A mattress is often both the most important and most annoying purchase that we ever have to make for our bedroom. Many of us will make do with the one we have because it “works,” and because we don’t want the hassle of having to find a new one.
Consumers have a mindset that mattress shopping is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult work and many definitely experience this negative situation in their local showroom. A change in your mattress could be a vital purchase for improved sleep and health.
However, there is a new alternative option available in the form of the online mattress retailer. This could be the more convenient, appealing option for savvy shoppers, but some aren’t so sure.
Are these online stores the better option and why are consumers so wary of them?
Why are consumers so keen to stick with the traditional mattress store when so much of their shopping is already online?
This is an important question when discussing these online stores. The switch from brick and mortar stores to online merchants is significant in modern shopping habits. Many of us would rather search for an item online, click a few buttons to finish the online checkout and wait for the courier to deliver the item to the door. It is fast, convenient and safer than ever.
So why are we so happy to do this with clothing and perishable groceries, but not with mattress shopping? This is the one area of online shopping where there is still some reluctance.
(Source: Consumer Reports)
Many still believe that the mattress showroom offers the best experience and there are doubts about buying something so important without seeing it or testing it out. The good news is that there are many misconceptions about this buying experience and there are many benefits to online mattress shopping. Here we will look at some of the pros and cons to this alternative options.
The Pros And Cons Of Buying A Mattress Online
It is understandable that many people are a little bit dubious about the process of buying a mattress online. There are also many happy consumers won over to the experience. All of the negative aspects of showroom experiences disappear, and this can be a more convenient option. Still, there is the downside to this option, and there are those that say that they cannot beat the more traditional method. Some feel that there are too many limitations to the process of buying online and too many risks involved.
Pro: No Sales People To Complicate Matters
Some people like to talk to an experienced mattress assistant. Experts should know the difference between all the models and styles to help consumers find the best option. The problem here is that these people are, first and foremost, salesmen. They are there to make the best sale on the item they are trying to push.
Consumers easily become confused by the spiel and the choices and can lose focus. Online sites simply sell the product with no mediator. There is also a difference between a salesman on commission and a customer support team trying to help.
Pro And Con: A More Streamlined Selection Of Products
There are plus points and negative points that minimal choices of an online store. On the positive side, this streamlined selection stops us from becoming too confused by the different options that would otherwise be available.
Buyers research the model they need for their health issues and sleep problems, find the best supplier and order it. Critics of standards stores also point out that there are many different products with different names, but no real difference in function or worth.
The problem with online stores comes when we need a specialist mattress or can’t quite find the exact specification. Online retailers that focus on one method or one material won’t have that alternative package, whereas a brick and mortar store might.
Many online retailers focus on providing a memory foam mattress, as many see this as the ultimate in comfort and support. The problem here is that memory foam doesn’t suit everyone. It can get a little too hot for many people that have trouble staying cool at night. The simple fact here is that some people won’t be able to handle these specialist options and will have to go to the store for an alternative model.
Pro: A Mattress Delivered In A Surprisingly Small Box
This is what amazes a lot of people that purchase their first mattress online. The delivery process is one of the reasons why many consumers hate the idea of mattress shopping.
Buying the item is just the start. It then has to find its way to the home in one piece and brought into the bedroom. This can be inconvenient and costly because of the size of the item.
Online retailers with foam mattresses have found a way around this. These mattresses essentially flat-pack into a tiny space and fit into a box of a manageable size. They are then left to unfurl in the room for a short period before they fit onto the bed. This is one of the reasons that online stores focus so much on foam materials and anything that they can compact down.
Also, it is important to remember that these mattresses have a settling in period. They take a day or so to reach their correct shape out of the box, so leave them alone for a while before removing the old mattress. Also, most release some form of odor and gas for a few days
Pro: A Long Sleep Trial To Make Sure That The Mattress Is Just Right
The trial period is a big concern with buying a mattress online. How long do you have to sleep on it, and can you return it at all? The best online suppliers must have a simple returns and collection process, and the same is true for any brick and mortar store as well.
It is important to check the fine print on the warranty regarding the money back guarantee, the method of collection and the expiry date. Some typical showrooms may allow buyers to return the mattress within a month of so.
Many of the best online stores go beyond this, with some stretching as far as 100 days. This is important as it can take some time for the body to get used to the new mattress and find that ideal sleeping position. Some may not like the feel in the first week because of the unusual material. Within a couple of months they realize that their posture improves, the nights are cooler, or they are simply sleeping for longer.
Pro: A Better Price?
This benefit is debatable, and the best deal may vary from store to store. Some consumers will naturally assume that the best price comes from the major names. These top showrooms can provide better prices, discounted goods and enough deals with their larger range and brand success. Then assumption then continues that new, specialist online stores will be more expensive with such a limited choice in clever mattresses. This isn’t always true.
The fact is that many online stores cut their costs because there is no mediator between the supplier and the consumer. A Casper mattress, for example, in a high-street showroom may cost more than it would online. There are also plenty of deals and offers around online for the savvy shopper.
Finding The Best Online Mattress Store
If you decide that this is the best method of finding a mattress, you need to find the best company. Three of the most popular and well-known are Casper, BedinABox and Tuft & Needle.
Casper is probably the most well known of the mattress companies providing a top memory foam mattress online. It receives a lot of endorsement and publicity through sponsorship deals and is now the first name that consumers think of. The competitive prices and materials used mean that it is one to add to the comparison list. However, it isn’t necessarily the best of the bunch either.
The main issue here is that there is only one type of mattress available. This is great for all those that want to try out the online experience and don’t want the hassle of options and details. Others will find this too restrictive. Still, plenty of buyers love the soft feel of the open-cell latex, as well as the long 100 day trial period and collection system.
BedInABox is one of that company that doesn’t mess around with the name. Buyers order a bed, it comes in a simple box ready for unfurling, and that’s about it. This highlights the simplicity and convenience of the online mattress buying experience.
The name suggests a basic product. However, their Silk Symphony Memory Foam option is surprisingly high-end and is well regarded for its comfort levels. Some models have a removable pillow top for added comfort. There is a balance between soft pillows and support that should suit a wider range of buyers.
There are a couple of problems with these layers. The first is that buyers do have to pay a higher price, with the queen retailing at around $1,699. Secondly, that settling-in period is much longer here. Some say that it can take around a week to settle into place and for the odors to dissipate. BedInABox also has the most interesting trial period of 60-120 days – no earlier and no later.
Tuft and Needle:
Tuft and Needle highlight the fact that you don’t need to spend a lot of money when buying a mattress online. Their $600 basic queen goes to show that all those fears over a pricey, specialist product from an online retailer aren’t guaranteed. This company is significantly cheaper than the competitors above.
While this reflects a more minimalist approach to the materials and layers – less effort in the design, less to pay – it is still a good product. These mattresses have plenty going for them regarding the comfort offered, although some say they are much more firm. The biggest issue is the returns policy. The 100-day trial is helpful, but it can take a while to organize the right slot and get rid of it if you don’t like it.
Choosing The Right Supplier For A Mattress Online
It is important to find the right product at the right store – just as you would when buying at a standard showroom. This goes back to that idea of a smaller range of products and greater specialization while showrooms provide a vast selection of styles and comfort ranges. Buyers in showrooms learn on the shop floor and discover options there.
Online buyers need to do their research on needs, materials and sleep problems and then locate the best store. You can choose by material, such as the company with the best foam mattress to suit your needs. Alternatively, you can choose by price, trial period or other specific feature in their policy.
There are more pros than cons to this approach, depending upon your needs.
Consumers do need to take a bit of a leap of faith with an online mattress company. The experience is completely different to that of the typical store, and you are buying a mattress without seeing it or testing it out. However, the long trial periods and money back guarantees of the better suppliers mentioned above minimize much of the risk involved.
Buyers that are unsure of what they need may be more comfortable talking to a salesman and testing out models the old-fashioned way. This may help them to understand choices in materials and comfort levels. Others will find this to be confusing and convoluted if they have a clear idea of the mattress they want to try.
The best online mattress stores cut out the hassle, and some of the cost, and make the experience more convenient. It won’t suit everyone, but those that give it a try find themselves impressed by the experience and won’t go back to real mattress showrooms.