Guide to Buying a Mattress

As online shopping grows in popularity, more people have begun buying mattresses from online retailers. To decide whether it’s better to buy a mattress online or from a traditional retailer, you should consider every aspect of the shopping process.


Buying a mattress in-store tends to be more expensive than buying online. Stores often mark up prices 30 to 50 percent to cover overhead costs. They have to pay for commercial rent, utility bills, and local advertising. They also usually have more employees than online stores, so they have to charge more to cover their employees’ paychecks.

Brick and mortar stores also have to pay their distributors. Most online retailers have their own brands, so they don’t have a middleman marking up the prices. Website costs are much lower than the costs of taking care of a property.

However, when you buy a mattress in-person, there’s usually more opportunity to negotiate. Online retailers typically only accept the listed price. If you like haggling, you’ll have more luck buying in-person. If cost-effectiveness is your biggest priority, though, online is probably a better choice for you.


Mattresses bought online and mattresses from a brick and mortar store have very similar rates of satisfaction. It can be difficult to compare different brands and lines, but you can look up customer reviews of both online and in-store brands. More expensive mattresses in-store may be the same quality level as slightly cheaper online mattresses, though, so you may get a better value online.


Traditional retailers have limited space in their stores to showcase mattresses, so you can’t go to just one store to view every type of mattress. Most retailers only carry a few brands and styles, so if you’re unsure of which brand you want to buy, you’ll have to visit several stores.

Online, you can search for practically any mattress. However, you may become overwhelmed with the number of options. You’ll have to determine which factors are most important to you, including price, firmness, and materials. You can check customer reviews to narrow down your search.

If you have an idea of what brand or style you want and can visit a store that carries it, you shouldn’t have a problem shopping in-person. If you want more options without traveling to several different stores, online will be the better option for you.


Choosing a mattress is an important decision, so the shopping process can be very time-consuming, whether you’re shopping in-person or online. Mattress experts recommend lying on a mattress for 20 minutes to test it out, so you could spend several hours in one store trying out different mattresses. Online, you don’t have the option of lying on a mattress, so the shopping can be faster.

When shopping at traditional retailers, you’ll have to set aside enough time to make a lengthy visit to a mattress store, which can be difficult if you have kids or work long hours. Depending on which stores you need to visit, it may be a long drive. You can shop online for mattresses at any time of the day, and you can stop your search and resume it whenever you want. If you’re very busy and value convenience as a top priority, shopping online is probably your best option.


The biggest downfall to shopping online is the inability to test out the mattresses. You can do plenty of research and read customer reviews, but you can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy a mattress until you try it out. Everyone has different wants and needs for a mattress, so positive customer reviews aren’t always a surefire way to know that a mattress is right for you.

You spend about a third of your life sleeping, and good sleep is essential for your health. It’s important to have a mattress that improves your quality of sleep and helps you feel calm and relaxed during the day. You probably have some idea of what you need or want in a mattress, but you can’t know for sure that your choice is correct until you try it out.

Many online retailers have a generous return period, so you can return your mattress if it’s not the right fit. However, having to return a mattress and search for a new one after a lengthy shopping and comparison process can be very frustrating.

Sales Help

When you shop online, you can use the Internet as a helpful resource. However, having a knowledgeable salesperson assisting you can be very beneficial if you’re not sure what you want. Many sites have email, chat, or phone assistance, but conversations may be rushed or less helpful than in-person sales assistance.

If you prefer shopping on your own without the presence of a salesperson, you will probably have a good experience shopping online. If you need a salesperson to provide you with more information or help you make a choice, in-person is a better option for you.


Shipping and delivery will vary depending on the store or site you shop from and the brand you buy, but most traditional retailers have similar delivery processes. When an in-person mattress store delivers your mattress, they’ll set it up for you, and they’ll usually remove your old mattress for free or for a small fee. When shopping online, you may have to set the mattress up on your own. They also usually won’t remove your old mattress, or they’ll charge a high fee for it.

If you want the convenience of having your new mattress set up for you, in-person stores may be better. If you feel confident that you can set your mattress up yourself, buying online shouldn’t be an issue.

The choice between buying a mattress online or from a traditional retailer depends on your personal priorities. Though being able to test out the mattress in a brick and mortar store would be beneficial, there are more benefits to buying a mattress online, including price, convenience, and availability.


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