How to buy the best mattress
We explain how to find the best mattress without paying thousands of pounds.
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Do you want a good night’s sleep? Deciding which type of mattress to buy is only part of the story. Whether you prefer a pocket-sprung or a memory-foam mattress, our tests have found big differences between the best and worst of each mattress ‘type’.
Make the wrong choices and you risk being lumbered with a needlessly expensive mattress that’s uncomfortable, unsupportive and unable to stand the test of time without sagging and softening.
Thankfully, we’ve explained everything you need to know below to ensure you get the right mattress.
Video: how to buy the best mattress
Watch our video to help you pick the perfect mattress for your sleeping position, body shape and bedroom.
Types of mattress
Pocket-sprung, latex and memory-foam mattresses have all impressed in our tough tests, so the type of mattress you choose really comes down to personal preference and budget.
If you want a traditional mattress with natural fillings, such as wool, you’ll want a pocket-sprung mattress.
With these, each spring is enclosed in its own fabric ‘pocket’ – each reacts to pressure from your body independently. However, these can be pricey and our tests show they can sag significantly over time.
Memory-foam mattresses can be more durable and mould to your body shape but, in some cases, this can increase your body temperature and restrict your movement.
For more information about mattress types, see our guide to choosing the best type of mattress.
How much does a good mattress cost?
A new mattress can cost anywhere between £100 and several thousand. Factors such as brand, size and the types of material used can all have a significant impact on cost.
But, as the graph below shows, our mattress tests have found you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a mattress that will support your spine and last for years to come. Take a look at our list of the best cheap mattresses.
Number of Best Buy mattresses by price
What are the best mattress brands?
Our April 2018 survey of more than 5,000 mattress owners revealed that three in 10 Which? members bought their current mattress because it’s made by a brand they trust. If you’re not sure what the best mattress brands are, we can help.
Check out our guide to the best and worst mattress brands. This reveals what people think of the brand of mattress they own, including how comfortable their mattress is, and covers major brands such as Casper, Ikea, John Lewis, Sealy and Silentnight.
Soft vs firm mattresses
When it comes to firmness, the most important thing is to buy a mattress that you find comfortable.
Don’t buy a mattress that’s firmer than you’d like on the assumption that it will be more supportive. Time and again, our tests have shown you don’t have to buy a firm mattress to get excellent and long-lasting support.
Equally, don’t assume that a firm mattress in one store will feel the same in other shops. Firmness is subjective and manufacturers describe the firmness of their mattresses in a range of different ways.
That’s why we don’t use terms such as soft and firm in our reviews. Instead, we objectively test mattress firmness on a scale of one to 10, where one is the firmest and 10 the softest, so you can easily compare the firmness of different mattresses.
We also measure how supportive each mattress is for a range of different body sizes and sleeping positions.
Use our mattress reviews to arm yourself with a shortlist of supportive mattresses to try out in store.
Best mattresses: features to look out for
As mattresses serve a single basic function – to help us sleep – they don’t come overloaded with jazzy features. But there are still a few things to look out for.
- One-sidedAs the name suggests, only one side of a one-sided mattress is designed to be slept on. Mattresses can be extremely heavy – the heaviest we’ve seen weighs more than 50kg – so you may be relieved not to feel obliged to flip it. You’ll probably still need to rotate it from head to toe, though, so it’s a good idea to check the ease of use rating in our mattress reviews.
- Natural fillingsMany pocket-sprung mattresses also contain layers of synthetic fillings, such as foam. If you’re keen to avoid these, look out for mattresses specifically claim to be made using only natural materials.
- Memory foamSimilarly, just because a mattress contains memory foam doesn’t make it a memory-foam mattress. We only class a mattress as memory foam if it contains more than just a token layer of the body moulding material. See all our memory foam mattress reviews.
Try before you buy
Buying a mattress online may be cheaper and more convenient but, unless you’re buying a bed-in-a-box mattress (see below), it’s always best to try before you buy.
When we asked Which? members about their experience of buying a mattress, more than a third of them told us they feel intimidated trying out a mattress in the shop. A good mattress shop shouldn’t mind you doing this. See our guide on the best mattress shops.
When trying out a mattress in-store:
- Wear comfortable clothing and remove your outdoor gear.
- Lie on a mattress for at least 10 minutes, in positions that you normally sleep in.
- If the bed is for two, go with your partner.
- Don’t shop for beds when you’re tired, as all the mattresses will feel great.
- Don’t let sales assistants influence you – they can’t decide whether the mattress is comfortable for you.
If you’re buying a memory foam mattress, relax in one position, then move into another. Was it easy or did you struggle to move? If the latter, you might find the memory mattress will restrict your movement too much, especially in cold weather when the memory foam will be harder.
Should you buy a mattress online?
If you’re looking for a bargain mattress, one option is to try a few mattresses out in a shop, before going home to search for the best price online. That’s what 5% of Which? members did when they bought their last mattress, according to our 2018 survey of more than 5,000 mattress owners.
But around 14% bought online without trying their mattress first. That sounds risky – especially when we’ve just recommended you try a mattress before you buy – but it’s not if you buy a bed-in-a-box mattress.
These are mattresses that are bought online, vacuum-packed into a box and delivered direct to your door, and there are three reasons you should consider one:
- By cutting out the retailer and selling direct from manufacturer to consumer, many brands claim you’re getting a higher-quality mattress for less.
- Most online-only mattresses offer a sleep trial of at least 10 weeks. During this time you can try the mattress at home and send it back for a full refund if you don’t like it. In most cases, the manufacturer will collect the unwanted mattress from your house for free before recycling it or donating it to charity.
- We’re yet to test a bad one. More than half of the Best Buy mattresses we’ve uncovered can only be bought in a box.
Make sure your mattress fits your bed base
Manufacturers may encourage you to buy a mattress and bed base together, and this is a good idea if you’ve had your old base for many years.
If you buy the mattress and base separately, or are going to keep your old base, measure carefully to make sure they’re a good fit. Dimensions can vary so don’t rely on a new double mattress being exactly the same size as your old one.
Is your mattress going on to a slatted base? Then make sure that the slats are no more than 6cm wide or more than 4cm apart. This ensures sufficient ventilation, while preventing the mattress sagging through between the slats.
For more information, read our guide: What bed size do you need?
Check the guarantee/warranty on your mattress
Make sure you know what your rights are if there’s a problem with your mattress.
Most guarantees for mattresses will not cover gradual wear and tear, which leads to loss of support. So make sure you use our mattress reviews to pick out a durable mattress that will stand the test of time.
Most online-only mattresses offer a sleep trial of at least 10 weeks.
Before you buy your mattress, check whether there’s anything in particular, such as removing labels or using a base other than a recommended one, that would invalidate the guarantee.
Now you know how to go about buying the best mattress for you, check out ourbest mattressrecommendationsto reveal the mattresses that will support your spine and last for years.
How Much Does a Good Mattress Cost?
Mattresses sold today range in price from $150 or less to more than $5,000, but most shoppers can find the mattress they need for under $1,000. The price-point of a mattress depends on several factors, including type, size, height, material composition, and durability.
This guide offers shopping tips for comparing mattresses based on different factors and finding the right model for you and your sleep partner at a reasonable price.
Average Mattress Prices
Mattress type impacts the price-point more than any other factor. The price range of foam mattresses, for example, varies significantly from the price ranges of latex or hybrid models. The table below features current price ranges for five common mattress types; please note that the prices listed below are for Queen-size models. Click the links in the left-hand column to read our full analyses of each mattress type.
|Mattress Type||Low Price Range||Medium Price Range||High Price Range||Average Price-Point (Queen)|
|Innerspring||Less than $700||$700 to $1,200||More than $1,200||$1,038|
|Foam||Less than $600||$600 to $1,200||More than $1,200||$1,044|
|Latex||Less than $1,500||$1,500 to $2,500||More than $2,500||$1,971|
|Hybrid||Less than $1,500||$1,500 to $2,200||More than $2,200||$2,077|
|Airbed||Less than $1,500||$1,500 to $2,500||More than $2,500||$2,283|
Cost Factors for Different Mattress Types
Next, let’s look at some factors that influence the price of different mattress types.
Cost Factors for Innerspring Mattresses
Here are some important considerations to make when looking at innersprings:
- The price-point of an innerspring mattress is often tied to durability and lifespan. Cheaper models tend to feature polyfoam comfort layers and bonnell coils, which typically perform for three to five years. Costlier innersprings may feature memory foam or latex in the comfort layer and more durable coils — such as offset or continuous-wire coils — in the support core.
- Some innersprings are constructed with pocketed (or fabric-wrapped) coils; it’s important to note that mattresses featuring at least two inches of memory foam and/or latex in the comfort layer and pocketed coils in the support core are technically considered hybrids, not innersprings.
- Gauge (or thickness) can be used to determine how durable a mattress coil is; thicker low-gauge coils are more durable than thinner high-gauge coils.
- Many mattress manufacturers list ‘coil count’ as a measure of quality and durability — and the price may reflect this — but coil count does not necessarily reflect the lifespan of an innerspring mattress.
Cost Factors for Foam Mattresses
Foam mattresses are typically priced using the following criteria:
- Foam density plays a role in mattress durability, and is a key factor for foam mattress pricing. Low-density foams are softer and tend to deteriorate quickly, and are most often used in relatively cheap mattress models. High-density foams are firmer and tend to last longer; they are usually used in models with more expensive price-points.
- Another key consideration is the type of foam used. Polyfoam (even high-density polyfoam) will degrade faster than most memory foams. As a result, the cost of an all-polyfoam mattress is usually much lower than the cost of a memory foam mattress. Likewise, mattresses with specialty memory foam (such as gel or copper-infused memory foam) are more expensive than those with standard memory foam.
- Most sleepers feel more comfortable on memory foam than polyfoam. However, price-point does not appear to be a significant factor in customer experiences with memory foam compared to performance factors like firmness and conforming/pressure-relieving abilities. For this reason, shoppers may be able to find a memory foam mattress that suits their preferences at a relatively low price.
Cost Factors for Latex Mattresses
The price of a latex mattress is often determined by the following factors:
- Latex in mattresses is produced using one of two processes. The Dunlop process produces denser and heavier latex that is most often used in support cores. The Talalay process produces lighter and less dense latex that is typically used in comfort layers. Talalay latex tends to be more expensive than Dunlop latex, but some mattresses contain both.
- The price of a latex mattress will also depend on whether natural or synthetic latex is used. Natural latex is extracted from rubber trees and produced without fillers using either the Dunlop or Talalay process. Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is entirely manmade, but is still processed using the Talalay or Dunlop method. The differences in firmness and feel between natural and synthetic latex are negotiable. However, sleepers are much more susceptible to allergic reactions on natural latex.
- An important distinction for shoppers is the difference between ‘natural latex’ and ‘100% natural latex’; the latter does not contain any fillers whatsoever, while the former may not be entirely natural. In some cases, mattresses sold as ‘natural latex’ are actually made of mostly synthetic latex.
Cost Factors for Hybrid Mattresses
Cost considerations for hybrid mattresses include the following points:
- In order to be considered a true hybrid, a mattress must have at least two inches of memory foam and/or latex in the comfort system and a pocketed coil support core. Many mattresses are sold as hybrids, even though they don’t meet this criteria. For example, some models sold as hybrids feature latex and memory foam components, but the support core is made of polyfoam, not pocketed coils.
- Some hybrids feature a layer of microcoils in the comfort system for added conforming and pressure relief. Models with microcoil layers are usually more expensive than standard foam-and-coil hybrids. However, customer satisfaction ratings between microcoil and non-microcoil hybrids are comparable, suggesting that these components do not play a significant role in sleeper experiences.
Cost Factors for Airbed Mattresses
An airbed is defined as any mattress that features air chambers in the support core, rather than foam or coil layers. Airbeds have the highest average price among all mattress types. When pricing airbed mattresses, consider the following:
- Most airbeds sold today feature manual or remote controls that allow users to inflate or deflate air to match their comfort preferences; many can be toggled using online apps. Remote-control airbeds — especially ones that utilize smart-app technology — are almost always more expensive than manual-control models.
- Airbeds with memory foam, latex and/or microcoils in the comfort layer are usually priced higher than those with standard polyfoam comfort systems.
- Airbed prices somewhat correlate to mattress height, with thicker models being the more expensive option. The number of air chambers may also play a role; traditional airbeds have one to two air chambers, but some newer models have as many as six individual chambers (and cost more on average).
Cost Factors for a Bed Base
The bed base refers to the part of a bed that supports the mattress. Here are a few of the factors to consider when you’re thinking about purchasing a bed base to hold up your mattress.
- Box springs are generally cheaper than other kinds of bed bases, but may require an additional foundation or legs if you want storage space underneath. It’s worth noting that box springs can help to extend the lifespan of your mattress, preventing deterioration and sagging.
- Foundations or platforms tend to be on the less expensive side. Like box springs, they can help to add value to your mattress purchase by extending its lifespan. They are generally set up to have storage space below, so there probably won’t be a need for extra purchases like with box springs.
- There are a few factors that can make your bed base pricier. Some foundations have extra storage drawers and/or headboards, for example. These are often more expensive.
- Adjustable beds, which can be raised at the head or foot to create different angles for sleeping, are the priciest options. Still, they can be important for certain kinds of sleepers, such as people with poor circulation, sleep apnea, or other sleep problems. If you have certain sleep conditions, the price of an adjustable bed base may be well worth it for higher-quality sleep over time.
Which Mattress Type Is Best for You?
Now that we’ve explored cost factors affecting the price of a mattress, let’s look at some distinct qualities associated with different mattress types. Customers can use metrics like these to determine which mattress is best for them based on their top priorities as shoppers and sleepers.
|Average lifespan||5 to 7 years||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer||6 to 7 years||8 years or longer|
|Conforming ability||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Good||Good to Very Good||Good|
|Sex||Good to Very Good||Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair|
|Temperature neutrality||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Fair to Good||Fair to Good|
|Noise potential||Fair||Very Good to Excellent||Very Good to Excellent||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
|Odor potential||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good|
|Edge support||Good to Very Good||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good|
Additional Mattress Costs
The original price-point is not the only cost associated with mattress ownership. Here are a few more costs that may arise for mattress owners:
- Foundations:Mattress customers usually have the option of purchasing a matching foundation to go with their new mattress; most foundations are priced at $150 or higher.
- Shipping:Many mattress manufacturers offer free delivery to customers in the continental United States; these deliveries are mostly coordinated through UPS, FedEx and other ground courier services. A few manufacturers also offer free shipping to customers in Alaska, Hawaii, and offshore U.S. territories, but most impose shipping charges of at least $100 for these locations; additional fees may also apply for customers in remote locations in the continental U.S. For companies that do not offer free mattress shipping, customers should expect to pay at least $100.
- In-Home Assembly:A large number of mattress companies offer delivery that includes in-home mattress assembly and packaging waste removal; this is often called ‘White Glove delivery’. The standard cost of White Glove delivery is $99, but some companies charge more.
- Old Mattress Removal:Mattress companies that offer White Glove delivery will often remove the customer’s old mattress for an additional charge (usually $50). However, most mattress companies that use ground couriers like UPS and FedEx for deliveries do not offer this service.
- Mattress Returns:Mattress sleep trials are common; most companies allow customers to return their mattress within 30 to 90 days of their original purchase in exchange for a refund (specific lengths vary by company). However, many sleep trials include hidden ‘shipping and handling’ fees for customers that return their mattress during the sleep trial. These details are usually included in the fine print of the company’s sleep trial and return policy.
- Mattress Exchanges:In addition to mattress returns, some companies allow customers to exchange their mattress during their sleep trial for a model of a different size and/or firmness. The same ‘shipping and handling’ fees apply. For mattress upgrades, customers will be required to pay the difference in price between the original and the replacement. Typically, one exchange is allowed per sleep trial.
A standard mattress warranty should last at least 10 years. Some span 25 years or longer. Warranty terms vary significantly between mattress manufacturers, and there are several costs associated with them.
Most mattress warranties require customers to cover shipping and handling fees associated with repairs for mattresses with defects (such as deep indentations or protruding coils). Additionally, customers should expect to pay shipping and handling fees for replacing their defective mattress with a new model.
Another important warranty consideration is whether the coverage is nonprorated or prorated; some warranties are entirely nonprorated, while others are nonprorated for a set number of years and prorated for the remainder of the warranty coverage period. Nonprorated coverage means that, with the exception of shipping and handling fees, owners do not need to pay extra costs for replacing a defective mattress. During prorated coverage periods, customers must pay extra charges for replacing their mattress; these charges are calculated by multiplying a percentage of the original mattress price (typically 5% to 10%) by the number of years of ownership.
For example, let’s say a mattress costs $1,000 and is covered under a 20-year warranty with five years of nonprorated coverage and 15 years of prorated coverage with a 5% prorated charge. If the mattress needs to be replaced during the first five years, then the owner will only be required to pay shipping and handling fees. If the mattress needs to be replaced during the tenth year, then prorated charges are calculated as 10 (years) by 5%; this means that the owner will be responsible for paying half the original price (or $500) to have the mattress replaced. During the eleventh year, this charge will increase to 55% (or $550), and so on until the 20-year period ends.
Most – but not all – 10-year warranties are entirely nonprorated. Some warranties that extend 15 to 20 years or longer are fully nonprorated, but most included prorated coverage periods. In some cases, a mattress warranty will only include two to three years of nonprorated coverage. For this reason, customers should place more emphasis on the length of the nonprorated coverage period than the overall warranty length. Furthermore, most industry experts agree that a mattress should be replaced every seven to eight years; this somewhat negates the need for warranties that extend beyond 10 years.
How to Get the Best Deal on a Mattress
When you’re looking for the best possible deal on a mattress, there are a number of factors that come into play. Here are a few tricks and tips, as well as some important factors to consider when looking for a great mattress deal.
It’s important to do your homework when you’re looking for the best deal on a mattress. Conduct market research before you buy, and you’ll end up with a higher-value purchase in the end.
Mattresses vary widely in terms of durability, firmness, prices, and overall quality. Compare customer reviews and brand prices in order to get the most value for what you pay.
Date-specific deals are huge in the mattress industry. If you time your purchase correctly, you can save quite a bit on your mattress. Here are some of the most common holidays and other sales days when you might snag a mattress deal:
|President’s Day||3rd Monday in February||President’s Day is usually the first opportunity all year to celebrate with mattress savings. Virtually all online mattress sellers provide brand-new coupon codes for this holiday.|
|Memorial Day||Last Monday in May||Many mattress brands offer Memorial Day promotions. Brick-and-mortar stores may have some savings, but online mattress companies will usually provide ultra-steep price cuts and special deal throughout Memorial Day weekend.|
|Independence Day||July 4th||Along with fireworks and outdoor barbecues, mattress sales have become synonymous with Independence Day. Okay, maybe not quite the same, but July 4th does bring significant mattress savings every year. While many stores close on this holiday, look for sales on the 3rd or 5th.|
|Amazon Prime Day||July 15th||This midsummer sales day provides endless deals for members of Amazon Prime. Even if you’re not a Prime member, though, other mattress sellers will often publish new coupon codes on their own sites to draw customers away from Amazon, so scour various sites for deals.|
|Labor Day||First Monday in September||Labor Day has long been a major discount day for the mattress industry. Starting on the Friday before the holiday, look for new coupon codes, steep discounts, and other promotions at online mattress retailers.|
|Veterans Day||November 11th||New coupon codes and promos almost always come out on Veterans Day. This mid-November discount opportunity is an especially good time to look out for great deals before the holidays, as mattress companies try to sell as much of their inventory as possible before the approaching winter rush.|
|Black Friday||The day after Thanksgiving, or the fourth Friday in November||Black Friday is a massive sales event for both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailers. Because it’s a weekend-long event, and because so many sellers are competing with one another, you can usually find a steal just after Thanksgiving with a little research and price-matching offers.|
|Cyber Monday||Monday after Thanksgiving (may fall in late November or early December)||This e-commerce sales holiday boasts a longer discount window than most other discount days, with some sales lasting the entire week or even longer. Sellers actively compete in a race to the bottom of the price barrel on this post-Thanksgiving holiday, so if you’re looking for the ultimate steal, this is a good time to find one. Be on the lookout for extra perks on Cyber Monday, too, like free bedding and shipping.|
Get a friend referral
If you have a friend who recently bought a mattress or is looking to buy one, you could save money on your own mattress purchase. Some retailers offer a referral deal on your purchase when someone who purchases a mattress (or, in some cases, other furniture or household goods) refers you to the company.
Choose a brand that offers free shipping
Buying a mattress online is often cheaper than buying one in person, and most retailers offer their products on the web in today’s market. Many companies offer free shipping, which is a major perk.
If you can dodge the shipping costs, online is often the best way to go when it comes to buying a mattress. On the web, you can almost always find a great mattress deal, with no markups from third-party retailers.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to save money in the long-term is to get a mattress that will last you a long time. When it comes to mattress value, the price point is just one small piece of the puzzle: A mattress that you can use comfortably for many years to come is key.
Do market research on the most durable mattresses. Read customer reviews to make sure the mattress will last a long time for the price you’ll be paying.
Generally speaking, the average sleeper will be able to spend $1,000 or less for a mattress that suits their comfort and support preferences. However, mattress shoppers are urged to thoroughly research different products before making a purchase. In order to find the right mattress at the lowest available price, be sure to compare different models based on factors like type, material composition, firmness, and durability, as well as company policies regarding shipping and delivery, sleep trials, and warranty coverage.
To view and compare different mattress brands based on price, please visit our Product Comparison Page.
A box spring acts as a base for a bed and is usually made of a wooden frame, covered in cloth, and filled with springs or coils to create a little bounce.
If your quality of sleep seems to be diminishing, you should check your mattress and see if it still offering sufficient support; however, the problem may not stop here. Contrary to what most people believe, the comfort of the entire bed is not only determined by the mattress but by the box spring as well. In fact, the two are designed to complement each other.
A box spring is very important as it does not only elevate your bed to a height that is more comfortable, but it reduces the wear and tear on your mattress.
How much does a box spring cost?
On average, the cost of a box spring will depend on the manufacturer, the type, the size of the bed and where you purchase it from. On average, be prepared tospend $100 to $250or about 10 to 20 percent more than this if you were to purchase a split box spring. 95 percent of the time, however, you should be able to find one of decent quality for less than $150.
At Walmart, for instance, the average box spring sold in its stores and online will be anywhere from $95 to $250.
On Amazon.com, most of the best sellers listed ranged anywhere from $89 to $118.
|Mattress Size||Box Spring Cost|
|Twin||$25 to $75|
|Full||$65 to $150|
|Queen||$65 to $150|
|Queen Split||$65 to $215|
|King||$75 to $200+|
|King Split||$65 to $215|
Box spring overview
There are two common box spring heights on the market: either the standard nine-inch box spring of the low profile five-inch box spring.
As for types, there are also two options: thesplit box, which comes in two sections to commonly support a larger sized bed such as a king, whereas astandardbox spring will come as one whole piece and will be designed for beds smaller than a queen.
A box spring can be made from a variety of options, include organic fabric, hypoallergenic fabric and even natural fillers.
What are the extra costs?
Due to the size, some online retailers may charge a shipping fee, depending on the store policy.
Depending on your situation, a box spring is commonly purchased with a new mattress and sometimes a frame.
Tips to know:
As per Overstock.com, you must be careful when transporting mattresses and box springs. Box springs are often considered indestructible, but the wooden frame can crack if abused while being moved. If broken, this can negatively affect the performance of the set.
Mattress.com says you should never place a new mattress on an older box spring for two reasons. For starters, it could void your warranty, and it could decrease the comfort and overall support.
Do you need a box spring? A modern one-sized bed, according to Us-mattress.com, will not need a box spring and any hard surface will work; however, most mattresses you purchase may require you purchase a box spring to keep the warranty valid.
How can I save money?
Sometimes, if you were to purchase a brand new mattress, it may already come included with a box spring. If you haven’t started your shopping yet, then consider purchasing it as a package to save and ensure the box spring will mesh well with your new purchase.
A refurbished box spring, often found at outlet stores, can be just as good and will cost up to 50 percent less. For example, we were able to find a king sized refurbished box spring at the Sears Outlet center for less than $50.
Advertising Disclosure: This content may include referral links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.
How Much Does a Good, New Mattress Cost?
Selling mattresses online has revolutionized the sleep industry in many ways. More people are able to have access to a variety of products and more companies are able to offer them.
The bed-in-a-box market has grown tremendously in the past few years … and so have your options. We know it can be tough to navigate the world of online mattress shopping and along with quality and function, we know the cost of such a purchase can be a major concern for all kinds of shoppers.
This guide will help you discoverthe cost of a mattressand what factors may be involved in determining that, along with some helpful tips on how to save a few bucks!
Average Mattress Price
We will go into the specific reasons for fluctuations in price in more detail below. But for now, we can see that there is a wide range of mattress costs, especially across different types of construction. For the most part, latex and air beds tend to cost the most, with foam and hybrids coming in the middle and innersprings being the cheapest on average.
While the high and low ends can fluctuate quite a lot, the average prices stay relatively close to each. There may be a difference of $500 to $1,000, but most seem to be around the $1,000 range. This should allow most shoppers to choose the construction that meets their own individual needs without worrying too much about the price.
Influential Price Determinants by Material Type
|Mattress||Low End||High End||Average|
The price of an all-foam mattress is likely to vary depending on both the density and construction of the materials. The more these factors increase, the higher the cost is likely to be.
Higher density foam is likely to last longer because it often reclaims its shape easier, reducing long-term impressions. However, this can raise the cost and some shoppers may find higher density beds to be too firm for some shoppers to find comfortable. Lower density foams may need cost less and need to be replaced more often. It is possible to find a product at a mid-range price point that combines both higher and lower density materials for a blend of comfort and durability.
Additional features that enhance the usability of the product, such as reinforced edges or cooling properties like copper or temperature-regulating gels and phase-changing technology or aerated materials, will likely raise the cost of the bed. The tradeoff is that consumers are promised a more comfortable and convenient sleep experience. Some companies design their own foams or offer zoned materials with different levels of compression.
Just like a mattress made of foam, the way an innerspring is built will largely determine how much companies charge their customers for it. Coil counts, gauges, comfort materials, and additives are all factors to become acquainted with when choosing an innerspring model.
These items work differently from all-foam products, where higher density materials cost more, innersprings with a higher gauge are typically less expensive. Springs with high gauges are usually thinner than low gauge springs. This can cause the beds to breakdown quicker, driving the fees down.
The number of coils inside a mattress can also affect the price, the more coils are present, the more metal is used to create them. Many shoppers prefer a bed with more springs inside, which may help to justify the cost.
Shoppers should also consider other construction factors like whether or not the bed has more than one spring system or if the coils are wrapped in fabric. If there is a comfort layer inside the innerspring, the thickness, materials used, and cooling technologies employed will all affect the cost.
Hybrid beds have witnessed a lot of innovation over the past few years, as other products evolve, so do hybrids. Companies have begun to experiment with different types of construction styles and material types, which can then lead to a variety of price ranges. The cost of a hybrid is also determined using many of the same factors involved in pricing an innerspring or all-foam bed as these products combine both springs and comfort materials like latex, foam, or both.
Some hybrid products feature taller coils or a dual-coil construction. The thickness of the comfort materials and the construction of these layers can have an effect on the money spent to build the bed. Many of these items also include cooling technologies, pocketed springs, or enhanced edges.
Check to see whether or not the item is double-sided, as these models are often thicker and contain more materials. Certified organic models and zoned designs will also play a part in determining the cost of the item, so be sure to look into these issues, as well.
There are two main types of latex and each different kind will probably run you a different amount.
Many sleepers consider Dunlop latex to be firmer and more durable, this material may be seen frequently in foundation layers. Talalay is usually considered to be softer and is considered a good choice for adding pressure relief. In general, Talalay beds are more expensive, though there are many models out there that combine both types.
Shoppers should also check to see if their latex mattress is natural or organic — these two features are not one and the same. A natural latex product means that the item is created using natural and not synthetic latex; some shoppers may be allergic to natural latex, but others are glad to have a product that is not chemically engineered. Natural latex beds can be organic or non-organic, of course, an organic product will usually cost more.
Latex can also feature many of the same qualities found in foam, like gel infusion or aeration that allows for air circulation. Some of these models may also feature enhanced edge support or zoning.
Airbeds are an interesting corner of the market with lots of different factors determining their price. The materials used in the construction, along with mattress height and technological advances, are the main considerations when determining the cost of an airbed.
People no longer need to pump up an airbed by hand or manually tell an electric pump when to start and stop. Many of these products now come with remote controls, or even smart controls, that add convenience for an extra fee.
Some of these items may also contain micro coils, latex, or memory foam. Those that do will be held to many of the same pricing standards as those materials.
Shoppers may want to find out how many air pockets are used inside their airbed. Traditionally, airbeds featured only one or two air pockets, but may not hold up to six. Finally, the taller the airbed, the more expensive it is likely to be, as more materials are required to create a thicker bed.
Generally speaking, the cheaper a mattress is, the less durable it is likely to be, and vice versa. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but many budget-friendly models reduce their expenses by using simpler or fewer materials. However, more expensive does not always mean better, some beds may come with features that you simply do not need or that could even hinder your own personal sleep experience.
There is certainly nothing wrong with buying either a budget-friendly or expensive product, especially if it calls to you. For the most part, however, mid-range items should offer the most “bang for your buck,” especially if they are offered with a lifetime warranty or comfort guarantee.
Add-on and Hidden Costs
Buying a mattress doesn’t always end there. There can be many other hidden factors that end up burdening your wallet. Shipping and handling, set-up fees, and other considerations may affect your bottom line.
But that doesn’t mean these extra costs aren’t worth your time! Some people are more than happy to spend a few extra bucks on White Glove delivery if it saves them a little hassle. We will break down some of the more common factors that might end up getting tacked onto your bill so you can decide what works for you.
White Glove Delivery
White Glove service refers to a standard of delivery in which the company will send people to bring the bed right into your home and have them set it up for you. Some businesses are willing to offer this service for free, while others will charge a nominal fee for the set-up. Similarly, White Glove service is not always available in every location a company ships to.
Be sure to check which you are getting when you place your order.
Much of the time, bed-in-a-box brands are willing to ship their products for free. However, there are some circumstances in which this is not possible. Some businesses will charge an additional fee to ship to Hawaii and Alaska, or companies in the United States will charge more to ship to Canada and vice versa.
It may also be beneficial to check to see whether or not different sizes are more difficult or expensive to ship. King, Cali King, or Split sizes may be pricier. Most places will have chat representatives on hand to answer these questions.
Removal of Old Bed
What do you do with your old bed once you get a new one? Some businesses will offer a convenient service that disposes of your unwanted mattress for you, and they may even find a way to recycle or donate the bed in the process – no need to cut up a whole mattress all by yourself!
Sometimes the removal of the unwanted product is included in the White Glove service, whether or not the White Glove option is free. Other times, companies will expect you to pay extra to have your old bed removed.
Platforms, Frames, and Foundations
Maybe you already have a frame or foundation, but that doesn’t always mean it will work for the mattress you choose. Many companies have specific recommendations for their beds as to the proper ways to set them up. Find out whether or not you will need to purchase a new or proprietary base, if the set up you already have will work, or if the brand offers an included frame with purchase when choosing a mattress.
Comfort Level or Model Exchanges
Some brands are willing to allow shoppers to send in their mattress or comfort materials in exchange for a different comfort level or a new model altogether. If you find yourself tossing and turning because you accidentally purchased a mattress that is too firm or too soft, you can simply switch it out for one that suits you better. This is often free within the trial period, but after that time there may be a fee required.
The great majority of bed-in-a-box businesses offer trial periods so that consumers can get an idea of how their new mattress will work for them. Since you can’t go to a store and actually lie down on the product, they give you plenty of time to test it out in your own home. Much of the time, if you return an unwanted bed within the trial period the cost of shipping is free, but some companies may withhold a small amount while refunding the rest of your purchase.
Generally, the warranty included with your purchase will ensure that you can quickly and easily replace a defective mattress within a given amount of time. Most of these arrangements will last at least 10 years, while some are extended 20 or 30 years, and in some cases, you will even be granted a lifetime warranty.
Some companies include comfort guarantees along with their warranties, to ensure that shoppers receive proper sleep for as long as they own their mattress. These offers usually allow people to trade in their comfort layers, or in some cases the entire mattress, every so many years to make sure the materials do not compress too much over time.
Each company uses a different policy to determine whether exchanges under warranty are free or not. Sometimes this will vary depending on the size of the mattress or the amount of time elapsed before making a claim.
How much should you spend on a mattress?
Updated 2020: Working out what mattress your hard-earned money will get you is the first step in setting expectations for your new mattress. With all the sales spin and daily online discounts, it can be hard to see if that mattress price is fair or a good deal. However, we’re on hand to give to a detailed guide to assess how much to expect for your budget.
We pull back the curtain on retail mattress pricing.
The bottom line is spending as much as you can afford. It’s the same line that is trounced up and down every bed shop in the country making you think that to get even better you have to spend more and spend even more for better still. There will always be a more expensive model available, in fact, it culminates at £115,000.
Your dilemma is, where between £99 and £115,000 do you set your budget? £99 will get you a cheap mattress but how much more do you want to spend to get better?
For some, it can be an easy choice. For everyone else, it is more difficult to actually pinpoint what you need. Your partner fidgets, differing weights, rolling together, back problems, heat problems, neck problems, hip problems and every single problem absolutely individual to you. Is the mattress you need actually out there?
It is a fact that no matter how clued up you think you are, it is unlikely you really know what you can expect for your money. This post will give you an indication of what you can reasonably expect in relation to your budget.
Mattress retail pricing explained
Firstly, there are a few things that you should know in relation to retail pricing.
All components used in mattresses cost the manufacturer relatively the same price. Just because ‘Brand X’ uses a container full of springs on a weekly basis does not necessarily mean that they are paying substantially less for them. It then follows that it will be the same for fabrics, waddings and fillings.
The raw cost price of a mattress will generally be the same, for a ‘like for like’ model, for all manufacturers. You are then quite right to wonder why there are such huge price differences for essentially the same mattress. Well, once the mattress has been manufactured, additional costs have to be added by the manufacturer to the raw cost such as:
- Advertising, marketing and promotion
- Licensing to retailers
- Cost of shop floor space
- Mark up
Depending on the size of the manufacturer depends on how high these additional costs can go. The bigger the manufacturer, the higher the costs. After all, there is then the retailer’s costs to consider. Shop costs of rent and rates, staffing costs to sell the bed, delivery costs to get the bed to you and so on. The retailer adds on their markup, or share of the profit, in order to keep their business growing or to divide among the shareholders.
When you find your “like for like” mattress, virtually tear them apart to see where all your extra money is going! Is it on the mattress or on the Brand? You can only do this by knowing the GSM (Grams per square meter) that are in your mattress.
What fillings should you have in your mattress?
Even though there are well over 4000 models of mattress out there you really don’t have much of a choice. How so?
Bear in mind when considering budget, is the fact that there are onlyfourgeneral types of mattress build:
- Mass produced – Polyester as upholstery
- Mass produced – Mainly Polyester – Minimal natural fibre.
- Hand Made- Mainly natural fibre – Minimal polyester
- Hand Made – 100% Natural Fibre.
For a budget of around £600, the main upholstery will be either/or polyester or visco-elastic memory foam nothing more. And when I say nothing more, I mean any other waddings added that can offer a significant improvement to the mattress comfort, other than having it contained in the specification and this inclusion could be relatively worthless. Knowing about a mattresses GSM times table is essential and we have a detailed post about it here.
Mattresses that contain natural fibres (lambswool, cashmere, hair, cotton, mohair etc,) in such a quantity for them to be beneficial or to make up the mattress completely, just do not exist for budgets less than £850. If you’ve read our other posts on mattress upholstery you will know there are some dubious practices of adding 1-3% natural fibres in with polyester to then claim the mattress ‘contains natural fibres’.
Natural fibre mattresses will all be in excess of the £1000 price tag. Any mattress cheaper than this can just ‘contain’ as little as 3% Natural Fibre.
The higher your budget means the higher up this list you can go. Because of this manufacturers recognise that the inclusion of some kind of natural fibre component can sway you to their product rather than their competitors. If the price is significantly increased for aninsignificantamount of natural fibre then your money would be better spent on tweaking the cheaper mattress by use of a separate topper.
There is one final type; the Hand Made mattress which is the highest standard of mattress manufacturing. Usually, this carries a hefty price tag but smaller independents can offer hand made mattresses that can compete in terms of quality and price with some of the mainly polyester models sold at retailers.
If you can stretch your budget to a handmade mattress, your odds of choosing a higher quality product increase significantly. All of our mattresses are handmade here in the UK.
What your money can get you?
|How much to spend on a double mattress?||What can I expect for my money?|
|Under £500||Will not get you much at best a 13.5 gauge open coil/cage sprung with a thin polyester layer or a solid foam mattress.|
|£500||Entry level spunbond springs with some form of synthetic upholstery. Usually one sided mattresses.|
|£750||The beginnings of a basic pocket springs unit with 800 – 1000 count. No substantial amount of filling other than foams and synthetic materials. Two sided models.|
|£1000||Should get you away from most low ranges and into the mid-range pocket spring models.|
|£1250||Should get you a decent pocket sprung mattress with some Natural Fibre content.|
|£1500||Should get you many manufacturers mid-range models with Natural Fibres|
|£1500-£2000||Should get you a Hand Made primarily Natural Fibre Quality Mattress|
|£2000+||You should expect 100% Natural Fibres and Traditional Hand Made Construction Method.|
|£5000+||A Bespoke Hand Made Sleep System, High-end Spring Units & Featuring the Worlds Most Luxurious Natural Fibres.|
Take a quick look through the models we have on offer here. Our mattress range starts at £430 for our Origins Comfort which shows you exactly the handmade quality you can expect. Use this as a starting point as we think they are quite difficult to beat. Let’s say for example your budget is around £500 (Double size). I say that this amount can get you 1000 pocket springs, double-sided with a decent polyester wadding, reflex foam aiding the support and longevity and an above-average fabric. Incidentally, this is our minimum standard, we do not sell a lower quality of build than this.
Moving up to our Artisan range that compares with the likes of Vi-spring. All of which are handmade here in the UK only for us by us. Use this as a starting point for £1000 plus mattresses being dubious of any retailer that can’t or won’t tell you the GSM content of the beds you are looking at.
Our Artisan Naturals mattress is our most popular model and features 85% natural fibre with a calico pocket spring unit. It’s still unbeatable for the price. Click to view.
Do your comparisons
Using the basic comparison details of 1000 Pocket Springs, Reflex Foam (25mm) and Polyester (1250gsm) you should then search each shop or site looking for a similarly built mattressfor a similar price. When you have your list of possible mattress candidates for comparison you then look at all the additional details such as fabric quality, detailing, service, guarantee etc
Use the same initial principle no matter what your budget. Find out what it can get you and then try to match it or beat it for comparison.
We’re adding a little disclaimer here. If you are looking at high-end mattresses with premium weight natural fillings as the main components then prices will indeed be in excess of the £1000 plus ballpark. Our comments here relate to mass-produced mattresses without a predominant ‘natural fillings’ content.
A pocket spring mattress is far superior and longer lasting than cheaper open coil or foam boxed mattresses
Do not expect to be able to get everything you need to be included. For example, you have found a 1000 pocket sprung mattress. The fillings used will no doubt be polyester (1200 gsm should be expected at the very least). You may then have to add a supplementary comfort layer in the form of mattress topper or enhancer to give you an additional comfort layer and assurance to extend the longevity.
The rule of thumb isto get the best ‘components’ your budget can buy. If £500 can get you a pocket sprung mattress – why settle for a cage sprung mattress for the same money? When the budget is an issue it is better to complement an average pocket sprung mattress by adding your own comfort layers.
Bear in mind that as polyester is the most basic component of mattress upholstery hence the cheap price it really does not have a very long lifespan. Without taking the above measures of care, it will not be too long for the mattress to develop dips and indents where the polyester refuses to spring back to life. Bear in mind that we all perspire through the night and this is the mattress’ worst enemy. It is better to replace the topper or whatever every so often than it is to change your mattress.