Eventually, most people will need to purchase a mattress, whether it is for a child who has outgrown her bed or for a couple that needs to replace their lumpy mattress. As opposed to a pricier furniture store, more consumers are shopping with independent mattress retailers. Starting a mattress sales business is a unique retail opportunity that has the potential to be quite profitable, and it can be run in several different ways.

Determine whether to choose a niche for your mattress business or start a general mattress store. Niches include toddler and baby mattresses, XL mattresses for college dorms, memory foam, or discount mattresses.

Get the business documentation needed in your area to start a retail business. For example, a Houston-based mattress sales business would need a sales and use tax permit, assumed name certificate (DBA) and employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.

Pick a business model. Options include opening a mattress store, offering internet-only sales, or opening an appointment-only retail operation with a warehouse as opposed to a retail store.

Secure a commercial warehouse to store your inventory, if you will be running an appointment-only mattress business. If opening a retail store, lease or buy a storefront, ideally near businesses such as furniture stores, home decor and accessory shops or high-traffic shopping malls.

Buy wholesale mattresses from a supplier by looking through a phone or business directory, or internet wholesale suppliers list such as Wholesale Central. Alternatively, contact the mattress brands you're interested in selling, and ask how to become an authorized distributor for their brand. You will be required to submit business documentation, such as your EIN or resale permit number, and meet a minimum purchase amount each time you place an order.

Promote your mattress sales business by posting on classified-ads websites, handing out fliers and coupons to complementary businesses such as décor stores and moving services, and launching a promotional blog or website.