Sleep Resources

Best Time to Buy a Mattress

Score some great deals and find out the best times to buy a mattress!

By Daniel Grogan

Like with any major purchase, shopping for the right mattress requires careful planning, especially if you’re on a budget. Luckily, you can ensure you’re getting a high-quality bed for a discounted price by carefully analyzing the best times to shop for a mattress, as well as comparing online shopping versus shopping in-person. 

Below is a comprehensive analysis of a few of the prime seasons for buying the best mattresses.

Shop in the Spring

During the springtime, mattress companies tend to introduce their latest models of memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses, hybrids, and latex mattresses. In order to help promote these new models, they’ll typically offer huge discounts or sales, so you can get yourself a brand new mattress for a lower price as part of a launch promotion. 

Also, while these manufacturers are rolling out their new line of mattresses, they’ll usually put older models on sale. Look at some of the discontinued mattress models that are being phased out of production and you may get one at a deep discount. Even though a model is being discontinued, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything inherently wrong with it; it’s just being replaced by a mattress with more advanced technology.

Holiday Weekends

If you’re looking to save on your next mattress purchase, keep an eye on holiday weekends. Like with most other retailers, mattress sellers will be discounting their merchandise on big sales dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day, but it’s important to look at major holidays as well. During Fourth of July, Labor Day, President’s Day, and Memorial Day, many mattress retailers offer outstanding discounts on their inventory as part of a holiday promotion. 

Out of all the holidays, Memorial Day weekend seems to be the prime time for mattress sales. The reason being, Memorial Day is typically seen as the unofficial start of summer, and people are deciding to go out and enjoy the weather. For some, this means shopping. Specifically, shopping for their homes to revitalize their living space, and one way to achieve this is with a brand-new mattress.

In addition, the time between spring and summer is when many people choose to move to a new home. If these folks don’t feel like lugging their old mattress to their new livingspace, it offers them the perfect excuse to buy a brand new bed.

Noticing all of these factors, mattress sellers realized that Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to promote their merchandise, and thus, they now run some of their best sales on mattresses during this period. 

If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, make sure you’re keeping an eye on the calendar to take advantage of these excellent mattress prices and deals.

Buying a Mattress Online

Shopping for a mattress online may seem like a nontraditional route, but overall, it can make for a much better shopping experience in the long run. Below are just a few reasons why buying a new mattress online is significantly better than in-store.

Better Satisfaction

You may think that being able to physically touch and lie on a mattress will help you pick out the one that is most comfortable for you, but in reality, that’s not the case. Since most new mattresses have a 30-day break-in period, you may not be getting an accurate sense of what it will be like to regularly sleep on a particular mattress when you purchase in-store. Also, you may not want to physically try out the floor models in-store anyway. Although salespeople may do an excellent job cleaning and maintaining these beds, you may feel uneasy about the fact that others have laid down on them.

By shopping online, you can thoroughly conduct your research and carefully examine and cross-reference various mattress materials and firmness levels to determine which one is right for you. Once you’ve found a mattress that sounds like a good fit, you can place your order and try it out for the industry-standard trial period that most companies offer. The length of the trial differs, but for the most part you’ll find that you have plenty of time to spend with your new mattress before deciding whether or not you’d like to keep it.

Easier Comparisons

When you shop at a particular mattress retail store, you’re usually stuck shopping within that one brand. This severely limits your options and keeps you from proper comparison shopping. As you mattress shop online, you can easily switch between different brand websites and pick out the strengths one brand has over another. Comparison mattress shopping is much simpler when done online, especially if you can find a mattress buying guide, which can break down preferred mattresses based on different factors. Such as best mattresses for side sleepers, best mattresses for back pain, and best memory foam mattresses.

Easier Delivery

If you shop at a retailer, you can either bring the mattress home with you right away (assuming you have a vehicle that can accommodate it), or you need to go with the delivery option (which may be a hefty sum). When you shop online, you can do away with all that stress, thanks to the generous delivery options available through online retailers. Some online mattress sellers even provide free delivery as well as set up of your new mattress and removal and disposal of your old one. All you need to do is be there to open the door for them.

Less Pressure

Salespeople are committed to closing sales. When you work with a salesperson to find your new mattress, you might feel that there is additional pressure to pull the trigger and commit to the purchase. For some people, this may be too much to handle, and it can make them very hesitant about shopping for a mattress in-store. Luckily, the alternative, shopping online, allows you to shop at your leisure without having to worry about persistent salespeople.

More Selection

Brick-and-mortar stores and showrooms have to work with a limited capacity, so they may not have a vast amount of mattresses in their physical inventory. You’re only seeing the “hot sellers” or the surplus mattresses on the showroom floor. When shopping online, supply is near-infinite. You can find virtually any mattress type that the brand sells and order it directly from the site. If there is a particular type of mattress you want that needs to be special ordered, it’s possible that you may even get it faster than if you were to place a special order with a salesperson in a retail location.

Better Prices

In any industry, not just mattresses, pricing online is oftentimes much better. Items sold at brick-and-mortar locations have a large retail markup to compensate for sales commissions and/or overhead costs. Online sellers also try to compete with one another by lowering their prices, leading to significant discounts on their inventory. Finally, you’ll notice that many mattress sites run regular promotions or offer email discount codes to further reduce pricing on their already-inexpensive merchandise.

Related: Mattress Pricing Guide

Better Customer Service

Although live salespeople are trained to be experts in their field in terms of information and customer service, you may find that you’ll have a much better customer experience when shopping online. Customer service representatives that work exclusively online have more access to information, and are often able to conduct transactions much more smoothly and efficiently than in-store counterparts. You may also find that there is less pressure when chatting with an online representative than when trying to deal with a live salesperson.

Generous Return Policies

Mattresses are notoriously tricky to return, and it’s important that you buy a mattress with a proper return policy so you’re not stuck with a bed that’s not right for you. Online mattress sellers understand the difficulties with purchasing a new bed without testing it, which is why you’ll tend to find more generous return policies when shopping online. Also, while many brick-and-mortar mattress sellers offer a few weeks to return items, online retailers can offer up to one to three months to return their mattresses. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find mattresses with 100-day sleep trial periods, meaning that you can try out your mattress for approximately three months and then return it hassle-free if you find that you don’t like it.

More Accessible Information

It was mentioned earlier how online shopping enables you to compare mattresses from other mattress brands, but in addition, it also makes it easier to compare mattresses within one single brand as well. While shopping at a brick-and-mortar location, you’re only provided the information given to you by the salesperson. As you research online, you’re able to see every single aspect of the mattress for yourself, including any negative features or reviews. You can rely on peer reviews from fellow consumers who can offer a more objective overview of the mattress rather than just what the brand wants to show you.

More Flexibility and Convenience

At the end of the day, shopping online is simply much easier and more convenient. If you choose to go to a mattress store, you have to get dressed, find the store’s location, drive there, wait for a salesperson to show you the mattresses, go through the sales process, and then wait for the mattress to be delivered. By shopping online, you can take your time or purchase your mattress as quickly as you want. You don’t need to worry about having to make any split-second decisions at that moment, and you can have time to mull over your options without any pressure.

Considerations When Buying a Mattress

Mattress Type and Feel

The types of mattresses available can seem complicated, but it really comes down to a handful of categories: innerspring, hybrid, foam, latex, and airbed. Each type has a unique construction and its own set of pros and cons. Additionally, each mattress type has a signature feel.

For example, innerspring beds tend to be relatively firm and responsive, while all-foam mattresses typically have a conforming, softer feel that many sleepers love. Hybrid beds combine the best of both worlds from innerspring and foam mattresses, giving sleepers a responsive surface that’s also contouring to the body. To learn more about the different types of mattresses available, read our guide to mattress types.

Mattress Firmness

Mattresses range in firmness from extra soft to extra firm, and the mattress that will feel best to you typically depends on your sleeping position and body weight. For example, side sleepers typically prefer softer beds, while stomach and back sleepers tend to feel comfortable on medium firm and firm mattresses.

With regard to weight, lightweight individuals almost always sleep best on softer mattresses that allow their bodies to sink further for more conforming and pressure relief. Heavier individuals and couples need firmer mattresses to prevent excessive sinkage, which can lead to back pain. To learn more about the firmness scale and whether a soft, medium, or firm mattress is right for you, visit our Mattress Firmness Guide.

Budget

It’s often assumed that more expensive mattresses are better, but a several-thousand dollar price tag doesn’t automatically make a mattress the right fit for you. We recommend keeping your eye on average price points for mattress type and sizes. From there, make your mattress decision based on your unique budget and priorities.

Primary Sleeping Position

Whether you know it or not, you have a favorite position to sleep in. Everyone falls into one of four categories: side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or a mix of the three (combination sleeper).

Stomach and back sleepers, in general, need firmer mattresses that provide an even sleeping surface that will keep heavy parts of the body, like the hips and shoulders, from sagging. Side sleepers need softer, conforming mattresses that will allow give for the hips and shoulders. Combination sleepers should select a mattress that suits the sleeping position they find themselves in most often and has a relatively responsive feel to make changing positions easier throughout the night.

Bodyweight

Body type not only plays into the firmness level that’s best for you (lightweight sleepers require softer mattresses, and heavier sleepers require firmer mattresses) but also tends to shape the unique preferences of the sleeper.

For example, heavier sleepers and couples tend to sleep hot. For this reason, they may lean toward innerspring and hybrid mattresses that can provide extra breathability and added support. 

Mattress Sleep Trials and Return Policies

Almost every mattress brand offers a sleep trial, which allows customers to test out a mattress for a predetermined length of time and return the bed for a refund if they’re not satisfied. Most trials last about 90 nights, but it varies from brand to brand and ranges from 30 to 365 nights. Since it can take up to 30 nights for your body to adjust to a new mattress, keep that in mind when looking at return policies. 

One of the many benefits of sleep trials is that brands may offer exchanges. For example, if you chose a medium firm mattress and find it too firm, you may be able to exchange it for a softer version. 

Returns and exchanges are almost always completely free, but a handful of retailers and brands may require customers to pay a fee to cover the shipping and handling costs associated with the return. Returned mattresses are typically recycled or donated to charity.

Hidden Costs While Buying a Mattress

Tax

Sales tax will be applied at checkout, varying from 1.76% (Alaska) to 9.45% (Tennessee). The only states that do not have sales tax are Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Delaware. Some states also collect a recycling tax with each mattress sold; the tax usually amounts to about $10.

Shipping

Most brands that sell their mattresses online offer free shipping to customers in the contiguous United States. If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or an overseas U.S. territory, shipping may cost extra. If the brand does not offer free delivery, mattress shipping and delivery can cost $100 or more.

White Glove Delivery

White Glove delivery is sometimes included for free, but it’s usually an optional add-on. White Glove delivery typically includes in-home mattress unpacking, assembly, packaging removal, and old mattress removal. If the service isn’t included with purchase, it can cost between $100 and $200 per mattress.

Mattress Returns

Most online mattress companies offer between 30- and 90-night sleep trials, and some companies give customers a full year to test out a mattress in the comfort of their homes. If a customer decides they’re unsatisfied during the sleep trial, they can typically return the product for a full refund. Some mattress companies require customers to cover shipping and handling costs for the return or exchange.

Repairs and Replacements

If the bed has a broken part or defect, the cost an owner will incur depends on the warranty. Even if a mattress brand advertises a 10-year warranty with their product, the warranty may not cover common issues, leaving customers out to dry with regard to repair costs. Some mattress brands will replace significant issues at no charge to the owner, while other warranties (prorated warranties) may require customers to pay a portion of the original product price for a replacement or repair.

Risks of Buying a Used Mattress

Hand-me-downs and used products are less risky when it comes to clothing items, cars, appliances, and antiques. If you love a deal, you might be accustomed to buying goods secondhand. A mattress, however, is one of a few things you should never buy used. Here’s why:

  • You don’t know its history. Whether you buy a used mattress from a trusted friend or a stranger, there’s no way to know how well it’s been cared for. There’s a possibility that it’s been damaged, stained, or infested with bed bugs.
  • You can’t properly evaluate its quality. Even if a mattress looks clean and feels comfortable, it’s hard to evaluate its current state without the help of a professional. Low-quality foam and springs can deteriorate quickly, and body oils, spills, and more can quicken that process.
  • It will have a short lifespan. Unless you buy the mattress new with tags from a customer who suddenly changed their mind and didn’t care to return it for a refund, a used mattress is unlikely to last very long. Most mattresses are designed to be slept on for 7 to 10 years, so even if you purchase a mattress that’s just three years old, it’s unlikely to last you even five years.
  • It won’t be customized to you. The best mattress for your body should be tailored to your sleeping position, body type, and personal preferences. It’s highly unlikely that a used mattress would meet your ideal criteria for spinal alignment, comfort and feel.
  • It won’t be protected by warranty. Mattress warranties are non-transferrable, meaning that even if the mattress is sold to a second owner during the period the warranty remains valid, the warranty is automatically voided. This means that repairs and replacements for broken parts and other issues, like indentations and sagging, will cost you out of pocket.

The Bottom Line

Most sleep experts and institutions recommend replacing your mattress every 7 to 10 years to ensure you’re getting a healthy, good night’s sleep. Whether you’re experiencing restless sleep on your current mattress, need to upgrade to a larger size, or simply want to invest in a customized mattress for your body type, keep the best times to buy a mattress in mind to ensure you get the best deal possible on your new bed.


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