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Buying Guides

How To Buy a Mattress Online in 2024

  •  Purple Author Icon
    Last Updated
    January 3, 2023
    min read

    Shopping for a mattress online can be overwhelming. Purchasing a mattress is an investment in your sleep and can have an impact on your health. Although with so many options available it can be difficult to choose. 

    We will walk you through what you need to know when shopping for a mattress online. This will include mattress type, size, spend, firmness, and more.

    - How Much You Should Spend On a Mattress

    - Buy a Mattress Online vs In Person

    - Consider Mattress Firmness

    - Choosing a Mattress Type

    - Select a Mattress Size

    - Read Mattress Reviews

    - Check the Return Policy and Warranty

    - Give It a Try

    - FAQ's about Shopping for Mattresses Online

    How Much You Should Spend on a Mattress

    First, determine how much you should spend on a mattress. Mattresses can range anywhere from $200 to $10,000. Foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses are typically on the lower end of the cost.

    Hybrid mattresses tend to be more expensive because they have complex designs, advanced temperature control materials, and extra layers that other mattresses may not have.

    Keep in mind your mattress cost will also vary slightly depending on the size. Twin mattresses being lower and California king higher. 

    Buying a Mattress Online vs In Person

    Customers can shop for a mattress online or in person at a store. Each option has pros and cons that are important to be aware of.  Let's walk through the pros and cons to keep in mind when shopping for a mattress. 

    Buying a mattress online

    Buying a mattress has an almost limitless selection. In addition, mattresses purchased online can be ordered from the comfort of your home. Although Without going to a store shoppers cannot feel the mattress in person.

    Pros of buying a mattress online:

    Large selection: Online shopping gives you a massive selection of mattresses to choose from. In addition a large selection of companies and brands to buy from.

    24/7 shopping: Online shopping end tables people to order mattresses any time of day or night. Mattress stores are typically limited to set business hours.

    Added convenience: Unlike shopping in a mattress store, online shopping can be done from the comfort of your home. 

    Cons of buying a mattress online:

    No Testing: Shopping online means shoppers don't get to feel or lay on the mattress before it arrives. Online mattress purchases often come with a free trial, although some people prefer to try the mattress in person first.

    More research: Shopping online can require more research to identify what mattress is ideal for you. Trying a mattress in a store can give people access to showroom employees to quickly answer questions. 

    Buying a Mattress in Store

    Shopping for a mattress in the store allows you to feel and lay on the mattress before you purchase it. In addition, stores often have multiple models which allow you to physically compare each model.

    Pros of Buying a Mattress In Store:

    Experience the mattress: Buying a mattress in-store allows you to physically lay on the mattress.

    Sleep Experts: Knowledgeable store employees can answer questions you have while providing you with information to make your decision. 

    Cons of Buying a Mattress in Store

    Smaller selection: Mattress stores are limited to mattress selection in the store. This means sometimes mattress stores may not have the mattress you want. 

    Proximity: Shopping in-store requires traveling to a store location. Store locations can vary in distance. 

    How to Choose a Mattress Online

    There are many things to consider when choosing a mattress, these can include firmness, mattress type, mattress size, and return policy.

    The right mattress firmness can vary depending on your body type, preferences, and wait. If you are unsure what mattress firmness to get, trying a mattress in-store may be a good option.

    Mattress size can be fairly straightforward. Make sure the mattress size is large enough for your needs in addition to fits in your room. Check return policies before buying a mattress.

    Consider Mattress Firmness

    There are a bunch of features to consider when buying a mattress, but the most important is probably mattress firmness. Mattresses come in a range of firmness options which are indicated with a scale from 1-10 (1-softest, 10-firmest).

    Most mattresses fall in the 4-8 range, because super soft mattresses can’t really support the spine, and super firm ones can aggravate pressure points.

    So, which firmness level is right for you? It depends on your sleep position. Check out our mattress firmness guide.

    Figure Out Which Features You Want

    We all have different definition of a good night’s sleep. Some like to be snuggly and warm. Others like to sleep cool. Some like a bouncy surface and others like to sink in. Here are some features you may want in your mattress.

    • Breathability: Cooling gel and perforated foam are used in some mattresses to boost breathability. The Purple Mattress features the unique Purple Grid, a natural Hyper-Elastic Polymer grid with thousands of air channels that neutralize body heat.
    • Portability: Planning a move or a remodel in the future? Some mattresses weigh a lot.
    • Bounce: A bit of bounce makes it easier to get into and out of bed (good for seniors), and it’s also ideal for those who like to enjoy bedtime activities with their partner.
    • Motion Transfer: Low motion transfer ensures your partner will remain asleep if you toss and turn.
    • Moisture Wicking: If you’re prone to sweating at night, you want that moisture kept away from your skin. Moisture-wicking mattress covers can keep you dry and help prolong the life of your mattress.
    • Responsiveness: How fast does your mattress respond to your movements? Highly responsive mattresses don’t leave an impression of your body after you move. Innerspring mattresses are the most responsive, while memory foam mattresses are the least responsive. Low responsibility can make it harder to adjust your position while sleeping.
    • Hypoallergenic: Mold, mites, and bacteria can make you sick and take years off the life of a mattress. Hypoallergenic models are immune to these invaders.

    Decide which features sound good to you and you’ll be ready to select a mattress type.

    Choosing a Mattress Type

    There are a number of different mattress types, and all of them have different features. Choosing a high-quality mattress type is not so much about finding the best mattress but more about finding a type that has the features you need.

    Let’s take a look at the most common mattress types.

    • Air Mattresses: Easy and portable, but let’s be real—you don’t want an air mattress for a bed.
    • Futons: Popular adjustable beds, futons are convenient but not responsive, bouncy, or supportive to a healthy spine. Sleeping on a futon is basically like sleeping on a couch.
    • Waterbeds: All the rage in the 80s, waterbeds are still around today. They’re not great for motion transfer (and may cause mild seasickness), but modern models feature more layers and better comfort.
    • Innerspring: The innerspring mattresses sit on a box spring and feature coils (springs) that are all connected, meaning the heaviest part of your body (or the heaviest bed occupant) pulls everything else in. Not super comfortable.
    • Wrapped Coils: Updated innerspring technology, wrapped coil mattresses feature individually wrapped coils that are more supportive. These mattresses are high in bounce and responsiveness. They are also quite breathable. Features sometimes depend on the coil count.
    • Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses are dense and heavy. They are good at contouring to the shape of your body and have low motion transfer. They are also naturally hypoallergenic. Some negatives include a foul off-gassing smell, low bounce and responsiveness, and poor breathability. Hot sleepers beware, as these mattresses sleep hot.
    • Gel-Infused Memory Foam: Cooling gel memory foam is added to the classic memory foam mix to improve breathability. It is definitely cooler than classic memory foam but is still not as cool as other mattress types.
    • Latex: Latex is a natural foam option. Foam latex is a bit more breathable than memory foam, though it’s quite expensive. Latex mattresses are a good option for those who want more responsiveness and bounce than memory foam. Latex has more motion transfer and may lack some of the support of other mattresses.
    • Pillow-Top: Pillow-top mattresses are a combo of innerspring and a soft, cushioned top layer for extra comfort. A plush mattress like this provides a good balance of firm support and soft comfort.
    • Purple Grid: The Purple® Mattress is in a class of its own, as it features a Hyper-Elastic Polymer comfort layer called the Purple Grid. This grid is ultra-supportive and super-breathable. It also manages to have a great bounce and low motion transfer, which is rare. It’s quite responsive and contours to the curves of the body for perfect spinal alignment. Multiple thickness options are available to accommodate sleepers who need a specific level of firmness and support.
    • Hybrid: The best mattresses for those who like to mix and match, hybrid mattresses combine innerspring with a comfort layer of foam or the Purple Grid. These mattresses are more luxurious options that offer an ideal balance of all the features we covered, though they are quite heavy and can be expensive. 

    Select a Mattress Size

    You don’t want your feet hanging off the edge of the bed, but you also don’t want your mattress to take up 90% of your floor space. Getting an XL mattress may seem luxurious, but it’s better to find the right dimensions for the size of your body and bedroom. The following mattress sizes are standard to almost all mattresses on sale today and correspond to similarly named bed frame sizes.

    • Crib (28” x 52”): For babies.
    • Toddler (28” x 52”): The same size as a crib mattress but made for a toddler-size bed. Definitely for big kids.
    • Twin (38” x 75”): The smallest standard-size mattress, the twin fits a small space comfortably and is ideal for petite sleepers and children.
    • Twin XL (38” x 80”): A bit longer than the standard twin, this bed is for taller people with limited space. A good dorm room option.
    • Full/Double (54” x 75”): This traditional mattress provides ample space for a single sleeper to stretch out and rest. A double bed also works for two sleepers who aren’t very big or who have limited space.
    • Queen (60” x 80”): The most popular mattress for couples, the queen mattress is spacious and affordable.
    • King (76” x 80”): True luxury, the king is a full 16” wider than the queen-size mattress, providing more than enough space for two large sleepers, a few kids, and the dog.
    • California King (72” x 84”): The California king mattress is for the tallest sleepers, providing more length than the standard king in exchange for less width.

    Purple mattresses are available in all the most popular bed sizes, making shopping easy online or at the store.

    Read Mattress Reviews

    Looking up product reviews is pretty common these days, but checking online mattress reviews is especially crucial. Why?

    Reading mattress reviews is one of the best ways to learn about a mattress. Read reviews to understand things people do or don't like about a mattress. Then consider if common talk about topics will impact you and your sleep preferences. 

    Check the Return Policy and Warranty

    Understand the return policy and warranty. Especially if you are buying online. This will give a feel for your options to return the mattress in the event that the mattress does not fit your preferences.

    Give It a Try

    As you start to narrow down a mattress to purchase, keep in mind trying a mattress in-store can allow you to feel the mattress and speak with a sleep expert. If you prefer shopping online choose a mattress that has a risk-free sleep trial.

    When trying a mattress in a store, lay on the mattress in the sleeping positions you prefer. 

    Purple mattresses all feature a 100-day risk-free sleep trial, allowing customers plenty of time to make an informed decision. Purple is featured at mattress stores around the country, so you can feel the Purple Grid for yourself even before taking 100 days to sleep on it.

    FAQs About Buying A Mattress

    When Should I Buy a New Mattress?

    How often should you replace a mattress? And how long does a mattress last, anyway? This depends largely on the type of mattress, but it also depends on the way a mattress is treated during its life.

    Check out our guide on when to buy a new mattress.

    Is it Better to Buy a Mattress Online?

    If you feel comfortable doing research and finding the right fit for you. Then buying online may be for you.

    Buying a mattress online is convenient. If you prefer face-to-face interaction and to try out the mattress before buying, the store may be for you. 

    How do I know what mattress is best for me?

    What mattress is best for you will ultimately depend on your physical needs and preferences. You’ll know a mattress is right for you if:

    1. It suits your budget: Mattresses can cost anywhere between $250 and $10,000, with prices varying according to mattress type and features. As a rule of thumb, don’t go for the cheapest mattress you find. Cheaper mattresses are not very durable. However, a higher price doesn’t necessarily equal higher quality.
    2. It supports your ideal sleeping position: A good mattress should support your sleeping preferences. For instance, if you are a back sleeper, a mattress with a firmness rating between five and seven will provide the highest level of comfort. On the other hand, side sleepers might fare better on a softer mattress with equal pressure distribution.
    3. It’s the right size: Bigger mattresses are not necessarily more comfortable, especially if you aren’t sharing them with someone else. 
    4. It provides optimal sleeping temperature: If you don’t have air conditioning or live in a hotter climate, memory foam may be too hot for you. In contrast, latex mattresses can provide ample cooling in your sleep.

    What questions should you ask when buying a mattress?

    To answer the question, “How do I know what mattress is right for me?”, ask yourself the following things.

    • What size mattress do I need? When choosing a mattress size, consider your bedroom size and your own height. For instance, if your room can only fit a twin-size mattress but you are on the taller end of the spectrum, an extra-long twin mattress might be best for you.
    • What mattress firmness is right for me? How firm you need your mattress to be will depend on how much support you need. For example, medium-firm mattresses are best for people who suffer from lower back pain.
    • Am I sharing this mattress with someone else? If you share a mattress with someone else, you’ll need a bigger mattress with equal weight distribution.
    • How much can I afford to spend on a new mattress? Don’t go for the cheapest mattress you find, as you might sacrifice quality. Remember, a good mattress is not a cost – it’s an investment. Set your budget according to what features you want to prioritize.
    • What do I like about my current mattress and what would I change? Your current mattress can be an excellent benchmark for what you should look for next. Note features about your existing mattress that you want to keep and those you would like to change.


    About the authors

    Purple Staff
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