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Over the past decade, “bed-in-a-box” brands have greatly impacted the mattress industry. Bed-in-a-box models, which can be ordered online, remove the need for in-person purchases at mattress stores. These beds are also generally cheaper because most online brands have few (if any) brick-and-mortar locations, and thus face lower overhead costs.
Many bed-in-a-box brands also provide free shipping for U.S. customers, and some also offer low-cost in-home delivery options. In most cases, the mattresses are compressed, vacuum-sealed, and shipped in a box that is delivered to the customer’s residence (hence the name, bed-in-a-box). To ensure customer satisfaction, online mattress brands often back their beds with sleep trials spanning anywhere from 90 days to more than one year. These trials give buyers the opportunity to test out a new bed and – if they choose – return their mattress for a refund or exchange it for a new model.
Next, you’ll find our top six picks among bed-in-a-box mattresses sold today. These selections are based on experiences from verified owners, as well as our own product testing. You can also check out our Buyer’s Guide below to learn about the pros and cons of bed-in-a-box models, shipping options for customers, sleep trials, and other key aspects of an online mattress purchase.
Hop down to our Buyer’s Guide for a crash course on finding the right bed-in-a-box mattress model.
Brooklyn Bedding Signature
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T&N Mint Mattress
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The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is a hybrid model with an exceptionally durable design. Premium comfort foams and sturdy pocketed coils give the mattress an expected lifespan of at least eight years. Customers can choose three firmness options for their Signature model: soft (3.5), medium (5.5), or firm (7.5). This broad selection should accommodate most people regardless of their body type, normal sleep position, or comfort preferences.
Soft and medium Signature mattresses are optimal for lighter people and side sleepers. The comfort layer conforms rather closely to align the spine and reduce pressure in the shoulders and hips. Back and stomach sleepers will probably find the medium or firm designs more comfortable because they feel more supportive and sag less beneath the midsection. The mattress is also a great choice for hot sleepers due to steady airflow through the coil layer, and it isolates motion better than most competing hybrids.
The Signature has a very low price-point for a hybrid, and Brooklyn Bedding provides free shipping to all 50 states.
The Brooklyn Bedding Signature is a durable, breathable hybrid mattress with a firmness selection that caters to most sleeper types.
The Casper Mattress is constructed with comfort layers of polyfoam and memory foam over a high-density foam base. The mattress has a medium feel and conforms somewhat closely to sleepers, but its polyfoam layer also gives the surface a light bounce. Like other all-foam models, the Casper Mattress also isolates motion very well and does not produce any noise, making it an excellent option for couples and co-sleepers.
Due to its mid-level firmness, the mattress is best suited to sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less. The comfort layers cradle the shoulders and hips to align the spine for side sleepers, while the support layers keep back and stomach sleepers on an even plane without sinking too deeply. The mattress also absorbs a minimal amount of body heat, allowing it to sleep cooler than other all-foam beds.
The Casper Mattress has a price-point that is on par with the average memory foam model. Free shipping is available throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada.
With a medium feel and a comfort system that both conforms and responds to the body, the Casper Mattress offers a balanced design that appeals to a wide range of sleeper types.
Another luxury hybrid option for bed-in-a-box shoppers, the DreamCloud features a thick comfort system of polyfoam and memory foam layers, along with an 8-inch pocketed coil system. Altogether, the mattress measures 15 inches thick, giving it a higher profile than most competing mattresses sold online. Heavier and/or taller individuals tend to have an easier time getting on and off thicker mattresses.
The DreamCloud has a medium-firm feel. Sleepers experience even body-conforming from the comfort layers, but the mattress also feels very supportive and responsive. This creates a feeling of sleeping “on” – as opposed to “in” – the mattress, and the bed is particularly well-suited to those who weigh at least 130 pounds. The thick coils ensure very strong edge support and minimal sinkage along the perimeter. Many couples also consider the DreamCloud ideal for sex due to its highly responsive surface.
The DreamCloud has a very reasonable price-point given its high-quality construction. The company also offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S., and backs the mattress with a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty – both much longer than average.
A luxury mattress available at a high-value price, the DreamCloud combines thick comfort materials with a strong support system.
The Nectar Mattress is a great choice for sleepers who like a close, pressure-relieving cradle for their bodies. Built with three layers of memory foam, the mattress has a medium-firm feel but also conforms closely to evenly distribute weight, alleviate pressure points, and align the spine. The Nectar Mattress also features a high-density foam base to stabilize the sleep surface and prevent excessive sagging.
As is the case with other memory foam models, the Nectar Mattress absorbs motion to eliminate most transfer and does not produce any noise. This makes the mattress ideal for people who awaken easily due to their sleep partner’s movements. The top two layers are also made from lower-density open-cell foam, giving the surface a more breathable feel that allows people to sleep cool.
The Nectar Mattress has a very low price-point compared to other memory foam mattresses. The company also offers a 365-night sleep trial and lifetime warranty, along with free shipping within the contiguous U.S.
Constructed with three memory foam layers, the Nectar Mattress offers close body-conforming and very good pressure relief.
The Mint Mattress from Tuft & Needle is an all-polyfoam model. The mattress is constructed with top layers of graphite- and gel-infused foam that conforms to the sleeper’s body, but also feels more responsive than memory foam. Most experience a combined feeling of sleeping “on” and sleeping “in” their mattress.
The Mint Mattress also features a thick support core made of high-density foam. The bed has a medium-firm feel, making it best suited to sleepers who weigh 230 pounds or less. Side sleepers receive ample cushioning for their shoulders and hips, resulting in even spinal alignment and less pressure, while the layers provide a good balance of body-conforming and even support for back and stomach sleepers. The mattress also has a lower-density comfort layer for more breathability and temperature neutrality on the surface.
Tuft & Needle generally offers low prices for their beds, and the Mint Mattress is no exception – it costs much less than the average all-foam model. The company also provides free shipping within the contiguous U.S.
The Mint Mattress from Tuft & Needle delivers the exceptional motion isolation and pressure relief of an all-foam bed without sleeping warm or sagging too much.
Read on for more information about purchasing a mattress online. Our comprehensive buyer’s guide includes a few pros and cons of bed-in-a-box models, some shipping and delivery questions for first-time buyers, and some answers to common mattress shopping questions.
Historically, most mattress purchases took place at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Customers would consult with onsite salespeople to determine the most suitable brand and model, then either leave the store with their new mattress or arrange for home delivery.
The bed-in-a-box trend – which kicked off about 10 years ago – has completely changed the way mattresses are bought and sold. Rather than visiting mattress stores, customers purchase directly from brands via the company’s website. Most of these sites offer detailed product descriptions and live chat options with customer service personnel. Within minutes, shoppers can make their purchase and coordinate home delivery.
Bed-in-a-box mattress models are generally compressed and vacuum-sealed for delivery, then shipped in boxes to the purchaser’s residence. Some companies offer in-home assembly and old mattress removal, as well. Customers may test out their mattress for a predetermined length of time – also known as the company’s sleep trial – before choosing to keep the bed, return it for a refund, or exchange it for another size or model.
Today, mattress shoppers can choose from a wide range of bed-in-a-box models. These include various materials and designs, firmness and thickness options, and price-points.
Purchasing a bed-in-a-box is fairly straightforward, and many brands offer user-friendly websites to make the process even easier. We recommend the following steps for buying a mattress online.
Remember: the mattress brand can provide valuable assistance during each step of this process. Don’t hesitate to reach out via phone, email, or live webchat if questions or problems arise.
There are several key differences between buying a mattress in a brick-and-mortar store and ordering a bed-in-a-box online, though there are also a few similarities. The table below illustrates the pros and cons of each.
Customers may select from a wide range of brands and models
Customers are limited to one brand’s mattress selection
|Mattress Inventory||Customers are limited to the store’s onsite selection, and availability may be limited for some models||Online brands typically carry a large inventory, ensuring their supply for each model does not run out|
|Customer Service||Brick-and-mortar stores employ sales specialists to address customer questions and recommend models. While helpful, sales staff can also be somewhat pushy because many work on commission||Most bed-in-a-box brands offer live web chat with company personnel. Many also provide customer service phone numbers and/or email addresses.|
|Mattress Prices||Tend to be higher due to overhead costs from brick-and-mortar operations and onsite staff||Typically lower, as bed-in-a-box brands usually operate a limited number of physical stores and do not employ commissioned sales staff|
|Delivery?||Many brick-and-mortar mattress stores offer residential delivery, though this service may carry additional charges.||Most bed-in-a-box brands offer free shipping within the contiguous U.S. For customers outside the contiguous U.S., steep delivery charges may apply.|
|Mattress Pickup?||Brick-and-mortar customers may be able to pick up their mattress at the store if it is not in-stock at the time of purchase. Store pickups are almost always free-of-charge.||Unless the brand operates a physical location or has an agreement with a brick-and-mortar retailer, mattress pickup will not be available.|
|Sleep Trials and Returns||Many brick-and-mortar stores offer sleep trials, but they are generally shorter than those available from bed-in-a-box brands and returns may not be free.||Trial periods generally span at least 90 days, and returns are usually free. The company will usually send personnel to the customer’s house to retrieve the mattress and either donate it to charity or drop it off at a recycling facility.|
For brands that allow mattress exchanges during the sleep trial, customers must first contact customer service. Those who select a more expensive size or model will need to pay an additional upgrade charge, while cheaper sizes or models will usually result in a partial refund.
In most cases, the company will arrange for personnel to pick up the old mattress from the customer’s residence. The personnel may also drop off the new model, or it will be delivered via standard shipping.
No – at least, it shouldn’t. Bed-in-a-box models are designed to be compressed for shipping, then expand to their full shape once the plastic wrapping has been removed. If damage does occur, it is probably due to a defect with that particular model or mishandling during shipping, rather than an issue with the mattress design. Customers should contact the mattress brand immediately to report any type of damage to their mattress upon delivery or unboxing.
By law, customers living in certain states must pay sales tax for their mattress purchase. In states that do not have a sales tax, this extra charge will not be applied to the purchase.
Additionally, customers in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island must pay a mandatory mattress recycling fee when buying a new bed. This fee ranges from $9 to $10.50, depending on the state.
Mattresses that are made-to-order may take several days to assemble, while pre-made beds will be ready to ship once the customer’s order is finished. In any case, buyers should expect their mattress to arrive in 10 days or less after it ships from the company’s warehouse or manufacturing facility.
Specific wait times vary by courier. Customers who live in remote locations and/or purchase mattresses during busier times of the year (such as holiday shopping periods) may have a longer wait time.
Bed-in-a-box brands typically coordinate free ground shipping with UPS, FedEx, and other couriers. By rule, these couriers usually do not allow customers to select a specific date and time for their delivery. However, they may be able to accommodate buyers in some circumstances. Contact the courier if conflicts occur with the expected delivery date.
Standard mattress deliveries do not require a customer signature, nor does anyone need to be at home when the bed arrives. However, those who are concerned about “porch pirates” or other security issues may wish to be on hand to meet their courier.
This depends on the mattress brand. For some sleep trials, the customer may return their mattress at any point for a full refund. Other brands want buyers to “break in” the mattress for a certain amount of time before returning it, and will not issue full refunds until a certain amount of time has elapsed – 30 nights, in most cases.
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