Busted: Common Myths about Buying a Mattress Online
While online shopping in general continues to increase in popularity, some people still hold on to common myths about buying a mattress online. As purchasing a new bed can be a relatively major, often expensive purchase it’s important to do your research. Information is perhaps the internet’s greatest advantage when it comes to shopping. Research allows you to compare different types of construction, like the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses when compared to latex mattresses or innersprings, as well as comparing brands and prices. In addition to research, online shoppers enjoy numerous other benefits like convenience, savings, and better selection. Now that we’ve addressed the benefits of buying a mattress online, lets take a look at common myths and perceived negatives of internet shopping to see if they hold water.
The Facts About Buying a Mattress Online
Myth: You won’t get a comfortable bed.
Reality: According a recent article about mattress satisfaction from BestMattress-Reviews.org, people reporting buying a mattress online from online-only retailers, without trying it first, actually had 8% higher satisfaction levels than consumers who bought beds from showrooms and stores. This applied to innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses and air bed mattresses. The most notable of these was the difference in satisfaction levels of those who bought latex mattresses, with 65% showroom satisfaction versus 84% online satisfaction, likely due to the quality difference of local options.
Myth: It’s more of a hassle to return a mattress to an online retailer.
Reality: When buying a mattress online from a reputable retailer, you will likely have at least 30 days to return the bed as retailers know this tends to be consumers’ biggest objection. Some may charge a small restocking fee and most leave return shipping up to the customer. Check the website’s stated return policy to get the specifics on exchanges and returns. Blog Mattress-Inquirer.com addressed buying a mattress online vs in stores topic recently and provided memory foam mattress seller Amerisleep.com as an example. Their site offers free returns during a generous 90 day sleep trial, and promises hassle-free returns. Compare this to local mattress returns which often result in a fight over high restocking fees, exchange fees, penalty fees, and additional pickup fees. Not to mention, most local stores often have short trial periods, ranging from nil to a few days, maybe a few weeks.
Myth: There’s no old mattress take away.
Reality: Most online retailers won’t pick up your old bed, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with. What’s more, you probably wouldn’t want them to take your old bed just in case you aren’t happy with the new one and need to exchange it. However, places such as donationtown.org work with local charities and come pick up your old mattress for free, so you aren’t left on your own when buying a mattress online. Many shelters are desperate for beds and bedding and are happy to receive an old mattress in decent condition. Several cities also have local programs for pickup offered by the city, charities, or recycling centers. Ultimately, these options will put your old bed to better use than the landfill it may otherwise go to.
Myth: There’s no Salesperson to help.
Reality: In a store, shoppers are often shadowed by salespeople eager to make a commission. But, you aren’t really looking to be sold a mattress based on their commission needs or sales goals, what you need is information. Websites tend to provide more in-depth, reliable details about beds, and search engines make comparison shopping a snap. You can take in the facts and choose the best bed for you without pressure or influence. However if you do need or want help, most online sites provide live chat as well as phone support for service and sales help.
Myth: You won’t get as a good a deal.
Reality: Depending upon where you choose to shop, prices may already be much lower online, think up to 70% less, than local stores or national brands that operate in retail markets. Not to mention, when you shop online from retailer that operates in another state, you usually don’t have to pay sales tax which saves 7-12%. But why is this? Well physical stores have high overhead due to building costs, storage costs, added transportation costs, and more, which results in high mark up. This is why stores often have perpetual 50% off sales. Online stores often have much lower costs and heavier competition which keeps retail prices low. Many do still offer frequent sales on holidays, though. Another thing to watch for when buying a mattress online is price match guarantees where retailers meet or beat others’ prices, like that offered by Astrabeds.com, a retailer of adjustable beds and mattresses.
Myth: Your information isn’t secure.
Reality: Many people still avoid buying a mattress online because they feel their information may not be safe. However, shopping a store doesn’t guarantee protection either as unethical employees could still use your information illegally. When it comes to reputable online retailers, your information is at least if not more secure than when buying locally. First, make sure your own internet connection is secure and that you have a good anti-virus program installed. Check out the website and see if the homepage shows any security seals like McAfee, Norton or VeriSign. Make sure they have a phone number and physical address, and that a quick search of the business yields results that look legitimate. Finally, always make sure pages you enter payment information onto are secure (a lock in the corner of the browser, or https:// before the url). If you still feel cautious, use a disposable credit card number or see if the retailer will accept payments over the phone, Paypal, or by mail.
Myth: It’s important to try before you buy.
Reality: Buying a mattress online actually provides you with the opportunity to test the new mattress longer than most local retailers. As we discussed earlier, online retailers often have longer return policies. This provides plenty of time for people who have not experienced the bed or are trying a type like memory foam mattresses to adjust to their feel in the comfort of their own home. What’s more, you don’t have to spend time awkwardly lying around showroom floor models.
Truth: Buying a Mattress Online Gets You a Better Bed
It seems shocking when looking at the figures, but a comprehensive study from RTI International shows that people are not able to choose the best mattress for themselves by lying on one in a showroom setting. The study tested 7 different mattresses on 128 adults who were considered to be overall healthy. Each person chose their preferred bed in a showroom, but slept on each of the 7 mattresses for 4 weeks. Participant’s movement while sleeping was measured, and they were asked numerous questions regarding how they slept, how rested they were the following day, energy levels, and increase or decrease they felt in pain. Overall the combined self-reporting and actigraph correlated to show that most people did not choose the mattress that actually improves their sleep through showroom selection.
All of these factors leave little room for refuting the benefits of shopping online for a bed. In addition to becoming a more informed buyer, you stand to get a better deal and more relaxing shopping experience. Knowing the common myths about buying a mattress online and what to look for will ultimately help you get a better bed.
January 4, 2014 by Bed Ed
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