Buying a Mattress Online: Are You For Real?

Last update:

Buying a mattress online….are you kidding me?

Buying A Mattress Online

The world is changing, and we are buying more and more online these days. It’s just so convenient, and we feel more secure buying many items over the internet. But a mattress… you’re used to going into a store, right? You want to sit on it, you want to lie on it, you want to know what it feels like before you commit to it. So is buying a mattress online something you’d try?

What you choose in a mattress is a critical decision for your daily life. There are more and more and more mattresses and mattress companies appearing on the market all the time, and choosing the right one can be a very confusing experience. You need to ensure you have the right mattress for you to get the best sleep. Is it a really huge, stupid risk to buy one online without having seen or lain on it first??

I’ve done the research for you to bring you all the arguments for and against. I also have personal experience with buying mattresses  both in store and online. Read on to find out the pros and cons and my own story.

The Pros: why you should buy a mattress online

You can buy with confidence

  • How your body feels when its awake can be totally different to how it is when it’s asleep. Your mood can also impact on how you respond to lying on a mattress: are you tired? Have you just done some exercise? This makes it quite difficult to assess how well you will sleep by lying on a mattress in a shop. However, we are so used to trying mattresses in shops that it can be a significant barrier in our mind to not do this. Companies that sell mattresses online are well aware of this, and will usually offer you 100 nights for you to test out the mattress. If you decide it doesn’t suit you during that time, you should be able to return it at no cost to yourself. This makes buying a mattress online a lot less risky than you might have first thought, you will have lots of time to decide if it fits your needs. Please make sure you check the trial period on offer for your specific mattress, as this is a general statement I have made here that may not apply to all. I’m happy to help you with this if need be. Send me an email if you need assistance, I will personally help you.
  • You won’t have a pushy salesman breathing down your neck trying to push you towards a certain mattress. You can take your own time to do your own research and have a clear head with all the facts.
  • It is extremely easy to buy online. You can shop any time, anywhere, and usually get free delivery. If you’ve suddenly woken up at 3am feeling uncomfortable on your current mattress, you can buy another one right then and there!

More variety, better prices

  • Seen a mattress you like? You can pay around 15% less to buy a mattress online than the same one in store because you are avoiding a big retail markup.
  • Online mattress sales have exploded in recent years. A lot of mattress companies have emerged that ONLY sell their products online. If you dismiss all of these options, you could miss the best mattress for you and never even know!
  • Another pro about buying a mattress online regarding pricing is that many online only mattresses offer quality that is on par or superior, but for a fraction of the price. Read my story below to hear how we got a (so far) great new mattress online for about a quarter of what we were going to pay in store for a mattress in direct competition with our online choice.

Easier to access information

  • It is easier to compare one mattress with another. You can bring statistics up on your screen and lay them side by side. You can hunt for a better price at the touch of a button, you can read tables showing all the mattresses that might suit your requirements.
  • You can read reviews of the mattress from people already using it, you don’t need to just rely on the opinions of one salesperson. You can therefore get the broadest, most practical and unbiased overview of whether a mattress is the right choice for you and your sleep requirements. But how do you know if a review is trustworthy? Read my article on how I review mattresses here on this site.
  • You can ask questions to people already using the mattress. On Amazon, some mattresses have hundreds of questions and answers! The manufacturers themselves often jump onto these question boards and participate too so they can be a good way to glean extra pieces of technical information without trawling through the darkest recesses of a company website.

The Cons: will these send you running to the store?

  • There is no getting around the fact that you can’t lie on the mattress first: see what it looks like, how it feels to the touch, etc. As I’ve pointed out above, this does not mean you risk getting stuck with a mattress you do not like. But it is a really big thing to overcome in your head.
  • Although you don’t have to deal with salespeople, you may feel uncertain about whether the research you’re doing yourself is going to lead you to the right choice. The sheer volume of mattresses available online can lead to analysis paralysis…. where do you even start?! That is exactly why I started this site. To help people just like you.
  • Unfortunately, you can’t believe everything you read online. While there may not be a shady salesperson seeing you as their commission check, many mattress review sites are biased towards the companies that give them the biggest affiliate commissions (a commission the website makes if you buy something after clicking a link). Some of the mattress review sites are even owned by mattress companies! That is another big reason why I started this site. To provide you with as much detailed an unbiased information as I can. In fact, in the review I ask you to read at the end of the article (it is an article that has affiliate links) I even recommend you do something that does not make me any money as I genuinely believe it is the best choice for someone buying that particular mattress.

My own experiences

Buying in store

The mattress we have just replaced was an in store purchase my husband and I made about 5 or 6 years ago. We shopped at the biggest and most well known furniture store in town as at that time they had what we believed was the best variety.

We went down to that store one morning and laid down on all the mattresses we saw. To me, they all started to feel the same after a while, I couldn’t really tell much difference! I felt quite awkward as there were salespeople hovering around and it distracted me from the task of lying on the mattress. My husband knew he wanted a firm mattress so we focused on those and narrowed it down to two or three that he liked the feel of. We didn’t buy that day, as we were still unsure.

We returned the following week, after participating in a sporting event and were both quite tired. The mattresses felt completely different when we lay down on them in our tired state! We did buy a mattress this day, and it was a different one than we would have chosen had we made a purchase the week before.

Buying onlinebuying a mattress online

We have just replaced that old mattress I talk about above with an online purchase. I’ve got a separate article all about that. But it was SO much easier. My husband had gone to the store while I stayed home with the kids (pretty hard to go mattress shopping with small kids!) and come home frustrated with the variety and prices.

He jumped online and looked for a mattress that was similar to the in store ones. He came across one that had better reviews for a similar feel mattress than the leading in store brand, for a quarter of the price! Along with a 100 night trial, free delivery and a 15 year warranty. He bought it on the spot. Done. Easy.

Tell me! What one did you buy??

My husband had thought he needed to get Tempur as that seemed like the leading brand here. The mattress we bought online is from Ecosa. I’ve got a lot more detailed information on that in other posts.

SO…what is my final recommendation to you?

Buy online. I thought long and hard for this article, researching all over the internet. And I came up with more than twice as many pros for buying a mattress on line than I could come up with cons.

However, if the fact that you cannot see and touch the mattress before you buy it is really just too big a concern for you, then going in store may still be the best option for you. Otherwise, I think the many pros outweigh the few cons to buying a mattress online. I really think it’s a great choice for your next mattress. Don’t forget: I will be here to help you with that through my unbiased reviews of the mattresses available on the internet.

Also, remember how we’ve just bought a mattress online? I’ll be writing several update posts on how I’m getting on with my new purchase, so be sure to check the blog regularly for updates.

read my amazon review of the top selling mattress


Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and here.