“The idea of ordering a mattress online, the same way you make much smaller purchases, is still a novelty, even though it has been an option for several years,” says Claudette Ennis, the analyst who follows the mattress market for Consumer Reports. “Mattresses-in-a-box represent just a small part of the market today, but we’ve seen some pretty remarkable growth in this category.”
Most mattresses-in-a-box are foam, but some manufacturers have found inventive ways to cram innerspring and adjustable air mattresses into cartons, too.
To make the process as pain-free as possible, many mattress-in-a-box firms offer free shipping, and generous trial periods—usually 100 days, sometimes longer—and return policies. (Policies may differ if the mattress is purchased from a third-party retailer, such as Amazon.) Compare that with Macy’s, where returns must be made within 60 days of purchase.
The success of major mattress-in-a-box purveyors such as Casper, Leesa, and Tuft & Needle has inspired dozens of copycats. Industry sources report that the number of online mattress retailers is now approaching 200, and many are puffing up their marketing messages in an attempt to be heard above the din. “Goldilocks found the bed that’s just right, and now you can too,” Purple says. “The internet’s most comfortable mattress,” Tuft & Needle declares. “Tirelessly engineered sleep products for your best rest,” Casper claims.
In short, they’re promising to make your sleep dreams come true. Which is why we’ve asked our members about their experiences with more than 74,000 mattresses purchased within the past decade, in conjunction with our rigorous, scientific mattress testing and ratings that will help you separate hype from reality. In our survey, we asked members to rate the comfort of their mattress, and used the data to generate ratings by brand and type of mattress. Owner satisfaction is based on a member’s overall judgment of such factors as firmness/softness, value, quality of sleep, and more.