Buying A Mattress? Comparing Prices Might Be More Important Than Reading Boring Mattress Reviews

Several recent surveys have shown that most consumers, especially younger buyers looking for an online mattress purchase, don’t want to waste their time reading mattress reviews. Getting bogged down in long winded narratives about pressure points, videos of Chad in his shorts bouncing up and down on a bed, and “blah blah blah” ramblings about memory foam gets annoying really fast.

How many graphs and charts and thermal images of peoples asses on a mattress does it take to make someone begrudgingly hit the buy now button? Just give us the price, they cry out into the night. After all, aren’t most “bed in a box” mattresses practically all the same?

I mean, how different can they be? Just send me the one that looks cool, has some stuff inside of it that’s squishy, and ship it to me. Now.

As the senior editor of this web site, I totally get it. And, as it turns out, there are reasons why even the most savvy consumers spend more time reviewing phone charger cords than they do mattresses. The reason: it’s just so much friggin’ easier.

Mattress review sites have actually only been around for a few years. This site is actually the oldest web site that is a third party review resource not purchased, sold, owned, or pimped by a mattress company. We started reviewing mattresses in 2007, with most of the big mattress reviewers not even getting in the game until 2015 or so. Now, mattress review sites are everywhere, following you around on social media, nipping at your heels. Once you start Googling “best mattress”, hold on for dear life.

“I don’t want to spend hours reading mattress reviews…give me the price, and let me order it.”

One site, Sleepopolis, was started by a really cool guy who seriously wanted to review mattresses, and made enough to pay for the site and his time. Before long, though, a big mattress company that “ghosted” the industry with their reinvention of the bed in a box concept tried to bully him for not writing glowing reviews about their mattress, sued him, and essentially forced him to come to the table and sell his business.

Sleepopolis is now essentially owned by a mattress company now. You can read about it here. Anyway, the mattress review game is huge and its powerful. The sites are complicated, hard to navigate, and there are way too many choices. It’s just a pain in the ass to get a PhD in mattress review science, so most of us just want a GED and order our beds.

And, because there are so many mattress review sites competing against one another for your dollar,  many consumers simply don’t believe what they are reading and are wise to the whole affiliate marketing gig.

When shopping for a mattress, research is very clear: consumers invest far more time comparing prices than they do reading and comparing what’s inside. And, I’ll admit, that in many ways, most mattresses sold online are somewhat similar, since they all have to squeezed into a box, compressed, and rapidly expand to their original size, unharmed, on the other end.

That drastically limits the “portfolio” of the kinds of materials any manufacturer can shove into a box, the ingredients being restricted to the following ingredients:

  • Polyurethane foam

  • Latex, either natural or synthetic

  • The outer fabric covering, generally made with cotton, bamboo fiber, or a combination of synthetic and natural fibers

  • A pocketed coil layer, essentially a slab of interwoven steel coils

Using those four components, the online “bed in a box” marketplace now offers about 400 different brands, some of which subdivide their products into 3-4 models that essentially use the same ingredients, just in different combinations, colors, thicknesses, and densities.

Of course, each brand believes their product line is more carefully researched, makes less of a carbon footprint than the next guy, incorporates “responsible farming” for their certified natural materials, and will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars jockeying for position on Google.

They bog down their web sites with way too many graphics, all kinds of awards, seals, certificates, all designed to convince you that all of the other brands out there suck. The infighting between brands is notorious, with CEO’s moving through the trees at night from one company to the next like millipedes. The battle is fierce to stay in the top 10 search results for terms like “best mattress reviews”.

Turns out, not many people are really looking for a yawn fest about mattresses. They want the price, they want to know if its in the ballpark with a similar product, and then they’re done.

So, with that in mind, we’re going to look at a few mattresses the most experts, like us, will agree on as being a good middle of the road brand to consider, and compare them with other brands, give you some prices, and then we’re going to go get some lunch.

Our “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” Mattress Pricing Comparison Chart

So, this is a great little chart that will give you a basic idea of what you might expect to pay, depending upon what kind of mattress you want. Say you’d like something pretty basic, not incredibly firm but still supportive, so you don’t bottom into it. You’d probably be best suited to outfit yourself with a foam mattress, which will cost you between $500-900 for a decent bed with a reliable warranty.

You can check out our best foam beds page and see what retailers we’ve reviewed, and recommend. Keep in mind that even taken together, on our entire site, we refer readers to only a handful (about 55 brands) rather than hundreds of options. That way, it’s less confusing, easier, and faster to get what you want.

If you’re interested in buying a green mattress, let’s say you like latex or have friends that tell you about it, here’s the only tip you need: make sure you are getting pure, natural latex and not the petroleum based SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) version which costs a whole lot less to make and isn’t as bouncy and as durable. Expect to pay more, so for a queen, $1200 or so for an 8” mattress that’s made with at least 3-4 inches of pure latex combined with polyurethane foam underneath.

If you want pure latex top to bottom, expect to pay $1500-1800. Remember, pure latex has to be hand collected from latex trees in Asia or South America, and has to be imported. Pure latex is considered to be a luxury bedding commodity but it’s totally worth it. Here’s our list of natural latex mattress dealers that we recommend.