Mattress Trial Periods: Why and How Long?
A mattress trial period gives you, the buyer, enough time to decide whether to keep the mattress, or send it back to the manufacturer. This is because it will take you a couple of nights of sleeping on a mattress before your body gets used to it.
Similarly, the mattress also takes time to conform to your body, and adjust to the perfect firmness level. This is why mattress night trial periods are usually longer than average, ranging between 90 and 120 nights.
Online manufacturers, in particular, often offer longer mattress trial periods, because buyers never have a chance of trying the mattress before purchasing.
Mattress trial periods are attractive. However, different manufacturers apply several terms and conditions that need to be well understood before purchasing.
This article discusses what to look for in these policies, and how they work, before purchasing your mattress.
What are Mattress Trial Periods?
The mattress trial period is a policy stating the amount of time a mattress manufacturer allows a buyer to test the comfort of a mattress after buying. Then, if the buyer decides that they don't like the mattress, they can have it returned to the manufacturer for a full refund of their money or exchange, depending on the terms of the agreement.
Manufacturers use several other terms such as sleep trials, night sleep trials, free trials, at-home trials, and day trials to describe this policy. Additionally, the terms and conditions of these policies also differ among brands. For example, some mattress companies may have a return pick-up arrangement, while others may require the buyer to cover the shipping costs when sending back the mattress.
Mattress trial periods differ from the traditional return policies of many in-store products. For example, most products give buyers a 30-day window period to return a product in an unused state. On the contrary, mattress trial periods give buyers the chance to use a mattress before deciding whether to return or keep it.
Trial periods are always governed by a set of terms and conditions that you agree to once you buy the mattress. It's therefore important to read and understand why, when, and how to return a mattress to the manufacturer.
Just so you know, these terms and conditions are not like the long, hard-to-understand software policies that use confusing legal jargon. Instead, most simply explain the return process, and what happens within that period.
Here are some common elements to look for in such policies:
The Trial Period
Brands will indicate the number of days or nights that these trial periods should run. This could be the catchy advertisement you first notice when shopping for a mattress online.
The standard trial period for mattresses ranges between 90 to 120 days. However, it's common to find shorter periods, as low as 30 trial nights, or longer periods as far as one year.
There's no specific formula to determine the length of the trial period - it all depends on the manufacturer's product packaging.
The Break-In Period
It's common to feel like you chose the wrong mattress during the first few sleep trials. This is because it takes time for your body to adjust to a new mattress and for the mattress to conform to your body. For this reason, most companies include the break-in period in their mattress trial period policies.
The break-in period is the minimum amount of time a mattress user should try the mattress before placing a return request. In most cases, this period ranges between the first 14 to 30 days of the trial period. The break-in period's primary purpose is to give the buyer sufficient time to test the mattress before requesting to return it.
The Procedures of Placing a Return Request
Some brands may have detailed procedures for placing a return request, while others may simply require that you contact their customer care department. This section of the policy will explain the guidelines to follow, such as sending an email to a specific address, and how soon you should expect their response and refund.
The Condition of the Mattress to be Returned
This is probably the most important information you need to pay attention to. Most brands require that the mattress be as good as new before returning.
They may include a clause stating that they will reject a mattress that has been damaged, stained, or infested by pests, such as bedbugs. Some brands may even require the mattress to pass a condition inspection before the return is processed.
The Return Policy
The return policy will specify details on how and when the mattress should be returned to the seller. For example, some policies state that the manufacturer may involve a third party to pick up the mattress.
In others, the manufacturer may arrange to pick up at their expense, or the user's. Again, this detail helps the buyer determine the most feasible deal that won't cost them too much money to return a mattress at their own expense.
The Refund Policy
Not all refunds will offer 100% money back. If the company agrees to a money refund, you will be informed about the processing time and means to remit the money. Some companies may deduct some money to cover the return shipping fees, coupons, and discounts that were initially offered. Some policies may also provide choices, such as exchanging the mattress with a different one from their varieties.
The Shipping Policy
"Free Shipping" is a common tagline for advertising products, especially online. However, there are several other details about shipping to look out for in these policies. For instance, some companies only provide shipping to states within the contiguous US.
So if you live in Hawaii, for example, you may not be eligible for free shipping.
Additional details on mattress trial period policies include instances that render the trial period void. Additionally, third-party sellers' policies may supersede some of the original trial period policies. For example, mattress third-party sellers' agreements may have a no-return policy that would overrule the return policy of mattresses they sell.
Benefits of Mattress Trial Periods
Mattress trial periods are a great way of ensuring customer satisfaction. Some benefits of sleep trial periods include:
Customers Compatibility Test
Some users may develop severe allergic reactions when using a new mattress for various reasons. For example, the off-gassing smell produced by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) used in some mattresses can cause constant nausea, or an irritated nose.
The off-gassing is often expected to disappear after a few days. However, persistent intolerable cases are reason enough to place a request for return.
Enough Time To Measure Comfort
Sleep trial periods are like a car test drive that lasts 100 days, or as long as the policy states. You will test all the comfort features you require in a mattress, including firmness, support, motion isolation, thermoregulation, edge support, and more.
The mattress also requires some time to conform to your body and desired fit, which happens during this period. As a result, you'll be more certain about your decision before the end of the at-home trial period.
A sleep trial period offers security for your new mattress investment. It provides the buyer sufficient time to change their mind to avoid keeping a mattress they dislike.
How do Mattress Trial Periods Work?
To understand how a trial period works, let's first define a mattress warranty.
A mattress warranty covers a more extended period within which the mattress company takes responsibility for replacing or repairing a manufacturing defect, or refunding the user's money.
Usually, a warranty ranges between 10 and 20 years, although finding a shorter, longer, or lifetime warranty outside this range is quite common. Some of the defects a warranty covers include sagging, or a broken innerspring.
On the other hand, the trial period covers any discomforts caused by the quality of the mattress, like its firmness level, edge support, and pressure relief. Such factors are easy to note within the first couple of weeks of using the mattress.
Sleep trial periods countdown begins once the mattress has been delivered to you - that's why it's always advisable to confirm that the mattress is in good shape upon delivery. Sometimes, damages such as ripping may occur during shipment. In that case, you'll need to report such damage to the manufacturer.
Be sure to follow all the mattress setup instructions and other usage guidelines during this period. Alternatively, you may order white glove delivery (usually at an extra cost). The company's servicemen will correctly set up the mattress on your bed or adjustable base as part of the white glove delivery services.
The first few days of using a new mattress may be uncomfortable. Remember to check whether your sleeping improves based on the quality of the mattress. If you decide that even after the break-in period, the mattress still doesn't suit your needs, you may request a return through the channels described by the company.
Sometimes, the company may offer a solution to your problem, instead of a return. For example, you may be offered a mattress topper to fix the firmness of the mattress. But, again, it's totally up to you to accept or decline the offer.
There are several instances where the return policy during the trial period becomes void. Such instances are usually indicated in the list terms and conditions. Examples include:
- The limit period the mattress can stay unpacked.
- Any breach of proper usage of the mattress, such as the wrong foundation.
- Gifting or selling the mattress.
- Any user-inflicted damages on the mattress, such as stains.
- If the mattress is infested by pests, e.g., bedbugs.
How Long are Mattress Trial Periods?
Sleep trials differ among brands or sometimes the type of mattress. Generous trial periods can run up to 120 nights, although 100 nights of sleep trial is the most common offer.
Online mattress companies tend to have longer trial periods compared to the brick and mortar mattress vendors. In most cases, in-store mattresses give up to 30-night sleep trials with more stringent return policies.
Trial periods may also be altered if the mattress is bought under third-party online mattress companies and middlemen, such as Amazon. For this reason, it's always advisable to purchase a mattress directly from the manufacturer to enjoy all benefits.
How to Compare Mattress Trial Periods
To make a good comparison, it's always advisable to know what to look for in a mattress trial period policy. The main factors to compare are:
You can get mattresses that offer as much as a 365-night sleep trial period, or less. In this case, policies with longer trial periods are generally considered better deals, because you'll have sufficient time to decide if the mattress is what you're looking for. Additionally, longer trial periods provide ample time to plan, especially if you're responsible for the return shipping costs.
Terms and Conditions
Understanding the finer details of the mattress trial period is important to avoid any surprises. For example, the company may require that a mattress be inspected before acceptance or processing a refund.
Some of the conditions may not be favorable, causing straightforward processes to drag. Therefore, your choice will be guided by how comfortable you are with the stipulated conditions.
The Shipping Arrangement
The common difference between shipping agreements is on the party responsible for return shipping costs. You may also find an agreement that offers white glove shipping services at an extra cost. Ultimately, the most convenient shipping arrangement is better, especially if it works for users in remote locations.
Full Money-Back Guarantee
Many online mattress companies claim to offer full money refunds, but have other conditions attached to this policy. For example, some policies may retain any discounts offered, or deduct return shipping costs.
Also, consider how long it takes to receive your money back after the return processing has been completed.
Although warranties are different from trial periods, it's also good to check them out. First, find out what the warranties cover, and how long they run. Additionally, look for the finer details of the warranties, such as whether they offer a full or partial refund.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Mattress Trial
Before purchasing a mattress, it's advisable to conduct thorough research on the types of mattresses available, and how best they meet certain needs.
That way, you will know what to expect from your new mattress. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of your sleep. Here's is what to expect when using your new mattress for the first time:
Mattress trial periods cover comfort-related issues, such as firmness. However, your mattress might not be as comfortable during the first few nights. For example, the mattress may feel too firm before it conforms to your body, but you should expect to feel more comfortable after additional nights.
Body Aches and Pains
Some users experience mild aches and pains while using new mattresses. This is because different mattresses feel and function differently.
Memory foam mattresses, for instance, are good pressure points relievers, but also lack thermoregulation abilities. On the other hand, hybrid mattresses may feel firmer because they offer more support, and have a cooling effect.
If the aches and pains persist beyond the break-in period, it may mean that the mattress is not a good fit. Typically, as the mattress adjusts, so should you become more comfortable while using it.
Some new mattresses emit smelly Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can be quite unbearable. This smell is often expected to disappear within a couple of hours, or two days at the most.
However, off-gassing odors can cause allergic reactions in some users. Such reactions may include, but are not limited to, sneezing, nausea, or clogged nose.
The best way to deal with the smell is to have sufficient air circulation in the room. But, if it persists beyond the expected time frame, you may consider returning the mattress to the manufacturer. After all, your health comes first.
To get the most out of the mattress trial, be sure to do the following:
- Put the mattress on a firm base or bed
- Use your mattress without a mattress topper
- Avoid damaging the mattress
- Get sufficient sleep on the mattress, instead of a few minutes at a time
- Take advantage of the at-home exchange offers
FAQs About a Mattress Trial Period
Here are more questions users ask about mattress trial periods:
Where do Returned Mattresses Go?
Some companies donate the mattresses to charity, while others may repair, recycle, or repackage them for sale at discounted prices.
Sometimes, the companies may also allow users to donate the mattress to charity by themselves. However, mattresses that are completely damaged are disposed of at a landfill.
What is the Difference Between a Mattress Trial Period and a Warranty?
A trial period purposefully covers comfort issues, such as firmness, heat retention, and pressure relief. On the other hand, Warranties cover manufacturing defects, such as ripping, premature sagging, or a broken innerspring.
Most trial periods are below one year, while warranties last many years. In fact, some companies may offer a lifetime warranty on their mattresses.
How do I Return a Mattress During the Sleep Trial Period?
Mattress manufacturers usually specify the different procedures to be followed when returning a mattress. The first thing to do is contact the manufacturer, and place your request for return per the company's directions.
Some companies will arrange for pick up, while others will request that you ship the mattress back at your own cost. Since the return procedures differ among brands, it's highly advisable to carefully read the policy to understand all the fine details of the process.
Is the Mattress Trial Period a Free Trial?
Some companies may interchangeably use the term "free trial" and "mattress trial period" to mean the same thing. But, since you pay for your mattress upfront, the trial is not ideally free, as the word's true meaning suggests. However, the free trial period is meant to assure you that you will still get your money back if you don't like the mattress.
What are the Disadvantages of a Mattress Trial Period?
The possible disadvantages of a trial period are often related to the company's policy, and not the mattress itself. For example, some companies may have no return policies for certain locations, that are usually too far from the company's factory or warehouse.
In addition, some retailer policies may supersede the trial period policies, scraping off some of the initial advantages. To avoid all these, read and understand the terms and conditions of the mattress trial period. You may also ask the seller any questions before committing to a purchase.
Is a Mattress Trial Period Genuine?
Yes! A mattress trial period is not a disingenuous deal. Instead, it protects you from being stuck with a mattress you dislike, by giving you sufficient time to try the mattress. All you need to understand are the details of the trial period, how to submit a return order, and what situations may affect the return policy.
PlushBeds Mattress Trial Periods
PlushBeds Mattresses offer the best handcrafted and comfortably luxurious mattresses, with the most reasonable night sleep trial periods and generous warranties in the market. In addition, you can choose from various options available, which include 100% natural latex, memory foam, or gel foam mattresses.
These mattresses also come with a 100-night sleep trial package with an easy-to-follow return policy. Besides, PlushBeds requires you to test the mattress for at least 30 days before deciding to request a return.
PlushBeds guarantees that you'll be among the 98% of customers who find their mattresses to be life-changing on their very first try. But for some customers, it may take a few night trials to appreciate the superior support and pressure relief features of the mattresses from this company.
PlushBeds also encourage you to spend a sufficient amount of time sleeping on your new mattress. This allows the mattress to settle into the desired mattress firmness and comfort level. As a result, you'll notice some changes within the first 30 to 60 days of the trial period.
One more thing - when you order The Botanical Bliss Organic Latex Mattress or the The Natural Bliss 100% Natural Latex Mattress from PlushBeds, you'll be entitled to 100 nights free in-home exchange for comfort reasons. All you need to do is call the PlushBeds customer service, and request a one-time in-home comfort exchange.
PlushBeds promises total satisfaction within the 100-night sleep trials. However, if your comfort needs are not met within this period, you can request a return, and ship the mattress back to the company.
Once received, PlushBeds will process the full purchase price refund within 72 hours. Also, if you need assistance with removing the mattress, the company offers a concierge mattress removal service at a fee.
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