Mattresses have a reputation for having sticker prices way above the actual prices they eventually sell for. Price markups both online and in-stores mean that you should virtually never pay the full retail price for a mattress. Yet, while everyone wants the best deal, not everyone knows how to actually get it.
One big factor that affects how much value you’ll get on your mattress is when you buy it. There are times of the year when there is a much higher likelihood that you can get a huge price markdown.
In this guide, we’ll address the best times to buy a mattress both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Beyond that, we’ll give you tips for scoring the best deal even if you’re not able to shop during those specific times.
Does Where You Buy Affect the Best Time to Buy?
People shopping for a mattress today have more options than ever before. Not only are there more types and models of mattresses on the market, but there are also more outlets from which you can purchase a new mattress.
While traditionally most mattresses were sold through brick-and-mortar retail outlets — such as department stores or stand-alone mattress stores — increasingly customers are starting to buy mattresses online. An important decision to make as you prepare to look for a new mattress is choosing whether you’d prefer to buy in-person or online. Our guide, How to Buy A Mattress Online, reviews the benefits and downsides of buying online versus in-person.
One of the reasons why deciding where to buy matters is that it influences when to buy. While there are certain days of the year that have great deals offered both in-store and online, there can be a significant divergence in the best time to buy for online and brick-and-mortar stores.
What is the Best Time to Buy a Mattress Online?
The massive growth of the online mattress industry has provided a number of benefits to customers. First, the dramatic increase in competition has helped to bring prices down, allowing you to get considerably more bang for your buck when buying a new mattress. Second, with more companies selling directly to consumers, there are more choices to choose from and more types and designs of mattresses available. Third, the ability to compress and deliver a mattress directly to your door without a huge cost has brought a new level of convenience and ease to shopping for and installing a new mattress.
As this online market for mattresses has matured and evolved, we’ve been able to observe and identify the times that are most likely to offer the best deals and lowest prices.
One thing to remember about online sales is that sometimes they are fleeting. The quantity of products available at the discounted price may be low, or the deal may only be offered for an hour or another limited amount of time. These can sometimes be called “lightning deals” or “flash deals,” so if you want to be able to jump on these discounts, make sure that you have all of the information you need ready to move quickly when the deal is offered.
Black Friday occurs every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it is considered to be the launch date of the holiday shopping season. This shopping “holiday” has long been an opportunity to find deep discounts on many products, and while historically Black Friday applied to brick-and-mortar stores only, it now has firmly settled online, too. This has occurred because many big retailers now sell all of their products online and because many e-commerce shops reduce their prices on Black Friday in order to compete with the in-person stores.
Cyber Monday is the name given to the Monday after Thanksgiving that traditionally is the day of the biggest discounts offered by online merchants. Many online stores advertise their Cyber Monday deals in advance, and these can include steep price cuts on big-ticket items like mattresses. In some cases, online retailers now extend Cyber Monday throughout the week, so make sure to keep an eye out for deals beyond just Cyber Monday itself.
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime is a service that offers free 2-day shipping on thousands of products for customers who pay an annual subscription fee. This program has driven tremendous growth for Amazon, and the company leverages Prime to enhance sales of all kinds of products, including mattresses. For Prime members, Amazon offers a special day of sales known as Prime Day. This usually falls in the second week of July and may actually last for 2-3 days with a huge number of deals.
Labor Day occurs on the first Monday of September, and it is well-known for being a major sales event for brick-and-mortar mattress stores. As a result, many online mattress sellers cut prices on this holiday (or holiday weekend) so that they can better compete with the in-person retail outlets.
What Are Other Ways to Save Online?
Your circumstances may not permit you to wait until one of these big online sales events to purchase a mattress. If this is the case, there are still ways that you can get a better price. Each of these things can help reduce your bottom line for a new mattress purchased online:
- Pop-Up Promotions: if you’ve visited the sites of any online, direct-to-consumer mattress companies, you may have encountered a pop-up advertisement that offers a price reduction. You can look for this type of pop-up promo when you go to buy. If it doesn’t appear, you can initiate a chat with many online mattress sellers and ask if they are offering any discounts at that time.
- Site-Specific Referral Coupons: some websites offer referrals for specific mattresses, and these referrals come with a price reduction, usually of $50-$75.
- Coupons: before paying full price for any online mattress, do a search for coupons. A few minutes of online searching can typically turn up a coupon of at least $50 for a huge number of online mattresses.
What is the Best Time to Buy a Mattress In-Store?
Many brick-and-mortar stores start with artificially high sticker prices for their mattresses, and as a result, it can seem like they are constantly offering discounts or running big sales. It’s not uncommon to see an ad in the Sunday newspaper from a mattress store, and in some cases, these ads may offer meaningful price cuts. But often these deals only chip away at the higher cost and don’t necessarily represent a good value. The best deals are typically offered during certain times of the year.
Look for Hot Buys in the Month of May
Like most major brick-and-mortar retailers, mattress stores regularly cycle through different inventory. As big mattress companies produce new models, there is a need to clear out older models, and this can lead to dramatic price reductions. Because new models start to be rolled out in June, this puts a great deal of pressure on retailers to sell off inventory in May. You’ll often hear or see advertisements for big promotional events in May, but even if you don’t, just knowing that a mattress store is likely to have extra inventory may help you negotiate for a better deal.
Celebrate Price Discounts on Holidays
Mattress sellers use holidays as opportunities to put together big sales. While you can likely find some reduced-price offerings on almost any holiday, these represent some of the most important ones in the industry:
This “holiday” — the Friday after Thanksgiving — is huge for all of the U.S. retail industry, and the mattress industry is no exception. You can expect every brick-and-mortar mattress store or department store to offer various types of deals ranging from “doorbusters” deals (available only to the first customers to arrive on Black Friday) to other offers that last the entire weekend after Thanksgiving.
Recognized on that last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a huge sale day for brick-and-mortar stores. This holiday represents a last big push for mattress sellers to clear inventory before the new models come in. As a result, Memorial Day weekend can be an ideal time to find a steal of a deal on a mattress.
The first Monday in September, Labor Day has a long-held reputation as a big day for mattress sales. Sales are often advertised in advance and may be available throughout the 3-day weekend.
4th of July
It’s common for mattress sellers to celebrate America’s Independence Day with big discounts. This holiday may also represent one of the first opportunities to get meaningful price breaks on the new mattress models that were rolled out in June.
This holiday is recognized on the second Monday of October. It falls during what can be a slow period for mattress sellers — between Labor Day and the start of holiday shopping season on Black Friday — so sometimes excellent sales are offered.
Like Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day — November 11 — falls in the in-between period from Labor Day to Black Friday and may be an opportunity to get a good deal before Black Friday deals are advertised.
New Year’s Day
Once the holiday shopping season has ended, some mattress sellers find that they have extra inventory and may look to sell off some of that inventory by using major sales events on or around New Year’s Day.
What are Other Ways to Save When Buying In-Store?
If you need to buy a mattress and can’t afford to wait until these holidays or sales events to do so, here are some other ways that you can get great value when shopping in-store:
Find closeout sales
If any stores — standalone mattress stores, department stores, or furniture stores — are going out of business, they usually provide tremendous markdowns on their existing inventory. You can search online or check other local advertisements (such as in the local paper) to find closeouts that may be happening in your area.
In brick-and-mortar stores, negotiating is the name of the game. You should never pay the full sticker price for a mattress when shopping in-person. Here are some tricks of the trade to increase your chances of successfully negotiating a great price:
- Research past sales: one of the ways that you can get a sense of how much of a discount might be available is by looking into the price cuts that were offered during the most recent sales events. In order to make a sale, the mattress salesperson may honor an old sale price, or at the very least, it gives you a reference point for what kind of price to shoot for.
- Be confident and go for it: even if you’re not the type of person who usually likes to haggle, psych yourself up for it and know that it is fully expected in this industry. If you don’t negotiate, you’re guaranteed to overpay.
- Ask for extras: if the store won’t offer any discounts on the price of the mattress itself, negotiate for other items to be included for free. Examples could include a foundation or frame, high-end pillows and sheets, free delivery and set-up, and/or a sleep trial with a flexible return policy.
- Have a walk-away price: if you’re not experienced at price negotiations, it can be difficult in the moment to know if you should accept an offer. One of the best ways to avoid this is to decide in advance on a walk-away price. By walk-away price, we mean the price that you must be offered or you simply will not make a purchase. Set this price firmly in your mind, and if you don’t hear it from the salesperson, leave! Having this firm price can bolster your negotiating strength. You can always return to negotiate later or go to another store, so if you have done your research and know what you want to pay or should pay, don’t waver.