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BBB Tip: Shopping for a mattress? Do your research

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Buying a new mattress is a huge investment


  There are so many options – various materials, firmness levels, price ranges, sizes and even smart technology options – that making a purchase can seem overwhelming. It’s easy to see why mattress shoppers need to do their research. What can you do to purchase a new mattress that meets your needs? The following tips from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) should help:

  • Shop around to compare your options. Mattress prices and quality can vary greatly, so take the time to visit more than one mattress retailer before deciding.
  • Try before you buy. Test the mattress for at least 15 minutes by lying where you normally sleep. It might seem awkward, but a Consumer Reports survey found that 77 percent of respondents who tested their mattress more than 15 minutes were especially happy with their purchase.
  • Take a close look at the mattress tags. Ensure your mattress has the proper tags before you take it to your home. This step is especially important if you have a mattress delivered to your home. Even if the mattress is wrapped, inspect the tags before the delivery person leaves.
  • Avoid retailers that sell mattresses with no tags. You can’t be sure about the kind or quality of mattress you purchase if the retailer’s products have no tags. Don’t be fooled by repeated assurances from a salesperson if they have no proof to back up their claims. If there’s no tag, there’s no deal.
  • Find out about return and refund policies. Get all the details about the company’s return and refund policies and ask for a copy of this information in writing.
  • Ask the retailer to write “new” on your receipt. If you purchase a new mattress, have the retailer write this information on your receipt or include it on your digital copy. This will give you an additional recourse if you later find a problem with the mattress.
  • Research retailers on BBB.org. Whenever you make a large purchase, such as a mattress, look up the store or company you plan to do business with on the BBB website. Protect yourself from shady dealers by reviewing the company’s business rating and BBB reviews and complaints.

What to know about used mattresses

  In most parts of the United States, used mattresses can be resold if they meet processing and labeling requirements. In Canada, secondhand mattresses also need to meet certain guidelines. Of course, mattress retailers might not be eager to point out that a mattress is used or has used materials, so keep these tips in mind:

  • Ask about used bedding. Ask the retailer directly if they sell used mattresses or mattresses that contain used materials. If you are considering purchasing used bedding, ask about how the material is sanitized or disinfected. Keep in mind that used bedding could be tainted with bodily fluids, pet allergens, bacteria, mold or other harmful substances.
  • Check the tag: New mattresses should have a white tag indicating the mattress contains “all new materials.” In some areas used mattresses have yellow or red tags that indicate the mattress is used or contains used material; however, requirements vary, so don’t assume that the absence of a red or yellow tag automatically means the mattress is new.

  For more information: Read BBB’s tips on shopping for furniture online. Check out BBB’s Home HQ for more home tips and resources. Always look for businesses that follow BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust. For more news from BBB, visit BBB.org/news and its Consumer HQ.

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