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Seniors Guide to Online Mattress Shopping

Seniors Guide to Online Mattress Shopping

A guide to all things senior citizens should consider before their next mattress purchase.

Shutterstock: wavebreakmedia

When the time comes to search for a new mattress, knowing where to start can be intimidating. You want to make sure your mattress is going to be comfortable, accommodating, and help you get a restful night’s sleep.

While mattress retailers don’t usually have any senior-specific discounts, a great deal on a new bed is still within reach. Sales, negotiating, and shopping around can ensure that you get the best deal for your bed. To start the process off easy, most mattresses can be compared online. Compare mattresses you’re most interested in, or ones you’ve heard the most about to get an idea of what features you want in a new bed. 

Aso keep in mind, a majority of online shopping scams are geared towards seniors. So being aware of targeted ads and suspicious sites can ensure you don’t fall victim to any scams. Mattress shopping has a lot of moving parts, but the undertaking is worth the result: a comfortable, nice mattress you will sleep on for many years to come. 

With the right combination of avoiding misleading ads, determining the best time of year to shop, and understanding all the options available to you, finding a great inexpensive mattress is possible. Our goal is to provide you with the correct information to find great deals and avoid any false advertisements. 

Avoiding the Misleading Sales Process

While sales are common in the mattress industry, none of the ones we’ve seen have been senior-specific. Still, waiting for sales is a smart way to save money.

Of course, if your mattress is causing you pain or has broken, you may not be in a place to wait before purchasing a new one. In any other case, taking a few days or weeks to do your research and monitor the price of mattresses can save you a lot of money. Depending on the promotion, brands can sell their beds anywhere between $100-$300 or more off MSRP. 

With that being said, even if you see a sale going on, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to pull out your credit card. At times, sales can be misleading and not truly save you any money because the “sale” price is what the company regularly sells it for. Take your time to see what else is out there and learn what a fair mattress price is for the style and quality you’re seeking.

Here are some strategies to avoid misleading sales practices.

Buy From Someone You Trust

Mattresses are purchased so infrequently, about once every decade, that it’s rare to have a go-to store you trust to give the fairest deal. That’s where mattress review sites like ours come in. 

Instead of starting your search for a mattress in-store, start with a review site. A review site allows customers to compare the quality and price of mattress models side-by-side. Instead of feeling pressured by a salesperson to pick one you may regret later, taking this first step online provides you with uninterrupted time to evaluate your options.  

When you’re done comparing models, there’s no reason you need to visit a specialty mattress store. Stores like Target and Kohl’s also sell mattresses and may have what you’re looking for in stock. Being in a familiar environment can also take the pressure off when making this more expensive purchase. 

Negotiate and be Ready to Walk Away

If you choose a specialty mattress store, be prepared to negotiate and even walk away if necessary. In-store mattress retailers sometimes artificially inflate sales tags to make their prices seem like a bargain. If you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to spot these unnecessarily high prices. 

You can try negotiating with the salesperson. Some things you can say include, “This is a great mattress, but my budget is X. Is there any way you can meet that?” Or, if you know a mattress model is available somewhere else for a lower price but buying from this store is more convenient for you, ask them to price match. In that case, you could say, “I want to buy this mattress from your store, but the same model is available at X for X dollars cheaper. Are you able to price match or provide free delivery to make up for the difference?” 

If you go in during a sale, an associate may try to pressure you by saying something along the lines of “the sale ends today.” If you’re not ready to buy today, walk away. A well-priced mattress will still be there when you want it. 

Know the Policies Before you Buy

When you find a mattress you like, it’s all too easy to buy it in a rush. Taking a few minutes to learn the policies and fees associated with your mattress can save you a headache later on. 

For starters, confirm the shipping and warranty policies that come with the mattress. If you’re unhappy with either, ask if they have the ability to be adapted. In a similar vein, ask about any hidden fees, such as shipping or removal of your old mattress. If you’ve agreed to a trial period to test out a mattress, determine all fees associated with that period before signing the agreement. 

If you don’t like the mattress, will the company pick it up? Do you have to pay more to do a trial? Knowing the answers to these questions, along with any others you have, will ensure you stick within your budget and leave happy. 

Trust your Gut

A good retailer will make sure you’re comfortable spending a large amount of money and getting what you want. If you feel like a salesperson is pushing you too hard or making you pay more than necessary, there’s nothing wrong with leaving midway through a sale. 

Mattress Manufacturer vs. Department Store vs. Mattress Store

Which is the best situation to purchase your mattress from? Know the pros and cons of these types to give you an idea about which you’ll be most comfortable with. 

Mattress manufacturer

While department stores and retailers have to account for the cost of buying mattresses from the producer, manufacturers can cut that cost and directly sell their product. Brands like Casper and Nectar Sleep sell directly to consumers, allowing them to charge less for the same quality mattress.

Department store

A department store like Kohls or Target has to pay for the cost of physical locations and make a profit after purchasing products from wholesalers. Typically department stores will have a markup of 50 to 80 percent on items sold. 

Mattress store

As a middleman between manufacturers and customers, a mattress store must pay the distributor markup and then raise the price again to make a profit. Therefore, mattress stores are likely to have similar or higher markup as department stores.

Best Time of Year to Shop for Mattresses

No matter where you decide to buy your next mattress from, paying attention to when you choose to buy it can save you even more money.

In March and April, new models are rolled out, leaving the floor models and older selections up for sale at a steep discount. The newest style may instantly feel overrated when you see how cheap last year’s is in comparison. If you’ve missed that window and need a new mattress relatively soon, holiday weekends are your next best bet. 

Here are a few holiday sales to utilize when looking for your next mattress with percentages based on the average of sales from several popular retailers: 

  • Father’s Day: Mattresses will be on sale from the Friday before Father’s Day Sunday to the Tuesday after. Sales vary from 10 to 50 percent off.
  • Memorial Day: Available between the Thursday or Friday before Memorial Day to the Tuesday after, Memorial Day sales for mattresses range from 10 to 25 percent off. 
  • Veterans Day: With Veteran’s Day often falling during the week, the date often encompasses whichever weekend it lands closer to. Last year sales ranged from 10 to 44 percent off. 
  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday: From the day after Thanksgiving to the Monday after, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are the unofficial start to the holiday season. In 2019, mattress sales ranged from 10 to 59 percent off in a few cases.  
  • Labor Day: End the summer with an amazing new mattress thanks to Labor Day’s long weekend sales—typically running from Friday to Monday. Last year discounts were available from 10 to 25 percent off. 

Other Places For Discounts

As is the case with most product categories, there are plenty of specialty stores you can purchase a mattress through, but they are far from the only option. 

Lots of places that aren’t known as mattress stores sell a variety of mattresses and offer store-wide senior discounts—a huge win. Here are a few places you can shop for your next mattress and get that helpful senior discount. 

Retailer NameAge RequirementPercentageAdditional DetailsDiscount Source
Kohl’s5515%Available every WednesdayKohls.com 
Walmart
VariedSelect days and locationsWalmart.com
Target
VariedSelect days and locationsTarget.com
Kmart5040%Available at select location on MondaysKmart.com
Belk5520%Available every TuesdayBelk.com
Amazon PrimeSenior with an EBT card or on Medicaid50% off Amazon PrimeAvailable anytimeAmazon.com
Bon-Ton5510%-20%One senior day a monthBonton.com

By browsing through your different options, you can more easily find a price you’re comfortable with.