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Don't Lose Sleep over Buying a Mattress, Rest Easy with Tips from BBB

31 August 2014  

A new mattress can be a significant investment.

Ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars and with many options to choose from, shopping for a mattress and getting the best deal can lead to sleepless nights. Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares common issues when buying a mattress and provides tips to rest assured consumers are headed in the right direction for a good night’s sleep.

Better Business Bureau Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona received over 10,800 requests for information on the mattresses industry in 2013.

While some ads claim a mattress should be replaced after a certain amount of years, there is no magic answer for deciding when to replace a mattress. However, consumers should consider the comfort of their mattress when deciding whether to make a new purchase. Aside from choosing the right firmness or size, consumers should understand warranties, guarantees, return policies and restocking fees before making a purchase.

BBB sharesConsumer Reports’ tips for buying a mattress:

  • Decide where to shop.Buy at a store, not online or over the phone, unless you’ve already tried the identical mattress in store. Make sure to check out the store with BBB at, before making a purchase. Viewing the company’s BBB Business Review will tell you their rating, complaint history and customer reviews.
  • Ensure it is new. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “The easiest way to tell if you’re buying new or used is to look at the label attached to the mattress. In most cases, new mattresses will include a white tag or label that indicate the mattress contains ‘all new materials.’” If there is no tag on the mattress, you will not know if the mattress is new or used—so you may wish to shop elsewhere.
  • Be wary of comparables.If you like a particular mattress and want to comparison shop, know that manufacturers offers exclusive lines for each chain. Asking elsewhere for a similar mattress, will likely result in being steered toward a same-brand mattress that’s supposed to have the same construction, components, and firmness. However, finding the same mattress at different locations is unlikely. While some might be similar, there’s is really no way of knowing if a mattress is comparable to another at a different store.
  • Understand comfort guarantees.Some retailers offer two weeks to several months to return or exchange a mattress; however, retailers have different policies. Also, keep in mind that returns usually involve a delivery and restocking fee. To avoid misunderstandings, carefully inspect the mattress upon delivery for tags, stains or tears.
  • Follow the warranty guidelines.Is the warranty from the mattress seller or from the mattress manufacturer? How long does the warranty cover the mattress? Most warranties cover defects in materials and workmanship, not comfort or normal wear. Some mattress warranties do not cover full replacement value; instead, an annual usage charge is deducted from the current retail price. Be sure to keep all warranty materials as well as the receipt for any future warranty issues.
  • Keep the tags. Keep the do-not-remove-under-penalty-of-law tag. The tags are important because they contain identifying information, a description of the filling, and whether - and how much of - the material is new or used. If the federally-required tag from a new mattress is removed, or if the mattress is stained or torn, the warranty may be void.
Mary Hawkes

Mary Hawkes is the Director of the Yavapai County Office for the Arizona Better Busines Bureau.

About BBB Serving Central, Northern & Western Arizona

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Incorporated locally in 1938, today your BBB serves communities in Central, Northern and Western Arizona, supported by over 9,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.