The Cons of Buying into the ‘Mattress in a Box’ Online Trend

Plain mattress in bedroom.


Just like everything else these days, mattresses are available for purchase online, shipping right to your door—in a box. Although the convenience of such an option can be tempting, buying a mattress is an investment that has a significant and long-term effect on the quality of your life. Before you hop on Amazon and order the first mattress result available through prime shipping, here are several reasons why the cons of buying a mattress in a box can often outweigh the pros. 


You Can’t Test Before You Buy 


There is no such thing as a universally good mattress, although reviews online can attest to individual experiences, only you can know if you will enjoy sleeping on a particular mattress or not. There are so many components that go into the comfort of a mattress– density, materials, the presence of a box spring, the style of bed it’s being placed on, etc. Many components go into your needs from a mattress for quality sleep such as personal preferences, and also medical requirements are huge factors. 


Solely relying on reviews or the description of a mattress online simply won’t cut it for some people. Having the option of going in-person to a showroom, physically laying down on a mattress, feeling the quality of the material, and observing the smallest details, is an incredibly efficient process that will ensure you are making a good purchase that will justify the price tag. 


Customization Is Not an Option 


Many mattresses sold online are mass-produced in bulk quantity with only one goal in mind: making a profit. Producers will cut costs at every possible opportunity, leaving little to no room for the interest of the customer. 


Buying a mattress in person, specifically from a company that offers build-to-order and customizable mattresses, is a worthwhile investment that will guarantee a positive sleeping experience. 


At Gardner Mattress, customers are encouraged to visit one of the three showroom locations in either Salem, Woburn, or Needham, and to physically try out examples of the customizable mattresses we build. No matter the need or desire, whether customers want organic materials, firm or soft surfaces, or even specific sizing requests, Gardner Mattress offers completely customizable build-to-order mattresses. 


Suspicious Materials


Third-party sellers that ship mattresses through e-commerce websites maintain a level of anonymity which allows them to be less-than-transparent about important product details. 


Although mattresses sold online may come with a cheaper price tag, this often implies that the materials being used are also cheap and often untrustworthy. There are countless horror stories online detailing customers who purchased mattresses containing fiberglass, a material that is used as a flame repellent. This material, while being very inexpensive, is very irritating to most people and if released from the mattress will settle on virtually every surface and penetrate the body’s surfaces and skin barrier. Many people accidentally release fiberglass from cheap mattresses when attempting to wash a soiled cover, inadvertently causing a nightmarish problem that will be both expensive and traumatic to fix. 


Mattresses bought online can also have nauseating chemical smells that take days to go away, if they do at all. This is often caused by flame-retardant chemicals manufacturers use to meet fire-safety standards. These chemicals, in addition to smelling bad, have been suspected by many customers to be the cause of respiratory health issues. 


Knowing the materials in your mattress is important to maintaining your health. Working with smaller companies dedicated to the proper sourcing of high-quality materials is key. Gardner Mattress makes all products with high-quality materials and even offers the option of organic mattresses to customers who may experience allergies or have concerns about chemical additives. 


Returns are Costly and a Hassle 


Mattresses that arrive in boxes can fit into shippable boxes as they are air-sealed and rolled tight in the packaging process. This method is very convenient for shipping purposes and can even be fun to witness inflate once placed on a bed frame. The excitement stops there, however, as this process proves to be less effective on the side of returns. 


Many companies will require the buyer to manage shipping arrangements for mattresses they are dissatisfied with. The cost of shipping such a large item often ends up totaling to be more than the initial cost of the mattress itself, and many consumers will opt to simply eat the loss and throw it away entirely. 


In addition to delivering ordered mattresses straight to your door, Gardner Mattress also offers both refund and exchange policies involving a 90-day trial period from the date of delivery on all standard-size mattresses and box springs. 


Lack of Expertise 


Buying a mattress is a surprisingly complicated process. Especially for those who require certain factors to get a good night’s sleep. With so many options and mattresses costing a decent chunk of change, the pressure to make a good choice can be overwhelming. 


If shopping online, the decision is left solely up to you as a test of your Google navigation skills. One of the major perks of shopping in-store is receiving a face-to-face experience with a salesperson knowledgeable of the product you are buying. Gardner Mattress has been a lead innovator in the mattress industry on the east coast for over 80 years. Our expertise and desire to help you find the best mattress option customized to your needs is our number one priority.   


Feeding E-Commerce Giants 


With the rise of online shopping, even industries that thought they could always rely on maintaining an in-person customer base due to the inconvenience of shipping large items, are being surpassed by giant companies with higher shipping budgets and intricate technology. E-commerce giants such as Amazon are slowly killing small and local businesses, as their two-day shipping guarantees and competitively low prices are impossible standards to keep up with. When you opt to buy a mattress online, you are contributing to an industry that is killing the spirit of entrepreneurship in America.

Working with Gardner Mattress to find the perfect combination of high-quality materials to give you the best night’s sleep possible is an investment in your local economy, long-term health, and overall quality of life–results that cannot be found in a box.


Visit one of our four conveniently located showrooms. Our original factory and showroom in Salem, our showrooms in Needham and Woburn, and our newest location in Boca Raton, FL.

Massachusetts Locations

Gardner Mattress Showroom in Salem, Massachusetts

Hours of Operation

Sunday: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Monday-Saturday: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Hours of Operation

Sunday & Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Hours of Operation

Sunday: Closed
Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Florida Location

Hours of Operation

Sunday: 9:00am – 2:00pm*

Monday: 9:00am – 1:00pm*

Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed*

Thursday & Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm*

Saturday: 9:00am – 2:00pm*

*By appointment during off days and hours. Contact to schedule.