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How to Shop Online for a Mattress in 7 Easy Steps!

by Ann Ferguson

Are you finally ready to start looking for a new mattress? If your current mattress is a lumpy, saggy mess, you're overdue for a new one. But should you shop online for a mattress?

Yes! While mattress shopping in-store has several obvious benefits, shopping online is an excellent alternative. Most often, when you shop online for a mattress, you can get a lower price, better convenience, a more extensive selection, or even extra perks like extended sleep trials and free returns. Sure, there are some cons, like not being able to try before you buy, but the convenience of shopping at your own pace is hard to pass up — so why should you?

Exactly! Instead, check out these online mattress shopping steps to get you started!

1. Set Your Budget

Woman making a budget plan

Before you shop online for a mattress, it's essential to set a budget. Don't just think that the most expensive mattress is the best — there are several different quality mattresses in the full spectrum. Prices can range from $300 to $3,000, but the essential takeaway is finding the mattress that suits your sleep.

The higher-priced mattresses typically have higher quality materials like latex, organic elements, or proprietary components. And sometimes, the mattress type will indicate the price. Usually, hybrid and latex mattresses fall on the more pricey end of the scale, but there are plenty of models to choose from, no matter your budget!

2. Pick a Mattress Type

Different mattress types offer various benefits, so it's worth looking into them to decide which type suits you best before you start shopping!

  • Memory Foam has high contouring abilities, provides pressure relief (especially around the hips and shoulders), absorbs motion, and is quiet. But it does tend to trap in heat.
  • Gel Memory Foam has all the benefits of memory foam, except the gel pulls heat away from the mattress, so it sleeps cool.
  • Hybrid feature a metal coil support core and comfort layers on top to provide good bounce, body cradling properties, durability, edge support, and temperature regulation.
  • Innerspring contains a support core made of metal coils, which provide a lot of bounce, breathability, and ease of mobility. However, they are prone to noise, motion transfer, and pressure buildup.
  • Pocket Coil is a subset of innerspring, where each coil is wrapped in individual pockets for better motion isolation, breathability, and even weight distribution.
  • Latex either has synthetic or natural latex, with natural being more eco-conscious, durable, responsive, body contouring and breathable. Dunlop latex is slightly denser and heavier, while Talalay latex is softer and lighter.

One mattress type you'll see a lot of during your online mattress shopping is the popular bed-in-a-box. These are typically made of foam layers that are condensed into a box for easier setup and delivery methods. While these are a very affordable (and comfortable!) choice, take into account that they usually take up to a whole day to air out the smell!

3. Firmness Level

Mattress firmness infographic

People might not think it, but the firmness level is equally as vital as mattress type when shopping for a mattress. The ideal firmness level should provide a balance of support and comfort that suits your sleeping position. But choosing the right firmness level usually depends on your sleeping position, body weight, and comfort preferences.

  • Soft mattresses sink in a lot, providing extra comfort to side sleepers around 130 lbs. or less.
  • Medium-firm mattresses usually combine soft top layers with sturdy cores to create a balance of pressure relief and support, which makes them ideal for combination sleepers and back sleepers. This is also a perfect level for sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 lbs.
  • Firm mattresses rarely use soft layers other than a thin layer on top, which lifts every part of the body on top of the bed with plenty of pushback. This is ideal for stomach sleepers over 130 lbs. or side sleepers 230 lbs. and over.
  • Extra firm mattresses provide extreme pushback and might be too uncomfortable for most sleepers, but this level suits back and stomach sleepers who are 230 lbs. and over.

4. Choose a Size

Once you've chosen the type and firmness of your mattress, select one that fits into the room size, which means measuring carefully! However, mattress size also depends on who is going to be sleeping on it as well.

  • Twin mattresses are ideal for children and some teens who are short on space.
  • Twin XL mattresses will suit taller single adults and teens.
  • Full/Double mattresses are ideal for single adults, teens, and college students and are a good size for guest rooms. Couples who love to cuddle can also make do with a full mattress if they're tight on space!
  • Queen mattresses fit single adults who want extra room to spread out or for couples to sleep comfortably.
  • King mattresses provide extra space for couples to spread out or share their bed with children or pets.
  • California king mattresses fit taller couples or those whose pets sleep at the bottom of the bed.

Pro Tip: Check out this handy size chart for extra info!

5. Foundations

Closeup of mattress being placed on foundation

Every mattress needs an adequate support system to keep it from sagging or becoming lumpy over time. Proper support can look like a box spring, foundation, platform bed, or adjustable bed frame; each has different benefits.

Box springs and foundations are the same at their core, but foundations have reinforced slats with a flat board on top rather than metal rods set up in a grid pattern. But either way, both of these will adequately support your mattress. A platform bed is a solid frame with a built-in slat system so you won't need additional support. And an adjustable bed frame lets you adjust the head and foot of the mattress with a remote and features add-ons like Bluetooth, lights, massage, and heat.

Pro Tip: Double-check the mattress tag to see if there are suggestions for the best foundation to pair with your mattress, or ask your local retailer!

6. Read the Reviews

Researching the reviews is important when shopping online for a new mattress — you don't want to buy something only to be disappointed when it arrives. Check out customer reviews and read about their experiences with the mattress type, firmness level, and more. This can help you make an informed decision without lying on the mattress yourself!

You can even find video reviews illustrating how the mattress performs in more detail; you can look for sinkage, ease of mobility, and other aspects that will affect your sleep. These reviews should help you compare brands with similar mattresses to find the best sleep setup for your buck!

7. Extra Research

Infographic on how to choose the right mattress

Last but not least, do a little extra research before you shop online for a mattress. We know it's a lot to take in, but by looking into the brand and store policies, you'll have a better shopping experience. For instance, you can check to see if there's a sleep trial and how it works, verify the return and refund policy before you buy, review warranty terms, and dive deep into the shipping policy.

Leave no stone unturned!

Shopping Time!

There you have it — the simple guide to shopping for a mattress online! Obviously, you can't prepare too much; your sleep is essential! So, if you're ready to start, check out our selection at Crane's Mattress! Our catalog is full of in-stock items that we can ship to you quickly.

Have mattress questions? Give us a call or stop by! Our sleep experts will be happy to guide you to the right fit!