Best box mattress 2024 – tried and tested for comfort and convenience

The best box mattress offers comfort and support in a neat little package – these are my favorites, ranked and reviewed by expert testers

One of the best box mattresses, the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress, on a bed against a white wall.
(Image credit: Bear)
Best box mattress 2024 − Jump Menu

The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a bed against an orange wall.

(Image credit: Nectar)

1. The list in brief
2. Best overall: Emma Original Mattress
3. Best for side sleepers: DreamCloud Hybrid
4. Best affordable: Siena Memory Foam Mattress
5. Best firm: Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress
6. Best hybrid: Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress
7. Best for back pain: Nectar Memory Foam
8. How we test
9. Meet the team
10. FAQs

The best box mattress delivers comfort and convenience on the cheap. Whether you're shopping for a plush memory foam model or a high-tech hybrid, you can get the best bed-in-a-box delivered to your door and set up in your bedroom for just a couple of hundred dollars.

In our search to find the best mattress, we've tried and tested some of the world's best beds-in-a-box. We hold box mattresses to the same high standards, looking for cooling comfort and lumbar support all tied up in a neat little package.

After months and years of testing, we've crowned the Emma Original Mattress the best box mattress, but other brands produce worthy contenders. I've combed through our back catalog of reviews to bring you the best beds-in-a-box at the best possible price.

Best box mattress 2024

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

If you're buying on a budget, and you're keen to save some money on the best box mattress, then I suggest you shop the mattress sales. I've seen beds-in-a-box selling at half-price, and we're not even near a major sales period.

The quick list

If you've already got a box mattress in mind, then you can skip straight to that section using our jump menu. If you'd rather take stock of your options, you can browse the best box mattresses below.

The best box mattress overall

The Emma Original Mattress on a bed.

(Image credit: Emma)

1. Emma Original Mattress

The best box mattress for comfort and convenience

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King
Type: Memory foam
Firmness: Medium firm
Height: 10"

Reasons to buy

+
Firm support
+
Suitable for all sleep positions
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Sleeps a little warm
-
Typical memory foam odor

Launched in 2015, the Emma Original Mattress is one of the earliest box mattresses to hit the market, and it's still one of the best. Our expert tester, Chiana, started sleeping on this mattress more than a year ago and she says it's the most comfortable bed she's ever tested.

This box mattress is made from three kinds of memory foam. At the bottom, there's a thick layer of highly resilient foam to absorb your movement and keep your spine aligned. In the middle is Emma's innovate Halo Memory Foam, which molds to the shape of your body to provide targeted support. Up top is a layer of Point Elastic Airgocell foam, strategically perforated to boost breathability. Still, like any memory foam mattress, the Emma Original tends to trap heat. I suggest that seriously hot sleepers consider the Zinus Cooling Green Tea Mattress as a close alternative.

Squishy yet supportive, the Emma Original Mattress supports all sleep positions. The motion isolation is fantastic, which is good news for light sleepers and anyone who shares a bed, and even the edge support is streets ahead of your average memory foam mattress. Within a few hours, Chiana found that her bed had fully inflated and the unpleasant odor of memory foam off-gassing had (almost) dissipated.

You can find more detail in our Emma Original Mattress review.

The best box mattress for side sleepers

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress on a bed.

(Image credit: DreamCloud)

2. DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress

The best box mattress for side sleepers

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium-firm
Height: 14"

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent edge support
+
Suitable for all sleep positions
+
Highly affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Motion isolation is a little lacking

How you lie on the bed makes a huge difference to your sleep quality and determines what you need from a mattress. Where back and stomach sleepers appreciate a firmer surface, side sleepers need something with a bit of give to cushion their joints while supporting their spine. The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress should fit the bill.

This bed is lined with stainless steel springs, reinforced around the sides to enhance edge support. That's important if you tend to sleep on the side of the bed or you want to sit on your mattress to watch TV or tie your sneakers. The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress is topped with pressure-relieving memory foam to take the weight off your hips, knees, neck, and shoulders.

Compared to the Emma Original Mattress, the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress is a safer bet for hot sleepers. There's more space inside for air to flow in and out of the bed. It's actually one of the best cooling mattresses on the market, and definitely the best at this price.

Like any hybrid mattress, this bed is prone to a bit of bounce: that'll be the thousands of spring coils, working to bear your weight as they compress and depress beneath your body. This shouldn't prove a problem unless you're a seriously light sleeper, or you share a bed with a pet or partner who tosses and turns all night.

You can find more detail in our DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress review.

The best affordable box mattress

A Siena Mattress in a bright blue and orange bedroom

(Image credit: Siena)

3. Siena Memory Foam Mattress

The best box mattress for buyers on a budget

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Wueen, King, California King
Type: Memory foam
Firmness: Medium
Height: 10"

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly affordable
+
Plush support
+
Minimal motion transfer

Reasons to avoid

-
Sleeps a little hot
-
Edge support could use some work

Before I specialized as a sleep writer, I was a price tracker. I would check mattress listings day in, day out, and see what the best beds were selling for. Although the Siena Memory Foam Mattress is technically listed for $799 for a Queen, I never once saw it selling for anything more than $500.

For your money, you get five layers of thick foam, infused with a cooling gel to carry heat away from your body and out of the bed. The Siena Memory Foam Mattress offers plush support and minimal motion transfer at a price that anybody can afford.

Still, you get what you pay for, and there are a few flaws in the design. Our expert tester, Tonya, felt that the edge support of the Siena Memory Foam Mattress could use some work. Whenever she sat on the side of the bed to put her socks on, she started to slide, and had to scoot backwards just to stay on the mattress. You wouldn't have this problem with the best hybrid box mattress, which is reinforced around the edges.

The Siena Memory Foam Mattress isn't perfect, but you won't find anything better for this price. Be warned: $500 is about the lowest I would spend on a mattress and still expect to get a quality bed at the end of it.

You can find more detail in our Siena Memory Foam Mattress review.

The best firm box mattress

A person lying upside down on Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress.

(Image credit: Helix)

4. Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress

The best mattress for back and stomach sleepers

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, Short Queen, King, California King, RV King
Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Medium
Height: 13.5"

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for back and stomach sleepers
+
Ergonomic support
+
Highly breathable

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor motion isolation
-
Edge support is a little lacking

If you sleep on your back or stomach, then you'll appreciate a firmer surface to stop your body from sinking into your bed. Although the Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress is advertised as a medium-firm mattress, our expert tester, Alex, found it was more like medium-firm: ideal for back and front sleepers alike, though insufficiently soft for side sleepers.

The Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress is lined with supportive steel springs, arranged into ergonomic zones to target support to each area of your body. Alex found that the mattress felt softer under her shoulders and firmer under her hips. It took her a while to get used to it, but now she appreciates the enhanced support.

This bed is plenty breathable, suitable for hot sleepers and summer nights, and wrapped in a hypoallergenic cooling cover for thermoregulation closer to the skin.

Although the Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress scored highly in our preliminary tests, it fell down for motion isolation and edge support. The bed has too much bounce to minimize motion transfer. That didn't prove too much of a problem for Alex, but seriously light sleepers might prefer the best memory foam mattress to absorb movement.

You can find more detail in our Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress review.

The best hybrid box mattress

Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress against a gray wall.

(Image credit: Bear)

5. Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress

The best hybrid box mattress for custom comfort

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Split King, California King
Type: Hybrid
Firmness: Soft, Medium, Firm
Height: 14"

Reasons to buy

+
Custom comfort
+
Active cooling
+
Suitable for all sleep positions

Reasons to avoid

-
On the more expensive side

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress marries the plush comfort of memory foam with the airflow and support of an innerspring. The motion isolation is excellent and the edge support is best-in-class.

The Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress comes in three comfort levels to suit every sort of sleeper. I'd recommend the Firm surface for back and stomach sleepers, while the Medium is more suitable for side sleepers who like a bit of give. I'd hesitate to recommend the Soft surface, though: our expert tester, Alex, thinks that this bed is plenty soft already.

Good news for hot sleepers: the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress incorporates Phase Change Material to absorb, retain, and re-release your body heat at strategic intervals throughout the night. That means you shouldn't wake up feeling too hot or too cold. In all her time testing, Alex always slept comfortably.

For a box mattress, the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress is on the more expensive side. We're talking more than $2,000 for a Queen at full price, which is veering into the territory of the best luxury mattress. Still, there's no reason that a box mattress shouldn't offer a premium look and feel at a premium price. I'd say that the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress is worth saving for.

You can find more detail in our Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress review.

The best box mattress for back pain

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress against a white wall.

(Image credit: Nectar)

6. Nectar Memory Foam Mattress

The best box mattress for back pain

Specifications

Sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, Split King
Type: Memory foam
Firmness: Medium-firm
Height: 12"

Reasons to buy

+
Pressure-relieving
+
Excellent motion isolation
+
Medium-firm support

Reasons to avoid

-
Sleeps a little hot
-
Easily forms impressions
-
Edge support could be better

If you suffer from back pain, or any sort of chronic pain for that matter, you need to know about memory foam. Squishy yet supportive, memory foam is made to relieve pressure and ease pain as it molds to the shape of your body. The Nectar Memory Foam Mattress is the best you can get.

Our expert tester, Casey, suffers from fibromyalgia, insomnia, and heat intolerance. She often wakes up feeling uncomfortable, to say the least. While the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress didn't cure her chronic pain, it gave her the best night's sleep she's had in months.

Casey recommends the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress for light sleepers and couples, thanks to its excellent motion isolation, and anyone who prefers a firmer surface. As box mattresses go, it's highly affordable and regularly discounted to just $650 for a Queen.

Of course, the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress isn't perfect. The edge support is a little lacking and all that thick foam traps a lot of heat, which aggravated Casey's allergies. If you're a seriously hot sleeper, I suggest you shop for a cooling mattress, such as the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress.

You can find more detail in our Nectar Memory Foam Mattress review.

How we test mattresses

A weight resting on the Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress.

(Image credit: Future / Emilia Hitching)

We put a lot of thought into how we test mattresses. Our experts sleep on beds for months, ideally through several seasons, to monitor its performance over time with a special focus on thermoregulation.

We score each mattress against the same criteria: comfort; support; cooling properties; motion isolation; edge support; and weight bearing capacity. Some of our tests are more subjective: the best way to assess comfort, for example, is to sleep on the bed and see how we feel. Others are more scientific: for instance, we use weights and water glasses to measure motion isolation. Each of our tests has a purpose: a bed with minimal motion transfer is more suitable for light sleepers; a bed with plenty of plush foam might feel more forgiving for sleepers with chronic pain, and so on.

We like to compare our findings with verified customer reviews to bring you a range of experiences with the same mattress. We also consider practical points, from sleep trials to warranties, that might impact your purchase. Then, we bring it all back to the price of the bed to help you determine value for money.

Meet the team

A headshot of eCommerce Editor Emilia Hitching
Emilia Hitching

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She leads our team of expert testers to sample the world's best beds. She assigns each bed to its ideal tester (cooling beds for hot sleepers, supportive beds for side sleepers, and so on) then edits their reviews.

Camryn Rabideau
Camryn Rabideau

Camryn is one of our freelance reviewers. She tests all sorts of sleep products from her home in Rhode Island and reviewed the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress for inclusion in this buying guide.

Tonya Pendleton headshot
Tonya Pendleton

Tonya is one of our freelance writers. She has spent the last six years reviewing mattresses for publications such as The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Daily News. She reviewed the Siena Mattress for inclusion in this buying guide.

Headshot of Alex Frost.
Alex Frost

Alex is one of our freelance reviewers. She tested the Helix Dusk Luxe Mattress and the Bear Elite Hybrid Mattress for inclusion in this buying guide.

Casey Clark headshot
Casey Clark

Casey is one of our freelance reviewers. Her work is featured in Tom's Guide, Forbes, and Insider, among other publications. She reviewed the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress for inclusion in this buying guide.

Chiana Dickson
Chiana Dickson

Chiana writes for our Solved section and covers decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips. She reviewed the Emma Original Mattress for inclusion in this buying guide.

Best box mattress FAQs

Where can I buy a box mattress?

Out of all the best places to buy a mattress, I recommend Nectar, Emma, and Helix to buy a box mattress. That's where you'll find extra-long sleep trials and watertight warranties to protect your purchase.

How long does it take for a box mattress to expand?

You should leave your box mattress to expand for somewhere between 24 to 72 hours, to be safe. It should inflate within the first few hours, but you'll want to leave it at least a night to let the mattress off-gassing odor dissipate.

Final thoughts

Once you've bought the best box mattress, it's important to take good care of it. I recommend picking up the best mattress protector to safeguard your bed from spills and stains.

If you just can't afford a new mattress, but you'd still like to upgrade your sleep experience, then you could always invest in the best mattress topper. These thick layers of foam are made to relieve pressure and ease aches and pains for a fraction of the price of a brand new bed.

Emilia Hitching
Sleep Editor

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She spends her days tracking down the lowest prices on the best bedding