Halifax mattress store employs new, less bed bug-friendly policies

by nobugsonme on February 20, 2011 · 7 comments

in bed bugs, mattresses

Halifax’s The Coast notes that due in part to concerns about the spread of bed bugs, the local Simmons Mattress Gallery store will no longer have a Comfort Exchange program, which previously allowed customers to return mattresses for a set period of time.  

…Simmons Mattress Gallery (172 Chain Lake Drive, 450-0233) president Jordanna Caine gave us the heads up that her store has discontinued its ‘Comfort Exchange’ program, where customers can return purchased mattresses within a prescribed period of time, ‘partially in response to the increasing number of bedbug infestations in many areas of Canada,’ she writes. ‘We also believe if the consumer is sold the right bed in the first place, offering such guarantees shouldn’t be necessary.’

She adds: ‘We will also no longer remove old mattresses from people’s homes as we do not want any of our factory new mattresses and foundations coming into contact with any possible contaminants. This includes not only bed bugs but also dust mites, smoke, pet dander, mould spores and other allergens. We find more and more people talking about allergies and sensitivities and so bed bugs aren’t the only issue for most people.’

(Emphasis mine.)

As noted above, The store will also no longer cart away used mattresses in its trucks, though delivery people will apparently still drag them to the curb if needed, according to information found on Simmons Mattress Gallery’s website:

Our delivery team can move your old mattress and foundation to the curb while delivering your new mattress.

That’s not such a great idea either.  Keep in mind that some cities (like New York) require mattresses to be sealed in plastic before being left for sanitation workers to lift, because of the dangers that they might be exposed to bed bugs.

Given that Simmons Mattress Gallery’s delivery people will still take mattresses to the curb, they need to be trained on how to handle them without contaminating their own clothing (and thus, potentially, the truck or the new stock remaining inside it).  No matter what steps they take, even if they are dragging or carrying already-wrapped mattresses, there will be some risk.

Unfortunately, many mattress stores still offer comfort exchange guarantees, and many will still remove your mattress in their truck alongside new deliveries.

Another concern is stores which use trucks for their deliveries that are also used for other purposes.  Over the years, I have bought mattresses from two chains which operate in New York City and each used contractors in unmarked trucks to deliver their goods.  Drivers confirmed that the trucks were used for other purposes at other times (which could include moving the contents of people’s homes, to cite just one risky example).

Every store should give a lot of thought to the risk of transmitting bed bugs, get expert advice about bed bugs, and consider employing stringent policies to prevent their spread.

1 Carpathian Peasant February 20, 2011 at 9:22 am


Stuff is also carried by all sorts of delivery services, notably United Parcel and the post office.

As for mattresses, I’m sticking to air beds. They can (do) last. They can be successfully patched. They’re cheap and easy to move.

2 jrbtnyc February 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Also, at least some air beds can fit into a PackTite, isn’t that correct.

And there’s the Slumberjack Emergency Cot which definitely does fit into a PackTite, according to Richard56 at http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/scared-to-go-to-bed-dont-know-what-to-do#post-100270 .

3 nobugsonme February 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Hi Carpathian,

Yes, but UPS and the post office do not routinely take customers’ old filthy, used, bed bug-infested mattresses and carry them away in their trucks alongside new items. (They may carry returns, but not stuff that’s being discarded.) It’s a really bad practice, but many mattress sellers seem to do it.

An air bed may serve your purposes, but there’s no reason why mattress sellers can’t change their practices to avoid these problems. And the way I see it, they simply have to.

4 NotSoSnug February 20, 2011 at 11:13 pm

It’s an easy solution in a time when corporations are looking for any chance to cut costs over customer service. There is a need for product return policies as much as there is a need for used furniture. Where are the treatment options for these situations?

BTW I tried air matresses, especially when I was infested, but they proved to leak too often for my patience so I went to a foamy with a vinyl cover, following the infestation. Now I am in a rental unit again that has a regular mattress included. Tick tock.

5 TConnor February 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi folks! Bed bed bugs not only hide in a matress but also in the bed frame. And prevention is the key! No matter where I stay (especially during my business trips) I always sleep on a special anti bed bug sheet by bedbugs-free.com and cover the whole bed with it. Never got a bite since then. It´s an awesome and very innovative and effective repellent that offeres protection against bed bugs without any side-effects to our health. I guess you can find this anti bed bugs sheet on Amazon aswell. Cheers.

6 Louise February 21, 2011 at 10:19 am


Is it possible that you haven’t been bitten since using this sheet simply because you haven’t encountered bed bugs since then?

How will this sheet prevent bed bugs from crawling from the headboard to the pillow to their source of food? How will it prevent bed bugs from crawling on top of the sheets/blankets to the victim? Or from dropping from the ceiling on to the sleeping body below?

Not to mention that if there ARE bed bugs present, I would then have to cart home a sheet that potentially has bed bugs present. Or that I would be sleeping on a sheet that has been impregnated with insect repellent (blech). Or that the sheet is only good for 50 or so washes. Or that it’s going to cost me over $100.00.

I’d rather put my $100.00 towards a Packtite that can be used indefinitely…with significantly more impressive results.

7 Carpathian Peasant February 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm



Please don’t misunderstand me. I know what your are saying. Considering the problem, bedding companies especially should have already stopped such practices. It’s another case of people not understanding that the only thing worse than bed bugs might be something like nuclear contamination.

What I’m looking at is this: the mail person stops the truck in front of a big apartment house, takes out a basket of mail and hikes through a lobby where the furniture had to be disposed of once already. He/she gets into the mail room, sets down the basket and starts stuffing mail into the pigeonholes one by one — makes no difference whether the resident that goes fishing in one has bugs or not. The outgoing mail is pulled out of the mail slot and put in the basket. When done there, he/she goes into an office to deliver the management’s mail, wherein the staff may sit around with spray bottles of alcohol. Finally he/she treks through the building to deliver small packages personally. Now, fifteen minutes to a half hour before the mail person got there, if there were six chairs in the lobby, six residents appropriated them to “wait for the mailman.” If the place has vending machines, the mail person may buy something for break time enroute to the building’s public bathroom. Finally, the carrier and the basket of outgoing mail get into the truck and leave. I’ve seen this happen.

There is a news story somewhere about a place where the post office refused to deliver the mail because of the bugs. And, I’m sorry; but, I don’t know where it is. Five customers getting bugs because a company hauled out a contaminated mattress is five too many, so it is a bad procedure. But, somehow it seems minor in comparison to 200 people per large building being exposed to a good possibility of acquiring bugs five-six days a week 52 weeks out of the year. (I’ve got a post office box.)

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