Susan Hogan

Consumer Reports Puts Beds-in-a-Box to the Test

Sales of so-called beds-in-a-box have almost quadrupled since 2015, so Consumer Reports extensively tested the mattresses.

Customers can order online without sales pressure and the mattress arrives at your door in about a week, usually compressed foam folded or rolled into a package or box. Place the bundle right on the base, then simply unwrap it. Most lack handles on the sides and can be pretty unwieldy once opened.

Consumer Reports tested 41 of the mattresses for wear, supporting different body types, firmness, bounciness and pressure points.

“Many of these foam mattresses perform really well and hold top spots in our ratings, which include traditional mattresses,” Consumer Reports mattress expert Chris Regan said.

Both the Casper and Lull mattresses are Consumer Reports best buys.

If you do want to try before you buy, some popular manufacturers teamed up with retail stores so you can go in and try them. Leesa Mattresses can be found at West Elm, and Casper Mattresses are at certain Target stores. Consumer Reports suggests you lie on the bed for at least 10-15 minutes to get a real sense of what it feels like.

If you find you and your mattress aren’t a match, most bed-in-a-box makers offer friendly return policies, some more than 100 days, including finding a place to donate the mattress near you, and you don’t have to stuff back in the box. Policies may differ if the mattress is purchased from a third-party retailer, such as Amazon, so check before you buy.

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