Bed-in-a-Box vs. Traditional Mattress: Pros and Cons

October 14, 2022 · Morgan Jackson

With tons of mattress choices out there, it can be hard to decide what kind of mattress is best suited for you. If you find yourself wondering what the differences are between a bed-in-a-box vs traditional mattress, you’re in the right place.

Couple opening a Casper mattress box


A bed-in-a-box is a mattress that ships straight to your door, conveniently stored in a box. Popular brands include Purple, Casper, and Nectar, and bed-in-a-box mattresses can be made of memory foam, hybrids, and/or pocketed coil models.


  • Easy Delivery and Setup: Mattresses-in-a-box are delivered straight to your door and are easy to set up yourself. Most times, all you need to do is take the mattress out of the box and lay it out flat, giving it up to 48 hours to expand. Additionally, it’s also much easier to maneuver a box around the corners of your home than a mattress.

  • Durability: Due to the nature of being shipped in a box, beds-in-a-box are often very durable, which can prolong the lifespan of your mattress. Some companies believe in this so strongly that they offer extended warranties. For example, Nectar offers a “forever warranty,” which means that you can repair or replace a Nectar mattress for as long as you own it


  • Trying before you buy: In most cases, bed-in-a-box companies don’t give you the option to test out the mattress before you buy it. However, at Mattress Warehouse, you have the unique ability to test out some of the nation’s most popular brands, like Purple, Casper, and Nectar, before you take it home. Just use our store locator to find a store near you with the mattress you’re interested in, and you’re good to go!

  • Base Requirements: Mattresses-in-a-box often require very supportive bases, and it’s important to know if your current base will work with a mattress-in-a-box. Most beds-in-a-box require more support or else the mattress can sink into your frame, causing damage that may not be covered by the warranty. A box spring is often the easiest solution to this problem, as it will provide the necessary support to the mattress. You might also find that an adjustable base gives the support and comfort you need.


Traditional mattresses used to be defined as mattresses with springs and/or coils in them, however mattresses have come a long way in recent years. Now, traditional mattresses can have innersprings, memory foam, or you can get a hybrid. The biggest difference is traditional mattresses do not come packaged in a box, they are delivered in their full dimension.


  • Being able to try before you buy: A mattress is a big purchase that will stay with you for years to come. This can be intimidating, especially with the numerous mattress options that exist nowadays. At Mattress Warehouse, we take the guesswork out of mattress shopping with our patented diagnostic sleep system, bedMATCH. Our bedMATCH system ensures that you’re getting the right mattress for your body by narrowing the choices down to just a few options. You can take the quiz in store or online, and then test out the mattresses on your bedMATCH list.

  • Variety and Versatility: Traditional mattresses come in a variety of materials, such as innerspring, memory foam, or a hybrid. Traditional mattresses are also more versatile, as most mattresses can likely be used with your existing foundation, whether that be a box spring or an adjustable base.


  • Delivery and Setup: A major difference between a traditional mattress vs bed-in-a-box is the ease with which it can be delivered and set up. A mattress doesn’t turn corners as easily as a bed-in-a-box, but Mattress Warehouse is here to help. We provide free delivery* and no-hassle setup to help make the mattress buying process as quick and painless as possible. That way, all you have to be concerned with is your sweet dreams.

Woman Making Her Bed


Sleep is important, and so is the mattress you choose. Decide what’s most important to you (ease of delivery or being able to test out your mattress before bringing it home) and use that information to make your decision. If you still can’t decide between a bed-in-a-box or a traditional mattress, both can be found on our website or in our stores. Online we have live-chat associates available to help, as well as team members available in-store to answer any questions you may have. You can also gain peace of mind with our bedMATCH® patented diagnostic sleep system online quiz, or you can try the system hands-on in store. Be sure to follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok) for our most up-to-date deals.