Bed in a box

Best Inexpensive: Mattress, Bed Pillows, Duvet Cover

The idea to buy a mattress online and have it shipped to your home is still rather mind-boggling. It seems so risky, to say nothing of dubious quality. Like who would do such a thing?

It’s a concept whose time has come and one that’s here to stay. The idea of a bed that fits in a shipping box has exploded over the past five years and turned the $15 billion traditional mattress industry on its head!

Bed in a box

The idea is simple: Order online and have your mattress shipped to your home in a box. Once it arrives, carry that box to your room of choice, open it up, unroll the mattress and allow it to decompress for up to 72 hours. You won’t believe your eyes (or your back!). Behold! A full size, deep, comfortable mattress that can be set on the floor, on a bed frame, or other foundation.

Many perks come with bed-in-a-box mattresses including cheaper prices, more convenience, better return policies—all while providing a solid product! These mattresses come with full instructions and easy online support.

Many startup companies have jumped on the bed-in-a-box bandwagon, creating a lot of confusion for consumers. While the basic concept of a foam bed-in-a-box is simple, there are numerous other considerations.

Some types of mattresses create a lot of heat for the sleeper. Others produce a pungent odor that doesn’t seem to dissipate over time. Some beds-in-a-box are just so poorly made, they are painful to sleep on. And then there are these types of mattresses that are pure luxury and so lovely it’s hard to imagine a world without them.

The matter of deciding on which mattress is the best can become quite complicated. But not to worry. I’ve done all the hard work for you, cutting through the confusion and clutter of who’s got what and what really matters in order to determine the Best Inexpensive option. I’m confident you will agree.


Mattress-in-a-Box: Tuft and Needle.

Tuft and Needle have taken its product to a new level of excellence with its exclusive T&N adaptive foam. That means they’ve created a mattress that sleeps cooler, doesn’t have that latex-y, chemical odor having been given the Certi-PUR and Oeko-Tex 100 Certified industry ratings, and a true 10-year warranty (no gimmicks). A Tuft and Needle mattress will expand to reach full dimensions within 24 hours of unboxing and unwrapping.

Tuft and Needle mattresses are made in the USA and come with a full 100-night sleep trial when purchased from Amazon. If for any reason you don’t like your Tuft and Needle mattress, no problem. You’ll get a full easy refund.

Tuft and Needle just makes a fabulous product at a great price. It’s not the very cheapest but comes in on the low end when compared to its major competitors. Tuft and Needle mattresses are available in all sizes, too—Twin, XLTwinFull, Queen, King, and Calif King.  It’s my opinion that without any doubt Tuft and Needle makes the very Best Inexpensive bed-in-a-box!

Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.


This is tricky because bed pillows are so individual. For this reason, I have identified my Best Inexpensive™ choice in three options: gel, down alternative, and down.

Gel pillow. Beckham Hotel Collection 2-pack. Here’s a pillow that is nothing short of luxury. Filled with hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant super plush gel fiber, these pillows come with a true 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Not happy? You’ll get a full refund. For the money, I don’t think you can beat this.

Down alternative pillow. Fern & Willow Down Alternative 2-pack. For anyone sensitive or allergic to down, this down alternative pillow gives the luxurious silky feel of down but without the dust. 100% machine washable. 

Down pillow. White Goose Down and Feather Pillow. Beautiful pillow with 100% cotton cover, three chambers to keep fill from bunching up. Dry-cleaning is recommended, however this!


Duvet cover set. Beckham 3-Piece Duvet Cover Set. Includes 2 standard pillow shams and duvet cover in all sizes from Twin to Calif. King and multiple colors. Soft microfiber, zipper closure, machine washable, and hypoallergenic. For about $30, this is an excellent choice.


More from Everyday Cheapskate

A kitchen with a sink and a window
Stylish interior with different houseplants on table over grey wall, copy space
ATM Bank Female making a withdrawal
Be Prepared road sign
brown sugar
young woman stressed and too tired to cook
Large thick folders with important papers and documents on a working office desk with stationery and accessories.
spring cleaning house keeping concept
Surprised man looking at store receipt after shopping, holding a paper bag with healthy food. Guy in the kitchen. Real people expression. Inflation concept.

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,
and on-topic in keeping with EC Commenting Guidelines

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Caught yourself reading all the way 'til the end? Why not share with a friend.

13 replies
  1. Camille Fieseher says:

    Hi Mary. Do you have any recommendations for pillow covers? I would like a waterproof and dust mite proof cover that is not noisy or hot (a tall order, I know). Thanks for the great tips.

  2. Ruth Miller says:

    Zinus Ultimate Memory Foam 12 inch mattress is the best. We ordered a Cal King to go in our old waterbed frame. It is so comfortable! We have it in our lake house. While it does seem to be a little warmer than a regular mattress, we had no problem sleeping on it in the summer. I do have a waterproof, dust mite free cover on it, which might help. If someone gave me money to buy a new mattress, I would buy another one in a heartbeat for our rental house. I also wake up less achy and sore.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Hi Ruth … Zinus gets good reviews from some the but the overwelming (in my opinion) number of folks who find it overheats prevents me from giving it a thumbs up. I’m happy to hear you are enjoying it, though!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Hi Ruth … I reviewed and researched the Zinus mattresses. There is a problem for many folks with overheating. With so many mixed reviews I just cannot recommend wholeheartedly. But I’m glad you’re happy with yours.

  3. Mindy Sames says:

    I have to share our FAVORITE pillow. Our favorite Airbnb has the most dreamy, cloudlike bed. After several stays, I researched their secret. I discovered the pillows, shocked at the low price I decided to ordered our own, and after a years we are still hooked. Recently we visited a different Airbnb, they had two different pillows on the bed. I instantly recognized one as our favorite. I was right. Wanted to pass this along:

  4. spinnin says:

    I have heard good things about the T&N mattresses Mary but I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the Leesa bed-in-a-box mattresses. I’ve been sleeping on a Queen size Leesa for 2-years now. There was a mild odor when first opening the mattress but that dissipated within 72 hours. The mattress sleeps comfortably in every aspect (no pressure points, minimal movement, comfortable temperature). The only thing I don’t like about the Leesa is that the height is only 9” after it is fully decompressed. That said, the JC Penny sheets you recommend fit very well. I find that the price is very reasonable and it is also guaranteed for 10-years and comes with a generous trial period. If you go to the Leesa website and get on their mailing list they frequently issue coupons for $100 off the regular price of the mattress. You can order direct from the manufacturer or you can order a Leesa mattress on Amazon.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Thanks for the info. Happy you are pleased with your Leesa. There are many options in mattresses, as you know. However, my opinion afer much consideration and research is that T&A has at least equal if not superior product at a lower price with very favorable conditions! Super quality and inexpensive.

      • spinnin says:

        Interesting reply Mary, but how is the T&N’s “favorable conditions,” as you put it, any different than those that accompany the Leesa? Both offer a 100-night trial, both offer a 10-year warranty, and right now (01-14-18) you can get $100 off a Leesa + a free pillow ($75 value) with code MLK18 applied at checkout. Leesa donates 1 mattress for every 10 that they sell. Leesa is partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation & they (Leesa) plant one tree for every mattress that they sell. How about the $10,000 Social Impact Scholarship offered to 5 exceptional students who strive to make an impact toward social action? Aren’t YOU all about giving back to the community? Mary, what is Tuft & Needle doing in comparison to Leesa that they are earning your recommendation so strongly? Is it the pricing? A twin size mattress from Leesa is $525 ($425 with the $100 frequently available discount). Tuft & Needle’s twin is $325 but that extra $100 you are paying to Leesa does a lot more for the community than the $100 you save at Tuft & Needle. This is my humble opion of course. Thank you for your reply Mary.

  5. sadnana says:

    I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed shopping for mattresses over the years. Comparison shopping is almost impossible because each business that sells the big name brands seems to have a different name for the same mattress, making it difficult to know if you’re comparing the same product from store to store. And once you get it home, if you don’t like it for any reason, returning it gets very complicated. I’ve looked at some on-line mattress sellers and been tempted but there are some issues that held me back when it was time to purchase. The first was price. I have yet to find a mattress from an online store that was any cheaper than one bought from a brick and mortar business. And what happens if you need to return the mattress? How do you get it back into the box? And who pays the return shipping? I also ran into problems with delivery times. I needed a new mattress for my sons room, but he would have had to sleep on the floor for 6 weeks as they couldn’t deliver it any sooner. Maybe these issues will be smoothed out in the future. But for now buying a mattress online doesn’t work for me.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      The company handles the “return.” Most of the time they will arrange for a charity to pick it up. You the consumer are not required to ship it back. T&A has a very easy process and there is not charge at all to you the consumer if you choose to not keep it. You can read about how they take care of return mattresses and give you a full refund here: It’s interesting that fewer than 5% of mattresses they sell are “returned” or not kept after the trial period. That’s a pretty good track record. But of course, this genre of mattresses is not for everyone. However, I don’t know of a single person who has opted for a bed-in-a-box who was not really happy with it. Maybe those who are dissatisfied just don’t tell me about their experience? 🙂

      • Debbie says:

        Mary, I love your articles. I always look you up, prior to purchases to see “What Mary says about it.”
        I just bought the T&N mattress. Do you have a suggested frame? Thanks in advance.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *