Bed troubles

$3000 bed developed ridge in the centre.

After spending more than $3000 on a new bed, Satinder and Sam Lee ended up sleeping on the couch.

Within a few months of buying it, the bed had developed a big ridge in the centre and two dents where they slept. It was so uncomfortable that the couch was a better option if you wanted a decent night's sleep, Satinder says.

Satinder contacted the Farmers store where she'd bought the Sleepyhead-brand "Sanctuary" bed. Farmers and Sleepyhead both sent staff out to look at it. Sleepyhead suspected a manufacturing fault was to blame for the ridge in the bed and took it away for repair. But soon after it was returned, Satinder says the dents re-formed and they were sleeping on the couch once more.

Satinder got back in touch with Farmers. Frustrated the situation was dragging on and feeling “stuck” between Farmers and Sleepyhead, she also rang our advice line to find out where she stood legally. Our consumer adviser Maggie Edwards told Satinder she may have rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) to reject the bed.

"Goods have to be of acceptable quality. Satinder had given the retailer the opportunity to repair the bed but found this hadn't fixed the problem. Under the CGA, if the product can't be repaired or the failure is substantial, you're entitled to reject it and choose a replacement or a full refund of the purchase price," Maggie says.

Satinder wrote to Farmers, advising the store she wanted to reject the bed and get a refund. After some toing and froing, Farmers agreed. The store told us very few people returned beds and it was sorry Satinder and Sam had an unsatisfactory experience.

So why did the problem occur in the first place? Sleepyhead's brand manager Warren Roach said a manufacturing fault had caused the ridge in the bed’s centre. But he said the body indentations in the mattress were “natural contouring”, not a manufacturing fault, and within Sleepyhead’s accepted range of 25 to 35mm.

Indentations are normal on almost every mattress. However, "pillow-top" mattresses, the type Satinder and Sam had, can be more prone to indentations and ridges. Pillow-top mattresses have a separate layer of padding – made from foam or other soft materials – attached to the mattress and this layer can lose its "bounce back".

Sleepyhead told us pillow-top mattresses are popular but may not suit everyone and it’s trialling new designs that will produce “far less body contouring”.

For her part, Satinder says the experience has put her off pillow-tops and she won't be getting another one.

More from consumer.org.nz

Member comments

Get access to comment

Angela G.
12 Sep 2019
Sleepyhead sanctuary nightmare

I have chronic back issues I never had before buying this bed, I tried to get help from sleepyhead they fobbed me off, never got back to me, we couldn’t afford a new bed so then passed the warranty, it’s been ten years I can barely walk with lower back issues, I’m going out today to buy a bed an after this nightmare I’m so worried about buying a bed or what type of bed, it’s looking like latex might be the way to go. I went into beds r us the other day and they still tried to sell me the “new improved sanctuary sleepyhead bed after telling them my nightmare and about the morphine I had to be on because of the pain in my back from a sleepyhead bed. I know today the salesman will be full of .......... it about any brand so I know it will be a hard task, buying a bed is such a mission as they talk them up when my health is a serious matter and my goodnight sleep they just want the sale, but I know one thing I will never ever ever by a sleepyhead bed not only because of their bed wrecking my back and sleep but because trying to get help from them never worked you can’t complain about the service cos there ain’t any. Any advice on tempur or latex mattresses would be great?

Angela M.
19 Aug 2019
King Coil

We bought a Sleepgead bed years ago. Back when torquezone was the latest technology. That bed was a disaster and we had the same customer service problem with bed going back, restuffed topper, tightening of springs. But hopeless bed still with same sagging in the zones. Bought a Serra instead and had that bed 10 years before it sagged.
Most recent bed king coil from Harvey Norman a NIGHTMARE bed. Just over a year old and dreaded sagging already. Having bad back issues. King coil advise sleeping in middle of bed which is ridiculous! You can live like that.
Harvey Norman have been great though and now we can choose a replacement- and we are happy paying more .
Looking at either the. Beauty rest or Tempur. But I see beauty rest is part of sleepyhead so I’m out off.
Does anyone have experience with tempur?

Rosemary P.
03 Jun 2019
Rosemary & Laurie P

We purchased a Sleepyhead Palazzo King mattress & base from Smith City in March 2014 for the considerable price of $5599.99 less 30% discount.
We are both just over 70kg and the mattress quickly indented where we sleep with a ridge forming in the centre and the sides collapsing.
The mattress is only just usable with rolls or foam packed in along the sides between the base and the mattress. The sleeping hollows are soft and spongy!
The mattress looks brand new and does not visible show the indentation side weakness problem.
How can a major Company like Sleepyhead fraudulently advertise their mattresses to be so good when they perform so disastrously?
What are Sleepyhead doing to up their standards?

Consumer staff
06 Jun 2019
Re: Rosemary & Laurie P

Hello Rosemary,

We’d suggested contacting the retailer directly to explain the situation. Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, retailers and other suppliers guarantee their goods or services will be of acceptable quality. Here's more info on your rights and what you can do: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/consumer-guarantees-act#services.

If you’re a Consumer member, our advisers can provide more personalised advice on 0800 266 786, or you can email them with the details of your case, including who you bought the bed from. They are here to help: info@consumer.org.nz

Kind regards,

Natalie – Consumer NZ staff

john c.
28 May 2019
Sleepyhead are terrible beds

Ive had the same issue with my $6000 super king mattress. I purchased a medium firm Chiropractic bed, within 2 months my partner and I were practically crippled with lower back pain, note we are in our late 30s, early 40s and not over weight. The bed had a notable dip where we slept. We actually put our old bed back on the base it was so bad. The retailer had since cut all ties with Sleepyhead and insisted we had to deal with sleepyhead ourselves. Sleepyhead of course have found no fault and want to charge us for delivery. Note the old mattress is a pillow top and does not have the same issues. This is clearly an issue with Sleepyhead beds. When is someone like Consumer or Consumer Protection going to confront sleepyhead for a non fit for purpose, defective product.

Discerninator
03 Jun 2019
Sleepyhead mattress issues

Thanks for your comments John. We also had problems, same as all those in the comments below. We're back on our old mattress too, tch! You say your old mattress is also a pillowtop but without the ridge problem - what brand is it? We're desperate to get a replacement that we can sleep on.

And good luck to everyone getting the problems sorted to ease your back pain and get some decent sleep!

Shame on you Sleepyhead.

W H & C M J.
31 Jul 2018
Sleepyhead Sanctuary bed issues

We too have problems with the Sleepyhead Sanctuary bed which we have only had for less 12 months. We had issues early on. We have a ridge in the middle and feel like we are sleeping 'down hill'. We will not be buying Sleepyhead ever again!!

Raewyn Joy S.
27 Apr 2019
Me too!

We too had this bed purchased at Farmers. We should have done something about it but put up with it and eventually just purchased a new King matress and kept the same split base. We did not buy Sleepyhead, purchased from one of many bed stores that is no longer around. Guess what? Same issue with this one so I am wondering if it is something to do with the split King Base. Any thoughts would be appreciated on where I go from here.

Consumer staff
29 Apr 2019
Re: Me too!

Hi Raewyn,

Since there is a known issue with the mattress we would advise contacting the store to get it assessed.

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff

Patricia T.
30 Aug 2017
Worst bed ever

In 2009 we bought a $5000 Sleepyhead Nitrogen Comfort Gel bed and within a few months had the same problem with a hard ridge down the middle of the mattress. We have put up with deep indentations on both sides (neither of us are very heavy. I'm 60kg.) and now we are looking at replacing the mattress at least. Was looking at the sleepyhead Sanctury but after reading these comments we won't be getting one of those either.

John M.
16 Feb 2017
Sleepmaker beds

These issues have been around for a long time.
We bought a "Zeus" bed from Harvey Norman for $5000 in 2008. Bed was great until 18/24 mths when sagging/body impressions meant tossing and turning all night(you'll know what I mean)
2010 they replaced it with new mattress(Picasso)happy days!
By 2012 same thing again, and they replaced it.

2014 ditto, however this time, "these r normal body impressions and we will not replace it"

Conclusion, these beds r not fit for purpose/ defective.
By this time we had had three beds so felt we had gotten our monies worth.

Right, no pillow tops for us, $900 old school wire mattress (40yr old technology). Great support, but pressure points on shoulder and hips. Solution, 50mm memory foam topper. Perfect
2016- tossing turning, replace topper, still no good, conclusion - springs not providing support.
Its not just pillow top causing indentations, the springs r failing as well.
If u by a Sleepmaker bed now they have increased the stiffness or number of the springs, but this has made them too firm

It's the biggest rort around!

Also u cannot determine wether a mattress is suitable for you until you've slept on it for a night, no matter what the salesman tell you, we need a scientific measure of say density/ rebound to determine which bed is suitable, and to monitor beds performance overtime.

Barry B.
28 Jun 2016
Ongoing issues with Sleepyhead warranty

We have the Sanctuary super king. Same trouble as the other people, also the ridge in the middle causing us to always roll back into the depression on the sides. What's the use of paying thousands for large bed only to be forced to sleep in one spot every night. Fed up with Sleepyhead telling us it is a design feature blah blah blah. No more. Ill have a chat with my lawyer and take then next step. This is rediculous

Roger F.
08 Jul 2015
Ongoing problems with Sleepyhead Sanctuary Pillow-top Mattress

First, some advice - don't buy one.

We have had problems over a long period now with a super king Sanctuary pillow-top bed. Constant dialogue with the manufacturer has not helped sort the problem.

I have no doubt the Sleepyhead customer service staff are well-intentioned, however their default position seems to be, 'what problem, that's what pillow-top mattresses are supposed to be like".

Our experience sounds disappointingly similar to other reports to Consumer. We keep reporting that a hard ridge/hump appears to have formed in the centre of the bed; and keep getting asked to do the 'broomstick photo' test. Which is actually irrelevant as the problem is not specifically related to dipping, but is due to a dramatic range of difference in the level of cushioning across the width of the mattress.

The last suggestion we received was to sleep more on the harder centre piece to flatten it out. That's actually hard to do, as the hump in the middle is much firmer and almost ridge-like, so it throws you to the side. That said, we have tried to make more use of the central part of the mattress to see if it becomes more forgiving, but sadly no improvement. We really do think it is a design fault.

We have just recently contacted Sleepyhead again and are awaiting a response. So, let's see what that say. I will update this if anything useful comes of our approach.

Suffice to say that we actually get a better, more relaxing night's sleep on the low-tech mattress in our spare bed-room.

H J.
29 Jun 2015
Sleepyhead/The Comfort Group

We purchased a Simmons pillowtop bed five years ago and the indentations in the mattress were becoming too deep for comfortable sleeping. In order to have our mattress inspected and repaired we found ourselves having to deal with Sleepyhead which is part of The Comfort Group. There was no 'care' given by Customer Care. Even after supplying photos and documentation, their stance was that the indentations were within the acceptable range. This was despite our photos showing clearly it was above normal range.

We had to deal with blocking/stalling techniques both by email and telephone. We had the proof and had to keep insisting our mattress was taken away and inspected. Our mattress has finally been inspected and come back with a new and improved pillowtop. Good result but stressful getting there.

Thomas W.
10 Mar 2015
bed troubles

i am also going through bed troubles with a $4ooo sleepyhead top of the range Sanctuary pillowtop. Very simular story but its hard work dealing with sleepyheads customer care dept. Am trying to get a full refund from shop after unsuccessful repairs that left mattress top with unmatched stitching and just as uncomfortable as before. Ive also no followup contact from shop or customercare. Was once a loyal Sleepyhead customer with 4 Sleepyhead beds. Never again.
Regards Tim Ward

stephanie c.
12 Jun 2015
bed troubles too!

I wish I saw these comments before we bought our Sanctuary bed too! We are going through the same thing. It's a complete nightmare! Both Sleepyhead and Back to Bed are impossible to deal with.