How Do Mattress Trial Periods Work?

Written by: Katarina Pucijasevic
Updated: 05/22/2024

Online mattress shopping can be challenging. How can you be sure you’ll click with your new mattress? 

One thing that can help here is a mattress trial period. It’s like getting a sneak peek at your bed before you commit to it. 

What do mattress trial periods entail, and how do they work? We’ve got you covered. 

Let’s get into it!

What Is a Mattress Sleep Trial?

When you buy a mattress online, you miss out on something significant that you can do in a brick-and-mortar store – feel the bed. 

But there’s no need to worry, because this is why sleep trials exist!

With a mattress trial period, you have a set period, spanning from 30 days to even an entire year, to test out the mattress. And if you don’t like it, you can send it back and get a full refund. 

A mattress can be a significant investment, dramatically impacting your health. After all, a typical person spends a third of their life sleeping! So, if your mattress isn’t comfortable or supportive, it can impact your overall life. 

But a risk-free mattress trial is possible, so you’re not stuck with something you can’t use. However, it’s essential to know that not all sleep trials are created equal. There are some little details you should pay attention to. In other words – always read the fine print!

Mattress Trial Period Details

When you read the conditions that apply to your mattress trial, you’ll notice a couple of terms you should pay close attention to.

Trial Length

Mattress trials work by offering you a certain time to sleep on the mattress and test it out. This is called the trial length.

The trial length can vary depending on the mattress and the company, but mattress brands are transparent about this information on their websites. 

Most mattress companies offer 90 to 120-night-long sleep trials, which can give you more than enough time to get used to the new mattress and determine whether it’s the right fit. The trial begins when you get the mattress.

However, some brands offer only a 30-night-long mattress trial, while others let you try out their mattresses for an entire year. You need a generous timeframe to experience the potential of your new mattress.

Break-In Period

Another term you need to know about is the required break-in period. 

Many mattress trials incorporate a necessary break-in period, which is the minimum trial period that needs to pass before you can request a return. 

Why would a mattress brand do this? It can take some time to adjust to a new mattress. This rule prevents hasty returns after just a night or two of sleeping on a new bed because it will take more than that to adjust to it. 

Typically lasting at least three weeks, the break-in period aligns with the time it takes to get used to a specific mattress, whether it’s for hybrid mattresses or those made from memory foam.You’ll have to go through this minimum period to evaluate the mattress in the best way possible. Let your body adjust to the materials, and let the material adjust to your body to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Return Process

You’ll also get some information about the return process, but here are some things you should know. 

The details of the return process can vary from company to company, but they’re usually very similar. 

If the break-in process passes and it turns out that you don’t like the mattress, you can initiate the return process by reaching out to customer service with your order details at hand. 

It would help if you kept in mind that most companies emphasize that the mattress needs to be in good condition for you to return it. That means no rips, stains, or significant damage. Are you worried about the logistics? Fret not. Many online mattress companies offer hassle-free solutions, directly coordinating pickups for local donations or returns. You won’t have to bother squeezing the mattress back into its original box because somebody else will handle it.

Refund Type

After the return process is over, you should also get your refund. Refund types can also vary from company to company, and you should take note of the refund type for your mattress. 

Some policies offer a full refund for your mattress, with any other fees included in the price. However, others may require you to cover shipping the mattress, as well as handling or restocking fees. 

If you live in a remote area, it’s essential to consider this because the shipping costs could be higher. Also, watch for non-refundable fees for expedited shopping, deliveries to specific regions, or extra services like old mattress removal.

This is why it’s extra important to read the fine print to be aware of any potential deductions from your refund amount! 

What Should You Look for During a Mattress Trial Period?

As you start your mattress trial period, watch for crucial factors influencing your sleep experience:

  • Overall comfort: Pay attention to aches, pains, and sleep quality, especially in your preferred sleeping position. Your body might need a few weeks to adjust to the new mattress.
  • Heat retention: Evaluate how effectively the mattress dissipates body heat, which is crucial for hot sleepers or those in warm climates.
  • Motion isolation: Test for motion transfer across the mattress surface, especially if you share the bed. A good mattress minimizes disturbances.
  • Noise: A quiet mattress contributes to a peaceful sleep environment. 
  • Edge support: If you often sit or sleep near the mattress edges, you need a mattress with solid edge support. Does your new bed have this support? 
  • Ease of movement: The firmness and bounce of the mattress can impact how easy it is to get in and out of bed. Also, some people don’t like the feeling of being stuck that a lot of memory foam mattresses give. 
  • Odor: Mattresses in a box often have an off-gassing period, making the materials smell for a while. However, this usually passes within a few days. 
  • Mattress quality: Look at how the mattress is holding up physically. A good bed should show minimal signs of aging or sagging.

If you actively pay attention to these factors, you’ll thoroughly evaluate your mattress during the trial period. Maximize the potential of mattress trials and pay close attention to the details!

What Online Mattress Brands Offer Mattress Trials?

Are you looking for the longest sleep trial? 

A few brands offer extended 365-night mattress trial periods, giving you ample time to figure out whether it’s the right mattress for you. Other mattress companies give less time, but most of them give around 100 days, which is more than enough for a good sleep trial. 

Mattress companySleep trial period
Avocado365 nights
Awara365 nights
DreamCloud365 nights
Nectar365 nights
Saatva365 nights
Eve Sleep365 nights
WinkBeds365 nights
Emma Sleep UK200 nights
Simba Sleep200 nights
Bear120 nights
Brooklyn Bedding120 nights
Layla120 nights
Nolah120 nights
GhostBed101 nights
Puffy101 nights
Simmons101 nights
Allswell100 nights
Amerisleep100 nights
Casper100 nights
Cocoon by Sealy100 nights
Helix100 nights
Leesa100 nights
Purple100 nights
Serta100 nights
Tuft & Needle100 nights
Brook + Wilde100 nights
Cocoon by Sealy Chill100 nights
Tempur-Pedic90 nights

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens to the Returned Mattress?

It is common practice for returned mattresses to get a new life after they’re sent back, so they either get donated to a local charity or recycled.

To give back to the community, many businesses donate returned mattresses to homeless shelters or offer direct aid to struggling families. However, the specifics can vary, so it’s worth checking the company’s sleep trial information for details. 

If you opt for a mattress trial but aren’t satisfied with it, you don’t have to worry – it won’t just be thrown away. You’ll contribute to a positive reuse cycle and maybe even help someone in need. 

It’s a win for everyone! 

How Do You Return a Trial Mattress?

Returning a trial mattress is a straightforward process. 

The mattress store might arrange a pickup for the unwanted mattresses, or you might have to pay for the return shipping. Some mattress manufacturers offer free pickups for eligible returns, while others may charge a return fee. That’s why you have to read the fine print first! 

The mattress will be inspected when you return it, or they’ll send an inspector to take a look at it, and a refund will only be issued after that. Some businesses may let you handle the donation during the mattress trial on your own, but they may also require documentation from a charity or recycling center as proof of donation to facilitate the return.

Although return policies vary, you will not have to put in much time or effort in most cases.

Is the Mattress Trial Period a “Free Trial”?

No, the mattress trial period isn’t a true “free trial” because you pay for the mattress upfront. 

However, this dramatically lessens the risk involved with purchasing a mattress, whether it’s in-store or online. No risk is involved because you can return the mattress and get your money back.

A restocking or return shipping fee may apply on rare occasions; otherwise, you’ll get a refund. 

You still have to put some money down to buy the mattress, but knowing that you can get your money back if you do not like it gives you more peace of mind. 

What’s the Difference Between a Trial Period and a Warranty?

A mattress trial period allows you to test your new bed before keeping it, offering a risk-free experience. 

On the other hand, a warranty protects your purchase and comes into play after the decision to keep the mattress. It covers specific issues that happen due to manufacturing defects, and it works beyond the mattress trial period.

Mattress trial periods are typically shorter than warranties, which cover any issues with the mattress for as long as you own it (including replacement, repair, or refund). If you know the difference between a trial period and a warranty, you can go into both with realistic expectations. 

Do Mattress Stores Have a Trial Period Like Online Mattress Retailers?

No, mattress stores, unlike online retailers, typically don’t offer extensive mattress trial periods. 

Brick-and-mortar stores depend on customers being able to try out mattresses in person before buying them. While this provides some hands-on time, it differs from a more extended trial period. 

That is why brick-and-mortar shops typically have stricter return policies that may even charge restocking and shipping fees on certain items. 

The main benefit of a physical store is that you can try out the mattress for yourself, but returns are more complex. 

Final Thoughts

Are mattress trials worth it? Definitely. Rest assured, because now you know everything you need to know about mattress sleep trials! 

Remember to pay attention to the fine print, trial durations, and return policies; you’ll be ready to keep or return the mattress! Take advantage of those sleep trial nights—toss, turn, and put that new mattress to work. 

And if you could be a better match, don’t worry. Most companies offer a hassle-free return process. 

Good luck buying your new mattress online, and we wish you a good night’s sleep! 

Reviews written by:

Katarina Pucijasevic - Junior author

Katarina is an Author at Anatomy of Sleep, full of fresh ideas and the drive to tackle things.
With real sleep issues during her studies, Kat had dug deep to figure out what was causing her irregular sleeping schedule, and it turned out a wrong, worn-out mattress topper was the culprit.
Thankfully today, she has no sleeping problem but does a lot of copywriting, proofreading, and content optimization on the theme of mattresses, sleeping products, and ways to sleep in the healthiest way possible.
She loves immersing herself in gothic fiction when not analyzing mattresses.

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