(Last Update: 04/02/2024)


  • Online and in-store mattress shopping have pros and cons, from affordability to customization options.
  • Navigating Mattress Shopping: Online vs. In-Store
  • With many online retailers entering the mattress industry, customers now ponder whether to buy in-store or online.
  • Shopping in-store at a retail store allows for a tactile experience, directly assessing how a mattress performs.
  • However, online customer service often provides comprehensive support, making selecting your next mattress convenient and tailored to your needs.
  • Researching reviews, understanding needs & preferences, and comparing prices are essential for a successful experience.
  • Hybrid online/in-store shopping is an attractive alternative, offering the convenience of research and the reassurance of testing products firsthand.

Sleep is not a luxury; it's a necessity. And finding the perfect mattress is crucial to ensuring a good night's sleep.

But how can we make the right choice with so many options available?

Enter the world of luxurious mattress online shopping, where the options are seemingly endless, and the quest for the perfect mattress for the perfect sleep can be a walk in the park or a daunting challenge.

Indeed, the certified sleep science coach, Dr. Matthew Walker, author of "Why We Sleep," writes that: "Sleep is the single most important thing you can do for your health and well-being."(p.11).

So, this blog post will guide you through the ins and outs of online and in-store mattress-purchasing experiences, revealing their pros and cons and ultimately helping you make the best decision on your mattress online buying journey.

Online Mattress Shopping: Pros and Cons

The Online Shopping Concept

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The digital age has revolutionized online shopping, and the mattress industry is no exception. Online mattress companies have offered customers numerous advantages, such as affordability, variety, customization options, and generous trial periods and returns policies.

However, it has drawbacks—the inability to physically test the mattress before purchasing and potential logistical challenges can make some customers hesitant.

When comparing mattresses online vs. mattresses in-store, you'll find that buying online can save money. Many online mattress retailers offer competitive prices, making it a cost-effective choice for savvy shoppers.

Affordability and Discounts

  • One of the main reasons people like the option of buying on the Internet is affordability. An online store often offers lower prices than a brick-and-mortar store, thanks to reduced overhead costs and a more direct sales model.
  • Additionally, online retailers frequently have mattress salespeople provide discounts, mattress offers, and promotions in selling mattresses, especially during holidays like Memorial Day or Labor Day and events like Black Friday.

These deals can make purchasing a quality mattress with many online mattress companies at an affordable price much more attainable.

An African American Woman Reviewing Their Products 

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Variety and Customization

Any online brand can easily offer a vast selection of mattress types, sizes, and features, allowing customers to find the perfect match for their needs and preferences.

Many brands, such as Saatva Classic and Nolah Natural, offer customization options like varying heights and firmness levels online mattresses, catering to different sleep preferences and requirements. While side sleepers like a softer mattress, stomach sleepers always opt for a firmer mattress

Moreover, eco-conscious shoppers can find environmentally friendly options like the Nolah Natural mattress, which has attained numerous certifications such as OEKO-TEX 100 Class 1, eco-INSTITUT, Rainforest Alliance, Cradle to Cradle, and GOTS.

Young Couple Shopping Online

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Trial Periods and Return Policies

One significant advantage of mattress shopping is the generous trial periods and return policies offered by many Internet-based mattress companies. These sleep trial periods can range from just a few years or weeks to a full year, allowing customers to test the mattress in their home and return it for a full refund if it doesn't meet their needs.

Happy Couple Mattress Shopping Online

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In addition to trial periods, return policies outline the process for returning a mattress, including the required condition, any associated fees, and the procedure for scheduling a return.

These policies are particularly valuable when you shop online, as customers cannot physically test the mattress before purchasing. The ease of returning a mattress can provide peace of mind during the buying experience and process.

An African American Couple Shopping Online

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Potential Drawbacks

  • Despite the many benefits of Internet-based mattress purchasing, some drawbacks remain. The most significant disadvantage is the inability to physically test the mattress before purchasing it.
  • Whether it is a firm or medium-firm mattress, consumers can only sometimes rely on the information provided to make their final decision. This limitation can make assessing a mattress's comfort and support difficult.

For some, the risk of being unable to test the right mattress in a store outweighs the benefits of online shops, leading them to rely only on making buying in-store the only option.

Excited Lady Unboxing Products Purchased Online

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Another potential drawback is the logistical challenges of purchasing a mattress online. Delivery and returns can sometimes present challenges, especially if the customer lives in a remote area or has specific delivery requirements.

However, most online mattress brands and retailers have developed efficient systems for handling these issues.

In-Store Mattress Offers and Shopping: Pros and Cons

A Couple Delighted With Their Mattress Purchased in a Store

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While Web-based mattress purchasing has merits, in-store bed transaction offers unique advantages. Comparing shopping mattresses online vs. in-store is the opportunity to test the mattress personally and access expert advice and, guidance, marketing materials, and those who like to shop in a store get the thrill of negotiating better deals.

However, in-store shopping can also present challenges, such as a wide selection of inventory, overwhelming in-store shopping experiences, store conditions that may need to be improved, and pushy salespeople.

Personal Testing Experience

The ability to physically test a mattress in-store is a valuable advantage over online shopping. Experiencing a mattress firsthand can give you a better understanding of its comfort level. It is suggested to spend at least 10 minutes testing the mattress to evaluate its comfort level accurately.

However, the ideal conditions for testing mattresses on-site include a wide selection of quality mattresses and a comfortable environment. Spending at least 15 minutes testing the mattress can provide an accurate understanding of its comfort level. Unfortunately, these ideal conditions may not always be present in other mattress stores, making the testing experience less reliable.

A Young Woman Choosing a Mattress in a Furniture Store

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Expert Advice and Guidance

Another significant advantage of in-store mattress deals is the access to expert advice and guidance from trained professionals. These experts can provide helpful tips and advice on selecting the optimal mattress for your body type, sleep positions, and other important considerations.

Conversely, Web-based mattress retailers also offer expert tips for selecting the best mattress type and firmness level for your body, sleeping position, and other factors.

Negotiation Opportunities

  • The in-store transaction also presents the opportunity for negotiation, which may be less readily available when buying.
  • Requesting discounts, utilizing coupons, and negotiating the price or additional services like free delivery or setup are all potential ways to secure a better deal when shopping on-site.
  • Customers can still use discounts, coupons, and promotional codes online to purchase a mattress.

Furthermore, some online retailers may be open to negotiation for free delivery or setup, ensuring that customers can still get a good mattress at a great deal, even when buying a mattress online.

A Hispanic Young Woman Trying a Mattress in a Furniture Store

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Potential Drawbacks

In-store mattress purchasing can present challenges, such as a restricted selection compared to the vast online variety. Customers may also need more time to test the mattress in-store, making it difficult to accurately assess sleep quality and its comfort and support.

Moreover, in-store shopping can also involve navigating various options, mattress store conditions, and salespeople who may be overly persuasive. These factors can make in-store mattress transactions a less-than-ideal experience for some customers.

Family Testing a Mattress in a Store

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Hybrid Shopping Options

Hybrid shopping options aim to combine the best aspects of online and in-store mattress deals, offering customers the best of both worlds in a few minutes. Showrooms, furniture, and pop-up stores are physical stores for brands, allowing customers to experience and evaluate their products in person.

This middle ground provides an attractive alternative for those who wish to research an online mattress store but still want the reassurance of testing a mattress in a store.

Three Beautiful Women Shopping Online

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Showrooms and Pop-up Stores

  • Showrooms in department stores and pop-up stores bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping, allowing customers to view and try products from online brands firsthand.
  • This option allows customers to make an educated decision regarding their purchase while still enjoying the convenience and variety of shopping.
  • However, not all areas may have access to showrooms, brick-and-mortar stores, or pop-up department stores, limiting their availability to some customers.

Additionally, these shopping options may provide different discounts and bargains than traditional online mattress stores.

Combining Research and Testing

To make sure you find the perfect mattress for your individual preferences and needs, it is recommended that you conduct online research on materials, construction, and firmness, followed by in-store testing.

This combination of research and testing allows customers to make an informed decision about purchasing a mattress, taking advantage of online mattress stores and in-store shopping resources.

Tips for a Successful Mattress Deals

Some key tips can help you successfully navigate the mattress buying process, whether shopping online, in-store, or hybrid. Researching and reading reviews, knowing your needs and preferences, and comparing prices and deals are all essential aspects of a successful mattress deal.

Following these guidelines increases your chances of finding the perfect mattress for your needs and ensuring a better night's sleep.

Navigating the Mattress Market

With so many mattresses sold by most online retailers, many mattress shoppers wonder how to buy a mattress that suits their needs.

To ensure a successful mattress deal, please consider these valuable tips to make your dream bed a reality.

Research and Reviews

  • Researching and reading reviews is important in mattress transactions. Reliable sources like Sleepopolis, Slumber Yard, Sleep Foundation.org, and independent review websites can provide valuable information about mattress brands.
  • Reading reviews can help you understand a lot about mattresses. Comfort, firmness, motion isolation, and durability will become clearer. I
  • Individually wrapped or pocketed coils provide enhanced support and motion isolation.

In addition, researching the materials, construction, and firmness of durable mattresses can help you better understand the types of mattresses available.

Know Your Needs and Preferences

Understanding your individual needs and preferences is crucial when shopping for a mattress. Evaluate your comfort level, budget, sleeping position, body, the materials used in the mattress, and the overall quality and durability of the mattress.

Considering these factors, you can better identify the bed that meets your needs and preferences. Knowing your preferred sleep position and body type can help narrow the firmness of your mattress and support options.

Compare Prices and Deals

Comparing prices and deals across various retailers is another essential aspect of a successful mattress transaction experience. Utilizing price comparison websites and subscribing to price alert notifications about seasonal mattress sales can help you keep track of mattress prices and find the best deal for your budget.

In addition to comparing prices by mattress company, consider any bundle deals at the best mattress stores. These bundles may include mattresses and other items such as bed frames, pillows, and sheets. These bundles may provide additional value and help you save even more on your mattress purchase.


In conclusion, the mattress shopping landscape offers various options for customers to find the perfect mattress for their needs.

Whether you prefer the convenience of the two shopping methods of an online buying experience, the personal testing experience and expert advice of in-store shopping, or a hybrid approach that combines the best of both worlds, understanding the pros and cons of each method is essential for a successful mattress shopping journey.

By conducting thorough research, knowing your individual needs and preferences, and comparing prices and deals, you can confidently navigate the world of mattress transactions and ultimately find the perfect mattress to ensure a restful and rejuvenating night's sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you think I should pay attention to when buying a mattress?

When buying a mattress, consider its firmness, support, and size. Investigate the materials used—such as innerspring, memory foam, or latex—for durability and comfort. Pay attention to the warranty and sleep trial period. If shopping in one online mattress store, read customer reviews; if in-store, test the mattress personally for comfort.

Why do mattresses feel different in the store?

A mattress feels differently in a physical store due to the "showroom effect." They are broken in by numerous testers, thus feeling softer. Lighting and ambiance can affect perception. Your body requires several weeks to adjust to a new mattress, which might not match the in-store experience.

Which are the most affordable: memory foam, Latex, hybrid, or innerspring mattresses?

Typically, an innerspring mattress is the most affordable option. Memory foam mattresses come next, and latex mattresses usually fall in the mid-price range. Due to their complex construction, combining innerspring and foam or latex, hybrid mattresses are the most expensive. Prices can vary widely based on brand and quality.

Do you need a softer mattress as you get older?

Your body might appreciate a softer mattress for pressure relief, but ensuring it still provides adequate support is vital. Everyone's comfort and support needs are unique; age alone shouldn't determine mattress firmness. Please don't hesitate to consult a health professional if you have specific concerns.

What do you think I should pay attention to when buying a mattress?

Your body might appreciate a softer mattress for pressure relief, but ensuring it still provides adequate support is vital. Everyone's comfort and support needs are unique; age alone shouldn't determine personal preference for mattress firmness. Please feel free to consult a health professional if you have specific concerns.

Are there delivery charges for online mattress purchases?

Delivery charges for Internet-based mattress purchases vary by mattress retailer. Many mattress stores and online companies offer free delivery as part of their service, while others might charge a fee. Some furniture stores even provide a "white glove" delivery service, which includes setting up the new mattress and removing the old one, often for an additional cost.

References: books, specialists, websites, and organizations


  • Dr. Matthew Walker."Why We Sleep." (2017) Simon & Schuster.
  • The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It, Berkley, 2018


  • Sleep Experts and Consultants: Professionals like Dr. Michael Breus, also known as "The Sleep Doctor," often share insights on choosing the right mattress for different sleep needs.
  • Consumer Advocates: Individuals like Clark Howard offer general consumer advice that can include tips on mattress shopping.


  • Consumer Reports: A trusted resource for unbiased product reviews and buying guides, including mattresses.
  • Sleep Foundation: Offers comprehensive reviews, buying guides, and sleep health information.
  • Wirecutter: A New York Times company that tests and reviews the best mattresses among other products.
  • Mattress Clarity: Provides detailed reviews, comparisons, and sleep health advice.
  • Sleepopolis: Features mattress reviews, sleep product evaluations, and educational content on sleep.


  • The Better Sleep Council: An industry-supported organization offering tips on buying mattresses and improving sleep quality.
  • The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA): This organization provides industry research and advocates for the sleep products sector. Its services can include information on mattress standards and buying tips.
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