How To Buy A Mattress Without Getting Ripped Off

new mattress

A bad deal can cost more than a good night’s sleep. It can also be a deep financial loss. We show you how to shop safely the first time!

Bed brands and private sellers can both disappoint buyers. When buying from a brand, it is best to choose a lengthy free sleep trial to gauge the quality of the mattress. A private sale might need an independent inspector to ensure that your bargain is not a lemon in disguise. 

A little extra effort can save you from buyer’s regret and the struggle of getting a refund. We explain how to avoid getting ripped off while shopping for a new mattress.


The 2 Main Sellers And Their Pitfalls

The market for mattresses is huge and evergreen. But due to the demand, some companies and individuals are in the game to make a quick buck. They don’t particularly care about quality, pride in their product or that you get a good night’s sleep. 

The 2 main sellers are the big brand names and private sellers who want to get rid of their own bed. As you can see, the latter is second-hand and never comes with an official warranty of quality. This puts the buyer in a vulnerable position when they discover later on that there is something wrong with the mattress that was never disclosed before the sale. A bed brand can also duck and dive guarantees or sell poor-quality mattresses with nothing but promises. 

But all is not lost! You can buy the mattress of your dreams the first time you make that decision to go ahead with the deal. All it takes is time, tests, and a little patience. Here’s everything you need to know.

You can get more advice from our free guide on how to choose a mattress.


How To Navigate A Personal Sale

buying a mattress online

The Benefits Of A Personal Sale

Alright, we already showered you with negativity but what are the benefits of a personal sale?

  • The payment is normally once-off. That’s great if you dislike committing to a debit order of a year or more. 
  • The price is much more affordable.
  • A lot of second-hand mattresses are in perfect shape. People sell them because they are moving, no longer need the bed or they bought another.

This is how often you should change your mattress.

The Signs Of A Bad Mattress

You can always spend a little extra and hire an independent mattress inspector to view the bed. But if you decide to rather assess the bed on your own, here are the top warning signs to look out for. 

  • The mattress is stained.
  • There is a bad odour. Avoid at all costs if the smell is mouldy or dank. The mattress has mould or mildew and cannot be rescued without a lot of effort and costs.
  • The fabric is torn.
  • The bed is noisy, squeaky or creaky.
  • The mattress appears dipped around the edges.
  • There is a ridge in the middle.
  • There are hollows where the person or couple has slept.
  • The owner does not allow you to lie down and test it.
  • The owner is pushing the sale.
  • The price is too high or too low. 

A Word On Safety

Responding to a stranger’s ad always carries a risk of danger. You do not know who this person is and while most people genuinely use their local ads to sell stuff, a lot of criminals use them to lure their victims into unfortunate situations. It does not matter whether you are male or female, when you decide to visit a buyer always take at least two other people along. If all goes well, these extra pairs of hand can even help you carry the mattress to the vehicle!

If you need to get rid of your old bed, we have great advice on how to dispose of a mattress. We explain how to make the process as smooth as possible and how to protect the environment too.

How To Buy A Bed From A Mattress Manufacturer

The Benefits Of Buying From A Store Or Brand

  • A payment plan makes really amazing beds more affordable.
  • You are the first owner.
  • As a consumer, you have more protection when things go wrong. 
  • You can choose from an endless variety of sizes and materials. (Get our guide on the different mattress sizes)

The Importance Of A Home Trial

sleep trial mattress

Brands who care about their customers’ satisfaction know just what to do. They offer a free home trial. This method allows a buyer to test a bed in the comfort of their own home with no obligations. The best thing about a trial is that you never buy a mattress blind (which is often a one-way road to disappointment). 

Home trials can be as short as two weeks to a full year. If that year-deal sounds good, then check out these two brands. They are the only brands that offer a 365-day home trial and a lifetime guarantee.

The Importance Of A Good Guarantee

Not every brand offers the same fantastic lifetime warranties as Nectar Sleep and Dreamcloud but that does not mean that their products are bad. However, you need to keep a few things in mind when it comes to the mattress warranty. The guarantee can be a good indicator of the quality of the mattress and whether the company cares about your satisfaction in the long run.

What you choose to buy is your choice. But we really recommend that you avoid brands that offer no warranties or short guarantees (1 to 3 years). The most common warranties you will find is 5-year and 10-year deals. There are fewer companies that offer a 20-year warranty but they do exist. Then, as you already know, only two brands offer a lifetime warranty on all their mattresses.

Another thing to watch out for is the small print. A guarantee quickly cancels when certain conditions are not met or the brand beliefs that the buyer somehow caused the damage. Most guarantees only cover a fault that happened in the factory. You need to be aware of what might cancel your warranty before you purchase the mattress. One example is the bed frame. Some manufacturers will void a guarantee if they realize you used a frame with slats that are spaced too far apart.


A Quick Summary On How To Buy A Mattress Without Getting Ripped Off

  • Due to the demand for new mattresses, quality is often sacrificed to make a quick sale.
  • Buyers need to know the signs of a bad sale. 
  • Mattresses are sold by brands and private sellers.
  • The riskiest option is to purchase from a private seller as you do not have the same protection as a brand consumer.
  • Private sellers offer benefits like reduced prices and once-off payments.
  • A brand offers more consumer protection in the form of a warranty.
  • A good brand will also allow a customer a free home trial to test the mattress.
  • It might be a good idea to avoid brands that do not offer any home trials or guarantees.

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About the Author Tom

My journey into the world of sleep came about through living in several properties over my lifetime and always seeming to have the worst luck with neighbors. All but one have been extremely noisy and very inconsiderate. What this made me realize early on, was that the little sleep my neighbors allowed me to get needed to be of great quality. So I started to learn all about sleep, and what helps people get the best quality sleep possible.