3 Things To Look For When Buying A Mattress Online

buying a mattress online, best mattress, mattress reviews, mattress cleaning, mattress sagging
This post is in partnership with Nest Bedding. As always, all opinions & experiences are my own. Some links in this post may be affiliate links.

As many of you know, over the last 5 years, E and I have resided in 100% furnished apartments. While living amongst someone else's things never truly make it feel like your own, we did manage to find a few ways to make our apartment it feel like a home. However, we always seemed to end up with a 10+ year old mattress. Finally one of our landlords let us replace their 13+ year old mattress with a Tuft & Needle. This was quite a few years ago, when there were only a few “bed in the boxes” on the market. Today there are upwards of 20!

While our T&N was definitely an upgrade, after a few weeks, we knew it was not the mattress for us. For starters, it was wayyy to soft. Don't get me wrong, I love a soft mattress, but it was so soft that it didn't support us. The sinkage was so deep that we both woke up with pain every morning. I

n my case, I have larger hips which would sink in pretty deep and lead to my back over extending. I pretty much always needed to sleep with a pillow under my knees. Over the years, the technology in the mattress has probably changed, so please keep in mind, this is my experience from around 2014 or 2015. I know T&N are always looking for ways to improve and really are a good company and have friends who love them; but simply put, we knew there was a better mattress our there for us.
Nest bedding alexander signature mattress


I remain a huge fan of beds in a box, despite my last experience. No pushy sales men? I can shop in my pj's? SIGN ME UP!

But, let's be honest, buying a mattress on-line, without ever even sitting on it, can be pretty scary. I spent hourrrrssss scouring review sites trying to figure out the best mattress for me. I even put together this spread sheet based on four review sites number score and gave it a final letter grade based on the subjective parts of the review combined with their number scores:


* BEWARE: Did you know some mattress review sites are for profit, meaning their opinions can be bought. Which is why I recommend checking out a handful when making a decision!


When I came across Nest bedding I immediately fell in love! A family run company, the CEO, Joe Alexander, believes that there is no “one mattress fits everyone”. Which I totally love that mentality! Nest Bedding offers a variety of mattress and a quiz to help you discover your best fit. Aside from offering several different mattress options, you can select your firmness level too! Each mattress is hand made in the USA and Nest prides themselves on using organic, natural, and certified materials to ensure that we are sleeping on the cleanest products around! While that might not sound like a big deal, if you ever do research on the amount of chemicals in bedding/mattress you would be surprised!

If you've never had a bed in a box before, you may not know about “off-gassing”. It's pretty common in latex or memory foam mattress. Basically the mattress is vacuumed sucked into this fun burrito shape:

Nest bedding alexander signature mattress

I think the vacuum sealing process causes the chemicals from production can get locked in. Bed in the box mattresses are notorious for harsh off gassing and funky smells the first few days. I read reviews saying that Nest's beds barely had any off-gassing and they were true! A testament to their pure materials! With  T&N, we had to open all the doors and windows for a few days to get the smell to fade from our apartment. Even so, a few weeks later we could still smell it when we laid on it. With Nest, I didn't even need to crack a window!

Overall off-gassing isn't harmful, it just smells, but in a small percentage of people it's been reported to cause difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, and asthma.

Off-gassing aside, there are several other important factors to think about before pulling the trigger when buying a mattress online.

3 Things To Look For When Buying A Mattress Online:


I loveee a good plush pillowy top, but my body NEEDS support! My hips sink in and back over extends when a mattress in too soft. Not gunna lie, the first week I slept on this bed, I wondered if it was a little too firm… but that's why I also waited almost a month to do this review. Truly this mattress is SO different compared to the terrible mattress we had been sleeping on. Now that my body is used to feeling supported again, I can whole heartedly say that Nest's Alexander Signature nailed it with it's soft top, moderate sinkage, and the medium firmness! I've never felt so in love!

Nest bedding alexander signature mattress

Shop: Nest Bedding Alexander Signature Series

Motion transfer:

Especially if you sleep every night with a partner, nothing will drive you crazier than motion transfer! I am what you call an “aggressive turner”. I literally lift my entire body and plop it down when I turn. Even in a king size bed, I would wake E up on our old mattress. The Alexander Signature has little to no motion transfer and allows us both to sleep comfortably. E has repeatedly said to me, “I can't believe I didn't wake you up with how many times I got up and out of bed”.


With foam mattresses, they have a tendency to absorb and retain heat more than your traditional spring mattress. This was something I paid particular attention too during my mattress research. The Alexander Signature sleeps a little warmer than a spring mattress. Nothing dropping the air 1 degree cooler each night couldn't fix! *I also sleep with a down blanket which really traps the heat, the hubs sleeps with a sheet and doesn't think it sleeps warm at all.

Purchasing a mattress on-line doesn't have to be scary! Many “bed in the box” mattress companies offer extremely generous return periods. However, I strongly recommend you do a ton of research in advance to find the perfect mattress for you. I'll be expanding more on that in the next few weeks on the blog + sharing more on my pillow reviews since the feedback was so great on my Insta-story!

[RELATED] Guest Room Ideas Inspired By Upcycling

Nest bedding alexander signature mattress

Have you ever purchased a mattress online? What were your thoughts?

P.S. Check out how our master bedroom came out here!

110 thoughts on “3 Things To Look For When Buying A Mattress Online”

  1. We also bought our mattress online and everyone thought we were crazy. But it’s perfect and you’re right– no pushy sales people! I love the convenience and delivery 🙂

  2. Oh my, I feel like here in Austria we don’t do online shopping nearly as much as in the US. Somehow everybody is still quite traditional and will always go to a store. And I don’t understand why?? It’s so easy to order online – especially with your tips! Thanks!
    Sending love from Austria,

  3. My husband and I bought our mattress online and since we couldn’t test it, like you said, we read a million reviews. Also – free shipping. 🙂

  4. That’s kindof scary that some of the mattress review sites’ information could be skewed. Glad you all found the mattress of your dreams! It really does make such a difference in getting a good night’s rest!

  5. These mattresses that come in a box amaze me. I am always curious if they really fluff up. I’m glad this one worked out. We just got a King sized from my MIL and it is amazing, I don’t want to get up in the mornings.

  6. I’ve never bought a mattress online. Thanks for sharing your experience! I had no idea how they were actually delivered. I am glad your new mattress had less off gassing.

  7. Thank you for the breakdown. I have heard so many different things about mattresses but buying them online is super scary. We bought ours after our friends highly recommended it and we ended up loving it. But unfortunately they discontinued it shortly after.
    Victoria | http://www.thesoutherntrunk.com

  8. I know a firm bed is supposed to be so much better for the body, but I just can’t seem to stay away from squishy pillow toppers! It’s like snoozing in a bed of clouds haha.

    Glad you had a positive online shopping experience!

    XO. easilyinspired-blog.com

  9. This sounds amazing! Before my nana had her stroke she was an interior designer and owner of her own decorating business. So thankfully, she gave Taylor and I a nice mattress when we got married (along with a recliner, chaise chair, and couch). I dread when we have to get a new mattress because I totally got spoiled with the one we were given. lol.

  10. Amanda | Maple Alps

    I never even thought about buying a mattress online, since I’m scared I wouldn’t think it comfortable! It doesn’t look as scary as I thought it might be!

    1. It really isn’t! If you think about it, lying on a mattress in the store for a few minutes doesn’t really give you an idea of how you will sleep! I’ve gone to countless hotels, laid on the bed as soon as we got in and thought it was the best bed ever, only to sleep on it and wake up in pain in the middle of the night! I think mattress shopping without the research is just scary!

  11. I would’ve never thought to order a mattress online, but Nest sounds like a great and reliable place to do so!

    1. Haha I felt like that too! I knew what I didn’t like but spent about 20 hours researching (that spread sheet in this was actually longer but I shortened it for the top ones) to narrow it down!

  12. I’m looking to replace my mattress, and these are awesome tips! I love the idea of a soft mattress, but like you said, my hips and back just can’t handle it. I was debating trying Tuft and Needle but I’m thankful for your honesty — it sounds like it would be all wrong for me. I’ll check out Nest instead!

    1. Definitely! The price point is quite different between T&N and Nest’s Alexander Signature, but honestly, for how many years you sleep on it, it’s worth it IMO. I think of T&N as like your college or recent grad mattress, when you really need to save and Nest as you’re “I’m an adult and I need a good mattress” haha

  13. Love this! After wanting to try a mattress in a box since Casper and T&N hit the market, I finally got one! You’re so right about there being a million options out there but it’s a much better way to shop for mattresses!

  14. These are all so true! I recently bought a new mattress it kind of just went off reviews. Luckily it all worked out but next time I’ll have to use these tips for next time!

    1. Lol it’s the way of the future! it really is a much nicer experience! and laying on a mattress in a store for a few minutes doesn’t mean you will like sleeping on it after a month is something I realized

  15. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    We bought a mattress online last year and went through the same process as you. It’s scary because you don’t really know what you’re getting into. Sounds like you’re happy with your choice! 🙂 It pays off to do some research.

    1. Once you take the leap and do it, I think you’ll never go back! It’s SO easy, and the reality is, even if you go into a mattress store and lie on one, it doesn’t mean you’ll like sleeping on it after a week!

  16. This is interesting! I work for a local mattress distributor (they don’t love online mattress buying haha) so it’s always interesting to see how the experience is so different!

    1. Haha I bet! The CEO of Nest worked in the mattress industry for like 20 years before starting his company, and I think he took a lot of that knowledge and experience to craft a truly great product and experience!

  17. thanks for the tips! Buying a mattress is always so stressful, you never want to pick something that won’t be comfy!

    Casey // adolescentadulthood.co

  18. I would be so nervous to order a mattress online! But it looks like you found a great one!

    1. Haha most companies have generous return policies which makes it a little easier, but doing the research really helped avoid all that! We love ours!

  19. We have a Casper mattress and I LOVE IT. Seriously the best thing ever, your Nest mattress sounds really similar. I’m the same way when it comes to firmness of mattress, I need support!

    Great review!

  20. It seems like every day brings a couple new online mattress companies! They’re everywhere these days! Nest is definitely one I haven’t heard of before; too bad we recently traded out our master bed mattress, otherwise I just might give this one a go.

    1. So true! Our old landlord let us pick one out years ago when we got the T&N, and I was SO surprised how many more had come on the market in just a few short years! What did you end up with in your master?

  21. How nice it is to find the perfect mattress after the long wait, it seems. I am not a fan of too soft mattresses that hurt your back like you mentioned.Finding one that is soft enough yet firm enough is always great. I did not know about off-gassing because we’ve never bought a mattress online. That is so great to know.

  22. Elizabeth Johnson

    This is so helpful! Michael and I are in desperate need of a new mattress and the thought of buying one online is definitely scary. I love tha you created a spreadsheet! Spreadsheets always put a smile on my face. HAHA! Thanks for sharing your findings!

    1. Haha you’re welcome! Yeah, I figured if nothing else the spreadsheet in the post could help people narrow their search a little bit based on the number reviews!

  23. Nest sounds awesome! We got a new mattress about two years ago but when we move into a house we’re looking to upgrade to a king so I’ll totally be referring back to this.

  24. Cooling is a must! Nest sounds amazing, I love that you can shop in your PJs! The vacuum packaging is clever!

  25. I don’t think I even knew you could buy mattress online! that is super cool! I really love cooling ones!

  26. It’s funny because growing up my mom picked my mattress, then I lived in students using and when I got my first adult bed it was a gift so I didn’t pick out the mattress but I read the title and was like, “OMG I’d never order a mattress without test driving it first!” Hah then I was like wait, I’ve never purchased my own mattress but this doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I know I’ll need one soon. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Haha I used to think that! But the reality is, laying on it in the story doesn’t really give you a great picture either! I think it takes a few weeks of sleeping on it to know if it’s right for you. I’ve laid on mattress in hotels when we got in and would be SO excited to sleep on it, only to be in so much pain in the morning!

  27. I wish that I had known about boxed mattresses three years ago when I was purchasing one for the first time! Nest sounds like an amazing brand. I appreciate all of the helpful hints from this post; I had no idea that off-gassing was a thing!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

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