How to Buy a Mattress Without Trying It Out

Last Updated On April 11th, 2024
How to Buy a Mattress Without Trying It Out

Key Takeaways

  • Convenience: Online mattress shopping offers the convenience of browsing from home, avoiding store visits and pushy salespeople.
  • Variety: Access a wide range of brands and options online, including different mattress types and firmness levels to suit every preference.
  • Affordability: Online retailers often offer competitive prices and direct-to-consumer savings, making high-quality mattresses more affordable compared to traditional stores.

With the rise of online mattress shopping, more and more people are opting to purchase their mattresses from the comfort of their own homes.

But how do you ensure you’re making the right choice when you can’t physically test it out beforehand? In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of buying a mattress online, from exploring reputable online brands to understanding different mattress types and determining the ideal firmness for your needs.

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By the end, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to confidently make your purchase, without ever stepping foot in a brick and mortar store. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can find the perfect mattress online.

Why Buy a Mattress Online?

When it comes to purchasing a new mattress, the online market has become an increasingly popular choice. The convenience, wide variety of options, and often lower prices make buying a mattress online an attractive option for many.

Let’s explore the numerous advantages of shopping for an online mattress and discover some popular online mattress brands to consider.

Convenience at Your Fingertips

One of the biggest advantages of buying a mattress online is the convenience it offers. You can browse and shop for mattresses right from the comfort of your own home. No more wasting time traveling from one store to another or dealing with pushy salespeople.

With just a few clicks, you can explore numerous online retailers, compare prices, and read customer reviews to make an informed decision.

A Wider Variety of Options

Shopping for a mattress online gives you access to a wider range of brands and options compared to traditional brick and mortar stores. Online retailers often partner with multiple mattress manufacturers, providing you with a vast selection of styles, materials, and firmness levels.

Whether you prefer memory foam, latex, or innerspring, there’s a perfect type of mattress out there for every sleep preference and budget.

Affordable Prices

Online mattress retailers often offer competitive prices due to their direct-to-consumer business model. By cutting out the middleman and not having the overhead costs associated with maintaining physical stores, online brands can pass on these savings to the customers.

This means you can often find high-quality mattresses at lower prices online compared to traditional mattress stores.

Knowing Your Preferred Sleep Position

When it comes to buying a mattress online, it’s crucial to consider your preferred sleep position. Different sleep positions require different levels of support and comfort to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

Whether you are a stomach sleeper, back sleeper, side sleeper, or a combination sleeper, choosing the right mattress can make all the difference in your sleep quality.

Back Sleepers

If you sleep on your back, it’s essential to find a mattress that provides adequate support to keep your spine properly aligned. Back sleepers typically benefit from a medium-firm mattress that offers a good balance of support and cushioning.

This firmness level helps a mattress for back sleepers maintain the natural curvature of your spine while providing enough comfort for a peaceful sleep.

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers put pressure on their shoulders and hips, requiring a mattress that offers great pressure relief. A slightly softer mattress is often recommended for side sleepers, as it allows the mattress to contour to your body’s curves and alleviate pressure points.

Look for a mattress for side sleeping with a medium to soft firmness level that provides both support and cushioning to keep your spine properly aligned.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers need to find a mattress that prevents their spine from sinking too deeply, which can lead to discomfort and potential back pain. A firmer mattress is often the best choice for stomach sleepers, as it helps maintain a more neutral alignment of the spine.

Look for a mattress for stomach sleeping with a medium to firm level of support to ensure proper spinal alignment during sleep.

Combination Sleepers

If you are a combination sleeper, it’s important to find a mattress that caters to all positions. A mattress with a medium firmness level can offer the right balance between support and cushioning for both sleeping positions.

This versatility in mattresses for combination sleeping allows you to comfortably switch between sleeping on your back, your side and your stomach throughout the night.

Determining Your Ideal Mattress Firmness

When it comes to buying a new mattress, finding the right level of firmness is key to ensuring your comfort and a good night’s sleep. The ideal mattress firmness level is highly subjective and depends on your personal preferences and body weight.

In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of determining your ideal mattress firmness so you can make an informed decision.

Understanding Soft, Medium, and Firm Mattresses

Before we dive into the process, let’s briefly explain the differences between soft, medium, and firm mattresses.

A softer mattress offers more cushioning and contouring, creating a plush sleeping surface. A medium mattress provides a balance of support and softness, catering to a wide range of sleepers. On the other hand, a firmer mattress offers greater support and a more solid feel.

We compare these three firmnesses in depth in some of our other mattress buying guides:

Taking Comfort Preferences into Consideration

When determining your ideal mattress firmness, consider your comfort preferences. If you prefer a softer sleeping surface that allows you to sink in, a softer mattress might be the right choice for you.

However, if you prefer more support with a slight level of plushness, a medium mattress might be the ideal option. For those who prefer a solid and supportive feel, a firm mattress might be the best fit.

Considering Your Body Weight

Your body weight can also play a role in determining the ideal mattress firmness for you. Generally, individuals who weigh less might find a softer mattress more comfortable, as it allows for greater contouring and pressure relief.

Those who weigh more might benefit from a firmer mattress, as it provides better support and prevents sinking too deeply into the mattress.

Sharing a Mattress with a Partner

When it comes to choosing a mattress for couples, it’s essential to find a balance that accommodates both partners’ preferences and sleeping styles.

One solution is to opt for a dual firmness mattress, also known as a split firmness mattress. These mattresses are designed with two distinct levels of firmness on each side, allowing couples to customize their sleeping surface according to their individual needs.

This is particularly beneficial for couples who have significantly different firmness preferences or body types. For example, if one partner prefers a softer mattress while the other enjoys a firmer surface, a dual firmness mattress can provide both without the need for compromise.

Another option for couples is to choose a medium feel mattress. Medium firmness mattresses are often considered the “Goldilocks” of mattress firmness, as they offer a balance between softness and support. They can accommodate a wide range of sleeping positions and body types, making them a popular choice among couples.

Additionally, a medium mattress can help distribute body weight evenly, reducing pressure points and minimizing motion transfer between partners. This is particularly important for couples who have different sleep schedules or are easily disturbed by each other’s movements during the night.

Exploring Mattress Materials and Features

When it comes to choosing the right mattress, understanding the different materials and features available is key to finding the perfect sleep surface.

From memory foam to latex foam, individually wrapped coils to traditional open spring coils, each element contributes to your overall comfort and support.

Let’s explore these mattress materials and features in more detail.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is a popular mattress material known for its contouring properties. It responds to heat and pressure, molding to your body’s shape to provide personalized support and pressure relief. Memory foam mattresses are excellent for reducing motion transfer, making them ideal for couples or light sleepers who share a bed.

Latex Foam

Latex foam is a natural and resilient mattress material. It offers a responsive and buoyant feel, providing both support and comfort. Mattresses sold online often feature natural latex, a material known for its durability and comfort.

Latex mattresses provide a supportive and eco-friendly option for a good night’s sleep. Latex foam mattresses are highly durable and have excellent breathability, making them a great option for those who tend to sleep hot.


Innerspring mattress is one of the most traditional types of mattresses, known for their classic coil support system. These mattresses feature steel coils or springs that provide support and bounce. They often have a layer of padding on top for added comfort.

Innerspring mattresses are great for those who prefer a more traditional feel and enjoy the bounce and responsiveness of coils.

Individually Wrapped Coils

Individually wrapped coils, also known as pocket coils, are metal springs wrapped in fabric pockets used in hybrid mattresses. Each coil operates independently, offering precise support to different parts of your body. This design allows for better motion isolation and minimizes the likelihood of disturbed sleep due to your partner’s movements.

Edge Support

Good edge support is essential for maximizing the usable sleep surface of your mattress. Some mattresses feature reinforced edges that provide extra support when sitting or sleeping near the perimeter. Mattresses with edge support can also improve the bed’s durability and prevent sagging over time.

Understanding Temperature Regulation

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall well-being and productivity. One crucial factor that can significantly impact your sleep quality is temperature regulation.

If you find yourself waking up feeling too hot or struggling to fall asleep due to discomfort, it’s essential to choose a mattress that can help address these issues.

Temperature Regulation for a Cooler Sleep

If you tend to sleep hot, selecting a cooling mattress with temperature-regulating features can make a significant difference in your sleep quality. Look for mattresses that utilize advanced cooling technologies such as gel-infused memory foam or breathable materials to help dissipate body heat and keep you cool throughout the night.

Additionally, some mattresses are designed with open-cell structures that promote better airflow, enhancing breathability and preventing heat build-up. These features are particularly beneficial for hot sleepers who often experience night sweats, need to stay cool without air conditioning or otherwise have trouble maintaining a comfortable sleep temperature.

Additional Tips for Better Sleep

In addition to selecting a mattress that promotes temperature regulation, there are a few other tips you can follow to improve your sleep quality:

  • Create a cool sleep environment by keeping your bedroom well-ventilated and using breathable bedding materials.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine or heavy meals close to bedtime, as they can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
  • Consider investing in temperature-regulating bedding accessories such as cooling pillows or mattress toppers to further enhance your sleep environment.

By taking these steps and choosing a mattress that prioritizes temperature regulation and suits your sleep position, you can optimize your sleep quality and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated each morning.

Researching Online Mattress Brands

When it comes to making a mattress purchase online, it’s essential to research reputable online mattress brands. With numerous options available, finding the best online mattress brands can be overwhelming.

However, by considering a few key factors, you can make an informed decision and find a mattress that meets your needs.

Reading Customer Reviews

One of the most valuable sources of information when researching online mattress brands is customer reviews. Take the time to read both positive and negative reviews to get a comprehensive understanding of the brand’s quality, customer service, and overall satisfaction. Real customer experiences can provide valuable insights into the comfort, durability, and performance of a mattress.

Checking Certifications

Another important aspect to consider when researching online mattress brands is checking for certifications. Reputable brands often hold certifications from organizations such as CertiPUR-US®, which guarantees that the mattress is made without harmful chemicals or materials. Look for certifications that provide peace of mind and ensure that the mattress meets industry standards for safety and quality.

Considering Warranty and Return Policies

When making a mattress purchase online, it’s crucial to consider the warranty and return policies offered by the brand. Look for brands that offer generous warranties, as this demonstrates their confidence in the mattress’s quality and durability.

Additionally, review the return policies to ensure that you have ample time to try the mattress and return it if it doesn’t meet your expectations. A reputable online brand will have transparent policies that prioritize customer satisfaction.

We discus both of these policies in more detail below!

Mattress Size and Compatibility

When it comes to buying a mattress, understanding the different mattress sizes and their compatibility with your bed frame or box spring is essential. You want to ensure that your new mattress fits snugly and provides optimal support for a restful night’s sleep.

The standard mattress sizes include twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. The most popular size, queen, offers ample space for individuals and couples alike.

Choosing a queen size mattress is ideal if you have a queen size bed frame or box spring. It provides enough room for both single sleepers and couples to sleep comfortably without feeling cramped. Moreover, a queen size mattress offers a balance between space and maneuverability, making it a versatile choice for most bedrooms.

We cover non-standard mattress sizes in our various guides:

It’s essential to measure the dimensions of your bed frame or box spring and choose a mattress size that matches accordingly. However, compatibility doesn’t end with the size of the mattress and bed frame.

It’s also crucial to consider the overall height of the mattress, especially if you’re using a bed frame or box spring that has specific requirements. Some bed frames may require specific mattress thicknesses or additional support, such as a bunkie board.

Before making your mattress purchase, check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the mattress and bed frame are compatible in terms of size and height. This will help you avoid any installation or compatibility issues down the line.

If you’re upgrading to a larger mattress size for couples, like a queen, make sure to measure your bedroom space to ensure ample room for the bed and other furniture. The last thing you want is to have a mattress that takes up too much space and restricts movement in your room.

Understanding mattress size and compatibility is crucial when purchasing a new mattress. Measure your bed frame or box spring, choose the appropriate mattress size, and consider the overall height to ensure a seamless fit. Take the time to research and select the right size for a night of restful sleep..

Prices and Budgeting

When purchasing a new mattress, comparing prices and budgeting are important factors to consider. Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive mattress or considering expensive mattresses with premium features, online shopping provides a convenient way to explore various options.

One of the advantages of online shopping is the ability to compare prices from different mattress stores and mattress firms. Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores, online retailers often have lower overhead costs, allowing them to offer more competitive prices. This means you can find a wide range of mattresses to fit your budget, whether you’re looking for affordability or willing to invest in a more luxurious mattress.

In addition to comparing prices, consider taking advantage of mattress sales and promotions. Online retailers frequently offer discounts and special offers, making it easier to find a mattress that suits your needs at a price you can afford.

Keep an eye out for seasonal mattress sales, flash sales, and other limited-time offers that can help you save money.

Finding Deals and Discounts

When browsing online, keep an eye out for deals and discounts offered by reputable online mattress brands. Some websites feature a dedicated section for discounted mattresses, making it easier to find options within your price range. Additionally, signing up for newsletters or following social media accounts of mattress brands and retailers can provide access to exclusive discounts and coupon codes.

When creating a budget for your mattress purchase, consider your long-term investment. While an inexpensive mattress may fit your immediate budget, it’s essential to consider the durability and lifespan of the mattress. Investing in a higher-quality mattress can often result in better comfort and support in the long run, potentially saving you money on future replacements.

Remember to factor in any additional costs related to your mattress purchase, such as bed frames, box springs, or mattress protectors. These items are essential for properly supporting and preserving your mattress, so be sure to include them in your budget.

By comparing prices and carefully budgeting, you can find the perfect mattress that meets both your needs and your wallet. Take advantage of online shopping and explore the wide range of options available, ensuring a restful night’s sleep without breaking the bank.

Return Policies and Warranties

When purchasing a mattress online, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the return policies and warranties offered by both mattress stores and online brands. Understanding these policies and the fine print can give you peace of mind and ensure a smooth buying experience.

Return Policies

Mattress stores and online mattress brands have different return policies, so it’s important to review them before making a purchase. Look for details on how long you have to return the mattress, whether there are any restocking fees, and what condition the mattress should be in.

Some brands may offer a risk-free trial period, allowing you to try out the mattress and return it if it doesn’t meet your expectations.


Warranties provide an added layer of protection for your mattress purchase. They typically cover manufacturing defects or structural issues.

When reading a mattress warranty, pay attention to the duration of coverage, what specific issues are covered, and any exclusions that may void the warranty. Understand that warranties may vary between mattress stores and online brands.

It’s important to note that warranties do not cover normal wear and tear, damage caused by improper use or maintenance, or changes in comfort preference. Knowing the specifics of a warranty will help you understand what to expect and address any potential issues that may arise.

Other Factors for a Restful Sleep

When it comes to getting a restful sleep, there are other important factors to consider beyond just the mattress itself. Factors such as sleep position, sleep quality, body weight, sleeping position, sleeping hot, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in mattress materials can all impact your sleep experience. We’ve discussed most of these already, so let’s cover the remaining two.

By taking these factors into account, you can further enhance your comfort and overall sleep quality.

The Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Body Weight

Your body weight can also influence the quality of your sleep. Heavier individuals usually require a firmer mattress to prevent sinking and maintain proper support. Lighter individuals might opt for a softer mattress that provides greater contouring.

It’s essential to find a mattress for your body type that can support your weight and distribute it evenly, ensuring optimal comfort and spinal alignment throughout the night.

Consider Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds Verified Source Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Works to control/prevent natural and manmade disasters. View source (VOCs) are chemicals often found in mattress materials, such as foams and adhesives, which can have an unpleasant odor and potentially cause health sensitivities.

If you have allergies or are sensitive to VOCs, consider choosing mattresses made with certified low VOC or organic materials. These mattresses typically have lower levels of potentially harmful chemicals, contributing to a healthier sleep environment.

By considering these factors alongside the mattress itself, you can create an ideal sleep environment that promotes restful and rejuvenating sleep. Remember to prioritize your own comfort and specific sleep needs when making your mattress selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your mattress is not right for you?

There are several signs that indicate your mattress may not be the right fit for you. If you consistently wake up with aches, pains, or stiffness in your back, neck, or joints, it could be a sign that your mattress is not providing adequate support or pressure relief.

Additionally, if you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night, unable to find a comfortable position, or waking up feeling unrested, it may be time to consider a different mattress. Other indications include visible sagging, lumps, or indentations in the mattress surface, which can lead to uneven support and discomfort.

Should you try a mattress before buying?

Ideally, it is best to try a mattress before making a purchase, as this allows you to assess its comfort, support, and overall suitability for your needs.

However, in situations where trying a mattress in person is not possible or practical, there are alternative ways to make an informed decision. Researching mattress types, materials, and customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the potential comfort and durability of a mattress.

Additionally, many online mattress retailers offer generous trial periods, allowing you to test the mattress in your own home for an extended time before committing to the purchase.

Can you return a mattress if you don’t like it?

Many mattress retailers, especially those operating online, offer customer-friendly return policies and trial periods. These policies allow you to return the mattress for a full refund or exchange it for a different model if you are not satisfied with your purchase.

However, it is crucial to carefully review the specific terms and conditions of the return policy before making a purchase, as some retailers may have specific requirements, such as mandatory trial periods or fees for returns.

Keep in mind that some mattresses may also require a break-in period of a few weeks to fully adjust to your body. So it’s essential to give the mattress a fair chance before deciding to return it.

How do I break in a new mattress to try it?

Breaking in a new mattress is essential to allow your body to adjust to the new surface and for the mattress materials to settle properly. To break in your mattress, sleep on it consistently for at least 30 nights. You can also lounge on it during the day and walk across the surface for a few minutes to speed up the break-in process.

Make sure to use the mattress on a compatible foundation or bed frame, and rotate the mattress 180 degrees every few weeks to ensure even wear. During the break-in period, you may experience some initial discomfort or stiffness, but this should subside as the mattress adapts to your body shape and weight distribution.

How can I choose the right mattress firmness without trying it?

To select the appropriate mattress firmness without physically testing it, consider your sleep position, body type, and personal preferences. Generally, side sleepers benefit from softer mattresses that allow their hips and shoulders to sink in, while back and stomach sleepers often prefer firmer mattresses that provide more support.

If you have a higher body weight, a firmer mattress may be more suitable to prevent excessive sinking. Additionally, research the firmness ratings provided by the manufacturer or retailer, and read customer reviews from people with similar preferences and body types to gauge the real-world feel of the mattress.

How do trial periods and return policies work when buying a mattress online?

When purchasing a mattress online, many retailers offer trial periods, typically ranging from 30 to 365 nights, to allow customers to test the mattress in their own homes. During this period, you can sleep on the mattress and assess its comfort and support.

If you are not satisfied with the mattress, you can usually initiate a return or exchange process. The retailer will typically then issue you a full refund or send a replacement mattress, depending on your preference. Be sure to read the specific terms and conditions of the trial period and return policy before making your purchase.

What should I know when buying a mattress online?

When buying a mattress online, several key factors should be considered to ensure a successful purchase. First, research the different mattress types (e.g., innerspring, memory foam, latex, hybrid) and determine which one suits your needs and preferences. Second, consider your sleep position and body type to select the appropriate firmness level and support.

Third, look for mattresses with high-quality materials and certifications, such as CertiPUR-US or OEKO-TEX, to ensure durability and safety. Fourth, compare prices and read customer reviews to gauge value for money and real-world experiences. Finally, familiarize yourself with the company’s trial period, return policy, and warranty to protect your investment and ensure customer satisfaction.


Remember, while you may not have the opportunity to try the mattress physically in a store, you can rely on customer reviews, certifications, and the expertise of reputable brands to guide your decision.

So, whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, take the time to research, compare, and choose the right mattress for a good night’s sleep.

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