How Fast Is USPS Media Mail? (All You Need To Know)

Media Mail is one of the most cost-effective shipping methods offered by USPS. With this service, you can send up to 70 pounds of books, DVDs, and printed music for a fraction of what you’d pay for Priority or First-Class Mail service.

It sounds like a pretty enticing offer, but Media Mail has some downsides. One major drawback is that shipping times can be slower than other USPS services. But how much slower? Keep reading to find out more about Media Mail.

How Fast Is USPS Media Mail?

Packages sent via USPS Media Mail typically arrive within 2 to 10 business days from the date of shipment. On average, delivery time is four business days. Unlike Priority Mail and First-Class Mail, Media Mail packages are distributed solely by truck. This means delivery times vary based on truck availability and shipping distance.

Keep reading if you’re still wondering if Media Mail suits your shipping needs!

How Long Does USPS Media Mail Take To Deliver?

According to the USPS website, packages sent via media mail will arrive in 2 to 8 days.

However, third-party websites claim that mail delivery can take up to 10 days. On average, Media Mail packages take four days to arrive.

These delivery times can vary widely depending on the package size, how far it needs to travel, and the route’s popularity.

Unlike Priority and First-Class Mail, these factors matter because Media Mail is sent entirely by ground transportation.

Far-off destinations (especially those outside the contiguous U.S.) may experience delays due to limited transportation availability.

Is USPS Media Mail Slow?

Answering this question is similar to asking, “How long is a piece of string?” It depends on who you ask.

Media Mail is the slowest option compared to other USPS services like Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Mail.

Media Mail offers the cheapest rates but comes at a cost—they’re not a priority for postal workers. In other words, “You get what you pay for!”

For example, Priority Mail Express guarantees next-day to 2-day delivery—priority Mail ships in 1 to 3 business days. First-Class mail takes between 1 and 5 business days. On the other hand, Media Mail can take up to 10 business days to arrive.

So, if time is of the essence and you’re worried about your package arriving on time, Media Mail might be too slow for your needs.

If you’re in no rush or have planned ahead, then Media Mail can be a great, cost-effective option.

Is Media Mail as Fast as Priority Mail?

On average, Priority Mail is delivered in 2 business days. Media Mail can arrive anywhere between 2 and 10 business days, with an average of 4 days.

So, in general, it’s fair to say that Media Mail is not as fast as Priority Mail. However, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that Media Mail can sometimes arrive before Priority Mail.

It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but it may be due to the delivery systems used.

Is USPS Media Mail Slower Than First-Class Mail?

Is USPS Media Mail Slower Than First-Class Mail?

In theory, yes, USPS Media Mail is slower than First-Class Mail.

USPS advertises 2- to 8-day delivery for Media Mail shipments. First-Class Mail can take between 1 and 5 business days, depending on what you’re shipping.

First-Class Mail (think letters, postcards, and small envelopes) usually takes 1 to 5 business days, while small First-Class packages should arrive in 3 days or less.

However, just like the Priority Mail example above, it is possible that Media Mail arrives before First-Class Mail.

That’s because First-Class Mail is experiencing slower-than-normal delivery times due to budget cuts.

These slowdowns will likely impact most Americans, but those living in Western states and parts of Texas and Florida may see the worst of it.

Why Does Media Mail Take Longer Than Other Types Of Mail?

Media Mail takes longer than Priority and First-Class mail because it is distributed via trucks rather than airplanes.

When you mail a Media Mail package, it is sent to a processing and distribution center.

After, it goes to a bulk mail facility in your state that could be anywhere from 300 to 600 miles away. Once there, it is processed to be mailed wherever it’s going by truck.

If you mail something that has a long way to travel, say from Florida to California, delivery can take up to 10 business days.

If, however, you’re mailing something to the next state over, say from Florida to Alabama, your package could arrive in a couple of days.

Is UPS Ground Faster Than USPS Media Mail?

In some cases, UPS Ground is faster than USPS Media Mail.

Packages sent through UPS Ground will typically arrive in 1 to 5 days, whereas Media Mail packages will take between 2 and 10 business days to arrive.

It’s difficult to say with certainty which is faster because there are many factors at play.

If you send a Media Mail package to the next state over, it could arrive before the UPS Ground package.

On the other hand, if your Media Mail package has to cross the country, you could be looking at up to 10 business days for delivery. In that case, UPS Ground is the faster option.

To learn more about USPS services, you can also read our related posts on USPS parcel selection, whether you can ship lithium batteries through USPS, and if USPS updates tracking.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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