If you’re looking for the best mattress for your budget, taking the time to plan when and where to make your purchase could help you save big.
I recently reviewed the latest Consumer Reports recommendations on where to buy a mattress and started comparison shopping. While Consumer Reports members can view the full study online, you can also see the highlights below. At those retailers, and at other popular mattress stores, I looked at the lowest available price of queen-size mattresses to determine where you’ll find the best deal.
When and Where To Buy the Best Cheap Mattress
Money expert Clark Howard loves warehouse clubs for in-store mattress shopping, but online mattress companies have created fierce competition with solid return policies.
“The advantage of all the bed-in-a-box things is the ultra-long warranties,” says Clark Howard. “What I love about all of them is this range to try it for three months, six months or a year.”
As far as when you’ll be seeing the most deals, February, May and November are promising months. Look for deals around major holidays including Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and Black Friday.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at the best stores to check out while shopping for a cheap mattress. I’ll cover where to buy a mattress online and when you’re most likely to swing a great deal throughout the year.
The Best Place To Buy a Mattress
Where you decide to buy your new mattress not only affects the price you’ll pay, but it also could make a huge difference if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
Whether you’re shopping for a new or used mattress, you’ll most likely get the best deal by shopping online. If you prefer to try out a mattress in-person, you’ll be able to swing a reliable deal from warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club.
Based on ratings from Consumer Reports, here are a few of the most highly-rated places to shop for a new mattress:
I looked at some of the most affordable queen-size mattresses available online at these retailers as well as the prices at six other popular furniture stores. Here’s what I found in February 2023.
Store Mattress Price
Walmart Zinus 10" Hybrid $225
Sam's Club Zinus 10" Memory Foam $249.98
Amazon Olee Sleep 10" Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress $264.79
Overstock LUCID Comfort Collection 10-inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress $297.74
Wayfair Wayfair Sleep 10" Firm Memory Foam Mattress $319.99
The Original Mattress Factory Classic Luxury Firm Mattress 9.5" Innerspring $449
Costco Comfort Tech 10" Serene Foam $449.99
Bed, Bath & Beyond Linenspa 8" Memory Foam Hybrid $499.99
Macy's Corsicana SleepInc 10” Hybrid Mattress $530.10
Tuft & Needle The Original 10" Foam $895.50
Casper The Casper Element Pro Mattress $995
Saatva Saatva Memory Foam Hybrid Mattress $1,470
If you’re on a penny-pinching budget, you’ll most likely be able to find the cheapest mattress at Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair or Overstock.
Sam’s Club and Costco also feature a great selection of affordable mattresses, and for the most part, these warehouse clubs offer unbeatable return policies.
Some of the pricier retailers, such as Tuft & Needle, Casper and Saatva, also offer great trial periods for their products. You should be able to catch deals and markdowns at these stores throughout the year.
When you find a mattress you like, take the time to comparison shop. You may be able to find a cheaper, similar alternative at a different store online. Check out our guide on how to use Google Shopping for more information on comparing prices.
Clearly, there are a few things to consider beyond the price when it comes to buying a mattress, especially if you aren’t able to test it out first. It’s important to read reviews and familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy on mattresses before making your purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the cheapest places to buy a mattress.
The Best Places To Buy a Mattress
Buying a mattress online is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a great price. Since mattresses are such a crucial part of our health and comfort, it’s important that you’re happy with what you’ve purchased.
Even after you’ve found what looks like the perfect mattress, take the time to read reviews and understand the store’s return policy.
Here are a few things to know about some of the most affordable places to buy a mattress online.
Walmart offers some of the cheapest mattress options online, but it’s important to make sure you’re ordering directly from Walmart online. Third-party sellers, which also sell mattresses on the Walmart website, have their own return policies which can vary greatly.
Mattresses sold by Walmart are eligible for a 90-day trial period. If you don’t like what you’ve purchased at any point during the first three months, you can call customer service to facilitate a return by freight. While you’ll be able to get a refund, you will have to pay return delivery fees.
For a nice balance of affordability and a solid refund policy, warehouse stores are a great place to shop. Sam’s Club offers reasonably priced mattresses from brands including Serta, Tempur-Pedic, Zinus and more. Queen mattresses start as low as $250.
As far as trial periods go, Sam’s Club offers a two-year warranty covered by the store’s satisfaction guarantee. You can call customer service to facilitate a return for any reason, but you will be charged a return fee unless you’re a Plus Member.
Amazon also offers a great online selection of mattresses at affordable prices. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks Amazon as one of the top three places to buy because of its low prices and impressive selection. Plus, you can return your mattress for a refund if you aren’t happy with it.
The return policy varies from brand to brand on Amazon, so be sure to read before you buy and determine the length of the trial period. Most of the mattress brands sold on Amazon offer free shipping and returns — but not all of them.
Wayfair also offers a huge selection of mattresses from several different popular brands. In addition to variety and great prices, you’ll find sales and markdowns frequently throughout the year.
In order to ensure satisfaction, the company offers a 100-night free trial. If during that time you decide to upgrade your mattress to a more expensive option, you’ll simply have to pay the difference. You can also choose to receive a full refund, though return shipping costs will be deducted.
If you’re looking for a low price, Overstock offers a selection of affordable mattresses including memory foam, spring and hybrid varieties. You’ll find several options under $300, but you won’t find the best return policy here.
You’ll qualify for a full refund from Overstock only if the mattress is damaged or defective. And you’re required to refuse it at the time of delivery or before you’ve removed its wrapping. The lack of a trial period may not be worth the savings unless you know you’ll love what you get.
While you can find cheaper mattresses online, mattresses at Costco are still among the more affordable options. It’s an especially great choice if you’re shopping in-store. You’ll find great prices as well as peace of mind when it comes to returning a mattress.
“Any mattress you buy there, you can return it forever,” says money expert Clark Howard. “There’s no limit.”
If you make your purchase online, Costco will help facilitate the return for you. If you buy a mattress in the store and want to return it, you’ll have to bring it back yourself. For this reason, I recommend making your final purchase online.
Be sure to check out these tips for buying furniture at Costco before buying.
The Best Time To Buy a Mattress
No matter where you decide to buy your mattress, you may be able to get an even better deal by waiting until the right time of year.
Holiday weekends are always a great time to look for deals on major purchases. Specifically, you’ll see markdowns for mattresses around Presidents’ Day, the Fourth of July Memorial Day and Black Friday. Prices will also be more competitive during Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day and just before new inventory rolls out in June.
To see how mattress prices vary throughout the year, I used Camelcamelcamel to track the price history of a few mattresses at Amazon. Even if you don’t plan on buying a mattress at Amazon, you can bet that the price drops are in line with other competitive retailers throughout the year.
In February 2023, I tracked the history of a Lucid 10″ Inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress using Camelcamelcamel. Here’s what I found:
As you can see, the price fluctuated several times within a year. The lowest price was $291.54 while the highest price was $457.98 for this mattress. That means there was an ultimate savings opportunity of $166 simply by making this purchase at the right time!
The lowest price appeared in July/August just after summer Fourth of July sales. Another major drop happened just before Black Friday in November.
As of February 2023, the Novilla 12″ gel memory foam mattress seemed to be following a familiar pattern with price drops around President’s Day in February/March and again closer to the holiday season and Black Friday.
With this mattress, the price seems to change regularly. For this reason, it’s important to check the price history to see if you may be able to get a better deal by waiting a week or a month for a price drop.
Let’s look at another example. This Linenspa 8″ memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress also experienced dynamic pricing in the past year.
The lowest price on this mattress was available just before Memorial Day, which was $176.77.
You’ll see that prices begin to fluctuate on nearly all mattresses in late spring and throughout the summer. New models of mattresses start hitting the shelves around June. That makes Memorial Day a great time to find a deal.
If you’re shopping for a new mattress, it’s important to find what works best for you. For that reason, it’s important to consider the store’s return policy as well as the price of the mattress before you buy it.
You’ll find the most affordable mattresses online at Walmart and Wayfair with good return policies overall. Online stores like Overstock offer low prices, but you can only return the mattress if it’s defective. Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco also offer great prices in addition to full refunds on mattresses, which make purchasing there worth it.
Consider buying a mattress during holiday weekends in February, May and November for the best prices of the year.
More Ways to Save:
- Shop online. It’s easy to price compare, and you’re going to have access to more options and deals year-round. If you aren’t sure where to start, Clark recommends checking Consumer Reports. There, members can find the latest reviews and ratings on quality mattresses.
- Look for coupons, promo codes and discounts. In addition to holiday sales and clearance markdowns, you can often get a better price by searching for available rebates, promotions or additional savings.
- Get rid of your old mattress for free. You can donate your mattress to the Salvation Army for a tax deduction. They’ll accept a mattress as long as it’s newer than 2007 and has no rips, tears or damage. You can even call to schedule a free pickup or set one up online!
Be sure to check out ClarkDeals for the best mattress deals available now from around the web! You can also sign up for Clark’s free newsletters for more ways to save throughout the year.
What’s the best mattress deal you’ve seen? Let us know in the Clark.com community!