How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do

How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do
(Image credit: Casper)

Whether it's too firm, too soft, or just not quite right, it's better to return your mattress than deal with endless nights of poor sleep. Many of the best mattress online companies have long trial periods to reassure buyers that they can return a mattress if they're not satisfied, but these extended trial periods are no good unless the returns process is easy and straightforward. So, just how do you return a mattress? Or, if you think you may be better off with a different mattress size or type, how do you exchange a mattress you bought online? 

When it comes to how to buy a mattress online, it’s important that you’re confident in your choice, which means you should look at the return policy before buying, just in case you need to return it. It's the same advice we give when recommending the best bed toppers.

The process of returning a mattress really does depend on the company you're dealing with. That's why we've included information on how to return mattresses from some of the most popular brands, as well as some general guidelines to make sure your return is accepted.

If you're still on the hunt for the right mattress, check out our guides to the best Saatva mattress discounts, the best Purple mattress deals, or the best Casper mattress deals to find a mattress at a price you'll love. 

1. Make sure you've given your new mattress a fair shot

How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do

(Image credit: Casper)

So, your first night sleeping on your new mattress wasn't all you had hoped, but does that mean you should return it? More of then than not, a new mattress is like a good TV show or going to the gym: it can take a little while for you to decide whether you like it or not.

Purple, for example, which makes the best cooling mattress for hot sleepers, asks that new customers sleep on their mattress for at least 21 consecutive nights before making their minds up. This is because it can take weeks for the body to adjust to using a new mattress, after which point you may find yourself sleeping better than ever before.

2. Make sure the problem is definitely your mattress

It would be a shame to miss out on a potentially great mattress because it doesn't have the right support, or it has that weird new-mattress smell. If either of these issues are prompting you to consider a return, try these solutions first...

How to get rid of that new-mattress smell
There are many reasons you may be considering a return, but some of them can be easily fixed. One example is the smell. Depending on the materials used to make it, some mattresses omit an odor once they're unboxed and exposed to oxygen. This is common with memory foam mattresses, with the smell caused by a reaction called 'off-gassing'. Even some of the best pillows experience it. 

Because your mattress is made from a variety of chemicals, it's natural for it to give off an odor for a fair few days after you have brought it home. Even plant materials produce a scent, but both should pass with time. That said, if it's been a few weeks and you're still sensitive to the smell, there are a few things you can try.

How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do

(Image credit: Getty)

1. Let it breathe some more
Strip your bedsheets, get plenty of ventilation in your bedroom, and maybe even flip the mattress to ensure all areas of the mattress have room to breathe and omit their odors. You may find that getting some fresh air in your bedroom solves the problem, because the scent could be lingering in your room, even if it is no longer coming from the mattress itself.

2. Walk on the mattress
This tip comes courtesy of Casper mattress, who describes this step as "like a massage for your bed". Walking over your mattress and compressing different areas can shift those last few areas where a chemical smell may be lingering. 

How to get used to your new mattress

So you've given it a fair shot and slept on your mattress for three weeks or so, but if you're feeling aches and pains still, there may be a few simple solutions. 

1. Back to the base
Some mattresses are not compatible with certain platforms or bed bases. For example, a box spring is rarely a good combination with a memory foam mattress. Check the advised platform type for your specific mattress and make sure that it's not sagging thanks to uneven slats. After all, it can't support you if it in turn isn't being supported by a good foundation. 

2. Flip the bed
Not all mattresses come with a specific side for sleeping on, but thanks to specific layering and the way memory foam layers may be combined with gels and other supportive features, an increasing amount of mattresses need to be slept on from a specific side to be effective.

There's an easy way to tell with a Casper, for example - check that the logo is on the left side and that you can read the name from bottom to top. 

3. Make sure you're still within your trial period

How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do

(Image credit: Tuft & Needle)

Although mattress companies typically offer extended trial periods, you should check your specific policy to make sure you're still able to return it. These are the mattress trial periods the most popular sleep brands in America:

  • Purple: 100 nights
  • Saatva: 120 nights
  • Casper: 100 nights
  • Helix: 100 nights
  • Nectar: 365 nights
  • Leesa: 100 nights
  • Brooklyn: 100 nights
  • Layla: 120 nights

Even if it's been a few months, you should be able to calculate the exact number of nights you've had the mattress by checking your emails for your delivery confirmation. Then just count the amount of days that have passed since then to make sure you are eligible for returns. 

4. Make sure your mattress is clean and undamaged

As with most return policies, some mattress companies ask that you return your mattress undamaged and clean. This may be because they donate lightly-used mattresses to charitable causes, which means your return will not go to waste. You can check our guide on how to clean a mattress to be confident before you return.


How to exchange a mattress

5. Consider an exchange

Is it worth exchanging your mattress, and are you able to? If you've decided not to keep it thanks to its size, it may be possible to exchange it for a smaller or larger option. Because many companies have a variety of sizes on offer, finding your perfect night's sleep could be as simple as opting for a different size from the same manufacturer. 

Consider what it is you did and didn't like about the mattress you're returning to be sure you're making the right exchange. Sleep companies often indicate levels of firmness, suitability for different sleeper types, as well as other features such as the foam density and any cooling elements, to make it easy for you to choose a more suitable one. 

For most mattress companies, your trial period also covers the exchange period, meaning you can exchange your mattress within your allocated amount of trial nights as long as you’ve tried the mattress for the minimum term. You should check with your specific mattress manufacturer, but most companies will allow you to exchange any mattress as long as it’s clean and undamaged. If there’s a problem with your mattress, you’re still probably covered by your mattress warranty.

In most cases your old mattress will be taken away at the same time as your replacement mattress delivery. When your new mattress arrives you’ll probably still be covered for the remainder of your trial period from your first purchase.

How to return a mattress

Still want to return your mattress? Here's how

How to return a mattress, and five things to consider before you do

(Image credit: Idle Sleep)

1. Check you’re eligible to return

Companies usually have a few prerequisites before you can return a mattress. For example, you should have used your mattress for the minimum term, and you should also be within your trial period to be guaranteed a return.

If you didn’t buy your mattress from the company’s official website, you’ll need to check with the retail store you bought it from for their specific return policies. You’ll be refunded the price you paid, so if you were able to snag a deal on the mattress, you won’t be refunded the full RRP. Brands like Saatva will retain your delivery fee, so you should only expect a refund on the price of the product itself, and not any extras.

2. Contact the company to arrange a return

When you return a Purple mattress, for example, the company will arrange for its collection direct from your home at no cost to you. To start the process, contact the company directly. They will then figure out the specifics with you. Here are the contact details for the top sleep brands in America:

Looking for more great sleep content? Learn how one of the best sunrise alarm clocks could help you wake-up more naturally, or give your energy levels a boost in the day (to sleep more soundly at night) with the best therapy lamps

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Top Ten Reviews. She also works on our sister sites: Real Homes, Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, and Livingetc. As Head of Reviews, Millie is on a mission to make sure that we are reviewing all of the latest and greatest products for you and your home, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or an inflatable hot tub.