mattress with a box next to it
Buying Guides

Bed-In-A-Box vs Traditional Mattress: Which One Is The Best?

    Last Updated
    January 29, 2023
    min read

    Choosing between a bed and a box or a traditional mattress? These terms are commonly confused and people don't understand the difference. 

    The main difference between a bed-in-a-box mattress and a traditional mattress is a bed in a box mattress is shipped to a house and compressed in a box. A Traditional mattress is delivered in its full size.

    In this guide, we will walk you through additional key differences you should know between bed in a  box and a traditional mattress. 

    Purple mattresses feature the GelFlex Grid technology that instantly adapts to your body cradling your pressure points. Ships straight to your door. We also have stores throughout the country to try Purple mattresses in person.

    What's A Bed-In-A-Box?

    mattress compressed in a bag

    You may be asking, what is a bed in a box? A bed-in-a-box is a mattress shipped directly to a customer’s doorstep inside a box. The mattress is typically rolled-up and vacuum-sealed for easy delivery. You can easily fit box mattresses through doors and hallways.

    Pros & Cons Of A Bed-In-A-Box

    There are a few considerations to make before purchasing a bed in a box.



    Bed-in-box mattresses can sometimes cost less. This is due to less overhead without shipping. In addition a lower shipping cost due to mattresses being compressed.

    Convenient Delivery/Set Up

    Mattresses are delivered straight to your door in a compressed form. Making it easier to carry to your bedroom and set up.

    Delivery Services

    Some bed-in-box mattress manufacturers offer white-glove services that involve setting up your new bed and removing your old one.

    Sleep Trials

    Because there is no way to try box mattress models in stores, most bed-in-a-box manufacturers offer sleep trials that last between 75 and 100 nights. While rare, some companies offer trials for up to an entire year. If you decide the mattress isn’t for you, you can return it for a full refund.


    Beds-in-boxes offer many mattress types that suit different sleepers. While most box mattresses are made with memory foam with medium firmness, other models have varying features. Some of these features include temperature-regulating mattress toppers and various layers of foam to provide optimal support and comfort.


    Bed Frame Requirements

    It can be challenging to gauge whether a bed-in-a-box will suit your existing bed frame. It is best to check with the manufacturer first.

    Trying Before You Buy

    You cant try it before you buy. Although some bed-in-box companies have stores. So you can get the best of both worlds. 


    Like most mattresses, bed-in-box mattresses may have some off-gassing when initially unboxing the mattress.

    Is A Mattress-In-A-Box Right For You?

    A mattress-in-a-box might be good for you under the following circumstances:

    • If you live alone, don’t have someone to help you move your mattress, or move homes frequently: A box mattress is easy to carry around, even through narrow doorways and halls.
    • If you like the softness and comfort of a memory foam bed: A mattress-in-a-box contains memory foam as its primary material.
    • If you’re on a budget: Box options are cheaper than traditional types of mattresses. 
    • If you live too far away from brick-and-mortar mattress stores: You can get box mattresses delivered straight to your doorstep.

    What are the Main Differences Between Bed-In-A-Box vs Traditional Mattresses?

    traditional mattresses description


    The main differences between a bed-in-a-box and a traditional mattress are the shopping experience and convenience. When shopping for the right type of mattress, consider the following factors.

    Delivery And Setup

    The main difference between a bed in a box mattress and a traditional mattress is the following: 

    You are able to try traditional mattresses in the store before you buy them. But the bed in a-box mattresses you can order from the convenience of your home. Bed-in-a-box mattresses can be easier to fit through doorways. Setting up can be less work too. 


    A bed-in-a-box mattress typically costs less than a traditional mattress without compromising quality.

    Read more on how much you should spend on a mattress.

    Customer Service

    When you go traditional mattress shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, customer service reps can answer your questions on the spot. In comparison, bed-in-box shopping is done through research or contacting support people over the phone and through messaging platforms.


    Bed-in-a-box mattresses contain memory foam or latex layers that provide ample support for various sleeper types. If you want additional support, you can purchase a mattress topper with a different material. 

    On the other hand, a traditional innerspring mattress contains coils and springs that can provide additional support, are firm and have less give. While generally sturdy, you may need a box spring to ensure your traditional mattress’ longevity and quality.

    Consider that quality may also vary across different mattress companies.

    Mattress Warranty And Trial Period

    Because you generally can’t test a box mattress in person, manufacturers often provide generous trial periods that range from 70-100 days. Trial periods for traditional mattresses are not as lengthy, though this will ultimately depend on the brand.

    Both types of mattresses commonly have warranty periods of around 10 years.


    The most distinct difference between a bed-in-a-box and traditional mattress types is the packaging. Beds-in-boxes are typically rolled up and vacuum-compressed to fit a narrow, rectangular box the size of a small filing cabinet. 

    Traditional mattresses can be challenging to transport because you can’t fold or roll them. While you can move a bed-in-a-box in a small car, you may need a pickup truck or service vehicle to move a traditional mattress.

    Who Should Use Bed-In-A-Box?

    You may prefer a bed in a box if you don't want to try the mattress out in person. In addition, you don't want help setting up your mattress in person.  

    Who Should Use A Traditional Mattress?

    You may want a traditional mattress if you prefer to try the mattress in person. In addition, if you prefer a white glove delivery service to set up the mattress in your home.

    Although, keep in mind that some bed-in-a-box companies also have stores to try the mattresses. As well as white glove delivery services available.


    How Long Is A Mattress-In-A-Box Good For?

    Your sleeping preferences and use of the bed can impact how long it lasts. It is best to check with the manufacturer to understand the length of the warranty.

    Upgrade Your Sleep to Purple

    Upgrade your mattress to get the sleep you deserve. Only the GelFlex Grid instantly adapts to your body while cradling your pressure points to provide the comfort you need.

    Purple conveniently has showrooms throughout the country, while also offering to ship straight to your door. White glove delivery is an option for those that don't want to deal with setup.

    Bed-In-A-Box vs Traditional Mattress FAQs

    Do bed-in-a-box mattresses last?

    Yes, bed-in-a-box mattresses generally last. You can ensure your mattress lasts long by using an appropriate base and not adding too much weight to it. Check with the manufacturer for warranties.

    How long till I can sleep in a bed-in-a-box?

    This can vary by brand. Generally, it ranges from a few hours to 48 hours. It is best to check with your manufacturer.  Purple mattresses can be slept on right away


    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.