Buying a Bed in Australia: It’s a Nightmare!

After a period of time with both Mrs Bobinoz and myself whingeing about our bad backs at each other, we wondered whether we should consider buying a new mattress. After a brief period of calculation, we realised the mattress we had been sleeping on was a wee tad over 15 years old.

Yes, it WAS time to buy a new mattress.

In England, buying a mattress was like falling off a log. In fact, the mattress that had served us so well for so long was, if you like, an impulse buy.

We were in a store and a Slumberland slightly bigger than Queen Mattress was up for sale for £600, a sizeable reduction of what it should have cost, I was told. I can’t remember what the full price was supposed to be, but the base that went with it had been damaged so it was kind of an odd item.

Well, it fitted our base just fine and it was a top of the range pocket sprung thingy, so we bought it.

Buying a mattress in Australia

Fast forward 15 years, and we were buying a mattress again. It’s almost a different world now than it was then, buying this new mattress would be just as easy, all I need to do is search the Internet for “best mattress in Australia” or maybe “mattress reviews Australia”.

I certainly couldn’t do that back then.

And so began the nightmare.

nightmareHow to buy a bed: reviews

Reviews were hopeless. Turns out that the major manufacturers of beds give different names to “virtually” the same beds that they sell to different retailers. So, for example, the ‘same’ bed will be sold to Meyer, David Jones, Harvey Norman and any number of the bed shops like Forty Winks, Snooze and Sleepys.

But what might be known as the “Emperor” range in one store could be the “Elite” range in another and the “Euphoria” range in a third.

As a result of this, reviews were worthless. It’s impossible to compare like for like; whatever anyone is reviewing you have no real idea what it is because it’s got a different name from the one you want to buy. And if you do try and buy a specific bed, with a specific name from a specific store you’ll probably find when you get that store that the range has been discontinued.

Or in other words, it’s been given another name to confuse you.

Add to that that all beds were pretty much slated as being useless and for every bed reviewed by someone who said “This is the best bed I’ve ever slept on, I love it!” – then there would be further comments saying “Wait till you’ve had it more than a month, then see what you think!?” and “Yes, I know what you mean, mine sagged in the middle after five weeks and when I took it back under the 10 year guarantee, they laughed like a drain!”

On an even darker side, one particular bed had nothing but rave reviews, and lots of them. In a forum, somebody mentioned that they’d given the product a bad review and his review had been removed.

So much for reviews.

How to buy a bed: the computer

In one store I visited, the assistant advised that I return with my significant other half and lay down on their computerised bed. This bed would calculate our relative body masses, weight, height, sleeping positions and, no doubt, the cut our pyjamas before spewing out a computer analysis and report recommending the perfect bed for us.

I decided not to return with my significant other.

How to buy bed: test it

In this method you simply walk into a bed shop, lie on the bed of your choice and act as if you are going to sleep. Stay in that position for as long as your self consciousness will allow, and then from that (usually brief) experience decide whether you really want to spend the next 3 out of 10 years in the same position.

See, a nightmare!

The cost of beds in Australia

The real nightmare though, is the prices of beds here in Australia. Obviously I can’t compare like for like between Australia and the UK, I can’t even compare like for like in Australia with Australia.

So what I’ve done, is I’ve chosen the most expensive beds or, as we would say, the top of the range from manufacturers who sell both here and in the UK. Are the beds the same?

Almost certainly not. That’s the point. That’s my frustration.

Enough waffle, here are the prices…

All prices are for mattresses only; size is 5′ x 6’6″, known as a King-size bed in the UK and 5′ x 6’8″ which is known as a Queen here in Australia.

First, the UK…

Bed prices in the UKNow, Australia…

Bed prices in AustraliaConclusion

Beds are very expensive here, but I couldn’t say for sure that they are as expensive as it appears above. The UK beds cost £4153 versus the Australian beds which total $13,497. That indicates that beds could be as much as twice as expensive here in Australia. If only I could have found the Sealy Posturepedic Grand Luxe Barcelona for sale in the UK, then maybe my comparison would have been more meaningful.

But I couldn’t.

I also spent a fair while searching a Sealy bed, any Sealy bed, that costs more than $925 and I just couldn’t find one. So that bed we have on sale here in Australia for $6499 must be something really special.

But I won’t be buying it to find out.

So this comparison is pretty meaningless, which is exactly what the manufacturers want. All I think we can learn from it is, if you’re moving here from abroad, bring your bed with you, even if you have to shove it in your suitcase.

Right, I’m going to go for a lie down.

lie downUpdate: March 2017

I was recently sent a queen size mattress by a company called Onebed who had read my article here and wanted me to give one of their mattresses a go. They also wondered if I would review it, but I don’t really do reviews on this website.

I did sleep on their mattress though, and slept very well too, it was very comfortable. After about a month though, I did go back to my own mattress which, as you know, is relatively new.

So, whilst I’m not going to review it, I’m certainly happy to suggest you take a look at this as an option if you want to buy mattress at a great price. Their queen mattress currently costs less than half of what I paid for my mattress a couple of years ago. If Onebed have an offer on, or a coupon code, then these mattresses can be even better value at about one third of the price I paid.

What I really like about this company though is that they offer a 125 day money back guarantee, along with a 15 year warranty and free delivery. For more, visit Onebed.

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{ 63 comments… add one }
  • Lynne Hancox June 26, 2017, 5:27 pm |

    I purchased 2x long single beds, latex mattresses , one is a hospital bed for my husband mine lifts at head and knees. The bases were the correct length, (2030) the mattresses were wrongly supplied at 1800, a regular single length. I rang the store, – Name of vendor removed by admin – in South Australia. For 3 years, numerous phone calls, texts and photos, all of which are still on an old phone I’ve kept. I finally went to consumer affairs, which it seems are very aware of this trader as they have dealt with them before, it was a nightmare, the pillows fell down the back of the bed where the mattress fell short. He, being a double stroke victim, both sides of him affected, he rolled, over onto his face,as a result he suffered suffocation and became so affected the doctor was organising end of life plans. It was touch and go for three days. Consumer affairs said they would take the supplier to task as the bed was dangerous as it was. In the end I had to agree to pieces being glued onto these top of the range latex mattresses, top dollars paid for glued together mattresses. When the chap took my mattress off the bed he noticed the slides that keep the support slats in place were missing…. Hell bring some with him and put them on when he bought mattress back…. He bought slats back… Not the adjusting slides that held slats together. Said he had some at home, he’d come back and put them the following week. Yep…he never came… I rang – Name of vendor removed by admin -…. I should have known what was coming… I’d have to pay them to put the parts on the base that they had left off… They have no after sales service, once they have your money that’s it. Receipt had no terms or conditions on it. I am not alone with this companies lack of compliance to consumer laws, lies, and no regard for anything other than getting your money off you.


    • BobinOz June 26, 2017, 9:15 pm |

      Hi Lynne

      Well, what has happened to you sounds pretty awful, but you will have noticed that I have removed the specific name of the store you purchased your beds from. As a policy on this website, I do not allow individual companies or service providers to be either positively praised or negatively criticise on my pages, simply because I have no way of knowing whether the criticism/praise is genuine or not.

      I did actually Google the name of the company you are complaining about, I found nothing but positive reviews, and lots of them as well. So maybe you have been unlucky with your experience.

      As this article states though, buying a bed is a nightmare, and it sounds like you’ve had one with this. Good luck, Bob

  • Kelsey April 30, 2016, 11:35 pm |

    Hi Bob
    This has been very helpful for me in my hunt for a comfy investment, but I feel as though I should point out a flaw. The Australian Dollar prices ARE comparable to the UK prices when you consider the currency exchange rate ( In most cases. Sometimes it’s a case of aussies being ripped of by overseas companies just like in the cosmetics industry). If anything it might cost more to get it from the UK when you consider shipping etc. I walked into a Harvey Norman just the other week to try and find a mattress and absolutely hated the customer service. I asked what the best bed was and got bombarded with questions like how many hours I sleep, what my price range was etc. All I wanted to know what the best was irrespective of all that so I could have something to compare my choices against. And the dirty looks you get given by the same staff member when you just decide to go try out everything on your own was enough for me to vow not to buy a mattress from them. And if only the mattress brands were forced like nurofen to admit that their various mattresses where actually the same thing to help the everyday consumer make an educated choice.
    My hunt will hopefully come to an end soon.

    Cheers for your guidance.

    • BobinOz May 2, 2016, 9:27 pm |

      Well, I was taking into account the exchange rate, and even though it was impossible to compare like for like, my best hunch remains that beds are more expensive here in Australia than in the UK.

      When I say it’s best to bring your bed with you if you’re moving, that’s only on the basis of shoving onto the container that you have already ordered to bring all your other stuff. To buy a bed in the UK and have it shipped here would not make sense.

      I feel your frustration though, one major bed store here even has a computerised bed for you to lay on so it can work out its fancy silicon chip calculated solution tailored to your needs. And there’s a questionnaire.

      I walked out as well.

      Good luck with your hunt, you will probably need some Nurofen.

  • Jo February 10, 2016, 5:44 pm |

    Mattress Buying Tips

    Hi everyone, hi Bob, I’m currently on a mattress hunt myself. I’ve done quite a bit of research by now, results of which I will share below.

    I found the site pretty useful, those are chiropractors apparently “independently” reviewing certain mattresses. They gave me a better idea about what to look for. I trust their opinions about as much as any other reviews, which is not at all, but at least they can give you an overview of what factors to consider.

    The following are some tips I’ve collected by obsessively reviewing every last (retail not online) store and brand, reading every bed review that’s out there etc. etc.

    I wanted to buy a Sealy first, cause a salesperson told me they are the best quality. But turns out, while many reviews will tell you their mattresses last for over ten years, if you look at the reviews for the ones bought in recent years, they pretty much all say that their quality is now crap and not what it used to be.
    So before you buy, while (as Bob said) you won’t find many reviews for a specific mattress, look at reviews of the brand in general. That’ll give you a better idea what to go for/avoid.
    And trust me, you don’t want to be the idiot that didn’t research the mattress brand, cause I’ve read a fair few comments along the lines of “I wish I had googled this mattress before I bought it and realised it’s rubbish.”

    About 90% of bed reviews explain the following problem – the mattress sinks to an uncomfortable amount, some already after a few weeks, some after 1-3 years, which is still early considering they all paid a few thousand. And the guarantee is often 10+ years. Yeah, well.
    When people then tried to bring back mattress that were sunk in / simply extremely uncomfortable, they would encounter resistance and comments like “you should’ve moved around more while you were sleeping”, or were told to give it more time. Seriously? I’m pretty sure you can tell if you can barely walk from back pain after a month or two, that’s it’s not going to turn into the best mattress ever created for you.
    What to take from that? Find a shop that is actually feeling responsible for mattress returns. And tell me about it when you do, cause I sure as hell haven’t found one yet.
    The problem with warranty is that they will find the most minuscule thing wrong with your mattress. Like a tiny sweat stain. And that it’s your fault. I’ve come across 100+ reviews that have taught me – they will either find something, or blame you in some way, or make you pay to get your mattress reviewed. And they won’t take it back.
    Common policy is: If your mattress sinks in, but it’s less than 35mm (think about it – that’s a LOT for a high quality mattress), then there’s no chance for return. So read/ ask about the warranty before you buy.


    The most terrible reviews I’ve come across are for customer service, the blaming/rude and ridiculous comments I mentioned above. Mainly Harvey Norman (many angry customers out there!) but there’s been a few of Snooze and Forty Winks that have been bad, too. Which doesn’t mean other shops are any better, they just don’t have bad reviews online (that I found).


    From bad experiences with online purchases, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I buy something expensive, I want to have a physical store to walk into to have an actual person to talk to. Or be angry at. Not just a stranger on the phone.

    If not, just consider that when something is wrong, you may need to deal with “customer service”, which may been an outsourced call centre somewhere in India (surprisingly common these days) where their goal is to get you off the phone by making false promises. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
    This may be worst case scenario and only applies if you want to return your online purchase, but it might be a good idea to find out if your mattress company actually physically exists in Australia or is imported from China and operated from God-knows-where.

    Has anyone come across a store that actually genuinely offers good customer service, even with returns?
    And Bob, knowing all that we know beforehand, I still feel like I can be fooled just as much simply because all I am learning is – don’t trust anyone that sells you mattresses. Any idea how to decrease the chances of ending up the same as all those people, other than what I mentioned? Basically, I just want a mattress that is not complete crap. Is that really too much to ask for, Australia, when I am willing to pay thousands??

    • BobinOz February 10, 2016, 6:00 pm |

      Thanks for all the information Jo, some good stuff here for those in the market for buying a new mattress.

      To answer your question, the only company I came across that seem to have a solid money back guarantee on mattresses was IKEA. I’ve not actually tested that money back guarantee personally, but I would be surprised if IKEA messed people around with it.

      What their mattresses are like I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I looked but probably worth checking out if you have a store somewhere near you.

      Interesting story about the sagging in the middle of a mattress, that happened to our mattress not long after we bought it. I think they told us the gap needed to be 30 mm or more for them to consider anything. What they also said though was if the mattress is on a slatted base to make sure that the central support to that base is still good.

      So I checked mine, and the rather small metal pole that was screwed in as the middle leg had broken, so I replaced it with some solid timber 4×4 posting and that definitely did the job. No more sagging in the middle, Mrs Bob very happy.

      So if anyone has that problem, it’s worth checking your central support to the base.

      Good luck with your search Jo, I hope you find a decent mattress. As you say, it shouldn’t really be too much to ask.

  • Mark Smith January 11, 2016, 8:57 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I’ve just bought a new house and my mattresses are past their use by date, so I was obviously very interested in your article on buying a bed in Australia. I found your article very informative and relatable but you didn’t answer the 63 million dollar questions. Which bed did you buy, where from and how much was it? I hope you will not be offended but I went to an American bed comparison site called Sleep Like The Dead.
    The information was very helpful and extensive and claimed to come from actual buyers, not bed manufacturers or showrooms. ( I totally get your point about reviews ) All good so far? But the most popular, highest rated mattress types were the lowest rated if you wanted to be intimate. So I am still none the wiser and confused and frustrated. Who said ignorance is bliss was correct. Another quote I like is “buy good shoes and a good bed because if your not in one you’ll be in the other”
    If you would like to respond and answer my questions or share your thoughts and make suggestions, I would really appreciate it.
    Cheers, Mark Smith

    • BobinOz January 12, 2016, 9:17 pm |

      Yes, good question.

      I deliberately didn’t post the answer because whatever bed we bought, I couldn’t recommend it, not until it passed the test of time. Now, I think, possibly it has.

      What happened was that we stayed in a hotel on the Gold Coast called the QT and the bed was extremely comfortable. So we asked them where they got it from and they gave me somebody to contact. It was clear it wasn’t the first time they had been asked this question.

      Turns out it was an AH Beard bed and they simply called it the ‘QT Bed’. We paid $2255 for a queen size mattress.

      Almost 3 years on, we are still very happy with it. My wife was always waking up with backache, not anymore. We thought we had a problem with it for a short while, it was sagging in the middle. Then I checked it, turned out that the central support pole that I had bolted into the middle of my slatted base had broken. I replaced it with a much bigger and sturdier support, and all was good.

      So we are now happy, and we thought the price was very good as well.

      Now, how are you going to forward to me the $63 million you promised?

  • shoptillyoudrop June 18, 2015, 11:56 am |

    Hi Guys,

    Me and my Mrs. moved to Sydney recently and find everything way too expensive compared to Europe. Furniture is extremely expensive in Australia. We went to IKEA and noticed that their prices were a bit over the top as compared to Europe. Anyways we were not too fussed about our mattress and wanted something cheap and reliable. Ran a search and ended up at this retailer in Marrickville called Ausbeds. They sell online as well you can check their range out at All their mattresses are under a $1000 which we found value for money. They also provide a warranty for upto 5 or 10 years I think.

    Good luck!

    • BobinOz June 19, 2015, 12:11 am |

      This isn’t your cousin’s store, is it? Just kidding shoptillyodrop 🙂

  • FR June 8, 2015, 7:21 pm |


    I am trying to find the right ensemble bed. Is there a good website to compare mattress online? Do you recommend buying a mattress online and where? what are the stores including return policy in Sydney? Thanks!

    • BobinOz June 9, 2015, 8:53 pm |

      The only decent review site I found is the one I mention at the bottom of my page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything, but that’s the same website I mention in the above article when I talk about reviews and how hopeless they are in this situation.

      It’s probably worth a look, but do have a read of what I have said about it above before you take any notice of what you read on that review website.

      I can’t help you with Sydney particularly, but I do know that IKEA has a return policy on their mattresses. Good luck with your search, sounds like your nightmare has only just begun 🙂

  • Linds April 24, 2015, 2:40 pm |

    We just bought a new sealy ensemble. I just came by for anyone else who happens upon this to say my husband and I had a sealy pillowtop type we bought 11 and a bit years ago and it was excellent the 10yrs promised/guaranteed, then a few months into the 11th year got a bit not so great (but still definately useable). Quite happy with that especially being an entry level pillowtop in the range. Remember, although you don’t flip a pillowtop you must rotate it to make it last well and there will be depressions in the pillowtop where you sleep. I’m not sure if it’s an *actual* planned feature (kind of moulding to you body) or what but it didn’t negatively impact our comfort. Basically, I’ve had both pillowtop and flip type and found although you can probably “get away” with the flip type longer they both last at best performance for about the same length of time (10yr). I personally find pillowtops more comfy.

    • BobinOz April 27, 2015, 2:26 pm |

      Thanks Linds, yes, 11 years out of bed is excellent, I hope your new one lasts as long.

  • lin March 31, 2015, 11:34 am |

    We have just bought a mattress from Makin Matresses so it is too early to say how it is. It is a wool mattress and was made in the factory here in Adelaide, (one of the main selling points for us). We went to the showroom at the factory . There were some very fancy expensive ones but we got the one around $1000. It is double sided unlike a lot of competitors mattresses and it is recommended that it is turned every month. Looking forward to a good nights sleep!

    • BobinOz March 31, 2015, 5:24 pm |

      Well I hope it turns out to be a very good mattress for you, but as you say, only time will tell. I reckon at least six months before you will really know.

      Double sided is good, I really hate those pillow top type mattresses that you can’t turn over, unfortunately that’s what most mattresses are these days.

      I hope you have many good nights sleep ahead of you.

  • kelvin Smith January 28, 2015, 8:33 am |

    Hi Bob
    I am Kelvin from the UK i have a factory in china need to crack the AUS market with my TV beds good price excellent quality can you give any help ?? need container customers Thanks and Kind Regards Kelvin

    • BobinOz January 29, 2015, 12:45 am |

      TV beds? How can you sleep with the TV on? 🙂

      No, this is not something I can help with, but I hope you find a suitable importer for your products. Cheers, Bob

  • Tomz January 22, 2015, 7:41 pm |

    I was wondering about IKEA anyway i decided for and i can’t say a bad word about their services.
    I bought a queen mattress and yeah, it wasn’t cheap… but i’m satisfied and that’s most important for me.
    Maby i was a lucky guy because stories that people write in here are a real nightmare.

    • Michelle January 23, 2015, 1:09 am |

      Toms- which mattress did you buy from 3mart? I’m contemplating ordering from them…

  • Rikki September 3, 2014, 3:25 pm |

    P.S. Good advice about having a good read of the fine print on the contract. If it was in the seven days you may be able to retrieve your money. You may also be able to get advice from the consumer affairs hotline if it is still operational. Don’t just accept what they tell you. Find out exactly what the law states.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2014, 10:08 pm |

      Yes, it was very good advice, I also hope Kent managed to fight it and get his money back.

  • Rikki September 3, 2014, 3:13 pm |

    Hi everyone, I am also in the middle of the nightmare of looking for a new mattress. I am in the middle age category and have sleep issues so I figure it is time to purchase a new mattress. I am doing my research and this blog is quite an informative read. I was not surprised about the name changes to the same mattress in different stores. That’s capitalism. Divide and conquer. My trouble is I don’t have a lot of purchasing power. I went to a place in Adelaide where there are a number of mattress shops. I learned from talking to the sales reps that mattresses made overseas can contain formaldehyde as they are not subject to our regulations. Great! Strange that we have regulations here to protect peoples health but those same stringent regulations are not applied to imports. The same applies for animal welfare regulations that we have in place to protect animals against cruelty can be overlooked in the live export trade. Which means to me in these circumstances that both peoples welfare and animal welfare is not paramount when convenient to the government. But I digress. It is therefore wise to ask where a particular mattress is made and make a decision based on that. Also I went to a factory direct outlet near me after the Sunday arvo mattress adventure mentioned above and found that their prices were not factory direct prices but showroom prices. They do have a seconds shop over the other side of town but only stock queen mattresses. You can order a double in. I was disappointed to find out that they were still out of my reach. A couple of things – to the person who did the mattress construction research – was it Bob of the blog? Anyhow kudos to you – that was an interesting fact to find out and admirable as it would be the only way to compare the different mattresses considering the name change trick. My issue is finding best value for what I can afford and it is definitely won’t be in the top dollar bracket. Should be interesting as I have never, I repeat never had a new mattress ever before. The current mattress I have is a second hand latex mattress that I have had for nearly twenty years. So it is a ripe old age. It has done me well. So Latex mattresses was the next thing to check out. I rang Clark’s Rubber and discovered that they don’t stock them anymore because they can’t get them – well at least that was the reason given. Oh dear, it seems that they manufacturers have figured out a way to make more money out of them and they are not making affordable plain latex mattresses anymore. They are now all high end being I think the most comfortable. At least that is my theory. I am now considering a mattress that is manufactured in New Zealand. I have tried out in the shop – it is medium and not hugely expensive for somebody who has had to save for ages to be able to get to this stage. I seemed ok in the couple of self-conscious minutes under the bright lights that I lay on it. But how can you really tell without sleeping on it for a while. I’m not used to such things. If I do buy it I hope that the change from latex to that is not such a big shock that takes ages to get used to. Anyhow that’s my two bobs worth. No pun intended. It’s an old Australian saying. Good luck all. x

    • BobinOz September 3, 2014, 10:06 pm |

      “Welcome to my nightmare”. As Alice Cooper once said.

      I feel for you, it’s really difficult to choose a replacement mattress or bed, for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Thing is, is much as any of us would like to help, we can’t. That’s why it’s a nightmare.

      If you have an IKEA close to you, they do have a return policy, check it out. As you say, it’s impossible to test the bed in those two or three self-conscious minutes. As for that ‘factory direct’ nonsense, it makes me laugh as well. Why aren’t made cheaper then?

      A nightmare indeed, good luck in your search, I hope you find something suitable. Oh, and the bed construction thing, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t me, so kudos goes elsewhere, I just try to sleep on the things 🙂

  • Lovelaneaustralia August 28, 2014, 5:25 pm |

    Yes i agree with you that shopping in australia is a nightmare.It is very costly here in comaprison to countries like U.K. so i think you should ship your beds and sofas and other costly things if you can.
    Try to do shopping in sale and do it smartly. Buying a product whose rate is very high doesn’t mean that the product is of very good quality.

  • kent smith August 22, 2014, 1:54 pm |

    Yes it is a nightmare. Not only with the manufacturers but also with the retail outlets.
    My wife and I visited The Bedshed in Adelaide and liked the feel of the memory foam model in their showroom. they had plenty of the mattresses in stock, but had run out of bases which they said they had already ordered from their local manufacturer and would be available in 4 weeks.
    We said we’d come back in 4 weeks, but they insisted on a min deposit of $1000 to hold the order, which we foolishly paid. Within a week we had done more research on memory foam and decided to cancel. We suspected correctly that they would not want to refund the $1000 deposit, but asked if we could spend the $1000 deposit on sheets and pillows from their store. They refused, saying we would have to spend the equivelant of the full purchase price of the mattress and base (well over $5000), that we were going to buy, or lose our deposit – even though the mattress we ordered was in plentiful stock and the new bases had already been ordered by the store in question, before we placed our deposit!
    They were completely inflexible and referred us to their order form which states (in the fine print terms), that the store can keep the deposit if the order is cancelled. Buying a new bed is not something you do very often and we were inexperienced and trusting. It felt like we were dealing with the worst type of used car dealer. We decided to lose our $1000 rather than deal with this company and ended up buying a Hulsta bed system imported from Europe
    Beware of, not only the Australian bed labelling system, but also the retailers

    • BobinOz August 22, 2014, 8:52 pm |

      Nightmare indeed!

      What a shocking story, I will certainly be crossing that particular retailer off of my list, that’s no way to do business in this day and age. Crikey, they must be desperate for money to be so inflexible.

      I’m not sure, but I think some of these contracts have a seven day cooling off period, so if you changed your mind within that time and told them, you may have a case. Might be worth checking more of that small print.

      Other than that, it might be worth a letter to a newspaper, be nice to get this story out to a wider audience so others don’t fall into this trap. Retailers like that deserve all the bad publicity they can get.

      Thanks for letting us know, Bob

    • PopcornwithButter February 6, 2015, 7:38 am |

      Message for BOB or KENT SMITH, could you perhaps get in touch to advise in how you purchased your Hulsta mattresses/bed? We have a Hulsta Sonno & need new mattresses, a nightmare to try and replace. Local Hulsta dealer basically non existent. Thanks for an excellent blog!

      • BobinOz February 6, 2015, 7:52 pm |

        I’m not sure if Kent is still around, but he said at the time that he imported his Hulsta from Europe, so maybe that’s what you will need to look into. Good luck, Bob

      • kara December 22, 2015, 2:54 pm |

        Transforma in Adelaide stock Hulsta beds. I am thinking of buying one if anyone has any feedback?

        • Popcornwithbutter December 22, 2015, 9:59 pm |

          Speak to Tim at Transforma he was really excellent and went beyond expectations. Hulsta Europe told me to get in touch with them as I was having such trouble in Sydney.

  • Alex K July 30, 2014, 9:12 am |

    Consider that over time your body frame and bulk changes – as you age issues of comfort become more important – you don’t wear the same pair of shoes or pants for ten years, for one thing they no longer fit, which is why one also changes a mattress every ten years.
    In my search to find a mattress that offers comfort and support for my body frame I tested beds from IKEA to the major deparartment stores and furniture outlets and came to the conclusion that the sales folk know very little about beds.

    In the course of my nternet research I came across an American website called the “the underground mattress” . This is by far the best information based site I have encountered because It provides the “nuts and bolts” knowledge of mattress construction and component material specifications.
    By far the best advice provided is the recommendation to avoid the large manufacturers and focus on smaller scale factory outlet manufactures who may be able to construct a tailored mattress.
    And so the key is knowledge – previously I had no idea what was used in the construction of mattresses and now find myself considering a tailored latex mattress.
    Good luck in your search for a good quality mattress.

    • BobinOz July 30, 2014, 9:03 pm |

      It’s probably not bad advice, the bed we bought our daughter Elizabeth about six years ago, which she still has, was made to order by a small family owned bed manufacturer working out of a small workshop in a nearby industrial estate.

      Sadly the shop was shut when we went in search for our new bed, and I think places like that generally find it difficult to compete these days.

      It’s a shame, on the other hand even with beds made to order, you still don’t really get a good opportunity to test it out until you buy it and then by then you do have to lie in it for anything up to 10 years.

      And that’s still a problem with buying a bed, but as you say, you can reduce the risk by looking into how a really good bed is constructed and then make your choice based on the power of that knowledge.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Hilary July 31, 2014, 7:39 am |

        Yes, I agree, try and get the best you can afford. For me it’s individual pocketed springs in mattress and base every time. Would avoid foam, latex or the new ‘memory’ ones.

        But you do have to look after mattresses too, turn regularly top to bottom and over completely every month or so. And never sit on the side of a bed as it breaks the edge support of the mattress. Bit fussy maybe but if you’ve invested a lot of hard yakka for a good night’s sleep then only common sense to look after it, like you would with a car or something.

        • BobinOz July 31, 2014, 11:49 pm |

          Yes, my preference too, I’d go for individual pocket spring mattress every time. Sound advice about the care as well, although these days quite a few of them come with a built in ‘topper’ so you are specifically advised not to turn them over.

          And pay what you can best afford, but also bear in mind that a higher cost doesn’t always mean a better quality product. Buyer beware.

  • Movie Mom June 17, 2014, 7:46 am |

    Don’t you guys have Costco? Costco should have inexpensive furniture, including mattresses. We are moving to Brisbane for the states for just 3 years and since reading this article, my Husband wants to bring all our beds and furniture now…which I thought was crazy…since we have to bring it all back again later…seems silly to me. Everyone I’ve talked to who moved there said to leave everything behind and start over. I’m now very confused and don’t know what to do.
    I find it hard to believe you can’t buy a bed for less than $900.

    • BobinOz June 18, 2014, 1:15 am |

      Funnily enough I’ve heard we have now got a Costco, opened within the last month or so north side of Brisbane I think. Have a Google, maybe they will sell beds, maybe not.

      There are not many rentals here that are fully furnished, so what are you going to do? Buy everything new? Then sell it when you go back?

      Maybe shipping all your stuff over and shipping it back again isn’t so crazy after all 🙂

      Good luck, Bob

  • Gunjan May 29, 2014, 9:38 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Found your post on Bed-scouting very amusing. 🙂

    Just on a side note, are garage sales, where you get throw-away 2nd hand items prevalent in Aus?


  • Al December 11, 2013, 10:52 pm |

    When we first arrived we bought a king size mattress from Forty Winks for $1500 and a bedframe from Fantastic Furniture for $300.It’s been already two years and I must say that we never had a better mattress before.

    Avoid full latex mattresses as they tend to shrink overtime, the best thing is 500-600 sq/m pocket spring thing with viscoelastic top. It’s from personal experience.

    • BobinOz December 12, 2013, 2:23 pm |

      Hi Al

      Sounds like you struck lucky first time, well done. Pretty good price as well, for Australia anyway.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Brendan July 18, 2013, 8:18 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Did you try Makin Mattresses? They are a company that make mattresses and sell them directly to the customer. There are two stores in Brisbane. I saw a nice king size bed on their website that only cost $1,795 + $290 for the base.


    • BobinOz July 18, 2013, 4:46 pm |

      Hi Brendan

      No, I didn’t, in my research I did not even come across them. So I have no idea what their beds might be like, maybe somebody else knows. Anybody?

  • Cas P April 30, 2013, 1:22 am |

    Hi Rupert

    We declared the cooker and we will declare the bed. It’s too expensive not to if you get caught not declaring it. The import duty is 10% so we still save a fortune.

    Thanks for the concern though.


  • Rupert April 30, 2013, 1:10 am |

    Be slightly careful though @Mark Anderson and @Cas P, ‘strictly speaking’ you have to have owned whatever you’re bringing into Australia for 12 months. If they spot-check you and suspect a bed or kitchen equipment is brand new, they may want to see dated receipts, and if you can’t provide them, you could be liable for import duties.

    Look, if new purchases are part of your household goods, then you’ll probably be alright, (while not strictly following the letter of the law), but if you import a brand new bed on its own, you will probably have to declare it.

    I’m not an expert, however, just a concerned chap that doesn’t want anyone getting caught out.

  • Cas P April 30, 2013, 12:58 am |

    We’ve just bought a range cooker in the UK and had it shipped over. £1750 (equiv $2400) versus $8999 for the same one over here (and listed as being shipped from the UK). Shipping was £625, so we have saved a fortune.

    When we need a new bed, we will be buying it from the UK and shipping it over. We are currently buying virtually everything we need in the UK and paying the shipping charges. We might have to wait slightly longer for it, but the savings make it worth it.

  • Mark Anderson April 29, 2013, 8:18 pm |

    From this blog I surmise I could buy a bed in UK and send it over in a container and still be cheaper assuming 925 for bed and 1000 for container

    • BobinOz April 29, 2013, 9:27 pm |

      You are probably right Mark, I do know somebody who bought all of their kitchen equipment from Europe and had it shipped over, saved themselves a fortune.

  • Rupert April 28, 2013, 4:52 pm |

    I don’t have any valuables Ashriel, so I can’t advise you on that I’m afraid. But, if you’re worried about burglaries, a safety deposit box at a bank might be a good idea.

  • Ashriel April 28, 2013, 2:50 pm |

    Hi Rupert,

    Thanks for your advice! I’m appreciative of your advice and extremely grateful to Bob for providing this platform for all of us to ask questions while we are planning the big move.

    I have another question, this time is about keeping valuables (such as gold, precious stone jewellery etc) in Australia. In some countries, people pay a monthly fee to banks to use the bank’s safe boxes located within the bank to store their valuables. In other countries, people buy a heavy safe to keep their valuables at home. How about in Australia? How do you keep your valuables?

    I have a friend in Melbourne whose house was robbed when he was overseas. The burglars took everything, including all his electrical appliances such as TV and Microwave. Hence I’m guessing that a heavy safe box at home won’t be very safe because it can be moved out easily as long as the burglars have strong muscles.

    Looking forward to advice on this from anyone. Thanks =)

  • Rupert April 28, 2013, 9:25 am |

    Hi Ashriel, I seem to have got to you before Bob. Sorry Bob.


    If you have an expensive mattress, bring it. A good bed, bring it. A good fridge, bring it. White goods, bring them. You’d be surprised at how many quality goods you just can’t get in Australia without paying through the nose for them.

    For small things, I buy online from the UK and the US and they still arrive faster than something bought in a shop in Sydney that has to be delivered from Melbourne. Also, in Australia, there are delivery charges (unlike the UK – there’s no John Lewis here!), and these deliveries can take 60 days. Buy it on Amazon – 4 days!

    The only things that will be quarantined are garden related tools and clothes, so make sure you clean everything early well. And don’t bring your wine collection unless you want to be stung with 50% tax on market value!

    Good luck with the move.

  • Ashriel April 28, 2013, 1:33 am |

    Hi Bob,

    My husband and I were wondering if we should ship our mattress down to Australia with us as we’ve spent quite a bit of money on this mattress that we are sleeping on currently. Now I’m wondering when you mentioned shipping the bed to Australia, does it mean just the mattress, or including the bedframe? Will the mattress be quarantined? If quarantine is required, how long do we need to wait before the mattress comes to us?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • Ivan April 26, 2013, 1:44 am |

    IKEA 🙂

    • BobinOz April 26, 2013, 6:00 pm |

      Yes, I did look at IKEA, very reasonably priced and, even better, they all come with a 90 day money back guarantee. Sleep on the bed for three months and if you don’t like it, take it back for a full refund.

      Probably worth a try, but, according to the mattress reviews, they are just not very good.

      • Kamma October 2, 2013, 9:23 pm |

        I’ve slept on a fair few IKEA beds. They’re no luxury make, but as with most everything from IKEA, they’re fair quality for the money. Even their futons are quite all right. And, as you said, if you don’t like it, you can give it back and find something else to sleep on.

        • BobinOz October 3, 2013, 12:09 am |

          Well you’ve slept on more IKEA beds than I have :-). I agree with you though, IKEA are pretty good quality for the money, I’m certainly not knocking them, I wouldn’t know where to put all my books if it wasn’t for IKEA.

          • Kamma February 7, 2015, 6:20 am |

            I can now say that, apparently, IKEA is luxury make. In a German test comparing several mattresses, even some luxury ones, IKEA won out! It was almost as good as the really high end ones, but so much cheaper and of so good quality that there was no reason not to simply pocket the price difference.
            I don’t know how true that is, but an IKEA mattress feels heavenly after a Futon. 😀

            • Hilary February 7, 2015, 9:17 pm |

              Anything would feel heavenly after a futon!! Back killers…..

              • Kamma February 9, 2015, 5:08 am |

                Ha! I know! 😀 My sister spent one night on my old futon and had no idea why it took me so long to get a proper bed.

  • Rupert April 25, 2013, 4:28 pm |

    I’ve got another 8 years on our mattress that we brought with us, so I can’t really comment on that, but (and I realise it’s slightly off topic) trying to find consensus when it comes to buying milk is equally as frustrating. Every store has different colours and different names and different descriptions of its contents – it’s a minefield! What’s wrong with Blue/Full Cream; Green/Semi-Skimmed; Red/Skimmed? Simples.

    Perhaps the bed manufacturers and the milk manufacturers got together and planned this…?

    • BobinOz April 25, 2013, 10:19 pm |

      Have you been shopping for lightbulbs yet? Same thing, there are a zillion different fittings!

  • Collin April 25, 2013, 11:18 am |

    How ironic that this is your latest post as this very subject has been a topic of discussion for the wife and I lately. We are currently in the market for a mattress in the US but thought that we might wait to buy until we got to Australia (assuming we do come over) to avoid shipping one over. However! The wife said she saw some mention of folks having difficulty finding bedding that correctly fits mattresses that were shipped from abroad… Any experience with this?

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