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Last updated: 05 June 2020

We test and review mattresses from popular retailers and online 'be-in-a-box' brands, including Koala, Sealy, Snooze, Sleepmaker, Sleeping Duck, Avatar and more, to help you find the best mattress. 

Humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping, so naturally you'll want a mattress that provides optimal support and comfort at the end of a long day.

Our lab testing reveals things about mattresses you can't see in store. 

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When choosing a mattress, the following scores for each test are very important, as significant change in these areas can turn a comfortable night's sleep into an unbearable one in a matter of years:

  • Comfort and support from spring, foam or hybrid mattresses immediately, and after eight years of simulated use (the average lifespan of a mattress). Models with a higher score show less change in body support over their lifetime.
  • The wear, tear and physical change of the mattress after eight years of simulated use.
  • Stabilisation – stability during movement. A higher score means less bouncing and greater stability in the middle of the mattress if you're sharing your bed with another person.
  • Compare online-only bed-in-a-box mattress brands to mattresses sold by traditional retailer brands.
  • The total number of springs and layers.
  • Assessment of temperature regulation and sweat absorption.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are often reviewed and touted as a superior product, as mattresses are cheaper, ordering online is convenient, and almost all brands offer a sleep trial period. If you don't like a bed in a box mattress, you can return it for a full refund.

Our tests showed that almost all of the comfort, stabilisation and sagging scores for bed-in-a-box mattresses were similar to spring mattresses we bought from traditional retailers. Based on the data, it's unlikely that bed in a box will result in a better night's sleep.

Though there is evidence of sagging across the board, bed-in-a-box mattresses tend to do a better job at retaining their height and firmness during their lifetime. Only some spring mattresses did a good job at retaining body support and comfort over eight years.

  • Spring mattresses tended to have a higher sweat repellent score in our test.
  • Foam mattresses act as a giant sponge, due to their dense build.
  • Almost all bed-in-a-box mattresses are made from foam, hence the lower sweat repellent score.

Some models from these big brands have been discontinued, but our test results are still available. To see discontinued results from brands such as Sealy, A.H.Beard and more, scroll to the bottom of the page, select the "Related products" drop-down menu, and tick "Discontinued." Alternatively, you can look at all current and past products by clicking "Compare all."

  • Our buying guide breaks down retailer jargon, and outlines the pros and cons of buying a bed in a box online versus a mattress from a bricks and mortar store.
  • What we found while testing mattresses goes deeper into some important details; and how we test explains the details of our rigorous testing methods.
  • We also investigated shady practices used by mattress retailers and manufacturers, designed to confuse consumers and diminish bargaining powers.
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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

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    Recommended retail or typical retail price for "retail" mattresses and RRP for bed in a box mattresses.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 329 and 6000

    Recommended products

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    Member only

    This test score is for members only. Join now to unlock our expert results.

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    Price paid during sale/after bargaining

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    Mattresses sold at traditional retail stores are often on sale or steep discounts can be obtained by haggling. This data is designed to illustrate the steep markups that are applied to mattresses by retailers and the amount you can save by waiting for a sale and asking for a deal. Bed in a box mattresses are often on sale, but they are typically sold at a lower price point so savings aren't as significant.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 329 and 3399

    Type

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    Bed in a box models are purchased online. Retail models are purchased from traditional bricks and mortar stores. Though bed in a box options are generally made from foam, some use springs akin to retailer models.

      Build

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      Core construction which can indicate the feel of the mattress. Mattress are made from specific types of springs, foam or a combination of both which is called “hybrid.”

        Actual firmness - our test results

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        The level of firmness based on our tests.

          Sagging score

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          We roll a cask-shaped roller over each mattress for 30,000 cycles to simulate usage of approximately eight years. Then, we measure height and firmness straight out of the box, and again after this test to note any differences. Models with a higher score showed limited signs of sagging over time. Lower scoring models show increased sagging over time. Models with a higher score will feel almost exactly the same as they did out of the box after eight years of use.

          enter value/s in increments of i between 31 and 96

          Comfort score after eight years of use - female

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          We roll a cask-shaped roller over each mattress for 30,000 cycles to simulate approximately eight years' use based on female body types only.

          enter value/s in increments of i between 67 and 99

          Comfort score after eight years of use - male

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          We roll a cask-shaped roller over each mattress for 30,000 cycles to simulate approximately eight years' use based on male body types only.

          enter value/s in increments of i between 70 and 99

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Recommended
          • Overall score
          • Comfort score unused mattress male
          • Comfort score unused mattress female
          • Comfort score after eight years of use overall
          • Comfort score after eight years of use male
          • Comfort score after eight years of use female
          • Stabilisation score
          • Sagging score
          • Sweat repellent score
          • Usage wear or damage score
          • Smell score out of the box
          • Smell score fortnight
          • Tested firmness
          • Insulation
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Pickup fee - rural areas
          • Brand
          • Pickup fee - metro areas
          • Trial period
          • Model
          • Exchange fee
          • Availability
          • Price RRP
          • Price paid
          • Type
          • Build
          • Size
          • Advertised firmness
          • Grips
          • Grip positions
          • Core type
          • Springs per metre squared
          • Number of layers
          • Memory foam layer
          • Weight
          • Thickness
          • Warranty

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