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How Do Mattress Trial Periods Work?

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

  • A mattress trial period allows you to test a new mattress in your home to determine if it meets your specific sleep needs and preferences.
  • The length of a mattress trial period can vary from 100 to 365 nights, depending on the brand and retailer.
  • Returning a mattress during the trial period is typically free, but it’s essential to understand the specific return process and any associated costs.
  • Factors to consider during the trial period include sleep duration, comfort and support, odor, heat retention, motion isolation, ease of repositioning, and noise.
  • Not all mattress brands offer trial periods, so it’s crucial to research and choose one that aligns with your requirements and expectations.

When it comes to buying a new mattress or a new bed, there’s always a level of uncertainty. Will it be comfortable? Will it provide the right level of support? These are questions that can only be answered through personal experience. That’s where mattress trial periods come in. In this article, we’ll explore how mattress trial periods work, what to look for during the trial period, and some frequently asked questions about this policy.

What Is a Mattress Trial Period?

A mattress trial period is a specific number of nights that allows you to try a new mattress in the comfort of your home. It’s an opportunity to sleep on the mattress and show if it meets your specific requirements and preferences. This mattress trial policy is particularly common among online mattress retailers, as it substitutes for trying out a mattress in-store.

Length of the Trial Period

The length of a mattress trial period can vary depending on the mattress stores and the retailer. Many mattress-in-a-box brands provide trial periods that typically span between 100 to 120 nights. This minimum duration usually offers ample time to assess whether a mattress’s firmness, pressure relief and thickness are suitable for your needs. Some retailers may offer shorter trial periods, typically one or two months, while others may extend their trial periods to a year.

Return Process

If you decide that the mattress is not the right fit for you during the trial period, you can typically return it to the seller without incurring any costs. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific return process outlined by the mattress company or retailer. Most companies will provide return instructions on their website, which may include scheduling a pickup or dropping off the mattress at a designated location.


When returning a mattress during the trial period, it’s crucial to understand the refund policy. Some retailers offer a full refund, taking care of the return process and any associated fees. However, others may require you to cover restocking, shipping, or handling fees. Additionally, returning the product may come with extra expenses if you purchased the mattress online or from outside the Continental United States. Considering these factors is important when deciding whether to use the minimum trial period or return the mattress and claim a refund.

Breaking In Your New Mattress

After receiving your new mattress, it’s essential to break it in to experience its true characteristics. When a mattress is new, its various memory foam top layers and innerspring components may be stiff, making it potentially uncomfortable during the first month.

Some mattress companies may even have a policy that excludes returns during this initial period. To break in your mattress, you can try various tactics, such as applying weight to it or adjusting the temperature in your room. By following these tips, you can ensure your mattress is sleep-ready as soon as possible.

Things to Look for During Your Trial Period

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During the mattress trial period, it’s important to pay attention to specific factors that can impact your comfort and sleep quality. By being mindful of these elements during the sleep trial, you can make an informed decision before the test-out mattress trial period expires.

Sleep Duration

One of the key factors to consider during the trial period is your sleep duration. Adequate sleep is vital for maintaining a strong immune system and promoting overall well-being. Pay attention to how the mattress affects your sleep duration and quality during sleep trials. You can use sleep-tracking apps or devices to monitor your sleep stages and determine if the mattress is helping you achieve the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

Comfort and Support

Another important aspect to consider is the comfort and support provided by the mattress. Your mattress should possess adequate firmness to ensure your spine maintains a natural and healthy alignment. The necessary level of firmness can vary based on your sleeping position and body weight. Individuals who sleep on their back or stomach may find a firmer mattress more suitable for maintaining proper alignment. In contrast, side sleepers might prefer a slightly softer mattress to alleviate pressure on their shoulders and hips.


Some mattresses, particularly those made with certain materials, may emit odors when first unpacked. These odors can be unpleasant and may linger for a few months. If you find the odor of returned mattresses bothersome, it’s important to consider the materials used in the mattress and opt for one with lower volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Additionally, you may want to choose an odor-resistant mattress to avoid any future smells caused by unwanted mattresses by spills, pets, or sweat.

Heat Retention

Heat retention can significantly impact your sleep quality, especially if you tend to sleep hot. Some mattresses have cooling features such as gel-infused foams or breathable covers that help dissipate heat and keep you cool throughout a good night’s sleep. Pay attention to whether the mattress retains heat, as excessive heat can lead to discomfort and restless sleep.

Motion Isolation

If you share your bed with a partner, motion isolation in the right mattress is an important factor to consider. Motion isolation pertains to how effectively a mattress can absorb motion and prevent it from spreading to the opposite side of the bed. This feature can minimize sleep disruptions when one person moves or gets out of bed. Consider how well the mattress isolates motion and whether it meets your specific needs in this regard.

Ease of Repositioning

If you often shift your sleeping positions during the night, it’s important that you can easily move around on the mattress. Firmer mattresses generally make it easier to switch positions, as they provide more support and prevent excessive sinking. Softer mattresses may feel more comfortable initially but can make it more challenging to change positions quickly. If you find yourself struggling to switch sleeping positions more comfortably, it may be worth considering a different mattress.


A noisy mattress can disrupt your sleep and potentially disturb the quality of sleep for your partner or other household members. Foam mattresses are generally silent, while hybrid and innerspring mattresses may develop squeaks over time. If you notice any unusual noises coming from the mattress, it may indicate a quality issue and could be a reason to consider returning the product.

See Also: What Are the Differences Between Innerspring and Memory Foam Mattresses?


What is the difference between a trial period and a warranty?

A trial period allows you to return a mattress and claim a refund within a specific timeframe, even if the product has no issues. Conversely, a warranty safeguards you from particular issues associated with the construction and materials of the mattress. Warranty periods are typically longer than trial periods, often lasting break in a period of around ten years. When claiming a warranty, the retailer may choose to repair the mattress or provide a replacement rather than offering a refund for the required break-in period.

What is the purpose of a mattress trial period?

Mattress trial periods are designed to allow customers to test a mattress in their own home and determine if it meets their sleep needs. They help alleviate the uncertainty of purchasing a mattress online and not being able to try it before buying.

Do all mattress brands offer trial periods?

No, not all mattress brands offer trial periods. It’s essential to research different brands and their policies to find one that aligns with your preferences and needs.

Are there any hidden costs associated with mattress trial periods?

Although many trial periods are free, it’s important to check the rules to see if there are any extra costs, like fees for sending the mattress back or restocking charges.

Can I return a mattress during the trial period for any reason?

Yes, in most cases, you can return a mattress during the trial period for any reason. However, some brands may have specific requirements or conditions, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with their policies.

Is there a specific timeframe for initiating a return?

The timeframe for initiating a return varies among brands, but it typically falls within the specified trial period, which can range from 90 to 365 nights.

How do I return a mattress?

To return a mattress, contact the retailer or manufacturer within the trial period, and they will guide you through the return process, which may involve arranging for pickup or drop-off.


Mattress trial periods provide an invaluable opportunity to test a mattress in your own home and show if it meets your needs and preferences. By paying attention to factors such as sleep duration, comfort and support, odor, body heat and retention, motion isolation, ease of repositioning, and noise during the trial period, you can decide whether to keep the mattress or return it for a refund. Take advantage of these trial periods to discover the ideal mattress that suits your sleep requirements and relish a peaceful night’s rest.


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