If you’re in the market for a mattress, you may be feeling overwhelmed.
I know that was how I felt the last time I bought a mattress (several actually) a few years ago.
What makes it so hard to find a new one? I suppose the biggest problems are the Internet and the many new bed-in-a-box companies.
Let’s face it. We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to buying a new bed. Gone are the days when you had to go to a department store to get a quality product. Heck, you don’t even have to go to a brick-and-mortar store at all.
That’s because many of the new bed-in-a-box companies don’t have stores. Their products are only sold online.
This begs the question: Why not buy it from the same place where you buy everything else?
I’m talking about Amazon. It’s the place you go when you need socks and toothpaste as well as the latest video games. You’ve probably picked up a set of sheets there, so why not buy a mattress to put the sheets on?
Like almost everything else, there are arguments for and against buying on Amazon. Let’s take an in-depth look at the pros and cons so that you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to buy your next bed on Amazon.
Pros of Buying a Mattress on Amazon:
Amazon Offers Tons of Variety
If you are a dedicated comparison shopper, then Amazon is paradise. You’ll find familiar brand names like Ashley and Sealy as well as a countless number of brands you’ve never heard of.
Amazon even has its own line of mattresses, so if you’re a devotee of the company, this may be the perfect choice.
Among all of the known and unknown names, you’ll see a good mix of the newer bed-in-a-box offerings from companies like Tuft & Needle and Leesa.
Seriously, if you like to be overwhelmed with choice, then Amazon is the place to be.
Others find that level of choice dizzying. If you have a pretty good idea of a brand name that you like or a preferred firmness level or other factor, try to use this to limit the options.
You May Save Some Money
Maybe you’ve narrowed down your mattress choice to one particular brand or to two or three models. You’re comparing the features of each, including the prices.
Then, you realize that you might be able to find these same models on Amazon. I’d encourage you to search for your top choices on Amazon. There is a possibility that your mattress might be available for less at this massive website from other vendors.
TIP: Amazon occasionally offers coupons and specials that are not available at other retailers. If you can get one of these deals, it may be worth it.
TIP: Many products are also sold by other vendors, sometimes at a lower price. So check out the “Other Buying Options” link when possible.
A Good Range of Prices for Any Budget
Are you looking for a super-affordable mattress to put in your guest bedroom? If so, you may be able to find the perfect model at Amazon.
The same is true if you are looking for a top-of-the-line, no-holds-barred luxury model. You’ll find prices ranging from a hundred bucks up to more than $1,000. You can even search within a price range, which should narrow your choices so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Cons of Buying a Mattress From Amazon:
Amazon Has Many Questionalbe Reviews
This is becoming a problem throughout Amazon’s website. Fake reviews are everywhere, and it isn’t always easy to spot them.
If you haven’t heard about this trend yet, then it’s something you definitely want to understand. Many companies are paying people to write reviews for products that are sold on Amazon and other websites. Usually, these reviews extol the virtues of these products in glowing terms.
The problem is that the person who wrote the review has probably never even seen, let alone used, the reviewed product.
Other fake reviews might be posted by employees of the company, so of course, they’re going to say that the product is fantastic.
As I said, it can be hard to discern which Amazon reviews are the real thing and which ones are questionable. Such reviews are most common on products from companies that are small or foreign, so be sure to take those reviews with a grain of salt.
Additionally, use the www.fakespot.com website. All you have to do is download the tool, and you will immediately be able to get a better idea of how genuine those reviews are. It even works on other websites, so you can shop elsewhere with confidence.
Warranties and Test Periods May Not Apply
One of the reasons why so many bed-in-a-box companies have gotten popular so quickly is that they provide really competitive warranties and test periods.
The test periods, in particular, are highly attractive.
That’s because they may allow you to test your mattress for 100 nights or more before you make a final purchase decision. With that much time available, you’ll definitely be able to take it for a complete test drive.
Many companies also provide attractive warranties that protect you in case of manufacturer defects or other problems.
The trouble is that warranties and test periods tend to disappear when you purchase from a reseller like Amazon. If you’re really motivated by having a long test period and a more robust warranty (or any warranty at all), then you probably are better off buying from the mattress manufacturer.
It’s Impossible to Try Before You Buy
One of the great things about going to a brick-and-mortar store is the opportunity to touch and even lie down on the mattress before you take it home.
This makes it possible to immediately dismiss some models, and it can help you to decide between the top contenders.
When you shop online, there’s no opportunity to try before you buy. Plus, with the lack of a long trial period or a reliable warranty, ordering from Amazon can be a tricky proposition.
You’ll Have to do a Lot of Research
Given that many reviews on Amazon are questionable, it is an exceptionally good idea to look elsewhere to confirm the trustworthiness of a particular brand and the mattresses that they sell.
Some resources that you might use to accomplish this include the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports, and Bed Frames Plus 🙂
TIP: I have found that Reddit can be a particularly worthy resource for uncovering the truth about some brands and their products. It’s at this website that you can get the unvarnished opinion of the public, giving you an opportunity to benefit from their experience and mistakes.
Of course, all of that research takes time, but you would probably spend quite a bit of time researching your choices regardless of where you purchase, so this would be a con for any mattress shopping.
I mentioned earlier that a startlingly large number of bed-in-a-box companies have sprung up in recent years. Many of these are offering their products for sale at Amazon.
Approximately half of the new businesses fail within the first few years of their existence. This means that even if your new mattress comes with a fantastic warranty, you are still putting yourself at risk.
How can you possibly know whether or not that hot new manufacturer is still going to be around in five or 10 years?
The questions may only multiply if you’re dealing with a foreign company that sells on Amazon. Will you be able to reach customer service if you have a problem or a question? Will that company just disappear overnight?
It’s definitely a possibility to consider, and it may mean that the inexpensive mattress you are considering isn’t such a good deal after all.
Should You Buy a Mattress on Amazon?
I see a lot of cons when it comes to ordering a mattress from Amazon, but the pros outweigh them if you are a careful shopper.
The fact that this website mainly functions as a reseller may prevent you from taking advantage of one of the major perks of the new bed-in-a-box industry, namely, the ability to have a really long, no-strings-attached sleep trial.
With mattresses, there is no one size fits all solution. What is incredibly comfortable and supportive for one person is akin to sleeping on a bed of nails for the next.
That’s why I think it is almost always wisest to carefully check all the warranty and trial period information prior to purchase. This ensures that you get the full sleep trial plus full access to the manufacturer’s warranty.
Of course, that doesn’t solve the problem of a new company disappearing just when you need them the most.
Accordingly, I recommend that you choose a manufacturer that’s been in business for at least five years or as close to it as you can get. At least they have established some longevity, which signals that they may be able to survive for another five or even 10 years.
Many bed-in-a-box companies only sell their wares online. This means that they will deliver it to you, but they probably will not haul away your old one.
You will have to find a way to donate or recycle your old mattress, so give this some consideration before your new one arrives because it will make the transition much easier and smoother.
In the end, I don’t recommend against buying from Amazon. If you’ve done your homework, feel confident about the brand and model of your choice, and can save some money by ordering from Amazon, then you can probably get a bargain for yourself.
However, if you’re really uncertain about what you’re looking for in a mattress and want to take full advantage of sleep trials and warranties, I recommend going straight to the manufacturer.
Check out my two recommendations here and our list of mattress reviews here to see which ones we think are crap.