Buying a new mattress is a big decision and an even more significant investment. With this, issues like budget limitations, online reviews, several manufacturers choosing a mattress is challenging. But going wrong with your mattress choice can set you back financially and health-wise. Sleepless nights, back pain, and other body aches are all symptoms of an incompatible or low-quality mattress. Buying a mattress with less trust or buying from a new manufacturer often brings schemes like a 100 nights trial. Ideally, buying a free trial mattress is a good option to get a refund if you don't like the mattress's quality or comfort.
But does the 100-day trial have a catch, or is it too good to be true? Let's find out.
Who is offering free trial mattresses?
There are a lot of manufacturers that offer a free trial of their mattress or sleep products. While buying a mattress from eCommerce giants may not guarantee or offer a 100 day or free trial, manufacturers themselves do it. You can get free trial mattresses from manufacturers with mostly online selling businesses for mattresses. Online brands sell mattresses with a 100-day trial period or lesser, and you have to pay upfront for them. After 100 days, if the mattress isn't damaged intentionally or spoiled because of spillovers, you can return them. In line with their return and trial policies, you get a complete refund or exchange for the mattress if you're dissatisfied.
What happens when you want to return a mattress you aren't satisfied with?
There can be various reasons why returning a used mattress can be a bad thing for you. Although not always the case, if you can resonate with a bad online buying experience, you can see why it is crucial to consider the return policy. You don't like the mattress for a variety of reasons:
- You find that the mattress quality or fabric is prone to abrasion and isn't as soft after some days. The fabric is easy to stain, collects dust or external agents, easily giving a bad sleeping experience. You might find various reasons why your mattress isn't worth the price and left clueless on how to proceed. Stains, sanitation issues, or wear and tear might give the company reason to reject as per their policies.
- The mattress starts becoming a painful sleeping experience, as the materials and construction aren't tuned to your body type. Despite having no body or backache issues, you start noticing back pain issues. In this case, the mattress might be eligible for the return, given you return it in time and in good condition. But the mattress pain isn't worth the money you pay for it, only to return it later.
- Company policies can reduce the amount you get depending upon the wear and tear, among other issues. It is best to read these policies, especially in manufacturers offering a 100-day trial period for your mattress. The company could refuse to return the mattress, and if they're not in the same city, it is an even bigger issue. Most online manufacturers also ship their mattresses in a vacuum, which is a red flag for the foam's quality and signals low-density. The machine-pressed mattresses wouldn't be feasible to return in the same shape or shipping method. Then the manufacturer would only accept your return if you live in the city.
These issues can become a bad experience for your finances, time, sleep quality, and health. However, there is a better way to shop for mattresses and all personal care items, for that matter. The mattress you buy has a high chance of being one you're not satisfied with, and in that case, this chain of events could be a bad experience. But there's more to this story than customer satisfaction and how companies offer a trial period.
What happens to the mattress once you return it?
Have you ever wondered what happens to the mattress that people may return because of various reasons? Personal care items shouldn't be cycled because of sanitation issues, and there is more than one reason to back this fact. But have you wondered how manufacturers, in general, can offer a 100 nights trial period in the first place? In a country as large as India, many people may prefer to shop for a mattress online for various reasons.
And if you buy a mattress from a manufacturer that doesn't recycle the mattress properly, there is a range of issues you wouldn't prefer to have. Here is what happens to a mattress you may return in its trial period:
- Discarded: In case of a valid reason like manufacturer defect or following the manufacturer's policies, a mattress may be discarded. Either because of a promise of sanitation or to ensure the error doesn't go to other customers, a manufacturer may have to discard a mattress. While some may recycle it, most manufacturers throw away the mattress unless it is in good shape. This causes issues for the manufacturer even if the mattress was in good shape to begin with, but leads to waste. As a result, they end up in a dump which leads to environmental issues. Such a mattress may also be recycled, but it depends on the manufacturer and location.
- Resell as a used product: If you've ever bought a mattress from eCommerce giants like Amazon, you might be familiar with used or refurbished products in the listing. Most manufacturers offering a 100-day trial may have to sell it as a used or refurbished item to avoid losses after ensuring sanitation standards. To cut costs and prevent losses, a manufacturer may sell used mattresses on eCommerce sites. Needless to say, this isn't the best idea for a mattress that was rejected once for any issue.
- Refurbish and repack: While most manufacturers may list a mattress as refurbished to assure customer satisfaction, not all may follow suit. After cleaning, sending it back to the quality analysis team, and making the mattress as good as new (at least superficially), they may repack it. Such a mattress may look as good as new but might have sanitary risks or quality lapses. Moreover, some manufacturers may not even list a new manufacturer as a refurbished one, and you end up buying a second-hand product at full cost. There would be no way of telling such a mattress apart until it starts giving issues and odors. By then, it would be too late for the customer, and the manufacturer's policy may prevent you from getting a refund or exchange.
- Remodeling: Like a refurbished product, a mattress may need to be remodeled/reconstructed to ensure quality and original form. If a mattress didn't suit an individual for any reason, it might have sanitation issues, especially in the comfort layer. The best way to ensure its original form factor and quality would be to replace its topmost layer or cut off a few inches of it. A person buying such a mattress wouldn't find any issues with it, but wear and tear could cause it to separate over the years. While this may be a rare occasion, it is always good to know if something similar happens to you. Alternatively, one may also add a foam layer, but this would be inconsiderate since the mattress experience wouldn't be the same.
All these issues may cause dissatisfaction, mistrust, and issues on the customer's side too. Not to mention the environmental waste and business losses or financial losses to the customer are a terrible experience. A mattress no longer eligible for return and facing issues repeatedly may end up in a dump or become "that spare mattress" in your house.
Why should you not buy a free trial mattress?
Given the reasons why a mattress may be recycled, or a manufacturer may offer a trial, there's more to the story. Irrespective of whether a mattress is discarded or recycled, it is a wasteful practice. The financial and environmental impact of logistics, wastage, and general dissatisfaction on either side isn't something to look forward to. Now, especially in the pandemic, personal safety and sanitation concerns are at an all-time high.
When we sleep at night, our body sweats, and this is truer for the Indian humidity and environment. The number of people that share the mattress could be more, and ultimately an attempt to take care of sanitation would be futile. So, selling or recycling your mattress isn't a good practice, especially in the current pandemic. Despite the issues on either side of the mattress buying experience, here are the reasons why a free-trial mattress isn't a good idea:
- Wastefulness: In an age when industrialism is already causing massive environmental wastage, we should avoid it consciously. When you buy a mattress from a company that claims and authenticates discarding a used mattress, it would be better. But ironically, this conscious wastage would harm the environment, if not anyone else's sleep or health, when people buy the used item. If you're conscious of how wastefulness such a practice promotes, you would be reluctant to buy into a trial-based personal care item. Discarding or throwing away mattresses is a bad practice, but even worse, recycling it when the customer who buys the recycled would also return it. This cycle's ultimate price is a burden on logistics, finances, the environment, and mistrust in the manufacturer.
- Shady practices: Some manufacturers may refurbish or remodel your mattress and sell it as new, as mentioned above. If you suspect a manufacturer with such a practice because of online reviews, it is best to stay away. Customers are wise, and there is no use in making a profit or selling old/used refurbished mattresses masked as new ones. There might be other practices at play that one couldn't tell, and it is always best to go for someone you can trust. An international mattress manufacturer or nationally acclaimed manufacturer following the proper business and sanitation ethics is always a better choice.
- Sweat and moisture: Body sweat, odor, and general vapors or environmental are common, especially in a hot and humid country like India. Sweat, moisture, and other external agents that enter a mattress are there to stay. There are no proven or satisfactory refurbishing practices that eliminate these issues, and you end up buying a health hazard. In times like the current pandemic, it is best to stay safe and buy from a manufacturer that isn't dealing with backhanded practices. Environmentally conscious businesses that offer the best have international standards of living up to and are the safest choice. You don't want to put your money where someone else's sweat and odor have sunk in mixing with the off-gassing.
- Body incompatibility: The most significant disadvantage of buying a trial mattress is its missing compatibility with your body. They may be low-quality in the first place to justify the return. Alternatively, even in a high-quality mattress, someone who bought and returned it had a bad experience or body pains with it. There is no way to tell or confirm any of these issues, especially when the mattress is a memory foam or in the affordable range. People return anything they don't like, and a mattress is not something you want used or have a bad experience impacting your sleep. Body pains and sleep disorders would take out more money from your pocket than what you're trying to save with a trial-mattress. Manufacturers that offer brand new mattresses and have a maximum customer satisfaction reputation are the best options to choose from.
These reasons are not suitable for both the seller and the buyer pays the price with health issues and dissatisfaction. When buying a personal care item like a mattress or a pillow, a new one is always better. Although the 100-day trial policy seems like it is customer-friendly and helps elevate consumer trust, the reality is the complete opposite. You should aim for a mattress that suits your body and health instead of one that offers temporary satisfaction or looks to be pocket-friendly.
Advantages of a 100-day trial period when buying a mattress:
There are two sides to everything, and for some people, the 100-day trial might be the right choice. Youngsters on a budget or someone looking to buy an inexpensive mattress for their guest bedroom might find it useful. Moreover, this policy can be helpful at times and not as helpful at the same time. Most people who go for a 100-day trial want to try it before buying and caring more about a value-for-money affordable mattress. That doesn't always mean it is a suitable mattress, but this is the complete picture:
- Trial satisfaction: Sometimes, people who prefer to try their new items may not find any other preferred method for their buying choices. Irrespective of the disadvantages, as long as the mattress offers comfort, a trial helps solidify that belief. In case of pains or quality issues, they can always return a mattress in the trial period. 30-60 nights of sound sleep without pains can help them find more credibility in their mattress purchasing decision. Any other buying experience wouldn't work since customer satisfaction relies more on long-term use. Some manufacturers may also have a break-in period after which they claim the mattress works best. This marketing approach and the customer preference go hand in hand, and either side wouldn't choose any other way.
- Warranty issues: While not all mattress manufacturers may offer a complete or robust warranty period, trial-mattresses may have a no-questions-asked return. While these companies are hard to come by, they may still follow wastefulness practices as mentioned but offer customer satisfaction. In such cases, customer satisfaction lies in their mattress comfort in the trial period than long-term use. However, after the trial period expires, manufacturers may offer to fix or replace the mattress under their policy at best. Warranty protection may offer more customer satisfaction than the mattress itself. Customers and businesses that prefer this approach wouldn't choose any other way, and it is a win-win for the customer, but not so much for the business.
- Protection against new businesses: Sometimes, businesses entering the industry may follow trends of offering a 100-day trial. And customers may want protection against a manufacturer they're willing to give a chance. The trial policy may benefit the business, but it is more helpful for the customer. If they're not satisfied for any reason, they can return the mattress in the trial period. Although this wouldn't help the business in the long run, a customer might prefer this in some cases.
Disadvantages of buying a 100 nights trial mattress in India:
Some Indian industry-centric disadvantages show why buying a trial-centered mattress wouldn't be a good idea:
- Shipping fees: Before we talk about the problems one faces with returning a packed mattress, shipping the mattress back is an even bigger issue. That is, customers who want to return their mattress to a seller living in another city may have to bear shipping costs. And returning an opened mattress or taking out time to ship a huge item is costly and not feasible. This makes the 100-day trial as good as a scheme that gives false belief to customers willing to go the extra mile.
- Packing issues: Since most manufacturers that offer a 100 nights trial are online sellers, they need to ship mattresses logically. Shipping inter-city and through eCommerce logistics may need the mattress to be vacuum-packed. Packing the mattress with a vacuum is beneficial for logistics and shipping the mattress in a relatively small box. But this also implies that the mattress is low quality or not dense enough. A high-density mattress wouldn't fit in a small box to ship to another state. And if anyone wants to return their mattress would be at the mercy of the seller or the eCommerce vendor. Sending a fluffed-up huge mattress is not possible financially or logistically. All the money one tries to save with such a mattress would be doubled in shipping the mattress or wouldn't be possible at all. The seller wouldn't accept a mattress that is opened from the vacuumed state, and it would be too late to do anything. And no surprise, the seller or the manufacturer would be in their rights and policies to not accept a used mattress.
- Location issues: As blessed India is with diversity and vast land, not all businesses have a physical presence pan-India. So, if you buy a mattress online, and the 100-day trial period allows you to return it, you may find it challenging to ship it back. In other words, since shipping a mattress back wouldn't be possible via logistics partners, the seller may ask you to bring it to a nearby store for return/exchange as per policy. And in some cases, you may not find their store even in metro cities, leading to the bad return or sleeping experiences. The return process would have the limitation of store presence, logistics, return policies, and these might be the tip of the iceberg. To avoid this much hassle, it is best to buy a mattress in-person and check if you get a trial period for the same.
- Payment issues: Some people would buy a mattress online EMIs or third-party creditors. Often this is impulsive buying during sales. It would lead to a bad experience with getting a refund or exchange and lead to mental stress. Buying in eCommerce sales or other festive times might void the return period because of lower prices, but it depends on the manufacturer. The best way to buy a mattress is to rely on your local or international reputable mattress dealers. Returning a mattress would cost you financially, and the company offering a 100-day trial period would rarely be willing to pick it up.
Tips to follow when buying mattresses online under a 100-day trial period:
The 100-day trial period is attractive because it seems harmless and financially appealing. If you don't like the mattress, you could return it, but there may be more to it than a simple return request. When you're shopping for a mattress, choosing the right type and the proper manufacturer is essential. Sometimes they could have hidden fees, shady policies, and bad customer experience ratings. Here is how to look out and buy a 100-day trial mattress safely:
- Review seller policies: Go through the manufacturer return and exchange policies in the shop or online. If it says anything similar to no return or exchange or small or inconsiderate/hidden reasons, it's a red flag. Seller policies could make it difficult to return your mattress in a trial period, even in clear cases like opening and unpacking the mattress. Most of these reasons may be because the mattress is vacuum packed or as per eCommerce vendor policies. You should always take a good look at both the eCommerce and seller policies before buying a 100-day trial mattress.
- Choose the right mattress: Most online sellers offer a 100-day trial period to go for better ratings, but it comes with a catch. The buyer might have to take up the hassle of returning it in person or not being able to return it at all after it's unpacked. This is especially true when you buy from eCommerce vendors in the nation. Most people hear from their connections about orthopedic or memory foam mattresses and choose either without much thought or research.
Following online reviews and trusting the 100-day trial policy, most people would find buying a mattress a safe and trustworthy experience. This case may be suitable for a minority of the people who buy online, but most have mattress compatibility issues. Memory foam may be good in reviews doesn't mean it would suit you in the long term. The same case applies to orthopedics mattress and other mattresses, and you should always choose them with research or prescription. And once you buy them getting a return or exchange isn't feasible or possible under company policies. Choosing the right mattress is difficult online when you do not know the frame, weight, or preference of people writing reviews. You should always buy a mattress in-person after checking, and if the store offers a 100-day trial with good return/exchange or mattress repair policies, you have struck gold.
- Hidden return fees: While the cost you pay would be upfront on both the manufacturer and eCommerce vendor site, they may have hidden return fees. Returning the mattress after opening might not leave you the option of exchanging or returning the mattress. And if you decide to do so, the seller or the logistics partner could charge enormous fees for restocking or exchanging an opened mattress. As mentioned earlier, it is better to buy a mattress in-person or online from a business with a presence in your city. This makes things easier for you and the seller, but there is still the possibility of returning the mattress to be discarded later.
Red flags and side-effects of choosing a bad 100-day trial mattress:
There are several ways to test your mattress quality in the short-term (the same day or within the trial or breaking-in period). If you get a used or refurbished mattress, these things could be side effects. It is also important to note that some of them may be the side effect of your bodyweight or mattress incompatibility. But some of the reasons mentioned are distinct and things to look out for:
- Body impressions and sagging: If a mattress is sold as a refurbished masked as new or used, it would have body impressions. Look out for body impressions on both mattress sides, deformed edges (in wireframe mattresses), and other usage signs. Moreover, mattresses that are used would be prone to sagging within the trial period since the refurbishing procedure isn't as good as new. Mattress manufacturers would fix only issues with the top layers instead, leading to sagging since the layers are now different. You could even see signs of top layer displacement or edge disturbance when you try to move in bed or get up. The mattress could also sag within a month, and by then, it could be out of the trial (some manufacturers might offer a 30 to 60-day trial too).
- Heating issues: This is one issue that happens if you go for memory foam with heavier body weight and disturb your sleep. However, there is are ways to tell if a mattress heats up without cause- the manufacturer assurance and material properties. Materials like PU Foam, cotton quilting in the comfort layer, and latex foam are generally good at temperature regulation. If your mattress has a PU Foam or latex foam, it shouldn't heat up or act as insulators. You can also tell if a mattress is sagging and heating excessively within the first 15 days, and it could be proof of it being old (with average body weight). Another reason that contributes to mattress overheating is issues like moisture accumulation or existence, and both are signs of the previous usage.
- Odor and unnatural off-gassing: You can usually tell if a mattress, pillow, or anything you buy is new by smelling it. If it smells of moisture, body odor, strong synthetic chemicals (like a spirit), it would be enough proof your mattress is used/refurbished. Refurbishing procedures might use chemicals to treat any signs of body odor, but they would lead to additional off-gassing in the mattress. Your mattress could smell foul right out of the box and continue to smell bad or chemical-like for more than four or five days. New mattresses smell fresh and don't have off-gassing issues unless they're using low-quality materials needed to treat PU or other foams chemically.
- Inadequate sleep: Bad sleep is a symptom of different scenarios, but it is primarily due to incompatibility or quality when it comes to the mattress. When we talk of sleep quality and mattress quality, the correlation is real. Your mattress should suit your body, and help you fall asleep quickly, wake up fresh, and carry that trend for years. However, when you buy a mattress online under a 100-day trial with quality, return, or use issues, the issue is different. Your mattress could overheat your body, lead to pains, make it unable to fall asleep in the first place because of odors and off-gassing. These issues are rampant more in 100-day trial mattresses than new mattresses or ones you buy in-store. Manufacturers who care about your health avoid environmental and health risks and aim for quality and customer satisfaction. However, some mattresses face the wrong side of this trial scheme, and the consumer is left with sleepless nights and a dent in finances. Sleeping on non-sanitized or other issues affecting a mattress isn't a good idea, especially in the current pandemic.
How to buy a 100-day trial mattress safely in India:
Buying a 100-day trial mattress can be a risky business for both the seller and buyer. However, there are few ways to ensure that buying a mattress doesn't leave you sleepless financially and health-wise:
- Find a mattress that suits you: It is easy to buy a mattress online, but an educated buyer is in for a better experience. Sure, you should trust other buyers' reviews in terms of stitching and construction, but not other factors. This is because a mattress is designed for a particular body frame and requirement, and relying on random word of mouth wouldn't help your health. Choose a mattress that suits your requirements and your body frame. Trusting reviews blindly would land you in sleep, and financial troubles and are easily avoidable. It would help if you looked into our SleepID algorithm to see the range of mattresses that suit your body.
- Buy from an online local or in-store: Irrespective of how comfortable online shopping is, you should always look into buying personal care items like mattresses in-person. This not only saves you time and money in case of a mismatch but offers better value. If a store offers a 100-day trial policy, you should use the tips mentioned to judge and check the mattress. Most stores would give a warranty and help fix any issues and maybe even replace or exchange the mattress for any defects. The same would be a big hassle online because of logistics, eCommerce, and manufacturer policies. Trying out your mattress in-store is always better to get an idea of how the mattress feels. And if any issue arises, you can always contact and get your mattress fixed or replaced as per policy.
- Look for quality: Quality is more than what manufacturers suggest, and the best way to check is the density of the fabric and foam. Higher-density ensures material longevity and other advantages and is always a better choice. High-GSM fabrics are also a good indicator, and a 200+ GSM measurement is always better. This helps protect the mattress from easy wear and tear, offers better comfort and more material advantages. If you're buying online, it is challenging to find a vendor or manufacturer that checks all the boxes. And if you buy in-person, you always get what you investigate and feel. The policies, material densities, and other factors are always transparent and indicate a good manufacturer.
What is SleepID, and how to choose the right mattress?
At KingKoil, we lookout for the customer by ensuring excellent quality and service. Words aren't enough when you can check everything in-store and be more confident in your purchase. All our luxury mattresses are designed with the utmost care and quality materials following years of scientific research and construction tuning.
SleepID is an algorithm that ensures that you get a best mattress that suits your body. That is a mattress that helps you sleep for years without any sleep issues and maximizes sleep quality. By taking into account your sleeping position, body weight, body frame (BMI), age, gender, and the people using the mattress, we recommend the most compatible mattresses for you. As a result, customers report a 94% satisfaction level with SleepID compatibility, and we have years of research and development to thank for it.
It would help if you always looked for mattresses with the proper comfort and support levels, and anything else can harm your body. An incompatible or low-quality mattress would make it difficult to sleep, harder to go to sleep and wake up fresh, in addition to health issues. You need a mattress that comforts your body, so you sleep like a baby, and understanding your body and requirements is the first step to perfect sleep.
SleepID took years of research and development worldwide and scientific and biometric data analysis to conceive it. And when it comes to India, we ensure the same by using our research and development efforts to understand the Indian body lifestyle and environment to create the perfect mattress. This helps ensure that any mattress you buy offers you the best sleep and lasts years without any issues.
The 100-day trial period is a hit or a miss scheme and can be as beneficial as it is harmful. There would be countless online reviews complaining about mattress sizing, pains, quality, and other factors. But when you buy an essential commodity like a mattress to sleep soundly, it is best not to compromise and experiment. Buying mattress in-store and ensuring that your mattress is up to international standards is the best way to sleep soundly and safely.
You could get a mattress that has all the green flags and checks all the boxes in quality, but are you up for the time and effort spent in returns and research? That is why it is best to consult a doctor for your orthopedics or aim for a manufacturer that offers luxury mattresses with quality and science to back the facts. SleepID is the ultimate solution to this issue and ensures you choose a mattress that chooses your comfort and sleep before anything else.