Replacing your mattress at least once every eight years can encourage better sleep, as well as helping to prevent aches and pains. But buying the best mattress is a big investment, and people who don’t have the funds available to pay upfront look at mattress financing as a way to spread the cost over a number of months.
Rachael Wait is a finance expert. Her money advice has appeared in The Spectator, Money Supermarket and other leading publications.
While this approach may work for some people, it won't be right for everyone, so it's important to understand the pros and cons of paying this way before you set your sights on a new hybrid or memory foam mattress. This is important at any time, but even more so now as we head further into a cost of living crisis.
To help you navigate these waters, here we take an expert look at the different types of mattress finance available during the 4th of July mattress sales, and what you should consider before making a decision.
The most common types of mattress finance
When comparing finance options, it is important to pay close attention to the interest rate, fees and length of the plan. Some of the most popular mattress financing options are outlined below…
Whether you purchase your mattress in a physical store or online, many retailers will offer their own financing deals. The type of deal available could vary between 0% financing, instalment plans, and lease-to-own payment plans, but all are aimed at helping you to split the cost of your mattress sale purchase into more manageable chunks.
Some plans will require you to make regular loan repayments over a relatively short period, while others will let you continue making payments until you have paid for the mattress in full. However this will often mean paying more interest.
Buy now, pay later
Many mattress in a box companies also have direct partnerships with buy now, pay later companies such as Afterpay, Affirm and Klarna. Again, these offer 0% or low interest financing options designed to give you more time to pay. You’ll typically be able to make equal monthly payments over a number of months.
These apps also give you the choice of where to make your purchase, so you won’t be limited to one particular retailer or product.
0% APR credit card
Compared to some financing options which need to be repaid over a relatively short period, a 0% APR credit card can give you longer to pay off your debt interest-free. The most competitive purchase credit cards offer 0% for an introductory period of up to 20 months.
Some mattress retailers offer their own credit card for online and store purchases. One example of this is the Mattress Firm credit card. But you’ll need to check how this compares to other deals on the market and note that you’ll usually need a good credit rating to get one. Remember, too, that you’ll need to clear your balance before the 0% period ends and interest kicks in.
Personal loans do not require you to put down collateral to qualify, which is why they are also known as unsecured loans. They can be a good option if you’re purchasing a particularly expensive mattress as you can borrow a larger sum (usually between $1,000 and $100,000) and repay it in fixed monthly payments over a period of between one to seven years. Again, you’ll need a good credit rating to qualify for the most favorable rates.
The cons of buying a mattress on finance
Although 0% mattress finance deals are readily available, these are usually reserved for those with good credit. Anyone outside of this category could pay a higher rate of interest. In turn, this could result in you spending more than if you’d paid for the mattress in full at the time of purchase.
For this reason, it is crucial that you read the fine print with care and understand exactly what you are signing up to. Check what interest rate and fees you will pay and consider whether you will be able to afford your monthly repayments for the entire term of the deal. Defaulting on your loan could have a damaging effect on your credit score, potentially limiting your chances of getting credit again in the future.
Many companies will also conduct a hard credit inquiry when you apply for mattress finance which means your credit score will drop by a few points. It is important to keep this in mind if you plan to finance an expensive item such as a car or home in the coming months.
Finally, financing a mattress can also affect your ability to return it after any mattress trial you’ve been offered by the retailer. You could be required to pay any interest that has accrued or you could face an early repayment penalty.
The pros of buying a mattress on finance
The biggest benefit of buying a mattress on finance is that it can be a more manageable solution if you don’t have the funds to pay upfront.
Retailer financing can also be more suitable for those with poor credit or a limited credit history. This is because retailers often have their own criteria for assessing your eligibility for credit and can be more flexible.
For instance, a typical assessment could involve reviewing your checking account to monitor the types of transactions you make. Point-of-sale loans also offer convenience and will often be agreed quickly.
Should you buy a mattress on finance?
If you're unable to pay for a mattress in one go, mattress financing can be a handy way to help you spread the cost. But it is important that you’ve weighed up all your options carefully first to be sure this is the right choice for you, and that you’ve checked the fine print of your plan to ensure your payments are affordable and won’t cost you extra in the long-term.
Crucially, never feel pressured into signing an agreement on the spot – if you’re uncertain about anything, it’s best to walk away, go home and re-evaluate.