Are mattress sales even real? Why you should be careful on Black Friday

Some Black Friday discounts aren't as they appear.

A bare white mattress in a white room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With Black Friday here, lots of mattress brands will appear to cut their prices by thousands of dollars. However, I've found that some of the sale prices don't represent genuine value. 

If you've been shopping for a mattress for a few months, you may have felt like the prices look a little familiar. That's because some mattress companies list 'sales' prices that never change throughout the year. The mattress is hardly ever on sale for the retail price, and almost always on sale at a discount. 

The best mattresses can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, so it's crucial to find a Black Friday deal that actually saves you money. This is everything to bear in mind as you shop for the best mattress deals.

What's the deal with mattress sales?

In a practice known as 'price anchoring', some mattress brands barely change their MSRP prices throughout the year. As I've tracked mattress sales throughout the year, I've found that the sale price you see may not really be a sale; the mattress company will sell it 'on sale' at around, for example, $700 all year, and rarely if ever at the listed price. That means you aren't bagging a mattress deal for a $500 discount, but buying an inferior mattress for what it's really worth. 

However, it's hard to know if a deal is 'real' or not. An RRP isn't legally binding and so sale prices and RRPs can move throughout the year. It takes a lawsuit to prove that the price has been continuously mislabelled throughout the year. 

Have there been lawsuits?

This practice has resulted in several ongoing lawsuits in an increasingly litigious industry. For example, there are ongoing class action suits in California and New York against Brooklyn Bedding, Emma Mattress, and Nectar Mattress, who make some of our picks for best mattress. 

These suits are based on this practice of listing 'sales' prices throughout the year, and claim that this constitutes false advertising. In one such suit, the plaintiff alleges that these mattress sales are 'deceptive and illegal'. However, the cases are ongoing. 

According to Angelo Albertini, Founder and CEO of MyBespokeMattress, these lawsuits have 'brought attention to the need for transparency in pricing and the importance of protecting consumers from potentially misleading sales tactics'.

a headshot of Angelo Albertini
Angelo Albertini

As the founder of, Angelo's expertise is deeply rooted in the world of mattress manufacturing and custom sleep solutions. Specialising in made-to-measure mattresses, he offers a diverse range of options. Each mattress is meticulously crafted to meet specific sleep needs, accommodating unique requirements for caravans and motorhomes. 

How do I find genuine mattress deals?

Grant Lewis, CEO at DreamHQ, recommends a strategy of  'compare and conquer'. He says you should 'dive into digital deal hunting. If a store's mattress price makes you swoon, cross-check with online outlets for a reality check'. That huge saving could simply be the real value of the mattress.

Another of his tips is to look out for prices guarantees. 'Watch for winks from sellers promising paybacks if prices plummet post-purchase.' It could be that while the sale price isn't as good value as it looks, there could be a genuine price drop around Black Friday.

You could also go old-school. Albertini suggests in-store sales, especially old stock liquidation. Online mattress sales are incredibly convenient, but sometimes going to a real-life mattress store is the way to make a saving. You can find older mattress models that are just as comfortable as what's online and cost less. The drawback is delivery costs, or wrangling it home yourself. 

Grant Lewis

With years of experience  in the bedding industry, Grant's platform is wholeheartedly dedicated to aiding people to achieve better sleep. He offers comprehensive education about mattresses, bedding, and sleep habits.  His passion is deeply rooted in sharing valuable insights, aiming to transform bedrooms into true sleep sanctuaries. 

Which deals do I recommend?

While a lot of the mattresses out there have slightly spurious deals, they're still good prices. However, if you're keen to grab a genuine discount, here's what I recommend.


Plushbeds Botanical Bliss | was $2949, now $1699 at Plushbeds
Our favorite luxury mattress, this is a remarkably good deal. It's a genuine deal, too. It's not the rarest deal in the
world, as it's always on sale for key sales dates, but this mattress usually sold at MSRP. Sure, $1699 is still pretty expensive, but if you have the money, a saving of $1250 is always worth considering. 

Our PlushBeds Botanical Bliss mattress review goes into more detail.

Emma Original Mattress | Was $1,053, now $469 at Emma

Emma Original Mattress | Was $1,053, now $469 at Emma
This bed-in-a-box is a good example of what I'm talking about. It's listed as selling for almost half its RRP, but it's almost always at around this price. However, it just dropped from $579 to $469 for a queen. All things considered, it was a pretty impressive bed for the price. We think it's one of the best affordable mattresses on the market. 

Our Emma Original Mattress review has more detail.

Mattress FAQs

Is Black Friday a good time to buy a mattress?

It can be. Some flash sales are still worthwhile and offer genuine discounts, but don't think you're getting the huge markdowns listed.

Is Black Friday a good time to buy bedding?

Conversely, Black Friday is an excellent time to buy bedding. Bed linen, comforters, and pillows are all genuinely marked down over this sales period. 

If these sales have you worried, it could be wise to consider buying a mattress topper instead. These toppers are hundreds of dollars cheaper than a full mattress and can totally revitalise an old bed. Because they're already cheaper, the deals on these tend to be genuine, too.

Alex David
Head of eCommerce

As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products. Helping people find true quality and genuine value is a real passion.