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Buying a Mattress Online vs. Buying From a Store

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If you are considering buying a new mattress then you’ve probably realized it’s a big investment. Mattresses aren’t cheap. So we understand that you are trying to find the best mattress for you. Your two options are you either buy a mattress in a store or you can purchase a mattress online. What are the pros and cons of each and what might the benefits be of buying a mattress online? 

At Sleep Reports, we want to help you in your quest to find that perfect mattress. But finding the best mattress for you is not an easy task. It can take time, patience, and a whole lot of research. We realize that not everyone has the time or patience to be able to do all of the research themselves. That is why we dedicate countless hours doing the research for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the categories you are probably going to be looking at when you are trying to figure out if you should buy your next mattress online or just stick with a brick and mortar mattress store? There is something traditional about going to the store to buy your mattress, but is it better to buy a mattress online? 

Price Comparison

How much is it going to cost or how much money can I save? These are questions we are all asking ourselves, especially on a purchase as large as a mattress. Finding the best deals and finding ways to save money is imperative. Nobody wants to pay more than they have to.

On the other hand, we are sometimes willing to pay a little bit more for something if we feel like we are getting a superior product for our money. But maybe it’s possible to get a better product while also paying less? 

We are not down on brick and mortar mattress stores. But one thing you have to realize is that it takes money to run these individual stores. There are a lot of overhead costs for the building, utilities, paying employees, etc. The store has to find ways to recoup that money and still make a profit. That means they have to charge higher prices for the mattresses that they are selling. It’s either that or they have to cut costs.

Consumer Reports even estimates that some of these brick and mortar mattress stores are marking their mattresses up 30-50% in many cases. Sometimes even more than that! That means if their cost on a mattress is $1000 then they are selling it for $1500. That is even a low estimate for many mattresses today so the figures are likely even more bloated than that.

These stores aren’t necessarily doing this to rip you off as a consumer. They have to be able to make a profit as well, otherwise, their store cannot survive. 

On the other hand, online mattress retailers do not have all of the additional overhead costs that a brick and mortar store have to deal with. Yes, they still have to run a business and cover costs, but their costs are fewer and add up to less than a traditional store has to contend with. 

This means that online mattress retailers often have lower prices. In fact, it is common to see price comparisons that are as much as 25% lower in favor of online retailers. That’s a substantial saving for you as long as you are getting a quality product, of course. 

Quality and Value for Your Money

I think we can all agree that we prefer to save money whenever possible. But you aren’t really saving any money if you are buying an inferior mattress. That would just lead to having to replace it quickly along with having some needless sleepless nights. That would not count as ‘value’ or ‘saving money’.

Fortunately, you do not have to settle for an inferior mattress if you choose to buy a mattress online. In fact, some of the best mattresses are exclusively sold online.

Online mattress retailers have gone to great lengths to study and understand the mattress market and are making high-quality mattresses at comparatively lower prices than their brick and mortar counterparts. With online mattresses, you can get the best of both worlds. You get high quality and lower pricing that leads to the most value for your hard-earned money.


Maybe one of the biggest draws to buying a mattress online vs in-store is the matter of convenience. You can literally sit right at home and buy the perfect mattress. Now, there are some who like to go out and actually physically shop for their mattress. But those people are becoming fewer and fewer in this technological age. 

On top of that, many parts of the country don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to brick and mortar mattress shopping. If they really wanted a decent selection of mattress options they would have to drive to a nearby metropolitan area.

Buying a mattress online gives more people the opportunity to find their mattress right from the comfort of their own homes. It’s quick and easy. Now, it does take some research to find one that would fit you. But we have worked hard to help take the guesswork out of it as much as possible.

Available Product Options

Online mattress shopping opens up a whole new world of mattress options to buyers all over the world. If you live in a small town then you know your options are limited when it comes to buying a mattress. There just aren’t a lot of places to shop.

But if you go online the entire mattress world opens up to you. You have the ability to basically choose whatever you want and then have it delivered right to your door. 

Information and Sales Assistance

You might think one advantage of a brick and mortar mattress shop would be the ability to get information about the mattress from a sales associate. That could be true but there is more to it than that.

If you are going to rely on a salesperson who is working on commission to give you unbiased information then you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. On top of that, we have seen so many times when a sales associate doesn’t really know the details of the mattress they are selling. This means you really aren’t even getting the information you need to make an informed decision anyway. On the other hand, there are definitely some great mattress salespeople who are super helpful. We don’t want to discredit all of them.

Online mattress companies understand that this is where they are at a perceived disadvantage in the eyes of some buyers. That is why they do such a good job of explaining their products and processes on their websites. You can find a ton of information about their mattress models and even compare and contrast each one in many cases. 

On top of that, there are often virtual assistants available via chat to help answer any questions that you may have. They really do try to make it as informative and convenient as they possibly can.

How Do You Get Your New Bed

If you buy from a local mattress shop they may offer to bring your bed right to your house and even take your old one away. You may not have to do any lifting at all, other than taking the sheets off of your old mattress. It’s a nice option but it will probably cost you extra money on top of the markups you are already paying. 

Online mattress retailers often use shipping companies like UPS or FedEx to ship their mattresses. The great thing is that the shipping cost is often included in the sale price of the mattress. When you buy the mattress you know it is shipping to you for free.

The downside of this is that you will have to set up the new mattress and remove the old mattress. Depending on the mattress size this is definitely not a one person job. It will come compressed and vacuum sealed in a box but a king size mattress is heavy! You will need help getting it into the house and into your bedroom.

Mattress Testing

Another perceived advantage of buying a mattress from an actual store is that you get to ‘test’ it before you buy it. In our experience this is extremely misleading. A better description might be to say that you physically get to see it, touch it, and lay on it for a minute before deciding to pay $3,000 for it. That’s really not the same thing as testing it in our opinion. Because of this brick and mortar stores are often not as forgiving and easy to work with when you get it home and find that it’s not the right one for you.

Online mattress retailers are aware that this is one of the biggest hurdles they face in winning customers over to buy a mattress online. You don’t actually get to see it, feel it, or lay on it before forking over the money. 

That is why online mattress retailers are making it increasingly easier to return or exchange a mattress if you do not like it. On top of that, it is not uncommon to see trial periods for online mattresses lasting 12 or even 18 months! That means you get a whole year to sleep on it and if you decide it is not for you then you can return it.

Final Thoughts From Sleep Reports

We get it, buying a mattress is a big deal. It costs a lot of money to buy a quality mattress so you want to do everything you can to get it right. It completely makes sense to be careful and consider your options.

On the surface, it may seem that a brick and mortar store where you can see and feel the mattress would be the ‘safer’ route. We certainly understand that argument and point of view.

But we would argue that in many cases it would actually make more sense to buy from an online mattress retailer. With guaranteed trial periods lasting for 12 months on many mattresses (sometimes even longer) you really don’t have a reason not to try it. Coupled with the fact that buying a mattress online is cheaper and the case for buying your next mattress online becomes quite compelling.

We would encourage you to also read as many user reviews about a mattress as you can. User reviews will generally give you a pretty good idea of how a mattress feels and how it is holding up. They are definitely a good resource to look through when looking to make your next mattress purchase.