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Best Place to Buy a Mattress: What You Need to Know Before You Shop

Best Place to Buy a Mattress: What You Need to Know Before You Shop

Wondering about the best place to buy a mattress? You’re not alone.

With so many options, how do you pick a retailer that’s right for you? Don’t worry; we’ll answer this and much more in our complete guide below.

Does It Really Matter Where You Buy a Mattress?

As an image for a piece on where to buy a mattress, a gal in a brick and mortar store testing the product with her hand

LightField Studios/Shutterstock

With so many mattress retailers, it can be tough to find one that sells just what you’re looking for. At a minimum, the choices are overwhelming. In a nutshell, it depends on what you are looking for.

Do you want to test out your mattress? Then a retail store is probably the best option. If you want to find a discounted deal, an online store is perhaps the best place to buy a mattress.

In any case, these are just a few questions that scratch the surface of things to consider before buying. Be sure to read this guide to the end to learn what we think the best place to buy a mattress really is.

Considerations Before Buying

Before you purchase a mattress, you should consider several factors:

  • High-quality mattresses should last from five to 10 years (except for latex mattresses, which have a longer lifespan). It’s time to replace your mattress if it feels lumpy or saggy.
  • Always use a mattress pad since it can protect your mattress from spills, dust, and stains.
  • Keep in mind that there are different types of mattresses, including memory foam, innerspring, latex, and hybrid mattresses. (You’ll find more on this below.)
  • Carefully consider whether you want to purchase your new mattress online or in a brick-and-mortar store. There are pros and cons to both options, which we’ll discuss next.

Best Place to Buy a Mattress

As noted, there are benefits and disadvantages to both options. (Also, note that some retailers have physical locations and offer products online.)

Pros of Buying Online

The prices tend to be less expensive than at traditional stores. There’s also a wide price range, depending on your particular needs. 

Many online sellers and new “mattress-in-a-box” online retailers offer free home trial periods, free shipping, and money-back guarantees.

There are also some online sellers, such as Saatva, that will set up your new mattress and remove your old one for free.

Some sellers, such as Layla, will allow you to return a mattress for a full refund and donate the mattress to a partner charity.

Many online retailers use high-quality materials for their mattresses. However, do your research and review the mattress materials’ specifications on their websites. Also, always read the product reviews.

Cons of Buying Online

You won’t be able to try out how the mattress feels before you purchase it. However, many online-only sellers have gotten around this common concern by offering generous home trials.

Many online retailers may not take away your old mattress or set up your new mattress for you. However, there are exceptions, as mentioned above.

Pros of Buying in a Store

You’ll be able to better judge whether you’re obtaining value for the price since you can see and feel the mattress.

Be sure to spend at least 10 or 15 minutes properly evaluating a mattress’s feel and quality and ensuring that you don’t feel any pain or pressure.

Rule of thumb: Never pay the full retail price of a mattress since stores regularly have sales.

Also, don’t be shy about negotiating the price with salespeople. Do your online research, print out information on your favorites and their prices, and bring this with you when you visit stores selling the same mattresses.

This could be a great negotiating tool to help bring down the price. Many stores will offer to take away your old mattress.

Brick-and-mortar stores usually have high-quality mattresses since they need to have their products on display. 

Cons of Buying in a Store

Purchasing mattresses in a store tends to be more expensive and may offer you less variability in price. A brick-and-mortar store can only contain a limited number of mattresses, whereas online purchasing provides limitless opportunities.

Although online stores will list their mattresses’ materials on their websites, you may not have as much insight into their materials when purchasing in a physical store.

Be sure your salesperson answers all your questions to ensure you’re receiving a high-quality mattress. Many physical stores will pick up your new mattress if you want to return it, but some may charge you expensive return fees.

Types of Mattresses

Woman walking through a mattress store with a doctor in a white coat


Whether you’ve decided to buy a new mattress online or at a traditional store, it’s important to understand the different mattress types

Memory foam mattresses have an enveloping, “huggy” feeling, providing pressure relief, less spring, and a firmer base than other mattress types.

You’ll want to consider the thickness and density of the memory foam and how much “give” you want regarding how deep you’ll sink when lying down. Keep in mind that foam mattresses are resistant to mold and dust mites and are antimicrobial.

Innerspring mattresses are the most traditional and tend to be firm and bouncy. They may have interconnected coils to provide durability.

Yet those with separately pocketed coils prevent that ripple effect when your partner adjusts while sleeping. If you decide on an innerspring mattress, be sure to wrap it in an allergen-resistant cover.

Latex mattresses tend to have a “floaty” feel. These mattresses combine latex foam with either memory foam or inner springs, providing pressure-free support that responds to the body’s curves.

Latex mattresses are known for their long-term comfort and durability, tending to last significantly longer than other mattress types — where high-quality latex mattresses may last an average of 12 to 20 years. They’re also hypoallergenic.

Hybrid mattresses that combine the features of more than one type of mattress are becoming increasingly available.

Therefore, no matter your sleep patterns and mattress preferences, there’s a mattress type out there that will be perfect for you.

Different Sleep Styles

Gal lying on her side on a bed with striped sheets


When purchasing a mattress, it’s also important to consider your sleep style.

What If I Sleep on My Side?

You should select a mattress that will conform to your body shape and support your weight.

Consider choosing a mattress made of soft foam that has pressure relief points for the shoulders and hips or that has inner springs, which may provide better pressure relief than other mattresses.

What If I Sleep on My Stomach?

You’ll probably require a firm mattress to obtain optimal support, such as an air-filled, solid foam, or heavy innerspring mattress.

What If I Sleep on My Back?

You’re in contention for the “Goldilocks” prize since you’ll need a mattress somewhere in between.

Look for a mattress with a supportive surface that provides sufficiently firm support yet enough give to help keep your spine in alignment.

Any mattress type may work well for you, but it will be important to go to a brick-and-mortar store to try different mattress types and determine what feels right to you.

What If I’m a “Combination Sleeper”?

If you tend to switch between sleeping positions, consider purchasing a mattress that has a medium level of firmness to accommodate all your sleep positions.

What If My Partner and I Have Different Sleep Styles?

Consider purchasing an air-filled mattress that enables you to adjust the air volume. Those with two side-by-side chambers will allow both of you to customize the mattress firmness separately.

Many mattress stores and online sellers provide such mattresses, including Sleep Number and Personal Comfort. In addition, some foam mattresses have soft and firm sides so that you can flip the mattress over as needed.

What If I Have Back Problems?

Either latex or memory foam mattresses should both be good options since they contour to your body’s curves, providing support.

Keeping all these factors in mind, we found that several mattress sellers provide exceptional, high-quality products.

So although this is not an all-inclusive list, we found that all of the following should be considered for the best places to buy a mattress:

Online Mattress Sellers

Mattress Seller Stores

What’s the Best Place to Buy a Mattress?

So just what is the best place to buy a mattress?

As you can see, the answer depends on whether you prefer to shop online or at a physical store, your sleep style, what type of mattress you have in mind, and how much you’re willing to pay.