Mattress Refund Policies


I have been reading a lot of great information on this site that I am very thankful for, however I am trying to locate the best buying options which allow an actual refund as opposed to the common 1 time exchange for a mattress of equal or greater value, and have not been able to find any information so thought I would try asking Aside from big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club the only option I found online was Saatva which sounded perfect, but after reading a little about them here have become skeptical of their marketing.

Are there any direct from manufacturer options with a refund policy? If it helps, I love in the Boston area.

The history is that two years ago, having never had problem with any mattress (including years on a Futon and 199 cheap-o-spring from the discount store down the road) I decided to finally get a nice mattress. I thought I had done my research and the beds felt great in the store, however I struck out on the original purchase and then did so once again with the exchange. Having spent the last two years with low back pain every morning and out $1600 I have finally had enough, but after last time am loathe to purchase without the ability to get a refund (minus delivery or some reasonable restocking fee).

For what it is worth, I am not looking for anything fancy. I have not had much luck with foams (memory or latex) however I routinely travel for 1-2 weeks at a time on business and find myself waking up pain free on what I assume are fairly run of the mill hotel innerspring mattresses. These are typically higher end hotels but I certainly doubt the beds are anything special. Heck, my back even feels ok most of the time on my aerobed when camping!

Any advice on potential options? Is Costco the best bet for someone who no longer trusts themselves to pick out the right mattress?

Thanks so much!

Hi niroth,

My first suggestion would be to make sure you have read post #1 here which has the information, steps, and guidelines you will need to maker the best possible choices.

I don’t keep a record of the refund policies of various manufacturers or retailers but most of them will have it on their website or provide the information with a phone call.

I’m personally not a great fan of refund policies for local purchases because of the extra cost it adds to a mattress (and the sale techniques it encourages) and prefer good and more objective testing. I do like some of the policies of many local manufacturers though who will open up a mattress (or some have zip covers which allow for easy access to the layers) and make fine tuning adjustments at a very reasonable cost if it’s necessary.

Online is a different matter because you cant test a mattress first so a good refund and return policy can add value to an online mattress purchase and reduce the risk of buying a mattress that you can’t test ahead of time.

You are fortunate to be in Boston because there are some very good options available there. the better ones I’m aware of are listed in post #2 here there are some links to posts and threads with comments and feedback about many of them in post #2 here as well.

Some of the members of this site that sell online are listed in post #21 here and many of these also have good return and refund policies.

While it’s important to buy a suitable mattress that has good PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences) … it’s just as important to make sure that a suitable mattress also uses good quality materials because lower quality foams and components will soften and degrade more quickly and the loss of comfort or support that goes with this isn’t covered by a warranty. You can read more in post #2 here and post #5 here about all the many factors that make for the “best” mattress purchase for any particular person depending on which parts of their personal personal value equation is most important to them.

Costco are not what I would call “mattress people” and they know little about the mattresses they sell so you are really rolling the dice when you buy from them unless you are able to find out what is in the mattress you are buying. You can read more of my thoughts about Costco and the big box stores in post #4 here (also in reply to someone in the Boston area).

My personal preference would always be to deal with knowledgeable retailers or manufacturers that can provide you with much better information and guidance and where you can know the quality and value of what you are buying.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for the information, very helpful. I stopped by one of the referenced retailers (Gardner mattress) on my way home yesterday and will check out a few more this weekend. Definitely got a much better feeling from them than the previous retailer.

I was thinking last night that while I am appraising new beds it may be worth asking about any potential advice that may salvage my current mattress…

My current mattress is a Simmons Beauty Rest Elite which is less than two years old. I chose it as my one time ‘exchange’ mattress when I decided Tempurpedic was not for me. It consisted of an ‘extra firm’ pocketed coil core with two inches of ‘extra plush’ memory foam on top (with a small HD foam protection layer in between). On top of the memory foam is a fairly thick quilt. I was very leary of the memory foam layer on top, but since it was an exchange and the store did not have a single mattress without a low quality pillowtop (i looked at EVERY one!) I chose it hoping the coils, which I had read were fairly good for an S brand, would be sufficient.

What I found initially with this mattress was that my hips sunk right throught he ‘extra plush’ memory foam layer and hit right into the extra firm coils. I am a side / stomach sleeper. After a few months I purchased two 2" twin xl natural talalay toppers from a reputable online retailer (rocky mountain I think?), medium firm for me and soft firm for my wife. She likes a slightly softer mattress so this seemed a good approach for side zoning with a king. Unfortunately I found that putting the latex on top of the soft memory foam just made the latex feel extra soft (no real surprise) and I still had the hip sinking problem.

As a last effort with this mattress, I did a mattress surgery and actually removed the two inches of memory foam from my side and replaced it with the 2 inch talalay medium firm topper. Unfortunately now with the medium topper directly on top of the ‘extra firm’ coil base the mattress has almost no give (it doesn’t even feel like there is coils in it…which i suppose is an advertised ‘advantage’ of the pocketed coils) and my back still hurts and my shoulder is often soar in the morning. I tried purchasing another 1" of ‘soft’ latex to put on top but it didn’t seem to make much difference.

So, finally getting to the point, do you have any suggestions that I might try before ditching the bed entirely as my wife is happy now that she has the Talalay topper and I do believe the coils have good support (too much at this point). I am leary of memory foam although I have considered trying 1-2 inches of a higher quality fill foam as opposed to the extra plush that came with the mattress. I have also considered looking for something like a cuddlebed quilt type topper.

I should reiterate that I don’t think my back is THAT bad as I have slept in 3 different hotels for 1-2 weeks at a time in recent months and awoken pain free every morning. I am not sure what these high end hotels use for mattresses, but they are certainly innerspring with minimal comfort layers on top (some more than other). Guessing innerspring + microcoil? I even sometimes sleep on the 15 year old innerspring in our guest room with 1 inch foam topper on it and feel much better.

Sorry for the wall of text, wanted to be thorough and it has been a long, painful journey. Any advice is appreciated very much!

Edit: I suppose I should also add I am fairly light weight… 5’ 9" and 160lbs. And if this belongs in a different thread as it is not about refund policy so much let me know!

Hi niroth,

Yes … unfortunately this is why it’s so difficult to “fix” a mattress that has too much soft foam on top of it because the layers on top will just sink into the softer layers (or soft spots) underneath it. the only truly effective way to correct this is by removing and exchanging foam.

I think mattress surgery can be a good idea but it can still be a challenge to choose the layering over the base that has the right “balance” between pressure relief and alignment. This is expecially true with combination side stomach sleepers which is the most difficult combination of sleeping positions because the needs of stomach and side sleeping are very different. What is probably happening here is that the top layers are too firm to provide you with the pressure relief you need (you aren’t sinking into them enough) so you may have replaced one “problem” (sinking through top layers that are too soft and feeling the firmness of the coils underneath them) with another (top layers that are too firm for your needs and preferences). The key is to find the right balance between them and to have top layers that are just thick and enough for the pressure relief you need and thick enough to prevent you from feeling the coils underneath them too much. Part of the challenge with this is that each person has a different body type and sleeping style which means that the choice of comfort layers that has the right balance can be different for different people.

To make more meaningful suggestions I would need to know more about the toppers you are using including the ILDs and confirm the type of latex and the exact layers you are using in the mattress (for example with or without the thin foam layer over the coils and the materials in the quilt if you are using it) so I had a reference point to work from. If was 100% natural Talalay it would be one of 5 softness ratings from N1 to N5 for example if its from Latex International.

The more details of the layers you have slept on and the specific symptoms you experienced on each combination (including the sleeping position you tend to experience them the most which I’m guessing would be on your side) the more helpful it would be to make an educated guess at any changes that may move you closer to being in the range of pressure relief / alignment that would have the best balance between them for you.


Hi Phoenix,

Thanks again…I did leave the thin foam ‘cover’ layer on top of the ‘extra firm’ core coil box which was enclosed, would guess maybe 3/8" thick.

Directly on top of that is the 2" 28-32ILD Medium Firm Natural Talalay Topper from LI (purchased through On top of the Talalay is the quilted top of the mattress. Unfortunately I am not sure what is inside the quilt, it is probably 1/2 where it stiches together up to maybe 1" thick and fairly dense.

This combination I found very firm and feel like my body is not impressing much at all. I purchased a 1" 20 ILD ‘Soft’ Talalay Topper from foambymail to see if it would help (suspect this is not natural based on the lower price) placed on top of the mattress but didn’t notice much relief.

I want to say the original ‘extra plush’ foam I sunk through was 1.6lb memory foam, it was VERY light stuff, much lighter than 1" toppers I had used in the past on my old bed without issue.

My back hurt in both the too soft and the too hard configurations, though when it was soft it was a very specific spot due to bad spinal alignment I believe, now it is more of a general stiffness / pain like i slept on the ground in a sleeping bag or something. I also tend to get a soar shoulder which is part of what takes me from my side where i started on to my stomache.

I don’t even really think about it when not at home as I sleep through the night, but pretty sure i stay on my side when sleeping comfortably in other beds.

Thanks Again

Hi niroth,

Unfortunately … based on my observations and customer feedback over the years … I don’t believe that FBM even sells talalay latex and I also don’t believe that the latex that they do sell is soft at all. They seem to think (also based on comments they have made to various people over the years) that if you cut a layer of medium/firm latex in half that it somehow changes the ILD of the thinner layer which is not the case at all. It’s quite likely that the 1" layer that you have is firmer than the Talalay that you have underneath it. You can see more of my thoughts about FBM in post #2 here and post #2 here. what this means is that you are dealing with an unknown layer and have no way of knowing with any certainty whether adding 1" of soft talalay would have helped you.

The layering you have would generally be good for stomach sleeping (which needs a firmer surface and good deep support to prevent sleeping in a swayback position) but would not generally be thick/soft enough to provide good pressure relief on your side for most side sleepers … especially over firmer coils.

The Talalay you have would either be 28 or 32 ILD if it was blended Talalay (which Latex International calls “natural”) and it would probably be N3 or N4 if it is100% natural Talalay (which LI calls “all natural”). You can see the ILD ranges for their “all natural” Talalay here. The blended is more pressure relieving and more “exact” in terms of ILD than the “all natural” which only is rated as a range of ILD’s.

So I would use your experience on the mattress with the 2" of Talalay on top in combination with the topper guidelines in post #2 here to choose the additional layer that would suit you best. Based on your description … I would guess that “a little to a fair bit” of “soft” latex (in the range of 19 to 24 ILD) is probably in the range you are looking for which would mean another 2". I would also only purchase from a supplier that you can have some confidence that what you are buying is the same as what is described and if they had a refund policy it would provide you with some assurance that you could exchange it if you guessed wrong about either the thickness or the softness of the layer.

This would likely give you the layers that had good odds of providing you the layering options that you needed to be inside your “ideal” range of pressure relief and support. You would have …

2" of latex that was either 28 ILD, 32 ILD, or N3 or N4 depending on whether it is “natural” or “all natural”
2" of soft latex of either 19 or 24 ILD or N2 if you go with all natural
1" of unknown latex that was probably in the medium/firm range for Dunlop latex
3/8" of firmer polyfoam
The foam that is quilted in your cover.

The layers that you removed were likely higher density than 1.6 lbs if they were memory foam but density and firmness are only loosely related with memory foam and are not really related at all if it was polyfoam. In any case these are the layers you removed so it really is a moot point anyway.

The fact that you sleep on your side mostly in response to mattresses that have better pressure relief also points to more thickness/softness being necessary.

So while there is no way to know for certain which layer thickness and softness would work best outside of your own personal experience and some potential trial and error … this at least may help you with making higher probability choices :slight_smile:

If you do choose to go in this direction … then you may still need to experiment a bit with layering and you may not end up using all your layers (such as the unknown foam from FBM or you may put this on the bottom and then remove the 3/8 piece of polyfoam for example or test the layers with and without the cover) but you would at least have some reasonable options that would have better odds of solving the “symptoms” that you are experiencing.


Wow, crazy to hear that about foambymail… I figured it was probably synthetic stuff since it was a bit cheaper but the fact that it is probably not even in the ILD ballpark I suppose makes sense based on my observation of no relief when adding it.

I will probably try to find a good option for a softer 2" topper before going all the way with a new bed. I have a 2" twin memory foam topper of decent quality in a guest bed that I may try for a few days for the heck of it.

Will try to dig a little deeper… but do you have any thoughts on the 3" gel foam novafoam toppers they sell at Costco? Down the street and definitely refundable… but maybe 3" is too much for me. I read it is a bit firmer of a foam compared to some toppers but not sure how to compare the 4lb density memory or gel foam to ILD of latex…

Also took a look… there is a big N3 on my latex.

Hi niroth,

The only way to know whether it would work with any certainty is to test in in person. This is the only real benefit of dealing with Costco because their refund policy can reduce the risk of a purchase that you haven’t tested in person.

I think my answer here to another member about tying to compare memory foam to latex would apply to your question as well. They really are apples to oranges comparisons although both can relieve pressure very well.

The choice between them is really a personal preference but they are not comparable in terms of how they feel or perform … even with similar ILD’s.

I personally wouldn’t buy any topper unless I knew the density and I don’t see the density of the Novaform gel memory foam topper listed on the Costco site.


Hi Phoenix,

I tried adding some additional comfort layer (memory foam) on top of the mattress but didn’t find any relief, may have been worse.

Today I went out to Worley Beds, Mattress Maker and Gardner Mattress and think I got some decent answers.

At Gardner we tried out their classic offset innerspring line which are essentially the offset spring unit and 2x1.5" tufted 100% cotton quilts. We also tried another version which has additional inch or so of natural padding… wool i think? All were fully reversible and reminded me of the mattresses I have enjoyed in the past (although on the firmer side). Unfortunately they were fairly busy so did not get a lot of time with the sales person as we had more stops to make!

At Worley the sales person I spoke with seemed convinced that I need a mattress with more correction than my pocketed coil + memory foam Simmons which is full of confirming material since I have such a pressure point at my hips. He felt this was causing an alignment issue. This made me think back to when we purchased the bed at Jordans and the sales person had us lay on one of those pressure sensors and remarked on how heavy I was on my hips. They had a couple of beds that felt nice, though they all had a little bit more foam / comford layer in them than Gardners which made me nervous as I can always add a topper but not remove… He also chatted with me about the hotel industry when I mentioned sleeping well at high end hotels, he said they go for the good firm reversible innerspring units with a little bit of foam comfort layer and then usually put a soft topper like goose down or something to make it feel plush even though it is fairly firm. He mentioned they don’t really care about the foam breaking down as they replace every 4 years or so. This chat actually made me lean more towards the Gardner bed.

Finally at the Mattress Maker I had a great conversation with Joe. He seemed outright offended by the situation I was in with such a new mattress and was offering to call Simmons himself, hah. He spent quite some time talking with me about all of the different things I had tried. He ultimately decided, just like Worley, that my problem was probably not with the comfort layers as I thought but with the pocketed coil unit. I mentioned how when I wake up I always feel like my hips are an inch lower than they should be and he took out some spring units and showed how with a traditional coil the high pressure load from my hips is distributed more and helps my spine not drop so far out of alignment. This does make sense to me and also explains to me why I have never had much luck with memory foam which is of course the ultimate in conforming material. Unfortunately most of the beds at MM feature quite a bit of foam (albeit of high quality) and so while I got great service I am still leaning towards the bed at Gardner. He did offer a great all natural latex bed which had me tempted… said they would zone the hips to a higher ILD and such to help with my issues.

At this point we are leaning towards the Gardner with the simple offset spring and tufted cotton comfort layer. It felt firm but not too firm, although I think I may add 1" of topper to it in order to give it a more plush feel. I learned today my body doesn’t like conforming foams like memory foam… would you still recommend a low ILD latex or maybe a non foam fibre (cotton, wool, down) instead?

Finally, we have a foundation but they have a true box spring at the store. However the box spring unit is fairly expensive >400 for a king. How much of a difference does the foundation vs spring make? If it is substantial I may buy a box spring elsewhere as the other factory directs had much lower prices on this…

Thanks again. Sorry for the large post but wanted to help future forum goers using that search button :slight_smile:

Hi niroth,

I think you are getting some great guidance which in combination with your testing is very promising. This also goes to show the value or working with a knowledgeable “expert” in person that can see you and how you align on different mattresses. This is much more valuable and “accurate” than any theory at a distance that anyone (me included) could provide based on “forum descriptions” and “theory at a distance”. They can do in 15 minutes what otherwise takes several hours of thought and analysis of forum posts.

Whether you continue with the mattress surgery experiment would be entirely up to you. It will involve some time, risk, trial and error and experimentation, some frustration, and possibly some cost in terms of money and lost sleep but the other side of the picture is that if you are successful (and there is no guarantee of this) then you wouldn’t have to buy a whole new mattress. Whether this is worth it to you would be up to you to decide of course. If it is … then I’m happy to help you guess at various layering combinations that may be worth trying but once again … on a forum these would be educated guesses at best that can’t see you on the mattress and would be limited to making the best use of what you have available. The risk is that none of the options you had available may work well because as some of the people you have talked with have indicated … the coils themselves may be a bigger issue than the comfort layers and we may be dealing with an alignment issue as much as a pressure relief issue.

The good news is that if I understand you correctly that you have the firm Simmons coils in your mattress which would be better than higher gauge (softer) pocket coils but the “best” answer may turn out to be a different type of coil altogether or may involve some experimentation with things like belly bands (a layer of foam in the middle of your mattress to help hold the hips up better). Another possibility is to use the 1" firmer layer over the coils (along with your 3/8" layer) which will tend to even out their compression to some degree and may keep you in alignment better.

The other thing I would consider is that your final layering may be higher on your side of the mattress than the other side and you would need to ask yourself if you were comfortable with this if a final configuration turned out this way.

If you do decide to continue … then if you are able to buy the 19 - 24 ILD topper with a refund policy then the layers I suggested are still the ones I would try and with a refund there would be little risk in trying the combinations that it makes available. If you are successful then that would be great … if you aren’t … then there would be little lost except time and effort and you would be in the same position as you are now anyway. I certainly wouldn’t be looking at anything like a fiber layer which is more of a “final touch” than a comfort layer unless you are talking about something like a wool topper which is completely unfamiliar to you and you would have no point of reference so this would be an experiment of completely unknown layers and if you went in this direction then the ability to refund the wool topper would be one of the most important factors in its purchase).

So overall … it would depend on your risk tolerance and on your willingness to experiment in the hopes of preventing a whole new mattress purchase

If you test a mattress with a specific box spring and it works well for you then this is part of the design of the sleeping system and I wouldn’t take the risk of using the mattress on something else that wasn’t how you tested it. If they tell you that the mattress would be OK on a foundation instead of a boxspring … then I would at least test it this way to make sure that the combination was suitable for you because it will probably make a difference. If you test it with the box spring and then buy it without one it would be like buying a mattress then changing the innerspring for something other than what than you tested. All the “active” parts of a sleeping system will affect how the whole system feels and performs. I would follow the guidance of the manufacturer when it comes to a box spring because it really can make a difference … especially with an innerspring mattress that is designed to work with it.


Sorry for a little confusion… when I replied I got a session expired error and had to re-reply and cut some corners the second time.

I am going to try a couple of more things with the current bed, but I am very close to moving on. Joseph at the Mattress Maker also recommended the experiment of adding some extra foam under my hips, or as you call it “belly band”. Any advice on how people usually do this? 1" or 2" of foam?

Months ago I tried a pillow under my hips but it would shift in the night and wake up with it on the floor, under my knees, belly, whatever. Maybe put the additional foam below the “top” layer so it is less likely to move? I have also heard of wrapping a towel around your waist…

I also have not had much luck finding any latex toppers with a refund policy and don’t want to sink a few hundred more into what is probably a lost cause.

On the height note, me and my wife are actually at different heights now and have been for some months. Not the end of the world, she would rather have me an inch higher / lower and sleeping in the same bed then running off to the guest room in the night!

The 1" question including the natural fiber was actually meant for if we go with the Gardner mattress. We liked the support and feel of the traditional flippable springs and cotton mattress at Gardner, but did note that you miss a little bit of that plush, “sea of blankets” feel the more modern styles can achieve. I was wondering if a 1" non foam (cotton, wool, down, whatever) topper (I think they sell them as mattress protector and topper combos) might work to achieve that. It was implied to me a lot of hotels do this to make the bed feel plush even though it is actually a fairly simple firm innerspring mattress, though I am not sure what materials they use.

With the foundation, they did note it would feel different but they didn’t have any issue with us trying it since the foundation is <2 years old (some shops require you to use their box spring for warranty reasons). They did offer to put the mattress on a foundation in store for us to try before we buy, which we would certainly do.

Thanks Again!

Hi niroth,

Many different materials can be used for this ranging from firm polyfoam to memory foam to various innerspring insulator materials. It would make the area under your pelvis firmer and less prone to compression. 1" of memory foam or firm polyfoam may be worth considering for this. You would need to cut it to size (an electric knife works well) so that it fits the middle third of your mattress above the 3/8" layer and under the rest of the foam.

I believe Brooklyn Bedding allows returns less UPS shipping costs.

It may make the mattress “feel” more plush but 1" of natural or synthetic fiber is more about the “feel” or a mattress or relieving specific pressure points than about improving overall pressure relief. It would normally be “safe” in terms of alignment to add an inch or so of a fiber material (although I would use more resilient and softer fibers or materials like wool, a featherbed, or a down alternative instead of cotton which can be quite firm) but I would also try to test the specific mattress / topper combination so that you aren’t spending money adding an unknown variable to your sleeping system. Every layer you add to a sleeping system will affect how the layers both above (f there are any) and below it respond.