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Compare the best mattresses of 2021 all in one place to find your perfect bed.


Best Place to Buy a Mattress

Lara Vargas


Buying a mattress presents a unique paradox. You want to take your time, weighing all the options and selecting just the right type and firmness. But you also want to find one fast. Not having a proper place to lay your head can take a toll on your body and lead to a lot of sleepless nights.

Anyone who’s bought a new mattress in recent years knows how long the process can be. It’s no longer just picking between a queen- or king-size bed. Now, you can have a mattress made of innerspring, memory foam, latex, hybrid materials, and more — each with different degrees of firmness.

One of the first choices to consider is whether you prefer to shop in-store or online. We’ll consider the shopping experience of each, the pros and cons they offer, and finally, where to buy the best mattress to meet your needs.

All the Places You Can Buy a Mattress

As with most consumer goods, mattresses are available through many forms of retail. Thanks to new materials, advancements in packing, and mass shipping methods, even a California king can be shipped to your door in a matter of days. Take a look below at the different places to buy a mattress.

Mattress Stores

These are basically massive retail spaces dedicated to selling mattresses. Row after row of beds, all lined up for your laying pleasure. While mattress showrooms do carry a vast selection, they can also be overwhelming and leave you in a state of analysis paralysis. Not only do they have mattresses, they have all kinds of bed accessories, including box springs, mattress toppers, bed frames, etc. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you can easily be talked into buying a bed you don’t really want by the mattress salesperson.

Department Stores or Home Goods Stores

Department stores have always had the advantage of having practically everything you need under one roof. While a store may only have a few mattress brands on hand, they are an easy browse if you’re already there to pick up, say, a dresser or table lamp. Keep in mind mattresses sold in-store generally come at a higher price, as a way to cover the overhead costs (i.e., rent, utilities, personnel).

An alternative to visiting the physical store is to scope out their website first. Most physical stores also sell their products online, and oftentimes offer more options (these ship straight from their warehouse), exclusive online mattress sales, and an option for in-store pickup or free shipping if you purchase above a certain price point.

Online Marketplaces

Unlike the previous ecommerce sites, online marketplaces typically don’t have a brick and mortar store. They are online only and offer a wide range of brands and products, sometimes including mattresses.

Many mattress companies use these marketplaces, such as Amazon or Overstock, as additional sales arm, while also maintaining their own websites. A great advantage of these online retailers are the mattress reviews. While some of these may not be authentic and should be read with a discerning eye, it does help to see what people are saying. Depending on the specific marketplace terms and conditions, these products may or may not offer the same warranties, trial periods, or return policies as the actual brand, so be sure to read all the fine print.

Online Mattress Companies

Many great mattress brands sell their products online straight to consumers. Without the high cost of maintaining a physical store or the added commission for middlemen, these brands are able to offer well-made mattresses at much lower prices. Whatever kind of mattress you’re looking for — gel memory foam, pillow top, or innerspring mattresses — there’s an online mattress company specializing in what you need.

Some online mattress companies also offer convenient bed-in-a-box mattresses and lengthy sleep trial periods, making them the preferred option as of late. Plus, there’s just something deeply satisfying about being able to buy from and communicate directly with the brand itself.

The Best Place to Buy a Mattress — for You

With so many places to buy a good mattress (on top of all the other mattress-buying decisions), it can take a while just to figure out where to look.

Like most mattress features, the best place to buy a mattress is personal. In choosing the best shopping experience for your preferences, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Shopping In Store

The traditional mattress shopping route still holds a lot of appeal for many consumers. Not only do you get to try before you buy (which is a big help for something like a mattress), there are also a number of salespeople to walk you through the entire purchasing process.

Still, an entire floor of mattresses can be overwhelming. And having to lie down on even a percentage of them is even more so. But if you have the time to spare and want to get a real feel for all the mattresses, heading to an actual store may be an option for you.

Start by eliminating a few unwanted categories— size, price range, thickness, firmness, etc. This should leave you with a good selection.

Next, lie down and test out different resting positions for at least five to 10 minutes per mattress. This may seem long, but when you think about it, it doesn’t even come close to the time you spend sleeping in on a Sunday morning.

Given the total hours the average person lies in bed, it’s important to make sure the mattress you end up with is one you can comfortably spend the night in. So take your time, don’t feel pressured, and ask as many questions as necessary.

Shopping Online

Online shopping has been a game-changer for anyone who doesn’t like the general idea or hassle of shopping, going from store to store, chatting with salespeople, and having so many options.

Shopping online, despite offering nearly every mattress around the world, allows you to see only what you want. You can go directly to a brand’s site or your favorite marketplace, and filter by size, type, sleep preference, customer ratings, and more. With just a few quick clicks, you can find a selection of available mattresses to fit your needs.

While they may not have salespeople, online brands usually list as many product details on-site as possible. They also provide the option to chat, email, or call for anything else you need. So if you have any specific concerns, like being a side sleeper or having back pain, a dedicated team is on hand to answer your questions.

Furthermore, in lieu of just lying down for a few minutes on different mattresses, many online brands extend a generous, risk-free trial period. The mattress arrives on your doorstep, neatly rolled up in a box and is free to use for at least a month.

This amount of time can really give you a feel for a mattress. If you don’t like it, you can return it with no questions asked and a complete money-back guarantee. If you do like it, then congratulations, you can go ahead and continue enjoying your comfortable new bed. This, of course, depends on the brand, so be sure to check with their site for terms and conditions

The Mattress of Your Dreams

The road to a comfortable, reasonably priced mattress can be a long one. But it can also be a short one, depending on what you’re looking for and how you choose to shop.

Going to physical stores may take some time but is useful for those who prefer a traditional shopping experience. It allows you to test an assortment of mattresses, as someone guides you through the selections.

Shopping online, on the other hand, can be done right at home (or anywhere, for that matter). It may be a new experience to purchase something as significant as a mattress without seeing it first. But with the quick search functions and convenient service, it’s easy to find the most suitable bed for your needs.

Both options have their benefits. No matter where you end up shopping, rest assured the right mattress for you is out there.

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