Online vs. In-Store Mattresses: What You Should Know | SleepChoices™

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Online vs. In-Store Mattresses: What You Should Know

Online vs. In-Store Mattresses: What You Should Know

September 19, 2018

With the influx of online mattress brands competing for advertising space, you may be wondering if buying a mattress online may seem a bit counterintuitive. Why would you buy something you spend eight hours of your life on every single night that you couldn’t try? But here is what the research says about our mattress buying habits.



The major surprise is that people who have purchased a mattress online show far more satisfaction than their brick and mortar purchases. What’s up with that?

You would assume that being able to test a mattress in a showroom would equate to a higher level of satisfaction. If you are able to test a mattress before purchase, it just stands to reason that you know exactly what you’re getting before you buy it, right?



The facts bear out that most people get it wrong when buying a mattress from a mattress showroom.

There is a large psychological gap between having the ability to “try out” a mattress before purchase and buying one with a click online. But recent studies show that buyers who test their mattresses before purchase find the one they are happy with only 38 percent of the time.


Research Says…

A study conducted by RTI, a non-profit research organization followed participants who selected a mattress a month after their selections. It used such things as sleeping diaries and sensors which recorded movement throughout the sleep cycle.

What the research found was that those individuals who chose their mattress in a showroom were no happier with their selections than ones who had purchased online. In fact, the data concluded that their “tested” mattress fared worse than if they had one selected randomly.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of the mattress purchased online as opposed to the one purchased in the showroom. The mattress with the highest satisfaction rate overall was the memory foam mattress. Those who purchased online showed a similar satisfaction rate as the ones who purchased a showroom mattress. Then what would make you choose one over the other?


  • Price – brick and mortar stores have high overhead. The markup on mattresses sold by stores such as Mattress Firm can be anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. Add that to the cost of shipping and delivery, all of which is picked up by the buyer. Without overhead, online retailers can offer better pricing.
  • Value – the showroom mattress industry can be tricky. Different mattresses can be called by different names from store to store. This makes it nearly impossible to do comparison shopping. And price doesn’t always equate to quality. It can merely mean name recognition and large advertising budgets. Comparing important details such as materials and foam densities is far easier online as well as getting an upfront price.
  • Selection – when it comes to a showroom, you are limited by not only the confines of space but also brand. Most showrooms have exclusive agreements with manufacturer brands and you are limited to those brands. When you are purchasing online, your selection is only limited by the number of websites available…meaning NO limit.
  • Convenience – sleep experts say you should spend at least 20 minutes per mattress when you are testing a showroom model. So how much time do you have? As most consumers move toward online purchasing, the facts bear out: that most retail shopping is stressful and inconvenient. Can you really relax in a showroom with sales staff and customers milling about? Case closed.
  • Returns – online mattress retailers realize that they are competing with that “must test it out” mentality. So how do they compete when it comes to returns? Simple. They make it free and easy. Some even accept local donations in lieu of a return.


When you consider the pros and cons, it makes sense that online mattresses have gained so much popularity. Need some help choosing? Check out our website today to see how we stack up.

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