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What Does Mattress Warranties Cover? A Comprehensive Guide

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 10 minutes
FAST FACTS
  • Purpose of Mattress Warranties: Mattress warranties provide peace of mind, protecting against defects in materials and craftsmanship. They are distinct from sleep trials, which allow customers to assess comfort preferences within a specific period.
  • Common Warranty Coverage: Mattress warranties typically cover issues like sagging and faulty materials. However, they often exclude normal wear and tear, user-inflicted damage, and dissatisfaction with the product.
  • Key Considerations: Factors such as warranty lengths, prorated vs. non-prorated coverage, and limited vs. full warranties should be carefully examined. Understanding warranty terms and proper mattress maintenance can lead to a longer lifespan.

A mattress is a significant investment, and it’s only natural to want your purchase to last. That’s where a mattress warranty comes in. A warranty provides peace of mind, ensuring you won’t have to bear the burden of repair or replacement costs if your mattress is faulty. Understanding a mattress warranty’s terms and conditions is crucial when shopping. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the critical aspects of a mattress warranty, including what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and how to file a mattress warranty claim yourself.

What is a Mattress Warranty?

When you purchase a mattress, the manufacturer or seller promises to stand behind their product. This promise is known as a warranty. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are three warranties: written, spoken, and implied.

Written warranties are not legally required, but most significant purchases come with them. These warranties typically last 5 to 20 years and provide detailed terms and conditions for warranty coverage.

Spoken warranties are verbal promises made by salespeople. While they are not legally binding, getting any spoken warranties in writing is always a good idea to ensure validity and confirmation.

Implied warranties are dictated by law and exist in all 50 states. These warranties apply to most purchases, even without a written warranty. Implied warranties can last for several years and cover two key aspects: a warranty of merchantability and a warranty of fitness. A warranty of merchantability guarantees that the product will perform its essential functions. In contrast, a warranty of fitness applies when a seller suggests a product is suitable for a specific purpose.

Warranties vs. Sleep Trials

It’s important to note that warranties and sleep trials serve different purposes. Warranties serve as protection against mattress defects, whereas sleep trials enable you to assess the mattress in your home and determine if it aligns with your comfort preferences.

Sleep trials typically last 90 to 365 days, during which you can return the mattress if you find it unsatisfactory. This allows you to receive a full refund and ensures you don’t get stuck with a mattress that doesn’t meet your needs. Sleep trials are a great way to gauge the comfort and support of a mattress before committing to it.

On the other hand, warranties come into effect once you decide to keep the mattress after the sleep trial period. They cover defects in materials and artistry, providing repair, replacement, or refund options if the mattress fails to perform as stated.

Read More: How to Get Lint Balls off Mattress

What’s Covered By a Mattress Warranty?

While the specific coverage may depend on the mattress warranty coverage, most mattress warranties have similar coverage for common issues. The two most frequently covered issues are sagging and faulty materials.

Sagging refers to the sinking or indentation of the mattress surface. Mattresses are designed to provide a solid and even sleeping surface for 7 to 10 years. While some degree of sagging is expected with regular use, excessive or premature sagging is a sign of a defect. Mattress warranties typically specify a specific depth for sagging to be considered defective, often around 1 inch.

Faulty materials cover the warranty and any defects in the mattress’s construction. This can include broken coils, seams coming undone, significant bunching, or broken mattress handles. In the event of any such issues, the warranty guarantees that the manufacturer will either repair or replace the faulty components.

It’s worth noting that warranties generally cover manufacturer defects, not normal wear and tear or user-inflicted damage. Minor imperfections, such as discoloration, scuffs, or slight cosmetic flaws, are part of the mattress’s normal aging process and are not typically covered by the warranty.

What’s Not Covered By a Mattress Warranty?

While mattress warranties provide valuable protection, certain situations and conditions are typically not covered. Awareness of these exclusions is essential to avoid misunderstandings or disappointments.

  1. Sagging below the minimum threshold may not be covered by the warranty. If your mattress sags but doesn’t meet the specified depth requirement, you may not be eligible for a replacement or repair. In such cases, using a mattress topper for extra support can be temporary until you’re ready to replace your mattress.
  2. Warranties do not cover wear and tear. Over time, all mattresses will experience minor imperfections and signs of aging, such as discoloration, lumpiness, and bunching materials. These are considered normal and do not qualify as defects under most warranties.
  3. User-inflicted damage resulting from misuse or improper handling is not covered. This includes damage caused by moving the mattress, jumping on the bed frame, or any other actions that result in physical damage or structural integrity issues.
  4. Dissatisfaction with the product is not a valid reason for warranty claims. If you decide you’re unhappy with the mattress due to size, feel, or performance, the warranty does not cover refunds or replacements. This is where sleep trials come in handy, allowing you to return the mattress within a specific period if unsatisfied.
  5. Non-defective components are not covered as a whole unit. If a singular defect or faulty seam is found, the manufacturer may only repair or replace that specific component rather than the entire mattress. This is particularly relevant for mattresses with electronic components, such as remote controls or adjustable features.

What Voids a Mattress Warranty?

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Specific actions or conditions can void a mattress warranty, meaning the manufacturer will no longer honor the warranty and provide repair, replacement, or refund options. Being mindful of these factors is essential to maintain the validity of your mattress warranty throughout its lifespan.

  1. Stains on the mattress can void the mattress’s warranty amount. Liquids can corrode mattress materials, causing structural damage and compromising the mattress’s integrity. It’s recommended to use a mattress protector from the beginning to prevent stains and spills to protect your mattress.
  2. Removal of the law tag attached to the mattress can void the warranty. The law mattress tag serves as proof of purchase for mattress manufacturers and contains essential information about the mattress, such as its materials and size. Removing this tag can nullify your warranty and should be avoided.
  3. Selling or gifting the mattress to another person voids the warranty. Unless you are the original buyer of the mattress, the warranty does not extend to subsequent owners. It’s essential to remember this if you plan to sell or give away your mattress.
  4. Failure to flip or rotate the mattress according to the manufacturer’s instructions can void the warranty. Regularly flipping or rotating your mattress helps distribute wear and tear evenly, preventing premature sagging. However, it’s important to note that some mattresses, such as memory foam and hybrid and foam mattresses, are not designed to be flipped but should still be rotated.
  5. Failure to unpack the mattress within a reasonable time can also void the warranty. Leaving the mattress in its box for an extended period can cause damage and affect its performance. While it’s acceptable to vacuum-seal a mattress for shipping, it should be unpacked within a few weeks to avoid permanent damage.

Using an improper bed frame or an unsupportive foundation can void the warranty. Mattresses require specific foundations to provide adequate support and prevent premature sagging. Using an improper foundation, such as an old or misshapen one, or placing the mattress directly on the floor can lead to consequential damages that may void the warranty.

Warranty Lengths and Mattress Lifespans

Most mattress warranties have a duration of 10 to 20 years. However, it’s important to note that the mattress warranty’s coverage length does not necessarily reflect the mattress’s actual lifespan. Most mattresses have shorter lifespans than the warranty period.

A general rule of thumb is that the mattress’s lifespan is usually a year or more shorter than the warranty length. For example, a mattress with a 10-year warranty may be expected to last around seven years. Considering this when evaluating the warranty and choosing a mattress is important.

If you’re concerned about sagging, longer warranties with detailed sagging coverage indicate the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. It’s worth noting that warranty coverage may also vary within a brand’s product range, so it’s essential to review each mattress’s specific terms and conditions.

Prorated vs. Non-prorated Warranties

When examining warranty terms, it’s crucial to understand whether they are prorated or non-prorated, as this can impact any potential charges you may incur if your mattress is defective.

  1. Prorated warranties require you to pay a fee for repairing or replacing your mattress, calculated based on age. The prorated charge increases, making older mattresses more susceptible to damage. In the case of a refund, the company would only reimburse a percentage of the mattress’s initial value due to its decreased value over time. Proper mattress maintenance and a mattress protector can help minimize repair costs under a prorated warranty.
  2. Non-prorated warranties cover all costs during a specified period, ensuring you won’t have to pay additional fees for repair or replacement. However, it’s important to note that you may still be responsible for transportation costs associated with a replacement mattress, depending on the specific terms of the warranty.

Most companies offer a combination of non-prorated and prorated warranties, providing non-prorated coverage for the initial years and transitioning to prorated coverage for the later years of the warranty.

Limited vs. Full Warranties

In addition to prorated and non-prorated warranties, there is another distinction to consider: limited vs. full warranties. Many mattress companies offer replacement limited warranty or a combination of both types within a single warranty.

  1. Limited warranties cover specific parts, defects, or conditions and are often unique to particular distributors. These warranties cover specific components manufacturing defects or issues while excluding others. Limited warranties’ specific terms and conditions can vary widely between brands and models.
  2. Full warranties offer comprehensive coverage for the entire mattress, including all defects and issues. With a full warranty, the manufacturer is responsible for repairing or replacing the mattress cover or any part of the mattress found to be defective without any additional charges to the customer.

When assessing warranty choices, it’s crucial to examine the precise terms and conditions of each warranty to grasp the scope of coverage and identify any possible restrictions.

How to File a Warranty Claim

If you suspect that your mattress has a defect covered by the warranty, it is crucial to follow the appropriate procedures when filing a warranty claim. While the process may vary depending on the manufacturer, the general steps are as follows:

  1. Review your mattress warranty cover-up: Carefully read the terms and conditions of your mattress warranty to ensure that your claim falls within the coverage provided. Familiarize yourself with any documentation or proof of purchase required for the claim.
  2.  Contact the mattress retailer: Reach out to the customer support of the company from which you purchased the mattress and initiate a warranty claim. It’s advisable to keep your receipt or any other proof of purchase as a reference during this process. Depending on the manufacturer’s requirements, you may need to provide photographs of the defective mattress or additional documentation.
  3. Await an inspector: In some cases, the manufacturer may send an inspector to evaluate the condition of your mattress. The inspector will measure and assess any defects or issues to determine if your claim is valid. It’s important to note that a cost may be associated with the inspector’s visit, which may be reimbursed if your claim is validated.
  4. Ship your mattress: If your warranty claim is approved, you may be required to ship your mattress to the manufacturer or an authorized service center. It’s important to carefully follow the shipping instructions provided by the company. Based on the warranty terms, you might need to bear the shipping expenses, though certain manufacturers may assume these costs for valid claims.

It’s worth noting that the warranty fulfillment process can take several weeks, from the initial claim to the final resolution. While waiting for the claim to be processed, making alternative sleeping arrangements is advisable if necessary.

Ways To Extend Your Mattress’s Lifespan

While a mattress warranty provides valuable protection, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your mattress and prevent issues covered by the warranty. Properly maintaining your mattress can maximize its longevity and minimize the need for warranty claims. Here are some tips to help you prolong the life of your mattress:

  1. Use a mattress protector: Opting for a high-quality mattress protector is the best way to protect your mattress from stains, spills, dust, and other contaminants. A mattress protector is a waterproof barrier, keeping your mattress clean and hygienic. Various types of mattress protectors are available, from fitted protectors to encasements that cover all six sides of the most proper bed frame.
  2. Invest in a proper foundation: Utilize a foundation that complements your mattress to ensure optimal support and prevent sagging. Different mattresses require specific foundations, such as adjustable bases, slatted wood platforms, or bunkie boards. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for mattress support is essential to maintain warranty coverage.
  3. Regularly maintain the mattress: Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your mattress in good condition. Flip or rotate your mattress for 3 to 6 months, as per the manufacturer’s guidance, to ensure even wear distribution. Vacuum your mattress at least twice a year to eliminate dust and allergens. Promptly address any minor stains through spot cleaning to prevent them from setting.
  4. Keep food and drinks off the bed: Consuming food or beverages in bed may result in spills and stains on your mattress. Food scraps and crumbs attract pests and can cause hygiene issues. While water is not likely to stain your mattress, it’s still important to promptly absorb excess liquid with a towel to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  5. Avoid jumping on the bed: Jumping on the bed can cause physical damage to the mattress, such as broken coils or visible indentations. Encourage children or guests to avoid jumping on the bed to maintain the mattress’s structural integrity.

FAQs about Mattress Warranties

Should I buy a mattress without a warranty?

It’s not recommended to purchase a mattress without a warranty. Without a warranty, you assume full liability if the mattress sags or wears down prematurely. Cheap or secondhand mattresses from third-party resellers often come without warranties, and the risk of investing in a mattress that rapidly breaks down is high.

Is it okay to buy a used mattress?

Buying a used mattress is generally not advisable. Used mattresses lack warranties, making evaluating their condition and potential issues difficult. Additionally, mattresses older than 7 to 10 years may not provide the same comfort and support as newer models. It’s worth considering used mattresses’ lifespan and hygiene concerns before purchasing.

How do I know if my mattress needs to be replaced?

Several signs indicate that it’s time to replace your mattress. These include visible sagging, lumps, body indentations, discomfort or pain when sleeping, allergy symptoms upon waking up, and an inability to get comfortable at night. Additionally, if your mattress is 7 to 10 years old, it’s likely nearing the end of its lifespan and may require replacement.

How long should I wait before sleeping on a new mattress?

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are typically vacuum-packed for shipping. Waiting at least 24 hours before sleeping on the mattress is recommended to allow it to expand and off-gas fully. During this time, any initial “new mattress” scent will dissipate.

How do I measure mattress sagging?

To measure mattress sagging, remove all bedding and find the deepest part of the indentation. Use a measuring tape, yardstick, or ruler to measure the depth compared to the rest of the mattress’s height. Avoid applying too much pressure to the mattress during measurement to prevent exaggeration of the indentation. If the depth meets the warranty’s threshold, you may be eligible to file a claim.

Conclusion

A mattress warranty is a valuable protection that ensures you won’t have to bear the costs of repairing or replacing a defective mattress. Understanding your warranty coverage, terms, and conditions is crucial when shopping for a mattress. By knowing what is and isn’t covered, you can make a well-informed decision to protect your investment. Remember to follow proper mattress maintenance practices to maximize the lifespan of your mattress and minimize the need for warranty claims. You can enjoy a comfortable mattress with proper care for years to come.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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