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  • Tuft & Needle Original

  • Leesa Hybrid

  • Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress

  • How We Tested Mattresses in a Box

  • What You Should Know About Mattresses in a Box

  • Tips for Buying a Mattress in a Box

  • Other Mattresses in a Box We Tested

  • Mattresses in a Box We Reviewed That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Mattresses in a Box of 2021

  1. Product image of Tuft & Needle Original Mattress
    Best Overall

    Tuft & Needle Original Mattress

    Pros

    • Affordable

    • Comfortable

    • Supportive

    Cons

    • May be too firm for some

    • Some heat retention

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Product image of Leesa Hybrid
    Best Upgrade

    Leesa Hybrid

    Pros

    • Comfortable for all sleep positions

    • Balances firm and soft

    • Luxury feel

    Cons

    • Pricey

    • Strong initial odor

    • Heavy

    Skip to the full review below
a woman sits on her phone on the Tuft & Needle Original mattress
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Tuft & Needle's Original Mattress offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Best Overall
Tuft & Needle Original

Our tester adored the Tuft & Needle Original mattress. In fact, it’s one of only two that she felt deeply sad to see toted away after month long sleep tests (the other, unsurprisingly, is our Upgrade Pick, the Leesa Hybrid).

At first she was dubious about the firmness. But within a few minutes of lying down, this mattress softens and adapts to the pressure of body weight. It had just enough give to cushion pressure points, particularly when lying on her side. Stomach and back sleepers—who are generally more prone to spinal woes—will likely find they can sleep in their preferred position without any soreness. Our tester loves sleeping on her stomach, but she’s all too familiar with lower back strain. Yet it was never an issue with the Tuft & Needle Original.

The product’s edges are more supportive than many other foam beds. They still compressed when our tester sat right on the corner, but when she laid down and scooched over to the edge, she didn’t feel as though she’d imminently fall off the bed. (If you prefer a softer, more supple mattress, read on for other recommendations.)

The Tuft & Needle Original was our former Best Value pick, but its price has since increased. Still, the MSRP is on the lower end. And while the site’s sales aren’t as substantial as other retailers, you’ll often come across 10% or 15% discounts.

For all its upshots, the Tuft & Needle Original has a couple of downsides. For one, the product retained some heat in lab testing, though it was far from the worst culprit, and heat retention tends to be an issue with foam mattresses in general. Perhaps more telling, our tester didn’t think it felt too warm, but she tested it in the dead of winter. Also, if you’re looking for the sink-in sensation of memory foam, this isn’t the mattress for you—indeed, some sleepers may find the Tuft & Needle too firm. On the other hand, experts often say it’s easier to throw on a mattress topper to provide a bit of cushion than remedy a too soft surface.

At the end of the day (and, of course, overnight), we think this is an incredible bed. It balances supportiveness with just enough surface give. Our tester thought it worked well for all sleep positions. To put it simply, she says: “If I had to buy a mattress tomorrow, given my current budget, I would hands-down go for the Tuft & Needle.”

Mattress materials: On top, a soft layer of foam infused with cooling gel and graphite; beneath, a thicker layer of foam provides support.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen arrives in a box that measures 44 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches and weighs about 72 pounds.

Trial period: 100 nights

Return protocol: Tuft & Needle coordinates pickup with a local charity or nonprofit, free of charge.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Supportive

Cons

  • May be too firm for some

  • Some heat retention

Leesa Hybrid
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

We think everyone will love the Leesa Hybrid, and that it's worth every penny.

Best Upgrade
Leesa Hybrid

We think it’s worth investing as much as is feasible in a mattress—after all, you spend up to a third of your life sleeping. The Tuft & Needle Original offers top-notch support at a reasonable price, but it’s hard to beat the Leesa Hybrid if you can afford to spend the cash.

Two layers of foam provide softness and give, and allow it to contour to the body. As a hybrid mattress, the foam sits atop pocket springs—coils individually wrapped in quilted fabric—giving the bed a sturdy yet buoyant base. This adaptable support won’t leave a stomach sleeper’s back sagging or a side sleeper’s shoulder or hip aching the next morning. In short, the bed is a crowd-pleaser that’s amazing to sleep on in any position.

As for construction, our tester felt the responsiveness of its inner workings when she plopped down. On a superficial level, she appreciated the super-soft and aesthetically pleasing cover (a.k.a. its ticking). This doesn’t have a huge bearing on functionality, but the devil’s in the details, and that’s another place where the Leesa Hybrid Mattress shines.

There’s only a couple of downsides, including that it retained heat in our lab testing. That said, our tester considers herself a hot sleeper, yet she didn’t find herself switching sides of the bed in hopes of finding a cooler spot.

In addition, the CertiPUR-certified mattress had a noticeable odor that lasted several days. The smell, though annoying, isn’t caused by harmful flame retardants, and the bed meets indoor-air-quality requirements for certain pollutants. One final thing: It’s a task to move the mattress once it’s expanded as it’s heftier than most at 115 pounds.

Leesa’s 100-night guarantee, along with its responsive customer service, make this product a worry-free investment. If you don’t vibe with the Leesa as well as our tester did, you may send it back for a full refund—though we doubt you'll want to part with it.

Mattress materials: A top comfort layer designed with holes for breathability, and a memory foam layer underneath provides contouring. The two foam layers sit above a pocket-spring base.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen size arrives in a box that measures 45 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches and weighs 121 pounds.

Trial period: 100 nights

Return protocol: Leesa will coordinate the pickup and donation of unwanted mattresses to “charity partners that serve children.”

Pros

  • Comfortable for all sleep positions

  • Balances firm and soft

  • Luxury feel

Cons

  • Pricey

  • Strong initial odor

  • Heavy

Related content

The Awara mattress on a bed frame
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Awara Mattress has great edge support and a firm, but comfortable, sleep surface.

Most like a traditional mattress
Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress

The Awara organic luxury hybrid mattress is made of cotton, latex foam, coils, and wool. It’s heavy—129 pounds for a queen size, according to the manufacturer—and our tester had to enlist help to drag it up two flights of stairs to her bedroom (a task she’s normally able to do alone). Because of its weight, it was also difficult to unbox and get on the bed frame.

From there, things turned up. It had no odor when it was opened, and the product felt really sturdy—a good thing, as it seemed extra supportive. Its coils also gave a pleasant amount of bounce. As such, our tester thought it offered a similar feel to a luxe traditional innerspring mattress. (She usually sleeps on her side and back, and felt comfortable in both positions. Side sleepers with aggravated pressure points may want a softer mattress.)

Its dense interior seemed to absorb motion well, so it's a good choice for light sleepers who are often disturbed by the movements of a partner or pet. It also had great edge support, with a firmer ledge that resisted collapsing from sitting or lying on the edge of the bed. And both our tester and lab tests confirm the Awara doesn’t retain much heat, good news for folks who tend to sleep warm. All in all, it feels more like a conventional mattress rather than one that comes in a box.

Awara also makes a concerted effort in its organic and health-conscious practices. It holds three materials certifications for its latex and the fabric in its ticking; a health and low off-gassing certification from Greenguard; and the Rainforest Alliance Seal, which demonstrates the latex meets certain environmental, social, and economic sustainability benchmarks.

Bottom line: It’s really, really heavy and pricier than many. But if you want something that feels like a classic mattress—with a lot of support and a little bit of bounce—and has great heat dispersion, the Awara could be right for you.

Mattress materials: Four layers of cotton, latex foam, coils, and wool.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen arrives in a cardboard box that weighs 129 pounds.

Trial period: 365 nights

Return protocol: Contact Awara’s “sleep concierge” to donate or dispose of the mattress locally.

Pros

  • Supportive

  • Good edge support

  • No off-gassing odor

Cons

  • Heavy and difficult to unbox

  • May be too firm for some

How We Tested Mattresses in a Box

hands catch a bowling ball that's about to roll off the edge of the bed
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We test mattresses for a range of criteria—from heat retention to edge support—at our labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Testers

I’m Lindsey Vickers, the sleep writer here at Reviewed. I joined the team in 2020, so earlier versions of this guide pre-date my time at Reviewed. Several testers contributed to this comprehensive list, including editor Sara Hendricks and former editors Jessica Teich and Samantha Gordon.

We all have an extra-special place in our hearts for naps, sleeping in on weekends, and all things sleep-related. To keep up with changing consumer preferences, our testing methods have evolved so that we can provide you with the information you need to pick the mattress that’s right for your life and sleep style.

The Tests

our tester places weights on a barbell on a mattress to test it
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We use a barbell in lab tests to assess how well a mattress does (or doesn't) curve up under pressure.

Mattress testing here at Reviewed is usually two-pronged, with lab tests for scientific data gathering and home tests, which are what they sound like: Someone literally sleeps on the thing for at least 30 nights.

Our mattress tests are quite extensive, so we didn’t feel it necessary to bog you down with every last detail. Instead, here’s a smattering of the criteria:

Comfort: This is perhaps the most important aspect of a mattress, though comfort is subjective. Testers consider how supported their bodies feel throughout the night in different sleep positions, and are mindful of their own sleep habits. They even consider whether or not they find themselves rolling around at night to find a cooler spot on the bed.

Motion transfer and bounciness: If you’re a light sleeper, you’ll benefit from a mattress that minimizes the movement of a tossing-and-turning partner. So, we ask our testers to have another person (or pet) join them and we double-check their assessment. Using an accelerometer mobile app, someone bounces on the opposite side of the bed. The higher the number, the greater amount of motion the mattress allows to pass through.

Edge support: This simply refers to whether the edges of a mattress are sturdy enough to withstand weight and pressure. Mattresses in a box lack the wire cage found in traditional innerspring beds, and many rely on foam, which can limit the edge’s ability for load-bearing. Too little support could also make it difficult to put your shoes on or complete other tasks that are done while sitting on the mattress corners or edges.

Heat retention: If a mattress cannot disperse heat quickly enough, you might be in for a warm sleep experience. While this could work for those who sleep cold, others may end up sweaty and miserable. We take our tester’s subjective opinion, but also assess this by microwaving silicone bead-filled bags and placing them on the mattress for several hours as we monitor the temperature.

Support: You know your body’s needs best, but we give a rough idea of the amount of support a mattress provides. Our testers lie on their backs, sides, and stomachs and check for gaps between their lower back and the top of the mattress. We also attach pressure sensors to a weighted barbell that loosely represents the human form. This detects pressure at different points like the shoulders and hips, which take more weight and thereby pressure than, say, the legs.

Memory: Some people want a mattress to perfectly conform to the contours of their body. Typically, memory foam retains the imprint of a person’s body longer than a standard coil-constructed mattress. We check whether a mattress immediately springs back to its original shape after being weighed down with a heavy weight bag filled with sand.

Moving and unboxing: Mattresses-in-a-box are a beast to unpack and move once they’ve opened to their full size. Testers describe how difficult it is to remove the mattress from its packaging and how feasible it would be for an individual to move that mattress once it fully expands.

Odor: Foam mattresses aren’t known for smelling like daisies, especially when first sprung from their packaging. The manufacturing and packaging process can trap smelly chemicals; once the plastic is opened, these VOCs are released into the air. Testers note the smell when they first open the mattress, and again 24 hours later (the time that companies recommend letting a mattress off-gas before sleeping on it).

Customer experience: We ask testers to answer questions related to the experience of ordering and receiving the mattress, because you sleep better when you aren’t stressed.

What You Should Know About Mattresses in a Box

Let’s face it: Mattresses are expensive. And everyone needs a bed, so you don’t have many options other than coughing up the cash. What’s more, most mattresses last you a decade—and you don’t want to be stuck sleeping on a bed you find uncomfortable for 10 years. You want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth, and a mattress you’ll love for years to come. But where do you even begin?

First: Do your research. Seeing as you’re already here, you’re headed in the right direction! But also read expert and buyer reviews—and a lot of them. Given how much time you spend in bed, and the impact that sleep has on our waking hours, it’s a critical decision. A bad night's rest can be a literal pain in the neck or back that impacts your mood, memory, and productivity the next day (or even for months on end!).

As comfort is subjective and personal, we recommend researching multiple products to get a holistic look. Keep your own preferences in mind: For instance, we might not have liked the relatively low profile of the 9.25-inch Purple mattress, but that might be exactly what you need for your tall bed frame.

Most bed-in-a-box companies offer a trial period so that you can literally sleep on it. That said, it's important to take a company’s return policy into account. Some make it super-easy by retrieving the mattress free of cost, but others require you to coordinate the return, donation, or disposal of the mattress to receive a full refund.

Tips for Buying a Mattress in a Box

three boxes for the Nectar, Dremacloud and Casper mattresses stand together
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

There are many things to keep in mind when you're shopping for a mattress in a box.

  • Consider whether you can try the mattress in store. While Purple and Tuft & Needle are online-only retailers, Casper has a handful of brick-and-mortar stores and some companies partner with other retailers. Leesa, for example, teamed up with West Elm and Pottery Barn, so you can visit physical locations to test it out.

  • Choose a firmness that works for you. Mattresses range from extra firm, almost like sleeping on a carpeted floor (or a slab of rock, depending on your preferences), to soft and squishy, like a cloud (or quicksand). Finding the right firmness level is essential to getting a good night’s rest. Not sure? Visit a showroom to get a sense before buying online.

  • Find the best material for your needs. You can choose among memory foam, traditional coiled springs, hybrid mattresses (which combine foam and coils), or something off the beaten path, such as Purple’s unique polymer. Each type of mattress has benefits and drawbacks. Memory foam, for example, contours well to your body, but can retain heat and feel too enveloping to some people. Coils can provide more support, but will also feel bouncier and may transfer motion from a restless partner.

  • Decide whether edge support is important to you. If you’re an active sleeper, or your bed is home to a party of more than one, edge support can help prevent rolling overboard—an issue with some memory foam mattresses. Or if you like to sit on the edge of the bed as you put on shoes or socks, you might not want to feel the mattress collapsing underneath you. Coil and some hybrid mattresses have an encasement around the bed to help provide support.

  • Make sure the mattress is compatible with your base or bed frame. Many newer mattresses work fine without a box spring, as long as you have a platform base, adequate slats, and/or it reaches your desired height. Be sure to check the mattress specifications before it shows up at your door. If you have or are hoping to get a motorized adjustable base, you’ll want to buy a compatible mattress. Some aren’t designed to fold and could be damaged—and improper use could break the base or void the bed's warranty. Many companies sell bases, and sometimes you can get a bundle deal.

  • Check if you need special accessories to go with it. Some mattresses, such as the tall DreamCloud, may not work well with standard sheets or bed frames. You might need to replace your favorite sheets with a deep-pocket set or even purchase new furniture, which can get expensive.


Other Mattresses in a Box We Tested

Product image of Amerisleep AS3
Amerisleep AS3

This mattress is firm. It has some give without losing all bounciness, but if you’re used to a soft, memory foam–like mattress, the Amerisleep may feel a little dense. Our tester generally prefers firm mattresses, though it took a few nights to get used to the Amerisleep’s lack of give. In the beginning, she sometimes woke up with tension in her lower back, though this didn’t happen frequently enough for her to know whether it was due to the product itself or poor posture when hunched over her desk during the day.

But after this initial period, the mattress felt great. It has a sturdy core and a supple upper layer that cradles the sleeper. It retained a minimal amount of heat in our tester’s experience and lab tests. Even so, our tester found it comfortable while snuggled up with blankets in a stuffy apartment, maybe thanks to the Bio-Pur foam topper, which according to Amerisleep has open cells that increase breathability.

Finally, its firmness means it’s really easy to make the bed. Fitted sheets easily snap over one side, then slide over to the other with very little tugging—something that isn’t quite as vital as sleeping on it every night, but an important consideration if you wash your sheets often. Overall, it’s a great mattress, especially for those who sleep hot and favor firm beds.

Mattress materials: Foam—three layers of it. The company's Bio-Pur foam sits on top of a transition layer that gives support and cushion and a "durable Bio-core."

Delivery and packaging: A queen arrives in a 45-by-19-inch box that weighs just under 95 pounds.

Trial period: 100 nights

Return protocol: Email Amerisleep’s customer service within 100 days of purchase. It will send someone to pick up the mattress and issue a refund once it’s received.

Pros

  • Sturdy core with a soft upper layer

  • Firm and supportive

  • Doesn’t sag

Cons

  • May be too firm for some sleepers

  • Slight heat retention

Product image of Nectar Mattress
The Nectar Mattress

Nectar was previously our top pick. But after retesting with our updated rubric, it slipped in our rankings, and we no longer recommend it as the best mattress for most people. The main reason: Our tester felt its ultra-soft surface wasn’t sufficiently supportive.

Our first tester relied almost exclusively on anecdotal experience, and found the Nectar mattress balanced firmness and softness. However, our most recent results indicate that it’s too squishy to suit a wide number of sleepers. The mattress was never uncomfortable for our new tester, but it wasn’t the most supportive. While awake, she couldn’t lie or sit on the bed without frequently shifting positions, and her lower back felt a little strain whenever she tried to sleep on her stomach. She found its uber-plush, compressive surface felt better when she slept on her side, as it allowed her shoulder and hip to sink in without any uncomfortable pressure points. The marshmallow-like texture also means that it’s harder to roll around on the mattress without feeling mired—as most people aren’t stationary all night, this could disrupt sleep.

In lab testing, it was great at dissipating heat, though it felt warm to our tester a handful of the nights she slept on it (during wintertime in her heated bedroom). The Nectar mattress also lacks edge support. Though it’s got better structure than some foam mattresses, it still tends to cave under pressure. This makes it less than ideal for folks who sleep near the edge of the bed, especially if they thrash around.

If you’re a side sleeper who likes softer mattresses, this could be the bed for you. But seeing as experts recommend erring on the side of firmer mattresses, there are some better options out there.

Mattress materials: Its three layers of foam include a one-inch “fast-recovery” gel memory foam, a three-inch memory foam layer with “medical-grade” cooling, and a high-density base for support.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off, two to three days after placing an order. A queen arrives in a box that measures 44 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches and weighs about 65 pounds.

Trial period: 365 nights

Return protocol: Nectar helps you coordinate donation or local disposal.

Pros

  • Cradles body

  • Stays cool

  • May be good for side sleepers

Cons

  • May be too soft

  • Felt warm at times

  • Limited edge support

Product image of The Original Purple Mattress
Purple Mattress

Purple is one company that everyone seems to know about thanks to its pervasive advertising, and actual purple-colored products. Our tester wanted to rag on the Purple mattress for no good reason. But by the end of her 30-day sleep test, she was sad to say goodbye. It’s a good mattress.

The company generates a lot of hubbub about the “signature polymer grid,” which it claims remains cool and cushions pressure points without compromising on support. Our tester was skeptical—lots of mattress companies make these statements, but few come through in actual testing. Nonetheless, the Purple mattress proved us wrong. Our tester never woke up feeling stifled, and no matter how much heat we subjected the Purple mattress to, it didn’t warm up. Its highest temperature was still lower than the off-peak temperatures of other products we’ve tested.

The Purple mattress was surprisingly supportive and works well for a variety of sleep positions. Because of the squishy polymer, our tester was worried about how it would fare for stomach and side sleeping. It was for naught. In the month she had it, she regularly fell asleep prone, and was also able to doze off on her side. Despite the mattress’s buoyant sleep surface, its edge support didn’t hold up. The edges collapsed beneath our tester when she sat on them. And when we lightly dropped a bowling ball on the bed’s periphery, it nearly immediately bounced off.

Our tester isn't the lone Reviewed staffer who loves Purple. Kyle Hamilton, a test technician who works in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab, loves his new Purple mattress. Another recent employee swore by Purple for hip pain, too.

Kyle, however, noted one downside that our tester was also keenly aware of: The mattress is incredibly difficult to move. It was simply too floppy and jiggly to go through her door upright, so she and the mover hefted it into the room in taco form. If you’re in a permanent location, or settled within at least the same city, this is a non-issue. But if you move frequently, think twice.

Overall, the cons are minimal and the upshots are tremendous. You just have to be willing to pay Purple’s premium price.

Mattress materials: Three layers: A grid of two-inch "hyper-elastic polymer" and two layers of polyurethane foam that provide support and a stable base.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. The queen weighs 110 pounds and arrives in a plastic tube with woven handles that measures 60-by-16 inches.

Trial period: 100 nights

Return protocol: The company requires a minimum three-week trial of the mattress. If you don’t jive with it, contact customer service via phone to begin the return process.

Pros

  • Firm

  • Sleeps cool

  • Limited motion transfer

Cons

  • Difficult to unbox

  • Hard to move

Product image of Cocoon by Sealy Chill
The Chill Mattress from Cocoon by Sealy

This boxed mattress from Cocoon by Sealy—an offshoot of the well-known mattress brand—has a medium-firm feel with a tiny bit of bounce. Its three layers of foam, including a “support layer,” “comfort foam,” and memory foam, are topped with a polyester and cotton cover that purports to have cooling properties. Our tester—usually a back or side sleeper—found that the top layer conformed to her body with enough support from the firmer layer below to prevent uncomfortable pressure in areas like the hips. The cooling layer seemed to fulfill its claims. Lab tests show it retained minimal, but not zero, heat. Our tester, who tends to sleep hot, thought the mattress felt cozy, not cloying, and doesn’t think this is a deal-breaker.

Our tester found the mattress comfortable and supportive when she slept on her side, but sometimes woke up with discomfort in her lower back, which indicates it isn’t quite as sufficient for that sleeping position. She also woke up on her stomach a few times (even though she almost never sleeps in this position), and thought it felt comfortable like this, so it’s probably a fine option for stomach sleepers, too.

Overall, the Chill Mattress from Cocoon by Sealy should be a great choice for someone who wants a medium-firm mattress with some cooling properties at a reasonable price —our tester falls right into that category and was sad to send it back. People who want a very soft or very firm mattress may be disappointed, as might someone who sleeps on their back all the time. But for what it promises to do—stay cool and provide cozy support—the Chill comes through.

Mattress materials: Three layers of foam —“support layer,” “comfort foam,” and memory foam—and a cooling cloth cover.

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen arrives in a cardboard box that weighs about 75 pounds.

Trial period: 100 nights

Return protocol: Contact Cocoon by Sealy to arrange for the mattress to be picked up and donated to a local agency—no need to box the bed or even break a sweat.

Pros

  • Medium-firmness will have broad appeal

  • Good for back sleepers

Cons

  • May not be suitable for side sleepers

  • Sleeps slightly warm

Product image of Avocado Green Mattress
Avocado Green Mattress

A fairly well-rounded bed, the Avocado Green Mattress doesn’t quite cater to everyone. Our tester felt the mattress stood out temperature-wise—it was consistently cool, even on hot summer nights, and she never woke up overbaked. Lab testing confirmed that it’s among the coolest mattresses we’ve tested. It was also just comfortable. It’s not the same comfort offered by the Leesa and other top picks, but it gives sleepers a cozy feel that our tester enjoyed.

This hybrid mattress has hundreds of coils sandwiched between two layers of latex and its springy, responsive surface, meaning it quickly responds to pressure or weight. Known for being cooler than memory foam, latex also doesn’t yield a sinking, molding, or cradling sensation. The material has some plushness, but little give or tendency to compact beneath body weight. Our tester felt its springiness might be too much for some, but a great option for people who prefer the feeling of coils and don’t want to completely sacrifice plushness.

The Avocado Green Mattress holds more certifications than any other we've tested. Its roster includes three certifications for organic materials and components; one for forest management and sustainability; and four for safe ingredients and limited off-gassing, including Greenguard, which is known for its strict criteria. Avocado is also a Certified B Corporation, meaning its business practices meet certain environmental, social, and community guidelines.

It isn’t versatile in terms of the sleep positions it accommodates. Side and back sleepers will enjoy it, but our tester found that her lumbar spine was unsupported when she slept on her stomach for more than one consecutive night.

Our tester also noticed the mattress she received was two inches short of a standard queen in width and length. This may not be a problem for everyone, but those joined by a partner, kids, or large pets should take note. We asked customer service about the size discrepancy, and the representative said it was something Avocado heard about often. They suggested jumping on the bed to encourage it to expand to its full size, which seemed questionable, at best.

Mattress materials: Two layers of organic latex rubber foam sandwich pocketed coils, and are covered in organic fabric.

Delivery and packaging: Avocado’s delivery takes longer than many mattress-in-a-box companies because its products are handmade. Our tester’s mattress arrived at her door after three weeks.

Trial period: 365 nights

Return protocol: Avocado verifies the mattress’ condition with customer photos before coordinating with a local charity to pick it up.

Pros

  • Cool

  • Comfortable

  • Eco-conscious

Cons

  • Bad for stomach sleepers

  • May be too springy for some

  • Hard to move

Product image of Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid
Brooklyn Bedding Signature Hybrid

Our tester tried the most popular version of the Brooklyn Signature Hybrid (medium-firm) though it's also available in soft and firm. While the innerspring base provides the expected support, its top layer of foam felt like a soft option rather than a “medium”-firm one—which ended up being her biggest gripe. After a couple of weeks, it became apparent that its surface was too forgiving for comfortable stomach sleeping. She found that sleeping on her side was much better. On a handful of mornings she woke up on her back and found the mattress struck the right balance in that sleep position, too. (To be fair, Brooklyn Bedding recommends its firm option if you “sleep mainly on your stomach and/or back.”)

The company claims it uses a different type of springs around the perimeter to give the edges more structure. Our tester found this was somewhat accurate. The sides of the bed were more supportive than many other mattresses we’ve tested. Yet somehow the foot of the bed told a different story: It completely collapsed when our tester sat on it. In addition, both home and lab tests confirmed that this product was on the warmer side, so it may not be optimal for folks who run hot.

For the price, it’s not a bad bed by any means, especially for those who want a hybrid, which tend to be more costly. This Signature Hybrid felt like the softer, squishier counterpart to the ultra-firm and similarly priced DreamCloud (which comes in just below). Many will find this mattress strikes a great balance, but others may find it too soft or too warm for their liking.

Mattress materials: Foam, coils, and a polyester-cotton fabric

Delivery and packaging: Front-door drop-off. A queen size arrives in a box that weighs about 105 pounds.

Trial period: 120 nights

Return protocol: You must try the mattress for at least 30 days from delivery. Not for you? Contact the company within your 120-night trial, and it will help you find a local charity. Email a copy of the donation slip, and Brooklyn Bedding will issue a full refund.

Pros

  • Multiple firmnesses available

  • Balances cushion and bounce

Cons

  • Tends to warm up

  • Medium-firm feels soft

  • Inconsistent edge support

Product image of DreamCloud
DreamCloud Standard

The DreamCloud mattress is firm, supportive, and works well for most sleep positions. Even when our tester woke up on her back (a position she generally avoids), she never noticed the typical discomfort she feels in that position. The firm surface makes it well-suited to stomach sleeping as well. That said, side sleepers and other people who prefer a softer surface will likely find another bed more comfortable. This mattress also isn’t prone to heat retention—our tester always woke feeling cool and comfortable, and lab tests corroborated her experience.

Even so, it has some issues, particularly when you free the mattress from its shipping confines. The DreamCloud’s corners lagged behind—it puffed up like a peculiarly shaped baked good in the oven. What’s more, the foot of the bed didn’t rise to its full height until about three weeks into our testing. While the sagging foot wasn’t a bother for our 5-foot-9-inch tester, the slow expansion could leave taller folks’ calves and feet unsupported.

Most mattresses take a few days to fully air out—the DreamCloud, however, reeked even after 24 hours in a decently ventilated room. And it didn’t smell for just a couple of days—she noticed the smell every night for more than two weeks.

Mattress materials: A soft cashmere cover wraps two layers of foam, a platform of individually wrapped springs, and a base.

Delivery and packaging: The mattress arrives in a box that measures 43 inches by 18.5 inches by 18.5 inches. It weighs 85 pounds, and even comes with a slicer to cut through the plastic.

Trial period: 365 nights

Return protocol: DreamCloud asks that you donate the mattress to a local charity or organization. It will help you find a recipient, but if you incur a cost moving the mattress, it’s on you.

Pros

  • Firm and supportive

  • Comfortable for different sleep positions

  • Cool overnight

Cons

  • Bad odor for weeks

  • May be too firm for some

  • Slow to take shape after unwrapping


Mattresses in a Box We Reviewed That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • We liked the Helix Midnight (available at Helix) for its medium-firm sleep surface, sensation of deep support, and limited heat retention. The mattress didn’t perform as well when it came to delivery and smell—it wafted around for about a week.

  • The PlushBeds EcoBliss (available at Plushbeds) is one of a handful on this list that comes from a company with eco-friendly claims. Its medium-firm sleep surface doesn’t envelop you like some of the other mattresses we’ve tested. That said, it lacks a lot in the edge support department, and our tester found it was difficult to prop herself up for things like reading in bed.

  • Tempur-Pedic’s first mattress in a box, the Tempur-Cloud (available at Tempur-Pedic) provides that classic “barely sinking in” sensation that the brand is known for—and it happens to be great for side sleeping. However, when sleeping on her stomach, our tester found it uncomfortable and it left her lumbar spine slightly sore.

  • For the most part, the Allswell Supreme (available at Allswell) is a reasonable mattress, though its edge support tanked its overall score. During testing, the side of the mattress also formed a depression that never bounced back, raising concerns about the mattress’s longevity.

  • Casper has great name recognition but we found the Casper Original mattress (available at Casper) left a lot to be desired. Our tester hated sleeping on it, and scarcely slept well in the month she had it. The Casper Select, however, was a different story.

  • Many consumers love the Zinus Green Tea Mattress (available at Zinus)—one of a few mattresses we’ve tested that’s available on Amazon—for its price and softness. We, however, found its softness excessive, as it didn’t provide enough support. That said, at least one Reviewed staff member, parenting editor Anna Lane, swears by the brand.

  • The Layla mattress (available at Layla) is really promising on paper: It has two sides to choose between a firm or soft sleep surface. In our testing, it was only great in theory, not practice. The bed lacks structure and support, as the double-sidedness manifests as a soft and too soft sleep surface.

Meet the tester

Lindsey Vickers

Lindsey Vickers

Staff Writer, Sleep

@lindseyvix

Lindsey writes about sleep, lifestyle, and more for Reviewed. In her waking hours, she likes to spend time outside, read, cook, and bake. She holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University and bachelors' degrees in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Utah.

See all of Lindsey Vickers's reviews

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