Considering a Bed In a Box?


It seems like every day a fancy new Mattress-In-A-Box company floods the media with their latest and greatest mattress shoved in a box. Well, you know what – Gardner’s has one too but that’s only half the story.

If a bed in the box is what you truly want, why not try it before you buy it at Gardner’s? You’ll keep your money local, have it professionally set up and have 100% satisfaction with the Gardner’s 120 Night No Hassle, No Exchange Fee Wake Up Happy Comfort Guarantee. We want to help you avoid making a costly “online” buying mistake so please read the info below.

The truth behind Mattress-In-A-Box advertising:

“Mattress stores are greedy” claims one Mattress-In-A-Box retailer. “Don’t pay retail” claims another. Others attempt to help you with the “markup math”, hoping to show you just how much money “evil” brick and mortar mattress retailers make on each mattress they sell. One company even claims mattress retailers sell mattresses at a 1000% markup.

This would mean that if I sold a mattress for $1,000 I would only have paid my suppliers $100. While I run a profitable business, I can tell you for certain it is not THAT profitable.

Folks, please don’t be confused by their slick marketing – there’s no such thing as a non-profit mattress retailer. Every single Mattress-In-A-Box retailer is a for-profit company, just like Gardner’s Mattress & More and most other brick and mortar and online retailers you make a purchase from.

Profit exists in every business, no matter what the product or service is you’re buying. The profit in any sale is what pays all the bills a business incurs. At Gardner’s, the profit we make pays for the location we lease, the humans we employ, the lights we turn on and a myriad of other items too long to list. Seriously, it’s a long list. But at the top of that list is having enough revenues to consistently provide 5 star service, and for the last 7 years in a row your Lancaster County neighbors and friends have voted my store the Reader’s Choice Favorite Mattress Store.

Profit is also what sustains a business. Profit is what allows a business to be around for years. Often my mattresses I sell come with a 10 year warranty, if my business didn’t profit I would be out of business and how would be there to service your needs and issues should any arise?

If the Mattress-In-A-Box retailers didn’t profit in the same manner, how would they pay for their website, the customer service and manufacturing employees and the warehouses that stock their mattresses? You got it, they profit too.

While I don’t expect the average reader to understand markup figures, you’d have to be crazy to think that the markup on a mattress sold in a brick and mortar store is 1000%. I’ve been selling mattresses for 17 years and while I’ve seen some shady individuals in the mattress business, most independent local retailers are not out to “get the consumer” with ridiculous markups like these Mattress-In-A-Box retailers claim.

See, that’s the problem with most advertising today – advertisers can make nearly any shocking claim they’d like to, as long as they don’t defame one particular business entity. These companies are attacking an entire industry with false statements, undermining our good local reputations almost overnight and having to show no proof to back up their claims.

So many online retailers tell an origin story of being ripped off thousands and thousands of dollars by brick and mortar mattress stores, all while telling this story they say they built their companies on “transparency”. Yet, not even one of these companies is willing to showcase their sales receipt of the purchase that has so let them down. I find that a little odd.

And while I’m at it, it’s not a secret within the industry – many Mattress-In-A-Box retailers are actually losing money due to extremely high return rates, sky high advertising costs (reports show that these companies are spending $300 to make a sale, whereas in my business I spend less than $100 to make a sale) and have even raised their prices recently in reaction to the volume of returns they have to absorb. Combine that with the fact that many of these online retailers got their start from venture capitalist types looking for their piece of the action and money from your wallet at any cost.

So how is it that a company less than 5 years old can build a mattress warranted for 10 years (some even offer a ludicrous lifetime warranty) who has never turned a profit expect to be around in the long term? Sometimes folks it is just too good to be true.

All this to say – their outrageous claims about brick and mortar retailers are like the pot calling the kettle black. The Mattress-In-A-Box markup isn’t non-existent as they’d like to have you believe and the Brick and Mortal retailer’s margin is not exorbitant as they state. So, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about the mattresses themselves.

The graphic below is a good indication of the confusion you see among Mattress-In-A-Box mattresses:

What’s the Difference?

There are well over 150, you read that right, there are over 150 Mattress-In-A-Box online retailers flooding the market with their stuffed-in-a-box wares. The names of the companies and box labels are all different but what about the product in the box – what the difference?

The first HUGE challenge is the fact that you cannot try one of these mattresses prior to it arriving to your home. You’re relying on reading words on a page and other people’s experiences to make a judgement call on a product affecting your health and well-being.

Trusting your sleep to a bed crammed into a box that showed up on your doorstep. Don’t get me wrong – there are some very comfortable beds that come in boxes – but the challenge here is that you can’t try most of them before you buy it. The Wellsville 11? Mattress-In-A-Box mattress at Gardner’s is proudly on display in both our locations.

The next confusing thing about these Mattress-In-A-Box companies is the silly names they slap on their foam materials. Patented-foam-this, proprietary-foam-that, and more. I’m being silly myself, but these names don’t mean anything. In the end, most all are man-made polyurethane foam mattresses.

Typically, there’s a softer layer of foam (typically no more than 1”) on the surface, a transitional layer in the middle and a much thicker, harder layer on the bottom. Usually, these mattresses are about 9? to 11” thick.

The reality of this design is that you are not really even making a decision on a mattress, rather your decision point is truly on the top 1-3” of comfort material. You actually are picking out the comfort preference equivalent to a mattress topper. Not that much of a value if you ask me.

At Gardner’s, our Wellsville 11? Mattress-In-A-Box mattress is 11” thick and has three inches of premium gel memory foam on the surface. No fancy names, descriptions or claims – just a great bed for the value.

The last thing I’ll say about the “box” experience is twofold – first, it arrives in a box and needs to be unpackaged and man-handled into your bedroom by you, the consumer. Not a huge deal – unless you like lugging 60 pound+ two foot by two foot x 5-foot-tall boxes up your stairs. I also have to chuckle to myself of the videos of happy, blissful customers opening their mattress in a overly stylized bedroom setting. They never seem to show the pictures on the walls that were knocked off moving your mattress in the home and upstairs. Just like you never see a snippet of video showing people knocking lamps and alarm clocks off their nightstand as they flop their mattress on the bed or box spring.

Second, it’s just a mattress – what are you going to put it on and who is going to advise you of the proper support items needed for your mattress? Most box springs can’t be shipped via UPS/FedEx so Mattress-In-A-Box retailers ignore or gloss over this part of the transaction. At Gardner’s, we educate you on proper bed support and professionally deliver the mattress into your bedroom, for free. Why have free delivery just to the doorstep of only one half the system you truly need??

Is this just sour grapes from us?

You probably can sense from my tone throughout the page that I’m a perturbed by the way Mattress-In-A-Box retailers have “boxed-in” hard-working mattress retailers like Gardner’s. But my point here is not to bash the competition – simply point out the deception and lies they’re portraying. Plus, make sure you know there’s a better way to invest in a mattress to help you wake up happy and pain free. I present to you, the Gardner’s Mattress & More Wake Up Happy Promise:

I’m going to wrap this piece up with a nice big bow for you:

The Wellsville 11? Mattress-In-A-Box option at Gardner’s comes with our full 120 Night Wake Up Happy Comfort Guarantee.

While other Mattress-In-A-Box retailers allow returns, how in the world do you get it back to them? And is their return program free and easy to use and get your refund? And once you’ve returned a mattress now what, where do you go next?

At Gardner’s, there’s no exchange fee, no re-delivery fee and no hassle. Simply choose another mattress and we’ll take care of the rest.

We think you should come in and try our version but if you’re ready to buy, click the button below:


If you have any questions, please click the “Ask Ben” button on the right-hand side of your screen and shoot me a message. If nothing else, I’d love to hear your thoughts on buying a Mattress-In-A-Box mattress.


Ben and the team at Gardner’s Mattress & More

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