Mattress in a Box: The Best Ones We've Tried Are on Sale for MLK Day 2022
By Marisa Runyon
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Cocoon by Sealy, DreamCloud
In the market for a new mattress this year? There's still no shortage of mattress deals to choose from at places like DreamCloud, Casper and Nectar Sleep. But if you need a little help, we just so happen to have suggestions.
The task of picking out a new mattress can be overwhelming. Many mattresses now come equipped with memory foam or gel memory foam. There are innerspring mattresses, mattresses with pocketed coils and mattresses made specifically for the stomach sleeper and every other sleeping position. The types and choices go on and on!
Perhaps the most popular new mattress option these days is the mattress in a box. Sure, it will look cute next to the Christmas tree, but when you're used to seeing a mattress laid out on a bed frame, it's hard to imagine how a boxed mattress will work. Will it fit your bed? Will it have a soft feel? Is there a firmer mattress that comes in a box?
We had all these questions, too. So we asked our style editor Marisa Runyon to sleep on the job, literally.
Hi, I'm Marisa, ET's style expert!
While most of the time I'm sussing out beauty products and fashion items, every fashionista knows there's one important part of a beauty regimen: beauty sleep! After a cross-country move that resulted in ditching my 10-year-old mattress, I found myself in the market for a new bed for the first time in, well, a decade. And I didn't just need a new bed for my husband and I, I needed one for my daughter as well. So there was a lot to sleep on, pun intended.
With the evolution of the mattress in a box, choices are plentiful since the last time I shopped. Because I had multiple bedrooms to furnish, I tried several brands, which means now I can give you the skinny on what to expect and where to buy.
If you’re currently in need of a new bed, read on for my breakdown of the brands I tried.
Mattress Purchased: The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid (queen)
What It Promises: A dreamy mix of memory foam and innerspring coils to give you the best sleep of your life, every night.
The Price: $999 (Regularly $1,600)
MLK Day Deal: During DreamCloud's Big Bundle Sale, you can save $200 off your mattress purchase plus get $399-worth of accessories for free right now until Jan. 17.
Brand Benefits: A 365-night in-home trial period, lifetime warranty and free shipping and returns.
The DreamCloud mattress was my first mattress-in-a-box experience. My husband and I unboxed the mattress which is vacuum-sealed into a giant roll (for those who have not seen how the phenomenon of getting a very large item into an impossibly small box works). DreamCloud also includes a small razor blade tool that’s about the size of a credit card, to help you safely remove the plastic from around the mattress without risk of cutting yourself or slicing your brand new bed.
Once you peel back the plastic, it pops open like a can of biscuits. Easy peasy. But before you can collapse onto it, the directions recommend waiting a full 24 hours before sleeping on it to allow it to properly re-inflate. This wasn’t ideal for us as we were exhausted after a day of moving into a new home, but I’m a stickler for following the rules, so we waited.
After our first night on the DreamCloud, we were impressed by how comfortable it was. The quilted foam top layer felt incredibly soft just like our previous well-loved, more traditional mattress. Whereas I initially noticed how soft it was, my husband was impressed by how firm it was at the same time. Just like the other reviewers noted, the mattress is literally a dream to sleep on -- soft and supportive.
One thing we immediately noticed is that we were in need of a box spring. Although the DreamCloud mattress is built to work without a box spring, you still need a platform bed frame to properly support the mattress. We have a traditional bed frame, so we found the mattress was sloping slightly at the head and foot of the bed.
After having an issue in our last home with movers being unable to move our box spring up a narrow staircase and into our bedroom, we were thrilled to find a modular box spring option that arrived in several pieces for a more manageable move. It was a snap to put together and because it was only five inches thick, it kept the low-profile look that we wanted.
Brand Benefits: Includes 2 free pillows and a set of sheets. Sealy also offers free shipping and returns, plus a 10-year warranty.
For my daughter’s bedroom in our new home, we decided it was time to upgrade her to a larger mattress so that her room can double as a guest room if needed. We chose the Chill Hybrid. The mattress arrived similarly packed as our DreamCloud, rolled tightly in plastic and placed in a tall narrow box. However, the Cocoon by Sealy mattress directions instructed us to wait only 30 minutes before our new bed would be ready to go. After popping it open, it looked very full and ready to sleep on after only half an hour.
By comparison, the Cocoon mattress feels squishier than the DreamCloud, likely due to the memory foam top layer. This mattress envelopes you in softness, making it easy to fall asleep after tucking your kiddo in. (I speak from experience!)
As for the chill factor of the Chill Hybrid, this mattress is ideal for hot sleepers as we found the temperature control to be really effective - especially when two parents and a kid all end up in one bed.
While I would love to channel my inner Princess and the Pea, there are truly more mattress-in-a-box options out there for this sleeping beauty to review. Luckily, other shoppers have shared their opinions on popular boxed mattress options. Below are ET Style's picks for other great mattresses in a box.
“Our puffy mattress has been the staple of satisfaction for our Airbnb guests. The first thing they include in their 5 star review is, “This mattress gave me such a restful night sleep and I NEVER sleep good away from home. I will be ordering one of these for my home!” Forget the fact that we are on a top ten beach in the USA, steps away from luxurious shopping and dining — the puffy mattress and pillows were what our guests raved most about.”
“I have wanted a Tempurpedic for years and I finally got one and I've never been happier!! Every night I sleep so well and have no more back pain when I wake up. It's firm but it molds perfectly to your body and is so comfortable. It's also very convenient how it arrives rolled up in a box so it's easy to set it up. I highly recommend this mattress!!”
“Very Comfy. Great customer service. Quick shipping. Love the lack of mattress movement when my hubby gets up or the dogs change positions. The low profile without having a box spring is just the BEST. Just placed the Nectar on a wood platform.”