This story is part of
, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.
can be a confusing and anxiety-ridden process, thanks to a sea of choices and features to consider. And purchasing mattresses online isn’t quite the same as . But now, more than ever before is a good time to consider buying a mattress online.
No longer do you have to go through the pain and hassle of dealing with a salesperson or lying on numerous floor models. You can simply Casper and Tuft & Needle, and it’s transformed how we buy our beds., pick out the best mattress to fit your needs and end up with the answer to a good night’s sleep. Starting about seven years ago, a number of online mattress retailers upended the mattress industry by simplifying the nightmare of the buying process. The movement was headlined by mattress brands such as
*Proprietary “Purple Smart Comfort Grid”
But the revolution also drew a lot of attention to the $29 billion market. While the early disruptors maintain their hold, for the most part, a number of challengers have arrived, offering slightly different combinations of price, product, materials, and customer service.
After a series of parries and pivots by companies large and small, consumers now face a more nuanced mattress market. If you’re a low-maintenance shopper looking to avoid the pain of going to a showroom, you’re no longer locked into just grabbing a Casper — other viable options may suit your needs better.
To add to the intrigue, older retailers have entered the online direct-to-consumer fray. These traditional outfits offer a combination of ease and industry gravitas.
If you want to find the best— and — you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up which mattresses offer you the most bang for your buck, depending on price, firmness, coils, memory foam, pressure relief, and sleep comfort.
Below, we’ve laid out 11 of the best mattress brands you can buy online, sorted by price, market differentiators and process features (think return policy, warranty, and installation).
This guide is meant to give you a layout of the market as it stands today before you make your purchase. It’s a roundup of our online research from reviewers, aggregators and the manufacturers themselves (all linked where cited).
This guide isn’t meant to walk you through all the ins and outs of coils vs. memory foam or gel vs. adjustable air, or what’s best for support, firmness and spinal alignment vs. comfort. Though many mattress types are available online, almost everything that’s getting shipped to you in a box is probably going to be a foam mattress, and if you have specific sleeping requirements or needs (stomach sleepers, anyone?), regarding firmness, pocketed coils, innerspring, size, materials, or an eco-friendly mattress, check out ourfirst, then come back to find the best mattress with the right combination of price, features, comfort level and user sentiment.
While technically not the first to offer an easy online mattress shopping experience, Casper has come to represent the movement and very much awakened a sleeping giant for the mattress industry. When people are turned off by the old-school buying process, Casper is usually the first place they turn.
It started off with one model, The Casper mattress, but has expanded to offer a fancier version, The Wave, and a budget version, The Essential. Its standard hybrid foam mattress has four layers of zoned foam; each layer is meant to get you right in the sweet spot of support, sleep, firmness, breathability and comfort for all sorts of sleeping positions including shoulders and stomach sleepers. The company won’t install your mattress or haul away your old bed, but it has a paid service available for those who don’t want to bother.
Interestingly enough, Casper has started to flip the playbook and opened a number of brick-and-mortar stores across the country, in case you want to try a model out for comfort and feel in person. They’ve also been busy on the partnership front, and now thousands of Target locations carry Casper products.
As one of the older companies in the new guard, Casper’s impressive sales numbers make it a safe bet for anyone who doesn’t have super-specific mattress needs.
Cocoon by Sealy
Sealy is another long-standing brand that entered the direct-to-consumer market with the Cocoon by Sealy brand, launched in March 2016. Cocoon has two mattresses, the classic along with a newer version, the “Chill Mattress,” with a spiffy comfort layer made out of its proprietary “Phase Change Material” which is basically fancy lingo saying you’ll stay cool in bed at night.
Each of its two models comes in either soft or firm, which is a nice option to have to suit your spine, and their price range is comfortably on the cheaper side of the industry leaders. They come with the standard 100-day trial and 10-year limited warranty, plus the added bonus of picking up your mattress if you want to return it.
It’s no surprise that for those seeking a no-frills, low-cost shopping experience, IKEA has you covered. IKEA plays the role it knows best in the direct-to-consumer mattress market: itself. With around 15 different comfortable mattress options available, you have the choice between ultra-cheap ($120) all the way up to a $900 natural latex Queen, and endless foundation and furniture configurations to play with.
We’ve chosen the Haugsvär memory foam mattress for our best mattress comparison, and it stacks up well against other discount brands. The Haugsvar comes in two firmness options and at less than half the price of the market standard, ringing in at $399. It offers individually wrapped pocketed coils and a generous layer of foam for pressure relief or stomach sleepers. IKEA doesn’t offer white-glove installation and haul-away, but they do have a 365-day trial period for their mattresses if you want to exchange it for something else (there is no risk-free refund period) and a 25-year limited warranty, which primarily covers manufacturing defects. Also, note that delivery costs around $50 depending on where you live. As with all IKEA furniture, you can try it out in the store and if you have a big enough car, pack it up yourself for free.
We didn’t find any of the mattress review issues that Zinus has, so you’re paying a little bit more for a better-known retailer with a proven track record. If you’re an IKEA fan and looking for a good deal, it looks like trusty IKEA comes through.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the Leesa mattress is how average it is in every respect. We don’t mean that as a criticism — it’s a compliment more than anything.
This type of mattress is designed to fit most body sizes and types, and the prices are right in line with the market. It offers two models, the classic and a newer luxury version, both with an average firmness, and a good balance of support and pressure relief comfort. Unlike the Purple mattress, which some users found difficult to move, the Leesa is easy to transport, so if you need a good mattress you can swap between rooms, this could be the best mattress for you. You can also test Leesa mattresses in selected Pottery Barn or West Elm stores, and it’s even opened up a few Leesa “Dream Galleries” in select cities.
Where Leesa does stand apart from the competition is its commitment to social impact. For every 10 mattresses sold, the company donates one to charity, and for every mattress sold it plants a tree. It’s even teamed up with Olympian Aly Raisman to fight homelessness.
During our research, we also found a number of good discounts on Leesa mattresses (e.g., a President’s Day sale on its site that lasted well past the three-day weekend), so if you can snag it for $150 less, Leesa jumps into the bargain category. If you want a no-frills mattress experience from a company that seems to genuinely care, Leesa is a good option.
Nectar is another relative newbie to the market. It launched in 2016 but has already established itself with more than 100,000 mattresses sold in two years. Its prices come in just under market averages, and we like that it’s stuck with just one model.
The mattress itself is rather typical fare: it has three layers of memory foam, a cooling comfort layer of memory foam, and a base layer of dense memory foam to provide support, firmness, comfort and breathability. Where Nectar stands apart is its trial period: 365 days after an initial 30-day trial period (most online companies require you to try out a mattress for at least 30 days before returning it so your body and spine have a chance to get used to it).
Also noteworthy: the warranty isn’t 10 years or 15 years, but forever. Seriously, the company calls it the “Forever Warranty.” Though we should note that it only covers indentations deeper than 1.5 inches compared to the 1 inch we found with most others. Regardless, forever is a long time.
If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option with really good guarantees, Nectar might be the best mattress for you.
Purple was founded by two brothers from Utah who stormed onto the mattress scene in 2016 with proprietary, high-quality cushioning technology. They had been using their patented grid-like material for wheelchairs, but saw an opportunity in the fast-growing online mattress market and pivoted.
The Purple material is the prime differentiator, and user reviews praise the combination of foam mattress support and breathability. Its prices are just above their main competitors, but it makes the buying process easy with free installation, haul-away of your old mattress, and the now-industry-standard 100-night trial period, so not to fear if you’re worried you won’t like it on your bed.
Purple offers two mattress options for your bed, the Original model and a newer luxury model, called “The All-New.” Like many of the simple online options today, the Original caters to most body sizes and sleeper-types, offering across-the-board comfort and sleep.
We did find more than one mattress review that called into question the mattress’s long-term durability, but fortunately, the 10-year warranty offsets that concern by covering any visible indentation greater than 1 inch (also an industry standard now). The other potential drawback is its short time in the mattress market, but the company has been working on comfortable cushioning since 1989 and is also totally self-funded, meaning it’s not reliant on the ebbs and flows of venture capital and will be around for a while.
Saatva is part of a growing list of mattress companies marketing inner coil mattresses, so it has a traditional feel and more edge support than its memory foam counterparts. Saatva coils are individually wrapped, which means less motion is transferred, making it easier to shift positions in bed at night with less chance you’ll disturb your partner, giving him or her a better night of sleep.
Saatva bills itself as a luxury mattress brand with affordable prices, so while it’s slightly more expensive than Casper or Leesa, you’re getting a very different product. Being an innerspring mattress, it won’t come in a box — they’ll give you a four-hour time window for the delivery, and even wait an extra 20 minutes if you’re running behind. Its single model comes in three different firmness options (in case you want a softer or firmer mattress), and it offers free installation and old mattress haul-away, so don’t worry about having to lug around the heavier bed.
It offers a 120-day trial and a 15-year limited warranty, but both come with fine print: You pay a $99 transportation fee if you want to return your Saatva mattress or if it needs to be repaired after two years due to a design defect. The company is also proud of using environmentally friendly materials like organic cotton, natural latex and a CertiPUR-US certified foam layer, and there is no “off gas” or latex mattress smell issue like you’ll get with a newer memory foam mattress.
Saatva is a different beast than the memory foam world, so if you’re looking to get a luxury inner coil mattress online with free shipping and solid customer service, this is the way to go.
Serta is another traditional manufacturer that has evolved specifically for those looking to buy their new mattress online. The well-known mattress retailer has been around since 1931 and has a huge range of prices and models, going from $500 for a Queen up to $2,800.
Serta’s biggest downside is not having a risk-free trial period (only its iComfort line offers a trial, and then you have to pay 15% of the original cost and a $200 shipping and handling fee to return it), but you can try out its models in a store if that turns you off. Serta mattresses are available to buy around the country at mattress retailers (e.g. Mattress Firm), department stores (Macy’s and JC Penney) and furniture stores like Raymour & Flanigan.
The iComfort Blue 100 is the closest foam mattress model they offer to other online retailers both in terms of price and material composition. It appears to be a relatively newer model, so if you like the specs, we recommend trying it out first before clicking the buy button. The other positive aspect of Serta is its wide range of options, so if you’re looking for something specific or on the cheaper side, but still don’t want to deal with a salesperson, it could be a good option for your bed.
Tempur-Pedic is the first traditional mattress company on our list, and this old-guard foam mattress company has many different model options depending on your price range. For our comparison, we’ve gone with the Tempur-Adapt model, one of the company’s newer models that’s also available for easy online buying. But the price ($2,099 for a Queen) puts it in the higher end of the market.
You have 90 days to try out the Adapt, just under the industry standard, and Tempur-Pedic throws in free installation and haul-away of your old mattress. The other pro is that you can try out many of its mattresses in a local retailer in case the 90-day trial period isn’t your cup of tea.
One drawback of going with Tempur-Pedic is that it’s not super-transparent about its material composition (and it doesn’t have the industry-standard eco-friendly foam certification, CertiPUR-US), so for eco-conscious or budget shoppers, it might not be the best mattress. But for those looking for a quality product you can purchase easily from a company with a long history, the Adapt is the way to go.
Tuft & Needle
Tuft & Needle flies a little under the radar compared to Casper’s marketing heft, but maybe not for long. It was founded in 2012, a few years before Casper and Leesa, and were arguably the first to start reimagining the mattress-buying experience.
It branched out in early 2018 with a second model, the luxury “Mint” mattress, but it’s still primarily known for the “Original,” an adaptive foam mattress with a medium-firm feel that promises to keep you cool. Its adaptive foam is a little bit different than memory foam, so you won’t sink in as much as with memory foam (perfect for stomach sleepers), you can move around a little easier in bed, and you’ll be less warm.
While their prices are well below competitors, we didn’t find any indication of a lower-quality product (over 7,300 overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews and counting, with an “A” rating on Fakespot) and like most of the rest of the market, it offers a 100-day risk-free trial and 10-year limited warranty.
Tuft & Needle prides itself on being environmentally friendly, boasting not just a CertiPUR-US certification for its foam, but also a “Greenguard Gold” certification — often used for baby cribs and furniture used in educational settings to designate a product that has low chemical emissions and indoor air pollution –and several others for its materials. It’s also received consistently rave reviews for customer service, so don’t worry about getting caught in fine-print hell if you don’t like it.
Zinus has by far the largest selection for an online retailer, offering around different eight mattress models at any given time, including its Zinus Green Tea memory foam mattress (and yes, this memory foam mattress is actually infused with green tea), good for stomach sleepers, and its Cooling Gel memory mattress. It also takes the cake for the best mattress in terms of price, coming in at roughly half the industry average.
Originally published earlier this year.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.