Why Are Mattresses So Expensive? [Alternatives & Tips]

At one point in time or another, you were probably in the market for a new mattress.

Since there are so many of them on the market, it can bar hard to figure out whether or not they’re actually worth their price tag. 

This leaves us to question why mattresses are so expensive to begin with.

Since there are so many competitors, they’re constantly increasing the quality of their mattresses, which comes with a price increase. 

The reason mattresses are so expensive, the high-quality ones anyway, is due to the materials that they use. The better quality material, the longer the mattress is going to last, and the higher the price tag is going to be. 

So what kind of materials are considered “high-quality”?

Why are they so expensive? WE’ll answer all of these questions and get to the bottom of why mattresses are so expensive today. 

Why Are Mattresses So Expensive?

There was a point in time when there were just a couple of mattress brands such as Serta and Sealy, that offered a mattress for just a couple of hundred dollars.

Today, we have mattresses that cost thousands of dollars. 

Some of the costs come from materials used and the health benefits that the mattress offers.

Not only that, but companies take into consideration the commission, profit, shipping, retailers, and advanced technology used. 

Here are the reasons why mattresses are so expensive. 

1.Health Benefits

One of the main reasons why mattresses are so expensive is because they can be beneficial to your health.

According to the National Institute of Health, mattresses can improve your sleep quality, reduce back pain, and decrease stress. 

A good mattress can help keep your body well supported with no discomfort or pressure on your shoulders, ribcage, ankles, or hips.

It will conform to the curve of your spine and keep it aligned with the rest of your body and help distribute your body weight across your entire frame. 

Additionally, a therapeutic mattress will help with mobility issues, aching joints, poor blood circulation, and even insomnia.

Therapeutic mattresses tend to be the most expensive since they offer the most health benefits and have high-quality materials such as cooling gel memory foam. 

2.Markups

Buying a mattress from a store will cost you more because retailers increase their price by 40-50% and even up to 200-400%.

Mattresses manufactured in China for $400 are selling for $4,000.

You may also find that mattress stores will increase their price, offer a discount, and make you think you’re getting a deal when really, you’re not.

Fortunately, some mattress stores offer room to haggle. 

3.Marketing Tactics

This is where mattress companies and retailers get sneaky. A mattress company may make a minor adjustment to a single mattress model and will alter the name.

They will then distribute different models to different retailers. It makes it harder for somebody to compare prices and shop around for the best deal.

The reason for this is that retailers are essentially stocking the same mattress, but the alternate labeling makes it look like each model is actually different to a casual buyer. 

Shopping online allows you to avoid this issue because most of the time you can find the exact breakdown of the materials, structure, and design of the mattress.

You can then compare them to ensure you’re not paying more for a mattress that may be identical to its cheaper alternative. 

4. Materials

The materials in the mattress have a huge impact on the price.

If you’re shopping for a mattress that has a high percentage of certified organic material as opposed to a mattress with cheap polyfoams, you’re going to pay more. 

There are a couple of specific materials that will increase the price of your mattress which includes: 

  • GOLS certified organic latex
  • GOTS certified organic cotton
  • Proprietary memory foam
  • High-density memory foam and polyfoams
  • Individually wrapped coils
  • NAtural flame retardants such as wool
  • Natural fibers
  • Cooling gel
  • Heat retention

Not only does the type of material matter, but so does the cost. Mattresses that are hybrid have more materials compared to just innerspring or memory foam, so the cost will be greater.

Generally speaking, innerspring mattresses are cheaper because they don’t have a lot of material in them unless they have a pillowtop or Eurotop. 

5. Special Qualities

Mattresses today have some seriously amazing qualities that help jack up the price. Here are some of them: 

Orthopedic Qualities

Orthopedic mattresses are for those who suffer from pain. It uses firm and zoned support to help combat the pain and support your joints. 

Mattress

Edge Support

Some mattresses, especially memory foam ones, don’t offer a ton of edge support most of the time.

However, mattress companies have smartened up and started using firmer springs and higher density foam to stop the mattress edges from sagging when you sit on them. 

Hypoallergenic

These mattresses are aimed at allergy sufferers.

The material in the mattress is GreenGold certified and is meant to stop allergens, such as dust mites, from penetrating the mattress cover. 

Cooling Capabilities

Companies started using gel foam, infused cooling/moisture-wicking materials, perforated foams, and corrugated designs to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep. 

Thickness

You’ll find that mattresses are getting thicker and thicker these days. Instead of an 8” mattress, they’re going up to 14” or higher.

These require deep-pocketed sheets, which also tend to be more expensive. Additionally, thicker mattresses with Eurotop or pillow top features add pressure relief, which will increase the price more. 

6. Lifetime

A mattress’s lifetime plays a large role in how much it’s going to cost. A good mattress has a lifespan of 7-10 years whereas others may not last 3.

It greatly depends on the material used in the mattress as well. If you’re planning to have a mattress for longer than 10-years, expect to pay a pretty penny for it. 

7. Mattress Technology

Yes, you read that right. A mattress can have technology in it. It can help enhance a mattress’s benefits, making them more pricey, but oh so comfortable. 

Heating

Most mattresses will offer cooling technology, but occasionally you’ll find one with heating technology.

These ones are pricier because they’re considered “high-end”. The system within the mattress will warm up and help you regulate your body’s temperature.

Helpful Tip: Don’t pay extra for a heated bed. Invest in a heated mattress pad instead. That way, you can control when and when not you want to use it. 

Sleep Sensor

Sleep sensors have become a huge part of people’s lives. Mattresses now include them, but at a price.

The sensor will track your heart rate, track breathing, and even keep track of how many times you get in and out of bed.

Your quality of sleep is important if you want to be energetic, healthy, and able to focus.

More and more people are springing for the extra technology and paying way too much.

Helpful Tip: Get a smartwatch instead. They track the same things the mattress does and will cost hundreds less. 

Memory Gel 

Memory gel mattresses are comfortable and can memorize a person’s body. This type of technology will increase the cost.

Additionally, high-density foam plus the layer of gel will help relieve pressure and benefit your circulation.

Helpful Tip: If you can’t afford a gel foam mattress, spring for a gel foam mattress topper. They do the same thing, but you can remove it when you need to. 

Why Are Purple Mattresses So Expensive?

Purple is the most popular mattress brand on the market right now, but does that mean it’s worth it? What makes them so expensive? 

Purple Mattress Storefront

Purple mattresses are made of higher-density memory foam and hyper-elastic polymer.

These are more durable and last longer than spring, polyfoam, and memory foam. If you’re thinking of purchasing a Purple mattress, here are some of its features. 

Ideal for Back Sleepers

Purple mattress is ideal for those who are under 230 lbs and sleep on their backs.

The original Purple mattress has the Purple Grid 2” hyper-elastic gel layer that provides adaptive support to your spine and joints to help alleviate back pain. 

Stay Cool

If you’re a warm sleeper, the Purple Orignal can help keep you cool due to its grid design.

It helps warm air dissipates and replaces it with cooler ambient air as you move around.

It can help regulate your body temperature better than mattresses made from solid polyfoam or memory foam top layer.  

Weight Distribution

Sick of your partner tossing and turning and you feeling every one of their movements?

The polymer gel combined with high-density polyfoam transition and base layer help with the weight distribution of each person.

It dampens movements and cross-mattress transfer. 

Less Pressure

The Original Purple mattress has a medium-firm feel. It is ideal for pressure relief thanks to that popular polymer gel combined with adaptive foam support.

It takes the pressure off your shoulders and hops if you sleep on your side and weigh 130-230 lbs. 

Edge Support

This mattress includes a layer of foam around the edge of the mattress to provide more edge support.

This way, you don’t feel like you’re going to roll off when you sleep close to the edge. 

Hypoallergenic

The Purple Original is CertiPUR-US certified and made from non-toxic materials.

This ensures there are low to no odor-causing VOCs and is hypoallergenic to ensure you don’t suffer an allergic reaction when sleeping on the mattress. 

The takeaway here regarding the Purple mattress is that it’s probably not suitable for people over 230 lbs because they may sink into the mattress.

The average price of a Purple mattress is roughly $1500 when considering all of their mattresses.

It is worth the price? Honestly, we would have to say yes. Considering some Sealy or Serta mattresses cost around the same price for larger sizes, we would say this is a good price. 

How To Reduce Mattress Costs

If you’re not quite ready to purchase an expensive mattress or want a high-quality mattress at a low-quality price, here are a couple of price hacks you can use. 

Purchase Online

Don’t buy a new mattress from the store unless you absolutely have to. They make their prices up and falsely advertise sales that don’t actually save you money.

Additionally, online mattress companies will sometimes offer sleep trials. You can try the mattress for a certain period and if you don’t like it, you can return it at no extra cost. 

Look for Sales

If you have a specific brand in mind, they may have exclusive discounts if you sign up on their website.

A little trick we’ve used in the past is to get to the checkout page, put your email in, and then abandon the cart.

Wait a day or two and there may be an email with a discount in it or a free item to get you to check out what you had in your cart.

You can do that or you can chat with a live agent and express your indecision. They may throw in a discounted item or a certain percentage off of your purchase. 

In addition to those tactics, you can also expect discounts of between 10-50% around the following events or holidays: 

  • New Year’s – inventory is cleared leading to price cuts
  • President’s Day – Discounts in physical stores
  • Memorial Day – Online retailers offer good deals
  • Independence Day – Discounts generally last from June to July
  • Labor Day – Large sales virtually everywhere
  • Veteran’s Day – Clearing stock before the holidays
  • Black Friday – Extreme sales event both on and offline
  • Cyber Monday – Sales extensions from Black Friday

The best time to buy a new mattress is between April and May because retailers are often trying to clear out their inventory to make room for newer models. 

Haggle

If you don’t trust online shopping and prefer to shop in stores, use your haggling skills to get the price of the mattress down a little.

We recommend going to a mom-and-pop store to try this method as opposed to a large mattress chain.

However, if you want to haggle smartly with a large chain, you can save as much as 50%. 

The main thing to remember is that a salesperson works off of commission, so they really want to sell you a mattress, even if they cut the price down a little.

Never let them push you to the more expensive mattress so they earn a larger commission. 

Why Are Tempurpedic Mattresses So Expensive?

Tempurpedic mattresses are advertised all over the television and internet. They’ve been around for quite some time and you may have even seen them at retail stores. You may have noticed that their prices are outrageous. Why is this?

One reason TempurPedic mattresses are so expensive is that they utilize unique materials that are designed to keep your body comfortable and healthy. They do an amazing job of reducing pressure points that may result in sleep discomfort and help keep the spine aligned to alleviate back pain.

Design

They’re designed with a comfortable memory foam layer that conforms to your body while you sleep. This helps keep the pressure points from acting up and leads to a more comfortable sleep.

They’re also designed with materials that help absorb heat and resist heat to improve circulation and reduce pressure points.

Good For Back Pain

Tempurpedic mattresses are ideal for those who suffer from back pain. The mattress removes pressure points, eases muscle and joint pain, keeps your spine aligned, and regulates your temperature. We’ve already learned that any mattress that has health benefits will cost more than traditional ones.

Are Tempurpedic Mattresses Worth The Money?

Even though they seem to cost an arm and a leg, they’re worth the price. They offer one of the best values on the market, are designed with unique materials to keep your both feeling top-notch, and they’re comfortable.

We appreciate the fact that Tempurpedic mattresses can be cleaned without losing their effectiveness or breaking down. This saves you from having to buy a new mattress more frequently than needed.

Average Cost of A Mattress

The average cost of a mattress today is roughly $1000 for good quality.  However, you will find premium mattresses that can cost upwards of $5000 and a budget mattress for $150.

You also have to take into consideration the size of the mattress. Twin mattresses are going to cost less than a King because less material is being used. 

Here are some of the average prices of certain mattresses: 

Average prices are generally based on Queen sizes

TypeAverage Price
Innerspring$850
Foam$700
Latex$2,000
Airbed$1,500

What to Expect In Each Price Range

Here’s what you can expect in each price range: 

Free-$200

You’re going to get a very low-quality mattress. It’s most likely going to sag, won’t have a warranty, and may have a strange odor.

This is especially true if you’re purchasing a second-hand mattress.

However, Linenspa and Ashley Sleep do offer some affordable mattresses that won’t make you feel disgusted when sleeping on them. 

$200-$600

At this price range, you’ll most likely get a decent-quality mattress. These mattresses will either be memory foam or latex.

Memory foam has a shorter life span than a good-quality latex mattress. Additionally, the bigger the bed, the lower quality you’ll get.

They’ll generally only last around 5-years. A couple of brands in this price range are Beautyrest, Sleepy’s, Layla, and Zinus. 

$600-$900

This is where you start getting into a higher-quality mattress. It may be thick memory foam or higher quality synthetic materials such as latex.

A mattress in this price range will get you a 10-year warranty and will last between 8-10 years.

Most famous new-name brands are in this price range such as GhostBed, Lucid, and Casper. 

$900-$2500

Now you’re getting into the premium mattresses. These will have the highest quality materials, great warranties, and a ton of options from latex to high-quality memory foam.

The smaller mattresses in this price range will be ultra-premium and may even be medically backed.

Not only that, but they’ll most likely come with a 10+ year warranty or maybe even a lifetime warranty.

Mattress brands in this range include Purple, Saatva, Helix, Nectar, and DreamCloud. 

So it is really worth it to buy an expensive mattress from some of the most well-known mattress companies on the market?

It honestly all depends on what you’re looking for. GhostBed, Lucid, Casper, Purple, and Zinus are definitely worth the price.

They don’t have a ton of fancy features and more of them are for comfort. 

However, we don’t think the mattresses with the sensors and heating technology are worth it.

One of the most popular mattress brands that offer this technology is Sleep Number. We don’t think any Sleep Number mattress is worth their outrageous price tag. 

The Takeaway

As you can see, mattresses today are getting to be a little extreme with the technology and price tag that follows.

You shouldn’t pay any more than $900 for a good-quality mattress. This price range will get you a good warranty, a comfortable bed, and some decent comfort features.

If you want to get the best deal possible, you’ll follow some of our tips and tricks for saving money on your next mattress purchase.

We don’t guarantee they’ll work, but you might get lucky. 

Leave a Comment