There are literally hundreds of mattresses to choose from among the different brands in the bedding industry, so where the heck do you even start? Well, the Slumber Yard is a great place and we’ve created this helpful guide to help shoppers get the ball rolling on a new mattress purchase.

Step 1: Consider Your Options

Mattress shopping isn’t the same as it used to be, and in this day and age, you’re able to purchase a mattress with just the touch of a button. We understand, though, shopping for a mattress online isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and some people would still rather visit a brick-and-mortar retailer for their mattress. But we highly recommend that all shoppers weigh out both of their options beforehand.

Why purchase a mattress online?

When you purchase a mattress from an online retailer with a direct-to-consumer business model, you’re usually promised three things; free shipping, a trial period, and a lengthy warranty policy. Of course, specific policies vary from brand to brand, but this helps take the risk away from blindly purchasing a bad (buying a bed without feeling it first) because you get to try it without any real commitment.

nectar lush mattress review
The Nectar Lush mattress comes with a full-year test period

Trials range from 100 nights all the way up to 365 nights, which is obviously more time than the 30-45 minutes you might spend in a store testing out beds. There are in-store brands that provide free trials, but often times if you read the fine print, there’s either a restocking fee and return fee, only one return allowed per purchase (which is bad news for families who buy more than one bed at once), and other terms that aren’t so helpful when trying to make a hassle-free return.

Aside from that, you simply have more options online. You can find a quality mattress that fits your exact needs down to a T. You can search for a 12” thick hybrid bed made from memory foam with a medium firmness, or you can find an all-foam natural and organic latex bed. When you go in-store, your options are much more limited.

Why go in-store to buy a bed?

You’re able to physically see and touch a mattress when you purchase in-store, which is certainly an advantage to some people. If you’re a particularly picky individual who’s self admittedly hard to please, you also might want to go in-store. Returning a mattress once or twice online isn’t a big deal, but the process can get real drawn out and tedious if you’re just buying and returning back-to-back-to-back mattresses.

tulo mattress review bed in a box
Tulo is a mattress that’s available in-store and online

You might also want to buy in-store if you’re tight on time. For example, if you’re in a circumstance where you need a mattress within the next 24-48 hours or so, you likely won’t get your bed in time if you purchase online. Beds typically take about 4 days to a week to show up at your doorstep, while in-store mattresses can be wrapped up and taken home on the spot.

Step 2: Compare Prices

Once you decide whether you’re shopping through the in-store or online realm (or if you’re browsing through both), you need to make sure you compare different prices. Don’t settle on the first mattress you stumble across, even if it sounds like a perfect fit. You might be able to find another “perfect mattress” with an even more wallet-friendly price tag if you take an extra day or two to do diligent research. Here are the general prices of each mattress tier:

  • Budget: less than $200 to about $750
  • Average: around $800 to $1,500
  • Luxury: about $1,700 and above

Wait for big sales

Online brands are usually running some kind of promotion or discount, but there are prime mattress buying times during the year where you can get one either online or in-store for a pretty dang good deal.

For in-store purchases, springtime to early summer is an ideal time to buy a mattress. Stores usually roll out new models around this time, which means they discount the remaining older models left on the showroom floor.

For the entire mattress industry, though, you can find the major deals around these holidays:

  • President’s Day
  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July

If your mattress can hold up until one of these mentioned national holidays, it might be worth it for those trying to save extra dough (at least $100 or more, for most brands).

Some luxury brands, though, don’t ever discount their beds. So be mindful of this if you’re waiting around for certain high-end, premium mattresses to drop in price.

Step 3: Arrange Transportation Method (Delivery, Pick Up)

Once you find the mattress you’re ready to purchase, it’s time to get the sucker into your bedroom. This process might look different for some people, depending on where you decided to purchase your bed.

If you buy from a bed-in-a-box retailer, they’ll deliver your mattress to your front door in a box, and it’s free of charge. Some online brands like Loom and Leaf offer free white glove delivery, which means they’ll even do all the heavy lifting and set up your mattress in-home for you. Other times, white glove delivery will cost a fee.

Others offer a fee, but it’s nice for elderly folks or people who have trouble handling heavy objects (or for those who just don’t want to, that’s fine too). You’ll probably have to pay extra to return a mattress that came via white glove delivery, but at least you didn’t have to go through any of the extra set up work.

For those of you who purchase in-store, you can either take the mattress home via truck bed/car roof, or you can arrange it to be delivered by the retailer you purchased it from. Places like Mattress Firm will deliver your mattress for you, but more often than not, it’ll be an extra charge. If you take it home yourself, make sure you have the proper equipment such as ratcheting straps or lockable tie-down straps — and your own method of transportation, of course.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Bed Or Return It

After you purchase your mattress DO NOT REMOVE TAGS OR TOSS THE RECEIPT. You don’t want to give your retailer any reason to not accept a bed in the event you don’t love it.

If the return period allows it, give your body about 3-4 weeks to become acclimated to your new mattress — especially if you’ve slept on the same one for a decade. Then, if you don’t love it, talk to your retailer about getting a refund. If you purchased a bed with a zero return policy, though, you unfortunately don’t have that opportunity.

Attention mattress shoppers; be aware of a company’s return policy before you buy the bed. Worst case scenario, you overlook the return policy on a $1,500 bed and find out (when it’s too late) that you can’t get your money back — even if you hate it. Prevent this from happening by taking a little extra time to research a company’s different policies before you buy it. If you’re in-store, make sure you ask a manager.