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Ultimate Mattress Buyer Guide

The ultimate guide to bed in a box mattress reviews

July 31, 2020

MOST AFFORDABLETuft & NeedleCheck Current Price
MOST SUPPORTIVE Bear$125 Off Code: RIZ125
KEEPS YOU COOLCocoon by Sealy$100 Off Code: RIZKNOWS
MOST INNOVATIVEPurplePurple’s Website

Before we dive into all these online mattress reviews, let me just start by saying that all these bed in a box mattress companies offer a tremendous value proposition. You’re probably familiar with it, but just in case you aren’t, here’s the drill.  You can buy all these mattresses online, from the convenience of your own home and they will ship in a surprisingly small box directly to your door…for free. That means you don’t have to drive from mattress store to mattress store trying to haggle an extra $100 off that $1,700 mattress.

Mattress buying online has become extremely easy and convenient, plus all of these mattresses are reasonably priced compared to those high-end mattresses you would find in traditional brick-n-mortar retail stores. In addition, pretty much all these companies offer super-friendly shipping and return policies. All of them have 100-night risk-free trials so if you don’t like the mattress for any reason they will come pick it up free of charge. Most of these mattresses also come with a 10-year warranty and are made in the USA. So that’s it – you know you will be getting a high-quality mattress at an affordable price. And if you don’t like the mattress, send it back. Pretty sweet. Now let’s get into the memory foam mattress reviews.

Leesa Mattress: Best For Softness

Leesa Mattress Construction

Like a lot of the companies included in this list, the Leesa mattress is comprised of several different layers of foam. Headlining the mattress though is Leesa’s 2″ cooling Avena foam, which is sort of shaped like an egg-crate. Regardless, it’s there for increased air flow and to keep you cool while you sleep. While the Leesa bed does do a decent job of that, there other mattresses on this list (Purple and Cocoon in particular) which do a better job when it comes to the coolness factor – more on that in a little bit.

leesa mattress foam layers
Cooling Avena Foam Top Layer

In regards to firmness, we put the Leesa at about a 4.9 to 5.9 out of 10, with 10 being cement floor type firmness and 1 being you sink into like a 12 year old La-Z-Boy chair. Obviously, with a 4.9-5.9 rating, we think Leesa has that perfect balance between not being too firm nor too soft and is great for combo sleepers (i.e. you rotate between back, stomach, and side positions at night).

Although, the mattress is 10″ thick, it just seems a little thinner than other memory foam mattresses. If you sit in one place on the mattress it compresses quite a bit to the point where you almost hit the bottom of the bed platform but once you actually lay down and spread out, it supports your body weight extremely well. We could, however, over time see this mattress sagging in the center. When it comes to motion transfer, Leesa passes with flying colors. It’s hardly noticeable – you and your partner won’t be waking each other up if you tend to move around a lot in your sleep.

Leesa Mattress Price

The prices for Leesa mattresses fall somewhat in the middle of all the ones on this list. They range from $525 for a twin all the way up to $1,070 for a king size. However, there is often a Leesa discount code floating around that you can take advantage of. In fact, you can get 15% off the Leesa mattress with code RIZKNOWS at checkout. Keep in mind that Leesa, like all of the brands on this list, will play around with their promotions throughout the year. As such, if you visit any of their websites their current promotions could be better (or worse).

Overall, there’s a lot to like about Leesa. The mattresses are reasonably priced, have very little motion transfer and strike a great balance between being supportive and comfortable.

Casper Mattress: Category Leader

Casper Mattress Overview

Although Casper wasn’t the first company to start selling mattresses online they are often hailed as the catalyst that helped catapult the bed in a box mattress industry to where it is today. They were one of the first mattress companies to attract venture capital investment and became a $100 million company in less than 2 years. Pretty crazy stuff. So if they are selling that many mattresses, they must be pretty good, right? In short, yes, but let us explain.

Casper Mattress Construction

Like Leesa and others, the Casper bed is comprised of various levels of foam – four to be exact. You’ve got a 5″ bottom layer for support, a 1.5″ layer of Zoned Support foam that is split into thirds, a 1.5″ memory foam layer and finally 1.5″ top layer of open-cell foam designed with bounce and coolness in mind. Combining all these layers is a woven cover that can be removed for cleaning purposes. And the final product is a 10″ thick mattress that is super comfortable and supportive.

casper mattress review and comparison

In terms of keeping you cool, Casper is very similar to Leesa. They are virtually the same but if pressed, we would probably lean towards Casper slightly when it comes to temperature regulation. But in all honesty, during our testing, Leesa and Casper were probably the two mattresses that were most difficult to distinguish between. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when we say that Casper got a 4.75 to 5.75 rating from us on the firmness scale. Like Leesa, it has a nice balance between being soft yet offering quite a bit of support. It does a great job of cradling and supporting the heavier parts of your body. Motion transfer is minimal as well. Casper and Leesa are about on-par with each other in the sense that they are great for combo sleepers.

Casper Mattress Price

This is where Casper starts to differ from Leesa. Prices are slightly higher ranging from $895 for a full to $1,395 for a king. They also seem to not run as many mattress sales so it’s a little harder to get your hands on a Casper mattress coupon. However, you can use code RIZKNOWS for $100 off the Casper Mattress.

Like Leesa, it’s hard to be critical of this mattress. It’s just solid all the way around – it’s comfortable, supportive and breathes well. If there’s one knock, it’s that you can find more affordable mattresses on this list by about $100-$300.

If you’re having trouble deciding between Leesa and Casper, you should check out our individual Leesa vs Casper mattress comparison.

Tuft & Needle: Most Affordable

Tuft & Needle Mattress Overview

Tuft & Needle offers the cheapest mattress on this list by a good amount and they market that fact pretty heavily. Pretty much type in any other mattress on this list in Google and one of the first ads you will most likely see is from Tuft & Needle stating something to the effect of “Do Not Buy That Mattress – Why Over-Pay”. So their mattresses are affordable, but are they any good? Let’s find out.

Tuft and Needle Construction

Tuft and Needle takes a slightly different approach from other online mattress companies in that the amount of layers is not the focus. Instead, T&N promotes that extra layers counteract each other and the extra glue between them hurts air flow. With that in mind, the company went with two layers for the mattress, which also helps bring down the cost of materials and eventually they pass along those savings along to you in the price.

tuft and needle review layers
T&N Layer Comparison

The Tuft and Needle mattress uses their proprietary Adaptive Foam, which is not made of latex or memory foam – yet it’s designed to have the same effect in terms of comfort and support. And speaking of feel, we give the Tuft & Needle mattress is about a 5 to 6 out of 10 when it comes to firmness. It’s definitely a little firmer than Casper and Leesa and about the same as Bear, which we will discuss in a little bit. Tuft is definitely built for more stomach and back sleepers than side sleepers. And although the less layers and glue argument makes sense, in reality the mattress didn’t seem any better in terms of breathability. In fact, we think Casper and Leesa actually breathe a little better. Motion transfer though is on par with Leesa and Casper – no worries about waking up your partner.

To be honest, we prefer the comfort and feel of Leesa and Casper to T&N. It just has a slightly different feel to it than the traditional memory foam mattresses comprised of several layers. Nevertheless, it’s still a great mattress, especially if you prefer a slightly more supportive bed. It doesn’t compress as much as the other mattresses – you won’t ever feel as if you are sinking into the mattress yet it’s still decently soft. Really comfortable mattress overall.

Tuft & Needle Price

As mentioned above, the price tag for these mattresses might be the most attractive feature. Pricing stretches from $400 for a twin to $900 for a king size, or in layman’s terms, a couple hundred dollars cheaper than other mattresses on this list. But since these mattresses are already pretty affordable, it’s hard to find a Tuft and Needle coupon.

Overall, don’t let us scare you off from a Tuft & Needle bed just because we say we prefer Casper and Leesa. It’s still a solid bed and mattress preferences is definitely a person-by-person thing. Given the price tag, it’s hard not to at least include them in your consideration for a new mattress.

If you are having trouble deciding between going value with Tuft & Needle or for the more popular Casper, be sure to check out our individual Tuft & Needle vs Casper mattress comparison.

Bear Mattress: Most Supportive

Bear Mattress Overview

Bear is a little lesser known than the others on this list but in our eyes it’s up there with the best of them. This is actually the mattress Jeff has been using for more than 18 months and he absolutely loves it.

Bear Mattress Construction

The Bear mattress is comprised of four layers of foam. It has a bottom high-density foam layer for support and then two layers of response foam on top of that, which is designed to act like memory foam but with a little bounce to it. The top layer is comprised of graphite-infused foam for enhanced air flow and thermal conductivity. While Bear doesn’t sleep quite as cool as Purple or Cocoon, it is definitely just behind them and stays surprisingly cool at night.

Then bringing the whole mattress together is a Celliant cover, which is supposed to promote circulation, resulting in increased oxygen levels and faster muscle recovery. Bear makes a big deal of this – they heavily promote that the mattress is designed for people with active lifestyles and for muscle recovery. It’s apparent they believe this is a key differentiator for them from other mattress companies. And while we appreciate the thoughtfulness and quality of materials, it’s hard for us to confidently point towards improved muscle recovery.

That said, the FDA does in fact say that Celliant textile products meet the criteria of wellness products and Celliant is apparently clinically proven to promote restful sleep, increased energy, etc.

bear mattress review
Bear Mattress 4-Layer Construction

Nevertheless, it does feel like more than a traditional memory foam mattress to us. It’s definitely the most supportive mattress on this list with a 5.5 to 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It has far less compression than the others but it’s still very comfortable and contours to your body quite well. This is definitely a mattress more for stomach/back sleepers. If you’re a combo sleeper, you’ll probably still like Bear, but if you predominately sleep on your side, you should look into Casper, Leesa, Purple, etc. as opposed to Bear.

As for motion transfer…there is none. We put a beer near the end of the bed and Jeff starting jumping up and down on the bed and the beer never flinched even when Jeff increased the jumping intensity. In addition, the mattress does a good job of keeping you cool – definitely no complaints in that department.

Bear Mattress Price

Bear also gets a big thumbs up when it comes to price. All of their mattresses are priced below $1,000. And on top that, the team here at RIZKNOWS can hook you up with a Bear Mattress coupon. Use the code RIZ125 at checkout for $125 off your order.

So to conclude, once you get passed all the muscle recovery and thermal conductivity jargon, it’s still an awesome mattress. All of their mattresses have reasonable price tags and are extremely supportive. If you prefer your mattress to be slightly on the firmer side yet still provide quite a bit of comfort, there’s a good chance you will love this mattress. You can also learn more in our full Bear Mattress Review.

Cocoon By Sealy Mattress: Keeps You Cool

Cocoon By Sealy Mattress Overview

Sealy is probably the most well-known mattress company on this list. Their mattresses date back years but they just recently joined the DTC mattress movement in 2016 with the launch of their Cocoon line. Sealy offers a Chill version, designed for enhanced coolness, as well as their Classic version. They also give you the option to choose between a soft and firm version of each model. For the purposes of this review, we will be referring to the Cocoon Chill Soft model.

Cocoon by Sealy Construction

The Cocoon Sealy mattress is made up of three different layers. Of course, you have the bottom support layer. Then there’s the softer middle layer and finally a layer of memory foam on top. Like the other mattresses on this list, Sealy claims their stretch-knit cover, which is infused with their proprietary Phase Change Material, absorbs and dissipates heat to keep you cool. But in this case, this isn’t just marketing fluff. This mattress actually does keep you quite cool while you sleep. It was so cool, we thought the top of the mattress was actually wet for a little bit. Sealy definitely gets a big thumbs up here.

cocoon by sealy review memory foam layers
Cover and Top Layer Keeps You Cool

In terms of firmness, we gave the Cocoon Chill (soft) about a 5 to 6 out of 10. It’s very supportive yet it still has that traditional memory foam softness to it. We really like it. Combo sleepers as well as back/stomach sleepers will be fine with Cocoon, but if you’re mostly sleeping on your side, you may actually prefer Casper, Leesa, or Purple. And keep in mind, we have the soft version. So we’d be interested to see exactly how firm the “firm version” is – our guess is that it would fall somewhere between 6-6.5. Anyways, moving on, motion transfer is very limited with the Cocoon mattresses as well – no issues there.

Cocoon by Sealy Mattress Price

Pricing for the Cocoon Chill is the same as Casper. It will range from $550 – $1,150 depending on size. But the Cocoon Classic retails for a little less ranging from $400 – $1,000. Like some of the others on this list, you can occasionally find a Cocoon Sealy discount code, which can knock off an extra $50-$100 – check to see if there’s a new Cocoon by Sealy sale. Right now, you can get $100 off any Cocoon mattress w/ code RIZKNOWS.

Overall, Sealy did a great job with these mattresses. It’s hard to find something critical to say about them. They’re comfortable, supportive and the Chill version does a superb job of keeping you cool while sleeping. The only thing that might keep you from pulling the trigger is that you can find cheaper mattresses on this list but if keeping cool is a main concern, the Cocoon Chill is a solid option.

Purple Mattress: Most Innovative

Purple Mattress Overview

Last up here we have Purple, who gets the nod from us for the most innovative mattress. They use a different material than the rest of the mattresses on this list, which results in a very distinctive feel. In fact, Purple has 15 patents on the cushioning technology they use in their mattress – pretty crazy. So now that we got you all buttered up, let’s find out what’s so special about this Purple mattress.

Purple Mattress Construction

Okay, so maybe we got ahead of ourselves a little. The Purple mattress is still comprised of various levels of foam. It has a 4″ bottom support layer and a 3.5″ middle layer, both of which are comprised of polyurethane foam. But where this mattress differs from all the others is in its top layer. The Purple Mattress topper is made of pressure-releasing hyper-elastic polymer material. So that’s a big word, but basically it’s a big grid of tiny, gel-like squares that support, move and fold once they feel pressure. Take a look at the picture below for a better idea.

purple mattress topper polymer
Purple’s Hyper-Elastic Polymer Grid

It definitely makes for a unique feel that you are not used to. You can actually feel yourself shifting those little polymer squares when you move. It’s not bad by any means – it’s just different. But once you lay on it a few times you really start to enjoy it. Not to mention that polymer is naturally cooler than traditional latex and other memory foam materials. In addition,  the grid/column design also allows for better air flow making this one of the coolest sleeping mattresses on the market (almost equal to that of Cocoon Chill).

In terms of firmness, Purple gets about a 4.5 to 5.5 out of 10 on our scale. We think it’s a little softer than the likes of Leesa or Casper but that polymer also does a good job when it comes to support. In that same realm, the mattress is solid when it comes to point elasticity, which means it’s great at providing pressure relief for the heavier parts of your body while the rest of the mattress remains unaffected. To illustrate this, the company conducted the Purple mattress egg test, which is definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. It’s probably one of the best mattress commercials out there. Purple is just about perfect for side sleepers, back/stomach sleepers, and combo sleepers. It’s unique in that sense. Most foam mattresses are good for back/stomach sleepers or side sleepers, but Purple basically runs the gamut. We really like Purple.

Purple Mattress Price

Unfortunately, the Purples mattresses are the most expensive on this list. Pricing ranges from $699 for an XL twin all the way up to $1,300 for a king. But keep in mind that’s still cheaper than if you were to walk into a traditional mattress store and buy a mattress of equal quality. Sometimes (rarely) you can find a Purple mattress discount code though to help make that price tag a little more palatable – check to see if there’s currently a Purple mattress sale.

For a while, Purple was running a promotion where you could get 50% off a platform base with the purchase of a mattress. If you need a new bed frame, that might be a good option for you, plus you’ll save a little money [check current Purple bundles].

In closing, although it’s different, we really like Purple. Sure, it takes a little time to get used to the feel but once you do it’s quite special. Price is a concern comparatively speaking but if you want to get away from that traditional memory foam mattress feel, Purple is a great option.

And that concludes our best online mattress guide. We hope it was informative and helpful. If you want more information about mattresses, check out our other online mattress reviews and comparisons.