What are the advantages to buying a mattress in a box versus buying a mattress in a bed store? If you don’t know already, prepare to find out. We take a look at the innovative way mattress companies are changing and what that means to a shopper.
You might think that mattress showrooms in retail stores are the best place to pick a bed, but there is much evidence to the contrary. There are some advantages to buying a mattress online. Take a look at what we found in this mattress buying guide and try to get the best bed for the money.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com and retail sites.
Amerisleep 94.7% – plant-based memory foam covered in Celliant-infused fabric.
Bed In A Box 86% – gel memory foam, one latex model available.
Casper 84% – latex comfort layer, memory foam support layer and foam core.
Leesa 84% – traditional memory foam on a foam core.
Tuft & Needle 77% – traditional memory foam over a foam core.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com and retail sites.
Temper-Pedic 81% – memory foam and hybrid.
Sealy Posturepedic 65% – innerspring and hybrid.
Serta 65% – innerspring and hybrid.
Simmons BeautyRest 63% – innerspring and hybrid.
Stearns and Foster 59% – innerspring and hybrid.
The average person doesn’t buy very many mattresses in their lifetime, so there aren’t a lot of expert bed shoppers walking around. That doesn’t mean you should walk blindly into your quest for the best bed. Here are some things to keep with you when you are shopping.
Memory foam, latex, innerspring….what does it all mean? You need to know what you are shopping for before you can find it. There are essentially three different types of mattresses.
Memory foam – these beds are made from viscoelastic polyurethane foam what was developed by NASA. There are traditional, gel and plant-based memory foam beds. Traditional and gel foams are derived from petroleum while plant-based foams are made from soybean oil.
Petroleum-based foams have higher than average complaints of heat retention and offgassing. Gels were introduced to help keep the mattress feeling cooler to the touch, but they have about the same rates of complaints. Plant-based memory foams have a more open-cell structure, allowing air to flow through more easily. This helps to keep the mattress cool. Plant-based foams are also eco-friendly and emit far fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Latex – Latex can be either synthetic or natural as well. Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree. The sap is collected, purified, baked and cured to become latex rubber. Organic latex is latex from all -natural sources that is certified organic. Don’t trust an organic label if all the components of the bed are not organic.
Synthetic latex is derived from petroleum. Owner satisfaction rates are lower for synthetic latex mattresses compared to natural ones. Odor is a major complaint from owners of synthetic latex beds. Be careful. Retailers will label latex that is blended with natural and synthetic latex as “natural.” There are few regulations governing such practices. If a retailer makes a claim, be sure they can back it up. Ask for certifications and proof of their marketing claims.
Innerspring – These are the most commonly purchased and widely available mattresses currently. They have had the same basic design for over 100 years. Innerspring mattresses are metal frames supported with springs, topped with soft filling and covered with a fabric. There are a few types of spring mattresses that are being used by manufacturers today: Bonnell, continuous and pocketed.
Bonnell coil systems have many individual, hour-glass-shaped coils for support. They come in many gauges and coil counts. Typically, higher-quality beds have higher coil counts and a lower gauge is a more firm spring. These systems are much less expensive than alternatives.
Continuous coil systems are made with a single long wire that is shaped into a single piece. The springs are S-shaped and interconnected, drawing support from the adjacent springs. These are typically a less expensive option than pocketed sysytems.
Pocketed coil mattress systems have many individual coils that are encased in a fabric pocket. These provide the best motion isolation of any innerspring system. They have a broad range of durability, dependent on the coil counts and gauges.
As you can see from the charts above, mattress-in-a-box brands have better owner satisfaction rates than bed store brands. There are a number of reasons for this, but . You can’t stuff an innerspring into a space the size of a mattress-in-a-box package with doing serious harm to the mattress and potentially anyone near it. Foam and latex beds are ideal for the compression, however.
Data provided by SleepLikeTheDead.com.
As the chart above illustrates, memory foam and latex beds tend to rate better than innerspring and hybrid beds in general. Owner satisfaction is a solid indicator for mattresses. A high owner satisfaction rate tells us a lot. People won’t claim to be satisfied if a mattress doesn’t last long enough or a number of reasons. A bed with a high rate has few weak characteristics and will probably keep you satisfied as well. Memory foam mattresses are available from brick-and-mortar businesses, but you will have a hard time finding latex beds in a store.
Since mattress-in-a-box retailers don’t have showrooms, you will have to find your bed another way. Read the specifications from the manufacturer or retailer, but make sure to find some reviews from actual customers or independent reviewers. Customer reviews are invaluable, but make sure they are from verified as customers from a third party. Independent mattress review sites can be helpful, too.
Trying beds in a mattress showroom is not a good way to get to know a bed. A study from RTI International showed people who selected a bed in a showroom-like setting were less likely to choose the most comfortable mattress for their bodies. You should have a more natural setting to try a bed in.
Some models will have different names depending on the store they are at. The same bed could be called by many different names. This is an intentional endeavor done by companies to make it difficult to comparison shop and find reviews on certain beds. Ask retailers or do some research to see which beds are being called by what names and pay close attention to avoid being fooled.
Whether you are buying a bed online or in a store, mattress reviews are great resources. Take there time to see what others have to say about the beds you are considering. Try to find if the models you are looking at are known by other names and keep track of which is which.
If you order a mattress in a box, you’ll probably have a decent trial period to get to know your bed. Many are offering 90 days or more to try their product out. You shouldn’t settle for less than a 30-day return policy for any bed you purchase, whether online or from a store, but 90 is much better. It takes some time for your body to get used to a new sleep surface. Using your bed as you normally would for at least four to six weeks is the only way to know if it will be a good fit or not.
There is no need to spend more than you have to for a good night’s sleep. There are deals abound, especially near holidays, but you can save any time of year by shopping for a mattress online. Mattress prices at online retailers are on average about 15% less than asking prices at brick-and-mortar stores according to research from SleepLikeTheDead.com. Take a look at the potential savings from these estimations.
|Typical Mattress||Online Retailer||Brick & Mortar|
|Sales Tax||$0||$101 (7%)|
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com.
As you can see, shopping online has some very distinct cost advantages. You have probably noticed when purchasing things online from a retailer that is out of the state, you don’t pay sales tax on that purchase. With a larger purchase like a bed, you can save hundreds of dollars by avoiding sales tax.
You may find that some brick-and-mortar retailers offer delivery for free, but it is a rare thing. It is a common feature for online mattress retailers to offer free delivery with a purchase. An average of $70 can be saved when the delivery fee is waived. Use the money to buy a nice pair of sheets and pillow cases for your new bed.
If you’ve ever been on a car lot, you know what it is like to be pressured to buy something. When you walk into a mattress retailer, it is often very similar. Salespeople typically work on commission, so they will push more expensive beds and offer higher prices. You can negotiate, but you may not get anywhere. You can avoid high pressure situations by shopping online. People make better decisions when they are not under pressure.
The Better Business Bureau advises walking away when you recognize high-pressure-sales tactics being used on you. This includes everything from “first-time-only” offers to holiday sales at mattress stores
Don’t forget, at the end of all this, you get a brand new bed. While the first few nights might feel different from what you’re used to, after you get used to your bed you will probably sleep better. Almost any new bed will improve your sleep if your mattress is old or showing signs of wear. Whether you get a mattress in a box or from a bed store, you will probably see improvement in your sleep and health.
If you want to find the best beds, you have to look at a lot of mattress reviews. To help save you some time, we’ve put together a review of reviews, if you will. After scouring pages of bed reviews and websites we collected our findings in this guide for your benefit.
Sleep Nation is your source for all types of sleep-related information. Here we are taking a closer look a beds. Take a look at what we found in our mattress review research.
There are many things to keep track of and pay attention to in bed reviews. It can be very confusing for people. One of the best sources you can find for information on a product are customer reviews. After all, who would know better than someone who has bought and used the product? In the next sections, we have some of the top bed brands along with the average rating owners have given it.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com and verified customer reviews.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com and verified customer reviews.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com and verified customer reviews.
You won’t find a shortage of bed reviews and bed-related websites on the internet. There are dozens of different places you can go to find information on beds online. Part of our goal is to keep you informed on these places and the information they provide.
Here are some places to find some bed reviews and other information on sleep-related products:
At SleepJunkie.com you can find loads of information and news about sleep, sleep tips and sleep science. They have periodic bed reviews and typically have great information regarding mattress sales from both brick an mortar and online mattress retailers. Sleep Junkie delivers in a funny and energetic manner that will keep you reading. Their information is good and they publish pretty frequently.
If memory foam mattress reviews are your thing, this website if for you. At MemoryFoamMattress-Guide.com they stick to the foam. They provide regular reviews of popular memory foam mattresses and are thorough in their sales information. This site is dedicated to helping people shop for a memory foam mattress. They offer tips, reviews and other information to help you get a great bed.
Offering mattress and sleep news along with comprehensive bed reviews and sales data, MattressJournal.org is like a peek inside someone’s journal dedicated to sleep. They cover all kinds of beds and are a great resource when mattress sales abound. Look for detailed comparisons around holidays, when beds typically go on sale. Whether buying a mattress online or in a store, Mattress Journal is a great resource.
This mattress review website has a focus on the finer things in life. Beds come in many different price ranges and qualities. LavishRest.com seeks out luxury beds and posh sleep products to review them and let you know how they compare. They also have occasional tips regarding better sleep and health. If you’re looking for a luxury sleep experience, this is your place for information of all sorts.
Having the right information is crucial when making any decision. If you’re trying to find the best bed for your needs reading some bed reviews can really help. Take a look at the chart below.
Data from SleepLikeTheDead.com.
As you can see, innerspring beds have a much lower owner satisfaction rate than latex or memory foam. This information is from an independent review site who surveys tens of thousands of mattress owners. Statistically, you are much more likely to be satisfied on a latex or memory foam mattress. This information alone could save you many sleepless nights and a lot of money. There is much more information out there, too.
There are many different review sites with many different types of rating systems. How do you know which details are important and which don’t need to be considered much? That’s what Sleep Nation is here for. Here are some of the things you should be mindful of while searching for your mattress.
Memory foam beds have good owner satisfaction overall. They are great for motion isolation and relief of pressure points. There are three types of memory foam based on the materials used in their construction. They are:
As you peruse reviews and stores, you will probably notice a significant difference in pricing for memory foam beds. What could possibly make one mattress worth ten or twenty times more than another? Well, not every bed will be worth the asking price, but there are some significant differences among the various beds. Aside from the type of foam used here are some aspects of memory foam to be aware of.
Profile / height – Higher-end memory foam mattresses tend to be substantially thicker than lower priced models. You are paying for more foam, essentially. Avoid mattresses that are too thin, especially if you are a heavier person. If you are over 200 pounds, you should get a one with at least a 10-inch profile or you may bottom out. Thin mattresses will wear more rapidly than thicker ones, though height isn’t the only factor that affects durability.
Density – Many of the properties a memory foam bed has are related to density. This one property can reveal a lot about the mattresses you are looking at. A foam’s density is determined by it’s mass divided by it’s volume, but essentially it is a measure of how much foam there is in the bed. Foams are mostly air, and those with higher densities have less air per unit of volume than those of lower densities. It is measured in pounds per feet. Typically lower density foams makeup the upper parts of the bed and the base is made of higher density foams. This is how the different densities compare in characteristics:
Odors / offgassing – Traditional and gel memory foam beds have issues with odors and offgassing. Typically this is only a problem for the first weeks or months after purchasing. Plant-based foams have fewer complaints of odors and will offgas less.
These mattresses also rate well in owner satisfaction and are good for motion isolation and pressure relief. They have many of the advantages of memory foam, but can be made from all natural and even certified organic materials. Latex mattresses are harder to shop for because there are many factors to consider and they are not widely available.
One of the best things about latex is you can find mattresses that are 100% certified organic. These are some of the healthiest and most sustainable beds available. Memory foam beds can be made from natural oils, but there are no certified organic memory foam mattresses on the market. Innerspring beds may have organic components, such as the cover or filling, but the core is made from metal, which can have a very big environmental footprint.
Latex can be either synthetic or natural. Synthetic latex is petroleum based and natural latex is made from the sap of rubber trees. Sometimes you will see a blend of synthetic and natural latex. Natural latex tends to rate higher than the others and is the only type of latex that can be certified organic. Not all beds marketed as “natural” latex are made entirely of natural latex, some may be blended. There are few regulations governing the labeling of products as natural. Don’t trust the marketing, look for certifications.
Organic latex must be certified. If you are wanting an organic mattress, check the certifications. Some beds claim to be organic simply because they have some organic components, such a the cover or filling. Make sure the entire mattress is 100% certified organic.
You don’t have to shop for a bed blindly. Take the information available to you and use it to your advantage. Consider the source, take what you need and leave what you don’t. Make sure to do a good amount of looking around and reading. More information will help you make a better decision and increase the likelihood of being happy with your purchase.
There are three basic types of innerspring mattresses, each with unique characteristics.
Are you certain you need a new mattress? If your bed is over seven years old and showing signs of wear, you will very likely benefit greatly with a new bed. As you continue your search, read reviews and make sure you get the important details for each mattress you look at and compare wisely. There are plenty of mattress reviews to guide your way to a new and restful sleep.
Are you looking for the best mattress for side sleepers? You might not have considered it, but choosing the best mattress type for your sleep position can save you a lot of heartache. If you get a mattress that isn’t suitable for your sleeping style, you may have sleepless nights and an achy body.
We recently published an article about what your sleeping position says about your personality. This is a follow-up to help you get a better night’s sleep based on your sleep style.
There are many factors to keep track of when you are shopping for a mattress. Your sleeping position is a major one and you should keep it in mind while shopping. The best mattress type for you depends largely on where your body applies the most pressure.
In the next few sections, we go over some of the characteristics to look for to match your mattress and sleep position. We also highlighted some mattresses we’ve found that are great fits for certain sleep styles. Latex and memory foam consistently receive higher owner satisfaction rates than other type of models. They make up most of our highlighted beds.
The best mattress for side sleepers won’t be the greatest bed for the other types of sleepers. Learn how to find a great bed for your sleeping position in the next few sections.
The Amerisleep Revere Bed is ideal for back sleepers.
People who sleep on their backs are typically in the starfish or soldier position. Starfish sleepers have their hands up by their pillow and soldiers keep theirs by their sides. The best mattress for back sleepers is one that is medium firm. Back sleepers need good support, especially along the lower spine. A bed that is too soft will cause the back to bend out of natural alignment.
Amerisleep is a newer mattress company with a plant-based memory foam line. The Revere Bed is our pick for best mattress for back sleepers. It is a medium-firm mattress that is built to last a long time. Since it is made from plant-based materials, you don’t have to worry about toxic VOC offgassing like you do with synthetic foams. All of Amerisleep mattresses are covered in Celliant-infused fabric which has many clinically-proven health benefits.
The Amerisleep Liberty Bed is choice for best mattress for side sleepers.
Side sleepers come in three varieties, the fetus, log and yearner positions. The aptly named fetus is the most common sleeping position of them all. Fetal sleepers resemble a fetus when sleeping. Log sleepers have their arms at their sides while they lay straight on their sides. Yearners stick their arms out in front of them as if yearning for something or someone.
The best mattress for side sleepers is one that allows the body to sink in a bit. Side sleepers put more weight on a smaller area. Plush, or soft mattresses allow the body to sink to relieve the pressure on those problem points like hips and shoulders. A mattress that is too firm will create more pressure in those and other areas.
For side sleepers we have chosen the Amerisleep Liberty Bed. As mentioned before, all Amerisleep mattresses are made from healthy plant-based memory foam. The Liberty is a plush mattress that will stand the test of time. The Celliant-infused cover is clinically proven to improve circulation and reduce pain. We think it is the best mattress for side sleepers.
The Sonoma Bed from Astrabeds is the best bed for stomach sleepers.
Freefall sleepers, or stomach sleepers are those who lie on their bellies with arms up by the pillow. Also called front sleepers, people who sleep on their stomachs need a firm mattress. A mattress that is too soft will cause the torso to sink lower than the rest of their body, which can lead to back pain.
A firm latex mattress will provide support and durability for those who sleep on their stomachs. Astrabeds’ Sonoma Bed is made from entirely certified organic materials from the cotton cover to the wool fire barrier and latex layers inside. Natural, organic sleep surfaces are luxuries with great health benefits and they produced sustainably. The Sonoma Bed is a great value at a low price for an organic mattress.
Combination sleepers don’t have one favorite sleep position, instead they switch between two or three positions throughout the night. Medium-firm mattresses are plush enough when sleeping on your side, but firm enough for sleeping on your stomach.
Memory foam and latex provide great motion isolation if one person is tossing and turning a lot. This feature keeps the motion from one sleeper from disturbing the other. Innerspring beds perform much worse in this respect, even with pocketed coils.
The medium-firm Revere Bed is a solid and affordable choice for combination sleepers as well as back sleepers. It is pictured and in back sleeper section. The plant-based memory foam and Celliant-infused cover provide many health benefits other beds cannot at an incredible price.
Sleeping with a partner can present a unique set of problems. The best mattress type for couples is one with customizable firmnesses for both sides and motion isolation. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to firmness. Having both sides customizable allows each person their preferred level. You can have the best mattress for side sleepers on one side and the other for stomach sleepers. Motion isolation will keep the movements of one person from waking the other.
We chose any Astrabeds bed for our best mattress type for couples. You can customize each side of your Astrabeds bed to fit your desired firmness level without having to compromise your partner’s comfort. These organic latex mattresses are one of the most healthy sleep surfaces you can buy and they won’t break the bank, either.
So just how many people sleep in which positions? As we mentioned in our previous article, “See What Your Sleep Position Reveals About You,” there have been studies done on this. Professor Chris Idzikowski performed a sleep position survey of 1,000 people. It is one of the most widely cited sleep position studies available.
In the chart below, you can see the percentages of people who use each sleeping position according to the study.
Percentages are from Chris Idzikowski’s sleep survey.
Regardless of your particular preferred position, buying a mattress suitable to the way you sleep just makes sense. Consider this when you are shopping for a bed. The best mattress for side sleepers won’t be the best mattress for everyone.
What is assumed and what can be proven are often two very different things. The research does seem to show that some personality traits may be somehow linked to sleeping position. Here we’ll take a look at the six most common sleeping positions and what they may say about personality.
So, what does your sleep position mean? Let’s take a look at data from a couple different surveys that try to shed some light on this topic.
The first is from the British hotel chain, Premier Inn. In this survey, the hotel chain asked over one thousand Britons a number of questions relating to their sleep positions and personality traits. The data was analyzed by Robert Phipps, a body language expert, in order to see if sleep style may reflect a person’s personality and outlook on life. Only four sleep positions were looked at in the study done by Phipps
Another study was conducted by Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service. He analyzed six different sleep styles by surveying 1,000 people. What the professor found is very interesting. Believe it or not, Professor Idzikowski found each sleep position is linked to a type of personality.
“We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us,” Idzikowski said. He was a bit shocked by the data, too.
“What’s interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect,” said Idzikowski.
Are you curious about the meaning of sleeping positions? Here are the six common sleep styles and the personality traits the two studies found tend to along with them. Information is from the Idzikowski study and the percentages are of the total survey sample in Idzikowski’s study.
Here are some quick descriptions followed by a more detailed version below. Find your sleeping position and see if you match up with the findings.
Percentages are from Chris Idzikowski’s sleep survey.
People who prefer the fetal position sleep in a curled posture that is similar to that of a developing human embryo, thus the name, “fetal.” Those who prefer this style tend to be described as tough on the outside, but sensitive at heart. They may start off shy when they first meet someone, but soon soften up.
The fetal sleep position is the most common of them all and oddly, twice as many women prefer it than men.
The aptly named log sleeping position is for those more tree-like slumberers. This is not a reference to the level of sleep one attains or the log sawing of snorers, but rather the way log sleepers look with both arms down by their sides. People who snooze this way are easy going and social people who love to be part of the “in” crowd. They also tend to trust strangers and may be prone to gullibility.
In this posture, the sleeper is on their side with both arms out in front of their bodies, as if yearning for someone or something. Yearner sleepers have an open nature, but can by cynical and suspicious. Often slow to make up their minds, yearners stick with a decision once they make it.
This position resembles a toy soldier on its back with arms pinned at the sides. People who sleep in the soldier posture are prone to being reserved and quiet. Soldier sleepers are also known for setting high standards for themselves and others. They won’t throw a fit, but expect more from everyone and everything.
The freefall sleeping position is lying on your front with your hands up around the pillow. Freefallers are often sociable and brazen, while also fairly nervous and thin-skinned. The study did not mention a strong preference of Tom Petty songs, though one could assume…
People in the starfish sleeping posture are on their backs with their arms up around the pillow. Starfish sleepers tend to be good listeners and offer help when it’s needed, so they are good people to have around. Those who prefer this sleeping style do not like being in the center of attention.
There is no “best sleeping position,” though there are certain sleeping positions that may be better for certain conditions. Whether you sleep on your back, side or stomach, keeping your back supported and body aligned is key for avoiding aches and pains.
If you have back problems, sleep apnea or any other medical condition, you should ask your doctor for advice. For everyone else, the best sleep position is the one you rest easiest in.
If you have a few seconds take our poll and let us know which position you sleep in and what personality type you most identify with.