Is Financing a Mattress Worth It? The Answer Is Not So Clear Cut

It’s come time to buy a new mattress. As you’re bombarded with 0% APR and other credit options, you should ask yourself, is financing a mattress worth it?

By Nicole Gleichmann

Apr 14th, 2022

Cash may be king, but credit is universal. These days you can pay for nearly everything with credit. What was once saved for large purchases like homes and cars is now the way that many Americans budget—finance everything into simple monthly payments.

But there are negative consequences that can come from over-utilizing credit. From excessive fees to poor credit scores to bankruptcy, it pays to weigh the pros and cons before financing a new purchase.

A simple Google search about financing a mattress yields conflicting results. You will see sites exclaiming that financing is the only way to go, and others warning that financing a mattress is a universally bad idea. The truth is much less black and white.

What Is Mattress Financing?

Mattress financing is when you pay for your mattress over a period of time, rather than up front with cash. You can finance your mattress with existing credit cards, a new zero percent credit card, or via a variety of financing options through the mattress seller.

Many people choose to finance their bed via offers that are presented to them in-store or online through the mattress retailer. Financing offers are often pushed by companies in the hopes of making greater profits. Not only does furniture financing allow people who do not have the money to buy a mattress, but it also encourages people to buy a mattress that is more expensive than they would have otherwise.

When someone sees a mattress that costs $2,000, the sticker shock can result in a quick “no.” But present that same person with a mattress that is $67 per month, and they are less likely to care that the total cost of the mattress will add up to be even more than that $2,000.

The Different Types of Mattress Financing

Every financing option is different, and you will want to pay attention to the details of the offer. They can vary in interest rates, payment options, fees, and more.

The first factor you will want to pay close attention to is the interest rate. While a company may advertise 0% APR, that usually only applies if your credit check comes back stellar. Without a good credit score, the interest rate could be 10%, 20%, or even higher. And you may end up having to pay back interest if you do not pay it off by a certain date.

Next, be sure that you know how long you will have to make monthly loan payments. Some offers are designed to end in a certain number of months. Others have you choose your monthly payment and continue making payments until the mattress is fully paid off. Be wary of this strategy as the accumulation of interest can make your total mattress cost much more than you might expect.

Lastly, there are often added fees associated with financing. Even a 0% APR mattress that you pay off in the designated 12 months might end up costing you more than if you had paid for it up front.

Many trusted mattress retailers, like Purple and Nectar, use Affirm loans through Cross River Bank. This tends to be one of the better options, but still be sure to read the fine print.

The Cons of Financing Your Mattress

1. It May Cost More

Most financing offers end up costing you more than it would have if you paid for your mattress entirely at the time of purchase. This is due to:

  • Interest
  • Added fees for financing
  • Late payment fees

2. It Could Harm Your Credit

Sometimes getting a loan can affect your credit score. This is most common if you miss a payment or are unable to afford the monthly payments in the future. Additionally, the credit check may be a hard credit check. This means that your credit score will drop by a few points. Keep this in mind if you will soon be financing a large item, like a house or car.

3. It Might Make Returns More Difficult

Some retailers offer a limited trial period. If you find that you do not want your mattress, financing may make a return more difficult. And sometimes you will still have to pay interest that has accrued.

Do You Need to Finance Your Mattress?

Before you compare the pros and cons of mattress financing, first, ask yourself this question: do you need to finance your mattress?

There are plenty of high-quality mattresses available for around $500. For many people, the difference between a $500 and a $2,000 mattress is negligible. If possible, the best option is to find a mattress that you can afford now, in cash.

Of course, there are times when even $500 is out of reach. And sometimes a special need arises where you do require a mattress that is more costly than what you can afford at the moment.

But it pays to consider your options before financing a mattress. If you are at a brick-and-mortar store, it can be easy to get pressured by a salesperson to buy a mattress that was not truly your best option. Take time to decide which mattress is best for you.

When Financing a Mattress Is a Good Option

There are scenarios when financing a mattress is your best option. For instance, when moving to a new place or purchasing a mattress for a medical condition.

Moving into a new home or apartment is expensive. Whether you rent or own, there are a whole slew of expenses that come at one time. As long as you are confident in your long-term financial situation, financing may be the best way to furnish your home quickly.

And some people will unexpectedly find themselves in the need for a new bed, often due to the recommendation of a doctor. If you find your yourself in a situation where you need a new mattress to promote a good night’s sleep, financing can be a helpful tool to get you through a tough time.

Final Thoughts

Mattress financing can be a beneficial tool to help when you need a new mattress but cannot pay for it up front. But be sure that you do your research first—not every offer is created to benefit the consumer. Try to find a mattress that fits in your price range, and read the fine print of any financing offers before committing. If you’re tight on funds, check out our guides below on some budget-friendly options.