This Is The Most Important Thing When You’re Buying A Mattress On The Internet
I’ll be honest with you. I think a lot of the mattresses that come in boxes are pretty similar to each other. I think they’re all pretty good actually, and you will probably be comfortable on most of them. Sure, there are unique selling points that each has, or a certain design you might like. I’ll continue to review them to help you suss out all those factors.
But there is ONE thing that is the most important thing when you’re buying a mattress.
Especially when you’re buying online. A mattress is a big investment, both of your money and for your health. It needs to be right, and you need to feel confident with your choice. So what is that one thing, the thing that will help you choose one brand over another, this memory foam or that hybrid instead of the competitor?
You might be surprised to see that my #1 critical factor has nothing to do with the mattress itself. I believe it’s all about the company and whether you feel you can trust them. Here are some points to consider, and a list of companies I think are awesome (this is an international list, organised by country):
How Responsive Are They To Customers (both happy and not)?
You will probably find that all the companies bend over backwards to help you before you purchase, but what’s their after sales care like? How long does it take for customers to get answers to emails, do they have a live chat, can you call them?
A good way to check this out is to have a look at places like the Better Business Bureau, or if you bought your mattress on Amazon, the customer reviews. Is the company’s customer service team there, responding in a kind and proactive way to customer complaints? If they are, and you can see the problem has had a reasonable outcome, this is a sign of good customer service.
Another place to look is on the company website. How easy is it to find the one star reviews? Do you feel like they’re hiding them, or are they easy to find, with a reply from customer service to each? I don’t like it when I can only see five star reviews on a company website. Sure these mattresses are designed to work well for a lot of people, but they’re not going to be right for everyone (as I point out in every review I write) so there will be people out there who have had an issue, no matter what mattress you buy. You need to know how well they respond.
How Efficient Are They At Handling Returns?
Mattresses in boxes are compressed by a giant industrial machine called a Roll Pack Machine to get them into those tiny boxes they come in. If you need to return your mattress, you will NOT get it back into its box, so don’t even try. I’ve seen a lot of frustrated customers worrying about returns because they didn’t know this. What you need to know is:
- Will the company arrange for my mattress to be picked up so I don’t have to worry?
- Or will they make arrange the return shipping myself and refund me later?
- Will my refund be handled quickly?
If you have to return the mattress yourself, that can be a giant hassle. You’ll have to find enough suitable material to wrap it in and pay the cost initially. On the other hand, if the company works with you to find a local charity to collect the mattress, I think that is probably the best. When a charity like the Salvation Army collects your mattress, they can then sell it in their shops, helping their fundraising efforts. This is much better than the mattress being sent to landfill.
One thing to note here: most companies offering in-home sleep trials of 100 nights or more will require you to keep the mattress for at least 30 nights before you can return it. This is absolutely fine in my opinion. Why? It can take your body 2 – 4 weeks to really adjust to the feel of a new mattress, and you don’t want to discard it too soon. You wouldn’t throw away a pair of new shoes because they were uncomfortable on the first wear, would you? Your mattress is the same, you’ll need to give it more than one night.
What Do They Do When Customers Make Warranty Claims?
Most warranty claims come if customers notice their mattress starting to sag. All foams soften with time, but sagging is a different issue which can mean your mattress isn’t supporting your back properly anymore.
The first thing to look for is inside the wording of the warranty itself, because here you’ll find how deep the sagging needs to be before you can make a warranty claim. I think it’s acceptable for companies to want to see sagging of 1 – 1.5 inches, but I’ve read some warranties that won’t do anything until the sagging is 3 inches deep (which I think would feel like lying in a hole).
The second thing to look for is how do they treat customers making warranty claims? It can be really difficult to actually get photos and measurements of mattress sagging if you’re trying to do it by yourself. I’ve seen frustrated customers taking to places like the Better Business Bureau to voice such frustrations when they just feel like they can’t prove their mattress has lost its support. You want to know you’re dealing with a company that won’t make you feel like you’re jumping through a thousand hoops to get your warranty sorted.
You’ll also want to feel sure that the company can come through quickly if there is a manufacturing defect, such as a ripped cover.
Which Brands Have Great Customer Service I Can Rely On?
This list is by no means the only ones with great customer service, but they are up there among the best.
I’ve broken it down by country, as the international mattress in a box market continues to explode.
- Snuggle Pedic: Snuggle Pedic is a customizable memory foam mattress sold on Amazon. Their customer service is so great that even people who didn’t suit the mattress come back to talk about it. They’re one of the few Amazon sellers to make their mattresses in the USA and offer you a 100 night sleep trial. Read about Snuggle Pedic here.
- Avocado: Avocado make an eco-friendly and organic latex hybrid mattress (in fact, it’s my all-time favorite mattress in a box). They have an excellent track record backed up by the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports. Read about Avocado here.
- PlushBeds: PlushBeds have been making their organic latex mattresses since before mattresses in boxes were even a thing. They’ve got a proven quality record, and are one of the few companies that can offer you a mattress where the firmness can be adjusted on each side of the bed to suit different sleep partners. Read about PlushBeds here.
- Koala: Koala is one of the few brands that makes their mattress and mattress foams in Australia. They’re really responsive to unhappy customers, and it looks like they bend over backwards to help people get sorted. I note that there used to be a bit of an issue with the durability of their mattress, but they’ve listened and upped the density of the foams used to give it a longer life without changing the feel. Good work.
- Sleeping Duck: Sleeping Duck really wants you to sleep well on their hybrid mattress. So much so that they’ll get in touch with you 40 nights into your trial to find out how it’s going. They also offer free firmness customizations to ensure you can get the fit that’s just right for you. Oh, and they’ve done extensive testing on their mattresses to ensure they hold up for the whole 10 years of the warranty period.
- Napp: Not only is Napp the only NZ made mattress in a box in the NZ market, they’ve also got to have the fastest service I’ve ever heard of. I’ve got a report from a customer who found that Napp didn’t suit her, so she emailed them to organise the return/refund and they had it sorted for her within 5 minutes. Just wow. Full review is here.
- Winkl: Winkl is the other NZ owned all foam mattress company in New Zealand. You can expect lightning fast responses to your queries and regular deep discounts on their ultra comfy mattresses. Winkl review is here.
I’ll be adding more as I go, including Canada and the United Kingdom.
If you have a customer service experience you’d like to share (good or bad), please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear about your experiences.