8 IMPORTANT TIPS WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE FOR A MATTRESS

It is impossible to generate an exhaustive criteria or list to choose the perfect mattress that meets the specific needs of every individual. Any website touting such a list raises cause for concern.  Instead, we wish to provide you the most important and most simple attributes to look for while shopping for mattresses both online and in-store. The tips listed below can serve as a guide to help you to narrow your search and save time in your hunt for the best mattress for your unique needs. It is our goal in providing this list to reduce a few of the hardships shoppers often experience during this particular “grudge purchase.” These tips pull back the curtain on some of the mysticism associated with mattress shopping.

TIP #1 Real Images

When looking at any mattress, look for brands that use un-doctored photographs (photographic imagery) or samples of the product’s interior components and layers. While digital renderings illustrating the interior components of a mattress are “pretty” and well done, they do not precisely depict what the material actually looks like inside.  Digital renderings only give you a sense of the layer makeups; why not just show it? This should give you pause and make you ponder why. Most times, it is because the material is simple and unimpressive. While not always the most inspiring feat of engineering, mattresses can be well built without being flashy or full of marketing glitz.

TIP #2 Certifications

Do they matter? The short answer is: Yes. However, be cautious of misleading certifications. Important certifications for natural or organic mattresses include: GOLS,GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and GREENGUARD GOLD. GREENGUARD GOLD is one of the most important of them all; let us explain why. It ensures that the fully assembled product has been measured for various pollutants, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), phthalates, and formaldehyde. Be wary of some certifications such as CERTIPUR-US as they are sponsored and created by the polyurethane foam industry. More on that here from a savvy reddit user who did some exhaustive research on CERTIPUR-US.  It is important that all certifications are verified via true, unbiased third-party certification (laboratories/organizations). It is best when these certifications are readily presented and substantiated with documentation. 

TIP #3 Be cautious of uniquely branded componetnt descriptions and fancy product labels

There are various foam fabrication techniques and formulas. However, the array of raw materials used in today’s mattresses is quite small and the pool of industry suppliers to choose from is even smaller. Some of this was explained well by that funny show Adam Ruins Everything. Some basic rules of thumbs when researching this aspect of mattress shopping include:


• You should be able to search google for the product name or foam type. 

• A google search of the product name or bed name should return multiple results of retailers offering that same bed or material(s).

• Search results for a type of foam layer should return an array of brands that use that same foam as well.


This will allow you to find the best and most convenient purchase option. We can assure you that there is a very small number of truly unique, patented, proprietary mattress components used in building mattresses. Sadly, for most mattress retailers and brands these tactics are simply used to over glorify a common product or construction style. Total transparency provides a better expectation for overall product performance.  

TIP #4 Comfort Scales

Almost all online mattress companies and mattress retailers will display a scale of firmness. It is on this scale we attempt to express how soft or firm a mattress is.  This is typically a scale of 1-10. While it is important to look at this, one has to understand that comfort is subjective. These scales or ratings are not formulated by a single individual or standardized measurement.  They are speculated by each brand.  Most online retailers will rate their mattress intentionally as a 5 or 6 to simply appeal to a broader audience.  This aspect is the single largest reason for customer returns or overall dissatisfaction. It is strongly suggested that you exercise caution with this. If your #1 priority is the perfect firmness level, it is suggested that you try before you buy. This will save you a lot of hassle. It is reported that well over 20% of online mattress purchases are returned. Purchasing a mattress online is widely reported as pain free. However, there are thousands of consumers that would beg to disagree on this after going through the process.

TIP #5 Star Ratings

Star ratings are a great tool developed by websites. They provide basic insight into customer satisfaction with a particular brand, product or service.  However, we must point out that almost all “mattress reviews” from consumers are given back to mattress companies within the first week or two of ownership. Is this claim able to be substantiated long term? A massive number of good reviews is great. On one hand, you should take into account that the vast majority of these reviews are not based on years of use and overall performance. On the other, reviews can be extremely helpful to get a good sense of the brand’s return policy, delivery processes, overall customer care and willingness to service its customers.


TIP #6 Honest Content

The mattress industry is hundreds of years old. We have always found it odd that most mattress review sites list rarely contain any of the actual top ten mattress manufacturers. Are we to believe that only newly hatched start up brands are the only companies that can build a top ten rated mattress? In our research, we were only able to find one legitimate mattress review website. This website offers direct consumer input alongside their professional opinion. They review both bed in a box brands as well as most of the current top ten mattress manufactures. You will also notice they DO NOT provide a Top Ten List. We find this approach to offer the most honest input with no brand bias.

TIP #7 Affiliate Top Ten Mattress Rankings

The mattress industry is very competitive and brands are paying HEFTY commissions (up to 20% of the total cost of the mattress) to third-party reviewers and affiliate websites in order to be relevant. You will notice a lot of the same brands on various websites with top ten ratings. By viewing these websites and YouTube videos, one can almost get a sense of a mattress company’s advertising budget. It’s important to note these listings come with a financial bias based on their potential cut of the sale as stated above. The real question is, what is the mattress company sacrificing in the actual product to afford such generous advertising budgets? Affiliate link disclosures are mandated by the FTC.  It is highly recommended that you make note of any review websites offering any arranged ranking lists such as top ten mattresses, top twenty mattresses for side sleepers, etc...  It’s reasonable to assume that the brands closer to the top of any list directly correlates to that brand’s generosity in terms of kickbacks. The world is changing and you should consider these websites to be nothing more than a new kind of mattress retailer. In this new world search engines and review websites have simply replaced the cost of maintaining a physical storefront. Mattress review websites are a “place” of business, just one without a physical storefront.

TIP #8 Is that Review Site your on actually owned or affiliated with a Mattress Brand?

Most may not know unless one has scoured the internet countless hours that some, if not most, of these mattress review websites and affiliate websites are owned and operated by the actual mattress brands themselves. It’s true have you ever seen that funny episode of Adam Ruins Everything? Furthermore, have you watched some of these "mattress experts" try to debunk this funny episode. Sadly, we think Adam was pretty much spot on...

The below list may shock you…  Buyer Beware. See for yourself.

Magnuson, Michael. “Review Sites With Ties to Mattress Companies.” Good Bed, Goodbed.com, 2021, www.goodbed.com/guides/biased-mattress-review-websites/.

 

LIST OF CONFLICTED MATTRESS REVIEW WEBSITES:


 

Sleepopolis

 

sleepopolis [dot] com
Notes:

 

Casper financed the acquisition of this site by lending $5 million to the owners of Mattress Clarity in 2017. After an ownership change in 2020, this site is now part of the same company as Mattress Advisor, which has ties to Leesa (see below).


 

Mattress Clarity

 

mattressclarity[dot] com
Notes:

The owners of this site borrowed $5 million from Casper to acquire Sleepopolis in 2017. After an ownership change in 2020, this site is now part of the same company as Mattress Advisor, which has ties to Leesa (see below).


 

Mattress Advisor

 

mattressadvisor[dot] com
Notes:

The lead investor in Mattress Advisor and its portfolio of mattress review sites (One Better Ventures) is also the primary investor in Leesa. When the Mattress Advisor website was first launched, it contained a disclosure that has since been removed regarding Leesa's connection to the site.


 

Best Mattress Brand

 

bestmattress-brand[dot] org
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Mattress Nerd

 

mattressnerd[dot] com
Notes:

After an ownership change in 2018, this site is now part of the same company as Mattress Advisor, which has ties to Leesa (see above).


 

Honest Mattress Reviews

 

honestmattressreviews[dot] com
Notes:

This site is currently owned by a company that is backed by Brooklyn Bedding. Previously, a court ruled that this site failed to disclose a “significant business relationship” with GhostBed.


 

Sleep Junkie

 

sleepjunkie[dot] org
Notes:

Owned and operated by Amerisleep. In mid-2020, the NAD determined that it is insufficiently clear and conspicuous for consumers visiting Sleep Junkie to know that this site is an "advertising website owned and operated by Amerisleep, a mattress company whose products are being touted on the sites." In response to this ruling, Amerisleep stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s modification recommendation and ensure consumers understand that the sites include advertising content."


 

Sleep Authority

 

sleepauthority[dot] com
Notes:

This site is owned and operated by DreamCloud, LLC, which operates Nectar, DreamCloud, Level, and Awara.


 

Memory Foam Mattress

 

memoryfoammattress[dot] com
Notes:

Published by Relief Mart, producer of the Tempflow mattress brand.


 

Savvy Sleeper

 

savvysleeper[dot] org
Notes:

Owned and operated by Amerisleep. In mid-2020, the NAD determined that it is insufficiently clear and conspicuous for consumers visiting Savvy Sleeper to know that this site is an "advertising website owned and operated by Amerisleep, a mattress company whose products are being touted on the sites." In response to this ruling, Amerisleep stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s modification recommendation and ensure consumers understand that the sites include advertising content."


 

Mattress Inquirer

 

mattress-inquirer[dot] com
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

The Best Mattress

 

thebest-mattress[dot] org
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep. As of mid-2020, this site redirects to savvysleeper [dot] org, another Amerisleep property (see above).


 

Slumber Sage

 

slumbersage[dot] com
Notes:

The owners of this site borrowed money from Casper to acquire Sleepopolis.


 

Mattress-Reviews

 

mattress-reviews[dot] com
Notes:

This site is published by Novosbed, which is prominently disclosed on both the header and the home page.


 

Top Mattress Choices

 

topmattresschoices[dot] com
Notes:

This site is operated by Helix.


 

Mattress Journal

 

mattressjournal[dot] com
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Memory Foam Mattress Guide

 

memoryfoammattress-guide[dot] org
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

What’s the Best Bed

 

whatsthebestbed[dot] org
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Consumer Mattress Reviews

 

consumer-mattress-reviews[dot] com
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Best Mattress Online

 

bestmattressonline[dot] com
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Best Mattress Reviews

 

bestmattress-reviews[dot] org
Notes:

Site authors are employees or consultants of One Mall Group, parent company of Amerisleep.


 

Best Mattresses

 

bestmattresses[dot] org
Notes:

This site is operated by Eight Sleep.

 

We believe mattresses can be purchased on-line as well as off-line. We encourage consumers with a more discerning comfort or firmness preference to try before they buy.  Our over 40 years experience in this business has assisted a great deal in developing this purchasing guide. Our priority is to eliminate our customers hassle, frustration, buyer remorse and waste. In the end we believe this will be better for both our customers and our environment.