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All the mattress companies with free trials—and why you should care

Rest easy: You can return a new mattress.

Woman making a bed Credit: Tuft & Needle

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Buying a mattress online can be fairly nerve-wracking. How do you know if you’re picking the best mattress? What happens if you don’t like it? You’re certainly not the first shopper to have these questions, which is why so many companies offer free mattress trials.

Before you buy a new mattress, here’s everything you need to know about at-home sleep trials, including how to make the most of them.

What is a sleep trial?

Sleep trials give you the opportunity to test new mattresses risk-free.
Credit: Parachute

Sleep trials give you the opportunity to test new mattresses risk-free.

One of the major drawbacks of buying a mattress online is that you don’t actually get to try it out in person. (Even when you can try a mattress in-store, there’s a big difference between laying on it for a few minutes while a salesperson stares at you and sleeping on it for eight hours a night.) To give shoppers more confidence in their purchase, retailers offer at-home mattress trials.

What does that mean, exactly? Basically, you get anywhere from a month to a year to sleep on the new bed in your own home. Within that time, if you decide the mattress isn’t right for your needs, you can return it to the company, no questions asked, for a full refund.

These free trials typically start on the day you receive your mattress. Most companies only allow you to do one sleep trial per year, so you can't test and return multiple mattresses in a row. (The fine print varies from brand to brand.)

What online brands offer mattress trials?

Some companies, like Awara, give you more than 100 nights.
Credit: Awara

Some companies, like Awara, give you more than 100 nights.

There are a lot of reasons a mattress might not suit you once you finally bring it home. Maybe it’s too soft or too firm, or perhaps it gets warm overnight. You might not notice these factors just by testing out a mattress in a store, and naturally, there’s no way to know how a bed will sleep if you buy it online without ever seeing it.

With all these “what ifs” surrounding your purchase, a mattress trial helps give you peace of mind that you’re not stuck with something that doesn’t work for you.

Mattress company Trial period What we’ve tested
Tempur-Pedic 90 nights Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud
Allswell 100 nights Allswell Supreme
Amerisleep 100 nights Amerisleep AS3
Casper 100 nights Original mattress
Cocoon by Sealy 100 nights Cocoon by Sealy Chill mattress
Helix 100 nights Helix Midnight
Leesa 100 nights Leesa Hybrid
Purple 100 nights Purple mattress
Plushbeds 100 nights Eco-Bliss Hybrid Latex mattress
Tuft & Needle 100 nights Tuft & Needle Original mattress
Zinus 100 nights Green Tea mattress
Puffy 101 nights Puffy Lux Hybrid
Simmons 101 nights Simmons Hybrid Firm
Brooklyn Bedding 120 nights Signature Hybrid
Layla 120 nights Layla Memory Foam mattress
Serta 120 nights Serta Perfect Sleeper Nestled Nights
Saatva 180 nights Saatva Classic
Avocado 365 nights Avocado Green mattress
Awara 365 nights Awara Premier Natural Hybrid mattress
Bear 365 nights Bear Hybrid
DreamCloud 365 nights DreamCloud Hybrid
Lull 365 nights Original Lull mattress
Nectar 365 nights Original Mattress


What should you do during a mattress trial?

Use your mattress as normal during your sleep trial.
Credit: Tuft & Needle

Use your mattress as normal during your sleep trial.

Naturally, the whole purpose of a sleep trial is to, well, sleep on the mattress. However, there are a few steps you should take to make the most of your testing period.

First, be sure to follow the brand’s instructions for setting up the mattress, especially if it came in a box. If they say to give the mattress six hours to expand, wait at least that long before using the mattress. If they say to give the mattress a period to off-gas, do so. If you cut corners, you may end up with a less-than-ideal sleep experience.

Further, be prepared that the first few nights on your new mattress might not be amazing. It may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if the mattress is different than your previous mattress, and you may even wake up with new aches—this is normal! You’ll want to give your body at least a week or two to adjust to the new mattress before making a decision about whether to keep it.

How do you return a trial mattress? What will happen to it?

Brands make it easy to return unwanted mattresses.
Credit: Purple

Brands make it easy to return unwanted mattresses.

If you decide the mattress isn’t working for you, don’t feel bad—that’s exactly what sleep trials are for. To start a return, contact customer service, and have your order information handy to streamline the process. Keep in mind that most companies stipulate returned mattresses must be in good condition, meaning no rips, stains, or other major damage. What’s more, some companies require that you test its products for a certain number of nights. For instance, to return a Purple mattress, you must have owned it for at least three weeks.

If you’re looking at the tiny box your mattress arrived in and thinking to yourself, “OK, but there’s no way I can get it back to that size,” don’t stress. The vast majority of mattress companies will coordinate a pickup of the unwanted mattress for local donation or return directly to the company. Either way, you don’t have to worry about packing or shipping it. Some brands ask you to donate the unwanted mattress to a local charity, though you’ll need to provide proof of donation to get a refund.

While different brands all have their own ways of handling returned trial mattresses, most companies end up donating to charity when possible. Some send mattresses to local shelters, while others donate the beds directly to families in need. These policies vary, however, so you’ll want to look up the sleep trial information from the company for more specific details.

A mattress is an important purchase—after all, sleep plays a big part in our overall health and well-being—so take advantage of any mattress trial that's offered. These free trials ensure you can return the mattress hassle-free if it doesn't work for you, giving you the ability to get your money back and keep hunting for the perfect sleep surface.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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