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    How to Shop for a Mattress Online

    by Wesley Vaughn [Guest Blogger] December 06, 2019 4 min read

    Since the launching of the Casper Mattress in 2014, there has been a virtual explosion of online mattress sales. BedInABox had been selling online since 2006, and Tuft & Needle since 2012, but this was the big push, with many online mattress companies selling mattress-in-a-box models, which are compressed, rolled, put into boxes, and shipped by package carriers such as UPS and FedEx.

    Online Mattress Shopping

    Those who have always purchased mattresses in stores wonder why they should buy one online. At the same time, some younger shoppers wonder why anyone would shop for a mattress in a store.

    There are several advantages to online mattress shopping. It is more convenient to sit at home and order a mattress online. Online prices are generally lower, and the sleep trials are longer.

    The biggest objection to buying a mattress online is that you can’t see, feel, and test it before buying it. Another is that the delivery person (a FedEx or UPS driver) won’t take the old mattress away.

    Online Mattress Shopping Tips

    Here are a few pointers to help you in shopping for a mattress online:

    Decide What Kind of Mattress

    There are different kinds of mattresses:

    • Innerspring mattresses consist of coils with fiber or foam padding (usually no more than an inch thick) and a fabric cover. Four basic innerspring types are Bonnell coils, offset coils, continuous coils, and pocket coils. Many are two-sided and can be flipped for longer wear. Pocket coils are perfect for compressing and rolling to be boxed. Offset coils are second.
    • Memory foam mattresses were introduced by Tempur-Pedic in 1991. Memory foam relieves pressure by conforming to the user. Denser memory foam collects more heat than less dense foam, but it is more conforming. Less dense memory foam responds more quickly. The support base of the mattress is very firm polyurethane foam.
    • Latex is bouncy. All-natural latex foam is made from rubber tree sap. Synthetic latex is made from petroleum. The support base may be very firm latex or very firm polyurethane foam.
    • Hybrid mattresses have at least 2” of memory foam and/or latex over coil support, usually pocket coils. Some hybrids use newer latex-like foams or replacements for memory foam.
    • Adjustable Airbeds support sleepers with air chambers. The pressure can be adjusted for comfort and support. The biggest brand, Sleep Number, is sold mainly in stores, but it can be ordered online, shipped, and assembled at home.
    • Waterbeds provide even support with pressure relief. However, they are bulky and extremely heavy when filled. They are sold online, and you put the water in.
    • Unique Materials – Foam is not the only cushioning material for a mattress. Other means have been tried, but a currently successful material is the polymer grid used in the Purple Mattress.

    Find the Brands of Your Kind of Mattress

    If you know what kind of mattress you want, look for it online. See what brands are online.          

    Determine Which Mattresses Fit You

    • Size and Weight: Your size determines the minimum mattress size suitable for you. Heavier sleepers need firmer mattresses.
    • Sleeping Position: Side sleepers need a softer mattress than back sleepers or stomach sleepers.
    • One or Two Sleepers: If one, Twin, Twin XL, and Full size might do. If two, Full is the minimum size, and Queen or King is preferable.
    • Hot or Cool: If you sleep cool, memory foam may be fine. If you sleep hot, seek a cooler mattress, one with ventilation.
    • Health Conditions: Take physical conditions – such as fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, arthritis, acid reflux, back pain, COPD, and others – into consideration when buying a mattress.

    Read Unbiased Online Mattress Reviews

    Online mattress reviews should give you an indication of how well customers feel about the mattresses they bought. However, not all reviews are unbiased. Not all independent reviewers are that independent. Several review sites, such as BestMattress-Reviews.org, belong to the maker of mattresses. Trusted review sites include Sleep Like the Dead, GoodBed, Tuck, Consumer Reports, and many more.

    Compare Specifications and Prices

    An old saying is, “The devil is in the details.” Details matter when shopping for a mattress.

    • Height – How high a mattress do you want? Does it make it harder or easier to get into bed?  
    • Firmness – What is the best firmness for you? Most people (but not all) prefer medium-firm (6-6.5 on a 10-point scale).
    • Materials – Do you want memory foam or latex? Do you prefer natural ingredients? Do you have allergies to any materials?
    • Construction – How is the mattress put together? Is the cover removable for cleaning?
    • Durability– How long is this mattress expected to last?
    • Off-gassing– How much gas is released by the foam, and for how long?
    • Noise– Does the mattress make any noise when sleepers move around?
    • Foam density – How dense is the foam? This is more important with memory foam, since the density relates to how conforming it is and how much heat it absorbs.

    Where is the mattress made?

    China and some other countries are not known for quality. For mattresses, especially those with memory foam, this is a serious consideration. Memory foam made in China has inconsistent quality. Mattresses made in North America and Western Europe are higher quality.

    Try It if You Can

    Many online mattresses are available for testing in certain stores or you may find a similar mattress to test out. You can check them out and either order one at the store or buy it there and take it home if it’s a boxed bed.


    Shopping for a mattress online is more convenient and less expensive than shopping for it in stores. Just be a smart online shopper.