When a car breaks down, most people eventually accept their fate and fork over the cash to get it repaired or even buy another car. After all, for most of us, a reliable car is a necessity, albeit an expensive one.
But no matter how long your commute may feel, you'll spend much more of your life sleeping in your bed than driving in your car. So why are people so hesitant to buy a new mattress when their old one breaks down?
Many of us try all kinds of fixes to put off buying a new mattress. At BestCompany, we have heard suggestions all the way from putting the mattress on the ground instead of the box spring to putting a piece of plywood under it to offer more support.
When the chips are down and you need a mattress, some people look for a hand-me-down, and some people wait for a sale. "The good news for mattress buyers is that there are several times during the year to get a great deal on a new mattress," says Katie Golde, Editor and Head of Sleep Research for Mattress Clarity.
If you're tired of rolling into the middle of your sagging mattress or fed up with trying to cover up broken springs with duct tupe, the good news is you don't have to put up with a broken down mattress.
"Without question, there are certain times where mattress brands offer their biggest discounts of the year," advises Bill Fish, Certified Sleep Science Coach and cofounder of mattress and sleep product review site Tuck. "Luckily, those peak shopping times are spread throughout the year, but Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period are when shoppers will be able to uncover the best deals. Brands have become more and more competitive in those heavy shopping timeframes and the offers seem to be getting better each year."
To better understand mattress sale timelines, we asked mattress experts to help us understand when is the best time to buy a mattress:
Great times to buy each month:
Federal Holidays — New Year's Day (January 1st), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
While not unheard of, January's big holidays are not necessarily the best time to get a huge pricing discount on a mattress. The month is known for white sales on bedding and linens. However, depending on how well retailers holiday sales went last quarter, The Sleep Judge suggests that this is a good time to keep on the lookout for flash sales, if any holiday stock still needs to be cleared. So, make a deal alert and join some email newsletters, so that you can be ahead of the other shoppers.
Federal Holiday — Presidents Day (Third Monday in February)
When it comes to snagging mattress deals, the experts at Howard's TV, Appliance, and Mattress "recommend the months February to May. This is because most manufacturers began to push out new inventory/products in June. So, to make room for that new inventory they are pushing sales in the months leading up. We were running sales every month leading up to May."
David Ewart, Director of Pavilion Broadway agrees that the month of February can be a benefit to mattress shoppers. "From a purely price point of view," he says, "the big holiday sale weekends tend to be a great time to snap up a bargain, particularly towards the tail end of winter when new season stock is coming into play." This trend goes on for the next few months.
"Spring was a great time to shop for mattresses," advises interior designer Michael Helwig, "because many of our vendors would come out with new merchandise. That meant deals on retiring models and significant savings on floor merchandise. This would coincide with home show season and daylight savings time, early March."
"A large number of mattress brands also debut their new ranges in the summer months, so you can also grab yourself a great deal towards the end of springtime when many retailers are clearing stock to make way for new models," advises David Ewart, Director of Pavilion Broadway. It just depends on whether your favorite mattress store starts their old model-year purge, whether in March, April, or May.
Federal Holiday — Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
"Typically, large mattress stores upgrade their collection every June," Tim Sims, founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com. "This means clearance sales, which give you an opportunity to grab a great product for a ridiculous price." Because mattress brands are putting out their new model year mattreses lines within the next couple of months, Katie Golde from Mattress Clarity says, "Springtime, in general, is also great to look for a mattress, especially if you're cool with a slightly older model." She advises, "Even if you don't see a promotion being advertised, if you see a mattress you know you want, ask the sales rep or customer service rep if there are any discounts they can offer you." It never hurts to ask, especially when in-store staff may have quotas for stock that has to be cleared soon.
Don't forget the Memorial Day Weekend. This big shopping weekend "at the end of May might offer even more appealing prices," advises Sims.
Sadly, June is devoid of national holidays and is one of the first times of the year that it may be hard to find a clearance event or holiday sale. If you need a mattress at this time of year, check out local retailers online and sign up for all the newsletters possible. Many retailers offer special discounts and promos for first-time customers. Check out our other tips below.
Federal Holiday — Independence Day (July 4th)
Independence Day is more than just a federal holiday, which makes it prime shopping time. It's also when you might see newer mattress models at discounted rates for the first time.
While less important than celebrating our nation's independence, many retailers take this opportunity to celebrate "Christmas in July," or "Black Friday in July," with outrageous deals on home goods in general. Check out deal sites and your favorite furniture retailers for more information.
While August doesn't come bearing any federal holidays (that I know of), it can still be a good time to scope out mattress deals. "One of the best times to buy a mattress is during the back to school rush," suggests Jennifer Moore, marketing specialist at Saatva. "While the holidays can be great for decor, back-to-school time is perfect for picking up household essentials, and that includes mattresses and bedding. Start looking in early August to grab something in your price range and preferred style by September."
Federal Holiday — Labor Day (First Monday in September)
September brings us Labor Day. For many, this is the end of the previously mentioned back to school shopping rush, though some colleges don't start their year until later in September. Labor Day is a big shopping holiday. Combine that with the number of college students, etc. who are looking to move into their new off-campus apartment, and the retailers hoping to cash-in on the volume, mattresses, along with other household essentials will still be on sale at many retailers, especially leading up to Labor Day.
Federal Holiday — Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
The month of October offers several opportunities, including Columbus day. As a holiday with a three-day-weekend, this is a great opportunity to shop mattress sales before the holiday shopping blitz.
"As a former retail furniture salesperson, we would usually run sales in the late fall, between October and Black Friday, Thanksgiving," shares interior designer Michael Helwig. Fall is a season for shopping in America, and October is a gentle precursor to the shopocalypse that comes as soon as you have eaten your turkey and gravy.
Federal Holidays — Veterans Day (November 11th), Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)
"The time of year I've seen the absolute best deals (think biggest discount of the year) is Black Friday/Cyber Monday," says Logan from Sleepopolis.
Tim Sims Founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com agrees, but he has a little advice for discount shoppers: "The biggest online sale worldwide is another great chance to get your dream bed. But keep in mind that you need to act fast, as there are literally thousands of people who browse websites with the same purpose."
Additionally, as you are skimming through this year's barrage of ads to plan your Black Friday or Cyber Monday game plan, remember: Many of the biggest deals are flash sales, first-come-first-served, and only while supplies last. A backup plan is always helpful.
Federal Holiday — Christmas (December 25th)
"Furniture sales, in general, are usually quiet for the winter holidays," says Helwig, but you aren't totally out of luck. You could make up quite a discount in added promotional offers. He says, this is "usually the time to keep an eye out for promotions like free mattress support upgrades, percentages off, or dollar amount savings."
"Finally," says Sims, "there are New Year and Christmas sales happening both in offline and online stores around the United States with plenty of great offers."
Taking advantage of holiday sales
- Start researching one or more weeks out. "Most bedding brands have huge sales leading up to [big federal holidays], so start scoping out your favorites a week or so out from the holiday," advises Logan Block, director of content at Sleepopolis. This research can definitely be done with physical mailers, as well as online.
- Subscribe to newsletters. To avoid missing holiday deals, Tim Sims, Founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com suggests, "you can subscribe to the newsletter of the brand you’re interested in." That is perfect for brands that only sell their own product line, like Sleep Number, as well as online bed-in-box retailers like Purple, Saatva, and Tuft & Needle. It's also a good idea to sign up for newsletters from your favorite retailers and non-direct-to-consumer mattress brands. This way, if your favorite brand is on sale for a better deal at a different local retailer, or has a free shipping or free setup offer at a different place, you can know your options.
- Pre-shop. If you have the time, it never hurts to pre-shop in a brick and mortar store. That way, if there is a better-priced deal from an online mattress retailer, you can get the same model and firmness, ordered online, from the comfort of your own home on the actual busy holiday, when you may be busy celebrating or spending time with friends or family. Many online retailers actually have better customer-centered policies for the exact same mattresses that you would have trouble returning to a local brick and mortar retailer. Consider shopping on Wayfair where any mattress has a 100-day sleep guarantee. The same mattresses purchased at Ashley Furniture may not. However, there are several factors that decide how long it will take to actually arrive to you. A good plan is to research mattress and return policies, as well as delivery fees at a few favorite retailers. Then, when sales are made public, you can weigh your pros and cons.
If you can't wait for a holiday sale
Holidays sales are nice, but the best time to buy a new mattress is really when you need a new mattress. "Unfortunately, mattress emergencies and cash flow don’t always align with holiday sales, and waiting months on end until a huge sale comes your way is not an option," says Josh Pribyl, owner of bedding retailer, Bare Home.
Tim Sims, founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com adds: "Actually, you don’t want to wait for a perfect moment to buy a new mattress if your old one is already messing with your health. If you notice that falling asleep takes you longer, or you’re waking up with stiff shoulders, neck, or lower back, then the best time to upgrade your bed has already come."
Sleep researcher Jeanine Joy, Ph.D. from Bestmattress.reviews agrees that your wait time should be minimal. "The best time to buy a new mattress," Joy says, "is as soon as you need one, or at the latest, the next holiday." She doesn't encourage people to wait to buy a new mattress because "when someone needs a new mattress it usually means they aren't sleeping well on their current mattress. Sleep is too important to wait for months to save a little money."
If you sleep too long on a bad mattress, "It could end up being a costly decision," Joy says. "Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents, including falls and car accidents (and accidents involving space shuttles and oil tankers), reduces effectiveness at work, leads to poor moods that damage relationships, and can mess with immune and digestive function. Your health and well-being are too important to wait."
What can you do to make the tables act a little more in your favor, any time you need to buy a mattress? "Lucky for us," says Pribyl, "there are ways to save year-round." Here are his suggestions:
- "Flash sales can save big bucks, if you can find them in time. We suggest signing up for newsletters and following your favorite brands on social media to never miss out on an opportunity to save big on flash sales and subscriber-only discounts."
- "Deal sites can also be a goldmine. A quick search on these sites can provide the coupons you’ve been looking for anytime of the year."
- "Check your purchases when they arrive in the mail. Sometimes brands mail discount codes for future orders. Save these for your mattress purchase while making note of any expiration dates or limitations."
Do you work with a mattress brand that has special sales annually? Have we missed a mattress sale opportunity? Send us tips at [email protected].