Buying a Mattress Online vs In-Store: Editorial Opinion (2024)

Grace Struth

Sleep Content Lead

  • Up-to-Date

  • Methodology

It’s easier and more convenient to buy a mattress online instead of in-store.

Think back to the last time you bought a mattress at a local store like The Brick, Sleep Country, or Leon’s. You had to plan the best time to go the store, then discuss a sea of choices with a commissioned salesperson (who probably had a quota to fill).

Once you found the right mattress, you had to bargain—perhaps unsuccessfully—for the best price. Finally, you arranged a not-always-convenient time to get the new mattress delivered, booked the time off work, and hoped the mattress would show up on delivery day.

Why go through all this hassle when mattress shopping online is far more convenient? Just read mattress reviews, compare mattresses, and decide which product you want to buy—all from the comfort of your own home while sticking to your budget.

Don’t just take our word for it. These reviews from real Sleep Country customers show how difficult in-store mattress shopping can be:

 

Real Sleep Country Customer Reviews

“Worst customer service and delivery team ever. Said they will come from 9-12pm. Took day off from work, missed a call from 9-9:10am, called them back at around 9:15am, unable to reach anyone.

“At the end the customer service said they canceled my order. What a waste of time. Never buying from this company again.”

Melody

“Richard was condescending, extremely pushy and would not stop talking over us. At one point he told us to ‘adjust our budget and look at something cheaper.’

“Richard treated us like we were below his level and laughed at us when we asked for a better price. This was a terrible experience and we walked out.”

Lonnie

 

 

These are just a few reasons why it’s better to buy a mattress online vs in-store:

1. Take your time to find the right mattress

What do other customers say about the quality of a particular mattress? How well does it hold up under normal use? Does the company honour warranty claims quickly? It can be hard to get answers to these questions when you’re already standing in a mattress store.

When you shop for mattresses online, you can read in-depth product reviews and watch video demos. You can also dig into different brands’ customer service practices by looking them up on BBB, Trustpilot, and Reddit.

It’s worth noting that Goodmorning.com, which owns Douglas, is rated “Excellent” and has 4.7/5 stars on Trustpilot based on hundreds of reviews. In comparison, Sleep Country earned just 2.1/5 stars on Trustpilot and is rated “A+” (unaccredited) on BBB at the time of writing.

READ MORE: How long should a mattress last?

 

2. Avoid added pressure to “buy now”

Many mattress salespeople are trained in sales and make a commission on your purchase. This means they have a stake in whether you purchase from them today—making it harder to walk away if you aren’t ready to buy.

If you’re shopping around, looking for the lowest price, or waiting for a seasonal sale, online mattress shopping is the perfect pressure-free experience. A mattress company’s website is up-front about pricing and sales so you can quickly decide if you want to buy today.

You can always sign up for email updates to stay on top of those sales, too. 

 

why buy a mattress online vs in store: illustration of woman using a computer at home

 

3. Get fast, free delivery to your door

Ever bought furniture online and paid extra for delivery? You’ll love the convenience of having a mattress-in-a-box delivered right to your doorstep, free. It’ll arrive at a time that’s convenient for you, without having to take time off work to accommodate a delivery truck.

In-store shipping also comes with conditions: Sleep Country only provides free delivery if you spend a certain amount, and The Brick only offers free shipping if you hold their store credit card. Many online brands like Douglas, on the other hand, ship free throughout most of Canada.

Most online mattress companies can promise they will deliver your new mattress within a certain date range. Check online reviews to see how well your chosen company sticks to their promised timeframe.

 

4. Get access to more mattress options

No brick-and-mortar store can stock all the mattresses you might be interested in viewing—they don’t have enough room. They also have business hours, which may not allow much time for shopping outside of your own work hours.

Online mattress brands, on the other hand, have storefronts that are open 24/7 and accessible while you’re in the comfort of your own home. You can make sure the company has the brands you’re looking for, and compare options whenever it’s convenient for you.

READ MORE: Which mattress type is right for you?

 

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5. Be confident you’re paying the best price

You’ve found the mattress you wanted. But how do you know you’re getting the best possible price? What if you just missed a sale, or what if there’s a better one coming up? You can never know for sure that the price is right, especially when salespeople can change that price.

When you shop online, most mattress companies have clear pricing and visible sales promotions—often with a countdown clock that tells you exactly how long that price and promotion will last. If you like the mattress but not the price, simply wait a week or two and see if the price changes. 

Online mattress companies also tend to charge less for their products. There’s less overhead involved in day-to-day operations, and these companies often pass along their cost savings to customers.

 

6. Ask questions quickly and easily

Buying a mattress online doesn’t mean you lose out on customer service. In fact, you can often get answers to your questions much more quickly on a mattress company’s website. It’s just a matter of speaking with a customer representative.

Asking questions can take much longer in-store. One salesperson may be working with several customers at one time, so it may be hard to get their attention—and to get the answers you need.

 

why buy a mattress online vs in store: illustration of woman speaking to a sales representative in a mattress store

 

7. Get the best warranty coverage

Mattress warranties commonly have a limited 10-year term where you can get the mattress replaced under very specific circumstances. Many retailers either offer their own limited warranty for all products, or make you speak to the manufacturer about any warranty claims.

Some online retailers like Douglas go above and beyond with their mattress warranties. Douglas offers a 20-year limited warranty, long beyond the average mattress lifetime of 7–10 years. Paired with their 365-night sleep trial, that’s plenty of time to know if your mattress will perform as promised.

 

8. Compare return policies

How easy is it to return a mattress if you’re not satisfied? Will the manufacturer pick it up for free? Is there a return or “restocking” fee? Do you get a full refund, or store credit only?

Online mattress companies often provide simple returns. For instance, Douglas has a hassle-free, money-back guarantee on mattress returns and will pick up your mattress from your home. Sleep Country has an exchange-only policy and charges a $65 restocking fee.

Most companies, both online and brick-and-mortar, have extensive FAQ sections on their websites where you can learn more about their return policies. Review websites with customer ratings will also help you get a feel for your potential customer experience.

 

9. Help the environment by shopping online

When you shop online, you don’t need to use your own vehicle and fuel to visit a physical storefront.

Online retailers also don’t consume vast amounts of energy to heat and power a network of retail showrooms. Your mattress will be delivered through a courier like FedEx or UPS, not with a dedicated moving van containing a limited amount of furniture.

Overall, online mattress delivery uses fewer resources and is better for the environment. (And we really can’t stress enough how convenient it is.)

 

FAQ

Where is the best place to buy a mattress?

In our opinion, the best place to buy a mattress is online. To find the right retailer, do your research, compare features and benefits, shop for the best price, and look for a company that offers free delivery, easy returns, and excellent customer service.

You can’t go wrong with buying your next mattress online, especially from a brand like Douglas (which checks all these boxes).

READ MORE: Discover the best Canadian mattress brands

Is it more affordable to buy a mattress online?

The price of a mattress depends on the features, construction, and materials. But as a general rule, yes, it’s often more affordable to buy a mattress online.

That’s because you don’t have to feel the pressure of walking into a bricks-and-mortar store, taking up a salesperson’s time and feeling obligated to buy even if you’re unsure. You can wait and order the mattress you really want at a price you can afford to pay.

Many online mattress companies have regular sales and promotions, so it’s easy to check regularly to see if the price being charged for the mattress you want is within your budget.

Do I need to test a mattress in-store?

No, you don’t need to test a mattress in-store. Lying on a floor model for several minutes (and feeling weird about it) isn’t as effective as actually sleeping on the mattress.

With many mattress sleep trials being 100 nights—or 365 nights for brands like Douglas—you don’t need to quickly test out a mattress in-store and still be unsure about your purchase.

Purchasing a good-quality mattress online—one with thousands of five-star reviews, easy shipping, free returns, and a 365-night trial—brings you more peace of mind than an in-store trial ever will.

How do you buy a good mattress?

Do your research and decide which mattress you want before you buy. Consider features and benefits, check out online reviews, and see which mattresses have the highest customer and product ratings for the price.

Once you have picked a mattress, watch and wait for a sale or promotion that helps you get the most for your money.

How do you pick the right mattress?

When it comes to buying a mattress, it really is true that one size doesn’t fit all. There are a number of factors you should consider when purchasing your next mattress, including:

  • Firmness: Choose a mattress with the right firmness level for your sleep style—that is, whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach. For example, side sleepers often want a softer mattress, while back sleepers may prefer something firmer. It’s worth noting that firmness is different from the amount of support the mattress offers.
  • Zoned Support: This is especially important for heavier sleepers, who may experience sinking into a mattress more than a light or medium sleeper. Thicker coils around the hips and lower back, as well as zoned support for areas like the shoulders and perimeter of the bed, will help support you better.
  • Contouring: Contouring materials like memory foam help support your body in all the right places. That said, too much “hug” can cause overheating and make it hard to move around on the mattress easily, so find the level of contouring that’s best for your body.
  • Temperature: Speaking of overheating—if you’re a warm sleeper, look for a mattress that promotes airflow and reduces heat. You might find better luck with a latex or hybrid mattress rather than strictly memory foam.
  • Body Type & Weight: You’ll want to make sure the mattress you’re considering is appropriate for your body type and weight. If you’re a taller or heavier sleeper, make sure your mattress is properly constructed to give you years of comfortable sleep.
  • Budget: Set a budget for your new mattress and stick to it. You might even be able to make this budget go further by finding limited-time deals and promotions online.
  • Construction: Figure out whether you’d like an innerspring, foam, or hybrid mattress. There are pros and cons for each construction style, and knowing what you want will help narrow down your options.
  • Motion Isolation: Pay close attention to motion isolation if you share your bed with a partner, kids, or pets. The higher the isolation score, the less you’ll notice movement from the other side of the bed.
  • Edge Support: Are you in the habit of sitting or sleeping near the edge of the bed? Look for a mattress with good edge support to keep your body supported in any position.
  • Bounce: If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you might prefer a mattress with extra bounce. (Your inner child will enjoy it, too!)
  • Responsiveness: A responsive mattress allows you to change positions without feeling stuck. Often found in hybrid designs, a responsive mattress can help you enjoy certain activities in bed even more.
  • Noise: Nobody likes a squeaky or crinkly mattress. Get a quiet night’s sleep with a mattress made from noise-quieting materials like foam or latex.
  • Company Policies: Get details about the manufacturer’s sleep trial, return policy, and product warranty so you know what you’re getting into.
How do you return a mattress purchased online?

Return policies vary depending on which company you purchase your mattress from. Many companies want you to contact them via email, phone, or chat feature on their website. They’ll ask you some questions about the mattress and possibly ask you to share some photos, especially if you’re claiming a manufacturer’s defect.

Whatever the instructions are, they should be clearly stated on the company’s website.

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