As is the case with most products, the price of a mattress will fluctuate throughout the calendar year. Many mattress manufacturers roll out new models during the summer months — and as a result, older mattresses are discounted during the months of April and May. Additionally, many brick-and-mortar stores offer sales during Labor Day, Memorial Day, and other three-day holiday weekends. Online mattress sellers may also offer holiday sale discounts — but in many cases, their prices remain fixed throughout the year. Read on to learn more about the best times to purchase a mattress.
Cheapest Places to Buy a Mattress
Generally, brick-and-mortar stores and showrooms owned by a single brand are the most expensive place to buy a mattress. With few exceptions, most mattress models sold in these locations are priced much higher than those sold online (due to the increased overhead costs of operating a physical store). Brick-and-mortar mattress retailers are somewhat cheaper than single-brand stores, but these are usually more expensive than online options as well.
Shopping at brick-and-mortar locations has one notable advantage, though: price negotiation. In many cases, customers will be able to haggle with sales representatives and effectively lower the mattress price to some degree. Negotiating price is virtually non-existent when it comes to online mattress sales.
Online mattresses retailers and online-only ‘bed-in-a-box’ brands typically offer new models at a much lower price than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, largely due to fewer overhead costs. They often feature fixed prices that cannot be negotiated, but online mattress shoppers still tend to save money in the long run — particularly with brands that offer free shipping.
Arguably the cheapest places to find a mattress for sale are seller-to-seller websites like Craigslist. However, industry experts discourage shoppers from buying mattresses on these sites because the models are often used (even if they are sold as new). Sellers on these websites, unlike mattress brands and retailers, are also unable to offer warranty coverage or mattress sleep trials. So while shoppers will almost certainly save money buying a mattress on these sites, the long-term costs greatly outweigh the short-term benefits.
Cheapest Times to Buy a Mattress
Many mattress brands and retailers offer sales centered around the following federal U.S. holidays:
New Year’s Eve/Day (December 31-January 1)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 15-21; floating Monday)
President’s Day, or Washington’s Birthday (February 15-21; floating Monday)
Easter (March 23-April 24; floating Sunday)
Memorial Day (May 25-31; floating Monday)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (September 1-7; floating Monday)
Columbus Day (October 8-14; floating Monday)
Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving (November 22-28; floating Thursday)
Christmas (December 25)
Holiday sales rates vary by seller and brand, but customers can expect discounts ranging from 10% to as much as 50% or higher. Additionally, many mattresses are sold at discounted rates between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is considered prime shopping season for the Christmas holiday.
Additionally, the months of April and May are historically cheap times to buy a new mattress. The reason: a large number of mattress brands debut their new models during the summer months (June to September), and will offer older models for sale in the weeks leading up to new product launches. These discounts may not be formally announced; shoppers should constantly check the websites of brands they like during April and May.
Shoppers should also keep an eye out for mattress store closures in their area. When a brick-and-mortar mattress seller decides to permanently shut its doors, models are typically sold at half-price or lower in order to clear the store’s inventory as quickly as possible.
It’s important to note that many brands, as a rule, do not discount their mattresses at any point during the year. As a result, customers should not wait for sales to make their purchase. However, this does not mean that these mattresses are more expensive. On the contrary — these prices are often some of the lowest rates available.
Important Cost Considerations
Please remember that the price-point of a mattress is not the only cost associated with this particular product. Other cost factors include:
Tax: Sales tax is applied at the point of purchase. Sales tax rates vary by state; the lowest three states are Alaska (1.76%), Hawaii (4.35%), and Wisconsin (5.34%); and the highest three states are Tennessee (9.45%), Arkansas (9.26%), and Alabama (8.91%). Four states do not have a sales tax: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
Recycling Tax:Three states mandate a ‘recycling tax‘ with each mattress and box spring sold. Currently, recycling taxes amount to $11 in California, $10 in Rhode Island, and $9 in Connecticut.
Shipping:A large number of online-only mattress brands offer free shipping to customers in the continental U.S. via UPS, FedEx, and other ground-based courier services. Customers in Alaska, Hawaii, overseas territories, and areas outside the U.S. typically do not qualify for free shipping. Brands that do not offer free shipping typically charge at least $100 for mattress deliveries.
White Glove Delivery:Some brands include the option of in-home mattress assembly, packaging waste removal, and old mattress removal. This service — commonly called ‘White Glove delivery’ — is usually offered for $100 to $150 per delivery.
Mattress Returns:A growing number of mattress brands offer mattress sleep trials; customers can test out their mattress for a certain length of time (usually 30 to 90 nights) and, if they are unsatisfied, may return the mattress before the sleep trial ends in exchange for a full or partial refund. Most sleep trials require mattress purchasers to cover shipping and handling costs associated with returns and exchanges.
Repairs and Replacements: The cost of repairing or returning a defective mattress will depend entirely on the warranty. Some mattress brands will repair or replace defective mattresses at no charge to the owner. In some cases — such as prorated warranties — customers will have to pay a significant portion of the original product price in order to have their mattress repaired or replaced.
Shoppers with a flexible timeframe for buying a new mattress are urged to compare prices and customer costs associated with different online and brick-and-mortar sellers — and, if possible, wait for holiday sales to make their purchase. However, those who must replace their mattress sooner (rather than later) will generally find the lowest prices through online retailers and ‘bed-in-a-box’ brands.