One MAJOR complaint people have about the mattress industry is how difficult it is to comparison shop for mattresses. Every retailer seems to have its own name and model number for what should be the exact same mattress. They may use a different ticking (the “skin” of the mattress), or add a quarter inch extra of foam, or add 5 more coils, or some other minor difference to call it a different mattress. Some people have even claimed it is “impossible to comparison shop for a mattress.” I disagree with this assessment. It can be difficult to comparison shop for a mattress, but it is not impossible. I will give you some tips to help compare mattresses among retailers.
Comparing name brands
Big name brand manufacturers are usually the easiest to comparison shop on, even if everything has a different name. There are often lineups of mattresses within the brand which can be directly compared. For example, consider Simmons. They have several lines of mattresses. They have the Deep Sleep lineup and the Beautyrest lineup. Within the Beautyrest lineup, there are the regular Recharges, and the World Class Recharges.
To make sure you’re looking at the same mattress, you need to look at the specs of the mattress. Compare each layer between the retailers. As a shortcut, you can also look at the height of the mattress (although there are some rounding differences. One place might call it 13″ while another says 12.5″, for example). Once you find a mattress in the same lineup with the same height (and the same firmness), it’s just a matter of double-checking the layers of foam.
Once you’ve found the mattress in the same lineup, same height with the same foams as the mattress you liked, you have a match.
You can do two things with this information. You can just buy it online from the cheapest place, or take that price into your local mattress store and see if they can match or beat the price. Buying online is usually a little more convenient up front, but brick-and-mortar retailers are sometimes easier to reach with customer service issues.
Comparing non-name brands
It can be a bit more difficult to compare mattresses from smaller brands, or brands that custom-make their mattresses for various retailers. You cannot go by a lineup name in these cases. You have to go by the specs. This takes a bit more digging around. It works the same as with the brand name ones, but you do not have the help of the lineup. You have to go just by the components.
The way I do this is doing a Google search for the coil system that it uses, and then finding ones with that coil system with similar layers of foam. There’s not always a match, so it’s tougher.
Other factors to consider between mattress retailers
Price is not the only thing to consider when comparison shopping. There are a few other factors to look for.
Make sure the retailer has either an exchange or a return policy. This is doubly true for internet retailers, since you won’t have the chance to lie on that exact model of mattress before buying it. Expect at least a 30 day exchange policy from a retailer. Some charge a second delivery fee, some charge a flat exchange fee, some charge a percentage of the original price.
There are several factors to consider when comparing delivery services. What is the price? How quickly can it be shipped? Do you get to pick your own time window, or do they call you the day of delivery? Will the drivers set up the merchandise, or do they drop it off at your front door? It might be worthwhile to spend a little extra money to get the service that best fits your schedule.
If all else is equal, consider the reputation of the retailer. Is this some fly-by-night internet company that will be out of business in a year? Or is it a nationwide brand that has been around for half a century?
I hope I have cleared up the process to compare mattresses between retailers. If you are able to comparison shop, you are able to pit one retailer against another and force them to drop their price to earn your business.
Thanks for reading.
If all of this seems a bit confusing or too time consuming, let me do the work for you! Take advantage of my free Mattress Comparison Shopping Service