50% - 75% Off Mattress Sales - Real or Scams?

50% - 75% Off Mattress Sales - Real or Scams?

Customer Question

Are 50 - 75% off Mattress Sales Real? Or Are They All Scams?

Every day, mattress sellers advertise 50% - 75% off Sales. 
All of these deep discounts are phony!

There may be some smaller, legitimate, discounts in the 10% - 25% range, but there are no real mattress discounts of 50% or more.

Many years ago I was a buyer for a major U.S. furniture retailer. Over a 4 year period, I purchased over $20 million of mattresses.

  • Every week my company ran sales promotions, including mattress sales, claiming 50% off or more.
  • Retailers do not lose money on mattresses sold at these deeply discounted prices.
  • In general, the profit margin for heavily discounted mattresses is about the same as for non-discounted mattresses.
Two years ago, I shopped for a mattress for personal use.

I was looking for an innerspring mattress that was 12 - 14″ thick, priced under $1000 and made by a major brand.

I researched and compared over 200 different innerspring queen-size mattresses, sold by more than a dozen different retailers.

  • Most were from Serta, Sealy and Simmons but I also looked at over a dozen other brands.
  • Nearly half the mattresses I researched offered discounts of 50% or more.

From my previous experience as a professional mattress buyer, I was aware that deep discounts (from manufacturer’s suggested or “list” prices) were completely fictitious.

  • As a store buyer, I was able to create my own mattress labels, listing any price I wanted, to be printed on the mattress label.
  • About half the mattresses sold in my store had “suggested” list prices printed on the label.
    • Very few of these mattresses were ever sold at the full list price.
    • They were purchased only when featured “on sale” every 2 - 4 weeks. Sale discounts were usually 50% off or more.

That was 40 years ago. So, how do I know that the scam still continues today?

Anyone who has shopped for mattresses recently is aware that it is almost impossible to compare one mattress with another.

  • It has always been difficult to compare mattresses from different brands.
  • Now it is almost equally difficult to compare mattresses within a single brand.

The best way to determine the comparative value between two different mattresses is to compare their weights.

  • Comparing mattress weights clearly shows how Sale prices and discounts are manipulated.

When shopping for my personal mattress, I compared the weights of over 200 different mattress models.

  • Most were priced at $1000 or less, but I also checked out mattresses priced at $2000, $3000 and $4000.

In almost every case, innerspring queen-size mattresses selling between $799 - 999, weighed 80 - 100 lbs. -- regardless of the original "list" price.

  • Most mattresses selling for $799 - $899 weighed approximately 80 lbs - 90 lbs.
  • Most mattresses selling for $899 - $999 weighed approximately 90 lbs. - 100 lbs.
  • This analysis included mattresses with "list" prices of $1999 - $3999 that were selling at discounts of 50% - 75% off.

I subsequently examined several mattresses actually selling in the $1999 - $2999 price range.

  • All of these weighed 110 - 130 lbs.
  • This included mattresses on sale for 50% - 75% off, selling with list prices ranging from $3999 - $8999.

There was absolutely no relationship between the “list” comparison price and the weight of any mattress.

  • Mattresses listed as $3999 values and selling for $999 weighed approximately the same as mattresses selling for $999 with no discount.
  • Mattresses listed at $8,999 values selling for $2999 weighed approximately the same as mattresses selling for $2999 with no discount.
  • Mattresses actually selling for $1999 weighed more than those selling for $999.
  • Mattresses selling for $2999 weighed more than those selling for $1999.

What are you paying for when you get a mattress selling for $2999 instead of one for $999?

According to my best estimate:

  • $500 for quality improvements.
  • $500 for cosmetic improvements.
  • $1000 extra profit.

Although only a small part of the cost increase is for quality improvements, it can be enough to significantly improve the overall mattress comfort.

If two mattresses have the same price, the mattress that is heavier will be the better value.

  • Value is not the same as comfort. This assumes both mattresses are equally comfortable.
  • This also assumes you are comparing two mattresses of similar construction.
    • Weight is not a good way to compare mattresses with different types of construction, such as innerspring vs. memory foam.

Update: My analysis was conducted in 2019. Mattress prices have increased since that time.

  • The mattress weights I have listed here are now associated with different prices.
  • I estimate that the $1000 mattresses I was looking at 3 years ago now sell for closer to $1200.