How to Buy a Mattress Online
Buying a new mattress is an important decision. After all, you’ll spend a third of your life on it. Fortunately, with the recent explosion of online mattress companies, getting a new mattress is easier than ever.
Online mattress brands offer a variety of mattress types, without the hassle of salespeople and costly retail markup. These companies have made their mark on the sleep industry with personalized customer service, a transparent buying process, and generous trial periods of 100 days or more. Best of all, customer satisfaction rates for online and retail mattresses are nearly the same!
Our guide tells you everything you need to know about buying a mattress online, including the benefits of buying online, and the tricks you’ll have to watch out for to make sure you get a good deal – and a good mattress.
Online mattress FAQ
Before we get into the pros and cons of buying a bed online, let’s review some frequently asked questions. What’s different about buying a mattress online?
What types of beds are available online?
You still have your pick of mattress types when you shop online, and in some cases, you might have even more options. Latex mattresses, for instance, tend to be more available online, as do highly-customized mattresses like airbeds. However, stores do tend to have the widest selection of traditional innerspring beds. Brands selling innerspring options online typically differentiate themselves by incorporating foams. The ones sold online tend to incorporate foams for a more comfortable experience.
Below is an explanation of the various mattress types:
- Innerspring mattresses are the most popular, traditional mattress option. They use a steel coil support core with a foam comfort layer. Their bounciness makes them suitable for sex and they offer superior edge support, but they don’t contour to the body as well as other mattress types and they’re prone to sagging.
- Memory foam mattresses are all-foam beds. They last longer than an innerspring bed and conform the best to the body, giving a feeling of “hug” while you lie in the bed. However, they’re known for trapping heat.
- Hybrid mattresses use a pocketed coil support core and contain multiple layers of foam or latex foam on top for comfort. They can contour to the body similarly to a memory foam mattress, but without trapping heat.
- Latex mattresses use organic latex foam made from rubber trees. They offer bounce and a rounded contour to the body, but tend to be one of the most expensive options and emit an offgassing smell for up to a month.
- Airbeds have an air chamber for support topped with foam comfort layers. These beds allow users to customize their firmness level via an electric air pump. They’re one of the most durable options available, but they also tend to be quite expensive.
What are online mattress companies?
Below is a list of manufacturers and authorized resellers for various types of online mattresses:
|Amazon||Loom & Leaf|
|Cocoon by Sealy||Nectar|
|Eve||The Waterbed Factory|
|Ghostbed||Tuft & Needle|
How much do online mattresses cost?
Pricing varies by mattress. Generally, though, online mattresses can afford to use higher-quality materials and offer a price 25 to 50 percent cheaper than their in-store counterparts. Latex and airbed models are more expensive than innerspring and foam mattresses. An innerspring or foam bed will average between $800 to $1,200 for a queen.
Can you get a discount on an online mattress?
Just like retail stores offer sales on Labor Day, Memorial Day, and other holidays, so do many online mattress retailers. Plus, you may be able to score an extra discount by using a promo code or affiliate link.
Promo codes are discount codes offered by the mattress company on their various marketing channels. You can find promo codes by following the company on social media, signing up for their email newsletter, or listening to a podcast they advertise on.
Companies use affiliate marketing programs to increase brand awareness and sales. They offer a special code or link to a blogger or high-traffic site, and every purchase made through that link earns the affiliate a commission. You can often find these affiliate links on mattress review sites or popular blogs.
Can I try out an online mattress before I buy it?
Online mattress companies can offer higher-quality mattresses at a much cheaper price because they don’t have to deal with the overhead costs of managing a retail store or paying sales commission. Unfortunately, that lower mattress price comes at the cost of not being able to try out a bed ahead of time. Even though sitting on a mattress for 15 minutes in a store isn’t a good proxy for how it will feel to sleep on night after night in your house, it does answer some immediate questions, such as whether you hate the feel of memory foam or the firmness of a mattress.
To address these concerns, most online mattress companies offer trial periods of 100 days or more where you can test out the mattress in your home and return it risk-free. Some mattress companies also have showrooms where you can lie on the mattress in person prior to buying.
What else should I keep in mind when buying a bed online?
Before your purchase your new bed online, make special note of the trial period, the return and delivery fees (if any), the warranty, and any additional charges.
- Trial periods let you try sleeping on your new mattress, risk-free, for a certain period of time, usually at least 100 days. Within that timeframe, you can return the mattress for a full refund. Note the length of the sleep trial and whether it still applies if you buy through a reseller like Amazon rather than direct from the mattress website.
- Usually online mattress don’t have a return or delivery fee, but double check. Also, what are the delivery terms? Will you be able to carry the mattress box up your stairs when it arrives? It’s common for shoppers in Alaska and Hawaii to pay an additional cost to have the mattress shipped to their home.
- Make sure you understand the warranty coverage. What’s covered, what isn’t, and for how long? You don’t want to end up voiding the warranty because you used the wrong kind of platform for your bed.
- Additional charges may include a disposal fee to get rid of your old mattress.
Advantages of Buying a Mattress Online
Because they don’t have to deal with the costs of overhead or paying out sales commission, online mattresses can be 25 to 50 percent cheaper than buying an equivalent mattress in a brick-and-mortar store. Many online mattress companies sweeten the deal by not collecting sales tax, and offering free delivery and/or returns.
If you love the convenience of online shopping for other products, you’ll likely enjoy it just as much when shopping for a new bed. Shopping for a mattress online allows you to easily compare pricing against different models without having a salesperson breathing down your back. Plus, you can shop whenever and wherever you want, while a retail store may not be open at 3am and isn’t accessible from your couch.
When it comes to delivery, mattress stores often coordinate a delivery window which can interfere with your day and be frustrating. While some online mattress companies do offer full-service in-home delivery, the majority drop the mattress off in a box or tube for you to maneuver into your home at your convenience.
Forget pushy salespeople.
Mattress salespeople can be just as bad as car salespeople. They’re pushy and you never quite know if you’re getting a good deal or not. Online mattress companies lay out all the specs and information for you online so you can decide for yourself whether a mattress is a good fit for you. You don’t have to take the salesperson’s word for it, as you can quickly read other customer reviews online. Finally, you can just buy the mattress you need instead of getting persuaded to buy extras that won’t give you a better night’s sleep, but pad their paycheck in commission.
Rest easy with a longer trial period.
Most brick-and-mortar mattress stores offer a trial period of 30 days. This makes sense, since you can get a feel for the mattress in the store, so it really ends up depending on whether it feels good for you to sleep on night over night at home. Online mattress companies understand that people want to be able to buy before they try, so they offer generous trial periods of 100 days or more.
Enjoy free delivery and returns.
Accompanying the generous trial periods offered by online mattress companies is free returns, although there are some where this isn’t the case (double-check before you buy).
Free delivery is also much more common online than in stores. There are a few exceptions, but if you live in the continental United States, you can usually expect to pay nothing for delivery.
Disadvantages to Buying a Mattress Online
You can’t “try before you buy.”
When you buy online, you really have no idea what the bed will feel like until it shows up at your door. That’s why most online mattress companies offer extremely generous trial periods (usually 100 days or more) to address this concern specifically. Some mattress companies also have showrooms so nearby customers can go test out a mattress in person first – and still enjoy the benefit of a lengthy trial period.
It’s a lot more DIY.
While they’re often pushy, salespeople are great for getting your questions answered immediately by someone knowledgeable. Buying a mattress online, on the other hand, requires you to do more of the research yourself (like reading this article). Fortunately, many companies have customer service via phone, Live Chat, and social media so you can ask questions 24/7.
You have to figure out how to get rid of your old mattress.
One benefit of the in-home delivery that comes from buying from a brick-and-mortar store is that after the delivery team unpacks and sets up your mattress for you, they’ll often take your old one away. With the majority of online mattress companies dropping your new bed off in a box by the door, you’re on your own to figure out what to do with your old one.
There are still some shady marketing practices.
Mattress review sites are often owned or co-owned by mattress retailers, so the reviews you read online aren’t necessarily unbiased. Also, even though you can get a nice discount through an affiliate blogger, they’re incentivized to write a positive review to encourage you to click through and buy the mattress through their site.
Unauthorized resellers are also a problem with online mattresses. Avoid buying a mattress through Craigslist or another classified ad site – the majority of warranties are only valid for the original purchaser of the mattress. With many resellers, your mattress will be difficult to return, if at all possible, and you’ll have to pay a hefty fee in transportation costs. If you ever have a question about whether a seller is authorized or whether the warranty or return policies still apply, contact the mattress brand’s customer service team.
Don’t expect any extras.
One way online mattress companies are able to keep down costs is by selling the mattress, and the mattress alone. Before buying, make sure you’ll have all the necessary items like a proper bed frame and sheets that fit. One benefit to buying in store is that you can negotiate on cost by getting free pillows or some other item included for free.
You may have a longer break-in period for some mattress types.
Many memory foam, hybrid, or latex mattresses arrive compressed and vacuum-sealed in a box. As a result, the mattress may take a few days to fully expand to its full shape and be comfortable to sleep on. Also, keeping the mattress sealed for longer than it should be can permanently destroy the foam’s contouring abilities – so opt for companies that offer “made to order” mattresses and ship quickly after compressing.
Ready to buy? Check out our reviews of the most popular online mattresses.
Need some more information? Read our guides to decide the best mattress type for you.