Mattress shopping can be a painful experience, which could explain why some consumers would rather spend decades sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress than shop for a new one.
Maybe you have gone to Labor Day or Presidents Day sales to compare prices and test mattresses only to discover how hard it is to compare across retailers. You may have found a mattress to fit your budget or maybe, like me, you ran home and decided to make your old mattress work for just a little bit longer.
In the past two years, a crop of startups specializing in sleep — including two based in Atlanta — have set out to change the way we shop for mattresses. Most of them offer one type of mattress — with a proprietary foam construction, a 100-night sleep trial, a 10-year warranty and a low price — delivered to your door free of charge in a box about the size of a mini fridge.
“It takes away the anxiety of mattress shopping,” said Diane Silver, spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Yogabed. “Consumers get more choice, better value and the convenience of a mattress being shipped to your front door.”
The downside for most consumers is not having the chance to try out the mattress before buying. But can a 15-minute nap in a store really give a true read of how comfortable a mattress is?
The sleep startups say the 100-night in-home trial is the solution. If the mattress doesn’t work out, they pick it up for free and you get a full refund. That’s not bad considering the markup on store-bought mattresses can be six to 12 times the manufacturing cost and you may have to pay for a return or restocking fee. You will, however, have to get rid of your old mattress on your own since you won’t have white-glove delivery service to take it out for you.
Ready to consider a mattress by mail? Here’s how four of the startups stack up:
Casper: This New York-based startup launched in 2014 offers one mattress made of three layers of foam including latex, memory and polyurethane. A 1.5-inch layer of latex is over supportive memory foam. A queen costs $850. It comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-day return policy. Free shipping and returns. Made in the USA. www.casper.com.
Nodical Bed: You get two mattress choices from this Atlanta-based company launched in June by foam makers Allied Aerofoam Products LLC. The Nodical Restore is 10 inches thick; the Nodical HD is 12 inches thick. Each features proprietary Energex and ThermaGel materials. A queen Restore is $850; a queen HD is $1050. You get a 10-year warranty, 100-day return policy, free shipping and returns. Made in the USA. www.nodicalbed.com.
Tuft & Needle: A two-layer mattress made of blended foam including polyurethane foam (not memory foam or latex foam) has been around since 2013. A queen costs $600. You get a 10-year warranty, 100-day return policy (they help you donate the mattress; you send them the receipt), free shipping and returns. Made in the USA. www.tuftandneedle.com.
Yogabed: An Atlanta-based startup founded in January by two mattress industry veterans uses a four-layer system for its mattresses including a cooling layer and a top layer of response foam, but it does not include latex foam. A queen is $849. You get two free pillows, a 10-year warranty, 101-day return policy, free shipping and returns. Made in the USA. www.yogabed.com.