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 on-line? What were your thoughts?

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

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  • Brittany Wise
    April 19, 2017 at 8:13 am

    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 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 19, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Agreed! which one did you go with?

  • Theresa
    April 19, 2017 at 8:21 am

    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,

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Haha thats probably likely! I buy almost everything online! It’s cheaper than in the store and saves time

      • Theresa
        May 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

        Definitely! We are slowly getting there as well but Austria is just SO behind on everything haha

  • Sarah Jean
    April 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

    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. 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Isn’t it awesome?!? What mattress did you guys get?

  • Cara Owens-Kindly Unspoken
    April 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:32 am

      YUP! It really is so nice! so much more energy!

  • Ivanna
    April 19, 2017 at 8:44 am

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Haha me too! They really do! Glad you love yours!

  • Jessica Jacobowitz Weinberg
    April 19, 2017 at 9:04 am

    My husband and I bought our mattress online and it was kind of like a guessing game. In the end it worked out. These are some great tips though!
    xo Jessica

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:32 am

      That’s good it worked out! Which did you end up with?

  • Latonya
    April 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Yup! The UPS guy even brought it upstairs!

  • Victoria
    April 19, 2017 at 10:13 am

    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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Awe man! What mattress was it?

  • Erica
    April 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

    OMG I did not realize the reviews/opinions could be bought…what is WRONG with society?!?! I still love our T&N, but now I wanna try a Nest. hahaha

    Coming Up Roses

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Yup! What’s in your master?

      • Erica
        April 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

        One from Raymour – I have to look at the actual mattress to remember the actual name of it!

  • Mary
    April 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Haha that’s why I love this!! I loveeeeee the cloud feeling but I also get the support!

  • Kristin Cook
    April 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:31 am

      So sorry about the stroke, but that’s exciting you guys got some great stuff!

      • Kristin Cook
        April 24, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Yeah, it has been a hard couple of years for her and my family, but she is improving. And yes! We were so thankful!

  • Julie Estrella
    April 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Great post. My husband has been wanting to check out an online mattress. Who knew there was such a market for them now.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:30 am

      It really keeps growing SO fast!

  • Amanda | Maple Alps
    April 19, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:30 am

      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!

  • Elizabeth Ghekiere
    April 19, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    This is perfect because I just started looking for a mattress!! Thank you!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

      YAY! great timing! Let me know where you land!

  • Anna Hubbard
    April 19, 2017 at 5:36 pm

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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

      I really think online ordering is the way of the future!

  • Kirsten Ortez
    April 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Oh, this is a great post! I would never think to buy a mattress online!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Glad it was helpful! It’s totally the way of the future i think!

  • Jessica Devlin
    April 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    thanks a bunch! i know next to nothing about mattresses and this really helps!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:28 am

      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!

  • Kristin Thompson
    April 19, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    These are such great tips! I think the concept of a mattress in a box is SO cool!

    The Blush Blonde

  • Brittany L. Bergman
    April 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

      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

  • Rachel @ STCL
    April 19, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Nice! Which one did you get?

  • Silvia Marquez
    April 19, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Glad it worked out for you!

  • Amanda @ A Good Hue
    April 20, 2017 at 12:41 am

    I have never bought a mattress online– I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing, but it seems pretty cool. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:26 am

      You’re welcome! It’s definitely the way of the future! It’s so easy!

  • Miss ALK
    April 20, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Call me crazy but I didn’t even realize this is something that you could buy online haha!! I just bought one with my mom last year when I graduated at a mall, but this is really good to know!

    xoxo A

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:25 am

      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

  • Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen
    April 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:25 am

      It definitely does! which one did you get last year?

  • thesofieyahdiaries
    April 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Oh, interesting tips… thanks for sharing!! I’m glad I’m not at that adulting part where I gotta buy a mattress xD


    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Haha it’ll be here sooner than you think!

  • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
    April 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

    These are all such great tips! I never would’ve thought about buying a mattress online but I’m glad that you had a good experience and that it worked out 🙂 now I might just buy one online next time I’m in the market for one!

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:24 am

      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!

  • Katie
    April 20, 2017 at 9:41 am

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:23 am

      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!

  • Live The Prep Life
    April 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Mattress shopping can definitely be tricky – thanks for sharing these tips!

    xo, brooke

  • Rachel at RKCSouthern blog
    April 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    This is a great tip list and review! I’ve only ever had custom-made mattresses but this is good info!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

      I’ve never heard of that! Why do you go custom? What makes them custom?

  • Casey Russo
    April 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

      so true! happy it was helpful!

  • Christine Martinez
    April 20, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Awesome tips! I’ll be needing a mattress in a couple of years so I will definitely keep Nest in mind. 🙂

  • mckenna bleu
    April 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

      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!

  • Jessica Sheppard
    April 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I can’t even imagine trying to buy a mattress online! These are great tips if I’m ever looking to do so, though…thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:21 am

      It’s definitely the way of the future! I’ll never go back into a mattress store!

  • Ashley Vickney
    April 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Support is so key! Happy you like your Casper! I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews!

  • Oksana | FOXYOXIE.com
    April 20, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

      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?

  • Zan Turner
    April 20, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:19 am

      It’s definitely nice to have a good mattress after SO many years! I couldn’t be happier!

  • She's Not So Basic
    April 20, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I’m so glad you did a post about this! We’re thinking about putting a new mattress in our guest room and I’ve been wondering about beds in a box.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Totally do it! They are so much more affordable and such a nicer shopping experience!

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    April 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    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!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:19 am

      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!

  • Jenny
    April 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

      You will never go back once you’re in a king! It’s SO nice!

  • Bella Bucchiotti
    April 20, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Sounds lovely!!! I need a new mattress.

  • Leighann Hall
    April 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm

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

  • Sydney Power
    April 21, 2017 at 12:12 am

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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Yup! It makes things SO much easier! The UPS guy even brought it up for us!

  • Teresa Laura | MCBL
    April 21, 2017 at 12:49 am

    This is so helpful! Mattress shopping can be super tricky. Keeping this in mind when I need a new one (which is soon thanks to my new puppy haha)

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Oh no! Did he go in the bed? Glad it was helpful! we are crate training ours overnight to make sure he doesn’t have accidents in our bed!

      • Teresa Laura | MCBL
        April 21, 2017 at 10:37 am

        Thankfully no accidents in the bed, but just more wear and tear from him scratching to make himself more comfortable lol!

  • Dia
    April 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    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.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

      HAHA! This was my first experience going through the research process too! Every other time it’s been other peoples!

  • Lauren G
    April 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Great tips! We bought a mattress online last year and we love it!

  • Brianne
    April 21, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve never bought a mattress online before, but sounds like a great alternative!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

      It really is the way of the future! So much easier, and better quality per price points!

  • Roxy Crenshaw
    April 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    These are great tips. I don’t know that I’d ever buy a mattress online. I had to lay on it and try it out

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

      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!

  • Seersucker Sass
    April 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    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

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Yeah! It’s crazy! Hope it helps on your next mattress purchase!

  • Audrey White
    April 22, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I’ve never even thought about buying a mattress online, but now I’m totally curious! It sounds great!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Haha it’s really a much nicer experience!

  • Katie
    April 23, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    The concept of being able to buy a mattress online is still crazy to me! These are all great tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Haha right? But it’s the way of the future!

  • Alex Carreno
    April 24, 2017 at 10:17 am

    I’ve never thought of buying a mattress online, cool idea!

  • Amy
    April 24, 2017 at 10:38 am

    So helpful! Definitely keeping all of this in mind when I go shopping for my new place after graduation!!


    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Glad it was helpful! Let me know where you land!

  • Kirsten Ortez
    April 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

    I never thought of buying a mattress online! Great tips for when I move out net year!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Thank you! Happy they could help!

  • Kait Moorhead | Life as Kait
    August 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I would have never thought to buy a mattress like this! But, this looks legit. I have seen a few people chatting about these lately & they’re all fantastic reviews xx hope you’re loving yours!

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