What is a Mattress Warranty?

Having a problem with your mattress? Most mattresses come with a warranty, find out what it covers and how to file a claim.

By Sheryl Grassie

There are specific things that a mattress warranty covers, and specific criteria that must be met in order for the mattress warranty to be honored. If your issue is covered, and you meet the criteria, then you can go through the process of filing a claim. This process varies depending on where you bought your mattress and may have both time and costs involved. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Let us walk you through some basics. If you follow some simple steps and understand the mattress warranty, most retailers and manufacturers are happy to help.

A woman in a white shirt and jeans in a mattress store. She examines the mattress she wants to buy. She squats and looks at the mattress

Types of Warranties

A mattress warranty is a legally binding document that is required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the selling of larger ticket items. Warranties are designed to protect the consumer with a promise to replace or repair defective merchandise. Federal law mandates that warranties be available to the customer as part of their decision-making process and not after the fact. Sometimes, additional or extended warranties are available for an added cost.

There are three basic types of warranties: written, spoken, and implied. There is also an “as is” clause that can be in a contract that means “no warranty.”

Warranties have different lengths. For mattress warranties, you should look for at least 5 years and, preferably, 10 years. Overall, they range from 1 year to 25 years to a lifetime.

Most mattresses also come with a trial period (similar to a short warranty) which covers comfort and preference, so you can see if you like the mattress. The lengths of trial periods vary, but a 100 night trial period is common. You can try out the mattress, and if you don’t like it, return it within the first 100 days no questions asked. After this trial period, however, comfort and preference are no longer reasons for returning a mattress and are not covered under the mattress warranty

What Is and Isn’t Covered Under the Mattress Warranty?

Mattress warranty terms vary slightly, but generally the warranty will cover physical defects like the mattress sagging, broken coils or box springs, seams coming undone, bunching, and bed frame defects like cracking.

Sagging in particular is covered based on the depth of the sag. Most warranties cover the replacement of the mattress if the sag is at least 1 inch. Others may require the sag to be 1.5 or 2 inches before the warranty kicks in. Memory foam mattresses may be less, usually ¾ of an inch.

A mattress is a product you purchase to use. Use of the product in the form of normal wear and tear is not covered by the warranty. Neither is damage from extreme use, like jumping on the mattress. The warranty will not cover rips or tears from moving the mattress, or damage incurred from any form of misuse. If you don’t like the feel of the mattress after the trial period or if it becomes lumpy down the road, that isn’t covered. Declining comfort is considered part of normal use; it is part of the life of the mattress and not part of the warranty.

What Invalidates A Mattress Warranty?

More than most people realize, a warranty is a two-way street. The manufacturer agrees to repair or replace their defects, and you agree to abide by their rules of care for the mattress. If you fail to abide by the rules, it can invalidate the warranty. Most manufacturers require that you do the following:

  • Do Not Remove the Tag: When it says, “do not remove this tag under penalty of law,” that is actually designed to protect you from manufacturers changing out mattresses and selling you an inferior product. But, it can be a reminder to you that most warranties become void if the tag is removed. Leave it in place.
  • Be the Original Owner: If you bought the mattress on Craigslist, got it from your brother, or inherited it from a friend, no matter how new it is, the warranty does not transfer to secondary owners. You must be the original owner and have proof in the form of an invoice to file a claim.
  • Have a Mattress Free From Stains: Liquids do get on our mattresses and can leave stains. It would be a shame if a small coffee spill invalidated a warranty for a major defect, but this is the way things work. Part of your responsibility, in the event you need to file a warranty claim, is to have a stain-free mattress. Start off from day one with a good mattress protector to insure your mattress is warranty worthy.
  • Use Foundation Support: Mattresses need support. Some manufacturers specify what that can and can’t be. The floor is a form of support but is not endorsed by all mattress companies for their mattresses. Some require a box spring; some just want the mattress evaluated off the floor. Check the warranty when you purchase your mattress to ensure you have the right type of foundational support for your particular mattress, improper support can void the warranty.
  • Remove it from the Box: Some mattresses are shipped to you directly from the manufacturer in a box. There is a period of time in which you must remove the mattress from the box. This is usually between a few weeks and a few months. If you were to leave the mattress in the box for a longer period and then have a defect, it could invalidate the warranty. So, take the mattress out of the box sooner rather than later.
  • Follow the Rotation Schedule: This does not apply to all mattresses, but some do come with a “recommended” rotation schedule. Read the fine print of your warranty. Sometimes “recommended rotation schedule” turns into “required rotation schedule” when it comes to the warranty.

Filing A Claim

To file a warranty claim on your mattress, first check with the retailer from whom you purchased it. Some retailers will handle the claim for you; others will refer you directly to the manufacturer. Most have an online form to get the process started. You will need the original invoice, pictures of the defect, and you’ll need to complete any paperwork. You might have to pay for an inspector to come and examine the mattress, or you may have to pay to have the mattress shipped back to the manufacturer, or both. Before purchasing a mattress, read reviews to get an idea of how easy it is to process a claim with a given company.


Summary

Mattress warranties cover structural and physical defects caused by the manufacturer. Concerns over comfort and fit of the mattress need to be addressed during the trial period and are not part of the warranty. A warranty can be voided if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care, so make sure you leave the tag on, use a mattress protector, and engage the proper foundational support.


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