You can buy almost anything online nowadays, including a new mattress. It used to be you would have to do your mattress shopping in a store or even visit multiple stores, going from bed to bed in a search for one that was just right. But now you can do your shopping from home or out and about on your phone.
There’s a lot of freedom in online shopping and a quick web search can pull up all kinds of mattresses. But so many choices can be overwhelming and that is why we have put together this guide to help you find the best online mattress for you.
In this guide, we discuss some of the pros and cons when it comes to shopping for a mattress online and in a store, the research you can do to verify if a mattress you see is one you can trust, and how you can determine if a mattress is the right one for you.
Our Recommendation: Zoma Mattress
We designed our Zoma Mattress to enhance athletic performance, but the mattress can improve anyone’s sleep regardless of how physically active they are. The Zoma Mattress was created to soothe pain, alleviate pressure and speed up muscle recovery, and anyone can benefit from those features.
The Zoma Mattress is 11 inches tall with three layers of foam, and each foam layer works with the others to promote a better night of sleep.
The first layer is 2 inches of cooling, pressure-relieving gel-infused memory foam. This soft top layer molds to your body, keeping you cool and comfortable as you sleep.
Our unique Triangulex™ technology can be found in the mattress’s first layer. Triangulex™ provides additional pressure relief in the shoulder and leg areas with triangle-shaped cutouts, while the middle of the mattress remains solid to give support to the hips and lower back. The triangle cutouts also improve breathability in the mattress, further reducing the risk of sleeping hot.
The second layer is 2 inches of bouncy, latex-like Reactiv™ foam. Reactiv™ foam is created from polyurethane foam and works to help with muscle recovery. This foam layer also acts as a buffer between the top layer of memory foam and the support layer underneath.
The third layer is 7 inches of our durable Support+ foam. The Support+ foam keeps the bed in shape by providing stability and structure.
The included mattress cover is mostly polyester with a little bit of elastane. The elastane gives the knit its stretchiness for better airflow, keeping you cool as you sleep.
Our Zoma Mattress is $750 for a queen-size mattress and comes with a risk-free 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
If you’re not satisfied with the Zoma Mattress within the sleep trial period and wish to return it, there’s no need to fuss about how you’re going to ship it back. We will work with a local partner to pick up and recycle your mattress after which we will issue you a full refund.
Online Mattresses vs. In-Store Mattresses
So what are some of the pros and cons of buying a mattress online compared to the traditional method of buying at a mattress or furniture store? Both can offer different forms of convenience, such as the face-to-face customer service of a mattress store or the ease with which you can look up different mattresses and customer reviews online.
Finding Cheaper Prices
One big advantage shopping online has over a physical storefront is price. As an online store typically doesn’t have the additional costs of renting, staffing, and maintaining a store location, an online company can offer a high-quality mattress for a lower price than a mattress store could.
However, an in-store mattress may come with an opportunity to haggle down the price, or a chance to price match another store’s deal. This isn’t necessarily an advantage for in-store mattresses since online mattresses still have cheaper prices, but it is something to keep in mind.
Shipping costs are often cheaper online as well. Free shipping is commonly offered by many online mattress companies, while mattress stores are less likely to offer free delivery to your house.
Trying Before and After You Buy
You might be thinking a physical store has the advantage of letting you try out a mattress on the floor before you buy it. While true, this isn’t as much of a pro as you might think it is. Spending 10 to 20 minutes on a showroom model doesn’t always give the full picture of what it will be like to sleep on that mattress for seven to nine hours, night after night, according to a 2011 study.
Instead of trying out a mattress in a store, you might be better off with the security offered by a sleep trial. Most online mattress brands come with an attached sleep trial and some in-store mattresses do as well. Under a sleep trial, you have a set amount of days (often between 90 to 120) to decide if a mattress is the one for you, exchange it for a different mattress, or return it for a full refund.
An online mattress company may offer a more extensive return policy and clearer terms of warranty than a furniture store or a mattress store. Some physical storefronts will only let you return a mattress unopened, within the first 72 hours, and sometimes only if it arrives damaged.
When you’re shopping online, it’s pretty simple to look up the details of a mattress’s company sleep trial, warranty, and return policy right on the company website. If you can’t easily find more about these three policies, take it as a warning sign and move on to another brand.
It’s fairly easy to look up what customers say about a mattress when you’re shopping online. The company website should have a section where people can leave reviews, and it’s a good idea to take a look at the lower-rated ones and read through any common complaints. If you can’t find lower-rated reviews or any reviews at all on the company website, it’s a red flag the company isn’t eager to take on feedback.
While you often can look up reviews for an in-store mattress and the company behind it, it’s not as convenient as reading comments and reviews left on a company website.
Getting Answers to Questions
A physical storefront does have the advantage of having staff immediately on hand to answer any questions you may have. While shopping online does let you avoid the pressure of a salesperson urging you to buy, it also takes out the ease with which you can have a question answered. However, many online mattress companies do offer a phone number, email, or live chat option where you can speak with a customer service representative.
Here’s our recommendation when it comes to purchasing a new mattress, regardless of whether you buy it online or in a store— buy a mattress with a sleep trial, a warranty covering at least 10 years, and a return policy, and know the terms and specifics of all three before you buy. Take the time to research the mattress, the company’s reputation, and what people who bought that same mattress have to say.
Company Transparency: How You Can Trust A Mattress
A big concern with online shopping is how much you can trust the product you’re buying if you can’t see it, and by extension how much you can trust the company behind it. Reading customer feedback and mattress reviews on independent blogs can give you an idea of what a mattress is like in person, but what more can you do?
A simple method to determine a company’s trustworthiness is to see how much information you can find on it. It’s reasonable to want to know the details behind the making of your mattress and the policies attached to a mattress purchase.
As you’re researching a brand, look for this info on their website:
- Where and how the company’s mattresses are made
- The length and details of the sleep trial, warranty, and return policy
- When the company first opened for business
- Any certifications the company has
If you still have questions after reading the company’s About and FAQs pages, reach out to customer service.
It’s smart to take the time to investigate and verify a company’s claims and certifications. For certifications, it can be as easy as checking the certifier’s website, such as this list of companies certified by CertiPUR-US®. Any certification should include the registered trademark symbol (®).
Finally, you may want to search the company on Better Business Bureau. It’s not the most updated place to learn more about a company, but it might alert you to any red flags.
What Is a Bed in a Box Mattress?
Not all online mattresses are bed in a box mattresses, but there is a significant overlap between the two. A bed in a box mattress is compressed, rolled up, and packaged in a box to save space in a delivery vehicle. This method also allows for convenient and easy delivery to your front door.
Most bed in a box mattresses are memory foam or latex. Hybrids and innerspring mattresses are not usually compressed for delivery out of concern that compression might damage the coils.
Can Compression Damage a Mattress?
If a mattress is left compressed in its box for an extended period of time, such as five to six months, it may show signs of damage when the box is finally opened. A foam mattress compressed for too long may not fully expand once it’s been unboxed and unrolled. The mattress can lose its structure and responsiveness.
Take a moment to unbox your mattress shortly after receiving it, rather than waiting days or weeks to do so, to further minimize compression time. A mattress warranty can be void if you leave it in the box for two or more weeks, so it’s smart to open up the box as quickly as you can. Give your mattress 24 to 48 hours to expand after it’s been opened.
Trying to recompress your mattress at home, without the tools that a mattress company has at its disposal, can also damage your mattress.
Setting A Budget
What is a fair price to pay for a mattress? It’s a common question and an understandable one, as mattresses can range from $100 to $3,000.
As a general rule, we recommend a budget of $1,000 to $1,500 for a queen-size mattress, although you can still find a quality mattress for under $1000.
When setting a budget, it’s good to ask yourself what you’re looking for in a mattress. Do you want a bed for regular use or a guest room? Do you want a mattress made with organic materials? Is there a health condition such as back pain or restless legs syndrome that a new mattress can address?
The price of a bed is often higher if the mattress uses certified materials that require a certain manufacturing process, if it’s a thicker mattress made with more materials, or if it’s made to fit a certain need such as chronic back pain. Included services such as white glove delivery can also drive up the price of a mattress.
What Is White Glove Delivery?
White glove delivery is a service mattress companies offer where your new mattress is not only delivered to your house, but the delivery people will carry the mattress to your bedroom, set it up, and haul away your old mattress.
Sometimes white glove delivery is built into the price of the mattress, and other times it is available as an add-on service for an additional fee. Often, white glove delivery is included in the price if you buy a mattress too big, too heavy, or otherwise unsuited for compression.
Mattress Types You Can Find Online
You can find all different kinds of mattresses online, some more suitable for you than others. There are four main types of mattresses to consider as you browse— memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses.
One of the more common mattress types found online is a memory foam mattress, since it’s easy to compress for shipping. It’s also popular thanks to its pressure and pain relief properties.
Memory foam is manufactured by taking polyurethane foam and processing it for more elasticity and viscosity— this creates a material responsive to pressure that will revert to its original shape when the pressure is removed.
The responsiveness of memory foam takes the pressure off of sensitive areas such as your back, shoulders, hips, and spine. Those who suffer from chronic pain often find a memory foam mattress helps them achieve a better night of sleep.
Memory foam also prevents motion transfer better than any other kind of mattress, which can make it the ideal choice for anyone who is sharing a bed.
The term “memory foam mattress” can be misleading as typically only the top layers contain memory foam. A mattress made completely of memory foam would lack support, so the bottom layers are usually made of firmer foam that is not viscoelastic.
Traditional memory foam can have a problem with overheating, but many mattress manufacturers are aware of this and add features to address it. A common solution is to add cooling gels to the mixture, creating gel memory foam to absorb body heat. Other manufacturers may add copper or graphite, which wick away unwanted heat.
A latex mattress can be made from natural or synthetic processes. Natural latex is made from rubber tree sap while synthetic latex is made with styrene and butadiene, which are two organic compounds. The manufacturing process behind natural latex makes it one of the more eco-friendly mattress options.
Latex is a body-contouring material like memory foam, but there are a few key differences between the two. Latex can be more breathable than traditional memory foam, making it more naturally suited to keep you cool. Latex also has a bouncy lift whereas memory foam provides more of a cradle that lets the sleeper sink in.
Latex can make for an inherently firm bed. Some customers are surprised by the firm feel of latex, and as a solution, some companies offer an optional pillow top for extra cushioning.
Natural latex can be one of the more expensive mattress options on the market because of the manufacturing process and the material’s durability. Synthetic latex has a shorter expected lifespan than natural latex, which can last for 15 years.
You may have slept on an innerspring mattress growing up since it’s been around longer than any other mattress (since the 1800s). Innersprings used to be the only mattress available, and while they still remain popular, other mattress types are beginning to catch up.
The structure and support of an innerspring mattress comes from its coil system. This coil setup is sandwiched between a piece of fabric, sometimes wool, and a comfort layer made from materials such as memory foam, poly-foam, cotton, or down. An innerspring mattress is bouncy, though this means it doesn’t prevent motion transfer as well as other mattress types.
An innerspring mattress is one of the more breathable kinds of mattresses thanks to its coil setup that lets air easily pass through. An innerspring mattress can be a good choice if you sleep hot.
If you’re a sleeper with chronic pain issues, you might want to pass on an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses can’t contour to the body as well as memory foam, latex, or hybrids, and they lack pressure relief.
A hybrid mattress has a coil support system and at least 3 inches of foam. Often the coils are wrapped in fabric or foam to better isolate motion.
A hybrid mattress can offer more lift and bounce than a memory foam or a latex mattress. Sleepers who like to feel on top of the mattress might prefer a hybrid bed.
However, a hybrid mattress can’t contour to the body as fully as a foam bed can, which can mean less effective pressure and pain relief.
Hybrid mattresses can be some of the more expensive beds on the market as they blend different high-quality materials together. The price tag might not be worth it if you’re looking for a long-lasting mattress, as hybrids have a shorter expected lifespan than a quality memory foam or latex mattress.
Knowing your sleep style is important because it will influence the best mattress firmness for you. Side sleepers generally need a soft mattress they can sink into for pressure relief, while back and stomach sleepers are better off with a firmer mattress to keep the spine aligned. To find your sleep style, take note of the position you tend to fall asleep and wake up in.
Sleeping on your side is associated with quite a few health benefits. By sleeping on your side, you help your brain clear out waste proteins more effectively, which may prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. And sleeping on your right side can promote a healthier heart by reducing pressure on it.
Side sleepers are at risk of waking up sore because of the focused pressure on their hips and shoulders, rather than having pressure more evenly distributed across the body.
Side sleepers do well on a plush mattress, with room to sink in enough to alleviate pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Consider a soft to medium mattress if you’re a side sleeper, and we recommend sleeping with a pillow between your legs to further ease pressure and keep the hips aligned.
If you sleep on your back, you’re in a good position for your spine’s health. Back sleeping helps keep the spine aligned by evenly distributing your weight, so you’re less likely to wake up with aches from too much pressure on a few areas of your body.
Medium-firm to firm mattress help provide the support a back sleeper needs. The mattress should be responsive enough to meet all four curves of your spine. While lying on your back, try to keep your posture what it would be if you were standing straight.
If you sleep on your stomach we advise making the switch to back or side sleeping. Stomach sleeping over a long period of time can lead to health complications such as back pain and neck pain.
When you sleep on your stomach your center of gravity moves to your torso area. This gravity shift can cause your hips and stomach to sink too deeply into the mattress, which creates an unhealthy arch in your spine that can aggravate lower back pain. And stomach sleeping can strain the neck from needing to twist your head to the side to breathe.
If you choose to keep sleeping on your stomach, we recommend a firm mattress to better keep your spine healthy. Sleep on a thin head pillow or skip the head pillow altogether, and keep another pillow under your lower abdomen.
It’s all relative when it comes to firmness levels and there is no one true best firmness. However, you can narrow down your optimal firmness by understanding how your preferred sleeping position and body type impacts your sleep comfort.
We’ve discussed how sleeping position influences what mattress firmness is best for you, but body weight factors into your ideal firmness as well.
A comfortable mattress for a heavy sleeper is typically firmer to offer needed support. On the other hand, a lightweight sleeper will feel most comfortable on a softer mattress. When it comes to mattress weight capacity, we consider anyone weighing more than 230 pounds to be heavyweight, anyone lighter than 130 pounds to be lightweight, and anyone in between to be average.
The firmness scale is a common way to rank a mattress’s firmness. The scale runs from 1 to 10, with 1 as the softest a mattress can be and 10 as the firmest. A drawback to the firmness scale is that it can be subjective, with each mattress company having their own scale to classify firmness.
The ILD rating of a mattress is a measurement of how much weight a mattress can take before it indents to 25 percent of its original thickness and is used as an unbiased measure of a mattress’s firmness. The higher the ILD rating, the firmer the mattress. You often won’t find the ILD rating on the company website, and if you’re curious you may need to ask a customer service representative. Instead, rely on the firmness scale to get a better idea of how firm a mattress is.
Sleep Trial, Warranty, and Return Policy
The sleep trial, warranty, and return policy all factor into a mattress’s price, so it can be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the details of each before you buy. We strongly recommend against buying a mattress without an attached sleep trial and warranty.
A sleep trial is the period of time you have to test out a mattress after buying. Most sleep trials last 90 to 120 nights, although a few mattresses come with sleep trials as short as 60 days or as long as a full year. Typically, it takes about a month to completely adjust to sleeping on a new mattress.
A warranty is a sign the company has faith in its product and serves as a failsafe for the customer against any defective product.
The industry standard for a mattress warranty is 10 years. Some mattress companies offer prorated coverage after the initial 10 years, which means you will pay a portion of the replacement costs.
It’s a good idea to read through the mattress warranty, as some actions can void the warranty. Common actions that void a warranty include:
- Removing the law tag
- Staining the mattress
- Not using the proper support/foundation for your mattress
- Not unpacking the mattress within a few weeks of arrival
- Not rotating the mattress often enough
- Selling or giving your mattress to someone else
You will likely need to have a proof of purchase to make a warranty claim, so be sure to file the receipt away in a safe place.
A mattress’s return policy details how to initiate a return, when you can return your mattress, and under what circumstances you can return your mattress. It’s smart to know the return policy before you commit to a mattress purchase, rather than having to look it up later.
Things to know about the return policy include:
- How to start the return process. Do you have to speak with a customer service representative on the phone, or is an email or live chat sufficient?
- When a return can be made. Some mattress companies set a minimum wait time after purchase.
- Are there hidden return fees, such as a shipping fee or a restocking fee?
- Can you receive a full refund, or can you only exchange it for another mattress?
Ask customer service if you need anything about the return policy clarified.
When shopping for a new mattress, we recommend finding a company that will pick up your unwanted mattress at your home, rather than require you to ship it back yourself.
Reading customer reviews is a great way to find out more about a mattress. You should be able to find them on the company website, and it’s a bad sign if you don’t see any. Some websites will let you filter reviews by relevant keywords, such as “sleeping hot” or “chronic back pain.”
Take a moment to skim lower-rated reviews for any recurring customer complaints. Did the mattress arrive late or in poor condition? Was the mattress firmer or softer than expected? Was the reviewer unhappy with customer service?
If the website uses a star ranking system, take a glance at the number of reviews behind a mattress’s ranking. A four-and-a-half star mattress is more of an accomplishment if the ranking was averaged from 30,000 reviews instead of from three.
Don’t just look for reviews on a company’s website. Read what people are saying on third party websites, and if you have the time to spare, skim through the company’s social media pages for any customer comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How thick should my mattress be?
We recommend shopping for a bed between 10 to 14 inches tall. Anything thinner than 10 inches is unlikely to provide you with needed support and durability. If you’re a heavier sleeper, we recommend a mattress between 12 to 14 inches to better take on your weight.
What is the best online mattress to buy?
There is no one best mattress for everyone, online or otherwise. The best mattress for you will be a mattress that keeps your spine in a healthy alignment, prevents sleep disturbances, and leaves you feeling better than when you fell asleep.
Did We Help?
Online shopping can feel like guesswork if you’re unsure what is the right mattress for you. But by doing the research, you should feel better prepared to find the best mattress online for you. Remember to consider not just the price but the mattress’s materials, firmness, sleep trial, warranty, and return policy, along with customer reviews and the company’s reputation.
Don’t hesitate to take a night to sleep on a decision before you buy a mattress. There will always be more mattress sales and it’s best to be confident the mattress you choose is right for you.