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, we’re going to take a closer look at the best stores to check out while shopping for a cheap mattress. We’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, it 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 like Costco and Sam’s Club.
Based on ratings at Consumer Reports, six of the most highly-rated places to shop for a new mattress include
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:
Store Mattress Price
Walmart Zinus 10" Innerspring $189
Wayfair Wayfair Sleep 10" Memory Foam $191.99
Overstock Linenspa Essentials 10" Foam Hybrid $214.99
Sam's Club Zinus 10" Memory Foam $239.98
Amazon Lucid 10" Gel Memory Foam $269.99
Macy's Sealy Posturepedic 11" Foam $347
Bed, Bath & Beyond Linenspa 8" Memory Foam Hybrid $349.99
The Original Mattress Factory Classic Luxury Firm Mattress 9.5" Innerspring $369
Costco Cocoon by Sealy 10" Memory Foam $399.99
Tuft & Needle The Original 10" Foam $545
Casper The Casper Mattress 12" Foam $931
Saatva Saatva Classic 11.5" Hybrid Innerspring $1,199
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 The Original Mattress Factory, 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.
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.
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 $239.
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.
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.
Amazon also offers a great online selection for mattresses at affordable prices. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks Amazon as one of the top 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.
Mattresses at Costco are still among the more affordable options, especially 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, 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.
Around January 2020, I tracked the history of a 2019 model Lucid 10″ gel memory foam mattress using Camelcamelcamel. Here’s what I found:
As you can see, the price had fluctuated greatly within a year. The lowest price was $169.99 while the highest price was $239.99 for this mattress. That means there was an ultimate savings opportunity of $70 simply by making this purchase at the right time.
The lowest price appeared a week before Black Friday in November. Another major drop happened earlier around Presidents’ Day in February.
As of January 2021, the 2020 model Lucid 10″ gel memory foam mattress seemed to be following a familiar pattern with price drops around Black Friday in November and Memorial Day in May.
Let’s look at another example. This Linenspa 8″ memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has also experienced dynamic pricing in the past year.
Price drops during and after Presidents’ Day early in the year saw the lowest total of $161.99.
Prices also begin to fluctuate in late spring and throughout the summer. New models of mattresses start hitting the shelves around June, which makes Memorial Day a great time to find a deal.
Best Mattress Deals Right Now
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, Wayfair and Overstock with good return policies overall. Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco also offer great prices and 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, you 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!
What’s the best mattress deal you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments below!