Making a purchase of any kind has become infinitely easier with online sales and sources for those sales prevalent. In fact, there are more online marketplaces than traditional storefronts for most products these days, making the variety and differences in service and price never ending. But are the best places to buy bedding found online or through traditional retailers?
There are a number of factors that weigh into your decision when buying bedding, and one of those is where you want to make your purchase. What makes one source preferable to another, and how do you decide which is best for you? Is an online store really better than a brick and mortar option? Take a look at some of the options you have and the reasons to choose one over the other, so you have a basis for an informed decision before you make the final choice.
Brick and Mortar Versus Online
Both traditional storefronts and online marketplaces have their advantages. In fact, it’s really a personal decision for preference, and many people opt to shop both, especially when you consider the variety of products that people need. However, when you’re focused solely on bedding, there are some very clear distinctions between the two.
A brick and mortar store offers the chance to view the product in person and to have the ‘shopping experience’ that we’ve become used to as consumers. It means you can compare products side by side in person and also have instant gratification, leaving the store with the product you choose instead of having to wait for shipping.
At the same time, shopping online offers some very important pros over shopping in person. First, you don’t have to visit several stores to see all the options. You can have them right at your fingertips, including opting to search on Google and shop the best of what you’re looking for in bedding without ever visiting several websites. The variety is also larger through each retail or discount store online because, rather than having limited display space, the sellers have huge warehouses where they can store more products and only have to display images on the website, which takes up virtual space.
That also lowers the overhead – they aren’t paying for additional sales staff, store space, and utilities. Those savings get passed onto you as the consumer.
Online stores also have the same capability of side by side comparison, as well as more succinct, detailed descriptions than you find in traditional stores. Often, you can opt into a program or spend enough money to obtain free shipping and expedited shipping so that you get the product faster and without the extra fee. When it comes right down to it, you’ll find that a lot of people may still opt for shopping directly when it comes to things like clothing, so they can get the right fit but not for things like bedding, which have all the details available at the touch of a button.
Making Bedding Choices
Before you attempt to shop anywhere for bedding, you should know some of the basics of choosing the best sheets and products for you. Here are some great rules to abide by as you compare and contrast to make your decision.
- Don’t put too much stock in thread count. While it’s important not to purchase a super low thread count, as this will make your sheets increasingly fast to deteriorate and may be rough and low quality, ultra-high thread count typically is a misnomer. In fact, these are likely ‘multi-ply’ sheets, and having 2 ply sheets creates a looser weave. That means they’ll unravel easily, and often, they’ll also hold in too much heat. Be reasonable and take a look at other details before making your purchase.
- Determine what material is optimal for you. Cotton, polyester, Tercel, linen – you have options in a variety of blends as well. A lot of people opt for 100% cotton, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. If it’s not Egyptian cotton, you may end up regretting your decision. Consider alternatives, such as Tercel (made from bamboo and lighter with greater breathability) or linen (which is the original bedding material and of the highest quality with the most durability). Do your research regarding qualities of each, and decide what will make your sleep space optimal based on your personal preferences.
- Check the depth of the pockets. If you have a thicker mattress, you want to make sure the fitted sheet has deep enough pockets to fit properly without easily popping off. By contrast, if your mattress is only 10 inches thick, you might have trouble with sheets that have 16 inch pockets, causing the material to slide around or slip off the corners. That’s not to say they won’t work; you just might need additional straps to hold them in place or to choose a set that has elastic all the way around the edges instead of just at the corners for a better fit.
- Don’t buy just one. When you find the bedding that suits you perfectly, buy multiples so that you don’t have to go through the entire search and purchase process again for a very long time. This is especially true if you find a low price or a sale on those particular bedding materials. While some retailers keep classic designs around for a number of years, it’s far more likely that they’ll upgrade, replace, or renew their designs every few years, so if you choose well and your sheets last a long time, you might be hard pressed to find them again.
- It’s not all about price. While it’s great to save money, you want to assure that your bedding is going to last a good time. Having to replace your linens frequently negates the savings you’ll get from going for the bargain price. Have balance when you pick out your bedding and go for the best price on a quality material. For example, don’t opt for 100 thread count instead of 200 just to save a few bucks.
Taking these precautions and details into account as you browse the various options will help you narrow down the field and make intelligent decisions regarding what to buy, what to spend, and how many sets to obtain. Whether you’re at a traditional store or shopping online, you should make sure these principles are at the forefront of your mind to make sure you’re ultimately happy with the outcome of your endeavors.
Traditional Retailers Online
A variety of storefronts have opted into the online marketplace for several reasons. It allows them to fully compete with other online sellers, offering product at the touch of a button. It also helps reduce the cost of materials, since they can store more product and ship direct from the warehouse so that they don’t have to add the cost of overhead to products sold online. It also allows them to offer a greater variety of products, including discounted items that are ‘last season’s’ model, again saving you money and time in your shopping endeavors.
And as with other online retailers, you’ll find that the product descriptions are more thorough than what you would find in a store, where you have the packaging and a tag with the price on the shelf. Take a look at some of the best places to buy bedding through the digital versions of traditional storefronts.
This traditional department store gets pretty pricey when you head inside to shop, and it can be difficult to suss out the bargains. However, the retailer offers a lot of quality product, especially in home goods like bedding. They’ve opted into the online model to further their reach, making themselves available internationally to people who choose not to or can’t leave their home to shop. This also makes it easier to find the ‘clearance’ sections and gives you more options to choose from. You can even search very specific details about the types of bedding that interest you, including size, price variance, and materials from which the bedding is made. Look for sheets, comforters, duvets, and sets, starting at very reasonable, low prices, with multiple shipping options.
Bed, Bath & Beyond
It’s all in the name here – find anything and everything you need for your bedroom. Wait, can you really find anything you want in a traditional store? Again, because this isn’t a huge warehouse filled with only bedding, you find limitations when you stick to the traditional route. That’s why Bed, Bath & Beyond created their online presence, offering consumers the opportunity to shop any and all of their available products in any warehouse location. Again, you can filter your options as you like, deciding how much you want to spend and determining if you’re looking for patterns or solids. If you need hypoallergenic, you don’t have to search bedding labels to find out which ones work for you. With low prices and options for free shipping in the United States based on a low minimum spend, you can feel comfortable seeking out comforters in this online space.
Joss & Main
Considered more of a ‘designer’ specialist, Joss & Main can make you see dollar signs at the mention of their name. At the same time, they offer a number of bargain buys, if you know how to shop. And the best way to do that is online – their site offers a huge variety of bedding to satisfy all tastes. You’ll find individual options – sheets, pillowcases, comforters, duvets, throw pillows – as well as convenient bedding sets, so you can mix and match for a specific look or opt for a quick way to outfit even the most difficult space with a fitting design. They also have specific products that ship for free, if that’s your breaking point, and even orders under the cap are cheap to ship. There’s nothing wrong with saving a buck on higher end designer materials.
Maybe you’re looking for something more quirky or modern than you’re going to find in a department store or a specialty bedding provider. You might have found Urban Outfitters in some of the poshest shopping centers in the most progressive cities in the country. But did you know they offer a wider variety of bedding options to fit your very particular tastes online? If you’re seeking the definition of ‘cool’ or ‘modern’ in your bedding design, this is the place to go, especially if you’re looking for something that’s still reasonably priced. While we’re not talking discount store costs, you’ll find they rival other online retailers, especially when it comes to quality. And like others, shipping is a flat fee and inexpensive, or free when you meet the purchase threshold.
Let’s face it, most of what you go to Brookstone for is specialized décor and fun, quirky items. But they have some really nice bedding as well. Of course, when you go to the mall to shop, you’ll find the selection extremely limited because they want to display their more popular, novelty items. But the basic pillow cases, sheets, and comforters they offer are much easier to shop online. They have a wide variety of simple but high-quality materials for you to choose from, and prices are more than reasonable, especially compared to the in-store markups on their more unique items. The only downside is a higher threshold for free shipping, but if you add in one of those fun toys, a foot massager, or some other novelty, you’re sure to meet that bottom line to get your items sent at no charge.
Who doesn’t love to shop the deals year-round that this independent department store offers? From clothes and shoes to household linens, you can get lost in the store and never have enough time to sort through the deals they offer. But let’s not forget that Kohl’s cash can be used online just as easily as it can be in the stores, saving you tons of bucks in the long run. And because they have thousands upon thousands of bedding materials, you’ll be pleased with the variety of duvets, comforters, quilts, and throw blankets you find in the online space.
You couldn’t possibly get that many choices at the brick and mortar store. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find that kind of variety searching every department store in the mall. You’d also be surprised at how low their prices start, one of the biggest plusses of the retailer. Shipping on smaller orders might not be as cheap as some of the other retailers, but you’ll find it’s still reasonable, especially with the volume of items you’ll get for the expense, and free shipping is available for large enough orders.
While Target has always provided great prices and variety, their venture into online sales has made them invaluable, offering quality and more choices. From traditional bedding to quirky, modern, and college-oriented designs, you can find almost anything your heart desires at this online retailer. And the best part is, you don’t get just the bedding sets or individuals; you can find other important options such as electric blankets that keep you warmer during the winter.
As the retailer continues to reinvent itself with better products, they maintain their low prices, and you can actually find some items for pocket change when shopping online. Best of all, they have express shipping, low thresholds for free delivery, and even store pickup options, so you can get the variety and still have instant gratification if the bedding you choose is available at a local store.
Smaller Operations in the Online Space
“Smaller” might be a misnomer, since a number of online-only retailers have grown to be bigger than some traditional outlets. Especially bedding specialists, who are selling only bedding related materials, including mattresses, offer lower prices and greater variety that have shoved them into a super successful status. You may even prefer some of these, since many of these retailers who specialize in bedding products have done more research and development into the product and come up with some unique designs.
This direct to consumer provider has made it their mission to change how people shop for bedding. Because they are smaller and don’t try to diversify into other areas of the market, they give you more options in terms of the bedding you purchase. For example, while you can find bedding sets in a number of retail stores and available online, you can do one better with Brooklinen.
They actually offer the option of creating your own mix and match bundle with sheets and duvet covers so you aren’t locked into a particular single design. You could do solid sheets with a patterned duvet or opt for a completely separate color to jazz up the bedroom design. Add accessories, including pillows, throws, candles, comforters, and even mattresses to create a complete bedroom set.
If you’re one of those people who don’t like shopping giant chain stores, you’ll love Parachute. You’ll find premium and luxury linens and chic bedroom designs from this California-based online seller. Looking for high quality sateen and percale? You’ve come to the right place. Excited about affordable prices on those high end products? You won’t be disappointed. While this is definitely not a discount retailer, you’ll find that there’s no extreme mark up on the products. In addition to stylish bedding, Parachute has also added mattress toppers and an entire section of baby products to their offerings.
Major Online Resources
Among the shopping choices, you’ll find internet giants that offer incredible variety from multiple sellers with insanely discounted prices. Amazon gives you more control over your choices, allowing you to filter by free shipping options, prices, sellers, materials, and even brands. You can find everything from bargain basement prices to the most luxurious high end bedding from designers. Wayfair also offers the opportunity to search among the best materials and prices in the market today without having to visit several sites, so you can compare all your options in one place.
Jet is another similar setup, newer in the market, but it offers the same discounts and search options as the other major online retailers. You’ll find that it’s easy to navigate and mimics the traditional setup of both Amazon and Wayfair, but in addition, you can save more money by putting more items in your cart – every time you add something to the cart, you’re likely to see prices drop by at least a few cents.
You may be interested in: The Best Bedding Sets for Cribs
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter where you’re shopping, whether it’s online or in a brick and mortar store. You’re bound to find excellent bedding options in any location that sells linens and another bedroom outfitting. At the same time, you can make your task a lot simpler while also offering you greater variety and pricing options. Shopping online, you’ll be able to more easily compare products, filter details so you’re only looking at things that interest you, and check multiple resources without running yourself ragged.
If you like specific department stores, you can still shop them with all the same advantages you get from other online retailers. Find lower prices, greater variety than can be afforded with storefront overhead, and additional detail regarding the product that you might otherwise want to research online anyway.
If you prefer less ‘big box’ stores, there are far more online businesses offering excellent bedding products than small ‘mom and pop’ shops with storefronts. You can do your duty to small business and purchase your bedding from one of these without searching forever to find a location. And if you want to save a great deal of money or compare multiple sellers at once, you have the large marketplaces like Amazon, Jet, and Wayfair to help you with that. They offer a variety of filtering, shipping, and purchasing options that make your shopping experience ideal and less harrowing. Some of the best places to buy bedding can be found right at your fingertips, with plenty of options online to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.