Most of us can sniff out a dodgy deal a mile away, but sometimes those too-good-to-be-true offers do dig away at the defences. Consumers are currently being warned to watch out for new ‘bargain’ mattresses being sold from the back of vans, which could be unsafe, unhygienic, and downright dangerous.
The Trading Standards Authority and the National Bed Federation (NBF) have issued the warning, amid concerns that consumers could be at risk from disease or further harm from these substandard goods.
The NBF believes that thousands of dangerous “bargain mattresses” are being flogged across the country every week.
Hundreds of people are being fooled into thinking they are landing a bargain on a new mattress when they appear to be new and in mint condition. Only, in most cases, these are discarded mattresses that have been repackaged with new covers to appear as new to unsuspecting eyes.
Some of the hazards of old mattresses are fairly self-evident. People could be sleeping alongside mites or bugs, while the centre of the mattress could be soiled with sweat or urine. In warmer conditions, this brings about the threat of mould, which is dangerous to those with respiratory conditions.
In the worst case scenario, the mattresses can present life-threatening dangers. Many of the fake mattresses have not been treated with anti-inflammatory materials, which means they potentially pose a serious fire risk.
Many mattresses don’t meet flammability regulations, the NBF says, while some are given fake labels to fool the public.
The organisation has now introduced an ‘NBF Approved’ logo in a bid to reassure consumers that the mattress they are buying meets strict standards of health, hygiene and trade descriptions regulations.
In a bid to spread the word, the NBF and Trading Standards have contributed towards a warning video, showing samples of the substandard goods and providing some signs to watch out for to avoid hazardous goods.
If a man with a van comes knocking on your door offering you a mattress that seems a price too good to be true, it probably is.