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How Do Mattress Trial Periods Work?

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 5 minutes

  • Purpose: Mattress trial periods allow customers to test a mattress at home for a specified duration, usually ranging from 30 to 365 nights, offering flexibility and a risk-free experience when purchasing mattresses online.
  • Return Process: Companies generally facilitate hassle-free returns within the trial period, though specific policies regarding return conditions, refund types, and any associated fees may vary, so it’s essential to review the fine print before purchase.
  • Trial Assessment: During the trial period, consumers should evaluate factors such as mattress firmness, sleep quality, cooling abilities, motion isolation, edge support, responsiveness, noise level, and any odors to determine suitability.
  • Benefits and Considerations: Utilizing the trial period effectively allows customers to assess the mattress and make an informed decision, ensuring satisfaction and avoiding the inconvenience of keeping an unsuitable mattress. However, not all brands offer trial periods, so checking individual company policies before purchase is crucial.

In today’s digital age, the mattress industry has evolved significantly, making it easier than ever to shop for a new mattress online. However, buying a mattress is still a significant investment, and there’s always a chance that the mattress you purchase may not be the right fit for you. This is where mattress trial periods come into play. This comprehensive guide will explore how mattress trial periods work, the return process, and how to make the most out of your trial period.

What is a Mattress Trial Period?

A mattress trial period serves as a buffer between when you purchase a mattress and when it becomes non-returnable or non-exchangeable. Most online mattress companies offer trial periods to address consumers’ hesitations when buying a mattress online. These trials allow you to try out the mattress for a certain period and easily return it for a full refund or exchange if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Trial Terminology

Different mattress companies may use varying terms to refer to their trial periods. Some common alternatives include “sleep trial,” “at-home trial,” or “free trial.” Regardless of the terminology, the purpose remains the same – to allow customers to test the mattress before committing to it.

Trial Length

The length of a mattress trial period typically ranges from a minimum of 30 nights to as long as 365 nights. The duration may vary depending on the company and the specific mattress model. It’s important to note that some brands require a minimum break-in period of 30 to 60 days before allowing returns or exchanges. This is because it’s commonly thought to require a minimum of 30 nights for your body to adapt to a new mattress.

The Mattress Return Process

Mattress companies aim to make the return process as simple and hassle-free as possible. However, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific return policies of the brand you’re purchasing from. The details can usually be found in the company’s fine print or on their website.

The Fine Print

Before making a purchase, it’s crucial to carefully read and understand the fine print of the company’s return policy. This will outline any specific requirements or conditions for returning or exchanging the mattress. Pay attention to details such as the timeframe within which returns are accepted, refund types, and any associated fees.

Refund Type

When considering a mattress purchase, it’s advisable to look for companies that provide a full money-back guarantee. While some companies may only allow exchanges depending on the model and stock availability, having the option of a full refund provides greater flexibility. Remember that certain companies may require you to cover shipping, handling, or restocking fees during the return process.

Mattress Condition

For a return or exchange, the mattress must be in its original condition, free from any damage like stains or tears. Using a mattress protector can aid in ensuring that the mattress stays in pristine condition. It’s also essential to have all the necessary information, such as the order number and date of purchase, and ensure that the return request falls within the boundaries of the mattress trial period.

Return Process

Returning a mattress does not require you to repackage it yourself. Mattress companies use specialized machines to compress mattresses into boxes, so they will usually arrange for a pickup or ask you to donate the mattress and provide proof. However, it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s specific instructions as some may mandate you to handle the mattress return shipment personally.

What to Look for During Your Trial Period

Throughout your mattress trial period, it’s crucial to observe different aspects as you test a mattress to see if it aligns with your individual needs and preferences. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Mattress Firmness: Assess how the firmness level of the mattress aligns with your sleeping position and overall comfort.
  2. Aches and Pains: Take note of any new aches or pains that arise, as this could indicate that the mattress is not providing adequate support.
  3. Sleep Quality: Evaluate the quality of sleep you’re experiencing. Are you able to sleep comfortably throughout the night?
  4. Cooling Abilities: If you tend to sleep hot, observe the mattress’s cooling abilities and how well it regulates temperature.
  5. Motion Isolation: If you sleep with a partner or pet, take into account the mattress’s ability to isolate motion. Does it minimize disturbances from movement?
  6. Edge Support: Assess how well the sides of the bed support your weight. This can be especially crucial if you typically sleep close to the edge of the mattress.
  7. Responsiveness: If you are a combination sleeper or have mobility issues, evaluate how easily you can move around on the mattress.
  8. Noise Level: Pay attention to any noises produced by the mattress as you move around. Excessive noise can be disruptive to your sleep.
  9. Odors: It’s normal for a new mattress to have a slight odor initially (known as off-gassing). However, this smell should dissipate within a few days as the mattress decompresses.

Taking note of these factors will help you decide whether the mattress is the right fit for your sleep needs.

FAQs about Mattress Trial Periods

What is a mattress trial period, and how do most online mattress brands handle them?

A mattress trial period, commonly offered by many mattress companies, allows customers to sleep on the mattress at home for a specified duration before deciding to keep it. Most online mattress brands offer risk-free mattress trials ranging from 90 to 365 nights. Customers can test the mattress and return it for a full refund if they are unsatisfied during this period.

Do mattress trial periods typically come with a required break-in period?

While many mattress manufacturers suggest a break-in period to allow the mattress to adjust to your body and vice versa, not all of them enforce it as a prerequisite for returns during the sleep trial. Some companies recommend sleeping on the mattress for at least 30 nights to experience its full comfort and support before initiating a return if needed.

What happens if I decide to return a mattress within the trial period?

Most mattress companies offering sleep trials have hassle-free return policies. If you’re unsatisfied with the mattress within the trial period, you can usually initiate a return. The company will schedule a pickup for the mattress, and once the return is confirmed, you’ll receive a complete refund.

Are there any specific terms or conditions regarding the mattress warranty during the trial period?

Generally, mattress warranties remain intact during the sleep trial period. However, it’s essential to review the terms and conditions set by the mattress company. Some warranties might differ for trial period mattresses compared to those purchased outright. Certified sleep science coach suggest thoroughly understanding the warranty details before making a purchase.

Are all mattresses offered with a free trial, or is it only a feature of a few brands in the market?

While sleep trials are a common offering among many mattress companies, not all brands provide this option. However, the trend among most mattress companies, especially online mattress brands, is to offer a risk-free trial to ensure customer satisfaction. It’s advisable to check each brand’s policies before making a purchase to ensure a comfortable and risk-free buying experience.


If you are hesitant about purchasing a mattress online, a mattress trial period can provide the reassurance you need. These trial periods offer the flexibility to test the mattress in your own home and return or exchange it if it doesn’t meet your expectations. However, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, read the fine print, and fully understand the terms and conditions of the trial period before making a purchase. By utilizing the trial period effectively and considering key factors such as mattress firmness, sleep quality, and cooling abilities, you can find the perfect mattress for a good night’s sleep.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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