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Returning a Boxed Mattress Is A Nightmare

Buying a boxed mattress is easy—returning one, not so much. Published: August 01, 2019

Don’t dismiss boxed mattress brands as a passing fad: from 2016 to 2017, their share of the $15 million US mattress market doubled from five to ten percent. Since Casper emerged in 2014, scores of similar startups have cropped up, all promising the same value proposition: to make shopping for a mattress easy. And it is.

Returning one, however, is a little different.

Back in January, a Quiddity staff member tried to return ten mattresses that we bought for testing. It was no easy task. Throughout the month-long project, she learned that it’s nearly impossible to donate a barely-used mattress in New York City. Getting one collected for recycling is a bit easier, but still entails lengthy calls and email threads with customer service reps and disposal agencies. A few brands like Casper and Bear gave our staff member the benefit of the doubt and quickly arranged a pickup. The majority, however, put her through the interrogation ringer—one rep even asked her how much she weighs. Read on for a full account of the mammoth project, put in order of increasing excruciation.

Brand: Casper
How long it took: 10 days
What it took: 1 phone call
The returns process with Casper was a breeze: “They were so easy. They straight-up refunded me,” she says. During the one and only call she made to Casper, a customer service member asked for her order number and a reason for the return. Casper scheduled the mattress to be picked up by a third-party transportation service, XPO Logistics, and within ten days the mattress was out of the office.

Casper Irritation

Brand: Bear
How long it took: 16 days
What it took: 1 phone call; a few emails
Bear was pretty straightforward, too. On the phone, the customer service rep asked the reason for the return and then contacted a removal team. Since Bear already has a standing relationship with a New York City-based pickup service, all our staff member had to do was set a date and time. If only the rest were that painless.

Bear Irritation

Brand: Eve Sleep
How long it took: 8 days
What it took: Multiple voicemails; a few emails
Every time our staff member called the Eve Sleep customer service line, it went straight to voicemail, so all her correspondence was conducted over email. The process was relatively quick, with Eve Sleep coordinating for a collection service to pick up the mattress within a week of her request.

Eve Sleep Irritiation

Brand: Helix
How long it took: 16 days
What it took: 1 phone call; filling out an online questionnaire; a few emails
When our staff member called Helix’s service line, the brand rep tried to get her to give Helix another chance by offering to send a free mattress topper. Once she politely declined, the rep agreed to process the return, but only after she filled out an online questionnaire. Once she submitted the form, Helix booked a retrieval service to pick up the mattress.

Helix Irritation

Brand: Purple
How long it took: 30 days
What it took: 1 phone call; submitting an online form; multiple emails With Purple, the real difficulties began. During an initial phone call to customer service, a “Comfort Guru” asked a series of seemingly endless questions unrelated to returning the mattress: how heavy is she? What kind of sheets was she using—stretchy, tight, loose-fitting? Had she tried sleeping without sheets? At one point the rep even said, “the system that we use makes me ask these questions—I’m not being snoopy.”

After the call, she had to fill out an online form to schedule the mattress collection. This was followed by a lengthy email thread booking the retrieval and confirming that the mattress was indeed received by 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, the disposal service provided by Purple. The mattress was finally picked up on January 19th. Purple didn’t process the refund until February 7th, after our staff member emailed a photo of the pick-up receipt.

Purple Irritation

Brand: Leesa
How long it took: 7 days
What it took: 1 phone call; a few emails
When our staff member called Leesa, the customer service rep asked why she didn’t like the mattress, and then if she wanted to keep the free pillow that had been sent with her order. When she said she wanted to keep the pillow, he explained that Leesa would deduct the price of it from the refund. “That felt weird, since technically it was a ‘gift,’” she says. Since she wanted a full refund, she opted to give the pillow back, too. The rep arranged the pick-up through a third-party service pretty quickly, suggesting a date and time within a few days. When our staff member asked if the service would donate the mattress, he said it was unlikely, so she inquired about alternative approaches. “You could certainly reach out to see who would pick up mattresses for donation in your area,” he said. “If we were to look into that we would have to spend at least seven to ten business days trying to find something and I can almost guarantee you there won’t be anything that will come up on our end for the city of New York.”

Leesa Irritation

Brand: Tuft & Needle
How long it took: 16 days
What it took: 1 phone call; a few emails
The Tuft & Needle customer service rep asked our staff member to donate the mattress to a local organization, and offered to help her out when she asked for resources. He put her on hold and came back a few minutes later with some options. None of them could collect the mattress within a reasonable timeframe, so she coordinated a pick-up herself from a third-party service, Mattress Disposal Plus.

Tuft Needle Irritation

Brand: Eight Sleep
How long it took: 18 days
What it took: Multiple phone calls; multiple emails
Our staff member left several voicemails before resorting to email. Eight Sleep responded with two options for taking the mattress: donate it to a local charity or go through Mattress Disposal Plus. By this point, our staff member knew the drill. She did due diligence and contacted a number of charities, but none of them could provide a pickup service. “It’s really difficult to find a mattress donation service based in New York City,” she says. “I obviously wanted to donate the mattress, but I had no option. I understand the very real bed bugs fear in New York, but this mattress, and the others, too, were basically brand new.” She ended up using Mattress Disposal Plus, which came to get the mattress a few days later. She didn’t get her full refund until the end of January.

Eight Sleep Irritation

Brand: 4Sleep
How long it took: 17 days
What it took: Multiple phone calls; multiple emails
At first, 4Sleep seemed more helpful than the other companies. After offering to send a free mattress topper to add softness, the customer service rep on the phone asked our staff member to contact local charities for donating the mattress. When she came up dry, the rep offered to look herself. A day later, the same rep responded to say she hadn’t found a local charity to take the mattress. 4Sleep first organized for a recycling company to collect the mattress, but that company refused to service a business address (where we were storing it), so our staff member took matters into her own hands and booked a pick-up with trusty ol’ Mattress Disposal Plus.

4Sleep Irritation

Brand: Brooklyn Bedding
How long it took: 23 days
What it took: 1 phone call; multiple emails; taking and sending photos of the uncovered mattress, law tag, and foundation she had it resting on; researching local donation and disposal facilities; coordinating the pick-up herself
When our staff member called Brooklyn Bedding, the customer service rep told her that all returns must be processed through email. Unfazed, she pressed on with questions about coordinating the mattress pick-up and finding a place to donate it. The rep was vague with details and offered next to no guidance. “There was an expectation for me to do the legwork, versus Casper which was so straightforward,” she says.

When she emailed her return request, a different customer service rep sent her a list of charities for mattress donation. She contacted them all, only to find that each one either a) didn’t service NYC, or b) needed at least a month to book a pick-up. Since she didn’t have the time or space to wait that long, she resolved to have the mattress picked up by—you guessed it—Mattress Disposal Plus. After coordinating the retrieval herself, she had to send photos to Brooklyn Bedding to prove it actually happened in order to get a refund.

Brooklyn Bedding Irritation

Curated By

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor

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