How would you feel if you found out that your newly purchased mattress had actually been dragged out of a skip? For a shocking number of people in the UK, this nightmarish situation is a reality.
Hundreds if not thousands of consumers have fallen victim every week to the National Mattress Scam, when rogue traders sell used or fake memory foam mattresses out of the back of their vans.
Inside the National Mattress Scam
In 2014, Jeremy Vine highlighted the national scale of the scam on his BBC Radio 2 radio show, with listeners calling in from across the country to share their experiences of fraudulent salesmen.
Think this problem is over? Think again. According to a recent BBC article, people are still being mis-sold mattresses. From Dorset County Council prosecuting a man for possessing 213 mattresses that failed fire safety tests to a father and son duo receiving over £3.5K worth of fines for selling fake ‘Dreams’ mattresses door-to-door, the National Mattress Scam is still very much at large.
As a result, thousands of households have been left out of pocket with nothing but a fake mattress to show for it.
Perhaps even more disturbing, however, are the counterfeit mattresses that appear undamaged to the consumer. It is impossible to see what is lurking under the surface of a pre-used mattress without opening it up, but we can tell you that it’s not pleasant...
The Disturbing Reality of Counterfeit Mattresses
Buying an unusually cheap mattress could do more than disturb your sleep...
Plastic packaging and a clean mattress cover may seem like a good indication of what is inside your mattress – but don’t be fooled by these tricks of the trade. Not only will a pre-used mattress contain the moisture and sweat of its previous owner, but during its time in the trash a counterfeit mattress is likely to have collected dirt, mould, insects and their eggs, and even animal urine (gross!).
Non-Fire Retardant Mattress
The thought of sleeping on an unhygienic mattress is certainly enough to send shivers down your spine. However, this isn’t the only issue with pre-used mattresses … or the most dangerous. Many old mattresses which are being sold on do not meet current national flammability regulations. So a pre-used product could actually put your life at risk.
To illustrate the danger of a fraudulent mattress, the team at Lancashire Fire and Rescue conducted an investigation. The team set a genuine and a fake mattress alight and waited to see what would happen. The results were shocking; the genuine, quality mattress self-extinguished quickly, while the fake mattress burned fiercely until it was completely consumed in fire!
The number of UK households using potentially flammable mattresses is so worrying that the issue has been raised in Parliament – and rightly so. It is imperative, for the safety of both you and your family, that your mattress is fire-resistant. Always ask for proof of fire testing before purchasing a new memory foam mattress and taking it home.
How to Spot a Fake Mattress
A recent episode of Fake Britain demonstrates ‘the lengths some fakers will go to sell us a fake mattress’. To stay one step ahead of the mattress scammers, take heed of this advice:
- Doorstep mattress sales - Never buy a mattress from a door-to-door salesman. Invariably, these mattresses are pre-used or fake
- Never buy from someone selling mattresses from a van
- If a price seems too good to be true, it generally is
- Just because they’re wearing clothing with a well-known mattress logo on it doesn’t mean they work there
- A spanking new cover and branded plastic packaging are common tactics of scamsters, so be wary
- Look out for fake mattress labels
- Get a mattress guarantee
- Ask lots of questions about mattress construction and materials
- Fact check where you can
- Look for positive mattress reviews
It pays to buy from a trusted mattress retailer. Find out where to buy a mattress safely in our blog to avoid buying a fake Emma mattress or fake Simba mattress.
Changing the Memory Foam Mattress Game
For us, the health and safety of our customers is more than a priority – it’s a necessity. We’ve been making mattresses since 1975 in our Yorkshire factory and all of our memory foam mattresses are rigorously tested according to trading standards.
We have layers of memory foam for every size, shape and sleeping preference. All are made to the highest quality standards - at affordable prices. Tempted yet? Buy a mattress online here for a safe night’s sleep.