A recent article on the website of Consumer Reports advises consumers in the market for a mattress on the best ways to ensure satisfaction with their purchase. Though the organization takes pains to remind its readers of the importance of carefully testing a mattress in the store, indicating that the process (when done right) will take thirty minutes, they also pay heed to feedback from consumers who have praised sellers who offer generous return policies. According to the publication, mattress shoppers should go into a mattress store planning on spending ten minutes on each side and on their back (and stomach if they sleep on it) before making a purchase decision, but that when they had asked readers whether they had taken that advice, they received surprising feedback. Their subscribers indicated that what they found even more important and valuable than sufficiently testing a mattress in the store was purchasing a mattress from a retailer that had a liberal return policy. Readers informed Consumer Reports that they were increasingly purchasing mattresses from sources outside of the traditional stores and instead purchasing from discounting warehouse clubs such as BJs or Sam’s Club. Those mattresses are not displayed in a way that they can be tested — they are generally standing on end and are not set up on a frame — instead of trying it our for a short period in the store, these sellers allow customers to use the beds for about thirty days to determine whether they want to keep it, return it or exchange it. Having the opportunity to test a bed out at home, in the comfort of your own bedroom and without the eyes of other customers on you is a great option, but you need to make sure that you fully understand what the return policy is and what it does and does not provide. Important questions to ask include: • What is the time limit on the refund and when and how do I notify you if I want to return or exchange it? • How hard is it to arrange for the mattress to be returned and will it cost me anything? • Does the return policy only provide an exchange/store credit, or can I return the mattress I’ve purchased and walk away? • Do I need to keep the mattress’ packing materials and repackage it in order to make the exchange? What about foam mattresses? Do they need to be compressed and refolded? • Is there a shipping fee that I will have to pay, and if so, do I have to use your shipping company or can I mail it myself? • Is there a service or restocking fee that I will need to pay? Doing your research about what you need in a mattress as well as what a seller provides ahead of time is the best way to avoid surprises and ensure that you are happy with your end results.