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What You Need From a Mattress Return Policy

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

You bought a fancy mattress online and were very excited but now you're finding that there is no rest for the weary. You toss and turn and are burning with a desire to send this mattress back to wherever it came from. Can you?

The answer is most likely yes, but it depends. Returns are governed by the law and by seller policies. There is no blanket prohibition on returning mattresses, but retailers may put prohibitions on returns for particular items if those limitations are in line with state law. Let's consider what the shopping experts at Consumer Reports say you should seek in a mattress return policy.

30 Nights to Test a Mattress

According to Consumer Reports, the biggest issue to consider when purchasing a mattress is the return policy. The shopping advisers recommend spending 10 minutes laying down on a mattress to test it before you buy, but recognize that much shopping is now done online -- that is why return policies matter more than ever. Also, they note that to really test a mattress you need to see how you feel after 30 nights of sleeping on it, which means that you are not looking for just any return policy but a pretty generous one.

There are actually quite a few considerations when it comes to comparing return policies. Mattresses are unwieldy items, unlike a sweater or jeans for example, so returning them is a major hassle. You should look at whether a return policy asks you to pack and ship back the mattress, as these items are often folded by machines in factories and fitting them back in the box would be impossible for a person.

Another consideration is who pays for the return. Is it you or the seller who will cover shipping back the mattress? Also ask whether you may return the mattress to a store or if you must send it to the location that sent it out, as that may impact cost and hassle. And don't forget to ask what you will get for these efforts. Will you have to exchange your mattress or can you get your money back if you find no suitable replacement?

The Princess and the Pea

Armed with this information, you should be able to make a wise choice about what mattress return policy will suit your needs. As for choosing a mattress, that is a matter of taste and only you can say. For some, rest comes easy no matter what the bed, while others are practically princesses, and the tiniest discomfort, a mere pea, disturbs sleep.


If your new mattress is so bad that you end up with back problems or worse, speak to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to discuss your case.

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