They went to great lengths make sure the trials were rigorous.
There was a time when household goods went through rigorous testing to ensure that they could withstand the demands of a busy young family and years of use. Some products still get this kind of testing before they are sent to market, though it seems these days that many products for sale may not have been tested as thoroughly as we would like. For a really interesting look into the past see how some consumer goods were tried out in the old days.
In the 1950s Good Housekeepingmagazine was at its peak in terms of subscriptions and the Good Housekeeping Institute was churning out seals of approval for thousands of products. Everything from vacuums to mixers to carpets were voluntarily submitted to the institute by companies who hoped to gain endorsement which so many consumers at the time trusted. If a product did well then there would be a 2-year limited warranty attached to the seal of approval.
Once the tests were carried out then a committee decided whether or not to approve the product based on the findings of the test. Even foods had to be tested in this way to earn the seal.
Have a look at how some consumer products in 1956 were tested out by Good Housekeeping in the video below.