Mattress Warranty: All You Need to Know

What does a mattress warranty cover?

Mattress warranties usually cover manufacturing defects and structural failure during regular use under the premise of using a proper foundation or frame with a center support bar.

1. Manufacturing defects (mainly sagging)

The most common complaint people have with their mattresses is sagging. Sagging often leads to less comfort and support which might cause back pain especially for side and stomach sleepers.

Most mattresses warranties will cover sagging when it becomes severe enough, that is, when the mattress sags beyond a certain threshold.

For example, the threshold of innerspring mattress warranties is 1.5 inches. By contrast, some memory foam mattress warranties, like Tempur-Pedic, will provide coverage for sagging when the mattress sags beyond a depth of 0.75 inches.

To put it differently, innerspring mattress warranties often require twice the depth of sagging than memory foam mattress warranties before coverage begins.

To measure the sagging depth, manufacturers often put a string or other straight line across the surface of the mattress, then measure from the string to the bottom of the sagging with a ruler.

2. Structural failure

Structural failures are often covered including seams coming out of the mattress, coils breaking or popping out of the side, foams up top bunching up, boxspring breaking, etc. The retailer or manufacturer will replace the broken ones.

What does a mattress warranty NOT cover?

Mattress warranties do NOT cover discomfort issues, which is the main reason why warranties aren’t honored in many people's eyes. They only cover structural problems like what we have mentioned above, not a product that doesn’t maintain its comfort from the beginning to its last day. Problems not objectively measurable or observable, such as excessive softening or loss of support, are not commonly covered.

  • A mattress warranty cannot guarantee that you’ll “like” the mattress.
  • It doesn't guarantee that your mattress will be as much comfortable after ten years.
  • It does not offer coverage if the mattress doesn’t support you properly, or it causes some pressure to your body.
  • It does not cover normal wear or damages caused by jumping on the mattress, or by moving.
  • Minimal size discrepancies of around 1 inch is not an excuse you can use to get warranty coverage.

Things that can void a warranty

Mattresses can and often do have their legitimate warranties voided due to the use of an improper foundation/frame, stains, and removing the law tag.

1. Removing the law tag

The law tag is usually put on the back of the mattress with words saying “do not remove under penalty of law.” Removing the law tag voids the warranty because there will be no proof to show the retailers or the manufacturers that it's the exactly same mattress you ordered.

2. Improper foundation / frame

A mattress often needs proper support provided by its matching foundation or frame placed under it. An improper foundation or frame can cause premature wear and sag. Generally speaking, there are two forms of bed foundations and frames. A matching boxspring on top of a metal frame with a center support bar is the most common to see. An old and unmatching boxspring will void the warranty in most cases. If you don’t want to buy a new box spring, you can choose to get a platform bed with a solid surface or slats that are very close together.

It's better to read your warranty's foundation/frame guidelines first and follow them because mattress retailers or the manufacturers do not give leeway on this issue.

3. Stains and fluid penetration

If the mattress is stained or penetrated by fluid, the mattress warranty will be void. Stained mattresses are unsanitary, and apparently, no company wants to return those. Furthermore, sagging caused by liquids wearing down the foams or you just happen to spill some liquids on the place where sagging is located, the warranty will probably not cover the sagging.

You can prevent stains by using a waterproof mattress protector, but you should know that a little bit sweat every night after ten years, can cause a stain.

What you need to know if you file a warranty claim?

1. It will take about 4 to 6 weeks to get the process done

2. Most of the time, the company will send an independent inspection company to your house to take an accurate measurement of your mattress.

3. You may have to pay for this inspection service and it may you tens of dollars. Some companies will refund the money back to you if your mattress is determined to be defective, some will not.

4. If you bought a mattress online, you might be responsible for shipping fees.

5. If you suspect you have a warranty issue, contact the retail merchant first, and if you don’t get anywhere with them, communicate with the manufacturer.

Other problems that should be noted

1. Warranty Length ≠ Mattress Lifespan

Mattress companies offer warranties with a length of 5, 10, or 20 years, but in most cases, the bed will not last the length of its warranty with everyday use. Also, good mattresses usually have longer warranties than not-so-good mattresses.

2. Non-prorated vs. Prorated period

Many mattress brands tend to a considerably extended warranty with a length of up to 25 years, but the customers should keep in mind that there is a significant difference between non-prorated and prorated warranty. Lots of owners wrongly believe that if anything goes wrong in warranty period, the problem will be fixed at no cost to them.

For example, Sleep Number mattress offers a 25-year limited warranty with non-prorated coverage ends right after the second year of ownership. In other words, owners have to pay for a large percent of repair fees after two years.

Many customers feel misled or tricked because they didn't read the fine print of the mattress warranty before purchasing it.

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