Should You Buy A Mattress Online?

Online mattress shopping on the Comfort Option website


Should you buy a mattress online? If you're looking for an easy answer, then our answer is yes. You should, but not without careful consideration and knowing what to look for.

A Brief Review on Beds-In-A-Box.

In a previous post, we discussed the large number of online mattress options, with new companies seemingly popping up weekly. Whether it's ordering directly from a slick-marketing, publicly-traded online brand or through a bigger e-commerce retailer like Amazon (where our new Alpha mattress is currently available), you can't begin looking for a mattress these days without being flooded with a world of online mattress options.

The benefits of this sort of shopping are obvious - mattress stores are traditionally less than enjoyable, while shopping from your couch is quite convenient. There can also be a cost-benefit to skipping the showroom, and it's also easier to be brand-loyal to a trendy online brand than an old school retailer.

That said, there's a clear disadvantage, and it's a glaring one. Should you really buy a mattress that you're easily going to spend 1/3 of your time on without physically testing it?

Should you really buy a mattress without physically testing it?

A few months ago, the Lacy School of Business of Butler University assisted us in answering those sorts of questions. They talked to hundreds of respondents in the Indianapolis area. To this specific question, here's what they found.

Over 62% of those surveyed in the Indianapolis area say that it is Unlikely or Very Unlikely that they would buy a mattress online.

Over 62% of those surveyed in the Indianapolis area say that it is Unlikely or Very Unlikely that they would buy a mattress online.

We found this is fascinating. Online mattress sales are growing significantly, yet only one out of every four people said they were likely to pull the trigger on a mattress through a website. So where does that leave us?

Indianapolis has a different culture, and it's awesome.

Participant's responses affirmed the fact that Indianapolis, and the Midwest as a whole, may approach purchasing differently than San Francisco or New York City. We're more traditional here. We're generally more conservative, likely more relational, and more inclined to opt for face-to-face interaction.

All of that leads to a heavier reliance upon brick and mortar mattress stores. Our comfort with tradition makes the switch to online-buying, particularly with large and/or personal items, a longer-term change. We're less likely to take a risk of spending a large sum of money on a product we have't touched yet and, generally speaking, we may be more likely to trust an actual person than a carefully crafted website. Friends, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! We're midwesterners ourselves and are proud of the culture that has made us who we are.

Then how can we recommend buying a mattress online?

What I said was that you should shop online if you know what to look for. To better explain, let's unpack some common misconceptions. 

Common Misconception #1: This mattress has gone through hours and months of engineering, therefore, it can adequately serve as the best mattress for everyone in the world.

Sadly, this just isn't possible and we advise you to avoid this claim at all costs. It is possible to engineer a mattress that would be relatively adequate for everyone in the world, but there is just no way for one construction to be the best construction for every different body type, sleeping position, and personal preference. With all the options out there, we personally think you could better spend your money to get something that is more than just adequate.

Better idea? Find a mattress brand that understands who you are and what you need by actually asking questions instead of telling you they know better. Get something that's customized.

Common Misconception #2: "HUGE MATTRESS SALE! EVERYTHING IS $500 OFF!" means you are getting a good deal.

This is likely something you already know, but sale prices are ALWAYS built into the cost. If you think the $2,000 mattress you bought for $1,000 is actually worth $2,000, you're going to be disappointed (especially if you ever see that mattress manufacturer's financials). 

Better idea? Don't take the bait. Instead, find a company that actually makes the mattresses they sell. I did another blog post on this very subject a little while back, but essentially, this route will assure that the price you pay goes towards the materials in the product, rather than support a slew of unnecessary overhead costs that have nothing to do with quality or value.

Common Misconception #3: This mattress has a 100 day trial so you can test it for free and easily return if you don't like it!

This sounds lovely in principle and has been integral in online sales. In fact, it's almost requisite these days.

Let's take a moment and think about this. If your return fits within the fine print and is accepted by the company you bought the mattress from (which may unlikely or difficult, given how specific and protective some of the fine print can be), once you return the thing, you're back to square one. You still don't have a mattress you like. You shopped, you bought, you were put on hold, you talked to customer service people, you organized a return pickup with FedEx, and after 3 months, you still don't have a mattress. Does it provide peace of mind before buying? Sure. Does it provide any benefit to help you sleep better? Not in the end.

Better idea? Go with a company that actually helps you along the way. How, you ask? By being there and actually fixing any issues you may have with your mattress if it doesn't work out or feel the way you hoped. A real warranty gives real peace of mind and means you're purchasing a solution, not just a product.

This is may be the biggest point of all of them. If you're going to buy an expensive product and expect it to deliver years of restful sleep without feeling it first, you deserve peace of mind. That should be a given. We believe that it is the manufacturer's responsibility to go the extra mile and make sure that the products they provide actually serve the purposes for which they're sold. 

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