So you want to Score a FREE MATTRESS
Here are 5 ways to get a free mattress, and one method will lead you to more mattresses than you can handle.
Enter Mattress Contests
Become a Mattress Renter
Sign-Up to Become a Tester
Get Stalked by Google or Facebook
Start a Mattress Blog
This is a free method to snag a mattress, but you are going to need to jump through a good deal of hoops and need a lot of luck. In a typical year my blog partners with different mattress companies to give out around 10-12 mattresses. Other, more popular, blogs can give away as many as 50 mattresses per year. First step grab your lucky charms.
Then head on over to:
Start searching for their mattress contests. To enter most of these contests expect to do the following:
Subscribe to the mattress review blog’s social media accounts (Youtube, twitter, and facebook)
Give them your email address (you probably want to create an extra account for all the emails you will get)
Subscribe to the mattress company’s social media accounts
Watch a Youtube video of the product you are trying to win (most people find a way to skip this by watching a few seconds of the video)
Now that you entered here comes the free mattress, right? If you enter a contest on my site, the odds are generally around 500-1 to 1,000-1 for more popular mattresses. That’s not too bad, but it certainly isn’t a guarantee that you will win. I like to think of it as an expected value game. If the prize is $1,000 and I have a 1 in 1,000 chance to win, then my expected value for each entry is $1. When I enter a contest, I ask myself if my time and all my info is worth just a $1 before I would enter my contest.
More popular blogs will have more like 5,000-10,000 entries for each contest. This means that your expected value of entering these contests is more like $0.1-0.2 per entry. My contests are easier to win and a better value for time, but I don’t think I would spend my time entering mine. Seriously, I value my time higher than that and probably would find a better way to use it than to enter contests. That said, I know that if you have a system and enter contests daily you could actually earn a living off of contests. A huge percentage of the people who enter my contests are basically professional contest people. They have throw-away social accounts to help maximize their potential winnings. Their value to the mattress companies that sponsor theses contests is miniscule.
You need to have 3 things to join the mattress renter’s club
Ability to deal with shipping and return hassles
A desire to add a bunch of mattresses to your local landfill
I recently wrote an article about how mattress return rates are higher, and I firmly believe that mattress renting is responsible for a huge portion of this increase. Although I don’t advocate this to get a free mattress, it certainly works.
First, let me lay the foundation. There are thousands of online bed-in a box mattress companies that will deliver a mattress to your door. Each of these companies will offer an in-home trial period ranging from Amazon’s 30 to Nectar’s 365. Yes, you read that part right, you can try a mattress in your home for 364 days and then call up the company and say you don’t like it and get your money back.
Step 1: buy a mattress. Easy enough, but you do have to put up your money first to get one. You must have the money or you have to put it on your credit card, or finance directly through the mattress company.
Step 2: When your trial period is almost up, purchase another mattress from a competing mattress company.
Step 3: Contact your mattress company and tell them that you don’t like the comfort of the mattress. They will then try to persuade you to take a mattress topper, or switch to another model or level of firmness. At this point you just must politely say no that I would like a refund. They will then arrange to have your mattress picked up by a local shelter or they will send it off to a landfill.
Step 4: Unbox your new mattress. If you have done it correctly your new mattress shows up before your old one is picked up, and your refund from mattress 1 shows up a couple weeks after that mattress leaves.
Step 5: Repeat, over and over again.
There are 2 huge risks that you need to be aware of. First, any company along this chain could easily go bankrupt and not give you back your money. Second, they could refuse to give you back your money by violating any of the fine print on the sales/return contract. They could deny your claim if there are things like stains or intentional damage (say jumping on the mattress, incorrect foundation, etc.).
Worst of all, surely you feel like a jerk. Not only are you wasting space in the local landfill, but you are possibly partially to blame if one or many the companies in your renting chain go bankrupt. According to Tuft & Needle’s advertising campaign, “mattress stores are greedy” though so maybe you aren’t upset about putting a few people out of work.
There are groups which will pop up from time to time on Facebook that are searching for testers. Really what they are looking for is people to receive free products and then give 5-star reviews of those products to Amazon. This is clearly a shady business practice and they generally fizzle out and get banned by Amazon. The thing to remember is that you too could get banned from Amazon if you participate in these programs.
That said, some of these groups do give out free mattresses hoping for 5-star reviews. Here are some of the companies that you could investigate for free products:
Most people refute these stories by saying that you must have been on a knife website or entered into google a search like “best steak knives”. I have friends who will swear by not ever typing into google their desire to buy certain products, but they have discussed those products. Sure enough all of their ads are now directed towards those products.
Free Stuff from Stalkers example #1
It all started with Steak Knives. We had a dinner conversation which centered around how we didn’t have enough clean knives. A set showed up within a week from a company searching for 5-star reviews. I didn’t think much of that as I do a good deal of reviews so maybe someone just happened to chance upon me and give me a set.
Free Stuff from Stalkers example #2
This one blew my mind as there is no way that this could have been random. In my living room we had an older ceiling fan with no lights. We wanted lights so that the room wouldn’t be so dark and so we started discussing it. Neither one of us searched for “fans with lights” in google so we don’t think that was the connection. Rather, it was simply something that we had discussed in range of our cell phones. A day after our conversation I got an email requesting a review of a really nice ceiling light. Now it didn’t have a fan so maybe this is a stretch.
Free Stuff from Stalkers example #3
My 4-year-old daughter is always talking about pirates. A large portion of her sentences start with; “when I was a baby pirate …”. The word pirate is mentioned around the house frequently, but I certainly don’t remember typing into google that I needed a pirate ship for my daughter. Does she have a pirate ship? Of course, she does. Do I have any idea how she got one? No, seriously, a kids pirate ship showed up in a box a couple of months ago. She loves it so a big Thanks to my stalker.
Free Stuff from Stalkers example #4
I mentioned that I don’t have a voice activated google or amazon shopping device. Well, things changed a bit as a mysterious company just sent me a Google Home device. What’s even more unusual about my non-purchase of a potential stalking device is that on the front cover it has my husband’s name on it.
Seriously, I don’t think I could have made this up any better if I were a sci-fi writer. To Google, or Facebook or Amazon or whoever else is stalking me; I’m not mad keep the freebies coming. Will I ever get a free mattress from an electronic stalker? I don’t know, maybe I already have as I am overloaded with free mattresses. Speaking of being overloaded with free mattresses here is the real secret for why I have more mattresses than I can handle:
Sounds easy, just pick out a domain name (surely all the good ones are available right?), start blogging and wait for all the free mattresses to show up. Well, it isn’t quite that easy. What you will find out is that most of the popular mattress blogs are owned by the mattress companies themselves, so kicking down the doors as an outsider is quite difficult. It took me about a year and around $16,000 in start up capital before the free mattresses started to show up at my door.
Yeah, you read that part right. I spent a ton of money getting this blog up and running BEFORE free mattresses started to show up. It is difficult for a review blog to get enough views to attract companies without also injecting a bit of personality into it. That’s why I have a Youtube channel but getting into that world has a good deal of costs. I guess you could get away with a cell phone or a web cam, but people probably won’t watch your videos. So, you are going to need a $1,000 plus camera. What’s that you are saying? Oh, you are going to need a microphone too, so expect another $300 there. I can’t see you it’s too dark in there. You guessed it, you need lights also, add another $200 for that. I can just use free software to edit it on my really old computer, right? Good luck with that. Expect to purchase a new computer and a monthly subscription to adobe or another professional editing software program.
Problem solved, I now have a website with hosting and a sweet camera for my Youtube videos, a new mic, some great lights, a new computer and monthly program expenses. Now the mattresses start showing up right? Almost, you still don’t have any traffic and you don’t have any videos on your Youtube channel. Now you must make content.
Do you shoot a video about how crappy your current mattress is? Maybe, but do you think anyone will watch it? What if you say something that pisses off the mattress company, and they choose to file a lawsuit against you? Surely, you have a LLC or a Corporation to shield your personal assets from litigation right? Oh, you skipped that step. My husband has an article about how to start a business.
Now I have a website, a Youtube channel with one video about how much I hate your current mattress, and a corporation, here come the free mattresses right? Not yet. Good luck getting a response from a mattress company when they haven’t heard of your site. Why haven’t they heard of you? I mean I’m sure that your first video was perfect, why doesn’t google put your site on the front page? Welcome to the Google Sandbox. Don’t expect any of your content to show up on the first couple of pages in Google or the top 30 results of Youtube for AT LEAST 6 months. That’s only if you are good at what you do and can also figure out the world of SEO. Good luck with that part as I have no idea how I got into the featured snippet for one of my posts for 19 days. No idea at all, seriously, it was a crazy spike in traffic and now I have next to zero daily traffic. Google gives and google takes.
Now you need CONTENT, but you can’t get content without mattresses to review. Couldn’t I just become a mattress renter and then shoot videos on all of these? Yes, and NO. You could get away with that tactic for a bit, but it very well could bite you in the butt. I imagine that once these companies discover that you bought and returned their mattresses in an attempt to profit (either by advertising or affiliate marketing or scoring free mattresses from other companies) you probably wouldn’t do well in a lawsuit. So, this is where you need a good deal of money in your bankroll. Expect to buy your first 10 mattresses or so ($10,000).
You still don’t have anyone on your website or your Youtube channel right? Time to run a few self-sponsored contests to gain some traction. Of course, you are going to need to buy those prizes. I easily spend a few thousand on non-sponsored prizes throughout the year.
You have spent $12-$15,000 getting your blog up and running over the course of 6 months or so now the mattresses start to show up right? Were you able to get any love from Google? Not only do you have to compete with the mattress company owned blogs (believe me they exist), and the social media marketing owned blogs, you must compete against people who have multiple years of a head start and everyone else who just started their own blog (new blogs come into this market daily). Did you make it to the top? If so, you will find that your blog is now making more than $250,000 per month , so do you really care that you get free mattresses? My blog certainly doesn’t make that much per month, but I do get all the mattresses I can handle, so you don’t have to shoot for the top spot on Google. You just need to get enough exposure that the mattress companies all know who you are.
Starting a mattress blog is probably the worst possible way to get a free mattress, but it is a way to get you, your family, and most of your friends a free mattress. If you stick to it and dedicate a ton of time you could also find a profitable business. However, I wouldn’t count on it as it is almost impossible to compete against the established players and the mattress company owned review blogs. I estimate that one of the mattress company owned blogs spends upwards of $50,000 per month on Google pay per click ads that lead you to the “mattress review blog” which is all geared to get you to buy their product rather than the other mattresses that are reviewed and given lower scores. Seriously, it is a rigged game that isn’t fun to play.
 I’m not going to name the blogs but there is at least one mattress review site with around 15-20 employees working for it. When you put the office rent, utilities etc. (assume $15,000 per month) with an average employee cost of $10,000 per month, you are talking about a minimum cost per month of $165,000 to keep that business open. Would they be spending that much money if they weren’t making more than $200,000 per month?