This post has been quality checked in line with our Editorial and Research Policy.

Mattress Warranties Explained

You’ll probably never really think about your mattress warranty until it’s time to claim on it.

Because if you’re like most people, you’ll probably just skim read (or ignore) the details because who has the time to read all of that boring stuff, right?

Well, buying a mattress shouldn’t be taken lightly in my experience.

Because not only is it critical that you choose the right type of mattress for your needs – so that you can look forward to many years of restful slumber – you’ll also likely be spending a fair bit of cash too.

So I recommend that you take the time to read through the warranty for your specific mattress in detail.

But to make your life a bit easier, I’ve put together this guide to mattress warranties.

To help you understand how mattress warranties work; what’s included, what isn’t, and how to file a warranty claim in plain English without the legal waffle.

Alternatively: discover the best mattresses with a lifetime warranty here.

What is a Mattress Warranty?

A mattress warranty is designed to protect you from manufacturing defects and faults.

For example, if you purchase a mattress that has structural flaws, faulty parts, or damage that’s down to the manufacturing process then you could have those parts replaced at either no cost – or a varying cost – to you depending on the warranty type (more on this below), and if certain conditions are met.

Federal law stipulates that you must be able to read the warranty before you purchase the product when shopping online or by catalogue [1].

I must stress that you need to read the EXACT warranty for the mattress that you are purchasing because mattress warranties vary from brand to brand.

But to make things easier for you, here’s an overview of how mattress warranties tend to work on the whole.

How Long Does a Mattress Warranty Last?

The duration of a mattress warranty will vary from company to company.

But mattress warranties tend to last for 5, 10, or 20 years – with lifetime durations being available in some cases too.

However, the length of the warranty is not a reliable single indicator of the level and quality of protection that it really offers you.

And the first step to defining the true quality of the warranty is understanding what type it falls under.

What Are the Different Types of Mattress Warranties?

For the most part, your mattress warranty will be a written warranty that has clearly defined terms and conditions.

But even if your mattress isn’t covered by a written warranty – it will usually be covered by an implied warranty where – as defined by state law in all 50 states – the product will fulfil its primary function (‘warranty of merchantability’) and/or is fit for a clearly defined purpose (‘warranty of fitness’) [2].

However, if a mattress is marked ‘as is’ or explicitly states that it doesn’t include a warranty, then the implied warranty will not apply. Several states do not permit ‘as is’ sales [3].

If you buy a mattress in store, then the salesperson may make a ‘spoken warranty’ where a promise may be made verbally. However, you should ask that this promise be replicated in writing – otherwise you may not be able to avail of it in the future.

In further regard to written warranties, you’ll want to check the wording to see if the warranty is non-prorated, prorated, or a combination of the two.

Here’s an explanation of each warranty type.

Non-Prorated

A non-prorated warranty means that for the entire duration of the warranty the parts that are eligible for repair or replacement will be done so by the company at no extra cost to you.

Although you may have to pay for the inspection of your mattress and/or cover transportation fees.

Prorated

A prorated warranty typically means that you will have to contribute to the cost of replacing the defective part; or that you’ll only be reimbursed a percentage of the mattress’ original value.

For example, you may be required to pay 50% of the costs initially, with a 5% increase year after year until the prorated warranty ends.

Combination

Your mattress may be covered by a combination warranty.

Where typically, the initial years are covered under non-prorated terms and the final years under prorated terms. For example, the first 10 years of a 20 year warranty may be non-prorated, and the final 10 prorated.

This structure is common because wear and tear is going to be more prolific as time progresses and so a prorated term in the later years makes more sense for the seller.

It’s very important that you check the wording of the terms to see when the non-prorated period ends and the prorated term begins.

Is a Mattress Warranty the Same As a Sleep Trial?

No.

A sleep trial is offered by some online mattress companies so that you can test out the mattress over a specified number of nights (usually 30 – 100 or more) to see if it’s comfortable for you.

If not, you can usually return the mattress ‘risk-free’ at no extra cost unless the company specifies that you must pay for shipping.

In contrast, a mattress warranty will NOT allow you to return the mattress simply because it’s uncomfortable for you. The warranty is just there to protect you if the mattress was constructed improperly.

A warranty will typically last much longer than a sleep trial – providing that you don’t do anything to void the warranty.

Sleep trials are a great way to test bed in a box mattresses risk-free and still avail of the great savings when typically compared to buying in store.

What Does a Mattress Warranty Cover?

This will vary depending on the seller – so you should read your mattress warranty in full so that you are clear on what’s covered and what isn’t.

Here’s a few examples of what’s typically covered by a mattress warranty.

  • Damaged coils (for hybrid and innerspring mattresses).
  • Split seams.
  • Indentations beyond a certain depth (common for memory foam mattresses).
  • Broken handles.
  • Sagging beyond a certain depth.
  • Broken box spring.

What’s Not Covered?

You’ll probably find that there are more things that AREN’T covered by your mattress warranty than what is.

Again, the exact specifics will vary, but the following problems are not usually covered by a mattress warranty.

  • Minor sagging or indenting that’s below a specified threshold.
  • Natural wear and tear.
  • Accidental damage such as cutting the mattress during unpacking.
  • Discomfort or dissatisfaction with the size, feel, or performance of the mattress.

Is it Possible to Void Your Mattress Warranty?

Yes.

It can be quite easy to void your mattress warranty accidentally, so be sure to check the specifics.

Here’s a list of things that you’ll typically need to watch out for.

  • Staining your mattress.
  • Removing the mattress law tag.
  • Flipping your mattress when it’s not designed for dual-side use.
  • Placing the mattress on a base that doesn’t provide enough support.
  • Transferring the mattress to someone else.

How Do You File a Mattress Warranty Claim?

Here’s some advice for helping you to file your mattress warranty claim.

  • Review the terms to ensure that your complaint is covered.
  • Ensure that you’ve not voided the warranty.
  • Contact the seller for assistance – or the manufacturer if the seller is of no help.
  • Submit the correct paperwork, making sure to follow the correct guidelines such as including any photographs requested.
  • Retain evidence of communication.
  • Understand the costs involved such as paying for the mattress inspection.

When Should You Buy a New Mattress?

Mattress warranties will typically last longer than the actual life expectancy of the mattress.

On average, you should be looking to buy a new mattress when your old one is past the 7 – 10 year mark.

So if you’re having to pay money as part of a prorated term and your mattress is inside or beyond this range, you might be best off buying a new mattress.

Especially since you can save a lot of money when buying your mattress online.

And if you click the button below, you can see some of the best mattresses with lifetime warranties.

Sources and References

[1], [2], [3] Federal Trade Commission – Warranties. Accessed 10/1/20.

Leave a comment