Healthy Sleeping Habits

Editor Tested: The Big Guide to Bed-in-a-Box Mattresses

Allie Flinn

Photo: W+G Creative
Let’s appreciate for a moment that we now live in a world where, with the click of a button, you can have a mattress delivered right to your doorstep in a few business days. The only problem (if you can even call it that) is figuring out which is the best bed in a box mattress to buy for your go-to sleep position, preferred level of firmness, and other factors, like if you sleep alone or with a partner (or pet) and easily their movement may wake you up in the middle of the night.

Plus, so many brands now offer their own take on the service, it's tricky to narrow down which one is right for you. But even that is about to get a whole lot easier because here at Well+Good, we tested mattresses from a variety of online, direct-to-consumer brands to figure out which ones offer the best bed in a box mattress options out there. Keep reading for our reviews.

Cocoon by Sealy Chill Hybrid Mattress (Queen) — $1,699.00

Construction: memory foam and coils

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: ships via UPS

I’ve been so impressed with this mattress. First, it took almost zero time to set up—I just yanked it out of the box and packaging, and it was ready for me to climb right in bed within an hour, which is so much faster than other bed in box mattresses I have slept on in the past. In terms of comfort, it feels like the perfect combination of supportive and plush thanks to the coils and foam. Note: It’s very bouncy, which I love, but I know anyone looking for a super-firm mattress wouldn’t appreciate. My favorite part is that it absorbs ALL movement, so if my boyfriend or golden retriever roll around in the middle of the night, I don’t feel a thing. My back feels great after sleeping on this mattress. Would definitely recommend. —Betty Gold, senior food editor

Parachute Eco Comfort Mattress (Queen) — $1,899.00

Construction: coils

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free ground shipping

As someone who’s been on the hunt for the Goldilocks of mattress firmness, Parachute’s single mattress offering piqued the interest of my sore lower back. Unlike many (if any) other bed-in-a-box offerings on the market right now, Parachute’s uses just coils—but that doesn’t mean it feels like sleeping on a springy, pokey, firm-as-a-board type of mattress. Rather, it uses a combination of soft and firm pocket coils placed strategically (soft coils at the head and the foot of the mattress, and firm, supportive coils in the center), and another layer of microcoils that respond to tiny movements of the body (meaning it is reactive to you rather than the other way around). Then there are the three layers of pure New Zealand wool separating the coil layers that promise comfort and support. —Alexis Berger, lifestyle director

Purple Hybrid Premiere (Queen) — $2,699.00

Type: hybrid

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free to all 48 contiguous states, extra charge for delivery to Hawaii and Alaska

I was introduced to Purple via their Harmony pillow, which is made with their signature gel grid. Straight up, it’s the most comfortable pillow I have ever laid my head on, so I had high expectations when it came time to try one of their bestselling mattresses. It arrived in a long purple box that weighed 146 pounds, according to FedEx. It’s doable to get into your room with one person, but it’s much easier with two people. The mattress is incredibly comfortable—it uses the same grid I raved about in their pillows—and it gently cradles my body no matter which weird sleep position I contort myself into. My boyfriend keeps weird hours, but this mattress really isolates movement, and my dog seems to love it as well. —Allie Flinn, contributor

Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress (Queen) — $1,195.00

Type: foam and ceramic cooling gel beads

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free in the contiguous 48 states, additional charges apply to Hawaii and Alaska

As a devotee of Tuft & Needle’s original mattress who has now been sleeping on the Mint for a month, I can attest it lives up to its lofty claims: an adaptive foam construction, being “crafted with two sleepers in mind,” an extra layer of foam to minimize the feeling of your co-sleeper’s movement, and 30 percent more heat-wicking graphic to reduce body temperatures for better sleep. Generally, I prefer a firmer mattress, and the Mint is pillowy, yet supportive—you can feel your body sink in an inch or so when you crawl under the covers, but it avoids that “Help, I’m being quicksanded by memory foam!” feeling, which I find claustrophobic. It’s also improved upon the original’s edge support (I used to slide off the side if I say on my bed to put my socks on). Because I share my mattress with my husband and my dog, I also dig that the Mint is wrapped in an antimicrobial fabric meant to help extend the mattress’s lifespan and reduce odors caused by bacteria. —Abbey Stone, executive editor

Tempur-pedic Tempur-Cloud (Queen) — $1,999.00

Type: memory foam

Trial period: 90 days

Delivery: free ground shipping

I feel like people are constantly talking about how great Tempurpedic mattresses are, and I finally got to experience this for myself. The mattress was delivered in minimal packaging, and it was a super easy set-up, although it is a little heavy. As far as comfort, this mattress is so cozy, truly. I think my sleep has improved tremendously thanks to it, plus, I don’t wake up with back pain anymore. I also love that it feels like the perfect combination of firm, soft, and supportive and that your body sinks into it and gets the support it needs. —Tamara Pridgett, beauty and fitness editor

Helix Midnight Luxe (Queen) — $1,949.00

Type: coils plus memory foam

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free shipping

As a side sleeper who wakes up with shoulder pain, I was intrigued by the brand’s promise that this mattress is specifically designed for people like me, and it boasts six layers of sleep support, including coils, layers of foam, and a “cooling” pillow top. To the touch, the mattress is extremely soft—but I found the mix of coils and layers supported my back and hips, and when I adjusted my pillow (the way I normally do) I felt way less strain on my shoulders. I experienced less pain when I woke up in the morning, too. Overall, I recommend the Helix Midnight Luxe for back and side sleepers who like softer mattresses with decent support. —Patia Braithwaite, health director

Casper Wave Hybrid Snow Mattress (Queen) — $3,195.00

Type: foam, springs, and gel

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free shipping and returns

As a 5’2 single woman, bed-in-box deliveries are always hard—these mattresses can be heavy! (So definitely look into the in-home delivery and setup options if you can.) Once I got the bed actually out of the box and onto my frame, however, it’s been a dream. The mattress stays cool enough for comfortable sleep, and doesn’t feel too soft or squishy without being hard as a rock. And it’s just overall one of the most comfortable mattresses I’ve slept on. Period. —Sam Leal, deputy editor

Avocado Green Mattress (Queen) — $1,599.00

Type: coil and organic foam

Trial period: one year

Delivery: ships via UPS

If you’re more of a firm mattress person, you’ll definitely love sleeping on this one. Personally, I like my bed to feel like a heavenly cloud, so I opted to get the built-in topper. After sleeping on it for a few days, it was still a little too firm for my liking, so in an effort to make it more plush, I placed another memory foam topper on it, and now I love it! —Amanda Gaines, audience development associate

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress (Queen) — $1,298.00

Type: memory foam

Trial period: one year

Delivery: free shipping

Overall, I really love this mattress—it’s soft but firm enough that you don’t wake up with a sore back. I don’t have a boxspring (who does anymore?!) so I appreciate that this mattress feels cushy and not too low. I also run HOT while sleeping, but its copper tech is really cool to the touch, and I can definitely feel the cool down throughout the night. —Jenna Gibson, design director

Allswell Luxe Hybrid (Queen) — $675.00

Type: memory foam and coils

Trial period: 100 nights

Delivery: free shipping

I chose the Luxe version of the mattress, which is advertised as medium-firm, and I found this to be an accurate description. I felt like I was supported, but not like I was sleeping on a table. As such, I think this mattress could be a nice compromise for couples who have opposing preferences when it comes to firmness. I’m a notoriously bad sleeper, and I’m not going to lie and say this mattress miraculously cured me of insomnia; however, I did feel that I slept well. Overall, I think this is a very solid mattress choice, made even more appealing by the relatively affordable price tag (when compared to many other bed-in-a-box mattress companies). —Erin Bunch, contributor

Layla Hybrid Mattress — $1,500.00

Type: memory foam and coils

Trial period: 120 nights

Delivery: free shipping

I’ve had the same mattress for the past 12 years, so when the opportunity to test-sleep a new one came up, I quickly volunteered. The last time I bought a mattress was before the whole direct-to-consumer mattress-buying thing was a Trend; I bought my old mattress by going to a mattress store, lying down on a few, and choosing the one I liked best—a firm Laura Ashley model. Not being able to try a mattress beforehand seemed like a risk to me, but I was game.

I was offered to try a Layla mattress, and the publicist highly recommended the Hybrid Mattress, their best-seller ($1,500 for a queen size). It came in the mail all rolled up, wrapped in recyclable plastic. (And hey, with two free pillows.) I simply had to unwrap and unroll it before putting it on the bed—it didn’t need any time to blow up to the appropriate size, the way I heard some mattresses did.

The Hybrid gives sleepers two options: one side for firm and another side for soft. The mattress itself is made of memory foam and what really sets it apart from other memory foam mattresses is the use of individually wrapped copper coils, worked right into little pockets of the memory foam.

Personally, I like a firm mattress so I went with the firm side. I wasn’t sure whether I should keep my box spring on my bed or not; the Layla site says the mattress works with or without one. I decided to try it without my box spring first. Since I wasn’t used to a memory foam mattress, this felt a bit too soft for me. (If you’re a soft mattress lover, chances are you’d love it.) It was nice, however, not to feel any springs at all. Those copper coils were certainly tucked away well. The mattress is also super quiet—if I wanted to jump up and down on it (or, you know, engage in another type of bed activity), it wouldn’t make any noise.

After two days, I decided to try it with my box spring. For me, this was the key to having the perfect sleep experience. Now, I got all the benefits of the soft memory foam but with the perfect amount of structure to keep me from feeling I was sinking too much.

I’ve been using the Layla Sleep Hybrid mattress for a few weeks now and definitely plan on keeping it for the long haul. It’s supportive, yet soft—just like a good bedmate should be. —Emily Laurence, senior writer

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