Buying a Mattress Online

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You may not know it, but the last few years have been quite significant for the mattress industry. One of the most stagnant and old-school industries on the planet saw their world rocked by the launch of a number of new mattress start-up companies selling online direct-to-consumer.

Never again will consumers be trapped into purchasing a mattress solely from the brick-and-mortar giants located on seemingly every corner.

Until 2014, there really hadn’t been a major innovation moment within the mattress industry since memory foam began to become popular in the early 1990s. However, that past stagnation is being left in the dust for 2015. Online mattress companies are breaking new ground, designing new mattresses, foams, and building products that are re-shaping the world of sleep.

Just like buying a mattress in-store, if you’re going to buy online you’re going to have to arm yourself with information. Let’s check out what buying a mattress online is all about.

Pros & Cons of Buying a Mattress Online


No salesmen – while the sales guy at your local mattress store can provide some good information, they also increase the pressure and anxiety of the whole mattress buying experience. Buying online means you won’t have to deal with a salesman telling you what you “should feel” and pressuring you to purchase.

Convenience – it’s hard to beat shopping online in your PJs. No need to go to a store. No need to go anywhere. Just fire up your computer, tablet, or phone. You can browse dozens of mattress companies and find 3rd party mattress reviews on all of these in a matter of minutes.

Price – no salesmen, no showrooms, and very few middle men mean that you get the best price available. A good quality mattress costs $300-$500 to manufacture. In a store this type of mattress could run between $2,000-$3,000. You can find the same mattress online for $800-$1,200. For example, a Queen Tuft & Needle is only $750, Leesa’s Queen is $940, and you can pick up a Casper Queen for $950. It really is a no brainer when it comes to price.

See the table below for an example of the differences between in-store prices vs. online prices.  Prices are for a Queen size.

In-Store PriceLeesaCasperTuft & NeedleYogabed

Additionally, many online mattress companies don’t include sales tax. No sales tax is a nice benefit that is virtually unheard of in a brick-and-mortar store. You’ll want to double check with the online company to verify their tax collection status.

Shipping is another cost that is sometimes added on when buying from a brick-and-mortar store. Many mattress companies online offer free shipping within the continental US.

Easy Returns – most online mattress companies offer very easy and simple returns. In fact, you generally don’t actually return the mattress. The mattress company will send a donation or recycling center to come pick up the mattress and dispose of it. Many of these mattresses are donated to the Salvation Army or other groups that help those in need.

Of course, some mattress companies will require you ship the mattress back (sometimes at a cost to you). Make sure you know the terms of the refund policy before purchasing. Easy and free returns are becomingly increasingly common. Leesa, Casper, Tuft & Needle, and others donate any returned mattresses. It’s highly recommended you go with a company that has a good return and refund policy.


Cannot Try It First – being able to actually lie down on the mattress is a nice benefit to purchasing in store. If you buy online you probably won’t have an opportunity to actually lie down and test it out yourself. However, if you happen to live in Phoenix you can stop by Tuft & Needle’s HQ to try it outIf you live in NYC you can find showrooms for Casper, Nest BeddingLeesa, and Helix in SoHo.

Harder to Ask Questions – since you don’t have a salesmen standing by it can be harder to get answers to questions about the mattress. However, most of the online companies have great support and service teams you can reach out to. Or feel free to drop me a note using my contact form. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Types of Mattresses Available Online

Foam Hybrid Mattresses – most online mattresses fall into this category. These mattresses are made from two or more layers of varying foam. Foams include latex, memory, Avena, and other custom foam creations. These are easy to ship, which is why they are such a popular choice for online mattress shopping. They are labeled as “hybrids” because they use different types of foam, as opposed to an all latex mattress or all memory foam mattress.

Foam Hybrid Examples:  Leesa, Casper, Yogabed

Buying a mattress online

Foam Mattresses – these are mattresses that are built from one or more layers of foam. Typically, the top layer will be 1.5-4″ of a single specialty foam (latex, memory, or a custom foam), which is then placed on top of a support foam.

Foam Mattress Examples:  Tuft & Needle

Mattress construction

Innerspring – this is the traditional mattress, and probably what you slept on growing up (and may even be sleeping on now). Innerspring mattress use one or more layers of springs (typically made from steel). The number of spring coils can vary, as can the number of spring layers.

Innerspring Mattress Examples: Saatva

What types of things are mattresses made of?

Others – there are many other types of mattresses, including adjustable, air, water, etc. However, most of these are not popular or viable options for online ordering. We won’t be covering them here, but make sure to check out our broader mattress buying guide for more information on those.

Online Mattress Companies

Tuft & Needle

One of the first major foam mattresses to help spearhead the online mattress industry. They are a foam mattress. Tuft & Needle’s are created using proprietary designed and formulated foams. They are a neutral / slightly firm mattress with a high degree of buoyancy (you sleep more on top of the foam as opposed to sinking into). One of’s most popular and highest rated mattresses, they are famed for their support and virtually unbeatable price point.

Mattress on platform


Casper made big news several times in 2014 with huge venture funding pushes. They used that funding to great effect with a massive marking campaign both on and offline. The Casper has a medium feel at a 6 out of 10 on the firmness scale. It’s a hybrid mattress crafted from poly foam and memory foam. It has moderate sinkage, nice body hug / contouring, and a thick padded cover resulting in delightful comfort.

Bedroom and mattress set up


My personal favorite mattress and one of the highest rated mattress on Sleepopolis, the Leesa is the picture of balance and mass appeal. The Leesa is a hybrid mattress constructed from Avena foam (similar to latex foam, just more durable) and memory foam. It has a neutral firmness (6 out of 10), slight degree of hug, great cooling, and a cool design that steps away from the typical all white mattress cover.

Leesa mattress


Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not just for Yoga enthusiasts. Like most online mattresses, it’s designed to be a good fit for most sleepers. It’s a hybrid foam mattress utilizing two custom proprietary foams developed for and by Yogabed. These custom layers sit on top of traditional support foam. Yogabed has been developed, designed, and marketed by a team of mattress experts coming from various big names and brands in the sleep industry.

Yogabed mattress – King size, platform bed


One of the older members of the online mattress market, Saatva has been shipping mattresses straight to your door since 2010. Unlike most online mattresses, Saatva is a coil-on-coil innerspring mattress. Constructed from two layers of steel coils, one individually wrapped with foam, and topped with a euro-style pillow topper.

Saatva mattress

How to Choose a Mattress Online

Now that you’re armed with the pros, cons, and other basics, how do you go about choosing the right mattress for you?

FAQ:  Full guide on how to choose a mattress

First, decide what is important to you. Where do your sleep priorities lie? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What firmness level do you find most comfortable? Be careful not to confuse firmness with support, they are different. A mattress can be soft, but still have good support (and vice versa). See here for our full guide on mattress firmness.
  • What price point are you looking for? Try to come up with a range that makes sense for your budget
  • Do you like a mattress that is going to hug your body? Do you want to sink into the foam or stay more on top of it?
  • Is an all natural or eco-friendly mattress critically important? See here for our full guide on natural / organic mattresses.
  • Are there any other factors that are important to you? Ex. cover design? free extras? construction type?

Once you have an answer for the above questions you’ll have a great starting point to begin looking into specific mattresses. The comparison table below analyzes all of the above mattress companies at a high-level and will help you find good options based on your sleep priorities and preferences.

 Tuft & NeedleCasperLeesaYogabedSaatva
FirmnessSlightly firmMediumMediumMediumSoft, Medium, or Firm
Natural / HealthyNoNoNoNoModerately

Final Thoughts

Finding a new mattress is a process to say the least. It takes time, research, and enough information gathered to know what you are looking for. Even with all of this, it can sometimes be difficult to sift through all of the information and get to what’s really important to you.

At Sleepopolis we’re here to help and make the mattress buying experience fun. We’ve created highly detailed mattress reviews, comparison reviews, videos, and guides designed to take the guess work out of it and find the perfect mattress for you.

The list below features our best reviews and comparisons, and will help you find what you’re looking for:

You can find a comprehensive list of all Sleepopolis mattress comparisons here.

If you still have questions or just cannot find what you’re looking for I am always available and happy to answer specific questions. Just drop me a note using my contact form.

Happy sleeping!


What are the reasons to buy a mattress online?

While how and where the mattress is bought is completely up to preference, there are some great benefits to buying online which are things like avoiding high-pressure sales. convenience and pricing.

What if I want to try the mattress out?

If trying out a mattress is important then buying at an online retailer may not be for you. However, most online retailers offer a sleep trial allowing you time to try the mattress out in the home. Check with individual online retailers for their trial and return policy before purchasing.

What kind of mattresses can I purchase online?

Almost all types of mattresses can be purchased online, however mostly foam and hybrid models are popular for online shoppers. They are easy to ship, making them a popular choice for online mattress shopping.

Logan Block

Logan is the former content director of Sleepopolis. As content director, he reviewed new mattresses every week and curated the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. Logan perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.