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11 November 2021

How to return a mattress

Don’t get lumbered with a mattress you don't like. Whether it’s unsupportive, uncomfortable or unfit for purpose, find out how to return your mattress
Lisa Galliers
woman having problem with her back due to uncomfortable mattress

Spending hundreds of pounds on a new mattress only to find you don’t like it when it arrives is disappointing to say the least. But not nearly as disappointing as finding yourself stuck with it.

Unfortunately, many mattress retailers either don't have a returns policy or have one that's so short it doesn't give you time to really get used to your mattress.

If you're planning on buying a new mattress, we'd recommended you always check the terms and conditions associated with any sale from retailers and manufacturers beforehand, so that you're fully informed about your consumer rights and what to expect if you don't like it.

Whether your mattress is damaged or just uncomfortable, bought online or in store, follow our advice below to give yourself the best chance of getting your money back if you want to return your goods in store.

If you're in the market for a new one, visit our mattress reviews.

Returning a damaged mattress

While receiving a damaged mattress is annoying, the good news is that you’re much more likely to get your money back if it arrived with a fault.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (applies to goods bought any time after 1 October 2015), all products sold in the UK (regardless of whether they were bought in store or online) must be:

  • Of satisfactory quality The mattress must not be faulty or damaged when you receive it.
  • Fit for purpose It must be fit for sleeping on, and also suitable for any specific purpose you made known to the retailer before you bought it.
  • As described It must match any description given to you and any samples shown to you at the time of purchase.

If your new mattress doesn’t meet any one of these criteria, you can make a faulty goods claim against the retailer you bought it from.

As long as you reject the faulty mattress within the first 30 days after placing the order, you're entitled to a full refund. 

But don’t worry if more than 30 days have passed. Unless the retailer can prove otherwise, any fault found with the mattress in the first six months will be presumed to have been there from when it arrived. You'll need to give the retailer a chance to make a repair or replace the product first. If that's unsuccessful, you can then ask for a refund.

If a retailer is being really stubborn and you're within the first six months after the purchase, then download our handy free letter asking for a faulty item to be replaced or repaired to help ensure that the retailer takes action.

If it's been more than six months since you ordered it, or if a fault has developed during use, check whether it’s still under guarantee.

See our guide on returning faulty goods to find out more about your right to refund, repair or replacement.

Returning a mattress bought in store

No matter how uncomfortable it is, if a mattress bought in a physical shop is not actually faulty or damaged, you can only return it if the retailer has a returns policy – which isn't a legal requirement.

Fortunately, many retailers do provide a ‘goodwill’ returns policy, details of which will be on the retailer’s website and perhaps also on your receipt. But even that doesn’t necessarily make returning a mattress easy.

Some shops will only offer an exchange or store credit, rather than a full refund. Most high street retailers will only accept returns if the mattress is unused, so it will need to be in perfect condition, undamaged and in its original packaging. That means you won't be able to change your mind once you've slept on it.

If you think you might want to return it, carefully read the terms and conditions for the retailer’s returns policy before you order it.

See our picks of the best mattresses and expert buying advice to reduce the risk of ordering a dud. 

Use our mattress reviews to compare and create a shortlist of supportive and long-lasting mattresses and try them out thoroughly in the shop before you buy, if you possibly can. Lie on each one for at least 10 minutes in the position you’d normally sleep in.

Returning a mattress bought online

Unlike buying in store, buying a mattress online guarantees your right to cancel and get your money back.

Even if your mattress doesn’t come with an official sleep trial, you're entitled to cancel any online order from the moment you place the order until 14 days from the day you receive it under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. You then have a further 14 days to actually send the goods back.

If your order consists of multiple items, you have 14 days from when the last part of the order arrives to make your decision.

You should get a refund within 14 days of either the retailer receiving the goods, or you providing evidence of having returned the goods (for example, a proof of postage receipt from the Post Office), whichever is the sooner.

There are a few ifs and buts, though. You can’t cancel bespoke items, so if you’ve ordered a mattress that is firmer on one side than the other, you’ll struggle to get your money back if you don’t like it.

And while you’ll be refunded for the initial delivery, it will only be for the cost of the cheapest delivery option, even if you paid more for faster delivery. You may also need to pay for the return delivery yourself, which may not be cheap for something as big and heavy as a mattress.

You may also struggle to get your money back if you’ve unwrapped it. For an online order that doesn't have a specified sleep trial, you can only handle the mattress as much as you would be allowed to in a shop. A deduction from your refund can be made if the value of the mattress has been reduced due to handling. 

The regulations exclude goods with a seal for hygiene reasons that's been broken. It will be difficult to claim that the mattress is still hygienic if you’ve unwrapped it and slept on it.

The exception, of course, is any mattress that comes with a sleep trial. Read on to find out more.

Returning a mattress during a sleep trial

A growing number of mattresses now come with a trial period, during which time you are allowed to sleep on it at home and still send it back for a full refund if you decide you don’t like it. 

Some of these trial periods can be as long as 200 nights, and some retailers will even collect the mattress free of charge.

These trials were made popular by online-only mattress brands, such as Emma, Eve and Simba, which deliver their mattresses vacuum-packed and rolled in a box. You can then unpack the mattress and sleep on it normally, while still being eligible for a full refund. More recently, we've noticed high-street retailers starting to offer similar trial policies.

As ever, though, it’s essential that you read the terms and conditions of any sleep trial. For example, some don’t include delivery or are exchange-only, while others are only applicable if you use a mattress protector, and some state that you need to try the mattress for a minimum of several weeks.

Read on for the returns policies of some of the biggest retailers, or head to our round-up of the best bed-in-a-box mattresses, all of which come with a sleep trial.

Returning a mattresses from some of the biggest retailers

When returning a mattress of any kind, the key thing to remember is that you're returning it to the retailer rather than the manufacturer. That may sounds obvious, but it can be confusing because many mattress brands also act as retailers.

For instance, if you buy a Silentnight mattress through the Silentnight website, then the details we’ve given below for that brand should be applicable, but if you buy a Silentnight mattress from John Lewis, then you'll need to check John Lewis’ own returns policy. Or if you buy a Simba mattress exclusive to Argos, the trail nights and returns will be what's specified by Argos, not Simba.

We’ve summarised the returns policies of some of the biggest mattress retailers below, but it’s always worth reading the full terms and conditions on the retailer’s website to be sure the policy hasn’t changed or doesn’t contain any loopholes.

Returning a Bensons for Beds mattress

Before buying in store, check to see if the mattress you want is part of the 40-night sleep trial or not. 

For store orders: If you don't find your new bed comfortable after sleeping on it for 40 nights (within eight weeks of delivery) the Bensons for Beds website states that you can exchange it as long as you have used a mattress protector, but charges will apply and you'll need too contact Customer Services for further information. But it doesn't offer returns for any other products.

You'll need to get the mattress back into its original packaging, if you still have it. If not, you'll have to package the mattress in a suitable way so it's not damaged in transit on the way back.

If you order online, you can cancel at any time up to 14 days from having received it, provided it hasn't been used, as explained above. So you may want to try out a few in store and then order online.

The 40-night comfort guarantee states that you must sleep on the mattress for a minimum of 40 nights up to a maximum of 56 nights. You need to be able to provide proof of purchase and have used a mattress protector. Bensons will allow you to exchange the product for another one, but a 10% charge of the original bed’s value applies, and if the replacement is more expensive you'll have to pay the difference. You won’t receive any refund if the replacement is cheaper than the original. Only one exchange per order is permitted.

Find out how Which? members rate Bensons for Beds mattresses.

Returning a Dreams mattress

Before you buy a new mattress in a Dreams store, check to see if it's covered by the 40-day comfort guarantee. The allows you to exchange it if you find it uncomfortable.

For orders placed in store, you can amend or cancel your order for free within the first 48 hours, by contacting the store, after this time an administration fee of 20% may be charged.

Dreams' 40-night comfort guarantee applies to all mattresses sold at Dreams, apart from made-to-measure mattresses, showroom clearances, the Essentials range and blue cross. To make use of the guarantee, you must have slept on the mattress for at least 30 nights and you must use a mattress protector during this time. The mattress must be in good condition and not marked, misused or soiled in any way. A collection and redelivery charge of £49 will be applied and you must pay the difference if the replacement mattress is more expensive. If the replacement is cheaper, you won't be refunded. Only one exchange per order is permitted.

You will have to get the mattress back into a bag, sent to you by Dreams in advance. 

If you order online, however, you can cancel at any time up to 14 days from having received it, provided it hasn't been used, as explained above.

If your order arrives damaged you must contact Customer Services within 48 hours of delivery.

Find out how Which? members rate Dreams mattresses.

Returning an Emma mattress

Emma sells its mattresses through its website: we've tested some of it's most popular mattresses, including the Emma Original, Emma Hybrid and the Emma Premium. The sleep trial has been extended to 200 nights (from 100 nights). It's not applicable to all Emma mattresses, though, so always check the terms and conditions before buying. Emma will pick it up free of charge and issue a full refund within 14 days of returning the mattress if you decide you don’t like it for any reason - as long as it's within the 200-night trial.

Returning an Eve mattress

All Eve mattresses ordered from the Eve website come with a 100-night sleep trial, so you’re free to unwrap and sleep on the mattress as normal for up to 100 nights and still get your money back if you decide it’s not for you. You need to try the mattress for at least 30 days, to allow your body to adjust. After that time, simply email or call Eve to let it know you want to return the mattress, and it will pick it up from your home free of charge and will issue a full refund. 

Eve states it will take the mattress back in any condition and you don't even have to get it back into the box.

Returning an Ikea mattress

All Ikea mattresses come with a 90-day trial period, as part of its ‘love it or exchange it’ policy. If you decide you don’t like it within the first 90 days, you can exchange it once for another Ikea mattress. However, you must have slept on it for at least a month (as it can take this long to get used to it), it mustn't be dirty, damaged or marked, and you must have your receipt. It's not clear if you need to package the mattress back up, before returning, though.

If you exchange it for a more expensive mattress, you pay the difference. If the replacement mattress is cheaper, Ikea will give you the difference in store credit. 

If you bought it in store, you need to take it back to the store with a receipt to exchange it. It you ordered online and had it delivered via Ikea’s home delivery service, the collection of the mattress and delivery of the replacement will be free of charge. Only one exchange per order is permitted.

Find out how Which? members rate Ikea mattresses.

Returning a John Lewis mattress

For hygiene reasons, John Lewis mattress can't be returned. The only exceptions to this are if the mattress is damaged or faulty. However, it does offer a 60-Night Sleep Comfort Trial period on selected John Lewis mattresses. You'll need to purchase a mattress protector, and need to sleep on your new mattress. 

While there's no minimum amount of time, John Lewis recommends at least 30 nights. If you want to exchange your mattress, it will cost £29.95 for collection and recycling. If you exchange for a cheaper mattress, you'll be refunded the difference. If it's more expensive, you'll need to pay the difference. John Lewis states the mattress must be in perfect condition when collected, but doesn't state if you need to get it back into the original packaging.

The 60-night sleep trial is not available on Special Buy or Anyday mattresses. 

If there is a specific supplier promotion when the mattress was purchased, you may be able to return it. For instance, if you order a Simba mattress through John Lewis, and you're still eligible for its 100-night sleep trial, then it may be possible to return it, but you must coordinate the return through John Lewis, rather than Simba.

Find out how Which? members rate John Lewis mattresses.

Returning a Silentnight mattress

As with any online purchase, if you order a mattress though Silentnight's website you can cancel within 14 days of receiving it and will get a full refund. 

If more than 14 days have passed, you can exchange it under Silentnight's 60-night comfort guarantee, which applies to all mattresses and divans ordered through its online store. You won't get a refund, but you can exchange it for another one.

This guarantee only applies to the comfort of the product and not the height, length, width or colour of the mattress. Silentnight asks that you try your new bed for at least 28 nights before making use of the guarantee and it won't accept mattresses that are marked or damaged in any way or have not been used in accordance with the care instructions. You also need to activate the guarantee before the 60 nights is up. Silentnight doesn't state if you need to get the mattress back into the original packaging.

You’ll be required to pay the difference if the replacement mattress is more expensive than the original, but you won't receive a refund if the replacement is cheaper. Additional administration charges may also be applicable and only one exchange per order is permitted.

Find out how Which? members rate Silentnight mattresses.

Returning a Simba mattress

Any Simba mattress ordered through the Simba website is eligible for its 200-night sleep trial. Simba recommends that you try it for at least 30 nights before deciding one way or the other. If you decide to return it, Simba will collect it from your home and you don't need to get it back into its original packaging. Once it's been collected, Simba will issue a full refund. 

If you’ve bought a mattress from a Simba retail partners, such as John Lewis, you still get 200 nights to try it out, but you'll need to contact the retailer, rather than Simba if you want to return it.

Find out how Which? members rate Simba mattresses.

Need a new mattress quickly? Head to our best mattress deals to see what bargains we've found.