How to Return a Mattress – Everything You Need to Know

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 02/14/2023

Buying a new mattress can be a significant investment, so taking your time with the purchase of your dream bed is essential.

But it’s not like you can tell if a mattress is good for you after just a few minutes of lying on it. Sometimes it takes a couple of nights to realize you should have chosen the other option. 

Lucky for us, most sellers have a return policy. Let’s see what that process is like. 

Can You Return Your Mattress?

The answer is yes, usually. 

Almost every mattress company has a return policy, but you should check that before you buy the mattress. 

Online mattress companies usually let you return an unwanted mattress. After all, it’s not like you could’ve tried the mattresses sold before buying them, and this is what the whole business of online sales is based on. 

They cut the costs of physical stores and third-party sellers but let you enjoy risk free trials and sometimes even a generous return policy, among other things. A good refund policy is important for customer satisfaction.

But even that depends. Also, not all mattress return policies are the same, as you’ll see later in this guide. 

Returning a mattress is expensive, generally not for the buyer but for the company. They usually have to cover the shipping to and from the location, and they lose an entire mattress because they can’t sell it anymore. 

That’s why budget mattress companies won’t be that quick to accept returns and send full refunds. You’ll likely get an exchange option for the return policy, or you’ll get store credit and have to pay for any additional fees. 

On the other hand, there are plenty of online mattress retailers with affordable prices and better return policies. And also, the more expensive the mattress is, the more likely the refund policy is to include a full refund. Just make sure to verify this. 

Also, remember that a return policy usually doesn’t accept damaged mattresses. For example, if you spill something on it, you won’t get a refund. That’s also why you should purchase a mattress cover while trying out that mattress. 

But why would you even want to return a bed?  

When Should You Return a Mattress?

Most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping or trying to fall asleep, and we only change our mattresses a couple of times. 

Sleep quality is essential for our health, so a perfect mattress is a must.

That’s why if a mattress isn’t good for you, you should check out that return policy and use your right to a refund.

Here are some reasons you would want to return a mattress. 

Not Comfortable Enough

Let’s start with a simple one – if you think your new mattress isn’t comfortable enough, you should return it. 

An uncomfortable mattress will impact your sleep, which will, in turn, negatively impact your health. 

Some people might think their mattress isn’t bad enough to return because it’s just a little uncomfortable. But they must remember that they will spend the next eight to ten years sleeping on that slightly uncomfortable mattress. It doesn’t get better. You just get used to the discomfort. 


One of the most significant aspects of comfort is mattress firmness

Even though there’s a firmness scale, mattress firmness is generally subjective. This means that it might be hard to get it just right. 

Choosing the right firmness is all about your preferences, sleeping position, weight, and other minor factors. 

But if your mattress is too soft or too firm for you, you’ll end up in discomfort, and it can even cause pain in your joints. For example, if side sleepers choose a mattress that’s too firm, they’ll develop pain in their hips and shoulders. 

If that’s the case, it’s time to return your mattress. 

Traps Heat

Some people are hot sleepers, meaning they naturally run hot while asleep. 

Some mattresses are naturally good at keeping the heat in, which can be hell for people who sleep hot. We’re looking at you, memory foam. 

That’s why it’s crucial to run a thorough check before getting a mattress, but sometimes you will only realize that you’re a hot sleeper once you switch from an innerspring to memory foam. 

All in all, this is a very uncomfortable experience. 

Motion Isolation

If you share a bed with your partner and tend to wake up with their every toss and turn, you need to look for a mattress with sound motion isolation. 

Memory foam is the best in this category, while coil mattresses leave much to be desired. No matter what you end up with, if one of you feels like the motion isolation isn’t sound, you should look for a different mattress. 


An opened mattress releases gasses, especially if you ordered a bed-in-a-box from an online mattress retailer. The gasses trapped after the manufacturing process must be vented, and while they aren’t all that bad, not everyone agrees. 

For example, some people might have an allergic reaction to these gasses. In that case, it’s entirely valid to use the refund or return policy. 

If you’re looking for a mattress that doesn’t off-gas, look no further than organic mattresses

Types of Return Policies

One of the things you need to do while shopping is check whether the company has a mattress return policy, just in case. 

You can check the seller’s website if you’re buying a mattress online. They typically include a “returns” section or keep the information on the FAQ page. 

You can immediately get this information from the employees when it comes to physical stores. 

As we said before, not all mattress return policies are created equal. Let’s see what you should watch out for. 

Sleep Trial

A sleep trail is a convenient way to test whether the new mattress is the right fit for you or not. 

Almost all online companies offer a sleep trial to go with their mattress. Physical stores do too, but less commonly than web-based ones. 

The length of the sleep trial depends on the company. A 100-night sleep trial is a typical option among many online and brick-and-mortar mattress retailers. 

However, a sleep trial can last anywhere from 30 nights to an entire year, which is a pretty generous trial period. 

Sleep trials are necessary because sometimes it takes a while to figure out if the new mattress is right for us. 

Who knows? You might think it’s a perfect match while in the store, only to wake up in pain after a couple of weeks. Alternatively, it may appear slightly uncomfortable at first, only to mold to your body in less than a month.

That is also why many companies don’t allow mattress returns immediately. You might have to keep it for 30 to 60 days before you can start the return process. Sometimes the bed does take getting used to. 

But what if you find out you’re allergic to your new latex mattress during that time? If it’s that bad and you can’t handle sleeping on it for so long, you can get in touch with the company, and they might let you return the mattress earlier. 

Because companies differ, some will charge shipping fees when returning your mattress, while others won’t. However, paying extra fees is more common in the case of physical stores than online ones. 

Also, some companies even offer a trial period for bed frames and other accessories, but different rules apply.

Money Back Policy

Some mattress retailers offer a full money-back guarantee if you don’t like your mattress. This means that all you have to do is follow the steps to return the bed, and you’ll get a full refund, or sometimes a partial refund, for the mattress purchase price in your bank account in just a couple of days. 

Money-back policies are excellent; you should always look for them when going mattress shopping. Budget mattress companies usually won’t give you this offer because it isn’t profitable for them. 

Getting a full refund is a better option than exchanging for a new bed because sometimes you don’t like anything else the company offers. 

Exchange Policy

And sometimes, exchanging a bed can turn out to be great. This means you’ll send your new mattress back, but you’ll choose another one that the mattress retailer has to offer to take its place. 

Most companies prefer to do exchanges rather than send you money. And this policy can be helpful to you if, for example, you want to get the same mattress with a slightly different firmness level. 

The good news is that most physical and online mattress retailers won’t charge a shipping or restocking fee for exchanging a mattress.

The bad thing about exchange policies is that you will have fewer choices available, which is terrible if you realize you dislike the company. 

How to Return a Mattress

It might seem like a hassle when you think about it, but the mattress return process is relatively simple. Here’s how it goes. 

Read the Fine Print

Before you go any further, you need to gather data. Return policies can vary, and you want to ensure you’re doing everything correctly. 

First, remember that many companies will only let you return a bed if enough time has passed. You usually have to keep it for at least 30 days, but the numbers tend to differ. 

As mentioned before, sometimes it takes us a while to get used to the mattress. 

Also, check out what kind of policy they have. Will you get a partial or full refund, or will you have to choose another mattress for the exchange? What about paying the shipping and restocking fees? 

Make sure that your bed is still in good condition. Most companies won’t accept the return if the mattress has any visible signs of wear and tear. That’s why you should get a waterproof mattress encasement to protect the bed during the trial period. 

And finally, watch out for how much time you have left. Please don’t postpone the whole return process because the trial period might end. Now, at least, you’ll have a warranty to cover defects. 

Contact the Seller

Before you get the process started, make sure that you have all of your purchase information on hand, like the purchase date and number. If the company has an exchange policy, you must choose a different mattress to swap with the current one.  

Next, contact customer service and tell them that you want to return your mattress. Almost all companies are available through a phone call, email, or live chat, where you’ll speak with a representative. 

Follow the Directions

The steps for every company will differ based on how they work and the type of mattress return policy they have. Here’s how it goes most of the time. 

After contacting the seller, you’ll get all the information on what to do next. 

Both physical stores and online mattress brands will usually send you a truck to pick up the mattress, and you can schedule the time that suits you. You do have to be home for the pickup, though. 

If the company has a money-back guarantee, you’ll get your partial or full refund in a couple of days, in the original form of payment. If you’re exchanging your used mattress for a new one, you can get the mattress picked up after your new bed has arrived. 

Not all companies will pick up returned mattresses by themselves. Sometimes, they’ll contact your local charity, and the bed will end up there. But you’ll have to get the donation receipt as proof if you want to get that refund. 

If you bought a bed-in-a-box from an online mattress retailer, you might have to package it yourself, so keep the original box.

What to Do if You Can’t Return Your Mattress

On the rare occasions when returning a mattress isn’t possible, you’ll have to find a way to put it to good use. 

It’s not comfortable enough to sleep on, but it’s not like you should throw away perfectly good mattresses. Here are some ideas for when the return policy fails and you don’t get your refund. 

Donate It

Donating your mattress to a local charity or church is the first option. A donation center will accept a new bed if it doesn’t have stains or signs of damage, and you’ll help somebody out!  

Sell It

Selling mattresses is also common, but you likely won’t get the full price of your original purchase. Try posting it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. 

Recycle It

If there’s no return policy, you could also recycle your mattress. Check if any recycling companies in your vicinity accept mattresses. If not, you could also roll up your sleeves and see whether the material is worth some DIY projects. 

Move It to the Guest Room

If you have a guest room, you could always swap the old bed in there for a new one. This is a great option when you don’t use the guest bedroom a lot, but don’t want to use the bed yourself. As long as it fits the bed frame.

Try to Make It Work

Finally, if you don’t have a return policy, you can try to make the mattress work. For example, mattress toppers can really improve a bed that’s too soft or too firm. Try them out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Mattress Companies Allow Returns?

Most do, but not all of them. That’s why checking with the seller before making your purchase is essential. 

The mattress return policy is almost guaranteed if you’re getting a mattress online, but you’ll need to check whether a physical store or a third-party seller does the same. 

What Happens When You Return a Mattress?

The company usually sends someone to your location to pick up the mattress. Depending on the mattress return policy, you either get a partial or full refund, or a chance to exchange the old mattress for a different one. 

When it comes to returned mattresses, reselling is rare. It’s usually donated or sent to the recycling center. 

How Long Do You Have to Return a Mattress?

The time you have to return a mattress depends on the company, so verify this before purchasing. Some companies offer a 30-night sleep trial, but some go up to a whole year. However, most of them give you 100 nights to test your mattress, after which you can send it back and get a refund. 

Final Thoughts

You’re ready to return your mattress now!

Remember to read the fine print, take care of the mattress while you have it, and follow the instructions.

And good luck getting rid of your current mattress and finding a new one! 

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.