and supportive, while being firm for memory foam. It's nice on your joints and when it comes to motion transfer, Linda found it was minimal. If you sleep warm, she says its special temperature-regulating properties were actually noticeable. If you want something that's made in the USA, this is for you.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You're a front sleeper. It's not comfortable when sleeping in this position. It doesn't have handles either.

Read our full Emma Original mattress review.

The best value mattress in a box

Siena Memory Foam Mattress on wooden bed frame beside pink nightstandReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)
It's always usually on sale, too

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth : 10"
Type : Memory foam
Firmness : Medium
Trial period : 180 nights
Price: $499–$799

Reasons to buy

+
Super affordable 
+
Fuss-free for good sleep 
+
Great for all kinds of sleepers 
+
Great motion isolation 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best edge support 
-
No handles 

If you're a memory foam fan but are on a tight budget, then the Siena memory foam mattress is truly a game-changer. We rate it as one of the best cheap mattresses you can buy because it starts at $499, but previously we've seen it on sale direct from Siena for $199 for a twin. It's a fairly new brand on the mattress-in-a-box scene and we think it offers everything you need to upgrade your sleep setup for less.  Plus, it comes with a 6-month trial and a 10-year warranty.

Buy this mattress if:
You like memory foam, and you are on a budget. It costs only $499 for a queen (when not on sale) in comparison to Nectar's $899 for a queen. Its motion isolation is great considering its price tag, so it's definitely one for fidgeters, but it falls down on its edge support. It's rated 6.5 out of 10 for firmness, so it's ideal for anyone who likes a medium mattress.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You sit on the edge of your bed a lot — its edge support is lacking so you'll probs just slide off. Avoid it if you prefer a mattress that's super soft, as this isn't it. It doesn't have any clever cooling capabilities, as you'd expect with the affordable price tag.

Read our full Siena mattress review.

The best organic mattress in a box

Avocado Eco Organic Mattress on corner of wooden bed frameReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Avocado)
It's affordable and it comes wrapped in recyclable packaging

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 10"
Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium (5/10)
Trial Period: 100 nights
Price: $699–$1,599

Reasons to buy

+
Hybrid coil and latex design
+
Handles for easy maneuvering
+
Most affordable organic mattress
+
Supportive of all types of sleepers
+
Shipping materials are recyclable
+
MADE SAFE® certified

Reasons to avoid

-
Average motion transfer and edge support
-
Only Avocado mattress with a 100-night sleep trial (others come with one-year trials)

Looking for the best organic mattress on the market? This affordable pick from Avocado won our reviewer Alex over completely. It's suited to all types of sleepers but it's soft and quite buoyant. It's an eco-friendly bed-in-a-box option from top to bottom, made with GOTS-certified organic cotton and wool and sustainably harvested latex foam. It starts at $699 and includes a 100-night trial plus a 10-year warranty. It's rarer to find an Avocado mattress on sale in comparison to others, but if you're smart you might be able to get a discount when you buy direct from Avocado.

Buy this mattress if:
You want something that's kind to your skin and kind to the planet. It's organic and non-toxic, and instead of chemical flame retardants, the Avocado green mattress meets U.S. flammability standards with an all-natural fire retardant wool. It's also one of only three mattress brands worldwide to be MADE SAFE Non-Toxic certified. In terms of packaging, it came in a recyclable box and is vacuum sealed in recyclable plastic, but it will soon be wrapped and rolled in upcycled paper. It's great for all types of sleepers and our reviewer Alex even tried it sleeping on her front and said it was comfortable. If you like to buy organic bedding, then rest assured that this mattress is wrapped in a GOTS-certified organic cotton cover.

Don't buy this mattress if:
It didn't have the best motion transfer while in review. This shouldn't be a problem if you sleep alone though, or if you rarely move at night. Its edge support was average, so if you sit on the corner of your bed a lot then definitely think about this one. 

Read our full Avocado Eco Organic mattress review.

The best temperature regulating mattress in a box

Leesa Original Mattress on bed with box beside itReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Leesa)
It warms to your body but is super breathable

Specifications

Size: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 10"
Type: Comfort foam/memory foam
Firmness: Medium (5–7/10)
Trial period: 100 nights
Price?: $849–$1,599

Reasons to buy

+
Best for side sleepers 
+
Warms to your body 
+
Good breathability for sweaty sleepers
+
CertiPUR-US® Certified

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for back sleepers 

If you're a side sleeper who prefers a firmer base, then this Leesa mattress could be the one for you. It's similar to the Emma, although this one has a special cooling layer and excels in temperature regulation whether you tend to sleep overly hot or get chilly. It's a similar price to our first pick from Casper and it comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty. You'll probably find it on sale at Leesa.

Buy this mattress if:
You like something supportive but sinkable. Our reviewer Linda says it's perfect for side sleepers although it's pretty firm in the beginning. If you need edge support, body support, and minimal motion transfer, then it's a winner. It excels in the temperature regulation department, so hot sleepers should def consider it. Its well-designed foam layers are specifically engineered to regulate temperature and prevent overheating. It's also made to order in the US, making it a mattress that produces less waste.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You're a back sleeper. Avoid it at all costs. It's also not our most budget-friendly pick. 

Read our full Leesa Original Mattress review.

The best hybrid mattress in a box

Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid MattressReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Awara)
Certified organic and non-toxic, this latex hybrid is so luxurious

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king
Depth: 13"
Type: Latex hybrid
Firmness: Medium (6.5/10)
Trial: 1 year
Price: $1,099–$1,699

Reasons to buy

+
Best for all sleep positions 
+
Certified organic and non-toxic 
+
Softer than other latex types 
+
Good temperature regulation

Reasons to avoid

-
Some motion transfer
-
The most expensive on this list 

Looking for an all-natural alternative to memory foam? A latex mattress is your best bet and we love the Awara mattress for its purity and comfort. It's a luxury pick for sure, with a twin size starting ta $1,099. The price comes down to the fact that it's all-natural, organic, and non-toxic. It also comes with a 365-night trial and a forever warranty. You might be able to score a deal or some freebies when shopping direct at Awara.

Buy this mattress if:
You want a mattress that's organic and non-toxic but firmer than the Avocado pick in this guide. The Awara is a medium firmness mattress and provides more "give" than other latex hybrids on the market claims our reviewer Lisa. Also, it's a no-brainer if you love latex as it's made of organic Dunlop latex (and innerspring coils). If you tend to opt for organic bedding, then rest assured it's wrapped in a certified-organic cotton cover. It's also totally free of chemical flame retardants, formaldehyde, and polyurethane-based foams. Lisa also claims that the mattress sleeps neutral — neither chilly nor sweat-inducing — while it's breathable enough to be an excellent choice for anyone who sleeps hot (or shares a bed with someone who sleeps hot) but won't leave you shivering on a chilly night. Its edge support was incredible, too.

Don't buy this mattress if:
You like a soft mattress. You won't sink into this one. It's also one of the thickest mattresses on the market at 13 inches deep. So, you might want to make sure this isn't too high for you if you use a topper or protector. Check prior to purchase to see if you need to buy deep sheets.

Read our full Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress review.

What to consider when choosing a mattress in a box

We've broken down what to look for when ordering your mattress in a box online in our five-step guide on how to choose a mattress.

PS: The pillow you sleep on will also impact your sleep position and quality. It might be worth looking into how to choose a pillow as well. 

FAQs

What is a mattress in a box?

A mattress in a box is as simple as it sounds. It's a mattress that you can order online from the comfort of your couch. It comes compactly rolled for you to unwrap, unroll, and put on your bed frame. Thinking about how a huge mattress can fit into such a small box? Once laid flat, they can expand to full mattress thickness in a matter of hours.

How we review mattresses

FYI: The products are given to us free of charge and we're often able to keep each mattress after review. This gives the opportunity to return and update our verdict depending on how they've fared over time.

Best mattress siena being reviewed weight on the mattress test

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Hastings)

We've tested more than 20 mattresses at Real Homes, with the vast majority of them being mattresses that come in a box. We try to keep up with the latest releases while bearing in mind each mattress's price, warranty information, and trial period. Once we've chosen the mattresses we want to review, we will fit this mattress with the perfect reviewer based on its material and sleep position. These mattresses are often given to us free of charge to review, and so that we can update our reviews after sleeping on them for six months, a year, and longer. All of our mattresses have been reviewed for a minimum of two weeks, but four weeks is now our standard for newer reviews.

For mattresses in a box, we will record how simple the unboxing process was and take photos of the mattress in its box.

We have an entire page dedicated to our mattress review process if you want to know more.

Meet our mattress-in-a-box reviewers:

Linda Clayton head shot
Linda Clayton

Linda has been writing about homes and interiors for nearly 20 years, working for publications such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Real Homes, Ideal Home, Livingetc, and House Beautiful. She's our freelance sleep expert and has been reviewing mattresses for Real Homes since 2018. Based in the UK, Linda has slept on the Nectar mattress, the Casper Original mattress, the Emma Original mattress, and the Leesa Original mattress from this guide.

Linda's sleep stats: • Mattress count: 24 • Sleep position: Falls sleep on side, rolls onto back • Insomnia: At certain times of the month, insomnia hits for about three nights. I can be awake for three to four hours • Sleep problems: Night sweats are also bad news as I navigate the giddy fun of peri-menopause, again just for two to three nights a month • Average sleep time: 7.5–8 hours

alex temblador real homes contributor
Alex Temblador

Alex is one of Real Homes' expert reviewers. The Dallas-based freelance writer has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications like Real Homes, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Artsy, Neighborhoods.com, and Culture Trip, among many others. She's a real thorough tester, and from this guide, she has tested the Avocado Eco Organic Mattress.

Alex's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 6 • Sleep position: Flexi (front, back, and side) • Insomnia: Not usually • Sleep problems: Difficulty getting a deep rest with someone else in the bed. Can't sleep on a mattress that is too soft.  • Average sleep time: 8–9 hours

Rebecca Hastings author image
Rebecca Hastings

Rebecca is a wife and mom of three who loves being cozy in her bed. She is an author and speaker living in her hometown in Connecticut. You can often find her typing words, driving her kids to various places, or scoping out places where there is chocolate. She reviewed the affordable Siena Memory Foam Mattress for us.

Rebecca's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 1

Lisa M Maloney

Lisa tends to sleep in all positions — on her back, front and side — and she tested the Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress for Real Homes.

Lisa's sleep stats: • Mattress review count: 1 • Sleep position: Flexi (front, back, and side)

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.

With contributions from

SPONSORS