I Bought a Mattress in a Box — How’s It Working Out for Me?

modern bed and mattress setup

I’ve known for a very long time that my wife and I were due for a new mattress. We nearly purchased one when we got married in 2013 as the one I had was inherited from a condo my dad purchased circa 2007 — and who knows how long it had been there prior. Cut to five years into our marriage and we were still spending our nights on the same flower-patterned, six-inch-thick, hand-me-down mattress. That was until this week.

Shopping for a mattress is famously frustrating. It’s been well documented how various stores carry the same models under different names, making it difficult to compare prices. Moreover, each and every mattress company you encounter will give you another reason why their product is the one that will give you “the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.” Needless to say, this can make the whole thing overwhelming.

Enter the so-called “mattress in a box” industry that aimed to make the mattress shopping process simpler and less stressful. Ordered online and shipped directly to your door, companies like Casper, Purple, and others are part of the new hot trend that has exploded in recent years. Of course, the big catch is that, in most cases, you don’t get to try these mattresses before you buy them. In turn, these companies attempt to compensate for this setback by offering 100-night free trails — but, let’s be honest, very few people who didn’t even want the trouble of shopping for a mattress in the first place are going to go through the hassle of trying to return one.

This is a dilemma my wife and I dealt with for months. See, we were pretty taken with one mattress model we found at Macy’s that seemed just about perfect for us. The only unperfect part? It cost two grand! That’s when we started considering Casper — a leader in the space that advertises on several popular podcasts. Our search for Casper begat an introduction to Purple, which was disqualified after we got to try one for ourselves, ironically at a Macy’s in Columbus, Ohio.

After watching dozens of mattress comparison videos and being served endless ads for Nectar (which itself became a contender), I recalled a company my father had recommended way back when I first mentioned my $2,000 mattress: Tuft & Needle. It turns out this Phoenix-based company has been in business for several years, came in cheaper than Casper or the others, and was sold on Amazon. They also apparently have a store near Kansas City we could have visited, but we decided to take a chance and just order. Admittedly, the rush to buy was partially so we could finally be rid of our decade-old mattress in time for 2019, but more so driven by the 5% back I’d earn by using my Discover It card on Amazon before the end of December.

A few days and $600 later, our Tuft & Needle mattress arrived at our door. At 70 pounds, the box it came in wasn’t exactly light but it was manageable. After unrolling and unwrapping the mattress, it puffed up quickly and was ready to sleep on that night.

So how is it? We’re both enjoying it so far. Switching from a traditional mattress to an all-foam one does take a little getting used to, but the difference isn’t nearly as jarring as the Purple mattress would have been. It may only be a few nights so far, but I haven’t noticed any issues.

This makes me wonder if I really would have slept any better on that $2,000 mattress compared to this $600 one. Honestly, I can’t imagine I would have, which is why I’m pretty happy to have put an end to that temptation. Now we can put that $1,400 toward something more important. Whether it ends up in our IRA or helps fund our next travel adventure, I’d say that our money was better spent than if we had literally stuffed it into a mattress.


Originally published at Money@30.