Most retailers will give you a trial period, but what if you find your bed as uncomfortable and you exchange it? A Los Gatos couple found out the hard way, it can be a big risk.
Lou Poulos and his wife Marie were happy with their spring-style mattress until Marie had back surgery.
"She's in chronic pain and having difficulty sleeping with the conventional mattress that we had," said Lou Poulos from Los Gatos.
That's why an advertisement from Tempur-Pedic caught Lou's eye. It was a direct mail offer for a "foam" style mattress, designed especially to relieve pressure.
The ad offered a three month trial period, so Lou figured it was worth a try. He ordered the queen size grand bed, and the Poulos' loved it.
"The queen was a very good product. It did mold to weight and body temperature like they said," said Poulos.
The only problem was that Lou tended to roll off the flat edges.
"Once I did, I actually lost my balance and actually slipped off, but it was a learning experience," said Poulos.
So Lou exchanged the queen size for a nice big king size model. Tempur-Pedic warned the exchange would be final.
"I said that's fine because I didn't anticipate any difficulties I assumed we'd get the equivalent product," said Poulos.
But when the big bed came, Lou says it was way too hard.
"It did not conform to your body like the other one did at all," said Poulos.
Tempur-Pedic said the bed needed time to soften, but months went by and there was no change, and no more returns.
"They allow you to exchange it once but after that you own it," said Poulos.
Tempur-Pedic also denied his warranty claim saying there was no defect.
"Here we got into about July and couldn't get a response from anybody so that's when I called 7 On Your Side," said Poulos.
Turns out, the one-exchange rule actually is standard in the bed sales industry.
We checked with the big retailers Sleep Train, Mancini's Sleepworld and Macy's. They all allow a trial period for mattresses, but they all limit customers to one exchange only.
Retailers said otherwise customers could make endless exchanges to keep their beds new and also, returned beds must be sanitized and can only be re-sold as used.
Tempur-Pedic did try sending a new king bed to the Poulos', but Lou said that one was also way too hard.
7 On Your Side contacted Tempur-Pedic and it said all of its beds are made with the same process and materials.
It tried to satisfy the Poulous' with two replacement beds. But because the couple was still dissatisfied, it did agree to refund the $7,000 dollars they paid for the king bed.
Retailers sometimes make exceptions to that one-exchange rule as Tempur-Pedic did, but they didn't have to do it.
But if you make an exchange, remember, the bed you pick is the one you're probably going to own.