Mattress Trial Periods

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When shopping for a new mattress, it’s important to keep your specific needs in mind. While shopping in person allows you to feel mattresses before taking them home, you miss out on the many conveniences online mattress shopping provides. You can filter mattresses based on your preferences and have them shipped directly to your door. Additionally, many online mattress retailers offer mattress trial periods so you can try your mattress at home and ensure it’s right for you.

This at-home sleep trial is an important step in the online mattress shopping process. Because customers can’t test a mattress before purchasing it online, the mattress trial is designed to give customers time to experience their new mattress and determine whether it performs adequately. We’ll cover what a mattress trial period is, how it works, and how customers can make the most of it to secure their ideal mattress.

What Is a Mattress Trial Period?

Most online mattress brands utilize mattress trial periods, also called sleep trials or at-home trials. A customer who purchases from these brands has a certain number of nights during which they can sleep on their new mattress. During that trial period, the customer can exchange or return the mattress if they are unhappy with it.

This is a valuable policy for customers who may be making a large investment in a new mattress. Keep in mind that trial periods differ between mattress companies, and some do not offer trial periods.

How Does It Work?

While sleep trials differ across different mattress brands, the elements of each sleep trial are generally the same. We’ll break down these simple components so you can better understand what to expect from a sleep trial.

How Long Is a Mattress Trial?

Different companies offer different mattress trial lengths. The average trial is usually 90 to 120 nights, which is plenty of time to test out a mattress and determine whether it is suitable. Some companies have shorter, 30-day trial periods, while others have lengthy 365-day trial periods. Companies should clearly state the lengths of their mattress trial periods.

What Is a Break-In Period?

A mattress break-in period refers to the time it takes you to get used to a new mattress. Some mattress manufacturers or retailers require customers to keep their mattresses during their minimum break-in periods, which usually range from 14 to 30 days. This ensures the customer gives the new mattress a chance before requesting an exchange or return.

Starting the Return Process

If a customer finds the mattress is not a good fit after the break-in period and during the sleep trial, they can contact their mattress company’s customer service to initiate a return. Some companies offer at-home pickup, and others require the customer to return the mattress themselves. The customer can also request a mattress exchange if the company offers a mattress that could be better suited to their needs.

Getting Your Refund

Refund types vary depending on the mattress company. Some offer full refunds, while others deduct shipping and handling costs or other fees. If a customer is exchanging their mattress for a model of a different cost, this also affects the refund amount. Refund policies should be clearly listed on a mattress company’s sleep trial information page.

Mattress Trial vs. Warranty

A mattress trial lets a customer try their mattress at home for a limited time and return it, regardless of whether it has defects. Mattress trials are designed to ensure that customers are happy with their initial purchase. A mattress warranty covers a mattress for many years, but the terms are strict. Warranties don’t replace a mattress if a customer is no longer happy with it, but if the mattress is clearly defective in some way.

Can a Mattress Trial Be Voided?

Depending on the specific company’s policy terms, an at-home sleep trial can be voided. While companies that offer sleep trials expect these mattresses to be used nightly, a heavily damaged or soiled mattress cannot be returned for a refund. Using a mattress protector can help prevent accidents during the sleep trial. You should also read the fine print of the company’s policy to make sure you use an appropriate foundation, as that is often another stipulation.

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Should You Return Your Mattress?

Sleep trials are in place so you can get the right mattress that fits your needs. At the end of a trial period, you may be unsure whether you should keep or return your mattress. We’ll cover the factors to consider in making that decision.

What to Look for During Your Trial

You should take full advantage of the sleep trial to determine whether your new mattress checks all the right boxes. When testing out your mattress, it’s helpful to keep track of specific performance areas to glean your overall impression.


If your mattress is too firm or too soft for your preference, it may be the wrong mattress for you. After the break-in period, you can determine if your mattress offers the level of support and plushness that you want. If your new mattress sags, it is likely defective and would be covered under the company’s warranty.

Temperature Regulation

If you sleep hot, the type of mattress you buy may contribute to excessive overheating. If your new mattress retains heat, you may want to exchange it for a different type or a mattress with advanced temperature regulating technology.

Noise and Odors

New mattresses, especially those shipped from online retailers, often emit some odor. However, this odor should dissipate within one or two days. If your new mattress is still odorous after several days, or if it contains creaky springs, it is likely defective. These defects are often covered under warranty.

Overall Comfort

Comfort is subjective, but your new mattress should provide comfort and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed. If your mattress is genuinely comfortable, you enjoy sleeping on it. If you wake each day with aches, or pains even after giving yourself an adjustment period and considering your pillow choices, your new mattress isn’t comfortable enough for you.

Can a Mattress Be Returned After the Trial?

Mattress companies state their trial period terms clearly and can’t accept returns after the trial period is over. However, some companies may make exceptions to this rule, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, certain issues with a mattress itself may be covered under a mattress warranty, allowing for a return.

About The Author

Brittany Patterson

Staff Writer, Sleep Products

Brittany is a professional copywriter and editor who has struggled with insomnia since childhood. She understands the importance of adequate sleep and the resources that improve its quality. In her free time, she can be found binging a television series, reading a book, laughing at her own jokes, or spoiling her cat.