You can’t really go wrong when you’re shopping for a new mattress. Still, people can get hung up on whether they should buy their next mattress in-store or online. Both options have trade-offs and strengths that can’t be ignored.

Deciding which avenue is right for you can be difficult. So we’ve compared important factors by online and in-store shopping experiences to help you make the right decision for you. When you’re reading, think about what’s important to you –– what are you looking for in your next bed? How confident are you in your mattress knowledge? What’s your budget? That’s how you’ll choose whether online or in-store mattress shopping is right for you. 

Price and Savings

Online

We’ll start off with arguably the most important factor when it comes to online mattress shopping: price. You generally save about 15% off the cost of your mattress when you shop online. The competition in the best online mattress space is really high, so you’ll get to take advantage of killer prices all year long. Seriously, there is basically always a deal going on. 

When you’re shopping online, you have the option to buy straight from the manufacturer or on marketplaces like Amazon. All the while, you have the opportunity to do as much research as you want. You could read all of our best mattress lists and online mattress reviews and still take advantage of online savings. You have the power to compare online mattresses and make an informed decision

If you buy your mattress in-store, you have to pay a sales tax for your state. However, when you buy a mattress online and it is from another state, you bypass that fee. 

In-store

Mattress stores have one of the highest profit markets in retail –– beds can be marked up as high as 30% to 50%. While some people mistake a high price tag for luxury, keep in mind that markups don’t mean the mattresses are of better quality. We’re not saying you’re going to keep a bad deal if you shop in a mattress store. Brick and mortar stores have sales associates that allow you to negotiate on price, so you don’t actually pay that super inflated price in most cases. You won’t get this opportunity online –- what you see in your cart is what you pay. 

We can’t ignore the fact that you might feel more confident about the amount of money you’re spending when you shop in a store. You can do all the research possible online and still not know if you will really like the bed –– good return policies make up for that, but we’ll get to that later. Some people are willing to pay a little extra in-store to try the mattress and have a better grip on how your body responds to it. 

Selection and Availability of Mattresses 

Online

In our opinion, when it comes to selection and availability, online shopping is the clear winner. So you’re not sure what you’re looking for and what the most options are, online shopping will serve you best. Only how much time you’re willing to dedicate to mattress shopping will limit your mattress selection. 

In-store

Many mattress stores have some sort of exclusivity agreements with brands that limit the styles and options they carry. Not to mention that mattress stores can only hold so many mattresses on the floor. Because of that, your selection and price ranges will be limited to what they have. Of course, you won’t have these problems if you shop online. If you’re the type of person who knows what they want and don’t intend to stray far from the standard, in-store mattress shopping will suit you just fine. 

Trial Period and Returns

Online

Online shopping does mean that you won’t get to try the mattress before you buy. For most people who choose to buy their mattress in-store, this is the reason why, which we understand.  But buying a mattress online isn’t as risky as it seems.

Most online retailers have really good trial periods and free returns. For example, Nectar mattresses have a 365 trial period, and Brooklyn Bedding has a 120 trial period. In addition, both brands offer free shipping and returns. That’s pretty much standard online. So if you get the mattress in your home and find that it isn’t giving you what you need, you can always return it. All it takes is a bit of coordination on your part –– generally, you arrange with FedEx or UPS to return it. 

In-store

The trial period you get from a mattress store is typically much shorter since you can feel it before buying. And return policies tend to be a bit more complicated and often involve delivery and return fees. When you’re shopping for your next bed, make sure you take the time to understand the store’s return policies before you buy. The last thing you want to do is be on the hook for unexpected charges. 

Customer Service

Online

You get flexibility and convenience with online shopping. If you don’t want to, you never even have to leave your home. For some people, that is a dream. For others, online customer service is not their preference. Online mattress shopping offers flexibility, but you don’t get the real-person feel of shopping in-store. Online chat boxes can only go so far when you need a lot of help picking your next mattress. 

You do, however, skip the feeling that someone is trying to make a commission off your sale. There is no pushy salesperson there to make you keep like you have to buy. 

In-store

If you’re a person who wants someone there to help you and share their opinions, then in-store mattress shopping should be your move. Admittedly, some of the mattress jargon can get pretty confusing. A salesperson would be there to help you make sense of it all. This bit all comes down to preference. We can’t rank one shopping type higher than another in this category. 

In the End, There Doesn’t Have to Be an Either-Or

You read this whole thing, thinking we would have an answer to which way you should shop for your mattress. The fact is, for most people, shopping for their next mattress could be a combination of the two shopping methods. 

We encourage you to do as much research as you can, so if you do go in-store to test out mattresses, you don’t end up overpaying. On the other hand, you might start by testing in a mattress store and then order online to take a couple hundred off the top. There is no right or wrong way to do it. And for many of us, the journey to buying our next bed is very much entwined. 

Too Long, Didn’t Read?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both buying online and shopping in stores. First, you have to decide what you’re willing to do for your dream bed. For many people, the line is blurred. You might go into the store and try them and end up ordering your bed online. Or you do your research online, and you buy in-store. There is no right or wrong way to do it. 

You should buy your mattress online if:

  • You want a wide range of beds –– of all types and price ranges. 
  • You want to save money. Deals and discounts are available year-round when you shop online. 
  • You’re ready to do some research and decide which mattress is right for you. If you don’t know where to start, our best pages are a great jumping-off point. 

You should buy your mattress in-store if:

  • You value the expertise and support a salesperson offers. 
  • You want to lay down and roll around on the mattress before you buy. 

FAQs

Why are people buying mattresses online?

Online mattress shopping is more popular than over. It’s easy, convenient and frequently cheaper to buy your bed online. You can shop from your new bed for your old one! The return policies and trial periods are pretty generous, too, so buying your mattress online is low risk. 

Is it safe to buy a mattress online?

There is no risk to buying a mattress online. Even though you can’t try it out before you buy it, the trial periods and free returns make it easy to exchange your model if it doesn’t suit your needs. 

How do I know what kind of mattress to buy?

Deciding what type of mattress to buy depends on your sleeping preferences, body type and sleeper style. We can tell you that heavy people generally need the support and stability of a coil mattress. On the other hand, side sleepers need pressure relief on their shoulder and hip areas, so they generally like mattresses in the medium firmness range. 

Is an online mattress right for me?

If you want to save money and have the time to research which mattress is best for you, then buying a bed online is probably right for you. If you don’t benefit from the salesperson relationship and don’t want someone looking over your shoulder, then yes, buy your bed online. 

What kind of mattresses can you buy online?

You can buy every type of mattress online –– some types are even exclusive to online sales. Mattress brands and online marketplaces like Amazon will have every type of mattress a store would have. You can get a traditional innerspring, hybrid and memory foam mattress online. And don’t forget about the fancy features, like cooling technology and organic certifications.