Counterfeit mattresses are being sold to unwitting consumers in a door-to-door sales scam. The mattresses are packaged as new and often carry big brand names, but they might be fake, filthy and even flammable.
There has been a significant increase in recent months of complaints about doorstop salesmen pushing fake mattresses, according to the Local Government Association.
The mattresses are believed to be old or discarded ones that have simply been recovered and packaged up to be sold on as new.
Inspections of some mattresses seized were found to contain sweat and even urine inside, providing a lush breeding ground for bed bugs, dust mites and mould. Many also come with false fire-retardant labels and have failed standard fire safety tests.
Don’t let a cheap mattress sway you to buy on the spot – we’ve found Best Buy memory foam mattresses for less than £300.
Mattress van scam
Scammers tempt potential buyers with a ‘bargain’ mattress, using heavily discounted prices and fake branding to convince people to discard their skepticism and make an impulse purchase.
The sellers might come up with a believable story, claiming that the mattresses are from clearance stock or that a local hotel has ordered too many and is selling them off cheap.
Many are also using seemingly legitimate paperwork, but the limited or false contact information contained within means consumers are unlikely to be able to reclaim any money during the bogus ‘cooling-off period.’
Mattresses can be very expensive, so it’s understandable that people are tempted by bargains. But you don’t have to break the bank to get a mattress that will be comfortable, supportive, and importantly, non-flammable.
Sort our mattress reviews by price to find top-scoring products at the cheaper end of the scale.
Buying a safe mattress
If anyone knocks on your door with a similar story, don’t trust them. Ask for contact details, so you can verify what they’re saying – if the discount is real, the manufacturer or local hotelier will know about it.
Any mattress sold in the UK must display the British Standard BS7177 number to show it’s not a fire hazard, so check for this.
Even so, these products might be dirty and unsafe despite being fully packaged and carrying a fire hazard label, as these are common tactics used by scammers.
It’s best to resist the temptation of a cheap mattress offered on the street, and only buy from authorised retailers. We’ve rounded up the best mattress retailers to help you find the most reliable places to shop, according to our survey of 3,500 UK mattress owners.
If you have concerns about a potentially bogus mattress, you can call Citizens Advice on 0345 404 0505, who will pass on the information to the police.