How to return a mattress in a box — what you need to know before Presidents’ Day sales

Two people removing a Purple mattress from its packaging
(Image credit: Purple)

As with any purchase you make, it’s important to know what your rights are as a consumer should you later change your mind. So if you’re planning on buying a new mattress in the Presidents’ Day mattress sales, you might be wondering — how can I return a mattress in a box? 

Most of 2024's best mattresses are shipped in a box. Unlike traditional mattresses that are delivered flat and ready to sleep on, mattresses in a box are vacuum shrunk and neatly packaged into a box before being delivered directly to your door. The benefits of buying one of the best mattresses in a box (or a bed in a box) online are that they are usually a cost effective alternative to traditional flat mattresses, without sacrificing any of the quality or comfort.  

But what happens if you buy a boxed mattress, only to later change your mind? Each mattress brand will have their own return policy, so it’s a good idea to check them out before you complete your purchase. From Helix, DreamCloud, Purple, Nectar and Avocado Mattress, we'll now take a closer look at how to return some of the most poplar beds-in-a-box you can buy online. 

How to return a mattress in a box 

Anyone who has ever taken a mattress in a box out of its original packaging will know that once that mattress comes out, there’s no putting it back. Don’t panic — you don’t have to get your mattress back into its original packaging in order to return it, providing that you are still within the mattress trial and that your mattress is still clean and intact.   

Most mattress return policies stipulate that a mattress in a box should be returned in a clean condition within the stated mattress trial period. Sleep trial periods differ from brand to brand, but are usually around 100 nights, but brands like DreamCloud and Nectar offer 365 night sleep trials. Let’s take a closer look at each mattress brand’s return policy. 

How to return a mattress in a box to Helix

If you decide that your Helix mattress isn’t right for you, you don’t need to try and squeeze it back into its original packaging in order to be eligible to return it (and you don’t even need to have the original packaging). Helix Sleep offers a 100 night sleep trial, so you can return your mattress within that period — but only after sleeping on it for 30 nights, which is the minimum recommended time to adjust to a new bed.

How to return a mattress in a box image shows the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress with our sleep editor lying on it

(Image credit: 3Z for Tom's Guide)

In order to initiate a return within 100 days (but after the 30 day ‘break in’ period), you need to fill out a return request form on the Helix Sleep website. They will then arrange collection of your mattress from inside your home, which is a service that Helix provides for free. However, you are only able to return two mattresses per household or customer. Where possible, Helix will then donate your unwanted mattress.

If you want to exchange your Helix mattress, you have two options. You can initiate the return process and then order a new mattress. Or you can order a new mattress, then initiate the return of your old one, which will be collected when your new mattress is delivered. Doing it this way means that you won’t be without a mattress to sleep on. Planning on buying a new Helix mattress? Keep an eye on any upcoming Helix mattress sales for the latest discounts.

How to return a mattress in a box to Nectar

Like Helix Sleep, Nectar mattress in a box returns are free. Again, you must have had your mattress for at least 30 days and for no longer than 365 days, which is Nectar’s (very generous) sleep trial length. 

Although you don’t need to wrestle your Nectar mattress back into its box, Nectar do stipulate that in order to be eligible for a return, the mattress fire safety tag needs to be intact, the mattress should be unstained, and show no signs of wear and tear. 

If your mattress doesn’t meet these requirements, Nectar’s collection partners may refuse to take your mattress, so give your mattress a good look over before you initiate the return process. 

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress on a yellow background

(Image credit: Nectar Sleep)

The exchange policy differs depending on whether you live in the US or UK. The US offers one exchange per purchase, while the UK does not offer exchanges unless the Nectar mattress arrived damaged or defective and needs to be replaced. If you’ve got your eye on a Nectar mattress, take a look at our Nectar mattress deals hub.

How to return a mattress in a box to DreamCloud

As well as producing excellent mattresses in a box, DreamCloud offer some of the best industry benefits, including free shipping and returns, a lifetime warranty, plus a generous 365 night sleep trial. So whenever we spot a DreamCloud mattress sale, it's worth paying attention. But it's good to know where you stand, should you later wish to return your mattress. 

Like Nectar’s return policy, DreamCloud mattresses must only be returned at least 30 days after delivery and no later than the 365 night sleep trial period. However, you can return your unopened mattress in a box earlier than the 30 night break in period, but no longer than 90 days.

Boxed beds that remained vacuum sealed in their box for 90 days or longer are considered 'misuse of the product' and are ineligible for warranty claims and returns.

Returns are free, but your mattress must be clean and undamaged, so it’s worth investing in a mattress protector to help keep your mattress protected against any little spills or accidents during your sleep. If you received any promotional freebies with your mattress purchase, you can choose to keep, donate or dispose of them as you see fit. 

How to return a mattress in a box to Avocado

You’ll get a generous 365 night sleep trial for all adult mattresses bought at Avocado, including the Avocado Green mattress, which we deem to be the best organic mattress in a box. Mattress returns cost $99, and you are only able to return one mattress per household.

Avocado Green Mattress, featuring a woman and baby on said mattress

(Image credit: Avocado)

You can request your return after sleeping on your mattress for a minimum of 30 nights and within the 365 sleep trial. Avocado recommend using a mattress protector to keep your mattress free of any excessive tears, stains, odors or soiling (their words) in order to be eligible for a refund.

Avocado mattresses in a box are exceptionally well-made organic beds for the eco-conscious among us looking for a sustainable bed that doesn’t scrimp on comfort or support. However, a mattress of this caliber can come with a hefty price tag, so keep an eye out for the latest Avocado mattress deals to get your mattress at the best possible price.  

How to return a mattress in a box to Purple

Purple mattresses in a box are always popular, thanks to their pressure relieving support and incredible value for money. But it might not necessarily be the best mattress for you, which is why you need to know how to return your mattress in a box after buying one in the the Purple mattress sales

Purple offer a 100 night sleep trial, which begins on your delivery date. You can return your mattress within that time frame, but only once you have slept on it for a minimum of 21 days (this is the ‘break in’ period of the mattress). Purple mattress in a box returns aren’t hugely straightforward, as you need to take a picture of the mattress you want to return to prove that it is in a clean, undamaged condition.

You also need to ensure that the law tag (which includes a breakdown of what materials are used within the mattress) is still attached. Again, it’s always worth using a mattress protector, even if you aren’t sure you’ll be keeping your mattress.

Purple Original mattress

(Image credit: Purple)

You can arrange one exchange per purchase, and the 100-night trial from the delivery date of the original mattress will continue. However, if the time remaining from the original trial is less than 30 days, Purple will allow you to have a new 30-night trial instead. If you want the maximum sleep trial length possible, you might be better off arranging the return of the mattress you don’t want and reordering a new one.

Should I buy a mattress in a box? 

Mattresses in a box are a cost effective alternative to traditional mattresses that are delivered flat, without sacrificing any of the quality or comfort. Mattresses in a box are vacuum packed and sold online, which means that the mattress brands behind them save money on running bricks and mortar stores. 

These savings trickle down to the consumer, which is why mattresses in a box are usually cheaper than mattresses that are delivered flat. However, it’s important to note that you aren’t making any concessions when buying a mattress in a box. 

Leading mattress brands, including Helix, DreamCloud and Nectar, have thrown themselves behind this space saving alternative to mattress construction, and we rate them as some of the best beds in the world. 

Nicola Appleton
Sleep Features Editor

Nicola Appleton is Sleep Features Editor at Tom’s Guide, specialising in quality news content surrounding sleep and wellbeing. Nicola cut her teeth as a journalist in a busy newsroom in Bristol, UK, 15 years ago as part of a team at Britain's largest independent press agency. Since then, her job as a journalist has taken her to the States, to Sydney, and then back to Blighty, where she has written and edited features for a whole host of prominent British and international brands, including  The Independent, The Sydney Morning Herald, HuffPost, Refinery29, Stylist and more. As well as tackling the vast topic of sleep, Nicola will be joining the raft of expert mattress reviewers at Tom's Guide, helping steer readers towards the very best mattresses on the market.