While a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer offers you the opportunity to see and lie on their mattresses in person, they typically offer at most a 30-night home trial period. But as anyone who’s ever slept on a new mattress knows, it can take much longer than 30 nights to really know you made the right choice.
Enter online mattress companies, which usually give you 90 nights or more to sleep on a new mattress at home before deciding if it’s right for you. How wonderful is it knowing you have months—not a rushed, self-conscious 15 minutes in a mattress store—even up to a year (with Saatva), to decide if your new mattress is right for you?
This article will explore what a mattress trial period is and how it works—so you can choose the right mattress company for you.
What is a mattress trial period?
It can go by different names—including mattress trial, sleep trial, free trial, and at-home trial—but a mattress trial period essentially offers customers a set amount of nights to try out their new mattress.
If it’s not working for you, you can return the mattress for a refund or exchange it for another of the manufacturer’s models. Note that there may be a return shipping fee if you do return the mattress.
Mattress home trial details
Whatever they’re called, mattress trial periods are defined by several common features that are spelled out in the purchase agreement—and typically available on the manufacturer’s website. These include:
- Trial length: The length of a mattress home trial varies by manufacturer, though 90 to 120 nights is typical. Saatva’s trial is 365 nights—a full year. This information is usually featured prominently on online retailers’ websites.
- Break-in period: It can take a couple of months, or longer, to break in a new mattress and for your body to get used to it. Mattress home trials frequently include a required break-in period, a minimum amount of time for you to try out the mattress before asking for a return. Break-in periods are typically between two weeks and a month, the time it generally takes to get used to a new mattress.
- Return process: Most companies will accept a return only if the mattress is clean and free of damage. Different companies have different return processes, but they typically begin with a request to their customer service department for a return. You may be asked to ship the mattress back or possibly coordinate with a local charity or recycling facility. Shipping a mattress can be a bit of a hassle. Some companies, including Saatva, offer to schedule an at-home pickup.
- Return fees: Something to check in a sale agreement is whether you would be expected to cover the cost of shipping, handling, or restocking fees if you return a mattress. If you live in a remote area, shipping costs could be higher. If you paid for expedited shipping or shipping to Hawaii or Alaska, you aren’t likely to receive a refund for those costs. As you see, return fees can eat up a good chunk of your refund. Saatva’s return fee is a flat $99.
What to look for during your mattress trial period
Some of the key things to look out for when you’re trying a new mattress at home include:
- Overall comfort: How does your new mattress feel? Do you notice any new aches or pains? How about old aches or pains you no longer feel? Does it provide the support you need while sleeping in your preferred position?
- Heat retention: If you’re a hot sleeper, you’ll want a mattress that doesn’t retain your body heat. Does your new mattress keep you sufficiently cool?
- Motion isolation: This is important if you sleep with a partner. How does the mattress react when one of you shifts or gets up during the night? Do you feel undisturbed by the movement? Or do you feel like you’re being tossed on an ocean wave?
- Noise: Does the mattress squeak or make any other noise you might find unpleasant?
- Odor: It’s normal for new mattresses to off-gas from the glue, foam, and other materials used in making and shipping the mattress. But there should be no unusual or unpleasant odors over time as your mattress becomes more broken in.
- Edge support: Many of us sleep near the outer edge of the bed, and strong edge support lets you sleep comfortably right up to the edge.
- Ease of movement: Your mattress’s firmness can affect how easy (or not) it is to shift sleeping positions or get in and out of bed.
Try these Saatva mattresses at home for 365 nights
Are mattress trials worth it?
An online company’s mattress trial typically offers far more time than traditional mattress retailers do for trying out and getting used to a new mattress. Although you may be responsible for covering return costs and will then have to shop for another mattress, at least you won’t be stuck long-term with a mattress that isn’t right for you.
How does a home trial for mattresses work?
A home trial offers you a certain number of nights, typically 90 to 120 (Saatva offers 365), to try out a new mattress in the comfort, privacy, and normal sleep surroundings of your own home. If you decide you want to return the mattress after a required two-week to one-month minimal break-in period, you’ll either have to arrange and pay for return shipping costs or arrange with the company for pickup or donation to a local charity or recycling facility.
What happens if I decide to return a mattress during the trial period?
If you decide you want to return the mattress after you’ve slept on it for the required minimal break-in period, usually two weeks to a month, you’ll have to follow the retailer’s guidelines for the return process. Typically, it involves shipping back the mattress, arranging with the manufacturer to pick it up, or donating it to a local charity or recycling facility.
What’s the difference between a mattress trial period and a warranty?
A trial period lets you test out a mattress and return it for a refund even if it has no defect, simply based on your personal needs and preferences. A warranty, on the other hand, protects the customer only against defects in the mattress’s materials and workmanship. With a warranty, the company decides whether to provide a refund, repair, or replace the mattress.
Enjoy a 365-night mattress home trial at Saatva
Saatva offers a 365-night home trial with all mattress purchases so you have up to a full year to decide if a mattress is right for you. We offer a wide range of high-quality mattresses to suit all sleep preferences. You can take our online mattress quiz to find your perfect match.