Updated March 2022
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Buying guide for Best bed-in-a-box

Bed-in-a-box is the newest way to buy a mattress. You can now find the perfect mattress with the click of a mouse.

Most of these mattresses are made of memory foam or a similarly flexible material so that they can be rolled, sealed, and packed into a conveniently sized box. Besides cutting down on shipping fees, this compact packaging often means it will arrive on your doorstep more swiftly than a traditional mattress.

With traditional mattresses only getting more costly, choosing a bed-in-a-box is a more reasonable option for many people’s budgets.

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Bed-in-a-box is a concept that is challenging the traditional mattress market for a larger market-share.

Key considerations


Although ordering a bed-in-a-box makes the purchase of a new mattress easier than it was in the past, it also brings with it new protocols. Setting up a bed-in-a-box mattress is not the same as setting up a traditional mattress.

For starters, make sure to open the box in the room in which you plan to use the mattress. That will help you avoid the hassle of lugging it around the house. Once you unroll the mattress, you’ll want to place it on the bed frame, and let it “rest” for up to 72 hours. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it in that time, but understand that many bed-in-a-box mattresses will not fully expand before that time, so you may not get an accurate feeling for sleeping on the mattress long term until that period passes.

Mattress size

Most bed-in-a-box mattresses come in standard mattress sizes of twin through California king. Obviously, your basic needs will determine the size range of the mattress you choose. However, personal preference will dictate what you choose within that range. For example, if you know you need a larger mattress for you and your partner, you may choose between a queen, a king, or a California king, which is purely based on comfort.


Where models will often differ from each other is in the mattress thickness. As a general rule, the thicker the mattress, the less firm it will feel. Most of the popular bed-in-a-box mattresses will come in the standard 10-inch-thick model. Others, though, offer options ranging from  six inches all the way up to 13 inches thick.

Mattress design

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are made of adaptive or memory foam. However, they are all designed slightly differently. Some consist of a single layer of memory foam, while others may have a base layer of more firm supportive foam underneath. Some manufacturers also offer a top layer on their bed-in-a-box mattresses, which keep you cool while sleeping via a specially designed material covering the surface of the mattress.

  • Single-layer memory foam: A single-layer memory foam mattress is for those who like a less firm option. This is preferable for people who do not have issues with back pain, but want a softer surface overall.

  • Multi-layer foam: Some bed-in-a-box mattresses are designed with a more firm sub-layer beneath the standard memory foam. This gives these mattresses additional back support above the basic level of support from a single-layer memory foam mattress.

  • Innerspring: These mattresses look similar to traditional coil spring mattresses. They have wrapped coil innersprings which offer a combination of support and motion diffusion. They tend to be slightly more firm than even a multi-layer memory foam mattress, so they are perfect for those who need a little extra back support.

  • Wrapped coil: Similar to innerspring mattresses, wrapped coil mattresses have internal coils that transfer the energy of your movements. What makes them different from innerspring mattresses is the thick layer of foam pillowtop, giving a softer surface. They are almost like a combination of memory foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses. The overall experience, though, is that of a soft top surface that offers more give than firmness.


Organic materials

A number of bed-in-a-box manufacturers now make their mattresses at least partially from organic materials. Some are made of 100% organic Dunlop latex. This is a highly dense material made from the sap underneath the rubber tree. It has no toxins or chemicals added during the production process. Others incorporate 100% natural cotton into the mattress to make it breathable and soft. Although both of these materials have been used in mattresses for decades on some level, there is a somewhat recent development in organic mattress production gaining popularity. Natural cashmere is now being added to some bed-in-a-box mattresses as an organic alternative to synthetic latex. It has a similar breathable quality to cotton.

Temperature control

Some memory foam mattresses have their own temperature control gel which keeps the sleeper cool during warm nights. Similar to an ice pack when broken, temperature control gel reacts to motion, cooling almost instantly when motion causes movement of the internal gel. This keeps you cool throughout the night, continually activating as you turn in bed.

Mattress cover

A few bed-in-a-box mattresses come with an additional protective mattress cover. These covers are used for keeping the mattress clean, as well as offering a cooler sleeping surface under the sheet. These are similar to standard mattress covers in that they cover the whole mattress and zip up. Because many of them are made of a vinyl composite material, they can offer some cooling relief while you sleep.

Bed-in-a-box prices

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are available for both the budget-conscious consumer and the shopper who wants to sleep in luxury. Because of the wide variety of manufacturers currently selling bed-in-a-box mattresses, you have a world of options from which to choose.

Inexpensive: This price range includes mattresses between $150 and $300. Most of these mattresses will be single-layer memory foam options. In order to get more advanced mattresses, you will have to spend a little more.

Mid-range: For those who plan to spend between $300 and $600, expect to find a wide array of mattress sizes and options. This category has the most variety between sizes and features, so take your time shopping for mid-range mattresses.

Expensive: Bed-in-a-box options from $600 to $1000 will include the most advanced mattress engineering available in a bed-in-a-box mattress. They will most often be multi-layered and have specially designed climate control built in to the surface. You can’t get a bad night’s sleep on one of these mattresses.


  • Try laying in different positions on your new mattress to see what feels most comfortable. Not every sleeping position is best for every mattress.

  • It is usually a good idea to put a cover on your bed-in-a-box mattress. That will protect it from unwanted accidents and stains.

  • Don’t simply get the cheapest bed-in-a-box mattress available. That could lead to a poor choice; Not because of poor quality, but because each person has individual sleep needs, and you might get a mattress that doesn’t address your back issues, or temperature concerns.

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Online retailers have changed the face of shopping, and now mattress shopping has been added to that long list with bed-in-a-box readily available to consumers online.


Q. Is a bed-in-a-box just as comfortable as a traditional mattress?
Yes. Bed-in-a-box mattresses are made in a way that they offer some of the most comfortable sleeping surfaces available for purchase today. This is because they have multiple formats and materials. Much research and development has gone into most bed-in-the-box mattresses in order to get the most comfort out of a portable mattress.

Q. Will I need a boxspring for my bed-in-a-box?
. Although you do not have to use a boxspring with your bed-in-a-box, you may wish to, depending on your bed frame configuration. For those who want to have more “give” in their sleeping situation, a boxspring will not be as rigid as a metal or wood bed frame.

Q. Is a bed-in-a-box cheaper than a traditional mattress?
Bed-in-a-box mattresses are often less expensive than their traditional counterparts because they are made of more pliable materials to allow for long-distance shipping at a reasonable price.You might save up to $200 on the purchase of a standard Queen bed-in-a-box mattress over a traditional one.

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