Sleep

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

Sleep peacefully knowing you can return your new mattress

Woman making a bed Credit: Tuft & Needle

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Buying a mattress online can be fairly nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time. After all, how do you know if you’re picking the right mattress? What happens if you don’t like it? You’re certainly not the first shopper to have these types of questions, which is why so many mattress companies have started offering free in-home trials.

Before you buy a new mattress, here’s everything you need to know about 100-night sleep trials and how to make the most of them.

What is a sleep trial?

What Is It
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. (Plus, 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 help give shoppers more confidence in their purchase, retailers have started offering 100-night sleep trials.

What does that mean, exactly? Basically, you get 100 nights (or more, depending on the company) to sleep on the mattress 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, and some brands, such as Zoma Sleep, have stipulations that you have to sleep on the mattress for at least 30 nights before opting to return it. Additionally, 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.)

Why do you need a trial period?

Why
Credit: Purple

There's always a chance you might not like your new mattress, especially if you bought it online.

There are a lot of reasons a mattress might not suit your needs when you finally bring it home. Maybe it’s too soft or too firm, or perhaps it gets too warm during the night. 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 free trial helps give you peace of mind that you’re not stuck with a mattress that doesn’t work for you.

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What should you do during a free mattress trial?

During the 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 an off-gasing period, 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?

Returns
Credit: Purple

Brands make it easy to return unwanted mattresses.

If you decide the mattress just isn’t working for you, don’t feel bad—that’s exactly what sleep trials are for! To start a return, you’ll need to contact customer service from the brand, and have your order information handy to streamline the process. Just keep in mind that most companies stipulate returned mattresses must be in good condition, meaning no rips, stains, or other major damage.

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 in there,” don’t stress. The vast majority of mattress brands will coordinate a pickup of your unwanted mattress, so you don’t have to worry about packing or shipping it. Alternatively, some brands ask you to donate the unwanted mattress to a local charity, and you’ll need to provide proof of donation to get your refund.

While different brands all have their own ways of handling returned trial mattresses, most companies end up donating trial mattresses 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.

All the mattresses with free trials

List
Credit: Awara

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

The vast majority of today’s top mattress companies offer free sleep trials, and if you’re curious about how long you have to test out your new bed, here’s what you can expect from each brand. We've ranked these in order of mattresses we've tested ourselves:

Mattress company Trial period Best mattress
Leesa 100 nights Leesa Hybrid
Nectar 365 nights Original Mattress
Tuft & Needle 100 nights Original Mattress
Purple 100 nights The Purple Mattress
Avocado 365 nights Avocado Green Mattress
Helix 100 nights Helix Midnight
Tempur-Pedic 90 nights Tempur-Cloud
Saatva 180 nights Saatva Classic
Allswell 100 nights Allswell Supreme
Zinus 100 nights Green Tea Mattress
Casper 100 nights Original Mattress
Layla 120 nights Layla Memory Form
Puffy 101 nights Puffy Lux
Amerisleep 100 nights Amerisleep AS3
Sealy 100 nights Sealy Cocoon
DreamCloud 365 nights DreamCloud Hybrid


A mattress is an important purchase—after all, sleep plays a big part in our overall health and well-being—so you'll definitely want to take advantage of any sleep 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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