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How Do Mattress Warranties Work?

by Véronique Raymond
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When you are looking to purchase a new mattress, the warranty coverage is likely not the first, second, or even third thing on your mind.

However, the warranty protection is important as a mattress owner, and you should be aware of what kind of coverage you are getting for your new mattress.

Every mattress company will have different warranty terms and it will vary on a mattress-by-mattress basis.

Let’s investigate what the different types of warranties are, what can be covered and what isn’t, and how claims work.

 

What Do Mattress Warranty Cover?

A mattress warranty is designed to be a guarantee of sorts that the workmanship and materials put into the mattress are high quality and last as long as industry standards mandate.

As a result, a mattress warranty will not cover absolutely every type of damage or weakness in performance.

Let’s take a look at the things all mattress warranties should cover.

Physical Defects

Manufacturing defects are the number one reason why mattress warranties exist.

Manufacturing defects include any damage that is apparent when you first setup your mattress.

Since no period of time has passed that can explain the physical defects, you are in no way responsible for the damage and will be fully covered by warranty.

Broken coils in the mattress, split seams, and other construction issues are all covered under physical defects.

Premature/Excessive Sagging

While all mattresses will sag if given enough time, premature sagging will be covered under warranty.

Every mattress type will age and break down at a different rate, but you shouldn’t notice any significant mattress sagging or body indentations within the first year or so.

If you do, it’s time to get in touch with the manufacturer as this is indicative of a defective mattress.

Irregular Bunching

Irregular bunching can occur in foam and hybrid mattresses.

It appears as an uneven sleeping surface and should always be covered under warranty as this is a result of a construction error.

While this can develop over time as a result of uneven wear on the mattress, it will be covered under warranty if it occurs prematurely.

Broken Box Spring or Mattress Coils

If the coils inside your innerspring or hybrid mattress come damaged, the mattress repair or replacement will absolutely be covered under warranty.

A broken box spring is a little bit different; many retailers will include your box spring under warranty if a box spring is required for optimal bed setup and for warranty validation, but some manufacturers may choose to leave this component out.

 

What Do Mattress Warranty Not Cover?

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Mattress warranties have limitations just like anything else. They are not all-encompassing, so let’s investigate what things are NOT covered by your warranty, so you can do your best to avoid unnecessary claims.

Discoloration/Spills

Mattresses will become yellow as they age, but this will take years, and since it is a natural process that every mattress will eventually undergo, it is not covered by warranty.

The same holds true for discoloration and staining from spills; these things are also not covered under warranty, but for a very different reason.

Since you as the mattress owner will be at fault for that kind of damage and the responsibility does not lie in any manufacturing issues, it won’t be covered under warranty.

Normal Wear And Tear

Normal wear and tear will not be covered under warranty, as it takes years to develop and is just part of the natural aging process; a mattress can’t last forever after all.

Things like gentle sagging or body indentations, developing odors, a reduction in support, etc. are all signs of natural aging and do not warrant a claim.

Tears And Scratches

No matter what type of mattress you purchase, whether it be a platform bed, memory foam mattress, hybrid of some sort, or even a bed with an adjustable base, they will all be susceptible to damage like tears and scratches.

This is not a fault of mattress construction, it is just a byproduct of the kind of soft product it is, so these damages will also not be covered under warranty.

It is your responsibility to protect your mattress with things like mattress protectors, pads, or toppers.

 

Types Of Warranties

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The Federal Trade Commission defines a warranty as a promise that a company makes to a customer to stand behind its product for a certain amount of time.

While every product comes with a warranty, they can come in many different forms.

It is important that you understand each type of warranty so you’re prepared to choose the best mattress, and mattress coverage, available to you.

Limited Warranty

Limited warranties are the more popular option for retailers to provide.

A limited warranty means that only certain defects, parts, or other conditions are covered under warranty.

As a result, you may be responsible for the cost of a repair or replacement mattress if the issue does not fall under warranty.

Full Warranty

A full warranty is exactly what is sounds like: every part of the mattress and every potential defect are covered.

This is the preferred type for consumers as it means you won’t ever be responsible for repairing or replacing the mattress as long as you are not at fault for the damage and it doesn’t fall under normal wear and tear conditions.

Implied Warranty

Implied warranties are ones that come without any written notice of warranty.

They are determined by your state/province, so the rules may vary depending on where you live.

Almost every product is covered by an implied warranty, as merchants cannot knowingly sell defective products, and can last as long as four years in some cases.

Essentially every mattress will come with written warranty with a longer coverage period, but it is important to know the rules of implied warranty in case you ever find yourself in that position.

There are two main types of implied warranty.

The first is a warranty of merchantability, which basically means that the product you buy functions as intended.

For example, an oven should heat up and cook food. If it doesn’t, you’re covered under the merchantability warranty.

The second type of implied warranty is a warranty of fitness for a specific purpose.

If a mattress manufacturer advertises a certain mattress as being the best for pregnant women, then it really should help pregnant women sleep better.

Prorated Warranty

A prorated warranty is one in which the customer is responsible for some of the costs associated with repairs or replacements of a defective mattress.

As time goes on, the customer will be responsible for a greater portion of these costs, and the manufacturer will be responsible for less.

In this model, the value of the warranty decreases as the length of ownership increases, since the warranty will cover a lesser percentage of the costs.

Non-Prorated Warranty

A non-prorated warranty is one that maintains its value over the entire course of the mattress’ life.

The customer will not be responsible for paying any portion of a repair or replacement, but shipping costs may be the exception to this.

This is by far the preferred option for shoppers as it limits the risk of expenses down the road.

Combination Warranty

A combination warranty is the merging of prorated and non-prorated warranties.

In this model, you will likely receive a non-prorated warranty for the first few years of a mattress’ life, and then it will be converted into a prorated warranty for the remainder of the warranty period.

 

Does Every Mattress Come With A Warranty?

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Just like every mattress will have a sleep trial included, every mattress that you purchase new will include warranty coverage.

The type of mattress and brand do not matter; a warranty period on par with industry standards must be included, and it begins on the date of purchase.

It is important to note that the sleep trial period is NOT the same as warranty.

Warranty begins when you have actually purchased the mattress; setting it up and sleeping on it for 90-365 nights is not the same thing.

It is therefore very important that you are careful with your mattress and take great care not to damage it in any way, as you will not be able to return it and will likely not be able to get any warranty coverage at all.

 

How Long Is Mattress Warranty Coverage?

The length of warranty coverage you receive will depend on the type of mattress you buy.

Every type of mattress has a different lifespan, and your warranty length will almost always be longer than the life of the mattress.

Of course, taking care of your mattress via regular cleaning, rotation, and using products such as mattress protectors may extend the life beyond the warranty coverage.

The warranty on an innerspring mattress, for example, may only be 5 years, but a natural latex mattress may be guaranteed for 20 or even 25 years.

A 10 year warranty is the most common for hybrid models and foam mattresses.

Different sleep products from different brands may vary on the specifics of your warranty terms, but the duration of coverage is usually quite standard.

Saatva and Tempur-Pedic are two companies that offer excellent warranty coverage.

 

What Is The Process For A Warranty Claim?

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Warranty claims are fairly straight forward processes, and the warranty information you receive upon purchase of your mattress should include all of the steps you need to follow for your specific retailer and manufacturer.

When you notice a problem with your mattress, the first thing you need to do is review your warranty.

Make sure your warranty covers the problem and that you are still within the coverage duration.

You’ll want to have a copy of your warranty information and proof of purchase on hand to make your claim.

The next step is to contact the retailer or manufacturer.

Your warranty package will include a point of contact for you so you don’t need to guess who you should be talking to.

Have all of your paperwork handy and take photos of the problem to streamline the process.

They may have additional paperwork for you to fill out as well.

Almost every manufacturer will send out an inspector to have a look at the mattress and double check that the claim is valid.

You may need to cover the cost of this inspection initially (it usually costs between $25 and $50), but you should be reimbursed for all valid claims.

If your claim is validated, the next step is to ship your mattress for repair or to facilitate a replacement.

The shipping fees will likely be your responsibility, but again, some companies will reimburse you for a valid claim or will cover the cost from the very beginning.

 

Things That Can Void Mattress Warranty

There are a number of actions that can be taken by you, the consumer, that will end up voiding your mattress warranty.

Every manufacturer will have different rules, but most of these things will be common to all.

It is a good idea to have a read through of your warranty information to be aware of what you need to avoid in order to protect your warranty coverage.

Using It Without The Recommended Foundation/Bed Frame

Every type of mattress has a requirement for some sort of frame or foundational support.

This can look like a simple bed frame with a center support beam, more complex frames that include slats, and others will require some sort of box spring or additional layer of support between the mattress and frame.

Using your mattress without the recommended support will void your mattress warranty, as the mattress cannot be expected to function properly without it, and any damage that occurs as a result of improper use should not be the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Removing The Law Tag

The law label on a mattress contains information regarding the inner components and filling material of the mattress.

This label is required by law, and removing it is a sure fire way to void your mattress warranty. In other words, just don’t do it.

Changing Ownership

Believe it or not, buying a mattress and gifting it or reselling it to someone else will actually void the warranty.

Only the original purchaser is covered under warranty, so even if the mattress has never been slept on, the next owner of the mattress will be responsible for the full cost of repairing or replacing the mattress if the situation ever arises.

Staining/Liquid Damage

Liquid damage and the consequent staining on your mattress will irreparably damage your mattress structure and integrity.

As a result, your mattress warranty will become void. Since a mattress cannot be expected to function at top performance when it is damaged by liquid spills (a damaged mattress cannot offer proper support and will be more vulnerable to bed bugs and mites), the mattress warranty can no longer apply.

Failure To Flip/Rotate

Although most mattresses these days should not be flipped due to more advanced layering and composition, rotating your mattress should still be part of your mattress care routine.

Roughly every three months, your mattress should be rotated in order to facilitate an even wear pattern.

If you fail to do this, you will end up voiding your warranty because the uneven wear will have been your fault.

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