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Bedroom

Mattress Store Guide

If you're in the market for a new mattress, where – and when – you purchase the bed can affect how much you spend. Some shoppers prefer the convenience of purchasing their mattresses online and receiving their new beds in the mail. Others enjoy the personalized experience of testing out and buying a mattress at a brick-and-mortar store.

Keep reading to learn the different pros and cons of online vs. brick-and-mortar mattress brands. In addition to helping you learn about the best place to buy a mattress, we'll discuss the different types of beds, expected costs for shipping and returns, and some helpful mattress buying tips.

Mattress Options

Before deciding where to buy a new mattress, you should research different brands and models to narrow down your ideal bed type. Important considerations include materials and design options, firmness, thickness, and size.

Materials and Construction

Every individual mattress model is unique, but the vast majority of beds sold today fall into one of five general categories based on their material composition.

Category Materials Pros Cons Average Lifespan Average Price Range (Queen)
Foam
  • Polyfoam and/or memory foam comfort layers
  • High-density foam support core
  • Close body-contouring and above-average pressure relief
  • Very good motion isolation
    No noise
  • Weak edge support
  • May sleep hot for some
6 to 7 years $900 to $1,200
Innerspring
  • Polyfoam comfort layers
  • Steel coil support core
  • Strong edge support
  • Coils promote airflow and cooling
  • Good responsiveness for sex
  • Minimal conforming and pressure relief
  • Poor motion isolation
5 to 7 years $900 to $1,100
Hybrid
  • Latex, memory foam, polyfoam and/or minicoil comfort layers
  • Pocketed coil support core
  • Good balance of pressure relief and responsiveness
  • Steady airflow helps regulate temperature
  • May be too responsive for some couples
  • Expensive price-points
6 to 7 years $1,600 to $2,200
Latex
  • Latex comfort layers and support core
  • Very durable and responsive
  • Breathable with minimal heat absorption
  • Body-contouring without the deep sink
  • Minimal edge support
  • Expensive price-points
8+ years $1,600 to $2,200
Airbed
  • Polyfoam or memory foam comfort layers
  • Adjustable air chamber support core
  • Customizable firmness levels
  • Dual-firmness options for couples
  • Exceptional durability
  • Limited availability
  • Most expensive price-points
8+ years $2,000 to $2,400

Firmness and Thickness

Mattress firmness – which refers to a bed's surface feel – is evaluated using a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Most mattresses sold today fall between 3 and 8 on this scale.

Ideal firmness level often depends on your body type and sleep position. If you weigh less than 130 pounds and/or sleep on your side, chances are you'll feel most comfortable on a softer mattress (1-4) that conforms closely to your body. Firmer beds may not conform enough, resulting in less pain and pressure relief.

If you weigh more than 230 pounds and/or sleep on your back or stomach, you may prefer a firmer mattress (7-10) instead. Firmer beds typically offer more support, whereas softer beds may sink a bit too much and cause you to experience added aches and pains.

Many sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds find the medium (4-5) to medium firm (5-7) feel most comfortable. These firmness levels offer a balance of body-contouring and support, so you'll experience pressure relief without sinking too deeply beneath the surface.

In addition to firmness, you should also take thickness into account. Mattresses fall into three general categories based on their thickness profile: low (shorter than 10 inches), medium (10 to 12 inches), and high (more than 12 inches). Some people have a harder time getting on and off low-profile beds, while others struggle moving across high-profile beds. As with firmness, a mid-level thickness is optimal for many sleepers.

Sizes

Mattresses made today are sold in the following standard sizes.

Size Dimensions (Width x Length) Ideal for...
Twin/Single 38" x 75"
  • Single sleepers
  • Children
  • People who are 6'2” and shorter
Twin XL 38" x 80"
  • Single sleepers
  • Children and teenagers
  • People who are 6'7” and shorter
Full/Double 54" x 75"
  • Single sleepers
  • Children
  • People who are 6'2” and shorter
Queen 60" x 80"
  • Single sleepers
  • Couples
  • People who are 6'7” and shorter
King 76" x 80"
  • Couples
  • People who are 6'7 and shorter
California King 72" x 84"
  • Couples
  • People who are 6'11” and shorter

Some brands offer additional sizes, as well. These include split queen, king, and California king sizes, which consist of two separate beds that can be pushed together to create a larger sleep surface. You may also find some models available in full XL and short queen sizes.

Buying a Mattress Online

Thanks to the growing popularity of "bed-in-a-box" brands, buying a mattress online has never been easier. Online mattress purchases still account for a low percentage of industry sales – about 12 to 15 percent.. However, this percentage represents a steady increase over the past five years.

The best online mattress brands maintain informative websites with detailed product specs, answers to frequently asked questions, and easy access to shipping, return, and warranty policies. Many brands also offer live web chat with customer service representatives.

You can also opt for an online third-party retailer – such as Amazon.com – that sells mattresses from other manufacturers. The sticker price might be lower with some retailers. However, you may not qualify for full sleep trials, free shipping, and other perks that come with ordering from the original brand.

Advantages of Buying a Mattress Online

 

  • Affordable Price-Points: Online mattress brands and retailers have low overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar sellers. As a result, beds sold online generally cost less than those sold in stores.
  • Buying Convenience: When you buy a mattress in a store, you'll be limited to that establishment's business hours. Travel distance may also be a factor for people in rural locations. Online purchases can be made 24 hours a day from the comfort of your home.
  • Easy Comparison Shopping: Buying online allows you to browse the websites of different mattress brands and compare different models. Comparison shopping can be a bit more difficult and time-consuming when making in-store purchases.
  • Hassle-Free Purchasing: Many people find in-store shopping frustrating because they have to deal with pushy salespeople. When you buy online, you'll be able to make your purchase – or decide not to – without feeling pressure from sales staff.
  • Free Shipping: Most online mattress brands offer free ground shipping within the lower 48 states. Some also ship for free to Alaska, Hawaii, and/or Canada.
  • Long Sleep Trials: Although you won't be able to test out a mattress from an online brand without first paying for the model, most of these companies offer sleep trials of at least 90 nights and full refunds on all returns.

Disadvantages of Buying a Mattress Online

 

  • Purchase Required for Mattress Testing: You'll need to purchase a mattress from an online brand in order to test out the bed and decide whether or not to keep it. Most of these companies offer lengthy sleep trials and full refunds on mattress returns, but some shoppers are wary of buying before trying.
  • Extra Fees for Full-Service Delivery: Some online mattress brands offer free White Glove, which includes a scheduled delivery date, in-home assembly, and old mattress removal. However, most brands that offer this option charge at least $150. You should also expect to pay more for expedited ground shipping. Additionally, residents of Alaska and Hawaii usually have to pay for standard delivery.
  • Longer Wait Times: If you order a mattress online, the package may take up to three weeks to reach your residence. Brick-and-mortar mattress stores typically offer shorter delivery timetables.

Online Mattress Buying Tips

 

  • Read the Fine Print: Before committing to an online mattress brand, take some time to research the company's shipping, return, and warranty policies. This helps ensure you won't pay for mattress returns, ground shipping, and other extra fees.
  • Look for Promotions: Online mattress sellers frequently offer discount codes for their models. These are normally found on product pages, and may also be found on banners elsewhere on the site.
  • Read Customer Reviews: You should always take product reviews with a grain of salt, but onsite ratings can also help you narrow down your mattress options. Be sure to read the negative and positive reviews to get a well-rounded idea of what different models have to offer – and where they fall short.
  • Research Brick-and-Mortar Availability: Online brands with brick-and-mortar showrooms are the best of both worlds for e-shoppers. You'll be able to visit one of these establishments and lie down on mattress models for a few minutes before committing to trial purchase.
  • Take Advantage of Sleep Trials: Most online brands offer sleep trials that span at least 90 nights in length – and some let you try a bed for one year or longer before deciding whether or not to keep it. Regardless of the trial's length, we recommend testing out the mattress for as long as possible. This helps ensure you will be satisfied with the bed for years to come.
  • Read the Full Warranty: Since a standard mattress warranty lasts 10 years, a 20-year or 25-year warranty probably sounds like a bargain. However, many brands prorate their mattress replacement costs after two to five years. This means you'll pay a percentage of the original price if a defect develops within the first few years of use. Non-prorated warranties can ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long run – but also keep in mind that the average mattress lasts for seven to eight years, making a 10-year warranty more than sufficient in most cases.
  • Wait for Sales: Annual sales are very common in the online mattress biz. Many align with federal holidays, as well as major shopping days.

Top Online Mattress Brands

Some of the most popular online mattress brands are listed in the table below. Click the links in the “Brand” column to visit that company's official website. Please note that price-points listed for each model apply to queen sizes; a plus sign next to the price indicates customization options that increase the cost.

Brand Mattress Types Available Models & Prices (Queen)* Shipping Sleep Trial & Returns Warranty Length Brick-and-Mortar Locations?
Allswell Memory foam hybrid
  • The Allswell ($375)
  • The Luxe ($675)
  • The Supreme ($985)
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S.
  • $50 for Alaska and Hawaii
  • $99+ White Glove delivery
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
10 years
non-prorated (all models)
Chicago, IL
Medina, MN
Austin, TX
Avocado Latex hybrid Avocado Green ($1,399+)
  • Free ground shipping to all 50 states
  • $199 White Glove delivery
  • 1-year sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
25 years,
10 years non-prorated
Santa Monica, CA
Hoboken, NJ
Bear
  • All-foam
  • Memory foam hybrid
  • Bear Mattress ($650)
  • Bear Pro ($890)
  • Bear Hybrid ($1,140)
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S. and Canada
  • $100 for Alaska and Hawaii
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
  • 10 years non-prorated (Bear Mattress and Bear Pro)
  • 20 years
    10 years non-prorated
    (Bear Hybrid)
Hoboken, NJ
Additional partner locations
Brooklyn Bedding
  • All-foam
    Foam hybrid
    Latex hybrid
  • Bowery ($699)
  • Bowery Hybrid ($799)
  • Signature Hybrid ($949)
  • Aurora Hybrid ($1,699)
  • Bloom Hybrid ($1,799)
  • Spartan Hybrid
    ($1,999)
  • Free ground shipping to all 50 states
  • $125+ for Alaska and Hawaii
  • $250+ for Canada
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
10 years non-prorated (all models) 25 showrooms in AZ and UT plus
additional partner locations
Casper
  • All-foam
  • Memory foam hybrid
  • Element($595)
  • Casper ($1,095)
  • Casper Hybrid ($1,295)
  • Wave Hybrid ($2,595)
  • Nova Hybrid
  • Free White Glove delivery for Nova Hybrid and Wave Hybrid
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S. and Canada for Casper, Casper Hybrid, and Essential
  • $100 ground shipping for Alaska and Hawaii
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns (including applicable shipping fees)
10 years non-prorated (all models) 17 showrooms in CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, and PA plus additional partner locations
Layla
  • All-foam
  • Hybrid
    (both flippable)
  • Layla Mattress ($999)
  • Layla Hybrid ($999)
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S.
  • $125+ for Alaska and Hawaii
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
Lifetime non-prorated None
Leesa
  • All-foam
  • Memory foam hybrid
  • Leesa ($999)
  • Leesa Hybrid ($1,699)
  • Leesa Legend ($2,499)
  • Free ground shipping to all 50 states
  • $150 for White Glove delivery
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
10 years non-prorated (all models) 200+ partner stores nationwide
Purple
  • All-foam
  • Hybrid
  • Purple Mattress ($1,099)
  • Purple Hybrid ($1,599)
  • Hybrid Premier ($2,199+)
  • Free White Glove delivery to contiguous U.S. for Hybrid Premier
  • Free ground shipping for other models
  • Prorated fees for Alaska and Hawaii
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
10 years non-prorated (all models) Partner locations nationwide
Saatva
  • All-foam
  • Hybrid
  • Airbed
  • All-latex
  • Loom & Leaf ($1,499)
  • Saatva ($1,199)
  • Saatva HD ($2,499)
  • Solaire ($2,695)
  • Zenhaven ($1,899)
Free White Glove delivery to contiguous U.S. (all models)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds minus $99 return fee
  • 15 years non-prorated (Loom & Leaf and Saatva)
  • 20 years non-prorated (Saatva HD and Zenhaven)
  • 25 years non-prorated (Solaire)
None
Sleep Number Airbed
  • Classic ($999+)
  • Performance ($2,099+)
  • Innovation ($3,099+)
  • Cooling Memory Foam ($3,099)
$199+ White Glove delivery to all 50 states
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds minus $199+ return fees
25 years,
2 years non-prorated (all models)
Partner locations nationwide
Tempur-Pedic
  • All-foam
  • Memory foam hybrid
  • Adapt
    ProAdapt
  • LuxeAdapt
    breeze°
  • Free White Glove delivery to contiguous U.S.
  • $600 for Alaska and Hawaii
  • No ground shipping
  • 90-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds minus return shipping fees
10 years non-prorated (all models) Partner locations
nationwide
Tuft & Needle
  • All-foam
  • Foam hybrid
  • T&N Original ($595)
  • Mint Mattress ($995)
  • T&N Hybrid ($1,495)
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S.
  • $150+ for Alaska and Hawaii
  • $50 for same-day shipping
  • $150 for White Glove delivery
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
10 years non-prorated (all models) 8 showrooms nationwide plus
additional partner locations
WinkBeds
  • All-foam
  • Foam and latex hybrid
  • WinkBed ($1,599)
  • WinkBed Plus ($1,799)
  • MemoryLux ($1,599)
  • EcoCloud ($1,799)
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S.
  • $129+ for White Glove delivery
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
Lifetime non-prorated Partner locations nationwide

*Prices accurate at the time of writing

Buying a Mattress in a Store

Before online shopping changed the way we purchase new products, mattress buyers would need to visit a brick-and-mortar store and hand-pick the bed of their choice. Many people still prefer the in-person method, which allows you to lie down on a wide selection of beds and consult with knowledgeable employees about different models.

Mattress stores are also abundant. According to a 2018 estimate, roughly 10,000 of these establishments operate across the U.S. These locations fall into a few general categories, including:

  • National mattress retailers with locations across the U.S.
  • Locally owned mattress retailers confined to specific regions or states
  • Department and home furnishings stores that sell a wide range of household wares, including mattresses
  • Brick-and-mortar stores operated by online mattress brands – though these are much less common

It's important to distinguish between a mattress store and a mattress showroom. Many online mattress brands operate showrooms, where you can test out mattresses and talk to sales staff, but in most cases you won't be able to buy or order a bed at these locations; instead, you'll need to complete your purchase online. At mattress stores, you can try and buy a new mattress in a single visit.

Advantages of Buying a Mattress in a Store

 

  • Testing Beds in Person: Lying on a mattress for five to ten minutes may not tell you everything you need to know about that particular model. However, this process can help you immediately disqualify beds that feel too soft or firm. Whenever you visit a mattress store, we suggest trying out as many models as possible.
  • Large Mattress Selection: Brick-and-mortar mattress stores vary in size, but most carry dozens of models in stock. The best mattress stores offer a good selection of beds with different materials, profiles, firmness levels, and price ranges.
  • Employee Consultations: Many shoppers prefer the personal touch of speaking with a salesperson and discussing different bed options, rather than consulting with live chat support on an online mattress brand's website.
  • Negotiation Potential: Online brands typically sell their beds and other products at fixed prices. At a mattress store, you may be able to finagle a lower price, complimentary accessories, and other perks by negotiating with sales staff – though this may not be possible at some locations.
  • Widespread Availability: Unless you live in a very remote location, there's a good chance you have at least one or two mattress stores within reasonable driving distance.
  • Low-Cost White Glove Delivery: Policies vary by location, but many mattress stores offer full-service delivery at little to no cost for buyers. You probably won't wait very long for your mattress to arrive, either.

Disadvantages of Buying a Mattress in a Store

 

  • More Expensive Prices: Mattress store owners must contend with the overhead costs of operating a brick-and-mortar location and employing a typically large staff. You should expect to pay more for a new mattress in-person that you would online.
  • Pushy Salespeople: We've already mentioned that sales staff can be very helpful when you're browsing different mattress models. The flipside to this is that some shoppers feel extra pressure from store employees, who typically work on commission and are invested in making sales.
  • Inconvenient Shopping: Purchasing a bed from a mattress store will, in most cases, require you to travel a substantial distance during a time when the establishment is open.
  • Expensive Return Fees: Unlike online brands, brick-and-mortar mattress stores typically charge return and restocking fees if you decide not to keep the bed.

In-Store Mattress Buying Tips

 

  • Research Online First: You can prepare yourself for a mattress store visit by checking prices, shipping options, and other details from online brands. This can help you evaluate whether or not a brick-and-mortar mattress is a sound investment compared to models sold online.
  • Don't Rush the Testing Process: Carve out a substantial amount of time for your store visit and spend at least 15 minutes lying on each mattress you'd like to try out. Shift positions and get in and out of bed to test for motion isolation, edge support, ease of movement, and other performance factors.
  • Avoid Floor Models: Floor models are often sold at discount prices, but there's a catch: potentially dozens of people have already tested out these beds, and this can cause wear and tear before the mattress is even sold. On top of this, many mattress stores will not provide a warranty for floor models. Even if you save money up-front, you may face expensive replacement costs down the road.
  • Visit During the Week if Possible: Weekends at a mattress store can be an intense experience. You're much less likely to find a crowd if you visit Monday to Friday – especially in the morning or afternoon when other people are at work.
  • Ask About Online Orders: Some of the larger brick-and-mortar mattress chains also have a strong online presence. Ordering online may be more cost-effective and/or convenient, depending on your location.

Top Brick-and-Mortar Mattress Stores

As we've already discussed, there are roughly 10,000 brick-and-mortar mattress stores nationwide. Five of the most prominent companies are outlined in the table below.

Company Locations Mattress Types Available Major Brands Sold Delivery Policy Return Policy
Ashley Homestore 700+ in U.S. and Canada
  • Foam
  • Innerspring
  • Hybrid
  • Beautyrest
  • Sealy
  • Serta
  • Tempur-Pedic
  • In-home delivery only for mattresses
  • Prices vary by location
  • No mattress removal
  • Defective mattresses may be returned
  • Contact the company within 72 hours of delivery
Costco 600+ in U.S. and Canada
  • Foam
    Innerspring
  • Hybrid
  • Latex
  • Brentwood Home
  • Casper
  • GhostBed
  • Tempur-Pedic
Free ground shipping or White Glove delivery with old mattress removal to contiguous U.S. (varies by model) Full refunds for all returns from valid Costco members
Denver Mattress Co. 300+ in U.S.
  • Foam
  • Innerspring
  • Hybrid
  • Latex
  • Purple
  • Sealy
  • Serta
  • Tempur-Pedic
White Glovery with old mattress removal to contiguous U.S. (costs vary by location)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns within 4 months
  • Prorated refunds after 4 months
Ikea 400+ worldwide
  • Foam
  • Innerspring
  • Hybrid
  • Latex
Ikea
  • $59+ for home delivery with old mattress removal
  • Free in-store pickup
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Full refunds on all returns
Mattress Firm 3,000+ in U.S.
  • Foam
  • Innerspring
  • Hybrid
  • Beautyrest
  • Purple
  • Serta
  • Tempur-Pedic
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous U.S. for beds over $499
  • White Glove delivery available in select areas for added charges
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Refund minus $99.99 return fees

Online vs. In-Store

Now that we've discussed online and brick-and-mortar mattress stores in-depth, let's see how these two categories stack up against one another. The table below lists our side-by-side comparisons. Please note this comparison applies to most – but not all – mattress sellers in either category.

Type of Seller Online Mattress Brand Brick-and-Mortar Mattress Store
Standard Shipping Method
  • Ground shipping
  • Mattress is compressed and delivered curbside in a box
  • In-home delivery
  • Mattress is not compressed for shipping and delivered by couriers
Shipping Fees?
  • Almost never fees for ground shipping
  • White Glove delivery usually starts at $100
Most stores charge minimal (if any) fees for White Glove delivery
In-home Setup? Only with White Glove delivery Almost always
Old Mattress Removal? Only with White Glove delivery Almost always
Delivery Signature Required?
  • No for curbside delivery
  • Yes for White Glove delivery
Yes
Free Returns? Almost always Sometimes
Free Mattress Exchanges? Sometimes Rarely

Annual Mattress Sales

Now that we've discussed where to buy a mattress, let's briefly discuss when you should consider making a purchase. Some brands offer low price-points throughout the calendar year, but you're most likely to encounter sales and discounts that align with the following U.S. federal holidays:

  • Presidents' Day: Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day: Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • Labor Day: First Monday in September
  • Veterans Day: November 11

You'll also find great deals on mattresses that coincide with major shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which take place every year on the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, respectively. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you may receive discounts and reduced shipping if you order a mattress on Amazon Prime Day, which is annually observed on July 15.

Additionally, some brands offer special discounts to public servants such as U.S. military service members or veterans, teachers, and first responders. These discounts can save you hundreds of dollars, so keep an eye out for special deals if you have a history of public service.