Best boxed mattresses UK 2023: best mattresses in a box, from Emma, Simba, Nectar, Simba Luxe and OTTY

Compact mattresses in a box delivered direct to your home - our favourites from Emma, Simba, and Nectar

The best mattresses in a box 2022, from Emma, Simba, Nectar and OTTYThe best mattresses in a box 2022, from Emma, Simba, Nectar and OTTY
The best mattresses in a box 2022, from Emma, Simba, Nectar and OTTY

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Boxed mattresses - you can’t move for hearing about them, they’re advertised at the start of every podcast and on the banner ad for many digital sites. But in tandem with this blanket marketing technique is their wild popularity: sales of boxed mattresses have been on a steady upward trajectory for the past decade.

It’s not difficult to figure out why. Not only do they offer an easy out for those wanting to skip the awkward bed-hopping of in-store mattress shopping, but also convenience and quick delivery, and all without compromising on quality.

Best boxed mattresses at a glance:

How to shop for a boxed mattress

According to The Sleep Council you might be due a new mattress if your current one is seven or more years old, feels uncomfortable (lumpy or has dips) or leaves you feeling achy and not refreshed after sleeping.  

There are a fair few factors to pay mind to when purchasing a new mattress, and it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly (particularly since you’ll be sleeping on it every night for the best part of a decade). 

Boxed mattresses tend to be made from foam or a combo of foam and springs (called a hybrid), and both have pros and cons. Full foam mattresses tend to provide a warmer sleep, though they have hypo-allergenic properties and mould to your body shape. Hybrid mattresses, on the other hand, are more breathable and more durable.

How do you sleep? 

The most important consideration is your sleep style and support requirements. Side-sleepers are most likely to get a sound night’s sleep from a soft-medium mattress, whilst back and stomach sleepers tend to benefit more from medium-firm mattresses.

Combination sleepers – those who change position throughout the night – should choose a mattress based on the position they spend the most time in, and also bear in mind ease of movement. 

Unfortunately, if you suffer from back pain there’s a bit more trial and error involved in finding your ideal mattress as it largely depends on the type and location of pain (lower, mid or upper back) and your preferred sleeping position.  

Is it wise to buy a boxed mattress without trying it? 

Many remain sceptical about investing in a vacuum-packed mattress without first testing, but most makers offer generous trial periods that allow for lengthy at-home testing (up to 365 days is the most we’ve found) and easy returns within that timeframe if you find that the mattress isn’t for you. Always check the trial period and returns policy before purchasing to save yourself 10 years of sub-standard sleep.

Try and get mattress-disposal as part of your purchase

Keep an eye out for companies offering collection of your old mattress when you purchase a new boxed mattress from them, as this can save the stress of donating or disposing of it yourself, and read up on the weight and dimensions of your chosen mattress before adding it to your virtual basket – particularly if you plan on unpacking it alone. Some are heavy and awkward to navigate up stairs.

To help make your decision a little easier, we’ve summarised 7 of the best boxed mattresses we tested, rating them on everything from comfort and ease of unpacking to motion transfer and smell (yes, really). 

Here’s how they fared…