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30 Dec 2021

Five things you need to know about mattress guarantees before hitting the mattress sales

Guarantees, warranties, unexpected Ts and Cs and sleep trials explained

Christmas may be over but we're giving you one more present: our top five top tips on making the most of your mattress guarantee.

If you're planning on hitting the mattress sales, you've certainly got plenty of choice. But, in all the sales frenzy, don't forget to think about your mattress guarantee.

Should your dream mattress turn into a nightmare for whatever reason, your guarantee can come to the rescue.

Read on to find out more about why your matress guarantee matters and how to make the most of it.


Just want to know which is the best mattress? Our mattress reviews reveal which will stand the test of time and stay comfortable and supportive.


1) Know your mattress guarantee from your warranty

You might have often heard the word guarantee used synonymously with warranty, but there are differences between the two. Yes, we sound pedantic, but it's important.

  • A guarantee is the assurance regarding quality and lifespan, with a promise to repair or replace if the product doesn't live up to its name
  • Warranties last longer than a guarantee, may offer additional protection and are usually not free.

Our mattress reviews now contain guarantee information for mattress brands. Bear in mind that the guarantee may differ from one mattress to another from the same manufacturer, so do check before you buy.

A warranty or guarantee doesn't not replace your statutory rights.

2) Always check the terms and conditions of your mattress guarantee

someone vacuuming a mattress

Always check the T&Cs of any guarantee or warranty before buying. Many of us are guilty of not bothering to do that, but it's worth the extra five minutes so that you don't inadvertently void your guarantee.

Some mattress guarantees may only cover issues with specific parts such as the springs or stitching. And many won't cover problems caused that are caused by you handling or cleaning the mattress incorrectly.

For example:

  • some won't cover you if you use your mattresses on the wrong type of bed frame, or use it on a bed base with slats that are greater than a specific distance apart
  • some have a weight limit: 20 stone/130kg for Eve mattresses, for example
  • you could also invalidate your guarantee by not cleaning or caring for your mattress according to the instructions.

Need a mattress but don't have much spare cash? If you're working with a Christmas-depleted budget, head to our roundup of the top five cheapest mattresses.


3) Consider a mattress sales sleep trial

Sleep trials, favoured by some bed-in-a-box brands, are a useful way to check if a mattress is right for you. In our latest mattress owners survey*, 24% of members had tried a sleep trial with our most popular mattress brand Emma.

Before opting for a sleep trial, some of which can be as long as 200 nights, it's essential you check the T&Cs.

Check how you need to return it if you don't like it. Some sleep trials allow you to return the mattress for free, for a full refund and you won't even have to try and get it back into the packaging. Other sleep trials aren't so generous, and will only let you exchange or upgrade your mattress. You may even have to pay an arrangement fee.

Most sleep trials have rules about using a mattress protector during the trial and many (quite reasonably) won't accept a soiled mattress back.

Be aware that some stipulate that you need to sleep on a mattress for a minimum number of nights before you can return it. This is so you can become accustomed to it.


Find out all you need to know about returning a mattress.


4) Buying a mattress in-store vs buying online

If you're comfortable shopping in-store, it means you can try out your mattress in the flesh.

Spend at least 10 minutes on a mattress, as this will start to give you some sort of impression of what it would be like to sleep on. You can also ask the sales assistant for tailored advice.

Bear in mind, though, that trying out a mattress in-store, even for as long as 10 minutes, won't tell you what a mattress will be like long-term. At best, it's an indication.

We survey Which? members to find out how comfortable they rate mattresses from each of the big brands. Find out more about the best and worst mattress brands, as rated by 2,851 Which? members.

Our mattress testing also involves simulating 10 years' worth of use, so that we can tell you which will sag or soften over time.

If you're avoiding the shops at the moment, there are benefits to buying online.

For a start, it gives you a chance to change your mind - you're entitled to a 14-day cooling off period from the date you receive goods. This means you can cancel your order at any time from the moment you order up to 14 days from the date it arrives, and the seller is obliged to refund you.


Not sure where to shop for a mattress? Our latest survey reveals the best mattress shops to buy from in-store and online.


5) Know your rights when buying a mattress

If something goes wrong with your mattress, don't be fobbed off. The first place to go is the retailer - the company that sold you the product - not the manufacturer.

If what you've been sold isn't of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described then it's possibly in breech of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You have 30 days from taking ownership of a product to claim a refund if it's faulty.

Our faulty goods complaint tool is a good place to start. It will guide you through questions about your issue and generate a ready-to-go complaint letter.

Even if there's an issue outside of the guarantee period, or it's over your 30-day right to reject, you may still be able to take action.

Your consumer rights apply even if your manufacturer's warranty or guarantee has expired, and retailers can't ignore this. Check how long you have to return a faulty product or what to do if the retailer refuses to help.

*August 2021 survey of 2,581 Which? Connect Panel members.

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If you desperately need a new mattress, there are plenty of post-Christmas and New Year sales to consider.

A word of warning, though: if your heart is set on a specific mattress that isn't on sale, then it's worth holding out if you don't need to buy immediately. A bit more flexibility, and the mattress world is your oyster.

Mattress sales happen across the year. So, if your mattress hasn't quite given up the ghost, and you can hold out just a little longer, you'll more than likely find the mattress you're after on sale somewhere before too long.