How to Buy the Best Mattress for the Least Money

If a house and a car are the two most important purchases in your life, a mattress makes a solid case as the third. (See also: How to Buy a Car Without Going Crazy)

Without the right knowledge, a mattress purchase can also become like the other two — very expensive. So rest easy by checking out this buyer's guide.

Increase Your Knowledge

Before any major purchase, it is important to research your options. The first step in this process is to take a visit to mattress store or manufacturer and lie down on a few different options that are available to you. Take notes on what you like and might be interested in. Visit both regional businesses as well as larger, national stores to get an idea on how prices range.

Greg Beuerle, of Pure Crafted Beds recommends small, regional mattress manufacturers for the best value. Local companies "can't compete on volume with the 'big boys,' so they tend to produce higher quality beds at lower price points. That $3,500 [name brand] bed might cost $1,800 from a small manufacturer and have the exact same or even higher quality components." To know this information, the research you do is going to be essential.

The Mattress Underground is a great place to do your research, gather credible information from knowledgeable experts and ask questions before you make your purchase. Beuerle suggests any Amazon review you look for be only from "verified buyers" as any others can be inflated or from someone who has never slept on the mattress.

Know What You Are Buying

Before you buy a mattress, you need to know what's inside of it. Beuerle, whose family has been in the mattress business since 1946, advises:

"You need to know the density of any foam, and the gauge and quality (tempered or non-tempered) of any innerspring. The most common foams in the mattress industry is 1.0 to 1.5 pound density. Look for foam density of at least 1.8 pound, and preferably higher (density goes up to 2.4 pound for conventional foam). Density numbers for latex and memory foam are much higher (3 to 5+ pound). This is an area of great confusion because while a density of 2.4 pound for conventional foam is great, it's not-so-great for a latex or memory foam."

Test Out Multiple Models

Start with the least expensive and then work your way to the more costly models. This way you don't become attached with an expensive mattress when a cheaper one would have made you just as happy.

Also remember, "every bed feels great when they're brand new," says Beuerle. This might be especially true if you've been on your feet all day or are especially exhausted because your current mattress just isn't cutting it anymore. Therefore, look for a 30 to 90 day window for full returns, which will allow you to try out the mattress. (As a side note, you may want to buy a mattress protector if you are going to take advantage of this return policy as stains, rips, and tears are going to make your return impossible.)

Look for Places to Save Money

If you have settled on a mattress and are looking for a time or place to buy it, then now is the time to look for all the ways you can save money. Typically, mattresses go on sale during federal holidays like Memorial Day, Presidents Day, and Labor Day.

At larger stores, the price on the mattress is not the price you should pay. Negotiate that price down as much as you can. The smaller, regional stores will more than likely not be able to negotiate the price or only by a small amount. You may also be able to negotiate a box spring, free delivery, or a mattress pad into the deal that will save you even more money.

Buying a mattress should never be an impulse purchase. If you buy at the spur of the moment or when your back is feeling its worst, you'll find yourself spending far more money than necessary. The best way to spend the least amount of money is by doing your due diligence with research. Learn everything you can about the mattresses you are interested in, test out your favorites a couple of times, and stick to your budget.

What steps did you follow to buy your mattress? Tell us about it in comments!

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Guest's picture

Thank your for these tips, Linsey. I know a few people who are impulse buyers when it comes to mattresses - I'll make sure to show them this article so they can be guided in their purchases. Thankfully most stores allow customers to test the displayed model of the bed before buying nowadays, so they usually find a bed they like, but they also don't get the best price for said beds. This should help them get the most value for their money!

Guest's picture
<a href="">Jenna J.</a>

This was most helpful. Helped me understand how to choose a proper mattress. I still feel there aren't enough options for people with back issues. Maybe you could look into that and do a post for it?