Thinking of buying a mattress from the back of a van? Read this first

Thinking of buying a mattress from the back of a van? Read this first

14 November 2016

If you buy a cheap mattress from the back of a van do you really know what you are getting for your money? At best it is likely to be uncomfortable or dirty. At worst it will not comply to strict fire safety and trade description regulations.

The National Bed Federation (NBF) believes there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of so-called ?bargain mattresses? being sold across the country every week. Many of these mattresses are sold straight from the back of vans by rogue traders across the UK to unsuspecting customers, many living on benefits in social housing.

These beds are not bargains as they are often discarded old mattresses that have been covered in new fabric and sold as new. What this means is that you are buying a mattress that has been thrown away after many years? use. Under the new fabric may lie the old, dirty fabric that contains old compressed wadding around old springs that will not give the right support or comfort for a good night?s sleep.

Discarded mattresses are likely to be unhygienic. According to experts you could be sleeping with all sorts of bugs and bacteria. In the middle of discarded mattresses will be moisture from human sweat and possibly even urine. When combined with warm temperatures you are likely to find some mould and around the edge in the seams you might find the eggs of bed bugs or other insects.

Some traders even use fake vans that sport copied company signage and logos. Some even go as far as putting counterfeited logos and fire safety regulation labels onto mattresses to further fool consumers into believing they are getting a bargain. A genuine retailer or manufacturer that abides by the NBF code of practice would never sell their products out of the back of a van.

If you have bought a mattress in this way and are unhappy about any aspect of it, Homekind would urge you to contact your local trading standards office and make them aware that these traders are operating in your area.

To reassure consumers that the mattress they are buying is safe, clean and exactly what it says it is, the NBF has an ?NBF Approved? logo scheme. It follows months of vigorous independent auditing to ensure they follow the procedures that comply with flammability, health and hygiene and trade descriptions regulations.

There is real concern at a high level that families who shop away from the high street, and are generally living in social housing, are falling victim to these unscrupulous dealers. These products can be lethal because they do not meet British fire-retardant foam standards. If a fire starts, it can kill a family before they get out of the room. How can we tackle that problem and ensure that all families are protected by legislation, not just those who can afford to shop on the high street?

Here at Homekind, part of the Northern Housing Consortium  ? a not for profit organisation, we guarantee that we only sell mattresses that comply with NBF standards and carry genuine NBF and Fire Regulation labels. To see our full range, go to the mattress and divan bed section of our website.