Best Mattress-in-a-Box Beds From Consumer Reports’ Tests

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Mattress-in-a-box marketing can be pretty sensational: you can see a stuntman fall back on a mattress with raw eggs on his back (that’s a purple commercial) or hear a mattress purchase with the order of Tacos (from a Tuft & Needle ad).

The ads are sure to be memorable. But how do the mattresses of dozens of direct customer companies stack up?

We have put mattress-in-box beds through the same rigorous tests that we do for conventional mattresses. Using laboratory equipment and human test subjects, we evaluate how well a mattress supports the body for both back and side sleepers, how easily sleepers can shift their weight without disturbing a partner, and how well the mattress shapes over time retains. For this final durability test, we run a 308 pound roller over each mattress 30,000 times to simulate the typical eight to 10 year lifespan.

For strength reasons, we measure this attribute with a highly calibrated instrument and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most rigid, rather than taking a manufacturer’s word for it.

“Aside from having the mattress in a box on your doorstep, shoppers won’t notice any performance differences between our premium mattress-in-a-box models and the models bought in standard stores,” says Chris Regan, who runs the Mattress tests monitored by CR.

With some mattresses, Regan has found that it can be difficult to pull out the vacuum-wrapped, rolled-up product and free the plastic wrap. “It’s nice to have a second pair of hands – and to be very careful with a box cutter when opening and removing the plastic,” says Regan.

And while our scientific ratings of support are a good indicator of how well you can sleep on a mattress, we also offer ratings of comfort and satisfaction from people who have actually lived with these mattresses – in some cases up to ten years . Our new ratings for owner comfort and satisfaction are based on data from recent surveys of CR member experiences with more than 74,000 mattresses purchased in the past decade. We asked members to rate the comfort of their mattress and used the data to generate reviews by brand and mattress type. Owner satisfaction is based on a member’s overall rating on factors such as firmness / softness, value, quality of sleep and more.

The story goes on

Not sure where to start when thinking about a mattress? The CR Mattress Buying Guide breaks down the different types on the market. You can browse even more options in our comprehensive mattress reviews.

CR members can read on for ratings and ratings of the top eight direct-to-consumer mattresses from our tests, which are ranked. Most are made of foam, but there’s a box spring mattress on the list (yep, a box spring mattress) and a foam and box spring hybrid.

Many of the companies that sell these mattresses have opened their own showrooms where you can try a mattress before you buy, or they have partnered with walk-in stores for the same reason.

Many mattress-in-a-box companies offer a generous trial period – typically around 100 days – and return policies. We have noted these details below for each mattress.

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