Are Online Mattresses All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

With the rise of the Internet, more and more buyers prefer to purchase new mattresses online instead of going to the store. After, 7-8 years a mattress has probably seen better days and can start to sag in the center and your sleep might suffer.  However, there are some buyers who consider that buying a mattress online is a huge risk because they are not getting to try and lay on the mattress.

Statistically speaking, people are much more unsatisfied when buying a mattress online than when purchasing one in the store. However, things are slowly changing, as more and more online mattress brands offer 30, 60, 90 or even 120 days money back guarantees.

Buying a mattress online definitely comes with risks. Some users have even complained of scams and various other problems.

If you are thinking of buying a new mattress, you have come to the right place. We will study the online mattress phenomenon and will conclude if buying a new online mattress is the right choice for you. Additionally, we will look at some of the most common complaints from real people who have bought online and were unsatisfied.

Online Mattress Complaints and Problems

Whether it’s Sealy, Bear, Casper, Leesa or any other type of mattress you can find online, many consumers have outlined certain drawbacks of the mattresses they’ve just acquired.

Here are some of the most common complaints about online mattresses:

– Initial off-gassing odor:

off gassing mattress
Illustration: Gordon Studer

most mattresses found online are made of several layers of foam. This material tends to gas off quite strong and very often. Off gassing represent a chemical-like odor ejected by the material after the product is unpacked. More than 15% of people who bought online foam mattresses reported significant off-gassing.

The smell can linger for up to 20 days. Even though off gassing is just an unhealthy odor, some people reported nausea, headaches, throat and eye irritation, sleeplessness and asthma after inhaling it.

– Heat retention:

Gel vs Non Gel mattress feeling hot

Almost 10% of mattress owners declared that their new mattress retains heat. This is a real problem, as it can cause restlessness and sweating. Non gel-infused foam mattresses are more prone to the sleeping hot phenomenon than cooling gel-infused foam mattresses.

– Unpredictable firmness:

As a rule of thumb, memory foam mattresses you find online have a much higher unpredictability when it comes to their firmness level than spring mattresses. Even though the foam softened in time and became more comfortable, most mattresses were more firm than what they were promoted to be initially. Ones body temperature does make it softer.

– Lack of bounce:

Less bounce during romance hours, makes it more tiring. This is a disadvantage of most memory and latex foam mattresses.

– Mold and mildew development:

Another issue reported by many consumers who purchased an online mattress is that the mattress can develop mold and/or mildew. However, only roughly 3% of all mattress owners have outlined this issue and there are steps to take to clean it up.

The Online Mattress Industry – One Big Scam?

Most mattresses you find online are different than those you find in local stores. Truth be told, many customers have complained that many mattresses made by manufacturers like Bear, Helix, Casper, Leesa, are made using the same technologies and materials that are regularly used to manufacture standard mattresses you find at the store. However, these online mattresses cost as much as twice the money you would pay for a standard mattress.

For instance, some reviewers declared that the Leesa mattress is a standard one that can be found at less than $300 at Walmart. However, on the Leesa site, it costs more than $600. One reviewer claimed that he found out how this whole industry works. Online brands work hand in hand with physical retail stores to create similar mattresses, and then they just change the label, the package and some other design elements, before distributing them to consumers.

Comparing online mattresses to those found in retail stores is quite a difficult task, especially as the actual facts about mattresses, such as the materials used, the cover, the coil count, type of foam and overall built, are not revealed to the public. In other words, there is no objective metric available for consumers to determine the uniqueness and authenticity of a mattress. Additionally, there is no data to prove that a certain type of foam is better than the other, or that three layers of certain material are better than two.

Online Mattress Scams you Should be Aware of

Over the years, consumers have managed to pinpoint several scams in the mattress industry that keep repeating. The same is true for the online mattress niche. Here are two of the most important scams used today:

1. The Money Back Guarantee

Nowadays every online retailer offers a generous 90+ day guarantee for your purchase. However, in most cases, things are slightly more complicated. The manufacturer will send another mattress in return, similar to the first one, but you will have to pay the shipment costs. Another option you might have is stored credit. The bad news is that in most of these cases you will not get your money refunded to you.
Check warranties

Before buying a mattress, always ask them if they literally give you the money back if you are unsatisfied. In case you got the proof and they still refuse to give you the money, you can always win in court, and they will prefer to lose $600 than to lose $6000 or more in lawsuit fees and damage their reputation.

2. The Name Changing

Even though this is old, it still works today. This is probably the best way mattress retailers keep their customers enticed to buy more. The procedure is simple – create the same mattress, at the same factory, using the exact same materials, but with a different cover and with a changed name. For instance, Serta is similar or even the same with Simmons and Sealy.

Probably the best thing you can do in this case is to buy a mattress based on its reviews, price and inner components, and not on the brand name.

The Bottom Line

As a conclusion, buying a mattress online is a tedious process, even more difficult than buying it in a local store. Stay away from scams and keep your eyes open for new offers and great prices  you find online.

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