When you need a new mattress, it can be hard to know where to start. Even if you know all your options, it can be difficult to pick the best place to buy a mattress. Should you buy online or try a store? If you choose a store, which store should you trust? Can you be comfortable with a department store mattress? Would it be better to go to a mattress showroom?
We compiled this guide to minimize any potential confusion. Not only do we cover where to buy mattresses, but we also discuss what to look for in a bed and how it may feel when it’s new.
What Stores Sell Mattresses?
You can’t just walk into any store and buy a mattress. However, you might have more options than you realize when mattress shopping. Aside from traditional mattress showrooms, there are also furniture stores and big-box department stores to consider.
The classic place to buy a mattress is a specialty mattress showroom. These stores let you try out different mattress models and usually focus on one mattress brand’s lineup. More populated areas generally have a selection of mattress stores and showrooms, making it easier to comparison shop.
Once you step inside the store, you can freely flit between mattress models, lying down on them to gauge the feel. Salespeople are available to answer questions about the mattress’s construction, price, and attached policies. A good salesperson should try to guide you to a suitable mattress for your needs without pressuring you to buy, buy, buy.
Questions to ask at a mattress store before checking out with a new bed include:
- What is the return policy or sleep trial? How long does the trial period last? Make sure to review the fine print so you won’t be caught by surprise when it comes to exclusions and exceptions in the return policy.
- What is the mattress’s warranty? A well-made mattress should include a 10-year warranty, and many of the best mattresses come with more extensive protection.
- How will the mattress arrive at your house? Will there be an additional cost for the store to deliver it, or is that included in the price tag?
Additionally, many mattress showrooms make it easier to recycle your mattress by offering white glove delivery. With this service, a delivery team not only drops off your mattress but sets it up for you and removes your old one. White glove delivery usually incurs an added charge.
While many mattress showrooms are directly tied to and run by a mattress brand, others act as middleman partners. These partnered stores may inflate a mattress’s original price to increase profits and better cover their overhead costs. If you can, it’s best to snag a new mattress when the showroom is running a mattress sale.
For more information on when new mattresses have the best prices, see our guide on the best times to buy a mattress. Some of the bigger mattress sales days include Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday.
|Pros of a Mattress Showroom||Cons of a Mattress Showroom|
|Informed store employees ready to answer questions||May pay more for a mattress and may have to pay for home delivery|
|Can test out a range of mattresses||May have to put up with pushy salespeople|
|Discounts, sale prices, and mattress bundles frequently offered||Still a limited selection as a store can only hold so much|
Since furniture stores carry items for the home, including the bedroom, most at least offer a few mattresses. The selection isn’t as wide as what you would find in a mattress store, but there should be at least one or two to consider. Plus, many people find it easier to find general furniture stores than a mattress showroom in their local area.
However, you might find these mattresses are less well-made than what you would find at a specialty mattress store. Many mattress manufacturers have teamed up with furniture stores to sell their products to a wider market, though, so the quality of furniture store mattresses can vary.
You may find it difficult to have your questions answered at a furniture store. Employees at a furniture store are more likely to be ignorant about a mattress’s inner workings than people who work at a mattress showroom. There may also be fewer mattress sales or discounts offered at a furniture store since it’s not their primary focus.
Another thing of note is that a mattress you buy in a furniture store may not come with a full sleep trial. Some stores may not even let you return a gently used mattress within the initial 30 days. Instead, they may only offer a refund if the mattress is unopened or defective.
Even if it lacks a sleep trial, a furniture store mattress should still be backed by a limited warranty.
|Pros of a Furniture Store||Cons of a Furniture Store|
|Easy to upgrade your bedroom or home with other furniture||Furniture store employees may not know the ins and outs of their mattresses|
|Easy to upgrade your bedroom or home with other furniture||Generally a smaller selection than a mattress store|
|Infrequent mattress sales|
|Mattresses may not be as high-quality as a showroom’s options|
|Mattresses may lack a sleep trial|
Many big-name box stores offer mattresses either in-store or online in an effort to be a one-stop shopping center. Calling your local store can help you determine if they have mattresses in stock.
As with a furniture store, the quality of these beds can vary. Even if they’re well made, choosing one can be difficult if the store employees can’t answer your questions about the model’s intricacies.
Lastly, you want to ask how the mattress will be delivered and what the return policy is. Some department stores might charge a delivery fee, while others might offer free shipping. Their mattresses may even come with the option to add on white glove delivery.
|Pros of a Department Store||Cons of a Department Store|
|Readily available at your local department store||Department stores may not have a test model displayed|
|Easy to try out on a shopping trip||Employees may not be able to answer questions|
|Limited selection and fewer mattress sales|
|Potential difficulty with returning a mattress|
Will a Mattress in Store Feel the Same as One I Buy?
Most likely, no, a mattress won’t feel the same as the one you try out in a store. This can be down to a variety of factors, such as:
- The age of the showroom model
- The temperature of the mattress showroom
- Variations in the bed’s manufacturing process
Showroom models experience a relatively limited amount of wear and tear. Still, the number of consumers who lie on a model over a period of weeks or months can soften the mattress up. This softening gives the bed a different feel than what a brand new mattress would have.
A store’s temperature can provide another complication. For example, traditional memory foam tends to soften under warmer room temperatures. If your home is set at a cooler temperature, the bed may feel firmer than what you remember.
Lastly, even the most well-managed manufacturing process can introduce subtle variations on a bed’s feel. There’s no guarantee that two mattresses from the same model line will be indistinguishable, though they should feel close to the same.
Simply put, it’s not wise to choose a mattress based solely on your first impression. A 2011 study found that people often choose the wrong mattress for their needs after trying out showroom models. Mattresses can feel very different when lying on one for a few minutes vs. using it all night.
Shoppers also tend to need some time to adjust to a new mattress. This is because lying on an aging mattress can lead to a sleeper developing an unhealthy sleep position. This position compensates for worn-out support and comfort layers. New mattress owners should give themselves about a month to fully adjust their new mattress.
Salespeople: Helpful or Hindrance?
When you step inside a mattress store, it’s not uncommon for a salesperson to take you by the hand and lead you around to various mattresses. The question is, is it for your benefit or theirs?
Many salespeople are genuinely interested in helping you find the right mattress. At Amerisleep, for example, we have all of our store employees and customer service representatives undergo sleep coach training. This training allows them to better understand how a mattress can improve sleep quality and what mattresses are suitable for each individual’s sleep style.
However, it’s not unheard of for a salesperson to try and mislead shoppers about a mattress’s quality to earn a commission. This type of salespeople may pressure you to buy a mattress you’re not completely convinced is the best mattress for you. Remember, you can always walk out of a mattress store if you feel uncomfortable and pressured to make a decision.
Giving yourself space and time to think outside of a store can be wise, even if you like a mattress. Since mattresses cost a significant amount of money, it’s smart to make sure a purchase is an informed decision and not an impulsive one.
About Amerisleep’s Mattress Stores
Our mattress showrooms have an educational setup, with knowledgeable Sleep Ambassadors and information-dispensing tablets by every mattress model. We also have stations dedicated to our pillows so you can feel their contouring neck support for yourself.
Your shopping experience can be as hands-on or hands-off as you would like it to be. If you want to wander around and try out every mattress, feel free to do so! For max efficiency, however, we suggest asking one of our Sleep Ambassadors for a mattress recommendation.
Many of our customers praise the service of our Sleep Ambassadors when leaving a review. How do we offer this quality of service? We give our Sleep Ambassadors sleep coach training so they can better understand how the right mattress improves sleep. This enables them to advise all sleepers on what the best mattress for their needs is.
You can even take a “test drive” of our mattresses in the private nap room. The room contains a fully outfitted bed inside a relaxing atmosphere.
Our store locations include:
- SanTan Village in Gilbert, Arizona
- Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale, Arizona
- Optima Camelview in Scottsdale, Arizona
- La Encantada in Tucson, Arizona
- Cherry Creek North in Denver, Colorado
- Park Meadows in Lone Tree, Colorado
- Washington Square in Portland, Oregon
- Domain NORTHSIDE in Austin, Texas
- The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth, Texas
- Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas
- The Galleria in Houston, Texas
- LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas
Our stores focus on more than just mattresses, too. Shoppers can also examine and try out our bedding options, bed frames, adjustable beds, and our seat cushion at our showroom locations.
If you can’t make it to one of our stores, no worries! We offer plenty of discounts and sales online. And any questions you have can be easily answered by our customer service team!
Every one of our mattresses is backed by a 100-night trial. If it doesn’t feel right after you break it in, you can return it for a full refund.
Online Shopping vs. Traditional Mattress Stores
With the rise of the online marketplace, shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is no longer the only way to buy a mattress. Online shopping comes with plenty of benefits, including:
- Lower prices
- Greater convenience when it comes to comparison shopping and delivery
- Widest possible range of mattresses to consider
Online mattress companies can sell their mattresses at a lower price because they have fewer overhead costs to meet. Since they sell directly to consumers, it only makes sense to pass their savings onto the customer.
Many traditional stores charge for mattress delivery and setup. However, most online stores offer free shipping as a matter of convenience. Free white glove delivery is also more common among online retailers.
However, one of the greatest strengths of online shopping also provides its main drawback. The independence you have to browse at your own pace also means you have to do a lot of your own research before choosing a mattress.
Still, this isn’t a deal-breaker when it comes to online mattress stores. After all, whether you’re shopping online or at a store, it’s always wise to do a little digging of your own and see what past shoppers have said about a mattress. Customer reviews can help you get a better idea of how a mattress will feel and how it will hold up to extended use.
Some people are also hesitant to buy an online mattress because they haven’t seen or touched the bed for themselves. As we mentioned before, trying out a showroom model isn’t necessarily the best way to judge a mattress’s feel. The uncertainty of buying a mattress before trying is also lessened by the sleep trial that comes with a quality online mattress.
Lastly, online mattress selection can be relatively limited because many mattress brands sell bed-in-a-box mattresses. These are also known as mattresses in a box, named for how the manufacturer compresses the bed and rolls it up so that it fits inside a compact box.
Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses all compress well and can be easily slipped inside a box. However, it’s difficult to compress and roll up a traditional innerspring mattress without damage. So online innerspring mattresses are relatively less common than other types of mattresses.
What to Look for in a Mattress
When it comes to choosing your next mattress, it’s essential to consider what firmness level and size are right. Both of these traits can affect how comfortable a mattress feels to you and how much you can expect a mattress to cost.
Firmness levels can come in soft, medium, or firm. There are also variations between these three levels, medium-soft and medium-firm.
How firm a mattress is affects how closely it conforms to the body. This conformability determines how the mattress will relieve pressure points.
Each sleeping position has a firmness range that provides the right amount of support and comfort:
- A mattress for side sleepers has to cushion the shoulders and hips, so we recommend soft to medium beds.
- A mattress for back sleepers should offer a medium-firm to firm surface for lumbar support. Medium mattresses with targeted support can provide a luxuriously soft feel for back sleepers.
- A mattress for stomach sleepers must buoy the body to maintain a neutral spine alignment. Firm feels are often the best way to limit sinkage and prevent spinal misalignment.
Some people move between two or three positions. A mattress for combination sleepers needs to provide support for these positions. Medium feel mattresses with responsiveness surfaces are an excellent choice.
A soft mattress tends to cost more than a firm mattress. The higher price tag is typically because a softer mattress needs a thicker comfort layer or added layers of foam for deeper compression.
Choosing the right mattress size is more straightforward than picking a firmness level. You just have to ask yourself:
- How many people will sleep on this mattress
- How much you want to spend on the mattress
- How much space it will take up in your bedroom
Most companies carry six standard mattress sizes:
|Mattress Size||Dimensions in Inches|
|Twin||38 inches by 74 inches|
|Twin XL||38 inches by 80 inches|
|Full||54 inches by 75 inches|
|Queen||60 inches by 80 inches|
|King||76 inches by 80 inches|
|California King||72 inches by 84 inches|
When it comes to mattresses for couples, we recommend queen, king, and California king size beds. Naturally, larger sizes cost more than smaller beds since they contain more material. Many adult single sleepers can sleep on any mattress size, though taller sleepers might need a bed that measures at least 80 inches long.
Ideally, you should leave about 2 to 3 feet around your bed free to make it easier to walk around your room. It’s also important to account for other bedroom furniture you want, such as nightstands and dressers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I spend on a mattress?
How much you should budget for a new mattress depends on what type of mattress you plan on buying. Innerspring mattresses and memory foam beds are the more affordable types, with many high-quality mattresses costing under $1000 for a queen bed. More high-end options are still inexpensive, often priced under $1500.
People interested in a hybrid or latex mattress can expect to spend more on a mattress. A latex mattress costs more because of production costs and certification fees, while a hybrid mattress is expensive because it’s a mix of high-quality materials. These mattress types can cost around $1500 to $2500 for a queen size mattress. Buying online is a good way to save money on these mattresses.
Do you need a box spring with a mattress?
It depends on the type of mattress you buy, but the most likely answer is no. An innerspring mattress is the only type that benefits from being placed on a box spring. Using a box spring with any other type of mattress can cause damage to its supportive materials. This loss of support can lead to premature sagging.
For example, placing a memory foam mattress on a box spring leaves large gaps where the mattress is unsupported. These gaps come from a box spring’s interior construction, with coils spaced far apart to line up with an innerspring mattress’s coils. A memory foam mattress tends to sink between these coils, stretching out of shape.
Which mattress company has the best holiday sales?
We would recommend mattress companies committed to providing excellent mattresses every day of the year. After all, the measure of a good sale isn’t how low the price tag is but how well-made the mattress is. You can also watch for mattress companies that offer free bedding products or discounted bundles during a sale. This lets you upgrade your bed with one purchase.
For example, during our seasonal sales, we usually offer a significant discount off our mattresses by themselves. Plus, we have bundles that include blankets, pillows, mattress protectors, or adjustable beds at lowered prices. We also offer discount codes year-round just because we want our shoppers to improve their sleep quality without breaking the bank.
Where can I get the best deal on a mattress?
If you want a quality mattress at a discounted price, it’s hard to beat online shopping. Web-based retailers keep their prices competitively low because they have fewer overhead costs to meet and. Online shopping also makes it easier to consider a wide array of mattresses and to do research on what reviewers say about a mattress.
Is it better to buy a mattress online or in store?
Overall, we recommend online mattress shopping for the low prices. Plus, you can take advantage of these prices in the convenience of your home. A high-quality online mattress should always come with a sleep trial that has hassle-free returns. If the bed isn’t to your liking, it shouldn’t be difficult to receive a refund.
However, in-store shopping isn’t without its benefits. Many people feel more secure about a mattress purchase if they’ve seen and felt the bed for themselves. Other shoppers enjoy listening to an informed store employee explain the ins and outs of a mattress.
When it comes to the four main places to buy a mattress, we would recommend a conventional mattress showroom or a trusted online mattress company. It’s often simple to verify how trustworthy these stores are and the quality of their mattresses. Simply pull up mattress reviews from customers and sleep-focused blogs.
Furniture and department stores offer convenience and affordability. However, their mattresses can be of questionable quality. This is because their business isn’t focused on providing customers with the best mattresses.