Nowadays, just about anything can be bought on the internet … including your next mattress. Of course, there is also a lot of technical jargon that could make the process difficult. What is motion transfer, anyway?
This guide will walk you through the process of ordering a bed online. We’ll show you what to look for, how to choose the right mattress product, and lay out the ups and downs of this type of experience.
Keep reading to learn how to buy a mattress online and feel free to come back to this guide at any time during your purchase for a refresher.
- Pros of Buying a Mattress Online
- Cons of Buying a Mattress Online
- Read the Reviews
- Decide on Your Ideal Material Type
- Determine Your Budget
- Look at the Top Online Mattress Companies
- Research How the Sleep Trial Works
- Understand the Terms of a Return
- Read About the Warranty
- Decide How to Get Rid of Your Old Mattress
- Additional Considerations for Buying Online
- Frequently Asked Questions
You can also read more about where the best place is to buy a mattress.
Pros of Buying a Mattress Online
Why on Earth would anyone buy a bed, something they spend about a third of their lives on, without seeing it first? For the same reason we order our clothes, food, and other everyday items online: It’s easy! With long sleep trials, exchange programs, and often free delivery makes online mattress shopping a total snap.
The online market can be quite competitive. Companies frequently offer discounts, bundles, or coupons that can save shoppers some serious cash.
Businesses can save money by not paying for commissioned salespeople or expensive retail spaces. This can often lead to lower prices overall, as the companies do not need to make as much profit.
No Commission-Hungry Sales People
Buying basically anything in a store can lead to pressure and manipulative tactics. Maybe you’ll feel forced to hand out your phone number or email, opening yourself up to an unending string of unwanted solicitations. Maybe you just don’t want to be asked every few minutes if you’re ready to make a purchase.
Shopping online could eliminate these issues.
Extended Trial Periods
Most online mattress companies offer a trial period so you can get a feel for your new bed before fully committing to it. The length of these periods may vary from brand to brand. As the market becomes more competitive, companies frequently offer extended trial periods, going past the traditional (and already quite long) 100-day trial and sometimes stretching all the way to an entire year.
Delivery is Often Free
Shipping large items can be quite expensive, except when you are buying a new bed online. Most products will ship for free inside the contiguous United States, others will offer free shipping through the entire US and even parts of Canada. As an added bonus, White Glove delivery, or professional set up, is sometimes offered at no cost, as well.
Should you purchase a product that doesn’t quite work out for you, the sleep trial should allow you to return it for a full refund. A nominal fee may be required for pickup, at which point the company will send someone to remove your unwanted bed with no hassle to you. In many cases, the returned bed will be donated to someone in need!
Cons of Buying a Mattress Online
Figuring Out What's a Priority
There can be a lot of confusing terms. Off-gassing and edge support and different types of materials. Side sleeping or stomach sleeping. What does it all mean and how does it apply to you?
It can be a very tricky experience to navigate for a beginner shopper. Make sure to do your research ahead of time to simplify your shopping experience.
Buying Sight Unseen
Most brands will try to relay as much information to the customer as possible. They will let you know how soft or firm the bed should feel, they’ll let you know if you will sink deeply or stay on top of the mattress, features like cooling and bounce might be addressed.
But in the end, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the product will work for you. Especially if you can’t physically interact with it first.
Disposal of Previous Unit
What do you with your old mattress after you have shipped a new one to your home? Sometimes, your old bed could be hauled away when your new one is delivered with White Glove Delivery services. But this may not always be the case, and some consumers may not want to have to coordinate the removal of such a large item.
Always be sure to look into claims made by different brands. Do they say the mattress is organic, but do not hold a certification to prove it? Is the company making health claims that cannot be backed up by experts or studies?
Do your research to make sure you’re getting exactly what is advertised.
In-store purchases may provide the opportunity to price match or strike a deal. This is not likely to be the case when you buy online. The price you see usually is the price you get.
This shouldn’t always be an issue, though, because these prices can frequently be more affordable than in-store to begin with.
Read the Reviews
So, now you have learned about some of the pros and cons that may be present when ordering a bed online. Maybe you’re ready to start shopping but aren’t sure where to start.
See our best list of mattresses here.
It would be wise to begin by seeking out reviews about the product you are interested in. Most reviews will walk you through how each product should feel and how it should perform for various types of sleepers.
You may be well-served by YouTube reviews that allow you to see exactly how the mattress performs when interacted with by an actual person. How deeply does the reviewer sink into the bed? How well do they move around on top of it?
Some reviews will tell you how each brand compares to other beds with the same basic design and function. This information could help you find the perfect fit so you won’t have to worry about returns or disappointment.
Decide on Your Ideal Material Type
Bed-in-a-box products have come a long way and are now available in a variety of materials suiting a wide range of needs. Do a little digging to learn how each material performs to figure out whether or not it will provide you with the comfort you’re looking for. Or read the following descriptions!
For an even greater deep dive, look into our buying guides for mattresses.
Memory foam has undergone many changes over the past few decades. New cooling technologies work to counteract overheating. Some foams provide more bounce to ease repositioning. Typically, a body-contouring hug and pressure relief accompany this material.
Hybrid beds generally combine advantages of multiple materials by using more than one in its construction. The most common type is a foam/coil hybrid where the foam relieves pressure, and the coils enhance edge support, bounce, and airflow.
Innerspring beds contain spring or coil systems but may also feature a foam layer for enhanced comfort. Coils may be individually wrapped to promote motion control. Innerspring construction often provides enhanced airflow and bounce.
Latex beds are sometimes a more eco-friendly option, being made from more natural materials that are often temperature neutral.This material can often be springy, providing a solid bounce. Many companies punch pinholes into their latex to promote airflow.
Airbeds are not like they used to be. No longer will you need to physically pump a good air mattress up before you use it. Many products now contain built-in pumps that will prepare your item for you, some pumps are even designed to ensure that the bed will never go completely flat, filling it back up as the air leaks out.
Determine Your Budget
Now you have an idea of which type of mattress you want, the features and materials you are most interested in, and maybe you’ve even checked out a few reviews. Now it’s time to determine how much you are willing to pay for your mattress. There should be an item out there for customers of any budget, from those looking for a luxury feel to shoppers seeking a budget bed, and the online space is full of excellent value for your dollar.
Look at the Top Online Mattress Companies
Once you have set a budget for your purchase, and are armed with industry knowledge, start looking into some of the top-rated online companies to see which products check off your must-have list. Compare and contrast the services and features provided by each one and determine whether or not this will suit your individual needs.
Research How the Sleep Trial Works
Perhaps the most important factor when ordering a bed over the internet is the sleep trial. This allows shoppers to experience the mattress in their own home, in the way in which they will be using it over the long term. This should provide a much more accurate picture of how the bed will perform for them than if they were to simply lie on the product for a few minutes in a store.
Make sure to learn all the ins and outs of the sleep trial before purchasing so you know exactly how long you will have with the item and what you will need to do return or exchange it should the need arise. Will there be a an additional fee or will you have to keep the original packaging? Many companies offer chat representatives that can answer any questions you may have directly, so be sure to make good use of this feature.
Understand the Terms of a Return
Find out, in detail, what the ramifications of returning your mattress may be. Some companies may require you to donate the bed before refunding your money. Others might ask for a nominal fee before sending someone to remove the bed from your home.
Check to see how the return process will affect you. Especially if you are not fully confident in your product choice or firmness selection.
Read About the Warranty
Most companies will offer a warranty that covers issues that could arise through normal use. Sometimes these agreements will provide consumers with the ability to switch out their foams for a different comfort setting to ensure their bed caters to their specific preferences. Find out what the warranty entails and what the company is willing to do for you.
Decide How to Get Rid of Your Old Mattress
Will you donate or pay someone to haul away your old bed? Do you have a spare room for your unwanted mattress or will the delivery service remove it for you? Prepare yourself ahead of time, look into the details and figure out what works best for you and save some hassle when the big day comes!
Additional Considerations for Buying Online
White Glove Delivery or Direct Shipping
Do you prefer to have your item shipped in a box so you can set it up on your own time? Or would you rather have someone come in and set up your new mattress for you? Are you fine with paying for White Glove delivery or would you rather the service be provided for free?
Check out the details for where and how your new bed will ship before making your purchase.
Choose a Proper Frame
Not every mattress will be compatible with every frame. Some companies suggest a maximum distance between slats to provide proper support. Others caution against placing the product on the floor or an adjustable frame.
Learning how you will need to set up your new mattress could help you decide on your purchase if you have a specific type of base in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there ever sales or discounts?
Quite often! Keep an eye out for discounts around various holidays, Black Friday deals, or company anniversaries. Refer back to our coupon page for up-to-date details on discounted products.
If you have a friend or family member who has recently purchased a bed from an online company, look into referral programs that could offer a discount or credit to both of you.
How much do online beds cost?
Online mattresses come in a wide range covering a variety of costs. Some may run a couple thousand dollars for a luxury brand, while others are in the low hundreds. Overall, it is not unusual to find a bed-in-a-box brand selling a high-quality bed for a fraction of the cost found in a brick-and-mortar store.
Check around to see which products suit both your sleep and budgetary needs.
So, there you have it. While buying a large ticket item like a bed online might seem like a daunting task, just a little bit of research can make the process much simpler. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with all the info you’ll need to make a great choice!
Check for important considerations like the materials used in the product and how that pertains to the sleep experience. Study up on the return, warranty, or sleep trial processes and determine how and where the item will be shipped.
Stay calm and refer to this handy guide any time you begin to feel lost during your shopping experience.
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Author: Jill Thompson
I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.
I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.
When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.
I wish you the very best on your journey!