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Slumber conundrum: How to decide which mattress-in-a-box to buy

Originally, bed-in-a-box companies came along to simplify consumers’ lives. They offered free trials, mattresses with one firmness, and comparatively low prices. As more and more companies started popping up, things became more confusing. Some let you try their mattresses for 100 days, others for 120. You can find mattresses that only give you one firmness option, while others can be tailored to your size, shape, and individual sleeping habits.

Related: No more excuses — this next mattress plans our next workout while you sleep

To help you make sense of all this comfort confusion, we rounded up some of the biggest names in the mattress delivery game. Whether you want the lowest price, the longest trial period, or the most customized mattress, we can help you out.

Brooklyn Bedding

Brooklyn Bedding has been in business since 1995 and began shipping beds-in-a-box in 2009, making it one of the first players in the space. You can also buy pillows, sheets, and a platform from Brooklyn Bedding. Because it offers three levels of firmness, you can either read the company’s guide on choosing the right mattress or call or email for a recommendation.

Thickness: 10 inches (2 inches of talalay latex, 2 inches of dunlop latex, and 6 inches of high-density poly foam)

Price for a queen size: $750

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Soft, medium, or firm

Trial period: 120 days

Warranty: 10 years

Casper

Casper took a one-softness-fits-all approach to its mattresses when it launched in 2014. Now it also sells sheets (in either white or white and chambray) and pillows. Like the mattress, the pillow has a single style  — there’s no differentiation for back or side sleepers — but you can get it in a standard or king size. If you want to try it out in person, they’ve teamed up with West Elm.

Thickness: 10 inches (latex foam, visco elastic memory foam, proprietary transition foam, polyurethane support foam)

Price for a queen size: $850

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: None

Trial period: 100 days

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Helix

Unlike many of its competitors, Helix wants to make personalized mattresses. Instead of selecting a firmness, you have to check a lot of boxes on its questionnaire. From your height and weight to body shape and sleep position, Helix wants to know it all. If you have a partner, you can either choose a blended option, which will result in a mattress based on your combined stats, or split it in half, so each side is customized to the individual.

Thickness: 10 inches (2 inches of dunlop latex, 6.5 inches of polyfoam, and 1.5 inches of microcoils)

Price for a queen size: $900

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Customized based on a questionnaire

Trial period: 100 days

Warranty: 10 years

Layla

In order to give you a bit more choice, Layla baked softness and firmness into a single mattress. One side is soft, the other firm. It’s also been “infused with copper” on the softer side, which the company says keeps it cooler and helps with circulation — though we’d be a bit skeptical of that claim.

Thickness: 10 inches (3 inches of high-density memory foam, 6 inches of base foam, and 1 inch of a firmer foam)

Price for a queen size: $899

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Soft or firm, depending on which side is up

Trial period: 4 months

Warranty: Lifetime

Leesa

Arriving on the scene shortly after Casper, Leesa takes a similar approach. Every mattress is the same firmness. For every 10 mattresses Lessa sells, however, the company donates one to a local shelter. Also, instead of pillows and sheets, the company offers the Leesa blanket. It’s made of the same material as the mattress cover.

Thickness: 10 inches (2 inches of memory foam, 2 inches of avena foam, and 6 inches of dense core support foam)

Price for a queen size: $890

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: None

Trial period: 100 days

Warranty: 10-year limited warranty

Loom and Leaf

From mattress maker Saatva, Loom and Leaf bills itself as a luxury mattress that doesn’t come in a box. Instead, someone delivers and sets up your Loom and Leaf for you. It also comes with a higher price tag, shorter trial period, and couple more inches of foam than many of the other mattresses on our list. It even has a layer of gel that’s supposed to keep you cool.

Thickness: 12 inches (2 inches of medical-grade gel, 2.5-inch memory foam, 2-inch transition pad, and 5.5 inches of high-density foam core)

Price for a queen size: $999

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Relaxed firm or firm

Trial period: 75 days

Warranty: 15 years

Luma

Back when there were just a few of these companies, all it took to stand out was a slightly longer trial period. Since Luma was a bit late to the game, it decided to let you swap your mattress topper for one of a different firmness if you find your first choice isn’t to your liking. The company also gives you a full year to decide if you don’t like the mattress.

Thickness: 13.5 inches (3-inch interchangeable talalay latex topper, 1.5-inch thick talalay latex, 8-inch pocket coil support, 1-inch high-density base foam)

Price for a queen size: $895 (no topper), $1,494 (with topper), $2,195 (all-latex version)

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Plush, medium, firm

Trial period: 1 year

Warranty: 15 years

Nest Bedding

With the shop assistant, you can quickly figure out which of Nest Bedding’s mattresses is right for you. First, you select a size, then you answer questions to further personalize your experience, like whether your partner disturbs you at night, if you have back pain, and whether you have allergies or asthma. Afterward, the assistant gives you a list of mattresses that fit your specifications.

Thickness: 11 to 14 inches, depending on the style (some are all all foam, others have coils)

Price for a queen size: $799 to $2,099

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Personalized based on a questionnaire

Trial period: 100 days

Warranty: 10-plus years

Saatva

You may remember Saatva from earlier on our list. Like the Loom and Leaf, the Saatva mattress doesn’t come in a box but is set up by one of its employees. The company will also haul away your old mattress for $39. It’s missing the layer of gel that Loom and Leaf has, sure, but it also costs $100 less. It also swaps some of the foam layers for coils.

Thickness: 14.5 inches (1.5-inch pad, 1-inch foam, 1-inch soft foam, 4 inches of coils, 7 inches of coils)

Price for a queen size: $899

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: Soft, luxury firm, and firm

Trial period: 75 days

Warranty: 15 years

Tuft & Needle

Often mentioned alongside Casper and Leesa, Tuft & Needle is another single-firmness mattress option. The material is neither latex nor memory foam, according to the company, but its own proprietary foam. What really sets the mattress apart, however, is the price, which a couple hundred dollars cheaper than anything on our list.

Thickness: 10 inches (3 inches of polyfoam, 7 inches of base foam)

Price for a queen size: $600

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: None

Trial period: 100 days

Warranty: 10 years

Yogabed

The creators of the Yogabed, which launched in 2015, say their inspiration came — unsurprisingly — from yoga (though hopefully not from yoga mats). The company’s yearlong trial period and use of gel sandwiched between foam layers make this mattress a little different from some of the other universal firmness options.

Thickness: 10 inches (1-inch response foam, 2 inches of gel, 6-inch foam base, 1-inch support base)

Price for a queen size: $874

Shipping and returns: Free

Options: None

Trial period: 1 year

Warranty: 10 years