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Know that numerous biased mattress-review websites (and YouTube channels) exist. Such sites are funded by mattress companies, and the purpose of the sites is to provide a positive and seemingly objective review of their mattresses.
These sites are often sophisticated as they can be quite subtle and convincing. Indeed, biased mattress-review websites often provide truthful, genuinely helpful information in addition to biased information. The trouble is that it is difficult to know where truthful information ends and biased information begins.
So how can you possibly identify these sites and keep yourself from being duped? Here are the main things to look out for.
If a website states that it – or any of its reviewers – are compensated in some way by a mattress company then such a site cannot be considered unbiased. Keep in mind that statements of affiliation are often not clearly worded or easy to find on these sites.
For a mattress-review website to be credible and ultimately helpful it has to be unbiased. So when a site makes no claim in this regard, you have to wonder why not. And, of course, if a site does make such a claim, it is not necessarily true – especially if the site has one or more of the other characteristics described on this page.
Almost every product, including mattresses, has pros and cons, good points and bad points. This fact will be obvious in an unbiased review. In a biased review, this fact will not be obvious as the review will be entirely or almost entirely positive (or negative).
Creating and operating a quality product-review website is hard work. So while we at Sleep Like The Dead enjoy what we do, we would not do it for free. And given the time and money required to run the site, we could not do it for free even if we wanted to. So when a mattress-review site has no clear source of significant revenue (such as advertising) and does not disclose how it generates revenue, you have to wonder who is paying the bills.
A biased mattress-review website sometimes won't provide anywhere on the site the full name of the person or people behind the site. In addition, a WHOIS search allows you to learn “who is” the owner of a particular website. A biased product-review website, however, may block this information. If they have blocked their identity, then you can't find a person's name anywhere on the results page. This often means that the registrant name says “private" and the registrant organization is the name of a company that offers domain privacy services, such as “Domains By Proxy, LLC.”
Avoiding bias requires much more than merely not taking compensation to influence a review. A careful methodology is required. If a review website lacks such a methodology, then bias – whether intentional or not – will almost certainly be present.
IN THE NEWS: Sleep Like The Dead's research findings have appeared in such news publications as Barron's • Toronto Star • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Edmonton Journal • Woman's World • The Consumerist • The Gazette • Ottawa Citizen
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