Starting about seven years ago, a number of online mattress retailers upended the market by simplifying the nightmare of a buying process. The movement was headlined by brands like Casper and Tuft and Needle and it's transformed how we buy our beds.
Online mattresses, compared
|Mattress||Buying info||Mattress Type||Price (Queen)||Trial period / Return policy||Warranty|
|The Casper||See at Casper||Foam||$995||100-day||10-year limited|
|Ikea Haugsvar||See at Ikea||Hybrid||$399||365-day; exchange, not refund||25-year limited|
|Leesa||See at Leesa||Foam||$995||100-day||10-year limited|
|Nectar||See at Nectar||Foam||$824||365-day (+30-day initial trial period), then you can donate or dispose of it||Forever|
|Purple Original||See at Purple||Foam*||$999||100-day||10-year|
|Saatva||See at Saatva||Coil||$1,099||120-day ($99 transportation cost)||15-year limited|
|Cocoon by Sealy Classic||See at Cocoon by Sealy||Foam||$799||100-day||10-year limited|
|Serta Blue 100||See at Serta||Foam||$1,099||120-day; 15% return and disposal fee + $200 S&H only for iComfort line||10- to 15-year limited|
|Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Adapt||See at Tempur-Pedic||Foam||$2,099||90-day||10-year limited|
|Tuft & Needle||See at Tuft & Needle||Foam||$595||100-day||10-year limited|
|Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam 10"||See at Zinus||Foam||$256||100-day; must be in good condition||10-year limited|
*Proprietary "Purple Smart Comfort Grid"
But the revolution also drew a lot of attention to the $29 billion market. While the early disruptors maintain their hold for the most part, a number of challengers have arrived, offering slightly different combinations of price, materials, and customer service.
After a series of parries and pivots by companies large and small, consumers now face a more nuanced market. If you're a low-maintenance shopper looking to avoid the showroom, you're no longer locked into just grabbing a Casper -- there are other viable options that may suit your needs better.
To add to the intrigue, older retailers have entered the online direct-to-consumer fray. These traditional outfits offer a combination of ease but also industry gravitas.
Below, we've laid out 11 of the most popular mattress brands you can buy online, sorted by price, market differentiators and process features (think return policy, warranty, and installation).
This guide is meant to give you a layout of the market as it stands today before you make your purchase. But it is merely a broad overview: This is a roundup of our online research from reviewers, aggregators and the manufacturers themselves (all linked where cited). We haven't yet reviewed or tested these mattresses ourselves, but we wanted to share our initial findings with you as we continue our process of diving deeper into this category.
It's also worth noting that this guide isn't meant to walk you through all the ins and outs of coils vs. memory foam vs. adjustable air, or what's best for support vs. comfort. Almost everything that's getting shipped to you in a box is probably going to be foam, and if you have specific requirements or needs, check out ourfirst, then come back to find the right combination of price, features and user sentiment.
Important note about buying: We've provided Amazon links below where applicable, but we recommend buying directly through the vendor when possible to get the best warranty and return options. One CNET employee who bought a Purple mattress through Amazon notes that the retailer did not honor the same tryout period, which made a subsequent return a more problematic process than it would've been had he bought directly.
Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.
While technically not the first to offer an easy online mattress shopping experience, Casper has come to represent the movement. When people are turned off by the old-school buying process, Casper is usually the first place they turn.
It started off with one model, "The Casper," but has recently expanded to offer a fancier version, "The Wave" and a budget version, "The Essential." Its standard foam hybrid mattress has four layers of zoned foam, right in the sweet spot of support, breathability, and comfort. It won't install your mattress or haul away your old one, but has a paid service available for those who don't want to bother.
Interestingly enough, Casper has started to flip the playbook and has opened a number of brick-and-mortar stores across the county, in case you want to try a model out in person. They've also been busy on the partnership front and now thousands of Target locations carry Casper products.
As one of the older companies in the new guard, Casper's impressive sales numbers make it a safe bet for anyone who doesn't have super-specific mattress needs.
Cocoon by Sealy
Sealy is another long-standing brand that entered the direct-to-consumer market with the Cocoon by Sealy brand, launched in March 2016. Cocoon has two mattresses, the classic along with a newer version, the "Chill Mattress," with a spiffy comfort layer made out of its proprietary "Phase Change Material" which is basically fancy lingo saying you'll stay cool at night.
Each of its two models comes in either soft or firm, which is a nice option to have, and their price range is well on the cheaper side of the industry leaders. They come with the standard 100-day trial and 10-year limited warranty, plus the added bonus of picking up your mattress if you want to return it.
It's no surprise that for those seeking a no-frills, low-cost shopping experience, IKEA has you covered. IKEA plays the role it knows best in the direct-to-consumer mattress market: itself. With around 15 different mattresses available, you have the choice between ultra-cheap ($120) all the way up to a $900 Queen, and endless foundation and furniture configurations to play with.
We've chosen the Haugsvär for comparison, and it stacks up well against other discount brands. The Haugsvar comes in two firmness options and at less than half the price of the market standard, ringing in at $399. IKEA doesn't offer white-glove installation and haul-away, but they do have a 365-day trial period for their mattresses if you want to exchange it for something else (there is no risk-free refund period) and a 25-year limited warranty, which primarily covers manufacturing defects. Also note that delivery costs around $50 depending on where you live. As with all IKEA furniture, you can try it out in the store and if you have a big enough car, pack it up yourself for free.
We didn't find any of the review issues that Zinus has, so you're paying a little bit more for a better-known retailer with a proven track record. If you're an IKEA fan and looking for a good deal, it looks like trusty IKEA comes through.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the Leesa mattress is how average it is in every respect. We don't mean that as a criticism -- it's a compliment more than anything.
The mattress is designed to fit most body sizes and types, and the prices are right in line with the market. It offers two models, the classic and a newer luxury version, both with an average firmness, and a good balance of support and pressure-relieving comfort. Unlike the Purple mattress, which some users found difficult to move, the Leesa is easy to transport, so if you need a good mattress you can swap between rooms, this could be a good avenue. You can also test Leesa mattresses in selected Pottery Barn or West Elm stores, and it's even opened up a few Leesa "Dream Galleries" in select cities.
Where Leesa does stand apart from the competition is its commitment to social impact. For every 10 mattresses sold, the company donates one to charity, and for every mattress sold it plants a tree. It's even teamed up with Olympian Aly Raisman to fight homelessness.
During our research, we also found a number of good discounts (e.g. a President's Day sale on its site that lasted well past the three-day weekend), so if you can snag it for $150 less, Leesa jumps into the bargain category. If you want a no-frills mattress experience from a company that seems to genuinely care, Leesa is a good option.
Nectar is another relative newbie to the market, launching in 2016, but has already established itself with more than 100,000 mattresses sold in two years . Its prices come in just under market averages, and we like that it's stuck with just one model.
The mattress itself is rather typical fare: it has three layers of foam, a cooling comfort layer, and a base layer of dense foam to provide support, comfort, and breathability. Where Nectar stands apart is its trial period: 365 days after an initial 30-day trial period (most online companies require you to try out a mattress for at least 30 days before returning it so your body has a chance to get used to it).
Also noteworthy: the warranty isn't 10 years or 15 years, but forever. Seriously, the company calls it the Forever Warranty. Though we should note that it only covers indentations deeper than 1.5 inches compared to the 1 inch we found with most others. Regardless, forever is a long time.
If you're looking for a slightly cheaper option with really good guarantees, Nectar is the way to go.
Purple was founded by two brothers from Utah who stormed onto the mattress scene in 2016 with proprietary, high-quality cushioning technology. They had been using their patented grid-like material for wheelchairs, but saw an opportunity in the fast-growing online mattress market and pivoted.
The Purple material is the prime differentiator and user reviews praise the combination of foam support and breathability. Its prices are just above their main competitors, but it makes the buying process easy with free installation, haul-away of your old mattress, and the now-industry-standard 100-night trial period, so not to fear if you're worried you won't like the grid.
Purple offers two mattress options, the Original model and a newer luxury model, called literally "The All-New." Like many of the simple online options today, the Original caters to most body sizes and sleeper-types, offering across-the-board comfort.
We did find a few reviews that call into question the mattress' long-term durability, but fortunately the 10-year warranty offsets that concern by covering any visible indentation greater than 1 inch (also an industry standard now). The other potential drawback is its short time in the mattress market, but the company has been working on comfortable cushioning since 1989 and is also totally self-funded, meaning it's not reliant on the ebbs and flows of venture capital and will be around for awhile.
Saatva is part of a growing list of mattress companies marketing an inner coil mattresses, so it has a more traditional feel and more edge support than its foam counterparts. Saatva coils are individually wrapped, which means less motion is transferred, making it easier to shift positions at night with less chance you'll disturb your partner.
Saatva bills itself as a luxury mattress brand with affordable prices, so while it's slightly more expensive than Casper or Leesa, you're getting a very different product. Being an inner spring mattress, it won't come in a box -- they'll give you a four-hour time window for the delivery, and even wait an extra 20 minutes if you're running behind. Its single model comes in three different firmness options and it offers free installation and old mattress haul-away, so don't worry about having to lug around the heavier bed.
It offers a 120-day trial and a 15-year limited warranty, but both come with small print: you pay a $99 transportation fee if you want to return it or if it needs to be repaired after two years due to a design defect. The company is also proud of using environmentally friendly materials like organic cotton and a CertiPUR-US certified foam layer, and there is no "off gas" or smell issue like you'll get with a newer foam bed.
Saatva is a different beast than the memory foam world, so if you're looking to get a luxury inner coil mattress online with free shipping and solid customer service, this is the way to go.
Serta is another traditional manufacturer that has evolved to serve online shoppers. They have been around since 1931 and have a huge range of prices and models, going from $500 for a Queen up to $2,800.
Serta's biggest downside is not having a risk-free trial period (only its iComfort line offers a trial, and then you have to pay 15% of the original cost and a $200 shipping and handling fee to return it), but you can try out its models in a store if that turns you off. Serta mattresses are available to buy around the country at mattress retailers (e.g. Mattress Firm), department stores (Macy's and JC Penney) and furniture stores like Raymour & Flanigan.
The iComfort Blue 100 is the closest model they offer to other online retailers both in terms of price and material composition. It appears to be a relatively newer model, so if you like the specs, we recommend trying it out first before clicking the buy button. The other positive aspect of Serta is its wide range of options, so if you're looking for something specific or on the cheaper side, but still don't want to deal with a salesperson, it could be a good option.
Tempur-Pedic is the first traditional mattress company on our list, and this old-guard company has many different model options depending on your price range. For our comparison, we've gone with the Tempur-Adapt model, one of the company's newer models that is also available for easy online buying. But the price ($2,099 for a Queen) puts it in the higher end of the market.
You have 90 days to try out the Adapt, just under the industry standard, and Tempur-Pedic throws in free installation and haul-away of your old mattress for free. The other pro is that you can try out many of its mattresses in a local retailer in case the 90-day trial period isn't your cup of tea.
One drawback of going with Tempur-Pedic is that it's not super-transparent about its material composition (and don't have the industry-standard eco-friendly foam certification, CertiPUR-US), so for eco-conscious or budget shoppers, it might not be the best fit. But for those looking for a quality product you can purchase easily from a company with a long history, the Adapt is the way to go.
Tuft and Needle
Tuft and Needle flies a little under the radar compared to Casper's marketing heft, but maybe not for long. It was founded in 2012, a few years before Casper and Leesa, and were arguably the first to start reimagining the mattress-buying experience.
It branched out in early 2018 with a second model, the luxury "Mint" mattress, but it's still primarily known for the "Original," an adaptive foam mattress with a medium-firm feel that promises to keep you cool. Its adaptive foam is a little bit different than memory foam, so you won't sink in as much, you can move around a little easier, and you'll be less warm.
While their prices are well below competitors, we didn't find any indication of a lower-quality product (over 7,300 overwhelmingly positive Amazon reviews and counting, with an "A" rating on Fakespot) and like most of the rest of the market, it offers a 100-day risk free trial and 10-year limited warranty.
Tuft and Needle prides itself on being environmentally friendly, boasting not just a CertiPUR-US certification for its foam, but also a "Greenguard Gold" certification -- often used for baby cribs and furniture used in educational settings to designate a product that has low chemical emissions and indoor air pollution --and several others for its materials. It's also received consistently rave reviews for customer service, so don't worry about getting caught in fine-print hell if you don't like it.
Zinus has by far the largest selection for an online retailer, offering around eight models at any given time. It also takes the cake in terms of price, coming in at roughly half the industry average.