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Mattress Warranty Guide
What You Need to Know

Last updated on February 28, 2019

First, know that a 25-year mattress warranty does NOT mean that your mattress will last 25 years, but mattress companies certainly want you to believe this.

While a warranty can be a gesture of good faith on the part of the manufacturer, and an indication that the company stands behind its products, you’ll want to understand what your warranty can and cannot do for you. And there are several “gotcha” scenarios where you might inadvertently void your own warranty.

Your new mattress will probably be between 10 and 25 years in length for most manufacturers and some offer a “lifetime” warranty.

Also know that many of those super-long warranties are pro-rated after 5 or 10 years, meaning that a fee can be subtracted for the amount of time the mattress was used, in which case the warranty may not cover the full purchase price or replacement value of the mattress.

Problems Covered by a Mattress Warranty

While a long warranty might sound impressive, warranties are only designed to cover defects and construction flaws like broken springs and extreme breakdown of mattress materials. Keep in mind that true defects will likely become apparent in the first year of ownership.

Body impressions and sagging

If you’ve read some consumer-written mattress reviews, sagging and body impressions are THE biggest mattress complaint. You’ve probably been on an old mattress at some point and noticed yourself rolling into a sunken spot. The cause for this is compression of the top couple of layers of a mattress to the point where the mattress fails to come back to shape, leaving body impressions, generally where the heaviest parts of your body contact the bed.

Manufacturer warranties differ greatly by how deep a body impression must be before it triggers a warranty claim. The industry standard for innerspring mattresses is 1.5” while memory foam is typically 3/4," but there’s a lot of variation from brand to brand. And manufacturers measure body impressions in a very specific way. With no one in the bed, a string is stretched across the bed. Then the distance from the string and the lowest point of the bed is measured. The problem? You can feel the ‘sinkhole’ even if it isn’t deep enough to be measured in that specific way, so it’s worthwhile to consider buying from a company that has a body impression warranty of an inch or less. You’ll find that information within the warranty info.

Some mattresses have better than average body-indentation warranties. Examples include the King Koil World Extended Life bed (which is marketed to heavier and plus-size persons), which warrants body impressions of just ½”—that's the best we’ve seen recently. Several have policies of ¾”, including Loom & Leaf, Spindle, Tuft & Needle, and Tempur-Pedic.

You can help prevent body impressions by rotating your mattress 180 degrees every 3 months. (Note that most mattresses cannot be flipped; check if your particular model is "flippable" and flip periodically according to the manufacturer guidelines.)

Flaws in design, materials, and construction

As a general rule, most warranty failures are the types of problems that will reveal themselves in the first few years of ownership. Examples include broken springs (on an innerspring mattress), poorly stitched seams that haven opened, broken zippers, and split/cracking foam. Be aware that in certain types of beds (like air beds, waterbeds, or beds that have remote controls or other electronics), the warranty for specific components might be shorter. Some warranties exclude the cover entirely or have a separate warranty for it.

What’s NOT Covered by a Warranty

Generally, only observable, measurable defects are covered by a mattress warranty. Some issues that are not covered include:

Changes in comfort

The fact is that all mattresses will change over time. Generally, they become softer over the years. Changes in firmness/softness are never covered by the warranty.

Loss of support

You might find over the years that a mattress is no longer reaching up to support your lumbar area, or you’re sinking in more deeply than you once did. That’s normal, and could be an indication that it might be time to replace your bed, but it's not covered under the warranty.

Normal wear and tear

Handles can eventually break; trim or cording might become frayed, or the cover may show pilling or wear in certain spots. These are considered normal wear and tear and are typically not covered.

Warranty Gotchas

There are several ways you might accidentally void your own warranty, and they’re all spelled out in the mattress warranty. Most can be prevented, so it’s a great idea to read your warranty before you need it, and to take precautions. Mattress warranty claims can and do get rejected for these reasons:

The mattress is soiled or stained

Most manufacturers state they won’t honor the warranty if the mattress has stains--including sweat stains, spilled substances, etc.--even if the stains aren’t visible. We’ve even heard of warranty inspectors checking a mattress with a black light to find hidden stains. The solution? Get a mattress protector and use it from day one.

You didn't use a supportive foundation/frame

The mattress must be supported properly in order to make a warranty claim. Check the owner's manual or warranty for what types of foundations are required for your bed, as well as which are prohibited under the terms of your warranty. Check out our page on foundations.

You aren’t the original owner

Most warranties are not transferable. Especially those with “lifetime’ warranties are not valid if you aren't the person who initially bought the mattress. The warranty applies only to the original owner, so be sure to save your receipts to prove ownership.

You didn’t buy it from an authorized seller

Think you’ve found a good deal on Overstock? Think again. If you purchase your bed from an unauthorized reseller, it will not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. (The retailer might offer a substitute warranty, but that's not a given.)

You removed the tag that says “do not remove under penalty of law” Mattress Law Label

That tag (called a law label) really isn’t for you – it’s a guarantee by the manufacturer that all-new and sanitary materials were used in the mattress. It’s illegal for a new mattress to be sold without the tag. Once it’s in your home, you can remove it, but it's a good idea to leave it on, as some warranties won't be honored without it.

What Happens if I have a Warranty Claim?

In the event of a problem, the manufacturer will want to have the mattress inspected. Depending on the retailer, the store where you bought the mattress might help you coordinate the details of submitting your complaint to the manufacturer. Someone might come to your home to inspect the mattress, or arrange pickup. In both cases, be aware you may be on the hook for shipping or inspection fees. If your warranty claim is approved, those fees might be refunded.

If you do file a claim, document everything and keep copies of any submitted photographs or forms and note all important dates. Be sure to dig up your original receipt and be prepared to verify that the bed has been properly supported.

See our guide on Filing a Warranty Claim for more on what to do.

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