The Best Time to Buy a Mattress

To everything, there is  season — including a time to buy a mattress.

As with many consumer goods, the prices of mattresses rise and fall with the changing seasons. Factors like shopping holidays, manufacturer release dates, and more can have a major impact on mattress pricing across the industry.  Time your bed purchase right, and you can save hundreds on a new mattress from a luxury brand.

From May clearance sales to Memorial Day deals, opportunities abound across the year to score a top-quality mattress for a cheap price. With so many sales and saving strategies available when it come to mattress shopping, one thing is for certain: you should never pay full price for a bed.

Check out the guide below to learn when, where, and how to land a premium bed at a deep discount.

Average Cost of a Mattress

With multiple styles, hundreds of brands, and varying levels of quality, determining a ballpark figure for how much a mattress should cost is next to impossible. That said, here is a rough estimate of average pricing for different styles:

  • Foam: The cheapest foam beds can be had for less than $600 for a queen, while higher-price memory foam models could set you back more than $1,200. For a solid, medium-price foam mattress, expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1,200.
  • Innerspring: On the cheap end, you can score queen innerspring mattresses for less than $700, while high-end innersprings tend to price above $1,200. Mid-range innerspring queens can be found in the $700 to $1,200 range.
  • Latex: One of the priciest types of beds on the market, latex mattresses don’t tend to go too much lower than $1,500 for a low-price queen. High-price latexes can cost upwards of $2,500 for a queen, while mid-range latex queens typically hover somewhere in the $1,500 to $2,500 range.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid beds, or mattresses that combine innerspring coil with latex and/or memory foam, may start below $1,200 for a queen. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a high-price queen hybrid could cost more than $2,500. A mid-range hybrid queen mattress should fall somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500.

Buying from a Store vs. Online

As important (if not more) as when you buy a mattress is where you buy it. Whether it’s best to buy a mattress in-store or online has been a longstanding controversy, so we’ve broken down both sides of the debate below.

Where to Buy: In-Store Online
Pros:
  • Try the mattress before bringing it home
  • Price negotiation
  • Better value
  • Wider selection
  • Price comparison  
  • Shop from home
  • Free return and delivery options
  • Risk-free trial options
Cons:
  • Higher cost
  • Pushy salespeople
  • Short time frame to test
  • Limited selection
  • More time consuming
  • Can’t test the bed before purchase
  • Some delivery fees may apply

Buying Online?

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Coming from a cost-benefit perspective, it’s hard to deny the attraction of buying online. Thanks to hefty retail markups, less overhead costs, and a whole lot more online competition, buying a mattress on the internet isn’t only usually cheaper than buying in a store — it’s dramatically cheaper.  In some cases, a comparable mattress to the one you spotted in store can be found for as much as 75 percent less online.

Beyond cost, buying a bed online comes with the added bonus of wider selection. When you shop online, you have a virtually limitless number of mattress companies, manufacturers, and mattress varieties at your fingertips. You can seamlessly compare prices and reviews to find out which retailer has the best bed at the best price, and make an informed decision on your own time.

Then, there’s the sheer convenience of buying a mattress online. Instead of slogging around brightly lit showrooms teeming with pushy salespeople, you can purchase a mattress online without leaving your home or even putting on pants. Many online mattress companies will ship your new bed straight to your doorstep for free — and oftentimes in nifty, vacuum-sealed packaging. Many modern-day mattress brands offer generous, no-risk trial periods, so while you can’t test out your bed out in store, you can often try your mattress at home before making a final decision — sometimes for 100 days or more.

Convinced? If you’re thinking about buying a mattress online, here are some insider strategies for when and how to shop the web to get the best deals:

  • Black Friday. The shopping holiday to end all shopping holidays, Black Friday officially falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving, though many sales begin on Thanksgiving and last through the weekend. Though the shopping holiday is notorious for in-store “doorbuster” deals, crowded stores, and long lines, online retailers have jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon ver the last few years. During Black Friday, many online mattress retailers and manufacturers compete for holiday shoppers with deep discounts and special perks like free shipping.
  • Cyber Monday. Falling on the Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s virtual counterpart. Over the years, this e-commerce sales holiday has grown from a one-day sales holiday into a “Cyber Week”. From Saturday through the following Sunday and sometimes longer, online mattress retailer and manufacturers launch one-of-a-kind cyber deals on top-quality beds.
  • Amazon Prime Day. Leave it to Amazon to create its own shopping holiday. Since 2015, the giant online marketplace has celebrated its anniversary with massive discounts on everything from HDTVs to hamster wheels with free, two-day shipping. On Prime Day, you can snag massive deals on major-brand mattresses — though keep in mind, you must be an Amazon Prime member to shop the sale. Amazon Prime Day usually takes place in early July and lasts a few days.
  • Holiday Weekends. It’s a time-honored American tradition to run mattress sales over three-day weekend holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and President’s Day. Labor Day has always been one of the biggest mattress sales holidays of the year for brick-and-mortar stores; these days, online mattress retailers and brands compete with impressive sales of their own.

When shopping for a mattress online, timing your purchase right isn’t the only way to save. In addition to shopping during sales, take advantage of coupon and promo codes to trim the cost of your mattress purchase. You can hunt down virtual coupons and promo codes for mattresses from sources across the web, including third-party coupon code sites and the mattress company website itself. Online coupon  codes can be applied at checkout in exchange for deep discounts or perks like free shipping.

Another excellent resource for saving on a mattress are referral discounts. Referrals are exclusive codes or links that are distributed by manufacturers for customers and websites to pass along to friends, families, and site users or members. When you use a referral code, you can shave around $50 to $150 bucks off your mattress purchase, while the provider of the referral code typically gets rewarded with credit or other bonus.

Buying In-Store

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Buying a mattress in store comes with one, glaring benefit: you can physically lie down, bounce around, and effectively take your new mattress for a new test drive in a mattress store before taking it home. On the other hand, even though most reputable online mattress companies will let you try a bed out at home during a risk-free trial, you’re stuck with the new bed in the meantime.

That said, trying out a mattress in store isn’t always ideal. When shopping for a mattress in store, you are generally granted only a few brief moments to make a major decision about the bed you could be sleeping on for the next six to 10 years. Surrounded by salespeople, fellow shoppers, and glaring fluorescent lights with Despacito playing in the background, you might not be able to make an accurate prediction about how your potential purchase will feel when you sleep on the mattress in your own home, night after night, through different seasons for years to come. In-store company return policies are notoriously less lenient than many online mattress retailers, so if you bring a mattress home only to find out it leaves you waking up every morning in pain or sweating during the night, there’s not much you can do. Alternatively, the risk-free home trial periods offered by many online retailers let you find out how a mattress interacts with you through multiple full nights of sleep, with your partner, in different temperatures, and so on.  

But there is a second benefit of buying in store: the ability to negotiate a lower price. While online mattress companies typically have fixed prices, mattress salespeople often have a fair among of wiggle room. If you’re a skilled negotiator, you may be able to talk a mattress down to a lower price while scoring some freebies like mattress removal or a mattress topper.

Got your heart set on going brick-and-mortar? Here are some tips for saving on a bed when you’re shopping for a mattress in-store:

  • May. Mattress manufacturers start launching new models and mattress technologies in June. Eager to clear their stores to make room for new products, stores begin slashing the prices of last year’s models in an attempt to move merchandise out the store. Shop over Memorial Day weekend, historically one of the biggest holidays for mattress sales, to catch discounts of up to 60 percent.
  • Three-day holiday weekends. Memorial Day weekend isn’t the only major mattress holiday. Mattress retailers take advantage of major three-day holiday weekends — including Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and President’s Day — to run blowout sales. Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday of September, is traditionally the biggest weekend of all for the mattress biz, when nearly all mattress stores will compete with cutthroat sales.
  • New Year’s Day. New Year’s Day is another big one for mattress sales, as retailers will take advantage of the holiday to start trying to move last year’s inventory for new models in the spring. Solid New Year’s sales on mattresses may continue into early January.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Week. One of the busiest, most notorious shopping holidays of them all, Black Friday is famous for electronics deals but sees its fair share of mattress sales too.  Trailing after Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week are traditionally online-only holidays, but many brick-and-mortar locations try to compete with online retailers by holding in-store sales of their own over the week.

Close-Out Sales

Keep an eye out for mattress stores that are closing — a closing mattress store is often accompanied by an excellent close-out sale. During close-out sales, retailers scurry to push the last of their inventory out the door. Prices may continue to fall as the sale progresses and the store gets ready to close, though so does selection.

Note that some mattress stores may advertise close-out sales to draw in bargain-hunters without offering any substantial deals.

In fact, some stores may even raise prices during liquidation sales to increase profits while eliminating return policies. To avoid being burned, make sure you do a quick price check comparison online with your phone before pouncing on a mattress deal from a close-out sale.

Negotiating Price

Before waltzing into a mattress store, roll up your sleeves and get ready to negotiate. Much like you’d negotiate the price of a car, you should always try to haggle with your salesperson for a deal when purchasing a mattress. Mattress stores are notorious for their ultra high markups, and sometimes skilled negotiating is all it takes to bring a mattress price down as much as 50 percent.

Your smartphone is a powerful bargaining tool. If you’re interested in a mattress at a store, pull out your phone and see if you can find the mattress or a similar model on a competitor site for less. Show the mattress salesperson your phone and ask if he or she can match the price. In addition to haggling for a price drop, try to score extras like free delivery or mattress removal. When in doubt, walk away if you’re being pressured into purchasing a bed you’re not in love with at a price you’re happy about.

Additional Resources

Ready to start shopping? Check out some of our mattress guides to learn more about choosing the right mattress for your unique needs, sleep style, and budget.