Comparison shopping

Mattress negotiation: How to get the best price on a mattress

By The Mattress Nerd

It is no secret that most large mattress chains have some wiggle room in how much they’ll charge you. But not everybody is comfortable being a hardball negotiator. In this quick and easy guide, anybody can get a great price on a new mattress with little hassle and no uncomfortable back-and-forth negotiations. Here are the steps.

Disclosure: By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Nerd may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Step 1: Research

Do some research online to familiarize yourself with the mattress buying experience and what to expect. This will allow you to be a little more comfortable and confident when you’re in the showroom. In fact, you’re already on this step if you’re reading this! Check out the other pages on this site like my mattress buying guide.

Have you considered an online brand?  Here are some of our favorites, or if you’d prefer scroll down to view the comparison chart.

Editors' Pick

Bang for the Buck


Best Sleep Quality


Our Top 10

The Quiz

Step 2: Shop

Go into a showroom and go through their selection process. If you want to know how to choose the right mattress, my mattress buying guide is a great resource. The short version is “check for proper support and make sure the mattress doesn’t cause any pressure.”

Step 3: Don’t buy it yet

This is the key step. Let the salesman know that you’re still shopping around for the best price on that mattress. Most retailers have either a price match or a price beat policy. If you have a smartphone, you can do this while you’re in the store. Otherwise, go home and take some time to do it on your computer.

The salesman will react in one of a few ways at this point.

  • He or she may just drop the price immediately, or offer to call a manager to drop the price. Listen to what he or she has to say, but unless it’s a massive price drop, don’t take it.
  • Some salesman may offer to look up the comparison models on competitors websites for you. If you trust the salesman, this can save you time, but not every salesman will be honest about what mattress is the real comparison model.
  • He or she may just say “ok” and let you leave. This isn’t what most salespeople are trained to do, but it’s less awkward for you.

Honestly, it’s best to walk out without buying so you can take the time to comparison shop.

Feel free to repeat this step with other retailers if you have the time.

Step 4: Comparison shop

Go online to find the same or similar model for a lot less.  US Mattress usually has the lowest prices on a big selection of mattresses. I have a guide to comparing mattresses to help you out with this as well.

If you’re having trouble finding a comparable model, check out my free Mattress Comparison Shopping Service and I will find the comparable models for you. 

Step 5: Price match/price beat

Go back into the showroom with the comparison model in hand. Have the page up on your smartphone or print it out. Let the salesman know that if they can beat the website’s offer, you’ll go with them. Otherwise, you’ll just buy it online. At this point, salesmen will almost certainly agree to at least match the price. If they say they can only match, not beat it, see if they can throw in a mattress protector, some pillows, a set of sheets or something instead.

If the salesperson refuses to match the price, have him or her call a manager. If he or she claims that it’s not the same model, have the salesperson explain exactly what’s different. If they give you some legitimate differences (this one here is a pillowtop, the one online isn’t), then ask them what the comparable model is on that same website. If they give you some B.S. reason (we have an exclusive anti-microbial treatment in the cover/ours uses Celestron in it/we have 5 extra coils/ours uses latex instead of memory foam in the center band), just reiterate that you don’t care about that, and will buy it online unless they match the price.

If the salesperson is stubborn, just buy it online. There’s no need to fight to give a business your money if they don’t want it. Most salespeople will take the deal, though. They get paid on commission, and even a heavily reduced commission is better than nothing. (Full disclosure, if you buy something online from one of the links on my website, I’ll get credit for the sale. So, if your salesman doesn’t want to make a commission from you, I’m happy to do so).


So, that’s all there is to it. Familiarize yourself with the mattress buying process, select a mattress, comparison shop online, then go back into the store and take advantage of the store’s price match or price beat policy. My customers often save 40% or more on mattresses this way, and it’s a very “clean” negotiation, with no lies or shady tactics on either end.

One note of caution: this is mainly useful at large mattress chains. There are a lot of independent mom-and-pop shops and boutique stores which don’t charge absurd prices to begin with and who might not be able to negotiate like the big guys.

I hope this helps!

If you successfully used this strategy, please let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear some success stories from you guys.

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Comments (62)

  1. im trying to compare a beautyrest platinum holloway firm sold @ Mattress Firm. Can you give us information on that model?

    • Thanks for writing. That must be a new model. I don’t see it on their website. Can you find a link? Or do you have any details about the mattress?

  2. looking at Denver mattress a stearns and foster estate scarborough and at mattress firm a stearns and foster estate bridle luxury firm , are these 2 comparables ?

    thanks for your help and reply !!

  3. Hmmm. You do realize that sales people only earn commission and they are giving up their pay, not the manufacturers, not the company that owns the store. You don’t want someone to earn a living wage?

    • I was a retail mattress salesman working on 100% commission for nearly 7 years. I understand it just fine.

      It still doesn’t justify dishonesty.

  4. I have been in Furniture and Mattress Retail for over 20 years.
    Reading several postings on your site from customers as well as “Mattress Nerd”, I’m getting worried about the term “negotiation” being thrown around and the generalization of a mattress salesperson. I can’t be specific as this comment would take hours to read!
    Speaking for myself, I pride myself to give the best service to all of my clients. From education, value, price etc. Lying is not one of those traits.
    HEY, ALL YOU PEOPLE SHOPPING FOR A MATTRESS SET…….. DECIDE if you are READY to buy and how much you can AFFORD before you go “shopping” to your local mattress store. BE HONEST with yourself and your salesperson. Let them know what you want, need for your health and how much you are willing to spend. I do realize not all salespeople are at the top of their game when it comes to mattress education/training. That could happen in any retail experience (we’ve all been there). The salespeople are key to the right choice. There are some incredibly smart and wonderful salespeople out there that can really make a difference in your choice for the RIGHT BED SET. If you walk in, pick the most expensive mattress on the floor and try to negotiate to rock bottom just to see what happens knowing you can’t afford it then walk out because you have to “compare online and shop around” your wasting every ones time.
    It’s smart to get your research ahead of time for ANY product you are about to “invest” in.
    This site is a great source for product comparisons for the most part, but not 100% accurate. Be careful.
    Just my $.02. Sorry for any bad grammar.

    • Regardless of how good your knowledge is, it doesn’t change the fact that you can often get the same mattress online for a lot less. That’s just a fact.

      A lot of my readers email me to say they’ve saved hundreds of dollars by following my suggestions, and some have even saved over a thousand.

  5. Some time ago I purchasef a Serta Perfect Sleeper Talladega model fir a guest room. Now I want the exact same mattress for my MBR. I can’t find any info on that model now so I can cross reference it to a new model. Can you help.

  6. I got a tempur pedic mattress regular 2460$ for 1520$ and I got two for one pillows and 40$ off some good sheets. Definitely haggle… you can get a lot.

  7. Hello! Thank you for this site. We have been comparison shopping for a few days now and have found that we like either an inner spring mattress with the plush top or an innerspring that is a hybrid. One of the brands we have liked is Stearns and Foster. In a reply to a previous question you stated “Stearns and Foster tends to be very expensive for what you get. It’s not all that impressive, but because they make their mattress look fancy and use luxury terms to describe it, people pay more for it.” Is there a comparable brand that offers the same quality for a lesser price? If so, we would like to give it a try before purchasing. Besides the feel of the bed, we also like that you do not “sink” when sitting on the side of the Stearns and Foster. Thank you again.

    • The higher end Sealy Posturepedics will have a similar quality to Stearns and Foster at a lower price. The lower priced Serta iComforts would also be good to try.

    • It’s a lineup of Beautyrests that came out in 2015.

      They’ve been replaced by the Silver and Platinum lineups.

  8. Help please – what does a mattress tag tell you? I know the date of manufacture, but I bought a bed from Mattress Firm on 5/26, delivered on 5/30 and the tag shows manufactured on 5/26 from Beloit, WI. It is a Serta. I think I have been misled. your thoughts please.

  9. Hey I’m looking on overstock at the Slumber Solitions 14 in gel memory foam. Do you have any insight into whether this is a good option? Thanks!

  10. HI MattressNerd,

    I wanted to get your feedback about a bed I liked at The Mattress Firm. It is called the “The Dream Bed”. My wife and like it and it was in our price range (budget is $1000). Is it a good foam mattress? How long is the lifespan of it based on your experience? They were offering it in king for $999. What would be your recommendation to bring it down to for it to be a good price?

    Thanks for your website and fantastic help!

    • From what I can tell, it’s Mattress Firm’s answer to all of the direct-to-consumer mattresses that have popped up recently.

      Which to me is comically missing the point. People aren’t buying 10 inch foam mattresses online because they are in love with the particular specs of those mattresses. They’re primarily doing it so they don’t have to go into a place like Mattress Firm.

  11. As a young person about to buy their first ever “adult” bed (read: not the crappy $300 full set I bought in law school)- I want to say, your blog has been enormously helpful and informative and I really am so grateful I found it. I shared it with a friend who’s about to embark on her own search.

    I had a couple questions:

    1) in one article you quote $750-1000 being a really good price range, getting almost into luxury territory- is this still the case? I was hoping to spend less than $1200 (ideally less than $1000) for a queen set. Is this a reasonable budget or am I cheating myself?

    2) what are buzzwords mattress salesmen like to use that I should disregard? I know I’m another article you said anything around a 420 coil count is good- is this correct?

    3) do you have any other advice before I go? I’m really scared because I’m easily intimidated and pushed into stuff by sales staff.

    4) what are your thoughts on discount mattress stores- those that sell mattresses that were used and rejected within the trial period?


    • 1) Prices may have crept up slightly since I wrote the article, but not by too much. You can get a good mattress for $1000.

      2) I didn’t say anything around a 420 coil count is good. I think I said the exact opposite. I said anything that’s NOT something like 420 coils is good. Whether it’s 700 or 1000 or whatever doesn’t matter too much, because the type of coil can vary.

      3) If you’re intimidated by the whole process, you can just try one of the direct-to-consumer mattresses. They’re good quality for the price, and if you don’t like it you can return it. It’s a lot less stressful.

      4) Those discount stores are risky, since you generally don’t get a warranty or good customer service.

  12. I’m in the middle of bed purchasing now. Found the one I want, now just have to haggle. It’s on ‘closeout’ for 999 and salesmans first offer was 970 out the door with delivery. Going to offer 800 otd later today and see what happens :)

  13. Thanks for this, I really appreciated it. I am going to have to start looking and like anything else, it can be overwhelming to get started with all the stuff out there. This gave me some great starter ideas and tips. Thanks. Jo Anne

  14. We paid $3600 for MattressFirms Beautyrest Black Hybrid Plus Wellington Queen. The sticker was $4999.
    Is that considered a good deal? Should we have bargained down more? We felt it was a decent price and had done a lot of research but there were no comparibles to the Black Hybrid Plus Wellington. Contacted Simmons Beautryrest web and they said it is comparable to the Tatiana with added MemoryFoam.

    Your Thoughts?
    We were willing to spend the money as long as we got a top-notch mattress or did we just waste our money

  15. Hi! This is a wonderful site. Like everybody else, I’ve been doing a LOT of research online. I’ve also visited b&m stores. I’ve gotten much more information online than in a store. i’ve also had more questions answered by online vendors and experts. You’re doing the public a real service, thank you.

    I am in the trial period of a Loom & Leaf mattress (Saatva) and will probably return it. The mattress itself seems to be superbly constructed and the company is very helpful, but I now know that memory foam isn’t for me. It sleeps hot (in spite of L&L having cooling properties) and it takes me longer to fall asleep. I think the memory foam has to soften through body heat before it becomes comfy. I didn’t know that until I tried it. Also, the tufting bothers me, though it’s a luxury feature and others may like it. And it’s harder to move around on.

    So I’m about to go to natural latex. I just discovered Spindle and have talked a few times with them. I like the idea of assembling the mattress myself (easier to transport, and I did it with a prior latex hybrid I had for 10 years.). I also like the natural properties of their foam. My question: what level of firmness in latex will be best for a side sleeper (BMI 25) who needs good spine support? I’m hesitating between the soft combo (medium/medium/medium) and the medium combo (firm/medium/medium). Any thoughts on this, and on Spindle, will be appreciated.

  16. I’m tryin to locate the comparison mattress for Mattress Firms models named, “Beautyrest Black Hybrid Clermont” and “Beautyrest Black Hybrid Wellington.” Any idea what those names would be at other stores? Also, any thoughts on what I should really expect to pay at the right discount? The Clermont is $3,700 and the Wellington is $5,400 (Cal Kings).

    • We went into Mattress Firm on Columbus Weekend – we had done our research and wanted to go in and just tryout the feel of the beds. We aimed for the Beautyrest Black line but Mattress Firm only has Beautyrest Black Hybrid. We narrowed down to the Wellington (Queen) it was tagged at $5000. We also looked at the Beautyrest Black Hybrid Jennings & Claremont. We aimed towards the Wellington. The salesman said because of the holiday weekend we could get the ‘family discount’ —-the price immediately became $3600 – we also qualified for 5yr interest free Credit —- we felt this was a really good price and deal. We basically got the Top of the Line Mattress in the Black Hybrid Line for a reduced price & great financing. Is this type of discount usually done? Should we have held out for more? We felt it was a good deal, your thoughts?

    • I contacted Beautyrest about the difference between their top of the line Black Tatiana and MattressFirm’s Black Hybrid Plus Wellington, they said basically they are the same mattress with minor differences (like a little bit thicker cool gel memory foam) both are the same price. We purchased the Wellington (Queen) for $3600 which was a mark down from $5000 – so far we are happy with the mattress (2 weeks).

    • The Black Hybrids are only sold at Mattress Firm and its subsidiaries, so you can’t comparison shop them directly. Other places will have the Beautyrest Platinum Hybrids instead, but they will use different coils and different foam.

  17. I doubt you’d sink in that much on your stomach. The Leesa doesn’t sink very much at all to a light tough (and your head will be fairly light). It’s pretty stiff on the surface, but it contours a few inches under heavier weight. Some of the other ones give much more easily to a light touch, but don’t contour as much over all.

  18. As long as your current boxspring is rigid, it should be fine. If the boxspring is springy, then that’s not the best for a foam mattress (though, very few were made like that 5 years ago).

    It’s easy to set up. You take it out of the box, lay it down on the boxspring and unroll it. When you cut the plastic off (carefully so not to cut the mattress), it inflates instantly. Well, it gets to about 90% inflated instantly. It takes a few hours to get all the way there.

  19. I read about the issue of Stearns and Foster developing humps. I asked Costco what if that happens.they said bring it back. Great. Well, humps developed in a few months. Now I have to drag the King set back to the store. Probably better to deal with a mattress retailer for a new one from a service perspective. Your info has been very helpful and educational. Lot to know about mattresses for sure. Thanks

    • Yeah, Stearns and Foster tends to be very expensive for what you get. It’s not all that impressive, but because they make their mattress look fancy and use luxury terms to describe it, people pay more for it.

  20. What your comments do NOT address are the requirements of what each “brick and mortar” or online retailer require AFTER a mattress purchase.
    For example…
    What are the parameters for return if you do NOT like the mattress?
    How long does it take to receive the mattress?
    What if it is the wrong item or if there is damage when it is received?
    How much will it cost if I do return it?
    Do you even have the opportunity to return it?
    If there is a warranty claim, do you go through them or do you need to work directly with the manufacturer? This could be rather costly (Note: NO manufacturer covers “transportation charges” so even if you buy from a “brick and mortar” retailer there will likely be a delivery/pickup charge.
    How long does it take for the warranty process to complete?

    I agree, do your research, investigate the retailer you wish to do business with.
    Check out business review sites like Yelp or other social media outlets and see what they say about the retailer.
    Lastly, if you are going into a “Brick and mortar” location, allow the salesperson to help you. Go in with an open mind and see what is available. Remember, when you get the right mattress that addresses your needs, it is less of a purchase of a mattress than it is an investment in your health

    • In many cases, the online retailers will offer you BETTER policies than the brick and mortar ones.

      For example, Sleepy’s owns 1800 Mattress and (Or rather, they’re all owned by the same corporation, HMK Mattress, recently bought out by Mattress Firm).

      Sleepy’s will charge you a $150 return fee PLUS a $99 delivery fee, for a total of $249. If you buy from 1800 mattress, which sometimes has a lower price than Sleepy’s, you only pay the $40 delivery fee. There is no exchange fee, and the delivery fee is under half the price. For the same product, same delivery times, etc.

      What YOU’RE not addressing is you’re brainwashed to think that you offer superior service to everybody else. Everything thinks their service is superior. I used to think the same thing when I worked in brick and mortar.

      Truth is, online companies often have to offer far better customer service than brick and mortar to get customers to trust them in the first place.

      Stop drinking the Kool Aid and think for yourself for a change.

      • I doubt that you will post this response, MattressNerd, but I have been selling bedding for longer than you and some of what you advice is just plain misleading. Plus I think people reading these posts need to keep in mind that you are most definitely not touting an unbiased opinion … you are attempting to make money by getting people OUT of retail stores where people can try the beds and get expert advice on what level of support and cushioning they really need, and instead buy what you recommend (without having even seen said people) so that you can make a living.

      • And you’re trying to rip customers off by charging $1800 for a mattress which can be purchased at another store for $900 and lying to the customer claiming it’s a “different mattress” because yours uses an anti-microbial treatment in the ticking so you can make a living.

        And I’m not even trying to get people out of retail stores. For example, Sears and Costco have some of the lowest prices on Sealy Posturepedic around. I’m not even an affiliate for Costco. If somebody buys something from Costco after visiting my site, I make $0. Yet, I include them on my Sealy comparison chart.

  21. Dear MattressNerd,

    Thank you for knowing how to write! It is so refreshing to read a blog where the author knows how to punctuate (e.g., that the comma goes inside the quotes) and takes the time to say things clearly.

  22. Thank you first for this insight and context. It’s great you can share your knowledge with others. Now my question. I’ve done my research and two rounds of in store testing. I’ve settled on a mattress, King Koil, that is only sold by one retailer in my area. Of course the retailer has a crazy “retail” price and then a “sale” price. I took a minor stab and asked the salesman about reducing the “sale” price. Of course he stated that he couldn’t negotiate the price. I told him to check with the manager and then give me a call back tomorrow. Should I be able to negotiate off their “sale” price? Should I be asking for 40%-50% off the “sale” price? What is the best response to a saleman that says no to negotiating? Thanks again in advance.

  23. Question: we are thinking of either tempurapedic or sleep number. Are you saying there is really no room for negotiation with these brands?

  24. All of the local mattress companies we’ve shopped at say that their price is set by the company and they’re not allowed to sell it lower based on agreements that they’ve signed. It sounds like that’s not true according to your site. They said that mattresses online are often reconditioned?? Thank you for your work on what I consider to be a very difficult item to price compare.

    • A few manufacturers will have a minimum price. Tempurpedic, Stearns and Foster, and the iSeries and iComfort lineups of Serta are the more common ones.

      The mattresses online aren’t refurbished. That’s just slander to convince you to pay extra money in store. As long as you buy from a reputable company like US Mattress, you’ll be fine. If you’re buying from craigslist or something, of course it could be refurbished.

  25. I would like to add one more interesting way to save you a bit of cash, namely play out stores from the same chain against eachother. Funny how even if they fall under the same district manager, they will still bid against eachother to get the commission. We were able to save another 300$ like that, from a price that was already almost cut down in half. Definitely worth trying it if 300$ doesn’t grow on your back.

    • This can work, but this can also backfire. When I worked in a store, if I found out that one of my coworkers had already helped a customer, I wouldn’t budge on price at all. If a customer told me “but your store down the street told me they’d do it for this price” my response would be “ok, go buy it there” and that’s it.

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