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Online-only mattress brands: should you buy one?

Bed-in-a-box mattresses from Emma, Hyde & Sleep, Airsprung and more go head to head

A bedroom

Buying a mattress that’s only available on the internet sounds risky. Should you spend several hundred pounds on something you haven’t tried when you’re likely to be sleeping on it for the next 10 years? To find out, we pitched them against traditional mattresses, and each other, in our latest test.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses, which can only be bought online, have taken the market by storm in recent months. By cutting out the retailer and delivering direct to your door, manufacturers claim to offer better quality mattresses at lower prices than traditional alternatives. While you can’t test them in a showroom, many brands throw in a long sleep trial and the promise of a full refund to tempt you to take the plunge.

Many of the new options we tested passed with flying colours, with some coming out as Best Buys. In fact, four of the top five mattresses we’ve seen are online exclusives. But not all of them ace our rigorous body support and durability tests. Read on for a round up of the latest boxed mattresses to pass through the Which? test lab, or head to our list of Best Buy mattresses to see the latest additions.

Hush from Airsprung Premium Mattress – £520

As you can see above, this boxed mattress has a pocket-sprung core. That’s unusual and pretty impressive for a product that’s vacuum-packed and tightly rolled into a cardboard box. So, if you like the sound of a bed-in-a-box mattress but prefer springs to foam, this might be what you’re after.

But is it a winning combination when it comes to support and durability? Every mattress we review is tested to measure the support it will offer your spine as you sleep, so read our Airsprung Hush mattress review to see what we found.

Hyde & Sleep Next-Gen Memory Foam – £399

Hyde & Sleep mattress

This is the cheapest bed-in-a-box mattress we’ve tested, but it still has a generous layer of memory foam on top of its regular foam core.

The result is an extremely stable form, which means that even if you’re a light sleeper, you’re unlikely to be disturbed if your partner gets up during the night.

It needs to do a lot more than simply absorb impact to be in with a chance of a Best Buy recommendation, though. Read the full Hyde & Sleep Next-Gen mattress review to find out how it fared in our rigorous durability tests and discover whether it will continue to support your spine for years to come.

The Emma Mattress – £599

Emma mattress

This mattress is softer than many of the bed-in-a-box options we’ve tested. It scored an eight in our firmness tests, on a scale where one is the firmest and 10 the softest.

Despite that, it doesn’t suck you in or restrict your movement, so it doesn’t cause a problem if you tend to switch sleeping positions several times during the night.

Read our Emma mattress review to find out the level of support it offers, whether you tend to sleep on your back or side.

The Herdy Sleep Mattress – £849

Herdy Sleep mattressThe Herdy Sleep Mattress is the most expensive bed-in-a-box mattress we’ve tested. But it might also be the most luxurious, so don’t let the price put you off.

Like most boxed mattresses, this one has a foam core. But unlike most, it also has three separate layers of mini pocket springs and several layers of natural fillings, including wool, cotton and cashmere.

Does this complex construction result in a more comfortable night’s sleep? Read our Herdy Sleep mattress review to find out, and rest assured that this mattress comes with a 100-night sleep trial.

Studio by Silentnight, Medium Comfort – £599

Silentnight Studio mattressIt’s testament to how much the bed-in-a-box trend has grown that major manufacturers are now creating their own competing models.

Once you’ve ordered this foam mattress from Silentnight, it is boxed-up and sent directly to your doorstep. But unlike other online-only brands, this one is available to try in showrooms. However, while there is a 60-night trial, Silentnight only offers an exchange rather than a full refund if you change your mind.

Many emerging brands offer a single hero mattress, but Silentnight’s Studio has three comfort options: softer, medium and firmer. We tested the medium-comfort version, so choose that one if you like the sound of it in our Silentnight Studio mattress review.

Which? mattress reviews

If you would prefer to try a mattress in the flesh before you part with your cash, our latest reviews also include foam and pocket-sprung mattresses. Follow the links below for our verdicts, or head to the mattress reviews page to see our full collection of test results.

Foam mattresses

Uno Memory Pocket 2000 – £359

Pocket-sprung mattresses

Dreams Insignia Bedgebury Pocket Sprung Mattress – £699
Myers Supreme Memory Comfort 1400 – £599
Relyon Braemar – £899
Sleepeezee QEST Legacy 3600 – £1,499

Prices correct as of 3rd July 2017.

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