More and more mattresses are being sold online and you might be tempted to buy one that way. The advantage of buying a mattress online is you can escape the high-pressure sales tactics used by some mattress retailers. On the down side, you probably can't try the mattress before you buy it and you give up the haul-away service you typically get when you buy a mattress from a brick-and-mortar store and they take away the old one when they deliver the new.    

Many bed-in-a-box sellers use UPS and FedEx to deliver the efficiently compressed, typically foam mattresses. That's better for their bottom line than contracting with a myriad of delivery companies to bring one mattress and dispose of the other—preferably at a mattress recycling center.  

We checked the policies of the mattress online sellers whose beds are either in our mattress Ratings now or are included in the batch we’re currently testing and here's what we found:

Options for Disposal

Only one online-only seller we contacted will take away your old mattress at no charge, Wright Bedding. Rather than using UPS or FedEx, the company does have contracts with local teams in every city. Those companies deliver and set up the mattress, remove the packaging, and take away the old mattress if you prefer, just like when you buy one at a brick-and-mortar store. A small number of customers have no old bed to haul away or don’t need the in-home service, a company rep told us, but it’s an option throughout the U.S. and Canada.

When you buy a mattress online, both Loom & Leaf and Saatva, which are jointly owned, will remove your old mattress for $39. (We’ve tested the innerspring Saatva Luxury Firm Euro Pillowtop, $900.) And Luxi Sleep will arrange for the removal of your old mattress but it’ll cost $60 to $100.

But a mattress online like the Leesa.
Leesa Medium Firm, $890, a foam mattress sold by the online seller Leesa.

Or Give it Away

The following sellers won't take away your old mattress, but they will help you arrange for pickup by a charity—preferably—or a recycling center. (They vary in how much they'll leave for you to do.) Models of the brand that we’ve tested appear in parentheses; others are still undergoing tests in our labs.

Casper (The Casper, $850)
Cocoon by Sealy
Dream Bed
Helix Sleep
Leesa (Leesa Medium Firm, $890)
Tuft & Needle (Tuft & Needle T&N, $600)

In the case of Dream Bed, Mattress Firm’s bed-in-a-box, you may have more options. You can get your bed delivered in the traditional way, with the old one removed, if you order the bed at a store in one of seven markets in Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, California, and Illinois. But if you order the mattress online or choose FedEx shipping (in-store or online), you’ll need to dispose of the old mattress yourself.

Other Considerations

After a return. Having your old mattress carted away when you’re replacing it isn’t always a good thing. Part of the attraction of most bed-in-a-box companies is that you typically have a few months to contact the company if you don't like the mattress. But if you’re picky about a bed—especially since you probably can’t try it out beforehand—you might prefer to put the old mattress in a spare bedroom during the new bed’s trial period.

Limited alternatives. You’ll need a Plan B if you decide an online seller’s mattress isn’t for you after you’ve slept on it for a month or more. If you kept your old mattress around, you can sleep on that while you’re awaiting replacement of the replacement. But if you didn’t do that and you shopped at a company with only one model of mattress—such as Casper, Leesa, and Tuft & Needle—you’ll need to find another seller as well as another mattress.

More choices. If you haven't shopped for a mattress in several years, check out our buying guide for Mattresses before browsing our Ratings of nearly 60 innerspring, foam, and adjustable-air mattresses.