Last week, Amazon added a low-cost foam mattress to its growing list of private label products. The mattress starts at $130, comes in four sizes and three thickness levels, and ships in a box that arrives on your doorstep in two days* (if you’re a Prime member).
It was only a matter of time before the e-commerce titan jumped on the bed-in-a-box bandwagon. But is their bargain mattress too good to be true? The short answer is yes.
Before you get tempted by its price tag and convenience, read why buying a $130 Amazon mattress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
*While the AmazonBasics mattress is listed as Prime-eligible, the mattress is currently on a backorder and is estimated to take 1-3 months to ship.
On the surface, Amazon’s new mattress might look just like all the others. It’s a foam mattress, it comes in a box – how different can it really be? The truth is, not all memory foam mattresses are created equal.
If you’re paying $130 for a mattress, these things are likely true:
We’re talking about your bed here – the place you spend a third of your life. Your sleep quality is directly impacted by how good your mattress is. And poor sleep quality has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, just to name a few. In short, your mattress is not the place you want to compromise quality for a tempting price tag.
Amazon’s debut in the mattress space is disruptive, sure. But the product certainly isn’t on the same caliber as other direct-to-consumer mattress brands like Leesa, Saatva, Helix, and Tuft & Needle. These are brands that employ teams of trained engineers and product specialists to create mattresses designed to provide optimal support, pressure relief and a comfortable sleep surface for years to come. Think you’re getting that with a $130 mattress? Think again.
“I’ve been making high-quality mattresses in the US for more than 30 years,” said Jamie Diamonstein, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Leesa. “Cheap low-quality imports are not new but they serve a completely different type of customer from the Leesa customer. As our Chief Product Officer, I am driven by our customers. That’s why we build and test hundreds of prototypes before we launch a new product.
It’s also why we stand behind our mattresses with risk-free in-home trials and 10-year warranties. Whether you buy your Leesa mattress on Amazon, at West Elm or directly from us, you’ll get a whole lot of mattress for your money, and a lot of love too.”
Aside from how these mattresses are made, the other thing that sets the Leesas and Saatvas of the world apart from Amazon’s budget mattress is where they’re made. Mattresses made in America must uphold the highest quality, safety and environmental standards in the world, and America’s labor laws are stricter than most foreign countries.
“Obviously, you get what you pay for,” said Ron Rudzin, CEO of Saatva. “A cheap foam mattress compressed in a small box has the worst of everything you should want in quality, healthy sleep. Foams produced outside of the United States have lower standards for health and safety. Additionally, when these cheaper foams are compressed it can cause the cells to break down resulting in a negative effect on its performance. It will most likely have higher levels of off-gassing as well.”
While Amazon doesn’t clearly state that its mattress is made outside the US, the price tag and the fact that it doesn’t show up on its own list of “Made in USA Mattresses” speaks clearly.
We all understand why a Mercedes is better than a Kia. It has more horsepower, it rides smoother, and it just looks better. But when it comes to mattresses, it’s harder to understand what sets different models apart from each other at face value – especially when they all look the same.
In order to sell a mattress for ~$200 (and still make a profit), there are naturally corners that will be cut in the process. These are the details that might not be obvious until the first few weeks of sleeping on a mattress. But as a consumer, you want your mattress to last a long time – like seven to 10 years long.
Adam Tishman, Co-Founder of Helix, explains why they choose quality over cheap materials for their mattresses:
“We manufacture all Helix mattresses 100% here in the US. It gives us confidence that we can control the quality of every single mattress to make sure our customers have the best experience possible for many years to come. Because most consumers are not very familiar with the intricacies of foam and spring production, a lot of cheap products make misleading claims.”
So while your first few nights on the AmazonBasics mattress might be pure bliss, it likely won’t last. There’s a good chance you’ll experience sagging, a deterioration in support, and an overall change in how the mattress feels.
The Amazon mattress has the benefit of a low price tag, but when it comes to other important factors that make a good mattress, it’s lacking. Here’s a look at how it stacks up.
|AmazonBasics Foam Mattress||Leading Bed-in-a-Box
(for a queen)
|Trial Period||(Not offered)||100-365 days|
|Return Policy||Returns accepted for unopened boxes within 30 days of purchase||Returns accepted within trial period window; Unwanted mattresses are removed from your home, donated to charity, and original purchase price is refunded|
|Warranty||1 year||10-20 years|
|Materials||3 layers of memory foam||
Proprietary foam blend layers (typically 3-5) designed to provide pressure relief, support heavier parts of your body and emit little to no off-gassing
Pass qualifications for the highest environmental and health standards by being manufactured in America
|Expected Lifespan*||1-3 years||10-15 years|
*Estimate only, not based on actual testing
As you can see from the chart above, opting for an AmazonBasics foam mattress means you surrender many of the purchase protection benefits that other direct-to-consumer brands offer – like a generous trial period and warranty. And while these might not sound as valuable as uber-fast shipping and a few hundred bucks back in your pocket, they’ll matter when the time comes.
Most DTC mattress companies offer trial periods that range from 100 days to a full year. The period allows you to sleep on the mattress for at least a few months in the comfort of your own home and then decide if you’d like to keep the mattress or not. If not, you simply initiate a return, a representative comes to your house to pick up your mattress, and you’re refunded your money.
Amazon’s mattress is subject to the standard Amazon return policy, which is:
“You may return most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.”
And then there’s the warranty. Warranties are typically valid for 10-20 years from top online manufacturers. Some even offer a limited warranty for as long as you own the mattress.
Amazon’s warranty is one year. Which, if we’re being honest, might also be the lifetime of the mattress.
So what do customers think about the mattress so far? Right now, it’s hard to say. Amazon’s mattress has a total of 3 reviews. The first two (and the highest rated) come from Vine Voice – an Amazon program that offers members free products during pre-release in exchange for an “honest, unbiased” review.
And there’s Don Summers – the only reviewer who hasn’t been offered the product for free:
We’d have to agree with Don on this one.
Want our opinion on Amazon’s new bed-in-a-box mattress? Well, it’s on its way to our Mattress Lab. Check back soon on MattressAdvisor.com for our in-depth review.