Reader “Hopeless” asks:
What mattress retailers, if any, do not offer 30-day “comfort trials” and do not cart away used mattresses?
Great question, Hopeless. (I hope you’ll soon have cause to change your moniker to something more hope-ful!)
This is something I’ve been wondering myself. Obviously, if you’re buying a new mattress, you want one that absolutely has not spent time in another home, and which has not shared truck space with used mattresses. And remember, it isn’t just about the reseller’s trucking service; many, like Sleepy’s here in NYC, at least sometimes use contractors with their own trucks. We can’t be sure a mattress hasn’t been returned (even in the absence of a “comfort trial,” but we do need to be sure about the absence of a “we cart used furniture in these trucks” policy).
Most of the Bedbuggers I’ve met did not get their bed bugs from used mattresses or furniture. However, as the epidemic spreads, there will be more and more people simply replacing mattresses as a first attempt at treating the problem, though we’re told is often not necessary (and, the way people do it, spreads the problem).
Remember, if you get rid of a mattress, absolutely do not allow a mattress company to cart it away. Get your pest control operator to advise you on how best to treat it, wrap it, and dispose of it to avoid potentially spreading bed bugs both within your home (as you move it towards the door) and in the vicinity (which might include a multi-unit dwelling’s hallways and doorway, or simply the neighborhood you live in).
Do not dispose of a mattress outside without carefully making it unusable: slicing some large holes works, but I’d seek a PCO’s advice– some will even do this for you. Some recommend painting it black, though you never know if this will keep people away. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that simply putting signs on items warning of bed bugs does not keep people away, especially people who are both thrifty and unaware of bed bugs and how bad they can be. (These two factors together can lead lots of folks to take the item in or resell it; if we had better public education about bed bugs, there’d be less of this.)
What do you know about responsible mattress sources: ones that don’t allow 30-day trials and that the especially do not cart away mattresses in the delivery truck (or use contractors who do)?
If you are such a reseller, please tell us and represent yourself honestly. Otherwise, we will eventually find out, and we will not patronise your stores! (Do you hear me, Amish furniture guy?)