MAGAZINE: Cheap mattress scam sweeps nation

Consumers are being warned to be on the lookout for a new scam which sees supposedly new ‘bargain’ mattresses sold from the back of vans, with concerns people could be buying highly flammable mattresses that could also be crawling with germs, mites and bugs.

Mattress scam sweeps nation
Mattress scam sweeps nation

The warning comes from the National Bed Federation (NBF) alongside Trading Standards as it officially launches a new mark of approval designed to protect consumers from the scam.

The NBF believes hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called ‘bargain mattresses’ are being sold across the country each week. These are being sold – often straight from the back of vans - by rogue traders touring neighborhoods and looking for opportunist sales. But they are not bargains at all: simply discarded mattresses that have been recovered by unscrupulous dealers who then sell them on ‘as new’.

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A lot of consumers are being fooled thinking they are buying a new mattress as the old ones have been recovered and, on first inspection, appear to be new. What they are actually buying is a mattress that had been discarded, intercepted on its way to disposal and simply put in to a cheap new cover.

Mattress scam sweeps nation

Furthermore, Trading Standards across the county are finding mattresses that aren’t up to standard on a daily basis.

Referring to the complex ‘eco-system’ found in old mattresses, Insect Research and Development Ltd says believe people could be sleeping with all sorts of creatures and in the middle of the mattress could be moisture from human sweat and possibly even urine. Combining these moist conditions with warm temperatures is likely to result in mould – and around the edge where there will be welted seams could be the eggs of bed bugs.

News of the ‘van scam’ comes hot on the heels of revelations about the alarming number of unsafe and illegal mattresses being sold that don’t meet British flammability regulations – and carry fake FR certified labels.

In a bid to reassure consumers that the mattress they are buying is safe, clean and exactly what it says it is, the NBF has introduced an ‘NBF Approved’ logo scheme. It follows months of vigorous independent auditing of the association’s members to ensure they follow the procedures that comply with flammability, health and hygiene and trade descriptions regulations.

The NBF believes hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called ‘bargain mattresses’ are being sold across the country each week. Watch our video to learn for the warning signs to look out for.