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

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

Do you need a new mattress but don’t know where to start looking? If your last purchase was a traditional mattress, are you going to go the same route when purchasing this time? Or are you ready for a modern mattress shopping experience?

These are questions that potential customers ask themselves when they need a new mattress.

Thankfully, you have a lot of choices today when it comes to buying a new bed. You could go with a traditional mattress or buy a bed in a box from an online retailer. Both options have significant pros and cons that you need to consider before making your next purchase.

When it comes to which provides a better experience, buying online and buying in person are surprisingly tied. However, how you decide to purchase your mattress is likely influenced by things like where you live, how much you’d like to spend, and what kind of customer experience you’d like to receive.

Whether you choose to buy a traditional mattress or go with a bed in a box (like the mattress offered at SONU Sleep) is a personal choice.

Here, we’ve collected some information that will help you decide which option is best for you.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Bed in a Box?

The top two pros of a bed in a box are:

Why go out to a mattress retailer and try a dozen mattresses when you can read the reviews of top mattresses from behind your computer screen?

People love the convenience of buying almost anything online today. You can even have a car delivered to your front door. So why wouldn’t you order your mattress online?

Did we mention that a bed in a box can save you money? Buying directly from a retailer online is often less expensive than buying from a physical store.

When you order a mattress online, it is delivered tightly packaged to your doorstep by a major shipping company. All you have to do is bring the mattress inside, open it, and put it on your bed frame. How easy is that?

What if you want to try the mattress out first?

Before you buy a mattress online, read as many reviews as you can about the product. Have a list of “must-haves” required in a mattress, such as specific firmness levels, material, sleep temperature, price, and other features. On some websites, you can even sort the mattress reviews by requirement.

Before you buy a mattress online, see if there is a trial period. SONU offers a 100-night trial so you can get the best idea of how your new bed will treat you. If you aren’t satisfied with your purchase within 100 days, you can return the mattress and receive a refund.

The cons of buying a bed in a box are that you can’t walk into a store and try it out before buying it, and you might not be able to receive in-home delivery. If neither of those things matters to you, the bed in a box may be the right choice.

If you have questions about mattresses in boxes before buying them, you’ll have to contact the retailer’s customer support department. This assistance could be delivered in the form of a live chat feature, email, or phone conversation.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Traditional Mattress?

As you might have guessed, two of the reasons people opt to purchase a traditional mattress from a brick-and-mortar store are:

  • Try before you buy
  • In-home delivery

However, another pro is having a sales associate on hand to help you pick the right mattress. Not only can a sales associate describe all the benefits of a mattress to you, but they can also help you find a mattress within your budget.

Most mattress stores will offer in-home or white-glove delivery so that you don’t have to worry about transporting the mattress to your home or even putting it inside your bedroom by yourself. They will unpackage the mattress for you and place it on top of your bed frame.

A con of buying a mattress in a physical store is that you won’t know how well-rated the mattresses are unless you do your research prior to coming. The sales associate might tell you if a particular mattress is popular with customers, or they might not. They usually have to meet certain quotas and sell specific products.

Another con of buying a traditional mattress is that brick-and-mortar stores often mark up the price of mattresses by 30% to 50%. Some people simply cannot afford to pay that much for a mattress.

When you shop in a mattress store, there may be a limited variety of mattresses for you to choose from. The types of mattresses for you to select may be slim, so you could purchase a mattress that you aren’t in love with but needed in a pinch.

And, let’s face it — how many people want to physically go to a bunch of mattress stores to look for the right mattress? After a while, the process can be draining.

Should I Buy a Bed in a Box or Traditional Mattress?

As a refresher, we’ve covered the pros and cons of the bed in a box and the traditional mattress. By now, you should have a good idea of which option you’d like to proceed with. However, if you are still on the fence, we’ve come up with some more information for you to consider.

To help you decide if you want to buy a bed in a box or a traditional mattress, consider the following criteria.


How much do you want to spend on a new mattress? Does your budget limit you or is it flexible? If you have a sleeping partner, will you be splitting the cost? Which purchase option will be the most cost-effective?

Customer Service

When you shop, are you typically someone who can find all the information you need from a simple online search or glimpse at the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section?

Maybe you’re someone who needs a little more guidance from customer service. One option is conveniently communicating with customer support specialists over chat, email, or phone. The other is to speak with a sales associate in person. With SONU, you can contact customer support through chat, email, or phone services.


Some people prefer to shop for a particular brand of mattress, or want to have many mattress sizes available. Others want to see what else is out there and don’t want to limit themselves. Consider the place you’re buying from, whether they offer products by one or more mattress retailers, and what’s easier for you to look through.

The SONU Sleep System is available in sizes Twin XL through California King so you have plenty of options to choose from.

Warranty & Trial Period

How long your warranty is and how long you can try out a mattress will depend on the mattress brand or retailer. If you purchase directly from a mattress brand, they will have their own rules about warranties and trial periods.

If you buy from a large eCommerce site like Amazon, these details will vary by seller. And if you buy from a physical store, the warranty and trial period will depend on the store’s policies.

With SONU, you can enjoy a 100 Night Trial period and a 5-year warranty.


Do you want the convenience of having your bed shipped to your doorstep? Would you rather have a store provide in-home delivery? Are you a DIY-er, or do you require assistance?

SONU offers free delivery, and will even take care of removing your old mattress for you for an extra $125.


Offgassing is the process in which a chemical smell is emitted when a mattress is unpackaged. It happens with both traditional mattresses and beds in a box. Offgassing may be a little more prevalent with certain beds in a box, but keep in mind that the effect is temporary.


How you buy your bed is really important. Don’t skimp on the details. Take all factors, including budget and delivery, into account.

People can be equally happy with bed-in-a-box delivery as they can with traditional mattress purchasing. Don’t make your decision based on what you think is popular. Make it based on what’s most convenient for you.

If you decide to go with a bed in a box, don’t miss out on the negative space mattress by SONU Sleep. With its patented Comfort Channel and layers of highly resilient foam, this uniquely engineered mattress is not just comfortable — you can purchase it with a budget-friendly payment plan of 36 months, provided by Affirm.

Be an innovator. Purchase the SONU Sleep System and change the way you sleep forever.



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Trusted Reviews From Side Sleepers Nationwide
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Thank YOU! Best mattress out there.
After being a gymnast for 15 years, I haven't felt this much relief from the pain in my shoulders and my hips while sleeping!! Thank you!
Steph C.
Highly recommended!
Creates the perfect space for your arm if you're a side sleeper. Changed the way I sleep forever.
Justin S.
So I actually own one of these. It's AMAZING. Yes it will take you a few weeks to get "used" to it... But that said, you will be AMAZED at how great your shoulders feel in the morning. Just unreal. Like sleep a full 8 hours without waking up type of sleep.
Jason R.
Buffalo, NY
I have very bad neck and back issues and this mattress is a dream! If you are a side sleeper you will love it and even if you like to sleep on you back you will love it! Very comfortable and totally worth the money!
Grace L.
i have suffered from shoulder pain while sleeping for several years, i had just about given up... then i saw this bed and decided one last try. i can't begin to explain what it feels like to sleep through an entire night... for the first time in 20 years the first weekend i had it. I'm so impressed with this bed... because what they are making is making a difference in people's lives.
Crystal G.
Lives up to the hype
This comfort channel they made is next level. I never imagined that I would be able to put my arm in the mattress. Takes all the pressure off my shoulder, which I so so need. YES
Kim J.
Highly recommended!
I’m a side sleeper and I used to wake up with a dead feeling arm from lying on it all night. Finally a mattress with a pocket for my arm. I tried all the pillows and even very expensive mattresses in the past, but nothing cured my circulation problems until I got the sonu sleep mattress. I love it!
Nic D.
Chicago, IL
...Sonu mattresses are in a league all by themselves. This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I have no more shoulder pain and numbness. I can now sleep through the night and not wake up in pain. If anyone is even thinking about getting a Sonu sleep system don’t think anymore. Pull that trigger. I 100% gaurentee you will not be disappointed.
Christopher B.
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The SONU Sleep System was designed and developed in California, and is manufactured only in the United States - made with the highest quality materials and attention to detail for side sleepers everywhere.
* SONU Bedding and several SONU Supports are imported products. All other SONU products are made in the United States.

Finally let your arms rest where they're meant to...