Updated August 13, 2018

Best Time to Buy a Mattress

When is the best time to buy a mattress?
Read more about Sleep Statistics

Mattress stores slash prices as much as 60% during the year. But buying online may still save you the most money. Read on to learn more, plus tips to help you shop.

Here are the best times to buy a new mattress:

  • Late Winter/Early Spring. Retailers offers discounts to make room for new models between February and May.
  • Holiday weekends, especially Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Black Friday.
  • Online, anytime. Save 50-60% by buying your mattress online.

Sounds simple. But buying a mattress is hard. Read this guide to learn secrets nobody tells you about buying a mattress.

While online sales dominate most industries, many people still buy mattresses in person. Brick and mortar stores markup prices significantly, though you can find deals if you're careful.

Tip: The average mattress lasts 7-10 years, according to the Better Sleep Council. But you're the best judge of your bed. If you keep waking up more tired than you went to sleep, it may be time for a change.

May

Spring, and especially Memorial Day weekend, brings great deals on mattresses. Major retailers offer discounts up to 60% off as they make room for next year's models.

Major Holidays

Stores use long weekends to lure you into mattress shopping. This is especially true during the summer and fall months as they try to sell out last year's inventory. You'll find steep discounts on:

  • July 4th: We've seen home goods retailers offer promotions of 40 percent off name-brand mattresses. Department store can take 50 to 60 percent off.

  • Labor Day: This holiday has been called "Black Friday" for mattress stores. You can save anywhere between 30 to 60 percent off the suggested retail price. Some stores also offer free box springs, foam pillows, and shipping as incentives.

  • Thanksgiving: Many retailers also slash prices on actual Black Friday to bring in holiday shoppers.

  • Presidents Day: The end of winter means the start of next year's mattress season. New stock begins arriving in February and March. You'll find good deals now on last year's beds.

Tip: Keep an eye out for new stores. They often have BIG promotions to drum up business and find a foothold in the local market.

Even with these deals, you're still likely to pay more in stores. Read on to learn about the benefits of getting your mattress online.

Buying Online

Choosing a mattress sight unseen isn't as risky as it sounds. Many online retailers offer free delivery INCLUDING returns within a trial period. (Brick and mortar stores also offer a trial period but usually charge a "re-stocking" fee for returns.)

Here are some benefits to buying online:

  • Price: Mattress stores markup costs as much as 50-60 percent to account for their overhead. Online outlets, which don't operate physical locations, can pass their savings directly to consumers.

    A mattress that costs $2,000 or $3,000 in stores might sell for as little as $1,000 online. While online retailers do offer discounts on days like Cyber Monday, you'll get consistently lower prices all year long.

  • No Sales Pressure: Sure, you can't lie down on the mattress when you browse online. But you also won't get hassled by a salesperson trying to upsell you. Research at your leisure from the comfort of your home.

  • More Choices: Mattress shopping can be exhausting. Even the most thorough deal hunters rarely search outside their own area code. But online retailers offer instant access to products nationwide at competitive prices (sometimes without sales tax!) You'll also have access to reviews from fellow buyers.

Of course, buying a mattress online has some downsides. Here are a few:

  • Can't Test the Product: Often, we choose the best mattress by flopping around on it like a fish in stores. With an online retailer, you have to wait until you buy before you can get to the business of flopping. But online retailers do offer trial periods and easy returns.

  • Process Takes Longer: Unless you make the wrong choice, your in-store shopping experience ends when your mattress is delivered. But there may be a little more trial and error involved when buying online.

  • No Chance to Haggle a Lower Price: If you're a shrewd negotiator, your talents will be wasted online--the price is the price. On the other hand, how often does the customer really come out on top in these situations? Answer: Rarely.

Whether you choose to buy in stores or online, doing some research will make your search easier. Keep reading for some important mattress shopping tips.

What Type of Mattress Do You Need

Follow these tips to save time and money when finding the right mattress for you. There are several types of mattress. These include:

  • Memory (and other types of) Foam or Gel: These types provide support by molding to your body's shape as you sleep. Hint: Gels tend to be cooler than foam.

  • Innerspring: The traditional style of mattress uses steel coils with different types of padding. Coils can be combined into one unit or individually wrapped. Hint: More coils equal better comfort.

  • Hybrid: This type is a combination of foam or gel and spring systems.

  • Pillowtop: As the name implies, these mattresses have a top layer of padding sewn above the main body.

  • Water Bed: The unofficial bed of the swinging 1970s (and 1980s), this style has fallen out of favor in recent decades.

  • Adjustable Air: The preferred type of weekend guests and spoiled campers, these cheaper mattresses are usually more short-term fix than permanent sleep solution.

You can research which type may be best for you by researching online or visiting a store.

Tip: While you can look up major brands like Simmons or Serta, true comparison or price shopping is usually impossible. Mattress makes and models are exclusive to each retailer so you won't see the same names at different stores.

What Mattress Should You Get

Whether shopping in stores or online, here are some questions you're sure to be asked.

  • Are you a side, back, or stomach sleeper?
  • What level of firmness do you prefer?
  • Which size is right? (Or, which will fit in your bedroom?)

Knowing these answers can cut down on the time you spend shopping.

  • Set a budget. It's so easy to get sidetracked by the first comfiest, plushest mattress you find. Fix a price limit BEFORE you start shopping. Then do your homework to get an idea of which mattresses you can actually afford.

  • Agree on priorities. Compromise is everything, even with sleep. If you have a partner, take care to hash out preferences ahead of time to avoid a wrestling match in the store. (Though there are worse ways to test mattresses.) Frustration can lead to impulse purchases, which tend to be pricier than the thought-out ones.

  • Take your time. You should spend eight hours on your mattress a night, so take more than five minutes to find a new one. Lie in your typical sleeping position to ensure that the mattress comfortably supports your body. Ask lots of questions, especially if you don't understand the terminology being thrown your way (latex vs. memory foam, for example).

    If you're shopping online, educate yourself on mattress types and read customer reviews. Don't be afraid to call the customer service line with any questions you can't answer on your own.

  • Ask About the Fine Print. Pay attention to what you're told (or read online) about warranties. You don't want to get stuck paying for extra coverage. Before you seal the deal, be sure you also understand the return policy and any "comfort guarantees" offered by the manufacturer.

  • Don't Be Afraid to Walk Away. You've got plenty of choices. Store shoppers, feel free to push back on price, even during big sales events. They might also throw in extras like box springs, frames, mattress covers, or free delivery.

If you're searching online, take advantage of all the information and reviews for a more straightforward shopping experience.

Tip: Consider shopping on a weekday. You may have more luck if the store is short on customers and behind on quotas. If nothing else, the staff will have plenty of time to answer questions.

Armed with research and a firm budget, you're sure to find the right mattress—and price—for you. Choose the right time of year to find the best deals in stores. But remember, you'll almost always save more money online.

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Comments about Best Time to Buy a Mattress

  • rose thompson
    on August 26, 2014 9:24 AM said:

    I have been sleeping on a full size waterbed for 34 yrs and still love it. But I have been tempted by some of the offers and most especially the tempurpedic type mattress. Also I live alone
    and wondered if there is a size between full and twin? in a non waterbed mattress? I could use the extra space between the wall and the side of the bed. Plus since My spouse died in 2013, I don't have to ask anyone, or try to please anyone but myself.
    I've seen "daybeds" but have never seen an offer on a good mattress in that size?

  • Charles Tran
    on August 26, 2014 11:10 AM said:

    There's twin XL which offer a bit more in length (though it remains the same in width).

    Futons and daybeds are also popular options.

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