Bed In A Box Pros And Cons

Photo of author

This post may contain affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.
Bed In A Box Pros And Cons - Cover Image

Bed in a box mattresses are just as good as (and often better than) mattresses you can buy from a physical store. Given their cheaper price points and in home sleep trials, it’s no wonder they’ve leapt in popularity. However, like with everything, there are bed in a box pros AND cons.

I’ll take you through all of them, explaining the detail as we go. If you’re still not convinced, you’ll also find some recommendations for mattresses that you can buy online that don’t come in a box.


  • Great price points: cutting out the “middle man” of a store, which means savings are passed along to you, the customer. I’ve seen a ton of great mattresses out there for $500-$2000 depending on what you’re looking for.
  • Try the mattress in the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days of awkwardly perching on a bed in a store, trying to get a feel for whether a mattress is right for you. With a bed in a box, you’ll usually get at least 100 nights to try it out for real, on your own bed.
  • You can get great quality. I sleep on a memory foam mattress and love it. It was about a third of the price of the high end bed I’d bought from a store 8 years earlier, and it’s infinitely more comfortable. You’ll also find amazing hybrid mattresses (combination of coils and foams) and latex mattresses.
  • You’ll get free shipping. This is a big deal: furniture shops can charge hefty prices for shipping items as large as mattresses, some up to $200.
  • You’ll get a good warranty. The standard warranty for a bed in a box is 10 years. Many stores will only offer 5 years, so take advantage of this.
  • You’ll get a great value deal. There are so many bed in a box companies now, that are all competing for your purchase. In fact, the market is so competitive you can pretty much expect to get a big discount and/or free accessories such as pillows at any time of year (no need to wait for Black Friday).


  • You can’t try before you buy. This is the biggest stumbling block for most people. We are so accustomed to mattresses being something we need to go and try in a shop. However, this really shouldn’t be a negative, as most bed in a box brands not only offer you a 100 night sleep trial, they should also offer hassle free and no cost returns. Another reassuring factor for you: Consumer Reports research shows that people who buy a bed in a box are generally satisfied with its performance and keep it.
  • May have off gassing smell as the mattress expands to its full size (this is normal and nothing to worry about, all foams will be certified non toxic but some do find it annoying). I recommend you ventilate the room you’re opening the mattress in to help any smell to dissipate. I’ve smelt this smell from several mattresses myself, and to me it’s like a “new furniture” smell. It went away after a couple of days.
  • Will have to maneuver inside yourself unless you opt for white glove delivery (some brands offer this free). Yes, your mattress will come in a box, but if you’re ordering anything bigger than a full size, it’s going to be a big, heavy box that will take 2 people to maneuver so keep this in mind. I also recommend you open the mattress box in the room you intend to use the mattress in, as they spring out of their boxes pretty fast once you open them! TIP: when opening the box and removing the plastic, take great care not to cut the mattress cover.
  • The options can seem overwhelming. Yeah. There are a ton of bed in a box options, and they all promise you your best sleep. They can’t all be right, but they’re not all wrong. Most brands offer one mattress to keep it simple, and aim to hit a medium firm option that works for MOST people. Get my top 3 recommendations to cut your shortlist here.

Mattresses You Can Buy Online That Don’t Come In A Box:

Like the idea of ordering your mattress online and getting all the benefits (free delivery, long sleep trial, etc etc) but don’t like idea of your mattress coming squished in a box?

I’ve got you covered. There are some online brands that are NOT bed in a box mattresses. Instead, they are delivered like a regular mattress, fully decompressed and ready to go.

My two favorites are:


Saatva Classic Staged

Saatva make an incredible spring and memory foam mattress, and it’s one of my top 3 recommendations.

The Saatva mattress comes in your choice of 11.5 or 14.5 inch height, has a generous sleep trial and warranty, and a special wire through the center of the mattress for superior spinal support.

Your Saatva mattress comes with white glove delivery, which means your mattress will be brought inside and set up wherever you like, no extra cost.


Tempur-Pedic Mattress Review - Staged Mattress

Tempur is the original memory foam mattress. Yes it’s sold online, no, it’s not a mattress in a box.

Why? Tempur material (the memory foam that makes Tempur so famous) is actually too dense to go through the machine which compresses mattresses to fit inside boxes!

Tempur is known for it’s incredibly body conforming memory foams, and a range of innovative fabrics.


Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.