I’ve been needing a new mattress for a while now, but the idea of spending $2,000 (or more, yeesh!) on a traditional box spring and mattress set has kept me from heading to the stores to try them out. Because with multiple kids at home, there are a million other things I could spend that money on. Of course, I too have been seeing all the ads over social media for the much cheaper bed-in-a-box companies that ship mattresses right to your home. So, Kristen and I took on the hard job of sleeping (er, mattress testing) so we could share our thoughts on which ones have the best features, best quality, and best prices.

The obvious perk is that there’s no shopping and no delivery fee — way more appealing to me than taking the kids to the mattress store and begging them not to jump on all the beds. Not to mention, getting one of these delivery boxes upstairs is significantly easier than trying to negotiate a king-sized mattress around the corner of our stairwell.

If the idea of buying online still worries you, know that all of these companies offer a 100-day satisfaction guarantee for a full refund — really! Just be aware: the “return” is actually a scheduled pickup by a charity or recycling center, which may take their time coming to you for pick up.

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Our ultimate mattress-in-a-box comparison: The Idle Hybrid boasts more support with 1,000 support coils and memory foam.

Idle Hybrid

The Idle Hybrid mattress boasts 400% more support than regular memory foam, thanks to the 1,000 support coils built into the mattress. My mattress was firm without being hard (I hate a hard mattress), yet I could flip over—and over, and over, and over—during the night without feeling like I was jostling my husband all around. 

Price: $1356 (on sale for $949) for a queen (includes 2 free pillows) and free shipping
Materials: 1000 coils and 2” CertiPUR-US certified buoyancy foam with no toxins
Unboxing wait period: none
Type of base required: box springs, flat board, or their Idle Foundation (wooden slat base)
Warranty: 18-month home trial for 100% refund if you’re not satisfied. Lifetime warranty covers all defects for life, including sag or body impressions over 1 inch.

What makes it special: Most mattress-in-a-box beds are one sided, but the Idle Hybrid is two-sided, doubling its lifespan. It also has support coils (thus, the hybrid name) which most flat-packed mattresses are missing. And you can’t beat their trial period: it’s the longest with the best warranty you can find.

Mattress in a box review | Casper is the original, but is it the best?Casper

Casper was the first to ship compressed mattress-in-a-box style beds across the country, and this trend has caught on like wildfire. Their approach is to create one mattress style that will work for everyone, and it’s the result of thousands of hours of research and testing. Kristen has laid on one and can confirm it’s as comfy as they intended it to be. The company considered firmness, density, airflow, rebound speed and even odor in coming up with this combination of latex and memory foam. They’re also environmentally conscious, using materials that are low-VOC and held to high environmental standards.

Price: starts at $500 for a twin up to $950 for a CA King
Materials: latex and 3 types of high-density memory foam
Unboxing wait period: none
Type of base required: flat platform, slatted base, or box spring
10-year limited warranty

What makes it special: It’s the most awarded mattress of the decade, thanks to the shipping innovation that’s now been copied a million times over. It was also one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2015. These guys are pioneers in this industry, and their great reviews on Amazon show that they know what they’re doing.

Mattress in a box review | Customize your sleep preferences to build your own Helix mattressHelix

With the Helix mattress, you build your own by custom preferences you fill out on their online survey. Questions range from your body type to what position you sleep in. They even ask about your current mattress and whether you like it. Then, they’ll build it one of two ways: with your preferences on your side and your partner’s preferences on the other. Or, they’ll meld your preferences to give you one uniform mattress you’re both happy with. Helix sent me one to try (thanks, Helix!) — my husband and I chose the melded option and still, a couple months later, climb in at night and say how much we love this bed.

Price: $600 for a twin up to $995 for a CA King
Materials: latex, microcoils, and high-density foam
Unboxing wait period: let it expand 20–30 minutes before using
Type of base required: platform bed, metal grid, slatted base, box springs, or floor
Warranty: 10-year manufacturer’s warranty

What makes it special: The ability to customize each side of the mattress to fit your own needs helped us feel like we were going to get a mattress that really suited our personal preferences.

Related: 4 hot Hulu series to catch up on after the kids are in bed

Mattress in a box reviews | the Tuft & Needle mattress cools you while you sleepTuft and Needle

Kristen tried out a Tuft and Needle mattress for her kids, and she said she really can’t tell a difference between it and the much more expensive Tempurpedic she sleeps on. She has also been managing some sleep anxiety with her kids, who have trouble staying in bed all night long. The first night her son slept on his Tuft and Needle mattress, he stayed in bed all night long. That alone is worth $350.

Price: starts at $350 for a twin up to $750 for a CA King
Materials: a proprietary “adaptive” foam paired with a high quality support layer
Unboxing wait period: let it expand 2-3 hours before using it
Type of base required: box springs, slatted base, floor, or platform bed
10-year manufacturer’s warranty

What makes it special: The Tuft & Needle mattress draws the heat from your body and disperses it through the mattress, keeping you cool.

Related: The most awesome sleep masks, for a do-not-disturb kind of day

Mattress in a box reviews | The Endy mattress has a layer of cooling gel to regulate your temp while you sleep.Endy

Endy’s website shoots straight: most of the product variation you see in mattresses is just marketing. Instead, Endy aims to revolutionize the experience of buying a mattress so that is simple, clear, and hassle free. That said, Endy mattresses, which are made in Toronto and shipped throughout Canada and the US, get great reviews online. Kristen has slept on one and can attest to its softness (no pillow top needed for this one!). It is a bit pricey, but if you’re in Canada and love the idea of shopping locally, this might be an especially good pick for you.

Price: starts at $650 for a twin to $850 for a King
Materials: high-density support form and cozy memory foam with cooling gel
Unboxing wait period: you can use it right away, but takes a few days to stabilize the core
Type of base required: box springs, slatted frame, platform bed, or floor
10-year manufacturer’s warranty

What makes it special: With every purchase, Endy donates a mosquito net to help end malaria in Africa.

Mattress-in-a-box comparison: Snuz mattresses


Snuz mattresses are ergonomically designed to reduce pressure at 7 key pressure points people experience while they sleep. The promise: you’ll feel more comfortable as you sleep, which means you’ll turn over less often, which means you’ll get a better night’s sleep. It’s an interesting theory, and so far it seems to be working for my daughter (who’s testing out the mattress Snuz sent us to try). I gave it a try too — sorry kids, mom needs to take a nap. It’s for work, I promise! — and I found that the mattress, while supportive, is very soft on the top layer. If you like a firm one, this isn’t for you.

Price: starts at $650 for a twin to $950 for a California King (for a limited time, you can get $200 off Queen or larger with code TRYSNUZ)
Materials: high-density support form with charcoal-infused layer to wick away moisture and odors
Unboxing wait period: you can use it right away
Type of base required: box springs, platform bed, or their own “mattress foundation” 
10-year manufacturer’s warranty

What makes it special: Side-sleepers rave that this is the most comfortable bed they have slept on, and that charcoal-core is unique.