Nectar Sleep is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box brands, but is it worth the price?

Lindsay Tigar, CNN Underscored
Mon April 29, 2019

If you've recently moved or have been looking to upgrade your bedroom, you've likely seen an ad for Nectar Sleep. As one of those mattress-in-a-box companies that's changing how we shop for bedtime necessities, this company has received rave reviews since it was founded in 2016.

I've been in the never-ending hunt for all apartment goods since a recent move, and Nectar Sleep piqued my interest. Since it promises a high-quality sleeping arrangement without the luxury price tag, it seemed to fit my budget and criteria. And with a yearlong trial period (yep, that's right!), you can really check out whether it's the right mattress for you.

In addition to Nectar Sleep's core product, it also offers pillows, a bed frame, sheets and other bed-related items, making it a one-stop shop for someone like me, or anyone who wants to upgrade their bedroom gear. Here, what to expect from Nectar Sleep.

What's with the hype?

The mattress is the entry point to the rest of the home. After all, when you're going through any life changes — moving in with a partner, having a child, buying a house — one of the first things you'll do is figure out the sleeping arrangements. This often means buying a new mattress, and thanks to the boom of direct-to-consumer mattress sales, you can do so virtually.

Nectar Sleep positions itself differently from other brands by brining a higher value to its products; you won't just be buying another standard bed. Its mattresses are CertiPUR-US certified — a stamp of quality only 1% of mattresses on the market receive. They're made with five layers that offer a medium to firm feel and work together to help you ease into dreamland. These layers include a Tencel cooling cover, a quilted gel memory foam, an adaptive hi-core memory foam and a breathable base layer. All of these features work together to help you feel supported, cool and ready to reap those zzz's.

What it offers

One of the hardest parts about selecting a mattress is knowing how well you'll actually sleep on it. Though you can hop from one to another at a department store, a few minutes isn't long enough to understand quality and comfort. Nectar Sleep has the longest at-home trial of any online mattress company, offering customers 365 days to get it right. If at any point you aren't in love with it, the brand will work with you to donate your mattress or get it locally disposed of. If you are a big fan, you will receive a "forever" warranty, which, as the name suggests, never expires. Shipping is free, and so are returns.

Another way the company is appealing to the budget-mindful crowd is through its financing option, with Affirm offering rates as low as 0% APR. For those who have a little more to spend, the optional white glove service costs $149 and includes setup of your new bed, as well as removal of the old.

What I liked

It can take 24 to 72 hours for a Nectar mattress to expand fully, but I found I only needed eight hours until it was perfect for my queen-size pad. This is an important fact to remember, since with many online mattress companies, you need somewhere to rest your weary head while your mattress is coming alive. Once mine was ready, I found the mattress to be instantly comfortable. It didn't have the gas-like smell that you sometimes find with similar products. It was hard to believe that the mattress was once in a box, since it felt like it had always been part of my apartment.

I'm someone who runs very hot when I sleep, and I often use only a lightweight quilt, even in the wintertime. This means a temperature-control mattress is a necessity for me, and the quality of Nectar's material was impressive, especially in the memory-foam pillow that features cooling fabric and active ventilation. You know how aww-worthy it feels to crawl into a hotel bed after a long day of sightseeing and feel the soft, cold pillow? That's how Nectar felt for me.

Other nice features

I didn't try the adjustable frame, but many of the reviews online give 5 stars to this product, since it allows to elevate your head and feet while enjoying a massage. Or you can use the "Zero Gravity" setting, the position that scientists at NASA recommend for astronauts headed into orbit. It's been proven to relieve pressure on your back while improving circulation. And if you're anything like me and check your email as soon as you wake up or use your phone as your alarm, you'll appreciate the built-in USB plugs that make it easy to charge up while you sleep.

What I didn't like

The overall quality of Nectar Sleep was impressive. From the delivery to the first week of solid rest, it's a smart pick for anyone in the market for a killer mattress on a budget. My only complaint is a personal preference: It's a little too soft. It feels very high-end, which I appreciate, but I sink in almost too much. As someone who struggles with lower-back pain from time to time, I would prefer more support in this area, especially for days when I hit up a tough workout class. Though it isn't overly soft, my preferences fall to firm. If you aren't sure, it's worth the 365-day (or less) trial to see what works for your specific spine.

The full product line-up:

Here's everything Nectar offers, from mattresses to sheets and more.

Memory Foam Mattress (starting at $399; nectarsleep.com)

Adjustable Frame (starting at $649; nectarsleep.com)

Mattress Foundation (starting at $200; nectarsleep.com)

Metal Bed Frame (starting at $95; nectarsleep.com)

Memory Foam Pillow ($75; nectarsleep.com)

Weighted Blanket ($169; nectarsleep.com)

Bed Sheet Set, starting at ($64; nectarsleep.com)

Mattress Protector, starting at ($79; nectarsleep.com)