Memorial Day sales vs Amazon Prime Day: deals to buy now and what to wait for

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(Image credit: Getty)

The Memorial Day sales have ramped up over the last few days, with many retailers launching their offers for the upcoming holiday weekend nice and early. This is happening just as we've received confirmation that Amazon Prime Day will take place in July. Given there are only two months between both sales, it got us thinking about how the two compare in terms of which types of products are reduced, the quality of deals on offer, and when the right time is to buy.

We've got years of experience covering both the Memorial Day sales and Amazon Prime Day, and have a strong understanding of the deals we expect to see during each event. This information already forms the foundation of our buying advice and the deals we highlight during these sales, but as the cost of living crisis deepens, knowing how to get save money and get the most bang for your buck is more important than ever.

So which is the better sale, Memorial Day or Prime Day? The simplest answer is this: it depends on what you want to buy.

What to buy on Memorial Day

1. Furniture

Image of furniture in brightly lit living room

(Image credit: Getty)

Furniture is always a huge focus in the Memorial Day sales, and this year is no different. We've been tracking the Memorial Day furniture sales as they've developed over the last couple of weeks, and more than half a dozen retailers are now live with a selection of early deals. These range from specialist retailers including Overstock, Ashley Homestore and Big Lots, as well as major stores like Walmart and Target.

2. Patio 

Sofa and chairs on a patio

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With summer on the horizon, there's a strong emphasis is on patio furniture and other garden items. So, if you're looking to liven up your outside space with a new dining set, some comfy seating, or other decorative items such as outdoor rugs and lighting then Memorial Day is a great time to buy.

Some of the biggest reductions we've spotted so far include a massive 70% off thousands of items at Overstock (opens in new tab) and 35% off all patio furniture at Big Lots. And while Amazon may have a selection of furniture items reduced for Prime Day, it's unlikely that there will be as much choice or discounts as deep in July.

3. Appliances

A selection of major and small kitchen appliances including a fridge, washing machine, vacuum and mixer

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The other area where we've already seen lots of deals is the Memorial Day appliances sales. Traditionally, appliances is one of the most popular categories in the sales period, with a vast array of discounts across major home appliances from the big brands like LG, Samsung and Bosch. Check out the Best Buy Memorial Day sale for this, in particular, as there are already offers of up to $800 off large appliances.

If you don't need to refresh your white goods, you can instead pick up a number of more affordable home and kitchen gadgets such as blenders, coffee machines, air fryers and slow cookers. These cheaper items could also help save money in the long run when it comes to cooking meals or swapping to make your favorite drinks at home. This is another area where we've also spotted discounts of up to 40% on top brands such as Ninja, Keurig and Instant Pot (opens in new tab).

4. Mattresses

The DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattress placed on a wooden bed frame in a white bedroom

(Image credit: DreamCloud)

Lastly, Memorial Day is also a significant time for mattresses. Inflation has driven prices up so many mattresses are simply more expensive than they were last year, but despite this some companies have managed to keep prices down. We've rounded up the best offers in our Memorial Day mattress sales article. 

Previous trends suggest that Memorial Day is a better time than Prime Day to buy if you've had an eye on a new mattress. Mattress prices tend to fall in May, jump back up throughout summer and then stay that way until late October/early November as we approach Black Friday. With Amazon Prime Day scheduled for July, right in the heart of that expensive summer period, you want to buy now or be prepared to hold off until the end of the year in order to get the best deals.

What to wait for on Prime Day

What should definitely wait for until Amazon Prime Day, then? Well, the most obvious offers we'll see in July are on Amazon devices. During this sale, these products usually fall to their cheapest ever prices for the year - even lower than what we see on Black Friday. And that makes sense, given Amazon wants to boost its own products during its own sale.

That said, it's likely that they will also be reduced in the Amazon Memorial Day sales – just don't expect them to be as low as we'll see in a couple of months' time. Of course, this is all relative, with the cheaper Echo Dot smart speakers and Fire tablets likely only falling by an extra $5 or so. That might not be a massive deal-breaker for some. If you're happy to be patient and hold off on that new Kindle or Fire TV purchase, though, you should make a bigger saving in July.

Amazon Echo dot on a shelf next to small green house plant

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In general, it's these tech items that will feature more heavily on Amazon Prime Day compared to Memorial Day. Gaming, especially, will be almost completely ignored over the next couple of weeks, while it's a huge part of Amazon's mid-summer sale.

We can't speak about any PS5 restocks during Prime Day just yet as that's a constantly changing situation. However, If you're thinking about buying a games console then the better offers will definitely arrive in July. There's usually at least one Nintendo Switch bundle – and it tends to be the best value option from now until Black Friday when it's simply repeated or tweaked slightly. Perhaps this is the year we see a big discount on the Xbox Series S, too, as Microsoft's budget-friendly console is an excellent buy if you want a more affordable way to get into current-gen gaming.

But look out for these hidden gems

Now, while there are some product categories that clearly feature better deals when you directly compare the Memorial Day sales to Amazon Prime Day, there are still opportunities for some terrific bargains in the days ahead.

So, don't be too put off if you were planning to look for deals in wider tech categories such as TVs, laptops and tablets in the days ahead – especially when it comes to budget products. That's because these should get the best discounts in the Memorial Day sales.

Man in checked shirt holding a chromebook under his arm

(Image credit: Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock)

Let's pick out laptops, as one example. Over Memorial Day, some sales are held directly by manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP and Dell. In these, you should look out for more laptop deals on everyday use devices for the best offers as opposed to the higher-end ultrabooks and gaming laptops.

We've already spotted some of the best cheap laptops and a number of cheap Chromebooks in the early sales, including this lowest-ever price HP Chromebook 11 for just $98 (opens in new tab) at Walmart. Meanwhile, the Dell Summer sale has mid-range Inspiron 15 laptops from only $229.99 (opens in new tab). If you're looking to pick up a laptop for general browsing, light work, emails, word processing, or media streaming, then the current offers in our Memorial Day laptop sales hub are worth looking at.

That about covers the significant differences between the Memorial Day sales and Amazon Prime Day. Ultimately, there are definitely some categories where the Memorial Day deals are traditionally stronger, so those should be prioritized if you're looking to spend this month. Equally, you shouldn't need to completely hold off if you want some tech savings, as budget items are already well-represented in the sales - including some of the best prices we've seen all year so far.

James Pickard
Deals Editor

James Pickard is a Deals Editor at TechRadar. After many years of scouring the net for the cheapest games and tech for his own personal use, he decided to make it his job to share those bargains with you. James also has over five years of experience covering some of the biggest sales events of the year at Eurogamer and VG247, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day. When not deals hunting, James can be found on the PS5, watching a classic film noir or cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.