Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (2022)

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (1)

If you’re like most people, you probably spent more time on your mattress in recent months, and you may be ready to find one of the best mattresses to replace it. After all, data from fitness trackers (opens in new tab) found that Americans were sleeping more and moving less while under quarantine this spring, and all that time on your mattress may have convinced you it’s time for an upgrade.

Before you buy your new mattress, though, there are a few things to consider. You’ll want to make sure the mattress-in-a-box company you’re buying from has a good reputation and a generous trial period. But you’ll also need to do some research about what you want in a mattress, which companies offer those components, and how the delivery and setup process works. Follow our useful tips on how to get the best mattress in a box for a great night's sleep.

You may also want to check out Casper vs. Purple vs. Nectar vs. Leesa: Who makes the best mattress or see if you can pick up a bargain in the best mattress sales or best Nectar mattress deals.

Top mattress-in-a-box companies

Looking to buy a mattress-in-a-box? Check out these top companies:

Casper (opens in new tab)
Purple (opens in new tab)
Helix (opens in new tab)
Leesa (opens in new tab)
Layla (opens in new tab)
Nectar (opens in new tab)
Tuft & Needle (opens in new tab)
Brooklyn Bedding (opens in new tab)

(Video) Buying your next mattress: What to look for

Here are the key mattress buying tips you’ll need when you order a mattress from an online retailer.

What features should I look for in a mattress-in-a-box company?

Some of the best online mattress companies in 2022 are ones you’ve probably seen and heard advertisements for, like Purple, Casper and Tuft & Needle – to name a few. Not all of these are bed-in-a-box companies, though. For example, while (opens in new tab)Saatva is an Internet mattress company, the mattress is delivered at its regular size and set up in your home by their professionals for free.

Among our best mattresses picks, Casper, Purple, Helix and Leesa all sell mattresses that arrive at your door in a box or bag. What’s more, these companies offer mattresses with positive reviews from both customers and other sites, good return policies and warranties and quality materials; they’ve also received notable commendations for customer service.

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (2)

While many of the bed-in-a-box companies have made some efforts at sustainability, if eco-friendly products and natural mattress materials are important issues for you, consider companies like Boll & Branch, Avocado Green Mattress and Birch by Helix.

Free shipping is definitely a factor you should look for in an online mattress company. Come on, if their main business is online and they’re shipping a heavy product, they should make delivery convenient for you.

If you want more bang for your buck, some mattress companies will throw in free pillows, bedding or other products to seal the deal.

When you shop for a mattress at a retail store, you probably lay on a few before deciding which felt the best and fell within your price range. Now that you can research mattresses online to find the best one for you, there are a host of features you should think about beyond firmness levels.

Some mattress components that should influence your purchasing decision are materials used, size, the best mattress for certain sleeping positions, whether the mattress sleeps cool, if it has good support for back pain or hip pain, whether it can accommodate heavier people, motion transfer, and how easy it is to get delivered.

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (3)

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Figure out whether you want memory foam, innersprings, latex, or a hybrid (a combination of those). Most of the bed-in-a-box companies are made from foam so the mattress can compress when it’s shipped while feeling supportive under your body.

While many companies have specialty foams as the main material, Purple in particular is known for its proprietary Hyper-Elastic Polymer foam that features a flexible purple grid so it sleeps cool. (We have answers to all your Purple mattress questions.)

Some say that latex has more bounce (opens in new tab) so latex mattresses can help prevent aches and pains or relieve them. An innerspring (coil) mattress has that spring-like feel you’re probably used to and may feel firmer than a memory foam mattress. An innerspring mattress may also not feel as hot to sleep on.

Side sleepers will probably be happy with products from Casper and Helix, while back sleepers gave high reviews to Leesa and Layla, and stomach sleepers like Brooklyn Bedding and Helix Hybrids. You can also search for mattresses that help relieve back pain, hip pain or even those that may help with recovery for active people, like Bear Mattress.

Hot sleepers may like mattresses known for high-tech materials that help users sleep cool, like Ghostbed or Purple.

When factoring in the price of an online mattress, many of the bed-in-a-box mattresses cost in the $700 range for a queen-sized mattress. If you’re searching for budget mattress-in-a-box options, Zinius has queen mattresses for $156, Allswell’s queens are about $375, and a queen-sized mattress from Tulo is $399. Some brands, like Tuft & Needle, even offer special deals and discounts to military, first responders and healthcare professionals. It’s worth looking into to see if you qualify for additional savings!

What should I know about return policies when buying a mattress?

The thing about buying a mattress online is that it’s really hard to tell how comfortable it’ll be for you to sleep on simply by reading about it and looking at photos and videos. You need to take it for a test run. And by that, we mean sleep and nap.

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (4)

The beauty of the bed-in-a-box industry is that most companies offer a free sleep trial of at least 100 days, and some — like DreamCloud, Nectar, and TomorrowSleep — give you a year to test out the mattress. For most of these mattress companies, that means you’ll pay for the mattress outright, but if you don’t like it, you can get a full refund before the trial period is up. Some companies, like TomorrowSleep will send out a representative to pick up the mattress, while others, like Casper, will send you a shipping label to print out, attach to the original box or another sturdy box, and drop the mattress off at a retail shipping store.

Familiarize yourself with a brand’s return policy before typing in your credit card information. If you’re weary of this large purchase – and won’t be able to get a heavy package to a shipping store – you might want to go with a brand that will do the heavy lifting for you.

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How do I set up a mattress in a box?

Since the market for online mattresses is so competitive, retailers have become generous with their offers as a way to entice customers. Most of the mattress-in-a-box companies offer free shipping and some will even remove your old mattress for free.

If you aren’t getting a “white glove” setup service, the mattress will arrive at your doorstep compressed in a box that’s about the size of a coffee table and you’ll have to unpack it. Each retailer has instructions on their website of how to properly open and unbox their product. Once the boxed mattress is unrolled, it’ll expand to its full size within a few minutes or hours.

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (5)

After unrolling your mattress, you might notice a particular odor from some companies’ products. That’s a reaction from the memory foam called “off gassing.” Some brands will advise you to let the mattress “breathe” for a day or a few before sleeping on it to reduce your exposure to chemicals. Other mattress companies, like Leesa, Avocado Green, and Awara, will say it’s safe to sleep on their mattress right away and they don’t have off gassing.

If you’re wondering how much an online mattress weighs, know that many of these boxes can be very heavy – a queen can weigh from about 70 pounds up to around 160 pounds. If you’re having the mattress delivered, check out the mattress weight first. You might be better off having it delivered on a day when you have help if you can’t handle that kind of weight on your own. It could be well worth the extra charge (around $149 from DreamCloud as an example) to have a delivery person set up the mattress and remove your old one – especially if you live in a fourth-floor walkup apartment.

What should I know about mattress-in-a-box warranties?

You might start off liking the mattress you purchased – it could feel firm in all the right places, offer good edge support and seem durable. But if the mattress materials seem to be degrading in quality or craftsmanship, or the areas that once were supportive seem to be sinking, you’ll want to know that the online mattress company offers a long warranty.

Most companies offer a 10-year limited warranty, Saatva has a 15-year limited warranty and Avocado Green has a 25-year warranty. Layla offers a lifetime warranty that says they will repair or replace defective parts, but the warranty doesn’t apply to the customers’ comfort preferences. Nectar has a ‘Forever Warranty’ that will cover impressions more than 1.5 inches.

Read the bed-in-a-box company’s warranties on their website before buying because “limited” means different things for different brands.

Buying a mattress in a box? Read these 5 tips first (7)

Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features.

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!

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Should I test a mattress before buying? ›

If you're in the market to buy a new mattress, it's essential to test it out in-store before you buy. When mattress testing, you'll want to know exactly how it'll feel when you lie down to sleep at night and make sure its comfort level is to your liking.

What is the first thing you do when you get a new mattress? ›

Breaking in a New Mattress – Tips & Tricks
  1. Let Your Mattress Breathe. If you bought your bed online, chances are it came compressed or rolled in a box. ...
  2. Put on the Pressure. ...
  3. Be Patient. ...
  4. Warm it Up. ...
  5. Sleep on It Consistently. ...
  6. Put It in the Right Foundation. ...
  7. Follow Your Gut. ...
  8. Give It the Full Time.
Oct 15, 2021

What should be kept in mind while buying mattress? ›

5 things to keep in mind while purchasing a mattress
  • Select the mattress as per your weight, body shape and age. ...
  • Medical issues also come into play while choosing a mattress. ...
  • The size of the mattress and room should also be taken into consideration. ...
  • Know your preference of mattress before you visit the store.
Jan 4, 2017

How long to wait before sleeping on a mattress in a box? ›

Sometimes it only takes a few hours, but other times it can take up to 48 hours to fully expand. The safe and easy rule we follow is to just eye-ball it. Once your mattress looks fluffy and comfortable, it's safe to sleep on and that's usually on the first night.

How much does a good mattress cost? ›

Average Mattress Cost by Category:
Mattress CategoryDescriptionPrice Range
BudgetAffordable beds, typically all-foam or innerspring construction using basic materials.$250-$1,000
Mid-RangeMid-range beds, usually all-foam, innerspring, or hybrid using quality materials.$500-$1,500
1 more row
Aug 29, 2022

How do I know if my mattress is firm? ›

If you're waking up with back, neck or shoulder pain, your mattress might be too firm. If you wake up in the morning — or during the night — feeling discomfort at certain pressure points, like your shoulders, hips, or knees, your mattress is probably too firm.

What happens if you sleep on a new mattress before 24 hours? ›

The truth is, it shouldn't damage a quality mattress if you go against the 24-hour rule and sleep on it a couple of hours after unboxing. The rule mostly exists to make sure you get a good night's sleep on your mattress, as the bed is hardly at its most comfortable when it's still expanding.

Should you walk on a new mattress? ›

One way to soften the materials in your memory foam mattress is to walk on it. Taking a small stroll on your mattress can relieve pressure and soften the memory foam materials, creating a more comfortable sleeping experience.

How long does it take your body to adjust to a new mattress? ›

While 30 days is the average amount of time suggested, this amount of time can vary depending on the type of mattress purchased. For example, innerspring models are known to adjust quicker but they can also take up to 4 weeks.

What is a hybrid mattress? ›

A hybrid mattress is a multi-layer bed that combines memory foam, latex, or gel along with an innerspring system. Sleepers can experience both the pressure relief of the foam layers and the sturdy feel of a classic spring mattress.

Which of the following is not a type of foam mattress? ›

Coir, Memory, Latex and Rebonded among the following Coir is not a type of foam mattress.

What is the size of a king size bed? ›

76" x 80"

What happens if you sleep on a mattress before it inflates? ›

Truth is, you can sleep, roll around, and step on your mattress as much as you want while it expands. Regular mattress use will only decrease the material's expansion time. If you want to sleep on it before the 24-hour mark, just remember the mattress won't feel its very best until it expands to its full size.

Is it OK to sleep on a memory foam mattress before 24 hours? ›

It is recommended to wait 24-48 hours before sleeping on a new, memory foam mattress. It is up to the consumer whether to wait or not. Defects will not be as obvious before the expansion process has been completed, but expansion should not slow down because you slept on your new memory foam mattress.

Why does mattress need 72 hours? ›

If you are wondering, “Can you sleep on a new mattress right away?” Well, in the case of the boxed mattress, in general, it will take around six hours for it to go back to its original shape. It will need this much time to expand and to fill up with air since, like it was mentioned before, the air is removed from it.

How many years should you keep a mattress? ›

Under normal conditions, mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years. Of course, this is a general guideline and not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various factors that influence when you should replace your mattress.

How often do you need to replace a mattress? ›

But how often should you replace your mattress? Typically, most mattresses should be replaced every 7-10 years, but this number can vary depending on the mattress type you have. Don't wait any longer for a good night's sleep. Get better sleep quality now.

How much are mattresses marked up? ›

Consumer Reports reports that markups in the 40-50% range are standard in the industry—and once a mattress crosses the $1,000 threshold, markups are even higher. One assessment of a $3,000 mattress found that it cost about $300 to make—an astonishing 900% markup.

What firmness is best for side sleepers? ›

Medium to Medium Firm is ideal for average-weight side sleepers and will contour well to your body.

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress? ›

For those not experiencing troublesome back pain, a firm mattress is will generally be more comfortable. When sleeping on a firmer surface, the bones absorb most of the pressure, meaning there is less stress on muscles, veins and arteries. Muscles are less strained, and circulation is improved.

Do you need a softer mattress as you get older? ›

Aging joints and bodies require quality comfort layers. Memory foam mattresses can provide a comfortable sleep experience, but low-density foams in support layers can wreak havoc on your back by messing with your alignment,” Lindeke explains.

Can you sleep on new mattress immediately? ›

The short answer is no. Most mattress labels will say it's not supposed to be used within 24 hours, which as a rule is the recommended time you should wait after opening to use the mattress - and with good reason.

Are new mattress fumes toxic? ›

The short answer is no, the new mattress smell is not harmful to people — however, according to Amerisleep, a small percentage of mattress owners reported having difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, and asthma after experiencing mattress off-gassing.

How long do memory foam mattresses last? ›

But for a standard memory foam mattress, you should expect it to last about 5-8 years. The coils in hybrid mattresses help provide a bit more durability, which is how you get those extra few more years from your bed.

How do you break in a mattress quickly? ›

Roll around or walk on it. While you sleep, your body weight puts pressure on the mattress, which helps break it in. If you want to speed up the process, roll back and forth on your mattress like a rolling pin or walk or crawl around on it for several minutes during the day, every day.

Why does my back hurt after sleeping on a new mattress? ›

Your Mattress is new

Our body often takes some time to adjust to a new sleep surface. If you are experiencing back discomfort after switching to a new mattress, the possibility of the new mattress causing lower back pain is high. You just need to give your body some time to adapt to it.

Why does my mattress not feel like it did in the store? ›

It may not feel like the bed you tried when you visited our showroom. But the good news is that your mattress will adjust to your body and it will take on the “showroom feel” after the proper amount of time and pressure. In the end, your new bed will feel like it did the day you first fell in love with it.

Do firm mattresses get softer over time? ›

Do firm mattresses get softer? All mattresses get a little softer within the first 50 to 60 nights of regular use. This is called the natural break-in period. However, this natural break-in doesn't make it an uncomfortable mattress, rather it tempers down the extra firmness of a new mattress.

What are the negatives to a hybrid mattress? ›

Here are a few downsides to a hybrid mattress:
  • Lower quality motion isolation. Models with innerspring coils won't isolate movement as well as those with pocketed coils.
  • Expensive. The higher cost is a drawback but may also get you more support and better durability.
Jan 12, 2021

What type of mattress lasts the longest? ›

Latex mattresses tend to last the longest, followed by beds made using high-density memory foams or polyfoams. Lower-density foam beds wear out a bit quicker, as do hybrid models.

What type of mattress is best for back pain? ›

Memory foam and latex mattresses are often considered the best options for back pain, as they conform to your body, cradling pressure points while supporting your spine and keeping it aligned.

Can you test a mattress? ›

The best way to test out a mattress? Lay on it! To get an accurate idea of the comfort level, experts suggest laying down in your normal sleeping position for at least 15 minutes. It also helps if you're wearing comfortable clothes when you test out a mattress.

How do I test my mattress? ›

How to Test a Mattress - YouTube

How do you check a bed before buying? ›

If you sleep on your back, test a potential mattress by lying down and trying to slide your hand under the small of your back. It should be a bit difficult, but not impossible. If your hand easily slides behind your back, the mattress is probably too firm, and if your hand won't budge at all, it's probably too soft.

How long should you test a bed? ›

How Long Should I Test A New Mattress? Consumer Reports state that the customers who spend more than 15 minutes testing a bed are happier with their choice than the people who spend less time. If you sleep for 5 minutes in every sleeping position, you can experience better adaptability of the mattress.


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