sleep foundation
The National Sleep Foundation

Medically Reviewed by

The National Sleep Foundation

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The National Sleep Foundation

As a shopper, there’s a certain thrill to finding a great deal; not only does it help your bottom line, but as a consumer, it gives you confidence and satisfaction.

For larger purchases, the benefit of savvy shopping offers an even bigger payoff, and that’s why it’s so valuable to know how to take advantage of mattress sales and discounts.

Because of its price and importance for your sleep, a mattress is a big-time investment, but because there are so many brands, models, and places to shop, many people struggle to choose a mattress and get the best possible price.

If you’re worried about paying too much for a new mattress, we’ve got your back. We explain the benefits of shopping online versus in-store, the best times to shop, and useful tips to empower you to get the best mattress for your money regardless of your budget.

When is the Best Time to Buy a New Mattress?

All else being equal, the best time to buy a new mattress is when you feel that an upgrade can improve your nightly sleep. That said, a mattress is a significant purchase, and timing it right can mean getting a lower price on a higher-quality bed and thus a better return on investment.

If you’re planning to buy a new bed and are looking for a savvy shopping strategy, you’re wise to be wondering about the right time to buy. But in addition to the issue of “when,” it’s also important to consider “where” to buy a new mattress.

Online mattress sales have taken off in recent years, providing customers with a slate of new shopping opportunities. As with buying in a physical store, there are pros and cons to online mattress shopping, and the ideal timing can be different for buying online versus in-store.

Learning the ins-and-outs of online and in-store shopping, including the best times to buy for each, can enable you to find the best possible deal on a new mattress for your bedroom.

Shopping Online vs. In-Store?

Shopping online for a mattress has been winning over an increasing number of customers, but many people still prefer the experience of going to a brick-and-mortar store. Deciding where to shop for a mattress ultimately comes down to personal preference, but there are some clear benefits to shopping both online and in-store.

Top Five Reasons to Shop For a Mattress Online

 

  1. Convenience and Comfort: You can browse for a new mattress at your own pace,  in your pajamas, and from the comfort of your favorite recliner. Online stores are open 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about rushing to a showroom after work or during a busy weekend.
  2. Excellent Selection and Prices: There are dozens of online brands that sell directly to customers as well as third-party retailers with an assortment of models on offer. As a result, there’s a huge selection to explore, and with so much competition, prices tend to be lower, too. Mattress manufacturers that sell directly from their website cut down on the overhead costs of a physical store, allowing them to offer steeper discounts and deals.
  3. Ample Research Material: Verified and independent reviews are easy to find online, which goes a long way to helping customers understand how a mattress performs in the real world rather than just trusting a salesperson’s word for it.
  4. Easy Delivery and Returns: Most online mattress purchases come with quick and free bed-in-a-box shipping to your door as well as a months-long sleep trial. During the sleep trial, you can try out the bed with the option to return it for a refund if you’re not satisfied. For many people, this is a more useful test than feeling out a bed for just a few minutes in a store.
  5. Low-Pressure Shopping: A retail store can feel intimidating if a commission-driven salesperson seems to be pushing you to make a purchase. In contrast, shopping online means a low-pressure environment with no one looking over your shoulder.

Top Five Reasons to Shop In-Store

 

  1. Tangibly Feel a Mattress: If you need to physically feel a mattress before you can confidently make a purchase, then there’s no substitute for going to a brick-and-mortar store.
  2. Get In-Person Help: Face-to-face guidance from a salesperson can help you narrow down your mattress choices and find a bed that meets your core needs and budget.
  3. Compare Models in Real-Time: If you’re not exactly sure what you want in a mattress, being in a showroom with multiple models allows you to conduct helpful on-the-spot comparisons. You can go back and forth between different mattress types or firmness levels to get a better sense of what is most likely to work for you.
  4. Room to Negotiate: The sticker prices in physical stores tend to be high because negotiating is expected. Slick negotiating skills can mean a much lower price and/or freebies like pillows or sheets.
  5. Less Information Overload: There’s a wealth of information when shopping online, but for some people, it can be too much. While being in a showroom inherently limits your options, some shoppers may actually see that as a positive.

Getting the Best Deal: Online Mattress Shopping

If you’ve decided that you want to look for a mattress online, you’ll be happy to know that most shoppers find this to be the easier way to score a great price. If you’ve never bought a mattress online before, a little bit of background information and a few tips will have you on your way to serious savings.

Tips for Finding the Best Mattress Prices Online

Depending on the specific brand and model that you want to buy, the exact tactics to get the best price may vary; however, some general tips can help in most situations.

  • Buy Direct: A great option is to buy a mattress directly from a mattress manufacturer’s website. With direct sales, you cut out the middleman and their markup, meaning a better price for you. In addition, you usually get the best customer service straight from the mattress maker including a longer sleep trial and easier returns.
  • Look For an Up-Front Promotion: For many online mattress companies, all you need to do to get a discount is visit their homepage. It’s normal for a cost-reducing promo to be prominently displayed right off-the-bat, so keep your eye out when visiting their webpage. Take note of any promo code that you might need to enter at checkout.
  • Ask About Discounts: If you don’t see any clearly marked discounts, you can contact the company and ask about any current offers. You can usually do this straight from the website using a live chat feature or email contact form. If you’re more comfortable calling, you can look for a phone number on the “Contact Us” page.
  • Find Coupons From Third-Party Sites: Another way to get a better deal is to find a coupon or price break being offered on a third-party site. Most often, these are independent review sites that have listings of coupon or referral codes that trigger a price reduction.
  • Hit Up Sales: Though the online mattress industry isn’t as focused on specific sale events, there are still times of the year when you can reliably find excellent deals.

When to Find Online Mattress Sales

As we’ve mentioned, online mattress companies, especially those that sell directly to consumers, tend to feature great promotions year-round and even if it’s not a special holiday or sales event. That said, if you want to make sure you’re shopping when a sale is likely, you can almost always set your calendar to find discounts around these dates.

Holiday / Sales Event Date Background
President’s Day Third Monday in February The first major sales event each year happens around this holiday when discounts are typically offered throughout the three-day weekend.
Memorial Day Last Monday in May Memorial Day is a major event in retail stores, and to keep pace with their competition, online retailers cut their prices as well.
Amazon Prime Day Usually in mid-July This special shopping event for Amazon Prime members lasts for two days and includes general markdowns as well as quick-expiring “lightning deals” with major price reductions.
Labor Day First Monday in September Labor Day sales fit smoothly into the tail-end of summer as people wrap up vacations and students prepare to go back to school.
Black Friday / Cyber Monday Friday / Monday after Thanksgiving (late November) Black Friday is a key day to kick start holiday shopping and offers some of the steepest discounts all year. Most online sites start sales on Black Friday but may have special offers on Cyber Monday, the e-commerce shopping holiday the week after Thanksgiving.

Getting the Best Deal: In-Store Mattress Shopping

In the majority of brick-and-mortar stores, the listed sticker price reflects a huge markup. The price is inflated to make any price reduction seem like a deal, but savvy shoppers know that a steep discount is needed to really get good value in a physical store.

Tips for Finding the Best Mattress Prices In Stores

For shoppers, it often takes more effort to snag a sweet deal in a retail mattress store, but a number of strategies can help tip the scales in your favor.

  • Research in Advance: When working with a salesperson in a physical store, knowledge is power, and unfortunately, too many shoppers walk in without knowing much about what constitutes a good value. If you can, do some digging ahead of time about what mattresses you might be interested in and a general price range. If you’re shopping in-between holidays, see if you can find a flyer from the store’s most recent sales events because this can give you some idea of the price markup on certain models.
  • Be Prepared to Negotiate: Being ready and willing to negotiate can go a long way in getting a better price in a store. Even though this makes some people feel uncomfortable, it’s an accepted practice in the mattress industry. Not only can it help reduce the price, but it may mean getting free installation or perks like free pillows or sheets.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away: When you walk into the store, you should have a number in mind that you’re willing to pay, and if the salesperson won’t meet that price, you should be ready to walk out. After all, there are other stores and the ability to shop online. Being willing to walk away helps shift the negotiating power in your favor.
  • Take Advantage of Sales Events: Timing matters a great deal when shopping in a store, so if you’re able to wait to buy until a major holiday and sales event rolls around, you’ll likely reap the benefits.
  • Keep an Eye Out For Coupons: Weekly ads in the newspaper and even ads published online may involve coupons or special pricing that you can use in a physical store.
  • Visit a Warehouse Store: Though warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club won’t usually have any mattresses on display to test out, they often sell bed-in-a-box models off the shelf at solid prices. If you’re a warehouse member, it can be worth checking out, especially if you don’t feel the need to visit an actual showroom.

When to Shop For a Mattress In-Store?

Because they have more limited physical space, brick-and-mortar stores have to carefully manage their inventory and make room for new models. Balancing these needs frequently means needing a quick sales boost, spurring promotions and special pricing.

Because of both shopping trends and mattress companies’ new product cycle, big sales tend to dependably occur at certain times each year.

Holiday / Sales Event Date Background
New Year’s Day January 1 Many mattress stores try to kick off the year with a bang, offering discounts to reel in customers who missed big sales during the holiday shopping period.
President’s Day Third Monday in February Long weekends like President’s Day are popular for sales in mattress stores because many customers don’t have to go to work and have a free day available to visit the showroom.
Memorial Day Last Monday in May Many mattress manufacturers start rolling out new models in May, which puts pressure on brick-and-mortar stores to clear out old inventory and make space for the new products. For that reason, Memorial Day weekend tends to be a major sales period for people shopping in-store.
Fourth of July July 4 Spring and summer are popular periods for home-buying, which means that many people are looking for new furniture, including mattresses, in July. In-store sales events for the Fourth of July will usually extend beyond the holiday itself to the nearest weekend in order to give shoppers more opportunities to visit the showroom and make a purchase.
Labor Day First Monday in September The long Labor Day weekend at the beginning of September includes lots of mattress sales, and some of those deals may start being offered weeks before as part of the broader back-to-school shopping season.
Veteran’s Day November 11 Veteran’s Day, a fixed-date holiday, is an opportunity for many mattress stores to try to move inventory before setting up their big promotions for the holiday shopping period.
Black Friday Friday after Thanksgiving (fourth Friday in November) Across the retail industry, Black Friday is one of the biggest single sales days of the year. Stores try to reel in people shopping for the holidays, and to do so, they offer steep discounts. Sales usually last throughout the weekend, but for many stores, the biggest deals are available on Black Friday itself.

While these are the most common holidays to find big discounts, it doesn’t mean they are the only ones. Other federal holidays like Columbus Day (October 12) and other celebrations like Valentine’s Day may also be cause for sales at any given mattress store. For that reason, it makes sense to keep your eyes open for advertisements on the radio or flyers in the mail or your local newspaper.

The Double Dip: Shopping Both Online and In-Store

While we generally treat online and in-store mattress shopping as an “either/or” decision, the truth is that there is a multi-step hybrid option that involves both.

Step 1: Visit a Physical Store for Research Purposes Only

The only goal of step one is to learn more about what you are looking for in a mattress. Because some people find that physically feeling a mattress helps them in this process, a trip to a brick-and-mortar showroom gives them the chance to better understand their options. To get a good sense of a mattress, though, it’s necessary to spend 10-15 minutes lying on it, so make sure to take your time.

An important part of this step is planning to not buy a mattress during this visit. Knowing that you’re going to take your time and do more research allows you to more easily resist sales pressure while taking notes about the mattresses that interest you and their prices.

Step 2: Research Mattresses Online

Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for in a mattress, it’s time to do some online research. First, look for verified and/or independent reviews of the mattresses that most caught your eye when in the showroom. Second, look for comparable mattresses sold online and examine their reviews and pricing.

Step 3: Rank Your Top Choices and Where They Are Available

Based on their characteristics, construction, reviews, and pricing, come up with a list of your top picks and where they are sold.

Step 4: Decide Which Option to Pursue and Seek the Best Value

Of your top choices, focus in on the one that you think is the best. If it’s a mattress sold online, go ahead and make your purchase. If it’s a mattress sold in-store, go to the store and negotiate using what you know about online competitors to drive your negotiating. You can also wait until a sales event and negotiate at that point. Either way, if the store won’t offer a price that meets your needs and expectations, move on to the second mattress option on your list.

Who Should Consider the Hybrid Double-Dip Approach?

The hybrid approach of shopping both online and in-store isn’t for everyone because it takes more time, energy, and organization to be thorough in each step of the process. This method will work best primarily for people who:

  • Are unsure about what kind of mattress they want
  • Have time available to visit a local mattress store
  • Have time for and confidence in their ability to do online research
  • Are not in a rush to get a new mattress
  • Are good at taking notes and avoiding information overload

If that sounds like you, the double-dip approach may make sense. If not, you’re probably better off choosing between shop online or in a physical store.

Other Costs to Consider

A new mattress is usually the biggest expense in your bedroom budget, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one to think about. As you plan your purchase, make sure to think about your total costs beyond just the mattress itself.

Mattress Shipping and Old Mattress Removal

Depending on where you buy your mattress, there may be costs for delivery. Most online mattresses come with free standard shipping. In some cases, White-Glove delivery, which involves installation and removal of an old mattress, is offered, either for free or for an additional charge.

It’s more common to have to pay for delivery when you buy from a physical mattress store, but a store’s delivery services usually include installation and haul-away of your old bed. Depending on the store and your negotiating skills, you may get installation included for not extra cost.

If you don’t receive White-Glove delivery, you will need to account for how to get rid of your old mattress. Services to pick up a mattress can vary significantly in cost based on where you live. Some organizations offer free or low-cost pickup for donation while haul-away services may cost $50 to $100 or more in some areas.

Accessories

A number of accessories are available that may be worth investing in along with a new mattress.

  • Bed Frame: If you don’t already have a good bed frame, it can be a worthwhile purchase because it serves as a source of foundational support for your mattress. A weak or poorly designed frame can void your mattress warranty and make it susceptible to premature sagging or damage. A new bed frame can also be used to add a stylistic element to your bedroom’s interior decorating.
  • Mattress Protector: A mattress protector, also known as an encasement, provides a reliable seal around your mattress to defend it against spills as well as the buildup of dust or allergens.
  • Sheets & Bedding: You will need to buy new sheets and blankets if your new mattress is a different size than your old one. You might also want new bedding and/or pillows to accompany your new mattress so that you can get the best possible performance out of your new bed.