Understanding Your Mattress Warranty: What You Need to Know
If you’re buying a new mattress, it should come with a mattress warranty.
But these mattress warranties can seem like a puzzle. What do they entail? And do they always work in your favor?
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about mattress warranties, how they work, and what you should keep in mind if you don’t want to void yours.
Let’s get into decoding mattress warranties!
What Is a Mattress Warranty?
A mattress warranty is a commitment from the manufacturer or seller to support their product, and it is required by federal law. It ensures they will repair, replace, or refund a defective mattress that can’t provide you with good-quality sleep.
Warranties come in various forms:
- Written warranties are provided for most purchases.
- Spoken warranties are conveyed verbally, but it’s best to get them in writing.
- State laws require implied warranties, which cover essential functions (warranty of merchantability) or particular purposes (warranty of fitness).
The warranty period can vary, but you can expect it to last between 5 and 20 years, so you’ll be protected for enough time in case your mattress has manufacturing flaws or performance issues.
Mattress Warranty vs. Sleep Trial
If you’re currently mattress shopping, you’ve probably also run into sleep trials. Sleep trials and mattress warranties are necessary but serve distinct purposes.
A sleep trial allows you to test a mattress at home for 90 to 365 days, ensuring it meets your comfort preferences. If it doesn’t, you can return a mattress and get a refund.
On the other hand, a mattress warranty comes into play when your mattress has a manufacturing defect, offering repair or replacement within a specified period.
However, warranties don’t apply if you don’t like the mattress.
What Are the Different Types of Mattress Warranties?
Not all mattress warranties are the same. There are different types, and some might suit you better than others. Here’s what you should know about the different kinds of mattress warranties.
Simply put, these mattress warranties cover some of the repair or replacement costs of your mattress. Also, this percentage could decrease over time, meaning you’ll have to pay more as the mattress ages.
While maintaining your mattress and using a protector can minimize repair expenses, you might still have to pay a portion if a replacement is needed.
Also, a prorated mattress warranty covers partial refunds because the value of the mattress depreciates over time due to regular wear and tear. If you have a prorated warranty, keep the mattress’s age in mind.
If you want a better deal, look for non-prorated warranties. A non-prorated mattress warranty covers all of the repair or replacement costs during the length of the warranty.
The only downside of non-prorated mattress warranties is that you might need to cover the shipping fees if you opt for a replacement mattress.
Non-prorated warranties are an excellent choice to ensure your mattress gets the care it needs without incurring any extra expenses during the defined warranty timeframe.
Some mattresses come with a mattress warranty that combines the abovementioned options. These are called combination warranties, and they offer mixed coverage.
Initially, you’ll enjoy the perks of a non-prorated warranty, so there’ll be no extra costs for repair or replacement for the first few years.
However, it can transition into a prorated warranty as time passes, where you might be responsible for some expenses.
This is why it’s essential to understand the specific warranty terms and how they work before choosing a mattress.
Full vs. Limited Mattress Warranty
When shopping for mattresses, knowing whether you’re offered a full or limited warranty is essential.
Full warranties provide comprehensive coverage, meaning they cover the costs of all the defects in the mattress, no matter what.
On the other hand, limited warranties only cover specific parts or defects, and these can vary from distributor to distributor. For example, some warranties could cover the comfort foam layer sagging in a hybrid mattress but not the broken coils.
So before you buy that bed, ensure you understand the mattress warranty type you’re offered!
Why You Need to Understand Your Mattress Warranty
There are a couple of reasons why it’s essential to understand your mattress warranty.
First, a mattress can be a significant investment, so having a warranty is like safeguarding it. It guarantees that your bed will remain free from physical flaws or manufacturing defects, ensuring it performs as expected over an extended period. And if it doesn’t, you’ll be covered.
But here’s the catch: you must understand your mattress warranty to make the most of it. Knowing the ins and outs can save you from unintentionally voiding it. Comprehension is vital, whether preventing stains, using the right bed frame, or keeping up with care instructions.
And if something is wrong with your mattress, a warranty will tell you whether you have coverage for it and what steps to take next.
Remember that your mattress warranty isn’t just a formality – it’s protection. It assures you that your hard-earned money is well spent on a good product, and you won’t have to pay for potential defects.
What You Should Look for in a Mattress Warranty
Mattress warranties can have a lot of information and seem hard to read, but here are some crucial things you should look for.
When evaluating the offer, pay close attention to the warranty period. The length of the warranty can offer insights into the mattress’s quality, but longer doesn’t always equate to better.
Warranties usually last five, ten, or twenty years, or even the mattress’s entire lifespan. They typically start upon purchase or delivery.
But the warranty length only matters if the coverage is proper. Don’t just look for the longest warranty; also pay attention to what it has to offer.
It’s crucial to understand what your mattress warranty covers.
Check if the mattress warranty’s coverage includes manufacturing defects like broken coils or split seams. Pay attention to issues like premature sagging, which could be included.
However, normal wear and tear is usually not covered. Additionally, see if the mattress warranty offers repair, replacement, or a refund for a defective mattress. And remember to inquire about transportation costs or any hidden fees for repairs.
For example, comprehensive mattress warranties cover more than those limited to specific components like springs. Precise knowledge of what your mattress warranty covers protects you and makes for a sound mattress investment.
To ensure your mattress warranty remains valid, it’s crucial to be aware of factors that could void it. Common elements that could void a mattress warranty include:
- Removing tags.
- Failing to provide proper mattress support with a box spring or foundation.
- Neglecting regular cleaning and rotation.
- Spilling liquids on the mattress.
Remember that some retailers and manufacturers may have stricter criteria, so it’s essential to adhere to the care instructions and warranty guidelines. Understanding these risk factors helps protect your investment.
Point of Contact
The warranty should also state who your point of contact is if something’s wrong with the mattress or if you have any issues with the warranty. It’s usually the seller or the manufacturer.
Type of Coverage
The type of coverage you’ll get from your mattress warranty is essential and should be stated in the warranty itself.
While some companies opt for mattress repairs, others may provide replacements. Alternatively, you might encounter a warranty offering a refund or store credit for a new mattress.
Understanding the type of coverage ensures you’re prepared for potential issues, whether you prefer repairs, replacements, or a fresh start with a different mattress.
Does the warranty cover consequential damages?
Often, warranties don’t cover consequential damages.
For example, a mattress’s warranty may be nullified if the base or bed frame it is placed on is damaged, old, or missing a metal stability bar.
The Company’s Reputation
This won’t be written in the warranty, but it’s always a good idea to know the company’s reputation before purchasing something from them.
Always check the reviews! They’re an excellent place to see whether a company is good on its word.
Research if they have good standing and accessible contact information, and check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints. A reputable company is reliable and trustworthy.
What Does a Mattress Warranty Cover?
As you start checking mattress warranties, you’ll notice that they differ slightly, especially in length, but almost all of them cover sagging and faulty materials.
Sagging is a frequent concern for all mattresses.
Mattresses sag over the years. However, excessive or early sagging indicates a potential manufacturing defect and is typically covered by your warranty.
Manufacturers specify certain depth thresholds that the sagging needs to pass to qualify for the warranty to ensure it isn’t just regular wear and tear. This depth is often 1.5 inches, but some may consider it 0.75 inches.
How to Measure Mattress Sagging
Not sure whether your mattress sags too much or not? You need to measure it.
First, remove all of the bedding from the mattress. Next, place a string across it and measure the depth from the string to the sag’s lowest point using a ruler. You can contact the manufacturer if the number exceeds the threshold the warranty defines.
Understanding these sagging guidelines ensures you can address potential warranty issues effectively.
Mattress warranties offer coverage for issues related to faulty materials and quality.
These warranties typically include repair or replacement and cover manufacturing defects such as
- split seams,
- broken or bent coils (standard in innerspring or hybrid mattresses),
- abnormal bunching of mattress materials (often seen in foam mattresses),
- and even damaged mattress handles.
Additionally, coverage extends to instances where coils break or protrude from the mattress sides, seams come undone, or the box spring encounters issues.
However, these are only covered as long as they’re not the customer’s fault. For example, if you damage the coils by jumping on the mattress, your warranty will be voided.
What Does a Mattress Warranty Not Cover?
This leads us to the question: What doesn’t a mattress warranty cover?
There are a few things that most warranties don’t cover, primarily because they result from improper mattress care. These are the things that the company can’t vouch for, and some of them are your responsibility.
Sagging Below Minimum Threshold
Mattresses start to sag over time, no matter what they’re made from.
So, it’s essential to know that mattress warranties will only cover sagging if it exceeds the depth outlined in your warranty agreement.
If your mattress sags but doesn’t cross this threshold, you won’t be eligible for repairs or replacements under the warranty.
However, a sagging mattress can still be uncomfortable to sleep on. If that’s the case with your bed, you can try using a mattress topper to improve the support and comfort levels until you can buy a new mattress.
Normal Wear and Tear
It’s essential to recognize that mattress warranties typically do not cover “normal wear and tear.”
Over time, all mattresses naturally develop minor imperfections such as discoloration, scuffs, lumpiness, and bunching materials due to regular use. While these signs may appear, they generally show that a mattress is starting to age and is not having structural issues.
“Normal wear and tear” is a common term in warranty coverage, but it doesn’t have a precise definition. That’s why it’s essential to understand that these natural changes in your mattress aren’t covered. You should have realistic expectations about what your mattress warranty will cover.
If you damage the mattress in any way, the warranty won’t cover the repair or replacement. For example, an accidental tear is considered user-inflicted damage, and it’s not something the mattress company can take the blame for.
Therefore, the warranty won’t cover any damage you cause to your bed, such as scratching it while moving the mattress or jumping in it so much that it sags. These types of damages come from misuse, which isn’t something a warranty covers. So if you do the damage, you won’t get a replacement mattress!
To ensure your warranty lasts, follow the proper mattress care guidelines and avoid actions that could lead to these issues. Your warranty should stay effective!
Warranties are excellent, but you can’t use them just because you’re unsatisfied with the product.
If your mattress is uncomfortable or you dislike its feel, warranty coverage will not apply. Also, changes in the mattress’s comfort or feel over time, such as it becoming less soft or less firm as it ages, are typically not covered.
Luckily, mattresses often come with a lengthy sleep trial, and that period should be enough to show you whether your bed is comfortable.
During the trial, you assess whether the mattress suits your comfort preferences. However, manufacturers and sellers won’t give you a replacement mattress or refund it once the sleep trial period is over if everything is fine with it.
Finally, a mattress warranty won’t cover replacements for parts that still work fine.
If a specific component, like a seam, exhibits a defect, the company is responsible for repairing or replacing that part, not the entire mattress.
Additionally, mattresses equipped with electronic components, such as remote controls, typically come with separate, specified warranties for those components, and replacement parts are handled independently from the mattress itself.
It’s always good to know the extent of the coverage!
How Long Do Mattress Warranties Last?
The length of the warranty is also very important.
A warranty length is usually longer than the expected lifespan of the mattress, which can show you how durable the mattress is.
For example, a 5-year warranty suggests a mattress lifespan of around four years, while a 10-year warranty hints that you can expect to use your mattress comfortably for the next seven years. This is why high-quality mattresses often come with longer warranties, showing they’ll also last a long time.
Most warranties last 10 to 20 years, but it’s also important to say that just because the length of the warranty is hefty doesn’t necessarily mean the mattress will last that long.
But if you want to be safer, opt for a longer warranty with comprehensive sagging coverage because it still indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the mattress’s quality and longevity.
Factors That Can Void a Mattress Warranty
Certain factors can void a mattress warranty, so you won’t be able to use it in the future. Here’s what you should avoid if you want your safeguard to keep working.
To keep your mattress warranty intact, it’s crucial to avoid stains.
Liquids, such as food or drink spills, aren’t just harmful when it comes to appearance; they also erode mattress materials, which can compromise the structural integrity of the mattress. Even if a stain doesn’t directly cause a sag, it can deteriorate the material faster.
Stained mattresses are also considered unsanitary, so they’re not eligible for a warranty return.
The solution? Invest in a waterproof mattress protector, and try not to eat or drink in bed to minimize the risk.
Removal of the Law Tag
Removing the law tag is one action to avoid at all costs regarding mattress warranties.
Every mattress has a small tag labeled “Do Not Remove This Tag Under The Penalty Of Law.” While there are no legal repercussions for removing it as an end-user, doing so can immediately void your warranty.
This seemingly insignificant mattress tag serves as proof of purchase for mattress manufacturers, and without it, there’s no way to verify the mattress’s origin.
So, removing the law tag leaves you without proof that you purchased the mattress. To safeguard your warranty, don’t remove that tag.
Not Taking Care of the Mattress
If you want to keep your mattress warranty valid, you must take proper care of it. Some care routines are essential, and avoiding them can lead to voiding the warranty.
One common mistake is failing to flip or rotate the mattress as needed. Rotating and flipping ensure even wear, preventing premature sags. However, remember that some mattresses, like hybrids and memory foam, shouldn’t be flipped but only rotated.
Also, leaving your mattress packed in its box for too long, typically over 2 to 4 weeks, can lead to permanent damage and void your warranty.
If you need help with this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions!
Providing the proper support and using the proper bed frame for your mattress is also crucial.
The warranty guidelines typically specify the support your mattress needs, which varies based on its construction.
For example, memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses thrive on support from bunkie boards, slatted wood platforms, adjustable bed bases, or dedicated mattress bases. On the other hand, innerspring mattresses require box springs and usually a different bed frame.
Using an unsuitable or aged foundation, like an improper bed frame, may void your warranty due to potential damages, and so can placing your mattress directly on the floor.
To keep your warranty intact, ensure your mattress has the support it needs.
Not Being the Original Buyer
Last but not least, the warranty most often only extends to the original purchaser of the mattress.
If you’re not the initial buyer, the warranty might no longer apply, even if it has yet to expire. It doesn’t matter if you sell the mattress or give it away; the warranty usually expires when a different person owns the mattress.
This is one of the many reasons why buying a second-hand mattress in many places is illegal. If you want that warranty, you have to be the original purchaser!
How to File a Claim for a Mattress Warranty
You’ve got your mattress and now you know everything about the warranty – coverage, length, etc. Let’s see now how to use the warranty claim if you have severe mattress sag or faulty materials at hand.
Review Your Warranty
Before you dive into filing a mattress warranty claim, take a moment to review your warranty carefully. Verify that the warranty terms and conditions cover your problem.
Making a claim can be a hassle, so confirming that your mattress warranty covers the damages is crucial. And if your complaint doesn’t fall under the scope of the warranty, filing a claim might be a waste of time.
Contact the Mattress Retailer
Start by getting in touch with the mattress retailer’s customer support department. Notify them about your intent to file a warranty claim and provide essential details such as your order number, mattress purchase date, warranty copy, and images or videos of the defect.
And if the retailer doesn’t cooperate for any reason, your next step is to contact the mattress manufacturer. Send formal letters by certified mail, request return receipts, and keep copies of all communications between you and them. Clearly outline the mattress problem and include a copy of the warranty terms you believe apply.
File Official Paperwork
If everything is okay with the retailer or manufacturer, you’re ready to file official paperwork.
They will likely request official paperwork to file a warranty claim. Additionally, you may need to provide supporting evidence. Remember that the resolution of your claim may take several weeks from start to finish.
Wait for the Inspector to Evaluate the Mattress
Sometimes, the retailer may send an inspector to your home to assess the defect and validate the claim.
While some mattress companies may charge you for the inspector’s services, typically ranging from $25 to $50, they often cover the cost and provide a refund if your warranty claim is approved.
However, you should be prepared for the possibility that your claim is denied and that you’ll have to start a dispute. This can prolong the warranty fulfillment process significantly.
Ship Your Mattress
Finally, it’s time to ship your mattress if everything is right with the paperwork and warranty claims.
But you might have to pay shipping costs to an offsite location to get your mattress repaired. Depending on other factors, these can set you back from $50 to $100. However, some companies cover the shipping costs, too.
How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress
In the end, if you want to get a good night’s sleep on a comfortable mattress without worrying about potential damage, you just have to take care of it properly.
We have some advice to help you maintain a comfortable and durable mattress, and some of it will allow you not to void your mattress’s warranty!
Use the Right Foundation
To extend the life of your mattress, it’s crucial to use the proper foundation. Different beds require specific types of support, so research your mattress to determine the right fit. Using the correct foundation also matters because using the wrong one can void your mattress warranty.
Some standard mattress foundations include platform beds with wooden slats, box springs with shock-absorbing springs, dedicated foundations, and adjustable bases for varying angles.
Check the warranty’s guidance to ensure you’re using the proper foundation.
Invest in a Mattress Protector
Investing in a mattress protector or mattress cover can also extend the lifespan of your mattress.
Mattress protectors offer several benefits, including waterproofing to safeguard against stains, protection against dust mites, molds, and bed bugs, and even temperature regulation for a cooler night’s sleep.
You can choose between a mattress cover or protectors that come in two types:
- fitted mattress protectors, which hug the mattress like a fitted sheet and are easy to remove,
- encasement protectors that cover all sides of the mattress, providing extra allergen and bed bug defense.
No matter whether you choose a mattress cover or a protector, your mattress will be safe!
Avoid Jumping on the Bed
It’s fun, but you shouldn’t do it if you want a long-lasting mattress.
So, discourage bed jumping, especially if you have kids or a playful pet. Jumping can lead to broken coils in innerspring or hybrid mattresses and permanent indentations in memory foam mattresses.
Keep Your Mattress Clean
Keeping your mattress clean has a significant effect on its lifespan and your sleep quality.
Vacuum your mattress twice a year to remove dust, allergens, and skin cells that can accumulate. Focus on seams, where buildup is common.
Also, if spills happen, treat them immediately. Stains like blood, sweat, or food can lead to lasting damage.
The solution here is easy: avoid eating or drinking in bed.
Flipping and Rotating
Taking care of your mattress isn’t just about keeping it clean. You also need to flip or rotate it regularly. Regular maintenance, like flipping or rotating every 3 to 6 months, ensures your mattress wears evenly and remains comfortable for years.
Typically, memory foam, latex foam, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses benefit from a 180-degree rotation every three months. However, not all mattresses require this, so consult your mattress’s guide or the manufacturer.
Transport Your Mattress With Care
To extend your mattress’s lifespan, handle it with care during transport. Whether moving it from room to room or in a truck, take precautions to prevent rips, stains, or damage.
You could cover the mattress in plastic before moving it to keep it safe from dust, dirt, and bed bugs. This simple step can keep your mattress in top shape for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Buy a Mattress Without a Warranty?
Buying a mattress with a warranty is a good idea. Without one, you take on all the responsibility if your mattress sags or wears out too soon.
Some cheap or second-hand mattresses from third-party sellers can come without a warranty, but you should avoid these to be safe.
How Do I Measure Mattress Sagging?
To determine whether your mattress qualifies for warranty coverage due to top sagging, remove all the bedding from the mattress and tightly stretch a string across the mattress’s surface.
While keeping the string taut, use a ruler to measure the distance between the string and the sagging surface.
This measure represents the sagging depth, which you can compare to the measurements in your warranty.
What Will Void a Mattress Warranty?
Stains on the mattress, like those from spills or accidents, often nullify the warranty. Removing the law tags or failing to use a proper foundation can also void them. But if the mattress sags but doesn’t meet the manufacturer’s predetermined depth requirement, your warranty might not apply.
Finally, improper care, such as failing to rotate the mattress as recommended, can void the warranty. To keep your warranty intact, following the care instructions and maintaining your bed in good condition are essential.
Mattresses are a significant investment, so you should buy them from a reputable company that offers a warranty.
Now that you know all about the different types of mattress warranties and how they work, you can make your choice. Remember to read the fine print, understand what’s covered, and always follow the care instructions.
Good luck finding a new mattress with a great warranty!