Tips for Buying a Mattress Online
May 17, 2013
Buying a mattress online can afford smart shoppers great deals, but many perceive it as too risky. In a previous article we took a look at myths surrounding buying a mattress online, but we thought a guide specifically tailored to online shopping might prove helpful. Innovations in Internet-based digital technology have improved our lives in immeasurable ways over the past decade. Shopping is no exception and virtually every product is available online – including name-brand and high-quality mattresses – often at deeply discounted prices compared to local showrooms.
When dealing with a reputable retailer, consumers should have no concerns that buying a mattress online is a risky endeavor. In fact, by following a few simple tips, including consulting mattress reviews, shoppers should have as smooth a buying process as with local shops, if not better. Consumers buying a mattress online are more likely to be on the receiving end of a rewarding experience than if they were to drive all over town listening to dozens sales pitches and trying a beds for a few minutes in a crowded showroom.
However, you should be prepared to do your homework in order to ensure you find the right mattress. When buying a mattress online, you are in complete control of the process. In fact, that is one of the most powerful benefits; you have unlimited time to research, a wealth of information at your fingertips, and no pressure. Ask the same questions you would in a store when buying a mattress online, and don’t be afraid to call or chat with an online retailer to learn more about their products. Because you aren’t constrained to what is available locally, you are able to consider a broad selection and are more likely to make a purchase at significant savings. But there are also pitfalls to avoid or the consumer risks a bad deal that can haunt their sleep – or lack thereof – for years to come.
Here are some essential tips for buying a mattress online:
Get familiar with mattress materials.
The modern mattress market is a varied place with many highly technical sleep systems to consider. Use the online resources available to whittle down the possibilities and conduct comparison shopping. From traditional innerspring mattresses, to memory foam, latex foam, and waterbeds, consumers have more bedding choices today than ever before. Each mattress type is accompanied by specific pros and cons that should be considered against the individual’s needs and budget. Research the different types to find the best type of mattress for your needs. If your biggest concern is pressure relief, you might opt for memory foam; if you are most concerned with having a natural product, you might opt for latex, and so on. Think about your current and past mattresses and what was good and bad to get an idea of your preferences.
Just because you are planning on buying a mattress online, doesn’t mean you can’t make a trip to a local mattress showroom to test drive what is available. If you’ve already targeted a specific mattress, this can be a great opportunity to feel how comfortable and supportive it is in the real world before making the purchase. If you’re still in the browsing phase, visiting a showroom can help you eliminate options that don’t fit your needs. Test a variety of types and brands to get a feel of the market – but don’t commit a purchase just yet. Try out memory foam, latex, and springs and see what feels best, then get to work online.
Consult mattress reviews.
Most reputable online retailers allow customer reviews of their products on their websites. If the retailer does not offer any reviews or only “testimonial” style statements, ask why this might be. While it can be hard to sort fake reviews from real ones, some companies offer independently moderated reviews on their sites via services like PowerReviews that verify reviewers are actual customers (usually by matching reviewer emails to a database of people who purchased off the website). No one mattress will please every single person, but you want to look for repetitive complaints about quality or service issues. Also check third party forums and review sites for honest feedback, and social media and blogs can prove useful as well.
As far as determining whether a brand’s reviews are “good” or not when buying a mattress online, consider comparing them with industry average scores. If the reviews average within this range, they are comparable to most competitors, if above than the mattress is better than average, and if below, it might be best to keep looking.
- All-Latex Mattresses – about 81-85% positive (or 4.0-4.25 out of 5 stars)
- Memory Foam Mattresses – about 79-82% positive (or 3.9-4.1 out of 5 stars)
- Innerspring Mattresses – about 60-70% positive (or 3.0-3.5 out of 5 stars)
Get a good deal.
The mattress business is no stranger to sales, and you can often find good incentives especially around holidays. Always look for deals on the retailer websites and inquire about online coupons or special promotions. Some brands like Tempurpedic have set pricing regardless of dealer, so you may not be able to save but may get added perks like extended trials or freebies. Other lesser known brands retail their own products online, cutting out the middle men. They often have comparable or higher quality relative to the big name brands, often at better prices since they don’t have to tack on dealer markups and hefty marketing costs. Once you have narrowed down your mattress type, compare the brands you find to see which offer the best combination of affordability and features, aka value.
But, remember, “You get what you pay for”.
This old saying sticks around because it is almost always true. If the price of a mattress seems too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided despite the temptation, especially if it involves foreign-made products which are frequently constructed with substandard, or even dangerous, materials. Sure, you might be able to find a $300 memory foam bed online, but this will most likely come with low density foam, poor comfort and/or weak service guarantees. Buying a cheap mattress that will last only a year or two, if you’re lucky, simply doesn’t compare to spending a little more for a sleep system that will properly function for a decade or more. Look at what you are actually getting for the price in terms of materials, quality and guarantees. While you probably don’t want to buy the cheapest bed out there, the most expensive won’t necessarily guarantee comfort either. Like we mentioned before, look at what is actually inside the bed. In other words, don’t throw common sense out the window when buying a mattress online.
Make sure you can return.
If you are buying a mattress online, an in-home trial period of at least 60-90 days is imperative. Reputable dealers have this option built into their buying process and their terms are clear and reasonable regarding exchanges in the event the mattress doesn’t live up to expectations and needs to be returned for a different model. This takes the risk out of purchasing online and ensure you get a comfortable bed. Remember, even when buying in showrooms people have buyer’s remorse rates of 40% or so. Picking a bed, whether you test it first or not, is not a foolproof process. The true test comes when actually sleep on it in your home.
Check the warranty.
Only consider retailers who offer a long-term warranty, 10 years minimum. If an online retailer doesn’t stand behind the quality of their products with long-term warranties that are based on reasonable terms, this should be considered a huge red flag and cause to move on to the next option. This is especially true of mattresses offered at ultra-cheap prices and discount stores. Savings should never be considered a proper trade-off for a product that provides no protection to the consumer. Most warranties are prorated, but you should look for full coverage periods of at least 10 years for foam and latex beds, and 5 years for spring beds.
Recommendations for Buying a Mattress Online
Not sure where to start? Half of the battle when buying a mattress online is locating a good retailer. Here are some of the standouts from our research and previous comparisons. There are several good options out there, but these we’ve found to have better than average reviews and good values.
- Memory Foam Mattresses – Amerisleep.com sells plant-based memory foam mattresses at affordable prices. Their website is secure and easy to use, with verified reviews showing above-average ratings. Their plant-based formula also offers several perks over traditional foams.
- Innerspring Mattresses – US-Mattress.com is a good source for a range of the most popular innerspring mattress brands.
- Latex Mattresses – Astrabeds.com came out on top when we compared all-natural latex mattress brands, as they use 100% natural, organic latex, organic cotton and natural wool in their reasonably-priced beds.
Consumers have never had more tools at their disposal to ensure quality purchases are made, regardless of the product. With the limitless information and numerous resources on the internet, buying a mattress online is a truly viable option and really no more risky than buying in a store. This method of shopping allows consumers to consider a full range of options, making it possible to explore hundreds of beds from the couch, comparing and researching at one’s leisure. By checking reviews and doing your research when buying a mattress online, you can buy with confidence and security.
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