A woman in bed using a laptop to buy a mattress online.
Buying Guides

How To Buy a Mattress Online in 2024 [7 Steps]

    Last Updated
    May 3, 2024
    min read

    Key Takeaways

    • Buying a mattress online is a convenient and relatively low-risk process.
    • Before buying a mattress online, consider your sleep preferences, the size and type of mattress you need, your preferred firmness level, and your budget.
    • Online mattress retailers offer competitive warranties, sleep trials, and return policies as well as free shipping to help customers feel more confident.

    Nothing beats the convenience of online shopping, but for items like mattresses, shopping online may feel daunting. For this reason, most online retailers offer a process that is easy, convenient, and provides you with the confidence you need to make a big ticket purchase online.

    Online retailers also offer more sales and discounts, so if you’re looking for the best time to buy a mattress, browsing online around certain holidays oftentimes lends the best deal.

    If you want to shop for mattresses online, it’s important to first do your research and determine exactly what you want and need. Before you click “add to cart,” follow these seven steps for how to buy a mattress online.

    Keep reading to learn how to make an informed decision when you shop for mattresses online and how buying mattresses online compares to shopping in-store.

    Maximum Comfort and Support

    With our GelFlex® Grid, Purple mattresses provide targeted, adaptive support.

    How To Buy a Mattress Online in 7 Steps

    ​​There are many things to consider when choosing a mattress, including mattress size, type, and firmness. When buying a mattress online, research is essential to ensure you’re getting a bed that fits your needs.

    Fortunately, we’ve simplified the process of online mattress shopping by outlining a few simple steps that ensure you make the most informed decision and get the best quality of sleep possible.

    Graphic depicting 7 steps to buying a mattress online.

    1. Consider Your Sleep Preferences and Needs

    The most important part of choosing a mattress online is considering your unique sleep needs and preferences. Take into account how you sleep best and what would make you feel even more comfortable and well-rested. You can start by considering your preferences for:

    • Sleep position: The position you spend the most time in may affect the type of mattress and firmness level that provides the most support and comfort.
    • Temperature: If you tend to sleep hot, you may want to look for a mattress with cooling features like our GelFlex® Grid, which doesn’t trap heat and helps you stay comfortable.
    • Support: Do you prefer a mattress that cushions and cradles you? Or are you a back sleeper who prefers a more rigid mattress to keep your spine aligned? Consider what feels most comfortable to determine your preferred level of support.
    • Pain relief: Look into mattresses for back pain or other specific areas of concern for options that provide the most relief where you need it most.

    Identifying what you want out of your mattress can help you narrow down your options and search for specific qualities, like the best cooling mattresses or mattresses that provide targeted pressure point relief.

    2. Determine the Right Mattress Size

    Mattress sizes are often fairly straightforward, but choosing the right size for your needs requires some thought. Consider the following factors to help you decide which size bed best fits your needs. 

    • Number of sleepers: Is this mattress just for you, or will you be sharing it with a partner? Consider how much space all sleepers require to ensure you choose a mattress that properly accommodates your needs. For example, queen mattresses are the most popular bed size for couples.
    • Height and body type: Look for a mattress that is long, wide, and supportive enough for your heights and weights.
    • Room size: Make sure the mattress fits in your room, leaving enough space for other furniture and unobstructed movement.

    You should also determine if you’re planning to move any time soon; larger mattresses may be more challenging to relocate, so proactive planning can help you avoid unnecessary headaches.

    Once you determine what size bed you should get, it’s easier to filter options online and find mattresses, bedding, and bed accessories in your preferred size.



    Minimum Room Size

    Ideal For


    28” x 52”

    7’ x 7’

    Babies and toddlers


    38” x 75”

    7’ x 10’

    Children, some teens, adults under 5’9”

    Twin XL

    38” x 80”

    8’ x 10’

    Teens, young adults, and single adults under 6’2”


    54” x 75”

    10’ x 10’

    Single adults under 6’2”


    60” x 80”

    10’ x 11’

    Adults and couples under 6’2”


    76” x 80”

    12’ x 12’

    Couples under 6’2” and adults who co-sleep with a kid or pet

    California king

    72” x 84”

    12’ x 12’

    Couples under 6’6” and adults who want extra legroom

    3. Select Your Mattress Type

    Each type of mattress offers different benefits and requires unique considerations. Because sleep needs and preferences vary, it’s important to choose a mattress that has the features you need.

    The most common types of mattresses include:

    • Memory foam: Mattresses made with memory foam are often on the softer side since they’re designed to contour to your body. Memory foam mattresses often have low motion transfer and provide pressure point relief, but they may not have enough bounce and tend to retain heat.
    • Latex: Breathable and responsive, latex mattresses are a good alternative to memory foam, especially for sleepers who want a cooler surface. Latex mattresses tend to have a higher price point than polyfoam mattresses.
    • Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses once dominated the market but are less common now. They feature coils or springs at the core for a bouncier, firmer feel, but they may be less comfortable than other options. 
    • GelFlex® Grid: Purple mattresses are in a league of their own, featuring our proprietary GelFlex® Grid, a hyper-elastic polymer comfort layer that instantly adapts to your body and keeps you cool with plenty of bounce and low motion transfer. Purple offers GelFlex® Grid mattresses with foam and hybrid options to meet your unique sleep needs.
    • Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses combine the structure of an innerspring mattress with comfort layers, making them a luxurious option that provides support and pressure point relief. Mattresses like Purple’s Restore™ Hybrid Collection mattresses are great for a variety of body types and sleep styles, though they may be more of an investment.

    The best mattress is one that provides the support and comfort you need. Weigh the pros and cons of each mattress type before buying to make sure you get the features that will help you sleep better.

    Graphic describing five types of mattresses you can buy online.

    4. Choose Your Optimal Firmness

    The right mattress firmness for you varies depending on your body type, preferences, and weight. The sleep position you gravitate toward may also affect the most comfortable firmness level for you. Most people don’t spend all night in the same position, but if you know what positions feel most comfortable, you can choose a mattress that provides the most support and pressure point relief in the areas you need it most.

    If youre not sure what mattress firmness to get, you can try mattresses in-store to get a sense of how different firmness levels actually feel. Most mattresses fall in the middle of the spectrum to provide pressure relief and support, but you can choose a softer or firmer mattress depending on your needs.




    Ideal For

    Extra soft

    Deep sinkage, contoured feel, minimal support

    Primarily side sleepers


    Some sinkage, contoured feel

    Primarily side sleepers

    Medium soft

    Some sinkage, good pressure point relief

    Combination sleepers


    Less sinkage, good contouring

    Combination sleepers

    Medium firm

    Aligns the body with cushioning pressure relief

    Combination sleepers


    Minimal sinkage and contouring

    Primarily back and stomach sleepers

    Extra firm

    More rigid with basically no pressure point relief

    Primarily back and stomach sleepers

    5. Set Your Budget

    Mattresses range from as low as $700 to over $10,000. Prices vary based on factors like size, type, and construction, so it’s important to consider what you want and need to get the best quality of sleep.

    Determine how much you should spend on a mattress by considering the following factors that can affect mattress price.

    • Bed size: Twin and kid mattresses cost less than double beds but offer less room for sleepers.
    • Type of mattress: Innerspring mattresses are often more affordable than other types of mattresses but may not be comfortable or supportive enough for everyone.
    • Mattress quality: How well a mattress is constructed affects its durability and longevity. High-quality mattresses are often more expensive than poorly constructed ones.
    • Mattress features: Features that provide cooling, targeted pressure point relief, added edge support, and other benefits may increase the cost of a mattress but make it more comfortable, durable, and supportive.
    • Where you buy: Online mattress retailers often cover shipping costs, provide long sleep trials, and offer frequent discounts on individual mattresses.

    Beyond the mattress itself, you should also consider related accessories you’ll need to purchase, especially if you’re upgrading or downsizing. Make sure your budget also accounts for the bed frame or mattress foundation as well as new bedding.

    6. Read Online Mattress Company Reviews

    If you’re buying a mattress online, make a point to read mattress reviews for the options you’re considering. You can look for what people like and don’t like to inform your decisions.

    Reviews may also mention how different mattresses have affected other people’s sleep quality; if you experience localized pain, have sleep apnea, or tend to sleep hot, looking for relevant topics in reviews can help you choose a mattress that could benefit your specific needs.

    7. Understand Warranty, Shipping, and Return Policies

    Buying a mattress online means taking advantage of the policies and perks mattress brands have to offer. Before you buy a new mattress, look for the following policies to inform your decision:

    • Mattress warranties: A warranty is a guarantee from the manufacturer that, if you follow care instructions, it will stay in good condition for a certain number of years. Warranties also tell you what kind of damage may be covered.
    • Sleep trials: You may not know if a mattress is right for you after a single night, and online sellers usually offer a risk-free sleep trial so you can return or replace your mattress if it’s not a good fit. Purple offers a 100-night risk-free sleep trial for all of our mattresses.
    • Shipping rates: If you buy a mattress online, you’ll likely get free shipping. This is most common for brands that sell mattresses in boxes or roll their mattresses for compact shipping.
    • Return policies: Most online sellers understand that there’s some risk in ordering a mattress online without getting to test it out. Mattress companies often offer generous return policies to ensure you get a mattress you love.
    Graphic comparing the processes of buying mattresses online vs. in-store.

    Buying a Mattress Online vs. In-Store

    Buying a mattress online may be more convenient than shopping in-store, but there’s more to consider before you buy. When you shop online for a mattress, you can often take advantage of:

    • A wider selection of options
    • Generous sleep trials and return policies
    • Free shipping and delivery
    • Frequent discounts and sales
    • 24/7 access to virtual sales representatives

    The biggest downside to buying a mattress online is that you don’t get to test out how the mattress feels before you buy. Risk-free sleep trials can help mitigate that, since you’ll be able to sleep on your new mattress for a few weeks or months, depending on the company, before you have to decide if you’ll keep it or send it back.

    If you have the time and want to try out mattresses, you can find a mattress store near you. Shopping for mattresses in-store means you’ll be able to see how several different mattresses feel and make comparisons based on your experience. Stores and showrooms often have sales representatives who can answer questions and make recommendations based on your needs.

    Another thing to consider is that testing a mattress in-store may not be a good indicator of how it will feel overnight or over time. How your mattress feels may change the longer you sleep on it, so keep that in mind if you’re testing mattresses in a store.





    Wide selection

    Sleep trials

    Free delivery


    Frequent sales and discounts

    Virtual sales representatives

    Research required

    No testing before buying


    In-person sales representatives

    Ability to feel the mattress before buying

    May have a smaller selection

    Fewer discounts

    May have to transport mattress home yourself or pay for shipping

    Best Mattress You Can Buy Online

    The number of mattresses available online can feel overwhelming, and deciding which mattress is best for you often takes time and research. It’s important to find a mattress with features that meet your needs and preferences.

    All Purple mattresses feature our proprietary GelFlex® Grid, which provides instantly adaptive support, contours to your body, and promotes airflow to keep you cool. You can purchase all Purple mattresses online, and our sleep experts are always available to help you make a more informed decision.

    Graphic depicting 7 Purple mattresses: the best mattresses you can buy online.

    You can purchase all of the following mattresses from Purple online so you can have the best sleep possible:

    • PurpleFlex™: Durable Base Foam adds support to our GelFlex® Grid at a convenient price point.
    • The Purple Mattress®: Paired with Comfort Foam and durable Base Foam, our GelFlex® Grid provides pressure relief, support, and adaptive comfort.
    • Purple Plus®: Ultra Comfort Foam and double the amount of Base Foam work with the GelFlex® Grid to cradle your pressure points, support your spine, and keep you cool and comfortable.
    • Restore™: Enjoy responsive support from Edge-to-Edge Coils and cooling, adaptive comfort with the GelFlex® Grid in our original hybrid mattress.
    • RestorePlus™: Get uninterrupted sleep with Ultra Comfort Foam, Edge-to-Edge Coils, and our adaptive, comfort-boosting GelFlex® Grid in this hybrid mattress.
    • RestorePremier™: Get the most out of your sleep with our enhanced hybrid mattress, featuring Coolflex™ Coils and the GelFlex® Grid for dynamic, cooling support and Ultra Comfort Foam for breathability and pressure point relief.
    • Rejuvenate™: This luxurious mattress combines layers of High-Density GelFlex™ Grid Plus and Comfort Foam with a decadent Quilted Euro Top to keep you cool, comfortable, and supported all night long.
    • RejuvenatePlus™: Extra layers of Ultra Comfort Foam and Active Response Comfort Foam pair with our adaptive, cooling GelFlex™ Grid Plus and a luxurious Quilted Euro Top for a soft, supportive mattress you’ll love.
    • RejuvenatePremier™: Maximize your sleep quality and comfort with even more GelFlex™ Grid Plus, 5 Zone Edge-to-Edge Coils, layers of Ultra Comfort Foam, and a Quilted Euro Top for the ultimate full-body support and comfort.

    You can also conduct an online mattress comparison to find the best options for your specific preferences and identify which mattresses align with your sleep style, comfort needs, and budget. If you like a mattress you’ve tested but don’t want to spend a fortune, you can also find alternatives for Tempur-Pedic and other high-end brands.

    Sleep Better With Purple

    Purple makes it easy to buy a mattress no matter where you are. 

    Our online storefront offers Purple’s complete collection of mattresses for every sleep style, body type, and individual preferences. Not sure which Purple mattress is right for you? Compare the differences between Purple mattresses to find the best fit.

    If you prefer to shop in-store, use our store locator below to try out Purple mattresses in person before you buy!


    FAQ About Buying a Mattress Online

    There are several advantages to buying a mattress online, including:

    • Convenience: You can shop and order a mattress no matter where you are or what time it is.
    • More options: You’ll have many more options online than in a store, so you can find a mattress that works for you.
    • Free shipping: When you order a mattress online, you’ll usually get free shipping and delivery.
    • Sleep trials: Since you’re taking a risk when you order a big-ticket item like a mattress online, most companies offer sleep trials that allow you to test out your mattress and see if it’s a good fit.

    No matter where you buy your mattress, make sure you do your research beforehand. If you’re worried that a mattress you bought online may not be comfortable at first, learn how to break in a new mattress to make sure you can sleep well.

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

    • It suits your budget: Mattresses can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $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, but a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality.
    • It supports your ideal sleeping position: A good mattress should support your sleeping preferences. Back sleepers may prefer a medium to medium-firm mattress that keeps their spine aligned, while side sleepers may prefer a softer mattress that cushions their pressure points.
    • It’s the right size: Bigger mattresses are not necessarily more comfortable, especially if you aren’t sharing them with someone else. Make sure your new mattress will fit in your space by measuring your room and comparing the measurements of the bed.
    • It provides optimal sleeping temperature: Memory foam may be too hot for some sleepers, while latex mattresses can provide ample cooling.

    Before you buy a mattress, you should make sure you have an idea of the mattress type, size, and feel you want. Ask yourself the following questions to help inform your decision.

    • What size mattress do I need? It’s important to get the right size when you order as some retailers won’t allow you to make an exchange for a different size. When choosing a mattress size, consider your bedroom size and your height. For example, if your room can only fit a twin size mattress but you are taller than 5 feet 9 inches, a twin XL 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. A firmer mattress may promote better spinal alignment for some sleepers but can cause pain and discomfort as well.
    • 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 and motion isolation.
    • 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, supportive mattress is an investment. Set your budget according to the 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.

    On average, you should expect to replace your mattress after seven to 10 years. But you may need to buy a new mattress sooner if you experience any of the following:

    • Your mattress is sagging or warping
    • You’re waking up with new aches and pains
    • Your mattress has stains, rips, or other signs of wear and tear
    • Your allergies have gotten worse
    • You don’t wake up feeling refreshed
    • Your mattress has a bad odor
    • Your mattress is squeaky or creaky

    You should rule out other potential causes of these symptoms before blaming your mattress, but if your bed isn’t helping you feel well rested, it may be time to order a new one.

    Depending on the mattress, the set up process may look a little different. In most cases, you can expect to follow similar steps to set up your mattress.

    1. Unboxing: When you order a mattress online, it may come vacuum-sealed in a box or other compact package. Open the package according to instructions to avoid damaging the mattress.
    2. Positioning: Place your mattress on your bed frame or foundation and lay it out by unrolling or unfolding it.
    3. Blooming: After being compressed, your mattress needs time to bounce back. The blooming process can take anywhere from four to 24 hours.
    4. Bedding: Once your mattress has fully expanded, you can put your bedding on it and enjoy your first night on your new mattress.

    About the authors

    Sydney Fuhrman

    Sydney brings more than five years of experience writing about a range of topics including health, lifestyle, and technology. They have a B.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Lebanon Valley College. They’re a big fan of sharing dreams and discussing symbolism for fun. Sydney is always searching for tips to improve their sleep quality and hopes to help others get the best sleep possible with their writing. 

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.