Would you feel comfortable laying down on a bed that someone else already tested during the coronavirus pandemic?
It turns out that there are actually some mattress stores still open, and some that were closed are beginning to reopen depending on which state you live in.
Mattress Firm is the #1 seller in the country and they confirmed that they do have some locations that are still open during the COVID-19 crisis. The company says that it’s taking necessary precautions to help protect their employees and customers such as frequent sanitizing and maintaining a distance of six feet between people when possible.
There are also some smaller independent mattress shops that are still operating depending on how strict their state’s stay-at-home order is. Some mattress stores have been able to gain essential status and stay open throughout the crisis.
“Some areas are permitting our stores to stay open based on local orders since furniture and bedding products are still a need for local consumers with family members who may be quarantined in the same home, family members who are sheltering together unexpectedly, and consumers who moved into new homes prior to the commencement of the crisis, among other reasons,” Mattress Firm CEO John Eck said in a statement through a spokesperson.
“We are reviewing all orders closely to ensure we are in compliance. Depending on the area, we may have phone only contactless stores operating or private appointments, and like many retailers currently operating, we’re offering the option for contactless, doorstep delivery.”
How mattress stores can claim that they are essential businesses
Some mattress stores in certain states have gained “essential business” status; which puts them on par with restaurants, medical facilities, and grocery stores.
Splurging on a mattress might seem like a completely unnecessary luxury during a time when tens of thousands of Americans are dying from a modern day plague. The way that these mattress stores are able to stay in business is by emphasizing the fact that they sell household consumer products.
Other brands are choosing to be responsible. Tempur-Sealy, the company that owns the popular Tempur-Pedic brand, temporarily closed all 62 of their US-based stores. Casper also closed all of their physical stores but will still be selling mattresses via their website and delivering them to customers.
Pioneering mattress-in-a-box brand Amerisleep has closed all of their retail stores and managed to avoid layoffs. They have kept all of their retail store employees on their payroll and are using them to help fulfill online orders during the pandemic, according to a statement that a company representative made to Sleepline on a phone call.
According to Mattress Firm CEO Elk, the company is justified in keeping their stores open because they are using “adopted heightened sanitation efforts at all stores.” These steps include “enhanced, regular cleaning of high-touch points,” “providing customers with pillow napkin protectors for them to use while lying down on a bed”, according to a company blog post.
The blog post also claimed that stores have to stay open because people “have found themselves in a situation where they have additional family members who may be sheltering together in the same house, some unexpectedly, or they recently moved prior to this crisis, and they all need a place to sleep.”
Is it safe to order a mattress online?
Bed-in-a-box brands like Layla and Saatva are still accepting orders and delivering them during this COVID moment. Many brands have ended their white glove delivery service, which includes mattress setup and old mattress disposal due to the risk of contamination and lack of social distancing.
The companies will still deliver their beds to you but they will only leave them in front of your door and will not bring them into your house.
Since coronavirus can survive on packaging for a certain amount of time (we won’t even guess how long since that number seems to change on a daily basis but we’ve heard anywhere from a couple hours to a few days), there is some risk of contamination when you bring the box inside. We think that the risk is low, however. You can mitigate that risk by leaving the package outside for a few hours, disinfecting the package, wearing gloves when bringing it inside, and all of the other ways that people stay safe when handling items that may have been touched by an infected person.
Bottom line: Should you buy a mattress during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We think that it’s relatively safe to buy a mattress online during these times. The risk of contamination from touching a package that was handled by an infected person is relatively low. The health risks associated with getting a poor night of sleep are well-documented (and can even increase your chances of getting corona!), so if you’re in need of a new bed this is as good of a time as any to buy one.
If you have a medical condition that makes you more susceptible to getting the disease, you should probably hold off on your next mattress purchase (or at least have it get delivered to someone else in the meantime). But if you’re healthy and have no preexisting conditions then buying a mattress online should be fine.
We do not recommend that you go into a physical brick-and-mortar retail mattress store at this time. Laying down on the exact same mattress that multiple people have already tested, being in close proximity to other people, and touching all of the other objects in the store puts you at unnecessary risk. While we understand that independent mattress stores and big brands like Mattress Firm need customers to survive, we don’t think their profits are worth other people lives.
Stay home and order a bed from the comfort of your couch instead (but not from Amazon). You’ll minimize your risk and there is very little downside. Many people might be hesitant to make an online mattress purchase because you can’t test the bed out before you buy it.
Fortunately all of the leading bed-in-a-box brands like DreamCloud and Avocado offer a risk-free trial period ranging from 100-365 days. You can purchase the mattress, have it delivered straight to your front door, sleep on it for a few months and return it with no questions asked for a replacement or refund. This eliminates the risk associated with buying a mattress without trying it our first.