Buying a memory foam mattress online can be excellent way to save money and skip the hassle of showrooms, but many people are unsure where to start. The thought of buying a bed online can seem a little intimidating, especially to those who don’t do much internet shopping. But it doesn’t have to be hard or stressful – in fact one of the biggest benefits of buying a mattress online is convenience and a low-pressure experience. To help you get started, we compiled a list of our top tips for selecting a memory foam mattress online
Guide to Buying a Memory Foam Mattress Online
So, you’ve heard about memory foam by now and likely are aware of its benefits, like reduced pain and excellent support. While no single bed is perfect for everyone, thousands of people have converted to and swear by memory foam mattresses for a better night’s rest. The key to getting a mattress you will be happy with is knowing how to sort the good deals from the duds. The following suggestions and information highlight the most important factors to consider when choosing your next bed.
1) Understand Memory Foam
A new bed will be with you for several years, ideally, and it is something you will use almost every single day. This isn’t the kind of purchase you want to select on an impulse. Taking some time to learn about beds, brands, and the material can help you shop smarter and select a bed you will be happy with.
First, know that a memory foam mattress feels different from other bedding foams and spring mattresses. If you have never tried this type of bed before, you can take a trip a local store to get an idea of what a memory foam mattress feels like. Do keep in mind that not all brands are created equal, so don’t predicate your decision based on one experience, however. You should also get familiar with the common terms (density, support core, poly foam, temperature sensitivity, etc) so that you are prepared to understand what you encounter.
Also, be aware that there are a few different types of memory foam on the market, each with benefits to consider in your decision. An article from Mattress Journal offers a good overview of memory foam mattress types and brands, including traditional (Tempurpedic), gel (iComfort) and plant-based (Amerisleep). Traditional memory foam is the classic, dense, temperature sensitive material most people envision when they think of this type of mattress. The other two types were developed to improve on certain aspects. Gel-infused memory foam is designed to offer a cooler surface, while plant-based memory foam reduces chemicals, odors, and heat. Different brands will also have specific features, like being open-celled (more breathable), temperature neutral (not reactive to room temperature), and slow or quick in recovery (how quick the foam springs back or remolds).
2) Search Smart
A big part of successfully shopping online is knowing how to search and comparison shop. Unless you are set on a specific brand, chances are you will use a search engine like Google. Based on what you discover your preferences to be, you can use specific search terms to sort the noise, like perhaps “high-density memory foam” or “eco-friendly memory foam”, as opposed to the more general “memory foam mattress”. Understand that the listings you see on the top and right of the page are typically paid ads, while the listings on the left are the results Google finds to be most relevant based on the words you searched.
When you are still in the research phase, it is best to keep an open mind and compare what you are actually getting in terms of value. We think one of the best ways to shop smart online is to track you research on a spreadsheet or notepad so you have all the details available for easy comparison. Take notes on the aspects you find to be most important so you can see which brands meet all your needs and which do not.
3) Check the Density
Density measures how much one cubic foot for foam weighs. High quality memory foam mattresses will have upper layers with densities between 3.5 pounds to 5.0 pounds, on average. This is the “Goldilocks zone” in which a majority of people will find comfort. Too dense, thick layers over 5.0 pounds, will result in stuck sensation when trying to roll over or get out of bed, while low densities decreases the level of resiliency and support and makes for a less durable product. This is why low-density memory foam mattress brands tend to be considerably cheaper.
4) Determine the Firmness
People often assume they need a very firm bed when suffering from back problems, based on conventional wisdom. However recent studies have been pointing to medium-firm mattresses as preferable for most people. But this is merely a suggestion – you will want to consider how you feel when lying in your current bed. Is it too soft or firm, and to what extent? Also, keep in mind that memory foam firmness can feel different depending on the type of foam and thickness of layers. Temperature sensitive foams will feel firmer on cold rooms and softer in warmer rooms (versus temperature neutral foams), layers will soften slightly over time and beds with thin layers of memory foam can feel overly firm if you “bottom out” on the core. When buying a memory foam mattress online, we recommend erring on the side of too-firm, since you can always add a topper for additional plushness, but fixing a too soft mattress is not so simple.
5) Look at the Layers
This type of mattress is constructed using at least two layers, the upper memory foam layer(s), and a firmer support base. The retailer should openly display information about the memory foam mattress layers on the product webpage. You want a bed that places minimal material between you and the memory foam, and models with poly foam on top of the memory foam should be avoided as this may lead to impression issues.
Thickness of the top layer will vary by model, with those containing greater amounts of memory foam costing more. You might be tempted to go with the base model and save, however when comfort layers are too thin you can “bottom out” on the inner core which is firmer and less forgiving. The top layers should be at least 2-4 inches thick for the best sleep, though more than 6-7″ may feel cumbersome. Side sleepers and larger individuals will see the most benefit from thicker memory foam layers, 4″ and up, though back sleepers and petite individuals can be perfectly cozy with 2″.
6) Check the Return Policy
Companies who offer high quality memory foam mattresses are not afraid of allowing customers generous return policies, often superior to local stores. Rather than choosing based on a 15 minute showroom trial, you can sleep on the mattress in your home to see if it is a good fit. Search for a company which provides a 90 night in home guarantee. Memory foam mattresses do feel different than a traditional innerspring, and may take a while to get used to. It make take your body a month to adjust, and having the option to return or exchange reduces your risk of buying online. Be sure to inquire about total fees you would be responsible for should you return the memory foam mattress. You may or may not be required to pay for shipping and/or restocking expenses.
7) Read the Warranty
It is important to thoroughly read and understand the warranty before purchasing any bed. A 25 year warranty may seem incredible on its face, but if you dig a little deeper you may find that only certain components are covered and that a portion is pro-rated. See how long the full-coverage period last, what is covered, and how to place claims. You will also want to check with the retailer/manufacturer to see if any special restrictions apply, like having to use the matching foundation, or being free from stains.
8) Consult Other Customers
Read reviews from actual customers before purchasing a new mattress. Look for third party verification on the site, which means that an independent source like PowerReviews certifies whether or not reviewers are actual customers. Remember that in general reviewers, will have been either very happy or very unhappy with their purchase as people with average experiences may not feel inclined to review. Look for repetitive issues or mentions of factors important to you like heat, pain relief, and durability.
9) Get The Best Deal
Once you have narrowed your mattress selection down, then you want to get the best deal. Some quick tips include checking the retailer site or coupon websites for specials, and you can also check and see if they offer price match or best price guarantees. Shopping near major holidays can also be a good strategy for scoring better prices. Salespeople will also usually help guide you to specials and you may be able to work in complimentary pillows or sheets.
10) Enjoy Your New Memory Foam Mattress!
Once you order your bed, you want to make sure you will enjoy it for years to come. Depending on the type of memory foam you purchased, you may need to plant on letting it air out for a few days in a well-ventilated room or garage. To set up your room, make sure you have a solid, supportive foundation or slatted base for the bed, and use breathable sheets like cotton to allow free airflow. If you may want to exchange the mattress, it is imperative that you retain original packaging and use a mattress cover to keep your bed clean, as stains and odors can make exchanges difficult. Also, give your body time to adjust. Some people may experience a little soreness or aching for the first couple weeks while your body adjusts to sleeping in proper alignment.
Choosing a new bed can be a major expenditure, and you want to ensure you are receiving the best product value for your money. New methods for creating memory foam have made it less expensive while retaining the qualities that have made it a top choice. And with so many options online, you shouldn’t feel limited by sparse or pricey offerings at local dealers. By understanding what makes memory foam good and employing smart shopping strategies, you can buy a memory foam mattress online with confidence.