Mattress Manufacturers who sell through Online Middlemen
Traditional Mattress Retailers
Adding a middleman to the process usually means the terms of your purchase will be less favourable than the terms you would receive when you buy directly from a manufacturer. The same mattress might be sold both ways but have different terms when a middleman is involved. Different middlemen may have different terms. When you consider that the middleman has to be paid, something has to give somewhere in the process if a middleman is involved.
Based on our research, the difference is often not in price. It’s more obscure than that. They don’t want customers to realize they’re paying the middleman’s salary. When the same mattress is sold directly online and in stores, sleep trials and the terms of sleep trials and warranty terms are where we see the greatest differences between direct from the manufacturer online sales and retail mattress stores.
When the mattress is only sold in stores or only sold online, price differences can be significant. A quality double mattress with a solid 10-year warranty can be three times more expensive in a store than a comparable mattress with the same warranty that is only sold online.
Is it Wise to Choose a Mattress in a Mattress Store?
Researchers evaluated the satisfaction of people who chose their double mattress in a mattress store to that of people who used actigraphy or a sleep journal. Keeping a 2-week sleep journal and actigraphy led to the best decisions. Laying on a mattress in a store produced the worst results. Actigraphy is a form of electronic sleep monitoring you may already have. It is a standard feature in FitBits and Apple Watches. The Mi Band provides an affordable way to access actigraphy. When evaluating a double mattress accommodating more than one sleeper, both people should keep a sleep journal.
Questionable Policies in Mattress Stores
The mattress industry is undergoing tremendous change. New offerings from online retailers make the policies at mattress stores look shady in comparison. Exchange only and no return policies combined with making the customer assume the risk for the cost of delivery and returns are common policies at mattress stores that you won’t see with online only retailers. The shady policies make it difficult to use a sleep journal or actigraphy to determine if your new double mattress is working well for you because you don’t have the opportunity to try the mattress in your home.
A False Sense of Security Buying Your Double Mattress in a Mattress Store
Some mattresses, like the Sealy and Hypnos, are primarily sold in mattress stores. The benefit is that you can try them in the store but that can provide a false sense of security. The way a mattress feels when you are awake and asleep is different. Obviously, you and your partner aren’t going to cuddle up and sleep on a double mattress in a mattress store. If you read the reviews of Hypnos mattresses, for example, many of their responses lead with a statement that the mattress won’t feel the same in your homeas it did in the store. They usually advise dissatisfied customers that it may take three months to break it in.
Which Policies Apply to Your Double Mattress?
When you buy a mattress directly from the manufacturer, the manufacturers policies apply to your purchase. When you buy from a middleman, regardless of whether the middleman is Amazon or a brick and mortar mattress store, the policies that apply to your new double mattress are the ones the store offers.
Quite a few people mistakenly believe the manufacturers policies will apply to their new double mattress when they save a few quid by purchasing it on Amazon. Amazon mattress reviews commonly include the complaint that they weren’t able to return the mattress under the manufacturers sleep trial.
To avoid costly mistakes, read the policies that apply to your purchase from the seller you choose to buy from before you buy. Different policies apply to each vendor. Mattresses are too expensive to give up the sleep trial to save a few quid.
Amazon sells a lot of mattresses but many of their customers end up unhappy later because they expected to receive the same terms when they purchased from Amazon as the terms offered on the manufacturers website.
Keep in mind that anytime you add a middleman into the sales process, you pay more or get less. Since Amazon (and Argos, discussed later) tend to cost less, you lose out where it is less visible at the time of purchase, which generally means the comfort guarantee or warranty won’t be as good as the one you’d get if you buy directly.
This is not good or bad. If you are willing to give up aspects of the sleep trial or warranty to save some quid, it’s nice to have that option. The problem we see is that people often don’t understand the tradeoffs they’re making when they buy a new double mattress. That’s where we want you to be fully informed.
We invested a lot of time and resources to help you with this when we wrote an article on Mattress Stores. It focuses on USA stores but the areas where you need to make decisions with your eyes wide open aren’t any different in the UK. We’re working on evaluating UK mattress stores and it is obvious they chat with the American retailers because they share the same strategies. Pour yourself a cuppa before you begin reading if you decide to read the whole article.
Silentnight offers many of their mattresses on Amazon. The nice thing about that is you can read the reviews from verified purchasers even if you’re going to buy the mattress elsewhere.
We want you to make an informed decision about where you or your child will spend 1/3 of their life over the next decade because sleep is important to your overall health and well-being.
Eco-friendly Latex Double Mattresses
Amazon is one of the best sources for eco-friendly, organic latex mattresses in the UK. Some of them made our “Best Mattresses in the UK” list. Latex tends to be more expensive than sprung and foam mattresses, but they are very durable.
The Milam Natural Premium Mattress provides a 30-day no quibble sleep trial on their chemical free Dunlop Latex Mattress. A 30-day trial isn’t great but it’s enough time to do a 2-week sleep trial. Just don’t buy it right before you go on holiday to be sure you have enough time to evaluate it.
For children and cot mattresses, latex has the benefit of being anti-fungal, anti-bacterial with anti-dust mite qualities
The Marcapiuma Latex Mattress has seven zones, 22 cm depth, and a silver ion removable cover with a 10-year guarantee. It’s offered at £385.99 and made in Italy.
Air mattresses are essential camping gear for many who don’t want to give up comfort while they enjoy the great outdoors. They are also an economical way to provide extra sleeping surfaces when space is tight.
If you need a mattress that will hold someone or a couple whose combined weight goes up to 56 stone, the Deeplee air mattress works well for indoor and outdoor use. With the rechargeable pump, you can use it without electricity. £68.99
Argos is a discount store that sells its own and name-brand mattresses online, often at discounted prices. Their prices vary but they often have good deals, such as 30% off one of the Tempur® mattresses which slashed over £700 off the price of the high-end mattress.
There are two main concerns when you purchase through a store like Argos instead of directly from the manufacturer. The first is that the sleep comfort trial is an exchange only trial. You cannot return the mattress and get your money back. This means that once you tried the Argus mattress, you’d be limited to exchanging for another mattress sold by Argus because you’re not going to get your money back.
The second issue you have to be cautious about is understanding the exact warranty that applies to your double mattress. For example, the Dormeo Aloe Delux Memory Foam Mattress offers a 15-year warranty through Argos but the Dormeo Antigua Hybrid Single Mattress only offered a 1-year guarantee even though its price wasn’t hugely different at £207.20.
With these types of variances, I’d read everything very carefully once I made a decision, before I settled the account for items in my trolley. It is very easy to look at one double mattress by Dormeo and assume all the mattresses Argos sells by the same manufacturer have the same terms. To help you with this, we created a Buyer’s Guide Checklist that helps you keep track of the details.
As with Amazon, I would check Argos to see if they had a special on a double mattress I was interested in and then evaluate whether any differences in the sleep trial, price, and warranty were worth giving up for the discounted price.
The day I looked, the Dormeo Aloe Deluxe Memory Foam Mattress was 20% off, dropped from £329 to £263.20. This mattress has high reviews at 4.8 stars out of 5. It’s a medium-soft memory foam mattress with a 15-year warranty. The site didn’t specify whether the warranty was a full warranty for 15-years or if it was pro-rated, so you’d want to figure that out before you made a decision.
Argos has a wide selection of children’s beds for those moving off their cot mattresses onto a shorty bed or a regular single mattress. The majority of the selection was in the neighborhood of 100 pounds. They really jack the prices up if you opt for a waterproof mattress. My suggestion is to buy a waterproof mattress encasement to protect the mattress because you can wash it and because, if you have two encasements, you can put a fresh one on if there is an accident in the middle of the night.
Like most mattress stores, IKEA doesn’t allow returns although their exchange policy is more liberal than many mattress stores. Under the 90-day sleep trial, customers are allowed to exchange their double mattress one time. If the second mattress doesn’t suit, you’ll have to buy a new one because you are only allowed one exchange and no returns. You will also have to protect it with a mattress protector because they will not exchange a mattress that is dirty, marked, or damaged.
IKEA offers mattresses from £85 to £650 as well as cot mattresses for babes.
Make sure you keep the mattress clean until you decide if you want to keep it because you lose your right to exchange it if it gets dirty or you lose your receipt. They do have a 25-year guarantee.
The Hidrasund pocket sprung mattress runs £650 and offers a medium-firm feel. It has five comfort zones to provide a comfortable level of support.
They also offer the Hövag pocket sprung mattress, the HOKKÅSEN latex mattress, and the Morgedal Foam mattress.
Warranty information presented online is misleading
Highly restrictive policies
Sealy is one of the oldest mattress manufacturers in the world. They are now part of the Silentnight group. Although they now sell mattresses online, their policies and the level of customer service they provide compare unfavorably to terms offered by newer firms that began as online retailers. They also sell their mattresses in retail stores where the prices tend to be higher in order to pay the overhead costs of operating the store.
“You are able to make changes to your order up to the point at which you click on the “complete order” button at the end of the checkout process. Please take the time to read your order carefully before you click the “complete order” button.”
Orders should be delivered within 28-days, but they do not guarantee that the order for your double mattress will be delivered within 28 days.
They reserve the right to cancel your order if they made a mistake that led to the website showing an incorrect (too low) price if they believe you could have known that the price was too low. Since most consumers aren’t experts on the prices of mattresses, which can vary from less than 100 quid to more than 5,000 pounds, this is a flimsy standard.
We read warranties all the time and they are usually easy for us to understand. Sealy’s advertising of their warranty, as of May 11, 2019, was misleading to us. We had to read it several times before we began to understand what it actually meant. On their main website, they indicate that the warranty provides “Up to ten years Warranty – Peace of mind Guarantee” but more than a month ago they appear to have changed their warranties to a 5-year warranty. Five years is a very short warranty and even worse considering that Sealy products generally cost more than those with 10-year to lifetime warranties.
The prices vary. At Sealy’s online site, the Sealy Hybrid Fusion Geltex 1400 Pocket double Mattress was offered at £649 but advertised at £749.95 at Mattress Online. However, given Sealy’s policy that allows them to renege on a deal if the item is incorrectly priced too low on their website, how do I know if the £649 is a legitimate price or one they will reject after I place my order and they collect my money?
Here is what one dissatisfied Sealy customer who chose their mattress after trying it in the store has to say:
“Why is it that when you get the mattress it never feels the same as in the shop! This one is hard and hot – not as described by Sealy. It has got to go! Not a John Lewis issue but a Sealy one -so even if you do buy in a shop you are never sure you are going to get what you actually ordered (we had to wait 8 weeks for it!)”
The bottom line with Sealy is their mattresses generally cost more than mattresses that are available directly from a manufacturer and their warranty is lousy in comparison to the 10-year to lifetime warranties available from online manufacturers. I’m convinced that the only reason they still have customers is name recognition. Sealy is using the goodwill they earned as one of the king manufacturers to continue old-fashioned policies that are not customer centric.
Given that the online manufacturers provide clear, easy-to-read terms and will work with you to make things right, unless a family member’s pension is reliant on Sealy remaining in business, I’d look elsewhere.
The largest mattress manufacturer should be capable of rolling out a change to their warranty in ways that don’t confuse customers at the point of sale. If their risk management in this area is inadequate, is it adequate in other areas such as the safety of their mattresses? Asking this question inspired me to check CertiPUR’s list of authorised distributors in the UK and neither Sealy nor Silentnight were listed. CertiPUR certifies that foam mattresses are free of potentially toxic chemicals.
Foams that conform to CertiPUR are notably certified to be:
Made without heavy metals such as mercury, lead, or cadmium for example
Made without dyes that are carcinogenic or allergenic as described by EU legislation
Made without Phthalate plasticisers
Made without substances that cause cancer or may cause heritable genetic damage
Emitting low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
Hypnos is the go-to manufacturer if you want to obtain your mattress from the company that supplies the Royal Family and the Royal Household, you’ll have to purchase a Hypnos mattress and divan. They have standard brands as well as bespoke goods.
A Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Manufacturer of the Year, 2014 by the National Bed Federation Awards
Manufacturer of the Year, 2017 by the National Bed Federation Awards
Runner up, Manufacturer of the Year, 2018 by the National Bed Federation Awards
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2017
All beds are 100% recyclable
Mattresses made with sustainably resourced materials are offered
Hand crafted, hand-stitched mattresses
Hypo-allergenic mattresses are available
Cotton, wool, and natural latex
Choose the tension level you prefer
Hypnos is a carbon neutral manufacturer; the first one to comply with PAS 2060 Carbon Neutrality Standards
It is difficult to compare many of their mattresses without legwork because prices are not revealed online
Tend to require deep pockets although some of their mattresses are offered in the budget price range
No sleep trials are offered
Hypnos does have some mattresses that may be explored and purchased online including one you can sleep on at Premier Inns and others offered through John Lewis.
Premier Inn is one exception to Hypnos beds only being available in stores. Take your partner away for a romantic getaway and try this double Hypnos mattress while staying in a Premier Inn like the one in Great Yarmouth and then purchase it online. A double mattress without the divan is £465 and takes about 30 days for delivery after you order it.
The reviews on the Hypnos Deluxe Pocket Spring range from delight at how wonderful it is to disappointment that it is too firm and does not meet their definition of medium. It comes with a 10-year guarantee but no comfort guarantee. It is made from British lambswool, cashmere, bamboo, Talalay latex, flax. The price is £1,299 for a double mattress.
If you try this double mattress in the store, make sure you pay attention to the firmness of the mattress underneath. Some customers are mistaken by the pillow top into thinking that it is softer than it is. British lambswool, cashmere, mohair, and Solotex™ luxury cushioning combined to create a firm 30 mm pocket spring mattress that comes with a 10-year guarantee. £899
This 31 cm high medium-firm pocket sprung mattress is made from British lambswool, camel wool, and Solotex™ luxury cushioning. It has poor motion control and sleeps hot for some people. At £1,599 for their double mattress and no sleep trial, I’d keep looking.
Read the reviews on this one. They are the perfect example of why we recommend mattresses that provide an in-home sleep trial so strongly. This is an expensive high-end mattress. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who isn’t comfortable, it is an expensive mistake. Based on the reviews, trying it in the store doesn’t prevent mistakes.
This 32 cm is a pocket sprung mattress with medium tension. It is made from cashmere, cotton, horsehair, camel wool, and Solotex™ luxury cushioning that comes with a 10-year guarantee. Priced at £2,199.
New Zealand wool is combined with breathable pure cotton to provide airflow and cushioning above the springs. The cover is made from sustainable materials and provides a chemical-free flame retardant. The incredible 30-year guarantee protects your £899 double mattress.
The springs in this 21 cm medium tension mattress are plentiful but you’ll be cushioned by New Zealand fleece wool, cotton, bamboo, horsehair, alpaca and protected by a 30-year guarantee to protect your £1,899 investment.
This 21 cm firm pocket sprung mattress uses fleece wool and New Zealand wool to cushion you above the pocket springs and provide fire protection for £2,899, an investment protected by a 30-year guarantee.
Here Vi-Spring offers a high-end 23 cm deep mattress made of New Zealand wool, Shetland fleece wool, cotton, cashmere, horsehair, Alpaca, and silk in a medium tension mattress that comes with a 30-year guarantee for £4,899.
23 cm of luxurious fleece and New Zealand wool supported by a 30-year guarantee are yours for £3,899 when you choose Vi-Spring’s Woolacombe Supreme mattress. At this price, you may want to buy a larger mattress than the double.
A Vanadium steel spring system is contained in this 21 cm mattress offering medium tension to support you for all 30 years of the guarantee. Your body will be cushioned by natural fillings including Shetland fleece wool, silk, bamboo and pure cotton that helps the mattress breathe and handle humidity like a pro. The materials are sustainably sourced which will ease your mind as the mattress eases your body. Enjoy this luxury for £2,899.
The biggest problem with John Lewis products is that there is no sleep trial. Also, returns aren’t allowed after the product is unsealed unless there is a defect, which doesn’t include the mattress not feeling the same as it did in the store or the mattress causing back pain. Ultimately, this means the consumer assumes the risk when they purchase a mattress from John Lewis.
John Lewis sells many high-quality beds including Hypnos mattresses. I strongly encourage you to read the reviews from other customers who have bought any mattress you’re considering purchasing from John Lewis. While there are many satisfied customers, there are too many disappointed ones for me to be comfortable when there is no sleep trial.
One of the biggest problems is the inconsistency their customers experience. In the reviews, reports from delighted customers are interspersed with reviews from customers who are terribly disappointed in the same mattress. The way a double mattress feels is subjective and influenced by sleeping style and weight. That’s why the opportunity to try a mattress in your home is so important when you buy a new double mattress.
John Lewis’s own responses to customers who express dissatisfaction point to the importance of an in-home sleep trial:
“The mattresses shown in store will always feel different to your new mattress due to in-store use. It’s also possible that the bed base you tried in store is different to the design of your own bedstead, which can affect the comfort of your mattress. We recommend you regularly rotate your mattress and use it for at least 3 months continuously to allow for your body to adjust. Please do get in touch with our Customer Services if you remain concerned.”
Can you afford to sleep poorly for three months? Given the serious detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, including fatal accidents, I don’t advise it.
If you feel lucky, you can take the risk that you’ll be one of the lucky ones. If you’re not positive you’ll be lucky, we suggest you make sure you have a sleep trial that allows you to return the mattress and get all your money back if it isn’t the mattress you hoped for.
If you’re looking for a luxurious mattress for your children that uses wool instead of chemical as a fire retardant, this pocket sprung mattress with Hampshire wool and cashmere provides support. Your £299 investment is backed up by a 7-year guarantee.
We looked at this mattress as an option for an inexpensive children’s mattress but the strong chemical smell from the fire retardants made us rule it out. Your child’s safety has to be the highest priority. It’s worth the extra money to buy a mattress that uses natural fire retardants such as wool. £150
We are big fans of the durability, health benefits, and eco-friendliness of latex mattresses. Latex is made from the sap of rubber trees. A natural latex mattress can last for decades and feel the same many years later as it does when it is new.
Latex is good for those who suffer from allergies because it is anti-allergenic. Latex is also naturally anti-microbial, resists bed bugs and dust mites, and breathes better than synthetic foams.
John Lewis offers a variety of latex mattresses including:
Built to handle larger bodies, this 21 cm medium tension latex mattress will last many years. £1,349
Airbed (Air Mattresses)
Air Mattresses or airbeds are handy if you have unexpected guests or don’t have room to keep a bed set-up all the time. They are also essential gear for many people who head to the great outdoors on the weekends but still want to sleep on a comfortable surface.
The quality and design of the AeroBed is excellent with easy set-up. It provides good value for the money. This sets up in just a few minutes and can be packed away just as quickly. You can adjust the firmness level. Although a few customers report leaks, the mattress is returnable for defects for up to a year and there were many customers who felt the purchase was well worth the price. £250
Sustainability Award by the Furniture Makers’ Company, 2017
Mirapocket mattresses improve spinal alignment and posture – University of Central Lancashire
Silentnight partners with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to protect the United Kingdom’s seas, shores, and wildlife.
Beach cleans and protecting the seas and the life in them
Independently validated Carbon Neutral Company
Eco-friendly product development
Recycling of used mattresses
Member of the Forrest Stewardship Council
Member of the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme
Silentnight offers a wide variety of mattresses ranging in price from £129 to £679 and cot mattresses with prices around 100 pounds. We’ve highlighted some of the best in their category, including mattresses specially made for bunk beds and eco-friendly mattresses. To see their full selection, head on over to Silentnight.
For over 70 years, employees of Silentnight have been handmaking British mattresses with great care and attention to detail and design at their factory in Lancashire.
To continue this fine tradition, they use apprenticeships that have won regional awards from the Apprenticeships National Awards for their program that trains young people in this time-honored craft.
A 15 cm breathable and hygienic mattress for bunk beds. Free of chemicals in the foam and doesn’t use a chemical fire retardant. Medium firm tension helps your child’s spine develop the way it should.
Designed especially for toddlers and young children. The zoned support system used in this mattress was shown to improve posture and spinal alignment. It’s good for your child and good for the environment as the Eco Comfort fibre™ is made from 100% recyclable plastic bottles
This 28 cm hybrid latex double mattress has medium-firm tension to ensure a comfortable sleep for back and tummy sleepers. Above the 1400 Mirapocket spring system is a layer of natural latex to provide comfort and bounce. Its zoned support will give you lasting comfort because your weight is distributed evenly. This durable latex hybrid contains a natural probiotic that resists dust mites and allergens. £435
This 37 cm latex mattress provides an allergen and dust mite free zone that affords side sleepers with the best possible responsive sleep surface. The zoned support provided by this mattress assures side sleepers a durable and comfortable bed. Your weight will be evenly distributed and supported by the spring system that works with the natural latex. £729
If you are not a loyal repeat customer, you’ll get a 100-night trial if you purchase the Hybrid, Contour, Cloud or Sensation Mattress Collections sleep systems. Loyal repeat customers aren’t given a sleep trial. Even if you are a first-time customer, if the mattress you purchase is a Special Buy, Real Deal, bespoke, personalized, or marked down on Clearance, it is excluded from the 100-night trial.
Tempur mattresses are not for those who have budgetary constraints even though they only have a 10-year guarantee.
Tempur was created by NASA to cushion the g-force of space launches. The heat of your body softens the foam so it can conform to your body. This invention eventually led to the creation of memory foam that led to the online mattress industry. Tempur is the original. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the original is better than mattresses created based on the original idea.
Tempur® mattresses come in three heights:
Supreme – 21 cm double mattress is priced at £2,149
Elite — 25 cm double mattress is priced at £2,399
Luxe – 30 cm double mattress is priced at £3,099
The prices listed for Tempur® mattresses on this site are from Tempur’s website. I have seen a double Cloud mattress on Argos’s site for about 30% off. Watch for sales. As always, if you buy from a site that isn’t the manufacturer, be absolutely positive you understand the terms when the mattress is purchased through a retailer that isn’t the manufacturer. Recognise that you’re putting a middleman between you and the company that designed and built the mattress.
Tempur® Cloud Mattress — the soft version
Tempur® Original Mattress — This is a firm mattress
Tempur® Hybrid Mattress – Bounces back to its normal shape faster
Tempur® Sensation Mattress– Medium firmness that is easy to move around on
We have some concerns about the sleep trial which is an exchange only sleep trial and encourage you to read it thoroughly before you purchase a Tempur® mattress. We also have a problem with treating loyal return customers worse than new customers. It goes against what feels right. We think returning customers should have the same sleep trial new customers are allowed.
A Better Option for Buying Your Double Mattress?
If you’re like us, you see the pitfalls associated with buying your double mattress in a store with policies that shift the risk to you. If you prefer an opportunity to try the mattress in your home without risk, you’ll want to look at online mattress retailers. We detail the best of them in our Best Mattresses UK article.
Some people think the few quid we are paid when customers buy from a mattress store after visiting our site make us another middleman. In truth, we are an advertising expense to the store, not a middleman. All mattress sellers use advertising. When a middleman is involved, you have twice the advertising cost because manufacturers like Sealy have advertisements and the mattress store also has their own adverts.