Buying a Mattress Online vs In Stores

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    We investigate whether or not buying a mattress online is better.

    If you are shopping for a new bed, you’ve most likely wondered whether buying a mattress online or in a showroom yields better results. Sure, you know it’s a good idea to look up mattress reviews online and do research, but what about the actual purchase? Well we’ve done some surveying and researching, and the results may surprise you.

    Does Testing Out a Bed Make a Difference?

    It may seem like common sense that trying out a mattress before buying would be helpful in picking a satisfactory model. However, evidence contradicts this thought. In our survey, people that bought a mattress they tried in a showroom were satisfied 71% of the time. In contrast, people that reported buying a mattress online expressed satisfaction at a rate of 78%. In the chart below, we break the results down by mattress type, showing that every type of mattress rates higher for online purchases. What this means is that you a more likely to find satisfaction buying a mattress online, without evening testing out. But why is that?

    Consumer Satisfaction Buying A Mattress Online vs In Stores
    One recent scientific study from Research Triangle International even indicated that laying on a bed is not a good method for determining sleep comfort. Summarized, “Results indicate that standard showroom testing does not lead individuals to select the bed that will provide their best sleep..,” (Hogan et al., p. 9). Participants that self-selected their mattresses reported lower sleep quality than the beds selected using an actigraph (motion measuring device). The authors of the study explain the phenomenon as a result of the various changes the body goes through during the night. What feels soft or comfortable when we are wake may not as we cycle through sleep. They concluded that the typical showroom experience leads shoppers to choose mattresses that are less than optimal for comfort and sleep.

    Why is Buying a Mattress Online Better?

    As the study indicated, many factors influence us in a mattress showroom – from the salesman, to mattress looks, to merchandising, and more. Spending 15 minutes on a bed simply is not enough to know how your body will react to it as you sleep. Buying a mattress online, however, provides several benefits than can help people make smarter decisions and improve chances of quality sleep.

    More Opportunity to Research

    Online shopping allows you to check out a variety of websites, research and compare the features of individual models, assess reviews, and look for alternatives. In a store, people often want to choose quickly and can only compare a limited number of options. This can also be good for busy couples, as the internet never closes.

    Freedom From Sales Pressure

    On a website, if you don’t like the pitch you can simply click away. Many reputable online retailers still have salespeople available to assist customers, but you don’t have to initiate a conversation until you are ready and informed. In a showroom, people often find themselves at the mercy of pushy or slick salespeople that may direct them to a regrettable decision.

    Better Return Policies

    Online mattress retailers often compensate for customers’ inability try out mattresses by offering extended return policies. Many have at least 30 days during which you can test the mattress and make sure it is a good fit. Just make sure to check the terms of the trial period, as you may be responsible for shipping or restocking fees. Showrooms often have no or very short return periods, and also charge restocking fees.

    Save Money

    Buying a mattress online also yields monetary benefits. Because they lack the high markup of retail showrooms, mattress websites typically offer cheaper prices even considering shipping costs. What’s more, if they are located out of state you won’t have to pay sales tax. In our example, we take a look at memory foam. Online, an average quality memory foam mattress might cost around $859. In a showroom, a similar bed costs $3089. The showroom bed also adds 7% for tax, now $3305. That is a price difference of 74%!

    Online vs Showroom Mattress Cost

    Online price from Amerisleep.com, Showroom price from Tempurpedic

    Buying a Mattress Online? Here’s Our List of Retailer Picks

    Innerspring Mattresses – US Mattress.
    The US Mattress website retails a wide range of brands, though they have some of the best deals on the innerspring mattress brands like Serta and Simmons. They also offer specialty beds, but due to MSRP arrangements most are priced similarly to showrooms.

    Memory Foam Mattresses – Amerisleep.
    Amerisleep retails plant-based memory foam shown to sleep cooler and provide quicker response time than traditional foams, and the company’s beds are American made. Their pricing is very reasonable compared to similar brands like Tempur-pedic.

    Latex Mattresses – Astrabeds.
    Astrabeds sells all natural latex mattresses with industry leading warranty and trial periods. Their adjustable beds are also some of the most popular and best-rated online.

    Air Bed Mattresses – Simply Rest.
    Airbeds allow for a range of firmness adjustments and dual sides in king and queen. Simply Rest’s air bed mattress collection includes pillow tops and foam options with  leading technology, and prices much cheaper than the national showroom brand.

    What have we learned from our research? As surprising as it may be, it seems that the internet truly may help you get a better bed and better night’s sleep. Overall, buying a mattress online is more likely to result in a satisfactory mattress because people get a better value, more time to research, and a less-pressured shopping experience.

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