Friends, I have had a real month of it. No, not because the coronavirus pandemic has led to me being locked in a house with my parents, slowly going mad. Because I have had about ten mattresses in said house with me. Taunting me. Looking at me.

It’s not an easy life, living with ten mattresses. My room looked like a cheesy movie psych ward, for example. I briefly constructed a huge, adult-sized fort with the things. Actually, that bit was pretty fucking cool.

But I did it all for a cause. To determine the One True King of bed in a box mattresses. You know, the kind that come pressurised and rolled up, are cheaper than your average and get rave reviews online? Those kinds.

I want to say Koala started the whole bed in a box thing, at least in Australia. They were my first foray into the market, and by god it was a good foray (more on that later). But who is to say, really. Some bed expert knows, probably. I won’t be finding them! Who cares! What you really need is me, a random you don’t know, telling you which ones are good.

That is a joke. I am aware Choice exists and you should probably go there if you want some clinical reviews on bed in a box mattresses. I am a crazy person and this is all about to get a bit chaotic. Let’s go for the ride.

A quick disclaimer: I am a slut for aggressively firm mattresses. The firmer, the better. Make it feel like I’m sleeping on a hardwood floor, but with a little give for my boobs thanks. This is not an everyone kinda vibe.

So I’m rating these mattresses based on who they would be great for, not whether they’re “good” or “bad”. What is that, anyway? Not to get too philosophical on you but looking at things in black and white is no bueno. Gandhi said that.

So – in no particular order!

1. Noa

When I first unfurled the Noa mattress, I was unimpressed. It looked kinda flat and was super squishy when I lay on it. This is because the first rule of bed in a box mattresses is this. Never make an assumption on the wrinkly unfurled thing before you.

I gave the Noa mattress the day to breathe. These things have all the air sucked out of them, ok? They need to recalibrate. And recalibrate it DID.

I had an AMAZING sleep that night. Like, truly amazing. The Noa mattress was the perfect blend of firm, yet with a memory foam topper that was JUST squishy enough to feel like it got into all my back grooves.

It’s a hybrid spring mattress too, so if you’re a bit gun shy about moving away from the classic spring model, this is a nice balance.

VIBES: I reckon this one is for firm mattress lovers who want a little softness in the mix.

2. Emma

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Emma are the newer kids on the Aussie bed in a box mattress block, but they’ve been top dog in the States for a while now. This was one of the first mattresses I tried. I was a real fan.

Emma is definitely more of a medium-firm mattress, which means if you like the best of both worlds, it’s a true vibe.

I found Emma to be similar to Noa, except you sink in a little more. It’s a foam mattress, not a spring hybrid, but has a similar firmness to the Noa.

Like you sink in a little but not to the point where your back cricks, just a bit more of an “aahh…” relaxo vibe.

VIBES: This is one for medium-firm mattress lovers, leaning more toward the firm side.

3. Sleep Republic

The Sleep Republic mattress is a pocket spring hybrid (NFI what this means? Me neither except that it has springs and foam) and felt the most like an OG mattress – you know, like the one mum bought you when you moved out.

Again, it’s more of a medium-firm mattress – it’s probably between the Emma and the Noa for firmness, like they’re all medium-firm but you sink into Emma a little more.

VIBES: For anyone who is a bit scared of moving from OG mattress to bed in a box.

4. Sleeping Duck

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This mattress is WILD. I want to warn you it’s really, really heavy – I needed both my sister and my dad to help me get it up the stairs. IN THE BOX. But it’s pretty genius – it’s probably the most adaptive of all the mattresses, in that you can order foam inserts to make it firmer or softer – for free.

That being said, even the firmest level wasn’t to my ideal firmness. So if you’re like me and enjoy sleeping on what is essentially the floor, this isn’t it. But if you like medium and medium-firm, this is HEAVEN. It was easily the comfiest mattress I tried for medium firmness lovers.

UPDATE: I’ve since learned you can get EXTRA firm inserts! Options! We love ’em!

Something cool about the Sleeping Duck, too – when you move, it doesn’t go all bouncy. Heaven if you share the bed.

VIBES: Medium firmness lovers, this has you written all over it.

5. Koala

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I’ve said it before, and this test didn’t change anything – I really love this mattress. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I’ve had mine for 2 years now, and it’s as good as when I got it.

I find the Koala mattress REALLY firm (just how I like it, hehe) but some people think it isn’t?? Are you sleeping on literal rocks in your spare time? The best way to describe it is that it’s firm, with a little give when you lie down. You don’t sink into it, so if you like to sink in all snuggly, this isn’t for you. But it has that “ohhhh yeah” moment where you lie down and it feels like it’s recalibrating your back. I’m a side and front sleeper, if that helps your decision somewhat.

VIBES: This is one for the firm mattress lovers.

6. Ecosa

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Another one for the firm mattress lovers! The Ecosa was absolutely the firmest mattress I tried, which means I adored it.

It’s not firm in an uncomfortable way, just in that way where you feel fully supported when you lie on your side or your front – sometimes I find medium firm mattresses will sink too much when I’m lying on my front, and I sleep like that a LOT.

It’s not bouncy at all – which is heaven if, say, you share your bed with a partner and hate when they roll over in the night and move you in the process.

VIBES: Another one for the firm mattress lovers.

7. Eva

This is one of those mattresses where you lie on your back, and you feel like you’re on a cloud. It’s medium-firm, but probably leaning more toward the firm side. The top layer is SO soft and lovely, if you’re a fan of that kinda squishy memory foam topper business – very “aaah.”

Again, Eva is a spring hybrid, so the box is bloody heavy but it’s also not too far removed from your OG mattresses if you’re scared of losing the springs.

VIBES: For medium-firm folks, leaning more toward firm here.